I Tell You The Inmates Are in Charge of The Asylum

The Inmates Are in Charge of The Asylum

I cannot believe …well I am speechless…and that is rare but…but…Robert from 101 books wrote a great and disturbing post….

Whoever put the idiots in charge who want to sanitize history and literature…I wish I had the words to…to…..

Who exactly are the people at the American Library Association…I would like their names.

I suspect they are zombies of the past in need of a lobotomy which is perhaps a little severe, but one thing is for sure..they should not be in any position that allots more power than what to wear, or what to have for lunch.  

http://onehundredonebooks.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/what-do-harper-lee-and-captain-underpants-have-in-common/

1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling 
2. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor 
3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier 
4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell 
5. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck 
6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou 
7. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz 
8. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman 
9. ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series), by Myracle, Lauren 
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky 
11. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers 
12. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris 
13. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey 
14. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain 
15. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison 
16. Forever, by Judy Blume 
17. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker 
18. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous 
19. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger 
20. King and King, by Linda de Haan 
21. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee 
22. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar 
23. The Giver, by Lois Lowry 
24. In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak 
25. Killing Mr. Griffen, by Lois Duncan 
26. Beloved, by Toni Morrison 
27. My Brother Sam Is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier 
28. Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson 
29. The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney 
30. We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier 
31. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones 
32. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya 
33. Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson 
34. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler 
35. Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison 
36. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley 
37. It’s So Amazing, by Robie Harris 
38. Arming America, by Michael Bellasiles 
39. Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane 
40. Life is Funny, by E.R. Frank 
41. Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher 
42. The Fighting Ground, by Avi 
43. Blubber, by Judy Blume 
44. Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher 
45. Crazy Lady, by Jane Leslie Conly 
46. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut 
47. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby, by George Beard 
48. Rainbow Boys, by Alex Sanchez 
49. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey 
50. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini 
51. Daughters of Eve, by Lois Duncan 
52. The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson 
53. You Hear Me?, by Betsy Franco 
54. The Facts Speak for Themselves, by Brock Cole 
55. Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Green 
56. When Dad Killed Mom, by Julius Lester 
57. Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause 
58. Fat Kid Rules the World, by K.L. Going 
59. Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes 
60. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson 
61. Draw Me A Star, by Eric Carle 
62. The Stupids (series), by Harry Allard 
63. The Terrorist, by Caroline B. Cooney 
64. Mick Harte Was Here, by Barbara Park 
65. The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien 
66. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor 
67. A Time to Kill, by John Grisham 
68. Always Running, by Luis Rodriguez 
69. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury 
70. Harris and Me, by Gary Paulsen 
71. Junie B. Jones (series), by Barbara Park 
72. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison 
73. What’s Happening to My Body Book, by Lynda Madaras 
74. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold 
75. Anastasia (series), by Lois Lowry 
76. A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving 
77. Crazy: A Novel, by Benjamin Lebert 
78. The Joy of Gay Sex, by Dr. Charles Silverstein 
79. The Upstairs Room, by Johanna Reiss 
80. A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck 
81. Black Boy, by Richard Wright 
82. Deal With It!, by Esther Drill 
83. Detour for Emmy, by Marilyn Reynolds 
84. So Far From the Bamboo Grove, by Yoko Watkins 
85. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, by Chris Crutcher 
86. Cut, by Patricia McCormick 
87. Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume 
88. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood 
89. Friday Night Lights, by H.G. Bissenger 
90. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle 
91. Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George 
92. The Boy Who Lost His Face, by Louis Sachar 
93. Bumps in the Night, by Harry Allard 
94. Goosebumps (series), by R.L. Stine 
95. Shade’s Children, by Garth Nix 
96. Grendel, by John Gardner 
97. The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende 
98. I Saw Esau, by Iona Opte 
99. Are You There, God?  It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume 
100. America: A Novel, by E.R. Frank

Canadian Beaver

Canadian Beaver

It seems our government is busy these days, not with serious international matters, or
threats of terrorism, or poor leadership, or unemployment or injustice but with
endless discussions on our national symbol – The Beaver.

The Beave

It’s a rather silly symbol – at least I have always thought so – but to devote time and money to discussion on whether it should be something else, in this day and age – well I cannot come up with a decent word to use in public to demonstrate
how I feel….ugh.

It, The Beaver was proclaimed a national symbol in 1975 so we cannot even blame our
early fur trading ancestors, and yes even I have made jokes about this choice.  From what I have read, Canadian Beaver was extremely lucrative and made a ton of money for the Hudson Bay Company way back when wearing fur was very fashionable and very ‘in’.  The Beaver appeared on our first stamp.

