Corey Hart’s Winnipeg concert kept me sane.

We and all other animals are accustomed to a spectrum of emotions ranging widely from elation, to sadness or fear.  Thankfully;  secure, positive emotions rise back into place, or replace uncomfortable ones entirely.  Season-wise, as in this very month, Manitoba weather adapts us to wearing swimsuits one day and covering our plants against frost two days later.  However, it is mercifully rare to be jerked by fear, clashing with elation.

You know the difference between favouring certain artists and being a fan, don’t you?  I, for example, love Conan O’Brien.  Hearing and watching his comedy makes me feel great and I am a fan generally.  When our beautiful orange & white kitten was born, who loves to make us laugh:  we named him after Conan.  This son to us is unfortunately missing and we pray for his return.  This is the dearest connection to the comedian but I don’t know him.  There is fandom and then there are childhood heroes at the top of them all.

Corey Hart is that inspiring, magical person whom I made it a mission in life to meet and did.  He bowed out of the spotlight to raise his family and those who esteem him as highly as I do, continue to cherish his music catalogue and concert memories and hope he would eventually make more.  Corey did stir-up activity in Montréal and Toronto around 2014:  receiving a star on Canada’s Walk Of Fame and putting on a red carpet concert for his family that I could not afford to attend.  I presumed he would include Winnipeg eventually, which he had not done since 1998 and was dismayed to learn this Montréal extravaganza was intended to be a farewell exception.

After lengths of time during which our mentor did not seem popular;  there are always article-writers my age, who divulge that they are lifelong fans when they interview him.  This is the kind of person Corey is, frequently remembering our faces and names.  The triumph of our “Corey meeting stories” describes our level of fandom.  To see Corey perform is to be blown away by his talent, the range of commercially familiar and other life-imprinting songs and it feels like a reunion with a friend.  To hear him speak of his fans every time he is interviewed, it is clear our love is reciprocated by him.

When a friend alerted me that there would be a concert in Winnipeg:  I cheered myself for hoping he would return to our city and make new music!  He suffers from a back injury but his family was impressed by the applause that greeted him in 2014.  A music industry person saw him play a song in a small setting recently and remarked on the star quality that is evident in Corey.  This culminated in convincing him to tour Canada.

What would make his show in Winnipeg even more special is that my spouse of nineteen years, had not seen him.  Good spouses are fans of what we love.   Without having the history I do, it added to our anticipation that Ron was as excited as anyone could be.  We fell in love, attending a ton of concerts and going to dances with friends.  I give musicians my full attention, never getting up for the washroom or drinks and don’t mind where I sit;  depending on the level of my fandom.

Because Corey Hart ranks the highest, my concert priority would be:  seats as close as possible, definitely on the floor.  I approach the stage as soon as it is permitted, or clear of security guards.  I would try to catch Corey’s eye or shake his hand.  I would buy a t-shirt and tour book.  Given the dominance of electronic files nowadays, this was my first opportunity to buy his EP on compact disc.  I was excited to share this with Ron and it was a much-wanted reunion with my childhood hero.  I was solely nervous about the MTS Centre’s preference of smart phone e-tickets, which we do not have.  There is a way to request actual tickets and we were anxious to settle that.

My Mom had been in the hospital for an infection and low energy.  A nurse explained encouragingly that heart surgery a few years ago, merely makes her body work harder on disturbances to her health.  She was home for a month, when her energy plummeted again.  My Mom remarked about having pneumonia and was right.  We visited her every time we were in Winnipeg and before we left town for the show that meant the world to us, we were warned the she was in the ICU.  My youngest brother was coming from Toronto and the boys and our Dad were worried about my Mom.  Ron & I are certain that Mom has much more time ahead of her.  We reminded ourselves that people look terrible while they are unwell and that ICU just means intensive care.

I asked Mom if she thought she would overcome this and her face answered:  yes.  I asked if I should attend the concert and count on her being all right and she answered:  yes.  Our Mom would be okay but it was hard to keep confident, with my local brother not as sure.  She wouldn’t go anywhere with her youngest son on the way at about midnight and his children coming the next week.  I had ample time for the concert and our Mom would be there when I got back.  It was more endurable to pray for my Mom and wait to be assured of her saved health, at the concert of my childhood hero.

Corey’s return to Winnipeg was a rare gift and more than savouring the thrill of it:  I needed it to uplift me.  A girl I met at the concert, who had a brother in a different ICQ, said the same and we hugged each other.  Would you say the concert I had hoped for since 1998 was bad timing, or wouldn’t you say it served an important purpose?

I could scarcely get into it and checked my cell phone before and after every song, to reassure myself that my family had not phoned.  I was aware of every song and loved them.  I could tell that it was an extraordinarily great performance.  Likely more spectacular and powerful than I had seen and heard Corey, since I was a little girl at the old Winnipeg Arena with friends on January 31, 1986.  But I was not in Carolyn concert mode.  I did not approach the stage, 18 rows up.  We stopped for no souvenirs, after noting a big line.  We had not seen a merchandise stand when we arrived.  I would look into obtaining the shirt, tourbook, and EP some other way.

It was that rare crash of feelings:  when a happy place that sails my spirit over the moon, occurred when our family was in a state of fear about someone paramount to our life.  I felt the joy of Corey’s concert from a distance.  Ron loves and cherishes my Mom but was able to enjoy it fully.  I am grateful he is my eyes and ears, to relate how fantastic Corey was.  People who used to scoff at his famous name, are impressed by his endearing spirit and human reach in person.  Everyone could feel love flowing from him, which reached me too.  One magical moment helped, an interlude of several songs and bonding anecdotes so dear to me, that I could focus 100%.

