SERENDIPITOUS MOMENTS: A LOOK BACK…

This morning, I was clicking through my six blogs, pondering whether or not to change any headers or themes…and when I came to this one, I had one of those nostalgic moments.  Note the header, with the “lofty” photos.  The loft on the left was from a townhouse where I lived for almost six years, from 1988 to 1994. (The one on the right is from a cottage in Berlin where my eldest son and his wife lived for a while).

There is a bit of serendipity about that loft where I lived for a while.  I first saw the space in 1978!  Yes, ten years before I moved into it.  Then it was brand new…but the loft, with spaces between the rails, gave me pause.  At the time, the girl you see in the above photo (my daughter) was a toddler.  I cringed at the thought that she might crawl through a slat and fall.  So we moved on.

But in 1988, there was no such fear, and the serendipitous moment had arrived.  I just knew I had to live there. 

Here are some scenes from those days:

Looking down from the loft to a Christmas living room scenario. 

Curled up by the fire:  my eldest and my youngest, enjoying the coziness.

My Three Sons…

Another view of the loft, from above; I turned it into my bedroom:

 

And here’s another look; I loved the brass headboard, which I moved with me to the foothills after I left this place…but then gave it away before coming to my current residence.  Sigh.

My No. 2 son, visiting from college…

My youngest, being her preteen self….

A Halloween in the townhouse…and my daughter is strutting in the dining room…

So…now that I’ve savored those memorable moments, I will move on to other things, but memories and moments do lift my spirits during the dark days we are now living.

Sharing on A Web of Stories.

***

Advertisements

RETURNING TO MY ROOTS

325.jpg

Today I’ve been thinking about those accidental moments in our lives, the happenstance…the SERENDIPITY.

All of those themes that are featured in the book I first published, An Accidental Life, and created in the A-frame house pictured above.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As I recall the history of that book and this blog, I took a look at my “about” page, and decided to excerpt this portion:

 

When I decided to create this blog, I had been contemplating some issues about life and choices…and how sometimes we end up accidentally in one place or another, either because we made a choice that had these results, or perhaps because we didn’t make a choice…and life just happened to us.  Serendipitously.

In working with dysfunctional families as a social worker (for three decades!), I saw many of my clients making “choices” in this way.  Just allowing things to happen to them.

I also recalled how I sometimes made a choice and wound up facing unexpected consequences.  So I thought…what if I created characters out of these ideas, and spotlighted ways in which they found themselves inexplicably in one place or another because of choice?  An accidental choice.

So my first published novel came about.

However, this particular blog is not just about that first novel.  It encompasses the issues of choice, accidental moments, consequences, and how to live with these events.

***

Going back to the beginning sometimes helps me focus.  Which brings me to my next point:  I began posting my Sunday Salon events here, back in the day, when the blog was called An Accidental Life…then, Accidental Moments.

Nowadays, I combine the Sunday Salon event with others, like The Sunday Post,Mailbox Monday, Stacking the Shelves, and It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

I took a detour for a while over to Rainy Days and Mondays, as I had just moved that site to Word Press from Blogger and wanted to give it a chance to attract visitors.

But this Sunday, I’ll be returning to my “roots” and posting all of those events here.  I hope you’ll stop by and join in the serendipitous moments.

Don’t worry, there will still be plenty of opportunities to Chase Away the Blues on my Rainy Days and Mondays site….In the meantime, Enjoy Life’s Unexpected Treasures here….

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

***

HUMP DAY SERENDIPITY: WAITING EAGERLY FOR “NO BOOK BUT THE WORLD”

wow logo - timepiece

Welcome to our bookish Wednesday event:  Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Breaking the Spine.

I was over at Library Thing searching for upcoming releases, and found this one by an author I have enjoyed in a previous book she wrote.  No Book but the World, by Leah Hager Cohen, is a “twisty and resonant tale about the price of secrets, the burden of family, the remnants of childhood we never leave behind.”

This twisty tale is coming to us on April 3, 2014.

 

18079817

 

At the edge of a woods, on the grounds of a defunct “free school,” Ava and her brother, Fred, shared a dreamy and seemingly idyllic childhood—a world defined largely by their imaginations and each other’s presence. Everyone is aware of Fred’s oddness or vague impairment, but his parents’ fierce disapproval of labels keeps him free of evaluation or intervention, and constantly at Ava’s side.

