CREATIVE SPARKS: SATURDAY SNAPSHOT — FEB. 25

Sparks are flying around the blogosphere again today, as we join in with Alyce, At Home With Books, to showcase our Saturday Snapshots.

This week, I sifted through some photos and found a theme that sparked my interest.

Eyes.  Yes, the eyes have it.  And today I’m sharing Fiona’s eyes, from toddler days to teens.

Here she is at eighteen months.

In the shot, she was covering her lower face, so I cropped it even more to spotlight the eyes.

And here’s one of her as a teen, on New Year’s Eve.

I found this perplexed set of eyes on her Facebook page.

 

Now I’m eager to visit all of your creations.  Come on by and share….

“SNOW” STORIES — FEB. 24

This month, my two granddaughters (above and in the header) celebrated their fifteenth birthdays.

This photo shows them as snow bunnies (at age seven).

To find out more about this snow story, visit HERE.

Enjoying family moments in special places is what the “cabin in the woods” was all about.

Nowadays, we’ve moved on and the cabin is no longer “our place.”  But we still enjoy traditions, like our family get-togethers that inspire photos like these.

What special family moments do you enjoy?  Do you have special traditions?

THURSDAY SPARKS: THEMES & BOOKING THROUGH THURSDAY — FEB. 23

Good morning!  Welcome to another Thursday event, in which we spark some creativity and dig into the books we’re reading for our Thursday Themes, hosted by Reading Between Pages ; or explore our thoughts and feelings about bookish topics in Booking Through Thursday.


Our themes give us a wonderful opportunity to explore and understand different writing styles and descriptive approaches adopted by authors.

Today’s Theme:

 

This week’s theme is related to the nose – any action that you do with your nose. I can only think of SMELL and BREATHE for now, but go ahead and come up with something more innovative.

SMELL Breathe, Anything else you can come up with the nose’s functions

***

Today I’m excerpting from Whole Latte Life, by Joanne DeMaio.

Would you leave everything behind to know who you are?

Sara Beth Riley never dreamt she’d walk straight out of her life.  Actually she’d never dreamt a lot of things that had happened this year … From being kidnapped by her own best friend, to throwing her wedding rings into the Hudson River, to calling an old love in France, to getting inked with said best friend, painting the passionate constellation of these choices into permanence.  But mostly, she could never have dreamt what started it all.  How could it be that her mother’s unexpected death, and the grief which lingered painfully long, turned her into the woman she was finally meant to become?

Sara Beth’s escape begins a summer of change – of herself, of marriage, of the lives of those around her.  In a story that moves from Manhattan to the sea to a quaint New England town, Whole Latte Life looks at friends we never forget, at decisions we linger with, at our attempts to live the lives we love.

***

Theme: (After his wife goes to New York, Tom spends some time in the attic, reflecting).   He slides the rocking chair close to the crib and sits there, watching.  Before you know it, Owen won’t be a baby; this peaceful time in the night won’t happen forever.  Tom hears the sigh of his son’s breathing and then he does what he’s been doing more and more for the past year:  He figures out how to do this reading thing, how to fill in for his wife, his voice whispering about ducks and happiness and spring and puddles. p. 38

***

Booking Through Thursday:

What do you look for when reading a book blog? Does the blogger have to read the same genre? Do you like reviews? Personal posts? Memes? Giveaways? What attracts you to a book blog?

And–what are your favorite book blogs?

There are a variety of characteristics that draw me to a blog and combine to make it a favorite.

First, I like a blog that is designed creatively with a header that appeals to the eye; I like sidebars that have interesting photos to tempt me into clicking on them, to see where they might lead; I like blogs that load fairly easily, so I don’t have to wait FOREVER for them to “settle down.”

Secondly, I like a mix of posts that feature books, but also other topics that show the reader who the blogger is.  Life moments, if you will.  And lots of photos.  It helps if the blogger is a little bit quirky and has a sense of humor.

Finally, I enjoy it if the blogger reads some of my favorite genres, so I can find new books that I’m going to love to read.

Now…that said, I also like knowing that there will be a post that feels cozy and warms me up in the morning with my coffee, like Book Journey, with the Morning Meanderings.

Socrates has a lot of cute and cozy mysteries that intrigue me; Bibliophile by the Sea usually finds just the book I’m wanting to read; and, at Life in the Thumb, I’m also able to connect with books and add them to my shelves.

Book’d Out showcases books that sound so good I can’t help but want to read them, plus she poses interesting questions and dilemmas that make me think.

Reading Books, Thoughts and a Few Adventures is like having a conversation with a friend over tea or a nice martini, with lots of cute moments with Lucy (her cat-person).

There are more sites, too, like Bermudaonion or Book Fan Mary, but I can’t name them all!  I enjoy participating in certain memes that allow me to connect with familiar blogs and sites:  These two memes, of course; Sheila’s It’s Monday:  What Are You Reading?; and Alyce’s Saturday Snapshot.

What do you like about the book blogs you read?  What draws you in?

SPARKING SURREAL CONNECTIONS — A REVIEW

In the beginning of Creative Spirit, we are introduced to the history of Korban Manor…and to the domineering owner of the house and grounds.

Then we are thrust into the future as several artists gather to the present-day manor, kept in its historic condition as directed by Korban’s will.

