Category Archives: Writing and Reading

Today is Friday

Okay, I am going to finish this on the day it was started.

I am two songs done from posting my next mix. I wish Bax could have rewritten a part, but it is too late to ask for changes. This process is long, hard and tough on the ears. I know I will not be a DJ master, but I am still keeping the name: DJ Awesome Sauce. ūüėź

My first novella – let’s be honest, it’s a short story- will be ready for review this weekend. I was going to volunteer at the Saskatoon Symphony on Saturday, but I am not physically able to do so. Due to this change of plan, the third review csn be done so I can pass it on to an independent adjudicator. ūüôā

Next week, after the multiple appointments with the physiotherapist and Richard’s youth meeting, I will be able to start on der taxes! Since my temporary break-apart with my dad, I now have to learn to do this on my own. My beautiful cousin is helping set the whole thing up and walk me through the process.‚ėļ

I am going to finish the day with a bubble bath and the sweet, soulful voice of Petroc Trelawny ralking about trains. ūüďĽ ūüöā

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Oh my gosh! I have been looking forward to this day for a while.

The UK recognises the first Thursday in March as World Book Day. Children (and I am guessing some adults) are encouraged to dress up as book characters. The rest of the world celebrates this day on 23 April, St George’s Day, which is one reason why the date in the UK was moved. I guess you can’t have people dressing up all crazy on a saint’s day.


(Morris dancers celebrate St George’s Day at Leadenhall Market Picture: Alamy)

I acknowledge the worthiness of books every day, but I showing it a bit differently. I am sharing books with friends. I have started by sending copies of my cousin Adele Dueck‘s books:

Anywhere But Here
Nettie’s Journey
Racing Home

I am also sending some of my favourite books by Canadian authors. I believe in sharing books. Mind you, if a book is beyond repair it should be re-purposed into another form of art. Sometimes books get sent for recycling, but this should only be done if there is no other course. My husband’s job depends on paper and book recycling. The books I have shared are, as stated to my friends, gently used and loved. Sending a care package of books is a great way to learn about someone.

I also promote books suggested (and written) by friends on Facebook. A newly acquired friend, Matt Bolton, has written a hilarious book: The Kumber In Norway: The Adventures Of The Kumber Of Kew (this is the Canadian link). I am just about reading it and I hope there is more!

Through book recommendations I have learned about the places in which my friends live. One of the most entertaining book I was suggested is Pies and Prejudice: In Search of the North¬†by Stuart Maconie. I now want to to see Manchester and Liverpool more than ever. I have a ton of books that reference Regina, none as fine as¬†100 Facts About Pandas¬†by David O’Doherty.

I have been connected to authors of all types: Carmen DeSousa, Louis Hemmings, and Matt. I love the chance to talk about books and how they have changed the way I think about human existence. I love the chance to delve into a genre I never would have thought I would; ever. I am so glad for meeting and conversing with such a rich group of friends that can expand my reading universe.

I did not dress up today, but the thought did cross my mind.


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Han Solo Dies In The Movie


I have been under a lot of pressure, but this time it is a good thing. I have decided to use my creative ability for the good. Not that I have made things for the bad, only the end result of the things have¬†turned out bad. I have not joined the Dark Side, but then again, I heard they have cookies. ūüôā

I am sure most people on the planet who wanted to have seen the new¬†Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie. As mentioned in a previous post I couldn’t care less about finding out the ending before seeing the film.¬†As the film itself did not affect me¬†in any way, shape or form, finding out the ending before seeing the beginning did not take any more years off from my life expectancy. I took the news as any sane person. Richard on the other hand wanted to remain unclued.

At least I hope I  have not lost any years. I should not tempt fate, now that I think about it.

I have become interested in writing again. I have even thrown my hat into the poetry game. So far, as per my mentor’s comments (Louis Hemmings), I am not doing a bad job. You can find my examples of wordsmithing at: Cowbird. OK, there are only four “stories” listed, but I have been too busy trying to get my crafting projects lined up. That is another blog post entirely. You have been blessed (or cursed) with my ramblings here, but at Cowbird I am now kickin’ up a notch. I will be honest, I will not be doing any poetry readings any time soon.

