Sunday Quote

11-26-06cocoa1_eyesthatslayAll life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Sunday Quote

11-26-061wolf_eyesthatslayGet a good idea and stay with it. Dog it, and work it until it’s done, and done right.

—Walt Disney

Why I’m Breaking Up with Agatha Christie

David Suchet as Hercule Poirot in ITV's production of "Murder on the Orient Express"

David Suchet as Hercule Poirot in ITV’s production of “Murder on the Orient Express”

I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to break up with Agatha Christie.

This isn’t a decision I’ve made lightly. I love mystery novels and Agatha Christie is one of the greats in that genre. And yet…

I’ve read several of her books and each one has proved something of a struggle. There something’s about her style that I don’t connect with. It’s as if I’m watching everything from a distance, which makes it terribly easy to put down a book down and not pick back up again.

I began Murder on the Orient Express in June of 2013. As of today, I’ve only completed 26%. Time, I think, to call it a day and put it on my DNF shelf over at Goodreads. This isn’t a DNF because the book is badly written; this is a Did Not Finish because the book’s not right for me and there’s not much I can do about it. Ironically, I’ve read Dorothy L. Sayer’s books multiple times and always enjoyed them.

It’s all a matter of taste — but then, the world would be a boring place if we all liked the same things, now wouldn’t it?

So, what books do you know you “should” read and just can’t bring yourself to pick up — and what classics did you find you enjoyed much more than you expected?

Power of the Mind

icon by eyesthatslay

icon by eyesthatslay

Lani Diane Rich has a great entry worth reading today over at Re-Inventing Fabulous. I’m a writer; no matter what other roles I play in life — and I play a lot — I am, and always have been, someone whose mind turns to how to frame a story.

This means an active imagination, which is great when it’s throwing out plot lines, visualizing a scene, or coming up with that perfect piece of dialogue. Not so great when I find the internal censor telling me why I’m crap or why I’m going to fail at what I’m doing, no matter what effort I make. Those voices can show up at almost any time, but they’ve been popping up over the last few days for me because I’ve had to perform that most dreaded of corporate rituals: writing my portion of my annual review.

I tie myself in knots writing that thing every year because I don’t remember the good things — and there are definitely some good things, but every flaw, every blemish, every stupid mistake comes rushing back. Why did they hire me? Why do they keep me around? And why would they want to give me more money/possibly promote me?

I’m sure most of us have been there at one point or another. That’s one of the reasons I look forward to the turn of the year; it’s a new start and a chance at a new beginning. Even with those voices beating at me until I finished the damn paperwork and submitted it, I’ve been making plans and moving forward. Lani writes:

But this isn’t about my body so much as it’s about my head. My body is a matter of changing habits; that’s easy. It’s my head that’s my major trouble.

So true. I know this already; I just need to be reminded of it from time to time. Much of taking care of ourselves is mechanics: eat right, get enough sleep, etc. But it’s the mind that makes the choices: not adding a sweet to lunch, getting up off the couch to go to bed instead of bringing up something new on Netflix — we have to decide to do those things.

New year, new decisions. I’ve got a number I’m working through right now, setting a course for the months ahead. What decisions are on your horizon?

Sunday Quote

11-26-06tree4_eyesthatslaySo let your heart hold fast
For this soon shall pass;
There’s another year ahead.

–Fort Atlantic, Let Your Heart Hold Fast

The 2013 TBR Challenge

2013 TBR ChallengeWendy, the Super Librarian, is doing it again. “It” in this case is the 2013 TBR Challenge, an opportunity to go through the TBR pile you’ve got stacking up either in physical books or on your tablet/iDevice and actually read some of them. Considering I’ve got a house filled with books I haven’t read yet and I don’t want to admit to how many TBRs are happily sitting in my Amazon account, this is probably a good idea.

Dates and themes are listed below. Wendy always insists the themes are not set in stone, so what I come up with for the challenge each month may not match exactly. If you’re interested, hie thyself over to Wendy’s blog and check out the details. It’s going to be fun.

January 16 – We Love Short Shorts! (Short stories, Novellas, category romance)
February 20
– Recommended Read (something recommended by a fellow reader)
March 20 – Series Catch-Up (pick a book from a series you’re behind on)
April 17 – New-To-You Author
May 15 – More Than One (An author who has more than one book in your TBR pile).
June 19 – Lovely RITA (RWA RITA nominees OR winners).
July 17 – The Classics (Something classic within the romance genre – an author, a specific book, a trope/theme – I’m open to wide interpretations here!)
August 21 – Steamy reads (Erotic romance, erotica, something spicy!)
September 18 – Western (Contemporary or historical)
October 16 – Paranormal or romantic suspense
November 20 – All About The Hype (a book that created such chatter that it was inescapable).
December 18 – Holiday themes (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, it’s all good!)

Happy reading, everyone!

Sunday Quote

11-18-07fox1_eyesthatslay“We are not human beings trying to be spiritual. We are spiritual beings trying to be human.” — Jacquelyn Small