Monday, October 20, 2008

His name is TEX

And he's a vegetable. Yup. That's for sure.

Fresh from the garden .... here's TEX:


Does it get any fresher than this folks? Surely not.

Bratty

Monday, October 13, 2008

Yoga quote

Dear Bratty Friends,

Here is a yoga quote from the November 2008 issue of Yoga Journal that seems to exemplify the dedication, focus, and peaceful warrior like work of yoga (at least in my mind):

"Practice and life are not that different ... I don't do my life any differently from what I do on the mat."
Judith Hanson Lasater

And that's all in a nutshell folks.

More later,

Bratty

Sunday, October 12, 2008

In memory of Terry Day

Terry Joe Day

Terry Joe Day Wenatchee, WA Born in Wenatchee, WA June 30, 1965, to Karen S. Pugh and Martin Day. He died Tuesday, October 7, 2008. He had lived in Wenatchee all his life, attending Lewis & Clark Elementary, Orchard Jr. High and Wenatchee High School, graduating with a GED class in 1984. He served in the Washington State National Guard from 1988 through 1992, during which time, he spent training assignments in Korea, plus annual junkets to the Yakima Firing Range. His working years were spent in the fruit warehouse industry, notably, Cashmere's Blue Star Fruit Warehouse and Phillippi's Warehouse in Wenatchee. He loved the outdoors, fishing and hunting as often as he could. He enjoyed playing video games and loved art, which led to his unique drawings of pictures, all during his life. Preceding him in death are his grandmother, Gladys L. Peart and cousin, Jeremy Peart. He is survived by his grandfather, Horace H. Peart; his sister, Darcy L. Day; his mother and step-father, Karen and Paul Pugh; his father, Martin (Linda) Day; an aunt and uncle; and numerous cousins. Graveside Services will be at the Wenatchee Cemetery on Tuesday, October 14, 2008, at 11:00 a.m. Arrangements are by Jones & Jones ~ Betts Funeral Home.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

NaNoWriMo


22 days till NaNoWriMo 2008 begins!

Good luck to all participants on reaching the 50,000 word goal!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Books I recently returned to the library

Dear Bratty friends,

Today I took back to the library the Leopard Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt and Belladonna by Anne Bishop. Also in my bag to return is Balzac and the little Chinese seamstress, and the Lost Duke of Wyndham by Julia Quinn. All in all, I say, "harumpf" about these reading choices.

At least the Leopard Prince did break out of the usual "modern style" romance novel rut of spending ALL of its time focusing on getting the two leads to their first act of coitus. And, it actually ended in a marriage, which is "novel" for a romance book these days. In all, I found it better than the Lost Duke of Wyndham by Julia Quinn, which I find focused almost solely on lips. Yes, lips.

Anne Bishop's novel Belladonna was an odd one for me. To be fair, I picked up the second in the series and didn't begin with the first, but still.... One can pick up a Janet Evanovich novel anywhere in the Stephanie Plum series and not be lost as to who the characters are. Yes, it can be just a tiny bit tedious to re-read the character descriptions in each novel - if you happen to already know all of them - but it is only a minor detraction from the story as a whole. And it can be amusing to see how she updates her descriptions with each new book.

Bishop's novel didn't do that. In addition, the character interactions and dialogue seemed very "out there" at times. I didn't really feel I understood the characters at all, nor their relations to each other. And it was long! I made it to about chapter 5 before I put it down. In that span of time, not much really happened in the novel, action-wise. But the cover art was nice with the fancy clear-coat foil emboss.

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie was a tough read. I read the first two sections and then just felt like throwing it across the room, so I knew it had to go back to the library. Looking at the author photo on the back inner flap, he looks like somebody I could invite to dinner, but the story is just terrible. Originally published in France, the book won several prizes and was slated to be made into a movie, according to the book jacket. Well, they can have it I say.

And do all Asian authored novels have to be depressing? The last one I read, The girl who played Go by Shan Sa, also ended on a bad note that made me want to chuck the book across the room. I guess I just don't have the stomach for this type of fiction. (I'd be better off with the women screwing demons, vampires and werewolves I guess!)

As for the Lost Duke of Wyndham, it met all the criteria of the "modern" romance novel, while being quite peculiar in its own way. The two meet, they become instantly obsessed with one another, and they are catapulted on the road towards their first sexual encounter with all the sure-footed literary speed the author could muster. Too bad it was written so. It could have been better. (To be fair, it did end in an engagement, and we get a flash-forward of the darling couple with their darling kids, but the high point of the book was really the first screwing. The engagement was more of a convenience, at least that's how it read to me.)

I really get tired of male characters who are loners and rogues with their hearts dead-set against women, who meed the one and only woman for them and fall immediately in love against their better judgment. And then the authors start with the "my" or "mine" talk and then comes the branding. In the case of Showalter or Kenyon, branding takes the form of a hickey, a bite, or a joining session. In some ways marriage before sex was a much better ending. It gave both partners an equal amount of grief and that's more honest as anyone who is married knows!

And the lips...I can't remember when I've read a novel that focused so much on lips. Why why why why why? I felt like slapping some lips when I got done with the book, let me tell you.

Here's a chapter-by-chapter breakdown of the tireless references to lips in the first few chapters (page numbers in parentheses):

Chapter 1 - (3) the Dowager's lips pursed tightly, (6) his lips were so full of movement, so perfectly formed, (7) Grace's lips parted, (11) his lips came to her ear; his lips touching her ears, (12) he kissed her; he kissed her knuckles, (14) his mouth, that expressive, devilish mouth; his lips were parted; his lips were still

Chapter 2 - (18) Grace touched her mouth; the velvet softness of her lips

Chapter 3 - (34) his lips flattened slightly, (46) Amelia opened her mouth, (47) Grace opened her mouth, (49) Thomas said, with a twist of his lips, (54) Jack stood, open-mouthed, (53) Jack quirked a half smile, (56) Grace sucked in her lips

Chapter 4 - (63) her lips were pinching and twisting, (68) allowing his gaze to fall to her lips, (69) her lips pinched; he saw her lips twitch, (70) corners of her mouth pulled down; get that mouth to form a crescent; giving her a lopsided smile, (71) after a lengthy and thoughtful frown; Grace clamped a hand over her mouth, (72) his mouth slid into that cocky half-smile, (73) it emerged from her own lips

Chapter 5 - (77) her lips parted, (87) his lips parted, (90) her eyes slid to his mouth; Grace's lips parted in surprise; Grace clamped a hand over her mouth, (94) her lips pinched

Chapter 6 - (95) the Dowager's lips tightened, (97) his eyes falling on her lips; brush his lips against hers, (98) Grace's lips tightened, (100) pulling her lips into a frown, (102) the Dowager pursed her lips

Chapter 7 - (112) the Dowager's mouth tightened, (113) his eyes fell again on her lips, (114) corners of her mouth were tilted, (116) a pinch of her lips, (117) with a wry smile, (118) Grace pursed her lips; his smile grew jaunty and lopsided, (119) she felt her lips tickle, (124) she clamped her lips together, (125) her lips parting, then closing again; her lips parted again, (126) she frowned.

And that's just the first 7 chapters! There are 11 more!

Seriously, do these characters have any other body parts?

Oh yeah, we find out about them in chapter 18.

Now I think I'll pick up where I left off in Great Expectations.

Harumpf.

Bratty