Friday, May 29, 2015

Celebrate the Small Things- The Triumphant Return!

HUGE thanks to our hosts Lexa Cain, L.G. Keltner and Katie!

Oh my goodness!  So much is going on, I barely know where to start!  First off, I'm sorry to anyone who enjoys hearing from me from having been so absent for so long.  A LOT has been going on outside of the blog-o-sphere and while it's all good it will be made even better by me talking about it here and hearing from other awesome folks so I'm going to make a concerted effort to get on here more often to share the love with you all.

Now, the celebrations!

1)  I'm going to be a presenter at a conference this fall!  A couple of months ago we got an e-mail from corporate inviting us to submit a proposal to this organization for inclusion in a professional conference this fall.  I think I may have been the only person in the whole company who actually took the time to draft a proposal but I was super psyched about it.  Several weeks passed and I'd kind-of given up hope.  Then, last Monday, I got the e-mail: my proposal was accepted!  

In October I will be giving a presentation to folks in my field on the topic of co-occurring disorders.  I've never been a professional presenter before even though I've been to a ton of these and to say I'm thrilled about it would be a massive understatement.  Needless to say, I've got a TON of work to do before October but that doesn't remove my nearly head-asploding excitement about this.  Yay!

2)  I signed up for a year-long training to become a certified yoga teacher!  I've been looking for something for a while to help me get in touch with my spiritual side and while I've always been attracted to the traditions of meditation and mindfulness I haven't engaged in much formal training.  Well, a friend of mine is taking this training and she said it's changing her life so I contacted the instructor and got some more info and it sounded like EXACTLY what I've been searching for.  So I signed up, made my deposit and am fully registered to start in a couple of weeks.  I anticipate this being nothing short of transformational for me and I'm so eager to get started I can barely contain myself- it's gonna be one crazy, wonderful journey!

3)  Still running!  I've been doing this all along but race season started again in earnest a few months ago so I've been doing tons of 5Ks, a 5 miler, my first-ever 10-miler and I signed up to do my 2nd ever half marathon in July (which happens to be on the first anniversary of my first race)!  I'm thrilled that running has become and remains such an important part of my life and I look forward to all that will come from this.

Big stuff in the life of Bev, and excited to hear what's going on with all of you!
Celebrate The Small Things Linky:

1.Lexa Cain2.Fiction and Film
3.Writing Off the Edge4.Kidbits
5.TheCyborgMom6.Thoughts and Ideas from Deanie Humphrys-Dunne
7.My Inner Geek8.Eclectic Alli
9.Queendsheena10.Kim Graff
11.Intentional Insights with S. Kelley Harrell12.Constantine
13.Viklit14.My Miracle Life
15.Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams16.My Creatively Random Life
17.Jeff Chapman's Writing18.Shells Tales and Sails
19.Lara Lacombe20.TF Walsh
21.Caring for my Veteran22.dcrelief
23.Life, Yoga and Other Adventures24.The Unwavering Part of Me
25.About myself, by myself26.Suzanne Furness
27.My Write Spot28.Elizabeth Seckman
29.Avalon30.Cherdo on the Flipside
31.Writing By Marilyn32.My Baffling Brain
33.Planet Kimberly34.Shah Wharton
35.Mere Joyce36.Just Get It Written
37.Tyrean's Writing Spot38.Kathleen S. Allen
39.Black Coffee and Cigarettes40.Stephen tremp
41.Linda Kay42.Victorian Scribbles
43.Alexia Chamberlynn44.Dandilyonfluff
45.Curious as a Cathy46.Tanya Miranda
47.Teresa Morse48.Catherine Ensley
49.God, Entertainment, & Annoying Things50.Ann - A Friend of Jesus 2013
51.These Are My Monkeys52.Precious Monsters
53.Its a Snap54.Carole Anne Carr
55.Special Teaching At Pempi's Palace56.Square Pegs
57.Sandy's Space58.The Beveled Edge
59.Lisa Manifold

Monday, May 18, 2015

It's the Blood, Boobs and Carnage Blogfest!

Hosted by our own Ninja Captain Alex and the amazing Heather Gardner!

I can't think of anything that better exemplifies this theme than my absolute favorite show ever: Game of Thrones.
Image result for game of thrones 
It's the best thing on television

(Notice: If you haven't watched through at least up to Season 4 then don't read on.  We're talking about death so needless to say this references a lot of characters who die.)
 This show has it all!  Let's start with the blood...
I can't think of a single episode where at least one person doesn't die in a relatively bloody and spectacular way.  Whether it's beheading, flaying, skull-crushing or just a good old-fashioned stabbing there's so much blood on the set of this show you'd think they'd run out of the stuff.  But, of course, you'd be wrong.  With an author who loves killing off characters providing plenty of material to go off of we'll be seeing lots of red for a long time to come on this show.

Game Of Thrones Boobcounter Season 1 - 4
I think that graphic sums up it better than I ever could.  Courtesy of  

And, of course- Carnage!
With the tag line "Valar Morghulis" (Translation: All Men Must Die) you know the show is gonna rack up the body count.  From Dothraki feuding to Red Weddings to the Battle of the Blackwater to the Attack on Castle Black this show kills off people in such large numbers it's hard to keep count.  But of course, someone did.
Even though a bit of my soul dies every time another beloved character gets mutilated in front of my eyes I keep coming back for more- just like the other 8 million viewers out there who, like me, will be glued to their TV sets every Sunday night for as long as this amazing show remains on the air.  Blood, boobs and carnage it's got a  plenty- but it's also the best thing on TV.

Don't forget to stop by all the other blogs naming their favorites today!  (I get the feeling this show will be a favorite.)

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Book Review: Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

I had such incredibly high hopes for this book, which I suppose was a bad idea since it set me up perfectly to be so disappointed. The first chapter is an exemplary education in the meaning of the word atmospheric and sets the stage for a story much bigger than this ended up being. But, because the writing itself is so skillfully done it's important to separate that from the plot, so let's do that.
The quality of the writing rivals some of the best authors I've ever read. Du Maurier is so adept at the nuances of stage-setting that it's possible for the reader themselves to start having dreams about Manderley. From the descriptions of the house to the servants to the ever tangible ghost of the title character it's impossible not to get chills sometimes when reading these sentences. If you wanted to learn how to build a setting using poetic prose you could do a heck of a lot worse. It almost has a "Fall of the House of Usher" feel to it in how large the house itself looms.
But perhaps that's part of the downfall of the story- the house eclipses the characters themselves. I believe, for example, that one is supposed to like or at least root for Maxim. I hated him. HATED him. I couldn't find one redeeming characteristic the whole damned book. And the narrator herself is so wimpy and wilting that's it's easy to not really care what happens to her- and you can't have genuine fear if you don't care what happens to the characters.
I tried to remind myself that it's a different time period- women didn't have a whole heck of a lot of options back then. But I often found myself thinking that she would have been much better off if she had stuck with Mrs. Van Hopper- who, coincidentally, was way more entertaining than either of the main characters.
It didn't help that once the narrator went to Manderley nothing happened for the first 200 pages that she was there. I get that thrillers are supposed to have a slow build but this is ridiculous. And when things finally do start to happen the reading goes much quicker- but it's not a rewarding end.
At the finish I find myself glad to have read this book for the writing far more than for the story. I've heard that the movie is actually superior simply the genre allows for the slow build without the drag you feel in reading and that the charters are larger due to being well-acted. I haven't seen the movie but I'm planning to, and given everything I've heard about it I wouldn't be surprised if it's one of a very small number of cases where the film outranks the book.