Monday, April 9, 2018

National Library Week, French press coffee, and Ray Bradbury

Good morning!

It's National Library Week! I hope you all have a wonderful, local library that you patronize often and a lot!! Savannah is rather small for a city and our libraries are all within a 10 mile radius of my house. It took me 3 1/2 years, but I finally found a branch that I really connected with. It's about 8 miles from my house (and in this city that's considered "far") but it's so worth it.

If you love your library, show some support this week. If you haven't been in a while, stop by and see what they have to offer. The library has always been a haven for me. I remember sitting in a quiet corner of the library in Conyers, where I grew up. I'd grab a stack of books and sit there while my mom and sister wandered around looking for something to read. I remember the quiet way people's feet padded on the carpet. I remember the whispers and the soft swish of the card catalog drawers as people hunted for interesting titles. Personally, I miss those big, old wooden cabinets filled with little white pieces of typewritten card stock. My idea of finding treasure would be to stumble upon one at a flea market, all the little cards sitting inside, and it not cost an arm and a leg. Don't know where I'd put it but - aaahhh....a book nerd's DREAM!

Anyway, go visit your library this week and tell them "THANK YOU" for being a haven of learning, information, education, and inspiration <3

One of my goals this year has been to read more short stories and I've made pretty good on that goal so far. The October Country is a collection of stories by Ray Bradbury and let's just say it's interesting. Bradbury is one of those geniuses that I read and I either erupt into marveled awe at his language and story...or I just don't get at all. Fahrenheit 451 is, in my opinion, the second greatest book ever written (following closely behind A Wrinkle in Time - please GOD tell me you've read that before the horrible movie came out). It's gorgeous, left me feeling like an autumn leaf floating, floating until I hit bottom and began running away from fires and televisions and strange, metallic beasts. It left me breathless and delirious and I love it.

Most of the stories in October Country are like that...but you've got to trudge through the first few before you get to the gems. The first couple of tales were just, well, not good. No offense to the great Bradbury. I just didn't like them. And not because of the subject matter. The most disturbing story in the bunch was exquisitely crafted and it still has me shuddering. No, these just left me feeling let down and confused. BUT after those, the stories SHINE! My favorites: "The Emissary", "There Was an Old Woman", and "The Wonderful Death of Dudley Stone." As for the story I mentioned that was "most disturbing", that one's called "The Small Assassin." Ugh. Still creeping me out!

In other news, I made my first cup of French press coffee in about 5 years! Been lazy, just wanted to grind, punch the button, and get some joe. Yesterday, I let my coffee-scientist husband give me a quick crash-course in re-learning the French press and I did it all by my lonesome this morning. The verdict: throw out that coffee maker, kids. It'll clear up some much needed counter space and you'll sip happier. Bonus points for the mindfulness that comes with being very hands-on with your coffee making. Still, if you just want to press a button and have coffee, keep at it. Coffee should be what you need it to be.

* * *

It's rainy here and stupid cold (again). Ugh. My bones and I are so ready for summer. Bring on the heat and humidity, I say! Today will find me working on some writing schedules and a few story outlines. More specifically, "Story Family Trees". I figured out that there are character connections between several of my stories - which makes me very happy. They aren't a series; they just have inter-looping threads that pull them together slightly, like a pair of comfortable, draw-string pants. Those stories where you get to a character or a place and go, "Oh, that sounds familiar...oh YEAH! It was in the author's last book!" Always fun to draw connections and make the reader feel a real part of a world. I love reading books that have nods to the author's other work. Makes me feel like I know a secret code :)

Have a wonderful Monday, Dear Reader! Enjoy your week. Go visit your library! Make some French press coffee, or stop by a cafe and have them do it for you. Your taste buds will thank you :D

Wander well,

8 comments:

  1. Those card catalogs of my past bring back happy memories. And, I love the coffee press, too.

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    1. Oh I miss them! I still daydream about finding one, completely full of cards that I can purchase and bring home just to have. I wanted one when I was a kid, now it's all about nostalgia.

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  2. I like lazy coffee. And, you want to talk cold this spring? We're expecting MORE snow this week. Why can't we have Spring? I also like Bradbury. You hated the latest Wrinkle movie? I thought it was okay. It was fun to see Oprah larger than life! And, yes, old card catalogs are cool.

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    1. Lazy coffee is great. I'm trying to bring more mindfulness into my mornings :) Ugh. I KNOW it's been much colder in other places. I'm so sorry you're dealing with SNOW. Blerg. Come visit! We're finally getting some warm weather!! I didn't see the last Wrinkle movie and I won't. I love the book too much and, judging from the preview, they completely missed the entire point of the story. I hate when people turn a gorgeous book, deep and full of meaning, into a technicolor preachy piece that harps on current issues rather than letting what the book is actually about speak for itself. It just bugs me that kids don't have to think anymore. They can just go see the movie and then the book is ruined for them forever. But then again, I am a hopeless book to film snob. *sigh* Rant over. Thanks for listening :D

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  3. I don't think I've ever had French press coffee.

    I had an appearance at one of those Savannah libraries (one of my crazy one day road trips) and they probably still have my books there.

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    1. French press is SOOOO GOOD! It's a lot richer and a bit stronger than drip coffee. Plus it forces me to connect with my coffee. Trust me, I LOVE lazy coffee but I need to be more mindful in my mornings :D

      That's fun about the books! I just talked to someone about getting some books in the libraries down here. Now I'm playing the "Who do I contact next?" game!

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  4. Oh, I loved those old card catalogs!

    There are just some movies based on books I won't watch for various reasons.

    I've had French press coffee before, made by someone else, and it was so bitter. I wouldn't rule out trying it again, though, but maybe making it myself. :)

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    1. Many, many movies based on books I refuse to watch! I ranted in another comment about Wrinkle if you care to read it! Not that I blame you if you don't LOL! I understand about the bitterness: if the ratios of water to coffee aren't right, it can be very bitter but it shouldn't be. I'm learning a lot about coffee science from my husband. He works in the industry and I"m constantly amazed at the science behind something I always thought was just fuel to get going and keep going!

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Well, hello! I'm so glad you made it. Come inside and sit by the hearth. I'll take your coat and hat. The kettle is singing and there's cake and candles and good conversation. Settle in and make yourself at home. Don't mind the wolfhounds; they're friendly if you give them a bit of lemon curd.