Friday, January 18, 2019

Yearly Anthologies

If you like short stories, check out my post on Writers on the Move about yearly anthologies.
For writers, it's a good way to study the market and the craft.
For readers, it's just a good reading.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Overpass Art in Quebec City

Quebec City really knows how to paint their overpass support pillars!

These really livened up the walk between the bus/train station and our hostel.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Poutine in Quebec City

Delicious poutine at Chez Ashton in Quebec City.  I admit, I thought the combination of French fries, cheese curd, and brown gravy sounded funny, but it was really good.  Good job, people of Quebec. 

Chez Ashton's French fries were so good, however, that I might rather just have them alone...since the gravy undid some of fantastic crispiness of the fries. 

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Heart-breaking premise—even worse for being true.  I'd never heard of Georgia Tann and her kidnapping adoption agency before, and I just can't believe it went on for so long with so many people approving or turning a blind eye.  Sick. 

So this horrible history makes for an equally heartbreaking novel.

The writing was very good and emotive, the characters interesting.  It absolutely held my interest, though some of the political stuff did go on a little long, as did some other sections in the modern narrative.  The historical narrative was engrossing. 

I'm not an expert on the dialects the author portrayed, but they seemed spot on without being distracting.  That's not an easy feat

I appreciated that the ending wasn't completely happy, yet managed to bring some closure. 

I wished the obligatory romance had been skipped here, since I firmly believe some books are stronger without forcing a romantic love story into them.  This is one of those books.  It's about familial love.  Why can't it just be that?  However, this is my very subjective opinion.

I would recommend this book, though fair warning:  it's not a happy read.

I'm interested to explore more of Lisa Wingate's novels. 

Sunday, December 30, 2018

A Spectacular Bus Ride in Quebec

This was what delighted me for miles between Montreal and Quebec City on October 7.  

If I got pictures as good as these by shooting on a gray day through a moving bus window, you can imagine what it looked like in person.  We oohed and ahhed and said, "That's beautiful" a thousand times (I may be exaggerating slightly) while all the locals around us ignored the glory around them.  Then, finally, the leaves or our excitement broke through and they too started taking pictures. 


Friday, December 28, 2018

Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It by Gail Carson Levine

If you like playing around with fairy tales...and if you like light comic poetry...try "Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It; False Apology Poems" by Gail Carson Levine. Very clever.  And some of the poems were really funny.

It inspired me to write my own.  It may very well do the same to you.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? by Frans de Waal

This is such a fascinating topic, and I loved the anecdotes and descriptions of experiments that show hints of what animal cognition means.

Though the concepts and processes the author explained were very interesting and enlightening, at times it got a bit too repetitive, philosophical, or historical for my tastes, and I wished he'd show more concrete examples of the concepts he was expounding on. That said, the concrete examples he did describe were fascinating.   

I loved the discussion of how to create an experiment that really tests what you're trying to test, and doesn't get caught in the filter of your own world view.  Proper experiment construction has to be one of the hardest and most important parts of science.  I think too often we construct tests that are designed to give us the results we want or expect—not just in science, but in statistics, politics, business, and life in general. 

I learned a lot and began to think about animal cognition in a slightly different way.

I would read more by Frans De Waal.