I am in a funk. I have no idea why – it is not that anything negative has happened (or positive for that matter – but positives rarely coincide with funks). The puppy is about 80% house trained — but it is the other 20% that is driving me nuts. For the most part classes at school are going fine. Perhaps it is the “end of winter” blahs that have me down. Anyway…..I have spent little time on the blog because, quite frankly, I have not been in the mood. However, I have read enough writing by writers that say you need to develop the discipline of writing. You need to write no matter what. Don’t wait for the inspiration, just write. OK — so here it goes.
I have managed to complete my first reading challenge ever, and I must say I can now understand why some of you are so addicted to them. What a great sense of satisfaction – which creates a desire to experience that same feeling again and again. Sheri sponsored the “Just for the Fun of It” reading challenge that runs from Jan – April. The premise is to read only books that I want to read, when I want to read them. I did not have to publish a list of books for this challenge, and if I did publish a list, I was free to change it at any time. This challenge spelled “success” from the get-go. I had decided that I would try to read 4 books for this challenge (I figured one book a month). I did not pre-publish a list because for me that would defeat the “just for the fun” aspect. I actually exceeded my goal with 5 completed books (so far):
- The Sister by Poppy Adams
- The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff
- The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb
- Murder is Binding by Lorna Barrett
- The Eyre Affaire by Jasper Fforde (not reviewed yet)
I realize that I still have 2 more months to go, and I will still try to read some more “fun” books, but I have to start my Master’s reading for summer classes soon, and that will take a lot of my “free” time. Sheri, thank you for empowering me to take time out for myself every once and a while.
I have also spent some time trying to create some “ambiance” in my cozy book nook. The idea for my blog coincided with my decision to redecorate my son’s room. While Brian is always welcome to come back home (and I do miss him terribly), the truth of the matter is…..I doubt that he will for longer than a visit. He has been living on his own in Nashville for nearly two years now, and the odds are against him wanting to give up that freedom. I decided that his room was going to waste and I desperately wanted a place where I could go and escape. I put up several bookshelves (over the past 3 years the number of books that I own has grown exponentially) and an old love seat. This weekend I purchased an indoor water fountain on clearance – as I truly do find the sound of babbling water quite soothing. I also elicited the help of my brother, a collector of music extraordinaire, to find some soothing classical/jazz music that I could play in the background. He recommended the Bill Evans Trio which I have found to perfect for my liking. I now have decided that I need to add a splash of personality to the bare “red” walls. I would like to obtain some framed prints of England and/or Paris to keep with the serenity/inspirational theme. All in all this small dormer room has truly become my cozy book nook and I am very grateful.
I was so very honored this week when Kaye bestowed upon me the Fabulous Blog award. I must admit, I think this is one of the cutest buttons I have seen around the blogosphere and I was secretly coveting one myself (not that I think my blog deserved it, mind you……I just liked the sheek, cosmopolitan woman with her cute pedigree pooch). Now comes the hard part — who to publicly acknowledge for this award. I always struggle with this. I love every blog I read (and I am subscribed to over 100 right now) – and I don’t want to leave anyone out. On the other hand, I know that several have already received this award from others, and I do not want them to feel obligated to acknowledge me on their blog. What to do…..what to do……
I have decided that I will post the list of blogs that I read on a daily basis. I mean, I actively look to see if they have posted anything new — rather than passively wait for google reader to let me know. I am sure that they have all received this award (probably numerous times), and if that is the case, please know that I do not expect you to give a shout out on your blog. If, however, you have not been duly honored, please accept this award with my hearty gratitude for your contribution to the book blogging community. Most of you read these blogs as well, but if you haven’t checked them out….then you absolutely, positively NEED to do so:
- A Novel Menagerie (she is the kindest person you will ever meet in cyberspace)
- You Can Never Have Too Many Books (her travels to England first caught my attention – but she has actually ~convinced me to try science fiction – no easy feat! )
- Beth F (an avid reader who manages to surf the net for great sites more than I do)
- Bermuda Onion (an avid reader – who gives “spot on” reviews)
- The Tome Traveller’s weblog (someone who likes to travel as much as I do)
- A Guy’s Moleskin Notebook (his insights into literature are fascinating)
- AndiLit (someone who is actually pursuing her dream — congrats!)
- Pudgy Penguin Perusals (love her reviews – adore her penguin pics)
- A Reader’s Respite (her sense of humor is a bright spot to my day)
- Farm Lane Books (I have just recently found her site, but am a devotee)
- Lakeside Musing (Joann and I seem to be in similar stages of life – and that is comforting)
- Page after Page (Kim is another one whom I feel a special connection)
- Maw Books Blog (again, I have just found this popular site, but she is popular for a reason)
- Musings of a Bookish Kitty (I am actually a dog person, but that has not prevented me from enjoying her site)
- Lesa’s Book Critique (if you enjoy mysteries you absolutely MUST check her site)
WOW — I didn’t realize that I had that many “must read” sites, but trust me, they educate, entertain and inspire me – and I cannot imagine missing a single one of their posts.