26 December 2011

A Challenge ...Austen Style!

I've always loved to read.  I was a very early reader.  I still love to, even though I don't have nearly as much time as I'd like, but I make the time every night before going to sleep, no matter what time it is. 
So I decided to look for a Reading Challenge for 2012, and wouldn't you know the very first one I came across was a Jane Austen-inspired one?  

I like that is has 8 genres you have to read from, not just Jane's books.

  • Variation Stories: An example of this would be "Darcy's Voyage" by Kara Louise. Essentially this category is for writers who have taken the original story, and changed it. 

  • Sequel: An example of this would be books by Rebecca Ann Collins, books that follow the Darcy's or Knightly's or whomever after the original story ends. 

  • Jane Austen as a Fictional Character: 

  • Paranormal: An example of this would be "Jane and the Damned" by Janet Mullany. These are stories in which Jane Austen characters, or Jane herself, become or interact with vampires, sea monsters, etc.

  • Modern Adaptation: An example of this would be "Persuading Annie" by Melissa Nathan. Jane Austen's stories written in a modern time frame.

  • Mystery: A great series is the Mr. and Mrs. Darcy mysteries by Carrie Bebris.

  • Supporting Characters: These are books based on the supporting characters in the book such as Georgiana, Charlotte Lucas, etc. An example would be "Charlotte Collins" by Jennifer Becton

  • Books by Jane Austen: Many of you have become Austen fans through the movies, or maybe you are a die hard Pride and Prejudice fanatic. Read a novel by Jane: Emma, Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park, Persuasion or Sense and Sensibility. You could even read one of the incomplete works, such as Lady Susan, to complete this challenge.

  •  The hardest part of this challenge, for me, is finding books I haven't read already!  Anyone up for joining me in this challenge? Let me know!
    Here the link to the main info page: http://existingstricky.blogspot.com/2011/12/explore-many-genres-of-jane-austen.html

    21 December 2011

    Waiting at the starting line

    I went to the gym.
    The kids club was closing 50 minutes after I got there, so I managed to walk around, check things out & do 15 minutes of cardio.
    Then I went back today.
    I had a one hour consult with a trainer.  It was helpful & gave me some info I needed.
    I probably won't be able to get back until next week because of the holiday.
    It guess I'll use this time to indulge because then it's time to take control.

    16 December 2011

    Let's Do This!

    I looked at a photo of myself taken this morning & thought, "Dear God, is that REALLY what I look like"?
    SO...I decided I'd take care of what I could immediately.  I got myself a haircut!
    Our gym FINALLY opening in 3 days.
    I need to commit.
    I want to look good in a photo for our Holiday Letter next year.
    I want to look good for my daughter's graduation in June.
    I want to look good for a friend's wedding in DC in June.
    I have a LOT to change in 6 months.
    Here's hoping for strength, motivation & support.
    And a boosted metabolism!

    13 December 2011

    The Golden Rule

    So, in a follow up to my last post, I'm still struggling with my faith, but I have come to a few conclusions about it all.  I DO believe there is a God, that isn't the issue.  However, I do NOT believe in the "it's in God's hands" or "God has a greater plan"  pre-destination sorts of philosophies.  I DO, however, believe that God have us Free Will and expects us to do good with us.  That the whole point of Jesus Christ was to encourage us to not be self-centered and to care about your fellow man, across the board, no matter how "shunned" they are by society.  THIS is the biggest hypocrisy I see in so many people who claim themselves "Christians". Live by "The Golden Rule" to Do Onto Others as You Would Have Done Onto You.  
    In trying to find some comfort in faith, we have started going to a Unitarian Universalist church.  I will always consider myself a Catholic, and really love the pomp & circumstance of the Catholic mass, but I like the sense of Community at the UU church.  I just wish I could find a combination of the two.  Until then, I'll continue to focus on figuring it all out this Advent season.

    07 December 2011

    Lost Faith

    'Tis the season.
    And I've lost my faith.
    People talk about "God's greater plan".  I don't buy it.
    People talk about "it's in God's hands".  I'm not believing it.
    People say, "Just have faith".  I can't anymore.
    If God's greater plan is to let good people suffer without any hope of living life & merely existing in pain, 
    then God's a real jerk. If God's plan is to let little children be abused, he's clueless.  
    I WANT to have faith.  I WANT to believe God is out there looking out for us.  
    But I'm really having a hard time trusting it anymore.
    I WANT to have comfort in God, but all I feel is angry.
    Angry that my mom, a beautiful, vibrant, kind lady has had to suffer a non-life for years now.
    Angry that good people get nothing for their kindness or hard work. 
    Angry that innocent children are killed at the hands of creatures worse than any wild animal.
    Angry that good, loving couples are denied children yet teenagers or drug addicts or worse can get pregnant at a glance.
    Angry.  At a God who allows it to happen.
    And angry at the people who say it's "God's Will".  
    My faith is hanging on by a shoestring, God.  Can't I have some sign to restore my faith?