Monday, March 30, 2009

Saturday, March 28, 2009

"Furry old man"

BB, tired after a long day working at the "Cottage." Water Color
sketch tonight at dinner. In Jessie's mole.


Poised to Strike, Water color sketch in Jessie's book. Not doing
washes on the yellow mole paper, trying to see what effects I can get
without washes. Water color and a little gouache.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Two New Books on my Currently Reading Shelf

The River King The River King by Alice Hoffman

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
I started the River King last night for the second time--last time I didn't get to far before I set it down and abandoned it. I'm trying it again because I loved the last two Alice Hoffman books I read, The Probably Future, and The Third Angel. But so far, I'm not liking it much better than I did last time--I'm going to stick with it a little longer I hope, and see if it improves.

View all my reviews.

The Nick Adams Stories The Nick Adams Stories by Ernest Hemingway

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
I also started The Nick Adams Stories, by Ernest Hemingway, which I am enjoying much more, though it took me a while to get into them, they are a little strange and different. Very detailed about every move people make and low key. But interesting! Will report back when I finish them. I will finish them, God willing and the creeks don't rise.

View all my reviews.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Three things

Here's what you're supposed to do... Copy, paste in your notes, delete my answers and type in your answers. Then tag a few friends! The theory is that you will learn a lot of little known things about each other.

Three Names I go by
1. Mary
2. "fweetie"
3. Mrs. Taitt
(once was called Tiger, Horsehair and Mary Nicky)

Three Jobs I have had in my life
1. Erotic Dancer
2. Museum Educator
3. Naturalist
(Taught Ecology and Creative writing at the College level.  Taught birth control in a place where it was illegal to teach birth control.)

Three Places I have lived
1. San Francisco
2.  NYC
3. at a Nature Center

Three TV Shows that I watch
(I don't have a TV)(Three things I do besides watch TV--converse with people, write poetry, paint)

Three places I have been
1. Slovenia
2. Austria and Italy
3. Mexico

Three of my favorite foods
1. my own homemade omelets
2. BB's spaghetti dinners
3. my own spring rolls

Three of my favorite books
1. A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
2. The Book Thief
3. The Third Angel
(Whatever book I am currently reading or just finished)

Things I am looking forward to
1. going to bed and hugging my sweetie
2. publishing my children's novel
3. publishing my poetry collection (soon, I hope)

Three things you do every morning
1. wash face
2. brush teeth
3. make bed

Three things you do every night
1. sleep--or not
2. brush teeth
3. hug BB

Three things I wish for:
1.  Peace in the world
2.  Good will and kindness for all
3. enough to eat for the world's poor
(also:  that my brain tumor will shrink, that I will lose weight, that I will get published.)

signs of spring

Christmas Rose in bud--there are three buds now--and winter aconite--8
or 9 of those, not fully open yet.

Two new Mole Sketches

1> Osiers
2> Birthday excitement

In Jody's Moleskine


Sunday for Dinner.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Probable Future, finished

The Probable Future (Ballantine Reader's Circle) The Probable Future by Alice Hoffman

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just finished this book in a shower of tears, which were also evident elsewhere in the book. I liked it very much and will probably reread it, though not immediately, as I am currently still rereading Alice Hoffman's The Third Angel.

This book is primarily about three generations of women in the Sparrow family, but it actually goes back to 1682, many generations of Sparrow women, each with a special gift. Murders occur, including a current one, betrayals, love affairs. There are people who are honest and kind and those who are not, but each person is treated humanely and fairly. It's a book of relationships, of hurts and forgiveness. It is interesting, engaging. For me, it was another page turner, with lots of sadness and tears and lots of redemption.

I read most of the book during multiple doctor appointments, MRIs, mammograms, etc, so I feel as if I need to reread it because of the interruptions. I think there may be a few loose ends, but it may just be because I am failing mentally or because of the way I read it.

View all my reviews.

at the Rolandale House

Work is progressing slowly at "the Cottage" or "Studio," otherwise
know as "The Rolandale House," "Guest House," or "other house." I've
had a number of doctor apointments, medicals, tests, call back for
more tests etc. ML came over and unpacked and dusted books. BB is
cutting up the boards he removed from the porch he demolished. Lasy
night, we hauled away the last of the shingles and rusted galvanized
metal, but the boards and aluminum siding still has to be dealt with.
And the painting isn't finished.

Monday, March 16, 2009

2 New Fractals

These two fractal flames are variations created by me on Apophysis, a
free download for PCs. For some reason, I find fractals endlessly
fascinating. I made some more but the program crashed and I lsot
them. I am doing this on a quick lunch break.

The Third Angel: A Novel by Alice Hoffman, finished

The Third Angel: A Novel The Third Angel: A Novel by Alice Hoffman

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
I just finished this book. It's the first book I've read in quite a while that I wanted to just start over and reread from the beginning, and I may do exactly that.

It's a sad book--lots of bad stuff happens. And it's a complex book.

I hope it's not a spoiler if I say that the books backwards in time to the lives of characters who appear in the first section. You learn to understand the reasons for some of what happens. Terrible things. The people all seem very real to me, like people I know well, like myself. It's one of those books that seems to be written about me even though the events are totally different than those in my life.

And the characters, in spite of their flaws, are very real. The fact that the characters change is at once exciting and upsetting. I wanted to know more about what happened to the people in the first section. Instead, I learned about the lives of their parents. It's like three different books, but they are all tied together. Like life.