As the artists converge on the manor for their retreat, we catch a glimpse of what each of them hopes to achieve in this six-week stay at the old estate. Mason hopes to sculpture something noteworthy, to set his career on an upward path and to make his mother proud; Spence is hoping to jumpstart his languishing writing career; and Roth hopes to capture wonderful photos for a documentary.

Others are also there for similar reasons. But lurking in the background and ever-present throughout the story are others whose presence seems nebulous, questionable, and surreal.

And let’s not forget Anna, terminally ill, and in search of a spiritual connection.

At first, I could connect with the characters and even the spiritual entities, feeling empathy for each. But as events progressed, and as the twisted plot left my heart pounding with fear, I had to set it aside…just so I could sleep!

When I finished it the next morning, I was quite glad for it to be over. Nicholson is a talented writer and his characterizations felt real and three-dimensional, even the ghosts. But I knew going in, and nothing has changed my mind: this kind of horror tale is not my cup of tea. Nevertheless, I’m awarding four stars for the way the author pulled it all together, and kept me guessing until the end.

CREATIVE SPARKS: SATURDAY SNAPSHOT — FEB. 18

Sparks are flying around the blogosphere again today, as we join in with Alyce, At Home With Books, to showcase our Saturday Snapshots.

As I was out and about this week, I stopped in to see my daughter where she tends bar a couple of days a week.

This first one shows her hard at work.

The flowers were for Valentine’s Day.

In these next photos, we see Heather at different ages and places in her life.

This one was captured by her older brother, the photographer; we had been to the “family sculpture,” which I’ve showcased on other occasions.  He decided to catch some candid shots of her at play.  This one was taken in 1991.

And here’s one of the two of us, a year or so before.  Okay, my hair is totally in need of a makeover!

But I love the mother/daughter moment.

What are the rest of you spotlighting today?  I can’t wait to see….

CREATIVE SPARKS: SATURDAY SNAPSHOT — FEB. 11

Sparks are flying around the blogosphere again today, as we join in with Alyce, At Home With Books, to showcase our Saturday Snapshots.

This month brings the fifteenth birthdays of my two granddaughters, Aubrey and Fiona.  Here are a couple of shots of each of them, showing how they are enjoying their friendships.

Here’s one of Aubrey with some friends.  She is the second from the left.

Aubrey and Friends

 

And here’s Fiona with a friend.  She’s the one on the right.

 

Fiona and Friend

 

This second shot is a bit blurry…but you get the picture.

How did these two girls, who were babies just the other day (lol!) turn into fifteen-year-olds?

I’ll never stop feeling amazed at how quickly they’ve grown, or how much joy they bring to my life.

What are you sharing today?  Special moments?  I hope you’ll stop by and comment, with your links.

THURSDAY SPARKS: THEMES & BOOKING — FEB. 9

Good morning!  Welcome to another Thursday event, in which we spark some creativity and dig into the books we’re reading for our Thursday Themes, hosted by Reading Between Pages ; or explore our thoughts and feelings about bookish topics in Booking Through Thursday.


Our themes give us a wonderful opportunity to explore and understand different writing styles and descriptive approaches adopted by authors.

Today’s Theme:

 

This week’s theme is very related to the ear – any action that you do with your ear.

HEAR
listen, anything else you can come up with the ear’s actions :) etc.

 

Today I’m excerpting from a book I just finished reading:  How to Eat a Cupcake, by Meg Donohue.

Free-spirited Annie Quintana and sophisticated Julia St. Clair come from two different worlds. Yet, as the daughter of the St. Clairs’ housekeeper, Annie grew up in Julia’s San Francisco mansion and they forged a bond that only two little girls oblivious to class differences could—until a life-altering betrayal destroyed their friendship.

A decade later, Annie bakes to fill the void left in her heart by her mother’s death, and a painful secret jeopardizes Julia’s engagement to the man she loves. A chance reunion prompts the unlikely duo to open a cupcakery, but when a mysterious saboteur opens up old wounds, they must finally face the truth about their past or risk losing everything.

***

Theme Snippet  (Annie has just arrived at the St. Clair residence for a catering job, and is greeted by Mrs. St. Clair):  “Oh, thank goodness it’s just you!”  she rasped into my ear.  “I nearly died when I heard the doorbell.  I’m sure you haven’t forgotten that early guests are as welcome as the plague in this home.”

***

Booking Through Thursday Prompt:

“If you had to pick only 5 books to read ever again, what would they be and why?”

***

That’s a tough one!  I don’t think I can name individual books, unless, of course, it’s the copy of Gone with the Wind sitting on my office coffee table waiting to be reread; or perhaps Rebecca, waiting there for the same reason.  Those two books I read in high school and recall loving them.  I wonder if I would feel the same now?  Curiosity would draw me to read them again.  Or nostalgia.

I would love to reread anything by Jodi Picoult; or perhaps Marge Piercy, who symbolized a time of feminist consciousness in my life.  I might choose something by Maeve Binchy, because she makes me feel cozy.

 

What about the rest of you?  Did you think of those very special books, or did you struggle with this one?

This is a question like the one we had a few weeks ago:  do you like good writing or a good plot?  Impossible…lol