Saturday Inspirations – Landscape Edition

Just like last week, here are some inspirational pictures that I want to either use for writing, visit, or just start a piece of fiction about them. Landscapes are more crucial than you realize for writing because they help set the scene sometimes.  For instance, I have one novel that is in the embryonic stage but it takes place in Ashland, Oregon, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF for true fans).  If I had never been to Ashland, it would be mighty hard to write about it.  But I like to also have images to reference the place.  Maybe not my own, but some of the hotel and other sites.

I love mountain and water pictures. Open roads in the mountains…. the John Denver and James Taylor songs that make you feel moments of those roads.  Lots of things make me want to escape into them, but landscapes are one of the biggest things.

So enjoy.

Signing off
Kate

Outside the Box of Reading

10520846_780916705308107_765205069315425455_nI’m going to make it a short post for this Friday, 10 days into my 31 Days of October challenge.  I was scrounging around for a post idea that wouldn’t take me too long, and this image popped up from my local library via Facebook.  Isn’t it great?

I tend to not read the norms of society. Sure, I delve into some popular fiction (I just posted on Divergent and Cassandra Clare), but for the most part, I tackle things that don’t make the ‘airwaves’ so to speak. I like obscure books that really have a story behind them. I want something to sink my teeth into and really remember or want to read again.  There are very few books that have made this dramatic impact on me, but their are a few I can think of in the recent years.

What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones.  This book is written entirely in verse. You think, oh I won’t like that, but it’s incredible. I own it now, and come to think of it, I should read it again.

The Secret Life of Prince Charming by Deb Caletti. While I’m not all into the women are better than men, sometimes men suck (just like sometimes women suck), but this is an amazing coming of age story about a girl returning all the things her dad has stolen from every one of his relationships with women. Important things. It’s a look at how some men can be jerks. And it’s a lot of fun.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society  by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.  Lots of people don’t really go for the slightly predictable and fluffy ending of this book, but any delightful book set in epistolary form gets to me. I love it. I wish the woman had written more than just the one book.  And that it takes place just after WWII, well, I like that time period best.

The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas.  Need I say more? It’s a classic. Maybe it’s too norm, but not too many people in my age would say they read it and liked it.

Anything Emilie Loring.  I have had several people mock my love of this author and the fact that I’ve ordered in all of them to my library so a whole shelf is devoted to her. But her books were clean, fun, and decent.  There was a mystery, usually.  The guy got the girl. The girl was spunky and someone who wanted ‘world peace’ (just kidding) she wanted to make a better life for herself. The men were dashing; air force captains, owners of mills, congressmen, lawyers, doctors, and other men that you could look to and admire. Honestly, I kind of want a man out of an Emilie Loring. They had class.

I could go on, but I said I wanted a short post!  So, do you read inside the norm or do you break from it?  What books have impacted your life that maybe no one knows about?  Yes, most of mine are fiction, but I write fiction and to write good fiction, you have to read good fiction.  There have been non fiction books that have affected me, but I won’t go into that right now.  So tell me what books you would put in this list.

Signing off

Kate

Starwood In Aspen

I’ve been on a John Denver kick the past couple of weeks. Normally, my autumn time music of choice is James Taylor, as I’ve stated in the past HERE, but for some reason John Denver has hit the spot.  The melancholy of it all hits me and I wonder how I could have ever appreciated his music at a younger age when I get it much more now than I ever did ten years ago. I guess growing older makes lyrics mean so much more.

One song that just keeps playing in my mind is Starwood in Aspen.  I was singing it the other day as I baked thinking, oh wow, wouldn’t it be great to see Starwood if it really exists.  Clearly I was forgetting the article I read a couple months ago about John Denver’s home going up on the market for only the second time since his tragic death in 1997. And yes, it is in an exclusive development called, wait for it, Starwood.

Honestly, I kind of want to own this.  I want to live in this house, and yes, part of it is because it is so John Denver, and well, it’s a gorgeous part of Colorado, a state I called home for a couple years.  But this house is excessively cool, far out, and just beautiful.  (at least from the images it appears this way)

I would like Boris to buy this house for me. Darling man, you can, can’t you? It would be the perfect place for me to write.  And hey, you could come visit.  I could invite all kinds of people to visit.  And it’s in Aspen……

Take a look at the official real estate pictures below. I mean, come on. This is just perfect.

It’s a long way from L.A. to Denver
It’s a long time to hang in the sky
It’s a long way home to Starwood in Aspen
A sweet Rocky Mountain paradise
Oh, my sweet Rocky Mountain paradise
Signing off
Kate

My Current Obsessions

Right at the moment I have several obsessions, but I won’t list all of those!  No, one of my obsessions is youtube DIY beauty videos.  Not how to wear makeup, but how to make beauty things.  Crayon lipstick, temporary tattoos, homemade  shaving cream, lotion bars, lip balms, dry shampoo, essential oil reed diffusers… the list goes on.

One of my favorite DIY videos is how to do pin curls.

And

So much fun!

And don’t get me started on Ms. Toi and Robert Mahar’s videos.

I find them relaxing, informative, and fun. Check them out if you are interested.

