Saturday, May 30, 2015
Saturday, May 16, 2015
My bank account may say I'm poor as a church mouse, but during lilac season I feel as rich as a queen!
... shared at Melinda Ott's Saturday Snapshot photoshare because everyone should experience springtime lilacs ...
Thursday, May 14, 2015
In preparing to write my reaction to this novel, I did a bit of research on the literary technique of using mystical realism in one's plot development. My only experience of the sub-genre (?) is with certain Latin American authors whose stories were so mystic that they were far over my head. I left this type of novel alone for years until I read Like Water For Chocolate, at which point, I thought that I'd fallen back into the mystic just enough.
The point is that this type of writing is not for everyone. You have to let go just a bit of what you consider real and true, latch onto the images and experiences of the characters and accept that what they experience is based in reality - their reality - a reality that serves to say something about life, higher ideals, et cetera. That being said, I found Leslye Walton's debut novel a winner. It's already being short-listed for awards across America as one of the best new young adult reads. I'm not so sure that it is strictly for young adults, but I often think that much of what is written for young adults is really 'cross-over' stuff. That's another rant post, though. Suffice it to say, this story addresses a bunch of issues like opening one's self to love and its messy possibilities, loving enough to allow one's children to become their own distinct personalities, fulfilling one's dreams and not being afraid to fail in the attempt, finding one's self in the midst of one's strong family influence and history, and overcoming society's sometimes harsh assumptions about one's self. Among a bazillion other things ...
Ava Lavender looks back on her life and her family history to tell a tale that will make you feel like you've entered a fairy tale. This is a love story, but it's not about the heart thumping happy ending of romantic love fulfilled. It's about the messiness of love, the development of love over time, the way love is nurtured by some and destroyed by others, the way one comes to love oneself enough to survive sorrows. The members of Ava's family experience love's foibles in vastly different ways and Ava reflects on these joys and sorrows, as her own life moves toward a strange climax.
I loved this book, but I'll warn you. It's not for everyone.
Monday, May 11, 2015
Jennifer Mathieu is relatively new to the young adult publishing world and in her first novel, she has hit the ball out of the park, as far as I'm concerned. Don't get me wrong. This is a difficult book to read, especially as a mature woman. It's graphic in its portrayal of young people and the culture of high schoolers and their world. I struggle with the level of sexuality, drugs and alcohol use that young people are exposed to, so reading a book as hard-hitting as this is difficult. That being said, it also flew by for me. it's not a long book. Alice's story unfolds fast and furious.
Saturday, May 2, 2015
This past week, I went away with some friends from my quilting guild. We had a retreat in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire. For three days, we shared sewing tips, worked on our individual projects and a few community service sewing projects, yakked about all things sewing, drank good wine, walked in the sunshine when we needed a break from the sewing studio, and ate really well.
There were thousands of fabric pieces worked with over the course of three days.
There was a lot of cutting going on too !
Of course, there was a ton of ironing to be done ... some would say too much!
In the end, though, it's all about the finished quilt tops ...
... and there were some beauties!
We had a couple fun raffles too ... I ended up winning an Ott light for mounting on my sewing machine. We old lady quilters need all the light we can get!
On the way home, I stopped at a huge quilt shop in Center Harbor, New Hampshire and bought a palette of batiks to use in my next big quilt project. I'm in hog heaven with all these colors ...
shared at Saturday Snapshot
Check out the other snapshot posts at Melinda Ott's website. Just hit the link above!