Being sick of all discussion I would like to propose a change – make it a Goose..a
Canadian Goose…it’s a prettier nicer looking animal/bird and no one has to miss
a beat in making yet another joke.

Darn good thing we Canucks have a good sense of humour.

Life’s Straight Course vs The Roller Coaster

I would never ever, even if begged, bribed, or coerced ride a real roller coaster.  I don’t doubt the safety but wonder if my heart would just stop mid ride but I have habitually ridden those rickety tracks in life, living with passion and energy, embracing the highs and philosophizing my way through the lows, mostly with a ‘this too shall pass’ attitude.

I love feeling the thrill, the joy, the superman of it all but I find with advancing age that I now feel if I want this engine to keep running I had better slow my life to a more consistent speed.  Hmmm slow is the wrong word because I am not slowing, just attempting to keep things at a more constant rate with less revving and down shifting (is that the right term?) guaranteeing a smoother longer ride.  That’s the smart way…right?

Now who am I kidding……I am just feeling a little tired tonight and know that when the morrow dawns my current quiet joy is going to blossom, rev, and ride again!

Sweet energizing dreams all!

Once Upon A Time..again..

Once Upon A Time

…..in a land separated by decades rather than geography where rivers and oceans ran clear and children romped in the sun for hours with no knowledge of sunscreen played outside until the glow of street lights or hunger drove them home there lived a princess.  At least in her mind and heart she was sure of her royal lineage convinced a mistaken baby switch at the local hospital.

She endured the hardship of every day life convinced that a magic carpet, or genie, or fairy from Walt Disney’s Magical Kingdom would someday arrive and transport her to her proper palace beloved by her prince.

Imagination is a wonderful thing, a wonderful place to live and I have wondered if modern technology has taken away this joy from today’s youth but everyday I see children’s dreams at work.  I visit a school yard and see them running and laughing joyfully.  I listen in on a three year old’s conversation at play with his toys.  The young I see have lost nothing.  Instead they have gained a wider scope of knowledge and understanding in technology but it is still nice to see imagination at play.

Oh and the princess?  Never did meet her prince unless he was well hidden in all the frogs she kissed but oh my she still dreams, imagines, and maybe someday..just maybe….

Oh and this is my post number 200 and very shortly, today will hit 10,000 hits, a modest record compared to some but not too shabby for this princess!

But Has Anyone Published?

But Has Anyone Published?

This is the first day of the National Novel Writing Month and I can almost hear the tapping and scribbling as thousands start off on a month long marathon of creativity birthing a novel.

I so wanted to take part but could not for two primary reasons: 

Time- more than half of my allotted 24 hours now are devoted to G1 and G2.  I have decided that to keep blogging I am going to consistently write on a five minute a day premise, using Gypsy Mama’s Friday Style every day, which may make for some interesting and depth limited thoughts.  I shall aim for one more detailed post each week, so a commitment to produce 2000 words a day is outside my capabilities.
Fear- I fear that the story I want to write will suffer if I charge ahead just to count words.  Stephen King says that when he sits down each day he completes 2000 words.  It may be sometime before I work up to that. HaHa.

My question of the day is – for all the industrious folk who have taken part in NaNoWriMo – has anyone ended up with a work that actually went on to be published?

Cussler, Koontz and Stockett

I bought three books today guaranteeing some fine weekend reading as winter’s certain
arrival is heralded first by the cold dank grey blanket of wind, rain, soggy spongy lawns, and sunless skies.  It’s a good day for fireside, tea and a lacing of chocolate or brandy depending on your preference – perhaps both.

Clive Cussler

The first book, alphabetically, but not the first to read is by Clive Cussler and his son
Dirk Cussler called Crescent Dawn.  I sincerely hope I have not read it yet but there is a chance.  My friends and I read a lot of Cussler and books are passed around the group with such speed it may turn out to be an old friend perfect for a revisit.  I don’t
mind as Cussler is always suspenseful and enjoyable and really if my memory has
to go in some area this is a perfectly pleasant plot filled deficiency I can live with.

Cussler is an interesting man whose real life is laced with adventure and who enhances
extra intrigue as he weaves mystery and suspense throughout his novels.  He is the founder and chairman of NUMA (National Underwater and Marine Agency) and NUMA is a frequent part, and very often the center of most of his books.
As an underwater explorer he has discovered more than sixty shipwreck sites.  His characters from one series frequently show up in others as Clive Cussler himself does also and blend seamlessly with the story line. Dirk Pitt, Juan Cabrillo and Isaac Bell capture
my undivided attention every time.

