Tuesday, January 5, 2021

IWSG: Wednesday, January 5, 2021 ~ On Reading and Rehab

 




It's the first Wednesday of the month,
the day that members of the
Insecure Writer's Support Group
share their writing struggles
and writing successes
and offer their encouragement
and support to fellow writers.






To visit the IWSG website, click here.

To become a member of the IWSG, click here.

Our wonderful co-hosts who are volunteering today,
along with IWSG Founder Alex J. Cavanaugh are Ronel Janse van VurrenJ Lenni Dorner, Gwen GardnerSandra Cox, and Louise ~ Fundy Blue

I hope you have a chance to visit today's hosts and thank them for co-hosting.
I'm sure they would appreciate a visit and an encouraging comment.
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Every month the IWSG announces a question that members can answer
with advice, insight, a personal experience, or a story in their IWSG posts.

Or, the question can inspire members
if they aren't sure what to write about on IWSG Day.

Remember the question is optional.
This month's featured question is: 

Being a writer, when you're reading someone else's work, what stops you from finishing a book/throws you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people's books?

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Happy New Year, Everyone!  

I hope that you and your loved ones are safe, healthy, and happy
and that you are looking forward to a much better year than 2020.

I'm anticipating lots of fun visiting around this IWSG Day,
hearing your news, and reading answers to this month's question.

Reading has been my constant and favorite pleasure throughout my life.
I don't remember a time I couldn't read.
I was reading before I went to kindergarten,
and in Grade One I was already an avid reader.

My favorite thing about Grade One was reading.
I dearly loved Dick, Jane, and Sally, and I had my own teddybear just like Tim.

Grade One was a traumatic year for me.  
My mother nearly died from Graves Disease and disappeared for months,
my father attempted suicide, and my brother and two sisters and I were left
in the care of my paternal grandmother who suffered from debilitating depression.
An ax murderer was on the loose in our area,
and the house next door burned down one dark night.
Reading became my comfort and my escape.

Donnie, Louise (Me with a Stray Cat), and Roy
I so wanted a Puff of my own.
Atholville, New Brunswick, Canada ~ 1956/57
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




One disconnect in my tumultuous six-year old life was my reading at home.
I left Dick, Jane, and Sally at school and raced home to read encyclopedias.
I didn't find this strange or surprising.  It was normal for me.
I was a voracious and indiscriminate reader
loving whatever reading material I put my hands on:
the antics of Spot and Puff, the power of earthquakes and volcanoes,
the lamassu of Ancient Assyria, or the stash of mystery magazines in the bathroom.

The Lowering of the Bull (Lamassu)
Frontispiece, A popular account of discoveries at Nineveh by Austen Henry Layard, 1851
The lamassu is a celestial being from ancient Mesopotamian religion
bearing a human head, bull's body, sometimes with the horns and the ears of a bull, and wings.
It appears frequently in Mesopotamian art.
 



Sixty some years later, I am still that voracious and indiscriminate reader.
The last time I remember not finishing a book was in 1983 or 1984.
I don't remember its title or author, just my bedroom lamp
and writing so rotten that even I couldn't stomach it.

As a reader, I appreciate a good plot, strong characters, and lyrical writing.
I've been compelled by Shakespeare's tragedies, 
the squiggles of my three-year old niece Deirdre, 
and everything in between because something grabbed my heart.

Over the years I've become more forgiving as a reader.
That comes from decades of working with the youngest authors
and from my own humbling experiences as a writer searching for words.
I'll give even a flawed book more than a chance.

Few writers are a William Shakespeare, a Peter Matthiessen, or a Liu Cixin,
but each writer is unique and has a story to tell.
Write from your heart, give me truth and authenticity as you see it,
and I'll finish your book. 
(In print.  My eyes can't handle ebooks.) 

Shakespeare's First Folio, 1623




Matthiessen's The Snow Leopard




Liu Cixin's The Three-Body Problem
Media/futurism



I didn't write in December.  
I had a painful shoulder injury in November
which I aggravated while slogging through NaNoWriMo.
The consequences cascaded through my body
and left me unable to work on my computer, 
use my arms and legs normally, or function without painkillers.

This rocked my world!
I couldn't count on my arm to lift a cup of coffee to warm in the microwave.
My arm would drop, cup crashing and coffee spilling.

I hobbled about unable to count on a leg to lift me up on a step.
My leg would fail, and I would stumble or fall.

