BOOKISH THOUGHTS…

I love print books!  When I buy them, I relish shelving them in places that shout out how much I enjoy them.  Looking at them, at least.  In the photo above, you’ll see the books I have purchased that I have not yet read…and below, note those that I have read and added to my shelves.

In my previous residence, I had many shelves throughout my space, from the bedroom, office, dining room, to the living room.

Now my space is limited, but I am filling it up with my two shelves: the TBR shelf and the “Read” Shelf.

I have only one problem that interferes a little with my bookish love: I actually prefer reading from my Kindle.

It is much easier to handle, and I like how I can change the fonts and lighting.

As a result, it takes me longer to read my print volumes. But I do love buying and having them, so that fact does present problems for me.

What to do? Well, I will struggle through as I read the “real” books and cherish them when they find their place on my shelves after I am finished.

***

What are your thoughts about print vs. Kindle books?

***

SUNDAY INTERIOR THOUGHTS…

April has been a difficult month over the years, and this one, with the Pandemic, has been a continuation of life’s challenges.  I have lost loved ones in April, over the years, and last year I wrote a post to commemorate some of those losses.

Here is my Coffee Chat from last April:

On Tuesday, I took a nap, and then woke up to the pounding of heavy winds that sounded like thunder.  When my phone rang, I picked up to hear my daughter crying.  Her BFF Jessica’s daughter Paige was killed in a car accident Monday night.  My mind carried me back to those teenage years with Jessica and Monica, close friends to my daughter, and how these women have maintained such a beautiful friendship over the years.  I call them my Other Daughters.  Paige was just a little younger than my 22-year-old granddaughters Fiona and Aubrey.  My mind takes me to a photo my eldest son captured of Fiona and Paige when they were toddlers, with their curly blond hair, looking like twins.   I wish I had that photo now!  To remember.  But here is Paige, on the right, with her mom and siblings:

  • I am sad and feeling the loss, and while I have not personally experienced the loss of a child, I have lost close family members, including several young people  (a niece, a nephew, and a step-granddaughter).  My eldest brother died early, too.  There is nothing that can replace what has been taken from us.
  • While I am trying to concentrate on my reading and blogging, my mind keeps leaping to moments and memories.
  • The horrendous winds of yesterday felt like the fierce storms of life that sweep in and capture our loved ones, with no rhyme or reason.
  • On Monday, I finished reading The Night Visitors, by Carol Goodman; (click title for my review).
  • Wednesday, I finished reading The Editor, by Steven Rowley.
  • Now I’m going to have dinner while watching The Act, on Hulu; Thursday will bring another episode from The Good Fight, on CBS-All Access.

***

Today I had a lovely chat with my #2 son, who lives in LA.  He had anticipated a wonderful year running his new Irish pub…and then the Pandemic hit.

He is trying to be optimistic about the future, but none of us can actually predict how this whole Pandemic will play out.

We commiserated with each other and talked about how we are dealing by watching Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.  We also shared our thoughts on how Amazon has filled the gap with shopping needs.

I am loving my bookish moments.  I also had a nice glass of red wine from a bottle brought to me last Monday by my granddaughter.  I finished off the bottle today.  Sigh.

Must buy more!  But I haven’t found any I want on Amazon.

***

MONDAY MORNING CREATIVITY…

A Monday morning can be full of wonderful events, especially when one is retired.  Of course, our Sheltering in Place orders do tend to put a glitch in events we might enjoy.

But if a person is a little OCD with the blogs, you might find that person changing things up.  Which is exactly what I did today.

I love revising the blog headers, but today I also returned to an old theme I have used, one that has some features I enjoy:  Hemingway Rewritten.

I do like how the text looks when I use the blockquote feature.  And the header itself has that scrolling effect.

The downside:  when I look at the blog on my phone, I can’t see the whole header.  Oh, well, nothing is perfect.

I had started out with a plan to simply change one of the photo images on my header.  I added a snapshot of my desk as it now sits in the corner, with that great photo from Ireland above it.  I love my son’s Ireland photos.

***

As for the rest of my morning, I plan to go for my walk, wearing the new mask.  My daughter will be dropping some things by at the front door, but since she can’t come in, I’ll show up at the window when she is here, waving!

As you can tell from this photo, there has been no hair styling done for several weeks!  But I am wearing the new jacket.  LOL.

