Exploding Out of Me

Have you ever started reading something that just hit you with a force like a hurricane and

Cover of "Sailing Alone Around the Room: ...

Cover via Amazon

made you want to laugh, cry, sing, dance and hide in a corner, all in one moment? I’m finding that poetry, certain poetry, just hits me like that and I am slammed face first into this marvelous feeling that I want to shout out to the world, but keep quietly bottled up inside, a geyser that’s just hidden under the surface. I’d say what really started me on this journey of explosion was when I read Billy CollinsTuesday June 4, 1991.  This poem is so perfect in its artistry that you finish feeling amazed and flabbergasted and staring at the page like you just opened Ali Baba’s cave.  Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but I feel like my eyes have been opened to a type of poetry that just sings to me.

I’ve been reading over and over, four more of Billy Collins’ books, Ballistics, Horoscopes for the Dead, The Trouble With Poetry and Other Poems, and I returned Aimless Love and Sailing Alone Around the Room. I keep reading them and I keep sighing with understanding and longing. Because the poems make me long for something. I want to desperately share these with someone. Read them outloud in the summer as we lie on the grass in dappled sunlight.

Along with Billy Collins, I have been reading a book of Erotic Poetry by the Everyman’s Pocket Poets.  And don’t think dirty poems. This deals with Eros and love and desire, hate, anguish and reverence for the body.

These poems, selected from most of the cultures and histories of world literature, provide magnificent witness to the fact that love is as much an act of the imagination as it is of the body. From fourth-century Li Ch’ung’s “Parody of a Lover” to John Betmeman’s “Late-Flowering Lust,” they re-create, through the revelations of language, that experience of the erotic. Other poets include Theodore Roethke, Robert Graves, Octavio Paz, Joseph Brodsky, Sylvia Plath, Frederico Garcia Lorca, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and many others.

The poetry is marvelous and sensual and beautiful. It makes you stop and ponder and go, ‘Oh wow’. Or that’s what I do. I’m just stupefied and in awe when I finish one. You would think I’ve never read poetry. But it’s magical and amazing.

What got me started reading the erotic poetry was by reading Last Gods  by Galway Kinnell.  this is some seriously beautiful and sensual work. I suggest if you are interested in gorgeous poetry to try this one. It is magical and takes you to the heart of Eros. It makes you blush, but in a very good way. A private look at a man and woman and it’s beautiful.

This kind of poetry is much more modern than what I’ve grown up reading. Though, that being said, most of what is in the Erotic Poetry is pre 1900’s.  So, I suppose I’ve been reading the wrong things.  I’ve always been a fan of Emily Dickinson, though half the time I don’t know what she is saying. It’s the magic of it all that gets me.

Well the magic of these poets has me enthralled, craving more and wanting to scream it out to anyone who will listen.

Has anyone else read something that changed their life? Made them want to dance and sing and weep and hide? Has poetry changed your life in ways you never knew possible?

 

Signing off

Kate

Fifty Five Things You Might Not Want To Know About My Book Tastes

mountains to climb

mountains to climb (Photo credit: atlases)

I started off this morning reading John’s posts on this questionnaire about ones reading tastes. I liked the questions enough to answer them all in one post; I’m not so snobbish to say you can’t read them all at once, and personally, I think my responses will be just a tad less snarky than John’s. Sorry John, but you have snarky answers. He got it from Tara Therese who got it from another blogger… moving on. If you go to do it yourself, watch out for questions 33,34, and 40 on other people’s lists. They are missing. I’ve added in the ones John put back since I figured he had found the original source. Enjoy!

1. Favorite childhood book?
Honestly, I’m having a hard time coming up with the answer to this because I loved so many. Little House in the Big Woods and the rest of the series by Laura Ingalls Wilder is my first thought. That one book in particular I loved to read over and over. Anything by Elizabeth Enright or Edward Eager. Both big favorites with me.

2. What are you reading right now? Indemnity Only, Erotic Poetry, Ballistics  by Billy Collins,

3. What books do you have on request at the library? Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare, Becoming Jane Austen by Jon Spence (though it’s been on hold for almost a year. I think it’s lost) and a couple DVD’s. I had more but I’ve got them all checked out right now!