I do read poetry, just not out loud.

I think the reason I have gone back to writing is not for the monetary rewards; there are none, really. I have no need to make money from anything I do whether it is crafts, baking, or writing. Sometimes creating¬†anything is the reward. Did Bede make a fortune from his Historia eccesiastica?¬†I don’t know. His name is well-known now, that is for certain. I am sure¬†he wanted his work to be read by the world and now it is available online. The authors of the¬†Anglo-Saxon Chronicle,¬†I suspect, did not make money from the distribution of said collection; copyright laws and editorial controls were nonexistent.

I do not think my writing is of the calibre of those who have been able to make a living (sort of) out of writing. This has become a great form of therapy for me. Though I still go through moments of heart-wrenching pain and need for closure, I am slowly using my writing as a way to do this. Cowbird has been a great discovery. I thank Louis’ tweet to Petroc Trelawny for this introduction. I thank Petroc Trelawny for introducing me to Louis, even though he does not realise it.

Oh, by the way, Ben was actually Luke Skywalker’s son’s name. In comics and other Star Wars novels Han and Leia do not have a son named Ben. Then again, Chewie¬†actually¬†died by a having a planet fall on his head. Well, you can’t win them all. That really is not a spoiler, is it? No, just me trying to make things right.


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Strange Medieval Books


Written by hand, medieval manuscripts are very different from¬†printed books, which started to appear after Gutenberg‚Äôs mid-fifteenth-century invention of moving type. One difference in particular is important for¬†our understanding of manuscripts. While printed books were produced in batches of a thousand or more, handwritten copies¬†were made¬†one at the time. In fact, medieval books, especially those made commercially, came to be after a detailed conversation between scribe and reader, a talk that covered all aspects of the manuscript‚Äôs production. This is the only way the scribe could ensure the expensive product he was about to make was in sync with what the reader wanted. Consequently, while printed books were shaped generically and according to the printer‚Äôs perception of what the (anonymous) ‚Äúmarket‚ÄĚ preferred, the medieval scribe designed a¬†book¬†according to the explicit instructions ¬†of its user.

This principle of one-on-one (of scribe-reader and reader-manuscript) explains why we come across some very strange…

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My 2015 Reading Challenge – Met!

Happy 2016!

I was recently asked to list the books I read for the @goodreads 2015 Reading Challenge. Though I am proud of reading 75 books this year, the selection may not be considered too … juvenile? Yes, my list contains some books for children, young adults, philosophers, literary reviewers, and everyone in between.¬†I have placed them in reverse chronological order – most recent read first:

