I’m Not Going To Feel Guilty!

Okay, so a week or so ago I posted a Barnes and Noble blog post on the perks of dating a non reader, The Non Reader & Me.

Points 4, 5, and 9, are what have been getting to me lately.  I feel guilty that I’m not reading new books from the library. I’m not finishing books from the library, and I just feel like my own stack of Emilie Loring’s and less deep books.  I just want to putter with books that have no due date or anything pretentious about them.  (the points, by the way are : 4. They never judge any of the books you’re reading, even your guilty pleasure beach reads. ,5. You’re never obligated to read books they’ve recommended to you instead of the books you actually want to read., and 9. They never judge you for the books you haven’t read.)

I feel like I should be reading new books, not old books that are comfortable like a friend or curled up in that chair you love. The guilt! Oh the guilt. I can’t be a true reader if I read books that I’ve read over and over, can I?

But this is silly.  Especially when you see my two stacks of books to read…. Oh pardon, it’s three stacks.Second Stack Stack to read

But I’m worrying about having things to read. Yes, I will admit, this is slightly insane, the guilt that is…. Though the stack of books is really ridiculous.  So, I am going to sit back and relax….. (I feel like Matthew Mcconaughey is in my head as I say that)  And just try to read my stacks of books.  That being said, I just checked another Emilie Loring book out of the library today, even though I have several of hers in paperback…. Just not the one I wanted….

I’m not going to feel guilty!

Signing off

Kate

The Non Reader & Me

I have always sworn up and down and sideways that I will marry a man who loves to read. (Oh and he won’t be obsessed with football) I want to be able to share books and have this mind meld kind of thing going on with books……. I’m not so sure I want it to be that way any longer. Barnes and Noble’s blog just posted the 18 Unexpected Perks of Dating a Nonreader, and honestly, I pretty much go for every single one except for #16, but that’s only because I get car sick, so reading is not possible.  I never thought much about all the advantages to being with someone who doesn’t read like I do, but wow, so many of these have crossed my mind that it’s not even funny.

I guess it’s like wanting to date a writer if I am one. That has gone by the wayside too.  Too much competition. I’ll stick with being the writer and reader and date a hands on kind of guy.  The list is below, but please check out the original article above.

1. More space for your growing book collection, because they don’t have any.
2. Your opinions about books are always right.
3. You can freely tell them the entire story of the book you’re reading, spoilers and all, because they probably aren’t going to read it.
4. They never judge any of the books you’re reading, even your guilty pleasure beach reads.
5. You’re never obligated to read books they’ve recommended to you instead of the books you actually want to read.
6. They think you’re super smart because you read so much.
7. They encourage you to blog about books so you have an outlet to talk about your literary adventures and opinions (true story).
8. They never stay up all night reading like you do, so they can be counted on to wake you up when you sleep through your alarm.
9. They never judge you for the books you haven’t read.
10. They make sure you get fresh air by forcing you to put down the book and get out of the house.
11. They never borrow your books and forget to return them, or return them in poor condition.
12.All your literary friends like them because they don’t engage in pretentious literary one-upmanship.
13. They know a lot about other things like engineering, cooking, music, wilderness survival, how to change a lightbulb…
14. They won’t judge you for thinking that the movie version of the book was actually pretty good.
15. They’re never late meeting you because they got wrapped up in a novel and lost track of time.
16. They do all the driving, so you can read at your leisure in the passenger seat.
17. They never mess up the order of the books on your shelves.
18. They’re willing to learn about literature from you.

Above all, by dating a nonreader, you open yourself up to new experiences and life lessons you might otherwise never discover. So if your heart is telling you “yes,” but your brain is telling you that you have too little in common to make it work, remember what The Princess Bride taught us: “Love is many things, none of them logical.”

