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

 

Bad Man Comes (Part 3)

Bad Man Comes (Part 1)

Bad Man Comes (Part 2)

The early morning was gray, dreary. Daylight was just beginning to throw shadows over Wooster. The heat and mugginess oozed onto the new day like thick syrup on a stack of pancakes. The motel door stood open. A black sports bag sat unzipped at the foot of the double bed. A black t-shirt and dark navy jeans, folded to perfection, lay on the bedspread next to the bag. Black socks were positioned atop, followed by a pair of brightly striped, boxer briefs.

red victory judge motorcycleA brief case rested open on top of the dresser, showing a laptop, a stack of photos, and a couple of power cords. Tucked in the pocket was an unopened packet of Wrigley’s spearmint gum, two pens, and an inexpensive journal. An iphone rested in darkness along side the case. A worn, brown, leather wallet had been tossed onto one of the pillows. It was stuffed so full that dollar bills had pushed their edges and corners out. On the small table next to the window, a box with two almond granola bars, and two bottles, one orange juice and one water, lay in wait. On the chair was a red helmet to match the red Victory Judge parked outside.

He rode into Wooster one week ago so that he would have a chance to look around, prepare himself for today. This was going to be a special day, one he’s waited years for. The excitement was almost too much, sleep was not an option last night. Turning that thought in his mind, he felt his muscles tense. No matter, it had to be done today.

Grunting, he moved to close the door, as there was no relief from the stagnancy. Taking a deep, cleansing breath, his thoughts turned to Silvia. “Dear, sweet, vile, bitch,” he said. Humming a verse from the song, ‘The Last Carnival’, he turned the shower on cold and began to undress, folding each item before placing it neatly on the counter. A quick intake of air, goose flesh instantly visible; he embraces the cold shower.

*******

Sitting on my bed, unable to sleep, I pick up the envelope from my nightstand. I haven’t opened it yet, but I’m sure I know what’s inside. He’s sent these before, pictures of me at grocery stores, at my job, and once coming out of my house. I wonder why he watches me instead of approaching me. It’s like a game of cat and mouse. As soon as I see the photos, I pack up and leave. He taunts me, allows me to get away, just so he can chase me again. “Sick bastard,” I said, shaking my head and wondering what I ever saw in him in the first place.

I use the very sharp letter opener, that I keep in the nightstand drawer, to slice open the envelope. A picture of me walking to work, and a picture of Bruce and I sitting together at the front desk of the warehouse. I sensed his arrival, my refined intuition has been working overtime. I don’t know why I wait for confirmation. In the beginning, nearly twenty years ago, the moment I had any inkling he was near me, I would take off. Maybe I’ve grown accustomed to his ways. Maybe I’ve become too comfortable, playing his game. I’m not sure how ready I am if he decided to full on attack me. I’m tired, completely worn out from all the running, the looking over my shoulder.

I turn my alarm to off before it has the chance to ring. This is the first time that I haven’t known what to do, or instinctively done it. My brain is foggy, yet I am aware of impending doom. It feels like the end. I head to the bathroom. It looks like the top of my head is sliding off to the right, some kind of monster staring back at me.

Today is my day off. I put on my one and only summer dress, an attempt to feel a little girly and of course to assist in alleviating the heat. My hair is still damp from the shower, and I decide to wear it loose today.

On my way out the front door, the cab pulls up to the sidewalk. Once inside, I direct the driver to take me downtown. Carefree and happy, I’m not, yet the temptation to go to the mall and do some shopping has taken over. This is unlike me, but I go with it anyways. Ten minutes in and the traffic is slowing, finally coming to a halt. I’m grateful for the air conditioned vehicle. We inch forward little by little. There are flashing lights up ahead crossing to the other side of the highway. An ambulance and a couple patrol cars block oncoming traffic. I peer out the window as we gradually come up to the scene.

“Oh my god,” I whispered at the horror of it. A red motorbike and a truck pulling a trailer looked to be the vehicles involved. The paramedics were expanding an occupied stretcher in order to roll it to the ambulance. Like in a lagging video, I craned my neck to glimpse the face of the victim. Breathless moments passed, my mouth drooped, my eyes unblinking. The thunderous sound, I discovered once passed the accident, was the rapid beating of my heart. The back of the cab, once cool and welcoming, was now a barren and icy, cramped space. I was puffing out short little breaths, and I caught the cabby’s eyes in the rear view mirror. “Are you alright, miss?” he asked with a furrowed brow and a gentle tone.

