INTERIOR THOUGHTS: MUSING ABOUT BOOKS

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGood morning!  Here I am in my little office nook (above), musing about books and life.  Join me at Jenn’s Books and a Beat site…and share your own musings.  Here are some thoughts to ponder:

 

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Name a book everyone should read at least once.

***

Soon I will get my hands on a book that I’ve been obsessing about…guess what?  It’s called The Obsession, by Nora Roberts, and it will be released tomorrow!  Do you think I can wait ONE MORE DAY?  LOL

 

 

61JLu-D4IML._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_

 

Here’s the blurb:  “She stood in the deep, dark woods, breath shallow and cold prickling over her skin despite the hot, heavy air. She took a step back, then two, as the urge to run fell over her.”

Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes and made him infamous. No matter how close she gets to happiness, she can’t outrun the sins of Thomas David Bowes.

Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, a rambling old house in need of repair, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the kindly residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up—especially the determined Xander Keaton.

Naomi can feel her defenses failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she’s always secretly craved. But the sins of her father can become an obsession, and, as she’s learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away.

***

One thing I know for sure….(to quote an Oprah favorite thought):  This book is one that I won’t allow to languish on Pippa.  I’ll bet that I will start reading it, if not immediately, very soon.  What do you think?

***

As for a book everyone should read at least once?  My thoughts about that change all the time.  When I was young, I would have said Gone with the Wind.  I still recommend it.  A couple of years ago, I bought a copy…to reread.  I still haven’t done that.  But I hope I can manage it.

 

 

087

***

Nowadays, my favorites change with the winds, as I accumulate more and more books and read them quickly.  Back in the day, I read more slowly, savoring my books, as I had to squeeze them in between other things.  That’s probably why I remember those books so fondly from back then.

What are you musing about today?  I hope you’ll stop by and leave a link to your post.

***

REVIEW: THE OPPOSITE OF MAYBE, BY MADDIE DAWSON

71rjsiR5s0L._SL1500_

 

 

 

In their circle of friends, Jonathan and Rosie have become the quirky couple that has stayed together for fifteen years without changing their lifestyle. Rosie teaches, while Jonathan collects antiques, like the teacups that are his latest obsession.

So when Jonathan joins forces with a man named Andres, who is planning to start up a museum in San Diego, CA, Jonathan doesn’t think twice about signing on.

But Rosie is not so eager to leave Connecticut, most especially since her eighty-eight-year-old grandmother, Sophie (Soapie), will be left behind.

But the two of them plan to marry and leave together, after Rosie arranges for a caregiver.

Despite the best laid plans, something happens to Rosie in the midst of moving things, and she sends Jonathan on his way, while she stays behind with Soapie. They have cancelled the wedding and she decides she needs a break from her life with Jonathan.

After all, Soapie has been her constant in life, after her mother Serena died.

Then Rose, who is forty-four, discovers that she is pregnant, and a whole host of issues present themselves, not to mention the hormones.

And then there is the little matter of her growing friendship with Tony, the “care provider” and friend, who is not at all queasy about pregnancy or kids. Something Jonathan has failed at again, when she tells him the news.

The Opposite of Maybe: A Novel was a quick read that engaged me from the beginning. There were lots of emotional, as well as funny moments. I enjoyed the relationship between Rosie and Tony, even if I didn’t know how that was all going to work out. Jonathan was annoying in many ways, and as some described him, “limited.”

He reminded me of someone totally tuned into his own needs, socially inept, and obsessive to the nth degree. I was not rooting for Rosie and Jonathan to reunite.

But there were surprises along the way, and even while I had my private hopes, I wasn’t quite sure how it would all turn out. In the end, I was pleased. 5 stars.

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?

THURSDAY THOUGHTS FROM THE INTERIOR: CREATIVE OBSESSIONS — AUGUST 30

Yesterday I was playing around on this blog, tweaking the header and changing the tagline…and realized that I haven’t posted “thoughts from the interior” in awhile.

