Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

I hadn’t been meaning to, but I’ve been rather silent on my blog this month. And here I had promised several book reviews. Well, don’t worry, they’re coming right up.

I had a bit of a soup-accident and was unable to do a lot of typing for a couple of weeks. That’s not to say that I didn’t write anything, it was just a bit of a workout for my fingers and I wanted to focus more on some short stories and a novel idea than blogging. What happened?

I burned the middle and index fingers on my left hand. Steaming hot (and, by the way, delicious) homemade roasted-garlic-eggplant soup splashed onto my hand as I took the bowl out of the microwave. Second degree burns. I watched my skin curl up and peel. Definitely put me into a minor state of shock.

I drove myself to urgent care and got to be a trauma patient. I’ve never been a trauma patient before. The best thing about it is that you don’t have to fill out any paperwork until they’re done taking care of you. Oh, yeah. And you don’t have to actually wait to see anyone. They call for a nurse, take you to an exam room, and take care of whatever is hurting.

It was actually a decent experience. But that might just have been because they prescribed me vicodin and that pretty much erased any negative aspects of that day. That happened three weeks ago.

It was difficult to bend my fingers the first couple of days, plus I kept them wrapped because they were kinda gross to look at, like I had leprosy. Now, however, the peeling is finished and my index finger only has one small red splotch. My middle finger was a little more damaged, and a little more red, but I didn’t lose any range of motion.

For those of you who are interested, there are pictures below, starting with the one I texted to Nick immediately after the event, when I wanted to know if I should go to urgent care.  He took one look at it and texted back, “Go now, you don’t want it to get infected.”


right after the soup splashed

wrapped up nice & neat

day two, the shine is from the bacitracin ointment

getting better...still a little leprous

today: a little red, a little dry, but (for the most part) healed

Book Review: The Green Man

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

I am not enough of a poet to find the words to describe The Green Man by Michael Bedard.  I love to read books about bookstores, especially when the bookstore itself becomes a character in the story.  The magical realism of the story is enchanting.  As an employee of a bookstore, I had no trouble at all identifying with O, the protagonist, (Don’t you dare call her Ophelia, she’s just O) or her Aunt Emily, the owner of The Green Man.

When O’s father goes overseas to work on a project, he sends O to his sister, Emily.  Emily has been having some health issues, and the situation is more O taking care of her aunt than Emily taking care of her niece.  An old curse begins haunting Aunt Emily, and she tries to hide the problem from O, but of course things get out of hand.

I could not put this book down.  The plot moves quickly, and there’s a bit of a love interest but nothing inappropriate for teens and pre-teens.  The prose itself is lyrical and magical, breathtakingly appropriate for a book whose central characters are poets.  I cannot wait for this book to hit the shelves at Gulliver’s, there are quite a few young (& not so young) readers who I know will love it as much as I have.

Forthcoming from Tundra Books, 4/10/12

The Wall

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

I love traveling. It’s so relaxing to just sit and be. I listened to the entire Pink Floyd album The Wall. I can’t remember the last time I just sat and listened to music, much less an entire album. (I left the knitting at home for this trip, so I didn’t even have that as a distraction.)

From the tremulous notes of When the Tigers Broke Free (borrowed from the Echoes album ’cause it’s not on my The Wall Live album, but it’s in the movie, so it must be heard) to the defiant cries of ‘tear down the wall!’ it brought back a lifetime of memories.

It was a hot summer day in the 80′s and I was at my cousin’s birthday party. He was (& still is) rather older than me. He and his friends were playing music around the pool I remember climbing out of the water and hearing the lyrics: We don’t need no education/We don’t need no thought control. My little eight-year-old brain was thinking ‘Hell yes, this is my kind of music!’

(And in case you’re thinking that as an eight-year-old I wouldn’t use the word ‘hell,’ when I was in second grade I left a note in Jonas Pelters’s school mailbox that said ‘fuck you’. Yeah. That’s right. I dropped the F-bomb. In second grade. What can I say, my relationship with profanity began early.)

And so, with ‘Another Brick in the Wall’ my love affair with Pink Floyd was born. Listening to the album on the plane made me wish I had the movie on my ipod. I’ll just have to wait until I get home to watch it.

They must have had such fun filming the scene for One of My Turns where he trashes the hotel room. We got a little turbulence during Run Like Hell, which is a rockin’ song anyway. The turbulence just amplified it. The album also has one of the best ever non-Hendrix guitar solos, the one in Comfortably Numb. I can say nothing more about it except that I always get a little creeped out when the rat makes its appearance in the movie.