There was a small stage in the floor section, only a few rows behind Ron & I.  You just had to jog a few steps to get to it, if you were ready and quick.  When the ensemble took a break and a video was played, I warned Ron that Corey was heading to the small stage and that we needed to stand there!  He is hesitant about these things but I brooked no hesitation.  I could not waste any energy wishing he was there too.  I needed Ron with me in my element, so we squeezed up to the thin row of people forming there and I got to the front!  It goes without saying that Corey is a real human being and if we spent time together, I would treat him like a friend.  But people and animals sharing energy is healing.  The outpouring of verbal affection and music from this dear, magical person was palpable and personal.  He has graced my life since I was 13 and I respond to him like a plant to sunlight.  This is the treasure of a favourite singer and I need this boost.

It took the whole concert but I was renewed.  It included meeting the lady worried about her brother and a warm woman, who hugged away freefalling tears at the small round stage and was sure it would turn out all right with my Mom.  I would thank both of them if they saw this!  What brought on freefalling tears, cleared out most of my fear and was a release rather than anguish.  Corey invited onstage a Daughter and wife, whose husband was a fan like me.  He had died of cancer and they were attending this long-awaited concert return in his honour.  Corey let them speak and I cried when the girl sang “Never Surrender” with Corey on piano.  The melancholy ballad, the words “you can see light when it is dark”, Corey being steps away, Ron experiencing this moment behind me….  The most poignant help was the plain fact that their time with their loved-one was over.  It dropped out the tears and fear.

You bet that I was worried.  My Mom is alive for me to worry about!  This is the reality that has kept me strong through two years of missing our cherished cat, Conan O’Brien.  Being missing is hard but it is not dead!  Good news can come of that!  The prayer for Mom was answered and I told her about the concert that night.  Mark brought Timmy from the airport at about 1:00 AM, to whom Ron apparently raved about the concert in the front room.  I watched Timmy wake Mom up jovially to announce his arrival and let them talk.

When the boys left, I was excited to see Mom could speak.  We chatted for hours!  She was in high spirits, delighted to talk with me.  I eventually suggested leaving her to sleep and knew that Ron was snoozing on a couch in the front room.  She was so keen to keep on chatting, that even when we embraced and I left;  we blew kisses at each other all the way to the front room.  I loved this moment and remind Mom of it.

Due to a need for physiotherapy;  Mom’s hospital stay, in many units, took 2½ months but she has been home two months now!  Dad brought her to celebrate the birthday of Conan’s sisters at our country home last month, for we do regard them as our children.  And I was elated to visit Mom with our garden food and flowers;  not at the hospital like Ron & I did weekly but with her at her apartment.  It was her birthday and we were celebrating our answered prayer!

One part of my regrets the close timing that made a large life difference;  that we had not seen my Mom overcome pneumonia on our way to the concert.  If I had had the relief of seeing the threat over first, Corey’s concert would have been a celebration in a joyous release and I would have matched the ecstatic energy with all my heart.  But I remind myself that a performance of my favourite music artist was a far better way to spend fearful hours than an ICU.  And something the human Conan O’Brien said kicked the right attitude into place.

Everyone remembers the fiasco whereby he lost his job hosting “The Tonight Show” in 2009.  Jay Leno had retired but when his pilot show was not a success, he was permitted to take back the hosting position.  Conan showed the classiest side I had ever seen, making funny skits for weeks about his crew having to leave.  On the final show, he spoke seriously and about hating cynicism:  a new word to me.  He said that rather be negative about the short duration:  he said most people would feel blessed that they got to host “The Tonight Show” for five months.  Corey’s Winnipeg show kept me sane, give me courage, and lift my spirits.  If he puts out a video, it will be easy to remember how well it rocked, too.

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Carolyn In “FrightFall Read-A-Thon” 2019

 

Happy October!  This is the heart of fall in Manitoba, a bustling time for gardeners and flower-lovers like Ron & I.  Later, it is Thanksgiving and Hallowe’en.  We cherish the wonderful greenery around us.  We keep our plants growing and blooming as long as we can by protecting them with quilts, blankets, and towels on potential frost nights.  When the surrounding land is finished, we stay committed to plants that the quilts, blankets, and towels are covering and bring flowerpots indoors.  Then, our minds can turn to things that are fun about fall.

We feel the mysterious, tingling presence of a season change and a shift in some of our local birds.  All Hallows Eve is placed and named appropriately for reflecting a palpable shift in lighting.  Television shows, films, and books we are in the mood to read reflect these atmospheric themes.  Around 2012, when I really got into WordPress communities, I did a read-a-thon.  For the first time since, because I have a lot of great paranormal literature in mind, my Goodreads friend, Michelle, has convinced me to join “Frightfall Read-A-Thon”!  A chance to win a prize is tantalizing and WordPress is working, for me to write this post!

Michelle:  thank you for inviting me to a fun activity that blends well with all four our my own challenges.  Every title matches one or multiples of:  EtherealMy Kind Of MysteryGentle SpectrumsCeltic Coasts!  As the hostess of Ethereal, which is all about spirits and things that are out of this world;  Michelle’s activity is a great fit for me.

