Tag Archives: Gone With The Wind

#fmsphotoaday Day 2: Routine

*Gasping*  Holy shit.  *Holding up one finger* Let me catch my breath.

I made it, bitches.  I made it.  Day 2 of #fmsphotoaday – I am here!

My first idea was to take a picture of my new snazzy lunchbox.  I bought it a few weeks ago and I’ve been serious about getting my healthy eating habits back on track.  And by that I mean I eat everything in my lunchbox and still sometimes get ice cream on the way home.

Don’t hate.

It figures the day I’m supposed to be posting a photo about my routine (lunch packing) I forgot to pack a fundamental part of my lunch.  In my defense, I brought all the ingredients, mixing bowls, a whisk, a spatula and a Crockpot to work so I could make one of my coworkers a Betty Crocker Chocolate Lava Cake…. mmmmmm….

 

Image Credit : Betty Crocker Website – sadly not my image

Instead of my lunchbox, I’m posting a picture of my routine of utilizing my Kindle’s Audiable app.

#fmsphotoaday Day 2: Routine – Listening to audio books on my drive to and from work.

A post shared by Melanie Jo Moore (@melanie_jo_moore) on

 

I mentioned on my blog post yesterday that I’ve been listening to Charles Duhigg’s The Power Of Habit.  It’s not the first audio book I downloaded.  First in my library was Ireland by Frank Delaney followed by Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell and The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

I had the hardest time focusing on the fictional books.  I first tried out Ireland on a road trip with the beau.  It’s purpose was to be a good distraction so that I wouldn’t think about having to pee the whole ride.  I decided that I wasn’t able to pay attention to it because the beau and I chatted a lot along the way and that is why I couldn’t stay focused.

I tried again later with Gone With The Wind – a book I can nearly recite on my own.  Nope, found myself zoning off to another world and not the world of The Hitchhiker’s Guide.  In one ear and out the other as I pondered about what was for dinner or how would I ever be able to differ the songs of the Chipping Sparrow and the Pine Warbler.

It was a last ditch effort to try a non-fiction audio book.  I really enjoyed the first podcast season of Serial.  I thought to myself, maybe I need someone to talk some real shit to me on the way home.

I scrolled the list and came across Habit.  I have been really impressed with it thus far.  It has a nice pace, a few backstories that are bounced around and some eye-opening facts.  Now, if I can use this to have more good habits than bad.

Come back tomorrow for day three:  “N is for….”

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YBI, YRI: 1916: A Novel of the Irish Rebellion

I think we should get this out in the open before I do this review.  I am a sucker for anything Irish.

And the Titanic.

And redheads.

And classy prostitute names such as Copper Clare.

I acquired this book many moons ago from Paperback Swap.  Obviously The Swap had heard rumors of my Irish-Titanic-Redhead-Copper Clare- Oxtail Soup love and recommended the book.  “Boy, do we have the book for you!”

They were right.

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1916: A Novel of the Irish Rebellion by Morgan Llywelyn

The Overview:

Ned Halloran has lost both his parents–and almost his own life–to the sinking of the Titanic . Determined to keep what little he has, he returns to his homeland in Ireland and enrolls at Saint Enda’s school in Dublin. Saint Enda’s headmaster is the renowned scholar and poet, Patrick Pearse–who is soon to gain greater fame as a rebel and patriot. Ned becomes totally involved with the growing revolution…and the sacrifices it will demand. 

Through Ned’s eyes, 1916 examines the Irish fight for freedom–inspired by poets and schoolteachers, fueled by a desperate desire for independence, and played out in the historic streets of Dublin against the backdrop of World War I. It is the story of the brave men and heroic women who, for a few unforgettable days, managed to hold out against the might of the British Empire to realize an impossible dream. 

My Review:

Over 500 pages, this is a hefty read.  Even though the book is a fictional novel, it has a whole cast of historical characters.  It has details that you want to slowly absorb and embrace.  I paced myself at 25 pages a night at bedtime.  Those who have pledged to read 3,000 books by yearend will laugh at me.  I think if you have experienced 1916: A Novel of the Irish Rebellion you will agree with me, this work should be cherished at a leisurely pace.

That being said, even at a leisurely pace I would find myself confused by the host of historical characters at times.  I don’t think this is the author’s fault, more likely the fault of the reader who had worked long hours, ate a giant dinner, then tucked into her super warm bed with heated mattress cover.  This was an amazing rebellion and it took the efforts of many people.  Shame on my pea brain not to remember this angry poet from that angry poet when I’m drowsy.

