Monday, June 30, 2014

the mausoleum

The mausoleum burns
with flames light;
death succumbs to life
through the poet's plight.

Written by K, Copyright 2014

*I was having a bit of fun with my magnetic poetry sets last night!


What makes something real? I have grown to believe, or understand, that what we hold as our personal belief system (whether it is religion, spirituality, or simply just the way the world works), is what our own reality is. I believe that every living thing upon the earth can have their own personal truth that dives deep into all aspect of who one is and how they view everything around them. I know many will debate that there can be only one truth, but I think the world is so much more than what it appears to be, more than what our own minds can comprehend, that I do believe it is very possible. All our truths are entwined and connected, yet very specific to ourselves. How? Well, is that really important in the scope of living your life?

* I didn't much like today's journaling prompt over at The One-Minute Writer , so I chose an older one that I had not written on before.   

Sunday, June 29, 2014

sunglasses case crochet pattern

Here is my finished crochet sunglasses case. I am not sure the flower will stay on, as I am predicting that it may get tangled with pens and things in my purse, so I may remove it. Very simple and easy to make. It is simply 20 rows of 32 single crochet stitches, with the long side and one end stitched closed. The flower was made using a flower loom. Read on for further detailed instructions:

what kind of writer am I?

I use to be mainly a short story and children's writer. Over the past few years I think my writing has shifted a lot, to more serious or intense topics (such as A Love Song). I know a lot of this is due to my entering the waters of a much different world, being the onlooker of a loved one with a chronic illness, while developing my own OCD in the process. I have since been trying to find myself more in the space of writing, trying to figure out where I belong. I do still long to write more childlike playful pieces (such as The Thanksgiving Mouse), but have been pulled deeply into poetry (Power of Pain or Bauble), along with the fascinating discovery of flash fiction (such as Golden Gates), which I think fits my mind perfectly. I tend to envision certain scenes in my mind that have nothing else surrounding it, nothing but a specific moment or feeling that continues to play in my mind, haunting me until it gets written down. That is why I think I am so drawn to poetry and flash fiction now days. I don't know if that means that is the kind of writer I am, I kind of just go wherever my mind takes me!

* This was written from the journaling prompt over at The One-Minute Writer.

Sunday Reads #1

Inkheart (Inkworld, #1) Charlotte's Web I was searching online last night to see if Charlotte's Web was actually a public domain book, and stumbled upon a free android phone app that is basically the book in its entirety. So I had the pleasure of beginning this book early this morning when I awoke with a bit of insomnia. So, today I will probably be reading a lot more if Charlotte's Web and continuing on in my journey with Inkheart. Aside from that, I am going to try to crochet up a sunglasses case for a new pair of sunglasses. My previous ones got broken as they rolled around in my purse, and the lenses were just crazy smudged that would never clean off. I am hoping to try and keep these new ones in better condition (however my last ones did last me about 3 years or so).  

What are you reading this Sunday? Feel free to share in the comments below, or leave a link to your own post for me to check out!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

power of the mic

Earlier tonight we stopped at our small local bookstore. I had remembered seeing a used (nice condition) hardcover Charlotte's Web. Since I saw it, the book has been haunting my mind. I think probably everyone knows the story, and even remembers being exposed to the story in elementary school. However, I never recall actually reading this book. Even in elementary school, I only remember sitting on the floor of the library around a television to watch the movie. I don't think I have actually ever read E.B. White's words. For some reason, I have been craving to do so. I was saddened to discover the book was no longer there (though their computers said it should be), and opted not to purchase their other softcover used copies, as they were pretty yucky looking.  I must get my hands on this book sometime soon though!
Even though my book search was not a success, we stumbled into the store a few minutes shy of open mic night. What? I had no idea! So my hubby, two daughters, and I sat on the couch for a while and had fun watching a band of three jam their hearts out, a wild haired man sing and play his guitar (with more gusto than I have seen anyone do so), and a brave young teen share a personal poem. I always love watching people perform something they have worked so hard on. You can tell they have passion for what they are doing, even in all the little girls that participate in my girls' dance recitals. I love watching them stand proudly, sharing what makes them happy, sharing the fruits of their labor with whomever will watch or listen. It reminds me the importance of people being creative in that way. I know so many strive for that career, to be famous for their skill, become a celebrity for what they love to do. But really that isn't what matters, it is giving the heart room to soak up these wonderful moments, whether it is in front of a group of ten people in a tiny bookstore, or plastered between two hardcovers on every bookshelf. It all matters, and is wonderful to watch. 

her breath

Her breath is filled with hate,
Her heart is pounding
against her broken chest,
Seeking the truth though
All becomes silent, still,

Created by K, Copyright 2014

right now, 6 words

This is a bit of a tough one! But here goes....

