Saturday, August 30, 2008

An Easy Riddle

Here's an easy riddle for you. What happens on the one day you drive your car without your proof of insurance card in the vehicle? That's right – you get pulled over! At least that's what happened to me this past week.

At an intersection with several police officers, one motioned for me to pull over. He asked to see my driver's license and proof of insurance. Unfortunately, I had taken my proof of insurance out of the car just the night before. I had given it to my husband who had the day off from work and who had offered to run to Kroger for me to get my car registered. The current registration expires at the end of the month.

I explained all this to the officer, but to no avail. He wrote me a ticket anyway. He proceeded to tell me that I could go to the court location within the next few days with my proof of insurance and it would be dismissed.

Not true! Two days later, the court advised that for all insurance citations, an appearance on the court date noted on the ticket was required. So, guess I'll be going to court after all.

How maddening! 364 days a year with the insurance card in my car, and 1 day without. Sometimes life feels unfair.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Book Review – A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

One of the reasons I think I liked A Thousand Splendid Suns so much is because one of his characters, Mariam, was born around the same timeframe that I was. Her life is a stark contrast to my life, and while I know this book is fiction, I have to believe that the lives and lifestyles depicted in this tale are realistic.

This is a story of two women – their hardships, their hope, and their strength. It is a story that brings to light the injustice inflicted upon Afghanistan women, and the heartache and sacrifices that many must endure.

Khaled Hosseini is a tremendously talented writer. Not only are the worlds of Afghanistan and the United States completely different, but the worries and concerns, and our lifestyles, are poles apart. Yet, through his gifted storytelling and his unique characters, Khaled makes apparent how we are also very alike.

This book is 5 stars - a great read!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Time to get working on this year's birthday party

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Book Review – Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

In Nineteen Minutes, Jodi Picoult tackles another difficult subject, this one revolves around a high school shooting. She examines the forces contributing to the event, and she puts the reader in the head of those involved, offering many different points of view throughout the book. The characters feel real, and the societal questions raised by the story are confounding, they really make you think. While reading Nineteen Minutes, I had imagined a completely different end to the story, and I was impressed with the author's ability to add surprise to a story I felt had only one clear and logical ending - although I think the ending was slightly unrealistic. Overall, a very good read!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Writer’s Block

According to, writer's block is "a usually temporary condition in which a writer finds it impossible to proceed with the writing of a novel, play, or other work."

Phew! That's good news to me. I was so worried I had writer's block that I even made mention on both MySpace and Facebook. But writer's block isn't my problem at all if the definition above is correct, and I can confidently say that because of just one word in that definition. Proceed.

You see, I am stumped with a particular writing task, but it isn't a problem of "proceeding" with the writing. No, my problem is with "starting." Let me explain, and perhaps some of you can offer suggestions that will help me through this thing.

Several months ago, the Humble Fiction Cafe writers group embarked on a writing assignment whereby those participating made up and wrote letters. It could be any kind of letter; a love letter, business letter, Dear John letter, etc, with props and fancy stationary or envelopes allowed. We collected the letters, and making sure no one retrieved their own contribution, we randomly selected the letters as a basis for a story. The premise was that the letter would serve as inspiration, get our muse in gear, and maybe even force some of us to write in a genre we hadn't yet experimented with.

I very reluctantly pulled a letter after being assured we had no deadlines for this project, and that I could take all the time I wanted.

It was going to be a challenge for me to write a story based on the letter I received. After reading the letter several times and racking my brain for storyline ideas, I set it aside while I finished writing my short story, Reservations for Two. I'm the type writer that seems to work better on one project at a time.

Now it's time for me to start my "letter writing" story, but I'm stuck. My letter has not prompted the swell of ideas I had hoped for. In fact, I haven't come up with a single idea that doesn't stink!

By now I think everyone in the group has completed their assignment, so I'm sure the author of my letter must know I have it and be wondering why I haven't come forth with a story. Rest assured, I'm struggling with it working on it.

Let's hope that my muse will kick in and I'll have a flood of ideas soon. In the meantime, please feel free to offer your thoughts for getting out of this slump. It is surely appreciated.