Poetry Collections

Look at the pretty covers.

I just happened to be passing by my library the other day and out in front someone had left a couple boxes of books they donated to the Friends of the Library.  Well, I stopped to just peek and low and behold there were these six lovely poetry volumes.  I couldn’t resist and brought them home with me. (yes I will donate money to the Friends for them, but had I left them there, they wouldn’t have gotten to one of the book sales for at least a year).

I don’t have that many poetry books, and while I don’t make a habit of collecting them either, I just could not resist. Bronte, Whitman, Poe, Byron, are the four main single poets, then one on Erotic Poems, which are really just love poems (someone had fun with a tease by using ‘erotic’) and then lastly, Poems of Mourning.  There are more within the series, and I think I might just have to keep my eyes open for used copies of them because they are gorgeous.

You can see all the titles on these.

On the whole, I would probably prefer thicker volumes of some of these, but I can’t complain. The covers are lovely, and underneath the dust jackets the cloth binding in the rich hues of the dust jacket  make me want to clutch them tight and not let go. My copy of Persuasion is similar in fashion and I feel the same about it.

So far my favorite, after only flipping through them a bit and reading some, has been the poems by Bronte. Emily Bronte that is.  I never knew she wrote poetry.  Beautiful, rhyming poetry.  It’s gorgeous. Lovely, very Scott-esque.  (Sir Walter Scott)  I’m seriously looking forward to reading more. I carried it around with me as I did errands, not even opening the cover, but I just want to clutch it close. I can say that about very few poets.

So I am quite excited to have some poetry books added to my very full shelves.  My only other poetry books I have are Tennyson, Scott, Angelou, Dickinson, Frost, and some other more obscure authors. So this is exciting.

Signing off

~Kate

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Nine – A Review

Nine.  I’ve spent the past few days trying to come up with how to review the film Nine.  And really, this isn’t so much a review as more of a gush.  So be forewarned. I will be gushing.

Nine is the story of Guido Contini, an Italian writer/director who has his next film, Italia, ready to start production. Except for the minor detail of no script. Who needs a script? You have magnificent costumes designed by the charming Lilli, the ever amazing Judi Dench.

Guido, played by Daniel Day-Lewis, is a charming self absorbed man, with just a few too many woman on his arm. His mistress, Carla (Penelope Cruz), wife, Luisa (Marion Cotillard), muse, Claudia (Nicole Kidman), ghost of a mother, Sophia Loren, and a new flirtation, a Vogue fashion journalist (Kate Hudson)

Mistress or wife? Who will win?

Set in Italy in the 1960’s, the bulk of the film takes place over just a couple days, with flashbacks from Guido’s childhood mixed in, then a jump of a couple years towards the end of the film.  It is a stunning mix of scenery, sets, and musical numbers that leave you breathless.

The overall story is sad, with Guido not caring with true depth for any one woman, yet all are in love with him.  A wife who thought every special moment they shared was there’s, only to find out, some of those special moments have happened with other women.  A mistress who wants to be with her lover, only he keeps her hidden.  An actress who has been in several of his films, and has loved him from afar. And while I think Guido and selfish man, I can totally understand this amazing fascination with him. (Daniel Day-Lewis is not an actor I like, but oh my gosh, I fell in love with him as Guido.)  I can completely understand why all these women flock around him. He’s charming and sweet and artistic….. when he wants to be.

The women in Guido Contini’s life.

It’s a character film. You get lost in the intricacies of the characters, and the songs, sung by the actors themselves, bring the problems home.  While  I can’t say as you are truly happy by the end of the film, you can’t help but love it. Or at least, that is the way I feel about it. I can’t see any guy really appreciating it, my father being one of those.

The music itself is something that needs another whole post unto itself. Lyrical, stunning, Rogers and Hammerstein-esque, I have the music stuck in my head. I loved it so much I got the album and have listened to it twice today. With lines like “Long ago, twenty years ago,once the names were Guido Contini, Luisa his lover, actress with dreams and a life of her own…” from “My Husband Makes Movies”, you really start to feel for the wife, Luisa.  I can totally relate to that feeling of losing yourself in a relationship.

