Monday, May 18, 2015

It's Monday! Reading!

Monday, Monday, and I'm glad to report that I've been reading some books.

Yesterday I finished Giovanni's Room, by James Baldwin, and it was just as amazing as everyone said it would be. It's funny to me, reading moods. I've long admitted that I'm a fickle mood reader, and if it's not a book's "time" with me, then it's just not. I've started and stopped this book at least four times, and with it only being 160 pages, you'd think I'd just get on with it already. But reading a book when I'm not in the mood really isn't doing the book any favors. I'm glad I waited for this one to really grab me. I loved the language, the complexity of it, the atmosphere, the anguish and struggle. I loved it all. It was vivid. 

Now I'm reading Lost on Planet China: One Man's Attempt to Understand the World's Most Mystifying Nation, by J. Maarten Troost. I love Troost. I've devoured The Sex Lives of Cannibals and Getting Stoned with Savages in the past. I've held off on this one, waiting for just the moment that I really need one of his books to engross me, and voila! That moment is here. I read the sample from Amazon yesterday and immediately downloaded it when I finished Giovanni's Room. 

Finally, I have Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship, by Robert Kurson waiting on the TBR. This one is Heather's recommendation since it helped her de-slump, and I love what I've read so far. Non-fiction is so often a slump buster for me, so I'm looking forward to keeping the good times rolling with this. 

What are you reading? 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

I Am Not a Deserter of Blogs

But man, every time I try to get back in the bloggy swing of things, life jumps up and trumps my plans.

Last Monday night, after Greyson came home from school, I noticed he seemed awfully warm. Yep, a temperature that fluctuated from 101 to round about 105. He also had a little cough, but nothing too serious. A doctor trip on Tuesday didn't turn up anything except "something viral." Fever continued through Wednesday evening, I kept him home from school on Thursday so he didn't overdo it, but he had to come home from school on Friday because that nasty fever was back again at nearly 102. Another trip to the doc didn't turn up anything new, but she thought she might hear a bit of a rattle in one lung, so three days of antibiotic it was.

He's been at his dad's all weekend since he's not contagious and in danger of infecting his siblings, so we'll see how we do when he gets home. I'm praying for no fever because if it comes back up, we have to make yet another trek to the doctor.

In iron infusion news, I have my fourth treatment tomorrow! Only one more to go after this. Last week was some brutal shit. I didn't even know IVs could hurt that much. I didn't drink enough water the day before the treatment, and finding a vein and getting the iron into it was woefully painful. I'm tanking up on water today, and if they can't find a vein, they can go into my foot. Bah!

I can definitely tell a difference in the way I feel after three treatments. The urge to eat ice (one of my major tip-offs) is totally gone. I also feel much more rested, and I hardly get winded anymore walking from here to there. Huzzah! Now let's just hope the good times keep on rolling for a long while and I don't have to have more infusions any time soon.

After a lot of slumpiness in May, including a nonexistent showing for Bout of Books this week, my slumptitude seems to be lifting. But you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see what I've been reading.

Happy Sunday, friends!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Interview with Adria J. Cimino

Adria J. Cimino is the author of novels “Paris, Rue des Martyrs” and “Close to Destiny” and is co-founder of indie publishing house Velvet Morning Press. She also is a contributor to short story anthologies “That’s Paris” and “Legacy.” Adria is a member of Tall PoppyWriters, a community of writing professionals committed to connecting authors with each other and with readers. Prior to jumping into the publishing world full time, she spent more than a decade as a journalist at news organizations including The AP and Bloomberg News. You may learn more about Adria and her work by visiting her website at or following her on Twitter at

 How old were you when you first developed an interest in writing? What spurred you?

When I was a toddler, my grandfather and my mom told me wonderful stories. My mom made up a story about our dog who went to one of the big department stores to buy me a birthday present and had an adventure! I loved that one! So that’s how it all started… Then when I was about seven, at school, we created our own books, and even laminated them. This idea of actually becoming a writer intrigued me. But I was so shy at the time that the idea of sharing my work terrified me. So I wrote journals in high school. I wrote for myself. Once I was off to college, I started working at the student newspaper, and two key things happened: From all of the reporting assignments, I outgrew my shyness… and I realized that journalism would make a pretty good day job.

 I've known many authors who say they can't read other authors' writing when they're writing for themselves. Is that true for you?

Sometimes, it can be very difficult. Mainly for this reason: When I read, the plot and characters really come to life. They become part of my world, and I think about them a lot. Therefore, if I’m writing at the time, I can get distracted by those thoughts. And that definitely can hurt creativity. So I still read, but I read in spurts, between projects, or I’ll quickly read a book during a three-day period when I’m not writing, for instance.

 What was the inspiration for your story, "Hope" in Legacy?

In “Hope” I wanted to explore two main ideas. First, the idea of “home” and what it really means. Is it a place or is it a state of mind? I lost my mom six years ago, and I often say “I’m homesick for a place that no longer exists.” (That line might end up in one of my novels, fyi!) I also wanted to think about the idea of what we as mothers wish to leave behind for our children. While “Hope” isn’t autobiographical, a lot of my heart is in this story.

 Author proceeds from Legacy go to PAWS for Reading. It's a great organization. How was it chosen?

Allison Hiltz, founder of The Book Wheel and our partner in this project, suggested it. Allison and Velvet Morning Press have two things in common: We love reading, and we love dogs! So we thought a charity that combines the two would be perfect. Through PAWS for Reading, children read aloud to a therapy dog (or cat, or bunny!) in order to improve reading and communication skills.

I know it's probably near impossible to choose, but what's one of your favorite stories from Legacy, and how/why did it resonate with you?

It is impossible to choose, mainly because each one is so different. I loved the narrative message in one, the rhythm of the sentences in another, the surprising structure of yet another. I loved the emotion – romance, rock and roll, sadness. And I loved the fact that each story kept me guessing.
What was the best part of putting Legacy together? 

Working with authors and bloggers, and getting to know them. I love building new relationships with others who love to write or read, and this was the perfect opportunity.

 What are a couple of the pros and cons of being an author and publisher in the age of social media? 

Something very positive is being able to so easily reach out to readers and connect with readers… without having to travel! That is extremely helpful for new authors and small publishers, who don’t have the financial resources to spend on traveling around the country and beyond. Social media also gives us the opportunity to connect with other authors and that is so valuable. Writing can be lonely otherwise.

 The negatives… Well, social media can be so distracting when you’re trying to write! It’s difficult to sit down and eliminate the noise. This is especially the case when juggling my career as an author with my publishing career. I can’t disappear for hours when a client might need me. The advantage of living in Paris, though, is the time zone. Since most of our activity happens across U.S. time zones, I can get good writing time in the mornings!

 Who are some of our favorite spirited female characters?

Scout in “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Idgie in “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop CafĂ©”
Catherine in “Wuthering Heights”

 What's the best book you've read this year?

I’ve read some wonderful novels this year… It’s hard to choose just one. But here’s one of the favorites.“Fugitive Colors” by Lisa Barr. It was recently released in paperback. The book is about a group of young artists torn apart during the atrocities the Nazi regime inflicted upon artists and art at the time of the Holocaust. It a story of love and humanity. Disturbing and beautiful.

 What's your favorite bookish website or news outlet?

Electric Lit and Book Riot are two that I enjoy… I wish I had more time to read! 

Images by Freepik