Monday, February 8, 2016

Libraries Freak Me Out

Today I went out to a public library for the first time in over a year. The place freaked me out. I didn't like being there. 

I'm not sure if it was the computers, all the people using the internet, the three security guards who were haunting the place (yes, they have security guards at the Logan Central Library now) or the row upon row of books that are sitting there waiting to be read by people.

I sat there in a chair waiting for a group session to start a reserved room (I was an hour early; as I wanted to sit and read; but silly me I forgot my book!) and instead, I looked around to see how much my local library had changed. Not much really - just it had internet and wifi, and security guards walking around looking really bored (and believe me, they were bored). 

Then, it dawned on me about why this place put me on edge: these books have been taken home by somebody else. They've been coughed on, sat on, sneezed on... they've been carted around in somebody's bags, or a dog might have slept on them in a teenager's bedroom floor. Yes, I was having the typical reaction of a not knowing where these books have been.
Even when I found a book I was interested in and I picked it up, took note of the ISBN, put it back, I really wanted to wash my hands. I know that sounds weird and germaphobic. But here at home, I know where my books have been (well, okay, most of the time); and when they come home, I wipe them down and Glen-20 them with a spray so they're clean. That sounds really over the top, but that's how I keep my home library the way it is - clean. 

I did borrow a book from the library. But when I got it home, I carefully placed it in such a way that it wasn't touching any of my chairs, my bed or anything personal... because, well, I don't know where it's been before my place. 

And yes, public libraries freak me out. Home libraries don't. I think it's because public libraries have so many books that I haven't read, haven't seen, don't want to see and there are so many aisles of the same thing the sight of them overwhelms me. However, a home library has many books in a small space and it's a lot of things in all at once; not spread out across a huge space. 

So, what about you? Do libraries have this affect on you? Or am I alone in this? Until today, I didn't know these buildings had this affect on me; not when they used to be places of comfort and wonder to me when I was younger. I wonder what changed? Until my next post, happy reading. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Best Bargains at Craft Group

It's been two months since I attended my local craft group and just yesterday I went to it again for our first meeting. And what a stinking hot day to get outside to go somewhere! We did get some rain with a few grumbles of thunder, but that didn't do anything to cool Brisbane down - our city just got hotter and more humid. And seeing I didn't buy any books in January, I thought to skip the 'In My Shelves' Monthly and just jump straight into what I bought yesterday. 

But I seem to find the best books at my craft group. The ladies there have the best things in their bookcases. I think it's because they taste in reading is decades old and I'm the youngest one there who loves the classics; but I did find some great books on the selling table. 

The first book I spotted was 'Gardens in Perspective' by Jerry Harpur. It's a nice big hardcover book on Australian gardens and how to get them to look just they way you want them to look with the right plants. It's an old-fashioned book - and that's what I love; old-fashioned gardening in my little garden. I got this one from the book trolley for only a dollar; what a bargain!
The next two were fiction books from the show table and I dug around for them. The first one is 'The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie' by Alan Bradley and 'The Moon is Down' by John Steinback. I had to judge how much I wanted to pay for these books. So I paid $1.00 for the first one and only .50c for the Steinback one; as it was a pulp fiction. 

I do love getting great books for even better prices; and it's amazing where you find the best books - in the most unusual places, which normally aren't bookstores. So, where have you found the best books in your life? Which one was the best bargain, where did you find it and was it a huge surprise to find it where you did? Until my next post, happy reading.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Reading Habits

Every reader has their own way of doing things with their books. I love to read late into the night - like most of us do - and I also love to read in my big comfy Reading Chair on a day when it's raining outside.

However, I found a list of 14 Secret Habits that readers do. Which ones do you do? For me, it's a good lot of this list. Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A Little Poetry

I've been writing poetry lately, and reading it as well. So, I thought to collect a few blogs some of you might be interested in here:

Tuesday Poem


Poems and Poetics


The two above are blogs where people have written their hearts and souls out on the screen for everyone to read, love and enjoy. And I've read a few of the poems before posting them here. They're lovely.


The next one is about how and why people write poetry. It goes into the intricacies of that particular way of expressing ourselves and gives us a better understanding of poets - from a few points of view. 


The Music In It 


I know I've done poetry blogs before, but just listing a tonne of them here... but this time, it's about quality, instead of quantity. I hope you've all enjoyed the few I've found here. Happy reading.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Writer's Group!

In a couple of weeks, my monthly writers' group starts up again! I can't wait! I love going to this group as it's keeps me on the ball with my work. 

It's the Logan City Writers' and I joined it after The Crew finished up at the end of last year. I hope to get my work in today - or tonight - and hope my peeps enjoy reading it. 

