I loved World Book Night!

I’m so happy that I had the privilege of participating in World Book Night 2013. I was a bit anxious today when I set out to pass out my 20 copies of “Girl With the Pearl Earring“, but once I gave away that first title, things became much easier and my only regret was that I didn’t have 20 more to giveaway!

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I had a couple of criteria in my own mind about who I wanted to share my books with, I didn’t want to just drop them off at one place, I wanted to give them to a variety of ages, and I wanted to give a few to people I know but not that well.  It didn’t quite go as planned, but you know what they say, “the best laid plans of mice and men…

I had the great idea of heading to my local coffee shop, and while enjoying a cup of Joe passing out a few copies, then I was going to walk around town and pass out the rest whenever the mood struck me.  Well, our continuous precipitation foiled this scenario, and I ended up giving the majority of them away in and around the coffee shop. I still tried to give them to a variety of people, although I have to say I felt more comfortable giving them to women for some reason.

The reactions I got were pretty positive, although there were a couple of skeptics that I think thought I was passing out religious tracts, but I fooled them!  It felt great when a clerk from my local drug store said in all the years she’s worked at the store no one has ever given her anything, and when one lady got so excited when she found out the movie with Scarlett Johansson had been a book first.

I hope I get a chance to do it again next year and maybe someone who got one of my books today will volunteer next year!

On the road again….too soon…

I can hardly believe that I have been in Alaska for six weeks already and that it’s time for the Jazz and I to wing our way home tomorrow. I always have to psych myself up to come, anticipating the journey, the cold and the change of scene, and then once I’m here I acclimate quickly, revisit all my favorite haunts and then at the end I get sad thinking about leaving.

But I’ve enjoyed a few beers,

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drunk way too much coffee,

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got snowed on continuously (not really it just seems that way!),

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enjoyed the beauty of Alaska,

eaten delectable food,

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then tried to walk a lot to (unsuccessfully) keep the pounds off,IMG_0254

and as a result, tired the pokey little puppy out.

IMG_0092I think it’s time to go home!

The Shortlist

Today the shortlist for the Women’s Prize for Fiction was announced, and I have to say I have mixed feelings, mostly because I was really rooting for a title that didn’t make the list, “The Marlowe Papers” by Ros Barber. Oh well, regardless of my wishes the six titles that did make the list are all strong contenders to win the prize and seem to have pleased the majority of the critics that pontificate on these types of things.

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I’ve read three of them, “May We Be Forgiven” by A. M. Homes, “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” by Maria Semple, and “Bring up the Bodies” by Hilary Mantel. Of the three I enjoyed Maria Semple’s book the most because of its humor, and I would love to see something funny win a book prize for a change, but Homes’ book too was terrific with its dark humor and rich story, but I have a feeling Mantel might actually win again.

I don’t want to be mean but I kind of hope she doesn’t win, because even though it was a well written book, I had a devil of time getting through the darn thing, and I LOVE Tudor history. Oh well, good thing I’m not a judge, huh?

I plan on reading the other three titles before the prize is awarded on June 5th, so my opinion might change but I doubt it, and if you haven’t had a chance to read “The Marlowe Papers”,  I highly recommend you give it a go!  It’s a great story, written entirely in verse, about Christopher Marlowe and the truth surrounding his ‘death’, his role as a spy, and that casper milquetoast, Shakespeare.

snow, snow go away..come again another day

So, when I arrived here in Anchorage five weeks ago there wasn’t much snow. I was disappointed for the Jazzer, ’cause the dog loves her snow piles, but I was happy for me because the less snow the better. But I should have known that this is Alaska, and well winter wasn’t over just yet…Not by a long shot!

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It’s snowed over 30″ since I’ve gotten here and snow is in the forecast for parts of this week! Even the residents here are sick of it, and this is probably because just a week ago, the streets were clear, the sun was shining and it had cracked 40 degrees.

Spring fever was definitely in the air and just like in the lower 48 when the temperatures rise, people are out washing vehicles, riding bikes and jogging, the difference being that it’s still pretty cold and there are three foot piles of snow, but Alaskans are much hardier than I will ever be!

