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Passing on the love of books

My mother was an avid reader and she passed that on to us girls. We made many trips to the library, my favourite place, and we were always gifted books and allowed to buy them as treats. I fondly remember weekends, reading with my mom in her big bed, followed by a nap. My dad always had some raggedy paperback on the side table and he loved to leisurely read the paper over coffee.

Books became my salvation and for a shy girl they were my friend on the lonely playground. I bonded with other shy girls over books and they added to my conversations with cousins I visited occasionally. As a teen, the guys in the library, not the sports field, seemed more intriguing.

I passed the love of reading to my son and our first day home from the hospital ended with me reading to my swaddled baby from the stacks of picture books I filled his nursery with. As he grew his little hands would help me to open the flaps on his favourite pop up book. We bonded over the Harry Potter series and many vacations were spent listening to these treasured gems on the car CD.

The night we lined up at our local bookstore waiting for the clock to strike midnight so we could buy two copies of the latest release was so memorable. We decided to race each other to see who would finish first, and he cheated by starting while I had to drive home. We snuggled in his bed and read half the night away, though I caught up once he finally fell asleep.

He still loves to read and now takes many of the underprivileged kids he works with to the library as an outing. Momma is proud. As his wedding approaches, and perhaps grand babies are next, I have started to buy picture books………

OPEN SUBMISSIONS: The Sirens Call – issue 46 ‘Summer Nightscares’ | #Horror #OpenCall #ReprintsWelcome #fiction @Sirens_Call

If you have never read or submitted to Sirens Call-check them out….

The Sirens Song

eZine_Submission_Image

For the forty-sixth issue of The Sirens Call eZine, we’re looking for works of horror and dark fiction.

We’ll be accepting short stories, flash fiction, drabbles, and poetry provided they fit within the horror/dark fiction genre. We welcome reprints as long as you hold the copyright to the piece.

Your piece can be scary, sullen, emotive, freaky, elegant, bizarre, have a dark-humor edge to it, or be flat out creepy as hell!

The basic rules:

  • Write the piece well.
  • The piece must be primarily horror/dark fiction.
  • Don’t break our set-in-stone taboos – NO pedophilia, NO bestiality, and NO descriptive rape scenarios.

We’d like to mix it up and have some pieces that speak to the title, and some that are just damned good dark writing, so be creative, be bold, show us what you’ve got, and if it fits our criteria, we’ll offer it up to our readership of about…

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Reflections- spark required

It has been a really long time since I wrote anything, even my reading has been sporadic. Yard work, prepping for a party and obsession with home decorating shows Igot in the way. This makes me respect those writers that stay focused and keep pumping out work.

But I feel the spark returning, the reading bug has returned, and what better spot than the new deck on my ‘shed shed’.

Book Review-Feta and the Fat Bastard

Author: Judy Volhart

Genre: cozy mystery

Publisher: Open Books

Stars: 4

Blurb: Millionaire Milton is about as pleasant as a moldy block of feta, but when his juicy young wife drops dead at the Whine & Cheese Bistro, Amalia finds herself back in the thick of things. Matters are further complicated by one very handsome paramedic. Will Amalia have a new love interest? And why is Nora back with the acidic Mr. Leonardo, Amalia’s arch enemy. Drugs, mafia, escort agencies and a brown and yellow Mr. Kis as Amalia’s unexpected sidekick?! She’s “grateful” for his help, but things are getting “whey” too strange.  As the sleuthing continues, Amalia finds herself in a poisonous setting, and wonders if the wrong person was killed. Will this unlikely duo get stomped on like a bunch of grapes, or flourish like a fine wine?

Review: I really enjoyed this book, it was fast paced with quirky characters and a fun and intriguing plot. This is the third book in the series, but it can be read as a stand-alone. There was a bit of everything, romance, family dynamics, a strong female lead, A hard to solve mystery, pets and of course food, all set in a bistro.

Amalia is a fun character and I loved how the author portrayed her flaws and strength and the struggles of balancing a business and love life. The motley crew that work at her bistro are a lot of fun and I laughed out loud in the scenes involving her parents.

I will definitely be reading the other 2 books that preceded this one and can’t wait for the fourth!

Reflection- slow and steady…like snail pace

The writing process has been slow lately. Work has been so draining that most evenings and weekends find me a zombie on the couch. My geriatric cat and dog like it, as they have a snuggle partner and their snores signal an early bedtime.

I try to fit in some writing at lunch but the spring weather calls me and a walk seems more alluring. I still manage to sneak in a few lines here and there, and the ideas are coming, just not the will to put them to paper.

I find inspiration hearing how others keep plugging along, often with more obstacles. Okay, time to end the blog and get to some editing for a shorty story due in 3 days……

Book Review-The Autobiography of Satan (Authorized Edition)

I was not sure what to expect from this book by William A Glasser but I really enjoyed it. I would call it a mash-up of fiction, philosophy and fantasy, with a great and thoughtful ending. ****

Publisher: Published February 21st 2017 by Open Books

Author: William A. Glasser

Pages: 167

Blurb: From the moment of his first emergence as a single spark in the dimness of prehistory, to the more enlightening force into which he evolves across the full span of human existence, Satan, as he now clearly illustrates, has been urging human beings to open their eyes to the world around them, and to continue seeking, with unfettered minds, for ultimate answers, yet to be found. To do so he must struggle against the persistent attempts to stifle that urge by the “spoon feeders,” as he calls them, individuals who have insisted, within every age, and often with a bloody fist, that they, and they alone, are the possessors of the only beliefs that every human being should accept and live by, without question. As Satan traces the history of their many attempts to stop human beings from thinking for themselves, he also takes his readers on a search for the ultimate source of all evil in this world. Readers will obviously enter the book with the standard concept of Satan as a supernatural figure of evil. They will leave the book, however, with a better understanding of how such mind-twisting concepts have been used to keep people away from the “forbidden” knowledge that lies beyond the borders of entrenched beliefs.

My thoughts: The retelling of history from the perspective of Satan was unique, and the way that the author broke it up by explaining things to the scribe was fun and instructive. Not being a person well immersed in  religion, I cannot say how accurate some of the timelines were, but I do not think that was the point. I enjoyed the premise that knowledge is a threat to those in power. As you follow the tale you will often pause to reflect on some of the statements, and imagine how people of that time period may have viewed events. The surprise ending will also make you realize how much perspective matters. I would recommend this book.

Weekly reflections-writing is hard

I am finding it hard to stay motivated. I have ideas but they seem to fall flat. When something is published, like my Drabble in Trembling With Fear, or my short story in Sirens Call, I am thrilled, but the excitement dwindles. It is disheartening when a story is rejected, makes you want to give up. The same goes for Twitter pitches, not sure if they are my thing…..

I think it is because I am treating writing like a job, in my quest for publications, I am chasing deadlines and venues, rather than chasing the story. Keeping lists and spreadsheets feels a bit too much like my real job. I write for fun and to release stress, not add to it.

I am also eager to review books, but am behind, and sometimes feel pressure to put together the review, versus enjoying the book. I admire those voracious reviewers with wonderful branding and imagery, one day…..

For now, I resolve to do write and read for fun, joy and if something becomes of it, perfect, if not, that is okay.

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