Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I'm moving


No, not my blog. My cat and I are moving into a gated community for seniors, and it may take me some time to get settled in. Tomorrow I'll sign the lease and start moving boxes over there each time I go. Too much is happening, so don't expect to hear from me anytime soon. I really am looking forward to this, so be glad for me, but moving (as most of you probably know) takes time and effort. I'll read whatever you say in the comments, but don't expect me to say much, if anything, until I finally get things in some sort of order. Kiki, my cat, won't be happy to have to go in the car, but maybe she'll be happy when she realizes the other cat (Sammy is my roommate's cat) won't be living in the same apartment with us. They both grew up as only-cats and resent each other. Sammy and Donna will be moving into a different apartment next week. Here's Kiki among the boxes:

Sunday, November 30, 2008

My ship crossed the finish line a day early

When I got within about 127 words of reaching the goal of having a 50,000-word draft of my novel (which doesn't mean it's finished, of course), I furled the sails and waited. Then last evening I went off to our region's Big Push Write-In wearing a new t-shirt, given to me by my friend in honor of this momentous occasion. On the front of it are these words:
Careful, or you'll
end up in my novel

And there, among friends, I typed the last words needed to cross the line for NaNoWriMo's word-count goal. No, I didn't stand up and cheer and shout, but it was fun to share that time with them. Then I entered the word count in the meter at the top of my profile page, confusing the wrimo sitting next to me. Yes, it was deliberate -- because I wanted to see my word-count meter turn solid green. Then (and only then) did I put the **whole** kit and caboodle through the validator to see the meter turn gloriously purple with WINNER! across the face of it. Wanna see?


Or visit my Bookbuddybonnie profile page to read all about it.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Wanna see what I've been doing?

Absolute Vanilla wrote this comment on my previous post:

"Bonnie, are you okay? There seems to have been no blogging activity for a long while - or are you just very busy with NaNo? Do so hope all is well."

Then she signed off with this: "xxx"

Isn't she sweet? Here's what I say to her (and everyone else who has wondered what's happening in my life):


On September 23rd, I got an email that said, "Bookbuddybonnie, you are now an administrator for the group
United States :: Tennessee :: Chattanooga." Here's how I felt about taking on a volunteer job that takes lots of time and energy and pays nothing ... except joy, of course:


Never fear, dear Vanilla, all is well. Actually, I have been blogging like mad over on my NaNo blog for this year ... Bonnie's NaNoWriMo* 2008.

...and monitoring and writing on the forum for the Chattanooga Region of Nano, which already has 17 threads. I monitor this board because I'm the municipal liaison for my town, what you could think of as the link between the powers that be and the 78 people here. Herding writers is kind of like herding cats. Tonight we are having a 3-hour party at the home of an enthusiastic member of our group. (We've been meeting once or twice a week and two hours at a time was not enough for these folks.) According to the statistics that accompany my user name wherever it goes on the NaNoWriMo site, I have written 71 posts, so far, on our forum.

Though these two writing projects amount to many, many words, the real BIGGIE is, of course, the NaNoWriMo project itself. Today is the exact middle of the month of November (NaNo month) and before the end of the day I expect to have completed 25,000 words of the 50,000-word, rough-draft-novel goal for all Wrimos. Yay, me! You can keep up with my progress on that link to my other blog ... I have my daily goals set out there, plus how much I actually achieved each day (see it on that blog's sidebar).

Do you suppose I've done enough writing in two weeks to exempt me from posting here as well? Ah, but my friends need to know I'm doing well ... it's just that I'm not doing it here.

Sorry. I still love you all. Oh, one more thing ... two of my grandchildren got married in October and the one whose wedding was out of town had a reception here in Chattanooga a week ago. I went. (Until I wrote this for Vanilla, I hadn't realized how busy I've been!)