Decades later, then, when Ava learns that her brother is being held in a county jail for a shocking crime, she is frantic to piece together what actually happened. A boy is dead. But could Fred really have done what he is accused of? As she is drawn deeper into the details of the crime, Ava becomes obsessed with learning the truth, convinced that she and she alone will be able to reach her brother and explain him—and his innocence—to the world.

Leah Hager Cohen brings her trademark intelligence to a psychologically gripping, richly ambiguous story that suggests we may ultimately understand one another best not with facts alone, but through our imaginations.

***

I am eager to see where this journey takes us, as readers.  Come on by and share your own eagerly anticipated books.

 

TSS: READING, RESPITE, & REINVENTING OURSELVES — APRIL 28

sunday salon logo

coffee cupGood morning!  It is a beautiful day here, and I’m looking forward to what the day will bring.

Sunday Salon is a great way to begin the week, and it’s like a gathering post for bloggers to share their adventures.

I’ve done quite a bit of reading, a little blogging, and yesterday I took a break to see  a movie I’ve been eagerly awaiting.

The Company You Keep, with a wonderful cast that includes Robert Redford, Julie Christie, Susan Sarandon, and many others, took me back to a time in my life….and I just sat there absorbing it all.  I haven’t been buying as many DVDs lately (I have 800+ on my shelves!), but this is one I’m going to add.

51aEERacD7L

So after a nice respite, I grabbed my book again.

My Week on the Blogs:

Tuesday Intros/Teasers:  The Smart One

Waiting on Wednesday with Morning Glory

Thursday Potpourri:  Disturbing Midnight Moments

A Guilty Pleasures Treat:  Book Beginnings/Friday 56 – Tapestry of Fortunes

Sweet Saturday Sample:  Awaiting her Fate (An Excerpt from Defining Moments)

Reading-Click Titles/Covers for Reviews:

Drinking with Men, by Rosie Schaap

15815360

The Smart One, by Jennifer Close

15799339

 

The Good House (e-book), by Ann Leary

15793186

 

Lucky Me (Memoir), by Sachi Parker

15985391

 

And late yesterday, I started reading Tapestry of Fortunes, by Elizabeth Berg…and I’m savoring it!

tapestry of fortunes

A story of reinventing your life, which sometimes means downsizing and recreating everything.

I like this blurb from the Amazon page:  In this beautifully written novel, leaving home brings revelations, reunions, and unexpected turns that affirm the inner truths of women’s lives. “Maybe Freud didn’t know the answer to what women want, but Elizabeth Berg certainly does,” said USA Today. Elizabeth Berg has crafted a novel rich in understanding of women’s longings, loves, and abiding friendships, which weave together into a tapestry of fortunes that connects us all.

What does your day—and your week—look like?  Come on by and chat.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

WELCOME TO 2013: A NEW LOOK & NEW ADVENTURES — 1/1/13

PicMonkey Collage-2013 serendipity

Happy New Year!  And welcome to my refurbished blog.

As some of you know, I enjoy the occasional face lift here, as I do on all my blogs.  But I try to maintain something of the old, the familiar.

Like the hippies images.  Or the free and easy things that conjure up a time and place.  Like the Golden Gate Bridge on the header, or the flower power VW Bug.

I hope you’ll stop by from time to time to see what is happening here.  And I will be sure to return the visit to your special place.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

SERENDIPITOUS FRIDAYS: BOOK BEGINNINGS & THE FRIDAY 56 — DEC. 14

4-30-curlupandread-001-framed-book-beginnings2friday 56

Welcome to some bookish fun today as we share Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and as we showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

If you have been wanting to participate, but haven’t yet tried, now is the time!

What better way to spend a Friday?

 

Today, I’ve grabbed a book from next week’s pile.  Chanel Bonfire, by Wendy Lawless, is an ARC from the Amazon Vine program.

13547428

Beginning:  Perhaps because her second marriage had only lasted twenty months, or perhaps because she was having a bad hair day, in January of 1969 my mother swallowed a whole bottle of pills and called my stepfather at his hotel to say good-bye.

Pretty, dramatic.  I can’t wait to read more!

***

56:  My sister and I stared dumbly at her.  This morning we’d left our home to go to school, and at the end of the day we had a new one.  Maudie was wailing from her carrier on the front seat next to the driver.  I understood exactly how she felt.

