Thursday, January 28, 2021

Cat Thursday - It's not over yet!


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 the link to your post with your comment below.

Sorry, I had to. 😹😹😹









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Saturday, January 23, 2021

Yearly Remembrance - Heath Ledger #gonetoosoon


I'm a day late! Sorry, Heath.

April 4, 1979 - January 22, 2008
"I'm not good at future planning. I don't plan at all. I don't know what I'm doing tomorrow. I don't have a day planner and I don't have a diary. I completely live in the now, not in the past, not in the future."



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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

#CatThursday - Home is where the heart is #cats


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 the link to your post with your comment below.







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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

2021 Reading Challenges


Once again, I'm signing up for reading challenges that I may never finish. My thinking is...what's fun about not trying...again? I'll be tracking my challenge progress in the 2021 Reading Challenges page in the blog menu up top. 

First up, I'm joining the challenges I'm hosting myself. I'm pretty excited about this first one, new for this year. 



I'm hosting this one at Castle Macabre since it is horror. Here are the prompts and levels: 
  • Winter theme, or winter appearance on the cover (snow, ice, etc.)
    The Ascent, Ronald Malfi
  • Ghosts or spirits
  • Psychological
  • Monster or monsters
  • A body of water (featured in story, on cover, or in title)
    Cradle Lake, Ronald Malfi
  • Really scary book cover
  • Woman on cover
    Mexican Gothic, Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Written by a woman
  • Written by a best-selling horror author
  • Written by an indie author
  • Historical horror (must be an historical novel written by a contemporary author. Example: The Historian, Mexican Gothic, Interview with the Vampire
    The Historian, Elizabeth Kostova
  • Folk horror (Ideas: https://tinyurl.com/yy8jj56a)
Spooky: Read 6 books from 6 categories
Chilling: Read 12 Books from all 12 categories
Frightful: Read 2 books from each category for a total of 24 books
Horrifying: Read 3 books from each category for a total of 36 books

I'm doing the Chilling level. I've added a few of the books I'll be reading for this one (currently reading The Ascent). Full details and sign-up here.




The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas: January - June 2021 (Reading schedule here)


Les Misèrables by Victor Hugo: July through December 2021 



Pretty self explanatory. I've compiled a list of movies/shows coming out this year (although that can change due to the current situation). 

My participation will be...

The Enthusiast: Read 1-3 books with movies/shows releasing in 2021
My tentative list - The Woman in the Window, A.J. Finn, Wicked, Gregory Maguire, The Wheel of Time, Robert Jordan (first book in the series), Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams, or Dune, Frank Herbert

Not Ready to Let Go: read at least one (1) book made into a movie or series in 2020
To be determined

Living in the Past: read at least one (1) book made into a movie in previous years
To be determined

The Movie Was Better (What!?): watch the movie(s) for the book(s) you read.
To be determined



The basic concept of this challenge is...
  • Go to your bookshelves, or stack on the floor, or on your nightstand, etc. Pick out a book that you've been wanting to read on a particular shelf.
  • Now continue down that line of books on the shelf (in order) until you have 12 books. (See my shelf for the 2021 challenge below as an example.) There are a total of 19 books in my chosen shelf. I have already read three of the books by Ronald Malfi so that brings my total to 16 books. That gives me four alternates.
Here's the picture of my chosen shelf



Now, on to challenges hosted by others...


My list:

5 points... Freebie, read any book of your choice with 200+ pages

The Ascent by Ronald Malfi

10 points... Read a book you have been meaning to re-read

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

10 points... Read the first book of a series you have never read before

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

15 points... Read a book with a mostly green and/or pink colour cover art

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

20 points... Read a book with a male relationship word in the title, i.e. Father, Grandfather, Husband, Uncle, Brother, Son or Nephew.

Uncle Silas by Sheridan Le Fanu

20 points... Read a book set in a place that's on your bucket list of places to visit - Suggested by Carly

The Witch’s Trinity by Erika Mailman

25 points... Read a book that reminds you of 2020, for eg (but not limited to - home, lock, down, president, mask, etc.) You can be creative with it, but please let us know how it relates to 2020 if it isn't obvious) - Suggested by Deborah

Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel

30 points... Read a book written by an LGBTQIA+ author. This can be an autobiography, memoir, or even a fiction...edit: or have an LGBTQIA+ theme.

The Vampire Armand by Anne Rice

30 points... Read a book with the name of a bird in the title, or the word bird/birds in the title.

The Owl Killers by Karen Maitland

35 points... Read a book where the protagonist has a questionable profession, for example, mafia don, assassin, govt agent gone rogue, etc...or edit: questionable way of life (an addict, a computer hacker, a vigilante, for example) - Suggested by Debdatta

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

This is a private Facebook group. You can check it out and join here. Next challenge starts July 1st.