Love,
~~~ Bonnie

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Look at what some students wrote


I snitched this from Dewey, who got it from Elaina:

To the Woman (We Think You’re a Teacher) with the Books on the 2 Train
By some anonymous students

On the platform for the 2 train
you stand with a book in your hand
the pages open
Which is how you enter the train
Reading

Sometimes you smile, or frown
Once you even cried
on the train
when you were reading Night
and a man sitting across the aisle
said he cried too, when he read that book
and we thought,
we want to read that book
so we did

And then you were reading all those
basketball books
by Walter Dean Myers
so we read those too
speeding along on the 2 train
one time you saw us reading Slam
and you said
I love that book
and do you think Slam is going to make it in high
school?
We do, we think he’s going to make it

Then you were reading some really hard stuff
Epistemology of the Closet, Postmodern Narrative
Theory
and we tried those, but we think you have to have read
the books those authors have read, if you want to read
their books

Our favorite is when you are reading poetry
Picnic, Lightning
and you lean back against the seat
and smile
and keep reading the same page
again and again
we do that now and it’s really nice

Last week you were reading The Life of Pi
and we rushed out to buy it
So we could be in the lifeboat
adrift in the blue, blue sea
with the boy, the Bengal Tiger, and you

If we don’t see you next year
on the train
Maybe sometime we’ll bump into each other on the
platform
You’ll know us because
we’ll have books in our hands
I like it, I like it! Thanks, Dewey!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Meme and you

Absolute Vanilla has tagged me to do a meme.

*Tagged bloggers post answers on their blogs & replace questions as they wish.
*Tagged bloggers state who they were tagged by & cannot tag the person whom they were tagged by.
1. What do you do before bedtime?
Blog and/or read, usually both.

2. What is your favorite sound?
Water rippling gently over rocks, the way it did in the yard of the house where we raised our children. I call that sound mellifluous. Otherwise, I enjoy the sound of silence. I guess that basically means I like not having constant human sounds (chatter or what passes for music to some) when I'm trying to think or write.

3. What were your childhood fears?
Because of our blackout shades, I worried about planes flying low over our house during World War Two. As far inland as Chattanooga is, it seems unlikely that bombers would have gotten this far, but I can only wonder why the whole country would have had to install black shades as we did.

4. What place have you [visited, changed to:] lived that you can't forget and want to go back?
As per the instructions, I bracketed and changed one word to make the question one I like. I like staying put and getting to know the same place in depth, in various lights, at different seasons of the year. So the place I can't forget is the house with the mountain stream running through the back yard, with its treehouse for the children beside a tree (the twins were five and their brother two).

5. What has made you unhappy these days?
Noise pollution (see above), greedy excessiveness that has tumbled the markets, and assumption of entitlement ... no, not those on welfare, but those who feel entitled to park in front of doors to run in "for a minute," making old ladies on walkers have to navigate around their SUVs. These are the same people who park in spots reserved for the truly handicapped, when their only handicap seems to be mental, as in, unable to empathize with the plight of another.

6. What websites do you visit daily?
Bonnie's NaNoWriMo* 2008, Words from a Wordsmith, Weekend Wordsmith, Bonnie's Books, Banned Books ... wait, these are MY blogs. Well, it's true, I do visit them every day, plus blogs of online friends.

7. What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?
Vanilla is absolutely my kind of person! She has great imagination, possibly bestowed by a hen with attitude. She a great photographer who likes to play in the virtual darkroom.

8. What’s the last song that got stuck in your head?
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, after Dewey mentioned Mary Poppins on her blog.

9. What’s your favorite item of clothing?
Comfortable sweats in the winter, but in general anything with pockets. I think it's unfair that guys get pockets, but women don't usually. And that's why most women carry bags. I wear jeans year round, mostly so I have pockets for keys and money and such.

10. What is your dream for the future?
To time travel into the past ... or at least, finish a novel where my protagonist gets to do that.

Now, who shall I tag? Any of you who are interested in this one, which was actually kind of fun.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A character fault

I need help with the novel I'll be writing in November. Lilli, my protagonist, wants to time travel to the past. Nearly everyone she's told wants to know one of two things:

Why would anybody want to travel into the past?
... or ...
Wouldn't it be more interesting to go into the future?
So what reasons can anyone give for wanting to go either direction, instead of being satisfied to be here and now?

I need to know right away because Lilli thinks she's figured out what George Orwell knew and can get herself into the past without using his (or anybody else's) time machine. I don't want her to go until I find a way to go with her. After all, a character should share her thoughts with her author, don't you think?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

What an author says to her editor

Susan of Patchwork Reflections has tagged me to do a meme:
* Grab the nearest book.
* Open the book to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post the text of the next two to five sentences in your blog along with these instructions.
* Don’t dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.
* Tag five other people to do the same.
I started counting sentences. Let's see ... fifth sentence down ... "I think pizza should be at the top, what about you?" ... Yes, I do. Wait! That's the fifth sentence down in the closest BLOG, which happened to be Susan's, but it's supposed to be the closest BOOK, dummy. So the closest book, on top of a short stack of three I got from the library, is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a novel by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. On page 56 is a letter from Juliet to her editor:
I have an idea for a new book. It's a novel about a beautiful yet sensitive author whose spirit is crushed by her domineering editor? Do you like it?
I haven't read the book yet, but I'd say something interesting must have happened on the previous pages. The other letter on page 56 has only three lines:
Dear Sidney,
I was only joking.
Love, Juliet
Okay, I am officially curious about the relationship between author Juliet and editor Sidney.

Now to tag five people. Count off as you read this post. Yes, really, count off in the comments section. The first five people to comment are tagged. (I am sitting at the computer chuckling to myself at my own cleverness. Isn't this just the best way in the world to get out of having to single out five people? Unless ... oh me, oh my, this didn't occur to me in time ... unless what happens is that NOBODY will admit to having read this post and I get no comments at all. So be it. If that happens, then the meme stops here. Ready, set, go!)

Nothing yet.

Still nothing.

Nothing.

Nothing.

Does it seem extremely silent in here today?

Nothing ...

... nothing ...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz

A few minutes ago, I took delivery of a box of books, now stacked neatly beside my computer. Read Dewey's Box o’ books winners! post to see how I happened to win nine books from Hatchette.

On first opening the box, I looked for the book entitled Dewey (imagine that, Dewey giving away Dewey). This book is why I commented on Dewey's site to begin with, which means I won because I wrote about Dewey on Dewey's blog. The only way you'll be able to make sense of this paragraph is to notice I italicize book titles. Dewey the book is about "The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World." Dewey the person is about friendships and book blogging and stuff like that. Anyway, I would have been happy if I'd won nothing more than Vicki Myron's Dewey, which was published yesterday. I didn't remember a single other title from the list of books I won, but..........

As I looked through the pile of books, another one caught my attention: A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative by Roger von Oech. It's the 25th anniversary edition, revised and updated. Interesting that I don't remember running across this book before, since I taught continuing education classes on creativity back in the 1980s. So even before cracking open Dewey, which I put on the top of the pile, I opened A Whack on the Side of the Head and immediately found something I want to share with you about creativity (p. 111):

This "play with it!" attitude is reflected in one of my favorite print ads, which was created in the 1960s by Charles Piccirillo to promote National Library Week. The headline consisted of the alphabet in lower case letters like so:
abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
It was followed by this copy:
At your local library they have these arranged in ways that can make you cry, giggle, love, hate, wonder, ponder, and understand. It's astonishing to see what these twenty-six little marks can do. In Shakespeare's hands they became Hamlet. Mark Twain wound them into Huckleberry Finn. James Joyce twisted them into Ulysses. Gibbon pounded them into The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. John Milton shaped them into Paradise Lost.
The ad went on to extol the virtues of reading and mention that good books are available at your library.
Creative, huh?

How would you rate this book?
Not only could I not put it down, I'm still reading it (on Sunday the 28th) and haven't opened a single one of the other books from the box.
Rated: 10/10, couldn't put it down

Synchronicity: The book arrived at 1:11 pm today, and I'm quoting page 111. Is this important? Nah, but I noticed it and smiled.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Banned Books Week ~ September 27 through October 4

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

During the Great Depression, George Milton and Lennie Small arrive at a ranch near Soledad southeast of Salinas, California. George is an intelligent and cynical man, and Lennie is a large man with limited mental abilities. They are migrant field workers who want to "work up a stake" in order to settle down on their own piece of land. Lennie's part of the dream, which he never tires of hearing George describe, is merely to tend to (and touch) soft rabbits on the farm. In the beginning George protects Lennie by telling him that if he (Lennie) gets in trouble George won't let him "tend them rabbits." They have fled a previous job in Weed where they were run out of town after Lennie's love of stroking soft things resulted in an accusation of attempted rape when he touched a young woman's dress. In a textbook example of foreshadowing, Lennie kills his pet mouse and a puppy by stroking them too roughly.

I chose to tell you about this book because I learned the other day that it was challenged in my town while I lived here. The ALA lists it as one of the most challenged books of the twentieth century:
Challenged as a summer youth program reading assignment in Chattanooga, Tennessee (1989) because "Steinbeck is known to have had an anti business attitude." In addition, "he was very questionable as to his patriotism."
What!!??

My first reaction was that, instead of banning the book, those folks should have wanted to ban John Steinbeck from Chattanooga. Their reasoning was ridiculous. But my town was neither the first nor the last to ban or challenge Of Mice and Men. It was banned in Ireland (1953) and challenged in the Normal, Illinois Community High Schools (2003). To see the 50-year-long list of places that opposed Of Mice and Men between 1953 to 2003, read the ALA list.

I suggest you get a copy of this 107-page novella and read it next week during Banned Books Week (September 27 through October 4). If this book doesn't pique your interest, there's a long list on that ALA page.:

The Great Gatsby ~ by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Catcher in the Rye ~ by J. D. Salinger
The Grapes of Wrath ~ by John Steinbeck
To Kill a Mockingbird ~ by Harper Lee
The Color Purple ~ by Alice Walker
Ulysses ~ by James Joyce
Beloved ~ by Toni Morrison
The Lord of the Flies ~ by William Golding
1984 ~ by George Orwell
Lolita ~ by Vladmir Nabokov
Of Mice and Men ~ by John Steinbeck
Catch-22 ~ by Joseph Heller
Brave New World ~ by Aldous Huxley
The Sun Also Rises ~ by Ernest Hemingway
As I Lay Dying ~ by William Faulkner
A Farewell to Arms ~ by Ernest Hemingway
Heart of Darkness ~ by Joseph Conrad
Their Eyes were Watching God ~ by Zora Neale Hurston
Invisible Man ~ by Ralph Ellison
Song of Solomon ~ by Toni Morrison
Gone with the Wind ~ by Margaret Mitchell
Native Son ~ by Richard Wright
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest ~ by Ken Kesey
Slaughterhouse Five ~ by Kurt Vonnegut
For Whom the Bell Tolls ~ by Ernest Hemingway
The Call of the Wild ~ by Jack London
Go Tell It on the Mountain ~ by James Baldwin
All the King's Men ~ by Robert Penn Warren
The Lord of the Rings ~ by J. R. R. Tolkien
The Jungle ~ by Upton Sinclair
Lady Chatterley's Lover ~ by D. H. Lawrence
A Clockwork Orange ~ by Anthony Burgess
In Cold Blood ~ by Truman Capote
Satanic Verses ~ by Salman Rushdie
Sons and Lovers ~ by D. H. Lawrence
Cat's Cradle ~ by Kurt Vonnegut
A Separate Peace ~ by John Knowles
Naked Lunch ~ by William S. Burroughs
Women in Love ~ by D. H. Lawrence
The Naked and the Dead ~ by Norman Mailer
Tropic of Cancer ~ by Henry Miller
An American Tragedy ~ by Theodore Dreiser
Rabbit, Run ~ by John Updike
If you want another list of books to consider, take a look at those in my recent post about Banned Books Week.

How many on this list of 43 have you read? I've read about half of the books on this list, 22 to be exact.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Anonymous has a few good ones, like this

"A Freudian slip is when you say one thing and mean your mother."

Monday, September 8, 2008

My favorite humor writer


My favorite humor writer, Madelein Begun Kane (a "recovering lawyer"), has won the 2008 Robert Benchley Society Award For Humor. Her prize-winning column, Guide for the Opera Impaired, includes this bit about what should comprise an opera:

"The Uniform Opera Plot Act" a/k/a "Leave No Opera Hater Behind," which I've reproduced here for your convenience:

Whereas, Opera is an elitist art which shouldn't be funded by the NEA; and
Whereas, Nobody understands it.
Now, therefore, all opera plots shall be as follows:
ACT ONE: Man and woman meet and fall in love, and everything is hunky-dory.
ACT TWO: An obstacle to man and woman's happiness rears its ugly head. It may be another man, another woman, one or more parents, a terrible misunderstanding, a war, or a dread disease. This obstacle shall make both of them (and the audience) miserable for an interminable period of time.
ACT THREE: The suffering man and woman bemoan their tragic circumstances at the top of their lungs for at least one hour. Right before the final curtain, the soprano (ie., the very large woman who's given you a terrible headache) dies. The entire audience cheers, and she takes many bows, mistakenly thinking the cheers are for her singing ... and not her death.
Now run straight over to Mad Kane's blog and read the whole prize-winning column: Guide for the Opera Impaired. It's a scream. Read more about her in an article about the humor award, which also has a video of her reading one of her humor columns.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The most popular song on the day I was born



On April 26, 1940, the top song was "In the Mood" by Glenn Miller. Check yours.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Now I know


"I firmly believe that information that I used to be able to retain with ease in my brain, now leaks out my ear when I lay down to sleep at night. ... I have to go now. I need to go buy some ear plugs..."

