Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wishcasting Wednesday: Time, Time, Time...

It's Wishcasting Wednesday, my friends!  It's a dreary day here in New Jersey, but there is a nice breeze outside and I'm alive and well.  Can't really complain.

For those new to wishcasting wednesday, let me use Jamie's own words:  Wishcasting Wednesday is a safe haven for wishes, a fertile field in which to plant wish seeds and have them witnessed and tended lovingly. It’s a place where magic begins.

This week's Wishcasting:  How do you wish to spend some time?

I think the universe is involved in the creation of these questions because it always seems to come up at a time when I'm pondering the thoughts already or feeling the need/loss of something in my life that pertains what we're asked.

Time is a funny thing once you're an adult.  It starts to fly by at lightening speed and some days it's all you can do to keep up, and so many people end up living lives full of what if?  I don't want to be that person.  I feel strongly that my mother spent a large portion of her life (or the time that I knew her) living like that. She was unhappy and put everything/everyone before herself, and when she passed away last year, I was not only sad for myself, but sad for her.  I felt like she deserved more happiness than she allowed to manifest. 

And while time does move faster as we get older, or we just become more aware of it, I believe that time doesn't have to control us or our choices.  It's easy to get caught up in that idea - don't have the time to write today and get the laundry done or I can't take an hour to create and be there for the people in my life - and Lordy knows, I do it myself.  But the truth is, almost every day, we make a conscious choice on how we are going to spend our time.  There are responsibilities and events that have to be worked around sometimes, and while we might not have any say in how much time we are given, we do have a say in how we spend our now. 

My wish is that I can spend my time appreciating the now and allowing myself not to feel guilty for putting myself first.  I want to continue to trust that the universe is working with me and be happy with my time, whether it's writing, reading, or working out.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Two latest book reviews

Book:  Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk

Summary:  Using magic means it uses you back, and every spell exacts a price from its user. But some people get out of it by Offloading the cost of magic onto an innocent. Then it’s Allison Beckstrom’s job to identify the spell-caster. Allie would rather live a hand-to-mouth existence than accept the family fortune—and the strings that come with it. But when she finds a boy dying from a magical Offload that has her father’s signature all over it, Allie is thrown back into his world of black magic. And the forces she calls on in her quest for the truth will make her capable of things that some will do anything to control.
My review:  I ended up giving this book four stars (really liked) because of the world that Devon Monk created. The book itself reads like what I believe it was - the set up to a series - and in the beginning there is a lot of world building and a catalyst to bring the character to where she is at the end. I did really love the main character and how easily her feelings contradicted themselves against her actions or even just against how she felt moments later. She felt very real to me. I also really loved the idea that there are rules and consequences for using the magical energy, even if it is used for good.
Basically, it is one of those books that I picked up and ended up spending more time on my Saturday finishing up because I enjoyed it. And I'm highly interested to see how book two plays out.
Rating: 4/5 stars

Book:  Forget About It by Caprice Crane

Summary:  Jordan Landau is having a bad life. At twenty-five, she is attractive, smart, funny and talented. But all that doesn't keep her mother from calling her fat, her boss from stealing her ideas, and her boyfriend from cheating on her. Day in and day out, she sits back and watches as everyone walks all over her. Then one day while riding her bike home from a particularly awful day, Jordan collides with a car door and is knocked clear off her bicycle. Coming to in the hospital, Jordan realizes she has a perfect excuse for a "do-over"; she vows to fake amnesia and reinvent herself.
And it works. Finally, Jordan is able to get the credit she deserves at work, and she stands up to her family and her jerk boyfriend. She's living the life she always dreamed of--until the unthinkable happens. Suddenly Jordan must start over for real, and figure out what really makes her happy--and how to live a truly memorable life.

Review:  (contains spoilers)

Despite the insanity of premise of the book, I really enjoyed how the majority of the story played out. I love the writing and could definitely relate to the main character, Jordan, and her issues and need for a "do-over." I think everyone goes through moments like that. The author managed to pull off this idea of faking amnesia without it coming off like too much of a soap opera and just passing for what it was - a nutty plan from someone going through a rough patch.

However, my issue came up in the last act of the novel, where it really did seem to turn toward the insane soap opera writing. I get the journey that the author was attempting to create for Jordan, but it just went so far out there that I started to shake the book since I couldn't shake the character (which does, again, prove the creation of a great character).

My other issue was that I felt like the first part of the book did build up her relationship with Todd, then laid out this huge pronouncement, but never really dealt with it to a satisfactory place...part of which, I feel was because of the last act of the novel.

Overall: enjoyable. If you've got the time, go for it, but it's not the book I'd force on my friends as a "must-read."

Shallow comments: In my head, I'm torn between my love of Todd and Travis, but I think Todd wins out. Is there anyone who reads this and feels anything but repulsed by Dirk?

Rating: 3/5 stars

What Are You Reading for August 23rd

I've seen this on a bunch of the blogs that I follow and thought it was a cool idea, as I mostly use Good Reads and tend to forget where I stand.  Basically, in her own words, it's "...where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list."  Since I'm always looking for new blogs and especially new books to read, I figured I would give it a go.

Finished:  Sadly, nothing got finished this past week.  I do need to post my review of Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk.

Currently Reading:  Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, Nightwalker by Jocelynn Drake, and The Big Short by Michael Lewis.  I find myself at my library's mercy some days.

Up Next: 1) Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins - I'm on vacation next week and am trying to hold off to read it until then.  2) The Demon's Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan

So many books, so little time.

My weekly intention

My intention this week is trust.  Trust in the universe and in myself that things will work out, that as long as I keep doing what I need to do, I'll be fine and succeed.  Trust that hard work does pay off.  And especially trust that it's never too late to pick myself back up when I don't succeed at something right away.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wishcasting Wednesday - let go and create

Today was a busy day at work, no real moments for breathers, but I wanted to get back into the habit of continuing with Wishcasting Wednesday.  Mostly, because I really enjoy it and it helps me take a look at certain areas of my life.  I also love exploring other people's wishes and putting that energy out into the world.

 picture by Fallon Akers

This week's Wishcasting Wednesday:  What do you wish for your creativity?

I feel like my creativity has always been a life line for me in many ways.  It's allowed me to survive emotions that I wasn't always equipped to handle, especially when I was a kid.  After my dad died, a lot of the time, my only outlet was my writing.  Over the last year, I've learned that my creativity, while usually expressed with writing, isn't limited to just one form.  Yes, words are my choice of drug.  I love words and how stringing together the same six words in different ways could express so many different things.

However, I'm slowly learning that I don't have to be great at something to use it as an expression of my creativity.  Creativity is energy, all around us and there for our using...there is no rule that says whatever you create has to be brilliant by anyone's standards (including your own).

My wish today is that I allow myself to lose the need to be perfect and simply enjoy the process of creation, opening myself up to so much more.  I wish that for myself and for everyone else.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Very Cool giveaway - $200 Follower Giveaway

I'll just let them sum it up in their own words:  Welcome to the $200 Follower Giveaway Tour!!

This special giveaway event is hosted by Simply Stacie, Little Yayas, My Wee View and Kelly’s Lucky You.

We have an extra special prize in store for our followers today and are bursting to tell you all about it! Think of it as our way of saying “Thank You” to all our followers!
One lucky follower is going to win $200 USD paid via Paypal.
In my opinion:  not only is it work it for the giveaway, but each of these blogs is full of great posts with reviews and other giveaways.