Birth Year Reading Of 2020

I love planning my reading around Jane’s themes, especially “Reading Naturally“;  which I will miss this year.  I am here despite unreliable access to WordPress.  There are a number of books I hesitate to read, my spouse’s and my abundant home stock, lovingly and excitedly collected since my childhood and his.  The incentive of Jane’s generous, fun rewards, succeeds at getting me to dive into them.

Most important and difficult of all things:  my precious Mom died.  I feel fortunate that she saw this new year and welcomed it with me, with her very sacred Mother’s hugs and kisses one more time.  She knows I love reading, having been given the gift of this love from her, however unique our own preference in styles.  It will be a balm to the hardest absence in a Daughter’s life.

Our prayer for our son-cat, Conan, to be returned to us safely, is on-going.  My Mom is watching over him and guiding him home to us, as she promised she would.  Our open spiritual conversations always and in her last days, are powerful and meaningful to me and are the reason we will be all right!

I honoured good old 1972 many times, the year my dear Mom brought me to join her in our world.  I read four books for 1973, the year I saw fully, after I was born.  Please allow me bookmark my inclusion in this year’s fun with this post.  I will choose a year and a quantity for which to aim, after I have time to have a good browse of our well-stocked shelves.

Posted in Book / Novel / Literature | 4 Comments

Dread & Read Selections Of 2020

I love planning my reading around Jane’s themes, especially “Reading Naturally“;  which I will miss this year.  I am here despite unreliable access to WordPress.

Most important and difficult of all things:  my precious Mom died.  I feel fortunate that she saw this new year and welcomed it with me, with her very sacred Mother’s hugs and kisses one more time.  She knows I love reading, having been given the gift of this love from her, however unique our own preference in styles.   It will be a balm to the hardest absence in a Daughter’s life.

 

 

There are a number of books I hesitate to read, my spouse’s and my abundant home stock, lovingly and excitedly collected since my childhood and his.  The incentive of Jane’s generous, fun rewards, succeeds at getting me to dive into a few of them.

Neither my Mom nor I are keen on general fiction.  She prefers non-fiction.  I love fiction but need cats, the spiritual, paranormal, or mystery as the chief genre to supplement it.  I am wary of historical fiction and classics.  I have proven to love Canadian classics.  Could I relate to these stories or societies, especially way off in England?

Another dread are authors I tried and disliked.  I am a believer in skill and style that improve and series that grow more interesting.  Approaching modernity helps, as well as falling in love with characters and feeling at home with settings.  Disliking one novel does not deter me and owning many series in entirety are encouragements.

Here is my hit list.  Finishing three 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 them and I endeavour to stretch the momentum.  Thank you for your idea and wonderful gifts, Jane.

 

~ EXPLANATIONS  ~

Monk’s HoodEllis 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 BagAlan 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 FlowersKate 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 MuseumKate 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 SolitudeGabriel 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”  Emily 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 tell me when you obtain wish list items, so I know my own search is successful, with my sincere thanks and earnest pleasure.  :)  I will name them, after some time for thought.

Please include a date or year whenever you write cards.  Within a year, record-keepers and gift-savers like my Mom & I, know very well the importance of identifiable provenance.

Posted in Book / Novel / Literature | 4 Comments

Christmas Clues!

Merry Christmas, my dear blog subscribers, group members, visitors, and friends!

Because I love mysteries and run four reading group themes, I looked for games or riddles to play.  In the internet age, I am excited to have found one that does not reduce the resourcefulness of effort and brainteasing fun, to an instantaneous internet search.

Last year, at Ron’s work Christmas party, I was pleasantly surprised to find a stack of written and pictoral games at our table.  Even though our late arrival resulted in occupying a table to ourselves and thus not having team input;  I was excited to see that I have a good mind for clue-solving in real life!  It was a mystery lover’s delight, for this girl!  We came in third place, without the advantage of working through the large stack as early as others, nor of having teammates.  I love using my brain and not looking anything up on the internet.  I was stumped by a few that evening but worked them all out in the next day or two.