~~~ Sandra

I found this on Bloggers Annex, but here's her original post of Is that Where that Eyebrow was Yesterday?

Friday, August 8, 2008

08:08 08-08-08

Clever, huh? I must admit it was not my idea, but it appeared at "08:08 08-08-08" in South Africa on Absolute Vanilla's blog. I set my alarm so I could "capture" the exact time in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which is in the Eastern Time Zone of the USA (-5:00). Not everyone welcomes this day, as you can see by reading Fearful residents mark Myanmar's "8-8-88" uprising. For others it may be momentous, as today marks the opening of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.


Did you know the Chinese built one stadium to attract nesting birds and planned the aquatics center so it uses mostly recycled water? They also made efforts to reduce waste and better the water and air quality. Beijing went green because China lost the chance to host the summer Olympic games last time mostly because Australia’s proposal emphasized the importance of greening the games. Now let's hope the Chinese will continue being green even after the spotlight is no longer on them.

ADDED minutes before midnight: Baby eights ... talk about timing!
Two babies born at 8:08 on 8/8/08 weighing 8 Pounds, 8 Ounces

Hailey Jo Hauer and Xander Jace Riniker were both born at 8:08 a.m. on 8/8/08, weighing 8 pounds, 8 ounces, in neighboring states. Lindsey Hauer thought staff at Lake Region Hospital in Minnesota were joking when they told her the time of her daughter's birth. Then she got a call from the birthing suite noting Hailey's weight. Xander, born at St. Luke's Hospital in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is the eighth grandchild for his mother's parents. And he's not the only one in his family with an unusual birthday: His 2-year-old brother, Kael, was born on 4/5/06.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Book review team of Bonnie and Cady

We do more together than read books, so I thought I'd share our recent swim date. My daughter snapped this photo when we were near the edge of the pool, so Cady's smiling sweetly at her mother. (Cady, the reviewer)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A picture-perfect tomato

Once upon a time in the tiny postage-stamp spot outside my apartment, I tried to make a garden. The root-bound ground, tempered over time by summer heat and winter freeze, had become impenetrable. I posted this BEFORE photo of my garden spot back in early May. (Click to enlarge it, if you want to see the things I describe.) Since I couldn't dig DOWN, I decided to build UP. See the three bags of deep dark dirt I bought? They are the first of maybe ten or twelve bags I spread in this spot. See the edgers behind the big planter? I used them along the sidewalks, allowing for a couple of inches of new soil. Who knew it takes LOTS of bags of dirt to cover such a tiny space? Not I. Next came the plants, some of which you can see in the photo above. That's a tomato plant in the middle of the big planter. I bought a few plants, and one of my neighbors gave me four left-over green plants that I put in front of the fence. But mostly I wanted to grow tomatoes.

So this is the saga of the tiny tomato. We bought five or six tomato plants, ONE of which grew tall and produced maybe half a dozen blossoms before a big storm knocked off all the blooms and it stalled, nevermore to grow anything. Then one of the tinier plants produced a single tomato. But it's a beaut! See? We first noticed it when it was about the size of the end of my thumb, a tiny perfect green tomato! Wow, we had a tomato!

Now for the "rest of the story," as Paul Harvey says. I was practically on my knees to get that amazing photo of our one and only tomato of the summer. It looks, well, somewhat anemic if viewed from a normal distance, as in this photo. See that red dot in the center of the photo? What, you can't see it? Click on the photo to enlarge it. Yes, that dot, the one that shows up only because I made sure the sidewalk set it off. Donna and I plan to make an occasion of eating this little thing, even though we'll get only half a bite each. And if you don't hear from me again, figure it poisoned me! I'm halfway serious. It has taken this poor little smaller-than-a-golf-ball-sized tomato all summer to grow this big. Because it is now the perfect color, we know it's time to pick it. Gotta go. The little one is waiting beside my Shh! I'm trying to read bookmark.


