Thursday, May 24, 2018

#Review - Insomniatic [Poems] by Valerie Fox #Poetry


My thoughts
I can certainly relate to the concept of Insomniatic, as I have suffered with insomnia frequently in my life. It is what we experience, what we think about during these bouts of insomnia that this collection so aptly captures. Taking a cue from this line from the synopsis..."asking the reader to question what is a dream state and what does it mean to be awake," I think about that moment when you finally doze off and you have a dream that is so vivid, it jolts you awake and insomnia sets in once again.

This poem spoke to me the most from the collection because I felt it applies to the current state of things in our great country (and let's face it...it's one of the topics one thinks about during bouts of insomnia, and quite possibly a topic that gives one nightmares, at least in my case).

Insomnia

But lately, we are all afraid
to call upon one another
unless the meeting has been pre-arranged.

Must mean someone's personal
Dark Age is looming across
the countryside,
heading toward the cities,
dragging blood and bone.

What did Dali paint
when he couldn't sleep?

I must've been drunk or invisible
when I used to know facts,
like that.

Perhaps I've interpreted the meaning incorrectly, but this is what it means to me. Particularly, "someone's personal Dark Age is looming across the countryside."

I recommend this to anyone who likes poetry that makes you think. Thanks to the poet for stretching my brain muscle.

About the chapbook
Insomniatic is the newest poetry chapbook from Valerie Fox, author of The Roschach Factory and The Glass Book. These poems haunt and question, dream and wander, asking the reader to question what is a dream state and what does it mean to be awake.

"Insomniatic" (poems) asks the question: Who are we when we dream?


About the Poet
Valerie Fox’s books of poetry include The Rorschach Factory (2006, Straw Gate Books) and The Glass Book (2010, Texture Press). She co-wrote Poems for the Writing: Prompts for Poets with Lynn Levin. Bundles of Letters Including A, V and Epsilon (2011, Texture Press) is a collaborative book with Arlene Ang. "Scarecrow Lists of Failures and Grocery Items" (a collaboration with Ang) may be found here, at Thrush.

Her work has appeared in many journals, including Thrush, Painted Bride Quarterly, Hanging Loose, Apiary, West Branch, Sentence, and Qarrtsiluni. Originally from central Pennsylvania, she has traveled and lived throughout the world, and has taught writing and literature at numerous universities including Sophia University (in Tokyo) and currently at Drexel University (in Philadelphia).





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#CatThursday - #Cats in #Art (29) Pablo #Picasso


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! (share your post in the Mr. Linky below)

I've been watching the TV show, Genius: Picasso on National Geographic Channel. As I was looking for art for this post, I thought I remembered that Picasso had painted cats. I was right! 

Here is a picture of the man with his cat in 1954.


Cat Catching a Bird, 1939


Cat Eating a Bird, 1939

Reclining Nude with a Cat

Still Life with a Cat

This one is my favorite!

Venus the Two-faced Cat as "Portrait of Marie Therese"


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Saturday, May 19, 2018

#BoutofBooks Day 6 - An update and The Royal Wedding!


Yes...I wasted a bit of time watching The wedding today. How could I not? 37 years ago I watched his mother, precious Diana, become Princess of Wales. This video, Harry supposedly says to Meghan, "You look amazing. I'm so lucky." How wonderful. I'm not normally romantic. Life experience has pretty much burned it out of me, but this, and the wedding itself (except for the hideously drawn out religious ceremony) really got me. 💜



Okay, a quick update. It's pretty meh. I read 50 more pages in The Terror and a bit of They Feed by Jason Parent. I kind of fell into a depression when I found out my car has two blown heads, etc. Yeah...fun.

Hoping to get some more reading time in tomorrow.


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Thursday, May 17, 2018

#CatThursday - #Cats ...always judging


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! (share your post in the Mr. Linky below)







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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

#BoutofBooks Day 3 + Challenge: Show Me Your Precious


I did not get much reading done yesterday. Probably 25 pages total. I had an absolutely exhausting Tuesday and ended up going to sleep before 8:00 pm. That NEVER happens! Of course, now it's 3:00 am and I'm wide awake. lol

Today's challenge...Show Me Your Precious


Anne Rice is my favorite author...has been since the late 80s. The Queen of the Damned was the first of her books I read. I had no idea at the time it was part of a series. It dawned on me during (or maybe after) reading it that the book that had been sitting on my mom's bookshelf for years, Interview with the Vampire, was the first book and Queen of the Damned was the third. So, I went back and read Interview and then The Vampire Lestat, and then Queen of the Damned again. Since then, I've read Queen four times and I know I will read it again. It's my precious because it really gets into the origins of the vampires, told with a vivid historical story, and we are introduced to the various ancient vampires, and the mother of them all. Exciting stuff!