I knew right away that I wanted to share this game with family, friends, and peers alike and took a copy home!  My parents, who know Christmas songs as well as I do, did very well at this clue-solving.  It is nice to know that keen minds run in the family, as well as in the nature of mystery buffs.  Now, the season is here for me to share one with you, dear readers!

This is open to all!  You need not be in any of my reading groups and I am always inclusive internationally.  What’s a little postage between friends?

I offer:  a list of second-hand books and a list of other treats, should the books not be to your taste.  I mainly have mysteries, go figure but other types as well.  The alternatives are cute and useful things like:  greeting cards, Canadian postcards, plant seeds, photo prints, or perhaps a second-hand CD or DVD.

If this sounds like fun and if you know Christmas carols well:
I hereby present 12 fun visual Christmas clues!
Identify these Christmas song titles and e-mail them to me.

 

E-mail (RIEDELFascination(at)Gmail(dot)com) as many as you solve by December 27.  We live out-of-town and will mail the prize by December 30, ahead of Canada Post’s increase.

Don’t be shy to try!  If entries are gratifyingly high:  I will draw among those who solve them all.  If entrants were few, I would draw from among everyone who ventured to try, or whomever solved the most.  A for effort.  :)  Sincerely, Carolyn.

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Participants Reveal, 2019

Dear Participants:  I am your hostess, Carolyn, from Manitoba!

Thank you for joining my four themes!  I work hard to make them clear, a pleasure, and pretty.  An unresolved problem prevented me from posting updates and activities regularly.  I watched for comments every time I could load my blog, looked at reviews in the linky buttons, and commented;  if you use WordPress or Goodreads.  I am always available to you by e-mail (RIEDELFascination(at)Gmail(dot)com).

My largest concern was my Mom’s health issues.  Praise God that we have honed in on the right problem:  mini-strokes, from one small blood vessel blockage, thankfully.  Instead of going back & forth from independence, to loss of mobility;  a great hospital staff is treating the right thing.  Our Mom is on her way to mending.  :)

There were no comments and some of you missed the review pages.  However, it is up to me to generate interest.  It is not too late.  I am showing the answer to our “My Kind Of Mystery” logo in this post!  I guess I did not parcel out enough clues to solve it.  However, two participants sent a “like button” on this bookcover at Goodreads, when I read this mystery last month.  Perhaps they forgot to e-mail me the title, author, and year.

No one e-mailed by December 1 that they wanted to be in our year-end prize draw.  I will offer another chance in this post.

Next year, I will ask for e-mail addresses, to alert participants of posts.  There are hosts that do it on a monthly basis and I like it.  Games and information need to be seen, to be of use.  It is too much work to search for places to leave messages at Goodreads and I cannot get comments through Blogspot blogs, if you use a captcha.  Please leave a comment to let me know you have read this end-of-year summary.  I love hearing from you anyway!

****  How Is Your Reading?  ****

I am thrilled by the larger number of return guests and new folks who found me this year:  thank you!  Here are my four progress lists.  My “Gentle Spectrums” categories are filled with at least 4 books, most of them double or treble that sum.  I aim to finish with 18 “Celtic Coasts” books.  There are 48 “Ethereal” and 73 “My Kind Of Mystery” books.

https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/01/23/carolyns-celtic-coasts/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/01/21/carolyns-ethereal-2019/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/01/27/carolyn-gentlespectrums-2019/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/01/24/carolyn-mykindmystery/

Most of us follow the January to December calendar but our groups run February 1 to January 31.  We are freer in January, aren’t we?  If you want to add reviews to our databases, visit other reviews, and add wrap-up links from your blog or Goodreads shelves;  I leave them open well past January.  Toggle the challenge menus at the top of this blog.  For your convenience, here they are.

CELTIC COASTS review and wrap-up links
GENTLE SPECTRUMS review and wrap-up links
ETHEREAL reviews review and wrap-up links
MY KIND OF MYSTERY review and wrap-up links

 

****  The “My Kind Of Mystery” 2019 logo reveal!  ****

Are you ready for the 2019 logo answer?  You had a good chance of seeing me read it at Goodreads and it is also in my A to L review menu, at the top of this blog.  Here is the clue I provided, upon which I intended to build.

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 three.  Last year’s was published in my birth year and this one was published the year after.

