Blogs I Enjoy Reading

reading laptop

 

Since I started blogging, way back in April, I spend a lot of time reading on my laptop. In fact, too much time. I’ve decided that I need to take some of that time, and really go through the blogs I follow. I want to share those blogs that I enjoy reading, hopefully three each month. I’ve also sent a request to each blogger, for a direct quote that I can include in this post.

lorrainesvoice

It’s been a while since reading this blog, and once again, I’m pleasantly surprised. I find it’s quirkiness just like a breath of fresh air. Loaded with little bits of humour, some of it expertly hidden so you have to read on to ‘get it’. (Well, I do anyway.) A wide range of subjects for a very happy, fun read.

Lorraine writes plays, short stories, books, and general ramblings about life.

From Lorraine: My inspiration is in the minutiae of life: the impromptu spider hunt in the middle of a committee meeting; the small child picking her nose during the nativity play; tripping up in the theatre aisle and finding yourself hanging onto a bald man’s head. (It’s all happened, believe me!) When I find myself bemused at some stupid, mind-bogglingly weird event or person, I don’t get annoyed. I just think, “Ooh! I can use that!” It’s probably a character flaw.

Half and Half

If you want a good chuckle, this blog is for you. I’m going to go ahead and say, that you will probably enjoy this more if you’re female. It is surprisingly relatable, if you are willing to admit that, and is laced with humour. Posts fall under the headings of Wit, Wisdom, and Nonsense. Bonus: lots of lists!

This would pair well with a bottle of wine and a cheese plate.

middle class fury

A plethora of all the things we think, but do not write about. Composed with a profusion of negativity, this blog had me literally putting my laptop aside so that I could bend myself all the way forward in laughter. My guy even asked if I was going to be alright. An expansive, descriptive, critical look at nearly everything under the sun, will have you doing the same.

Advisement: Visit the washroom prior to reading.

 As always, comments are welcomed, and encouraged! I would love to know your take on these blogs. Do you have any recommendations of blogs you enjoy reading? Why not share them!

If you’d like to browse a few more, click the link below.

July 2014

 

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Blogs I Enjoy Reading

reading laptop

 

Since I started blogging, way back in April, I spend a lot of time reading on my laptop. In fact, too much time. I’ve decided that I need to take some of that time, and really go through the blogs I follow. I want to share those blogs that I enjoy reading, hopefully three each month. I’ve also sent a request to each blogger, for a direct quote that I can include in this post.

SimplySolo

I’m sure we have all been acquainted with, at one time or another, the heartache of a breakup. How do we cope afterwards? Do we have some familiar way of getting back on our feet? Did we have some reading material to help us get through it?

Well, now we do! SimplySolo is a great read, even if we have fully recovered from a breakup. Lots of humour, which seems to be an essential part of healing, and articles ranging from ‘breakup songs’ to ‘love lessons’. Very open and honest writing, don’t we all just want to know that we are NOT crazy? That others do and think similar stuff? This ones for you.

She also features guest bloggers, which is a great way to increase your readership.

Jackie Cangro

There is a quote from this blog just below, and I’ve underlined the word ‘quietly’, as this is really a great way to describe her style of writing. Great stories that flow well, and are easy to read. Some interesting topics to choose from, and all done in an uplifting and quiet way.

“…uplifting stories about everyday people who are quietly changing their lives by following a dream.”

She has listed many books that she has read, and gives a little blurb of her opinion on them. I might find something good to read from this list.

All in all, it goes great with a cup of coffee!

Jackie says, “I’m a writer, editor and animal lover. My blog is an effort to live in the world more deliberately.”

Broadsideblog

Caitlin Kelly is a career journalist, which is why her blog reads like a newspaper or magazine. It is full of a wide range of articles, on topics such as; women, business, culture. She incorporates her opinions with lots of detailed reality, and there are many links to expand your reading pleasure.

A well-rounded read for many different tastes.

Here’s a little something from Caitlin:

Broadside, at its best, is a party. My goal is to invite fun, smart, curious readers into a virtual living room (no feet on the furniture!) for lively conversation. With readers ranging from Belongum, an aboriginal man in Australia to Katharina, a teacher in Germany, to Elizazbeth, living in a tiny Cornish town, I look forward to hearing their insights and adventures. I’m moved by what I learn there, and always looks forward to comments.

As always, comments are welcomed, and encouraged! I would love to know your take on these blogs. Do you have any recommendations of blogs you enjoy reading? Why not share them!

