Monday, April 30, 2012

Cruising . . .

My Sweetie and I are planning a little cruise vacation -- our first.  It's going to be a shortie -- with two days at sea and two days visiting Nassau and Key West.  I know, I know.  You're either going to say, "What took you so long?" or "Are you crazy?"  I'm both excited and nervous.  Will we get sea sick?  Will we get crowd sick?  Will we get sick because we're eating mediocre food twelve times a day? (Hopefully, we'll be able to operate with some level of gastrointestinal rationality!) 

We've heard all sorts of warnings and must-dos, of course, from "Go ashore every chance you get to save your equilibrium" to "Book the special ship restaurant four months early to save your stomach linings." 

So, I ask you, what do we need to know?  What should we do?  What shouldn't we do?  What do you wish you knew before you went on your first cruise?  Will you every cruise again?  Will you ever talk to me again now that you know my future vacay plans? 

And, perhaps, most importantly, what the heck should we pack so we don't freeze, broil or die of embarrassment

Thanks for your feedback, your advice, your warnings . . .

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day!

You've heard it a million times already, but here's one more reminder for the road -- The world is in our hands.  It is in all of our hands.  Take care of it.  Do your part.  Plant a tree.  Recycle.  Put up bluebird houses, or bat houses.  Compost.  Carry a sack to the grocery store . . . or?

What are you doing for Earth Day?

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Favorite for Voice

This superb book, by Barbara Kingsolver (1998), is an oldie, but a goodie, and, in my opinion, is the supreme novel highlighting voice.  The book is about Baptist Preacher Nathan Price who moves his wife and four daughters from Georgia to the Belgian Congo, circa post WWII, in order to try to convert the Congolese to Christianity. The book consists of alternating first-person narratives from the perspectives of all five women -- one of the few instances in literary history that a prominent male character is left voiceless. 

Rumor has it that Kingsolver spent almost two decades working on this book and wrote it five times over -- once in the voice of each of the female characters.  For each chapter, she picked the version with the character's voice she liked best and compiled the book into the stunning work that it is. 

Orleanna is the mother who is torn between obeying her husband and seeing to the health and welfare of her four daughters.  Rachel is the first born daughter, and, at fifteen is characteristically adolescent and materialistic. Leah is the idealistic twin of Adah who is developmentally delayed, and Ruth May, is the baby of the family -- an innocent five year old. The five female characters speak of their frustration and struggle as they attempt to assimilate into the world of the Congo, amid the poverty and political turmoil of the period, even as they challenge and reassess Nathan, and all that he represents with his hierarchical views about gender, race, class and religion.

A must read!  Enjoy this treasure.

Monday, April 9, 2012


Bluebirds are my favorite bird and I've decided to try to attract them to our yard.  We've seen some here and there but never with any regularity.  With a little online poking around, I found out that these lovely bug-eaters will nest in boxes overlooking meadows and grasslands.  Nearby trees are helpful for the baby blues when they're learning to fly.  My husband and I set up our first bluebird house this weekend and are eager to see if it will attract a beautiful family.  There are so many dos and don'ts, myths and legends out there -- it's hard to know which bluebird attracting tips really work.  Have you had luck attracting bluebirds to your yard?  If so, please share your helpful hints!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Highlighted Author

I'm happy and honored, today, to be the featured author, on esteemed Charlene A. Wilson's "Highlighted Author" blog.  Stop by Wilson's blog to read up on Shame the Devil, sure, but don't stop there.  You can also explore a virtual bookshelf of other literary delights, indulge in loads of book trailers and scan little known facts about countless authors and their missives.  Enjoy finding your next great read!  

Click here to visit the website:  Highlighted Author

Take a gander at my Book Trailer:  Shame the Devil  (It's got a great song!)