Saturday, February 10, 2018

At Home in Mitford

My latest book adventure is the Mitford series by Jan Karon. I heard about it from some friends and thought I'd give it a try.

I've only just begun, I'm about six chapters in the first book "At Home in Mitford" and it's such a delight!

Here's the blurb on amazon:

It's easy to feel at home in Mitford. In these high, green hills, the air is pure, the village is charming, and the people are generally lovable. Yet, Father Tim, the bachelor rector, wants something more. Enter a dog the size of a sofa who moves in and won't go away. Add an attractive neighbor who begins wearing a path through the hedge. Now, stir in a lovable but unloved boy, a mystifying jewel theft, and a secret that's sixty years old. Suddenly, Father Tim gets more than he bargained for. And readers get a rich comedy about ordinary people and their ordinary lives.

I can relate to Father Tim in some interesting ways. He started jogging for his health (I've been a jogger/runner most of my adult life). He turned 60 on his birthday (I am 60). He also quotes Bible verses to go with what's happening in his life (me, too!) 

Here's to learning all about this intriguing town of Mitford and the interesting characters created by Jan Karon!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Secret Garden

One of my favorite children's stories is The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett. 

The story tells of Mary Lennox who discovers a secret garden and a secret cousin named Colin. They are both 10 years old and never knew about the other. Their mothers were twin sisters, and both had died.

Mary was a sour child, rebellious and alone. Colin was a sickly boy whose wanted his father's attention. Both needed "new life."

The 1993 film version is captivating. The cinematography is breathtaking and captures the magic of this delightful story.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Novel Suspense

I'm writing my first novel. I would describe the process as Fun, Frenzied and Fearful, not necessarily in that order. 

For the last couple of years I've been writing bits and pieces of a suspense thriller located in a fictional Wyoming town, set in the present day. 

As with most stories I write, there are supernatural elements. In this case, the heroine discovers that her family had been cursed by an evil Medicine woman from Oklahoma many years ago.

This is my first novel and I need all the help I can get, so I'm reading K. M. Weiland's "Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success." 

It has been helpful in organizing this gargantuan project.

I'm excited doing research on Native American cultures, Wyoming history, and spiritual warfare. Unlike my flash fiction and comedy sketches, this project is not a sprint, it's a marathon. I have to pace myself and get all my horses in a row. It's all about telling a good story, and that's what I hope to do.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Haunting Hour

I recently began watching a series on Netflix called "R.L. Stine's Haunting Hour." 

This TV series features creepy stories that remind me of Night Gallery or the old Twilight Zone series. 

In Haunting Hour, every episode features a different cast in a scary situation that would involve ghosts, aliens, witches, zombies and monsters. The story lines are dark and some serve as morality tales. 

My 12-year-old granddaughter is the one who led me to the stories. She was impressed by an episode called "Really You" about  a life-sized doll who wants to possess the little girl who owns it. Yes, total creep-fest!

These are the kinds of stories you might tell at night around a camp fire. 

As for structure, the stories are beautifully paced and suspense is high. I like that you can't predict the outcome. Not every story has a happy ending. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Charlotte Bronte

Then, too, Imagination is a strong, restless faculty which claims to be heard and exercised, are we to be quite deaf to her cry and insensate to her struggles? When she shews us bright pictures are we never to look at them and try to reproduce them? And when she is eloquent and speaks rapidly and urgently in our ear are we not to write to her dictation? - Charlotte Bronte, 1847

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Dreams by Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow. 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Jane Eyre

On a Jane Eyre kick right now. Watched Jane Eyre (2011) with Mia Wasikowska. Stunning cinematography and captures the tone of this poignant love story. Oh, the misty moors and forbidding castles!

Interested to see Jamie Bell as Saint John Rivers. The last time I saw him was in Billy Elliot as the thwarted teen dancer of Manchester. 

My plan now is to read the novel by Charlotte Bronte. Of course, one should always read the novel BEFORE watching the just makes sense. 

Favorite quotes:

ROCHESTER: What is your tale of woe? All governesses have a tale of woe. What is yours?
JANE: I have no tale of woe, sir.


JOHN RIVERS: What will you do with all your fine accomplishments? 
JANE: I will save them until they're wanted. They will keep.


ROCHESTER: I can see in you the glance of a curious sort of bird through the close-set bars of a cage, a vivid, restless, captive. Were it but free, it would soar, cloud high.


Jane: Am I a machine with out feelings? Do you think that because I am poor, plain, obscure, and little that I am soulless and heartless? I have as much soul as you and full as much heart. And if God had possessed me with beauty and wealth, I could make it as hard for you to leave me as I to leave you... I'm not speaking to you through mortal flesh. It is my spirit that addresses your spirit, as it passes through the grave and stood at God's feet equal. As we are.