Heart Stone Feathers

Word Nerd – Feather Finder – Heart Stone Hunter – Synchronicity Searcher Winging It While Lovingly Writing Through Life

Month: January, 2016

Simple Reviews (and an explanation)

A simple review of “When the Emperor was Divine”…definitely a 5+ on a scale of 1-5. From a reader’s viewpoint, this was a great book to learn about the tragic internment of Japanese Americans during World War II (which seems like an important lesson to keep in mind, what with all of the current negative political rhetoric). From a writer’s viewpoint, this book is a perfect example of making every word defend its right to be left on the page after all of the revision work is done. It’s proof that it really is possible to be both succinct and powerful within the covers of a book. The fact that we get to witness the events from each of the main characters’ point of view just adds to the powerful impact of this story. I’ll be referring to this one often.

Otsuka Book

Yesterday I read Rebecca Brown’s collection of short stories entitled “What Keeps Me Here.” It truly was unlike anything I’ve read before. I never would have guessed that the subject of “Bread” could be written about for 25 pages in a manner that would leave the reader spellbound. Amazing…simply amazing. I’m not sure how to describe the stories in general, but I think several prior reviews summarize them well when they use terms like “Gothic lullabies…[where] the prose moves between stark realism and the shimmering surrealism of fairy tales or dreams.”

Brown Book

I started reading Book #3 of 2016 this morning…Joan Didion’s, “The Year of Magical Thinking.” I had no idea what it was about when I picked it up at one of the many book sales I attend every year, but I’m on page 34 and I think it’s a keeper. I’ll let you know when I’m done.

Didion Book

PS – If you’re wondering about the “origins” of my current ramblings, I’m merely trying to keep things simple this year. I’m making no big demands of myself to write life-altering blog posts on a daily basis. I just want to keep showing up and sharing whatever I feel moved to on any given day. Whether it’s book reviews, food reviews, photo insights of my day or some other potentially trivial tidbit, it’s all fair game to appear here. I apologize if it comes across as boring or insignificant. And yes – it might feel like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Goodreads type “stuff,” but this is also the year where I’m trying to minimize my time spent scrolling through social media while trying to maximize my time spent writing – in whatever manner that might occur. Thank you if you decide to stick around, but I also understand if you unsubscribe and focus your attention elsewhere. Life is a rare and precious commodity…enjoy how you spend it (and might I also suggest that you keep it simple?).

Simple Potato Soup – Simply Delicious

I just made this for lunch and it’s hands-down THE BEST soup I’ve ever had (and yes – I’ve made more than a few soup recipes). The fact that it was made with potatoes and onions we grew ourselves just added to its goodness. The only tweaks we made to the recipe were 1) leaving out the bacon but using bacon grease to cook the onions in (we save the grease whenever we cook bacon that we buy from a local pig farmer), 2) using one cup of 2% milk and one cup of half-and-half instead of just two cups of milk, and 3) using the sour cream instead of the Greek yogurt.

It. Was. Amazing. Creamy, tasty, filling, and very easy to make. It was hard to not eat the entire batch in one sitting. On a scale of 1-10, both Tim and I give it a 20+! If you try it, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. In fact, I’d be shocked if you didn’t like it, but then again I’m an Irish girl that’s never met a potato I didn’t love…


Keeping It Simple In 2016

First book from my 2016 reading pile (I literally – yes, literally! – gasped out loud on page 11):img_7762.jpeg

Best writing advice I found today (the article can be found here):img_7759.jpeg

View from my writing desk today (Faith, in her favorite sleeping position):img_7763.jpeg

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