Here are my books.  Apparently reviewing is not required but I write about everything I read.  Please look for review links added to this list.  Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hallowe’en from Carolyn, Ron, Conan, McCartney, Petal, Spirit, Marigold, Angel!

 

(1)  “The Amber Room”  Steve Berry  2003
2)  “The Ghosts Of Popcorn Hill”  Betty Ren Wright  1993
(3)  “Haunted Canada 3:  More True Ghost Stories”  Pat Hancock  2007
(4)  “The Dead Man In Indian Creek”  Mary Downing Hahn  1990
(5)  “Prevailing Spirits:  A Book Of Scottish Ghost Stories”  Giles Gordon (editor)  1976
(6)  “City Of The Dead” Toby Abbott 2009
(7)  “Arrow Book Of Spooky Stories” Edna Mitchell Preston (editor) 1962
(8)  “The Turn Of The Screw”  Henry James  1898
(9)  “The Secret Of Devil’s Cave”  Jennifer Hale  1973
(10)  “Ghost Stories Of Hollywood”  Barbara Smith & Arlana Anderson-Hale  2000
(11)  “Scottish Ghost Stories”  Elliott O’Donnell  1911
(12)  “The Whispering Room”  Amanda Stevens  2009
(13)  “Hallowe’en Trivia”  Tonya Lambert  2010

 

**** November 1, 2019:  Michelle and hostesses ****
I finished thirteen in your wonderful read-a-thon!  It was fun, intriguing enough to convince a one-time player from years earlier, to try yours.  I have enjoyed it!  I had better update this while WordPress is behaving.  Sincerely, Carolyn.

“The rule of FrightFall is read at least one scary book;  which can be a thriller, mystery, gothic mystery, or similar.  Since we are going a month, I hope you will indulge the scary type but that is up to you.  It is about the reading.”

 

Posted in Book / Novel / Literature, Gardening / Plants / Flowers, Spirits / Ghosts / Haunted | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Hello Participants!

In February, the start of our year in my reading group quartet, I was elated that returning participants and new folks joined me!  A couple found this blog independently, a wonderful way to have new additions.  Many friends came from Goodreads.  A great portion of participation is self-serve.  There are review pages for My Kind Of Mystery, Ethereal, Celtic Coasts, and Gentle Spectrums.

If you review, you add your links to the buttons there alphabetically, in the title / author / participant format shown.  If you are unsure where to click:  experiment and see what buttons do.  Ask for clarification if looking around leaves any questions.  Answers make sense about something we have seen and explored.

If you read and review so many books, you don’t feel like adding links:  comment that there are titles to see at your blog post or Goodreads shelf, made for the themes you are in.  If you don’t review, comment once in a while to say you have accumulated several titles, or type that list of titles in the review page comment boxes.  You see the point:  come back to chat or report progress.

Just for joining:  there is a year-end prize draw, which is a second-hand book that you will choose from a list I give the winner.  In the event that the books aren’t of interest, I have a few other goodies to choose from.  The only action needed from you is to e-mail me (RIEDELFascination(at)Gmail(dot)com) to say you are interested in being in the draw.  Please do by December 1, to beat Canada Post’s new year price increase.

A bonus:  every member, even if you did not join “My Kind Of Mystery”, can earn an extra name in the draw if you guess the book title and author of each year’s logo!  As participation grows, I will return to adding a prize for each theme and make-up a clue for each of them.  For now, I make it fair that every participant gets a crack at this.  I start off the year seeing if somebody simply knows it.  All you do is e-mail me and guesses are endless.

After a while or after someone asks, I start giving clues and it is time that I do.  The deadline for solving this book title and author is December 1 as well, naturally.  I can hone in on another clue if you ask for me but I think the following will give the investigative-minded a lot to go on.  :-)  WordPress has made it hard to update my review menus here but you know where to look me up at Goodreads….

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
MYSTERY LOGO 2019 CLUES!

This novel is by an American authoress of gothic mysteries, largely in the 1970s and 1980s.  She died in 1997.
They are set internationally in unique places:  sometimes modernly, sometimes as historic fiction.
I have read two.  Last year’s was published in my birth year and this year’s was published the year after.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Our linky buttons stay open with plenty of time for you to play catch-up and are perpetually available for you to browse.  My contributions to the four themes are here, if you’d like to see them.  :)  How are your reading and book-shopping triumphs going for you?
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/01/27/carolyn-gentlespectrums-2019/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/01/24/carolyn-mykindmystery/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/01/23/carolyns-celtic-coasts/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/01/21/carolyns-ethereal-2019/

I like to write articles of interest, conversations, and activities for my participants and you, who thrill me by being blog subscribers.  I watch for e-mails, comments, and activity to help me gauge interest.  I will post one or two shortly, after this overdue check-in with you.  I can explain the reasons it is has taken so long.

One is bizarre.  After a storm blew out our internet telephone modem in June, I replaced it and WordPress rarely loaded.  It becomes accessible for about 3 days in a week, sometimes only after 2 weeks;  then refuses to load again!  Thus finding me by e-mail is best.  I can still watch you add reviews to the linky buttons because that is not a WordPress website.  It is all of WordPress.com that goes off limits;  not only my blog.  I edit and type to you when I can!