Creativity flowing, blocked within six words.

I may have to come up with something more to journal about today than that. Today is our family day (getting a late start as usual), so hopefully later tonight I will come up with something more to share.

* This was written from a prompt (six word Saturday) at The One-Minute Writer.

Friday, June 27, 2014

By Hook or by Crook (Crochet Mysteries)

By Hook or by Crook (Crochet Mystery, #3)By Hook or by Crook by Betty Hechtman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a cute, fluffy read. I've been searching for some mystery books that don't necessarily revolve around a murder, leaves out any and all gory details, and is not filled with sex . This is book really fits what I've been searching for, with a lot of absurdity thrown in as well.

This is, of course, a murder mystery, but that is not really the mystery the book focuses on. There is a crochet group that meets frequently (it seems daily) in a bookstore where Molly Pink works. The characters in the group are so varied; for example, there is even a male model that is a member. (What?) The crocheters are always huddled around a filet crochet piece (a type of delicate crochet) filled with motifs (images) that was mysteriously left for them to decipher. Molly pretty much takes it over, letting her inner sleuth run wild through the town, eventually linking the crochet piece to a murder. Molly has this overwhelming inner desire to figure out who made the filet crochet piece, and why, and she will stop at nothing, including breaking into a private home, wearing her sons clothes, and even pretending to be a janitor.

There is also a recipe for a noodle dish at the end of the book that Molly Pink made several times during the book, along with a filet crochet bookmark pattern and a small crochet blanket pattern. I do crochet, so I might give them a try one of these days!

This was a really cute read. I was surprised to find myself still choosing to read this book every night before bed, as a huge part of me really didn't care about the storyline, or if Molly ever figured out what was up with the crochet piece, but it was simply just fun to read. I am guessing that is the purpose of the author, and she did good on that. I will definitely be keeping my eye open for more of her books, or others like this. She may have just opened up the world of cozy mystery books for me!

View all my reviews

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Sisterhood, #1)The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For whatever reason, I have had an overwhelming desire to read this book, one that I couldn't shake until I found myself ordering the entire series online. I finally received all four books in the mail yesterday, and less than 24 hours later, I have already devoured the first book.

Everyone and their mother must know this tale of the four best friends and the pair of magical pants. These four friends are, for the first time, spending the summer apart. And the pair of pants? Well, they think they are magical, so they must be...

All four girls are nervous to spend so much time apart, so they use this pair of pants that seems to magically fit all four of their different body types beautifully (unheard of in the world of being a girl), to symbolize the love and support that they have for each other. As they go their separate ways, each girl has their own journey, their own experiences that exposes a little more of the world we all live in. They share the pants, each girl wearing the pants during moments of embarrassment or mistakes, and then again during a time of comfort, solace, and making things right. This book covers deep emotional topics, such as young love, stepfamilies, sex (though it is mainly implied), and even death. But, more importantly, this book is about friendship. The kind of friendship that is filled with unconditional love, the kind that will last forever.

I really enjoyed reading about these wonderful girls. I think every teen will be able to relate to at least one of these girls, which is something we all seek to find in a book that we read. The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5, is mainly age related. I loved reading the book, but as I am a mother, married, older than these four girls, I crave to read about these topics on a different level, one that I can relate in my current life. I have seen concern about age appropriateness for this series, as it does touch on some issues that are not for the young, but I do think it all depends on the girl in question. Parents would know if their child is ready for such a book.

I will definitely be keeping this book around, and continuing on in the series.

View all my reviews

Real Reads Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility (Jane Austen)Sense and Sensibility by Gill Tavner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I kind of love that those classics that can be hard for adults to get through, are adapted and shortened for children to enjoy. I purchased the whole collection of Jane Austen Real Reads last summer I believe, hoping my daughters would get a glimpse into the world of Miss Austen.

I decided to give Sense and Sensibility a read this afternoon. It read very quickly, being only 54 pages long. The copy is made very sturdy. It isn't softcover, but isn't hardcover either. It is that weird in-between version. There is a dust jacket with a beautiful illustration of distraught Marianne being comforted by her older sister Elinor. There are similar colored illustrations throughout the book, with the pages being much thicker than normal pages.