If you’d like to browse a few more, click the link below.

May 2014

Road Trip (Part 2)

Road Trip (Part 1)

“Helen,” Lucas said.

“What,” I said, snapping like a turtle unable to retreat into it’s shell.

“Get in here. This is really cool.” Standing on the front landing, I turned my back to the open door. I hate this place already, and I’m loath to appease my brother.

“Helen, you are going to love this,” He says, making his way back to the front door. “Helen, did you hear me?” Abruptly turning to face him, I avoid eye contact and push past him into the foyer. Startled by the simplicity and beauty, a rush of air inflates my lungs, making a small sound.

“Nice eh?” Lucas said. I could tell he was grinning from ear to ear. Another irritating quality of his.

“Whatever,” I said, moving myself forward to avoid more conversation. Turning to the left, the kitchen, dining room, and family room, flowed from one to the next seamlessly. Pale blue was the predominant colour, with some splashes of gray, green, darker blue. Spacious but not too big. Windows, lining all three walls, were currently closed off with pale blue, blinds. The light of day still able to push through to the room. “Jesus,” I said, not able to mute myself.

“It’s really nice, isn’t it,” Lukas chimed in. I saw him out of the corner of my eye, grinning, his eyes so wide. An intermittent ache had started in my gut. Moving about ten feet to the right of the kitchen island, I use my fingers to push at a door. A half-bath separated by a pocket door, opened onto a state-of-the-art laundry room. I kept moving forward, trying not to lose my terse composure. Through the final door, a long hallway, obviously the other half of the house.

“I guess it has electricity,” I said.

“And a flush toilet,” Lukas joined in.

“Yeah, I guess it does.” The length of hallway showed three more doors. Lukas bumped past me and entered the first one. The same colour scheme, only slightly darker, was pulled together on the king sized bed spread. Sliding glass doors to the left and a window of glass tiles adorned the wall above the bed. So much light, I almost let go a smile. A walk-in closet to the right next to a full ensuite.

I caught a glimpse of myself in the bathroom mirror, and shrunk back into the bedroom. The ache in my stomach returned with a vengeance. I needed some air, so I held the blinds to one side while I fiddled with the lock on the glass door. “Jesus,” I said, under my breath. Panic was setting in. Finally, the lock gave way and the door slid open. I took some deep breaths, the air was warm, I could feel the sun on my face. No one knew of my anxiety. No one knew what really happened, and I planned on keeping it that way. One family member left to alienate, and I was sure to manage that in three weeks.

Peering out from under my eyelids, I saw a massive deck that ran the full length of the house. A large, sunken, hot tub sat in the center. My thoughts were interrupted by Lukas, as he came around from the right side of the house. “There is another deck around the corner. There’s another bedroom, just like this one.” He taps the glass with his long fingers. “So what do you think, Sis?” He asked, and leaned his back against the glass.

“I guess it’s alright,” I said. “We’re only here for three weeks.”

“What is your problem?” Lukas raised his voice. I had finally inched my way under his skin. “You are being such a bitch,” He said. “I can’t figure you out. Ever since Eleanor, or whatever her name was, you’ve changed. No one can say anything to you, without getting a nasty look thrown at them or having you jump down their throat. I don’t know what happened to you,” He finished with a puff of air, and turned to go back inside, attempting to slam the sliding door after himself. He couldn’t even slam a door right.

“I don’t give a crap what you think,” I shouted after him, wiping at my eyes. He didn’t stop. I walked past the hot tub to the railing, and peered over the edge. “Oh my god, there’s a creek down there. That’s so beautiful.” One or two more tears ran down my face, an impossible side effect of the deep-rooted sadness.

“There is no cell service,” Lukas called out to me. “I’m going to drive back to the main road and try there.” I barely heard him. The creek was a long way down, and I was beginning to feel dizzy, and if the railing were to give way, “Oh,” I yelped, as I pushed off the railing and fell back on my ass. “Why can’t I stop? I want this to stop,” I blurted out into the open air. I could feel the comfort and familiarity of my anger, restore itself inside my gut, stoking the ache.

© Gerri Leathley 2014

Feel free to pick it apart, or not, but do leave a comment!

 So, I used the writing helper, ‘copy a post’. Now I have the comments and the likes from the original post stuck on this one. Don’t quite know how that works. Just so you know.

 

Eavesdropping

“I know what I saw,” the boy said with a strained look on his face.