Signing off

Kate

 

Utter Crap

the persephone bookshop

the persephone bookshop (Photo credit: this lyre lark)

I probably should be writing this over on Escaping the Inkwell, but I’m going to be utterly lazy since this post is about utter crap. Seems befitting. Though I feel I should say ‘utter rubbish’ instead as it’s so much more polite and I’ve been reading British things. (How did I not know that Persephone Biannually was so interesting? I have about 8 different ones!)

Moving on.  So last week I ‘finished’ my short story about jars of hearts, lipstick, et cetera. See the post here.  I was so wired to finish it and for those first few hours, even though I knew that it was going to need serious editing,  I was quite thrilled with it.

Then the reality set in. Or maybe it’s writer’s reality, or whatever you want to call it.  Anyways, there I was the next morning going, “this thing is terrible! it’s crap. There is no way I could ever hope to submit this to a literary magazine (because yes, I am considering it). I should just toss the whole thing in the garbage and start over.”

Never mind that I wrote the whole thing out longhand with purple ink (new fountain pen and ink. If I have the inclination I shall write a review on the Lamy Vista which has become a favorite pen!) Never mind that I have told my sister she can read it when I’m done.  Never mind that I was quite hopeful of it.

Now is it really that horrible?  Honestly, I don’t know because I’m looking at it through my eyes. No doubt it needs a lot of work.  Heck, in just the first two paragraphs I have already added a bunch of things I left out. Meaning I started typing it up to have a more readable copy and started editing in the process.  I’m sure it will be fine. (Repeat again and again, self) I’m sure my friend will enjoy it if I ever get it typed up and edited before having her take a looksie.  But my own self doubt.

I just read something in my Bianually about the author Dorothy Whipple how she thought that her novel Greenbanks was never going to amount to anything then low and behold it became a best seller and is now being sold by Persephone Books.  I’m not saying I’m a Dorothy Whipple (whom I must confess that I’ve never read any of her books) but self doubt is high.

I am still going to work on the darn thing. It really needs a title.  I want a bit of horror in the story (because it is a bit like horror in some ways) Not the creepy kind, but just a life type horror.  Once I’m willing to share you will see.

But for now I feel that it is utter crap!  Why am I a writer?

Signing off

~Kate

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Why Doesn’t My Library Court Me?

Interior view, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh,...

Image via Wikipedia

I love my library. I’ve loved every library that I’ve used on a regular basis, including the Carnegie Library I browsed during my six week stay in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Libraries are my way to get a ‘book fix’ without spending a fortune in books. I don’t have the luxury of a close bookstore, nor even a used bookstore. I will purchase books online, but only when I really, really want or need a certain book. So the library is my only option, and like I said, I love my library.

However, there is a problem with how my library is run. I’m sure this is the same with all libraries. They are run like a government organization, which it is, and not like a private business. They don’t have to show a profit. They don’t have to increase usage. They still get funding even if the patronage drops.

Most flourishing businesses are constantly catering to their customers. They introduce new items to entice people to buy, and to return. They run a helpful operation that cares about their customers. They want your business.

Why doesn’t the library do that? When you go into a library, there are usually books displayed to entice, yet most of the time, the books are on a specific issue, or something the librarian has deemed important. For instance, this week was Dr. Seuss’ birthday, so several of his books wer displayed. I’m perfectly fine with that, but most of the time, I couldn’t care a wit for what is usually displayed. Also, most of the time, the books are not changed often enough to attract my attention.

Part of this rant stems from the fact that my librarian and the volunteers, who now run the library most of the time, don’t really care what I check out. They don’t take the time to know their patrons. Because they don’t have to show a profit, they don’t care if I take out one book or five.

Now, I have been teased as being the one who keeps the library running since I am forever ordering in new books that tickle my fancy. While I have to admit that I have brought in a fair amount of different books, I am not the one who keeps the library running. I just, uh, help.