1. Dodger Terry Pratchett
2. Night and Morning, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
3. Wordsworth: A Poet’s History Keith Hanley
4. The Temple Of Glas John Lydgate
5. English Poetry from Chaucer to Gray: Part 40 Harvard Classics Charles William Eliot
6. The Christmas Santa Slept Nick Sheridan
7. Great War Britain Leeds: Remembering 1914-18 Lucy Moore
8. Miracles C. S. Lewis
9. The Complete Works Robert Henryson
10. Complete Works Baruch Spinoza
11. Beasts and Super-Beasts Saki
12. The Complete Poems Philip Larkin
13. The Problem of Pain C. S. Lewis
14. The Screwtape Letters C. S. Lewis
15. The Great Divorce C. S. Lewis
16. Mere Christianity C. S. Lewis
17. Reggiecide Chris Dolley
18. Anglo-Saxon Sagas and Songs Christopher Webster
19. The Paper Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy, #1) Charlie N. Holmberg
20. The Chronicles of Clovis Saki
21. Outside In: Ten Christian Voices We Can’t Ignore Cindy Brandt
22. How I Kissed Evangelism Goodbye & a Collection of Other Essays On Faith Cindy Brandt
23. Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things Jenny Lawson
24. The Cloud of Unknowing Anonymous
25. An Anglo-Saxon Primer, with Grammar, Notes, and Glossary Henry Sweet
26. 1000 Cornish Place Names: Explained Julyan Holmes
27. Cornish Curiosities: A collection of oddities, frivolities & downright stupidities Margaret Caine
28. Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People Nadia Bolz-Weber
29. Troublous Times in Canada A History of the Fenian Raids of 1866 and 1870 (Sir) John A. Macdonald
30. The Shepherd’s Crown Terry Pratchett
31. Reginald Saki
32. Reginald in Russia and Other Sketches Saki
33. Carnival of Secrets (Grim Hill, #6) Linda DeMeulemeester
34. Forest of Secrets (Grim Hill, #5) Linda DeMeulemeester
35. The Family Secret (Grim Hill, #4) Linda DeMeulemeester
36. The Forgotten Secret (Grim Hill, #3) Linda DeMeulemeester
37. Johannes Cabal and the Blustery Day: And Other Tales of the Necromancer Jonathan L. Howard
38. Exeunt Demon King (Johannes Cabal, #0.75) Jonathan L. Howard
39. Awkward Moments (Not Found in Your Average) Children’s Bible – Vol. 2 Horus Gilgamesh
40. Awkward Moments (Not Found in Your Average) Children’s Bible – Volume #1: Illustrating the Bible Like You’ve Never Seen Before! Horus Gilgamesh
41. Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience Shaun Usher
42. An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments Ali Almossawi
43. Gaspar The Thief (Gaspar the Thief, #1) David A. Lindsaay
44. Alice, or the Mysteries Book 11 Edward Bulwer-Lytton
45. Alice, or the Mysteries Book 10 Edward Bulwer-Lytton
46. Alice, Or The Mysteries Book 09 Edward Bulwer-Lytton
47. Alice, or the Mysteries – Book 08 Edward Bulwer-Lytton
48. A History of Ancient Britain Neil Oliver
49. The Coming of the Friars Augustus Jessopp
50. Alice, or the Mysteries – Book 07 Edward Bulwer-Lytton
51. A Collection of Old English Plays, volume 4: Two Tragedies in One by Yarrington, The Captives by heywood, The Costlie Whore, and Everie Woman in Her Humor Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
52. Happy Valentine’s Slay, Children of Hamlin, Tooth & Nail & Fairy Tale, Ember in the Wind, Jar of Hearts, Welcome to Sorrow¬†(The Grimm Diaries Prequels #11- #14) Cameron Jace
53. Alice, or the Mysteries Book 06 Edward Bulwer-Lytton
54. Alice, or the Mysteries Book 05 Edward Bulwer-Lytton
55. Alice, or the Mysteries Book 04 Edward Bulwer-Lytton
56. Alice, or the Mysteries Book 03 Edward Bulwer-Lytton
57. The Secret Deepens (Grim Hill, #2) Linda DeMeulemeester
58. The Secret of Grim Hill (Grim Hill, #1) Linda DeMeulemeester
59. The Historical Works of Venerable Bede Bede
60. Runaway Radical: A Young Man’s Reckless Journey to Save the World Amy Hollingsworth
61. Murder on the Hill (Harley Hill Mysteries, #1) Kennedy Chase
62. Murder on the Page (Harley Hill Mysteries, #2) Kennedy Chase
63. The Chronicles of Narnia(Chronicles of Narnia, #1-7) C. S. Lewis
64. Thomas Adès: Full of Noises: Conversations with Tom Service Tom Service and Thomas Adès
65. What Ho, Automaton! Chris Dolley
66. Russian Fairy Tales Alexander Afanasyev
67. A Bright Moon For Fools Jasper Gibson
68. Gaspar And The Fantastical Hats(Gaspar the Thief, #0.5) David A. Lindsay
69. The Ludwig Conspiracy Oliver Pötzsch
70. Dying for Dinner Rolls (Chubby Chicks Club, #1) Lois Lavrisa
71. Music as Alchemy: Journeys with Great Conductors and Their Orchestras Tom Service
72. The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries William Guild Howard
73. Raising Steam Terry Pratchett
74. The Clue in the Diary (Nancy Drew, #7) Carolyn Keene
75. The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical Shane Claiborne

Please check some of these out. I am trying for another 75 for 2016. Let me know what you think.


