Work For My Words

May 14, 2015 at 8:39 pm (In So Many Words) (, , , , , , , )

Coffee-God-friends-and-coffeeA Coffee Chat

After my phone call was declined:

I love you but every single human in my life is asleep right now I am not answering the phone and chancing a mass awakening hahaha.

My internet keeps crapping out and every other message I’m holding my laptop up to the mysterious signal like Rafiki lifting Simba to the sun on Pride Rock.

HAHAHA

I am a half a step away from chanting in Afrikans.

My words are worth it.
WORK FOR MY WORDS!

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MORNING COFFEE: FRIDAY EDITION

January 24, 2014 at 3:47 pm (Guest Blogger, In So Many Words, The Whim) (, , , , , , , , , , , )


“My children are screaming at me.” – Coffee Cups in Trees

“Isn’t this about the time Sylvia Plath stuck her head in the oven?” – Anakalian Whims

“Proba- OMG MY HUSBAND DRANK ALL THE COFFEE CREAMER!” – Coffee Cups in Trees

“….and that is actually when Sylvia Plath stuck her head in the oven.” – Anakalian Whims
Hannah's Coffee

Photo compliments of Hannah from Coffee Scribble.                                                                                (Formerly known as Musings from the TARDIS.)

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The Evolution of Everything

October 17, 2013 at 9:49 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , )

ev of janeTitle: The Evolution of Jane

Author: Cathleen Schine

Genre: Fiction

Length: 210 pages

The perfect fall day in Texas: a spinach and onion soup with lots of cheese mixed in, coffee gone cold, Huckleberry Sage in my Scentsy Warmer, all the windows open because it’s so nice outside, Tethered by Sleeping at Last playing softly on repeat, and The Evolution of Jane in front of me.

In a week of epiphanies, nostalgia, cold fronts, random spurts of rain, and recuperation after sheer emotional exhaustion, Schine’s novel is perfect and lovely.  Soft and defined at the same time. A little more perfect than I expected.

It’s supposed to be a comedy… “A cerebral comedy of manners,” the Boston Globe calls it.  I find that in itself humorous, as I haven’t laughed since the first page. Instead, it feels (oddly) exactly like life.  It’s a mish-mash of inappropriate feelings, unexplained drama, stress where there should be none, and complete nostalgia.

It even has a delicious quote that made me swoon as it so much reflects how I feel about my own life.  “I loved my job, for it allowed me to rub shoulders with ideas, to listen without having to retain, to gather information like flowers.”

My job, this job that is part author, part homeschool mom, part event coordinator, part reader and reviewer, part so many things… this job feels like that… like gathering flowers.  My life feels like that in general.  I am a forager, I pick up and discard things as I go, looking for any bit of nutrients and beauty I can get along the way.

I bought this book years ago at the height of my Darwin and Evolution studies.  When I was trying to squeeze every bit of information on anything that briefly fascinated me.  When I was trying to retain everything.  How appropriate that I wait to read it now, when I can read it with more of a passing fancy, where I can absorb a story without trying so hard to remember it all.

Life isn’t meant for you to remember every single moment.  If we were meant to remember it all with such clarity, I think that we would.  Some things are best left discarded.  This book, however, is not one of those things.  If you buy it, you should keep it.  It will get added to the re-read sometime pile.

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The Wild Girls – A Review

March 14, 2013 at 3:58 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

WildGirlsTitle: The Wild Girls

Author: Pat Murphy

Publisher: Speak (an imprint of Penguin Group)

Genre: Young Adult

Length: 288 pages

Dear Publishing Companies,

Allow me to tell you something you probably already know: Take a book, add a matte finish to it, trace some swirly-like-ivy lines about, and add a garden or forest scene – I will most likely take the book home on the spot.

At least that’s what happened with Pat Murphy’s The Wild Girls.  And despite having an equally girly and gardeny looking book on my night stand (The Distant Hours by Kate Morton), I started reading The Wild Girls that day.

Even if the cover had not been so fabulous, the first line is:

“I met the Queen of the Foxes in 1972, when my family moved from Connecticut to California.”

How do you pass up a first line like that?

It’s a story about twelve year old girls for twelve year old girls, but at twenty-nine I was still dying to know all about the Queen of the Foxes and how interesting a girl would have to be to have the honor of meeting her.

My own wild girl, running, after we read in the park and took a boat ride, but before we had our picnic in the grass.

My own wild girl, running, after we read in the park and took a boat ride, but before we had our picnic in the grass.