I used to be the substitute librarian at my library. For two years I ran my one day a week, and for a brief time, I was in charge of all the functions of the library for a month. (At 21, this was somewhat scary to me.) I loved my job and one of the best parts was getting to know my patrons, learning what they liked, and being able to recommend books to them.

Even if I hadn’t read the book, I learned what genres certain people liked, and accordingly, recommended along those lines. For the record, I didn’t have much time to read during the years of working in the library. I checked out plenty, but just didn’t read that much. Go figure.

I liked a post this Christmas that posted on last minute gifts. Read it herePeg-o-Leg’s Ramblings  had it right.   What a great idea for an ad campaign for the library systems. You encourage people to ‘give’ a library book as a gift. Just picture this. You see a woman browsing the shelves, looking and looking. Finally, she finds one she likes. Her eyes are excited. She takes it to the counter and checks it out, then just before she leaves the library, she takes it to the gift wrapping station, just like Barnes and Noble has every holiday season, to be wrapped up. Of course inside is a due date, but she has the perfect gift for someone. If they don’t like it, they can return it!

Well, that was my silliness escaping. However, why don’t libraries try to court their patrons? Display a wide variety of books that are available, so it catches people’s eyes. Instead of just the new titles, how about some old ones? I mean, just the other day, I found a book that has been in my library for six years and has never been checked out. Go figure why since it is a field guide to west coast lighthouses. It’s cool! But I’ve never seen it displayed.

If libraries want people to use them for books instead of just an internet source, which my library does, then they need to have incentives for patrons to keep returning. How about a running tally of the top readers. You know, where a user name, or even the patron’s name is displayed with the amount of books they have read. Or maybe a list of patron recommendations. I don’t know.

Well, this is my own rant. And I have plenty more about my library. Hey, I may love it, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have problems.

What say you?

Signing off

~Kate

BookMooch : World’s Greatest Book Site Ever!

Bookmooch.comA while ago someone directed me to this great place called BookMooch.

And what is BookMooch you ask?  Well, my dear reader, let me tell you.  BookMooch is a place where you can list books you want to get rid of, and in turn, for ever book you send out, you earn a point.  For each point, you can have a book you want sent to you.  At no cost.  Pretty much the only cost is sending out the book.  You get points for adding books to send off, and you get points for sending a book to a ‘moocher’.  You spend points by ‘mooching’ a book from another member.

So far, I have sent off two books, and I have received one.  I have two others that should be coming soon, and one I will have to send off this week.  It’s amazing.  It was a blast to send off two books I didn’t want, which is a miracle in itself, as I keep most of my books.  And it was even more delightful to receive a book in the mail today. 

I highly recommend this site to anyone who has a ton of books they don’t want to keep.  Now, I’m all for giving used books to my Friends of the Library, but at the same time, most of the books I’ve done that with, seem to be in the book sales over and over.  I know at least that a book I send off will probably stay with the person who ‘mooched’ it from me.  Isn’t it great?  

Plus, then I can look for books I want or need.  The book I had come to me today is one I needed for research in my never-ending quest for writing the perfect query letter.  And all it cost me, was to send off a book. Yeah, I could have probably found it via amazon, used.  But it probably would have cost me more.  Besides, it’s a community type thing. You get to meet other readers this way.

Well, I think any reader would appreciate this site.  Check it out.

Signing off

~Kate

Who Is Luke Greyson?

And yes, my Luke wears this outfit. How could he not?

This is a character profile I did a year ago after seeing this gorgeous picture of ‘Eric Northman’.  I just had to create a character for something of mine and I honestly have fallen in love with Luke Greyson, even though  he’s not even fully written. Nor is his story.  But someday.  Who knows.  At least I know his heroine.  Though her story isn’t really written either.  Least she has a name.  Regina Black.

So here is his profile.

Who is Luke Greyson?

