Sunday, August 24, 2014

10 books that stayed with you

Every now and then it comes around again on facebook, the request for a list of ten books that you remember.  This morning there it was again, this time from an author I respect and enjoy, Clint Brill Author of Pure Control

He wrote on facebook
"In your status, list 10 books that stayed with you in some way. Don't think too hard. They don't have to be the "right" books or great books of literature, just ones that affected you in some way. Tag 10 friends, including me, so I can see your list.
Here's my list:
1. Bio of a Space Tyrant: Mercenary by Piers Anthony
2. For Love of Evil by Piers Anthony
3. The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton
4. Storming Heaven by Kyle Mills
5. Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks
6. Icebound by Dean Koontz
7. Swan Song by Robert R. McCammon
8. Mine by Robert R. McCammon
9. Bronze Star by Donald E. Zlotnik
10.Lord of the Flies by William Golding"

So I am including my list on facebook but decided that it was a good subject for an update here as well

Ten books that remain with me
1.  Ingathering: The complete People Stories by Zenna Henderson
2. Harry Potter (well of Course) and since they basically go without saying I'll do a 2 series for one and throw in the Narnia books as well
3. Ghost Boy by Iain Lawrence
4.  Mere Mortals by Neil Ravin
5. Christy by Catherine Marshall
6. Somebody Else's kids (or any other book about her teaching Sp. Ed) by Torey Hayden
7.  The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
8.  Trixie Belden (all  my Jr. high days one of this series was with me)
9. Look out for Pirates by Iris Vinton
for teaching me to love adventures and to solve problems with brainpower  
and last but most important to little ole me
10. All the books I write which would never have come into being without all the books I read or had read to me.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

It's all in what you look for

So many things in life are really all about perspective - 
I live in a drafty, termite eaten old barn of a place - 
I have a wonderful, home filled with color and love

Both true statements

Bad House
 One of the saddest realities is that we never know when our lives are at their peak. Only after it is over and we have some kind of perspective do we realize how good we had it a day, a month, five years ago. Jonathan Carroll

I like to think that I have changed that, that I have been aware of the beauty and love and wonder around me, in the moments that I had it. and honestly that started for me, when my brother was born with Down's syndrome when I was 12 years old. I kept hearing proclamations of doom, 
"He'll never sit up" 
"Your family will be better off if they don't get attached to him." 
Even my optimistic Grandmother looked at him with tears and said "He'll have a tough row to hoe."

But I sat on the couch and rested his feet against my belly and his head by my knees and marveled at the way he laughed and met my eyes when I made silly faces, and I thought, even if his life is hard, and my life is miserable, it was worth being born just for this one happy, peaceful moment.

And both of us have had good, often wonderful lives.

Good House
 I love the best features of my house, and this could fool you into thinking it was all wonderful, but if you like the sunny side only, don't look at the pictures in the first collage

Great Yard
I couldn't show the Good and the Bad of our house and not show why we moved here in the first place, because of the 2 acres it sits on.

three good things
1. campfires with friends
2. Apples, plums, pears and blackberries for us and the deer and bear
3. sunflowers and dandelions and birds

When you wake up every day, you have two choices. You can either be positive or negative; an optimist or a pessimist. I choose to be an optimist. It's all a matter of perspective.
Harvey Mackay

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Celebrating July 4th in Crescent City, CA

 It isn't only that I am one of the lucky ones with a July Birthday that makes me love this month more than any other.  I am a bit of an introvert at most times, a watcher rather than a participant. I record life in my photographs and writings, but I love to be surrounded by LIFE in its beauty, glory and noise.  Come to think of it, that is why I married my active, beautiful, noisy musicman.
 So I go to parades and am delighted to see many of my former students and to grey co-workers and friends ad socialize without having to clean my house first. Well, I am better about that since Flylady convinced me to do all that work in baby steps and avoid crisis cleaning

 And I love vivid, bright colors and art, so the pastels in the park are eye candy to me.

 But most of all, I love the friendship and earth and energy at Beachfront park by the Battery Point Lighthouse when the fireworks get going. I know there are a ton of illegal fireworks blasting off from every direction and a lot of rowdy people around bonfires and a lot of noise.  There is so much laugher and joy and somehow I feel my Dad's spirit with me, handing me the lit punk and guiding my hand as I lit my first ever firecrackers and roman candles and teaching me that celebrations matter.

 My own children are grown and amaze me and are worth celebrating. I so wish my Dad could have watched them grow, because there is so much there he would be proud of.

 Then of course July means the Smith River and Camping and Family and friends and in Crescent City it also means fog and Drive-in movies and doing free things a lot because there is no paycheck for this teacher's family from June to September.  There is odd jobs and writing and beauty though, and I get to grow another year better.

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Laughing Song of Greyback

Rereading Duffy Barkley is Not a Dog to try and keep the book I'm working on consistent 

 With the last day of school on June 12, and a clean-up of the classroom on June 13, I was free to concentrate again on my writing and the other aspect of being Dixie Dawn Miller Goode.  Teacher by day and from September through June and writer whenever and wherever I can fit it in. And before either of those, Wife, Mom, daughter, friend.  I love the complicated life we are blessed with.
 One of the great Joys of summer is time to live outdoors and feel my world expand, one of my favorite places to do that has always been at a primitive car camping site by Oregon Caves, primitive meaning no showers or flush toilets or electricity, hauling water and yet also meaning very few other people and ample choice of beautiful sites even when there on a weekend.

 So when one of our best friends sent a text to my husband asking if we would want to meet them there for a couple days camping, we basically didn't hesitate to scream "YES!"

 Greyback reminds me of William Blake's Songs of Innocence
 In Particular,

 "The Laughing Song"

When the green woods laugh with the voice of joy, 
And the dimpling stream runs laughing by; 
When the air does laugh with our merry wit, 
And the green hill laughs with the noise of it; 

when the meadows laugh with lively green, 
And the grasshopper laughs in the merry scene, 
When Mary and Susan and Emily 
With their sweet round mouths sing "Ha, ha he!" 

When the painted birds laugh in the shade, 
Where our table with cherries and nuts is spread: 
Come live, and be merry, and join with me, 
To sing the sweet chorus of "Ha, ha, he!" 

 another fitting quote

Never make your home in a place.

 Make a home for yourself 

inside your own head.

 You'll find what you need to furnish it

 - memory, friends you can trust,

 love of learning, and other such things.

That way it will go with you wherever you journey.

Tad Williams

I love that this man never says "No" when I ask him to stop whatever he is doing and come to play

Friends who are more family than almost anyone

So the first official day of summer caught me right where I needed to be, and reminded me that we need to say "YES!" to Laughing and Playing and Friends.

I can write anywhere.  Where should I set up my tent next?