More serious:  my Mom lost energy and required a hospital stay.  She was home for a month and the problem returned.  I think diabetes led to infections and out of kilter symptoms.  The effects on her body turned into pneumonia and one very scary night in June, she needed intensive care.  My brothers worried about losing her.  I was certain Mom was meant to survive and our prayers are answered:  she did!  Recovering all parts of her health was hard work on a heart that had surgery a few years ago.  That hospital stay went two and a half months.  An unrelated issue called Shogrin’s disease, caused the need for phisiotherapy to regain Mom’s muscular stability to walk.  Overcoming all of it, Mom has been home for over a month now.  She looks better and stronger each time I see her.

I reassure my participants who haven’t gotten to know me yet, that I value you.  I wanted to tell you why I haven’t posted much and that I am an engaged and interested hostess.  I am glad I have done that.  Please introduce yourselves!  I’ll see comments whenever this website loads.  Just ensure you e-mail questions anything time-sensitive.  Ideally, I would check in with each group individually but getting in touch with all of my participants and subscribers generally is important.

It was meaningful to us, that my Dad was able to bring my Mom to visit our country home early this month.  My cats are my children and she delights in their birthdays.  It was very triumphant to visit her in the city last week, to pamper Mom’s seventy-fifth birthday!  Things are looking-up, I am happy to tell you.  Yours truly, Carolyn.

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Connect Five – List E!

Kathryn offers a generous bimonthly draw and the chance to win a book is motivating.  I love thinking-up themes.  This time, I believe I will succeed at entering eight connections:  perhaps more!  I am reading up a storm in November, my birthday month!  :)

This post, “List E” and its anticipated successors of one theme each, are drafts in progress.  Given WordPress accessability issues plaguing my slow speed ISP half of this year, I had best publish this one today.  It is best to contact me by e-mail, to ensure I receive delightful, important messages.  :)

I hope you host this wonderful activity next year, Kathryn!  I am dreaming up many more themes than I read in a year.

 

Carolyn’s October, November, December Connections!

( 6 )  Family Sleuths!

One Book In The Grave”  Kate Carlisle  2012
The Mystery In Dracula’s Castle”  Vic Crume  1973
The Figure In The Shadows”  John Bellairs  1975
“Cardington Crescent”  Anne Perry  1987
“The Deeds Of The Disturber”  Elizabeth Peters  1988

~

My creative entries continue here!  Follow my date headings.  My alphabetized blog menus, separated into Canadian authors and overall reading, are great resources, too.

https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/01/28/connect-five-books/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/06/09/connect-five-list-a/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/06/09/connect-five-list-b/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/06/14/connect-five-list-c/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/08/27/connect-five-list-d/

 

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Connect Five – List D!

Kathryn offers a generous bimonthly draw.  The chance to win a book is motivating.  I do not use Kindle and gladly accept every advantage!  I love thinking-up themes and compete with multiple entries!  I will reuse these webpages in succeeding prize draws.

I have had connection trouble with WordPress sites.  E-mail is where I am sure to get a delightful, important message.  :)

 

Carolyn’s August Connections!

(5)  Five Canadian Provinces!

Different Dragons”  Jean Little  1986  (ONTARIO)
Cirak’s Daughter”  Charlotte MacLeod  1982  (NEW BRUNSWICK)
Night Travellers”  Sandra Birdsell  1982  (MANITOBA)
The Hangman”  Louise Penny  2010  (QUÉBEC)
Tunnels Of Time”  Mary Harelkin Bishop  2000  (SASKATCHEWAN)

~

Carolyn’s October, November, December Connections!

Scotland!

So Much Blood”  Simon Brett  1976
The Shadowy Horses”  Susanna Kearsley  1997
“Prevailing Spirits:  A Book Of Scottish Ghost Stories”  Giles Gordon (editor)  1976
“Scottish Ghost Stories”  Elliott O’Donnell  1911
“A Child’s Garden Of Verses”  Robert Louis Stevenson & Erik Blegvad  1885

~

My creative entries continue here!  Follow my date headings.  My alphabetized blog menus, separated into Canadian authors and overall reading, are great resources, too.

https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/01/28/connect-five-books/ https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/06/09/connect-five-list-a/ https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/06/09/connect-five-list-b/ https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/06/14/connect-five-list-c/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/09/05/connect-five-list-e/

Posted in Book / Novel / Literature | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Connect Five – List C!

I put work into what I host and join.  Kathryn offers a generous bimonthly draw.  The chance to win a book is motivating.  I do not use Kindle and gladly accept every advantage!  I excel at thinking-up themes and love competing with multiple entries!

 

I have had connection trouble with WordPress sites.  E-mail is where I am sure to get a delightful, important message.  :)

 

 

Carolyn’s June Connections!

(4)  Five American states.

The Case Of The Killer Divorce”  Barbara Venkataraman  2014  (FLORIDA)
The Scariest Night”  Betty Ren Wright  1991  (WISCONSIN)
Wait Till Helen Comes”  Mary Downing Hahn  1986  (MARYLAND)
Goodnight, My Angel”  Billy Joel & Yvonne Gilbert  2004  (NEW YORK)
Mystery Of The Black Diamonds”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1954  (COLORADO)

~

Carolyn’s August Connections!

(4)  Five Metaphysical Areas!

Life On The Other Side”  Sylvia Browne  1999  (Spirituality)
The Night Gardener”  Jonathan Auxier  2014  (Curses)
The Promise Of The Unicorn”  Vicki Blum  2002  (Fairies)
The Gargoyle”  Andrew Davidson  2008  (Reincarnaion)
Splintered Bones”  Carolyn Haines  2002  (Ghosts)

~

Carolyn’s October, November, December Connections!

Conspiracies.

