On a Sunday

Enjoy this fun winter song from A Prairie Home Companion‘s Feb 9th show.  [I tried to embed it but it wouldn’t behave.]

 

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A few books down…more to go!

Dave Fearless and the Cave of MysterySo, yes, the other day I did hunker down and read Dave Fearless and the Cave of Mystery by Roy Rockwood on Project Gutenberg.  It was a very cute adventure tale for kids.

This book was the 3rd in the Dave Fearless series.  From what I saw on Goodreads, there seem to be at least 12 in all.  The author is actually a pseudonym for multiple writers working for the Stratemeyer Syndicate–a book publisher responsible for spawning several major book serials like Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, and The Bobbsey Twins!  [All of which I read as a kid…]

As a writer, there are writing choices that make my skin crawl:

They were two sturdy boys. The flavor of the briny deep was manifest in their bronzed faces, their attire, their clear bright eyes, and sinewy muscles. They had known hardship and peril such as make men resolute and brave. [Chapter 1]

and

“Well, all I’ve got to say,” observed Bob at length, with a great sigh, “is that it’s pretty tough.”
“I fancy,” responded Dave, in a set, thoughtful way, “it’s a case of three times and out. We fished it up–one. We’ve lost it–two. We must find it again–three. That’s all.”
“You’re dreaming!” vociferated Bob. “Say, Dave Fearless, you’re a genius and a worker, but if you mean that there is the least hope in the world in going back over a course of over a thousand miles hunting up men with a two weeks’ start of us–desperate men, too–scouring a trackless ocean for fellows who have to hide, and know how to do it, why, it’s–bosh!” [Chapter 1]

and

“Bob Vilett,” said Dave, with set lip and unflinching eye, “we are only boys, but we have tried to act like men, and Captain Broadbeam respects us for it. We have his confidence. He is old, not much of a thinker, but brave as a lion and ready for any honest, logical suggestion. Here’s a dilemma, a big one. You and I–young, quick, ardent–we must think for him. We have been robbed. We must catch the thieves. We must recover that treasure. Where’s the best and surest, and the quickest way to do it? Put on your thinking-cap, Bob, and try and do some of the hardest brain work of your life.” [Chapter 1]

and

In the first volume of the present series, entitled “The Rival Ocean Divers,” it was told how they one day learned that they were direct heirs of the Washington family, who twenty years previous had acquired a fortune of nearly a million dollars in China. This, all in gold coin, had been shipped in the Happy Hour for San Francisco. A storm overtook the vessel, which sunk in two miles of water in mid-ocean with the treasure aboard. [Chapter 1]

[This little announced recap goes on for several paragraphs and is followed by another similarly written one for the second book in the series!  All-in-all, this “aside” covers the second half of the first chapter.]

I stopped counting the writing choices that made me irritated after the first chapter.  There were too many.

However, the story moves at a fast clip from adventure to adventure in each chapter with Dave Fearless saving the day (with very little help from anyone else).  He should be dead (or murdered) half a dozen times over in this book alone.  I’m not sure how a kid manages to suss out the nefarious plans of the villains–who make a taunting Snidely Whiplash-like cameo appearance–and their cohorts (who play a much more central bad-guy role) with the greatest of ease.  He is always in the right place at the right time.  He can spot treachery in the night from his bunk at 100 paces.  He can fight a jaguar and kick it in the teeth while being tied to a tree.  He can find a small boat–complete with emergency food and water–in the middle of the Pacific Ocean after being swept off his ship in a storm.  He’s like a mini super-hero!

Was it fun?  Yep.  It was absurd and ridiculous, but it amused me for a few hours.

Who would like it?  Young kids just beginning chapter books.  Or anyone wanting a bit of outrageous impossibility in their reading material.

***

I also have finished Stone of Tears by Terry Goodkind this morning.

Ah, Interwebs. You have brought me the awesome.

I was hopping around on the web this morning and ended up on Project Gutenberg.  One of the “new” books listed was Dave Fearless and the Cave of Mystery–written in 1918 by Roy Rockwood.  This is one in a series of Dave Fearless books “for boys” because, obviously, girls would never be interested in this sort of thing…

Thoughts passing through my head:

#1.  I’m a girl and I will prove you wrong.

#2.  The whole title of the book is Dave Fearless and the Cave of Mystery, or Adrift on the Pacific.  What a mouthful!

#3.  It fits my adventure theme this month.  [This dovetails nicely with today’s paper-grading procrastination.]

#4.  The writing!  Seriously.

We have been tricked, robbed! After all our trouble, hardship, and peril, I fear that the golden reward we counted on so grandly has slipped from our grasp. (Chapter 1)

[I laughed so hard because it sounds like much of the writing I see from my students.  I am a mean teacher…]

#5.  How can I pass up a character named Dave Fearless?

Yep.

I am definitely reading this today.

Happy birthday, blog!

blogiversary!

Allegraphy is 1 year old today!