EVENING UPDATE:

We picked it, we cut it, we sliced it wafer thin. And it ALMOST covered a cheese sandwich. I ate my half as part of the sandwich, but didn't get a lot of tomato taste because of the thinness of the slices. Donna watched me, saw that it didn't kill me outright, and daintily plucked her three slices off the bread, cheese, and mayo and ate the slices separately. She says the teensy tiny tomato had excellent taste.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Speaking of cats

This is a three-part post, all cat-related.

1 - cat on the package in today's mail

When I came back from the mailbox with this package in my arms, Donna asked if I'd seen what was on the bottom. No, I hadn't noticed it (yet), but here's the photo I took of the cartoon cat before I even opened the package. The return address featured only a P.O. Box number and a zip code (no name or town), and I had assumed it was another of the books I had agreed to review. It was actually from Dewey. I won The Year of Living Biblically that Dewey gave away after she reviewed it last week, and it arrived in today's mail. Dewey, I had no idea you were an artist! I am so impressed. Thanks for the book.

2 - Dickens is now Junie B.

Kiki, Sammy, and I decided the little dickens who moved in on Sunday could be described as "tiresome" or maybe "more energy than a dynamo" or even "make it stop"! The non-stop kitten drained us of our energy. Donna, who missed about nine hours a day of "fun with kitty" when she went to work, was off on Wednesday and finally realized we really cannot keep such an active kitten who took a walk in my oatmeal and likes to tackle the tails of elderly cats. So she departed with kitty on a journey to the brand-spanking-new animal adoption place nearby. Kiki was so relieved that she came and sat in my lap for close to 45 minutes, sighing and content. When Donna returned in about an hour, all three of us ... Kiki, Sammy, and I ... stared in disbelief as the kitty bounced out of Donna's arms and back into our lives! What happened? The new place takes only 30 adoptions a day, with the next possible date being August 5th, and asked Donna to "foster" the little one a few more weeks.

We did learn something, however. I had thought, upon examination, that the kitten was a girl; Donna was sure she saw a couple of things I had missed and said it was a boy. The adoption center confirmed he's a she. So the little dickens needed a new name. We were going for literary and tried every female name possible ... until Donna thought of Junie B. Unless you have youngsters in your life, you may not know about the Junie B. Jones books by Barbara Park, which even little boys enjoy. Junie B. is always into something, like in this "Sneaky Peeky Spy" story. Aha, just like our little dickens! And the amazing part is that the kitten likes "Junie B." and totally ignored "Dickens" when we said it. Maybe she was trying to tell us something.

3 - and the winner is ... Nucat

Nucat showed up with a 6-5 winning vote in the poll that's been in the sidebar. But on counting the comments in the post about the voting, there seems to be a tie.
Nucat ~ June, Wendy, Chris, Stephanie, Teddy Rose, and Beth
Yella Cat ~ Ellen, Colleen, Linda, Marylyn, Lisa, and Donna
and the winner is ALSO ... Yella Cat

Since Nucat got the most votes in the opinion poll, I'll let him go first. Sorry, Yella Cat, but your turn will come. Yes, I know Junie B. got in the header first, back when I thought she was Dickens, back when I thought she was actually reading in that photo above. It turns out that she is still young enough to need a picture book and wasn't really reading Jim the Boy that was open in front of her. She's an intelligent cat, though, even if she has been known to walk through oatmeal and overturn three full glasses of water. So maybe we'll have her reading before she finds a more permanent home with some energetic children who will be able to keep up with her.

Monday, July 14, 2008

What the dickens?

This cute-as-the-dickens kitten was hiding from the rain under my roommate's car when she went out yesterday morning. Needing to get to church to teach a children's Sunday school class, she brought him to me. What could I do? I left a cellphone message that I'd miss church with family, but would meet them for lunch afterwards. In the meantime, this little dickens was exploring his new digs (interesting word) and thus totally annoying the two elderly cats who live here: Sammy, who is 13, and Kiki, who is 8 years old. You should have heard the deep-throat growling and spitting that went on! Sammy hid under Donna's bed, snarling whenever the little fuzzball appeared on her radar, but Kiki defended her turf, actively growling her "ERRRRMMM-mmmmm" whenever the hyperactive youngster cavorted too near the corner where she had retreated.

Surprisingly, this tiny fellow wasn't taking any guff from the big cats and would hiss right back at them. Once, having run from Kiki's hissey fit of snarling and spitting, he jumped into the litter box in the laundry room and said what I can only translate as "nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-NYAH-nyah ... hisssss!" Then he pooped, covered it with sandy litter, and pranced right back into the living room where Kiki sat, quivering with righteous indignation that we humans had allowed this ... this ... strutting white ball of fluff into HER home.

I left the kitten closed up in the bathroom with a bowl of water and went out for lunch and an afternoon of swimming with my daughters and Cady and her mom's friend Laura. When I returned late in the day, Sammy was still under the bed and Kiki looked frazzled from listening to hours of "mew-mew-meow" emanating from the other side of that door. When I released the captive kitty, I found that everything on the counter had been knocked aside and dusty paw prints decorated the sink. (Had he first conquered any dust bunnies hiding behind the toilet bowl?)

To make a long story short(er), I must say it's been an interesting 24 hours. I was awakened at 7:30 this morning by the new cat (yes, this kitten does look like he could be related to Nucat, doesn't he?), who was ardently waging a battle against my elbow with his needle-sharp claws and teeth.

I have printed out these photos of the little dickens who has already captured our hearts and have added this caption: "Did you lose your friend? Found under car in parking lot on Sunday. To claim this cute-as-the-dickens feline, call Bonnie (phone number)." But I haven't yet taken his wanted poster to the mailboxes at the entrance to the apartment complex because I'm afraid someone will claim him.

By the way, can any of you figure out what we've named him? (Naming him means we've capitulated to the lure of his compelling cuteness and may have to keep him, right? I was afraid of that.)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Vote for your favorite



About the time this blog was overrun by cats last year, two very different reading felines spent time in my header. Yella Cat, on the right, stayed until he heard that Dewey wanted to turn him into a lolcat. He went on to stardom in the lolcat world, and almost immediately Nucat, on the left, showed up (read the comments on Yella Cat's post). Nucat purred a lot when you readers praised his round, Charlie-Brown-shaped head, but one day he up and left without a word. Didn't even collect his last kitty-treat paycheck. Just left. I think he found something more exciting to do.

Can you believe that just yesterday they BOTH showed up again? Yes, really! And they both want the job back. I explained that I'm very happy with the panorama of Cape Town, South Africa, in the header up above. On the other hand, it's been there awhile and I'm thinking that maybe it's time for a change. But which cat shall I choose?

Please refer to the voting thingy in the sidebar and help me out, here. Should I give the header job to Nucat or Yella Cat? Or should I find another cat who can read? I've had several applicants during the past year. Then again, some of you may prefer my cat-less headers ... or even the urban raccoons I had there once.


