Posted in Authors, Books, Creativity, Humor, Reading

Novelista Girl

One of my favorite authors, Meredith Schorr, has just released her latest novel. I’m not alone in my excitement about Novelista Girl. Schoor has received rave reviews for her previous books and rightly so. They are imbued with witty and engaging characters who are relatable as well as entertaining.

Novelista Girl Cover Image

Romantic comedy just happens to be my favorite “genre”. In fact, research has shown that laughter is indeed a cure for what ails one. Of course, as in real life not everything that occurs is funny which means conflict and mistakes and messy relationships are a part of life for the characters as well.

Here’s a short summary describing what awaits readers of Novelista Girl:

Readers first met sassy Kimberly Long in Blogger Girl, and now the feisty New Yorker is back in a standalone sequel packed with quick wit, friendship, heartache, and, of course, romance.Kim runs the most popular chick lit book blog on the web, loves playing house with her sexy lawyer boyfriend, Nicholas, and is finally pursuing her life-long dream to become a published author. At first glance, her life is five-pink-champagne-flutes worthy.But is there more to the story than meets the eye?”

 

Posted in Books, Family and Friends, Great Books, Hope, Humor, Love

A Timely Story of Love and Devotion

Grace Me With Your Presents by Pippa Franks
Grace Me With Your Presents

Grace Me With Your Presents is a heartwarming story full of humor and yet intensely emotional at times.

The impetus for the turbulence in Grace’s life is her daughter leaving home to attend university. Not long after Grace learns her beloved Aunt Jemima has been hospitalized due to a broken hip. Adding insult to injury her aunt is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Eventually it’s decided that Grace is best able to drop everything to provide support while her aunt recovers. However, this means leaving her husband in London to attend to her aunt’s needs.

The citizens of Eskton amaze Grace when they eagerly sign on to fix up her aunt’s home which has begun to tumble down around her aunt. That’s the positive side of life in a small town. The less than helpful and more often than not annoying aspect is having everyone in town up in her business.

The people she encounters have some challenges of their own. It seems amusing at first to consider a vicar with an obvious alcohol problem. Upon learning why, it becomes understandable and yet unfortunate that he believes secrecy is the answer.

A farmer, George, is a closet cross dresser. His closet conceals the trappings and secret of who he is in total.

The secret that Grace has held close to her heart for many years eventually is revealed and what a secret it is! How can she be open and honest with family and friends all the while keeping this secret closeted from others?

I laughed with Grace. I cried with Grace. I yearned with Grace to have her greatest wish come true.

To learn more about the author you can find her on Facebook, her blog at http://pippafranks.blogspot.co.uk or her Amazon author page.

 

Posted in Authors, Dreams, Great Books, How To, Humor, Writing

Write the Next Great American Novel

imageFor those who have dreamed of writing the next “Great American Novel” here are two tongue-in-cheek offerings which offer tips on getting that checked off your writer’s bucket list.

Jim Berle details  How To write the next Great American Novel
Below are bullet points from his essay.

  • Move out of Brooklyn.
  • Drop out of school.
  • Stop writing at Starbucks.
  • Adultery is passé.
  • Avoid using a child’s POV.
  • Stop wasting time on the Internet.
  • Don’t listen to anyone’s opinions.
  • Stop drinking and doing coke.
  • Enough with the anti-heroes already!
  • Never stop writing.

He concludes with:

“Everything in the world is trying to distract you from getting something on the page. Our own doubts about everything we do is crushing. Don’t let it crush you. No one has any idea what they’re doing. And even J. K. Rowling once lived in her car and her next book will probably be no good anyway. The Great American Novel is inside you, I just know it. Especially if you’re Canadian. Like the David statue in the stone, it’s up to you to release it. And then leave it on a window sill or the M train so I can steal it and take all the credit for it. Even the greatest writers died horrible deaths terribly alone. Try to enjoy it.”

Visit Jim’s web site for the full article. He’s sharp as a tack and funny besides.

From Huntington Post, Ester Bloom offers her two cents worth on the subject. Some suggestions for accomplishing this feat are surprising including:

  • Be a dude, ideally dead.
  • White and privileged is good.
  • Being a drunk is helpful
  • The only acceptable city settings are New York or Chicago.

You can read her article here.

Posted in Friends, History, Humor, Learning

Oh, Canada Day!

 

Canada Day occurs every July 1st. Why is this important? Due to the origins of both our countries we have a bit of shared history. Not only that but we also have a very long shared border. In fact, it is the largest international border in the world. It even has a name, the International Border which I would think adds to the specialness of Canada. (Incidentally, Detroit is actually north of Canada. (Just a little trivia for the geographically astute.) Detroit and Windsor, Ontario share the Detroit River over which the Ford Fireworks display wows the crowds on both sides of the border/river each year.

Our shared history involves being subject (and I do mean subject) to what was once the British Empire. As previously mentioned Canada Day occurs on July 1st. Personally, it seems just a little suspect that Canada Day occurs two days prior to America’s Fourth of July or Independence Day during which there are fireworks shows and shooting off firecrackers quite similar to our celebrations two days later.

Well, come to find out there is actually a good reason for choosing July 1st.

Canada Day, July 1st, was set aside to commemorate the joining of three British North American colonies into one nation by British Parliament. These three provinces were Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Province of Canada (which was divided into Ontario and Quebec) creating four provinces in the country. This occurred July 1, 1867 when the British Parliament passed the North American Act. Today, Canada is a free nation requiring no British Parliamentary acts to amend its constitution. That would definitely be a bummer. It takes governments too long as it is to get things accomplished.

So what does it mean to be a Canadian and how are they different from their neighbors across the International Border?

I believe I’m something of an expert (at least in my own mind which possibly says something about my sanity) having lived most of my life in Southeastern Michigan just over the border with Canada. I’ve encountered a few Canadian idiosyncrasies which at times have been a bit puzzling to me. Also, I actually lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba for 4 months for job training.

Canadians have a dialect all their own often adding “eh” nearly every other word in a sentence. It’s cute! Quebec is a French-speaking province which explains why I’ve never visited. (I passed French in high school but I remember little of the language.) Another difference is they use the metric system which is confusing to us visiting Americans still stuck on using the English measurement system. (Hey! We had to keep something from our early British days.) Speeding tickets explain some of the confusion encountered.

Then there is sports. A definite game changer.

One of Canada’s favorite sports is curling which I always thought was something women did while fixing their hair. Live and learn.

Let me tell you, curling rates right up there as the most boring sport ever. (Obviously, that’s just my opinion. It’s an Olympic sport so someone must love it.) It involves brooms and heavy “stones” being swept down and ice rink. I was not swept off my feet watching the “action”. It’s not much fun to watch on TV (Trust me, I’ve done it.) and in person isn’t much better. Plus it’s extremely cold in the building in which curling occurs.

As many know, the national pastime is Hockey. If you think American college and pro football fans are rowdy and out of control, you haven’t seen anything until you’ve attended a hockey game in Canada. Canadians are fanatically fanatic about their hockey teams. And along with these national pastimes they put away a lot of beer. I suspect beer-drinking might be another national pastime.

So basically a description of Canadians is they may tend to copy certain American holidays including Thanksgiving and Independence Day. They love beer, hockey, curling and possibly more beer.

All kidding aside, when I lived in Canada for 4 months I met the nicest, kindest, most hospitable people who opened their hearts and homes to us visiting Yanks. It was definitely a home away from home.  I have a special place in my heart for the people of Canada. Still a little “sibling” teasing won’t rock the cradle too awfully bad. Right? Maybe?