Tag Archives: books

Fishbowl

I’m very lucky to be friends with Bradley Somer.  Everyone should be.  Here’s his number.

I’m also very lucky to have received an advance copy of Fishbowl.

It is wonderful.

I loved reading it.

And before I tell you why, here is the synopsis you can find on Amazon.

A goldfish named Ian is falling from the 27th-floor balcony on which his fishbowl sits. He’s longed for adventure, so when the opportunity arises, he escapes from his bowl, clears the balcony railing and finds himself airborne. Plummeting toward the street below, Ian witnesses the lives of the Seville on Roxy residents.

There’s the handsome grad student, his girlfriend, and his mistress; the construction worker who feels trapped by a secret; the building’s super who feels invisible and alone; the pregnant woman on bed rest who craves a forbidden ice cream sandwich; the shut-in for whom dirty talk, and quiche, are a way of life; and home-schooled Herman, a boy who thinks he can travel through time. Though they share time and space, they have something even more important in common: each faces a decision that will affect the course of their lives. Within the walls of the Seville are stories of love, new life, and death, of facing the ugly truth of who one has been and the beautiful truth of who one can become.

Sometimes taking a risk is the only way to move forward with our lives. As Ian the goldfish knows, “An entire life devoted to a fishbowl will make one die an old fish with not one adventure had.”

I cannot begin to tell you how much I wanted to move into this building and watch all of this happen.  I fell into the characters’ lives and didn’t want to leave them.  I DID NOT want to know what the construction worker’s secret was while I DID want to hug the lonely building super.  (Except not really.  He sweats a lot in his job.)

I questioned how much of me was the grad student’s girlfriend whose talent was falling in love when I was dating a grad student in my 20’s.

“Kate is aware of her affliction of falling in love more quickly and for fewer reasons than most need.  Its not that she doesn’t realize the heartbreak this has caused in her life, but she refuses to quell her romantic heart because it brings her joy as well.”

I do not want to admit to how much this was me in college.

It always amazes me how much can happen to different people all at the same time.  Brad has captured how lives cross without people even realizing it.  He has captured birth and death and everything in between.  He captured how we all just want to be happy and have good lives.  But we all do that so differently.

At least the people at the Seville on Roxy do.

This book is the perfect read for cool, fall nights when you just want to sit down and have a cup of hot chocolate with a group of friends.  People you can sit back with and just smile because each one is in your life.

I loved it.  You should read it.

(Why are you still here?  You should be at your local bookstore.  It’s okay.  Leave your computer open.  I’ll be here when you get back and we can discuss how good Claire is at her job.)

And the Award Goes to…

Recently, two of my friends nominated me for the Liebster and Very Inspiring blog awards.  Michael of It Rains… You Get Wet and Liv Rancourt have been big supporters of mine and I can’t express my appreciation enough.  They will never know how much they have kept me going…  (Including the week I was deciding whether or not to keep writing, they both unknowingly nominated me…)

But in true blog awards fashion, that’s enough about them, for now.  Let’s turn it all to me.
I must tell you a few things about myself.  Liebster asks for 11 and Very Inspiring asks for 7 so I’m giving you 9.

1.  I was a nanny in Germany.  I’m pretty sure this is where I picked up my amazing child-rearing abilities.  I’m a better mom when I speak to my kids in German.  I believe this is because they can’t understand me.

2.  I became hooked on English literature when I bought Anne’s House of Dreams (book 5 of Anne of Green Gables). But I thought it was a “romance” when I bought it.  At age 10.

3.  I bought Anne’s House of Dreams after finishing EVERY Sweet Valley High book written at that time. (Jessica was a *****.)

4.  I pride myself in buying amazing shoes.  However, my friend Hollie says this needs an asterisk next to my horse Birkenstocks.

5.  I befriend people who are often wrong.  (See number 4).

6.  I did my best to build a house in New England cottage style and design in the middle of Montana.

7.  I like to leave rants on friends phones.  Occasionally the subject has been how no one truly appreciates my horse Birkenstocks.

8.  People think I have a more wild side than I actually do.  I think this is due to the fact I’m ok with drinking Diet Coke at seedy bars.

9.  I question if I should’ve bought the cow Birkenstocks instead.

The Liebster Award then asks me to answer the questions Michael gave me; so here it goes.

1.  What is your favorite song or piece of music you put on to pull you out of a funk?
This changes often.  Right now: Somebody Told Me by the Killers and Forever Young sung by Youth Group due to my current O.C. problem.

2.  Favorite book you read (or listened to) in 2012?
Imperfections by Brad Somer.  I met him and then I read it.  Meet authors whenever you can.  It makes the books better.

