Thursday, October 27, 2016

Cat Thursday #Halloween - Vintage #Cats with #Witches #catthursday

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 know it's several days away, but since Cat Thursday won't come around again until it's over, the girls and I would like to wish you a very happy and safe Halloween. May the tricks be fun and the treats be sweet! 

I love vintage images! Many of these are from vintage greeting cards and postcards. They just don't make them like this anymore. 

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Arisa White, author of You're The Most Beautiful Thing That Happened, on Writing Habits

I recently read an interview on Rumpus with fiction writer Laurie Foos, and when asked about her writing habits, part of her response was “I wish more writers would be willing to talk about the not-writing periods.”

In reflection, I realized that, technically, I am always writing. Even if it’s just a line I eked out while cooking dinner. Or images I jot down while watching Judge Judy or some magnificent thought comes to me during a Netflix binge. So I had to feel my way through the various kinds of writing I do.

When I am Writing, it is from an idea that came to me that I now get to nurture into something. I have been pulled in by the unconscious and I’m going. I’m on the journey—it’s me and this thing and I’m free to express. Something about that Writing feels private and intimate, it isn’t concerned with audience or how it sounds or if it’s understood. It is shaping itself into form and I’m being fulfilled deep down from a joyful source. This Writing makes me feel connected, like I took root, plugged in and now I’m energized.

Lately, I’ve been in what I would define as a not-writing period. With managing my teaching load, a gig to write a children’s book in verse, this is the not-writing where my writerly output is satisfying the needs of someone or something else that has little do with my inner creative desires. And this isn’t a “good” or “bad” thing; it is what is.

For instance, the children’s book I’m co-writing meets a desire of mine. I’ve wanted to try my hands writing for children. This particular project requires research on the life of Biddy Mason, who was born a slave in Georgia, petitioned for her freedom in California, and later became a wealthy landowner in Los Angeles. Much wasn’t written about her earlier life as a slave, and writing verse for a lower 4th grade reading level has presented hair-pulling challenges. These rhetorical restraints force me to employ a whole other set of skills that I don’t often use. I’m encountering a new writing persona of mine, and I’m self-conscious about her presence, unsure how she functions, fear that she will fail. The risks involved don’t make writing a safe and free space. In this case, the writing is public, the content is based on a historical figure, there is an intended audience and the writing must meet their needs.

In these moments when I’m going and going, and not much time for myself, watching movies is like a vacation. It’s how I bring pleasure back into my life—the indulgence in a good movie, or drama series, with my favorite bag of chips and the company of my wife is restorative. This also goes for making a meal, after picking out the ingredients in the market, or hanging out with friends, dissecting the word play on Battle Rap. The not-doing makes it possible to do later. Most important, the not-doing allows you space to see yourself more clearly.

Revision is another one of my pleasures during my not-writing periods. To return to pieces that I once thought were blah—my current feeling toward the new stuff I’m writing—with a pair of fresh eyes, I better see its potential and can work my craft to bring about it’s life. Revision quiets the inner critic who pesters me about writing more and hates on the quality of what I do produce. Revision says to that doubting, self-conscious self, that I, the writer will not abandon you.

During this shift in my relationship to time, I’m wondering how to access that “in-the-pocket” feeling I get when I’m with my writing, uninterrupted. How can it happen on the Bart ride from Lake Merritt to Daly City? From Oakland to Sunnyvale? For an eight-hour day? Then there is the practice of returning to a piece each time—how to start again and again? This habit of seeing myself has been invaluable. Noticing my behaviors, my responses and seeing how my series of actions contribute to what I put forth in the world, gets me comfortable with the writer I need to be when I can’t retreat.

I’m better at letting it be. Not stressing out on what I should, could or would be doing if…. Realizing that each of these different kinds of writing is keeping me in shape. I’m challenged to integrate my poetic voice in my prose, dramatic writing, essays, because without it, my writing lacks truth. It doesn’t have a center and the primary sound from which my voice builds. This broadens my definition of poet and acclimates me to knowing my voice in other ways so its timbers do not intimidate me.

