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2014 Reading Challenge
This year, I'm again pledging to read at least 52 fiction books, though shooting for 60.
I did exceed my 52 book goal from last year.
My Blog List
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Monday, July 21, 2014
6:16 AM | Posted by Jen FitzGerald | | Edit Post
Last week I watched a five-hour mini-series called Parade's End starring the wonderful, baritone-voiced Benedict Cumberbatch of Star Trek and Sherlock fame. He actually starred in this film prior to becoming the huge celebrity he is now.
The film is based on a tetralogy of books of the same name written by Ford Madox Ford....the basic tale is of a man, Christopher Tietjans, forced to marry a woman he doesn't love as she's carrying a child who may or may not be his as he considers himself one of the last true gentleman. On top of that, he falls for a young suffragette (the books/movie take place just prior to and during the first World War) but despite popular belief, their relationship remains physically and, for the most part, emotionally chaste.
The movie is slow moving and does not really address the Great War except as the backdrop for most of the story. I think you really have to be a fan of Mr. Cumberbatch's or enjoy British character dramas to want to sit through this. I mostly enjoyed it, then proceeded to download the book to see how it compared. As of this post, I'm nowhere near finished, but so far most of the book's events as well as key dialogue made it into the film. The hero is not as sympathetic in the book as he is in the film, although there were parts in the film where he wasn't very sympathetic either.
So has anyone happened to have seen this mini-series? What did you think?
Friday, July 18, 2014
6:44 AM | Posted by Jen FitzGerald | | Edit Post
The annual national conference of my writing group is next week. In case you didn't figure it out, it's in San Antonio.
As I mentioned in my post a week or so ago I've only been there once before, but it was a quick trip and DH and I didn't do anything but attend a Brooks & Dunn concert at the county fair. I didn't see anything else but the hotel and the interstate.
Despite it being a conference full of workshops and networking opportunities, I'm going to get from the trip what I want out of it. That being said, there are only two workshops I found of interest for Thursday, so I'm going to at least explore the Riverwalk, on one side of which my hotel sits. Can't not go, right? I'm right there. I have some time. It's an opportunity.
Friday and Saturday I'll attend workshops and spend time in the lobby and bar meeting people and networking even though it's really not my forte. I need to drum up some proofing business... Hopefully, I'll get to spend some time with Robin Perini, an author I've been doing some work for. I can't wait to see her again.
Since I'm not normally around a lot of people, I'll also probably spend some time alone the hotel room. Too much sensory input otherwise. I know it's only four days, but I've got to go the distance and I hate feeling out of sorts physically or emotionally, so--
And since it's Friday, hope you have a great weekend!
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
5:59 AM | Posted by Jen FitzGerald | | Edit Post
This past Monday, I started working from home! If you've been reading this blog, you'll remember I mentioned my desire to do so and boss man's agreement. Things had to be put in place, like IP phones that work over the Internet, so that I could still answer the phones. That was implemented several months ago and they work quite well. Next was a matter of reaching a certain milestone--summer fireworks season. Well, that's come and gone too. But we hadn't gotten back around to the conversation.
That is, until the AC at the office went out. Unfortunately, we can't afford to repair or replace the unit, so we've had to put some stop-gap measures into place. But due to the way airflow works, the front office was still getting close to ninety degrees every afternoon. It was zapping my energy and rendering me so sleepy it was difficult to work.
Boss man decided to move me home and our other employee into the back area where it stays much much cooler.
It's going to take a bit of adjustment because my files are still there and the post office box is still in the business park. I probably make a few trips a week into the office to check mail and have meetings and file things.
But being at home, I don't have to dress up and I'll reduce gas consumption.
Here's my work space...
Needless to say, I'm very excited about the change of venue and about the fact that finally one of my plans has come to fruition. With Sonshine not heading out to basic training until end of October and DD's plans of moving out in flux, I feel like I'm in that holding pattern again.
And maybe I just need not worry about them and do what I need to do. Must ponder...
Have a great Wednesday!
Monday, July 14, 2014
6:12 AM | Posted by Jen FitzGerald | | Edit Post
This past Friday, my kids and I watched The Monuments Men--
The film is loosely based on the book The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert M. Edsel. It's the story about how a group of seven men, most past their fighting prime, stepped into World War II in order to find, save, and preserve the art, both famous and personal, from Hitler and/or destruction. Pieces such as the Madonna and Child by Michelangelo and the Van Eyck altarpiece were but two of the most famous pieces looted by the Germans.
On the whole I found the move touching and the story itself amazing.
I thought the ending lacked enough edge-of-your-seat buildup even though I knew how it was going to end. I wish they'd have upped the tension factor just a bit. But the movie is well worth the time as is the story-- a great reminder of such a terrible black mark in our world history.
One of the characters said, "You can wipe out a generation of people. You can burn their homes to the ground, and somehow they'll still come back. But if you destroy their achievements, and their history, then it's like they never existed."
I completely agree.
Have you seen this movie? What did you think?
Friday, July 11, 2014
6:46 AM | Posted by Jen FitzGerald | | Edit Post
With the regular AC unit at the office out of order and portables/fans in its place, the summer is hitting me a bit harder than expected.
Of course, Mother Nature decided to go all out and hit us with some high temperatures....
But it's almost the weekend, so I can stay cooped up in the house where the AC works just fine.
Have a great weekend and stay cool wherever you are!
- Jen FitzGerald
- Thanks for stopping by one of my little corners of the world wide web. So, a little about me...My husband and I have been married for twenty years and we have three adult children although our youngest is still in high school. We've lived in Texas for fifteen years and for the rest of the story, click here.
Jen's Glossary of Terms
- lose weight--get down to 120ish pounds (that's 16 lbs.)