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#Read about Guest #Author Miriam Drori

Dancing is a great form of expression. You don’t have to be trained, just in love with the feeling!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

She Only Wants to Dance

Miriam Drori
It began seventeen years ago. I didn‚Äôt even know it was a thing when I started, even though I‚Äôd moved to Israel over twenty years before that. True, I‚Äôd seen people doing folk dancing occasionally ‚Äď on summer evenings by the beach or in the streets on the eve of Independence Day. I had no idea how these people knew these dances and thought they probably learned them at school.

My daughter, the youngest of three, was almost six, and I was ready to finally venture out without kids and without having to wait for hubby to get home. An advertisement beckoned from a place near enough to walk to, a friend’s daughter was willing to babysit weekly and I went off to discover the world of Israeli folk dancing.

Boaz Cohen was my first dance instructor and he remains the one I like best…

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‚ÄúTo conserve or not to conserve, that is the question‚ÄĚ


From time to time this blog shows damaged manuscripts. One may be inclined to think that books are better off in pristine condition. However, Karin Scheper, conservator at the University Library Leiden, explains why it is sometimes better to leave a book be. Here is an intriguing guest post about useful disrepair and the upsides of damage. Enjoy! Erik Kwakkel

Custodians and owners of old books will sometimes have to make tough decisions. They want their books to be used ‚Äď why else would they have them? ‚Äď yet they also want them to be preserved for the future as well. In the case of manuscripts and early printed books, the materials themselves are old and often fragile, and part of the textblock or binding may have come apart. While in most cases it would technically be possible to repair the damage, this is not always the best option for‚Ķ

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It Is Yet To Get Cold Outside

Here is my assignment from The Daily Post:

Climate Control

It has not become really super duper cold here; yet. This is Saskatchewan, so the snow and cold is guaranteed. I should not say that, last week we had a gooder of a storm. The town is still showing remnants of the event, but the highways are pretty much clear.

Except for the icy patch by the turn-off to the access road to work. Today (2 December) Wee Angus, my black Aveo, did an awesome impersonation of an ATV. I did a loop into, then out of, the ditch. Luckily I was able to get out of the ditch before there was need for tow hooks. I was a-maze-ing.

Parts of the country are getting blasted with snow, rain, really anything that causes wetness related to weather. The temperature is also not too cold, not as bad as it could be. I know we will be getting hit pretty soon and thankfully both the Red Beast and Wee Angus have winter tires. I have tried the tires out on Wee Angus, and he sure does like them. I think he his also glad we fixed his front brakes, as the tires would be rather useless if the car can’t stop. The Red Beast also got brake work done. I think they are done for maintenance for a while.

I know some are itching for snow, especially the snowmobilers. I think. To be honest, I have not been paying that much attention. I am thinking about Zumba. I am glad the weather is still nice enough for me to drive to my class. This will be the second time I will be going. Do not ask me about the last few times. One involved the Red Beast getting work done and the other involved getting lost for almost an hour in Martensville.

With the winterness not fully arrived, I will be glad to get this season underway.


Filed under Contentment, Downtime, Just Because ... Everyone Has This Kind of Moment, Writing and Reading

No Dwelling On The Thing With The Stuff

With the exception of my post last Monday, this religiousless posting thing is actually working well for me. The removal of the political is a bit harder, but I the weight chained to my brain has lessened considerably. Thankfully I am beginning to get my groove back.

Or getting a groove, since I never really had one to lose. I also have to see how long I can go without mentioning the Manic Street Preachers.

My writing has taken another break, maybe for good. I feel sad about it, but maybe I was hoping for something that actually belongs to someone else. Admitting defeat is OK. I have too much real life things to worry about. I need to get a new mats for the front entrance and the bathrooms. I need to find my grandmother’s perogy recipe. I need to pick up some cherry pie filling and cherry Jello for the Christmas dessert. I need to …

Nevermind. The perogies and Christmas stuff will get done whether I write a book or not. In fact, they will get done quicker if I don’t worry about the next chapter or new character. I am also wrapped up in books with characters too complex to be real people, yet that label would make them more real. Creating a fictional real-life person takes talent. My talent is reading about them and using creative language to describe the experience.