“I don’t think you do,” replied the boy sitting next to him. He seemed older, more confident, maybe the older brother? I was sitting two seats down and across from them on the train.

train tracks treesIt was quiet, a handful of passengers scattered among the chairs. I wanted to watch them, but I kept my eyes down to focus on their conversation. I know, it’s a twenty minute commute for me, and I was bored. So I eavesdrop, many an interesting topic has been discussed on these short trips.

They didn’t speak for a couple of minutes, and I was ready to pull my attention from them, when the younger boy said, “I wouldn’t lie about that. I wouldn’t say it was him, if it wasn’t.” His brow creased and the corners of his mouth turned down, tightening his lips into a pale, thin, mark on his face. One lone tear dripped from his left eye, landing on his folded hands. He smeared it with his thumb. I know I said I wasn’t watching, but I sneak a peak every now and then.

“Jayden would not have been there, and you know it. What I don’t understand,” he said, “is what you were doing there. You need to stay out of my business Tommy.”

Tommy turned his head to the side, facing the older boy. “It was a mistake. I had detention. I didn’t want mom to know, so I took the short cut home. In the alley, that’s where I saw him, in the alley.” His head slumped down again, eyes to the floor. I saw a few more tears let go.

“You can’t say anything to anyone. Is that clear?” The change in his tone was blatant. From concern to threatening. I quickly turned my face away from them. His facial expression had hardened, and was shockingly, chilling. My breath shortened. He continued, “Tommy, you know what I will have to do, if you say anything, if you let on that you know.”

“I’m sorry. I promise, no one will know.” Tommy had straightened up in his chair, no sign of lingering emotion, no sign of tear stains. I had looked past them, scanning as I turned my head. I could see fear in Tommy’s eyes, despite the dead stare. I wanted off the train.

With relief, I stood up and moved to the door. As soon as they opened, I scurried away towards the staircase, to safety. Sweeping the station, I stepped onto the escalator, and turned to face down. They were standing at the bottom, looking up at me.

© Gerri Leathley 2014

I have not been privy to any conversations like this, thank goodness, and I’m not sure why I always seem to head in the direction of ‘thrillers’. I don’t know where any story is headed until I get there. Oh well! Leave your comments, positive or negative, dramatic or thrilling!

Writing 101

 

Adverb-Free Latte

adverbs sign

Two sets of double doors. Do I want to go into the book store or the coffee shop? I’m bemused, as they are just a hop, skip, and a jump apart, and enter the same space, sort of. What’s the point of browsing books with an empty hand? That’s my take on the subject.

A small line-up of people, chitchatting, gossiping, snickering, and swaying from one foot to the other, anticipating that first glorious swallow of chosen beverage. I join the line. Advancing forward and cornering left, leaves me drooling in front of the snack display. I side-step to the counter.

Shutting my eyes, to commence brain function and memory, I spout my order, “I want, please, a grande, one percent, extra hot, unsweetened, green tea latte.” My lids unfasten, gifting sight.

“Is that everything?” She says, from behind the counter. I note the name written on my cup, so I know who to listen for.

“An oat bar, please,” I reply. I tap through the apps on my phone in search of the member card. Holding it to the scanner, I listen for the beep, indicating payment complete, then I saunter in the general direction of the pick-up counter. I stand, scanning the crowd for anything interesting to amuse me while I wait.

Once I hear the name on my cup called out, I claim my drink. Choosing a stool, I sit. The tea, warming my hand a little too much, is placed on the table. Examining the oat bar, I break off a corner and pop it into my mouth. It reminds me of the oatmeal, freezer cookies, mom would make. They never lasted long enough to actually be baked. Munching on the chewy bar, I soak up the atmosphere.

I finish eating, and wander over to the card displays. Perusing a few, chuckling to myself at the humour, I settle on one. Waiting in line to pay, I can hear the cashier’s chortles as she serves the customers ahead of me. A little too loud, but cheerful nonetheless. I finish up, satisfied with my purchase, and meander my way outside, toting the last half of my tea to relish on the ride home.

Writing 101     Not as easy as I thought! Comments are always welcomed and encouraged.

Road Trip

“Thank god we only have an hour or so to go,” I moaned. “My back is killing me. These seats are crappy.” We were in a small car, overstuffed with–possibly–unnecessary items, leaving too small a space for two larger bodies. My brother and I are headed to Nakusp, a small village surrounded by mountains, lakes, and rivers, in South Central British Columbia.

pothole dirt roadOur Uncle Jack moved there in his early twenties, as there were lots of forestry jobs. Jack, being a loner, bought some property somewhere around there, and lived all the rest of his days in the wilderness. Whatever. He willed this property to us, and in order for us to claim it, we have to spend no less than three weeks, living in the small cabin.

