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Word of the Week

Beautiful weather here in Germany this spring. We don't get nearly as much sun as Colorado, but I'm still loving it. So here's how to play. These four pictures have one thing in common. Guess what it is in the comments. You can click on the pictures to view the products or click on the shop names to visit the shops. Have fun! I'll post the answer tomorrow.

If you have an etsy shop and would like to have a give-away for one of your items, let me know! I will feature you in another Word of the Week and display an ad for you on the side of my blog for two weeks.


The Last Chunk

The last chunk of books I read in 2009.

An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon - 4
I absolutely love this series. Any writer who can hold my attention locked for 1000 pages and then seven subsequent books of the same size deserves cookies. She's got humor, action, romance, history, fantasy...all of it. This one was a little annoying just because of the cliff-hanger ending. The next one isn't even written yet!

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - 5
Yes, a rare 5. I read this book in Germany. Let me tell you, I've read a lot of holocaust books but reading one while living here was unsettling. The narrator of this book is Death. It is a must read.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - 5
Anyone disagree with this number 5? Sadly, it was the first time I read it. But it will not be the last.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner - 2
This was greatly intriguing until the end. It felt like a cop out. Not the ending I was expecting, besides the fact that the book had me so scared and then ended like cotton candy, all fluff.

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen - 3
This one bored me. I kept wanting to scream at Fanny to stand up for herself, or just say something.

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins - 3
Not nearly as good as the first one but worth the read. I didn't think the story could go any further, but she kept me hooked and wanting more.

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit - 3
Cute. Better than the movie. Strong morals hidden inside.

1984 by George Orwell - 3
Political junk is usually too tedious for me, but I liked this one.

The Apple by Michel Faber - 2
Liked it, didn't love it. But you should still read it. He's wonderful with words, really paints pictures.

A Recipe for Bees by Gail Anderson-Dargatz - 2
Reminiscent of Alice Hoffman. A good story, not one I would read again.

The Dark Mirror by Juliet Marillier - 2
I had to push my way through this fantasy and another of her books. I was desperate for books when we first came to Germany. They were good, but not amazing.

Wolfskin by Juliet Marillier - 2

Artemis Fowl the Graphic Novel - 4
My first graphic novel and a great one. We found it hiding under a bed in our temp apartment.

A little disclaimer: these are all my opinion. I don't think I have the right to say whether these books should be best sellers or not. But if they are above a 3 I would highly recommend them to you. And even if they are a 2 or a 1, you should read them anyways just to broaden your horizons. Books open your mind.


Nesting Swans in Esslingen

One of our medieval towns here around Stuttgart is called Esslingen. We took my family there for a stroll on the cobbled streets and ended up in a park so my niece could swing. (She loves to swing.) There was a pair of swans nesting that the city had built a wall to protect. The gander (is that what the male swan is called?) was very protective, but when he sauntered off for a swim I was able to get pretty close. Even with him there he was tolerant. I took some beautiful pictures. When the mother swan stood to move the eggs we counted eight.

We're hoping to go back this weekend to see if the eggs have hatched. Anyone know how long it takes for swan eggs to hatch?



I've never lived somewhere that's so wet. Colorado is as dry as bone. I've never seen mold, I've never experienced being wet hours after I've dried off. (Well, except on vacation.) When my parents basement flooded we didn't worry about anything besides the stuff that got soaked and needed a good airing. Germany is not really humid, you don't feel the thickness of the air. But it is certainly wet. Lots of green foliage and constant rain or mist. My plants have grown other plants in the soil as well as some green fuzz. My shower needs to be cleaned way more than I feel like doing. But the worst was when I opened the refrigerator all ready for a whipped cream treat and found...

I mean, talk about ew. Especially when I was so looking forward to spraying that pressurized cream all over my tongue. Grrr. Darn humidity.


The Answer

Yep, family is the answer. Here's mine at Bodensee. We had a lovely long trip traveling around the southern parts of Germany and some of France. We dipped into Austria so my brother-in-law could say he had been there. I'll blog more about it when I have more pictures edited.


Word of the Week - I'm Back!

Hi! I'm back after three weeks of touring around with the family. It was a lot of fun, but man do I need more vacation to recover from the vacation. But I'm in my new office. My parents bought me a desk. It's beautiful. Here's how to play Word of the Week. These four photos have one thing in common. Guess what it is in the comments. You can view the products by clicking on the pictures and visit the shops by clicking on the shop names. Have fun, I'll post the answer tomorrow.

If you have an etsy shop and would like to have a give-away for one of your items, let me know! I will feature you in another Word of the Week and display an ad for you on the side of my blog for two weeks.


I'm So Sorry

Thank you to everyone who commented or read my Last Lines. It's so wonderful to get some feedback and you all were so nice.

I know I promised Word of the Week. But Saturday was May Day, and therefore a German holiday. Which meant the stores were all closed and I had to get groceries for the next two weeks this morning. (The visiting family has to eat; they're such a bother! Hee hee.) I still have to finish some cleaning and then go get them at the airport. Of course Germany is being typical and greeting them with clouds and rain, but hey it's still beautiful just kinda soggy. So I'm leaving you with a video. It's a movie trailer, but it is so totally something I would do.


Last Line Blogfest

I'm participating in The Last Line Blogfest with Lilah. Click on that link to visit her last lines and other writer's who are participating.

Quick rabbit trail: I'm an official writer now! I'm working for Suite101 writing articles. Yay! I'll have my latest articles in a widget on the side of the blog soon.

Back to the regular program: The Last Line Blogfest is where I post the last line of something I've written. Or the last twenty-five lines. So here are the last twenty-five (thirty-seven actually since some of it is a poem) (I suck at poetry by the way, it's just part of the story) lines of my novel.

   Jane sipped on her cappuccino and fondled the journal. She couldn’t help herself. She opened it and started reading.
   When she got a quarter of the way in, Liza had written this:

    My mother used to love me. I don’t know why, but when you came along, it changed her. She became the voice in my head. Not the good one, the one that tells you that you’re wrong all the time. And when I met John, I kept him a secret. The first time he met my parents it was to tell them we were getting married. It was a disastrous night; I don’t want to relive it here.
    And when we started planning our wedding, my mother took over. My brother hadn’t gotten married yet, and he was a boy. I was her daughter, even if she didn’t like me. But it was hell. I’ll put it this way, whenever we walked into a dress shop, my mother would ask for only the cream-colored dresses.
    So John decided to give me the best gift ever. My friend Sarah and I went shopping for a white dress. John said it had to be white. And three days later we were secretly married at the local courthouse. I wore this gorgeous dress (I’ll put a picture in here) and flip-flops. John looked beyond handsome in his best suit.
    It was the most beautiful day.


    One White dress
    Two Flip-flops
    One judge
    Two friends


   On the next page a Polaroid was taped in. It was a photo of John holding Liza in his arms, in her white dress. Her flip-flops were dangling from her feet, and they weren’t taking their eyes off each other. In the background were two people making faces, probably their closest friends.
   Jane closed the journal and held up the dress. It was a little faded, but that only added to the beauty. It was so simple and elegant; it took her breath away. She wondered where the flip-flops were.