Cusslerwrites fiction and non-fiction and regardless of your preference you are
guaranteed to learn facts of great interest. * I saw the movie Sahara that
Matthew McConaughey starred in as Dirk Pitt and thought he was great but I did
hear that Cussler was not pleased with the portrayal but I thought it was
perfect – although it could have been the abs I guess.

Dean Koontz

Dean Koontz, whom I may have mentioned the odd time previously is author of my second purchase today; ‘what the night knows’ all lower case.  My addiction to Koontz started back in ’92 and what this man can portray in a single sentence is mind boggling.  It was his book ‘Winter Moon’ that started with the best first line ever (that I wrote about in a previous post), ‘Death was driving and emerald green Lexus.’
When I first found Koontz I carried a book everywhere and read at stop
lights, in elevators, as  matter of fact I think I would line up for anything just for the opportunity to read.  I would circle paragraphs or sentences and try to determine how particular words evoked a sentiment so deeply and thoroughly.  I sent Dean a fan letter
several years ago in which I described my addiction and started it by saying
that like most addicts I might not be able to tell him the exact time but I
could tell him exactly how it felt.  It was quite a brilliant letter I think and I got a typical printed response but at the bottom where his signature was he jotted a hand written note telling me how much he enjoyed the humor and wit of my letter.  He is such a prolific writer that I could not possibly begin to list my favs.  There is
one hard cover I have kept and reread for years and that is, ‘Lightning’.

The Help

My third purchase is Kathryn Stockett’s ‘The Help’ and I sincerely hope it is a good as everyone says and that all the rave reviews from friends are true and not just
fashionable hype.  I will have to let you know on that one.  I did not see the movie preferring to get the depth of the written word first.

 

Well I would love to go on and on and on but I am being harassed by three very loud  voices all calling….’Me first! Me first!

 

Technology – Help or Hindrance in Writing?

A couple of days ago Scott Berkun asked the question, “Does technology help you write?”  The respondents via the comments section showed twice as many like technology and actually feel it helps.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2011/10/16/does-technology-help-you-write/#comments

A couple felt it neither helps nor hinders and a few more out rightly prefer pen and
paper.  This question is interesting because it is something I am currently wrestling with.

Advantages of Technology:

1)       For speed in getting what you want to say down on paper, when you cannot write quickly enough to get the words in your brain down on paper, a key board can’t be beat.
Most people cannot write legibly at any great speed for a sustained period of time.

2)      Easy editing.  Correction, addition, deletion – all very easy.

3)      Greater physical comfort in striking keyboards rather than gripping a pen or pencil.

4)      It’s great for those who have lousy penmanship.

Disadvantages of Technology:

1)       It can be distracting.  I get all hung up on form and spelling and language and lose the essence of what it is I am writing.

2)      The urge to hit the internet and get waylaid is tempting for some authors whether it be games, Facebook or other.

3)      Writing, actual writing with pen and paper seems cozier, more personal somehow.

What works?

I have been reading about authors to see what works for them.  Some like Stephen King; I believe can just type it out.  Others like Jeffrey Archer won’t touch a keyboard.  Mr. Archer has a writing schedule where he works for two hour periods throughout the day and
this makes sense as handwriting is tiresome. Peter Straub has indicated through his stories that he will hand write through the day and then type it up.  Now it was some years ago I picked up on that bit of information and for all I know he may be completely techie now.  I think that Stephenie Meyer is more a keyboard kind of gal and J.K. Rowling does both.

I prefer the feel of pen in hand but it is just too uncomfortable and my penmanship has
gone to the dogs or where ever that skill goes in time.  I don’t always feel comfortable having to sit for hours at a desk or with a laptop.  So I continue to seek that perfect blend of both.

What does work for you?  How are you able to be most productive when writing?

Naps are for Smart People

Naps are for Smart People

Raw bundles of energy learning to assimilate into life give all in laughter, running and the work of the day which may include miles of trucks on knees, bionicals that soar to mighty heights and giggling with delight when this little piggy goes to market find restful recharging in the afternoon nap.

The simplicity of giving it your all should be a more obvious lesson to those of us who transitioned from toddler to adult.  How did we miss it?  At least for most of the grown up persuasion it seems daily toils are an effort and concentration seems to be on getting through it. We utter words, axioms, as though verbalizing acknowledges the wisdom but feel forbidden to actually do it full time.  Stop and smell the roses.  Love what you do.  

The back end of that last one is do what you love and is something I could never quite figure out.  For one thing not everyone could say what they love and so wander through live gritting their teeth doing something they think they do not love.