4. Bad book habit?
I collect too many books I never get around to reading, I read way to late at night, I read when I should be working, I check out more books than I can read at one time…. The list goes on

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?
Right now It’s only 15 items, though I can get 20 which I usually do. And Two are dvd’s I won’t list. : The day of the jackal / Forsyth, Frederick,
Horoscopes for the dead : Collins, Billy.
Ballistics : Collins, Billy.
The trouble with poetry and other poems / Collins, Billy.
Indemnity only : Paretsky, Sara.
City of bones Clare, Cassandra.
In the green kitchen : Waters, Alice.
Living in the raw desserts / Calabro, Rose Lee.
Ani’s raw food desserts : Phyo, Ani.
Butterflies through binoculars : Glassberg, Jeffrey.
Do or die : Brockmann, Suzanne,
City of ashes Clare, Cassandra.
You can’t take a balloon into the National Gallery / Weitzman, Jacqueline Preiss

6. Do you have an e-reader?
No, but I wouldn’t mind a Kindle paperwhite for reading poetry and obscure things I can’t find but online.

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once? Never just one. Several. See my #5 question. Plus the several I own.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
I read more books for reviewing, because I review, and I read less because I don’t have as much time.

9. Least favourite book you read this year (so far)?
Uhhhhhh….. Hmmm Probably a christian book for review. It was cheesy and choppy.

10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?
Anything and everything by poet Billy Collins. I’m seriously addicted

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
Probably only once or twice a year. I’m reading a mystery, which is not comfort zone, and I’m loving it. But I stick with what is comfortable most of the time. Depends on what my library has in stock.

12. What is your reading comfort zone?
Romance. Cheesy Harlequin, older classic romance, chick lit that’s really romancey and sexy, classic romance.  Classics, IE Jane Austen. Poetry, cookbooks, books on writing. Gardening…..DIY

13. Can you read in the car?
NO! I get so motion sick it’s pitiful. I should try audio books. I can read on a plane though, once through takeoff.

14. Favorite place to read?
In bed. By the kitchen baseboard heater where my chair at the table is. Outside in the summer on one of our benches, or the couch on the front porch. Or if I’m really lucky, hiding somewhere under the pines in our yard.

15. What is your policy on book lending?
I’ve not had the best luck loaning out books. Now, if it’s a paperback, not a huge deal. Hardback, only if I know you really, really, really well, or if I’m not terribly worried how the books comes back to me. But mostly no. I do not loan out books. It’s too risky.

16. Do you ever dog-ear books?
Lord no!

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
If I own it, and there is a word I don’t ever remember, I use a pencil to lightly write in the meaning in the margins. Every once in a tiny while I will add notes. Again, with a pencil. but only my own.

18. Not even with text books?
Uh, don’t use text books anymore, and that’s what scratch paper is for

19. What is your favorite language to read in?
I’m only fluent in English.

20. What makes you love a book?
Uh, I have to just like it. How do you explain loving a Jane Austen, then a trashy romance? Or a really cool mystery then a cookbook? Lots of factors.

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
If it’s something that I think fits the person I’m wanting to recommend the book to. I don’t just automatically recommend any book. If I know someone who likes poetry, then I’ll mention it. A good cookbook? Then it has to be something I know the person will use. I take personality into context.

22. Favorite genre?
Historical romance fiction

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did)?
Mysteries, IE, Patterson, Connelly, (the Castle book in my stack) and fantasy. I’ve heard a lot of good things out there, but don’t want to take the time to try.

25. Have you ever read a self-help book?
All the time. I love these kinds of books

26. Favourite cookbook?
Barefoot Contessa in Paris by Ina Garten. Or anything from the Barefoot Contessa, Giada Delaurentis.

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?
I started reading the Forgotten Man, but have yet to finish it, but really, really good.

28. Favorite reading snack?
Coffee or Tea, but they always get cold!

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
I rarely follow hype.

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
I don’t read a lot of critiques so I can’t say.

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
It depends on how the book was laid out and whether or not it will be a good book for someone else to read. I hate to give them, but this is reality. Not always is every book a decent book.

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?
French, Gaelic, Hebrew, Italian, GREEK!

33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read
Hmm, maybe The Three Musketeers because I was 15, and it took me three weeks. But after trying that book, loving it and wanting more, I’ve really stepped up my game and try everything usually.

34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin
A couple of the classics that I’m blanking on that I’ve just not wanted to tackle quite yet due to how big they are.

35. Favorite Poet?
Emily Dickenson, but now I’m a HUGE Billy Collins fan.

36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?
20 easily, not counting all the books I purchase for 25 cents from the Friends of the Library.

37. How often have you returned books to the library unread?
All the time. I rarely finish a book these days, and DIY books you never read cover to cover. Half the time the books are for research for my writing.