Here are the book’s name, cover, and authoress:  which was published in 1973!

 

****  Year-End Prize Draw  ****

In the sign-up posts, I said I would draw a prize, among everyone who e-mailed by December 1 to confirm interest.  No one did.  I believe this was an oversight and most of you would enjoy choosing a second-hand book or other treat, from a list of goodies I will send to the winner.

I will give interested parties a second chance to win a prize!  However I want to avoid next year’s postage increase, so this turnaround is short.  PLEASE E-MAIL BY CHRISTMAS EVE.  This will work fine if you choose and reply quickly.  I live out-of-town and will send the winner her mail by December 28.

 

****  May We All Have A Blessed, Happy New Year!  ****

I will renew my group themes next year.  I’ll be darned if technical issues stop something we enjoy.  I constantly read mysteries, a colourful spectrum of subjects, and things that are ethereal and Celtic.  I love furnishing a place to share them.  Please look for new posts in January, after most hosts roll groups out.  I do not have time before then but am not to be missed.  I think e-mails are the key to keeping each other informed and motivated.

Merry Christmas, happy new year, and God bless you!
Please stay tuned for a Christmas riddle that is a lot of fun, in my next post!
Yours truly:  Carolyn and my family, including our Kitties.

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

Connect Five – List J

Kathryn offers a generous bimonthly draw and the chance to win a book is motivating.  I love thinking-up themes.  I have succeeded at finishing eleven connections!  I have been reading up a storm!  :)

Here is “List J”.  Accessing WordPress has had a technical difficulty.  I live for comments but 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.  Wonderfully, next time, I can restart those I have finished!

 

Introduction To Authors.

City Of The Dead”  Toby Abbott  2009
The Turn Of The Screw”  Henry James  1898
Hallowe’en Trivia”  Tonya Lambert  2010
The Secret Of Devil’s Cave”  Jennifer Hale (Frank E. Smith)  1973
A Child’s Garden Of Verses”  Robert Louis Stevenson & Erik Blegvad  1885

“Caramba” Marie-Louise Gay 2005
“The Tree That Grew To The Moon” Eugenie Fernandes 1994

~

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/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/09/05/connect-five-list-e/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/11/19/connect-five-list-f/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/12/01/connect-five-list-g/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/12/20/connect-five-list-h/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/12/20/connect-five-list-i/

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Connect Five – List I

Kathryn offers a generous bimonthly draw and the chance to win a book is motivating.  I love thinking-up themes.  I have succeeded at finishing eleven connections!  I have been reading up a storm!  :)

Here is “List I”.  Accessing WordPress has had a technical difficulty.  I live for comments but 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.  Wonderfully, next time, I can restart those I have finished!

 

Art!

“Darling, Pass The Darjeeling”  Pauline Lawson  2004
“The Kiss:  Lovers’ Quotations And Romantic Paintings”  Helen Exley (editor)  1995
“Norman Rockwell, A Sixty Year Retrospective”  Thomas S. Buechner  1972
“The Art Of The Muppets”  Henson Associates  1980
“Flowers:  A Celebration In Words And Paintings”  Helen Exley (editor)  1992

~

My creative entries continue here!  My alphabetized blog menus, separated into Canadian authors and overall reading, are great resources for my reviews, 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/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/09/05/connect-five-list-e/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/11/19/connect-five-list-f/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/12/01/connect-five-list-g/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/12/20/connect-five-list-h/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/12/20/connect-five-list-j/

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Connect Five – List H

Kathryn offers a generous bimonthly draw and the chance to win a book is motivating.  I love thinking-up themes.  I have succeeded at finishing eleven connections!  I have been reading up a storm!

Here is “List H”.  Accessing WordPress has had a technical difficulty.  I live for comments but 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.  Wonderfully, next time, I can restart those I have finished!

~

Witches.

Enchanted:  The Wedding Story”  Barbara Bretton  2018
Cloaked In Malice”  Annette Blair  2012
Shattered Silk”  Juliet Blackwell  2016
The Witch’s House”  Charlotte Armstrong  1963
“The Letter, The Witch, And The Ring”  John Bellairs  1976

~

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/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/09/05/connect-five-list-e/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/11/19/connect-five-list-f/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/12/01/connect-five-list-g/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/12/20/connect-five-list-h/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/12/20/connect-five-list-i/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/12/20/connect-five-list-j/

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Connect Five – List G!

