Carpe Diem Y’all by Michele Bernard

Writer, Texan, Semi-interested Sports Fan

Best Lines: The Holiday Edition

250px-grinch_stole_christmas_book.jpgAnd the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons.It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags.And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore.Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before.

What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store.

What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more. – Dr. Suess

December 11, 2007 Posted by | Best Lines, Books, Carpe Diem Quotes, Heart, I Read, Michele's Musings, Winter | Leave a comment

Don’t Pay the Ransom

dance-s.jpgI try to leave out the parts that people skip.  ~Elmore Leonard

Don’t pay the ransom, I got away and have just enough time to say: 

:::pause for effect:::

1.  I finished the YA novel

:::dance in circle::::

2.  I said I FINISHED the YA NOVEL

:::pump arm in air and repeat after me, “Woot Woot”:::

December 6, 2007 Posted by | Best Lines, Books, Dance, Heart, Her Royal Nerdiness, Just Wow, Michele's Musings, Novel Writing, Novelists, Shameless Self Promotion, Writerly Stuff, Writers, Writing | 2 Comments

Summer Reading Challenge and an Appeal

raisin.gif What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up

Like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore-

And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat

Or crust and sugar over-

Like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags

Like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

~LANGSTON HUGHES

My fourteen year old isn’t nearly as excited about his summer reading assignment as I am.   Each summer, I like to sink my teeth into a classic, whereas his reading preference leans toward baseball stats or whatever is written on the back of his favorite cereal box.  This summer however, he is to read playwright Lorraine Hansberry’s classic play, A Raisin in the Sunand be prepared to write an essay about it the first week of school.   

“Read? But it’s summer!” he complains.

“Welcome to high school,”  I reply.

“Do they have it in graphic novel form?” he asks.

“Graphic novel?,” I ask.

“Comic book form,” he says, “I could read it in a day if it were in graphic novel form.  I read The Red Badge of Courage graphic novel in less than two days.  I don’t understand why every book can’t be in graphic novel form.”

I feel his pain when I realize what he’s getting at.  As one with dyslexia, he’s learned that when reading material includes pictures, it’s much easier to get into the story with the much needed context clues provided by the illustrations.

“Well, perhaps you can put it on your life’s to do list to translate the classics into graphic novel form so future generations can enjoy too,” I reply.

“Yeah maybe,” he replies with a heavy sigh, clearly defeated.

I realize in that moment what my summer reading challenge will be and I don’t mind saying, it’s a little daunting, trying to figure out how to bring this work alive for this kid.  When I think about the main themes of this work:  the American dream, the African American experience, Feminism, then I look back at my fourteen year old son reading baseball stats, I shake my head, feeling just as defeated as he does.  Yet, at the same time, I find myself looking forward to the experience.  

I still haven’t figured out the how of it all, but this is what I have so far:

1.  As Tuesday and Thursday mornings are already days where he will be doing school/athletic realated activity, I think the afternoons will be designated to either read from this work, or do something experiential in relation to the work or one of the main themes. 

2.  We’ve invited his best friend to join us, thinking that maybe this will increase the cool factor, or at least give my son someone to be bored with and exchange dirty looks with.  

And that’s as far as I’ve thought it out.  I am totally open to suggestion.  Any thoughts? 

Carpe Diem Y’all, Michele

June 3, 2007 Posted by | Best Lines, Blogroll, Books, Carpe Diem Quotes, Family, Michele's Musings, Motherhood, Parenting, Writerly Stuff, Writing | 7 Comments

Wednesday Already

5faaf-hurrying.gifI still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read and all the friends I want to see.  ~John Burroughs

The hurry-er I go, the less time I have.  Pretty sure I’m not the only one with this struggle.  There are  as many books about time management as there are about weight-loss.  I know.  I have shelves dedicated to both, yet I still have much to do,  much I want to do, not to mention lbs. to shed.  But there is hope for me yet.  Best line I’ve read recently about time management comes from David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done:  “If it takes less than two minutes to do it, do it.” 

Carpe Diem Y’all, Michele

May 2, 2007 Posted by | Best Lines, Blogroll, Books, Carpe Diem Quotes, Freelance Writing, Michele's Musings, Writing | 3 Comments

Best Line I’ve read today

“It’s a no-win argument – that business of what we’re born with and what our environment does to us.  And it’s a boring argument, because it simplifies the mysteries that attend both our birth and our growth.”  John Irving A Prayer for Owen Meany

naturevsnurture.gif

April 9, 2007 Posted by | Best Lines, Blogroll, Books, Michele's Musings, Writerly Stuff | 1 Comment

Currently Reading

a-prayer-for-owen-meany.jpg         pigs-in-heaven.jpg        why-my-wife-thinks-im-an-idiot.jpg                                 

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving:  I am loving this book.  How did I miss this the first time around?  Agree with Mr. Irving:  it’s a great first sentence.

Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsover: Reading Buddy Rick dropped this one off last week.  Having a hard time getting into it.  This speaks more to my inability to locate my reading glasses/frame of mind than to Kingsolver’s ability to weave a tale.  Enjoyed Poisonwood Bible so I’ll stick with it .  I found Poisonwood hard to get into as well, but compelling enough to bring me back, thinking about it long after I put the book down.

Why my Wife Thinks I’m An Idiot The Life and Times of a Sportscaster Dad by Mike Greenberg:Hey Greeny, I tend to agree with your wife, mostly because I too, am female.  You are an idiot.  I’m laughing out loud one minute, squirming the next.  It’s a fun read if you’re a sports fan/parent, so I’m granting you an idiot exemption for being brave enough to publish the journal your therapist encouraged you to keep.  I can’t wait to finish this book and pass it on to Reading Buddy Rick.  Being a male/sports fan/parent/therapist he’ll really get a kick out of it.

Next in Line:

getting-things-done.jpghow-to-write-a-damn-good-novel.jpggrace-eventually.jpg

How to Get Things Done by David Allen.  My husband bought this book a couple of weeks ago.  As fate would have it, it’s a reference in the Blueprinting your Novel class taught by Patricia Burroughs.  Just love happy coincidences.

How to Write a Damn Good Novel by James N. Frey  A writer buddy loaned this book to me.  Am looking forward to digging in later this week.

Grace (Eventually) Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott.  This book is the carrot dangling in the B&N window.  It’s  keeping me on task.  On completion of current freelance assignments, this will be my bonus check.  Gosh, I have a great boss!

 Carpe diem y’all, Michele

April 3, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll, Books, Michele's Musings, Novel Writing, Sports Stuff, Writerly Stuff, Writing | 5 Comments