Thursday, January 29, 2009 | By: Taffy

Book Review


"Where Hearts Prosper" by Suzanne V. Reese


Suzanne is the aunt of my BFF from high school.  Though I met her YEARS ago when I was in high school, we became better acquainted over lunch.  I was enamored that I sat next to someone who would have her fist book published soon. I monopolized her and her time as I peppered her with questions about her book and the process of becoming published.  And I promised I would read her book. 

Where Hearts Prosper is a book about love, family and secrets. Carmen Anderson has spent her most of her life running away from a hurtful memories and the place she thought would rejected her.
Now she is a single mother career woman and her teenage daughter who is starting to act out. In an impulsive moment, Carmen decides to move back to her little hometown and its wholesome values. But is she running away again?
In Prosper, Carmen's daughter, Paige, finds family and friends and learns to serve and love others.  And Carmen finds she didn't need to leave at all.
Suzanne's story held my attention through the entire book.  I didn't want to put it down because there was always the question of what next?? How will the conflicts resolve? It almost drove me crazy to have those questions answered and I stayed up WAY too late finishing the book! :)
And now I ask Suzanne, what next? She told me she is working another project so keep your eyes open for Suzanne V. Reese, a new and upcoming author!

Quotable Monday

"A well composed book is a magic carpet on which we are wafted to a world that we cannot enter any other way" Caroline Gordon (1895-1981)
Wednesday, January 28, 2009 | By: Taffy

Triskaidekaphobia-the fear of the number 13

Where did the phobia of 13 come from? And do some still believe in it?

 Ancient Persians believed the twelve constellations in the Zodiac controlled the months of the year, and each ruled the earth for a thousand years at the end of which the sky and earth collapsed in chaos. Therefore, the thirteenth is identified with chaos and the reason Persian leave their houses to avoid bad luck on the thirteenth day...(Wikipedia)

Apparently, some people tried to stop superstitions all together. A dinner was club was formed called, "The Thirteen Club".  On Friday the 13th at 8:13 13 people met in the 13th room.   They walked under a ladder to get to the room and sat among piles of spilled salt.  No one died.

Many tall buildings do not have floors numbered '13'.  It's not like the builders were counting and said, "Who put this 13th floor in? Don't they teach you anything in school?"
"We can work through this.  Let's just pretend this floor never happened and work on 14!"
Many airlines have no 13th row; some airports have no 13th gate; their is no F-13 aircraft.  The manufacter made a F-12 and skipped right to F-14.

What about Friday the 13th? Who made that up? Was it an anniversary gone bad? 
"Honey, you know what today is don't you?" 
"Friday the 13th?" comes the reply from behind the paper.
"It's our 1 month no-throwing-dirty-diapers-at-each-other anniversary! How could you forget!" 
The man ducks as a dirty diaper splats against the wall behind him. (Based on a true story)

There is a Friday the 13th phobia.  I'm not lying. It's paraskavedekatriaphobia. Try saying that word three times. It is esteemated that $800-900 million in business is lost on this day because people refuse to go to work, fly or even get out of bed!

I think the number 13 can also be good. We had 13 stripes on the flag representing 13 colonies. Jesus plus his 12 disciples make 13.  I was proposed to on Friday the 13th and married on the 13th (Thursday). Our anniversary occasionly falls on Friday the 13th. 
Can you think of other good 13s?
In our home the rite of passage to 13 years-old happened not once but TWICE this week.  Meg and Ren had their 13th birthdays this year on seperate days. We have triple chocolate cake, pumpkin pie and an ice cream cake at our house 
(our 8yr old turned 9 a few days ago). Meg and Ren have invited 13 friends to their birthday party.  They got 13 presents between the two of them.  It takes them 13 minutes to get out of school and to the carpool.  I have to ask 13 times before they do their chores.

Are these good omens or just unlucky? This 13th year will tell.  There will be some good and not so good mingled together in 2009 but if the first 13 years of Meg and Ren's lives are any indication of what will come, the good will outweigh everything else. 

It took 7 not 13 years of anxiously praying and waiting before they were born into our family. My belly was probably 13 times bigger than it should have been! Ren waited 75 minutes after Meg was born before making his appearance (hence, born on different days)( I wish it had been 13 seconds or even 13 miuntes!).
But those two coming into my life have blessed me 13x13x13xinfinity. I truly love them with all the motherly love I have to give and beyond.  I have no way to pay a loving Heavenly Father back for the blessings He has giving me.
I think I will try and hug my children 13 times today.

Thursday, January 22, 2009 | By: Taffy

Tagged

Tristi tagged me to find the 6th photo in my 6th folder.  Let's see what it is:

While at our a family reunion my daughter took pictures of little butterflies. 
Now I tag you, dear blog reader.  What will you find? 
Wednesday, January 21, 2009 | By: Taffy

Writing (not writing) update

This year I made a few goals in regards to writing.  I went to the local library, plugged in my laptop and turned on my iPod.  I had decided my goal for January would be to finish tweaking my LDS YA story. I was excited as I had edited a major character and was going to move things around in the story. I hoped it would give my main characters a chance to prove they could change. 
I opened documents and looked at the various drafts of this story.  I could not find the one I had started revising in December.  I was getting really frustrated!  I spent or wasted a good 30 minutes of writing time searching for a document that wasn't there.  

