sharing my love of books with you

Category: Saturdays, Books, and Tea (Page 1 of 2)

Saturday August 26, 2023

Happy Saturday, my friends! I’ve already had a busy morning. The Friends of the Local Library run a small bookshop about a mile from my house, so I decided to walk up there and see what they have today. I’m searching for several books from a particular author. Though they didn’t have any of his works, I did find three others to add to my library.

By the time I got home, I was hot and tired. Instead of making tea, I decided to drink a glass of Strawberry Electrolyte Boost. It’s pretty good, even though I have to keep stirring the powder in. It looks pretty next to my books, doesn’t it?

I haven’t written many posts recently because I’m doing more writing than reading these days. I am working on some poetry, my September devotional is due, and I’m also trying my hand at some fiction. I am definitely not ready to share it with the world yet, but it’s coming along. It feels so good put my thoughts on paper – to know that it is my story on the page and not someone else’s. My brother always says, it is important for us to have some kind of creative outlet, and for me, it has become writing.

I hope you have a nice Saturday, whether you create something amazing or enjoy another person’s work. And if you choose to read today, Happy Reading!

August 12, 2023

It’s a Coffee and Books kind of day here. After this long week, I’m ready to enjoy some quiet time alone in my library. I chose my biggest mug and filled it with coffee (I’ll have tea later).

But, instead of reading a book today, I am planning on writing one. It’s still in the beginning stages, but I am very excited about it.

Sadly, I put Lion in the White House back on my shelf. I’m afraid I do this a lot with biographies: I start them, determined I will read to the end, and then I get distracted or bored or whatever. I lose interest about half-way through. That’s what happened this time. I did leave the bookmark in place though. I might pick it up again one day.

As you can guess, my own writing is my biggest distraction, but I’ve also been enjoying Longfellow. I finished three of his longer poems, and I’m in the middle of a fourth. The volume I’m reading is half long and half short poems, a good mixture for me since I’m new to Longfellow.

I encourage you to find a poet you’ve heard about but haven’t read. Try at least one volume of their work; see what you think. If you like their poetry – great! – keep reading them. If not, find someone else. A lot of people think poetry is hard, but it doesn’t have to be. My advice is to take it in small portions. When I was reading Emily Dickinson, I would read a few poems each night ’til I found one that I really liked. Then I would re-read that one a few times, maybe share it on this blog, and place my bookmark there. The next time I returned to the book, I would start with that one and proceed.

Today, my poet recommendations are Mary Oliver, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Emily Dickinson. The more I read, the longer that list will grow. Until then, Happy Reading!

Saturday, July 8, 2023

Good morning, my friends. It’s a bit gloomy here today, but that makes it all the better for reading and writing.

I made a nice cup of London Fog Latte, which I am enjoying alongside the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible. My plan for next month’s Journeys for Christ devotionals is to write from Ecclesiastes. I must say, that is one of my favorite books of the Bible. It’s such a practical book, even though it does have a somewhat depressed air about it. I will share those here on the blog next month.

I’m not sure if you can see behind my tea the book Ben-Hur by Lew Wallace. I finished Ben-Hur as an audiobook a few weeks ago. I didn’t update the blog about it, but I highly recommend the book. Lew Wallace set out to disprove the story of Jesus Christ, but he found through his travels to Israel and his study of the Bible and other historical texts that Jesus was exactly who He said He was: the Son of God, Savior of the world. Ben-Hur is the fictional story of a young Jewish prince who met Jesus face to face and – like Wallace – came to believe that Jesus was the Son of God.

For me, today will be filled with writing. I hope yours is filled with good as well. Happy Reading!

Saturday July 1, 2023

It’s a coffee kind of morning. To be more precise, Creme Brûlée coffee and my Jesus & Coffee mug. Now I’m ready to sit down to my newest undertaking: a swashbuckling pirate story! I have no idea what I’m going to do with it. It came to me in the middle of the night about a week ago. Or rather, one or two plot lines came to me. Is this how writers write? Decide on a character, decide on a few great scenes, and spend the majority of their time figuring out how to link those few great scenes together? I’ve been thinking about it all week. It took me that long to decide on names for the pirate and the princess.

Here is a glimpse of the next few posts I intend to write:

  1. I finished the audiobook of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I won’t spend a lot of time on Jane, but I do want to tell you a little about why I hate the story but love the style. I know, shocking! There’s a classic that I am not fond of? Yes!
  2. I am currently in the middle of the audiobook North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. I love this story, I definitely love the movie with Richard Armitage, but I never read the book ’til now. I intend to compare for you the similarities and differences between North and South and Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice. You can’t tell with the movies just how alike they are. Once I realized Just how alike they were (about seven hours into the eighteen hour audiobook), that’s all I could think of. And it makes North and South that much better.

