Month: August 2015

Impossible

When people say impossible, they usually mean improbable. Reader In A Reverie was finding quotations as a part of a challenge and found the one above from the Grisha trilogy. Reading it, I thought it was so true. It really doesn’t matter whether the subject matter is writing, losing weight, learning Mandarin, or climbing Mount Everest; you are bound to hear the statement “Impossible!” from yourself and/or others. The usage of “impossible” covers a whole range of improbability from impossible, not in this lifetime to you can’t do it and don’t you dare. It is important to differentiate the statement of impossible no matter the size of the issue at hand: going for a walk on Mars, starting a business, learning to drive, or reading one book at a time. Reading and/or writing is one of the places, we can explore the impossible or improbable. We can discover new territories, fight zombies, break boundaries, visit the Aztec empire, and fall in love with a rock star. As much as I love both reading and writing, …

Writing is a whole other story

I love to read. I love to write. When I do either, I disappear down the rabbit hole and hours disappear in bliss. I love it! Seriously! Getting to know L. M. Montgomery, I am astounded by how many, many books etc. she wrote. She had the courage and the discipline – plus she lived without TV or internet to distract her. That is the problem for us wannabe writers: distractions. Books, TV, internet, real life, kids, jobs, dinner, laundry, the list goes on and on indefinitely – all the time keeping us (me) from what we love. I want to write. I even need to write. (Indeed I do, Rilke!) I have found that I have another problem. I come up with new ideas all the time. Initially, this sounds fine, creative even, but combined with actually writing, it is a major obstacle. Almost every time, I start writing, I begin page 1 of a new story. I write a paragraph or a couple of pages, before having to re-appear from the rabbit hole, …

L. M. Montgomery

She was a prolific writer, writing 20 novels, 530 short stories, 500 poems, and 30 essays, and still Lucy Maud Montgomery is accredited with commenting that she had yet to produce her greatest work. L.M. Montgomery was born in 1874, and grew up with her maternal grandparents. She attained a teaching certificate and taught at different island school. Teaching was never her calling, but it affording her the opportunity to write. She wrote “Anne of Green Gables” in 1908 and it was an instant success. L.M. Montgomery was a beautiful woman and had a number of suitors, but did not marry until 1911 after a five-year engagement. Her husband was Ewen Macdonald, a minister. The life of a married woman did not fit L. M. Montgomery. She had bouts of depression, from which she recovered through storytelling. She continued to write until her death in 1942. At the time, it was said that she died of natural causes, but she left a cryptic note that could be read as a suicide note, but of course, …

“I am simply a ‘book drunkard.’ Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.” — L.M. Montgomery

The Insanity of Murder – Felicity Young

Two passionate suffragettes plant a bomb on the Necropolis Railway, leading to greater damage than planned, and one of the two is Dody McCleland’s sister. Dody is in a pickle, balancing her quest for justice and cooperation with the police on one side and her loyalty to her sister on the other side. The investigation leads to other murders, stemming back to the Elysium Rest Home for Gentlewomen. The historical ride in The Insanity of Murder is intricate, well researched, and immensely entertaining. Beginning with the Necropolis Railway, the suffrage movement, Bedlam asylum, hunger strikes, medical practices, and Edwardian society in general. I could easily continue this list. Felicity Young excels in using historical detail to color the story instead of drowning it. That said, the period with it revolutions and evolutions in many fields is a popular backdrop for stories and I cannot help immediately drawing parallels to some of them. This is also emphasized with the centennial for women’s rights in these years – depending on which country you focus on, as evidenced …

Tiger Heart – Katrell Christie and Shannon McCaffrey

Tiger Heart by Katrell Christie and Shannon McCaffrey is my summer read 2015. Picture me on a forest green sunbed under the birch trees in my parents’ garden. Cue doting mother (I am an only child) with a cup of tea, and my kid hunting for worms in the flowerbeds – and an extraordinary literary journey is within reach. I followed Katrell from the eccentricities of Atlanta and the beginnings of a teashop called Dr. Bombay’s Underwater Tea Party to founding a life scholarship program for young women in Darjeeling, India – and it was a life-changing journey for both of us. Katrell says, “It’s one of those “only in India” stories” (p. 16) and her story certainly is. India and the people Katrell encounters there are so vividly depicted that I can feel the logistical chaos and hear the quintessential melody of Indian-English. Katrell first visited India on a trip organized by Rotary, and while there had the quick idea to visit Darjeeling, where tea is grown. There she stumbled upon a cause. Orphanage …