3.  Frank Capra’s James Stewart or Anthony Mann’s?
Frank Capra’s.  (Please don’t tell my father.)

4.  Your favorite British film is?
Lawrence of Arabia.  But Monty Python’s Holy Grail is very close.

5.  What is your preferred Paddy Chayefsky screenplay (for television or motion pictures)?
Network.

6. What was the best-loved book you read in high school?
Emma by Jane Austen.  I read it for fun and then I had to interpret a section of it for an entrance exam.  I think this was the first time I truly felt studious. And perhaps pretentious.

7.  The best movie you saw as a high school senior?
Defending Your Life.  I remember laughing so hard I couldn’t breath.

8.  Your most-liked song before graduating high school?
Losing My Religion by REM.  There may have been a slight obsession with the band.  It’s all very vague now.  And sealed by the courts.

9.  Evelyn Mulray or Diana Christensen?
Diana Christensen (flows with #5)

10.  Your favorite film that you don’t ever want to see again?
Lawrence of Arabia
*on DVD.  I saw it in a theater in college.  I could do that again.

11.  The one song that will instantly cause you to change the cable channel, radio station, whatever, when it comes on is?
Real Housewives.  I just can’t do it.  You’d think I could, but I can’t.  I’m sorry.

Now is the time I’m supposed to nominate others for these awards but I want to do something different.  I want to highlight the people who nominated me and tell you to read them.

It Rains… You Get Wet has taught me an amazing amount about film.  He writes; I google and watch.  My favorite posts are his answers to surveys because I find gems I didn’t know about.  He is an encouraging blogger whose comments make my day.  If you are interested in film, look him up.  Your life will be better.

Liv Rancourt is an author of paranormal chick- lit and romance.  She is also a nurse and one of the best SongPop players ever.  I am often amazed at all she does and how supportive she is of writers in general.  Her blog is the perfect place for links to other authors, information on writing, and life.  And she just got gorgeous head shots so you can check her out literally.

And now it’s your turn…  I want to know what one of your answers to the 11 questions would be…

Very-Inspiring-Blog-Award2 liebster-blog-award

Karma

I’m not sure I understand.  I post these wonderful thoughts and recollections on life in general and no one reads them.  I post a rant about how unfair life is and how petty I am and my readership enters the stratosphere.  But here is the thing, people, I can’t live my life with the amount of emotion seeing someone I “know” on the NY Times Bestseller list evokes.  I just can’t.  It makes me angry and I am a kind, gentle creature who braids daisies into my hair when they are in season.  I am practically Maria Von Trapp.  (They did get married at the end of The Sound of Music, didn’t they?  I figure they had too much pressure to ALSO be living in sin with seven kids.)

My husband and I just spent the weekend in Santa Fe (more to follow) and there was a wonderfully ostentatious store there that had signs every two feet saying “Stealing gives bad Karma.”  Now I believe that if you are going to steal outrageously designed costume jewelry (I would have bought the ring with the five flowers and the bee but it was $80 and there are only so many places you can wear a ring that fits on one finger but absorbs the space of three.  There is actually very little you can do when wearing this ring and my finger started to ache after a few seconds of trying it on.  But even though I keep telling myself this, I really wish I bought it… Ho-Hum) you have bigger problems than Karma.  Or maybe you don’t.  I would think it would be hard to sell a parrot ring made out of faux jewels on the street.  You just don’t see guys in trench coats coming up to you to show you giraffe rings as tall as your finger while saying they have a special deal just for you.  Oakleys, yes.  Louis Vutton purses, maybe.  But rings with the constitution written out in cubic zarconia? No.  So maybe if you steal costume jewelry that has no resale value, all that really happens to you is that you step on a crack and break your mother’s back.

Besides thinking all of this in a surprisingly short amount of time, I also thought that my evil thoughts toward previous acquaintances may be giving me bad karma.  And that the only reason that I am not on the New York Times Best Seller list is that bad karma.  It has nothing to do with the fact that instead of finishing my book, I am writing poorly written descriptions of costume jewelry that really must be seen in order to be understood.  Or the fact that I am not being published in magazines has nothing to do with the fact that I am not sending any articles to magazines, but that I have bad Karma.  So instead of spending all of my energy on writing and querying and selling myself to a publisher to see my name in print, I think I will just sit in my living room, cross my legs, and wish happy thoughts to everyone I know.

Unless they don’t send me a birthday card.  (My birthday is this month and I am on a crusade to get as many birthday cards as possible without actually giving out my address.)  Then they have created their own bad karma so nothing will happen to me when I imagine them being carried away by a herd of wild buffalo.  (Happens all the time in Montana.)

photo from the library of congress