Luke Greyson, age thrity-five is the son of Peter and Marjory Greyson of New York.  Grandson to Franklin Greyson, a small hotel owner.  Luke, an only child, was raised going to private schools and living a somewhat pampered life.  Went to New York University, majoring in business and hotel management as he was expected to take over the family business of running hotels.  His grandfather passed away while he was in college, so Luke was left one of the five hotels Franklin owned along the Atlantic coast.  The rest passed on to Peter who was already managing three of them.

His mother, Marjory, passed away when Luke was 30, and it crushed him as they were close.  Luke was never close with his father, who  was always focused on his hotels.  Luke needed a change and a new start, so he moved west and purchased the small hotel in Ashland.  He has been improving the hotel for the past four years.

His employees respect and admire him as he is an honest, hardworking boss.

Luke can be a bit selfish at times since he was an only child.  He thinks things should go his way and gets impatient and annoyed when they don’t.  Sometimes he tries to manage people  getting them to doing what he wants, but he’s never cruel about it.  He just likes things his way.

In his spare time he enjoys good food and wine.  He has branched out and is part ownership in a small vineyard and winery in the hills outside Ashland.  He enjoys the plays that are at the OSF(Oregon Shakespeare Festival).  He has a taste for jazz music, but enjoys all forms, though he’s not one to have it playing in his office even when he’s on his own.

His tastes in books run to murder mystery, but on the occasion he does read some biographies and non fiction type books.  He always reads the Wall Street Journal at 4 in the afternoon when sits in the hotel restaurant for his afternoon cup of coffee.

 His quarters are in one of the two suites of the hotel, on the top floor.  A suite that is stylish and classically decorated in muted shades of tans and browns.  The one difference is the large flat screen television over the gas fire place.  He enjoys watching tennis, golf, and the occasional basketball game.  Though he’s not huge on sports.

He works out in the private gym of the hotel.  He also runs occasionally through Lithia Park.  He’s not bulky, but he does have a nice physique.  Defined muscles and form.  He’s in good shape.

He appreciates a good woman, and has dated some throughout the years, but due to the schedule of running a hotel doesn’t leave much time for going out.  And he hates golddigging women, which many are when they find out he owns  a hotel.   Women find him attractive and occasionally he finds himself with women throwing themselves at him.  He likes a strong woman, but not one that isn’t a lady.  His ideal is someone like his mother who managed the house and sometimes the hotels with an ease that spoke of her strength while never sacrificing her femininity.  Smart feminine women intrigue him.  He appreciates a woman in a nice pair of heels.

He drives a BMW convertible in slate blue.  He also owns an Audi A8.

His business plans are to possibly purchase another hotel in a smaller area like Ashland, but he’s still not sure.  He is enjoying being on his own and running the small hotel and getting to know his guests that return.

 

So, you all think this is something good?  Well, I’m partial to it.

Signing off

~Kate

A Sample of Something New

I’ve been plugging away at a story that I started a couple of years ago.  It’s mostly for my own enjoyment, but it is something I have two volunteer editors helping me hash out the finer points.  Part of the reason I’m posting it here is because of a bit of a challenge over on Hallie Chandler’s blog, titled I Want To See Your Hook.

This is a bit more adult in nature, but I’ve kept it clean.  This is just an excerpt, but please, enjoy……

 

She padded into the classroom, her black satin robe tight around her nude form. She glanced around the room and took in the students setting up and the professor shuffling papers on his desk. It was a normal class for the most part. Girls studiously set out their pencils, paper, and smudgers. The smaller group of guys eyed her with interest. She could always got those looks considering the type of modeling she was doing. Although some were actually there to advance their artistic studies, there were a few bold stares. Stares like those made her wonder why she modeled.

Suddenly her eyes were captured by an intense masculine gaze. Electric. She felt the jolt hit deep in her belly—the shockwaves rushed up her spine and she almost gasped out loud because the breathless feeling was so intense. The tingling sensation raised the hair along the nape of her neck, down her arms, and tightened her nipples. She ducked her head as she stepped up to the platform, before risking another glance. He was studying her, his gaze no longer on her face but contemplating the rest of her body, the only visible skin showing from mid calf down to bare feet. With his eyes averted from hers she studied him easily right back.

