teaser tuesday

Teaser Tuesday asks you to : Grab your current read, Open to a random page, Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. I’m reading The Book of Lies by Brad Meltzer. I don’t read a lot of mysteries or thrillers but sometimes I think it’s good to step out of your reading comfort zone and shake things up a bit. I’m really enjoying the read and when I went to his website I also enjoyed his snarky sense of humor! He has fake movie trailers and in one video he’s got family members reading some crummy reviews of the book. It’s totally hilarious, you gotta love a guy who can laugh at the critics! And if those are real reviews I certainly don’t agree with them. I plan to read more of his books, he’s an interesting guy and a good writer.

My teaser sentences are from page 44 where he writes, It’s so damn easy to judge. But Paulo knows from his niece, no matter how much you want someone back in your life, sometimes it’s the letting-them-back-in part that hurts the most. I reread that second sentence several times. It struck me how true it was, and not just about letting people back in, but about letting anything back into your life that you associate with heartache. Years ago, I had to stop painting because I was very ill. When I finally regained my health I didn’t go back into the spare bedroom where my easel was set up for many months. I thought it was because I was afraid I wouldn’t remember how to paint, that I may have lost the ability to be creative after going through so much physical and emotional hurt.

One afternoon, I finally got up the nerve to venture into my little studio. I opened a can of turpentine and squeezed a selection of oil colors onto my palette. Facing a blank white canvas, I breathed in the scent of my paints, dipped my paintbrush into a swirl of cadmium red, and promptly burst into gut wrenching sobs. It was at that moment that I realized it wasn’t the fear of not being able to paint that had kept me away from my art, it was the fear of losing it all over again if my health problems returned. I had grieved long and hard after first losing that part of me, did I really want to let it back in? So I agree with Mr. Meltzer, that simple little sentence says a whole lot about human nature and I imagine most of us can relate to in one way or another.

tuesday teaser

Teaser Tuesday asks you to : Grab your current read, Open to a random page, Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. In February of 2008 I started a meme based on the book created by Smith Magazine, book Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure. Recently I got a copy of their latest book, I Can’t Keep My Own Secrets which are six word memoirs written by teens. I love the whole six word memoir idea and reading what teens wrote was fascinating. When I opened it today these were the memoirs I read. The exits were entrances in disguise. ~Shannon B. Learned that sometimes friends aren’t forever. ~Victoria L. His abuse made me respect myself. ~Lindsey E. Good stuff.

teaser tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays asks you to : Grab your current read, Open to a random page, Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. I finally finished the Pulitzer Prize winning Olive Kitteridge. I had started it in April but set it aside unable to get into it, this time it took however, and I thoroughly enjoyed the read. Each chapter is a short story and they are all linked by the main character of Olive, a stern (and not always likable!) retired schoolteacher in the small town of Crosby, Maine. Themes of aging, marriage, and the always messy expectations of how we relate to our friends, spouses, and children are explored through the brutally honest eyes of Olive Kitteridge.

Today I’ve picked up something a bit lighter from my TBR pile, The Next Thing on my List by Jill Smolinski. The reviews say it is a charming summer read and when I opened to my teaser quote I liked what I saw!  This was catching a wave, and – my suspicions had been correct – I’d never done anything like it before. It felt as if the water beneath me had turned into a sea of hands that kept spiriting my board up and forward – gliding and skipping and lifting until I was shrieking with the unexpected thrill of it and wishing that this amazing rush would never, ever have to end.

Surfer girl photo is by Casch52 on Flickr. I tweaked it a little in my photo program:)

teaser tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday asks you to : Grab your current read, Open to a random page, Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. Do you ever fall into a non-reading rut? I’ve been having a hard time getting into any books for quite awhile. I pick up a novel and start it but nothing really grabs and holds my attention. I know it’s not the fault of the books, my brain just feels “burned out”, if that makes any sense. When I thought about participating in Teaser Tuesday I looked around and saw my Frommer’s Montana & Wyoming tour book sitting next to my computer so that’s where I got my teaser from today. We’re thinking about going somewhere for my 50th birthday and I’ve decided that we need a vacation that is more about nature and renewal than a big city adventure like the one in Paris I was trying to plan. We’ve never been to Europe, and while we still plan to go someday, neither one of us feels like we have the energy (or the cash) to take that kind of trip right now so we may grab our cameras and head for the wide open spaces of America’s west instead!

Here’s my teaser: Grand Teton brags of its soaring mountain scenery; Arizona’s Grand Canyon flaunts its imposing expanses. But Yellowstone enchants with a more subtle beauty, hinting through its very diversity the changes undergone during a volatile, explosive past. As I was typing those two sentences it struck me that maybe I’m a little like Yellowstone. Maybe we all are. Life can be very challenging at times. Nobody gets through it without “stuff”, and some of that stuff is volatile and explosive and it changes us along with the simple passage of time itself. Our bodies get older, they sag a little here, ache a little there and as our past grows longer our list of sorrows grows too. Of course, so does our list of joys. The diversity of our experiences, the ups as well as the downs, truly are the stuff of life that make our lives both bountiful and beautiful.