There are many aspects that a woman can relate to in this film.  And I can see why it was such a smash hit on Broadway. In film, it flopped, though I don’t think it should have.  I highly recommend this movie if you enjoy musicals and in-depth stories.

I’d gush more, but I fear I can’t really describe everything that hits me about this film.  Just watch it and see for yourself.  Me?  Well, I plan to get the film to watch again and again, one of these days.  I’ll add it to my section of films that my family doesn’t get why I like.  The Pride and Prejudice, Audrey Hepburn collection, anything British BBC-ish…. films.  Maybe being a writer makes me like quirky films.

Signing off

~Kate

It Was All Very Civil – Flash Fiction

‘The door jingled as Tim stepped into the Post Office. 

I ignored him.  He ignored me

It was all very civil.’

So, does that constitute as flash fiction?  I was thinking about it today as I went about my business.  This actually happened.  Tim is this guy who stood me up about two weeks ago, then proceeded to make excuses with the F-bomb being dropped every other word in his excuses. Some sort of directed at me.  (yeah, nice guy isn’t he?) Thank goodness he did stand me up.

But I thought that little bit of lines could be flash fiction.

Dear Reader, you tell me.

Signing off

~Kate

Smoke Gets In My Eyes

Ah, the summer heat.  Hot days, warm nights. Humidity if you live where it’s humid. ( I sort of do just because we water so much the humidity is way higher in the back yard then if you walk to the street where it’s nice and dry.) And that first acrid burning scent of chlorine…..

Not from swimming pools.

No.

The chlorine smell is from the wildfires. I live in Northern California and it is pretty much a guarantee that at some point in the summer, there will be a wildfire, or forest fire, somewhere.  Anywhere. Oregon, California, Nevada, etc. One of the western states will at some point be burning.

The skies take on that hazy blue that is really more of a greyish hue and everything is dingy looking. LIke that feeling at the end of summer when everything is dry and tired.  But it could be the first week in July, or the early part of June.

Ours came this year mid June. So far, it hasn’t been too bad.  Yep, there was a fire somewhere.  Someone mentioned around Clear Lake, but I can’t quote that.

 It’s a common occurence for this area. I remember one year where the fires started in July, like on the 4th, and lasted clear through till the rains came…. In November.  And we are not talking just a little smoke.  Picture grey skies all day and by evening, as the sun sets, the world takes on this hazy pink hue that is somewhat eery.

And yet, it isn’t summer unless I smell a fire.  I kind of like it, even if it is a fire.  I know that the fires are crucial for the whole circle of life thing, so I respect them and think them needed in the forests where there is so much overgrowth that plants that used to be there, can no longer live.

I think I can be quite happy and pass at the thick smoke that comes from bad or close fires, but a fire is all part of the summer for me and living in the mountains.

Signing off

~Kate

Spice it up! Best-selling classic books to get an erotic twist — RT

Spice it up! Best-selling classic books to get an erotic twist

Published: 19 July, 2012, 15:52

Jude Law and Robert Downey JR as Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes

Jude Law and Robert Downey JR as Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes

Total-E-Bound erotic publisher is about to add some spicy details to classic novels by the likes of Charlotte Bronte and Jane Austen. The old characters will go through a lot of new sexual experiences, which have remained between the lines up until now.Such books a Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet will be rewritten with erotic scenes and released in the near future.

 

“We’ll show you the scenes that you always wanted to see but were never allowed … The old fashioned pleasantries and timidity have all been stripped away, quite literally. You didn’t really think that these much loved characters only held hands and pecked cheeks, did you?” the publisher says.The rewrites will give the readers a peep at the intimate life between Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester, and sexual experiences between Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in A Study in Scarlet and in Northanger Abbey, Catherine will be introduced to a new world of sex with Henry.

