Thursday, October 11, 2007

It's just one of those weeks, ya know?

I can't seem to find myself coming or going. So busy. So, so busy. Kiddo has been overwhelmed by it all - I feel like I empathize, and all I do is guide him, chauffeur him, clean his clothing. It's not like I'm attending classes, doing mounds of homework, going to band and swim practice and trying to please the opposite sex with my looks. He has a lot on his plate.

Meanwhile, back at the boring old ranch-style home, I forgot Wahoo! Wednesday. Completely forgot. My sidebar is totally outdated. I got an early jump on visiting RIP II bloggers and then fell on my face.

What's the good news? I finished a book - only one, but it was a good one: The Accidental Mother by Rowan Coleman (an ARC from Simon & Schuster). I am now 3 book reviews behind, which is one better than 4. Might as well just smile and catch up when I can.

I haven't taken a single photo, this week - not one. Weird. The anole lizard, above, was snapped last week.

After band practice, today, I asked the kiddo if he'd like to go out to eat. He said, "Sure." I asked him to choose my next fiction read, while we waited for the food - I'm still working on Happy Accidents and haven't touched Haunted Castles of the World despite my best intentions (although I really think I will read more of it, any day now); but, I have to keep at least one novel going, at any given time. I handed him the two books: The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons and The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier. Wisely, he read the cover blurbs, asked me what the deal was with the house theme (which I hadn't noticed) and chose the du Maurier. Smart kid. I love du Maurier. So, I've begun reading The House on the Strand.

I've also read two of the stories in Neil Gaiman's M is for Magic and I'm wondering . . . has this one been banned, anywhere, yet? Because, the book is marketed as a children's book, but those first two stories were what I would term "very adult". In fact, it's hard for me to fathom that a child would enjoy either of them. Do kids know, for example, what it means to do work in "A & R"? I know A & R stands for Artist and Repertoire because of a course I took on Copyright Law (focusing on the music industry), many years ago; but, it's not even defined in the story in which the concept is mentioned. That baffles me. My current thought process is that the book is billed as a children's book because the publisher thought it would sell better; at least one of my children lacks that bias that adults tend to harbor against short stories. I'll keep hacking away at the book and see what I think of the remaining stories.

But, for now, I'm off to read Daphne. I hope to be a normal blogger, soon. Hope everyone is having a peachy week (or has had - I'm always messing up on the time zone thing).

Bookfool, excited about the coming cold front and wondering what I did with the warm socks


  1. Yay! I'm happy for you to hear that a cold front is coming!
    I've been, and still am actually, quite pre-occupied this week with all sorts of things to do. That just makes me feel overwhelmed and then nothing gets done well. Sigh.
    Hope you have a good and less hectic weekend.

  2. Nat,

    The cold front came!!! It's only in the 60's outside. I'm going to have to find the tools and hack away at the jungle we refer to as our yard. :)

    Funny how not getting to things makes you so overwhelmed that you do even less, isn't it? Same here. Some weeks are just like that. I hope you have a great weekend, too, thanks. No swim meet, this weekend - just a local band contest - so it should be a bit better. Will looked really awful when he left for school, though, so I might have a sick kid on my hands.

  3. I'm very happy to report that I'm wearing a jacket as we speak! It's very very chilly in NC, and it'll be great fair weather if we decide to actually go to the state fair tomorrow.

    Good luck getting caught up! I feel like my head's just barely breaking the surface, too. And I'm almost done with Simon's book!! I just read the story about the deaf woman who asked if snow makes a sound when it lands. Whoa. Awesome.

  4. Andi,

    I wore flip-flops and shorts to bring in the trash cans, but it's still cold enough to celebrate. Have fun at the state fair. I'm avoiding ours; I hate crowds. :)

    I may be perpetually behind, for a while. Once I find the garden tools (my husband has this tendency to bury them so deeply in the garage that I can't find them when it finally cools off), I'll have to be outside, quite a bit. The jungle look is not a good one, especially for a front yard. Hope you have a relaxing weekend.