The book I'm getting them to look at is 'Fry Nelson: Bounty Hunter' ... it's all still in the first draft and so does need a lot of work. However, when I have had people look at it, they love the idea, the story, of it. The main problem with this group is that there is only allowed 600 words and I have a full chapter to send; which usually keeps them reading to the very end (and so this is why I send the whole chapter so they know how it ends - as the chapter is really a story which is also a chapter in the life of Fry Nelson; complex way of writing, I know, but it works out in the end). 

So, what kind of writing have you been doing? And if you're reading anything new, what have you been getting your nose into? For me, it's needlepoint books to learn new stitches to make pin cushions - yeah, sounds boring, but it's really very challenging as it's all to do with counting and numbers; most certainly not my forte. Until my next post, happy reading!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Busily Reading and Writing

It's been a big time in the world for famous rockers passing away for us... I mean, David Bowie was a real shocker for us all. I grew up with his music and then Alan Rickman went and joined him the next day. And just today, we lost Glenn Frey from The Eagles. However, I've been busy writing poetry on David Bowie (check out my Flash Fiction blog, the poem is there).

And a few nights ago, when I couldn't sleep, I sat in my lovely big chair and got through about 20 pages of 'Star Wars Aftermath'... it felt good to just sit down and read for a bit and forget about the world outside. And what a great book to read. Besides, I wasn't feeling all that great as I had a bit of food poisoning (urgh... eggs where the chickens had eaten thistles... they tasted bitter).

Then, the next day, I started reading Margaret Olley's biography: 'Margaret Olley: Far From A Still Life' by Meg Stewart. I'm only about 20 pages into it and - even though I have found it's not all that well-written (smelt instead of smelled - but then I'm a grammar nazi) and there were a few words which were spelled differently due to generational differences - however it paints a great view of how her childhood was spent. I want to read the rest of it in one sitting. And this book is a massive book of 608 pages... this includes a detailed index and 4 lots of photographs.

I'm still writing 'Angel Wars' and the Flash Fiction has started up again through Chuck Wendig's 'Terrible Minds' blog - which is going to keep me busy as well. I've begun writing my own flash fiction too and posting it up there on my Flash Fiction Blog as well; along with my once a week stuff. This is a new thing, to keep my work original and up-to-date - to show I don't always need a prompt from somebody else.

Well, that's what I've been up lately, including some volunteer work, needpoint and decluttering my house. I got rid of 5 books from my collection (which I found really hard to do! But I'm proud of myself!). So do tell, what have you been up to over the last week? How has the passing of the David Bowie affected you? I know it absolutely shattered me as I loved his work in every way - when I first heard 'Let's Dance', I wanted a pair of red shoes, so I could dance in the serious moonlight... what? I was young and believed it all could happen; and it was the 80's.  Until my next post, happy reading!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Top 100!

Blogs are blogs, right? Wrong. There's some great writing and book blogs out there; and now I've found a list of the top 100 book and writing blogs on Facebook.

The top 100  writing blogs is really something to sink your teeth into! Seeing I'm a writer, I thought to jump onto this link to see if 'Terrible Minds' is on there - and it made it to #15! Yay! I'm so happy it made it so high up on the list!

Well, I hope you enjoy perusing this list as much as I did. Until my next post, happy reading - and writing.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Summer Cold Recovery

Somehow, at some point over the last few weeks, I've caught a Summer Cold. Right now I've got a horrible foghorn type of cough and it's dreadfully catching in my throat. 

So, after going to the doctor, he told me to take it easy and relax... and that's exactly what I've been doing: relaxing in my Reading Chair getting my nose between the pages of 'Star Wars: Aftermath' by Chuck Wendig.
Now, I'm kinda thankful I watched the first three episodes of 'Star Wars' and did some Googling of who Wedge Antilles is... because at the beginning of the book, he sounded familiar, but until I watched the films, I didn't know he was a major part of the movies, one of Luke Skywalker's friends and well... if I say anymore I'll give away the plot! 
But, I've been sitting in my lovely big Reading Chair and just getting in and reading up big of that book with the air conditioner on, and loving how comfortable it is - how quiet this room is and how easily I could... just... nod... off to... sleep. 

Yeah, that chair is darned comfy!

Well, as the doctor has ordered me to do, I am taking it easy and doing some serious reading; and for once, I'm getting into my comfy chair doing it. So, where do you love to read while you're recovering from a cold? I've tried my bed, but the Reading Chair is most certainly the place for me! Until my next post, happy reading.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

A New Year of My Reading List!

Happy New Year to you all!

I hope you've had a wonderfully fun New Year filled with reading and books, bookstores and other book-related interests.

I have, and I'm looking forward to jumping in feet first this year and talking about just about anything to do with books and authors, publishing and reading.