“Yes,” I said. Not willing to spurt out anything incoherent, I kept silent. I let him drive me to the mall, where I unloaded myself, heavy and slow, to the sidewalk. A half turn faced me in the direction from which we came. “It couldn’t be him,” I said, suddenly aware that I needed to sit down. I was so hot, perspiring enough for it to drip from my face. One good reason for keeping kleenex in my purse; without too much thought I dab at my forehead, cheeks, and neck. “Oh god, I need a drink.” Slightly more composed with the passing of a few minutes, I retrieve a water bottle from a vending machine just inside the doors. It’s almost gone with the first guzzle. Returning to the same bench, I sat upright and stiff. Thoughts careening one another in my mind. I couldn’t seem to keep anything straight or think a complete sentence. According to my phone, I’d been sitting there for one and a half hours. Not in the mood for shopping anymore, I called another cab, and went home.

With no television, I use my laptop for updating myself on current events. It was in the local paper later that day, a description of the accident and the one dead victim. They showed his picture, his name below it. Joshua Galli; he had joked about only having two names. Catatonic would be the descriptive word used by doctors, if they were to fetch me in that three hour period. Then the floodgates opened letting loose a storm of tears, drool and snot mixing in rivers down my face, interrupted by gasps and grunts in an attempt to breath. Exhaustion finally overtook me.

Waking with a pounding headache and a bloated face is not my idea of a good time, but this was different, leaving me lighter, loosening the ring that gripped my insides for years. I am free. My family is free. Anyone I had come into contact with was free. In such a weird and wonderful twist of fate, I was free.

The End

Hope you enjoyed this! Comments are always welcomed. Let me know what you think!

 

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

7 Blog Preferences

colourful-letters-blog.jpg

I know people are creative and show their creativity in vast arrays, but I still get surprised by it. I suppose prior to blogging myself, I never thought of following or reading an abundance of blogs. I will say, I’m thoroughly enjoying going through other’s blogs, and taking in all the original ideas. I do have some personal preferences, and even those can be altered by the mood I am in, or if I’m tired, etc. These are just my thoughts as I read through the blogs.

  1. The simpler, the better. If I open up onto an extremely busy page (theme), I will be distracted, and may just move on to another. If I get past that, which is rare, and the writing holds my attention, then I will give it another chance.
  2. A lot of the themes have smaller printing. I like to be able to read it without looking for my glasses. It’s so much easier on the eyes, in general, if the printing is larger. If the theme is busy, and the printing small, then you are out of luck.
  3. I like to see lots of smaller paragraphs. If I come across a blog that has one huge block of writing, I will move on to another, no second thoughts. Add to this, the above, and you probably won’t see me again, even if the topic is interesting.
  4. I do my best with sentence structure and punctuation. I am learning as I go, and I always proof-read my stuff a few times before hitting publish. I want to put my best foot forward. I suppose I have an expectation that others do also, and yes, I do read blogs that need punctuation, but I find it a wee bit difficult to get through them. If it’s a good topic, then I will stay with it. Please proof-read!
  5. Lighter colours, simpler design, is what attracts me. How easy is it to read, and how appealing is the page? If I open up a blog and the page is dark, I may give it a feeble try, and if the writing is good, I will be back, maybe. The darker backgrounds make it much more difficult to focus on the writing. If you add all the above to this, I will not be back.
  6. I’ve a greater liking for posts that have fewer than 700 words. These will be given more of a chance. I only have so much time, and want to read, share my thoughts, and hit the like button. I know I’m missing out on some great content, and on occasion, I will read a longer post, especially if it is a short story.
  7. The blogging university, and writing 101, and all the prompts, and all the help is wonderful and much used. One thing they mention, is a good title. I would have to agree. A good title is needed to catch my attention.

There are so many blogs out there, many with topics that I’m keen on learning more about. If they are not easy to read, right from the start, then I will move on to another. We all have our preferences, and as I’ve noted, they vary greatly. These are just mine. If I’m going to spend time reading, it must be enjoyable, or my attention wanes. I also do my best, with my own blog, to follow my list of likes and dislikes. I’m sure I don’t always come up to snuff, but I push forward, learning as I go. You may love the dark background, which just happens to have smaller printing, and three or four columns, plus the addition of several widgets along the sidebars; but isn’t it readability that we are after?