Joan meets Sarah in the woods behind an old orchard and immediately takes to her even though Sarah is malicious and contemplating throwing rocks at her.  She can hit a kid dead on from about thirty feet away, too.  Soon the girls are fast friends with woodsy aliases Newt and Fox, telling and writing stories together as they each escape their lives in the comfort and enchanting beauty of the woods and its wildlife.

In the spirit of Bridge to Terabithia (without the inevitable water works), The Secret Garden (without the invalid), and a dash of How to Buy a Love of Reading (or writing), The Wild Girls is a great coming of age story for girls harboring an inner Josephine March (Little Women).

I loved it.  I read a lot of it to kiddo outside and she loved it as it served for a great book to welcome spring.  I can’t wait to read it again when she is older and see what she thinks of it then.

In the mean time, I’m looking for more Pat Murphy titles, reading Kate Morton, and writing a novel.

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Little Monster Friends Part Two

January 30, 2013 at 9:57 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Awhile back I did a Weekly Low Down on Kids Books that I titled Little Monster Friends.  It was about Eleanor Taylor’s picture book My Friend the Monster. Then the other night I was recommending one of my kiddo’s favorite books to a friend who has a little girl kiddo’s age and when I went to link to my review of it, I discovered there was none. Or, I just can’t find it. So it’s about time I tell you (or remind you) of my little toddler’s new favorite monster book. It’s one I’ve enjoyed reading to her for quite sometime, but has recently become the most exciting thing in the world to her… at least a few times a day when something else isn’t more exciting. You know two year olds – maybe.

So here’s to our newest little monster friends…

jumpyjackandgoogilyTitle: Jumpy Jack and Googily

Author: Meg Rosoff

Illustrator:  Sophie Blackall

Jumpy Jack is a delightfully nervous little snail who is terrified of pretty much everything, completely convinced there is a monster lurking around every corner.  Googily is his adorably huge friend who checks for monsters everywhere they go, just to be safe.  The catch? The terrifying monsters of Jumpy Jack’s imagination are always exact descriptions of his best friend and neither one of them know it.

This is a fantastic little picture book about imagination and friendship.  The illustrations are fantastic and the story and the images both give the kiddo and I the giggles before bed at night.

Now that kiddo is chattering up a storm all the time, intelligibly, she does the cutest things and it’s even clearer than before what things resonate with her.  Now she jumps around the house in the day time saying, “No monsters here,” and waggles her finger at me.  Sometimes she brings me a sock and waves it at me and mimics the last page “Boo! Said the sock!”

Click the front cover to hear a little girl named Sarah on youtube read the book, check out all the pages.  Then come back and click the title link to amazon.  Just like Sarah says herself, if you don’t already own the book you’re gonna wish you did.

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To Eden Phillpotts

April 15, 2012 at 7:05 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , )

Agatha Christie opened her novel Peril at End House with a dedication:

To Eden Phillpotts

to whom I shall always be grateful for

his friendship and the encouragement

he gave me many years ago

Immediately, I was intrigued.

Eden Phillpotts

Eden Phillpotts was an English author, poet, and dramatist born in 1862 in India.  He lived near the Christie household when Agatha was young and still unpublished.  She visited him reguarlary under the advisement of her mother, so he could mentor her and guide her writing into a lifelong career.  Phillpotts was the first professional writer to read any of Agatha’s unpublished pieces.

A letter survives of some of the advice he had to bestow on the young budding writer:

“You have a great feeling for dialogue… You should stick to gay, natural dialogue.  Try and cut all the moralizations out of your novels; you are much too fond of them and nothing is more boring to read.  Try and leave your characters alone, so that they can speak for themselves, instead of always rushing in to tell them what they ought to say, or to explain to the reader what they mean by what they are saying.  That is for the reader to judge for himself.” ( www.poirot.us )

Phillpotts’ family moved from India when he was three years old.  At seventeen, he worked as a clerk for an insurance company, where he fell in love with theatre and decided to become an actor.  When he realized acting wasn’t for him, he pursued a career in writing instead.  So young when he began, its no wonder he enjoyed encouraging another young talent when he saw one.   Phillpotts’ own first publication was his poem “The Witches Cauldron” which kicked off a slew of published articles, reviews, short stories, plays, and novels.  Later, he was know to also write under the name Harrington Hext.

Phillpotts was known to befriend many of history’s greats: Arthur Conan Doyal, Henry James, George Bernard Shaw, Arnold Bennett, Jerome K. Jerome, and obviously Agatha Christie.  As a sign of both friendship and his faith in Christie’s writing ability, Phillpotts introduced Christie to his agent at Hughes Massie.  The dedicated novel Peril at End House was the seventh in the Hercule Poirot series, published in 1932.  Its nice to know that she fit in a dedication to a friend and advisor long before his death in 1960, many times friends are not so lucky to appreciate each other prior to memorial memos.