Those are the two big posts I will write the immediate future, so stay tuned! I also have some more new words and quick quotes to add this week. Such big writing plans, but for this morning, Pirates! Happy Reading!

Saturday, June 10 – Disaster!

Disaster struck on Saturday, June 10. I was in a quiet mood, and wrote the following lines…

Yes, it is Saturday, June 10, 2023. Somehow, almost a full month has passed since I wrote anything on this blog. Never fear, I have written some other things – a few poem drafts and a Journeys for Christ devotional. I haven’t been reading much lately, to my chagrin. As the song so eloquently says, “Swiftly flow the days… swiftly fly the years.”

With that in mind, I realize I need to set some new goals. I need to finish Lion in the White House, the Roosevelt biography I started and so carelessly set aside. I also need to start pursuing more poetry. I started my new Longfellow volume but haven’t finished the introduction. And I need to finish my little “quick read”, Lyddie, which I started a few weeks ago when I only had a few moments to read.

… Then, as I took sip of tea, the cup fell from my fingers. A flood of London Fog Latte covered my laptop, my chair, my floor, even a few of my books. I was devastated! I was angry with myself and with my cup and with my chair. It wasn’t a loud anger. It was a scary, quiet anger. As quickly as I could, once the shock wore off, I rushed for the kitchen sink. Perhaps I could save the laptop by letting it drip into the sink for a few hours. But when twenty-four hours had lapsed, I still could not turn the laptop on.

That’s when it hit me. If I couldn’t turn the laptop on, how would I ever save my writings? My poems and devotionals that weren’t posted on the blog. Had I lost most of my written work from the last year? Like a fool, I haven’t been using a separate backup for saving my works. This is an accident that couldn’t happen to me, right? I won’t be foolish like that again.

For about a week, I moped. I was grateful the blog could autosave my Saturday post. Most of my devotionals were saved on the blog also. But I only have a few poems on a private page, not yet ready to be shared with the world. The rest were saved to my desktop. (In the future, I plan to keep my poems on the blog as well as my computer so they won’t be lost like this again.)

I ordered a new laptop, received it Thursday, and started to set up all my old programs and passwords. A new laptop should be exciting! It should be fun! But the longer I stared into the new screen, the more devastated I felt. Most of the week, I tried to keep an optimistic spirit, but as I stared at the blank desktop, the empty folders, and my failed attempts to retrieve anything from old emails, my spirits sunk. They sunk so much that I even shed a few tears Friday when I was telling a friend what happened.

Then – a miracle! – Friday night, my husband plugged the ruined laptop in to see if anything had changed in the week it had been out of commission. The screen lit up! As quickly as I could, I started a transfer program from the old laptop to the new. The old one died three times from overheating before I had the idea to set it up on its screen and blow a fan at the hard drive to keep it cool. In about thirty minutes, everything from my old laptop was transferred to the new. Joyous occasion! All of my poetry, devotionals, spreadsheets, everything was transferred and saved. How can I describe the flood of relief that washed over me when I started to move the poems to their own folder and the devotionals to theirs? I even had a few years of check register spreadsheets that I use to balance my bank accounts.

As I write this, I wonder if you will think me silly. The spill was my fault. Not using external backups was my fault. And was I truly devastated? That’s such a strong word – one used when a dear friend is airlifted to the hospital or a close family member dies. But a computer? Should I be devastated about a computer? I didn’t like to think so at first, but the longer I thought about my lost writings, the more I felt it was an appropriate word. When I write, I put my whole self – my emotions, thoughts, and feelings – into it. I labor during the writing process and again during editing. I love some of the things I write, and so I reread them and correct them over and over. So, yes, I was devastated. I felt I had lost not only hours of labor and emotion, but also some dear literary friends. And that is why it was such a relief to recover them. To read them again. To think those thoughts and feel those emotions again.

I am not a published author. Sometimes I feel I am barely a writer, much less a poet. But I want to be one day. I am working toward that end. And now I don’t have to start over. I can keep moving forward.

Dear readers, you can see I have had a few weeks of pent up emotions. I needed to write them out, and I have chosen you to be the recipients of my story. This is not my typical Saturday morning post. I know it is very long. I hope you haven’t tired of my story, but if you have, that’s ok. I’ve finished telling it. Except to say I strongly suggest – and will take this suggestion myself as well – if you are a writer, or an artist of any kind, who uses technology, keep a separate backup of all your art. Save it once, then again somewhere else that you can access if your main computer goes down. Don’t lose your art friends, as I nearly did.

