Tag: reading

Escape

I’ve been listening to audio books to escape reality. I was on a binge of books with the word girl in the title. I particularly like mysteries or thrillers set in England, like The Girl from the Sea, Behind Closed Doors, and No Longer Safe. I’ve come back to the U.S. with Entombed and The Drowning Game. I’ll be back to England starting tomorrow with The Sister. The thought of going through a day without listening to a novel makes me uneasy. You see, I’m very nervous about how things are going in this world. I’m very nervous.

Me and the husband are watching Rod Serling’s Night Gallery. He thought the show was great when he was a kid. I saw a few episodes in re-runs when I was a girl and thought it was good as well. It really is not that great.Most of the episodes are based on short stories, and I think they didn’t do a good job of translating the stories to tv. Despite the not-so-good ones, I am enjoying the show. I intend to read some of the original stories when I can find them. I do want to start reading more short stories so I can learn how to write them.

I’m getting closer to having a regular yoga home practice. I have cleared a physical space. I’m finding a little time to make art. I’m making many memory wire bracelets. My neck hurts. I removed the Facebook app from my phone because Facebook is making me unhappy. The best thing in life is audio books.

My group project for Digital Humanities class is coming along. I spent a few hours at the music library last Sunday. I need to spend some more this weekend. I will be happy when school is over.

I’ve been feeling tired lately. Is it the MS? I don’t know. Maybe next week will be better.

Lots of digital art.

baloon-vortex

 

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Much Better

It’s amazing how much better life is when your every waking moment isn’t anxiety filled. The increased Fluoxetine dosage is finally working, so life has not been awful for about two weeks. I do experience a few anxious moments, but I’m able to brush the feeling away and move to a better place. These days I have a song in my heart and a little spring in my step.

I finished my two 10 x 10 canvases. Now I need to reopen my Etsy store and offer them for sale. The desire to make jewelry is gradually creeping in, but mixed media is still more compelling.

My new podcast fix is Spontaneanation with Paul F. Tompkins. In the show, Tompkins has a conversation with a guest. The guest then comes up with a location for a narrative improv that will be performed later by the day’s assembled actors. It’s good fun!

Today is the last rehearsal before GenCon. I’ll be glad to get my Sundays back. If you’re going to Gen Con, look for Different Drummer Belly Dancers performing in the convention center during conference weekdays and then on Saturday before the costume contest. We’re saluting Star Wars! I’m Han Solo in this one.

I’ve been listening to one audiobook after the other. I’ll post about that soon. I’m still reading Welcome to Night Vale on my Kindle.

Things are just way better for me these days. I hope to get some things accomplished now that my mind is clear.

Photo of cone flower with yellow petals.
Today’s Timehop from two years ago.

 

Watching and Listening

I’m down to the last two episodes of Breaking Bad. This show has been quite a ride.   Is Walter White a tragic hero?  I don’t remember all of the elements required to place a story in the same category as Oedipus Rex, and Hamlet (I learned that stuff in high school after all), but Walt certainly causes his own downfall. His pride and greed lead him down a dark and destructive path. The show was sometimes hard for me to watch. Things happened that made me feel just awful. I know it’s just a  tv show, but boy did it seem real! That’s what good writing does. It transports you to different realities. I suppose we wouldn’t be able to be entertained if we couldn’t suspend our disbelief. Is that our capacity for empathy at work?

 

When I needed a little respite from my Breaking Bad binge, I would watch Derek. Derek is Ricky Gervais’ mockumentary-type series about a guy who works in a nursing home in England. The title character, played by Gervais is probably supposed to be somewhere on the Autism spectrum. He is  kind, sensitive, and an outcast. The other employees at the nursing home are misfits as well, but they’ve found a place where they can be accepted for who they are. It’s a sweet show really. I’m convinced that Karl Pilkington is a genius. If you’ve never listened to the Ricky Gervais Show podcast, I suggest you go do that now. Get to know Karl on the podcast, and  then watch Derek. You’ll see what I’m talking about.

 

That’s what I’m watching. What I’ve been listening to is The Historian. This is a novel by Elizabeth Kostova that I picked up in the discount section of Borders or Barnes & Noble several years ago. I started reading, but it was so long in getting to the story that I gave up. I’m not sure why I decided to buy the audio version, but I’m almost finished with the listen. It’s a vampire story, told from the perspective of a couple of history scholars, and the daughter of one,  who are trying to track down the real Vlad Dracula. It’s a fairly complicated story, but interesting. I’m not usually into vampire books, but this one appeals to the librarian in me because it involves archives and old books. I recommend it if you’re into research driven mysteries mixed with old-world vampire lore.

 

When I Can

I’m at a doctor appointment with Dad; just a routine follow-up for the formerly cancerous kidney.

The doc is taking forever to come in, so we’re waiting in the exam room.

I have my Kindle, and I’m in the middle of Alice Close Your Eyes. Reading this book is making me want to write. When I connect with a book I’m reading I tend to start thinking in its rhythm and style. That’s happening now.