A Fine Italian Hand”  Eric Wright  1992
There Was An Old Woman”  Howard Engel  1993
The Lady In Blue” (“La Dama Azul”)  Javier Sierra  1998
“The Amber Room”  Steve Berry  2003
“The Secret Of Devil’s Cave”  Jennifer Hale (Frank E. Smith)  1973

 

My multiple, creative entries continue here!  Follow my date headings.  My alphabetized blog menus, separated into Canadian authors and overall reading, are great resources, too.

https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/01/28/connect-five-books/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/06/09/connect-five-list-a/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/06/09/connect-five-list-b/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/08/27/connect-five-list-d/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/09/05/connect-five-list-e/

Posted in Book / Novel / Literature | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Dread & Read Books – 2019

I am a staple at Jane’s three groups and love planning my reading around them!  I had family concerns, am working out an inability to access WordPress for long periods, and even had to rebuy a third modem that was zapped by a storm.  Generally not being one to formulate posts early in the year but despite understandable delays along with that, I am here.  My posts are a final touch because I have been playing along and drafted Jane’s lists, since the beginning of the year.

This theme is helpful to me because there *are* a number of books I hesitate to read, in my collection.  The incentive of Jane’s wonderful rewards that I know well, succeeds at getting me to prioritize a few of them a year.  This group is a must for me from year to year.

 

 

I am reluctant to read general fiction of any kind:  without cats, the spiritual, mystical, or mystery to supplement it.  I am especially wary of historical fiction and classics.  I love atmosphere and nostalgia but need there be horses & buggies?  And although I have proven to love Canadian classics in particular, the school kid in me remembers the word associated with being “boring”.  Could I relate to these stories or societies, especially way off in England?

Another dread are authors I *have* tried and disliked.  But I am a believer in writing skill and style that improves and series that grow more interesting as we go along.  Approaching modernity helps, as well as falling in love with characters, and feeling at home with settings.  Thus disliking one novel does not deter me from the next and owning many series in their entirety are encouragements, to the contrary.

Here is the continuation of my hit list.  Finishing three of these will be a boon:  to our space at home, my education, and satisfaction with the achievement!  It is the most gratifying, to find that I love these books and I will endeavour to stretch the momentum.  Thank you for your idea and your wonderful gifts again, Jane.

 

~ EXPLANATIONS  ~

Monk’s Hood
Ellis Peters  1980

I couldn’t bear the slow writing style of the first novel with superfluous, irritating adjectives and adverbs.  I was glad I read the second novel because it was not only a major improvement.  I was surprised to find it action-packed:  even though, ironically, the first novel was a travelling story and the next, stayed around their monastery.  Let’s see if the sequel removes trepidation about reading the rest of Ellis Peters’s series and Edith Pargeter’s other writing!

The Weed That Strings The Hangman’s Bag
Alan Bradley  2010

To say I loathed the writing style and attitude of the child protagonist in the début novel puts it mildly.  I grit my teeth if I hear “precocious” as a description and found this girl mean and as hated, as other readers.  However, owning the sequel is a large incentive, along with sequels being better in my experience.  I want to like a Canadian author that many of my countrymen and countrywomen favour, so I will give it a fair go.

Slay It With Flowers
Kate Collins  2005

I thought the first volume was poorly-fashioned as a mystery and that it lacked believability.  Here too, I had bought a plethora of softcovers.  However, I glimpsed merit around the end and stopped myself from putting these bright, floral softcovers in a sell pile, until I had read more, at least.  Surely Brooke Shields is not starring as this sleuth in TV films if the writing and plotting of the mysteries had not become fair.

Behind The Scenes At The Museum
Kate Atkinson  1995

I enjoyed her middle novel and received her second-most recent one as a gift and it looks enthralling.  I thought it would be nice to start with her first release, which is well-received and liked.  However, I know Kate’s perspective and style are unusual and these aren’t my usual 300-page novels.  I am game to try her oldie but peeked at the beginning and see that the perspective and premise are bizarre indeed!  However this novel goes, I am certain to enjoy her later work.

One-Hundred Years Of Solitude
Gabriel García Márquez  1967

This famous and classic story represents the purpose of Jane’s challenge, in the true sense of the world and is the juggernaut of this theme, if there ever was one.  My reticence about it is not mild.  I will be relieved to read it and surprised and thrilled, to find I liked it.  I was a Spanish major and saw that a lot of Hispanic novels, short stories, and indeed history were among the most depressing I had ever heard.  Whether or not I can relate to this any better, I am willing to see the admired elements and classic traits of which it is made.

Wuthering Heights”  Charlotte Brontë  1847
Pride And Prejudice”  Jane Austen  1814

These are big name authoresses and classic novels too, daunting in a quadruple whammy.  Classics are not always my milieu, historic fiction, is not always to my taste, general fiction is not always for me, and naturally, I relate less to fiction not in my country.  However, I have always felt I should read them, as a writer.  Charlotte Brontë seems like she wrote gothic atmospheres I would love and I did enjoy Jane Austen’s first novel.  It will be a feather in my cap to read both of this classic novel juggernauts, with higher certainty and expectations of enjoying these.  However, I am open to being suprised and enjoying them all.

 

 

Incentive Sweeteners  ~

Please check before proceeding, that I have not bought items I named at the time of writing this post.  Conversely, please tell me when you obtain something.  Once again, your mail made my week, last week!  I am grateful WordPress has finally let me on to finish the posts for your groups.