My list (I may change some of these):

1. A 19th century classic: any book first published from 1800 to 1899
Uncle Silas by Sheridan Le Fanu

2. A 20th century classic: any book first published from 1900 to 1971. All books must have been published at least 50 years ago; the only exceptions are books which were written by 1971 and posthumously published.
Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande

3. A classic by a woman author.
If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit by Brenda Ueland

4. A classic in translation, meaning any book first published in a language that is not your primary language. You may read it in translation or in its original language, if you prefer.
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

5. A classic by BIPOC author; that is, a non-white author.
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

6. A classic by a new-to-you author, i.e., an author whose work you have never read.
The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham

7. New-to-you classic by a favorite author -- a new book by an author whose works you have already read.
The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens

8. A classic about an animal, or with an animal in the title. The animal can be real or metaphorical. (i.e., To Kill a Mockingbird).
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

9. A children's classic.
The Witchcraft of Salem Village by Shirley Jackson (Published March 12th 1963 by Random House Books for Young Readers)

10. A humorous or satirical classic. 
Emma by Jane Austen

11. A travel or adventure classic (fiction or non-fiction). It can be a travelogue or a classic in which the main character travels or has an adventure.
The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles

12. A classic play. Plays will only count in this category.
Murder in the Cathedral by T.S. Eliot



Books to be determined. 




I'm doing Fortnightly | 26 books One category from each topic--you can choose one wildcard



That's it! What challenges are you doing this year? Whatever they are, I wish you luck! Send some my way as well. I'm going to need it!



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Thursday, January 14, 2021

#CatThursday - #Authors and #Cats (99) Marguerite Durand


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 the link to your post with your comment below.

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


Marguerite Durand at a café with her pet cheetah. Durand (1864-1936) was a French stage actress, journalist, & a leading suffragette. She founded her own newspaper, stood for election, had a pet lion and now has the Bibliothèque Marguerite Durand named for her. (The French History Podcast - Twitter)

A poster supporting her election and featuring her pet lion, "Tiger"


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Sunday, January 10, 2021

Yearly Remembrance - David Bowie #Starman


David Bowie - 8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016

Rest well, Starman.

"Starman"

Didn't know what time it was the lights were low
I leaned back on my radio
Some cat was layin' down some rock 'n' roll
Then the loud sound did seem to fade
Came back like a slow voice on a wave of phase
That weren't no DJ that was hazy cosmic jive

There's a starman waiting in the sky
He'd like to come and meet us
But he thinks he'd blow our minds
There's a starman waiting in the sky
He's told us not to blow it
'Cause he knows it's all worthwhile

And he told me:
Let the children lose it
Let the children use it
Let all the children boogie

I had to phone someone so I picked on you
Hey, that's far out so you heard him too
Switch on the TV we may pick him up on channel two
Look out your window I can see his light
If we can sparkle he may land tonight
Don't tell your poppa or he'll get us locked up in fright

There's a starman waiting in the sky
He'd like to come and meet us
But he thinks he'd blow our minds
There's a starman waiting in the sky
He's told us not to blow it
'Cause he knows it's all worthwhile

And he told me:
Let the children lose it
Let the children use it
Let all the children boogie


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Thursday, January 7, 2021

#CatThursday - It's a new year #cats



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 the link to your post with your comment below.







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Saturday, January 2, 2021

Hello #2021 - First Book of the year, #OneWord, one resolution, and best #books of 2020


My friend, Sheila at Book Journey does this wonderful new year thing every year....First Book of the Year. She gets pictures from all of us with our first book and creates some great collages. Check it out here. Mine is above...Ronald Malfi's The Ascent (if you haven't read his books, you simply must. One of my favorite horror authors). My cats always do the honors. This year, it's Merida. 

One Word


I haven't done a One Word (or word for the year) since 2019. That year, I chose Onward and actually adopted the word as my Life Word. I have a slender cuff bracelet with the word engraved on it and I wear it all the time. I didn't think I needed a one word each year after that, but after 2020, I've changed my mind. We all have been through a lot with the pandemic, but I also had a lot of life changes in 2020. We moved house from Tennessee back to my home state of Michigan. It was a very stressful move, notwithstanding the thousands of books my mother and I have, combined. I only just recently started feeling settled and I still have a lot of decor placement/settling to do after the Christmas decor comes down (plus, getting my writing space ready in my HUGE walk-in closet). My older son graduated high school, and was supposed to move with us to attend college here in Michigan, only to change his mind the last minute (he has since changed his mind again and will be attending college here starting next week). On top of all that, my grandfather passed in September. Yeah, quite a year. So, the word I have chosen is ADAPT. Because I simply must focus on adapting to the changes happening around me. This is mainly focused on having a 19 year old son and another son who will be 18 in nine days. They have been my entire life, but I know I have to learn to let go. It's not easy. Anyone who is a parent will understand this. I also need to learn to adapt to things not going quite as planned which seems to be the flavor these days. 

ADAPT I will! No fancy jewelry this year. I will make something to hang over my desk in my writing space (or maybe print the image below). I'm ready!


My One Resolution...


Best Books Read in 2020

I usually do that long end-of-year survey, but as you can see in the image below, I only read 19 books (see my rough year story above). I'm just going to list my top six this year. Since I hardly write reviews anymore, I'll link to my rating/short review on Goodreads.


1. The Outsider, Stephen King
2. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
3. The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead
4. The Bone People, Keri Hulme
5. The Descent, Jeff Long
6. The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins


I'll post about 2021 reading challenges in a few days. Still haven't decided which, if any, I will join besides the few I host myself. More later...

How was your (reading) 2020?


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