Pumpkin Patch & Library Loot

October means I must post the obligatory pumpkin patch picture! Since it’s my first ever foray in a pumpkin patch, I do many bookish pose. Do you recognize the “Alas Poor Yorrick” and “Twilight Hands”? Oh SILLY, thy name is me! This was taken at Tanaka Farms in Orange County and the house shots are from my morning stroll in Old Towne Orange.

Ever read Practical Magic? I did, then stopped and picked up Garden Spells which is like Practical Magic but better. Anyway, the grand Victorian reminded me of the Practical Magic house. When I was a kid, I always fantasized about having an eccentric aunt who suddenly drops dead and wills me her spooky Victorian and black cat. I’d move in and explore, maybe prowl around the nearby graveyard with a flashlight and a wisecracking sidekick. My daydream sounds like all the popular Middle Grade novels of the ’90’s.

Books! This week I looted:

1. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

2. Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

3. Witch by Christopher Pike.

Which one should I start on first?

In other news:

*Blue Moon Magnolia is a pumpkin carving genius! Check out her homage to Jamie Fraser’s naked behind.

*NaNoWriMo approaches! And once again, I will be re-writing, revising, polishing my pacing. In other words, I need to teach myself how to pace a novel. People can’t make out until I’ve established the romantic tension leading up to said making out. It’s interesting to note that 90% of my thoughts revolve around creating the proper atmosphere for sexy times and I’m not even writing a romance novel! Or maybe I am and don’t know it yet… In any event, I found Jennifer Cruise’s The Five Things I Learned About Writing Romance from TV essay extremely helpful to my predicament. Sigh. Sexy Times will be the death of me!  But that doesn’t stop me from cheering on those of you who are crazy enough to write 50K in a month. I do so love the community spirit!




The Ever-Evolving Bookworm, Library Loot, and Flavors of the Week

I’m a slower reader this year and I’ve succeeded in culling the amount of books read in the first half of 2010. This is something worth bragging about. Let me explain. During my first two years of blogging, I was a slave to numbers. The goal: 100 titles/year. In short, I morphed into a speed reading demon who abused her library card carrying privileges. It’s like I was on crack (the nerdiest crack in the world) and my librarian was my corner tamborine man. Finally, my mind atrophied and I realized that there really was a limit to how much you could read before your head exploded. Not that my head exploded but I was in the middle of a conversation with my co-workers and they were all, “Sometimes I could feel the liquid slosh around in my head” and I’m all “Oh yeah. I know how that feels like. Ha. Ha.” *Shifts eyes* Secretly, my brain never sloshes about in my head like a sailboat on tempestuous waves, in fact, my head feels too big for my scrawny neck and I often wonder if others see me as a walking candy apple. Anyway, this year, I’ve started pacing myself and savoring the words on the page. The soundtrack of my reading habits has changed from zany circus hijinks to slow jazz, preferably jazz to make love to…

Onward! My library loot for the week.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle : I’ve read this twice: once in the 6th grade, once when I was 16. And I don’t remember a thing about it.  In order to read the next book in the series, I must reacquaint myself with the first one.

The Stand by Stephen King: According to Amazon, this is Stephen King’s most popular novel to date. Gotta see what all the fuss is about.

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi: The title and cover art drew me in. I like the idea of steampunk but always found the novels disappointing (too much world building, not enough STORY building). Fingers crossed this will not be a disappointing read…

The Flavor of the Week…

This week I’m addicted to The Big Bang Theory. Aside from my Jamie Fraser (i.e. Scotsman) fetish, I’m sure you know about my thing for nerds. This show is a veritable nerd-fest and if I can’t have Jamie, I’ll take Sheldon Cooper who is nothing like Jamie Fraser which goes to show how much my fangirl tastes flip flops toward polar ends of the spectrum.

Library Loot

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

If all the other bloggers jumped off a cliff would you jump too? Answer: Point me to the cliff. I’m weak of will and eager to please. I am Polonious to your Claudius. I am Igor to your Victor Frankenstein. What I really want from the intrawebs is a pat on the head…  Fortunately, all I have to do is read this English countryside mystery/cozy to fit in.

Green Darkness by Anya Seton

Because a Twitteratti @SpottieDottie told me to and I’m on a historical fiction reading frenzy. Plus, this book contains reincarnation in Medieval Times!

You Majored in What?: Mapping Your Path from Chaos to Career by Kathleen Brooks

No where in my after-grad life has anyone cared about my extensive knowledge of photosynthesis or glycolysis. And, oh, the pain! Nobody cares if I could isolate a strand of DNA or pipet faster than any mothereffer in the lab. A bachelors in biology without the extra armor of med school or grad school or intention to do something science-y is one defenseless knight in a world of lions. Also, my career counselor gave me a list of things I could do with my biology degree, the majority of which involved NATURE and we all know how I have this fear of birds and I’m not too keen on pollen. And even though I AM a beast doesn’t mean I want to stare down a grizzly bear. So NO on outdoorsy jobs like Forest Ranger, Zookeeper, and Botonist. I’m not too keen on fish either (something about the texture of their scales displeases me) and it wouldn’t be very ladylike to swim with Shamoo and possibly die if Shamoo lands on you (Good Heavens! What would the neighbors think?!). NO on Marine Biologist. I guess that leaves teaching but between you and me, I’d rather face down the grizzly bear.