Here I am, living to climb to the top of the Duomo again in Florence,
and how could I do that, if I my legs wouldn't mount a small step?
I couldn't even tackle our Christmas tree!
I almost plunged into a debilitating depression, my genetic curse.


Tourists Viewing Florence
from the top of the Duomo's Cupola
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



Thankfully those Duomo stairs and that Christmas tree kept calling.
With the help of many massages and foam rolls from Terry,
weeks of doctor and trainer-prescribed exercises, 
epsom salt baths and endless stretching,
I slowly recovered.

One day I managed to stand on a step stool and help string a few lights on our tree,
days after Terry hefted its segments up the stairs, put it together, and untwisted its branches.
We got her done in time for Christmas morning!

I Love Christmas!!!
Christmas Morning, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


Now all my limbs are working, and I'm regaining my strength;
but no more all-nighters at the computer allowed
if I want to reach the cupola on top of the Duomo.


This Tourist Looks Down
from the top of the Duomo's Cupola
Florence, Italy
September 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



Probably no more NaNoWriMo either, but there are worst things in life.

I hope you had a happy holiday season however you celebrated it.
Wishing you all the best in 2021!
Happy IWSG Day and happy writing in January.


My favorite thing under our Christmas Tree!
Christmas Morning, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Till next time ~
Fundy Blue 




88 comments:

  1. I was also reading at a very young age. But then had traumatic experiences interrupt my early childhood. But got back into reading once that was more stable.
    Sorry to hear of your injuries and difficult year. I hope 2021 is more kind to you.
    That's unfortunate that your eyes are incompatible with ebooks. Are you able to read blogs? Maybe the Kindle Cloud reader, that works on a web browser, would be better for you? Or a Kindle paperwhite? There are so many good ebooks, I'd hate for you to miss out. You've probably tried those things already.

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    1. Hi, J Lenni! Thanks for your thoughtful comment, and thanks for co-hosting today! I'm sorry you had a traumatic early childhood. Such events leave their mark on us. I'm glad that things stabilized for you. I spent decades in the company of young children, and I am in awe of their curious, resilient souls. Thanks for the suggestions about ebooks. I have tried them, but I appreciate your sharing your ideas. Have fun co-hosting!

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  2. I was reading well before I went to school at 5, And so the story goes I told the teacher on my first day " That's a funny F on the blackboard" The teacher looked at it and agreed, it was funny. I have been a reader all my life, and one local second hAnd bookshop is closing, all books $2, so I have added to my bookcases. Your health that sounds so scary, I hope you are well again and the gift under your tree, the best of all I would agree. Stay safe, keep well, read often and love every day as you are now rolling on to summer, a little way ahead, but the sunshine hours will get longer, as ours are shortening.XXX

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    1. Hi, Jean! I think a lot of bloggers were early readers. Love your story about your first day at school. I'm continuing to thin my books, but I continue to buy them as well ~ LOL! I was very scared throughout much of December, but I'm very relieved and grateful that I am returning to normal. Every day is a gif, even when life feels dark. May you enjoy each one too! XXX back at you!

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  3. Happy New Year to you and thank you for hosting the IWSG blog hop. It must be such a relief to have your limbs working again - I can just imagine how painful that must have been. I love the childhood photo of you with the cat on your lap. That must have been some summer - with an ax murderer on the lose as well??! Nothing like escaping into books at such a time, or any time, for that matter. Have a wonderful 2021.

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    1. Thanks, Kalpana! The photo from Grade One is one of my favorites from my childhood. I learned a lot of difficult lessons that year, including the fact that an ax murderer could exist in my own small neighborhood. I hope you have a wonderful 2021 as well ~ and one filled with books that touch your heart!

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  4. I began reading very early in life and enjoyed reading mystery books, This has carried on thoughout my life. I don't get fed up with reading as I spend much time on my own. I enjoyed your post immensely and the photo's are great Louise.
    Hope all is well with you now and this new year will be better for all.
    Take care.
    Yvonne.

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    1. I enjoy mystery books too, Yvonne. When we lived in places with libraries, I went to get books for my mother and she wanted good mysteries. I'm doing much better ~ Thanks! A big hug to you, my friend!

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  5. Sorry about the injury but glad you powered through and got better.
    I would've spent my first grade in books as well.
    Thanks for co-hosting today!

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    1. You bet, Alex! I always enjoy co-hosting. Have a great day, my busy friend!

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  6. Happy New Year!
    I remember reading the Dick and Jane Books. Loved them. Glad to hear you're doing better. Thank you for co-hosting!

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    1. Thanks, Cathrina! Wishing you a happy and fulfilling 2021!

