Thursday, July 29, 2021

Cat Thursday - Lurking


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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Thursday, July 22, 2021

Cat Thursday - Cats rule the house (moon)


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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Thursday, July 15, 2021

Cat Thursday - Happy Birthday, Merida!


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.

Merida turned one year old on Monday. She is such a joy and has really helped fill the void that was left when my sweet Alice passed (though Alice can never be replaced). Her older sister, Arya still hasn't warmed up to her, but I'm hoping that someday they will get along. 

Here are various shots of Merida on her birthday (please ignore the lady in the picture lol) and over the weeks before. She was spayed in early May and her hair STILL has not grown back where they had to shave her. That belly! In some pics, she really looks like she's been on a bender. She's such a mess. You will also see she has a favorite chair (though she has taken to sleeping with me on my bed of late). 

We adore her and have been so lucky to add her to our family. Here's to many more years, Merida. I know your sister across the Rainbow Bridge wishes she could have celebrated with you too.










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Thursday, July 8, 2021

Cat Thursday: Authors and Cats (104) Jean Stafford


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.


Jean Stafford (July 1, 1915 - March 26, 1979) was an American short story writer and novelist, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford in 1970.



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Monday, July 5, 2021

Sherry Quan Lee's Septuagenarian - Review


Septuagenarian is a poetic memoir. Born to a mixed race mother and a Chinese father, Quan Lee's collection of poems describe her experiences of the expectation to pass as white (as her mother did before her), her father's abandonment, motherhood, racism, the pandemic, and growing old.

I love poetry because, not only does it give insight into the poet, I also catch glimpses of myself, or aspects of my life and loved ones among the verses. I couldn't help thinking of my mom who is now also a septuagenarian. The words really resonated with me.

I found so many beautiful words as I read. This verse from "Night Tremors" made me think of children who do not have easy lives:
The weight a child wears
bears so much room for sadness.
 "What Preceded Today," a poem about the Black experience:
You know you don't love the me that is defiant,
that is angry
that needs to know what preceded me, that
needs to know
what separates me, that separates us, that needs to understand...
These lines from "I Didn't Need to Save the World" spoke to me of the realization that things happen for a reason, whether we believe this because we believe in God, or because we believe in fate, as I do. The words hit home.
Whatever road I would have taken would 
have ended 
at the same destination

Because it's story. And story ends where it begins.
These lines from "Love Is What Happens" remind me of the rhetoric during the pandemic "you wear masks, stay in lock down, social distance because you are afraid." Powerful.
I hear fearful I see me brave.

We know who will die next. Are we ready to end the pandemic

of hate your neighbor, hate the person that isn't you?
This...what could be a better explanation of love? From "And When I Die":
We surge together what is broken
for another glimpse of love.
Perhaps, the heart
broken is what saves us;

perhaps, if we love for only one day
it's enough. 
At the end of the collection, Quan Lee talks about the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. It's her explanation of how she made sense of the things going on in the world, and what was on her mind during the pandemic. At least, that is my interpretation. It's brilliant. Here's an excerpt from "Writing Exercise":
I discovered within my memoir of verse that I was saying more than I had said, that for me the personal continues to be political, and all things are temporary. The memory of what has preceded me implodes and love is my act of survival. 
"Love is my act of survival." Let that sink in. Wow. 

Amazing, amazing collection. This is one I'll be coming back to again and again. Highly recommend. 

About the poetic memoir:
Septuagenarian: love is what happens when I die is a memoir in poetic form. It is the author's journey from being a mixed-race girl who passed for white to being a woman in her seventies who understands and accepts her complex intersectional identity; and no longer has to imagine love. It is a follow-up to the author's previous memoir (prose), Love Imagined: a mixed-race memoir, A Minnesota Book Award finalist.

In Septuagenarian, Sherry Quan Lee accepts her own invitation to look at life in retrospect, but with a new lens. Pulling from and expanding upon her previous body of work, she examines the version of herself that was writing at that time. The dignity and fire of her seventy-three-year-old gaze taking in snapshots of those selves...straightens my spine and gives me a vision for myself traveling today into my future septuagenarian. Lola Osunkoya, MA, LPCC

Sherry Quan Lee writes courageously to understand herself and the world. She uses rich language and her skills as a storyteller to focus her sharp lens on what it means to have a complex, sometimes complicated identity: becoming invisible as she ages, a history of passing unseen, love and sex, grieving and celebration. She ruminates on history, which repeats itself in the current moment and widens her lens to look at the bigger, global picture to tell truths in poems that tenderly hold memory, time, rituals, trauma, mothering, fear of death and love in many forms. Her poems offer deeply personal, intimate and perceptive insights and opportunities to reflect on what it means to truly live. It feels like I've taken the journey with her, and I'm wiser for it. --Shay Youngblood, author of Soul Kiss and Black Girl in Paris

Get a Copy of Septuagenarian

About the Author:
Sherry Quan Lee, MFA, University of Minnesota, is the author of Chinese Blackbird, a memoir in verse; How to Write a Suicide Note, serial essays that saved a woman's life; Love Imagined: a mixed-race memoir (a Minnesota Book Award Finalist); and, the picture book And You Can Love Me a story for everyone who loves someone with ASD-published by LHP, Modern History Press, Ann Arbor, MI. She is the editor of How Dare We! Write: a multicultural creative writing discourse, an anthology finding home in university writing classrooms.