Now a short addition for Saturday, June 24, 2023. After enjoying a morning cup of London Fog Latte (the whole thing this time) and Cinnamon Apples, I will be adding a few new words to the blog. I will also be writing my July Journeys for Christ devotional. After that, I plan to tell you about the three audiobooks I listened to over the last month. Whew! That’s a lot of writing if I don’t get distracted! I hope you have a lovely Saturday!

Saturday, May 13

May is slipping away, isn’t it? Today is my sixth wedding anniversary. We had a nice, quiet day at home with good food and happy cats. I finished writing my June devotional, and I will make that available to you on my Journeys for Christ page the first week of June. I hope it will be an encouragement to you.

Today has been a nice day for tea. I started the day with a mug of hot chocolate with matcha, then had a cup of strawberry limeade tea, and now I’m drinking chai. Tea and books are a such a good combination.

Hattie is sleeping next to me while I type. She looked so happy I had to share this picture.

I haven’t written many blog posts lately, but I’ll be returning to regular reading and posting soon. I started a new poetry book this week: a volume of selected works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I also read a few more chapters on Roosevelt. And I’m about to begin an audiobook – one I’ve listened to before and absolutely love. I look forward to sharing bits and pieces of these books with you over the next few weeks. But today, this is all I can write. Happy Reading!

Saturday, May 6

This afternoon is a 2-mugs-of-green-tea afternoon. It doesn’t hurt that one serving of my loose leaf green tea will make two cups. Today has been a slow day for me. Sadly, I haven’t read a lot this week, so I don’t have many updates, except to say that I will be working on my own poetry for the next few hours. I don’t think I’m a very good poet, but Mary Oliver said if you discipline yourself to work on your poetry, eventually poetry will find you. So that is what I am doing today. What are you working on today?

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Good morning! I can’t believe this is the last Saturday of April! I’m going to try to make it a good one with some writing and reading. Then I’ll end the day at the symphony.

This is the first Saturday morning I’ve had to myself in several weeks. I made a cup Key Lime Pie Rooibus tea, stirred in some unflavored matcha, and I am sipping that while I write. My cat is asleep next to my dictionary. I’m listening to Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet ballet. It’s peaceful here today.

I haven’t done a lot of reading in the last few weeks. As it turns out, I have a tendency not to devour biographies as quickly as novels. So while I am still reading Lion in the White House, I’ve been sneaking in some poetry too. I finished Mary Oliver’s Blue Horses this week. I can’t wait to share several of her poems with you. She has such a sweet way of writing. You really should find one or two of her books and add them to your shelves. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Happy Reading!

Saturday, April 1

Good morning, almost afternoon my friends! I can’t believe we have finally entered April 2023. Time slows for no one, that’s for sure. Do you have plans for today? I have already finished my mug of tea: cherry and matcha latte. It was nice, but now I’m ready for another cup. I also vacuumed my house this morning before I sat down, so I would feel like I accomplished some housework. Now I can sit and share my book world with you.

Or I should say my lack of book world. You see, I haven’t read much in the last two weeks. I found a large collection of my favorite old-time radio show, The Shadow, and I have been devouring it. I am on my second time listening through all the episodes on Spotify. It is so much fun! The Shadow is in reality Lamont Cranston, wealthy young man about town. He has the hypnotic ability to cloud men’s minds so they cannot see him. Lamont Cranston’s friend and companion, Margot Lane, is the only person who knows the real identity of the Shadow. Today’s drama… Well, you can see I have the opening lines memorized. I’ll return to my books in the next few days though, as I do miss sitting quietly and reading. Reading can be calming in this world of constant movement and busyness.

Well, I have Yiruma playing piano in the background and a cat purring at my side. I’m ready to do some writing and reading. I hope you have a delightful Saturday!

Saturday, March 11

Happy Saturday, my friends! It was a lovely day here, sunny and warm. My mother and I went to see a play called Outside Mullingar. It was an Irish romance story and involved two sets of neighbors, aging parents, and a dispute over a piece of land. The ending was especially sweet. If you have the opportunity to see Outside Mullingar, I highly recommend it.

Today’s tea is English Breakfast with a bit of milk and sugar. I’m planning to write a few more New Words posts and then try to finish an extra chapter of Lion in the White House, if I don’t get too distracted by Rumi. Have a great rest of your Saturday!

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