This is the End

TBRead

My to-be-read bookcase             (and floor pile)

The end of 2014, that is. And I feel like I should have something deep and powerful to say, but I’m all out of bang. All I’ve got is a whimper. Which is not to say the year was awful or ended badly, although Pneumonia November wasn’t what I had in mind. It’s just been a very family-filled couple of weeks (as it should be) and I haven’t had a lot of time to think about blog posts (or to hear myself think). But as the year wraps up, there is one thing I’d like to celebrate.

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Ch-Ch-Changes – The Difference a Year Can Make

GemmaGravitarWe tend to think of ourselves as a single, continuous existence. But even over the course of a single year, it’s amazing how much can change. It doesn’t even have to be a year of upheaval. A while back, I posted a writing exercise I did for Geraldine Brooks workshop at Iceland Writers Retreat. I actually took two of her workshops. The second writing exercise was to introduce yourself, to basically give your own personal elevator speech. I wrote this in April, and it’s amazing to me how much of it no longer applies to me this December. I can’t wait to see what I will write about myself in 2015.  Continue reading

Heavy Metal Road Trip: Iceland Northern Route

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI’ve already written here and in other places about the close-knit Eistnaflug festival that drew me (and about 200 other foreigners) to a remote fjord in Iceland in July. Iceland really only has one main road outside of Reykjavik – the Ring Road, which, you guessed it, rings the island. The north route along the ring road to the Eistnaflug festival is only slightly longer than the south route; both take a solid day of driving. I would rather see as much of the country as I can.

I caught a ride in a festival-sponsored van driven by the man responsible for Iceland’s Wacken Metal Battle. The organizational skills required to pull off a national battle of the bands was in evidence as we embarked on a customized, two day, heavy metal road trip (south route to Eistnaflug as described here) around Iceland’s ring road. This post is about the northern part of the circuit. Continue reading

Christmas Cheer

RingfrodoA recurring theme in The Lord of the Rings is the quest that one accepts in ignorance – no hobbit could undertake to destroy the Ring if he really knew what was required to succeed. I believe this is the reason that people don’t tell you the truth about parenting. If we really knew what it would take, we could never do it. One of the lesser sacrifices of parenting, but one that still galls me, is the vulnerability to sentiment. Continue reading

Daughter of the Forest

Daughter-of-the-forestI was introduced to Juliete Marillier’s Daughter of the Forest by the fabulous Felicia Day and her Vaginal Fantasy Bookclub. But I don’t know how I missed it on my own, since it’s right up my alley. Set in a mythological Ireland when Druids still held the upper hand against expanding Christendom and Fair Folk still meddled in the lives of mortals, Daughter of the Forest is a retelling of the “Six Swans” fairy tale. Continue reading