Friday, July 25, 2014

DMM (2)

Tinkerbell Dominoes!!

After I did the mandala with the Hanafuda deck, I immediately thought of the set of dominoes I had for Lia. I got 2 sets of this one, so she could have a set at her house and one here with me. I even learned the names of all the fairies in this set. (go, Grandma!)

It took a long time to get Lia to play with any semblance of actual domino rules, but that didn’t matter. Sometimes, her way of placing a tile was rather ingenious. Other times, they were just laid out end to end for a roadway. Then came the day she learned about setting them all upright and then nudging the end to watch the whole batch topple over. Wheee!

Sadly, she’s outgrown them somewhat, so why not do a mandala of them…

They’re still super-cute…

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bonus Book Report July 2014

I’ve been on a reading binge lately, so decided to split July’s book report into two parts.

The Crack in Space (1966) by Philip K. Dick

Overpopulation and no work has led to people voluntarily having themselves frozen for long-term storage until things get better. Then a malfunction in a space shuttle leads to an apparent opening into another Earth that is uninhabited. Perhaps that will solve the problem. But it’s never that easy…
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The Day of the Triffids (1951) by John Wyndham

This movie gave Sarah nightmares for YEARS. Walking plants! OMG! I had no idea the trauma she suffered over this until years later. The movie was based on this book, which was quite different. I think I would’ve enjoyed a movie straight from the book better. And since it was written in the 50’s, it all came down to this: IT WAS ALL RUSSIA'S FAULT!! There were still the walking plants, but there was a lot more to contend with.
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Tower of Glass (1970) by Robert Silverberg

Simeon Krug created a way to mass produce worker androids to free humans from drudgery. He didn’t know that these androids viewed him as their god and worshiped him as such. When he turned out to be only human and fallible, the androids revolted like you wouldn’t believe!
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Consider the Season (1968) by Reuben Merliss

Interesting novel about a man’s journey in med school. What made this a bit different is that it didn’t deal exclusively with hospital stories. It really focused on the future doctor. His studies, his interactions with other students, the people around him. Very enjoyable.
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Rebecca (1938) by Daphne du Maurier

I saw an excellent adaptation of this book on PBS some years back and truly enjoyed it. Didn’t get around to reading the book until recently. Rebecca was the “perfect” first wife of Maxim de Winter, and her memory haunts all who came into contact with her, as well as with Maxim’s second wife.
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Mrs. de Winter (1993) by Susan Hill

This sequel to Rebecca takes place about 10 years after the events of the first book. Max and his wife tried to escape the people and memories associated with Rebecca by living in Europe. But her personality was so strong, it still haunts them.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Placating the Muse

I've really been having a battle with my muse Myrtle lately. For quite a while, in fact. She’s been poking me and nagging me to get my artistic butt in gear and create something. I had actually gotten my craft room in a navigable state, but “life” stepped in and the encroaching chaos took over again. It seemed there was always something that needed doing NOW, and “when I finish (whatever it was), THEN I can get back to my art.”

So I’d finish whatever it was, and try to get the momentum going again, only to have something else come up. It was always a case of just getting past a certain point, then I’d be free to do something. And the months went by.

After my mother-in-law died, I felt at loose ends. I’d always over-seen her care and managed her affairs and doctor appointments. Now I suddenly have NO upcoming duties. I’d always done these things out of love, of course, and I don’t regret anything regarding mom’s care. I just sort of feel superfluous now. Of little use. I took care of my kids until it was time to start taking care of my parents and mother-in-law. Now the kids have their own lives and all the parents are gone, and I’m not needed.

So I have finally taken on a real project and have been doing the prelim stuff. It’s an altered book for a friend, and these things take a tremendous amount of thought before even physically getting started. The thought part is pretty much done. I know (sort of) the direction I’m going. Myrtle always puts her own ideas in that I have to deal with, but I think I've at least gotten things off the ground. Now the grunt work begins in getting all the pieces together. Once that is done, then the part I love most in the world takes place: putting the book together. That is the most joyous work in the world to me.

I’m also giving myself a deadline this time. One full week. Seven full days. I’m going down to Fresno again on the 19th, and it will be for a 2 week visit. So if I don’t get this baby put to bed before I leave, it will be 2 weeks before I can get back to it. That is a killer absence when you’re working on a project. It WILL die if left alone that long.

So here I go, Myrtle! Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Book Report July 2014

A Tower of Steel (1943) by Josephine Lawrence

At the beginning of the war, Thalia, Leis, Frannie and Bon all work in a law office. Their boss, who had planned to retire, leaving the business to his 3 nephews, has to continue working when all the nephews go into the service. I learned some interesting things about life during that time, one of the biggest being the coupon use. I had no idea that America had the coupon system going during the war. I knew Europe did. The 4 women in the book had the usual trials and tribulations of being “working women” instead of marrying and having children. I thought the book ended a little too soon. I would’ve liked to learned more of what went on in their lives.
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The Grave Gourmet (2010) by Alexander Campion

Never heard of this author before getting this as a free e-book. Fun! Capucine is a young, beautiful police woman married to an older man who is a restaurant critic. She is bored with the desk job she has and longs to do REAL police work. Her wish is granted and the fun starts. This is the first in a series, but is self-contained.
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The Wayfarers (1945) by Dan Wickenden

Another book taking place at the beginning of WWII. Norris is a man who lost his wife 10 years ago, became an alcoholic, had an epiphany, and then tried to make amends to his children and become a part of their lives again. There was a reasonable end to the book, but it was a real downer in parts.
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Singing Waters (1946) by Ann Bridge

Interesting book. In 1936 a rich widow meets a famous writer in Albania. The writer has traveled all around the world, writing about the lives and conditions of people. She shows the rich woman that you can find happiness in an otherwise empty life by helping others. The rich woman decided to stay in Albania and use her wealth to help a small village. This book was supposed to be semi-autobiographical about Ann Bridge
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All That Seemed Final (1941) by Joan Colebrook

This concerned the lives of a group of friends in London at the beginning of WWII. Nobody seemed to be very happy. I did not enjoy this book. Too much angst and stress APART from the upcoming war. After the war started, things REALLY went down the toilet.
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Darwinia (1998) by Robert Charles Wilson

When this book first came out, I was really interested in reading it. I found it in a thrift store and was chuffed. Then I started reading it. Meh.
It involves a parallel Earth, filled with demons. Yucky stuff happens. Lots of people die. Very graphic. Crappy ending. Don’t bother…