Yellowstone Photo is by fellow iStocker Wallentine at iStockphoto.com🙂

7 degress of moi

kreativ-blogger-award2Joann, a new blogger buddy of mine, passed along the Kreative Blogger Award to me recently. If I accept the award I have to share seven of my favorite things with you. So here we go…

1. Well, if you read my blog regularly you can probably guess the first one, my new baby granddaughter, Brooklyn. She came over on Sunday for her first family birthday dinner and her poor mommy had to beg  to get a turn to hold her own baby!

2. Spell check. I’m actually a pretty good speller but for some reason I love to see the little red underline appear under words and then get that drop down list of choices, I find it very satisfying. It’s weird, I know.

3. The moment every day when my husband comes home…I hear the back door open and his footsteps as he walks in, the soft swishing sound as he slides his briefcase under the desk in the kitchen, and then his voice, tired but relieved to be done with another busy day as he looks for me and says, “I’m home!”

4. My new camera, I carry it around in the crook of my arm like it’s a baby. It’s weird, I know.

5. Having sisters. I feel like I gypped my daughter Lizzi only giving her a brother. Maybe if I named my camera Samantha, Lizzi could think of it as her little sister?

6. The first cup of coffee in the morning (if it’s snowing or raining outside it tastes twice as good!).

7. Losing myself in a good book, which hasn’t happened in a long time. Partly because my brain is a bit fried from the past year’s ups and downs, and partly because I just haven’t found the right book:(

Frank McCourt

FrankMcCourt

Pulitzer Prize winning author Frank McCourt died on Sunday. A former public school teacher, he came late to a writing career publishing one of my favorite memoirs, Angela’s Ashes, at the ripe old age of 66. Born in Brooklyn in 1930, his family returned to his parents’ native Ireland when he was four years old and his memoir chronicles his years growing up in poverty with a mostly absent alcoholic father in the slums of Limerick. He famously wrote: The happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood. People everywhere brag and whimper about the woes of their early years, but nothing can compare with the Irish version: the poverty; the shiftless loquacious father; the pious defeated mother moaning by the fire; pompous priests, bullying schoolmasters; the English and all the terrible things they did to us for 800 long years.

My mother had a similar childhood, but here in the states and with poor French Catholic parents, not Irish. Still, fourteen children, very little money, and an alcoholic father bring about like miseries whatever your demographics. It’s funny, but I catch myself sometimes feeling angry at my mother since she passed. For dying and leaving me. For loving my brother more. For her “You can’t take it with you!” attitude toward money which has cost me financially over the years and left my father vulnerable at the age of 80 with a large monthly mortgage payment. And yes, for not understanding me, that universal childhood lament that few of us escape – miserable childhood or not.

I know it’s childish to think these thoughts at my age, especially given that my childhood was a fantasyland compared to my mom’s and Mr. McCourt’s. But I also know that a part of us is always our mother’s child, no matter how old we grow in years. And whether we write an angst filled memoir and name it for her, or gaze into the eyes of our newborn granddaughter and miss her more than we ever thought possible, we know in our hearts that we’d forgive our mothers a thousand times over for the woes of our early years for just one more chance to tell them how much we love them.

teaser tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday asks you to : Grab your current read, Open to a random page, Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. Since I’m too lazy to go upstairs and get one of the books on my nightstand, I grabbed The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver from the shelf above my desk. It’s about a woman who is given a toddler outside a bar and the emotional journey of abandonment and belonging that follows. I’ve enjoyed reading everything Ms. Kingsolver has written over the years, but this was one of my favorites. On page 17, as the main character first meets the child, she writes…She wrapped her blanket around and around it until it became a round bundle with a head. Then she set this bundle down on the seat of my car. A good read. Still no baby news here. After losing her first baby girl at five months gestation last April, Meagan feels like she’s been pregnant and waiting for over a year for this baby, which is true. That’s my niece’s little daughter, Aryielle, in the photo. I took her outside for pictures the other day and she immediately pulled a bloom off one of great-grandpa’s flowers so she could smell it. I then proceeded to chase her and her flower around for over thirty minutes, taking a two year old’s picture is not easy! I did get a few good ones though that I might post tomorrow for Wordless Wednesday:)

teaser tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday asks you to : Grab your current read, Open to a random page, Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. I’m reading The Laws of Harmony by Judith Ryan Hendricks.  I won the book at a giveaway from the book blog Reading with Ti as well as a pretty shawl like the one on the book cover, thanks again Ti! It’s about a woman whose life is turned upside down when her boyfriend dies in a mysterious accident. She takes off in an attempt to reinvent herself and begin a new life. My book club just finished Paul Auster’s, The Book of Illusions, which is a much darker take on the same theme. A character leaving a life of sorrow behind, isolating themselves from their grief and from other people. We had an interesting discussion in book club about this, about how we deal with what life throws at us and about identity, who we would be if you took away our families, jobs, and friends. My two sentences from this book are from page 282, I feel disorientated, one foot in Aromina, the other in Harmony. And the memories will be back soon enough. I did the photo-mainpluation a while ago and thought it illustrated this idea perfectly!