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  7. Writing from the heart...so very important. I didn't read the encyclopedia, but I remember how absolutely thrilled I was to get my first library card when I was in first grade. Glad you are feeling better and thank you for co-hosting this month!

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    1. Thanks, Liza! I didn't get my first library card until I was in Grade Four, because the places I lived were too small. But what a thrill that first card was! All the best to you in 2021!

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  8. Thank you for co-hosting, and for sharing your story! I work with children and have for over a decade. I love hearing about childhood and how it shapes who we are as adults. It helps me help other kids. It helps me see the potential they have and makes me want to show them the good things that are coming.

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    1. Lucky you to be working with children, Steph. They are amazing human beings; and right now they need all the love and support we can give them. Kudos to you for your caring. Your are one of our superheroes in this difficult time. Take care of yourself! And have a much better 2021!

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  9. Hi and Happy New Year!
    It is good to know that you have recovered and can write again and lift up your own coffee cup. All the best for 2021.
    Thank you also for co- hosting.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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    1. Thanks, Pat! Not being able to lift my coffee cup into the microwave terrified me, perhaps more than anything else. It's such an ordinary motion that I do automatically many times a day. I'll never take it for granted again. You're such an inspiring person, Pat! I hope 2021 is very good to you!

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  10. Thanks for co-hosting. I started reading early like you and found it a great escape like you did. I remember, Dick, Jane, and Spot. Sorry that you had such a terrible year when you were six. And glad you are feeling better after your latest health challenge.

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    1. Thanks, Natalie! I'll take a health challenge over the alternative any time. Wishing you a happy and productive 2021. You are amazing!

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  11. I'm so glad you got your tree up in time. I would've gone nuts not being able to move.

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    1. Thanks, Diane. It was a frightening time for me. Thanks for that unexpected book which arrived on Monday. It will bear fruit. Wishing you all the best in this bright new year!

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  12. Louise, you are an inspiration!! My two knee replacements bow to what you've had to overcome. Thanks for hosting this month and may 2021 be the pearl in your oyster!!

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    1. Thanks, Nancy! Two knee replacements ~ Now that is an inspiration! "Pearl in your oyster" ~ I love it!
      Have a great 2021!

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  13. Sorry to hear about your physical injuries that plagued you in November and December. Glad you're recovered now, though! I was a voracious reader as a kid too and systematically worked my way through the encyclopedias at school too -- everything was grist to my mill in those days! Sorry to read of your traumatic Grade 1 experience with your parents. I had something similar happen when I was four and it was traumatic. We need our parents to be present and focused on us at that tender age.

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    1. Hi, Debra! Thanks for your kind comment and shared story. And thank you for that thoughtful ecard. That meant so much to me and gave me a huge lift. A big hug to you, my friend!

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  14. I am so sorry about your shoulder, Louise. I'm so glad you're feeling better. Honestly, you are one of the sweetest people I know, so to hear of your childhood trauma brings tears to my eyes. That little girl must have been so frightened. An axe murderer in the Maritimes! OMG. That's incredible. When I was 7 a little girl down the road went missing. Her body was discovered days later. That has always haunted me.

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    1. You are so kind, Joylene! Yes, an ax murderer, but at least he never killed a child. No wonder you've been haunted throughout your life by that! I don't remember the details about the murderer; but I remember the whispers and warnings from the adults around me and in the community and the fear I felt after dark for many nights. May you have an awesome 2021!

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  15. I don't remember not being able to read either. I remember when my little brother couldn't and I thought he was just pretending to get attention!

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    1. What a great sibling story, Patsy! You've got to love the dynamics between a brother and a sister. All the best to you in this coming year!

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  16. Lovely interesting post as usual. I love Peter Matthiessen. I've read so many of his nature books.

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    1. Thanks, Jacqui! "The Snow Leopard" languished in my bookcase for years. It was a Christmas gift from my family, and I always chose to read another book over it. I finally read it in December, and it was one of the most lyrical and spiritual books I've ever read. I was there with Matthiessen at every step: the light, the snow, the stillness. I will reread it very soon, and I will read more of his books! May 2021 fill you with happiness and fulfillment, my friend!

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    2. So many people loved that book. I know what you mean--about languishing. Who cares about a snow leopard? And then Matthiessen makes you care and love and admire. He did that for me with The Tree Where Man Was Born and At Play in the Fields of Our Lord--oh my. I could go on.