I adored the main character, Ned Halloran.  You are introduced to him as he is taking a voyage with his parents on a grand ship!  This ship is heading to America and they will be attending his sister’s wedding in New York.  Oh, but why did the buy tickets for the Titanic?

I never thought I was going to get to the actual ass kicking!  Call me a girl who loves some action, blame it on my Irish pride.  I was ready for the boys to get out there and take back what was theirs.  You must be patient though.  If not you’ll find yourself feeling like Scarlett on the steps of Tara.

“Fiddle-dee-dee. War, war, war; this war talk’s spoiling all the fun at every party this spring. I get so bored I could scream.”

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There was one thing that was keeping me going when the ass kicking seemed to never come.

Father Paul O’Shaughnessy.  A good looking priest holding up the faith, no matter how hard that may be at times.  Father Paul has himself in an awkward situation.  A damsel of the congregation is in distress and she is asking for house calls.  Holy Temptation!

You good Catholics are probably saying, ‘Not a man of God!  He couldn’t.’  I’m not religious, so I can say … Tap that religious ass, girlfriend!

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That was probably too much.

An enjoyable aspect of the book for me was the Irish slang.  I have promised to incorporate the saying, ‘Funnier looking that a fish with three ears.’

I have this awful habit of using the images of actors for my book characters.  This is odd on several levels, but mostly because I don’t watch movies.  I swear one of my biggest hang ups with Fifty Shades was my twisted brain spun Mr. Grey to look like this…

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A woman receiving multiple orgasms from him was just not plausible to me.

In 1916, I pictured Padriac Pearse to look like this …

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Here is my Willie Pearse …

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Alexander Campbell to look like this.  (Blaming this on the whole Titanic issue).

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All fun, games and erotic priest aside, I loved this book.  I agree with those readers who enjoyed the historical lesson without the classroom feel.  There’s enough emotional storyline to keep you drawn in, even if the war comes or not.  There were some unanswered questions in the end, but none that were uncalled for.  The end of a book isn’t always supposed to spell out every little detail for you.   Some books leave you to imagine all the endless possibilities on your own.

The next book for You Bought It, You Read It:  Mandatory Release by Jess Riley.

It Was The Most Memorable Christmas Gift Ever…

Isn’t it funny how your memory can pick and choose what is stored and what is thrown out for the buzzards to pick over?  In a recent discussion, I was brave enough to admit what the most memorable Christmas gift of my childhood was.  It seems absolutely ridiculous when you know that every five year old is getting the iPhone XXII from Santa.  I’d like to think the gift that has stuck in my brain all of these years was considered the cutting edge of technology for its time.  We weren’t a rich or frivolous family when I was young, but I always had goodies under the tree.  I had stockings filled with candy and fruit.  There were enough candy canes hung on our cedar tree to cover me until Easter came rolling around with its supply of sweets.

Before I reveal to you my MOST FAVORITE GIFT OF ALL TIME, I will share some others with you.  My mother bought my sister and I a word processor in my teens.  It was much like a computer’s little sister.  It didn’t have the internet (but that was something we could access only at school anyway) and it didn’t have a slue of games.  It did however give me the ability to type, type, type away!  All day, all night!  I tapped away! Click, click, click, click.  After that purchase, I’m sure our light bill went up ten dollars a month.  I was always letting my creativity rip!

I think it was before the word processor, there was the guitar.  Oh how I wanted to be like Kurt Cobain!  Sadly, I also needed a Ouija board so I could beg Kurt to embody me with his incredible musical talent. I could never get the hang of it and my thumbs and fingers would never quite callous up.

Now don’t you laugh, especially those of you who are getting your toddlers those iPhones.  In 1993, my mom got a house phone for us.  I’m not talking about just the phone.  I mean the actual land line.  It had been years since we had our own house phone.  I remember calling Tracy Christmas morning.  “We have a phone!”  I had been feuding with Karen for months and my mom used the opportunity to hand Karen our new number.  She called and we patched things up, all thanks to that Christmas phone.

The Christmas of 1991, I received my first copy of Gone With The Wind from mom.  I spent most of my winter break up a holly tree in my grandparents’ woods reading that book.  When you have a little sister, the only sanctuary you can find is somewhere she can’t climb.

