We buried my mother today

We buried my mother today.

She died in her sleep 2 August 2015 at 94 years of age. Her death was a surprise, but not unexpected. We had all gotten together with her just two weeks ago. She seemed in good spirits, considering her age. The Alzheimer’s had been progressing recently, but she still knew all of us, and that was a blessing.

She lived a full life and raised seven children. My brother posted a sign on Facebook: “My mother taught me everything, except how to survive without her.” For that, we have to muddle through on our own.

Several of … more

Initial Review: 2015 Honda CRV-LX

We bought a new 2015 Honda CRV-LX yesterday to replace the old one, a 2006 CRV-EX. Here are our first thoughts.

Power: excellent.

It rides and drives beautifully, so much so that unless we watch carefully, it is easy to exceed the speed limit. The engine is quiet and powerful and the road noise is reduced, so you don’t realize how fast you are going. I’m sure with practice it will be easier to keep under control.

This has the same size engine; 2.4L 4-cyl, as the 2006, so it could be wear and tear on the old one or … more

First Novel Back from the Editor

Well, my first novel is back from the editor. This was a successful NaNoWriMo ’06 effort and ‘finished’ by June of ’07. It was tweaked off and on for the next oh, four or five years and shelved when no agents were interested. Either the idea was *ahem* crap or the proposal was.

I finally decided to take the plunge and self-publish, probably as ebook only. The decision was triggered when a tweeter I follow mentioned his editor had some open slots. We talked, and he agreed to take on the manuscript.

Three days ago I received the file back. The editor thought … more

“It begins with a dragon.” — A Play of Shadows by Julie E. Czerneda

Julie Czerneda’s A Play of Shadows brings us another chapter in the Night’s Edge fantasy series. I reviewed A Turn of Light, the first book in the Night’s Edge, here.

APoS picks up where AToL left off. The returning characters are just as vivid as when we last met them, plus new characters have joined the ensemble and fit in like a hand in glove. There are new dangers, new villains, new allies and, not new, but as yet un-met, family.

We meet Bannon’s two nephews, Semyn and Werfol, a pair … more

In Anticipation of Czerneda’s new fantasy

My next post was going to be a review of Julie Czerneda’s A Play of Shadows, the newest book in her Night’s Edge series.

Did you hear that ‘but’ there?

But, I got through the first chapter and was reminded of all the wonderful characters, so I had to stop and re-read A Turn of Light.

I’ve now finished Turn and I’m ready to start Play. The anticipation is building…

Stay tuned for further developments.

 

Review: Summer Wars (anime)

I’ll probably have to class this as a near-future SciFi film, although the focus is on the importance of family.

Summer Wars (2009) tells the story of Kenji Koiso, a math prodigy and junior at Kuonji High School. He is invited to the country for four days by a senior, Natsuki Shinohara, to celebrate her great-grandmother’s 90th birthday.

It is not until he is introduced that he finds out he is supposed to be Natsuki’s fiancé. At first he is unwilling, but Natsuki convinces him it is only for four days. That first night, Kenji receives an email with an … more

Review: Clannad (anime)

I’ve just finished watching this anime series comprising 23 episodes and an OVA. The OVA is an alternative ending to the series.

Overall, I enjoyed it, although I felt there were a couple of problems, which I will go into later. There will probably be some spoilers at that time, but I will warn you before starting.

This would be what’s classified as a Slice of Life series. It isn’t my usual cup of tea, as I generally prefer speculative over realistic story lines. Now for those of you who have already seen this and are about to take me … more

Anime and Me

Recently I’ve been watching a lot of anime. There is quite a lot of anime out there, not all of it available in the U.S., so my sample size is quite small. My first exposure to anime was when a friend introduced me to Oh My Goddess. This was a five-episode OVA, originally released in 1993 on VHS tapes using the characters and situations of the AA! Megami-sama (Ah! My Goddess) manga.

It is a sweet, romantic comedy about the Goddess Belldandy who comes to grant a wish to a luckless college student. I love this and I re-watch it on a semi-regular basis. It doesn’t … more

Why do I write?

They say that dreams are the sleeping mind’s way to integrate the events of the day, I wonder if stories are the waking mind’s way to integrate the events of dreams? Even dreams you can’t remember.

Perhaps stories are like waking dreams. Dreams you can direct and control.

So you dream to make sense of the day’s events, and you write to make sense of the dreams. Occasionally the events of the dream, but more likely the feel of the dream.

A vicious cycle. Well, maybe not vicious, but a cycle anyway.