- pay off the credit card with proofing money
- create bulb bed/plant bulbs on the side of the house
- work on back yard
- bookshelves in living room
- ramp up proofreading
- publish three more Romance Writer's Guides books
- get my son graduated
- read up on how to make the body work like it's supposed to and help my hubby lose weight and get healthy
- read 64 books, including 12 books on plotting
Books Read in 2014
- A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
- Two epic novels worth of Sherlock fan fiction (and counting) by various authors
- Up All Night by Renee Ashley Williams
- Oral Invitation by B.J. Hayes
- Lights Out by Ann Campbell
- Explicitly English by Rachel Leigh
- M-theory: Mycroft, Moriarty, and Magnussen’s shared motifs, James Bond’s “M,” Mary and Janine, and the big gay long game by the loudest subtext in television (that's a screen name, if you hadn't guessed)
- Noble Beginnings by L.T. Ryan
- Christmas Justice by Robin Perini
- Just A Fling by Olivia Noble
- Running by Patrice Fitzgerald
- Buster's Law by Laraine Lebron
- Harry PotterPage to Screen by Bob McCabe
- Professional Plot Outline mini-Course by Holly Lisle
- The Plot Skeleton by Angela Hunt
- Rock Your Plot by Cathy Yardley
- Basher Five Two by Scott O'Grady
- Mai Tai Marriage by Chris Keniston
- Still Delicate by padfoot4ever (Harry Potter fanfiction)
- Deliate by padfoot4ever (Harry Potter fanfiction)
- Montana Sky by Nora Roberts (audio book)
- Mad About Plaid by Kam McKellar
- The Roles We Play by JoAnna Grace
- Drowning by Racel Firacek
- Whip Me Up, Tie Me Down by Lavender Daye
- Game of Fear by Robin Perini
- Lost in Temptation by Lauren Royal
- What Wendy Wants by Nikki Sex
- Improper Proposals by Juliana Ross
- Kira's Keeper by Jan Schliesman
- Improper Arrangements by Juliana Ross
- Improper Relations by Juliana Ross
- How to Kick Your Fat in the Nuts by T.C. Hale
- Stop!!! Manifesting Money by D/C Russ
- A Lady in Defiance by Heather Blanton
- Secret Obsession by Robin Perini
- Rebooting Your Life: A 12-Day Program for Ending Stress, Realizing Your Goals, and Being More Productive by Gibbons
- 30 Daily Weight Loss Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle by Joshua Wylie
- Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer
- Coconut Oil Recipes: Nature's Remedy for Health, Beauty, Weight Loss, Allergies & Detoxing by Scarlett Aphra
Books read in 2013
- Incredibly Delicious Soup Recipes from the Mediterranean by Vasela Tabakova
- Madam President by Jerry Beller (didn't finish)
- Kick Menstrual Cramps in the Nuts by T.C. Hale
- Blurred Lines by Janie Crouch
- Love Me or Leave Me by Kristine Mason
- Wish On a Star by Lauren Holly
- Paradise Valley by Dale Cramer
- Take a Chance, a Private Delights novel by Lavender Daye
- Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally
- Protecting Their Child by Angi Morgan
- Outlaw by Angus Donald (didn't finish)
- The Warrior by Wanda Ann Thomas
- Private Designs by Lavender Daye
- Private Passions by Lavender Daye
- Northern Lights by Nora Roberts
- Pick Me by Kristine Mason
- Kiss Me by Kristine Mason
- Missing by Beverley Bateman
- Bedded By Her Bodyguard by Kristi Avalon
- Playing for Keeps by Jamie Denton
- Dare You To by Katie McGarry
- The Cradle Conspiracy by Robin Perini
- Behind the Lies by Robin Perini
- Ain't Misbehaving by Molly Cannon (audio book)
- Undercover Texas by Robin Perini
- In Her Sights by Robin Perini
- Christmas Conspiracy by Robin Perini
- Hunted by Beverley Bateman
- Private Delights by Lavender Daye
- Desired & Defended by Kristi Avalon
- Cowboy in the Crossfire by Robin Perini
- Finding Her Son by Robin Perini
- Collision Force by C.A. Szarek
- A Texas Baby by Linda Warren
- Highland Moon Sifter by Clover Autrey
- Trusting Her by Starla Kaye
- Nurses in Vietnam: The Forgotten Veterans edited/compiled by Dan Freedman and Jacqueline Rhoads
- Station Hospital Saigon: A Navy Nurse in Vietnam 1963-1964 by LCDR Bobbi Hovis, NC, USN (ret.)
- Joyful Momma's Guide to Shopping & Cooking Frugally by Kimberly Eddy
- Home Before Morning: The Story of an Army Nurse in Vietnam by Lynda Van Devanter
- Whistling in the Dark by Tamara Allen
- If it Ain't Love by Tamara Allen
- The Only Gold by Tamara Allen
- Downtime by Tamara Allen
- Off Her Game by Suzan Butler
- Bet on Love by Barbara Witek
- The Hand of Vengeance by Mike Mendoza
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (audio book version) by J.K. Rowling
- Offside by Juliana Stone
- The Memory of You by Laurie Kellogg
- Plotting: A Novelist's Workout Guide by Aaron Allston
- Relentless by Cindy Stark
- Don't Let Me Go by Catherine Ryan Hyde
- 100 Ways to Save and Grow Your Money, Financial Fitness for Regular People by Peter Sorrells
- Short Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer
- I Want it Now: A Memoir of Life on the Set of Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory by Julie Dawn Cole
- From Dunes to Dior by Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar
- Aggie's Inheritance by Chautona Havig (didn't finish)
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
- The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory