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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Book Review: Following Atticus

Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary FriendshipFollowing Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship by Tom Ryan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When you step out of your comfort zone, and take a chance on love, you can do things you never dreamed possible! That's what was reaffirmed to me with this story of an overweight man and a tiny dog, who decided that together, they could climb mountains.

This book is full of so much poignancy, so much heart, so much beautiful writing, and so much wisdom, that I can't do it justice in a review. It made me laugh. It made my heart full. It made me cry. It made me envision the mountains in detail, even though I've never seen them with my eyes. It made me understand why people love the mountains. It made me want to read the works of Thoreau, Emmerson, Frost, and all those classic authors who felt the presence of God through nature. Most of all, it made my spirit soar!

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Book Review: "Ripple"

RippleRipple by Tui Allen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Every once in a while, a novel comes along that changes your perception of the world you live in. "Ripple" is such a book!

This is the most beautiful story, full of gorgeous prose and vivid imagery. It's the story of Ripple, a prehistoric dolphin who changed the universe for good. It's a fascinating blend of mysticism, spirituality, oceanic lore, and a love of animals.
"Ripple" is an exploration of the things we think we know about animals, but more importantly, the mysteries of the creatures with whom we share our world of which we have no clue. It's those beautiful secrets that could change our human world forever! If you love dolphins, you'll love this book, but once you've read the ending, you'll never look at things the same way again, EVER!

(As an aside, I would like to comment that for me personally, dolphins came alive in a way they never have before. I've never seen, or touched a dolphin, and as someone who's been totally blind since birth, it's sometimes difficult to develop a concept for an animal that I've had no opportunity to touch. The closest I ever got to imagining dolphins was by looking at toy dolphins. But with these glorious descriptions of their coloring, their bodies, the ways in which they swim, these creatures have become so much more real in my mind!)

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Life Is Never Boring

A few things have happened over the last year which have prevented me from blogging.
After last year's skull fracture, seven months of dizziness, hip and neck pain that resulted from the fall, I finally visited a neurologist and was diagnosed with epilepsy. Apparently, it's a condition I've had all my life as a result of premature birth, but I only just received a diagnosis. Add to all this some seizure medications with bad side effects, and a Blogger platform that is less accessible than when I last saw it, and you have fewer blog posts.
But it's my hope that things are beginning to smooth out for me, and that I can work around Blogger's less accessible features, so that I can resume posting over here. I've received some wonderful feedback for things I've shared on Facebook, and i hope to post them over here before too long. I apologize for the lengthy delay between posts, and for any strange visual appearance that may be present on Wordstream. At the present time, I don't see any way to edit the blog pages, so a few blog widgets and gadgets and such may be out of date.
I'd like to say a huge thank-you to those who have continued to keep Wordstream on their "to read" list, in spite of the sporadic posting. I hope to share a lot more with all of you soon. For the time being, I'm going to start sharing my Goodreads book reviews, because I've had the good fortune to read some incredible books as of late. Since I'm sharing straight from the Goodreads site, the posts may not be in the same format to which you've been accustomed, but I hope they'll be of interest, and increas your "to read" list.
Thanks again everyone, for staying with me on this blog, even though there's been nothing to read over here.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

"So, Where Have You Been?"

A couple of months ago, I sustained a head injury, thanks to a fractured skull, concussion, intracranial bleeding, etc. I'm recovering from the effects of it, and to anyone who reads and enjoys the blog, I apologize for my longterm absence. I am humbled and inspired to see that while I've been away, people have continued to read and comment on my blog. And I would especially like to thank those who have given me awards! They are more appreciated than you'll ever know, and please don't think I've purposefully ignored your kindness.
I'm not sure when I'll be back to regular posting. I'd rather give you quality than quantity, so for now, I'm just enjoying reading your posts.
The recovery process is long, but I thank you all so much for the comments, kind words, and blog awards.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

IWSG: Writer's Block

There are times when words and ideas flow effortlessly, from my mind to the page.
There are other times, like today, when i can't even think of a good topic to intrigue the Insecure Writers Support Group, and it's all due to the phenomenon known as writer's block.
Sometimes I can break it by simply freewriting. Other times, there seems to be no help for it, except to let my muse and writer's block battle it out til one wins.
Do you have any creative ways to deal with this problem?

Monday, January 30, 2012

"Southern" Reading Binge

I'm on vacation right now, gone to the moss-draped pines and magnolias of the South. My transportation of choice . . . books!

Everything from Fannie Flagg's warmhearted stories like "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe", to Tom Franklin's crime thriller "Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter", to Beth Hoffman's coming-of-age "Saving Ceecee Honeycutt" is fair game. I can relate to so many of these characters, and the small Southern towns where the stories take place. And nowhere is there more gorgeous writing than descriptions of Pat Conroy's Carolinas or even Nora Roberts's low country.

Are you a fan of novels in a particular geographic area?

Do you have any recommendations for my "Southern vacation?"

Monday, January 23, 2012

Update: 10K-a-Day Challenge

The 10K-a-Day Challenge didn't go as planned.
First of all, it turns out my inner editor has ninja training, as well as being an honorary Navy Seal, U.S. Marine, and half-immortal. In other words, IE was a little harder to shut down than I imagined.
Second, I'm doing some things to improve my health, and there's apparently a learning curve between my body and some of the new medication.
With those two factors at play, I only got a couple thousand words written Saturday.
But this isn't the end of the 10K-a-Day challenge.
I'm going to do some more plot outlining and give it another try, hopefully later this week.

In the meantime, I have to come up with a way to change my personality. I believe I am a perfectionist at heart, a type A personality, and I need to let that go, at least for the few hours it would take to get a first draft on paper. It's a difficult change to make, since i've been this way as long as I can remember.
But I'm forging ahead, because I believe in this story idea. If I can just get it right, this will be a work worthy of publication, and you all will remember these characters long after you closed the book.
Here's hoping everyone has a great week, (and a productive one for all writers).