I’ve been thinking Thursday: Another driving PSA

I know I post these way too often but this time…I was wrong…oops

I routinely turn left at an intersection where the two directions opposite each other are coming out of parking lots and while they have two lanes, there are no protected arrows, just the big round green circle at the same time. One lane is straight/right, one lane is left turn.

I always though that people turning left had the right of way. After all the right turners can go anytime there is a break in traffic but the left turners can only go on the green light. Makes sense for traffic flow that left turns should have right of way, otherwise once all the right turns go, there won’t be time for the left to go and that will just back up for days.

Anyway after some woman yelled at me last week and called me a not nice name, I decided to research this.

And I was wrong. Unprotected left turns are the bottom of the priority list even behind right turns.

Makes zero logical sense to me.

Luckily I moved this weekend and now I can go right out of that lot towards home and have the right of way. LOL

Book Review: Cinder

I don’t remember who recommended Cinder by Marissa Meyer to me. Someone who knew I was looking for Sci/Fi and Fantasy options for my creative writing class. It didn’t come in time for me to use it as an example for Sci/Fi. It’s rather complicated though, a retelling of a fairy tale with advanced technology.

Basic Summary (Courtesy of Goodreads):

CINDER, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She’s reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen – and a dangerous temptation.

Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth’s future.

 

My thoughts:

I felt no impetus to read. I don’t know any way to explain it other than that. It is well written and enjoyable. I liked it. But at no point was I invested. In fact I remained 20 pages from the end, in the middle of what was sure to be the climax, for a week and didn’t even care.  I reread World War Z instead.

I don’t know why either. The characters are well drawn. The plot is good; predictable but I find most books predictable. The style was fast paced. Everything that makes a good book was totally present and accounted for.

It just didn’t speak to me.

I’ve been thinking Thursday: Making a movie

This is one of those random plinko machine brain hopped on someone else’s train of thought and went for it. It was a guest post on a blog I follow about who would play your characters if they made a movie of your book.

Ostrich Mentality is the only book people talk about being made into a movie. So I gave it some thought. (Er, when I say people above, I don’t mean people in Hollywood, just to be clear. LOL)

Galatea: bad-ass assassin starting to question the orders she’s chosen to accept.

Image result for inbar lavi

 

Inbar Lavi

You’re asking who?

She’s done some stuff. I’ve seen her on SOA and The Last Ship. She looks so girl next door sweet. And yet flawlessly plays trouble.

 

 

 

Talon: British SAS on loan to Mi6. Sexy in that devil may care way some men have. Good at what he does. Inventive in his means.

Image result for charlie hunna,

 

Charlie Hunnam

I know, I know. He only has one role. Lucky for me that one role could easily be adapted to play Talon.

And really all the hot Brit actors that I would love to cast as Talon, are getting a bit long in the tooth for the role. cough cough, Daniel Craig.

 

 

Ash: American with a long history of doing the dirtiest work imaginable for his country.

See the source image

 

Gerard Butler

I really wanted to say Jeremy Renner for this role but realistically he’s the wrong body type.

 

 

 

Stan: Obnoxious, know it all, pain in the ass idiot with an over inflated sense of self

 

Barrett Foa

He’s almost perfect, except he’s too pretty.

Stan is less. LOL

 

 

 

 

Hollywood, are you out there listening? I would be super realistic in my demands. LOL.

Book Review: Reprise – World War Z

Disclaimer: I’ve reviewed this book before, 3 years ago maybe, you can read that here if you like.

I’m teaching Creative Writing this year and I allowed my students to pick the genres we discuss and write in. It’s been a mixed bag. LOL.

One of their choices was Sci Fi scary. You know aliens attacking, etc. But you can only read so many of those examples before, yawn. So I wove in a few other things. A short where the main character is a sentient ship in outer space. The first chapter of The Martian by Andy Weir. And then I talked a little about World War Z because of its unusual style, a pastiche of a sociological study.

This made me want to read it again and see if it was really as great as I remembered. And damn if it wasn’t still amazing. I stayed up half the night reading, again.

It is a fascinating read.

I’ve been thinking Thursday: Moving

Yup, I am moving again. This weekend in fact. Will be lots easier this time as we divested ourselves of all the “stuff” when we moved last summer from the ginormous house to the reasonable townhouse.