***

Amazon Description:  WITH CLEAR-EYED GRACE, REFRESHING HONESTY, AND FLASHING WIT, WENDY LAWLESS TELLS THE TRUE STORY OF HER UNHINGED UPBRINGING— A DISJOINTED FAIRY TALE OF A CHILDHOOD IN CHAOS

By the time Wendy Lawless turned seventeen, she’d known for quite some time that she didn’t have a normal mother. But that didn’t stop her from wanting one. . . .

GEORGANN REA didn’t bake cookies or go to PTA meetings; she wore a mink coat and always had a lit Dunhill plugged into her cigarette holder. She went through men like Kleenex, and didn’t like dogs or children. Georgann had the ice queen beauty of a Hitchcock heroine and the cold heart to match.

In “a searing memoir that reads like a novel” (Anne Korkeakivi, An Unexpected Guest), Wendy Lawless deftly charts the highs and lows of growing up with her younger sister in the shadow of an unstable, fabulously neglectful mother. Georgann, a real-life Holly Golightly who constantly reinvents herself as she trades up from trailer park to penthouse, suffers multiple nervous breakdowns and suicide attempts, while Wendy tries to hide the cracks in their fractured family from the rest of the world.

Chanel Bonfire depicts a childhood blazed through the refined aeries of the Dakota and the swinging town houses of London, while the girls’ beautiful but damned mother desperately searches for glamour and fulfillment. Ultimately, Wendy and her sister must choose between living their own lives and being their mother’s warden—the hardest, most painful, yet most important decision each of them will ever make.

***

Now I’m eager to check out the rest of your offerings….

TSS: ON CLOCK-CHANGING AND CLOCK WATCHING — NOV. 4

 

Good morning!  Welcome to another Sunday Salon.  Here we are with our clocks set back (for those who were on daylight savings time!), and I actually remembered to change them at the right time!

Usually I’m in this twilight zone, unaware, and slogging away at the old time.

I don’t like the clock-changing thing; I have a lot of clocks!  I am grateful for the devices that change automatically.

Does anyone remember when the time change used to be in October?  Ever since they changed it to the first weekend in November, I’ve been confused about WHEN it will happen.

A few of my clocks

 

Now that I’ve dawdled away a few minutes, let’s talk about our weeks.  Mine wasn’t too bad, despite Halloween and even though I managed to fiddle away a whole day on Thursday waiting for a Fed Ex delivery.  Watching the clock and wondering why it was taking so long!  I was a bit distracted and didn’t read a lot that day.  But here’s what I did accomplish:

On the Blogs:

MONDAY POTPOURRI:  MUSINGS – ONLINE BOOKISH FRIENDS

HALLOWEEN CHOCOLATES:  MY FAVORITE TREATS

A STALKER WAITS:  AN EXCERPT FROM “AN ACCIDENTAL LIFE”

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!  REVIEWING OCTOBER

OCTOBER SHELF-CLEARING:  COME INTO MY READING ROOM!

SWEET SATURDAY SAMPLE:  TROUBLED THOUGHTS

WEEKEND POTPOURRI: BOOKS, MOVIES, & STUFF

Books Read/Reviewed-Click titles/covers for reviews:

1.  Afterwards, by Rosamund Lupton

 

2.  Between the Lines, by Jodi Picoult and Samanta Van Leer

 

3.  You Tell Your Dog First, by Alison Pace

 

And yesterday I started reading Happier at Home(e-book), by Gretchen Rubin.

 

 

Also…in a fit of nostalgia, I watched DVDs and started reading the series Lipstick Jungle.  I finished the first season yesterday, and today I’m going to watch the second one.

What are you planning today?  I hope you’ll stop by and chat!

HUMP DAY SERENDIPITY: WAITING ON “KINSEY & ME” — OCT. 31

 

Serendipity is all about finding the unexpected treasures in life.  Like upcoming book releases we sometimes just happen to discover.  Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill, at Breaking the Spine, is our place to discover lots of bookish treasures.

Today’s serendipitous find for me is a book by a favorite author, whose series is one I’ve been following for years.  Kinsey & Me, by Sue Grafton, (author of the alphabet mysteries) will be released in January 2013.

 

Amazon Description:  In 1982, Sue Grafton introduced us to Kinsey Millhone. Thirty years later, Kinsey is an established international icon and Sue, a number-one bestselling author. To mark this anniversary year, Sue has given us stories that reveal Kinsey’s origins and Sue’s past.