About the Book
Angular, smart, and fearless, Arisa White’s newest collection takes its titles from words used internationally as hate speech against gays and lesbians, reworking, re-envisioning, and re-embodying language as a conduit for art, love, and understanding. “To live freely, observantly as a politically astute, sensually perceptive Queer Black woman is to be risk taker, at risk, a perceived danger to others and even dangerous to/as oneself,” writes poet Tracie Morris. “White’s attentive word substitutions and range of organized forms, lithe anecdotes, and disturbed resonances put us in the middle of living a realized, intelligent life of the senses.” You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened works through intersectional encounters with gender, identity, and human barbarism, landing deftly and defiantly in beauty.

Early Praise
This is what I’m talking about. The fierce truth, the gorgeous loneliness, the late-night bravery and the tender, tender heart. It’s the poetry of Arisa White and it’s divine in every sense. Let’s all talk about it.” – Daniel Handler, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events

“Swiss army knives, scuttling crabs, pinball machines, HIV/AIDS, the West Side Highway, daisy breasts, racial slurs, kitchen sink scorch marks, and mustangs running through veins: through all the kaleidescoping nouns of White’s new collection, the starring roles are played by lust and roving hands and lovers and beloveds. These poems are nearly unblurbable: delicate yet tough, visceral and cerebral, innocent yet experienced, loving and longing, grotesque and hopeful: “…I drag our placenta behind us. Together/ can be restored with a blink.” Come for the lyrical mastery, stay for the god-level Eros. The third full-length collection by one of America’s most promising poets, You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened is required reading for anyone who’s ever loved, been loved, or forgotten how.” – Amy King, The Missing Museum

“Arisa White’s You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened is a book whose true engine is love, and whose every poem, in all kinds of ways, reaches toward love. That in itself is astonishing, and to be praised. But add the formal playfulness, the rich music, the storytelling, and, perhaps especially, the sense of justice and humanity, and you’ll realize you’re holding a truly beautiful book in your hands.” – Ross Gay, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude

“Arisa White sharpens her words against this unpredictable world we live in, with the poems in You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened. In verse that is exhilarating and unexpected, White writes of race, of women loving women, of these all too human bodies we wear, of cities, of landscape. You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened is an assured and memorable book of poetry, one that provokes thought as much as it provokes a depth of feeling.” – Roxane Gay, Bad Feminist

“Whether remembering a neglected friend or experiencing a sensual touch, Arisa White’s poems will take your breath away. They nestle into rich language then burst up and out like birds taking flight; so close you feel their heat and wings inside you. She traverses many landscapes, both physical and emotional, sometimes evoking a melancholy longing, at other times an eager passion. In either case, these are exquisite, finely crafted poems that are irresistible.” – Jewelle Gomez, The Gilda Stories: Expanded 25th Anniversary Edition

“Arisa White’s You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened makes us sweat, reflect, cry, and discover. With a deft utilization of prose poetry, lyric essay, and verse, White delivers a guide to learning our freedoms. You will probably have to reconfigure your definition of beauty after you read this book.” – Willie Perdomo, The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon

“There are not enough books like or near Arisa White’s new collection, You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened, addressing what it is to be young, Lesbian and Queer and Black and tender and unapologetic and erotic. In these poems, I hear Pat Parker’s wit and challenge, and the insistence of Audre Lorde demanding that we look, listen, celebrate and change.” – Pamela Sneed, Imagine Being More Afraid of Freedom Than Slavery

Photo Credit: Nye’ Lyn Tho

About The Poet
Arisa White is a Cave Canem fellow, Sarah Lawrence College alumna, an MFA graduate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and author of the poetry chapbooks Disposition for Shininess, Post Pardon, and Black Pearl. She was selected by the San Francisco Bay Guardian for the 2010 Hot Pink List and is a member of the PlayGround writers’ pool; her play Frigidare was staged for the 15th Annual Best of Play Ground Festival. Recipient of the inaugural Rose O’Neill Literary House summer residency at Washington College in Maryland, Arisa has also received residencies, fellowships, or scholarships from Juniper Summer Writing Institute, Headlands Center for the Arts, Port Townsend Writers’ Conference, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Hedgebrook, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Prague Summer Program, Fine Arts Work Center, and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Nominated for Pushcart Prizes in 2005 and 2014, her poetry has been published widely and is featured on the recording WORD with the Jessica Jones Quartet.