But it’s not just the singles that make the album great. It tells an intriguing story and every song is unique. Goodbye Blue Sky transitioning into Empty Spaces and What Shall We Do Now is a great sequence. Nobody Home is a testament to ennui. And who can forget the judge’s threat of defecation in The Trial?

I was lucky and got to see Roger Waters during his In the Flesh tour in ’99 or ’00. (Can’t remember exactly when it was, killed too many brain cells, you understand?) I got my obligatory t-shirt, which I still own and haven’t worn in ages. The problem with concert t-shirts is that they never come in small sizes so I swim in them and end up using them as jammies.

So my clothes are too big and my music belongs to another generation, I suppose that’s just the beginning of my long list of quirks. The Wall is a timeless rock opera and if you young kiddies haven’t heard it, take the time, download it, and listen. Then see the movie.

(If there was a book, I’d say ‘read it’ but as far as I know, there isn’t. And that’s what brought me on to this topic, travel for free books. I’ll keep y’all posted on this year’s haul from the PNBA Fall Trade Show.)

Goodbye, Uncle Chuck

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Got a little card in the mail from Gram.  My Great Uncle Chuck passed away last month and since I was unable to go to the wake and funeral, I sent a sympathy card.

In my mind, Uncle Chuck had always been old, and no wonder, he was one week short of his 90th birthday when he passed away.

I remember the whole family used to get together at Grandma & Grandpa’s for the holidays, and everyone would hang out in the basement of their Chicago bungalo.  The bar was down there, and long tables for everyone to sit at.  To amuse myself during these gatherings, I spent hours drawing and sketching, mostly clothing (as a child, I aspired to be a fashion designer).  I remember Uncle Chuck encouraging the amateurish-attempts of a ten-year-old.

The long tables were also filled with food and snacks.  I’m not entirely certain, but it was probably Uncle Chuck who showed me as a very young child how to eat black olives off my fingertips.  He was always laughing and joking around.  I think I can blame him for my enjoyment of olives and green onions, my favorite two snacks off the table in Gram’s basement.

Included in the card from Gram was one of Uncle Chuck’s memorial prayer cards.  Now, I left organized religion years and years ago, but I do have a slightly macabre collection of prayer cards of my deceased relatives.  I didn’t want to ask my mom to grab one for me at the wake because the whole idea of having her filch a prayer card for me seemed a little gauche.  I don’t think Gram knows about my collection, and it was very nice of her to send it.

Uncle Chuck’s is a pretty little prayer card, on the back are the words to ‘On Eagle’s Wings’ a song which has a tendency to get stuck in my head from all the religious indoctrination of my youth.  There’s a decent picture of him on the other side, along with the dates of his birth and death, the time and date of the memorial service, and a message about how he’s only gone to rest for a little while.

The Uncle Chuck has been added to my collection of dead relative playing cards (I’m not trying to be disrespectful.  Uncle Chuck always had a sense of humor and I think he’d find that sentiment funny), with Uncle Rich (his brother), Great Aunt Jenny (on my mom’s side), and all the others.

The picture on his card is a nice one, but I prefer this one.  That’s Uncle Chuck on the left, looking at someone off camera, mouth wide open in a laugh.  It really shows off his personality.  Uncle Rich is on the right and Gram is standing between them.  I hadn’t seen Uncle Chuck in years, but will always remember him as a joyful person.  He will be missed.


Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Nick and I just got back from an exhausting week in Seattle.  The first two days were spent hanging with my parents, sister, and nephew.  We went to a ton of museums, the aquarium, and Pike’s Place Market.  Everywhere was crowded, but that might just be the difference between an uber-urban setting and sleepy old Fairbanks.  The Pacific Science Museum and the Aquarium were child-orientated and SamSam had a lot of fun splashing on the edge of the touch-pools.  Dad, Nick, and I went to see the Hubble Telescope movie at the Imax and it was pretty cool.  The Science Fiction Museum was the launch-point of the nerd-fest.  The food was good, definitely recommend food & beer at the Pike Brewing Company’s Pub.

On to the event.  Over 3300 people showed up for NorWesCon, and a large percentage of them were in costume.  I felt normal and slightly out of place without wings, a tail, or a corset.  My two critiques at the Writers Workshop were amazing.  My thanks go out to the Fairwood Writers and everyone else involved.  I have so much to think about and a lot of good pointers on how to improve not just the two stories that they critiqued, but all of my writing.

