November 26, 2011

saturday snapshot...

A sleepy kitty hiding in Dara's closet.

November 22, 2011

rope, rock, and a random song...

Remember that rope I was talking about--the frayed, slender one I was holding onto the end of for dear life?

It snapped last week.

And I fell. Not far, because I was pretty much at the bottom of things as it was, but the sudden shock of slamming into a hard surface knocked the wind out of me.

So all last weekend I've been just laying there, on the bottom, not doing anything. There's a sort of peace in knowing you've hit the bottom (even if it turns out to be a false bottom later on), a comfort in knowing at least you got somewhere. It's kinda quiet down here, a bit cold to be sure, but at least I can stop the death grip on a rope that is never going to last. Who would have thought rock bottom would be sorta peaceful?

I'm still struggling with God, or rather, the apparent absence of him. I know he's here, somewhere, because this isn't quite hell. But I don't know where he is, and I'm worn out from searching. So I'm just going to sit here on the bottom for a while, rest up, wait. Give him a chance to find me.

I've spent a lot of time in the last week journaling (for those who know me, you know I only journal when things are really bleak, and that when I journal, I get even bleaker--it's not pretty). And in those pages I've spilled the darkest fears and accusations. I'm glad God is big enough and strong enough to handle them, because they are all I have right now.

And there's a song going through my head (and maybe, if it's not frozen solid, my heart, I'm not sure). It's called Hallelujah (sung by k.d. lang, of all people), (yes, I get the irony, thank you). The lyrics include, "Love is not a victory march / It’s a cold and it’s a broken hallelujah." And later, "It’s not a cry that you hear at night /It’s not somebody who’s seen in the light /It’s a cold and it’s a broken hallelujah."

Right now, the most I can offer is a cold and broken hallelujah. I hope it's enough.

November 19, 2011

saturday snapshot...

"A shortcut to what?" "Mushrooms!"

November 12, 2011

November 5, 2011

saturday snapshot...

This summer our yard was taken over by happy daisies...

November 3, 2011

october reading review...

A once-a-month review of the books I read.

The rating is the same as Goodreads--5 stars means "it was amazing," 4 is "really liked it," 3 is "liked it," 2 is "it was okay," and 1 is "didn't like it."

Anne's House of Dreams by Lucy Maud Montgomery (3 stars)

I liked this one better than Windy Poplars, but I got very, very sick of the phrase "house of dreams". And that's about all I can say about this one.

Anne of Ingleside by Lucy Maud Montgomery (3 stars)

The focus shifted here from Anne to her kids--it should have been called "Anne's Children". Not as engaging as the first book in the series, but the kids are fun characters.

Rainbow Valley by Lucy Maud Montgomery (3 stars)

Again, about Anne's kids. I would have liked this story much better if Susan hadn't been in them. She's annoying.

Rilla of Ingleside by Lucy Maud Montgomery (3 stars)

I almost gave this one two stars because I don't like authors who get political, and this one had a lot of politics. And way too much of Susan. It was great to see Anne's youngest daughter coming into her own, but the romance was way to flimsy. It got it's third star because of the dog, and that's all I'm sayin' about that!

The Series of Unfortunate Events, Books 1-5 by Lemony Snicket (3 stars to each)

The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room, The Wide Window, The Miserable Mill, and The Austere Academy

These are fun, quick reads. I love the way he handles vocab (seeing as these are for young readers), and how he keeps the story moving at a good pace. Sadly, I read them in such quick succession that when I went to a movie a few days later, I kept expecting really bad things to happen :P I'll be continuing the series in November. (Note: Each one takes me between one and two hours to read, for those who are interested in how quick they are!)

Longshot by Dick Francis (4 stars)

The second book by Francis that I've read, this one was also recommended by Dara. It was fantastic. The main character was a poor writer, so I was able to identify right off. And let's just say that even though I'm not a fan of horse racing, I do love horses. Since Francis brings horses into all his stories, I'm pretty much a sucker for them all now. And his main characters are so very lovable. If you like easy reads that have wonderful characters, pick up something by Francis!

Room by Emma Donoghue (3 stars)

Shelly mentioned reading this one a few months ago and the premise sounded interesting. A mother and her five-year-old son who live in an 11X11 room. I knew from the get go that there would be difficult subject matter (they are prisoners, the mother was kidnapped at 19 and is raped by her captor, the son is a product of rape), but I watch a lot of shows that cover such matter, so I knew it wouldn't creep me out. And while the idea was good, there were several things that didn't quite work. First off, Donoghue sets the story in America but she really doesn't understand American culture like she needed to (she's Irish I believe). Second, the point of view is always the little boy's, but it doesn't always ring true to a child, even a smart child. There are a few others, but you can read my review on of you want to know them! Not as powerful as all the hype makes it out to be.

November 1, 2011

no NaNo...

Back in January I made a decision. It wasn't a resolution, just an ordinary sort of decision. I decided that this year I would not be participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNo). NaNo is the challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 day (in November). I've done NaNo for the last seven years or so, I have even been a local leader of the group here in the Springs for six years.

But after last year, I realized that while NaNo had been very helpful to me in my writing, it had reached the point where it was no longer useful. In addition, the writing had become more of a chore, and it drained me from useful writing for at least a month (usually more) after it was over. (Since NaNo rules state you must start a new work, I ended up setting aside my "real" projects for NaNo several years in a row.) For someone who is working towards publication, that just wasn't a good deal. So I decided that 2010 was the last NaNo for the foreseeable future for me.

I'm really thankful for NaNo. It taught me how to focus and how to complete a manuscript. It gave me the opportunity to meet some great writers here in Colorado Springs and around the world.

And yes, I'm a little sad about not doing it. I'm going to miss the camaraderie, the rush, and satisfaction of reaching a goal. But on the other hand, I'm glad that I'm not draining my creative juices. I'm excited about continuing my search for an agent. And hopefully I'll be doing quality writing and editing on my current projects.

And for once, I get to be the cheerleader. I like encouraging people to push themselves, to reach goals, to do things that they have dreamed of doing.