Category Archives: General Musings & Thoughts

Dear Justin Cronin – What Will I Do Now That Your Trilogy is Over?

Dear Mr. Cronin:

I’m writing you to inform you that I have finished your trilogy that begun with The Passage, continued with The Twelve and that has culminated with The City of Mirrors.  I want to thank you for providing me with such an emotional punch of a journey these last few years.  Thank you for the characters, the anxiety, the heartache and the fist pumps in the air.  I will forever cherish this series and how much your storytelling drew me in.

But Mr. Cronin, I have a problem.

What the hell am I supposed to do now? I have laid the book down, the last page read and I’m staring around me wondering how I’m supposed to live my life now that this series is over.

So I’m asking you for your assistance in helping me figure out my life because really, this is your fault.  I was fine but then Amy, Peter, Michael, Alicia, Hollis and Sara happened. Damn you for creating such great characters.  Characters that are strong, visible, fully formed, that seemed so real.  And now that they are gone…I’m left bereft. I’m an empty husk needing to be filled.

Help me.  What do I do now?

Should I take up knitting?  Cooking lessons?

I do have cats, I suppose I could continue giving them attention.  Also, my friends haven’t seen me since I started The City of Mirrors so I probably should let them know I’m okay. It’s been a pretty nice summer here in Winnipeg too so maybe I should go outside?  It’s been awhile since I’ve seen the sun, should I put sunscreen on?

My garbage is piling up – should I take that out now?  I also haven’t eaten since I started the final book – that could be why I feel so weak and why I’m rather emotional right now.

There’s dust bunnies the size of virals in my living room so I guess I can clean.  But as I’ve mentioned, I haven’t eaten for awhile so the whole being weak thing kinda gets in the way.  Any recipes you suggest that are simple and quick? Also…sleep.  I haven’t slept since I picked City of Mirrors up so that sounds like a nice idea hey?

And probably my husband might be open to spending time with me again.  If he’s still around.  I think I’m still married.  Who knows, I’ve been pretty preoccupied with your book.  Man, if I’m not married anymore I’m going to be really upset with you Mr. Cronin, I liked having that husband guy around.

Mr. Cronin, it’s a damned good thing I don’t have kids because – wow – I have no idea what state they would be in if I did.

As you can see, I need some direction here. I’m feeling quite like the girl from nowhere right now so any suggestions, advice or firm reality checks would be great.

I would appreciate your attention to this matter immediately.

Thank you for your time Mr. Cronin.

(And thank you for the stories.)

Sincerely,

A Book Lover

 

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I’ve been reading, just not blogging

I don’t like that I haven’t posted here in awhile. It’s not that I don’t enjoy blogging, it’s just I am still uncertain what I really want this blog to be (and I spend all day at work on a computer and lately the thought of going on a computer to blog leaves me feeling ‘meh’.  Is that a blogging sin?). I thought for awhile I wouldn’t write book reviews because they are so subjective. But then I read a great book that I want to tell the world about – tell me, what’s a reader supposed to do?

I’ll tell you – blog about it. I’ve decided to continue with book reviews and the format will be the following:

  • Quick summary about the book
  • Highlight of a character that stood out to me and why
  • How the book made me feel

That’s it.  No grand opinions on style or prose or grammar or blah, blah, blah….just quick and dirty. Feels are all I know to be real – what I think, not so important, but what I feel….ahhhh…that’s what reading is all about.

Now I will end this blog with something I learned recently – you aren’t supposed to use two spaces after a period anymore.

Now, back to blogging!

Monkey-typing

Hey ladies, wanna laugh and cry at the same time?

Hey readers and champions of all things intelligent, smart and sane – you gotta hop on over to author and writer Pamela Ribon’s site and read through her hilarious smack-down of the of the amusing yet soberingly-depressing book Barbie – I Can Be a Computer Engineer.

I both laughed and cried at the same time.  It was fun.

barbie computer engineer

I am completely reconsidering my stance on wanting a Bookworm Barbie – she probably wouldn’t be able to read without the help of Ken.

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update!  If you want a hand at making this book read out how it should have from the beginning – head on over to Feminist Hacker Barbie.

