Archive for the ‘writing’ Category

Hi everyone! Happy Holidays! Things have been crazy busy here, but we’ve managed to decorate for Christmas. We enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving week with our daughter home from college, and now I’m counting the days until she comes home for Winter Break.

I’ve been pretty scarce on the blog recently, aside from some guest posts and giveaways. There’s been a lot going on in my life, from work to family, and my reading has suffered as a result. I have a ton of reviews to post of books I read over the summer, and I have a bunch of books in the queue to read and review. I plan to catch up on that backlog after the holidays, so I apologize to the authors for the delay.

In the meantime, I’ve started my annual month of Christmas reads, which was just the thing to jump-start my reading again amidst so much stress and chaos. Between lighthearted Christmas books and falling into a Hallmark Christmas movie coma every weekend, I’m starting to feel more like myself again! 😉

I’ve also been spending a lot of time writing my own novel; I have five chapters done so far, and that’s a major accomplishment given my exhaustion level these days!

I just wanted to thank all my readers for taking the time to stop by and read my reviews and author posts. I love sharing books with all of you, even when I’m not as present as I would like to be. I appreciate each and every one of you and hope you all have a wonderful holiday season full of love, family, friends, good books, and good food!

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My Vacation in Pictures

Vacations always go by so fast, and I’m sad that I’ll be going back to work tomorrow.  We had a great time on our annual trip to Keen Lake in Waymart, Pennsylvania, but being in the Poconos for six days meant we weren’t ready for the blast of heat back in the Baltimore area.  It was sunny and 90 degrees every day — perfect camping weather — and it was quite chilly in the tent at night.

We love going to Keen Lake because there are so many things to do, with scheduled activities all day long so kids are never bored.  I read in one of the shaded rocker swings every morning

with a view of the lake

and every evening by the campfire, thanks to my trusty book light.

I don’t usually have time to read on vacation, but Jerry took the girls to the pool every morning, so I quickly made my way through two books:  Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein and Becoming Elizabeth Darcy by Mary Lydon Simonsen.  (Look for the reviews later this week)

We swam in the lake every afternoon, and I had fun watching the girls and Jerry play volleyball, soccer, and kickball.  The girls took part in everything from sack races and egg and water balloon tosses to the nature scavenger hunt, where they placed first and won free ice cream cones.  They also had fun painting ceramics.

It was fun while it lasted, and I’m already looking forward to going back next year!

© 2012 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

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My reading pace was halted over the weekend when the nasty cold working its way through my family finally hit me.  I’m feeling much better now and have hit the books again.  I was glad to see that Kimberly from Reflections of a Book Addict had tagged me as part of a discussion to get to know different bloggers, otherwise all you’d be hearing here today is the sound of crickets.

Here are 11 questions from Kimberley:

1.  As a book blogger you obviously read a lot of books.  What is the one book you recommend to people over and over?

I recommend a lot of books, but if I had to pick one, I’d say Jane Austen’s Persuasion, especially if the person has read and enjoyed Pride and Prejudice.  I loved Persuasion even more!

2. Why did you start blogging?

In 2007, I started reading a lot of knitting blogs, mainly because I was so new to the craft and needed help.  I thought starting a blog would be a good way to keep track of my knitting projects, especially since most of what I knit I give away.  But because I read books much faster than I knit, I figured I could also use my blog as a way to jot down my thoughts about all the books I read.  The first year didn’t go so well, as I hardly blogged at all, but then I discovered book blogs and found out how much fun it is to talk about books with people who love to read as much as I do!

3. If you had all the money in the world and could travel to ONE place, where would it be and why?

Probably the Black Forest region of Germany.  My mother was born there, and she hasn’t been back since she came to the States when she was 3.  I’d love for us to see it together.

4. Who is your favorite author?

Jane Austen, of course!  But if I had to choose a contemporary author, it would probably be Amy Tan or Tim O’Brien.