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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Dewey's 24 Hour #Readathon - Plans and Updates


Wow! I just realized this is my seventh year participating in this 24 hour readathon. Time sure does fly. I love the Fall version because I just happen to think spooky reading is perfect for a 24 hour readathon. Scary books keep your blood moving, and that means staying awake (in theory). HaHa!

Pre-Readathon notes
I usually do not start at my official start time which is 7:00am. Not sure if I will this time either. I'll keep that up in the air. Also, as it's Saturday, I will be doing my normal outing with my mom. Lunch and a movie. We're going to see Ouija 2. I love my scary movies! I'm also going to early voting. Not sure when I will be back, but I as soon as I'm home, it's on!

I've decided to forego mini-challenges and follow Andi's advice on this post. These two things will be my focus to maximize my readathon (although the pull of social media is strong, I will try):

  • Set a timer of 5 minutes to check the challenges/Facebook/Twitter/Instagram so you can get back to reading – when you are done, move your phone to another room or at least out of sight.
  • Take breaks from reading in a comfy spot. I find as the later hours come on, if I’m too comfy, I get sleepy. Sit in a firm chair in those moments or read while standing up. (Note on this...if I get sleepy, I'm going to read on the recumbent bike. I'll get some exercise in while reading and I'll stay awake)

These are the books I'll be choosing from. All horror!

I went all out this time with snacks! A wide array with pumpkin well-represented (pumpkin latte mix, Krispie Kreme pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice cupcakes...yum!).

Not sure how much I will update, but if I do, I'll use this post. No need to make it sticky, as I don't plan on posting anything else here this weekend.

How about you? Are you participating? What are your plans?

Intro Survey

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?  Nashville, Tennessee, USA
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? Hmmm, that's a tough one. Probably The Jersey Devil or The Awakening.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? The pumpkin pie!
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I'm a mom of two teen boys, I'm writing my first novel. I love cats. I'm the owner of a massive home library...3000+ books. I love horror novels and sister blog is a horror blog. Castle Macabre. I'm a Christmas fanatic and have a blog dedicated to that...Christmas Spirit. I host 4 readathons and 2 special readathons yearly at Seasons of Reading.
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? Try to focus more on the reading and less getting online. Wish me luck. lol

Update and Mid-Event Survey

I only did some brief reading this morning...really nothing to talley...because I had to get ready for my Saturday outing with mom. We went to lunch, stopped at Target to pick up some birthday presents for my son (and I snagged some cute Halloween tags to use as bookmarks - see pic below), I voted (Yay!) and then we went to see Ouija: Origin of Evil. Pretty good. Not as scary as I thought it would be. I loved the first Ouija movie. I've probably watched it at least 20 times. This one did have a good story and it helped explained what led to what happened in the original. So, pretty good.

1. What are you reading right now? Trying to finish up a section of Salem's Lot for my read-along, then it's Lovecraft's The Dunwich Horror and Poe's The Pit and the Pendulum.
2. How many books have you read so far? zilch (see above)
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? The Jersey Devil, Hunter Shea
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? see
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? No surprises so far.

End of Event Survey

Well folks, I didn't do as well as I had hoped. I made it to the 22nd hour...and promptly fell asleep. I didn't start until the 13th hour so I maybe read for 9-10 hours, in between wasting time online, which I said I wasn't going to do, but since when do I follow any rules. lol

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?  22
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? Definitely Salem's Lot and I recommend horror short stories as well.
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next season? No
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? I loved the genre polls!
5. How many books did you read?  I read 70 pages in Salem's Lot, Lovecraft's The Dunwich Horror, Poe's The Pit and the Pendulum (short stories)
6. What were the names of the books you read? see above
7. Which book did you enjoy most?  Salem's Lot
8. Which did you enjoy least?  N/A
9. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?  I'm sure I will participate next time. I can't resist readathons. I will be a reader again.


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Friday, October 21, 2016

Karin Slaughter's The Kept Woman

Title: The Kept Woman
Author: Karin Slaughter
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Thriller/Suspense
Format: Ebook/Paperback/Hardcover/Audio

Husbands and wives. Mothers and daughters. The past and the future.

