Reading and Movie List 2011

As the end of the year 2011 draws near, I thought I’d post my annual Reading and Movie List. Here are the works I have taken in over the last 12 months:

Fiction

Mary, Mrs. A. Lincoln, Janis Cooke Newman, January, ***1/2

The Miracle Worker (play), William Gibson, January-March, ****

Garden Spells, Sarah Addison Allen, April, ***1/2

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, Katherine Howe, April, ***

Plain Truth, Jodi Picoult, April-May, ***

Fool, Christopher Moore, May, **1/2

The Help, Kathryn Stockett, May, ****

Two Truths and a Lie, Katrina Kittle, May, ***

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson, May-June, ***

The Girl Who Played with Fire, Stieg Larsson, June, ***1/2

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, Stieg Larsson, June. ***

The Dark is Rising, Susan Cooper, June, **1/2

Handling the Undead, John Ajvide Lindqvist, July, **1/2

The Crucible (play), Arthur Miller, July, ****

A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin, July-August, ****

A Clash of Kings, George R. R. Martin, August, ****

A Storm of Swords, George R. R. Martin, September, ***

A Feast for Crows, George R. R. Martin, September-October, **1/2

How I Live Now, Meg Rosoff, October, ***1/2

The Raven’s Bride, Lenore Hart, October, **1/2

Blood Red Road, Moira Young, October, ****

Green Angel, Alice Hoffman, October, ***1/2

Summers at Blue Lake, Jill Althouse-Wood, October-November, **1/2

Double Dexter, Jeff Lindsay, December, ***

A Discovery of Witches, Deborah Harkness, December, ***

Promises to Keep, Char Chaffin, December, ***

Nonfiction

My Spiritual Journey, The 14th Dalai Lama, March-April, ***

Cincinnati Haunted Handbook, Jeff Morris and Michael Morris, June, **1/2

Gunn’s Golden Rules: Life’s Little Lessons For Making it Work, Tim Gunn, June, **1/2

Say Her Name, Francisco Goldman, July, ***

The New Orleans Voodoo Tarot, Louis Martinie and Sallie Ann Glassman, July, **

Movies

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One, January, ****

Precious, January, ****

Rocky, January, ***

Whip It, January, ***
The Messenger, January, ***

Hot Tub Time Machine, February, **

Quantum of Solace, February, **

Winter’s Bone, February, ****

True Grit, February, ****

Citizen Kane (re-watch), February, ***

(500) Days of Summer, February, ***1/2

Tropic Thunder, March, ***

Sixteen Candles (re-watch), March, ***

Limitless, March, **1/2

Source Code, April, ***

Thor, May, ***

The Social Network, May, ***1/2

Super 8, June, ****

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Swedish), June, **1/2

The A-Team, June, **1/2

Bridesmaids, July, ***

The Girl Who Played with Fire (Swedish), July, **1/2

The King’s Speech, July, ***

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, July, ****

Captain America: The First Avenger, July, **1/2

Cowboys and Aliens, July, ***

The Kids Are Alright, August, ***

Dexter Season 6, August, **1/2

The Green Hornet, October, **1/2

Tangled, November, **

Zombieland, November, ****

Into the Woods, December, ***

Hugo, December, ***1/2

You can see my favorites by the number of stars given. On the whole, it’s been an enjoyable year of reading and film-watching.

Next year, I intend to also list plays I go to see, since I am making an effort to attend more live productions.

What are your favorite books and movies that you read or saw in 2011? Feel free to share in the comments section! I’m always looking for recommendations.

Blog at SMP Authors Today

I am blogging today for the first time at the authors’ blog for my new publisher, Soul Mate Publishing, who will release my first novel, Merlyn’s Raven, in April of 2012. I hope you’ll all stop by over there to see the blog!

The Magic of Christmas Eve

I also want to take this opportunity to wish you all a wonderful holiday filled with love, light, and joy!