I enjoy doing the Monday memes here, and book reviews show up quite often.  But when you have twelve blogs, as I do (yes, I know, a bit obsessive!), sometimes one or more of the blogs are “neglected.”

Since I discovered the tab for collage options on PicMonkey, I’ve had a lot of fun creating blog headers.  I have a stockpile now, and yesterday I tweaked this one by adding a bookish title on the coffee cup in the middle.

In developing our brand at our blog(s), we sometimes have to dig deep to find out what we’re trying to convey.

So now that you have the background for why I’m pondering my interior thoughts today, I’d like to segue into a WIP I’ve been working on for awhile.  And yes, it is just about ready to come out and play.

I started Interior Designs as a short story a few years ago.  Martha, the MC, was the antagonist to Amber Cushing (the protagonist) in Embrace the Whirlwind, which was published in 2007.  Afterwards, I thought about Martha and how she got a bad rap in that story.  I asked myself:  what if?  What if Martha had her own story, an interior world we could explore.  Incidentally, she is an interior designer, so when I crafted the story of Martha’s interior journey, I thought it would be a fun play on her career, as well as on her exploration.

When NaNoWriMo came in November of 2010, I decided to craft the first 50,000 words of a novel.  I ended up with 52,000+ words…and a good feeling about where I wanted to take this story.

Now the novel has 93,000+ words…and I’ve been doing final tweaks.  I have sent it to three Beta readers, each with different perspectives.

Here is a brief excerpt from the opening chapters:

 

Later that evening, after I’d tucked Meadow into bed, and once I’d made sure everything was in order downstairs, I curled up in my bed with a book.  I glanced around surreptitiously, as if to reassure myself that my world was intact—as much as it could be, anyway.  Over there was my favorite spot, the window seat, reminiscent of the one I used to adore as a child in my parents’ home.  Mine now was more luxurious, with its bevy of needlepoint pillows tucked decoratively along the pale rose-colored cushioned seat.  The windows looked out onto the backyard, another one of my favorite places.

 
My bed, with its pink and white floral Laura Ashley spread, shams, and assorted coordinating pillows felt like a queen’s throne.

 
So why did it seem as though the fairytale had ended?  Just because the prince had dashed off on his white charger to rescue another damsel didn’t mean that I was the wicked queen in this piece.  And maybe Hal wasn’t really a prince after all.

 
Which made me think of Zach again…I hadn’t called him back, but I’d tucked the pink message slip into my datebook.

 
My thoughts veered backwards in time to the moments, in the seemingly distant past, when I’d first realized that Hal was betraying me.  A mysterious e-mail message from that horrible girl Miranda Templeton had triggered the downward spiral for me.  My behavior had been less than stellar back then, and months later, when I’d realized how I had created that whole nefarious dark side, it was too late.  I couldn’t turn back the clock, but I could certainly change how I reacted nowadays.  I had to set a better example for my daughter.

 
Sighing, I tossed the book aside.  Traipsing down memory lane seemed to be the order of tonight’s business.  I could feel the pain all over again, even though I’d vowed to put it all behind me.  Actually, when I compared my marriage to Hal to the newer relationship with Zach—even though that hadn’t actually been a real relationship, but more of a liaison—I realized once again that Hal and I had lost our connection a long time ago.
What had happened between him and Amber had almost been inevitable.

 
So why did I still feel the sting of betrayal?  I wasn’t exactly suffering here.  In the months before our divorce had actually happened, I had been busily squirreling away funds in separate accounts, just in case.  And when we’d actually sat down to divide up the assets, Hal, in his eagerness to sever our ties so he could move on, had been very generous.

 
I would not be suffering like other abandoned wives, trying to make ends meet.  I had retained the beautiful family home, a vacation home at Shaver Lake, some stocks, and a substantial trust for Meadow.  So my feelings were really more about my wounded ego.

 
I likened the feeling to the one I’d grabbed onto earlier—that image of my parents in their own little world, cocooned, while I sat somewhere on the outside.  Left out, excluded.

 
Was that a normal feeling?  Or was I behaving badly again?

 
Frustrated, I picked up the book and tried to read.

***