Secrets bind them. And secrets can destroy them.

The author of Pretty Girls returns with an electrifying, emotionally complex thriller that plunges its fascinating protagonist into the darkest depths of a mystery that just might destroy him.

With the discovery of a murder at an abandoned construction site, Will Trent of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is brought in on a case that becomes much more dangerous when the dead man is identified as an ex-cop.

Studying the body, Sara Linton—the GBI’s newest medical examiner and Will’s lover—realizes that the extensive blood loss didn’t belong to the corpse. Sure enough, bloody footprints leading away from the scene indicate there is another victim—a woman—who has vanished . . . and who will die soon if she isn’t found.

Will is already compromised, because the site belongs to the city’s most popular citizen: a wealthy, powerful, and politically connected athlete protected by the world’s most expensive lawyers—a man who’s already gotten away with rape, despite Will’s exhaustive efforts to put him away.

But the worst is yet to come. Evidence soon links Will’s troubled past to the case . . . and the consequences will tear through his life with the force of a tornado, wreaking havoc for Will and everyone around him, including his colleagues, family, friends—and even the suspects he pursues.

Relentlessly suspenseful and furiously paced, peopled with conflicted, fallible characters who leap from the page, The Kept Woman is a seamless blend of twisty police procedural and ingenious psychological thriller — a searing, unforgettable novel of love, loss, and redemption.

Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 36 languages, with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her sixteen novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated Cop Town and the instant New York Times bestselling novel Pretty Girls. A native of Georgia, Karin currently lives in Atlanta. Her Will Trent series, Grant County series, and standalone novel Cop Town are all in development for film and television.

Visit her at


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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Cat Thursday #Halloween - Unhappy costumed #cats #catthursday

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 barely had time to stop and post something each week! This October is running away with me. My birthday was this past Saturday and the weeks leading up to it went by in a whirlwind. I'm not getting all the reading done that I planned to this month. *pout* And I'm behind on visits. Forgive me. I appreciate those who stick with me each week, despite my shortcomings. I could stop doing this, but I just can't. I adore cats too much! 

I hope everyone is having a fabulous Fall!

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Cat Thursday - #Halloween Week Two #cats #catthursday

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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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Cat Thursday - #Halloween Week One #cats #catthursday

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)

It's time for Halloween month! Yay! One of my favorite times of the year. -^o^-

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Saturday, October 1, 2016

#BannedBooksWeek 2016 - Until next year...keep celebrating your right to read

I didn't get a chance to do a post yesterday so that just means that today, on the final day of Banned Books Week, I have double the prompts to share. I hope you have enjoyed my week of posts. Next year, I'm planning in advance to host a read-along of a book that has been banned/challenged (I'll make sure it's a shorter one). I look forward to this week every year. Can you tell? :-)

Wow! Now that would be an endeavor. This was another one I had to really think about. I finally came up with Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. This book should not be lost to the sands of time simply because of what it's about. This "classic dystopian novel of a post-literate future, stands alongside Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World as a prophetic account of Western civilization’s enslavement by the media, drugs and conformity." (Goodreads) What better book to remind people of what we are becoming, and what could happen if we allow ourselves to be completely monopolized by the media, drugs and conformity. I'm afraid we are already headed down that road.

What are your thoughts? Which book would you memorize?

And here I am, full circle, back to the Harry Potter series again. I was already an adult when the first book in the series came out. 29 years old. I read them as an adult and I loved them (I'm planning to start rereading them, with the first book around the holidays this year). However, I so wish that my younger self could have read them. I know the girl I was would have truly reveled in them. When I was around 10 - 12 years old (maybe even younger...I tended to read at a higher level than my age), some of my favorite books were Little Women, The Prydain Chronicles (Lloyd Alexander), the Oz series (L. Frank Baum), A Wrinkle in Time (Madeline L'Engle) so I know Harry Potter would have fit right in with these, and I probably would have read them more than once. 

Which book would your give your younger self?

Thanks again for joining me for Banned Books Week. I conclude with a few more statistics on banned/challenged books. See you next year!


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