Dream Appearances

I am a very vivid dreamer. I always have been. I actually enjoy going to sleep at night, not just because I feel rested in the morning, but because I can’t wait to experience whatever awaits me in my dreamscapes. It’s rare for me to have a bad dream or a nightmare, but they definitely happen every now and then.

Last night, Dexter Morgan made an appearance in my dreams.

Now, let me just say: I love Dexter. I have read all of the Dexter novels by Jeff Lindsay. I have watched every season of the Showtime Dexter series. I think the character is fascinating, brilliant, and scary.
Which is why I don’t want to see him show up in my dreams.
So this got me thinking: are there any characters from books that you’d ban from your dream world? Are there any that stick in your brain as such loathsome villains that you’d banish them forever? Are there any that are so scary you couldn’t bear to share the dreamscape with them?
Personally, I wouldn’t classify Dexter Morgan as a traditional villain. He’s certainly an anti-hero, and my fascination with him and my feelings of vindication when he murders a bad guy bother me a bit, I’ll admit. This complexity of feeling for him is what keeps me coming back to every book and every show. But I do not want to spend time with him in my own head outside of his literary and television appearances.
What about you? What characters could you do without in your dreams? Ever have one where that character made a guest appearance?

 

Please share here!

 

Rainy Days and Mondays…

…don’t always get me down, but…

Actually, I love Mondays. Ever since I left Corporate America and began my career as a self-employed person, I have taken Mondays off. This is mostly because I tend to work on the weekends, and everyone deserves a break. I look forward to the quiet pace of my Mondays, when I can take things as they come while doing chores around the house, writing, and generally playing catch-up from the week before.

Today’s Monday is pretty dreary. It’s rained steadily since last night, and I now have a moat to cross when I go in and out of my front door. There’s a new lake in my backyard, and the poor dog dreads going outside for fear of soaking his dainty little feet. I’ve spent the day responding to correspondence with business associates, putting out minor fires connected with my business, and writing materials for my publisher. Soon I will leave the house, drive through the rain to drop something off at my cousin’s, and then brave the terrible highway traffic and the crazy-weather drivers to pick up my boys from school. More than anything, I find myself wishing I could simply teleport them home with one of those “I Dream of Jeannie” nods. DOINK! They’re here!

Alas, I don’t think that’s going to happen.

Still, the gentle drumming of the rain on the roof has lulled me into a state of quiet and reflection. It’s like an invitation from the Universe to take a few moments to just sit and be. Like many folks, I find it challenging to do nothing. Yet I understand that it is in this stillness, this silent peace, that Spirit speaks the most distinctly to us.

I urge you to try it. Sit still for a few moments and just breathe. In. Out. In. Out. When thoughts intrude, just bring your focus back to your breath. In. Out. In. Out. Allow yourself to be replenished by the silence and the stillness.

I give thanks on this rainy Monday for reminding me of this valuable lesson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resurrecting the Blog

It’s…alive!

Yes, I am back. Well, really, I never went anywhere. I was just experiencing an extreme case of lack of motivation coupled with a whirlwind life, which relegated the blog writing to the extreme low point on the priority scale.

But I would like to get back to connecting with you all…so I promise to try to do better with posting here.

This year has been a very difficult one. I won’t go into all of the details here because many of them are very personal, but I have been slogging through as best I can. One of my best friends always says, “Keep swimming,” and that’s exactly what I’ve been trying to do!

dog-swimming

I do have exciting news to share: my first novel will be published soon! My novel, entitled MERLYN’S RAVEN, has been accepted by Soul Mate Publishing. I don’t have any details about the release yet, but when I do, I will be sure to share–and to shamelessly self-promote! I am also in the process of working with a friend on re-doing my website so that I can feature things more easily and have all of my services, events, workshops, books, etc. available to everyone.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to. I hope life has been treating you all well. And please don’t give up on me! I will be here more often in the future. I hope you will be, too.

Bright blessings to you all! xox

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