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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Bout of Books 22 + Challenge: Year of You #boutofbooks


I went back and forth on this...whether to sign up or not. Of course I am. I just can't resist a readathon! I'm a day late, but that's okay.

About Bout of Books:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 14th and runs through Sunday, May 20th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 20 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog (http://boutofbooks.blogspot.com/). - From the Bout of Books team

My main objective will be to get caught up on this one (today...I need to get to page 311)...


And finish this one...


And, if there's time, continue with horror from Spring into Horror with...



Today's Challenge...Year of You

Share a book that was published the year you were born. If you don't wish to disclose your age (that's fine; you'll get no judgment either way here), pick a book that was significant to your childhood.

I had no idea this one was published the year I was born. It happens to be one of my favorites! Published in 1968.




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Thursday, May 10, 2018

#CatThursday - #Authors and #Cats (72) Rachel Carson


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! (share your post in the Mr. Linky below)

The second Cat Thursday of each month is Authors and Cats Thursday. Each time I will feature an author with their cat(s), pictured with a cat(s), or guest posts by cat loving authors who also (sometimes) write about cats.

Biologist and author Rachel Carson at home, with Moppet

This month's cat loving author is Rachel Carson, who was born May 27, 1907 (d. April 14, 1964).

Rachel Louise Carson was an American marine biologist and conservationist whose book Silent Spring and other writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement.

Carson began her career as an aquatic biologist in the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, and became a full-time nature writer in the 1950s. Her widely praised 1951 bestseller The Sea Around Us won her a U.S. National Book Award, recognition as a gifted writer, and financial security. Her next book, The Edge of the Sea, and the reissued version of her first book, Under the Sea Wind, were also bestsellers. This sea trilogy explores the whole of ocean life from the shores to the depths.

Late in the 1950s, Carson turned her attention to conservation, especially environmental problems that she believed were caused by synthetic pesticides. The result was Silent Spring (1962), which brought environmental concerns to an unprecedented share of the American people. Although Silent Spring was met with fierce opposition by chemical companies, it spurred a reversal in national pesticide policy, which led to a nationwide ban on DDT and other pesticides, and it inspired a grassroots environmental movement that led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Carson was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

A variety of groups ranging from government institutions to environmental and conservation organizations to scholarly societies have celebrated Carson's life and work since her death. Perhaps most significantly, on June 9, 1980, Carson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States. A 17¢ Great Americans series postage stamp was issued in her honor the following year; several other countries have since issued Carson postage as well.

Carson's birthplace and childhood home in Springdale, Pennsylvania — now known as the Rachel Carson Homestead—became a National Register of Historic Places site, and the nonprofit Rachel Carson Homestead Association was created in 1975 to manage it. Her home in Colesville, Maryland where she wrote Silent Spring was named a National Historic Landmark in 1991. Near Pittsburgh, a 35.7 miles (57 km) hiking trail, maintained by the Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy, was dedicated to Carson in 1975. A Pittsburgh bridge was also renamed in Carson's honor as the Rachel Carson Bridge. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection State Office Building in Harrisburg is named in her honor. Elementary schools in Gaithersburg, Montgomery County, Maryland, Sammamish, Washington and San Jose, California were named in her honor, as were middle schools in Beaverton, Oregon and Herndon, Virginia (Rachel Carson Middle School), and a high school in Brooklyn, New York.

Between 1964 and 1990, 650 acres (3 km2) near Brookeville in Montgomery County, Maryland were acquired and set aside as the Rachel Carson Conservation Park, administered by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. In 1969, the Coastal Maine National Wildlife Refuge became the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge; expansions will bring the size of the refuge to about 9,125 acres (37 km2). In 1985, North Carolina renamed one of its estuarine reserves in honor of Carson, in Beaufort.