One last request: Would you also comment here so I'll know your reasons for choosing one header or another? Thank you, thank you, and thank you, all.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

100 new classics


Jill of The Magic Lasso listed Entertainment Weekly's The New Classics: The 100 best reads from 1983 to 2008. Jill and a bunch of her readers listed the books, highlighting in RED those she had read and in BLUE those on her TBR pile. I like lists, so I'll play along.

1. The Road, Cormac McCarthy (2006)
2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling (2000)
3. Beloved, Toni Morrison (1987)
4. The Liars' Club, Mary Karr (1995)
5. American Pastoral, Philip Roth (1997)
6. Mystic River, Dennis Lehane (2001)
7. Maus, Art Spiegelman (1986/1991)
8. Selected Stories, Alice Munro (1996)
9. Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier (1997)
10. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami (1997)
11. Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer (1997)
12. Blindness, José Saramago (1998)
13. Watchmen, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (1986-87)
14. Black Water, Joyce Carol Oates (1992)
15. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers (2000)
16. The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood (1986)
17. Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez (1988)
18. Rabbit at Rest, John Updike (1990)
19. On Beauty, Zadie Smith (2005)
20. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding (1998)
21. On Writing, Stephen King (2000)
22. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz (2007)
23. The Ghost Road, Pat Barker (1996)
24. Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry (1985)
25. The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan (1989)
26. Neuromancer, William Gibson (1984)
27. Possession, A.S. Byatt (1990)
28. Naked, David Sedaris (1997)
29. Bel Canto, Anne Patchett (2001)
30. Case Histories, Kate Atkinson (2004)
31. The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien (1990)
32. Parting the Waters, Taylor Branch (1988)
33. The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion (2005)
34. The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold (2002)
35. The Line of Beauty, Alan Hollinghurst (2004)
36. Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt (1996)
37. Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi (2003)
38. Birds of America, Lorrie Moore (1998)
39. Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri (2000)
40. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman (1995-2000)
41. The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros (1984)
42. LaBrava, Elmore Leonard (1983)
43. Borrowed Time, Paul Monette (1988)
44. Praying for Sheetrock, Melissa Fay Greene (1991)
45. Eva Luna, Isabel Allende (1988)
46. Sandman, Neil Gaiman (1988-1996)
47. World's Fair, E.L. Doctorow (1985)
48. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver (1998)
49. Clockers, Richard Price (1992)
50. The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen (2001)
51. The Journalist and the Murderer, Janet Malcom (1990)
52. Waiting to Exhale, Terry McMillan (1992)
53. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon (2000)
54. Jimmy Corrigan, Chris Ware (2000)
55. The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls (2006)
56. The Night Manager, John le Carré (1993)
57. The Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe (1987)
58. Drop City, TC Boyle (2003)
59. Krik? Krak! Edwidge Danticat (1995)
60. Nickel & Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich (2001)
61. Money, Martin Amis (1985)
62. Last Train To Memphis, Peter Guralnick (1994)
63. Pastoralia, George Saunders (2000)
64. Underworld, Don DeLillo (1997)
65. The Giver, Lois Lowry (1993)
66. A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, David Foster Wallace (1997)
67. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini (2003)
68. Fun Home, Alison Bechdel (2006)
69. Secret History, Donna Tartt (1992)
70. Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell (2004)
71. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Ann Fadiman (1997)
72. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon (2003)
73. A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving (1989)
74. Friday Night Lights, H.G. Bissinger (1990)
75. Cathedral, Raymond Carver (1983)
76. A Sight for Sore Eyes, Ruth Rendell (1998)
77. The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro (1989)
78. Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert (2006)
79. The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell (2000)
80. Bright Lights, Big City, Jay McInerney (1984)
81. Backlash, Susan Faludi (1991)
82. Atonement, Ian McEwan (2002)
83. The Stone Diaries, Carol Shields (1994)
84. Holes, Louis Sachar (1998)
85. Gilead, Marilynne Robinson (2004)
86. And the Band Played On, Randy Shilts (1987)
87. The Ruins, Scott Smith (2006)
88. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby (1995)
89. Close Range, Annie Proulx (1999)
90. Comfort Me With Apples, Ruth Reichl (2001)
91. Random Family, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc (2003)
92. Presumed Innocent, Scott Turow (1987)
93. A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley (1991)
94. Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser (2001)
95. Kaaterskill Falls, Allegra Goodman (1998)
96. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown (2003)
97. Jesus’ Son, Denis Johnson (1992)
98. The Predators' Ball, Connie Bruck (1988)
99. Practical Magic, Alice Hoffman (1995)
100. America (the Book), Jon Stewart/Daily Show (2004)

I've read twenty of these books, but there are some on the list I've never even heard of -- and that surprises me, as I not only read a lot, but also read ABOUT books a lot.

Don't you wonder how EW determined which books to include -- and also, the order? Are you puzzled by books missing from the list? Or by books that you don't think should be here at all?

Pick one or two books, whether on the list or not, and tell me why you think it SHOULD be on any list of 100 new classics.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Flight of the hooked-thumb bird

This paragraph by Goldendaze-Ginnie has inspired me to silliness:

I have another granddaughter who just turned six. She is a budding author. Her favorite thing is to create a story in both words and pictures. Her mind is so creative that it’s sometimes difficult to follow her logic, but that’s what makes it so enchanting. (Why can’t a hand fly into the sky, waving as it goes ... and leaving a trail of little hearts ?)


A flying hand? Hey, why not?






I can see it as a children's book,
and that trail of little hearts looks pink to me.




On the other hand (pun intended), I can image lots of other possibilities.

Turn both hands palm up. Now cross your wrists, palms still facing you. Your thumbs should be almost touching, so hook them together. Wiggle both sets of fingers in a "come hither" motion. Do you see the bird? Now let it fly!


Maybe instead of a children's book it could be a book for parents. "Very good," I would say beside a picture like this, "but now flip your hands so the palms are up."


Making hand-birds is a way to entertain a child who wants out of the grocery cart, for instance. Or to distract her at the doctor's office. Or as part of the entertainment on a long trip.




Oops! No turn your palms UPward, not OUTward.

(Some parents may find it hard to follow directions.)


Now, what else could go into a book like that?



Can you see the magic in your own hands?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Post-event survey questions

Dewey's 24-hour read-a-thon ended at noon today, my time. I slept for the next six hours, and I'm sure it will take days to get my sleeping back on track. But for now, I'm feeling great and surprisingly rested. Thanks, Dewey, these answers are for you!