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  17. Louise, please accept my apologies. I accidentally addressed my post to Gwen. I don't think Gwen has your handsome dude under her Christmas tree! :))
    And thank you for co-hosting this month.

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    1. No worries, Lynn! We're all doing the best we can. Happy writing this year!

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  18. I try to read it all. It's rare I give up on a book. The uber graphic stuff I just read the reviews to. It's like looking around the sun without having to stare directly at it. Happy IWSG day. Thank you for co-hosting!

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    1. Thanks, Adrienne! Not staring directly at the sun is a good thing ~ LOL! One day I may tackle a graphic novel. All the best to you!

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  19. I doubt that you can be kept down by much of anything. And aren't you lucky to have a great present like your guy under the tree!

    Happy New Year and thanks for co-hosting to kick off 2021.

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    1. Oh yes, Lee! I'm among the lucky ones! I hope the new year will be good and kind to you! You've been through so much recently. Take care!

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  20. What an incredible 6th year of life! That alone would be an interesting story. I agree with much of what you said about reading and writing! I hope you're feeling better and stronger, now. Here's to a healthy and prosperous new year!
    Thanks for co-hosting this month!
    Mary at Play off the Page

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    1. Thanks, Mary! I'm doing much better. Everything is working, and today I managed to do 3 sets of 20-pound weight rows with with each arm. I was thrilled and so was my trainer Julie! Onward and upward. All the best to you in 2021!

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  21. What an amazing tale - not your average 'slice of life' tale, Fundy Blue.

    I, too, disappeared into books. My wall, my immersion, my shield. Reading as savior. Amen.

    Happy 2021 and thanks for co-hosting this month's tribal meeting.

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    1. Thanks, PJ! Thank God for books and imagination! Wishing you a healthy, happy, and productive new year!

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  22. Wow. You had quite a rough young life. My son is 7 and in 1st grade (he was born late in the year). I would hate to think of him handling everything you did. He's not a strong reader, still struggling with little words. But he loves listening to me read to him.

    Thanks for co-hosting!

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    1. Thanks, Loni! My heart goes out to your son and all the other young learners during the pandemic. As a retired teacher, I will say read, read, read to your son and focus on the pleasure of it. Believe in him ~ He'll get there! There is so much fabulous children's literature available now. Take care!

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  23. Oh my gosh. What a tumultuous childhood you had. I'm so glad you could find comfort in books and obtaining knowledge. This is one big reason I write for kids. Just hope some can find the escape they need and even a little bit of hope. Thank you for co-hosting!

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    1. Children's authors are my superheroes, Sheri! And the best of children's literature can stand with the world's great literature. I'm really glad that you write for children. They all need our love and support, especially right now. Take care, and have a great 2021!

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  24. I do miss the joy of reading from the elementary school days.

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    1. Some of my happiest memories are of my teachers reading to me and the books I read when I was young. Have a much happier 2021, my friend. I know that this has been a tough year for you! Take care! Sending you a big hug!

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  25. I am so glad that you had books to help carry you through those tough events! And inspired by your continuation of loving the written word even if not written perfectly! That Christmas tree looks fabulous!

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    1. Thanks, Lynn! I do love a Christmas tree! I have never had a Christmas without a tree, and I hope I never will. Wishing you a happy, happy 2021!

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  26. No trauma in my childhood, but like you I started reading at a young age and was obsessed with reading throughout most of my life. I also enjoyed reading encyclopedia entries--learned some interesting stuff that way. In fact, we still have a set of encyclopedias in our living that I refer to regularly. Just last night I was looking up Christopher Columbus to see how they depicted him in our circa 1994 set. I'm often driven to those books when watching something on TV and want to know more about it.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. I loved what you shared, Arlee. We had several sets of encyclopedias, and one was so old it showed how long it would take a train to get to the moon and each of the planets. Wish someone in my family still had it. Poor Columbus. He's fallen in standing in recent years, but that doesn't diminish what he braved as an explorer. Have a happy and fulfilling 2021!

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  27. I have always been a reader, even though no traumatic events occurred in my childhood. But I noticed that with age, I've become less tolerant (or more discriminate) about books I read. What might've worked or sort-worked for me 20 years ago, doesn't work now, and I DNF more books than ever before.

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    1. Reading is an amazing human accomplishment! I look at the human journey and marvel that we created literature, music, art, traveling to the moon, a virus for a pandemic. And congratulations, Olga, on being featured in "Dark Matter: Artificial!" I can't wait to read your story. Isn't it wonderful that the IWSG and Dancing Lemur Press supports IWSG members with such a great opportunity? Enjoy the ride!

