Tag Archives: books

Trying To Get Organized?

by Kimberly A. Cook

At the end of each year my friend Carol and I say, “Next year we’re getting organized.” We’ve been saying that for more than thirty years now. I don’t think it’s taken. Not for lack of trying mind you. It comes down to stuff and paper. No matter how I try, eventually one day I’m overwhelmed. Today could be that day.

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Spec Ops Cat got a new kitty cave bed last weekend. He loves it. Temporarily put it on the chair. Now it’s permanent. I could use a Kim cave myself.

 

It’s a constant battle. Stuff I can rotate and control to some degree; I purge clothes and books on a regular basis. Kitchen items and towels are a little harder. But paper really takes the cake.

One of the hazards of being a writer is clipping newspaper articles, hoarding books, keeping travel handouts and collecting office supplies. When you have a Scrat brain, every handout, business card and coupon can spark an idea.

Going digital hasn’t helped. The number of bookmark folders on my Samsung tablet alone are mind boggling. So I keep trying.

Add to the mix my Mom’s recent move and all kinds of interesting stuff ended up in my house to process. Of course, that has forced me to get rid of the leftover garage sale items to Goodwill so Subie can actually open her doors inside the garage.

Now, truth be told, if I hadn’t dragged home the wooden park bench from my Mom’s backyard that needs refinishing, the garage would have been okay. Kinda. But once I sand it, scrub it and paint it pink, it will make a fabulous addition to the fairy rock garden this summer. My name is Kim and I’m a project-aholic.

But paper. Yuck. Almost finished sorting the receipts for taxes. Now that is a land speed record for me to have that done in January. Go me.

But, it’s raining and dark outside. A new box of jewelry goodies I ordered has been open for two weeks and I haven’t been able to play with it yet. Its siren song is calling me across the office. Then I have a bunch of Hallmark holiday movies still clogging my DVR.

Plus those Christmas cookies never got baked and the ingredients are still waiting on the kitchen counter. Playing with jewelry parts, watching a movie and eating fresh baked cookies. Forget the paperwork for today.

I’m sure I’ll need to follow Spec Ops Cat’s lead and take a nap too.

Tomorrow I’m going to get organized! How about you?

 

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Happy Birthday Jane Austen!

by Kimberly A. Cook                   (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Enough of the weather! Let’s get onto important things, like romance. Today is Jane Austen’s birthday, she was a truly amazing author. While I’d heard about Jane Austen, I never studied her work in school.

Then the 2005 movie of “Pride and Prejudice” came out. I was hooked for life. The words, the actors, the cinematography, the music; breathtaking.

Besides the scene in the rain, this is my second favorite; the happy ever after. When he walks across the pasture with his coat flying behind him and his shirt collar open, big time swooning commences on my part.

We all need more romance. Fire up the tv, grab a bowl of popcorn and watch Jane Austen tonight.

Happy Quirky Friday! Have a great weekend. Who cares about snow and cold weather when we have Jane Austen?

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Real Books Are Still Way Cool

by Kimberly A. Cook                 (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

The planets aligned correctly last Friday and I combined a visit to my hairdresser and the 10th Annual Rose City Book and Paper Fair. Truly miraculous. Before I knew it I had wandered for three hours among the booths snapping up must have books and getting creative ideas and inspirations. These were my peeps!

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Original Dr. Seuss? Can you see the number of zeros behind the $? http://www.burnsiderarebooks.com

While I could not afford the high priced books, I could see them and be impressed. In one booth a guy practically climbed over me to get to a signed framed photo of Muhammad Ali. In another booth I noticed a first edition Ali biography bound in leather and signed by the Champ. When I learned of his passing Friday night, it touched me to have seen things he had signed. The greatest of all time.

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Speaking of greats, how about this display of book authors? http://www.pacificcoastbooks.net

The variety was astounding and I had a blast. The event is put on by the Cascade Booksellers Association and featured 55 booths. Vendors from Oregon, Washington and California displayed their goods. I scampered away with four books; a biography of Hans Christian Andersen from the $3 table, a $5 copy of Hardtack and Coffee, Women Marines; The World War II Era and U.S. Submarine Losses of World War II.

 

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How is this for an amazing display? Makes you want to pick them up doesn’t it? Zephyr Used & Rare Books

 

It does my heart good to see folks preserving and cherishing these books and items produced by other artists and writers. There were even relief maps built for the World War II invasion in the Pacific, including the mapmakers memories. You never know what you might find.

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Building 14 items from World War II. About $3,000.00 for the package of relief maps. http://www.monographbookwerks.com

Elvis was in the building and so were cookbooks and some very cool collectibles.

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Elvis is always in the building as far as I’m concerned.

I need more walls to hang art on and store books. What better past time for an adventure than to hunt for books this summer?

What’s on your book wish list?

 

 

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Las Vegas Education?

by Kimberly A. Cook           (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

Still processing all the things I saw in Las Vegas, but I’ve come up with some lessons learned that might be helpful to others.