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
Since I posted hourly reports, I looked back over those and noticed I got sleepy about halfway through ... and couldn't think clearly near the end of the 24 hours. By that I mean I couldn't figure out, for example, how many hours and minutes were in 445 minutes. "Let's see, 445 divided by 60 equals..." Not even paper and pencil could help me do it, and I actually love numbers!
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
Yes! I discovered Abigail Thomas a week ago and have completed THREE of her books since then. Pick something short and very readable like these:
Thinking About Memoir ~ is for writers.
Safekeeping ~ is a memoir of her life.
A Three Dog Life ~ recounts her life after her husband was hit by a car. (It's the one I read for the Read-a-Thon.)
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
If you could tell us at the START of the event which hours would NOT have mini-challenges, if would save the time it takes to come read EVERYTHING you have posted in the last hour. That slowed me down.
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
Dewey and her helpers! Thanks to everyone who pitched in with spreadsheets, cheerleading, and pulling it all together!
5. How many books did you read?
I completed THREE, though I admit one was a children's book with pictures on half of the 32 pages. I read a couple of others, but only long enough to discovered they were too DENSE for a day when I wouldn't be able to concentrate deeply.
6. What were the names of the books you read?
in full:
A Three Dog Life ~ by Abigail Thomas (182 pages)
Forgive Me ~ by Amanda Eyre Ward (237 pages)
Rules Are Rules ~ by Julie Scandora (32 pages)
in part:
Big Woods ("The Bear") ~ by William Faulkner (15 pages)
Memories, Dreams, Reflections ~ by Carl Jung (12 pages)
7. Which book did you enjoy most?
Abigail Thomas's A Three Dog Life
8. Which did you enjoy least?
William Faulkner's Big Woods
9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
I was a cheerleader last time, and I say, "Plan ahead!" Use Dewey's lists so you'll spread out your visits rather than visiting the same ones over and over and maybe missing some readers.

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
VERY likely, and as a READER again. It was SO much easier than being a cheerleader! Sending many THANKS to all you devoted cheerleaders!
Bonnie's summary:
Next time, I'll probably skip most of the mini-challenges, which took up too much of my reading time. I DID enjoy some of them immensely, however:

The Hour 16 mini-challenge was to write a limerick or haiku about one of the books you’ve read during the read-a-thon. Mine related to Forgive Me by Amanda Eyre Ward. (Be gentle, folks, and remember ... I wrote it around 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. after being in a marathon read for 15-16 hours ... with 8+ hours to go!)
children kill a son
his mother can't forgive it
other mother's grief
The Hour 15 mini-challenge was to research the setting of your novel. Forgive Me was set in Cape Town, South Africa, and I found wonderful photos:


Forgive Me is set in Cape Town, South Africa, during the time of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee meetings. Here are five interesting facts about South Africa:

(1) Cape Town is home to Table Mountain. The highest point on Table Mountain is 1,086 metres (3,563 feet) above sea level. This photo (click photo to enlarge it) fits in a post, but see my latest header of Bonnie's Books (above) to see the town from atop the mountain.

(2) Cape Town is the second most populous city in South Africa; it was the largest city in South Africa until the growth of Johannesburg.

(3) According to the South African National Census of 2001, the population of Cape Town is 2,893,251 people.

(4) Wikipedia had this photo of Bo-Kaap, an area of Cape Town where the characters happen to be as I've been reading the last few pages.

(5) Read what Absolute Vanilla, a South African, wrote this month about the violence and lack of logic in her country.
The Hour 20 mini-challenge is one you can do right now. Jessi's challenge was for us to name as many authors as you can from her YouTube video. Email me your answers, and I'll try to compile a complete list. I sent Jesse names of 17 of the 38 authors.

Twenty-fourth hour (11:00-12:00 noon EDT) ~ FULL REPORT

Title of book(s) I've been reading this hour (hourly # of pages):
..... Forgive Me ~ by Amanda Eyre Ward (21 pages)
..... Total pages this hour = 21 pages

Books I've read (or dipped into) since I started (total # of pages):
..... A Three Dog Life ~ by Abigail Thomas (182 pages)
..... Big Woods ("The Bear") ~ by William Faulkner (15 pages)
..... Memories, Dreams, Reflections ~ by Carl Jung (12 pages)
..... Rules Are Rules ~ by Julie Scandora (32 pages)
..... Forgive Me ~ by Amanda Eyre Ward (237 pages)
..... Total pages today = 478 pages

Comments about this hour:
..... After being awake more than 24 hours, simple addition of pages and minutes defeats me; I'll check my figures after I sleep.
..... It's been fun, but I am totally loopy now.

Time spent reading since my last post (and collectively):
..... 25 minutes (510 minutes = 8 hours + 30 minutes)

Books completed in full: THREE
..... A Three Dog Life ~ by Abigail Thomas (182 pages)
..... Rules Are Rules ~ by Julie Scandora (32 pages)
..... Forgive Me ~ by Amanda Eyre Ward (237 pages)

Books I decided were too heavy to read for this Read-a-Thon: TWO
..... Big Woods ("The Bear") ~ by William Faulkner (15 pages)
..... Memories, Dreams, Reflections ~ by Carl Jung (12 pages)

Twenty-third hour (10:00-11:00 a.m. EDT) ~ SHORT REPORT

STILL READING

30 more pages (457 total pages)
40 more minutes (485 minutes = 8 hours + 5 minutes)

Twenty-second hour (9:00-10:00 a.m. EDT) ~ SHORT REPORT

STILL READING
20 more pages (427 total pages)
30 more minutes (445 minutes = 7 hours + 25 minutes)

Twenty-first hour (8:00-9:00 a.m. EDT) ~ REPORT

Title of book(s) I've been reading this hour (hourly # of pages):
..... Forgive Me ~ by Amanda Eyre Ward (0 pages)
..... Total pages this hour = 0 pages

Books I've read (or dipped into) since I started (total # of pages):
..... A Three Dog Life ~ by Abigail Thomas (182 pages)
..... Big Woods ("The Bear") ~ by William Faulkner (15 pages)
..... Memories, Dreams, Reflections ~ by Carl Jung (12 pages)
..... Rules Are Rules ~ by Julie Scandora (32 pages)
..... Forgive Me ~ by Amanda Eyre Ward (166 pages)
..... Total pages today = 407 pages

Comments about this hour:
..... I worked on Jessi's YouTube video challenge (see below).
..... I should get back to reading now, if I hope to finish the book I'm currently reading (see top item above).

Time spent reading since my last post (and collectively):
..... 0 minutes (415 minutes = 6 hours + 55 minutes)

Other participants I've visited this hour:
..... Emailed Jessi about her Identify the Authors Challenge.

Mini-challenges:
..... Did you see Jessi's YouTube video? We were to name as many authors as possible before 9:00 a.m. EDT. I emailed her with my list of 17 names for the 38 people. There were a few others I thought I should know, but couldn't name. How many did YOU know?

..... Dewey's Post-Event Survey is for Hours 24, but you have until Monday morning to get it to Dewey before the drawing of a winner's name.

Twentieth hour (7:00-8:00 a.m. EDT) ~ REPORT

Title of book(s) I've been reading this hour (hourly # of pages):
..... Forgive Me ~ by Amanda Eyre Ward (0 pages)
..... Total pages this hour = 0 pages

Books I've read (or dipped into) since I started (total # of pages):
..... A Three Dog Life ~ by Abigail Thomas (182 pages)
..... Big Woods ("The Bear") ~ by William Faulkner (15 pages)
..... Memories, Dreams, Reflections ~ by Carl Jung (12 pages)
..... Rules Are Rules ~ by Julie Scandora (32 pages)
..... Forgive Me ~ by Amanda Eyre Ward (166 pages)
..... Total pages today = 407 pages

Comments about this hour:
..... Time to think about the challenges, if I'm ever going to do them.