***

What revisions have you made to your Mondays since we have been Sheltering in Place?  Do you have special activities that work best when you are isolated?  Come on by and share.

***

FOLLOW MY SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY…

Earlier this morning, I changed my blog header here and included a photo (on the right) that showcases my book creations, center, and some red and beige beads that have their own story.

It all began on a hot night in June 1970.  A friend and I decided to go to a party hosted by some graduates of California State University at Sacramento.  Our alma mater.  I had just finished a year of graduate studies and my friend knew some of the attendees.  We plotted out our “look” for the event, and part of mine featured those beads.

Like many of us back then, we were trying on new ideas…and those included a new way to dress.  I didn’t get the beads in one of those little shops that I would later discover and explore, but because of the events of that night in June, these would become part of a sentimental journey.

That night I met the guy who would become my second husband and the father of my two youngest children.

Yes, sentimental journeys often begin unexpectedly and feature mementos, like the beads…or other accouterments.  Those beads have followed me ever since, and I have moved a lot!  As you see in the photo above, they are draped over the cupboard door…and now (below) they have moved slightly to another door of the same cupboard.

In that first summer, I wore them a lot.  And then I decided that they would be better off displayed on a favorite piece of quirky furniture…after all, some of my necklaces have had unfortunate accidents. 

I am actually surprised that they have lasted this long, given the number of times I have moved (fourteen times in the 1970s!), followed by several moves in each subsequent decade.

I didn’t acquire the Jelly Cupboard until the 1990s, when I was decorating my A-frame house in the foothills.  Note the sign over the front door:  CHEZ RAINE.  Another sentimental object that followed me.

After I left the foothills, I brought the sign to my condo,, where it showed off in my dining room.

Now it “decorates” my bathroom in my studio apartment.

Books, dolls, photos and other treasures have joined me on my sentimental journey.  These collections have dwindled to a few select things…smaller spaces do dictate that choice.  But whatever comes along for the ride has some unique story.

***

What treasures, if any, follow you on your journey?

***

FROM MY INTERIORS TO YOURS…

Welcome to another greeting from My Interiors to Yours.

As some of you know, I like going back a year (or more) to see what my archives can reveal about my thoughts in another time…or place.

Today, I’m revisiting a post from last Christmas: December 25, 2018, when I was living in my previous residence, savoring the moments.

***

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

As I sip my morning coffee and plan for the day ahead, I send happy thoughts out to all of you.  Hoping for a wonderful day.

Yesterday I finished reading The Adults, by Caroline Hulse, and it was a story that kept me turning the pages, even as I kept shaking my head at the so-called “adults,” who were behaving badly. (Click title for my review).

I didn’t find any New Book Releases for today.  That’s probably a good thing, as I still have older books tucked away on Paige, just waiting patiently.  Last night I started reading The Affliction, by Beth Gutcheon, a favorite author.  This book is the second in her clever romp of a mystery series combining social comedy and dark-hearted murder—a novel set at a girls’ boarding school in a picturesque Hudson River town with more than its share of secrets.  I enjoyed the first book, Death at Breakfast.(Click title for my review). 

I didn’t love the first outing as much as her other books, and as I read my review again, I noticed that my only complaints were the numerous characters that added a bit of confusion.  The boarding school aspect was another negative for me.  I’m not a fan of those.  But because Beth Gutcheon wrote the book, I decided to give it a try.  Which is why I am now reading the second book in the new series.

What I love best from the author are some of the older books, one of which was made into a movie:  Still Missing became the movie Without a Trace.  I watched it again this week.

***

I love watching old favorite movies during the holidays.  This movie came out in 1983, so not “old” in the sense of Katherine Hepburn and her crowd, but old to millennials.

The newest version of the book Still Missing was published in 2005, but it first came out in 1981.

***

Just rereading this post reminds me of favorite books, movies, and authors, and now I’m eager to relive some of the moments.

Do you revisit your older posts?  Your past?  Do those meanderings help you plan the New Year?

What are you anticipating for this coming Christmas Day?  Movies, books, games, and food?  Enjoy!

***

DECONSTRUCTING A LOVE AFFAIR: EXCERPTED FROM “INTERIOR DESIGNS”

infidelity-resized

As Martha ponders her affair with Zach, she is reminded, once again, of the last days of her marriage…and what she had done to try to salvage it.  Excerpted from Interior Designs.