38. Favorite fictional character?
Hermione Granger, Anne Elliot (Persuasion), Captain Wentworth (same), Mr. Darcy, Emma Woodhouse, Bella Swan(Twilight, I’m a girl and I can relate to clumsiness), Jameson Rook (Castle mysteries) Oh, Mr. Knightely

39. Favourite fictional villain?
George Wickham, Draco Malfoy, and probably others, but rarely contemplate.

40. Books you’re most likely to bring on holiday
Something that won’t get damaged or if I lose it, not the end of the world, but probably an Emilie Loring or Cecelia and the Chocolate Pot By Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer. I love that book and it’s long enough to hold my interest for a few days. I don’t go on vacation so….

41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.
A couple of days.

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.
Couldn’t finish The Count of Monte Cristo, yet. Would not finish a really bad Luanne Rice book recently. At least I think it was hers. Audio book. So stupid.

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
People that interrupt me and the news.

44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (probably a first where I like both book and film) and Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley. The Breaking Dawn. Harry Potter and the Sorcerers stone.

45. Most disappointing film adaptation?
Ella Enchanted. Oh they ruined it!

46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
About $35 and I can still remember when I did it and how many things I got.

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
Library books often get me skimming it.

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?
if it’s boring as heck too much swearing, really idiotic plot, or I just don’t have the time and it’s not enjoyable enough for me to pick it up again

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?
To some extent though not as much as I’d like. I have my nonfiction separated, my to read pile, my maybe pile, my favorites shelf, my new favorites shelf, my foreign language dictionaries shelf, my paperback romances shelf… I could go on…

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
Depends. I usually only get books I’m probably going to like, or if they are inexpensive from the used books at the library, return them for another. I tend to hoard books… even when I shouldn’t.

51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?
The Hunger Games, no desire to read it.

52. Name a book that made you angry.
I can’t think of a book that made me this way. I’d probably put it down and not finish it if it did.

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
Sundays at Tiffany’s by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet. It was a James Patterson so I thought it couldn’t be that good. Also What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones. The book is written entirely in verse. So so good.

54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?
Sense and Sensibility. I still have not gotten through that book!

55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
Ah, any of my Emilie Loring romances and I love to read when no one is up, though that doesn’t happen much because I’m usually the last one up!

 

Whew! so now you know more than you cared, right? But fun to do. I have been a bit behind in writing posts due to being tired, time constraints, getting a cold or something illness, working on the farm. Farm life does not lend itself to writing life. So hopefully some new content next week!

Signing off

Kate

The Loving Kitchen – A Review

_225_350_Book.1238.cover

The Loving Kitchen Downright Delicious Southern Recipes to Share with Family, Friends, and Neighbors  By LeAnn Rice…… David Venable, come on down, you’d love this book! Hearty, healthy cooking with a touch of southern love, LeAnn Rice’s book is a joy to read and drool over.  Seven chapters of food groups: breakfast, sandwiches, salads, desserts….etc. and all with clear and concise recipes. Charming with marvelous pictures, this is definitely a nice book to have on the shelf. I really enjoy how there is healthy and decadent recipes, like Almond Coconut Granola and Baked Oatmeal then it goes to Peanut Butter and Jelly French toast and Sugared Bacon (how can you go wrong with that?!!!) Or Brown Rice Pilaf trading into Cheesy Corn Pudding, with cream cheese, mind you. Cream cheese just happens to be LeAnn’s favorite thing. Things that just make you go Oooh and Ahhh. Then, more please.

I can honestly say that I LOVE this book and when I say it is David Venable good, I mean, ‘Happy Dance, Happy Dance’ David.  The food is rich and heart, sweet, savory and healthy. I want to eat everything and then some.  On a side note, this book is not for diabetics or gluten free fans.  Far from it actually when LeAnn’s favorite ingredient is cream cheese! But, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a fun book to look at. I love cookbooks that you can just sit down and read like any other book, and this one is exactly like that. I love too that LeAnn is a west coaster that moved south, so she still does things like us Westerners do.  The pictures are marvelous and the feel of the book is homey but so nice. I want to cook everything in this book, and probably will over time. I think it would be a marvelous edition to any kitchen. But that’s just my two cents.

Signing off

Kate

Book Post

There is nothing more fun than getting a book in the mail.  Or at least for me there isn’t.  And this isn’t to mock the lovely letters I get from my friend, but oh books…

savage beautyToday was Savage Beauty by Nancy Milford.  I’d been reading the large type hardback from the library for over six weeks when this finally popped up into my bookmooch account. I had to have it. And now I have a slimmer paperback. Yes!

And later this week or this month I am getting a new bible to review. Very cool.  And I have to finish a review to order a new book…. Books, books books. Oh how I love books.