5. If you had to give your blog a color to describe it, what color would you give it?

It’s a light shade of purple, but if we’re not talking actual colors on the blog, I’d like to think of it as a sunny yellow, warm and inviting.

6. What book started your love of reading?

Gosh, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t reading, so I don’t remember what book sparked my love for it as a child.  I do remember that Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself by Judy Blume, which was my favorite book as a middle-schooler, sparked my interest in World War II fiction, which was rekindled several years ago when I read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

7. What is your favorite genre to read?

Historical fiction, especially war-related novels and specifically those about World War II and the Holocaust.  There’s just something about that era (along with my family history) that both horrifies and fascinates me.

8. Is there a film adaptation that you think was better than the book? What film?

I liked the movie version of Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook better than the book.

9. Where is your favorite place to read?

I love to read in bed because it makes me feel all cozy and ready for sleep.  But I don’t get any reading done when I’m sleeping, so I should probably say the train (and the subway…and the bus).  It helps block out the noise and makes the time pass faster.

10. What is your favorite guilty pleasure read?

Austen-inspired novels.  I can’t get enough of them.

11. Do you prefer solids or e-books?

My husband loves the Nook Tablet I gave him as a belated Christmas gift, but I just can’t get used to e-books.  I love the feel and the smell of a physical book.  There’s nothing else like it.

I’m supposed to create 11 new questions and tag some people, but my brain is still too foggy to be that creative.  So if you’re interested in answering these questions, go for it, and please link to your post in the comments!

© 2012 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends who are celebrating today!  In a few short hours, I will be busy preparing a feast for my family and Serena’s family.  Maybe Serena, The Girl, and I will steal a few minutes between dinner and dessert to read, but that might just be wishful thinking.

I am thankful that I will spend the day with my family and good friends, and I also am thankful for all of you, who brighten my day every time you stop by my bookish home to chat.

I asked The Girl if she wanted to write a poem for Thanksgiving, and she jumped at the chance.  I thought she’d write about things for which she is thankful, but as a growing pre-teen, she has one thing on her mind these days:  food.  Ah, well.  At least she loves to write and entertain!

a poem by The Girl (age 11)

I told my mom to get turkey.
But I ended up with ham.
Why ham?
Turkey is fat, brown, and gobbles!
What does ham have?
It’s thin, it frowns, and worst of all
it doesn’t go gobble, gobble.

So now I’m stuck with a plate
full of ham!
I ate the ham. I was wrong
We’re getting ham for Christmas
but keep turkey for Thanksgiving!

I bet next, I’m going to have spinach
on my ham!
And I’m right.

I have no idea what inspired this poem!  I’ve never made ham for Thanksgiving or Christmas; I’m not much of a fan.  But she’s a creative spirit, who’s always making me laugh and smile with her poems, stories, and plays.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

© 2011 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

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What would you say if you had a chance to write a letter to your favorite author?  Well, I had a lot to say to Jane Austen, specifically about using her novels as parenting tools.  If you’d like to read my Dear Jane letter, head over to Book Rat, who is hosting Jane in June, a month-long event celebrating all things Austen.

Also, in case you missed it, you can check out my guest post about all those Austen-related novels I have so much fun reading.

Thanks, Misty, for allowing me to take part in Jane in June!

© 2011 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

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Yesterday kicked off Jane in June, the month-long celebration of all-things-Jane-Austen hosted by Book Rat.  There are reviews, giveaways, a Pride and Prejudice read-along, and guest posts.

Today’s guest post is by moi, and I would love for you to check it out.  Read my personal guide to Austen variations here.  Thanks to Misty for hosting such a fun event!

© 2011 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

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I hope you’ll visit Lost in Books today, as my answers to Rebecca’s 20 Questions about reading are featured.  I hope you enjoy reading them..and I hope I’m not the only one who owns more books than can be read in a lifetime!

© 2011 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

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