Three books that come to mind are:  “Floating Staircase” Ronald Malfi, “Mythos Christos” Edwin Herbert, and “Mystery Of The Stuttering Parrot” Robert Arthur.  Robert’s must be the much-wanted copy with a graveyard on its cover.

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Birth Year Reading – 2019!

Jane is a pleasure as a guest and a hostess!  I have just received her triple gifts for my contributions last year and am pleased.  I urged her to send pieces earlier or separately, so mail is reasonable enough to continue.  It is a wonderful boost of hard-to-find treasures and personlized gifts.  My favourites are her floral cloth coasters.  I hope to collect four to make a set.  I am thrilled my first has grown into a differently-coloured pair!

I am resolving technical difficulties that bar access to WordPress.  I aim to learn if it is related to slow-speed internet (which should slow webapges, not time them out).  I am hastening to make my posts for her three reading themes and my four, on a good day!  Please contact me by e-mail, until I am assured access to WordPress pages is guaranteed.

One problematic thing is captchas;  especially for a WordPress user commenting on the standard Blogspot form.  I might not be able to comment, unless captchas are off, or Jane switches to a different comment box.

 

 

It took me awhile to choose a year.  Competition is high in this theme now.  I have a good handful from 1973I am reflecting my first full year of life!  Three books and reviews are nearly done.  Please revisit to see my next reviews and other books I might find at home.

 

Finished Books

The Mystery In Dracula’s Castle”  Vic Crume  1973
Masquerade In Venice”  Velda Johnston  1973
A Palm For Mrs. Pollifax”  Dorothy Gilman  1973
“The Secret Of Devil’s Cave”  Jennifer Hale  1973

 

Upcoming Books
“The Midnight Dancers”  Anne Maybury  1973

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Reading Naturally – 2019!

This is my favourite of Jane’s three reading group themes.  I won’t go a year without it.  It is both an easy breeze and a motivating incentive.  Jane’s gifts are beautiful;  wonderful and mood-boosting to receive in the mail!  I very naturally read about cats, animals, plants, flowers, gardening, Earth, Manitoba, Canada, miracles, and spirituality.

We have prayed for our precious son cat, Conan, to be home at last this spring!  The time feels right to have him back, safely and reassuringly in our fold!

Meantime, a wide variety of reading subjects opens up and prioritizes more nature books.  I have an abundance of them and gathered a fun, new selection in time for this year.  I like being able to share them with Jane and everyone else whose interest is sparked.  Here are the ideas I have sketched out.  Thank you for offering this wonderful group, Jane.

 

Many of my books seem better suited for a category, like water but attend to headings in which they are needed more.  I will flip a few placements around, when I have read books that match and will augment shorter lists.  There are many more books I will read, that are not among these.  Please check for updates.  I will work on WordPress when the website is loading and left messages with two businesses, to resolve all connectivity issues.

 

(01CLASSIC in science or conversation.

The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be”  Farley Mowat  1957

 

(02OUTDOOR ACTIVITY or gear on a cover.

The Great Airport Mystery”  Leslie McFarlane  1930
The Password To Larkspur Lane”  Walter Karig  1933
Evan Help Us”  Rhys Bowen  1998

 

(03ANIMAL-RELATED.

Baby Brother”  Tanneke Wigersma & Nynke Mare Talsma  2005  (brief, adding for fun)
Wild In The City”  Jan Thornhill  1995  (brief, adding for relevance)
Different Dragons”  Jean Little  1986
The Heart Of A Horse:  Poignant Tales And Humorous Escapades”  Gayle Bunney  2003

 

(04OUTDOORSY HERO / HEROINE.

Wait Till Helen Comes”  Mary Downing Hahn  1986
What Happened At Midnight”  Leslie McFarlane  1931
The Shadowy Horses”  Susanna Kearsley  1997

 

(05WATER-RELATED.

Mystery Mile”  Margery Allingham  1930
The Last Word”  Ellery Adams  2011
Rivers Of London”  Ben Aaronovitch  2011
Masquerade In Venice”  Velda Johnston  1973

 

(06DYSTOPIA-FLAVOURED:  emphasizing consequences.

A Palm For Mrs. Pollifax”  Dorothy Gilman  1973
The Night Gardener”  Jonathan Auxier  2014

 

(07EXTREME ELMENT:  sailing, mountain-climbing.

Robert Service:  A Great Canadian Poet’s Romance With The North
Elle Andra-Warner  2004
Survivors, True Death-Defying Escapes”  Larry Verstraete  2003
Mystery Of The Black Diamonds”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1954

 

(08PLANT-RELATED.

It Happened In Arles”  Mabel Esther Allan  1964
I Wonder Why Trees Have Leaves”  Andrew Charman & Tony Kenyon  1997
Night Travellers”  Sandra Birdsell  1982

 

(09SET IN A WILDERNESS LOCALE.

Payment In Blood”  Elizabeth George  1989
Clouds Of Witness”  Dorothy Sayers  1927
One Book In The Grave”  Kate Carlisle  2012
Bury Your Dead”  Louise Penny  2010
“The Secret Of Devil’s Cave”  Jennifer Hale  1973

 

(10SPIRITUAL, EMPHASIZING CONNECTION.

Life On The Other Side”  Sylvia Browne  2000
Tunnels Of Time”  Mary Harelkin Bishop  2000
The Figure In The Shadows”  John Bellairs  1975

 

(11SKILLS-RELATED.

