Let’s Talk About Books, Baby (2)


It has occurred to me that if I wait for Mondays to post reviews, The Writer’s Alphabet, and general blogs, I’ll never get through everything I want to share. Call me crazy, but I’m going to start posting when I have something to say! I hope you enjoy these random updates.

What am I reading? Would I recommend it? And why?

I recently finished the hard cover copy of Dark Matter by Blake Crouch.
I loved it.
Not only would I recommend it, but I would consider rereading it. And if you’ve seen the stack of books to be read on my night stand, you know that’s high praise.

The book was a Christmas gift. I was not familiar with the title or the author, but I was engaged by the flap write-up, “Are you happy with your life.” I was about a third of the way in when I happened to be watching a new show on TNT called Good Behavior. I recognized the writer’s name in the credits and immediately looked him up. Yep, same guy. Blake Crouch is also responsible for the Wayward Pines book series which the TV show is based on.

I zipped through Dark Matter– always a good sign. I don’t read bad books quickly.  There are definitely things I wondered about and times I questioned the author’s choices, but those moments were minor blips in a fast-paced, interesting, and fun-to-think-about story with a satisfying ending. I could go on with my critique, I have more to say, and if you’d like to discuss, please message me.

I do realize that I may be doing you a disservice with a glowing review. I blame my disappointment with Wool on setting the bar too high. What can I say? Dark Matter delivers.













For your listening pleasure:

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BB2: The Sequel

Announcing Frazer Baby 2!

Coming to my waiting arms mid-September 2017!
This super awesome dude is going to be a BIG BRO!


And I’m going to be an even luckier Gramma!


(Geesh but September is so…far…away…)

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Do Not Stop at the Top of the Escalator and other Public Service Announcements

Common sense is that miscellaneous key on your key ring. Everybody has one, but it rarely gets used.

Opinions are like landmines–they should be navigated with care.

Being offended is like getting wet in the rain, it’s going to happen, but unless you’re the wicked witch of the west or made of sugar, it shouldn’t ruin your day.

Life is like an escalator, it keeps moving whether you do or not.

It’s a hostage situation out there when nobody uses that key, skirts those landmines, or bothers to just dry off. Be kind, step to the side.

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The Writer’s Alphabet

I mentioned in my 2017 To-Do List that I follow a blog known as The Introvert’s Dictionary and that I wanted to create a Writer’s version.

I hope you enjoy the inaugural entry into The Writer’s Alphabet.
Here is letter A.

Feel free to reference these definitions in your daily writing life. I’m open to letter and/or meaning suggestions. Maybe if it catches on, we can publish our own dictionary.

C is for Cool, as in, how cool would that B?!

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Dogs are the Best

A heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who sympathized, empathized, and otherwise offered comfort and kind words regarding the passing of our sweet Nellie.

The Nellie blog inspired many folks to share stories of their pets.
Wonderful stories! Humorous, heartbreaking, incredible stories.
We laughed, we cried, we remembered fondly.
Crazy dog! Can you believe…! How about that time…!
The loss may continue to ache, but the memories, they sparkle.
















But my dogs are the best.

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Sweet Nellie

It is with wounded heart, weeping eyes, and hitching breath that I type this. We lost our beloved pup, Nellie Fox, last week after thirteen long and wonderful years and a quick and failing decline.

We bought her from a Pembroke Welsh Corgi breeder in Harvard, Illinois, Labor Day weekend, 2003. To discourage an impulse buy, I purposely left my checkbook at home. We made two round trips that day.

She was the last of the litter; the runt of the litter; our pick of the litter.

I remember walking her near the soccer fields and having a young boy holler from his place in the net, “Is that a hamster?” In true White Sox fan fashion, we waffled between naming her Minnie (Minoso) or Nellie (Fox). Her features won over her size.

She was my Pretty Girl, my Nellie Belle, my Schmellie.

She was a snuggler. A lover. A lap dog. And despite her slight stature, the alpha.
She loved her treats. And their treats. And your treats. She would toss them and play, bury them, hoard them, and eventually eat them.

She loved the snow–forging a path, rolling in the drifts, making dog snow angels.
She loved the water–walking straight into creeks, rivers, lakes, and puddles, and only once, the pool. And regardless of treatment, she was a tick magnet.

She hated to be brushed.

She delivered seven puppies in two litters. Some tri-colored, some with squirming tails. She, herself, was red and white and naturally docked. The white on her front legs looked like go-go boots and her back drummies were pigeon-toed. She would lift her leg, like the boys, and her back fur would fan like a skirt.

In a doctor’s word, she was stoic. Allowing them annually to prod and poke, draw blood and take temperatures. She never yelped or squirmed or needed restraint or multiple assistants (like the other two). Even in the end, frail and weak with an enlarged kidney, tender stomach, and shortness of breath, blind and deaf and suffering, she was calm and strong.

Through continued tears, I am weak.

I know she was just a dog.
But she was my dog.
She was a great dog.
And I miss her.


Farewell, sweet Nellie.



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Let’s Talk about Books, Baby

Let’s talk about books, baby
Let’s talk about you and me
Let’s talk about all the good things
And the bad things that may be
Let’s talk about books

With much thanks to Salt-N-Pepa, let’s talk about books.

What am I reading? Would I recommend it? And why?

I just finished the audio of Wool by Hugh Howey.
I would not recommend it.
It sucked.

Let me explain.
It was a compilation of many stories slapped together seamfully and since I had the audio, I wasn’t privy to the breaks that are probably obvious in the printed version. That’s still no excuse. After the first two burns, I refused to be invested in the next “main” character. I had no sense of where it was going or why. And again, being an MP3, I had no idea how close to the end I was. I could go on with my critique, I have more to say, and if you’d like to discuss, please message me.

That said, it didn’t suck.
Since anyone who was considering reading it will, and should, probably still do so, allow me to defend my initial review.

I came into this book on the hype of the author’s story. Hugh Howey is a writer, who had a day job and wrote on the side. He self-published short stories on Kindle. As the series grew, so did the attention they drew. Cut to the now, he’s a millionaire who lives on a boat with multiple publishing deals and a film in the works.

This book has received over nine thousand five star reviews on Amazon.

Bottom line is, my expectations were too high.
This is why I tell you it sucked.
When you start with suck, there’s nowhere to go but up, right?
That is the gift I give you, potential Wool reader.
So, in a way, I guess I am recommending it.
I have no doubt that you will enjoy Wool more than I did.









Your turn…
What are you reading? Would you recommend it? And why?


For your listening pleasure:


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