***

 

Later that day, after most of our tasks had been checked off the list, I leaned back in my chair, closing my eyes and mulling over the thoughts that had been tumbling around in my head for most of the day.  Ever since Zach’s call I’d been a bit off my game.  I couldn’t concentrate:  I kept remembering the last time we’d seen each other, and how everything had ended between us.  It had just fizzled out.  Nothing major had happened:  no fights, no disagreements, and no drama.   Just “the end.”

 
Had there been any hints in our last encounter, or had he just stopped calling with no warning?

 
Now that I recalled that part of it, I began to feel like I’d been unceremoniously dumped.  I didn’t want to go there again, so why had I agreed to the lunch?  Had I hoped that we would begin again?  Or that he might somehow explain what had happened—or not happened—between us?

 
It had been several months ago, so my mind skipped back there, searching for clues.

 
Not really discovering anything that would explain it all, I thought that maybe I should call him and offer some excuse for why we couldn’t meet.  Yes, that’s what I should do.  I couldn’t even imagine opening myself up to him again, even though our “relationship” back then had always been understood as a “no strings” affair.

 
Perhaps that wasn’t possible for me, though.  Maybe I was old-fashioned and always had this feeling that something more would develop, despite whatever label we’d placed on what was between us.

 
How had I turned into such an insecure creature?  All through my marriage, at least until the very end, I’d believed that I could hold onto anyone I wanted.  Despite all the evidence of Hal’s betrayals and continuing involvement with Amber, I’d kept coming up for air and striking out.  Nobody was going to intimidate me or crush my world into smithereens.

 
Sometimes I felt awash with rage, while other times the guilt overwhelmed me.  Looking back, I couldn’t believe that I’d used blackmail and all kinds of dirty tricks to keep my man.  I’d been watching too many old movies, or maybe even reading too many love stories.  The ones in which “love wins out in the end.”

 
Who believes that crap anymore?  Not I, that’s for sure.

 
How far had I been willing to go to keep Hal in my life?  And when Miranda was no longer useful—when she had turned on me, too, what had I done next?

 
***
A few months after my first meeting with Miranda, I’d called her again.  From a pay phone, as usual, so there wouldn’t be any trace on any of my phone lines.  Yes, she’d delivered the information I’d wanted, but it hadn’t been enough.  Hal kept going to the beach house, while claiming to be on business trips; he hadn’t even been that careful in covering his tracks.  Carl, the man who was in charge of the maintenance there, had succumbed to my charms when I asked him to keep track for me.

 
When Miranda answered the phone, I spoke quickly.  “I need more dirt.  You’ve told me about the underworld business clients, and you’ve told me Amber’s sordid history; none of that is working.  You’ve got to give me more.  Did Amber and Hal use drugs?  Were they dealing?”

 
I listened as she confirmed my suspicions about the drug use; I reminded her that I needed hard evidence.

 
We agreed to meet downtown again.  Miranda didn’t seem all that worried about being able to produce what I needed.  So why did I feel so anxious?

 
A few days later, she appeared at our meeting with a file.  She handed it over as soon as I came through the door.  Then she turned on me and snarled:  “That’s it.  That’s all I have, and I’m done.”

 
Startled by her reaction, I just stared.  I asked:  “What’s wrong?  Has something happened?”

 
She shook her head fiercely, but added:  “Some of the drug dealers have been giving me a hard time.  It’s like they are suspicious of me now.  What have you said or done to make that happen?”

 
I denied stirring up notice from the dealers, of course, but I realized that my questions, and even some of the calls I’d made, could have elicited some kind of action on their part.

 
When I left that day, I kept glancing over my shoulder, wondering who was watching me.

***

 

Front Cover-resized again

***

BEING TRUE: MY WINDING ROAD IN THIS JOURNEY

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Oh, what a winding road it has been, in this blogging journey!

If anyone would have told me five years ago that I would have discovered a new “addiction” or “obsession,” if you will, I would have laughed.  I thought that I had plenty of those, with my various collections, including my book collections.

My first blog was created in 2008, and it was on Blogger.  I entitled that one Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow, and my intention was to use the blog as a way of connecting with readers, for marketing purposes.  This was a plan developed with my publishing consultant. (That blog is now Story Corner).

But not much happened that first year.  It was in 2009, when I accidentally connected with other bloggers, that I learned of a much bigger picture.  A community.  A network of other bloggers.

Then I sort of went nuts, creating several other blogs, some of which I have since deleted and merged with others.  I still have too many, for most people’s tastes.