Cause Of Death”  Patricia Cornwell  1996
The Coroner’s Lunch”  Colin Cotterill  2004
The Lady In Blue” (“La Dama Azul”)  Javier Sierra  1998

 

(12ADVOCACY-RELATED:  SPEAKING UP FOR NATURE / PEOPLE.

Tears Of The Giraffe”  Alexander McCall Smith  2000
The Anodyne Necklace”  Martha Grimes  1983

 

(13BIOGRAPHY / MEMOIR of an environmentalist or conservationist.

“Owls In The Family”  Farley Mowat  1961
“Reflections Of Eden:  My Years With The Orangutans Of Borneo”
Biruté M.F. Galdikas  1995

 

(14ORION BOOK AWARD-WINNER OR FINALIST.

“The Soul Of An Octopus”  Sy Montgomery  2016
“Braiding Sweetgrass”  Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer  2013

 

Books from which to choose.

“The Cow-Tail Switch & Other West African Stories”  Harold Courlander  1947
The Mysterium”  Eric McCormack  1992
“Ladies Of The House”  Sandra Birdsell  1984
“Bone Dance”  Martha Brooks  1997
“Newbrunswick Short Stories”  Dorothy Dearborn  2003
“Beauty Tips From Moose Jaw”  Will Ferguson  2004
“The Dragon & The Dry Goods Princess”  David Arnason  1991

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Connect Five – List B!

I put work into what I host and join.  Nowadays, I only join groups with a prize.  Kathryn offers a generous bimonthly draw.  The chance to win a book is motivating.  I do not use Kindle and gladly accept every advantage!  I love thinking-up themes and compete with multiple entries!

I have had connection trouble with WordPress sites.  E-mail is where I am sure to get a delightful, important message.  :)

 

Carolyn’s June Connections!

(3)  Books from five different European countries!

Aunt Dimity And The Next Of Kin”  Nancy Atherton  2005  (ENGLAND)
Baby Brother”  Tanneke Wigersma & Nynke Mare Talsma  2005  (HOLLAND)
It Happened In Arles”  Mabel Esther Allan  1964  (FRANCE)
Masquerade In Venice”  Velda Johnston  1973  (ITALY)
A Palm For Mrs. Pollifax”  Dorothy Gilman  1973  (SWITZERLAND)

~

Carolyn’s August Connections!

(3)  These are true stories!

Survivors, True Death-Defying Escapes”  Larry Verstraete  2003
Robert Service:  A Great Canadian Poet’s Romance With The North”  Elle Andra-Warner  2004
The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be”  Farley Mowat  1957
The Heart Of A Horse:  Poignant Tales And Humorous Escapades”  Gayle Bunney  2003
Meet My Cats”  Lesley Anne Ivory  1989

~

Carolyn’s October, November, December Connections!

(3)  Ghosts.

“The Ghosts Of Popcorn Hill”  Betty Ren Wright  1993
“Haunted Canada 3:  More True Ghost Stories”  Pat Hancock  2007
“Arrow Book Of Spooky Stories”  Edna Mitchell Preston (editor)  1962
“The Turn Of The Screw”  Henry James  1898
“The Ghost Of Mercy Manor”  Betty Ren Wright  1993

~

 

My creative entries continue here!  Follow my date headings.  My alphabetized blog menus, separated into Canadian authors and overall reading, are great resources.

https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/01/28/connect-five-books/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/06/09/connect-five-list-a/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/06/09/connect-five-list-b/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/06/14/connect-five-list-c/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/08/27/connect-five-list-d/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/09/05/connect-five-list-e/

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Connect Five – List A!

I renewed my four flexible reading groups for 2019 and hope you will join: “Ethereal“, “Celtic Coasts“, “My Kind Of Mystery“, “Gentle Spectrums“!

Hosts were stretching rules across bingo cards, a publication year, or purchase year.  Everything contributed to my groups is in my “past challenge” menus.

I put work into what I host and join.  Kathryn offers a generous bimonthly draw.  The chance to win a book is motivating.  I do not use Kindle and gladly accept every advantage!  I excel at thinking-up themes and compete with multiple entries!

 

I have had connection trouble with WordPress sites.  E-mail is where I am sure to get a delightful, important message.  :)

Carolyn’s June Connections!

(2)  These are books comprising five different countries!

Death In The Devil’s Acre”  Anne Perry  1985  (ENGLAND)
The Coroner’s Lunch”  Colin Cotterill  2004  (LAOS)
Evan Help Us”  Rhys Bowen  1998  (WALES)
One For The Money”  Janet Evanovich  1994  (USA)
Wild In The City”  Jan Thornhill  1995  (CANADA)

~

Carolyn’s August Connections!

(2)  Set In England!

Rivers Of London”  Ben Aaronovitch  2011
Death Of A Perfect Mother”  Robert Barnard  1981
The Anodyne Necklace”  Martha Grimes  1983
I Wonder Why Trees Have Leaves”  Andrew Charman & Tony Kenyon 1997
Service For Two”  Kate Kingsbury  1994

~

Carolyn’s October, November, December Connections!

California.

The Cold Heart Of Capricorn”  Martha C. Lawrence  1997
The Ghost Children”  Eve Bunting  1989
“Ghost Stories Of Hollywood”  Barbara Smith & Arlana Anderson-Hale  2000
“Murder Pans Out”  Emily Toll  2003
“Fog Hides The Fury”  Paula Minton  1967

 

My creative entries continue here!  To avoid excess posts, I reuse these webpages in prize draws.  Follow my date headings.  My alphabetized blog menus, separated into Canadian authors and overall reading, are great resources.

https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/01/28/connect-five-books/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/06/09/connect-five-list-b/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/06/14/connect-five-list-c/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/08/27/connect-five-list-d/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/09/05/connect-five-list-e/

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Welcome To RIEDEL Challenges 2019!