    Yippee!! Are you a Simon fan, now? Silly question. Of course you are. How could anyone read his book and not fall in love? :)

  5. I didn't even know what A & R referred to, so I don't imagine a child would. Gaimon tends to be quite adult-oriented so I can't imagine what the publisher was thinking.

    Glad it has cooled down for you.

  6. Kookie,

    I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have known the meaning of "A & R", if not for that class. I've seen it mentioned many times, but never defined. But, in a children's book? That's just weird. I'm always telling my kids to define before they abbreviate and think about their audience when they write. Surely a published author ought to know to do so.

    It's in the 70's, now! My favorite temperatures are between the 65-75 range, so I'm a happy camper. It's supposed to warm back up to the 80's, but we should have cooler mornings, now, and I'm happy with that.

  7. I hope things calm down soon! I understand that stressing feeling of being behind on your review books.

  8. Isn't the weather nice?! Last night it was actually a little bit chilly outside! I forgot what that felt like.

    I've been a bit overwhelmed too lately. I'll join your club...we should have shirts made, but that would just be another thing to add to the list! I hope things slow down for you soon and that you get some Bookfool time in there somewhere ;)

    I haven't read M is for Magic yet, but I have it and I've read most of the stories in it in other collections and have to agree with you. I don't think I'd give it to my children to read if I had any. Young adults, yes, but I bought this one in the CHILDREN'S section at B&N. I know that How To Talk To Girls At Parties is in there and I most certainly wouldn't want my child to read that one. As a teen, it would be ok though. Great collection of stories...just not for kids.

  9. Thanks, Heather. Things will improve when marching and swimming seasons end (about the same time) - then I should stay caught up. I hope. :) The first months of school are always kind of hectic and exhausting for all of us.

  10. Chris,

    I'm loving the weather! I'm so cold in the house, in fact, that I just made myself a coffee and put a sweater on over my little sleeveless thing (which I put on to convince myself to exercise and then didn't do - I've got to quit that). The cat's been helping to warm me up, too. I love how cuddly she becomes when it cools off. :)

    Overwhelmed . . . the T-shirt? LOL That's a funny thought!

    If anyone ought to know whether Neil Gaiman's stories belong in the children's section, it's got to be you, Chris! So, why do you think those short stories are marketed for children? My youngest is nearly 16 and I don't think I'd hand him that book. Actually, I don't think he'd like it, from what I've read so far.

  11. Melissa10:24 PM

    Gaiman is my absolute favorite. I have just recently found an author who is very comparable, David Dent of Alex Webster and The Gods. If you love wit, satire, romance, mythology, all wrapped up in a darn good story, then you will enjoy this.

  12. Melissa,

    I just zipped over to check that book out; thanks, it looks interesting! I'm still undecided on Neil Gaiman, but I don't know that I can make a decision whether I really like his writing or not till I read Neverwhere. It's on the agenda. If I don't get to it in time for the RIP II, I'll try to find some other way to slot it in.

  13. I honestly don't know why they marketed that book for children. I think they're great stories...just not for children. He's written a couple of wonderful picture books for children (wolves in the walls & the day I swapped my dad for two goldfish) and there are a couple of his stories and poems that I can think of that would be more suitable, but not some of these. Maybe it was the publisher's decision. Who knows. I don't think I've ever heard him comment on it. I know the book was published as a nod to Ray Bradbury in the tradition of his collection "R is for Rocket" but these stories weren't written specifically for children. They were all previously published. Except for The Witches Headstone...that comes from The Graveyard Book which will be a children's/YA novel. Who knows...

  14. I hope you enjoy A House on the Strand. It's one of my favourite Du Mauriers even though I only got around to it a couple of years ago.

  15. I haven't had a chance to do anything this week, other than look for a new job!! Been away from the computer for so long, I miss all my blogging friends. (Now, I did read 3 books, but since 2 were Newberry's, there were rather quick reads!)

    It's cooling off here. Finally. Last weekend my son had a football game and it was 93 degrees!! Football weather is supposed to be sweatshirts and bonfires....not 93 degrees!! But today this high is only 62.