I hope this book will tell me what to do with my life. If my experience with self-help books serves me right, I’m sure it won’t. So YOU TELL ME!!!

In the Woods by Tana French

You wouldn’t catch me In the Woods. I assume there are actual woods in this book; I don’t mind reading about *shudder* NATURE so long as I don’t have to be IN it. I bet there are scary things IN THE WOODS, things like birds that would claw your eyes out as soon as look at you and hostile forest people.

Library Loot and The Thornbirds

1. A Woman of Substance by Barbara Taylor Bradford

2. Falling by Christopher Pike

3. A Year on Ladybug Farm by Donna Bell

I’ve finished The Thornbirds! That makes 1 book in Jan. All it takes is one good book to break the reading slump. Unfortunately, my book synopsizing muscles have atrophied during my blogging break so if you are unfamiliar with the plot, this make-out montage from the 1983 miniseries should do my work for me.

The Thornbirds has everything I look for in a multi-generational epic: people eeking out a living from the LAND, paternity issues, a manipulative and horny elderly matriarch, and a forbidden love affair with a priest which spawns another paternity issue. After roughly two weeks reading this book, my life has changed in two ways: I started to believe that I was Australian even though I’ve never been down under in the physical sense of the word, I yearned to live on an Outback sheep station and grab a handful of red earth… said dirt will slip through my fingers, my hands will convulse as I stare off into the distance for I have become ONE WITH THE LAND.  Then I remembered that I hate nature and the notion goes poof. Also, I’m on the look out for hot priests.

Speaking of nature, a sparrow flew into my workplace last week and trapped itself behind some cabinets. We could hear it twittering and chirping and flapping its bird wings against the wall. It was a most displeasing sound. Some of us (me) freaked the eff out and stayed far far away from the disease ridden avian demon while the bravest of my co-workers rigged a series of inventions: a bird scoop (a shovel fashioned out of filing folders duct taped to the back of a broom handle), a bird vacuum, etc… All to no avail. The little beast was too bird-brained to see a rescue attempt if it hit it in its simple beaky face. I made a panicked Animal Control call and several hours later, they sent the rescue squad which consisted of one man and a metal pole. I don’t think Animal Control was equipped with nets and whatnot (they deal with dead animals, which would have been the case if the suction on the vacuum was strong enough), so Animal Control guy used our bird scoop and, with prayers and swears, captured the disgusting little creature and shoved it in his pocket. Once outside, Animal Control guy did the Twilight hands and the bird flew away to crap in another office. The end.

One of my co-workers mused that she wished she had a blog to recount this amusing incident. I am the only one with a blog so here it is. If you haven’t already guessed, I hate birds. An arboretum is my idea of hell on earth. Beaks. Talons. Feathers. Beady eyes. Wings. Vile creatures, the lot of them.

I expect a flood of hate mail from falconers and pirates…

Okay. I’m not completely heartless with regards to the avian species, which is to say, I’m not above eating them.

Library Loot

1. The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancy

2. The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger

3. The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis

4. The Thornbirds by Colleen McCullough

This is the winter of my discontent in that winter is my least favorite season as it makes me brood in a Hamlet-esque/Edward Cullen kind of way. Plus, I don’t like wearing all these layers of clothing. Ideally, I strive to wear as little clothing as possible but more on skank wardrobe later.

Oh yeah, my 1 hr/day reading rehab regiment has downsized to 30 mins/day. As a result, I haven’t finished a book all year. I have, however, been brooding and soliloquizing to skulls. Don’t cry for me: I’m already dead.

This picture of young Jonathan Rhys Meyers was my wallpaper from 2001-2002.

Library Loot & Mad About Mads

1. Thunderstruck by Erik Larson

2. The Man from St. Petersburg by Ken Follett

3. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

4. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

5. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

6. The Godfather by Mario Puzo

I don’t need to say I’ve been a bad blogger. I was born bad and I am drunk with my own villainy. So…blogging. I’ve come to the conclusion that hosting a blog is like raising a pet.  You have to feed it, love it, hug it or it will shrivel up and die. That being said, here I am throwing my pet the virtual equivalent of a kiblet; it’s not a hearty meal (book review) but it will keep the blog alive so one day it will ROAR. I don’t need to mention that my pet is an extension of myself. Obviously, that means it’s a TIGER.

Speaking of tigers… Mads Mickelsson is my flavor of the week. You may recall him as the sinister Le Chiffre in Casino Royale. A few years ago, I came across this H&M ad in a mag and nearly fainted from his argyle sweater-modeling hotness!

I mention Mads because in the mumble mumble WIP I’m slaving over, there is a character who is the head of an international male fashion line. His face is plastered across the city a la Citizen Kane.

Just like this:

In other news, I created these buttons for Flick Me.

Given that I haven’t had time to watch any movies much less review them, Flick Me is sinking faster than the Titanic and I’ve got to display my craftsmanship somewhere.