Mirymom's Blog

Dangerous When Bored

First Monday Classics: The Grapes of Wrath March 28, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — mirymom @ 1:16 am

I’m a part of this book club each month and the discussions are always wonderful. So looking forward to seeing what this discerning group of readers has to say about Steinbeck.

Friends' Matters

On the first Monday of each month at 6:30pm, I take part in the First Monday Classics Book Club at the Orange County Library in Hillsborough. April 3 will be the second anniversary for our group. We’ve covered a broad range of classics by authors such as Austen, Dostoevsky, Twain, and Cervantes, and now we’re getting ready to tackle one of the most acclaimed American novels, John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. JohnSteinbeck_TheGrapesOfWrath

In choosing to focus on classics, this book club inevitably runs into a problem of definition: What, exactly, constitutes a classic? One of the criteria I look at when proposing books for the group is that the novel has a timeless quality, that the topics under discussion are just as relevant today as they were at the time the book was written. The Grapes of Wrath is nearly 80 years old, but as I’m rereading it this…

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Retreating into reading: The refuge of older books February 11, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — mirymom @ 12:07 am

I hadn’t really thought of it as a comfort thing, but I’ve been drawn to old favorites as well of late.

Shannon Turlington

Lately, I have been turning to older novels for my reading, as a means of escape from the stresses of being alive, here, in 2017. Older books offer a unique form of immersion in another time and place, as actually lived by the writer, rather than as imagined by a writer conjuring up a historical time or a fantasy world.

I have been most attracted to mid-twentieth-century novels of suspense by women. There is no shortage of good writers to choose from, and burrowing into these books feels like sinking into a very long Hitchcock movie, where everyone was well dressed, and their madnesses were kept just simmering beneath the surface, rather than on display for all to see. These novels offer plenty to disturb and horrify, but the horror feels once removed, and therefore safer, I think, than trying to tackle a dystopia or apocalypse that might shade too close to…

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What Writing Taught Me About Exercise February 2, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — mirymom @ 1:04 am

There are a lot of similarities between the things that work to build a successful writing life, and a healthy self-care sort of life. Attitude is a huge part of both.

Kate M. Colby

writing-and-exerciseBelieve it or not, I used to be a “sporty” kid. Now, I’m not saying that I had great athletic talent (far from it), but I played basketball for seven years, tried cheerleading and volleyball for two, and rode horses competitively (and for leisure) until I went to university. However, somewhere along the way I lost touch with physical activity.

“Somewhere” means age 14 to 15. It started in freshman volleyball, when my coach played favorites (I was not one) and made the rest of the team miserable. Couple that with breaking my arm while horseback riding the following summer, and I was ready to give up sports. I went from a casual athlete to a proud, non-exercising emo kid (but that’s another story).

Since graduating university, I’ve tried to get back into exercise. It’s been a difficult journey, but I think I’m finally making worthy progress again. While I…

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Book Reviewing Isn’t Simple – The Dark Truth of Author Bullying January 29, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — mirymom @ 6:43 pm

If you’re putting yourself out there as a professional writer, you need to develop some professionalism. Creative works are personal, but you have to get a little distance if you’re going to grow as an artist, and that means taking criticism like a grown-up, and recognizing that it might be valid, even when it’s painful. Or, at the very least, reacting with a little poise and grace instead of throwing a tantrum like some kind of toddler.

I hate that this book reviewer received such vitriol and abuse when she was trying to help. Heck, even if she’d been rude and obnoxious, she didn’t deserve to be attacked in return (she wasn’t, BTW).

Come on people, what are we? Twelve? Find some big-girl panties and put them on. Nobody wants to change your diapers.

Happymeerkatreviews

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*Ok, I’m honestly a little scared of posting this as I don’t want any more harassment from the wrong people…

The above picture pretty much sums up how I feel today.  I’m exhausted and drained from all the horrible things that have happened recently.  I’ve faced cold distant treatment, attacks on facebook and now I’ve been bullied privately, all because I wanted to be honest and help out an author.

Back in October I wrote this post A Tough Decision – Don’t blame the Book Blogger Blame Your Fellow Indies 😦 after facing a load of abuse from some indie authors.  In the post I talked about my tough decision to stop reviewing indie books, but several weeks later, after having only good communications, I took back my ‘no-indie’ policy and started receiving indie requests again.  BEFORE I go on I must point out that this post isn’t talking about all the…

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How I Beat My Struggle with Settings January 22, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — mirymom @ 3:32 pm

A good image can be inspiring in a lot of different ways. Art speaks to art.

Serum

I keep two files of art. Well, I keep more than two, but two specifically related to my novels: Characters and Settings. (Each project also has it’s own specific folder of inspiration.) My Settings file is particularly useful, because I struggle.

I could write dialogue all day. In fact, that’s almost always how I start — with two people talking. Sometimes where they are while they talk is necessitated by the story, but often the exact location is not; it just has to be somewhere that makes sense. And when it comes time to think of someplace interesting to put them, and to describe it, I get frustrated.

Enter my Settings file. It doesn’t always help, but often it does, although often only indirectly. For example, today I was perusing images and I came across the picture with all the cages below, and my mind immediately went to “pet store,” even…

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Fund-Raising Success! January 20, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — mirymom @ 10:02 pm

Thank you to all the Friends and other supporters who donated to our GoFundMe campaign to help the Orange County Public Library after it was recently flooded. We raised $1,500 in total–which …

Source: Fund-Raising Success!

 

 

So proud of my community for this effort. I hope we see continued interest in the work of the Friends.

 

Inspirations… (Jan. 19, 2017)

Filed under: Uncategorized — mirymom @ 12:23 am

What a great reading list . . .that I’ve only read about half of. More for the TBR.

Shannon Turlington

womens-march-sperry-wow-webThe Women’s March on Washington is what is inspiring me right now. It started out as just an idea following on the surprising election results and has now grown, grassroots-style, into the largest protest and demonstration to take place in response to the inauguration. The march is for everyone, regardless of gender identity, who believes that women’s rights are human rights. The primary march will be held in Washington, DC, but there will be supporting marches in cities, large and small, around the world. Where I live, there are at least three supporting events within easy driving distance.

I was impressed with the Women’s March Global Mission for Equality, and I hope this signals the beginning of a powerful and effective worldwide movement. I only wish that education of girls and women was a plank in the mission statement, because I personally believe that education is the key to…

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