The light finally grew bright as I realized I had the oppurtuntiy to try this story from a different angle.  Yes, it would take more writing time, but the story would be clearer. I took a deep, happy breath and plunged in. I was on my way! I patted my laptop with affection. 
From my last post you can see my writing BFF is sick. I have become so attached to my WBFF I haven't written for a few weeks now.  Luckily, I did save my last draft to my jump drive!!
So now I am practicing short stories and articles until I can figure out how to get data off  WBFF or get her fixed.

UPDATE
Now I am posting short stories/articles around the web.  I've been going through Triond thus far and having fun!  I have been enjoying this type of writing though it is NOT easy. I have put the links on the side of this blog.
This afternoon/evening I am going to sit my rump down at my PC and work on my book. 
Monday, January 19, 2009 | By: Taffy

Quotable Monday

"When we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics. will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, 'Free at Last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!'"

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009 | By: Taffy

Crash of '09

A few rules about computer usage from the local junior high that we should incorporate into our own personal lives:
  1. Do not move the computer until you have completely shutdown Windows and powered the computer off. (Makes sense)

  2. Do not write or draw on the laptop screen, even with a finger or an eraser. (Again, makes sense. But not to toddlers.)

  3. No game playing unless authorized! (get your writing done first!)

  4. Handle the laptop like a baby. Carry with two hands at all times. (so carrying the laptop under my arm like books is a no-no? I'll do better!)

  5. And lastly! Do not wear a robe while transporting the laptop to another room!

A look at my laptop screen will let you know how important rule#5 is:


Book Review




My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison

Have you ever been dumped by your boyfriend for your sister? Have you ever made 3 bad wishes? Have you had to serve ungratious princes or nervous dwarves while trying to evade the WSM (wicked stepmother)?

Then run, don't walk to your nearest bookstore/library and take home My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison. This book will speak to you! Our troubled heroine is not having a good month either. After her boyfriend dumps her for her older sister, Savannah wants to find a prince. Heard the adage, "be careful what you wish for?" Savannah has lived this saying thanks to her 'fair' godmother, Chrissy, who is doing 'fair' on her godmother test. She sends Savannah to the Middle ages to find her prince. Only now she is dirty, bullied and has no running water. Oh, and the prince isn't charming.

After Savannah finally pulls her fair godmother away from shopping, Chrissy sends her to a different house in the Middle Ages. This one full of dwarfs who think she is two berries short of a pie. And the WSM is trying to give her a poison apple.

Finally making back to her own time zone, Savannah realizes she has to go back to the Middle Ages to save a prince-in-training. But this time she is prepared and packs shampoo and soap!
There are a few lessons Savannah learns from her misguided godmother: beauty is only skin deep and she, Savannah, really is smart.

But what happens to the dragon, cyclops, the WSM and the Dark Knight?
Well, they all live happily ever after!
You didn't honestly think I would tell you the ending?
Monday, January 12, 2009 | By: Taffy

Quotable Monday

"Far better it is to dare might things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure. Than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
Theodore Roosevelt
Tuesday, January 6, 2009 | By: Taffy

Book Review


Arabella by Georgette Heyer

When the librarian handed me a worn, red book with no dust jacket, I smirked.  I judged the book by its lack of cover and decided I wouldn't like the story.
I am glad to say I was wrong!  

Arabella is the oldest and most beautiful daughter of a Yorkshire clergyman.  Her mama sends her to London to make a suitable match (hopefully wealthy).  On the way, Arabella's borrowed coach breaks down and she is thrust into the acquaintance of Mr. Beaumaris.  
Mr. Beaumaris is the most watched man in London.  He can set a new fashion by the way he wears his cravat.  He can also make or break any young lady in society with a nod of his head.
Arabella overhears Mr. Beaumaris (or Nonpareil, as he is known in London circles) arrogant speech of the lowly and announces she is an heiress!
Mr. Beaumaris decides Arabella will be the most sought after lady in London and what ensues between his mischievousness and her trying to hide her lack of fortune is a delightful story.
What I really liked about Arabella was how she was true to herself, whether it was taking in strays or rebuffing flirtations, she didn't let society tell her what was right or wrong.

If you like Jane Austen, I think you will enjoy this story!

Monday, January 5, 2009 | By: Taffy

Quotable Monday

For my friend, Shauna.  

Can you guess the book from the following quote??

"I am excessively diverted"
Saturday, January 3, 2009 | By: Taffy

Christmas Books I read 2008



Christmas Rose by Robyn Buttars 3 stars

The Miracle of the Wooden Shoes by Deborah Pace Rowley 5

Christmas Every Day by Willeam Dean Howells 3

Christmas Oranges Retold by Linda Bethers 5

Mr. Finnegan's Giving Chest by Dan Farr 4

The Bridge by Larry Barkdull 4

What Santa Can't Do by Douglas Wood 4

The Christmas Conversation Piece by Bret Nicholaus 5 (We read questions every night at dinner from the book.)

Santa's Stuck by Rhonda Gowler Greene 4

A Merry Little Christmas Winning stories from Covenant's contest 1996 2

Queen of Christmas by Mary Engelbreit 4

Dumby's Happy Holiday by Julie Andrews Edwards 3

An Angel's Promise by Donald P. Mangum & Brenton G. Yorgason 2

The Christmas Letters by Lee Smith 2



'Christmas Sweater', 'Santa's Secret', and 'Brown Bag Christmas' are still on my list to read.