According to The Guardian, even Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea will endure a revision, with a romantic story sparkling between Professor Pierre Aronnax and sailor and master harpooner Ned Land.

Revision of classical novels seems a great plan for the publisher to earn some money, considering the success proved by EL James’s erotic Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.

via Spice it up! Best-selling classic books to get an erotic twist — RT.

 

So, um, yeah, this is what has become of the Fifty Shades of Grey installments, has it?  While I may not always fall in love with the classics, there are just some things in life that I really don’t think they need to mess with.  Classic books being one of them.  Heck, why don’t you just paint the Mona Lisa nude, then.

While I’ve read my fair share of, eh hem, fiction….. Dabbled in writing it too as it is fun, this is just too weird.  What’s even more odd was that I was discussing the lack of enjoying most Jane Austen books with Cassie over on Books and Bowel Movements. I seriously don’t think Mr. Darcy and whoever messing between the sheets is what is going to make me want to read the story any more than the way it is.  I plan on getting around to reading Pride and Prejudice, but I don’t need that.  Same for Jane Eyre.  As for Sherlock Holmes, yeah I know they have alluded to the fact that he might have been gay, but I really don’t need to know.  They push all those bounderies with the films and shows, why do they need to change it in the books.

Something is seriously wrong here.

Signing off

~Kate

Bing For Ideas

A year or so ago I switched my search engines from Google to Bing.  It was a personal choice and one that at the time I didn’t realize would become so useful.  Yes, Bing doesn’t offer quite as many options as Google, and in the image department, Google seems to have a whole lot more to choose from, but…..

But, Bing has this amazing thing called its homepage.  Ever single day you get a stunning picture from somewhere in the world, or outside as the one image of earth from above showed, that is on beyond brilliant.  Not only are the pictures fun to look at, but sometimes they are incredibly informative.

They are also great visual stimulus into ideas for writing.  For instance, the image for July 17, 2012, was an amazing picture of a fish.  A fish you ask?  What could be so interesting about a fish? 

Whitemargin unicornfish (© Chris Hellier/Corbis)(Bing United States)

Um, but is there anything that isn’t cool about this fish?  Be

 

This picture makes me want to write a story about a fish with a big nose.  He’s too cute. ( yes, I’m sticking it with a male gender because, come on, there aren’t too many girl characters with a proboscis like that) I just wish in real life the fish was actually this blue color. It is in fact, a boring brown tan that really takes away the mysterious mystique of something so fanciful.

Bing has some amazing pictures that get me thinking and creating. Places to set my characters.  Cool creatures to turn into a story. And sometimes things that make the most interesting facts.  One of my favorite pictures are the

Powdered tika (or tikka) pigments on display in Kathmandu, Nepal (© Dinodia/age fotostock)(Bing United States)

bins of colored  tika powder used in Indian cultural practices, or the cork forests in Portugal. 

 

Freshly stripped cork oaks in Catalonia, Spain (© John Miller/plainpicture/Robert Harding)(Bing United States)

Not only are these pictures fun to see, I’ve learned a whole lot of information from them.

I learned that I don’t want to pick up an orchid mantis, even though they have to be one of the coolest looking mantises around.  And that’s just a sampling of a few things I find cool.

So, I have a free, fun resource at my fingertips for creating some of the best ideas for writing about.  So, stuck in a slump?  Head over to Bing or check out I Started Something, the website where someone has taken the humongous task of archiving past Bing pictures. Not only does it have other countries but it’s just a whole lotta fun.

Signing off

~Kate

Simply Grilling By Jennifer Chandler : A Review


 Simply Grilling by Jennifer Chandler relies on the premise of fast recipes for any type of grilling. Covering all types of flavors from mexican to asian inspired meals, the recipes are written in a concise manner. Colored pictures are included with each dish making the book visually appealing. Tips and how-tos are included at the bottom of each recipe and there is an entire section at the beginning to start you off on how to grill; whether indoors or on a charcoal grill; to get you started. Simply grilling is a nice start into the world of grilled foods.