Did not see any books in Las Vegas on the Strip. Okay, I saw a couple children’s books at the Siegfried and Roy Dolphin and Tiger Sanctuary, but the only other books I saw were in the Elvis exhibit from what he had on his nightstand. Elvis loved to read. Yes!

White tigers and lions are amazing; tiger cubs even cuter! Tigers are bigger than lions. I had no idea. Cubs make the cutest growly noises when they play.

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McDonald’s has some killer oatmeal and it’s way cheaper than $7.99 for a bowl of room service oatmeal. McDonald’s is also smoke free, which cannot be said about any other place on the Strip practically, except Denny’s.

I gamble very little, bet a buck and cashed out at $1.11. Don’t drink much and didn’t go to a show. I wasn’t there for a convention, bachelor or bachelorette party. So I am not their target demographic. I’m good with that. Las Vegas hosts 22,000 conventions a year. That is NOT a typo.

The street performers are everywhere. Personally ran into KISS, Chewbacca, Mickey and Minnie, Hello Kitty, Catwoman, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, multiple Minions, the snowman from Frozen, show girls, dominatrixes (how do you make that plural?) some guy in cowboy boots, cape and red, white and blue underwear who must have been freezing and Darth Vader. To name a few. All I did was walk outside.

Took in the night lights bus tour of the casinos and when everyone was taking pictures of The Mirage volcano erupting, I was taking pictures of them and the rest of the Strip. Another rule from photojournalism; when everybody is looking in one direction, look the other way!

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Highlights were seeing the dolphins, lions and tigers and learning about the conservation program to save them all. Enjoyed the Elvis exhibit from Graceland very much. Got to see his actual Army uniform too. The end of the exhibit had a 26-minute film of Elvis performing from 1956 to 1973. You can only see it at this exhibit and it is amazing.

One song in particular he sang hit me pretty hard and I wasn’t the only one tearing up. I’ve thought of it many times since returning home.

In these days before Thanksgiving, I am so glad to live in the USA and be grateful for all I have. Because no matter what happens, America was built by dreamers for dreamers. We have to keep dreaming big.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

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Got Vinyl Records In Your Closet?

by Kimberly A. Cook                (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

Spent a busy weekend having Spec Ops Cat’s teeth cleaned, shopping and watching a ton of football. I even managed to get some housework done during the commercial breaks for the NFL playoffs. Those ad breaks are quite long.

See, a vinyl display! In the store!

See, a vinyl display! In the store!

But one of my favorite things was cruising the aisles of Barnes and Noble bookstore on Saturday. Was on a mission to pick up a cookbook my Mom wanted and a book I needed. Plus I found other things too. Always happens. Some things were half price on holiday clearance. Score!

Came around one aisle and ran right into a display of vinyl records. Wait one. Talk about an unexpected meeting. I did a double take and eventually took a picture. No one would believe this. Vinyl is back. I’ve heard whispers of this and read articles, but when there is an actual display in a retail store, time to pay attention.

Now, I confess I still have all my 33 rpm records from the old days. Also have the 45 rpm records and some 78s from my folks. For the digital natives among you, vinyl records are the prequel to the music cd. They are black mostly, vinyl, subject to scratches and bigger than a Frisbee. But they sit inside fantastic album covers.

With the age of steampunk parties, manual typewriters in vogue again and now vinyl, what are the possibilities? Maybe boomers will be cool one day too. Miracles happen!

Got vinyl?

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Writers Must Be Young Reader Book Pushers!

by Kimberly A. Cook                        (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

Read a wonderful article on Friday by Frank Bruni of the “The New York Times” about the importance of literacy in our nation and the disturbing pleasure reading figures for young adults. Seems the current digital natives are veering away from reading to plug-in and zone out even more than we thought.

Original keeper books from my salad days.

Original keeper books from my salad days.

It made me think of my book favorites from grade and middle school. I promptly went to the keeper shelf and gathered a few and took their picture.

Interesting to note what I read in my early years is what still drives me now; romance, mystery, suspense. Seems we might know what writers we are to become by what we read as children.

Kids not reading for pleasure is a huge issue. The article quoted a statistic from the Common Sense Media report that reading for pleasure has declined for ages 13 to 17. It goes on to say “Fewer than 20 percent of 17-year-olds now read for pleasure ‘almost every day.’

Whoa! I know teens are busy, but this is not good for many reasons. The article goes on to talk about the symbiotic link between reading and intelligence. Just like exercise the more you do it the fitter you become, body or brain.

It has never been more important for our youth to read for pleasure. This crusade does not belong to only the Young Adult authors, this is a mercenary business need for all writers. If we don’t make young adult readers, we won’t have adult readers!

It’s time to become a book pusher today!

Link to article: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/13/opinion/bruni-read-kids-read.html?_r=0

 

 

 

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