I attended a lot of writing panels, everything from narrative structure to the best online markets and resources for writers.  Though exhausting, it was a well-spent week, worth the monetary and time cost, and I’m looking forward to attending it again next year.

New Knitting

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Knitting is my preferred method of writing-procrastination, and here are some of my recent pieces:

a baby blanket knit using the entrelac technique.  My good friend Jenn first introduced me to the amazing method and I love the illusion of weaving.

I also did a baby sweater with matching hat and booties.  They’re gifts for the same baby and I’m glad I finished them in time for the shower.

I got the pattern for this purse out of Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques by Margaret Radcliffe (which is a great reference that every knitter should have-it detailed the entrelac technique in the above blanket with lots and lots of pictures).  I thought the bag would be bigger (I should have read the finished dimensions before starting on it), so I’m sending this one to my mom and I’m going to rework the pattern for a larger size and finally knit something for myself!

Lord of the Rings

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

I was on a Lord of the Rings kick over the New Year holiday.  I watched all the movies. FX, or TBS, or one of the cable networks was playing it, but it was broken up by commercials so I put the DVDs in.  I also started listening to the BBC’s audio dramatization.  Ian Holm, the voice of Frodo on the audio, plays Bilbo in the Peter Jackson movies.  It’s a good listen; right now Merry and Pippin are with Treebeard, waiting for the Ents to decide a course of action.

I’ve been listening while walking Dinah every day, and working out every other day, and the story’s just been flying by.  It’s not an unabridged version, it’s the dramatization so it’s mostly dialogue, with a little narration. To this point, it has seemed truer to the books than the movies are, and the movies were close to being dead-on.

However, it has been a few years since I read the books.  And I did resolve earlier this year to do more reading…Maybe I’ll pick it up and set out on that journey.  But there are so many books on my to-read list, it wouldn’t be fair to them to go back to an old favorite.  Would it?


Saturday, January 2nd, 2010

It’s been a while since I blogged.  And it’s been several years since I had a new years resolution.  So, at the start of this new decade, I resolve to write more, read more, and watch less television.  And to send out that which I write to more markets and increase my efforts to publication.  I really should manage my web presence better and update my website more often.  I am going to attempt to save more money, pay down my debts, and eat healthier food.

And I suppose I can be nicer to Nick, even though I let him get away with murder and drive all the way out to Delta with his uniform when he forgets it.  So that’s it, some simple resolutions for the new year.  May it be happy and healthy for everyone.

A New Look for Gulliver’s

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Busy, busy, busy around the store.  Everything is moved, there’s some fresh paint, and more and more discounted books are on the bargain table.  So come on by and get lost in the stacks.  Maybe you’ll find something new you wouldn’t normally read.  We’ve got a new bookseller, Dylan; he started earlier this week.  If you can’t find something ask him, he needs to learn where everything is located.davidpainting

2 Movies

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

Went to see District 9 and Julie & Julia.  Two very different movies, to say the least.

Regarding District 9:  I was disappointed.  Some aspects of the plot just didn’t make sense regarding the aliens’ visit.  And if you’ve got 1.8 million beings collected in a shanty-town (not high-rise buildings) wouldn’t you expect to see more than a handful of them on the streets at any given time?  The cinematography was ghastly, I am so sick of the shaky-camera unfocused Blair Witch style.  It does not provide action or tension, except for making my eyes bleed.  I’m also not a fan of the mockumentary framing of the story; the static-riddled sound and varying volumes is annoying at best.  If you’re going to spend millions making a movie, make it look like a million bucks.  Overall, I give it a C.  Entertaining; people going splat was cool, but the plot didn’t have much substance below the surface.  Fabulous concept, but a failure of delivery.

Julie & Julia on the other hand, gets an A.  I would have liked to see more about Julia Child’s break into television, because that’s how I remember her, cooking on tv.  The parallel story lines merged and complemented each other wonderfully.  Merryl Streep is perfect as Julia Child, I can’t picture anybody else in that role.  Her on screen chemistry with Stanley Tucci hearkens back to the Devil Wears Prada; they go so good together.  And it was funny!  Inspiring, makes me want to buy Mastering the Art of French Cooking, though I don’t think I will.  But for dinner tonight…soufflé!  I’m thinking Iberico cheese with some parmesan sprinkled on top.  ‘Bon appetit!’souffle41x2

Souffle for one, times two.  What can I say, I was hungry.  They were nice & tall coming out of the oven but fell while I went searching for the camera.  Oh well, they were tastey.