May 292015

Storming HeavenStorming Heaven by Denise Giardina

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was a compelling story. I know little about the labor movement and if this is based on a true story I find it horrible that companies hired their own security and completely mowed over worker’s rights under our Bill of Rights. Call me naive – I need to learn more about this history.

I ended up skimming portions of this book though and it’s all due to the language. I’m pretty sure the dialect used was authentic from my time in Kentucky, but it was very difficult for me to read and really detracted from enjoying the story.

If you can get past the dialogue, you’ll enjoy reading this and it might shock you enough to learn more.

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May 262015

Sometimes I forget how pretty it is right where I live.

May 232015

FloodwaysKindleCover20150218Harold G Walker just released his latest book: Murder on the Floodways! It is now available for Kindle or Kindle App users.

Donald “Hokey” Busby has a bit of the devil in him, but nobody thought he’d kill his best friend, Harry “Fats” Shell. Yet, one night on the Walker family farm, Hokey brutally shoots Fats down. Hours later, Hokey is found dying in a pool of blood, from a single shotgun blast. The Walkers fear more bloodshed will come as family and friends gather for the shocking double funeral of the murderer and victim.

May 052015

Days of Destruction, Days of RevoltDays of Destruction, Days of Revolt by Chris Hedges

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked this book, but I did not enjoy reading it. It opened my eyes to things that perhaps I don’t want to think about. It reminded me what a shitty deal the Native Americans got, how hard it is for people in the impoverished inner cities to break out and be successful, how easy it is for people to abuse undocumented migrant farm workers, and how the extraction industries lay waste to the environment as they rip coal, oil or other resources from the earth.

With the benefit of hindsight, I do think his rah-rah opinion of the occupy movement was off base. As best I can see, it’s dead. I googled it right before writing this and there wasn’t much going on at all. The tea party, on the other hand, is still with us – and having an influence on politics and policy. I feel the disorganized and chaotic nature of the occupy folks described in the book as positives are the very reason they have so little presence and influence now.

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Apr 262015

It is a spectacular day here. We took a walk along the Fox River and got a picture of baby owls (3) and one of the parents!

Feb 012015

Here’s what I woke up to, and more is coming!

Dec 292014

This is the second writing exercise I have tried in as many days. The first one was about length. I wrote two handwritten pages. That was the goal. They were crap and ended up torn into tiny little pieces and tossed into a garbage can outside the Batavia Public Library. But, I met my goal.

Today’s exercise came from an article by Eric Zorn in the Chicago Tribune. This exercise focuses on time, specifically 10 minutes. Mr. Zorn told us that he tried to carve out a 30 minute block of time to work on a book in 2014 and failed. This coming year he has changed his goal to 10 minutes. He thought anyone could manage 10 minutes and over time that would become the floor. As I suspect most writers will acknowledge, getting started is the hardest part. Once you get going you might get in the flow and blow past the 10 minute mark. It’s certainly worth a try. It might work for yoga too. 10 minutes – surely I can carve 10 minutes out of my day to make my back feel better. 10 minutes of silent meditation would be good for me too. It should make my brain feel better and then maybe I would cut back on the bourbon. Uh-oh. Now I’m up to 30 minutes. But, if these activities are all done in 10 minute chunks, does that change things? It feels to me like it does. If so, it’s worth trying. I have a timer on my tablet, so there are no excuses; I have the technology.

Can I write anything worthwhile in 10 minutes? That remains to be seen. I can certainly start something worthwhile in 10 minutes, so therefore I shall.