 

Signing off

Kate

The Nesting Place – A Review

The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful By Myquillyn Smith.  Have you ever wanted to put your stamp on a home? Wanted it to be ‘yours’ entirely, but just didn’t know how to go about getting there? Well then, this just might be the book for you. With insightful ideas about how to avoid ‘help’ from everyone out there and knowing what you like to just tackling some of the basics, Myquillyn Smith gently guides you through the ups and downs of designing your own home without having it be that show home that you are afraid to sit down on the sofas.  With elegant images and a very beachy glamor vibe, you feel like you are getting advice from a best friend.  Simple and charming to look at, this book is also packed with valuable information on what to do.

My opinion? It is a very nice book, though I happen to not be a huge fan of all the grays and more neutral colors. I like the bio Myquillyn writes about trying to find her perfect home despite having some upheavals that made the perfect home a bit further out than she thought. Yes, we’ve all been there where we want the perfect home and we want it right now. Sometimes it takes time and patience. (my parents still don’t have even close to their dream home) She has some really simple, cute, smart, classy, and just downright cool ideas for perking up a home and putting your stamp on it and I am a big fan of things like that. The ‘oh let’s look at Pinterest for ideas’ feel.

To be honest, I’ve not finished the book entirely, but it’s one that I will refer back to when I need to work on trying desperately to make my space my own. Now if only I could just declutter.

This book was provided to me free of charge by Thomas Nelson and BookLookBloggers for my honest opinion and review.

Signing off

Kate

Panini Press – Flash Fiction

“I feel like a I’m in a panini press,” she said as she slumped into the ironwork chair at the local brewery.

“How so?” her friend asked and twirled his finger to catch the waitresses attention.

“The sun above, baking. The asphalt below burning. I’m the sandwich bread and my insides are turning gooey, but not in a good way.”

He laughed. “What you need is a beer.  Sandra, we’ll take a round of the IPA and bring out some of the double fudge ice cream,” he ordered.

“You think that’ll help?” she asked as the waitress walked away.

“Babe, beer and ice cream always help.”

 

So, it’s one of those California bake everything in sight days. 102F on the thermometer. YUCK is all I can say. I was writing a bit of poetry and the idea of being in a panini press made me laugh. Except for the fact that my shoulders are burnt. Bleh.

Signing off

Kate

Listen To This – Flash Fiction

“Here, listen to this,” I say, hearing the silent groans, which I ignore, opening my book, a well worn copy of poetry by a poet laureate, circa 2001.

I have taken to quoting bits of poetry I find hilarious, and while I can sense the lack of interest or understanding, it never stops me from trying. Maybe I have been reading it out loud too often, but I I have to inform people how brilliant this poet is. I mean, who do you know that writes poetry that 1. you actually understand, and 2. makes perfect sense because you relate to it completely?

I finish reading and look up to bored faces. I sigh and close the book. People just don’t get me.

 

Cover of "Sailing Alone Around the Room: ...

Cover via Amazon

I have taken to reading Billy Collins‘s  Sailing Alone Around The Room to anyone who will listen. I rather like his wry take on life and I feel that people, IE my family, need to hear how wonderful he is. I’m sure my family is already quite bored and I’ve only read off bits and pieces of two poems. Sigh.

Signing off

Kate.

My Sister Get’s Austen

My sister, whom I may have mentioned from time to time here, was born with Down Syndrome. She’s a year older than I am, but about 10 inches shorter and a much more simple mind. We fight, we don’t get along, we are best friends, she’s kept me young, I’ve made her old, we didn’t pick each other, we want each other’s space, we want each other to move out, it’s complicated, we are sisters. Oh and she’s a year older than I am, but about fifteen years younger in mental capacity. So sometimes I don’t always give her credit.

Cover of "Sense & Sensibility (Special Ed...

Cover of Sense & Sensibility (Special Edition)

Yesterday, she delighted the heck out of me.  Wednesday is Her movie day. We do not miss it, and if we do, it ends up on Thursday. Well, this week she decided she was going to watch Sense and Sensibility for the first time.  The really good one with Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman…… (pardon while I drool)  The reason she chose this was because of the Jane Austen set of books I brought home last week. See here. She saw the covers and loved them, and said she had to read one. She picked Sense and Sensibility to read first. (I’m thinking to myself, okay, right, she is going to read a book I can’t understand half the time, but fine, whatever.)

Then she decided she needed to see the movie first. Personally I thought this wise, because hey, then you have a basis and well, I’m sorry but Jane did not describe her characters quite like we see them in the movie. Thank god for Alan Rickman… and Hugh Grant….

So she’s watching the movie and I ask her how it’s going.