It’s difficult to write at home. I don’t have a comfortable, ergonomically sound place to sit with my laptop.

It occurred to me that if I want to blog, I may have to take advantage of the WordPress iPhone app. I’m using it now.

So I set this aside for a few hours. Now I’m back. The news on the kidney is good. Hurray for Dad!

After that appointment, I took Cammie, our chihuahua, to the vet. The news was not good for her. I’ll post on that another time.

The point of this post is this; I need to write anytime I can. The iPhone helps me to do that.

 

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WordPress iPhone app

Reading is good for me

I came across this article, The Most Enjoyable Way to Improve Your Writing Skills, today via LinkedIn. The article, written by a communications professor, is about how reading helps make you a better writer.

It’s no secret that good writers love to read, and they read a lot. This professor gives her students an assignment in which they’re asked to name their favorite writers. She says that some of the students think the assignment is a waste of time. Some even brag about the fact that they don’t read a lot. That’s no surprise. You don’t really have to read much to get along in this world. You can get your information from tv, scan the bold text on web pages, and hang around with people who do read, and latch on to their ideas and opinions.

I don’t read enough, but I can tell you why I think I should read more.

1) Reading will help me with grammar.

I did okay in English in high school, and I passed the AP test, so I didn’t have any English requirements in college, although I did take a technical writing class. I think I was the only non-engineer in the class. I remember writing instructions on how to clean a house for one of our assignments.

I am not confident when it comes to the rules of grammar. I’m especially frightened of commas and semicolons. When I read, I pay attention to the grammar. Of course, you don’t necessarily know if what you’re reading is written in accordance with the grammar rules, but you assume that since it’s published, it must be okay.

2) Reading gives me information.

I’ve listened to a lot of audiobooks. Although listening to a book doesn’t help build my grammar skills, it does count as reading. I like detective stories, and I’ve listened to quite a few of Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta mysteries. Now I know a thing or two about solving crimes committed by serial killers. I also know a little about Botswana and Edinburgh, Scotland thanks to Alexander McCall Smith. So when I read, I learn stuff. That’s good.

3) Reading allows me to walk in other people’s shoes.

I would love to be British, but I’m not. When I read Bridget Jones’s Diary, I’m Bridget Jones, and I’m British. When I read Alistair MacLean’s Circus, I’m a tightrope walking spy. You get the idea. Reading allows me to experience worlds that I will never encounter in real life. My mind expands and I have more room to write. I’d like to think that thing about having room to write is true, but I really don’t know. I’m not actually sure what I mean by that. It sounded good.

I’m sure I could go on and on about why reading is a good thing, but if you’re reading this, I’m preaching to the choir. The bottom line is this: I need to read more.

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Crafting, Reading, Cooking and more

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here. It’s been less of a while since I posted to my other blog, A Learning Experience. I’d certainly be a more active blogger if I didn’t have to work a 9 to 5 job. But then I would be living on the street. It would be difficult to maintain a blog while living on the street.

Crafting

I made two greeting cards this month. A birthday card for my sister-in-law, and a Valentine’s Day card for my dearest friends.

Front of  Peggy's birthday card
Birthday card for Peggy (front)
Peggy’s birthday card (inside)
Valentin for Karen and Lance (front)
Valentine for Karen and Lance (inside)

 

Reading

I finished reading Jazz, a novel by fellow blogger Christian Mihai. It was an enjoyable read that reminded me a little bit of Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, and made me think of the movie Casablanca. I’ve just begun to read Finn’s Golem by Gregg Taylor. If you’re an audio theatre fan, check out Gregg’s Decoder Ring Theatre podcast.

Cooking

I used to cook and bake quite a lot when I was single,  especially when I was in grad school. I was in a  cookbook club. Granted I had many more cookbooks than I could use, but I liked getting them and flipping through them. The books I used the most were The Joy of Cooking and what I think was a Better Homes and Gardens title. So my goal is to start cooking again. This is especially important because I want to lose weight and keep my heart healthy. I’m afraid to have my cholesterol checked, because my eating habits have deteriorated so much since I got married.

So I’m collecting healthy recipes on  Pinterest, and in Evernote Food.  Hopefully, I’ll be making wonderful meals and posting pictures here soon. This weekend I might make the vegetarian eggplant chili that I made a lot of years ago. We shall see.

Taking Care of Me

I’ve made some vague goals about writing and finding a better job, but the goal that takes priority is taking care of myself. I’ve been getting on the treadmill regularly, I’m collecting exercises that you can do at home on a Pinterest board called Fit ‘n Happy, and I’m doing little things like disconnecting from all Internet devices by 8pm, and irrigating my nose nightly with a Neti  pot.  And of course I floss nightly to keep my gums health and stave off heart problems (there may not be enough evidence to connect hearth and gum health after all, but I don’t ever want to need dentures).

Funny, I didn’t think I had anything to write about today.