Book Reviews - Short, Inspiration, The Owl-Sword-Efil Stone, Writing

What I’m Reading…

Journaling - IndulgesLife is so busy, yet my heart-strings pull me to reading. I read many things, not just books, and listen to many things too. Lately, I’ve read a lot of magazine and newspaper articles and listened to podcasts of books and short stories and radio classic broadcasts.

A few years back, a dear friend, George, passed away unexpectedly. During the cleaning, clearing, and redistribution of his things, I was lucky enough to receive a pile of old magazines. I have thought about digging into those mags and seeing what treasures are buried there. But, that idea keeps getting pushed back on the “never-ending-to-do” list.

Then, yesterday, while skimming the New York Times, I came across this article about a serious collection of magazines owned by James Hyman of The Hyman Archive – All Good Magazines Go to Heaven. A fascinating read and as I read, I realized a visit to this archive would probably cause me to lose months from my life as I would get lost reading. Do yourself a favor, read this article and learn about The Hyman Archive.

During the free book give-away of The Fire Within, a reader reached out to me on my FaceBook Author page and asked me about the idea of exchanging reviews. The reader, Gino Cox, is an author too.

I’m a slow reader and its mainly due to the huge amount of reading I must do for my technical writing gigs that pay for my writing habit. Gino Cox is the author of Ice Cold. It is a good read. I’m about twenty percent through. Gino is patiently waiting on my review. As a sneak peek…get the book! It is one hell-of-a-ride. The Iceman is Ice Cold with revenge on his mind. The narrative is full of twists and turns. Just the kind of book you would enjoy.

Recently, while sitting in the Martin room, it dawned on me why I’m not checking off as many books on my reading list as I’ve done in the past. I’m no longer driving an hour back-n-forth from work every day. When I drove to work, I’d listen to books on tape. I miss that. It saved me all kinds of time and I was able to ‘hear’ many good books.

A good book I’ve ticked away at reading in small chunks is by one of my favorite authors, Sue Grafton. The book is W – W is for Wasted. Kinsey is at it again and it is such a good escape. Sadly, my slow reading has me several letters behind in Grafton’s series. If you’ve not read her series featuring private investigator Kinsey Millhone, you are in for a treat.

A writing book I picked up and have found not only informative to read but a fun read too is James Scott Bell’s How to Write Pulp Fiction. His opening description:

“Type Hard. Type Fast. Make Dough. That was the formula of old-school pulp fiction—plot-driven, popular and gobbled up by a reading public hungry for more.”

sets the stage for an excellent learning experience. Of course, I’m very partial to his writing and love his fiction work as well. The link to his Pulp Fiction book will open doors to all of his work. If you enjoy a good thriller, his Mike Romeo thriller series is a must read.

As for audio listening, I do love listening to Radio Classics on Sirius-XM radio following Greg Bell’s wonderful playlists as well as a variety of podcasts, such as Myths and Legends by Jason Weiser.


The Owl, the Sword, & the Efil Stone – Book One of The Chronicles of Eldershire

The countdown continues — today is 184!

Read & Write On!
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Family, Inspiration, Love

Quilted Bookcase – A Labor of Love

Being Surprised with

A Labor of Love

Our cousin, HM and her husband, JM came for a visit yesterday. And, what a visit it was! Look what she gave me!!!

Bookcase Quilt

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It is a bookcase quilt she made with a “labor of love” as she said in the panel where she signed her name (See the last image). The idea came to her after she saw a picture I’d posted on my FB page of a bookcase quilt someone had made.

All of the books in the bookcase are created from fabric scraps she had on hand. She is an accomplished quilter. HM told me she had looked and looked for a quilting pattern and couldn’t find one. After several months searching, she looked at her sweet husband, JM, and said, “I’m going to design my own!” JM is a great supporter of her work. He fixes dinner, takes care of the animals, entertains the grandkids, and keeps busy as she locks herself away in her beautiful sewing room her son helped design and build for her.

The amazing part was all she did to make this quilt possible. When she began this project, she shared with friends she was designing it herself. One friend of hers who lives several hundred miles away would talk with her every day-giving her advice, recommending things to try, and needed moral support. Finally, they decide to learn how to do FaceTime so that they could share ideas better.

Another friend said that the vases needed to have flowers. Instead of using fabric, her friend made the yarn flowers so that it would give a three-dimensional effect to the quilt. HM was so excited because she didn’t learn how to make the flowers. Instead, she used the talents of her friends, which is just how HM is. She loves people.

And, her granddaughter “A” got into the act, too. She came up with the very cool pouch that holds an actual book (I think that’s an awesome touch). HM even learned how to take the book spines of my published novels from photographs Jules gave her, and then printed them on the fabric! (See the second picture) How cool is that?!? What a wonderful job!

The backing is a gorgeous piece of warm fleece. The edging is suede. I’ve thought and thought where to hang it so my family and friends can enjoy it. But, I keep finding myself wanting to sit with it wrapped around me as I write. It is so warm and cozy.

What do you think? Should I hang it or should I use it?

This is one of the gifts that keeps on giving. Each time I look at the bookcase, I’ll be reminded of HM’s “Labor of Love” and I’ll be so inspired by her creativity. With this post, I’m sending much love and gratitude to Cousin HM and her sweet husband, JM for sharing their love. And, an extra special shout out to Hobbit King and Jules for keeping this a secret. You guys truly surprised me!

Writing with Love,

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