“All I can say is, there better damn well be some electricity.”

A sigh from the passenger seat, “It will be fine. I’m looking forward to the peace and quiet.”

“Christ, that’s your answer for everything,” I said. Lukas was infuriating, with his lackadaisical attitude, as if this was nothing more to him than a bloody vacation. “Did you get the part about it being a village?” I asked, trying to get my point across. “That means it is small, and who knows where this cabin is. Does it have a toilet or a stupid, stinking outhouse?”

Lukas replied, “I don’t know Sis, but we’ll find out pretty quick.” He turned his head to look out the window. He was avoiding me, again.

“I need you to drive the last hour. My eyes are getting tired.”

There were a few logging trucks that passed us about half an hour ago, but none since, so I pulled partially off the road, to the narrow gravel strip that separated the two lane road from a five-foot ditch. I figured we would have enough time to switch, while it was quiet.

I groaned as I squeezed out from the driver’s seat, “This is bloody ridiculous. We are already in the middle of nowhere. I can’t believe we have to stay there. Tell me the point of all this. Tell me this is worth it.” I’m sure Lukas tuned me out as he wandered down the ditch.

“I can’t hear you. Give me a minute. I’m just taking a leak.”

Getting in the passenger side was much easier with no steering wheel in the way. “This is a little better,” I said to myself, stretching my legs out in front. With a raised voice, “Are you coming or what?” I ask. “What’s taking you so long?”

The driver’s door opens, and he proceeds to fold himself into the seat. “You know, it wouldn’t hurt you to loosen up a little,” He said.

“Just get us the hell there.”

There was silence for most of the duration, aside from a few condescending remarks thrown at my brother. “Could you drive any slower? I should’ve just driven the rest of the way. We would have been there by now.” I was in a foul mood, with no patience left. I stuck it out making sure to sigh and grumble at regular intervals.

“I do believe this is the road,” He said. Slowing to a crawl, he made a sharp right onto a dirt road. Pothole after pothole, for ten minutes straight, we made our way to the front door of a Rancher style wood house, not cabin.

“This can’t be right,” I said. “You turned down the wrong road. Idiot,” I mumbled.

“Nope. This is it,” He said, heading for the door. “This looks great! I knew it would be. Uncle Jack made lots of money, you know?”

“Whatever,” I said. I hated that he always had to be right, and usually was.

© Gerri Leathley 2014

3 Blogs I Enjoy Reading

reading laptop

 

Since I started blogging, way back in April, I spend a lot of time reading on my laptop. In fact, too much time. I’ve decided that I need to take some time, and really go through the blogs I follow. This is the beginning of my list, of blogs that stand out, for one reason or another. I’m hoping to suggest three more blogs each month.

yoonanimous

This blog covers a lot of regular stuff, but, with lots of humour. From the perspective of a wife, mom, and lawyer, she tells stories of her everyday life. I feel like I’m one of her friends, and she’s ranting, and we are laughing about it. There are no details left out, nor are any of them boring. Her writing leaves me wanting more. I just finished her review of, water bottles. I think part of the attraction is, the abundance of truth in her writing. Makes me chuckle!

PostSecret

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a postcard.”

I initially saw this on Facebook, and was immediately intrigued. What is it, about learning other people’s secrets? Some are a bit shocking, some are funny, and some are sad. Maybe it lets us know we are not alone, that all of us carry secrets, of some sort. Secrets, that maybe aren’t being kept as secrets, only because too much time has gone by, and what’s the point. Secrets, that make us feel angry, bitter, ashamed, disappointed, or not worthy. The creativity shown with these post cards, is truly remarkable. It is also on Facebook, here.

Down And Out In The 21st

  • This site consists mainly of think/opinion pieces, the occasional humorous post and my feeble attempts at creative writing.
  • There’s no real thematic concept going on here. I write about everything that engages my attention or moves me in some way and that I think other people may find interesting, as well.
  • As a general guideline, you’ll probably get the most out of this blog if you’re a sensitive, arts and humanities-loving bookworm.

I am drawn to creative writing, expressive words, with an easy flow, that give rise to a vivid imagination. Commentaries, creative writing, and musings are among the categories. There is a more serious tone to this blog, lots of descriptive writing, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed what I’ve read so far.

As always, comments are welcomed, and encouraged! I would love to know your take on these blogs.