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  28. I'm sorry about your shoulder, Louise, but I'm glad you're doing better! Hopefully you do get to reach the cupola on top of the Duomo soon. Thanks so much for co-hosting this month.

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    1. Thanks, S.E. I'll make it to the top if I have to crawl or bum scooch all the way up ~ LOL. And I reward myself with a delicious spritz at a little sidewalk cafe that I frequented during my too short first visit to Florence in 2018. Heres's to what motivates and a much better year for us all!

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  29. So glad to hear that your shoulder is doing better. Annoying when our bodies don't cooperate with our desires. @samanthabwriter from
    Balancing Act

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    1. Thanks, Samantha! Wishing you all the best in 20211

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  30. Darn, didn't know you had that much hit you all at once as a kid. Great you had reading to escape.

    Sadly, I know that body feeling all too well. Staying on a computer too long is just as bad for you as many other heavy lifting jobs. Once that area around the C6 goes out, your limbs get affected big time. Best to take one's time and do it in spurts unless one wants to end up a cripple. Got a bed of nails mat that helps me.

    True, I usually finish as I give some leeway. Plus, I know as I've been there too. Can't remember the last one I stopped actually.

    Happy 2021!

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    1. The New Year is already better, Pat! A lot of black clouds are lifting. Bed of nails mat? Thanks for the tip! I'm already looking into getting one. As for Grade One, it was quite a year, but not the only one. What saved us as a family was love; and to this day, my siblings and I have a fierce love for each other.
      Now, if we in America can just get through the next 13 days ... All the best to you my friend!

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  31. Oh, Louise, how scary. So glad you're doing better. Take care of yourself. Thanks for cohosting this month.

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    1. Thanks, Diane! It was scary. But the lesson finally got through my thick skull. I always enjoy co-hosting. I appreciate and admire my fellow IWSG members, and it's a small way of giving back. Wishing you all the best in the new year, Diane!

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  32. Such a lovely post. Reading offers solace in and escape from events we can't control - or are simply bored with. Whether my cup of tea or not, I'm glad for every book ever written.
    Glad to know you're on the road to recovery.
    Thanks for co-hosting!

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    1. Thanks, Diedre! I'm glad for every book written, too. Here's to lots of happy reading in 2021.

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  33. Happy New Year to you and Terry! Based on how the old year ended, I hope this one started better! And, I hope your health is back to normal. Crazy childhood you had as well. Phew! No wonder you escaped in books, despite your life and neighborhood unfolding like a horror story! And, no wonder you remained an avid reader and became a writer! I love your quote “Write from your heart, give me truth and authenticity as you see it, and I'll finish your book.” I hope you give my authentic and truthful “Plunge” a chance. :-) Thank you for co-hosting this month.

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    1. "Plunge" is sitting on my bedside table, Liesbet, and I am anxious to read it. It's queued up, but I have a couple of commitments to fulfill first. The cover is inviting. I want to jump in and swim with you and the dogs, swim over to that beckoning beach and bask in the topical sunshine. And, I'm especially curious because "Plunge" is a memoir and I'm writing one. Wishing you all the best with your book!!!

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    2. Hi Louise! Wonderful news. I hope you enjoy the ride, of both Plunge and finishing your own memoir. If you have any questions, let me know. Have a nice weekend!

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  34. When the world or life around you goes wrong, reading is of the best things you can do to relieve your mind of the chaos.

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    1. Hey, Steven! Thanks for visiting. I can escape through reading better than any other way. Happy New Year!

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  35. Hey Beautiful Soul, sending you a BIG HUG!!! Louise, I can't believe what you and your family went through, when you were younger and what you went through, these past 2 months! I love your smile! Keep being you and please stay healthy and safe! Much Love!

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    1. Much love back at you, my mystic friend! When you are a child experiencing a tumultuous childhood, it's normal because it's your reality. At least it was for my siblings and myself. This is why I believe in the power of unconditional love and the importance of a loving extended family. Love carried us through. You, Stacy, spread love with your acceptance and positivity and kindness. I hope the new year brings wonderful things your way!

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    2. You got me crying!! So grateful! Thank you! I'm finding my way. Truly finding me! Love is the way! Big Hugs!

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  36. Love the pictures! What a hard time you lived through. I understand reading encyclopedias. Whenever I went to the library to research something for school, I'd get sucked into the encyclopedias, seeing something that caught my eye. I'm just as bad with the internet now. I so badly wanted our own set of Encyclopedia Britannicas, but alas, it wasn't to be.