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Somebody That I *Still* Know

February 29, 2012 at 8:34 pm (In So Many Words) (, , , , , , , , )

“Somebody That I Used To Know”
(feat. Kimbra)

[Gotye:]
Now and then I think of when we were together
Like when you said you felt so happy you could die
Told myself that you were right for me
But felt so lonely in your company
But that was love and it’s an ache I still remember

You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness
Like resignation to the end, always the end
So when we found that we could not make sense
Well you said that we would still be friends
But I’ll admit that I was glad it was over

But you didn’t have to cut me off
Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing
And I don’t even need your love
But you treat me like a stranger and it feels so rough
No you didn’t have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records and then change your number
I guess that I don’t need that though
Now you’re just somebody that I used to know

Now you’re just somebody that I used to know
Now you’re just somebody that I used to know

[Kimbra:]
Now and then I think of all the times you screwed me over
But had me believing it was always something that I’d done
But I don’t wanna live that way
Reading into every word you say
You said that you could let it go
And I wouldn’t catch you hung up on somebody that you used to know

[Gotye:]
But you didn’t have to cut me off
Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing
And I don’t even need your love
But you treat me like a stranger and it feels so rough
And you didn’t have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records and then change your number
I guess that I don’t need that though
Now you’re just somebody that I used to know

[x2]
Somebody
(I used to know)
Somebody
(Now you’re just somebody that I used to know)

(I used to know)
(That I used to know)
(I used to know)
Somebody

This song has just recently blown up all over the Houston area.  I hear it on the radio often, I periodically go to You Tube and watch the music video.  It’s in my head, I can’t get it out, and I’m ok with that because it’s beautiful.

I played it for my sister and she said, “It’s so true, that’s how it is.”  All I could think was: How odd, I didn’t expect that reaction.  Until that moment, I had been completely in love with the song, and found it sad, but had never thought about the affect the lyrics might have on others.  Because, for me, it has never been that way.

I’ve taken the time to put the lyrics on my blog, and talk about this song, because it’s one of the few songs I’ve heard in a long time that has made me count my blessings.  I can hear that song and sing it loudly in the car and proudly and gratefully know that the only true ex-boyfriend I have, is still my friend, and so is his wife.  (I feel as though I can safely exclude those who I casually ‘dated’ from this post.)

I am thankful of my choices in life.  I only looked for relationships in people that I already called friend, so that when they ended or didn’t work out, it was all ok because we had a friendship to fall back on.  There was no disappearing into the abyss; or pretending like we didn’t care about each other, we respect each other too much to behave that way.  We were able to honestly admit to ourselves that we weren’t right for each other and that each one was in love with somebody else, and look where that got us! We are each happily married to our somebody else.

Having now thought about it in regards to other people, my empathy kicks in and Gotye now brings tears to my eyes.  But they aren’t my tears, they are tears for all the broken people.  My advice to the world? Think about this song before you haphazardly jump into dating relationships, because marriage is awesome, but dating really sucks.

If you haven’t seen it, watch the video, it’s beautiful.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UVNT4wvIGY

Walk Off The Earth also does an amazing cover.

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How to Buy a Love of Reading… Just buy Gibson’s book

January 2, 2012 at 3:27 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Title: How to Buy a Love of Reading

Author: Tanya Egan Gibson

Publisher: Dutton, a member of Penguin group

Genre: Fiction

Length: 389 pages

Buy: http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=anakawhims-20&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=B0058M744A

I cannot begin to count, honestly, the number of times I was brought to tears by this book.  Something that was supposed to be light and fun proved to be something beautiful and amazing, something that moved me more than words can express.

I cannot begin to count, honestly, the number I times I fell in love with Hunter.  Over and over again, reminding me of boys I fell in love with in real life.  Stranger still, reminding me of myself.

I found Carly amazing, and brave, and beautiful, a character who reminded me of people I both love and hate.

I found Gibson reminding me why I fell in love with Fitzgerald in high school and how I cherish every blessed word of Gatsby and every word written about it.

I found myself wanting to share this jewel with a dear friend who has already left this world and lonely because of all the disappointment in his missing it.

I sit here writing the most incoherent review in the immediate moment of completion because I’m blown away, dazed, and I don’t want it to end, even though the ending is so perfectly final.

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