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So we continue to bundle up with all the winter gear, parkas, hats, mittens, scarfs and ice grippers, except for one of us who is happy as a pig in s#&*!

World Book Night 2013 is almost here!

WBNI am getting pretty stoked about April 23rd 2013, because this year I get to participate in World Book Night! This is the second time that we here in the US get to join our brethren across the pond to giveaway books and pass along our love of reading one paperback at a time. According to their website, last year over a half a million books were distributed in over 5,800 hundred places to light or non-readers.  That’s a lot of pulp, huh?  There are 21 titles and I will be passing out my first choice, “Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Tracy Chevalier.

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Since I’m new to this I’m still not a 100% sure where I’m distributing my 20 copies. I don’t want to give them all to one organization, and I don’t know how confident I would be standing in a shopping mall, or street corner accosting people with a book, but I have a few ideas swirling around in my noggin and maybe some of my readers could give me a suggestion or two?

I have been thinking about a woman’s shelter near my town, maybe a hospital or a retirement home. But I would like to get this book into a few younger hands as well, so maybe I do go to a shopping area or a coffee shop? I believe I still have some pondering to do!

I’m excited for the experience and I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

World Book Night 2013

Dog gone it I love dogs!

I have had a dog in my life in one shape or form for a long time. When I was a kid we had at least four that I can remember, a Collie named Lassie (how apropos), a French Poodle named Gigi, Puff the Old English Sheepdog and Spot the Dalmatian. Even though we had these dogs when I was kid they were never my responsibility and I never remember being too attached to any of them because my mother wouldn’t let any of them in the house!  I loved my mother dearly but looking back on it all I wonder why she bought them if she didn’t really want them as pets.

Lassie was my dad’s dog and he built a huge dog house and run for her in the backyard. He took care of her and ran her around the outside of the house every evening after supper. That I remember clearly, but the other three dogs are kind of a blur and to be honest I don’t really know, or remember, what ever happened to them.  That sounds awful saying that, especially being the dog lover I am, but like I said I never felt like they were part of the family.

I changed all that when I had a house and a family of my own, thanks to a VERY understanding husband! I got Tulip and Holly at a spectacular no-kill animal shelter in Texas called Adopt-a-Pet, and I was so impressed with the work they were doing that I ended up volunteering there for several years, as did my kids and hubby. Both Tulip and Holly were mixed breeds and were puppies when we got them. They moved houses (and states) twice with us and ended up living very long lives. Tulip lived to be 15, Holly until 17. I guess Texas dogs are long livers!!

Then when Holly and Tulip were in their golden years we brought a silly little puppy named Jasmine into our family as a gift for my daughter’s 16th birthday. My daughter (and I) both wanted a smaller dog, so this time around we actually went to a breeder to guarantee what kind of dog our pup would turn out to be. Jasmine is half Shitzu and half Havanese, and I like to say she’s a HavaShitz 🙂

Tulip and Holly were rejuvenated with the addition to our family, and began to enjoy walking the neighborhood again, even though it was quite a feat for me trying to walk two oldsters and a sprightly puppy but we managed, and I like to think that Jasmine added a few more years to their lives.

Holly & Jasmine

Holly & Jasmine 2011

And now we just have Jasmine. Having a little dog obviously has worked out for us, she’s portable, for lack of a better word, and we have been able to fly and travel numerous times with her. Luckily she isn’t a fragile little thing. She loves to walk, fetch, climb and play, and she especially loves the snowy, cold weather, which is a good thing since we spend a bit of time in Alaska! But she is far cry from the lap dog that my daughter and I were hoping for, she prefers her independence and hates being picked up and carried around. That’s not to say that she isn’t underfoot all the time, or making sure she knows where all her people are at any given moment, she just would never be caught dead being carried around in a purse!

Before I had these three wonderful furry friends in my life I never truly understood it when someone said that a dog was like a member of their family, but I get it now, I really get it.

Jasmine