And tell me, what diy videos do you like?

Signing off

Kate

The Southern Foodie’s Guide to the Pig – A Review

_240_360_Book.1329.coverSend in the pig! The Southern Foodie’s Guide to the Pig by Chris Chamberlain is a marvelous guide on how to prepare pork , restaurant guide and cookbook.  Cook it, roast it, fry it, smoke it, bake with it, sweets with it; there are millions of ways to use pork and he first part of the book covers the history of Oink (i.e. the pig) how it came to be so popular and how it is properly prepared. From smoking, roasting, and frying, there are directions on whole roasted pig down to the spice rubs and marinades.  The second part of the book covers restaurants  in the south that are famous for unique and delicious ways of serving pork. And the third part of the book are recipes from the restaurants showcased in the second part of the book.  The information is quite vast and the recipes look so delightful with marvelous color pictures. Chris Chamberlain is  known for his other book The Southern Foodie: 100 Places to Eat in the South, and while I’ve not read that particular book, I’m betting this new book is a companion to his first book. This book is meant to be tossed in the glove compartment for restaurant suggestions or it can be in the kitchen for all the recipes.

While I probably won’t be able to get to the South anytime soon, I found this book incredibly informative and rather delightful to read.  I love having detailed guides to cooking and the history and methods of cooking pork in this book cover that quite well. The section on restaurants is so much fun to read and makes me want to visit every one of the places.  In fact I’ve asked Boris to visit one of the restaurants next time he is in Raleigh, North Carolina.  The restaurant is Halcyon, Flavors from the Earth, and I hope to be able to make a follow up review of the restaurant via Boris, at some later date.

I would give this book five stars and I have a feeling David Venable of In The Kitchen with David would approve of this book since he’s already a fan of Chris Chamberlain’s first book.  If you like the pig, then I recommend this book.

Signing off

Kate

Dystopian Vs. Dystopian

You can take your Hunger Games.  I’ll take Divergent.

So, in this past year and a half, the theme of young adult books has left the realm of vampires, thank God, and moved onto the dystopian universe thing.  The government has ended all normalcy and everyone is out to get the next. You have either the Hunger Game theme of totalitarian controlled government that has a violent Olympic battle to the death…. Quite popular amongst people that I think are a. to old to be reading it and enjoying it so much (shutup about my love of Twilight. Bella and Edward transcend all romance….) or b. too young to be reading something so violent.

Then you have the Divergent theme of government falling to war so we set up this five split set of factions where you live work and marry into.  Oh, your kids can divert from that faction but they can never see you again. The system works perfectly… except for those people that have aspects of more than one faction….

What camp am I in? I choose Divergent.  Now all those Hunger Game fans. STOP.  I’m not dissing on your love of Katniss.  Go right ahead. I view it as no different than those people that read Lord of the Rings vs. Harry Potter. (I am a strict HP fan) I think the theme of Divergent is a lot less violent.  Granted, I have not read Hunger Games, nor do I plan to. But I have seen the film, and I’ve also seen Divergent. I found Divergent a lot less violent, and just more appealing.  I like extraordinary people taking on the oppressive government system.  I like the relationship of Tris and Four ( I am not giving away spoilers. I know some people have not read the series. I suggest you try it.)

Personally though, I am not that big a fan of dystopian themes.  I mean, sure, they make great sci fi films, but eh, I could take em or leave em. Part of the reason I’ve enjoyed Divergent is it’s a fairly fast, but action packed series.  I like that. The same reason I really like The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare.  There is a lot of action.

And I honestly don’t see how these books should be for young adults as the themes in them are very adult, but that is another post I hope to talk about soon.

So, what camp are you. Comment below. I’d like to see if my idea is right. So tell me where you are.

Divergent

or

Hunger Games

Signing off

Kate

Saturday Inspires

Because it’s Saturday (it’s really 2AM right now) I thought I would keep my post brief and showcase some of the images from Tumblr that have inspired me, or will inspire me, or heck, I just want to write about them, but haven’t made the time to do so.  I’ll keep it to a minimum because, well hey, that is what Tumblr is for. I don’t need to go reblog it all here.  For those interested, take a look at my Tumblr page and you can see what I like. Pardon any excess Captain Swan and OUAT fandom.  I’ve toned it down some…

Daydream Writer

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So, happy Saturday.

Signing off
Kate

British Company Speaking – Flash Fiction

photo via It's A Dog's Life

photo via It’s A Dog’s Life

I rode up the quiet Main Street in the lingering evening. All the cars were gone and it was relatively silent. Except…

Bring! Brrriinngg! Rang the phone in the telephone booth.  The young man in the wife-beater t-shirt, low-slung jeans, and backwards hat picked up the receiver.

“Ello, British Company speaking,” he said with a fake Cockney accent.

I busted up laughing, because it was so out of the ordinary.  Then the laughter increased as I saw the other youth around the corner of the local deli on his cell phone, talking to Mr. British Company.

Ah, yes, to be young and silly again.

Yes. This is not true flash fiction, because it’s actually reality. I did see this happen and I was riding my bike up the street one quiet evening not too long ago.

Writing on

Kate