I had actually planned to move yesterday. But then at closing I found out the house had asbestos. Yes, they divulged previously, to the hubs, who didn’t think it was a big deal. But it was a big deal to me. So we hired a contractor our real estate agent knew and got that taken care of. It was supposed to be done today. So I canceled all the move arrangements. Rescheduled for Saturday.

Guess what happened?

No, seriously, say it…

And you’d be wrong. They finished early. I could have made my Wednesday move plans. sigh.

It’s like some reverse corollary of the things will go wrong when you count on them not to. I counted on it all going wrong and then it didn’t? What is that?

Anyway, I must get back to my boxes. The kitchen isn’t going to move itself. But wouldn’t that be nice. LOL

Book Review: The Brave Learner

Another mom at coop was trying to get a group together to read The Brave Learner by Julie Bogart and discuss it. Why not?

Basic Summary (Courtesy of Amazon):

Parents who are deeply invested in their children’s education can be hard on themselves and their kids. When exhausted parents are living the day-to-day grind, it can seem impossible to muster enough energy to make learning fun or interesting. How do parents nurture a love of learning amid childhood chaos, parental self-doubt, the flu, and state academic standards?

In this book, Julie Bogart distills decades of experience–homeschooling her five now grown children, developing curricula, and training homeschooling families around the world–to show parents how to make education an exciting, even enchanting, experience for their kids, whether they’re in elementary or high school.

Enchantment is about ease, not striving. Bogart shows parents how to make room for surprise, mystery, risk, and adventure in their family’s routine, so they can create an environment that naturally moves learning forward. If a child wants to pick up a new hobby or explore a subject area that the parent knows little about, it’s easy to simply say “no” to end the discussion and the parental discomfort, while dousing their child’s curious spark. Bogart gently invites parents to model brave learning for their kids so they, too, can approach life with curiosity, joy, and the courage to take learning risks.

 

My thoughts:

Yeah. This was a good read. Lots of magical pixie dust. Lots of one size fits all answers.

Lots of things I have already tried with my child and had them not work. Which according to Julie means I didn’t do it right. If I tried her methods and they didn’t have the results she described then my tone was wrong, or my facial expression, or the way I presented it was wrong, or secretly I wanted it to not work and my child picked up on that.

That’s a lot of pressure to put on one human. Seems it might be more kind to admit that not every solution works for every child. If you are setting yourself up as the know all and you have to insist the other person is wrong when your solution doesn’t work, then I have to wonder just how much you really know. And are you really invested in helping parents or shaming them?

Wow, I had no idea all that was in the back of my mind when I sat down to review this book. I started out thinking I liked the book in general but clearly her approach of “dictates from on high” really rubbed me the wrong way.

Which brings me to the conclusion I have now come to after 5 years of homeschooling MY child. Every child is different. In fact, they are different on different days of the week, seasons of the year, and times of their life. No packaged approach will ever fit. I think I might just be done reading how wonderfully someone else’s approach to home schooling their children went because in the end, they didn’t home school my child.

I’ve been thinking Thursday: Annual Testing

I home school my kiddo, which in WA state means you have to do a test every year once they turn eight. There is massive leeway on how you do it. But I found one online that worked for the kiddo so we do it every year around the same time.

And as we wait for the results I find myself casually appraising what changes and growth I see in my kiddo.

Last year at this time we had a never ending battle about him wanting a big birthday party and me being unwilling to give him one because of the heinous disaster his party was the year before.

This year, he gave up a huge party in favor of private one on one karate lessons with his favorite sensei so he can be ready to try out for demo team.

Last year testing I had to supervise him every minute because the second I walked away he decided he was bored and walked away.

This year, I actually left him and went to teach for an hour and he finished 3 exams on his own.

He’s growing and changing in so many ways that these tests will never show. Sure he now knows how to spell better and he can do more advanced math.

But he also is learning to show compassion. To be helpful just because he can. To have long arguments about hypothetical space and time travel. LOL

The test will probably show that same disparity among his academic skills that it shows every year. But it hasn’t the foggiest idea that he is starting to learn the stuff that really matters. I get to capture that.