It’s not a zero-sum game – it’s an infinate game – Seth Godin

I love this man.

I love his brain and his thoughts and I love that he puts that down on paper, into words.  I love how he connects everything with everything.  If you aren’t reading Seth Godin, now is the time.

In fact, let me help you.  He wrote a blog post today about competition and because he related it to books and authors it was the perfect post to share with you today.

I’ve been away from this blog for and I’ve missed it but summer called and I answered.  So as we are about to ease into September, let’s start with Seth.

Why don’t authors compete?

There’s an apocryphal story of a guy who went for his final interview for a senior post at Coca-Cola. At dinner, he ordered a Pepsi. He didn’t get the job.

And most packaged goods companies would kill to be the only product on the shelf, to own the category in a given store.

Yet, not only do authors get along, they spend time and energy blurbing each other’s books. Authors don’t try to eliminate others from the shelf, in fact, they seek out the most crowded shelves they can find to place their books. They eagerly pay to read what everyone else is writing…

Read the rest of Seth’s post here.

Seth Godin books

Woman – An Anthology – A collection of stories supporting women with breast cancer

Woman, An Anthology has been a project 3 years in the making and look at the list of amazing authors it boasts.  In this anthology you will find stories these authors have written highlighting and celebrating women.

  • Stephen King
  • Alice Munro
  • Peter S. Beagle
  • Lynn Coady
  • Peter O’Donnell
  • Robert E. Howard
  • Van Kunder
  • Emma LaRocque
  • Charles de Lint
  • M C Joudrey
  • Anaïs Nin

We who love to read and who likely have all had women in our lives touched by cancer (if not ourselves) can help make this book happen because once it does, proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Society of Canada (“Once produced, the book will be made for sale in retail bookstores with proceeds from the sales of the book to be donated entirely to breast cancer research”).

Let’s make it happen!

Women – An Anthology Kickstarter Page

Open letter from Javier Bardem about the massacres in Gaza (English/Spanish)

I cannot find the spirit to blog when such atrocities are being committed against innocent people in Gaza.

fakfukfon

javierbardem

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Play a game with me. What’s the soundtrack of your life? A game of musical representation.

Music in the movies colours the emotional experience of the movie itself, as it does our lives. We all have relied on a song to help us through heartbreak, falling in love and new discoveries. There is a song for every moment, mood and feeling we have ever experienced. This game is inspired by a recent TEDx Manitoba talk I attended.  Ted Geddert came on stage with his son and talked about the devastating day his other son and his father died.  How music healed his family.  His idea worth spreading was to “Take risks, and find a soundtrack to get you through”   So, it got me thinking.  What is the soundtrack of my life?  If I were to tell a story of today, a moment in time or of my life as a child – what would those songs be to describe me to you in a way that I don’t have to speak?

So, will you play a different kind of ‘getting to know you’ game with me?  Let’s call it My Life Through Song.  life through song

What would be the soundtrack to the movie of your life up to this moment?  Or maybe there is a particular moment in time that deserves to be played out in a soundtrack.  Perhaps your life is a comedy, a drama, a war epic; it doesn’t matter what lens you view your life through – what matters, is that you have a damned good song to go with it.

The drill is as follows:

  • Copy these instructions, including the categories below and paste them in your post.
  • List the title of the song and the artist after each category and embed the music video (if there isn’t a music video for it then find a video of the song with lyrics – if there still isn’t one, then a link to the song in any form will do – we wanna hear the song!).
  • Tag your post with My Life Through Song
  • Pingback this blog post so I can see all your song choices – I wanna hear the story of your life!  (Click here for pingback instructions.  And, if you don’t use WordPress then leave a comment with the url to your blog post)
  • This part is optional – you can describe why you chose this song in a short paragraph OR you can just let the song speak for itself and leave it to the imagination of your audience.