He was an older man, early-to-mid fifties with short cropped salt-and-pepper hair. His eyes were deep set, but expressive. His darker brows enhanced each facial expression. The man had a strong chin, a cultured mouth and a patrician nose, all signs of class. That, and the fact that his clothes were casually modest yet evidently very expensive, a loose fitting cream shirt and dark brown slacks which enhanced his slightly bronzed skin.

Money, class, stature were all written on his form and the way he moved. He didn’t seem in a hurry as he studied her. He took his time, like he was savoring a fine painting. What a nice thought that was.
She sighed in pleasure as his eyes returned to hers. He gave a quick guilty smile then turned back to his tablet of paper, fiddling with some pencils. Well that was new, she thought. Normally men made her nervous and skittish and not the other way around. Men looked at her boldly most of the time and not with politeness. This one knew how to treat a lady. That faint boyish face made him look as if he’d been caught doing something naughty. She almost giggled.

Unfortunately or fortunately, she was facing away from this class today. She knelt on the soft chaise with her back facing the room and then proceeded to loosen her robe as Professor Sharp called the class to order. The object of the lesson was to study the play of light and shadow across the human body.

She slid the robe off her shoulders and let it pool around her hips so that only a faint suggestion of her buttocks could be seen. She half turned so that just the slight curve of one breast was visible to the class and arched her neck slightly, settling her palms in her lap. For the next hour she needed to sit as still as possible.

Thankfully she’d pulled her coppery blond hair into a simple French twist. A few loose tendrils had escaped and brushed the back of her neck and her left ear, softening what could have been considered a cold statue. The hairs made her look real, soft, and completely female.

She imagined the man’s eyes roving over her pale skin as Professor Sharp discussed and directed the students’ motions with pencil. Would he stare intensely, his brows furrowing, making deep creases in his forehead? Perhaps his look would be blank as he thought of where to start first on her form, the curve of her shoulder or the long smooth line of her back. Wherever he started, she wished she could watch, wished she could stare out towards the class, eyes following the movement of his pencil sketching on the paper.

She loved the soothing voice of Sharp and as usual the hypnotic tones of his voice lulled her senses till her mind drifted off. She floated away and her body relaxed slightly and changed the appearance of formidable marble to soft, sensual woman.

 

Signing off

~Kate

Give Me the Simple Life

Yesterday I posted about wanting to be a bad girl at times. I was musing, and I find myself musing again today after reading a brilliant book.  I just finished Full Circle by Davis Bunn the other day, and there was a part in the book that had the girl thinking this.

“She hungered for a night without fear and a tomorrow lived in hope.  She didn’t ask for gaiety or unending joy, or a realm where all her dreams might come true.  All she wanted was the simple gift of a good day.  That and the touch of a man who reached for her in love.”

 Profound.

In life we all seem to want to attain greatness, wealth, notoriety.  We never seem to be satisfied with simple.  I’ve even felt that way myself.  However, if I sit down and really think about it, all I want is a simple life.  

I don’t want much.  I don’t need much.  A house that is comfortable. Not large, massive, cost a fortune house.  My family and I live in 940 sq. ft.  On two floors.  It’s tiny for four people.  But it’s not impossible.  After living this way, any house in the range of 14oo sq.ft. would be huge.  But that’s small in today’s world. 

I want a good man that will touch and reach for me in love.  I don’t need him to be famous.  I don’t need him to be this super successful businessman.  An average job where the bills get paid and there’s food on the table.  And not even fancy food.  Just good, healthy food.  A man who will love and cherish me and guide me through life.  A man who will support me as I continue in my writing career.

My writing career. I’m not shooting for an all famous author position.  Just to be able to share my words with children.  The simple joy in a good picture book.