I love the story of Sense and Sensibility, the newer BBC version of the movie is one of my favorite movies of all time. I thought this version of the story was well done. There is obviously a lot of the story details left out, considering its length. This version is told from the point of view of Margaret, the younger sister (who really has a very minor roll in the original). There was also a couple of times where events were kind of smushed together, and even characters (such as Ann and Lucy Steele becoming simply, Lucy Steele). I know some Austen fans might gasp in shock, but I don't think it hurts the story at all. I just think, a little condensed Jane Austen for young ones is better than no Jane Austen. My only complaint about the shortening and adapting in this specific novel is that the scene with Colonel Brandon finding Marianne in the rain was left out (although I have never fully completed the novel, so maybe that is just in the movies?). That is kind of one of my favorite parts, as it is the moment that Marianne begins to view Colonel Brandon in a different light, knowing how he rescued her.

I especially love how when the story ends, the book does not. At the back of the book, there is a bunch of information for budding minds! They explain how things were condensed and changed for space, and describe in detail how they were in the original novel. There is also a Back in Time section that explains what is was like to live in Miss Austen's time. Another section gives lists of more books and websites to further your Jane Austen interest, along with a few pages of discussion questions that leave your mind reviewing and really putting your thoughts together about what you just read. What more could a parent or teacher ask for in a Jane Austen introduction novel for young ones?

View all my reviews

Vikings of Legend and Lore Paper Dolls

Vikings of Legend and Lore Paper DollsVikings of Legend and Lore Paper Dolls by Kiri Ostergaard Leonard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After digging into this book, I decided to give a review on here. The book contains a paper doll based around Viking Legends, which includes a total of seven paper dolls (Thyra Danebood, Tove of Venden, Kraka the Shieldmaiden, Gorm the Sleepy, Harold Bluetooth, Ragnar "Hairy-breeks" Lothbrok, and the dragon, Lindwyrm). Each doll has a different pose, so their clothing can not be shared between them. Along with each paper doll, there is a short summary of the legend dealing with each person. I do wish that the book explained the legends a little more deeply, but I suppose I can't complain. The style of the paper dolls and clothes are beautifully done, and the colors chosen compliment the era of the Vikings well. The pages are all pretty thick, though not thick enough for the paper dolls to stand upright (even using the provided stands). The tabs for the clothing were placed very awkwardly. I was surprised to see parts of the clothing printed out onto the tabs, so that once folded behind the doll, it distorted the appearance of the clothes. Tabs were placed on a curved part of the body (such as the shoulder), so that you couldn't fold the tab over without really messing up the look of the clothing on the front. There was even a pair of pants where a tab was actually placed too far into the pants, so that folding the tab would over would still leave a large chunk of the bright white tab visible on the doll. I don't use tabs, and general snip them off, however, that specific tab even posed a problem for me, as I had to actually cut into the pants to remove the tab.

Aside from the tabs, I really liked this paper doll book. I love how the characters from Viking legends are depicted more as children rather than adults. Their faces are so detailed and original on each doll, it really makes for a set of fun paper dolls. Especially if you are someone that has an interest in Vikings. I think that this paper doll book and a book that further explains these legends would be a great gift for a child interested in this culture.

View all my reviews

My Storybook Paper Dolls

My Storybook Paper DollsMy Storybook Paper Dolls by Maggie Swanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a cute paper doll book filled with characters from well known fairytales. This book includes Little Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks, the three bears, the big bad wolf, the three little pigs, and Puss in Boots. Each doll and all the clothing is printed on thick cardstock type paper, which is very sturdy. Each doll has different body types, so they cannot share clothing between them. The illustrations and style of these dolls are very adorable and would catch they eye of any young child. The colors are bright, and their is plenty of clothing for even the animal characters. This is a great paper doll book for any fairytale lover.

View all my reviews

Thrift Store Diva Paper Dolls

Thrift Store Diva Paper DollsThrift Store Diva Paper Dolls by Charlotte Whatley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This paper doll book contains two diva dolls (Morgan and Sofia), which are present on the front cover. Both dolls are have the same body shape and size, so all the clothes provided within can be used for either doll. The clothing throughout the book show a thrift store price, along with where the piece was purchased (such as a garage sale, a charity thrift store, a discount department store). The dolls are printed on the inside flap of the covers of the book, so they are extra sturdy. The rest of the clothing is printed on pages that are thick enough for the clothing to hold up well. Tab placements are appropriate and useful. This book surprisingly has a ton of clothing for the two dolls provided, and would make a great gift for the little girls in your life that are interested in fashion and design.