To my subscribers and peers, returning to support my reading groups:  hello and thank you!  I started as a blogger and cherish this place where we write articles about topics that matter, exert our creativity, and play.  The Goodreads community became important to me as well.  We welcome a number of them into the blogging world:  hi guys!!!!

Join by adding yourself the linky buttons of your choice.  Never, have I been asked to explain as often as this month how to use a “linky button”.  But basic questions signify the influx of new people discovering what WordPress offers;  a happy event!  Rather than chase all over WordPress and Goodreads, be sure to return and read my reply where you posted it.  I respond to comments and questions I have seen, within two days.

The key is to re-read instructions.
They are all there, on every question asked.  Click, experiment, task from a clearer perspective.  All that the sign-up buttons request, is a name and a website URL.  If you don’t have a blog for making a post;  create a Goodreads shelf for each group theme you join, as your website URL.

Our headquarters is one of the menus atop this blog:  a handy place for our related pages and activities.  https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/headquarters-2019/

 

 

Veteran challenge participants value this:  we avoid finishing reviews and websites in busy November and December, by running from Feburary 1, 2019 to January 31, 2020!  Your book lists may span the calendar year but I felt long ago, that the best way to accommodate reading right up to New Year’s Eve, is to let us breathe.  Tally things in January, when we have much more time.

I draw our prize in December to avoid Canada Post’s annual rise in postage costs.  The festitivities that come with my four themes have no qualification except membership.  They are for seeing how much you read;  not decreeing how many that should be.  I solely ask that you please comment somewhere or e-mail before December, stating entry into the draw.  Some participation fizzles, others do not want a second-hand book or alternate goodies.  I want to award our annual prize to folks who are keen on it and still playing.

Please sign-up if you intend to play.   When I see that we have ample guests in my four groups, I will deliver on games, trivia, and fun that I have had in mind for years.  I will stick to one prize representing my whole quartet at the end of this year.  When we reach ten people in each, I can return to a draw per group and ask authors for sponsorship of festivities throughout a year.  For now, they are for fun.  Knowing how many guests there are, lets me know that these are worthwhile as well.

 

 

I write a notepad or word document to keep track of each group.  This is an organized place to paste all website links connected with my themes:  the sign-up page with information, the review page with instructions, the URL to our blog post or Goodreads shelf, and our list of books that fit.  See mine under each of our 2019 logos.  Planning how many suitable books I have here at home, starts my fun!

Because we start in February and are following the calendar year, many of us have finished and reviewed several books.  Paste your review links with each title.  It is easy to copy and paste them into buttons.  Notepad and word documents are great for seeing if your book choices match my other themes.  Sign-up for these any time.

A useful chat among comment boxes, is hard to find titles.  Many of us are fond of trading paperbacks we have on-hand, for books we seek!  There are swapping resources for Britain and the USA but we Canadians need people willing to trade with us by mail.  Currency, postage, and prices differ but exchanging books evens out wonderfully.

 

 

The review pages are open!  After joining a group, add reviews answering that theme!  Please read the instructions on each of them.  By written description and by example, I explain the forumula for writing our entries.  One thing longtime guests have not done is chat in the comment boxes.  Say hi and tell us how you are;  personally or in books.

Please subscribe to my blog to guarantee catching information, news, and activities.  Or watch for updates here, which I mirror in my Goodreads group.  I am not repeating those years, when I put a lot of effort into entertainment that people did not see.  It is of course voluntary.  You may spend the year adding reviews but an occasional comment to news and discussions is appreciated.

Stay tuned for an activity I will post shortly.  It will be open to everyone:  my blog-readers, Goodreads friends, and people who see it!  You do not need to be a challenge member, if I don’t specify this.

 

 

One riddle for members of any of my groups is already on, a tradition of ours every year:  the “My Kind Of Mystery” logo!  While I am doing one year-end draw, it makes sense that every member, in the mystery theme or not, may solve this logo.  Being a game-player, here in one of my RIEDEL Fascination themes, is enough.  You win a second entry in the year-end draw.

The first clue is already visible:  do you recognize the book cover out of which I made the 2019 logo?  I will let that sit, lest anyone know it right away.  I will gradually add clues until people solve the title, author, and year.  Guesses are unlimited.  Send them by e-mail (RIEDELFascination(at)Gmail(dot)com) so that answers aren’t given away.

A positive new category in “Gentle Spectrums” is for our dear 8 year-old, Conan.  He has been missing since July 2017:  travelling in response to unusual confinement that week.  There are a lot of places a strong, people and forest smart cat can be, in a year and a half.  Ron & I have a very good feeling that this spring of 2019, we are finally going to get this son of ours home.  Please add your healing, protecting, positive energy to this prayer and to anything your life requires.

Reading is entertaining but also a balm for us.  My answer to what reading themes are and why I love them, is that they make sport of a solitary hobby.  Here is a way that it is communal, self-competitive, and fun.  May 2019 be a wonderful, “Hope And Triumph” for all!  Yours truly, Carolyn and family.

Carolyn, baby Love, baby Conan (top), baby Petal (bottom), baby Angel.

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