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    1. Hi, Shannon! Encyclopedias were so expensive. I'm sure my Grandmother MacBeath helped my parents pay for them. Our encyclopedias were as much a warren of rabbit holes for me then as the internet is now. Isn't it amazing to have a world of information at our fingertips now, especially to be able to access it so quickly? We are so fortunate! All the best to you!

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  37. Thank you Louise for your news and heartrending account of your 6 year old self reading to escape a challenging reality. Wishing you a swift recovery... the Duomo will still be there. And a creative new year full of heartwarming books.

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    1. Oh thank you, Susan! I do have a big pile of wonderful books to read, portals to dozens of new worlds. There are many, many things I'm looking forward to doing again, especially hugging my dispersed loved ones. The Duomo is my icon pulling me forward to that happy day. Wishing you a happy new year!

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  38. Thanks for reminding me that not all of us are as lucky as I was at six. But I share your love of encyclopedias - I finally said goodbye to the ones I'd read as a child when I moved last year. Nobody wants 1940s encyclopedias any more. And really, the stuff in them was cringeworthy - very empire and non-pc in today's terms. Useful when I did my dad's memoirs - but to be consigned to the past now.
    Happy new year, and thank you for co-hosting this month!

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    1. Thank you, Jemima! Kudos to you for lightening your belongings when you moved. Terry managed to convince me to recycle my massive National Geographic collection a few years ago. No one wants NGs either. It's hard to part with beloved things, isn't it? But it eases the load and is freeing. (Don't tell Terry that though. He has his eyes on a few more collections of mine ~ LOL!) All the best to you in 2021!

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  39. I hope you've recovered from your fall! Last year was rough for so many. Hang in there!

    Oh my gosh, Dick and Jane takes me back. They were my first readers too. Other than that, no books at my house until I discovered the school library. That opened up a whole new world.

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    1. Books are wonderful, each its own unique place and time. Where would we be without them? Reading one of your cozy mysteries is on my list this year, Gwen. I'm looking forward to it! Happy New Year!

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  40. Oh, gosh! Your injury sounds awful! Do be careful about spending too much time at the computer, especially with the kind of poor ergonomics most of us have (as I write, I realize I'm sitting half-turned with my back twisted funny, and I have no idea why!).

    I was also a huge fan of Dick and Jane. Their suburban mid-western life was so utterly alien to my life in semi-rural parts of the West!

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    1. It's amazing to me how many people fondly remember Dick and Jane, Rebecca. I'd like to disappear into that safe and orderly world, hold Puff in my arms, and escape reality for a few weeks. I hope that your edits of "Donuts" are going well. I'll happily buy it when it's published and do a blog post for you. Take care, my friend.

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  41. Being forced to read things I didn't like in school made me averse to reading for a long time. I finally began reading again in my 30s. So many years lost...

    I'm glad you're feeling better. Thanks for co-hosting. I'm tardy because I was helping my mom move last week.

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    1. No worries, Melissa. We're all muddling through our days the best we can. I'm sorry that reading in school turned you against reading for so long. As a retired teacher, it breaks my heart. I'm glad that you are reading now. Wishing you a happy new year, and twelve months of great reading!

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  42. So glad your injuries are responding well to therapy. Reading came late to me. When Truman was president I couldn't even read my own name. Eisenhower administration coincided with my introduction to Dick and Jane. Then I got into my dad's library and found Dante's "Inferno" -- illustrations by Gustave Doré, which caused me to faint. I still like Ike and will always be grateful for his administration's help in losing consciousness, then regaining it with new admiration for the power of written words, Haven't quite recovered sanity yet but have high hopes for Biden&Harris.

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    1. From Dick to Dante ~ Poor you! I might have fainted myself. Certainly I'd have taken my Sunday school classes more seriously. When I read your comment, Geo, I immediately had to google Dante's illustrator. I hadn't looked at the illustrations in a long time. Painters from that period certainly knew how to put the fear of God in people. In Florence you can see marvelous works of art depicting terrifying scenes in hell. I've seen them also in Rome, Venice, Siena, and Padua. Actually, I find them more personal and compelling than saints with golden halos. Have I mentioned how much I love Italy? I wonder if any of us are sane ~ LOL. Biden & Harris are inheriting a nightmare of a mess. Such heavy burdens for their shoulders. I have to believe we will get through this. Take care, my friend!

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  43. That's some heavy stuff you've been through! I started reading young, too. Books have always been a great escape.

    Thanks for co-hosting!

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