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No Christmas gift discussion could be complete without Max.  See that super fuzzy stuffed puppy?  I don’t actually remember receiving Max, but cut me some slack.  I was barely a year old.  As long as I can remember being alive, I can remember Max being with me.  He was even known to frequent the classroom with me. Look how cute we were on picture day!Image

Thirty two Christmas seasons later, the two of us are still going strong.  We’ve both had some wear and tear, but not much has changed.

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Okay, is the suspense killing you?  You want to know the most memorable gift of my childhood, yes?

Alright.  Here it is.

An electric pencil sharpener.  I’m sure my mother is screaming right now.  All her hard work and money throughout my childhood and I remember that electric pencil sharpener the most.

We were renting an old farmhouse in Kiptopeke. I know our Christmas money could have been better spent on heating for that house that had no insulation.  I remember coming down the stairs with my little sister and seeing all of the gifts!  How exciting!

Santa did not wrap at our house.  That was a helpful way to distinguish what was from your family and what was from the big jolly fellow.  There were two piles of unwrapped gifts.  I headed to mine with all the Christmas glee a child could possess.  My hands were open, there was a smile on my face!  I couldn’t wait to get my hands on that amazing pencil sharpener!

Somehow, my scrawny little sister beat me there and snatched it up.  I’m sure she had no real interest in that magical electronic device.  She just wanted it because I wanted it.  It was clearly in my Santa pile!

“Mom!  She took my present!”

I’d like to pride myself on not being a whiny child, but sometimes you have to pull such a stunt to get what is ‘writefully’ yours.  I was ready to write pages and pages of stories!  There was only one way to do that and that was with perfectly sharpened pencils!  And that little brat had my pencil sharpener!

There may have been a brawl and I’m quite sure there was a lot of crying from my little sister.  The electric pencil sharpener was returned to its rightful recipient (me!  For God’s sake, didn’t my sister know I was destined to be a writer!)

Still to this day, I think there are very few finer things than a perfectly sharpened pencil.  Do I love the way they feel?  Yes, of course.  However, I feel my love of them stems back to that Christmas when I received the most memorable gift of all.

You Bought It, You Read It Mission: The Pilot’s Wife

The second book on my You Bought It, You Read It Mission was The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve.

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The Overview:

A pilot’s wife is taught to be prepared for the late-night knock at the door. But when Kathryn Lyons receives word that a plan flown by her husband, Jack, has exploded near the coast of Ireland, she confronts the unfathomable-one startling revelation at a time. Soon drawn into a maelstrom of publicity fueled by rumors that Jack led a secret life, Kathryn sets out to learn who her husband really was, whatever that knowledge might cost. Her search propels this taut, impassioned novel as it movingly explores the question, How well can we ever really know another person?

My Review:

First, I don’t know what the hell I was thinking when I bought this book.  I’m sure if there was a miraculous way to go back, find my receipts from that day … I would also find a receipt for a 12 pack of Corona hours before buying this book.  I AM TERRIFIED OF FLYING!  (Don’t believe me, check out a previous post:  You Fly, You Die)  What on Earth made me say, “Hmm… a book about a plane crash.  I’ll take it!”  Seriously, there are parts that they are describing finding pieces of the plane and I was sweating so profusely you would have thought I just completed a triathlon.

That being said, other than me looking like I had some sort of perspiration disorder, I really enjoyed this book.  It was one of those books that you’d be reading along and do a page count, and pow!  You’ve read seventy pages in what felt like ten minutes.  I was totally wrapped up in the story line.  I had my suspicions of how elements of this story would sort itself out, and most of those came true.

At the end, I was sad because I wanted the story to go on and on.  I wanted to see how Kathryn and her daughter would continue to put their life back together.  I was a little taken aback by the end, which seemed to come abruptly … but as I said, this book flows right along.  The end is one of those that give you a cliffhanger feeling and let’s you imagine what would happen next instead of blatantly telling you what the author thought.  You know, like at the end of Castaway (another horrific plane crash scenario!  GEEZ!), he delivers that package and then drives out to the end of the road, the movie ends and you’re saying “But, but, but….”.  Or Gone With The Wind, when Rhett leaves and Scarlett wants him back.  (Margaret Mitchell totally wanted those two to get back together.  Those of you who think Rhett would have never gone back… shame on you.)

I think once I finish this mission, I will probably load up on some more books from Anita Shreve.  Totally digging her writing.

Next book on the mission:  Vinegar Hill by A. Manette Ansay