do good- be kind

{Jesus} went about doing good. Acts 10.38

Friday, March 29, 2019

DAY 14 SHORT STORIES

Many years ago I bought a book called Zombies vs Unicorns.  I bought it because it was called Zombies vs Unicorns. I was sure that I needed that book on my bookshelf regardless of its content.  The title was enough for me.  The cover is pretty great too.  Not so long ago I decided I should read this very amusingly titled book.  I opened it up to find it was a collection of short stories which alternated between zombies and unicorns.  Well, short stories have never been my favorite sort of reading, but I started in any way. Each story is prefaced by a note from the editors commenting on which side of the zombie/unicorn battle has a better chance and briefly commenting on the merit of the content of the story as it supports one side or the other. 

The first story, "Highest Justice," by Garth Nix is about a unicorn which can bring life back to the dead.  At first, the dead person seems whole and hale, but as time passes the blessing is reduced and the dead begins to fall back into decay becoming a zombie. I thought that was a pretty clever start.  There was a virgin princess, a dead queen, and a cheat king- all great stuff- and it wrapped up nicely at the end.

It was in the second story when I started to remember that I never really liked short story collections.

"Love Will Tear Us Apart," by Alaya Johnson was about a young zombie who was only partially infected- he wanted to eat people, but he could control his hunger for a time-- ok.  The descriptions of the zombie hunger were clever.  Since he was a lucid zombie (good twist) he could talk about his feelings and desires.  The zombie character was well developed. The love interest and disapproving dad combo a bit week.  I was disappointed by the ending. The ending could have been the beginning of another
story or book, but I wouldn't have committed to reading it. 

"Purity Test," by Naomi Novik was a tongue-in-cheek story about a modern day unicorn who went to NYC to find a virgin to help him rescue the kidnapped baby unicorns, which were being held in the basement of a brownstone.  She kept trying to tell the unicorn she wasn't a virgin, but instead, she was a down-on-her-luck, drunk, veteran.  "La-la-la!"  shouted the unicorn.  Not knowing is half the battle. It didn't require much investment.  The story was funny and short, the characters were sarcastic and piquant.  The ending was not unexpected, but it did wrap up the story satisfactorily. 

"Bougainvillea" was a really good read about an island population which was ruthless in its attempts to keep the community alive and keep the zombie hordes out.  The characters and setting are well developed and I thought, 'I would read a book of this.'  So, when the ending came I was disappointed not because the story was lacking, but because I wished there were more.

"A Thousand Flowers" by Margo Lanagan would have certainly been my favorite if I had not read the preface. I felt betrayed by one piece of information- which if I had not known would have made a beautiful surprise ending. I will say no more so as not to ruin it for you if you want to read it yourself.

"Children of the Revolution" - meh. I mean the writing was okay the generalizations may be more appealing to a younger audience- but the storyline was expected and the ending was a big disappointment to me.  I was reading the story to find the answer to a different question than the one the ending provided.

I'm halfway through the book.  I just finished "The Care and Feeding of Your Baby Killer Unicorn."  I enjoyed this story.  The author puts an interesting twist on the unicorn myth. The world is one I would like to see explored in a novel form.  The story ends as if it were the beginning of another story.  UGH!  Come on Diana Peterfreund!  You left me hanging! 

And I can finally articulate why I've never enjoyed reading short stories.  The ones which aren't good or even mediocre have wasted my time.  Why did I  invest my time in this story with underdeveloped characters, a predictable storyline and an unsatisfying ending?  I feel disappointed.

The good ones draw me in quickly.  I feel involved and invested in this story.  I love the character development, the story is interesting, the setting is unique.  When I get the end I want more!  I feel disappointed because it is over.

The great ones have witty, full characters, a storyline which keeps me guessing, a setting that is beautifully described, and a twisty- unexpected, fulfilling and perfect in its completeness ending (which nobody has ruined by pushing out details in the preface.)

And for me- these stories are very difficult to find- I'm not sure it is worth wading through an anthology of short stories to discover the one which I find great.

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Day 13

A conversation with my preschooler about black history month (before I knew it was a conversation about black history month)

Her: My teacher said I could be Rosie Barker.
Me: Who’s Rosie Barker?
Her: She was a woman who got in the wrong lane.
Me: She got in the wrong lane?  What does that mean?
Her: She was supposed to be in the black lane, but she got in the white lane.  Then the police arrested her.
Me: Do you mean Rosa Parks?
Her: That’s what I said.  My teacher said I could be her, and I got a cookie because I was paying attention.
Me: Oh- that’s good.
Her: Conner got to be the other one.
Me: What other one?
Her: The first one.
Me: I don’t know what you mean.
Her: He lived in the white house.
Me: You mean the president?  George Washington?
Her: No.  My friend Trinity was going to be him.  She got a cookie for paying attention too.  But she didn’t want to be him.  She wanted to me Michelle- because she’s a girl.
Me: Trinity was Michelle  . . . . Obama?
Her: Yes, and Conner was the other one, but he didn’t get a cookie.
Me: Conner was President Obama right?