I worry that I might be "too easy" to please, because I've been giving everything lately 5 stars--but I've loved them all. I tend to love whatever I am reading. Unless it gives me a reason not to. I can quickly think of some other things I am reading or recently read that I did not like as well. I won't name them--I am satisfied to know they exist. Except this: I Claudius, which I am still reading. It has gotten better, but the beginning was almost unbearably tedious.

View all my reviews.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Kite Runner, finished

The Kite Runner The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
I finished this book and I loved it. It was very sad, but well-writtin and engaging.

The protagonist did something terrible, he betrayed a friend, a friend who had always been faithful to him, and who turned out to be more than a friend. He is given a chance to redeem himself more than once. At first, he fails. His struggle is heart wrenching, as are the results of the wars raging in Afghanistan.

This book is similar in a number of ways to The Book Thief, which I just read. I liked them both, but they are both VERY sad. And happy, and touching. I recommend it/them heartily.

Meanwhile, I am also still reading I, Claudius, The Mind of the Raven, The Probable Future, The Sunflower and a number of other books. I read some of the mind of the raven last night when I was up unable to sleep.

View all my reviews.

The Third Angel, by Alice Hoffman

The Third Angel: A Novel The Third Angel: A Novel by Alice Hoffman

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Why are all the books I'm reading SAD???? Do they have to be SO SAD?

I've just started this book and have been crying my eyes out.

It's very good so far.

I will report back when I finish it.

View all my reviews.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The dissolution of a comet (sic)

Fractal Flames from Apophysis, a freedownload for PCs. All manipulated by me.

fractal of the day

from FractalWorks.

The Kite Runner, just started!

The Kite Runner The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
WOW! Another great book, or so it seems so far. Just started this today! I'm loving it, but I've gotten depressed and cried and feel rotten about myself. BUT, that doesn't mean it's not a good book, it is.

The protagonist has done something dreadful. And my fear is that in the same position, I might have done the same thing. That's why I feel terrible (about MYSELF!) :-(

I am eager to see how it all turns out. In a few days, watch for my new report.

Meanwhile, I am also still reading I, Claudius, The Mind of the Raven, The Probable Future, The Sunflower and a number of other books. I read some of the mind of the raven last night when I was up unable to sleep.

View all my reviews.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Book Thief, finished!

The Book Thief The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
OMG! I LOVE this book. YOU MUST READ IT! Unless you can't stand sadness.

Here is a spoiler, only not exactly. Remember, you're going to die. Everyone you love is going to die. OK, here's the spoiler: everyone in this book dies. But not all at the same time. It starts and ends with death. Death narrates the book. It's what happens in between, like all our lives, that makes it worth reading. And it is VERY worth reading.

It's spellbinding. It's a page-turner. Don't let the fact that it is labeled "young adult" stop you from reading it. It's a MUST read for adults as well as children. I would never have guessed it was a young adult book, except for the fact that some of the main characters are children. They are treated in a very adult manner.

The book takes place in Nazi Germany before and during WWII, mostly on Himmel Street and Mawlking. The characters are extremely well defined and filled out. I felt that they were like family, that close and well-known. Lisel Meminger's brother dies and her mother leaves her in foster care. She arrives at her new home to find her new mother short and shaped like a wardrobe. And with a mouth like a drunken sailor.

She arrives with a book she has stolen. But she doesn't know how to read. Thus begins the central story of the book, a romance with words. There is Papa and Rudy and a host of other characters. All of them are richly drawn and deeply interesting. And very human.

There are echoes of Anne Frank, but it is not Anne Frank. However, there is Max, the Jew who lives in Lisel's basement and who wrote a book for Lisel. I cried until I was exhausted. And I will read it again, in a year or two, when I recover.

View all my reviews.

3 fractal flames for the day

I created the ffirst two myself by manipulating the triangles in
Apophysis and changing the colors. The third one was "right out of
the box," #090310-62 linear. Does anyone know who own fractals
created using the programs Apophysis, Oxidizer, FractalWorks etc?

Note: Apophysis is a free download for PCs.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Starting another new book and MRI

The Probable Future (Ballantine Reader's Circle) The Probable Future by Alice Hoffman

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
I had an MRI today, just back now. I grabbed a book on the way out the door--Alice Hoffman's The Probable Future. Doesn't matter that I am already reading multiple books--DON'T ASK how many, needed one instantly!

So far, its great. Haven't read too far though. A few chapters. Liking it a lot.

I saw the "films" (digitally) of my meningioma and it looks as if it hasn't grown or hasn't grown much. This is the good news, though I won't know for sure until I talk to the doctor on the 19th.

View all my reviews.

Friday Fractal Monday

I failed to post a fractal on Friday, too busy, closing on new house. So, here's 3D fractal to make up for it. This is from FractalWorks, a FREE download for Macs.


Art Installation at Cranbrook

me on it, of course.

I posted a new prose poem and art piece at Half-formed today.

Been very busy. Bought a second home for a studio, office and guest house. Have an MRI today for my brain tumor.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Friday Fractal Wednesday

I'm not quite sure why fractals should be confined to Fridays. I made
this on FractalWorks.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Book Thief, currently reading

The Book Thief The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
I'm just over 1/3 of the way through this book I am currently reading and I LOVE it! WOW! It is a real page turner for me! It takes place in Nazi Germany just before and during WWII with all the suspense you might expect. I will write more when I have finished it--I hope (my time has been very tight!)

View all my reviews.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Fractal Friday Monday

I didn't get a chance to post this fractal or any other on Friday for
Fractal Friday, so I am posting it today. I made it using
FractalWorks, a free download for Mac users. It's perfect for this
morning. It was eleven degrees out earlier (haven't been down to
check recently)--very cold and a little snowy, but the sun is shining.