  16. Chris,

    Maybe we should write to Mr. Gaiman and ask him. LOL No, I'll finish the book, first. I noticed that M is for Magic is available at Barnes & Noble's website, but it's not listed at Amazon (apart from an overpriced used copy with a pink cover). And, it was released in June. That strikes me as a bit bizarre.


    I'm enjoying The House on the Strand, so far. I was all curled up, reading with the cat on my feet, when the family disturbed me and I decided to just check my email and blog comments. I love the idea of being able to sort of float around watching medieval events. It's fascinating.


    Job-hunting is rather all-consuming, so I think you win the Overwhelmed Award (a button with a picture of a rubber-band snapping a tired person - oh, where did I put that imaginary button?).

    Anything counts, in my humble opinion - children's or adult or in-between. I'm always just happy when I manage to finish a book or two. I've finished exactly one, this week, but I'm close to completing Happy Accidents. I've had to chip away at that one. It's fascinating, but it is non-fiction.

    It was in the 90's last week in our area, also - and very, very humid. Miserable for kids in wool band uniforms performing during the daylight hours. I was drenched and I just had on shorts and a t-shirt!! We're really happy to finally have some cool air. We still got up into the 80's, by about 5:00 yesterday, but it was much better than last week!

  17. Happy Accidents?

    I had no idea what A&R meant but I do like the Neil Gaiman books I've read.

    Good choice on the du Maurier!

    To read Simon is to become a Simon fan.

  18. Hi Carrie!

    Happy Accidents: Serendipity in Modern Medical Breakthroughs - When Scientist Find What They're NOT Looking For is the full name. Quite a mouthful, eh? I'm loving it, but like a lot of non-fiction, too much at once becomes tiresome.

    See! A & R. Hmmph. Even adults can stand to have things defined. I haven't read enough of Gaiman, so I'm reserving judgment. I've got to read Neverwhere before I make a decision.

    I thought it was great that kiddo didn't just say, "Eenie meenie mynie moe". Which, by the way, I have no idea how to spell. He's just too much of a booklover to do that. Isn't that cool?

    Most definitely - to read Simon is to become a fan. To meet Simon is to feel one is in the presence of brilliance. And, yet, he's such a mensch; he never talks down. You'd adore him.

  19. If you wrote to him he might just answer you! He answers questions all the time on his blog which is actually a really great blog even if you don't like his writing. I own the really overpriced pink cover version of the book too :p It's Subterranean Press' edition of the book and the only reason I bought it is because it's signed and numbered by Gaiman...but the illustrations and the cover are just horrible! I can't stand the artist who did the illustrations, lol!

  20. Chris,

    I might just do that. I'm hoping to read more of the stories, tomorrow - we'll see. Gotta help the kiddo with Latin, go to church, clean house, blah, blah, blah. I would really love a day off!!!

    That's funny that you also have the pink version. I thought the cover was horrendous - the blue version is really appealing, don't you think?

  21. I love the blue version, the cover is great! I have that one too of course ;) Yes, I'm Gaiman obsessed, lol. I found it on Amazon with no problem...that's strange. The ugly pink version was the first result and the blue one popped up second.

  22. Chris,

    Ha! I figured it out - I had a typo in the title. I know this because I started typing the title in, again, and the mistake popped up. Okay, so now I see it and I'm kind of disappointed that the top reviewer (who got 24 "helpful" votes) described the stories as the kind that you loved to tell around the campfire when you were 10 years old. Then, he throws in a comment about whether they're for children, teens or adults they're great - meaning an acknowledgment that they're not necessarily for children, but cushioned by his enjoyment of the author's work. Sigh. Amazon reviews are worthless!

  23. Three cheers about the cold front, Nancy! It's getting cool here too. I actually had to use a jacket this morning when we went to the mall. I've been having a busy week too and I might be getting a new job, so my reviews and blog visits have slowed down somewhat. Hope you're having a nice weekend!

  24. Lotus,

    I'm anxious for jacket weather. We've cooled off in the morning, but still have to turn on the A/C, now and then, just to get rid of the stuffiness (we're rather windless, here, so opening windows oddly doesn't cool the house off).

    If you go job-hunting, I wish you much luck finding a job you love. Life does sometimes get in the way of blogging, doesn't it? :)


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