Sunday, March 29, 2015

I Love Sunday; That's My Funday

The moment calendar days can be seen on next month's page, I impatiently fast-forward to that page.

I'm inking in all the things I've planned for April. 

Yes, I have an online calendar - but I still put everything on my kitchen calendar.  It's on the small sliver of wall space next to the counter that holds the coffee pot.  I like seeing my month at a glance as, I pour my first cup of dark brew.  Mom says my coffee is more espresso-esque. 

Last year's calendar was doors as incentive to open new ones. This year I chose butterflies which symbolize metamorphosis as incentive to...

Bacon is in the oven, as I'm too lazy to nurse it on the stovetop. Jazzmine is purring loudly in the chair across from me as the aroma fills the kitchen.  She's hoping for a taste or two. I'm sipping my third cup of coffee, just poured my first glass of champagne and watching CBS Sunday Morning on the tiny TV in the corner of the

I love Sundays. Cheers y'all 

Friday, March 20, 2015

People Tools that Apply to Real Life (Book Review)

The book, People Tools by Alan C. Fox, was very well written and I liked the format of the numbered Tools. Each begins with a vignette of personal experience broken down to its teachable moment components. Here’s how it went, here’s the result, here’s how it could go better using the appropriate people tool.

These are truly people tools that actually apply to real life.

Example: I particularly liked People Tool 15 – Sunk Cost. This resonated with me, as I meet so many people that hang on to the past in relationships, jobs, hurts, etc., because they’ve invested so much money or years of their lives, that they can’t let go and invest in a better future.

“Sunk Cost The dilemma is a company with a new machine that cost $1M and the salesman wants to sell them a better machine for another $1M.  Sunk Cost Theory says, The cost of the old machine is entirely irrelevant. It’s a sunk cost. The money is spent. It’s gone… You only have to consider the future” 

Good advice, if you’re stuck in a job you hate, a relationship going nowhere, in a money pit – you get the gist.

“If your past investment isn’t working for you, find a better alternative for the future. In business, the salesperson may call on you. In your life you have to be the salesman for yourself. (Buy a Ticket.)”

Good Advice for many stuck in a rut.

As for me. I’m applying the following to my day-to-day writing and painting - People Tool 16 Get Past Perfect.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Angels At The Gate (a book review)

In Angels At The Gate, another nameless woman from the bible comes to life under T.K. Thorne’s deft hand.  An amazing storyteller, Thorne takes us back in time to 1748 BCE.  It is the time of Abraham, of Lot, of men believed to be angels and messengers of God, and it is the time of the infamous Sodom and Gomorrah.

As she did in Noah’s Wife, Thorne gives us a brilliantly imagined alternate history. She gives a face, a name, a life to another faceless, nameless woman of the bible. Here it is Lot’s wife - Adira.

We follow the fortunes of this young woman.  Called Adir, a male’s name, Adira is raised as a boy.  As member of her stern but loving father’s caravan, she is schooled in the art of trade negotiations, the languages of the people in the lands they traverse, and duty.  Under the sterner hand of the caravan’s cook, Chiram, she learns the meaning of hard work, loss and loyalty.

She observes and appreciates the freedom allowed her male persona, which the females around her will never know.  The woman in her stirs; however, every time the tall blue-eyed stranger comes near. Though the man and his brother are thought to be messengers of god, she cannot help the feelings and the fervent wish, at least for him, to reveal the woman she is.

Adira’s father sees his daughter coming to an age where her womanhood becomes obvious.  It is a dangerous thing among the tribes, this deception.  A woman would be put to death for daring such.  He tells Adira she must go live with women relatives, but Adira balks and gets her way to stay one more time.

The reprieve is cut short all too soon, and her cherished childhood comes to an abrupt end.  The life she knew and people she loved are ripped away.  With only her faithful and much loved dog, Nami, she embarks on a path in pursuit of the messengers of god.  The winding path takes her through trials and triumphs, and eventually to Lot’s house and Sodom.  To tell you more would require a ‘spoiler alert’ and I will not do that.

Thorne’s agile imagination and extensive research, give Adira a believable history - a name, a life and a story worthy of writing and reading about.  Here we have the story of the woman who would be Lot’s wife, Adira, imagined as it could have been, and who can say Thorne didn’t channel it as it really was.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Edge of Dreams (a book review)

Book Review
The Edge of Dreams,by Rhys Bowen

Rhys Bowen’s latest book in her Molly Murphy mystery series, The Edge of Dreams, has a serial murderer on the loose in New York City. The murderer is taunting the police with letters directed to Molly’s police captain husband, Daniel Sullivan. Much to Daniel’s chagrin Molly is brimming with ideas and champing at the bit to get involved.

She can’t help herself. Although some years ago she arrived a fresh-off-the boat immigrant, Molly soon found herself apprentice to a private investigator. When he was murdered, Molly successfully ran the business herself. It’s now 1905 and Daniel had hoped marriage and motherhood would keep her safely home as a good wife. He balks at what he considers her meddling, forbids her to get involved and refuses to discuss any part of the case with her, at least at first.

But Molly is too bright and persistent and has more ideas than he or any of his peers to be still for long. She slowly involves herself in the investigation exposing herself to dangers she's only seen on the edge of dreams.

I discovered this series in 2008 when there were seven books in the series. I started with Murphy’s Law when Molly, wanted for questioning for murder, flees the authorities in Ireland. She lands at Ellis Island where a fellow-traveller is murdered. Everyone is detained on the island as suspects, and intrepid Molly, determined to get on with her life in America, is determined to solve it herself. I read the whole series in a month and have eagerly awaited every new adventure.

The characters are well developed and alternate lifestyles are explored with a light touch. Each story is well plotted and includes historical events that give an authenticity to New York City and the country of that era. I like that Bowen gives her own possible solutions to some of history’s unanswered questions of the time.

Although each book can stand alone as complete, it’s always nice to know a person’s history. In case you want to read the entire series as well, below is a list in order of publication.

  • Murphy's Law (2001)
  • Death of Riley (2002)
  • For the Love of Mike (2003)
  • In Like Flynn (2005)
  • Oh Danny Boy (2006)
  • In Dublin's Fair City (2007)
  • Tell Me, Pretty Maiden (2008)
  • In a Gilded Cage (2009)
  • The Last Illusion (2010)
  • Bless the Bride (2011)
  • Hush Now, Don't You Cry (2012)
  • The Family Way (2013)
  • City of Darkness and Light (2014)
  • The Edge of Dreams (March 2015)