While I found this book enjoyable to look at and tempting with so much variety, my first thought when i saw the title was inexpensive grilling.  Simply means also cheap and easy in my books.  inexpensive is not a word i would use to describe most of the recipes.  With ingredients like skirt steak, sushi-grade tuna loin, duck breasts, and a large selection of unique ingredients most people do not have in their pantry, this is not a book for anyone on a budget.  I actually found the title quite misleading.  One expects expensive dishes from cooks like Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa) and Giada De Laurentis and their books reflect that with the glossy pages and pictures for the upscale recipes.  The matte photos and pages in Simply Grilling lead one to think of good home cooking yet the recipes reflect the opposite.

For those looking for a fun book to look at or a gift for someone who grills a lot and wats a different take, this is a nice book.  Otherwise I would pass on it for anyone trying to make a go of it in this economy. 

 I received this book as part of Thomas Nelsons Booksneeze program in return for an honest review.

I finally got around to writing this review and while I could expound on the aspects of the book I didn’t like for pages and pages, I’m still going to hold onto this book possibly for future reference. Sometimes just enjoying looking at a cook book is enough.  While I may never make anything from it, it does have a nice look to it.  Heck, half the cookbooks I own I don’t make anything from. The only ones I have are few and far between. I’ve come to accept that I just like looking at cookbooks sometimes.

Signing off

~Kate

Running For Myself

Recently I have taken up running and last night I accomplished a mile.  For many, that might not be very far, but for me it was huge.  Now, granted, I didn’t run the whole mile straight, but in increments.

Why did I start running?  Well, honestly I have to thank George as the one to inspire me to start it up.  George is in really good physical shape and he runs.  Recently he told me about an 8 mile run he did.  8 miles!  I can’t even dream of that right now and I’m not sure I will ever get there, but that’s not the point.  George is the reason I wanted to try running.

I think one of the other reasons for deciding to tackle something that I’ve tried before and said, ‘No way am I ever going to do that again”, was because in the last month I lost 8 pounds due to a jello and ice water diet.  (no, that was not intentional, but due to some health issues) While loosing that much weight wasn’t quite what I had been going for, I had needed it.  It kind of became my reason to keep it off.  I’ve wanted to lose about 15 pounds for a while and now that half of it is gone…. What’s stopping me from those extra few?  Pretty much only myself is stopping me.

I’ve run three times since starting two, almost three, weeks ago.  I know, that means I’m running once a week.  Not much, but on the off days I’m biking uphill into town for the mail, or to go to the library, or well, just whenever I need to go into town.  That little bit extra keeps me going.

Is running fun?  Not really, at least not at first.  But there I was finishing up running half a mile thinking to myself, only two more laps and I have a mile. I can do this.  After the 3/4 mark I was grinning.  Beet red and glowing (I.E. sweating)  I thought I might not make it, but I pushed.  That last 1/4 mile was kind of killer.  But you know, I made it.  I finished out the running on one of my new favorite songs (One Direction’s “That’s What Makes You Beautiful”) Don’t go off on that, I like funky music.  I was so red and gasping for air.  I was tired and hot, but I felt great.  Talk about a high.  I was buzzing. It might have been from lack of oxygen, but I really think it was that adrenaline rush.  And talk about a rush.  I was glowing, not sweating but actually glowing, for about two hours afterwards.

So, after some really bad dance moves and jiggles on the football field (where I ran) and a nice bike ride home I was wired.  I can’t wait to tell George who recently told me that first run is horrible.  Man was he right, but he was also right that it gets better.  Damn straight it gets better.

I can’t wait for my next run.  It might not be till next week, but I seriously can’t wait.

On a side note, the running made me inspired to write more. Don’t ask  me why.  Maybe it was the high. (and pardon that rhyme)

Signing off

~Kate