Time spent reading since my last post (and collectively):
..... 0 minutes (415 minutes = 6 hours + 55 minutes)

Other participants I've visited this hour:
Jessi's challenge:

Mini-challenges (Eva's new one and playing catch-up):
..... Eva's Post a Photo Mini-Challenge: Photograph something related to your read-a-thon experience and put it in a post w/ a caption. If you don’t have a digital camera, or it’s not working, just find something on the internet that approximates it. Or draw a cartoon in paint! lol One lucky participant will be randomly drawn to win 5 bookmooch points from Dewey. I’m going to leave it open for this and the next hour (so the drawing will be at the beginning of Dewey’s hour twenty-three).
Still to do:

..... Jessi's challenge: Name as many authors as you can from her YouTube video. I'll work on this between now and 9:00 a.m. EDT.



..... Bybee is hosting How much do you know about Korea?
The person who can list the most facts (trivial or otherwise) about the interesting peninsula upon which I now live and work will win a copy of the novella pictured above.

An Appointment With My Brother is the story of a South Korean man whose father abandoned the family, defected to North Korea for ideological reasons, and started a new family there. Upon the father's death many years later, the South Korean man meets his North Korean half-brother for the first time.

Leave your answers in the Comments section; you have until the end of the Readathon. This contest is open to all Readathon participants. Good luck!
Since I have a friend currently working in South Korea, I'll take on this challenge! The list will come a bit later, however, because I want to keep reading.

Nineteenth hour (6:00-7:00 a.m. EDT) ~ REPORT

Title of book(s) I've been reading this hour (hourly # of pages):
..... Forgive Me ~ by Amanda Eyre Ward (12 pages)
..... Total pages this hour = 12 pages

Books I've read (or dipped into) since I started (total # of pages):
..... A Three Dog Life ~ by Abigail Thomas (182 pages)
..... Big Woods ("The Bear") ~ by William Faulkner (15 pages)
..... Memories, Dreams, Reflections ~ by Carl Jung (12 pages)
..... Rules Are Rules ~ by Julie Scandora (32 pages)
..... Forgive Me ~ by Amanda Eyre Ward (166 pages)
..... Total pages today = 407 pages

Comments about this hour:
..... I think I lost this hour
..... I was busy, part of the time, trying to figure out where my numbers started going wrong.
..... Then they started piling up, one mistake building on another.
..... So I wasted time getting my numbers up to date and accurate.

Time spent reading since my last post (and collectively):
..... 15 minutes (415 minutes = 6 hours + 55 minutes)

Other participants I've visited this hour:
None

Mini-challenge for Hour 19:
Jessi's challenge: Name as many authors as you can from her YouTube video. I'll work on this later, if I have time before 9:00 a.m. EDT.

Eighteenth hour (5:00-6:00 a.m. EDT) ~ REPORT and MINI-CHALLENGE

Title of book(s) I've been reading this hour (hourly # of pages):
..... Forgive Me ~ by Amanda Eyre Ward (7 pages)
..... Total pages this hour = 7 pages

Books I've read (or dipped into) since I started (total # of pages):
..... A Three Dog Life ~ by Abigail Thomas (182 pages)
..... Big Woods ("The Bear") ~ by William Faulkner (15 pages)
..... Memories, Dreams, Reflections ~ by Carl Jung (12 pages)
..... Rules Are Rules ~ by Julie Scandora (32 pages)
..... Forgive Me ~ by Amanda Eyre Ward (154 pages)
..... Total pages today = 395 pages

Comments about this hour:
..... Wait! I thought I read a long time, but it's only 7 pages? Obviously I didn't read more than 5-10 minutes of the book, at least.
..... So what did I do this past hour?
..... Some reading, some blog visiting, some ... what?
..... I don't know.
..... Maybe I'm running in slow motion.
..... Maybe I'm sleepwalking.
..... Maybe I'm slogging through sticky molasses.

Time spent reading since my last post (and collectively):
..... 10 minutes (400 minutes = 6 hours + 40 minutes)

Other participants I've visited this hour:
..... Icedream
..... Dewey

Mini-challenge for Hour 19:
Care's Word-Sentence Challenge: Write about (A) strangest new vocabulary word found during entire read-a-thon, and/or (B) most interesting / annoying / favorite RUN ON sentence encountered.

I can do this (I think). Both examples are from Faulkner's book that I was trying to read during the Fifth Hour, when I wrote this:
..... I'm putting aside the Faulkner book with its sentences half a page long that I have to read and re-read to make myself cognizant of what was said. I guess I'm not really much interested in a boy's "apprenticeship ... to manhood" (p. 15) by taking part in a hunt for a bear who'd been shot and trapped and mutilated multiple times since before the 16-year-old boy was born. I'm just not into that.
There were three words in (part of) a single long sentence that I just had to stop and comment on, but I guess I'd pick the first one as "THE" word for this challenge:
WORD = (p. 4) Faulkner describes a pioneer Anglo-Saxon as "uxorious and polygamous: a married invincible bachelor, dragging his gravid wife and most of the rest of his mother-in-law's family behind him."
uxorious (adj.) = doting upon, foolishly fond of, or affectionately submissive toward one's wife.
polygamous (adj.) = having more than one mate at a time [ant: monogamous].
gravid (adj.) = in an advanced stage of pregnancy; "was big with child"; "was great with child" [syn: big].
Technically the sentence I've chosen to share is not a "run-on" sentence, but it DOES run on and on and on and on! It takes up one line more than half of page 13:
SENTENCE = "It was as if the boy had already divined what his senses and intellect had not encompassed yet: that doomed wilderness whose edges were being constantly and punily gnawed at by men with plows and axes who feared it because it was wilderness, men myriad and nameless even to one another in the land where the old bear had earned a name, and through which ran not even a mortal beast but an anachronism indomitable and invincible out of an old dead time, a phantom, epitome and apotheosis of the old wild life which the little puny humans swarmed and hacked at in a fury of abhorrence and fear like pygmies about the ankles of a drowsing elephant;--the older bear, solitary, indomitable, and alone; widowered childless and absolved of mortality--old Priam reft of his old wife and outlives all his sons."

Seventeenth hour (4:00-5:00 a.m. EDT) ~ REPORT

Title of book(s) I've been reading this hour (hourly # of pages):
..... Forgive Me ~ by Amanda Eyre Ward (27 pages)
..... Total pages this hour = 27 pages

Books I've read (or dipped into) since I started (total # of pages):
..... A Three Dog Life ~ by Abigail Thomas (182 pages)
..... Big Woods ("The Bear") ~ by William Faulkner (15 pages)
..... Memories, Dreams, Reflections ~ by Carl Jung (12 pages)
..... Rules Are Rules ~ by Julie Scandora (32 pages)
..... Forgive Me ~ by Amanda Eyre Ward (147 pages)
..... Total pages today = 388 pages

Comments about this hour:
..... I got back into reading this hour, and I really didn't want to stop to post this report. So I'm right back into it, now!