But this site was my first on Word Press.  Initially, I called it Explorations…then I merged others with it, and it went through still another name change.  Finally I settled on An Interior Journey...and that works for me.

When I decided to put a Bloglovin’ button on this site (and a few others), I realized that blog name changes can have complex consequences.  I’ve been “claiming” my various  blogs, and then officially changing the names.  Whoa!  What was I thinking  back when I thought it was as simple as changing it on the blog?

On this particular site, I have regularly changed the headers and backgrounds…and even the tag line of the blog.  With my newest tag line changes came a new blog button…and a header with the button in the center.

cropped-picmonkey-collage-ij-in-december

Looking back over what I’ve written, I am tempted to chuck this whole post.  It was obviously written by someone addicted/obsessed with various aspects of blogging.  But no….my hard and fast rule for myself is being “true.”  So this is who I am, on this, my Interior Journey. 

I hope to connect with some of you along the way.  What has your blogging journey been like?

MY INTERIOR WORLD OF BOOKS: BOTH PRINT & DIGITAL

resized pinterest bookstore

Whenever I see the bookstore pictured above, I think of all the wonderful nooks and crannies that can be explored.  And then I am reminded of how few true bookstores there still are.

I am as guilty as the next person, shopping online and acting as if I’m not missing out on a wonderful experience.

Yes, our neighborhood still has a Barnes & Noble, but the Borders across the street is long gone.  And in the quirky neighborhoods where I could once find used bookstores and independent ones…they, too, are missing those venues.

Some say that the digital age will change our reading habits forever.  Even while I agree, up to a point, I don’t buy that the printed word in its physical format is a thing of the past.  There may be fewer bookstores, and online shopping may be something many of us do, but when we think of books, we often think of the physical book.

I, too, enjoy reading on my Kindle, which I’ve named Sparky.  But at least 3/4 of the books I read are the print kind.  When an author or publisher approaches me about reviewing a book, my preference is always for the printed version.

Here are some recent review books headed my way, in print:

What I Had Before I Had You, by Sarah Cornwell

18074329

The Edge of Normal, by Carla Norton

17286850

One Hundred Names, by Cecelia Ahern

18505788

And then there are libraries.  Those places where we can still find print volumes.  I regularly request books from the library (online, of course), and then receive an e-mail when they are ready to be picked up.

Saturday, I received these two library books:

Invisible, by Carla Buckley

51lJAOCqXOL

The Things That Keep Us Here, by Carla Buckley

51i3DMUpwJL

Feeling content with the continued availability of print books, I won’t mind occasionally downloading e-books.  I believe I can have it both ways…for now, anyway.  What do you think?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

***

INTERIOR MUSINGS: WHAT I’M READING NOW

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Welcome to another week of musings, hosted by Should Be Reading.  My musing today is from this topic:

Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.

***

I am currently reading Starter House, by Sonja Condit, an ARC from Amazon Vine.

 

17349327

 

I selected it because of this portion of the blurb:

From the moment Lacey sees the house with the beautiful wood staircase, she knows she’s found her dream home. Growing up rootless with her flighty mother, Ella Dane, a self-proclaimed psychic, Lacey is determined to give her unborn baby the stability she never had.

I love stories about houses.  Love visualizing them, decorating them or watching the characters do that…and yet, there was the next part of the blurb that gave me pause:

But shortly after she and her husband, Eric, move in, the warm and welcoming house becomes cold and dark. There is something malevolent within these walls that wants to hurt her unborn child—a terrifying presence that only she can sense. And there is Drew, a demanding and temperamental little boy who mysteriously appears when Lacey is alone.

To protect her unborn child and save her family, Lacy must discover the truth about her dream house and the troubled Drew—a decades-old mystery involving secrets, violence, and guilt—and confront an evil that has lingered in wait for years.

***

What I’m not enjoying is how the character, Lacey, seems powerless to do anything but “go along” with the “demanding and temperamental boy.”  And I don’t like her husband, Eric, who is not supportive at all.  He dismisses everything she tells him, so she keeps secrets.

But….the story is suspenseful, and after reading it for awhile last night (I’m almost finished), I dreamed about it.  In my dreams, the story had a variety of endings…I wonder which one will actually happen?

***

Do you ever do that?  Pick a book you are not sure about, but you’re drawn to it anyway?  And you keep reading, even when you don’t like the characters?

***

What are you musing about today?