Saturday, August 29, 2009

Book Review: The Angel’s Game

I eagerly awaited the release of The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon as his previous novel, The Shadow of the Wind, is one of my favorite books. However, while The Shadow of the Wind was a fairly straightforward mystery, The Angel’s Game left me confused. Was it an example of magical realism or a character study of a man slowly going insane?

This is the story of David Martin, a gifted, but unlucky writer, who accepts a commission from a mysterious publisher. In return, Martin is given a second chance at life and a great deal of money. But who is this publisher and what does he have to do with Martin’s house and its previous owner? This is what Martin sets out to discover, but when people start dying, Martin becomes the prime suspect.

The plot is worthy of Zafon; the prose is dark and elegant. However, I thought the middle dragged a bit. I didn’t feel that Martin’s motivation was strong enough. Why should he have sought out the truth behind Marlasca’s death? Because the man once owned Martin’s house? Big deal. Because the man wrote the book Martin chose from the Cemetery of Forgotten Books? More plausible (if you’ve read The Shadow of the Wind), but still not sufficient.

If I were going to recommend Zafon to a friend, I would tell them to read The Shadow of the Wind. It is by far the better book, and, if it is a 5, then The Angel’s Game is a 4.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Review: The Time-Traveler’s Wife

Three minutes into the movie, The Time-Traveler’s Wife, there is a beautiful shot of Eric Bana’s bare ass. At that point, I said to myself, “I love this movie.” That movie could have sucked for all I cared.

Fortunately, it most assuredly did not suck. As proof, I’ve seen it twice already.

Yes, it differed from the book a bit. A book that involved would have to be edited a lot. There is just too much information to include within a movie's timeframe.

I read The Time-Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger on the advice of a friend. I thought it was the most amazing and original piece of fiction I'd read in a long time. It's a boy meets girl with a great twist--boy has a time-traveling gene. He's evolving. I like that.

And as a writer, I was impressed by the way Niffenegger kept all the timelines straight. She doesn't go in chronological order in the book which, if you think about, would be hard to do anyway.

Which did I prefer, the movie or the book? Both. Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams are wonderful in their roles. I cried so much over the book and during the movie. BTW, a guy would definitely consider this a chick flick.

If you’re one of those people who like to look for inconsistencies (I do), watch for the exchange between Henry and Clare in her studio. As she’s making a sheet of paper, keep an eye on the mold and deckle. First, it’s face up. Then, face down. Then, face up again. (I found that the second time around.)

Whether you read the book first or last, don't wait to see the movie.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

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This is the Dolphinwriter Services logo. My homepage is . If you need writing and editing services, contact me. If you need a Book Doctor or a simple proofreader, contact me. If you need someone to create a newsletter, brochure, flyer, or advertising leaflet for your company, contact me.

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Bagworm Moths-Get Rid of Them

I found out what these little buggies are. They're bagworm moths, and they're pests. Apparently, once they find a food source, they hang around until it is gone. So, if I wanted to keep my evergreen, I had to get rid of the bagworms.

Using an empty plastic bag, I started picking them off one by one. I forced my daughters to help, and they were such girls about it too. Issa wouldn't pull off the bagworms that had heads still protruding from the cocoon sacks. Coral screeched everytime something flew by her head. I tried to tell her that bagworms don't hatch until September, but I don't think she was listening. There was a bee flying around her then.

It took us a good half-hour, but we got them all. I debated whether I should humanely dispose of the bagworms out in a field behind the neighborhood or not. I finally decided, not. I don't want to be responsible for causing another neighborhood infestation. All the other neighbors just cut down their evergreens and set them out for disposal, so why would I be the one who allowed them to live.

I took the full bag of cocoon and put it in a trash bag. I tied that trash bag shut-securely. (Those little suckers were not going to get out.) Then, I put the trash bag in the trash can and put the trash can out for disposal.

I've been watching my evergreen. Green shoots are sprouting all over the dying part, so I'm hopeful that the tree will come back. I've had to pick off a few more bagworms since then. I wasn't quite so conscientous about disposing of those ones. It wasn't worth the trouble. I just ran them over with my car.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Could Atheists Have a Way?

You can provide atheists with a way, but can you make them walk it? Eric Maisel's book, The Atheist's Way: Living Well Without Gods does not attempt to answer this question. Indeed, as a handbook, this one has very little new information to offer atheists. If you have been an atheist for any length of time, you have probably thought through all of Maisel's arguments yourself. Most atheists, Maisel included, would agree that there is no one way for atheists simply because everyone has a different thought process.

Buy it today at

Instead, The Atheist's Way seems geared more toward those people who are still seeking a life philosophy. It is less of a how-to manual than an explanation of atheism for the non-atheists.

"How can you live without believing in God?" asks the dissatisfied Christian.

"What is the purpose of life without the promise of an afterlife?" asks the nihilist.

"What do you believe?" asks the interested friend.

"I'm an atheist, now what?" asks the newly converted.

Here. Read this book.

This is an easy, fast read. If you want to know how another atheist thinks, this book provides good insight. Parts of it can be skipped (particularly chapters nine and ten). All in all, it's worth a shot. And, if you're into positive atheism, pass it on to a believer friend.

Monday, August 3, 2009

My Magnet Collection

This is just one door of my refrigerator magnet collection. I'm trying to come up with a way to display them elsewhere in the kitchen. My husband bought me an 8" X 24" sheet of metal. I want to frame it with wood, but I'm not good with power tools. Actually, I'm scared to death of them. Read more about Phentermine. I'm liable to drill my hand open.

I proposed the project to Create magazine. I figured, if I'm going to do it anyway, I may as well have another reason to force myself. Unfortunately, I haven't heard anything from them. Not that it matters. I have to try this (though I really wish my husband would drill the holes for me next time he's in town).

I've been collecting these magnets (the thick, rectangular style) almost as long as I've been collecting dolphins. I haven't counted lately, so I'm not sure how many I have now. It has to be around 100 by now.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Here is a close up of one of the ugly little things. They appear to be using the evergreen leaves as material for the cocoons which look bizarre.

I'm hoping they're Luna moths, but with my luck, they'll be some sort of ugly house-eating termite-like species.