I love thinking-up themes and will succeed at finishing eleven connections!  I have been reading up a storm in November:  my birthday month!  :)

Accessing WordPress has hit a technical difficulty.  I live for comments but 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.  Wonderfully, next time, I can restart those I have already finshed!

 

 

 

About Books.

The Bookshop Of Yesterdays”  Amy Meyerson  2018
The Shadow Of The Wind” (La Sombra Del Viento”)  Carlos Luiz Zafón  2001
The Library Of Lost And Found”  Phaedra Patrick  2019
Peril In Paperback”  Kate Carlisle  2012
“Ajax Penumbra 1969”  Robin Sloan  2013

~

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/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/09/05/connect-five-list-e/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/11/19/connect-five-list-f/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/12/20/connect-five-list-h/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/12/20/connect-five-list-i/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/12/20/connect-five-list-j/

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Connect Five – List F!

I love thinking-up themes and will succeed at finishing eleven connections!  I have been reading up a storm in November:  my birthday month!  :)

Accessing WordPress has hit a technical difficulty.  I live for comments but 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!  Wonderfully, next time, I can restart those I have already finshed!

 

Carolyn’s October, November, December Connections!

( 7 )  The South – USA

City Of The Dead”  Toby Abbott  2009
The Whispering Room”  Amanda Stevens  2009
Return To Tradd Street”  Karen White  2014
Southern Discomfort”  Margaret Maron  1993
Unnatural Exposure”  Patricia Cornwell  1997

~

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/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/09/05/connect-five-list-e/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/12/01/connect-five-list-g/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/12/20/connect-five-list-h/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/12/20/connect-five-list-i/
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2019/12/20/connect-five-list-j/

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Funny Cornwall Arrival!

We all enjoy humour and it is the note striven for in television interviews.  Have you ever imagined which funny anecdote you would tell?  For my birthday today:  I am going to tell a light-hearted instance of ridiculous timing, that makes me grin at the memory!

I have been blessed by worldwide friends via social networks of the 1990s and mail penpals before that.  I travel rarely, so meeting such friends are lifetime thrills as much as the trips.  Coming from Manitoba, you are prepared for all weather but I travel light, because one’s suitcase is carried to each place we go.  Rotate a few shirts with a shorts, jeans, a skirt, and a dress.  I wanted nightwear and a robe as well.

I usually shower and dress before greeting anyone but I can’t bear to dress without bathing first.  I feel sickly uncomfortable and get chilled, therefore my robes are staples.  If I don’t want to wait to attend to a birdfeeder or anything else in the morning, sturdy housecoats take me all around my property, in any season.  However, my usual ones wouldn’t do in a suitcase, so I brought the nightwear that matched my lightweight housecoat.

When we were invited to a friend’s wedding in Essex, it was a must to meet an animal rights friend of mine in Cornwall as well and very welcoming, she and her husband were.  Cornwall is west of the country and Essex is east but there was a clear road there, at a reasonably short distance for a Canadian.  The problem is learning to use roundabouts at the same time as a right-side steering wheel, in countryside not abounding in signage.  We had three essential stops on the way:  the Chiltern Hills, Bath, and Stonehenge.  I wish I could tell you we saw a lot in a day or two.  Alas, it sometimes took miles, before confirming on our wisely brought paper maps, that a roundabout had sent us the wrong way.

More than one motoring delay compounded with the realization that England doesn’t keep Canada’s 9:00 PM retail hours.  We struggled on our way to a desired attraction, enjoyed it and dashed to the next;  to find it closed in bright, 5:00 PM, summertime daylight.  At last in Salisbury, where we would stay overnight to visit Stonehenge;  they made e-mail available to me and I told my friend that tomorrow Ron & I would get there.  I don’t believe we made any more mistakes with roundabouts and we made two memorable, brief stops.  But it took longer than we guessed, to negotiate roads so narrow, that there was only room for one car and through which treetops met at the top!