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Thursday, July 1, 2021

Cat Thursday - Miscellaneous Laughs


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.







Hope everyone has a safe and celebratory Independence Day! 


Art credit: Cyra R. Cancel


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Tuesday, June 29, 2021

D. Eric Maikranz's The Reincarnationist Papers - Review


Give me a book about reincarnation, I'm going to read it. I believe in reincarnation. I have ever since reading about the possibility of a child's imaginary friend actually being said child's persona in another life. Having had an imaginary friend myself until the age of four or five, I have made it a kind of quest to read as much information about the phenomenon, fiction and non-fiction. 

I found Evan's story exciting. Suddenly remembering past lives in his late teens, realizing he can read and write in Bulgarian, Evan goes on to lead a solitary existence until he meets up with Poppy and eventually, the Cognomina. Little did he know, he's not the only one in the world who is a Reincarnationist. 

What I liked the most about this book were the stories Evan and the others told from their past lives. Poppy and her past life as a man in 17th century France. Samas and his experience as a woman with Dutch painter, Johannes Vermeer (my favorite), and his account of knowing Poppy in one of his previous lives where he served on Coronado's expedition to the New World. Clovis, the oldest of the Cognomina, had lived again and again for 1900 years. Such history! 

Ultimately though, this is Evan's story and his quest to find his place in the world, being what he is. I visited the author's website and discovered there is a sequel in the works. I couldn't be more pleased. I'm looking forward to reading the continuation of Evan's story. 

Note: This book has been adapted into film. Infinite, starring Mark Wahlberg, can be viewed on Paramount+ Now that I've finished the book, I can't wait to watch the movie. 

About the book
Discovered as three notebooks in an antique store in Rome at the turn of the millennium, The Reincarnationist Papers offers a tantalizing glimpse into the Cognomina, a secret society of people who possess total recall of their past lives.

Evan Michaels struggles with being different, with having the complete memories of two other people who lived sequentially before him. He fights loneliness and believes he is unique until he meets Poppy. She recognizes his struggle because she is like him, except that she is much older, remembering back seven consecutive lives.

But there is something else she must share with Evan – she is a member of the secretive Cognomina. They are, in effect, immortals - compiling experiences and skills over lifetimes into near superhuman abilities that they have used to drive history over centuries.

Poppy invites Evan into the Cognomina but he must face their tests before entering this mysterious society as their equal.


About the author
Author D. Eric Maikranz has led a multitude of lives. As a world traveler, he was a foreign correspondent while living in Rome, translated for relief doctors during a cholera epidemic in Nicaragua, and was once forcibly expelled from the nation of Laos. He has worked as a tour guide, a radio host, a bouncer, and as a Silicon Valley software executive. “The Reincarnationist Papers” is his first novel and has been adapted into the Paramount Pictures film, “Infinite,” starring Mark Wahlberg. He is also the author of two travel books, “Insider’s Rome,” and “Insider’s Venice.”


Thanks to Blackstone Publishing and Books Forward for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
  

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Thursday, June 24, 2021

Cat Thursday - Summer Funnies


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.

I'd like to thank everyone for all the kind words last week for my Alice. She was a treasure. It still doesn't feel real that she's gone. I think about her every day. Again, thank you. It really meant so much. 

I'm going for funny this week. It helps to ease the pain. 







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Thursday, June 17, 2021

Cat Thursday - Rest in Peace, Alice Anne


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.

On Sunday, I found Alice on the floor early in the morning convulsing (it appeared). She was in obvious distress and could not get up. She's 14 so up in age. I drove her to the emergency vet office in Saginaw. She had a myriad of tests (blood, urine, etc.). She was in early stage kidney failure and she was hypoglycemic. Vet suspected a possible tumor on her pancreas, or a brain tumor. She had been fine, though a little slow going the past couple of weeks. This was very sudden. I had to make the difficult decision to let her go. I didn't want her to suffer, or have a poor quality of life. It is so very heart-wrenching. I can hardly bear it. 14 years of so much love. I know she had a great life. We will miss her so much. I was with her. Mom was with us too. This was her in our final moments together, before she crossed over the Rainbow bridge. Rest in peace, my Alice Anne. I will always love you. 


A look back at her wonderful life...

The early days (some of the pictures aren't great. It was 2007/08). She was four months old when we got her and she was always big for her age.


Birthdays were always special. She loved her brothers and they adored her. Bottom middle was her last birthday, her 14th, in February.


She adored her Grandma.


With her sissy.


She loved boxes...of all kinds...


and loved joining us on game night.


Sadly, no pics of me with her, but in the three below, I'm holding her. 



A photo miscellany of her over the years. She was a treasure. We sure are going to miss her. Life just won't be the same without her. 


I'm linking this post to her photo in the side bar. Here's the link to when I introduced her to the blog back in 2009. http://www.truebookaddict.com/2009/09/all-about-alice.html

Rest well, Alice. ❤❤❤


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