Her: Yeah- that, but he’s a boy.

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

day 12 the perfect day

Today is the perfect day to stay in bed.  I got up this morning to take the girls to school.  I noticed the very winter weather of 33 degrees and raining.  There was a light film of ice on my car, and beautiful, crystal drop-cicles forming on the tree branches.  I considered a little exploratory shopping- but settled on going home and getting back in bed.  I slept for another 3 and a half hours and when I got up the winter rain was still pattering on the windows and roof.  The tree branches are still weighed down with a thousand little prisms, the temperature is still just above snow.

Today may be an excellent day to try out one of those curbside pickup services at the grocery store tool.  Truly, when one has no agenda- every day holds all the promise you could desire.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

DAY 11 Megalodon attack

I could call this day two of vacation bed ...  but let's move on. 
Here is a conversation between my 5-year-old and 6-year-old girls while in the car yesterday.  Unfortunately, I do not have visuals to accompany this post.

6:  What's that?
5:. It's an  'X.'
6: No, it's not.  an 'X' does this, that is a 'K.'
5: Oh- I wanted to make an 'X'
6: What's that?
5: That's my friend Journey.
6: What happened to her?
5: She got attacked by a shark. (very matter of fact storytelling)
6: (excited by this news)  What kind of shark?!
5: A megalodon.
6: A megalodon!  Did she cry?
5: No.
6: NO!  What? What did she do?  (seems pretty concerned about this situation)
5: She just called her mom.
6:  Called her mom!?  No way!  She would have died!  She has to go to the hospital! 
5:  Nope, she just called her mom.
6:  That's not real. Anyway, megalodons aren't alive anymore. (somewhat perturbed by this story)
5:  (nothing to say) (totally indifferent to her sister's rollercoaster emotions)
6: What's wrong with Journey's eyes?
5: Shark bite.
6: What kind of shark? Was it the megalodon again?
5:  No, I don't know,  just a shark, a grey and white one.
6: Grey and white?  Maybe it was a GREAT WHITE SHARK! (very excited about this idea)
5: Maybe, yeah- it probably was a great white. (willing to concede)
6:  What's that?
5: It's a 'Y.'
6: I don't think so, 'Ys' so down like this.  That's an 'X.'
5: Oh, ok. I thought it was a 'Y.'

My question as I was driving was first, "Megalodon? really?" and second- what the heck kind of picture did my child draw?  I know it clearly included another child who had endured multiple shark attacks and a few misshapen letters of the alphabet, but what else was going on? Most girls just draw rainbows and flowers!

Imagination is wonderful. :)



Tuesday, December 18, 2018

DAY 10 vacation bed

I had a really hard time getting out of bed this morning.  There were a lot of factors at work.  The biggest factor being I AM A LAZY PERSON.  Sure, I've been sick (with a cold) for a while.  I'm tired in general, I'm on vacation, I totally lack motivation, I knew there was nothing I HAD to do, my bed was so warm and comfy.  So, after I did get up at 6:00 and bundle the kids all off to school and daycare, I went back to bed at 7:30ish and didn't get up until almost 11:00.  But, it is still morning, so I can claim I got up this morning . . . 
Sometimes I think I would like to be a housewife- then I have days like this and I think, I wouldn't be so good at it after all- I would just be in bed all the time. :) Now I'm up- I have a list, and here we goooo!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Day 9 work clothes

Did I come to work today wearing blue monkey socks, black sweat pants, a purple tank top under an orange blouse, with a pink scarf and a blue sweater?  The answer is yes. 

The reason is that I just don't care.  I am experiencing my yearly cold/allergies-  which if left unchecked will turn into a respritory infection. 

I'm coughing and snotting, I'm hot and cold, I'm tired and I have a sore throat.  I've lost my voice, which is bad news for a teacher- and I just have to make it through next week to recieve my much anticipated break. 

** counting the days **


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

day 8 Thanksgiving 2018

Worst 30-day
challenge blogger ever!

I actually totally forgot about my 30-day challenge.  That’s how I am.  (*squirrel*) So easily distracted. 

I had 24 people over for Thanksgiving.  1- 13 pound turkey- fried, 2 racks of ribs-smoked, 1- 12 pound ham- precooked- barely warm-  74 rolls,  3 kinds of cranberry sauce, carrots,  mashed potatoes, broccoli rice (cheese) casserole, spinach casserole, candied sweet potatoes, roasted brussels sprouts, cornbread dressing, and ‘frog eye salad’  all before be started  on the 2 pumpkin pies, pecan pie, apple pie, pumpkin bread, and cookies. All made possible by a bottle and a half of wine- shared by only my sister-in-law and me.

Actually, it was all potluck style- which in my opinion is the only way to host Thanksgiving.