Here are the 6 categories of songs:

  1. The Getting to Know You Song:  This song starts off your movie. It is the song that introduces you to your audience; maybe as a child or as an adult pondering life.  Where the movie of your life starts is up to you.
  2. The Love Song:  You know this one. You fell in love, maybe with a person, a place or an animal.  Love is love and this song makes you feel it!
  3. The Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy Song:  You are joy personified.  Everything is as it should be and all is beautiful with the world. If spontaneous dancing and singing were to happen as you walked down the street, it would be this moment.
  4. The Rock Bottom Song:  Um, happiness can only last so long right?  We’ve all been there, that moment where, shit, just when you think you can’t get any lower, you do.  Is the whole world against you?
  5. The Poignant Song: This is a time of reflection in your movie.  You’ve hit rock bottom.  Well now, take a walk in that light rain, look up at the sky and reflect…this is the moment that your life changes.
  6. The Rocky Balboa Song:  You’ve made it through your darkest hour!  Will power kicks in so pick yourself up and dust off the past! This is the song you turn up the volume on.  YEAH!  Fist pump the shit out of that air – you deserve it!
  7. The Let the Credits Roll Song:  Though life keeps on going a movie does eventually come to an end and with it, the concluding song. At this moment we are content, we are at peace or maybe we’re still struggling but we’ve accepted it.  Either way, we are ready to welcome life and all the challenges that come with it.  The end.

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Here’s the soundtrack to my life – so far.

The Getting to Know You Song:

Same Mistakes – The Echo Friendly

The Love Song:

But Not Tonight – Depeche Mode


The Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy Song:

Paul Simon – Russian Futurists


The Rock Bottom Song:

What’s Up – 4 Non Blondes

 

The Poignant Song:

Weighty Ghost – Wintersleep

 

The Rocky Balboa Song:

The Final Countdown – Europe

The Let the Credits Roll Song:

Living in Colour – Frightened Rabbit

 

Okay, your turn to play!

The beautiful thing about this game is it never has to end.  You can play it any time for any moment and I might come back and play it again down the road.

(I do have an ulterior motive here:  I love discovering new music and figured this would be a fun way to do so.)

TEDxManitoba – An Adventure was had indeed

Quick post today followed by a longer one this weekend. I was lucky enough to attend the TEDxManitoba talks yesterday and be blown away.  The theme was Adventure and the day and talks certainly lived up to it. Why is it that I keep forgetting we have amazing, giving, creative, genius and inspiring people here in Winnipeg?  Why do we Winnipeggers not know more about what is happening in our own city?  There is some awesome stuff going on here.  We Winnipeggers often love to hate our city (and secretly love it in the same breath) but not being aware of the awesome people living and creating in this city – well that seems a travesty! I will never forget this again though. I have a lot of notes to go through, a lot of thoughts to digest and process.  My brain and soul are wonderfully exhausted after this adventure but I can’t wait to share with you the ideas that were shared with me. Long live creativity and passion!

tedxmanitoba

The Drinkable Book – Water is Life

This is a must watch.

A book has been created that not only gives tips on how to make water safe for drinking, but it in itself is a water filter.  Theresa Dankovich is the scientist who invented a paper that purifies drinking water.  Each paper in this book is capable of giving someone up to 30 days of clean water and it costs only pennies to make.

If there is anything you are going to watch today – watch this.  Technology meets innovation meets social movement – can we all high five each other?

For more information and how to provide these books to people in need, please visit Water Is Life.

Bring Back Our Daughters

A serious post today – I am sure you are away already – 200+ Nigerian girls were kidnapped by extremists.  Straight from their school.

These brave girls just wanted an education.  I mention this because of my post not too far back on Girl Rising.

I only want to bring this up so we can all use our collective imagination to imagine these girls back home.  If imagination is power and thought has mass – then our thoughts are better put to use by seeing these girls in our minds come back home.

I am looking for other ways to help now as well – but its hard to separate the information from the rage that’s online right now.  And rightfully so.

So perhaps, let’s switch the rage directed to the captors and instead, open our hearts and our thoughts to these girls – send them our love.  They are the ones who need it.  And honestly, those men don’t deserve a single thought from my brain.  But those girls; I will give them my heart.

If anyone has information on ways that people can help please let me know.  I feel I need to help in some small way….

bring back our girls

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