I probably could not have named one thing I loved to do in my youth.  Sure, I was a nurse to the core of me and loved it.  It was my calling.  But as a high schooler I worked every weekend and holiday and whether it was a laundry or grocery store or factory I loved it all.  For me I guess the pleasure was in the doing.

What if….we woke up tomorrow and decide to love everything we do?  Love that alarm and morning stretch, love that shower and first sip of coffee, love the action of getting dressed, love that drive or walk, love that work?  

There are all kinds of songs that say be glad for what we are given.  You know it may not change the world but I bet it will change us and who knows energy may abound.

Some have a dream and belief and will reach it but for most of us ordinary folk the true pleasure of life is all around us in the most mundane things.  And yes when we earn our rest at day’s end it will be one of regeneration although I believe the whole world could use the benefits of an afternoon nap. After all some of the most brilliant people in the world grabbed a little midday shut eye, probably because in their waking hours they  gave it their all.

Offenheim Family and Google Searches

Offenheim Family and Google Searches

I love Google!  On Friday I posted about a talented musical family we met decades ago in the Haliburton Highlands.  Yesterday I was thrilled to receive an email from Sandy.  I removed personal family information but am posting the rest here so, as Paul Harvey says you will know, ‘the rest of the story’!

Hello Chris:
I received a Google alert this morning which had your very complimentary memories of Kia Ora and our young children at the lake.  Of course, you mentioned Sandy Offenheim and Family and our music, which you still remember.
 
Yes, it’s been 36 years since our first album of kids’ songs came out.  So hard to believe.  The wonderful thing is that now we have email, websites and the like and so people can locate me and order our 25th anniversary compliation CD, Let’s Play a Statue Game…Again..  and they do.  The orders always come with beautiful comments and happy memories, which makes me very happy.
 
You said you didn’t know what we were doing now, so I’ll fill you in.  After my music began slowing down, I went back to school and became an ESL: teacher for almost 20 years.  I retired from it 5 years ago and am now completing a 2 book series of chants, rhymes and activities for ESL.  I’ve been working closely with the publisher and we hope to have the first book out this fall.  Harold retired too and he is helping me with the book on all the computer stuff.
 
I’ve also been busy for 6 years working on a project with another woman for the ageing population.  We’re hoping to get that out….we have some pokers in the fire and are hoping…..
 
I must say that I was very impressed with your writing.  You express yourself beautifully.  Do you write professionally? I loved the way you described Haliburton.  Those simple, lazy days are amongst my most favourite memories of quiet, family times….before all the technology that so fills up children’s hours these days.  We were lucky to have that time up north.  I believe that Kia Ora was sold to a corporation some time ago.
 
I wrote a song “Dream by the Water,” which is on my 4th album Nicknames, while sitting by the lake.  It’s a haunting, simple song about the effect of that place on me.
 
Anyway, I just wanted to comment on what you had written.  Thank you for making my Saturday morning.  I really appreciate your thoughts.
 
Sandy

To view Sandy’s web site click below.
 

http://www.sandyoffenheim.com/

 
To see Sandy’s interview  Click below
 

 
To View Sandy on youtube click below

Two Weeks

Two Weeks

What have I done?  

For the life of me it feels like I have climbed mountains, swam oceans, dog sledded to both poles, north and south, discovered new planets, personally, one by one,travelled parallel universes, leaped tall buildings in a single jump, righted wrongs and resettled the earth on it’s axis, when in fact, all I did was move.

To go into microscopic detail would just sound like a major whine and snivel unworthy of acknowledgement.  Most frustrating was my failed determination to document my adventures daily, believing I would ‘catch up tomorrow’, never a good idea.  I knew daily postings were not realistic unless I was prepared to bombard y’all with daily…so exhausteds… but figured I could use that info for future posts.

So since the 23rd….moved to Hamilton, returned to steam clean and visit family/friends for few days, unpack, relaxed, then realized car full of boxes so have not finished completely, went to cottage with G1 & G2 for five exhausting days, got home and returned to Kitchener for family/friends events and back again to prepare for first day of school…which is today.

Good thing my son is scheduled home today because here I sit, Walk-in Clinic prisoner, waiting for medical assistance in dislodging ear wax (cerumen)  believe it or not, which has rendered my right ear mostly deaf.  Don’t even consider asking…there is no way I can turn that into any kind of entertaining tale.  Had I known I would have dressed a little more impressive and put some, or a lot of make up, but that particular supply bucket is at home, as my intention on leaving the house this morning was to take G1 to school.  Period.

Just been shown into doc’s office….maybe just maybe…
Computer not hooked up yet..still using iPad so capability  is limited..but ever optimistic!

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