Posted in Encouragement, Writer Musings

Your Outlook On Life

Have you ever listened to your internal thoughts?  You know the ones, Dear Bloggites, the little voice in your head constantly telling you this and that on everything you do in life.

I love to learn; and when I learn some interesting facts or a new thought process, I take notice.  I am that person that hopes for the best and plans for the worst.  Having that type of outlook on life, for me, allows me to enjoy the little things in life while being prepared for the unexpected.

That little voice or internal thought is my joy and pain.  My joy because I know I can do anything I set my mind to do and usually when I make up my mind to do something, I rarely change it.  But on the flip side of that, the inner thoughts are my pain.  I am constantly catching myself doing negative speak in my head.  You know the kind – “You’re an idiot”, “Stupid”, “Ugly”, etc.  I hear them all the time trying to take forefront in my brain and it is a constant battle for me.

If you have ever spent five minutes with me, you will probably be surprised by this admission, but it is true.  The negativity bleeds in my brain about myself a lot and I am constantly having to patch up the wound.  That is why most people would be shocked to know that I even have one negative thought in my brain because I CHOOSE to embrace this Journey called Life and so whenever I hear the negative monster stomping up the isle in my mind, I slam the door shut and repeat positive thoughts that void the negative.

Doing this trick – changing the negative to the positive – is hard because you must make a conscious effort to really listen to your mind and thoughts all the time.  Some days are harder than other days, but I keep the fight going because at the end of the day, I want to look at myself in the mirror and know I did right by everyone I was in contact with as well as doing right by myself.

What do you struggle with and how do you deal with it?  Share your thoughts below.  I look forward to chatting with you.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Writer Musings

It Can Be Done! :) Angela Did It!

Great Things Quote Vincent Van GoghI know it can be done.  I have heard it many, many times before.  I have read it, discussed it, and ponder it until the cows came home; but today, I witnessed it!  You wonder what “It” is, do you, Dear Bloggites?  Well, let me explain “It” to you.

It is not sex, but something better, yeah, I said it, something better!  It is watching someone work so hard and so long, trudging through the quagmire of memory and pain, to come out on the other side, wholer (is that a word?  Well, I am using it!) than they were before and having the proof of that journey.

I was blessed to join a wonderful group of ladies at the Heart & Soul Writer’s Group tonight and I was greeted with the wonderful smiles of Pat and Lisa asking me how I have been doing and what they can do to help me on my journey of writing and after a while, Angela joined us.  She looked transformed from the last time I saw her, and in her arms, she carried the first edition of her story!  YaY!!!!!

I have watched and listened and discussed with her over the past year on the few (sadly, very few) visits I have managed to make to this group meeting about her story.  It is a story I can closely relate to because of my story.  Now, I know I am getting oddly cryptic, but I don’t want to give away her story until she has determined how she wants to present it.

I have heard that writing a book and FINISHING a book can be done, but until tonight, I never witnessed it actually happening to someone I knew.  My heart is overrun with joy for Angela and I am so inspired that I have yet another fire in my soul to get my book finished to share with the world.

Thank You, Angela, for sharing your journey with me, and I cannot wait to buy your book! Congrats!!!!

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss

A panda walks into a café.  He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots in the air.

“Why?” asked the confused waiter, as the panda makes towards the exit.  The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.

“I’m a panda,” he says, at the door, “Look it up.”

The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation.

“Panda.  Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China.  Eats, shoots & leaves.”

Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne TrussHi Ho, All!  I am doing a bonus book review, well heck, not really a bonus since I blog on most of the books I read. 😀  As you all know, I am a writer, albeit newbie writer, but a writer nonetheless and am always looking for books that cover the craft of writing and storytelling.

Being a Grammar Nazi, I always get giddy with books over any kind of grammar lessons, and I was nicely surprised when one of my Beautiful Books & Broads Book Club Tribe Monkey Member came up to me and handed me this book stating she immediately thought of me when she read this book.  Between the punctuation lesson and the snarky sarcastic way of the author, Lynn Truss, Darling Janice knew this was a book for me to read.  Thank You, Janice!!!