Time spent reading since my last post (and collectively):
..... 30 minutes (390 minutes = 6 hours + 30 minutes)

Other participants I've visited this hour:
..... None

Mini-challenge for this hour:
A few are still open. Get details from Dewey's post for these three:
The book covers collage contest
Bybee’s facts about Korea chalenge
Visiting last hour’s Readers of the Hour

Sixteenth hour (3:00-4:00 a.m. EDT) ~ REPORT and MINI-CHALLENGE

Title of book(s) I've been reading this hour (hourly # of pages):
..... Forgive Me ~ by Amanda Eyre Ward (0 pages)
..... Total pages this hour = 0 pages

Books I've read (or dipped into) since I started (total # of pages):
..... A Three Dog Life ~ by Abigail Thomas (182 pages)
..... Big Woods ("The Bear") ~ by William Faulkner (15 pages)
..... Memories, Dreams, Reflections ~ by Carl Jung (12 pages)
..... Rules Are Rules ~ by Julie Scandora (32 pages)
..... Forgive Me ~ by Amanda Eyre Ward (120 pages)
..... Total pages today = 351 pages

Comments about this hour:
..... The hours continue to rush past, but I have slowed down to a crawl.
..... This hour, instead of reading, I wrote a single haiku.

Time spent reading since my last post (and collectively):
..... 0 minutes (360 minutes = 6 hours)

Other participants I've visited this hour:
..... Tammy
..... Debi
..... Bonnie (Oh, that's ME! We three are Readers of the Hour)

Mini-challenge for this hour:
..... The Hour 16 mini-challenge: All you have to do is write a limerick or haiku about one of the books you’ve read during the read-a-thon.
..... Mine relates to Forgive Me ~ by Amanda Eyre Ward.
children kill a son
his mother can't forgive it
other mother's grief

Fifteenth hour (2:00-3:00 a.m. EDT) ~ REPORT

This report is totally unlike the previous ones because I spent most of this hour researching South Africa and, specifically, Cape Town. I first published my response to Dewey's 15th hour mini-challenge in the post below.

I have also added a gorgeous header to Bonnie’s Books showing a panorama of Cape Town as seen from Table Mountain, which towers 1,086 metres (3,563 feet) over the city. Look at the top of this page. See it up there?


Here were Dewey's instructions for the mini-challenge:
Where is your current book set? If it’s a real place, go to wikipedia and find five interesting facts about the place and post about it in your blog.
Forgive Me is set in Cape Town, South Africa, during the time of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee meetings. Here are five interesting facts about South Africa:
(1) Cape Town is home to Table Mountain. The highest point on Table Mountain is 1,086 metres (3,563 feet) above sea level. This photo (click photo to enlarge it) fits in a post, but see my latest header of Bonnie's Books (above) to see the town from atop the mountain.
(2) Cape Town is the second most populous city in South Africa; it was the largest city in South Africa until the growth of Johannesburg.
(3) According to the South African National Census of 2001, the population of Cape Town is 2,893,251 people.
(4) Wikipedia had this photo of Bo-Kaap, an area of Cape Town where the characters happen to be as I've been reading the last few pages.
(5) Read what Absolute Vanilla, a South African, wrote this month about the violence and lack of logic in her country.

Fourteenth hour (1:00-2:00 a.m. EDT) ~ REPORT

Title of book(s) I've been reading this hour (hourly # of pages):
..... Forgive Me ~ by Amanda Eyre Ward (21 pages)
..... Total pages this hour = 21 pages

Books I've read (or dipped into) since I started (total # of pages):
..... A Three Dog Life ~ by Abigail Thomas (182 pages)
..... Big Woods ("The Bear") ~ by William Faulkner (15 pages)
..... Memories, Dreams, Reflections ~ by Carl Jung (12 pages)
..... Rules Are Rules ~ by Julie Scandora (32 pages)
..... Forgive Me ~ by Amanda Eyre Ward (120 pages)
..... Total pages today = 351 pages

Comments about this hour:
..... Actually, the warm bath was very conducive to reading.
..... I'm a night owl and feel ready to go the distance now.
..... I've popped some popcorn for strength and endurance ... lol.

Time spent reading since my last post (and collectively):
..... 20 minutes (360 minutes = 6 hours)

Other participants I've visited this hour:
..... Dewey

Mini-challenge for the upcoming (15th) hour:
Where is your current book set? If it’s a real place, go to wikipedia and find five interesting facts about the place and post about it in your blog.
Forgive Me is set in Cape Town, South Africa, during the time of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee meetings. Here are five interesting facts about South Africa:
(1) Cape Town is home to Table Mountain. The highest point on Table Mountain is 1,086 metres (3,563 feet) above sea level. This photo (click photo to enlarge it) fits in a post, but see my latest header of Bonnie's Books (above) to see the town from atop the mountain.
(2) Cape Town is the second most populous city in South Africa; it was the largest city in South Africa until the growth of Johannesburg.
(3) According to the South African National Census of 2001, the population of Cape Town is 2,893,251 people.
(4) Wikipedia had this photo of Bo-Kaap, an area of Cape Town where the characters happen to be as I've been reading the last few pages.
(5) Read what Absolute Vanilla, a South African, wrote this month about the violence and lack of logic in her country.

Thirteenth hour (12:00-1:00 a.m. EDT) ~ REPORT

Title of book(s) I've been reading this hour (hourly # of pages):
..... Forgive Me ~ by Amanda Eyre Ward (26 pages)
..... Total pages this hour = 26 pages

Books I've read (or dipped into) since I started (total # of pages):
..... A Three Dog Life ~ by Abigail Thomas (182 pages)
..... Big Woods ("The Bear") ~ by William Faulkner (15 pages)
..... Memories, Dreams, Reflections ~ by Carl Jung (12 pages)
..... Rules Are Rules ~ by Julie Scandora (32 pages)
..... Forgive Me ~ by Amanda Eyre Ward (99 pages)
..... Total pages today = 340 pages

Comments about this hour:
..... The water's running for a warm bath to soak my weary bones and read awhile.

Time spent reading since my last post (and collectively):
..... 30 minutes (310 minutes = 5 hours + 40 minutes)

Other participants I've visited this hour:
..... Bybee, who is hosting the upcoming mini-challenge

Mini-challenge for the upcoming (14th) hour:
Bybee is hosting How much do you know about Korea?
The person who can list the most facts (trivial or otherwise) about the interesting peninsula upon which I now live and work will win a copy of the novella pictured above.

An Appointment With My Brother is the story of a South Korean man whose father abandoned the family, defected to North Korea for ideological reasons, and started a new family there. Upon the father's death many years later, the South Korean man meets his North Korean half-brother for the first time.

Leave your answers in the Comments section; you have until the end of the Readathon. This contest is open to all Readathon participants. Good luck!
Since I have a friend currently working in South Korea, I'll take on this challenge! The list will come a bit later, however, because I want to keep reading.