Naturally, night fell over the unfamiliar distance to go and we were lucky to find someone at that hour.  Fortunately, she could indeed direct us to my friend’s cottage, which we could hardly see.  I regretted knocking at her door at midnight but we couldn’t lose another day and we thought it preferable to keeping her waiting as well. She welcomed us in a sturdy housecoat of her own and told Ron where to park.  We were shown our upstairs room, introduced to her gorgeous black kitty in it, and we would visit in the morning.

I needed the washroom before Ron and the kitty were up.  It was not upstairs;  I traversed the whole beautiful cottage to use it.  First the stairs, then the living room, and after a left turn at the kitchen, I would pop into it.  Not through the living room yet, my friend’s husband comes out, smiling kindly.  There was nothing for it:  I couldn’t nod and promise “be right back”.  This was the first time I was meeting him and naturally, it required all of the warmth and enthusiasm a first impression deserves and a lovely hug.  He is wonderful and Ron & I treasured him as much as his wife.  We also fell in love with all of their kitties, dogs, and a host of dear animals housed nearby.

I am a comfortable housecoat-wearer who strides around my land in it, even in winter.  Nonetheless, you would guess rightly that it was awkward for this, with no one else as focal points, to be the way I met a new male friend.  We got on famously and I am relieved that however I may have looked;  he was warm and gracious.  You see, there was one detail that made me rueful about the timing.  My usual robes were large, so I brought my lightweight one, comprising a set.  The problem was, the housecoat was nothing at all to pack, because it was a slinky little number!  It was so identical to the nightgown of the same material;  that they looked like one garment, rather than the housecoat covering it.

This set, meant for sleeping and packing, was sexier than I would have chosen for greeting a friend’s husband;  on a bright, Cornwall summer morning!

Posted in Manners / Etiquette, Travel / Vacation / Geography | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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:  a happy place that sails my spirit over the moon, arriving when our family was in a state of fear about someone paramount to us.  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:  including by a lady worried about her brother and a warm woman, who hugged away tears at the small round stage.  They said they were sure it would turn out all right with my Mom.  I thank both!  The source of tears cleared out most of my fear, a release rather than anguish.  Corey brought 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.

I was worried but my Mom was alive for me to worry about!  That reality has kept me strong through two years of missing our cherished cat, Conan O’Brien.  That is hard but good news can come of that!  The prayer for Mom was answered and I told her about the concert afterwards.  Mark brought Timmy from the airport at about 1:00 AM, to whom Ron apparently raved about Corey Hart in the lounge.  Timmy awoke Mom up jovially to announce his arrival and we let them visit one-on-one.

When the boys left, I was excited that Mom could speak.  We chatted for hours!  She was in high spirits.  I eventually suggested letting her sleep and knew Ron was snoozing on the lounge’s couch.  She was so keen to keep on chatting, we blew kisses at each other until I reached the lounge.  I loved this moment and remind Mom of it.

Mom’s rehabilitation took 2½ months but she has been home two months!  Dad brought her to celebrate the birthday of Conan’s sisters at our country home last month.  Two weeks afterwards, I was elated to visit Mom with our garden food and flowers, at her apartment.  It was her birthday and we were celebrating our answered prayer!

If I had had the relief of the Mom awakening with her beaming smiles ahead of time, Corey’s concert would have been a celebration.  I would have matched the ecstatic energy with all my heart.  But a performance of my favourite artist was a fortuitious way to spend frightened hours.  Something the human Conan O’Brien said, kicked the right attitude into place.

Everyone remembers the “The Tonight Show” job he lost to Jay Leno in 2009.  Conan showed the classiest side I had ever seen, making funny skits for weeks about having to leave.  On the final show, he spoke seriously about hating cynicism.  Rather be negative about the short duration:  he said most people would feel blessed to have hosted “The Tonight Show” at all.  Corey’s Winnipeg show kept me sane, gave me courage, and lifted my spirits.  If he puts out a video, I will refresh my memory of how spectacularly it rocked.

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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.  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 player from years earlier, to try yours.  I have enjoyed it!  My reviews have been added!  :)  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 , , , , , , , | 10 Comments