I was hooked on this book immediately from the first snarky sentence by the author.  I love being reminded of proper punctuation and in this day and age of “Text Speak”, punctuation is a dying art.  The book Eats, Shoots & Leaves, talks about all the standard punctuation marks that are slowly being disregarded in this world of technology where no one questions why their sentence seems off because Word did not tell them there was an issue. 😦

Lynne Truss covers the history of each punctuation she is talking on and provides great examples of how and how not to use each of them.  I was smiling from cover to cover reading this book.  If you are a writer or not, this book will definitely help remind you of how to properly state things in a written work so the meaning is completely clear without a question.

I give Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss 5 out of 5 Bookmarks.  It is a definite must have for anyone who knows how to write. 🙂  Happy Reading!

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Death By A Honey Bee by Abigail Keam

Here it is, June’s Books & Broads Book Club choice, Death By A Honey Bee by Abigail Keam.  Getting closer to this month, eh, Dear Bloggites?

Death By A Honey Bee by Abigail KeamDeath by a Honey Bee (A Josiah Reynolds Mystery) by Abigail Keam was a fun read.  The author wrote the book in an easy to follow flow with fun, quirky characters.  The story is about a beekeeper, Josiah Reynolds, who finds her rival dead with his head stuck in one of her bee hives on her property.  While the man died of a heart attack, the cops felt there was foul play afoot and their primary suspect was Josiah.

To clear her name, Josiah partners with her assistant, Matt, and begins her own investigation into the death of her rival.  All the characters in the novel were written with fun individual personalities and Josiah’s dry sense of humor and no-nonsense attitude kept the reading interesting.  This novel is the first in a series and the first mystery novel written by Abigail Keam.  Unlike many series novels, Death by a Honey Bee can be read as a stand-alone book which I like.

The only two minor issues I have (well one minor and one pet peeve of mine) with this novel is the ending was predictable as to whodunit and it was written in the first person (I hate that).  I know, some novels are better in the first person and I will one day write a novel in the first person and have to eat crow, but it is an annoyance of mine.  I don’t like being in the mind of each character so intimately that I cannot utilize my own imagination when reading a book in the third person.

Okay, off my high horse before I fall and break a toe, overall, I really did enjoy this book and how the author wrote it.  I was immediately interested in the novel as soon as I started reading because of the quirkiness of the main character.  I will probably go and get the rest of the novels in this series because of my OCD and not being able to just stop when I KNOW there are other books to this series, but also because I did enjoy this storyline and the author’s way of writing.

I give Death By A Honey Bee by Abigail Keam 4 out of 5 Bookmarks.  If you are looking for an easy, fun read with a little mystery, I recommend you go get this book.  Smooches!

~4-Ever, P

 

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: The Whole Town’s Talking by Fannie Flagg

Hello, Dear Bloggites.  It’s Me, again!  I just finished April’s Books & Broads Book Club book, The Whole Town’s Talking by Fannie Flagg.  I know, I am still a few months behind but plan on making up for it within the next week by reading all the books I did not read.

The Whole Town's Talking by Fannie FlaggI love Fannie Flagg.  Her writing is very entertaining and easy.  This book is no exception.  The Whole Town’s Talking is about several generations spread out from 1889 to 2020 and all the decades in between.  The story follows a group of settlers and their legacy through the generations in a small town in America.

The characters are very complex and each one has their own fun, quirky side unique to that person.  The novel is an easy read with short chapters.  When I was reading it, I felt as if I was sitting down with a good friend listening to them tell me a fun story.  The author wrote in the third person (which I love) but it was a conversational third person, thus the feeling of being told a story by a friend.

The only big fault in this novel is that by the middle of the book, I found myself becoming bored due to the repeated cadence of the same ‘ol, same ‘ol.  Most stories build up to a climax and then it brings you on the adventure but this story really had no plot or climax, just reading about people and their lives, much like an old-time gossiper of a small town where everyone knows everyone and most are related in some way or another.  By the middle, I was wanting the book to be over.  I did enjoy the story, but it felt like a conversation that went well past its designated end time.