As the lyrics to the song go:

“I don’t believe in frettin’ and grievin';
Why mess around with strife?
I never was cut out to step and strut out.
Give me the simple life.

Some find it pleasant dining on pheasant.
Those things roll off my knife;
Just serve me tomatoes; and mashed potatoes;
Give me the simple life.

A cottage small is all I’m after,
Not one that’s spacious and wide.
A house that rings with joy and laughter
And the ones you love inside.

Some like the high road, I like the low road,
Free from the care and strife.
Sounds corny and seedy, but yes, indeed-y;
Give me the simple life.”

 

Give me the simple life.  Definitely a thing to aim for.  Why do we need the fancy and exorbitant?  Be satisfied with comfortable.  There’s nothing wrong with striving for more, but at some point, be satisfied with comfortable.

Signing off

~Kate

The Romance of Romeo and Juliet

Romance in the making

 This week I watched Letters To Juliet.  Based on the book ” Letters to Juliet: Celebrating Shakespeare’s Greatest Heroine, the Magical City of Verona, and the Power of Loveby Lise Friedman and Ceil Friedman, the movie delves into letters written to Juliet of Verona.  Letters to Juliet  is an incredibly romantic movie and I would recommend it to women specifically.   

 But what is it about Romeo and Juliet that has captured people for centuries?  I have never read the play, but even I can quote a line or two from it.  “O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!”   A quote I heard years ago on an episode of Charmed.  It stuck with me and it is  an incredibly romantic phrase.  Then there is the classic phrase I’m sure everyone knows. “O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?”I probably know more quotes than I realize.   

O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?

And as tragic as the story is, it continues to delight people throughout the ages.  As if there is true romance within the context of the story.  One might say that killing oneself because their love is dead is a bit extreme, but if you find your soul mate, can you exist without that person?
 
The true romance lies in that answer.  An answer, I think, more women would answer with a positive in the soul mate department.  Women are predisposed to being romantic.  Every thing in our nature is to be that way. Yet it was a man who created such a romance that it has survived time.  Only something pretty amazing could have taken a hold of generations and be constantly redone.    

Author of a classic

William Shakespeare was an  amazing author.  To turn a tragic story into a great thing.  Wow.  Now, that still doesn’t make me want to see the play, or read it, but I get it.  Personally, I hate tragedy.  I would rather not end up crying at the end of a play, or movie.  I did that last week with Nights in Rodanthe. (by the way, that movie is so sad!)  I don’t need to cry. However, one day I might see the play done. Who knows.  

I do know that I would highly recommend Letters To Juliet to anyone.  The premise of the story is very sweet and charming.  The romance throughout the film incredible.  The ending? Well that is classic and though it may be somewhat predictable, no less romantic.  The film ends incredibly well, and I think I shall definitely look to own the it.
 
Signing off

~Kate 

A Most Dire Warning

This book belongs to none but me
For there’s my name inside to see.
To steal this book, if you should try,
It’s by the throat that you’ll hang high.
And ravens then will gather ’bout
To find your eyes and pull them out.
And when you’re screaming
 “Oh, Oh, Oh!”
Remember, you deserved this woe.

-Warning written by medieval German scribe

 

 I read this ‘warning’ at the back of a book I failed to finish, and had to return to the library today. I burst out laughing and loved it right away. I’ve never had a book stolen from me, but I have had one damaged from being loaned out. I’m very selective about the books I loan out and to whom they are being borrowed by. I’m very careful with my books and I hold people to the same standard. Hence why I don’ t end up loaning out books very often. I look at how a person conducts their life and if I see something that makes me cringe, rarely will I loan out anything.  I expect a book to come back in the same condition it went out with. I say, what’s wrong with that?

I think this warning would be a most excellent thing to tack into the cover of a book I loan out. Even if I trust the person. It’s something truely funny, but also very on point.

 Signing off

 ~ Kate