 

As always comments are welcomed and encouraged!

 

 

 

 

 

Love, Phantom, Amor

music musical notes black whiteNo editing today. A very difficult approach to writing for me. I want to change it!! Oh well.

“Love Is Blue” by Paul Mauriat

When I was four years old, I would go into my brothers’ room, they had a record player, and I would put on this 45. I have no memory of how many times I listened to it, but I would cry and cry and cry. To this day, I do not know why. It still has that effect on me, only not as bad. If I’m in the mood for a really good cry, song of choice.

It is an instrumental piece infused with lightness, grace, love, and beauty. Whatever your mood, this music will enhance it.

“Phantom of the Opera” sung by Michael Crawford

I have one word I use to describe the sound of Michael’s voice as he sings this song, haunting. Each note he sings, is filled with melody. I must use the word infused again, as his voice is infused with song. The type of voice that can take you away from what you are doing, transporting you to the stage with him. I’ve seen the broadway show three times, but it has never been Michael Crawford. No one can quite sing it like he does.

“Un Amor” by the Gipsy Kings

This translates to ‘I have a love’. I love the flamenco guitar, their raspy voices, and of course, anything about love. I was in Hawaii about twenty-five years ago. We were shopping, and I entered a clothing store. They played their music very loudly, and I was immediately taken by it. I asked what it was, and discovered the Gipsy Kings. I have been hooked ever since, and had the opportunity to see them in Vancouver a few years ago. I was mesmerized. Their voices are even raspier now. They played my two favourite songs, and we all stood outside, swaying to the music, and feeling the warm breeze. I feel like this music, mostly the flamenco guitar, is a part of me. Maybe in another life.

Writing 101: Day Three   What are your three favourite songs? I had some trouble deciding. Feel free to comment!

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.

Sinking Feeling

book beaded book mark readingIt’s been, a wonderful and chaotic, day; shopping bags litter the bedroom floor. The bed is unmade, I left in a hurry this morning. The closet doors stand open, spewing brightly, coloured clothing. There is no room for my boyfriend’s clothes anymore. I do wonder how he feels about that. Note to self; ask him. Two tea mugs, half full, , cold and overly-steeped, are perched precariously on the edge of the night table. An overstuffed, red, velvet chair sits empty; the only thing in the room that is. I use it for reading, when I can’t sleep. On occasion, I have woken up with drool running down my face, and a crook in my back, that takes more than a few hours to loosen it’s grip. At least I slept. A pile of books, old and new, sit on the floor to the right of the chair. One of my bags is full of used books, new to me, that I will add to the pile.

I spent an hour in the coffee shop, inhaling the words, of a new favourite book. I have many favourites. Reading fills nearly all my extra time. My great Uncle Wallin, spent lots of time at our house, when I was little. He would read, story after story to me. His love for books and reading, impacted my life, filled it with wonder, left a longing in me to know more. I remember how he loved to re-read a book, as many times as needed, to be sure I was satisfied. There was a book mark, jewelled in tiny bright colours, strung with gold threads. Uncle Wallin wrote some words on the back of it, before leaving it on a shelf in my room. Now, if it’s not in a book, I carry it with me, a little piece of his love, his crooked smile, his belly laugh, and the sound of his voice.

I should put it in one of the new books, ready for reading. I search through the finished book, the bag of books, then all the other bags, coming up empty. The contents of my purse are dumped on the floor, a lipstick rolling under the bed. The receipts, crumpled or folded, cover the rest. I push them aside, as I feel my heart beat a little faster. It’s time to panic. The process is repeated, this time lifting all the checked bags off the floor, and depositing them on the bed. Nothing. Was it the coffee shop? Was it one of the ten shops I was in today? There was no time to retrace my steps, but, I could call the coffee shop. I described with detail, the bookmark, and it’s meaning to me, hoping the girl that was listening on the other end, was paying attention. What? She was looking at it right now? The tears let loose, running down my cheeks, and leaving wet drops on my t-shirt. Someone had turned in the ratty, old, bookmark. I’m not sure if I would have done the same, wondering how something like that could be important. I’ve never thought about it in that sense before. Lesson learned.

When I stopped in to pick it up, I gratefully thanked the girl who looked after it for me, for saving a memory from an unknown fate. She listened, surprisingly intently, to my story of the bookmark. Maybe she had a similar story, the reason for keeping it safe.

Daily Prompt

 As always, comments are welcomed and encouraged.