“I’ve come to believe that Grafton is not only the most talented woman writing crime fiction today but also that, regardless of gender, her Millhone books are among the five or six best series any American has ever written.”—Patrick Anderson, The Washington Post

Kinsey and Me has two parts: The nine Kinsey stories (1986-93), each a gem of detection; and the And Me stories, written in the decade after Grafton’s mother died. Together, they show just how much of Kinsey is a distillation of her creator’s past even as they reveal a child who, free of parental interventions, read everything and roamed everywhere. But the dark side of such freedom was that very parental distance.

The same unique voice and witty insights readers fell in love with in A Is for Alibi permeate the Kinsey stories. Those in the And Me section trace a remarkable voyage, from anger to understanding, from pain to forgiveness. They take us into a troubled family, dysfunctional as most families are, each in their own way, but Grafton’s telling is sensitive, delicate, and ultimately, loving. Enriching the way we see Kinsey and know Sue, these stories are deeply affecting.

***

I can’t wait for this one, just as I’m eagerly awaiting the next “alphabet” book, which will be something beginning with “W.”

What are you waiting for?

BOOKING THROUGH THURSDAY: COVER, BLURB, OR SERENDIPITY? — OCT. 18

 

 

Welcome to Booking Through Thursday, the bookish event that spotlights our reading choices.

Today’s Prompt:

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but there’s no question that it can make a difference!

What book(s) have your favorite covers? Something that’s perfect for the story, the tone, the colors, the mood…

And did you pick up the book BECAUSE of the cover? Or were you going to read it anyway, and the cover was just serendipitous?

***

To answer this one, I glanced over my list of favorites from 2011, and certainly there were some great covers in the bunch.

Like Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, by Beth Hoffman. (Click to read my review)

Or The Violets of March, by Sarah Jio.

Then there was Never Knowing, by Chevy Stevens.  That cover seems to symbolize the tangled journey of the MC.

 

But I don’t really pick the book for the cover.  First I notice the cover, but then I read the inside flap.  And before that point, I’ve also read what others have written about the book.  Book recommendations have as much to do with my final choices as the cover, or even the blurb.

So it’s a combination of the cover, the recommendations, and hey, SERENDIPITY, since we’re at this blog.  What contributes to your book choices?

 

SERENDIPITOUS TUESDAYS: INTROS/TEASERS — MORE THAN YOU KNOW — OCT. 2

 

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Should Be Reading.

Today I’m excerpting from an e-book by Penny Vincenzi:  More Than You Know.

Amazon Description:  It all comes down to love or money in a harrowing custody battle over a little girl, set against the glossy backdrop of the magazine and advertising worlds in 1960s London.

A privileged girl from a privileged class, Eliza has a dazzling career in the magazine world of the 1960s. But when she falls deeply in love with Matt, an edgy working-class boy, she gives up her ritzy, fast-paced lifestyle to get married.

By the end of the decade, however, their marriage has suffered a harrowing breakdown, culminating in divorce and a dramatic courtroom custody battle over their little girl. Also at risk is Eliza’s gorgeous family home, a pawn in the game, which she can’t bear to give up.

True to form, Penny Vincenzi introduces a devious cast of characters seemingly plucked from the pages of sixties- and seventies-era magazines, as she deftly maneuvers between the glamorous, moneyed worlds of fashion and advertising, and a heart-wrenching custody battle going on in the courtroom where the social mores of the time are on full display.

***

Intro:  1958:

Eliza was in the middle of curtzying to the Queen when she decided it was time she lost her virginity.

She was rather shocked at herself, not for the nature of the decision, but for managing to make it at such a moment, such a terribly important moment in her life; both her mother and her godmother (who was actually presenting her) had instilled into her endlessly how lucky she was, because this was positively the last year of court presentation; it had been declared an anachronism, not in keeping with the new Elizabethan age.  And here she was, in her blue silk Belinda Belville cocktail dress, in the presence of the Queen—so much younger and prettier in the flesh than the photographs—and she was thinking not about being part of a deeply important tradition that had lasted for generations, but about with whom of all the young men she was dancing and flirting with that wonderful summer she might achieve this new ambition.  It really was rather bad of her.

***

Teaser:  “Never let it go” had been his last words to her; and she promised.  It was owned by a trust, and they were merely its tenants for life; it was slowly bankrupting them.

***

Now…what do you think?  Would you keep reading?  And now I’m off to see your selections.