martinadalton

Book Review – “The Diviners” by Libba Bray

In Books, Paranormal, Supernatural, Writing on January 2, 2013 at 9:15 am

Diviners

I just finished reading The Diviners, by Libba Bray. I have read a lot of books every year, but I have to say that this young adult novel is special. It’s set in the roaring 1920s (which I loved reading about), the protagonist is a flapper, and there are enough creepy supernatural things going on to keep you up at night. (With a flashlight and a blanket over your head.) The time period was clearly well researched, and the details were rich without being overly done.

I was sitting on the edge of my seat through most of the novel, and really enjoyed it. If I had to come up with any criticisms, I would have to mention that the use of 1920s jargon was just a little too thickly applied. Also, there were times when I felt that Evie’s uncle would conveniently disappear just so the young adults would be left alone long enough to put themselves in extreme danger. Other than that, I give a firm two thumbs up (and maybe some big toes as well.)
Highly recommended!

What’s Ahead in 2013 – Dream Big!

In Family, Friends, Kindness, Life, Positive thinking on January 1, 2013 at 11:49 am

2013
Well, here it is, the beginning of what promises to be an amazing year. Let’s face it, 2012 was a year that a lot of us would like to forget. With the economy in a sad state, multiple shootings of horrific proportions, and several pretty awful storms that devastated families and left them homeless, 2012 is a year that we are all glad to leave behind.

Why do I think that 2013 will be a whole lot better? I think it’s because we will all make it be better. Ever heard of positive thinking, and/or the power of prayer? I’m one of those optimistic people that believe that collective positive thoughts will bring about positive change. Imagine if the whole world spent a few minutes here and there thinking about all the great things that will happen in 2013. Could we change things for the better? I’d like to think so. But thoughts without action might not be as effective.

Recently, Ann Curry (an NBC news correspondent and former NBC Today Show host) tweeted out a challenge to her fans—do one act of kindness for every victim in the Sandy Hook shooting. This may not seem like a big deal, but I believe it is. If every one of us took on this challenge in 2013, we would be changing the world for the better, no matter how insignificant it may seem. (Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnnCurry)

But what if we took it further? What if we each did something kind for someone every single day of the year? This doesn’t mean that we buy things for others, or donate lots of money for charity. It can mean that, of course, but most of us don’t have the luxury to do that. Kindness could be as simple as opening a door for someone, complimenting someone on a job well done, or bringing someone who needs comfort a nice home-cooked meal.

Gnocchi

I’m going to challenge myself to do something kind every single day of this year. Today, I plan to take cookies to several of my neighbors just to let them know that we love and appreciate them. Tomorrow, I plan to do something nice for the staff at our local youth theatre. I challenge you to do something kind for someone every day of this year. Let’s make 2013 one of the best years yet. We are all in this together.

Cookies

I would love to hear your thoughts. Will you take the challenge? What things will you do to make this year a positive one?

Community

In Books, Family Fun, Friends, Life, Writing on October 22, 2012 at 11:36 am


When you hear the word “community,” what images/words come to mind? Yes, the community or neighborhood you live in may pop into your head first. But community is so much more than a place.

I have many different communities. My children go to different schools, and each one of those schools is a different community for our family; a different circle of friends (kids and parents) for each one.

I’m a member of a fabulous writing critique group called Writers in the Rain. (Shout out to Fabio Bueno, Angela Orlowski-Peart, Eileen Riccio, Suma Subramanium, and Brenda Beem.) In our own little writing community, we help to keep each other sane. We meet every week, read and critique each other’s pages, and give helpful suggestions or sometimes, a reality check. We are a family… a community unto ourselves. Who else gets as excited about our characters and plot lines as we do for each other’s stories? I am grateful for my writing community every day.

Even our kids’ after school activities are a community; from my son’s T-Ball team and Taekwondo studio, to the dance studio where both my kids dance, to the youth theatre where both my kids act. All community.

I could list all the communities that enrich my life, but I’d rather hear from you. Think about the communities in your life, and how they add value to it. How do you lean on your communities when you need their support? In turn, how do they lean on you? Isn’t it nice to know how much support we all have?

Tell me about your communities. Maybe it’s a group of college friends, a yoga group, or perhaps an organization in which you volunteer. Which ones have the most impact or are the most meaningful to you? I’d love to hear your stories of community and how they’ve shaped your lives.

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