View all my reviews

collecting your memories quote from Inkheart

Inkheart (Inkworld, #1)
'"If you take a book with you on a journey," Mo had said when he put the first one in her box, "and odd thing happens: The book begins collecting your memories. And forever after you have only to open that book to be back where you first read it. It will all come into your mind with the very first words: the sights you saw in that place, what it smelled like, the ice cream you ate while you were reading it... yes, books are like flypaper- memories cling to the printed page better than anything else."'

I especially loved this quote from the book, as I have always wondered if others felt this exact same way, that many times you associate a book you read with what was going on around you (or what was going on in your life) while you read it. Cornelia Funke describes this feeling so perfectly that it makes me widen my eyes in excitement to find that Meggie from within these pages is just like me. After 12 years of marriage, I can still remember sitting in bed at night reading Great Expectations, with my husband beside me thinking he was besting me by knowing who the benefactor was (however I had guessed correctly). I remember listening to an audio book on My Antonia, hearing about such a fascinating character that kept my mind distracted and unfocused when my daughter was very ill and in the hospital. I believe that Cornelia Funke must be correct, that memories cling to the printed pages of a book.

favorite fairytale or folkatale

What is my favorite fairytale or folktale? Does it say something about my life?

This is a tough one for me to answer, as I love just about any fairytale, folktale, and fable alike. I have always been drawn to these stories that have been around longer than any of us, tales that have been told by the mouths of ancestors throughout generations. Tales that have been told so many times that they have twisted and turned, changed and adapted, but are still told by mouth or through books to this very day. What an amazing journey! My overall love of these stories I think very openly displays my love for the connectedness we all have, whether with someone standing beside us in the now, or someone that has stood on the same ground so long ago. It amazes me that their hearts and lives still live on through the sharing of these tales. What more proof could you ask for that shows how we all leave a mark upon this beautiful planet?

Now, more deeply, I have to say I utterly adore fables. I am in my 30's, and can sit down and enjoy Aesop's Fables better than any novel out there on the market today. I love the messages, and how cryptic they can sometimes be, and how they are shared through such a medium that anyone at any age can be drawn in. Pure wisdom of what it means to be human. My favorite fable is probably The Tree and the Reed. I love that the idea of needing to be flexible in our lives, whether it is being unexpectedly late for an appointment, to something more severe as having to adjust your life for a chronic illness, is shared so simply.

As for fairytales, I really loved Once Upon a Winter's Night, which is a retelling of East of the Sun, West of the Moon. The descriptions of the wintry lands in this novel are so beautifully written, they have been imprinted on my mind. I did not, however, like some parts near the end of the book that left me feeling I will never reread it. I have never read the original tales that this book is based off, but I think maybe I would like that tale the most. Otherwise, I really just love all fairytales. Old versions, new versions, creative retellings. Any and all I find so fascinating and brilliant. I really love creativity in written form, especially when it is to continue on such a tradition as fairytales.

* I got this prompt from The One-Minute Writer. Please click here to see the post.

the cookie

She carefully crept down the stairs, her bare feet gently pressing against the floorboards. She grasped the bannister as she maneuvered her body awkwardly, avoiding the creaking spots that would sound off an alarm. Her breath quickened as she grew anxious, nervous to being caught. She blew a stray strand of hair off her eyes so that she might better concentrate on her task at hand. A soft whistling sound wafted through the air as she accidentally used her newfound talent. She paused, alert, listening for her own betrayal, then continued until she was finally at the bottom of the staircase. She walked cautiously to the kitchen, running her hands along the countertop in the darkness, feeling for the slick cold feel of the jar. Her fingertips grazed it, sending goose bumps up her arm as she quietly fumbled for the lid. Her free hand was immediately inside the jar, retrieving her most longed for treasure. She pressed it to her lips and breathed deeply through her nose to smell the wondrous scent before swiftly biting into it. Crumbs rolled down the front of her shirt and onto the floor, waiting to be found in the morning.  

Written by K, Copyright 2014 

* I initially started this flash fiction from Velvet Verbosity's writing prompt (stairs), but of course it ended up much too long to add it to their listing. You can check out the post from that blog here.