book, review, reading. goldfinch, tartt, audiobook

Goldfinch: Pulitzer Prize Material?

book, review, reading. goldfinch, tartt, audiobookFinished listening to the audiobook “The Goldfinch” today. I can see why the book is studied in English classes. The writing is very descriptive; really makes you feel like you are experiencing what Theo is. But at times, I feel like the book went on too long. It could have ended satisfactorily in a few different places. Some of the extended story could have been dropped as no real value added. Let me rephrase–no additional entertainment value added. There are loads of meaningful nuances weaved throughout the book. It would be great for book clubs to delve into and discuss over drinks. The part that most impressed me is how the Author Donna Tartt makes the reader feel like the reader himself is tripping or high or drunk with the writing style. The broken sentences and confused thoughts. Very well done.

There were a lot of cliches that were overused and repetitive storylines that could have been cut and still made an effective book. The editor should have caught much of that. FYI, the reader for The Goldfinch audiobook, David Pittu, was GREAT. I could hear the different characters plainly.
As far as the characters in the story go, I’m a fixer. I just wanted to go in and fix Theo. “All you have to do is…” People think that all the time about situations they have no right commenting on. It seems sad, although not unbelievable (which is the sad part) that the fictionalized school system in Vegas fails Theo. The teachers had to see he was in trouble, but no one seemed to take enough interest to drive out to his home and check on him? Do they even do that kind of thing anymore? Budget cuts and all. And what is up with Peppa? I get she has trauma, but I don’t like how that was unresolved. Sounded like an excuse to me. I don’t want to give any endings away in case you are going to read the book–or watch the movie. I hear there’s a deal in the making. Vanity Fair has an article about it.

Making Time For Your Priorities

Where are your priorities? Our family is on the geeky-side. Our idea of enjoyment is listening to TedTalks together. Yesterday we listened to one where the speaker discussed time-saving tips. She said simply, you have the time to do what you determine is the priority. So true! I find I am most productive when I have a lot going on. When I have something early in the day, I am up and moving–trying to squeeze in a little something before I dash off. Throw in a load of laundry, clean out my kitchen drawers, anything that will take up only 15-20 minutes. When I don’t have to get up and go to work or to a meeting, I drag my feet. I enjoy a cup of coffee, play a quick computer game (that takes me 40 minutes), then log into my email. I then distract myself with “cleaning out” emails, feeling a sense of accomplishment when I hit delete or unsubscribe to something. Finally, time to write. Now I’m hungry and it’s time to refill my coffee mug. Back downstairs I go. People ask how I got so much done when I was working full time for the Air Force, running a publishing company, and writing my own books. Not to mention two daughters and a husband to attend to. I made time. It all worked and everything got done. Now, as an Air Force retiree, I have gained back 50 hours per week, but somehow I’m still just as busy. Oh, I’m doing much more with the publishing company–more meetings, more training, and certainly more studying. I’m also quilting more and looking at fun projects to take on. I’ve wrapped all my Christmas presents BEFORE Christmas Eve, and I still haven’t written more than a few pages in my Lady Tigers’ book series. Time to readjust my priorities…

quilt, cozy, woods, retreat, mystery

Quilt Retreat: Is there a Cozy Mystery there?

quilt, cozy, woods, retreat, mysteryQuilt Retreat

Last weekend I went to a quilt retreat. Yes, there is such a thing! I spent 5 glorious days not responsible for anything (meals were included) and was allowed to dedicate my time creating something new. It was a rewarding and enjoyable experience. I got to know 14 other ladies from my quilt guild and picked up new techniques and patterns along the way.
When they found out I was also an author, they encouraged me to write a story about the retreat. We were staying in a deserted campground in the off-season. You could hear the hunters’ rifles in the woods. The tools and implements in the quilting room provide more than enough fodder for weapons. The age range was from 30s to 70s. We all had our own little quirks.
So I think there may be a story there…

Stay away from people who erode your quality of life

I read an interesting article today on LinkedIn by Dr Travis Bradberry. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/habits-dramatically-improve-your-life-dr-travis-bradberry. He talks about habits that will improve your life. You need to read the article to get all of them, but I want to focus on one in particular–Stay away from people who erode your quality of life.

That is a great concept. He gives the example of being around toxic people that tend to upset you or make your blood boil. Know anyone like that? I do. And I have found myself avoiding them. I’ve been feeling guilty about that until I read this article.  Thank you, Dr Bradberry, for giving me the permission to look after my well-being rather than trying to make the other person happy.

I suggest that we all take his advice and focus on the people that deserve our attention–especially this time of year. It can be hectic and time-crunching. Let’s make every moment count!