Fannie Flagg is an exceptional author and very entertaining.  You can tell her intent in this book was just to give people entertainment while delving into a little historical nostalgia of a time way back when.  If you are looking for something to read that is entertaining but does not require a lot of thought and focus, this is the perfect book to read.

I give The Whole Town’s Talking by Fannie Flagg 3 out of 5 Bookmarks.  Happy Reading!

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Writer Musings

Books & Broads Book Club: My Monkeys, My Circus

Have you heard the phrase, “Not My Monkeys, Not my Circus” before?  Well, I want to tell you about the book club I am a member of.  The Books & Broads Book Club and the Members of it ARE my monkeys and they ARE my circus and I would not have it any other way! 🙂

We all long to find that one place, you know the one, Dear Bloggites, the place that you can just be you in all your quirky glory and be accepted and loved.  It is that place that becomes your haven in a rough world; your lighthouse to your lost boat; your circus to your monkey.

March 13, 2015, I found My Monkeys and My Circus.  I did not realize that taking that break from life to visit a book club would change my life forever, but it has, and I am so grateful for it!  There were roughly 7 ladies and 14 eyeballs that looked at me when I walked though that fateful door.  After a moment of being in the amazing presence of these ladies, I knew I found My Monkeys.  THIS was My Circus.

From all walks of life, we come being drawn by a love for books but it is our chemistry, our easy way with each other that makes the magic happen each month.   The shared love and care we all have for and with one another is hard to find in life.  I have many challenges in my life that pull at me and demand from me which drains my spirit but once I walk into that room, with those ladies, I am renewed and refreshed.  I feel all the strain seep out of my body until only happiness and joy are left.

Books & Broads Christmas Party 2016 1
Books & Broads Christmas Party 2016

The Books & Broads Book Club is my sanctuary in life.  I look forward to the day I can revisit Our Circus and be our Quirky Monkey selves!  I will never be able to express my Love, Appreciation, and Joy these Amazing Women bring into my life, I am just forever grateful that on that fateful day in March, I found My Monkeys and My Circus!

 

I Love You All, My Monkeys!  Smooches!

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Dave! The First Trilogy by Marc Richard

Smarmy, snarky, and silly makes for a great read Every. Single. Time.   These words describe my latest book review read, Dear Bloggites.  I had the pleasure of receiving a request from Marc Richard to read his Dave! The First Trilogy novel.  Marc was a doll and gifted this fun story for free with the most intriguing description.  Marc said that the story was described as, “Douglas Adams meets South Park” or “If Christopher Moore had a job at Cartoon Network writing for Adult Swim.”

dave-the-first-trilogy-by-marc-richardI giggled at this story from the get go.  The storyline is about some unexpected heroes planning on saving the world in 2030 from the new President “Uncle Mel” Gibson.  You have the typical dumb butts that everyone loves even though they are annoying as all get out.  You have your lovers who found, lost, and found love with each other in a time of crisis.  You have the typical serious type and all the mix in between. 🙂

Marc Richard does an amazing job at writing each of the main characters with such realness and blunt opinions.  Throughout the book, you meet the minds of various people who shamelessly promote Marc Richard’s books and he even does a cameo appearance interacting with those he created.

This novel had some unique points of view from the characters and the author does a great job with helping us feel how they feel with the different situations going on.  The entire story was as if The Three Stooges had a baby with Laurel & Hardy and birthed Dave!  The ridiculousness made this story the most fun reading I have had in a long, long time.  The only negative I could say about the book was how it started out with the email chain mail.  That was funny on its own, but I did not see an easy transformation from the email chats to the real-time world that was going on once we started following the different characters on their quest.

Thank You So Much, Marc, for this fun book.  I LOVED this silly story and I am so sorry it took me so long to finish it due to life getting in the way.  I plan on reading more of your works and will recommend your writing to anyone looking for good, mindless fun in a book.

I give Dave! The First Trilogy by Marc Richard 5 out of 5 Bookmarks.  If you love a good laugh and entertaining storyline, this book is for you, Dear Bloggites! 🙂

~4-Ever, P