In my very first post I listed a few things I wanted to accomplish in 2012, and mostly didn’t.  So much for my follow-through (see flibbertigibbet)…

This year, instead of listing things I want to accomplish, I thought I’d try to list things that are less finite:

Goal #1Be healthy.  Make healthy food and lifestyle choices.  Eliminate soda, hfcs, milk products (mostly), and meat.  And, if I fall off the wagon, the world won’t end; just adjust and re-focus.

Goal #2Be creative.  Write, paint, draw, play piano…etc.  Do something each day even if it is small and most definitely if it is silly.

Goal #3Tune out.  Computers and phones and tvs can be turned off without panic; none of it is that important.  Read, knit, stare out the window…

Goal #4Dig in the dirt.  The garden plans are already underway.  Plus, it will aid all previous goals.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Notes

1.  First book on the agendaTwenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

2.  Coke.  It is almost 1:30 and I will happily pinch anyone.  Tea is not going to make this withdrawl easier…

Are you looking forward to it?

happy new year

On to 2013!

A New Year’s Toast

Thank you to all who have stopped by for a visit.  To those who have shared their thoughts:  I appreciate every idea and kind word.

For the upcoming year, I wish for you and your families love and hope and joy in moments unexpected or commonplace.  And, as always, may you find your dreams well within your reach!

Hooray! I managed all ten. Oh…! Does that make me bad?

The Broke and the Bookish proposed a “bookish confessions” for the Top 10 Tuesday list today…

Here are my confessions:

  1. I correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation in books.  While I might feel a bit miffed about the occasional non-standard grammar and punctuation for older books (anything before 1850), I will survive it.  The worst torture comes from books published in the last 20 years that have multiple mistakes and unforgivable grammar.  Does no one proofread anymore?
  2. I am a snob.  I know I shouldn’t do it, but I judge what others read.  My biggest snert involve readers who center around “two-penny trash” novels–what I call those bookstore Fabio romances–to the exclusion of all else and consider it great literature.  It isn’t that I begrudge anyone a cheap thrill now and again or even an occasional brainless beach-read, but, please, weave more substantial things in and out of your book consumption.
  3. I am not totally enamored of my Kindle.  I love the convenience for certain situations and the fact that the weight of the contained books will never break a bookshelf, but a physical book is better.  I spend enough time every day looking at a computer screen.  And where is the lovely book smell?
  4. I evaluate audiobook reader performance.  This makes me a real bitch and I don’t care.  As an English teacher, I correct students when they handle words inappropriately; I expect the audio-production crew for a book to be no less diligent in their task:  1)  Make sure the reader pronounces the words correctly.  2)  Make sure the reader correctly pronounces place names:  a)  In the case of a real place, make sure you get it right as it can be verified; and b)  If it is an imaginary place, check with the author on pronunciation.  3)  Make sure the reader is following the inflections of the text rather than making it up as they go along.
  5. I hate reading books in a chair–even a squishy chair.  I am a lazy reader.  I have to be sprawled out somewhere on the floor or on a bed.  And, sprawl really means mostly starfish-like on my belly.  I prefer to be on top of the covers surrounded by pillows and a throw nearby in case of chill.
  6. Dog-ears.  I want to swat people with a ruler when I see them dog-ear pages of books instead of using bookmarks.  It has happened.  My sister no longer dares to do such things to my books…
  7. I’m a bit OCD.  My books are aranged by type, genre, and height (tallest on left to shortest on right).
  8. I accidentally kept a library book from college.  I still have it.
  9. More OCD.  If I begin purchasing a series, they must all be identical in format.  If I begin with the first-edition hardbacks, all must be the same.  If I begin with a paperback, they must all be from the same publisher and cover-set.  I can’t stand to see a set in multiple formats or cover sets.
  10. I refuse to read Moby Dick.  I hate Melville.  I guess that isn’t particularly fair as I never knew the man, but I really despise his writing.  After reading his novellas and other shorter works, I found each to be a progressively tedious vacu-suck of time; thank God that I managed through both my undergraduate and graduate degrees to avoid being assigned MD.  I will support anyone who cares to take on such never-ending boredom, but I cannot accept such a challenge as there are umpteen zillion other books just waiting to be explored.

I am sure that I have other issues as well, but those shall have to remain secret for now.

I love the smell of new art stuff in the morning!

My new stuff from Dick Blick showed up yesterday afternoon!  Yay, art mess…

Stuff:

  • Strathmore 300 series mixed media notebook
  • Golden matte medium
  • Lyra kneaded eraser (with container)
  • Magnifying ruler
  • A set of paint brushes

Unfortunately, my magnifying ruler had a hairline crack down the magnifying part.  😦  But, as the company is quite awesome, I just had to pick up the phone and explain what happened.  My new ruler will be in the mail on Monday!

I think I am going to break in my new notebook so it doesn’t feel so lonely.  If I leave it sitting blank it will just distract me.  Make a mess of the first page now so it doesn’t seem so perfect with its pristine emptiness!  After that, I will make a map for my Nanowrimo novel as I want a visual reminder for where everyone is located…so I don’t forget!