Seasons Greetings

snowman

I haven’t blogged much at all this year. In fact, this is only my third post of 2015. I do plan to get back into the swing of things next year. Just wanted to write a quick post to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

See you all next year!

Book Review: The Blue Bistro

I am officially declaring Elin Hilderbrand as one of my new favorite authors. Last year, I read Beautiful Day, thoroughly enjoyed it, and decided then that I would be reading more books by this author.

The Blue Bistro was a definite page turner for me, and the perfect beach read. I loved this book.

It’s a story that takes place one summer on Nantucket Island. The main character is a young woman named Adrienne Dealey. She’s lived a somewhat nomadic life up until this point, moving from one resort town to the next as a hotel worker, never putting down roots.

She finds herself on Nantucket Island flat broke. Acting on a tip from someone she met on the ferry ride over to the island, Adrienne goes to The Blue Bistro in search of a job. There she meets good-looking Thatcher Smith, co-owner of the restaurant, and is offered a position as the assistant manager for the restaurant’s final year.

There’s a bit of mystery going on with the Blue Bistro’s co-owner/chef, Fiona, who does not want to be photographed and rarely, if ever, comes out of the kitchen. The close relationship between Thatcher and Fiona is one that both intrigues and infuriates Adrienne, who finds herself more and more attracted to her new boss.

In no time, Adrienne learns the restaurant business, rubs elbows with the island’s rich and famous, and enjoys the work as well as the generous income the job provides. Over the course of the summer, she falls in love, questions are answered about the mysterious Fiona, and Adrienne comes to terms with the past that she’s been running from since childhood.

The Blue Bistro has everything I like in a beach read – interesting characters, a bit of glamour, a little romance, as well as humor and heartbreak, and it’s a book that I highly recommend.

What is your favorite Elin Hilderbrand book?

Long Time No See

My first post of 2015!

Yes, I have neglected this blog once again, but that has become part of my blogging style. There has been a reason for my longer than usual absence. Nothing earth shattering, mind you. I’ve just been doing some writing.

My version of writing would actually be categorized as not writing. It’s more like planning and outlining for weeks on end. Writing little bits here and there. Starting a scene, then abandoning it. Starting a writing project (in this case, a novel) and abandoning it for what sounds like a better one, then outlining the crap out of that idea.

When I get to the point where it’s time to stop planning and start writing, I cannot articulate into words (or the right words, anyway) the scene that’s going on in my head.

I choke.

What comes next is a downward spiral of despair where every hour of the day I ask myself why I bother. Remind myself that I suck. Who am I kidding? Yada yada yada. After about five or six days of that I come to my senses and realize this is part of the writing process.

Lack of experience, lack of discipline and lack of confidence are holding up my novel-writing progress, so I’ve decided to set it aside for the moment. I have a boatload of unfinished/abandoned writing pieces and only three completed short stories under my belt. Perhaps it’s too soon for me to dive into writing a novel.

The only way to gain experience or confidence is to put in some serious writing practice. And that’s exactly what I plan to do.

Photo Journal: Tis the Season

IMG_2930IMG_2943IMG_2936IMG_2951 - Copy_edited-1IMG_2999IMG_3017IMG_3028-001In my last post I mentioned that I’ve been reading Plate to Pixel by Helene Dujardin. Currently, I’m working my way through Chapter Two, which is about camera settings and modes. On Sunday, I practiced working on exposure – aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Exposure is something I really don’t have the hang of yet, so I took detailed notes, grabbed my camera and walked around the house taking random shots.

It was a gloomy, overcast day and very dark inside the house, which posed a challenge. To start off, I decided to set the camera mode to Aperture Priority and allow the camera to choose the shutter speed for me. In each situation, I took note of how the shutter speed changed based on the angle or lighting in the room, which helped me understand how exposure settings work.

I took about a hundred shots. The above pics are the best of the bunch. I think I’ll stick with learning about the camera settings and modes for the next few weeks before moving on to the next chapter. Maybe by then I’ll have a better handle on how everything works.