My Log Cabin in Alaska

Thursday, August 15, 2013

And Still I Plow Forward

Summer time is busy time and that's just the way it is. I used to think I could do anything (and do it better than anyone else) I believed I was Wonder Woman (I think I lost my magic bracelets) And I knew I was Supergirl (my cape seems to be a bit ragged)

Still I plow forward.

This week I have built a workbench in the blearing heat of Texas, planted a tree, fought fire-ants to no avail, put up turkeys (yea, it's a farm we raise our own meat), took care of my still injured hubby, did a whole pile of writing and not sure any of it is readable, did a whole pile of editing and hope I didn't miss another 500 mistakes, kept up with the housework 'cause it's the best excuse for not going out in the heat, and designed my display table for my first big book event!

Oh, yea! I get to go showcase my little book with all the good writers of Texas at the Texas Word Wrangler festival in Giddings! And I don't have a clue what to expect. So I do my research, pray, and plow forward....we will see what happens next.

But, I don't remember taking any time for me, and as I sit here trying to make sense of my keyboard, I realize that I'm not listening to the advise of my friend Candilynn. Take time to clear out the gunk, let the brain cells rest a bit, meditate and refocus. Now, where's my schedule book, I gotta pencil that in somewhere!

Wow, even the computer is tired, it won't upload my picture of my new tree!

Eventually when you keep plowing forward, you will bend something that you didn't mean to bend.  I think I will get a pretty picture and just look at it for a while, nothing else, no plowing.

What do you do to unwind, unplug, and relax the brain muscle?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Review: Ascending Spiral by Bob Rich

Ascending Spiral: Humanity's Last ChanceAscending Spiral: Humanity's Last Chance by Bob Rich
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Such a thought provoking story I have never read before. Do I believe in reincarnation? Hardly. As a Bible believing Christian I believe in one life, one death and the resurrection of the eternal soul…. And just what does that mean. As an open minded intellectual I humorously entertain thoughts of what or who I may have been, or might become in different lives because of something that has just happened to me.

And the Question still begs for an answer, “Why am I here?”

I chose this book partly from curiosity, partly from personal need, and partly from a drive I had no control over. As a person who focuses mainly on children’s books or much lighter and predictable Westerns, I first found this book to be hard to read. But it was harder to put down. And now that I’ve turned that last page, it will be impossible to forget.

I followed Pip through his life. I struggled through many of ‘his’ other lives, and when I gaze at the myriad of stars over the Texas plains at night I really do wonder how many others are looking down on me. “What is my purpose here?” I feel the struggle as life continues, and the surprise as I begin to realize that one soul has moved on to a new lesson. Then more surprise as I discover that the soul may be able to choose the lessons. “What could possibly be next?” I was driven almost to the point of stress as Pip’s life became complex and confusing, the story bouncing from one time frame to another and back again. But, Isn’t that how life goes as we mature, grow, and find success?

I love the ‘spiral’ motif. It is motion, it is economy of motion. It can lift but it can also drill, or be a feather drifting lazily to settle in the shade of a willow tree. Do we spiral toward a more complex lifestyle or to a simpler one? Like Pip, I have choices. How can I know that each choice I make will result in peace of heart and mind for me and my children? And what about the temptation to choose wealth or just a tiny dab of celebrity? I pray that my choices will result in my being able to ‘pass’ this lesson, but even more than that, that my choices will result in my children being able to also learn and pass their own lessons.

Thank you, Bob, for your writing. And by the way, I’ve been a conservationist, and mostly off the grid, for a large part of my life. I now live in a ‘tiny house’ and the solar panels are on the way. And, thankfully, just as with Pip, the ‘taker’ has become the ‘giver’, the ‘destroyer’ has become the ‘builder’, and I hope that the stubborn will soon learn enough to become the teacher.

View all my reviews

Saturday, August 3, 2013

A Review: The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde

Published October 2nd 2012 by HMH Books for Young Readers
(first published November 4th 2010)
I chose this book and bought a copy because I won the second in the series in First Reads through Goodreads and I just had to read the first in the series! Although I do enjoy dragon stories, I may not have selected this book to read without some other motivation, personally I prefer Westerns or horse books, and I must say that without this author and these books my reading experience has been lacking.

I enjoyed the fresh and subtle plot and the twists along the way which kept me engaged. I love, love, love the detailed descriptions and the colorful language (which was used as a point to separate the classes and was distained to the point of humor). The characters and made up creatures were fun and believable in a fantasy sort of way and I felt a true connection to the heroine, Jennifer Strange. One of the best elements of this story in my humble opinion is the melding of old and new. Medieval dragons, trolls, [and what in the world is a Quarkbeast?] and magic all combined in a world of cars, telephones, and computer code is just cool. And I appreciated the very hidden messages of conservation, loyalty, and standing up for one's own beliefs.

I quickly got into the story as young Jennifer, an orphan, a foundling indentured into work as manager of magic in the aging hotel full of mostly retired sorcerers. She faces her challenges with wit and courage that belies her age. I laughed with her, I feared for her, and I grieved as she faced her greatest challenge.

I recommend this book to young people, it will expand your horizons, and to adults, it will renew your belief in goodness.