Carson is also a frequent namesake for prizes awarded by philanthropic, educational and scholarly institutions. The Rachel Carson Prize, founded in Stavanger, Norway in 1991, is awarded to women who have made a contribution in the field of environmental protection. The American Society for Environmental History has awarded the Rachel Carson Prize for Best Dissertation since 1993. Since 1998, the Society for Social Studies of Science has awarded an annual Rachel Carson Book Prize for "a book length work of social or political relevance in the area of science and technology studies." (from Goodreads)


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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

RED ALERT: U.S. Senate to vote on net neutrality #RedAlert #NetNeutrality



The FCC voted to let big Internet providers like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T ruin the Internet with censorship, throttling, and expensive new fees.

But the US Senate is about to vote on a resolution that could stop them and save freedom on the Internet.

Click here to tell your lawmakers to vote for net neutrality before it’s too late.

The Senate will vote to overturn the FCC’s disastrous decision in mid-May, and we need just one more U.S. senator on our side to win and move on to the House of Representatives.

Without net neutrality, ISPs will be able to block apps, slow websites, and charge us extra fees that none of us can afford. They’ll control what we see and do online.

If we don’t make enough calls to Congress, lawmakers will think we don’t care and the FCC will get away with killing net neutrality. ISPs will gain the power to restrict the Internet’s usefulness for independent news, creative work, and social change—a devastating blow to just about everyone online.

We have the power to stop this. Click here to contact your members of Congress now!



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Thursday, May 3, 2018

#CatThursday - #Cats and Irony


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! (share your post in the Mr. Linky below)

I think cats were made for irony.






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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Classics Spin 17 - Updike's Rabbit, Run...a big DNF #ccspin


I made a pact with myself to never continue reading a book I'm not liking past 50 pages (100 max). With this one, I had to remind myself that the rule should also apply to classics. I'm sorry. I just could not keep reading (and this is part one of a four part series. Ack!).

I have never despised a character quite as much as Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom. Ugh. If I had to listen to one more line of his self-serving internal diatribe, I may have used the book to beat myself unconscious. Extreme? Read it, or try to. I do realize there are some who probably like this. Sorry if this offends you, but we all have our likes and dislikes. I have to keep this in mind when I find someone doesn't like a book I enjoy.

I came across this fantastic treatise about the book over on Goodreads. This gentleman by the name of Jason Pettus is the owner of the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com] (CCLaP). He embarked on a mission called the CCLaP 100. It's mission statement: "In which I read for the first time a hundred so-called "classics," then write reports on whether or not they deserve the label."

I'm going to share some highlights from Essay #48: Rabbit, Run (1960), by John Updike. You can follow the linked title to read the entire essay, or click below the quotes.

The argument against:
"...being guilty of nearly every criticism that's ever been made about Postmodernism: it is overly talky yet goes nowhere, much more interested in precocious language than in constructing a good story, designed to appeal not to the general public but mostly to his fellow academes, and which lacquers a shiny intellectual sheen over what in reality is some pretty brutal misogyny, the kind of whiny, rambling snoozer that inspired the creation of such frou-frou critical terms as "essayistic saunter," "interruption of the abyss," "sense of self-qualification," "a dialectical theological debate between the book itself and its reader..."

My verdict:
"So to understand what my personal reaction to Rabbit, Run was, you really only need to know this -- that after starting it, not only did I quickly abandon my original plan to read all four "Rabbit" novels as part of this essay series, but even the first book itself became one of only a handful of CCLaP 100 titles so far I haven't been able to finish, and the only one so far that I abandoned not for arcane outdated language but rather because IT WAS SO FREAKING TERRIBLE. And that's because, Dear Lord, every single thing that critics of this book complain about is true; and in fact you could strongly argue that this single title virtually creates the blueprint for every snotty, cooly ironic, pop-culture-obsessed, casually sexist diatribe about jaded middle-class white people in the Big Bad Suburbs that has come since, a glut that had become intolerable by the turn of the 21st century and that the "Sincerists" of post-9/11 literature* are actively fighting against."


Yes, he pretty much summed up my feelings.

So, another Classics Club spin not completed, a title which needs replacing on my Classics Club list AND the book for April not completed for my Read Your (Book) Shelf challenge. Oh, well. You win some, you lose some.


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- See more at: http://www.techtrickhome.com/2013/02/show-comment-box-above-comments-on.html#sthash.TjHz2Px9.dpuf