“I love Willoughby,” she gushes. “He’s so cute!”

I just nod my head and inwardly laugh, hoping she will get what’s going to come.

Greg Wise as Willoughby

Then I come in and ask her again, about two thirds of the way through.

“Do you still like Willoughby?” I ask

“NO!” she says, emphatically. “I don’t like him at all! He’s not nice. I like Colonel Brandon.”

“So do I,” I grin. How does this girl, who doesn’t get the plot of a lot of things, read through all the mess of Jane Austen and figure this out? But clearly, she has it down. Especially when the film ends she comes to me and says, ” I love Colonel Brandon. He’s so handsome. If I could pick any man, I would want him.”

Sigh. Oh she is so right. (this might because she love’s Alan Rickman in general [she loves Prof. Snape] but still) Though she hasn’t seen Persuasion. (Wentworth) Or Emma. (Knightley) And I don’t think she’s paid that much attention to Mr. Darcy. Just wait till I show her those.

So, tell me then. Why don’t men get Jane Austen? If my sister can get why we all love Jane Austen, why can’t a man get it?

Men! I ask you this. What don’t you get about women loving Jane Austen? Or have you read something of hers? Or do you disagree and actually like Jane Austen? I want to know what you think.

Signing off

Kate

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Book Excitement

It’s not often I come home from a jaunt into town super excited about a book or books. Yeah, I go to the library every week, and by every, I mean EVERY week, and sometimes even more.  The last time I think I got excited was several months ago when I found The Tale of Gengi and The Tale of Murasaki by Liza Dalby, author of East Wind Melts the Ice. I love Liza Dalby’s East Wind book and in it she mentioned both of the aforementioned books.  That was a really exciting day because I have been wanting to read both of those books quite a lot.

Well, I think today topped the list of exciting days. (gifts of books don’t count)

I walked into my second hand store for cardstock and a pair of jeans, and instead, I walked out with a set of Jane Austen books sans P&P.  (I can handle the lack of P&P because my father has a super fancy copy that is now ‘mine’)  And here they are.Jane AustenJane StackPretty, pretty books.  Now which one to read first!  I think I’ll start with Emma because that’s been one I’ve wanted to read for ages.

So, one of the best book shopping days ever!

Signing off

Katie

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Should I or Not? — Flash Fiction

Have you ever wanted to kiss someone that you really didn’t want to date? Someone that who is not in your league or inappropriate? Someone that you’ve watched for years and just sort of wondered what it would be like to kiss them? I have. For years I’ve watched Jace as he’s flirted with me despite my less than enthusiastic response; watched him as he worked; watched him as he dated woman after woman, slightly jealous of those women, but not really wanting to date Jace himself. But, oh! There is part of me that really want’s to know what his kisses taste like.

I’ve kissed several men in my life. Boyfriends, whom all I could say did not know how to kiss, and a couple spur of the moment times where the kiss was good, I liked the guy, but it never went anywhere. But there are a couple men I’ve fantasized about just sampling a kiss.

Jace has probably been the one that sticks in my mind, and it’s there right now as I watch him walk across the street to get into his truck. He’s been logging so he’s covered in dust and dirt and probably sawdust. I’m sure he smells like chainsaw oil or gas and that all guy smell of work.  You know: sweat.  But here I sit wondering like I have for quite a while, what it would be like to have him wrap his long arms around me, tip me back and kiss me.  One of those romance fantasies, you know?

The wishing has gotten out of hand. I’ve been dreaming about him as well.  Long vivid dreams where it’s just us. Where I finally relent and decide we should be a couple. Where he wears me down with flirting and teasing and kissing.  Because, oh yes, there is always kissing involved. Clearly I have an over active imagination because those dreams are vivid. I wake up befuddled and practically giddy, reveling in really good kissing. I flush when I think about how unashamedly bold I am and half the time I remember I initiate the kisses.

What is wrong with me? Should I just walk up to Jace one day and grab him around the back of the neck and pull him down for a kiss? I know it would surprise the heck out of him. I mean, I have turned him down every single time. And I don’t want to date him. I don’t. You believe me, right? Consequences. There are always consequences for impulsively jumping in to something so intimate as a kiss.

My coffee’s cold, and Jace has driven off. Well, there’s always tonight for another dream……

 

 

Isn’t it funny how real life is what makes fiction come alive? Or it is what makes stories to write about. Or it makes you wake up wondering about a dream you had.

Semi autobiographical, I hope you enjoy this nameless girl’s musing about a guy named Jace….. who is very similar to someone I know, and well, let’s leave it at that.

Writing on

~Kate

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