I had been listening to BBC Radio 3 during the sleepless moments of the night. As the BBC Music player works intermittently, Petroc Trelawny’s weather reports get cut off mid-temperature. The Breakfast comes on here at 12.30am, which makes for a long day if I make it through the whole show. I get to sleep just in time to wake up and get ready for work. Thankfully these times are less frequent since my change of direction. Also, Mr Trelawny hasn’t been on this past week.

If it is not the sweet, soulful sounds of Saint-Sa√ęns at one in the morning, it is the uncompromising words of C.S. Lewis or the ramblings of some Middle English theologian-slash-poet on my Kindle device. Even those moments are become less common. I do not feel compelled to check my messages or read a couple of pages as much as I did before. Do not get me wrong, I did a post Sunday morning at around 3.00am on Facebook. It will not stop completely.

The break I am on may be permanent. I will only discuss my religious beliefs/disbeliefs in private. My political views will be treated the same. I may slip every now and then if the feeling is too overpowering not to. Being human allows for this. I will still complain about the thousand-million baby photos; that will not change.

Before I go, I will leave you with this little ditty:


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You Are Welcome For Dinner

Seat Guru

I am having a dinner party and I have to come up with a seating arrangement that will fit all, yet will encourage conversation. Here is the list:

1) Curtis Mayfield
2) Nelson Mandela
3) Jackie Robinson
4) Marilyn Monroe
5) George Sand
6) Ada Lovelace
7) Charlie Chaplin
8) Mary, Queen of Scots

I have decided to do this seating arrangement a bit differently. I will be using my limited drawing skills to visually envision an event that may (or may not) be exciting. There is a formal for the number of variations in the seating order, but the maths does not take emotions, experiences, and relationships into account. I hope to be able to express the connections between my guests in a creative way. Not knowing any of the people personally is going to make this an interesting get-together.


What I meant by limited drawing skills should mean I cannot draw very well. My biggest concern was placing Marilyn Monroe. I thought placing her with beside Nelson Mandela would make her more comfortable. She seems to be a shy person, but some good conversation may bring out something great. Plus, she was married to Joe DiMaggio and Jackie Robinson is going to be there, so we can talk baseball.

Nelson Mandela and I share the same birthday – 18 July. No, that is not why I included him. I have always been interested in his drive to end Apartheid with non-violence (though that was not necessarily the case most times). Remind me not to say how much he looks like Morgan Freeman.

On Ms Monroe’s left is Curtis Mayfield, an accomplished singer and songwriter. Both Mr Mandela and Mr Mayfield are very politically minded in their own way and strive to bring forward the need for equality for people of colour, though Mr Mayfield takes a more direct approach on the language front. I will ask him pick out the music for the evening.

Next to Mr Mandela is Ada Lovelace, the woman who is considered to be the inventor of the computer. And a countess. She is also the daughter of Lord Byron, that randy poet. I find her a facinating person, as mathematics and computer science is not my thing. I really hope she does have a little compassion about this fact.

Skipping to the left of Mr Mayfield is George Sand. I find her experiences a lot more interesting than her books. I am sure she has a lot to talk about. I think I will be careful not to say I am not a huge fan of Chopin, which is why I am asking Mr Mayfield to choose the music.

Charlie Chaplin. At first I was not sure about inviting him because I have not seen any of his movies in completeness. He is a comic genius, from the opinions of others, and I hope some of that shows through. His commentaries on politics through comedy are something I would like to discuss a bit further.

Between Mr Chaplin and me is Jackie Robinson. Mr Robinson was the first American Major League baseball player of colour in the modern era. His stories of the magnificent sport of baseball will make the night. I will not bring up the fact I am a Giants fan.

My last guest is a bit of a surprise. Mary, Queen of Scots. She has a language connection with Ms Sand, a title like Countess Lovelace, has had multiple husbands like Ms Monroe, and was not liked for being Catholic like no one else at this function. I am sure she is bitter, but a little wine may loosen her up a bit.

I think this set-up is fine. If this goes well I may try it again.

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