As usual, there's no real plan to this, but I am planning on reading more - as last year was a real bust on the reading arena. However, I have found you guys aren't as into The Summer of Fun as you were a few years ago; so I'm going to ditch that next Christmas and just post as much as I can on whatever topics happen to be around.

I'm hoping to get in and interview more authors this year, as I didn't get around to interviewing any last year. And I hope to get in and work on getting some of my own works looked at being read and edited by a group I joined late last year - The Logan City Writers. They're a great bunch of people who are also into getting their work looked at as well.

So, onto you guys. 

Do tell! What have you been reading? I know some of you are writers and are publishing your works. Let us in on your deadlines and if you're allowed to tell us what you're publishing this year? Are you working on anything new? And if you are, tell us all about it? 

Me? I'm still working on 'The Angel Wars' - yes, my NaNoWriMo book I started last year. It's going well, and I'm hoping to answer the questions posed at the end of my 'Angel Love' book (the first one I wrote in 2014)... which I never really thought would take off, but it did.
I'm also hoping to get in and write more of my Flash Fiction stories - editing them a little and getting them to work better - and pulling the ones I like into my first book to see if I can get a quote from a local publishing house. Then, I'll apply for a grant to make it happen. I know a cover artist or two I've met and... well, I hope to get my butt out there into the Flash Fiction world - in ebook form as well as traditionally printed.

So, there are the plans for this year. How's your year looking so far? Until my next post, happy reading!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

A New Year of Reading Coming Up!

Yes! In only just over a day or so, we'll be in a very new year of 2016! This will be a squeaky clean new year of reading, writing and discovering bookstores and book-related topics! 

Yay!

Well, I'm hoping to get in and read more books than I did this year - but then I was writing a few things and editing this year, so that's why I was so slow in getting my reading list up. However I did buy many books to add to the ever-growing, ever-gremlining collection of my books! 

So, here are my hopefuls for next year to be read, in no particular order:

'Blood Music' by Greg Bear
'Mostly Harmless' by Douglas Adams
'Joyland' by Stephen King
'Oxygen' by Andrew Miller
'Margaret Olley: Far From Still Life' by Meg Stewart

These are just a few to start the year. I'll add to them as it progresses. 

I am currently reading 'Star Wars: Aftermath' by Chuck Wendig and loving it! Seeing Star Wars is a huge thing right now, I'm looking forward to getting my nose into the next book of this trilogy when I get the next one from the bookstore. Well, what have you hopefully planned to read next year? Until my next post, happy reading!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Pin it!

I've been meaning to expand my horizons in the way of how my photographs are viewed here. Right now, they are linked to sites and you just click on a particular word in a paragraph which is highlighted and you're taken onto another page - usually Photobucket.

However just before Christmas Eve, I joined Pinterest and have only uploaded three photos onto it. I've been meaning to join this site and have some fun with it as some of my friends have told me about it many times; but I've hesitated.

So, if you're part of a photographic site, which one are you a member of? I'm on Photobucket, 365Project and am now on Pinterest. Please do share yours and let us know the link/s so we can have a look into your reading world too. Until my next post, happy reading!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Caedmon Audio Books

Tonight's been a long one for me... very long. By the time you get in and read this, it'll be well and truly Christmas Day on the top and I'll be in bed sleeping off a massive dinner I really should have had more restraint in dishing up onto my plate at my cousin's house.

But when the gift-giving came around, I was totally surprised by what my brother and niece gave me! They went into the city on Sunday and sussed out presents for everyone - well the last ones for everyone - and found me two audio vinyls from Caedmon Audio Books


These books aren't whole books, they are just chapters of the books - excerpts if you will - and are read by the authors of the books themselves. Very cool if you ask me! And my brother knowing how I'd squeal with delight about these things bought them for me for two reasons: I love books in any way shape or form, and I collect vinyls. 


The most special thing about these two vinyls is that they were in their original wrappings and have never been played before. So, I'll have something to 'read' over the weekend while it's raining - very cool. 


Caedmon Audio Books have been around since the 1950's, recording books on vinyls for a long time to keep people in connection with the written word for as along as everyone had turntables. 

However, as time went on and technology became better and faster, another company took them over, but kept the name of Caedmon; to keep the familiar feel to the product - HarperCollins Publishing. This company expanded upon the vinyls and kept up the quality recordings in America and across the world; making Caedmon a household name.
In the 1990's, Harper/Collins moved with the times and changed their ways slightly and moved from vinyls to CD's - but they changed the old name of Caedmon to their publishing name and the older name of Caedmon faded out quickly; thus the next generation didn't know about them as well. 
I'm glad there's people who still have these long-playing vinyls around to play as they're something interesting and brilliant to keep on hand if you're wanting something different to read instead of a book or an e-reader. It's a very retro way of reading, and having the very author's voice reading the words the way they're supposed to have been read is even better! Until my next post, happy reading.