Inspiration From The Distant Past

Inspiration From The Distant Past
Found note in an old book... warms the cockles of my bookish heart...

Friday, March 23, 2012

Utterly fantastic fan mail part 2!

Okay, okay. As you may have noticed, Lauren Child sent my friend and I a letter back. I was utterly surprised because not only did it come so utterly fast, but we thought it would never come back. But... WE WERE WRONG! 
She sent us the letter and 2 fabulous post cards! (It would have been horrid if she only sent 1!). We photo copied the letter so now there is one for me and one for her. The picture on the post card is titled;  My dream bed. It says; 'Would your dream bed be your own bed?'
Utterly amazing!

Monday, March 19, 2012

E-readers Are Not Evil! (vlog)

Hello, book buds! Did you notice my absence around blogland, Facebook and Twitter the last few weeks?  No? *note to self: Lesa is not the center of the universe*  Well, I have been enjoying a much needed social media sabbatical. 

And I have been utterly and completely obsessed preoccupied with my KindleFire.

Yes, I have joined the darkside ranks of the e-reader cheerleaders. (If you missed it, groove here to my KindleFire dance party) 

In fact, I am so thrilled with the KindleFire (and e-reading in general) that I decided to focus my first ever solo vlog on it. If you fear brainwashing don't have time to watch, scroll down to read my favorable and convincing first impressions.  

Apologies, the camera got too hot and stopped, hence part two.

What I'm liking about the Kindlefire:

It is very user friendly despite a very touchy touch screen. 

The background color, font, text size and brightness of a book page can be adjusted to suit personal preferences. It makes reading a book very easy on the eyes. And it does not look or feel like reading on a computer. 

The backlit screen allows reading in the dark! My favorite feature!! I can read at night while riding in the car! When I can pry it away from my child...  

By the way, if you have children consider getting them their own Kindlefire to fight over. My little boy loves reading books and playing free games on it.  He actually prefers it over his DSi XL. Grrr...

I like the novelty of streaming videos, music and accessing the web but the Kindlefire may be redundant if you already do that with other portable devices. If that is the case, try an e-reader that is for books only. 

What I'm loving about e-reading:

Free books! And not just classics. There seems to be an unlimited supply of 'new' fiction/non-fiction freebies available.  

Convenience! An entire portable library is at hand anytime anywhere. 

So any new converts among the e-reader naysayers and fence sitters? 

Testify, Brother and Sister Bookworms! 

E-readers are not evil!

E-readers are good!

Embrace e-readers!

Really, you will be delighted by how much an e-reader enhances your reading life. 

I kid you not. I still can't get over the wonder of this cool fun new way to read. 

And I am still reading physical books too... still buying 'real' bargain books... still borrowing books from the library.  

Using an e-reader hasn't changed anything regarding my love or use of physical books. It has only enhanced and added a new dimension to my reading life. 

So don't be as silly and stubborn as me, try an e-reader soon!


For those who viewed my vlogs, what did you think?

Have I not made a perfect drinking game vlog for book club night?!  Every time, Lesa flaps the Kindle cover take a swig! Every time,  she says 'fun', take two swigs!!

Hahahaha! Watching oneself on video is a real eye opener!  

I want to get better at this vlogging business so please share your tips and advice.  I'm very competitive with myself so I've already noted many ways to improve, such as:

1. Keep it short and to the point!  My challenge will be to keep future vlogs between 2 and 4 minutes long.  Feel free to place bets among yourselves. hahaha

2. Invest in an external microphone to eliminate camera noise and increase sound quality. 

3. Stop saying 'uh'. 

4. Stop playing with the props.

5. Sit still. Well, that one may be an impossible goal so at least sit in a non-squeaky chair. Which I did for part two. Did you notice?

6. Vlog when the lighting is best. The lighting had changed during part two and wasn't as nice.

Anything else? Be honest. Don't worry about hurting my feelings. I have no illusions and would prefer to avoid future embarrassment. ;)

Thank you so much for your help.

And many many thank yous for watching (and reading).

Until next time, hugs and happy reading! 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Biblio-blunder: Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

Biblio-blunder is a sporadic (thankfully) feature in which we share our bookish gaffes with the world. Click on the label biblio-blunder to read more.

Last week Adele wrote about her fan letter to her favorite author. It reminded me when I wrote to an author. But it wasn't a fan letter. It was a desperate plea for help. HELP, I say!

There was a time when I could take a book, read it, and nary a mishap. Then I began to get old and feeble- minded. I got the dropsies in the bubble bathies. And the coffee spillages on the page the killer was revealed.

"As God as my witness...As God as my witness, I will never borrow a friend's precious book. Only from the library because I can always just pay the fine. No harm, no foul."

This entire speech was said with such conviction, such feeling, that all those listening shed a tear. Yes. One single tear. And a rose was involved somehow. Maybe I bit a potato. And I may have been alone. I don't remember. The point is, I could not trust myself with books.

I broke this cardinal rule one fateful day. I broke it and lived to tell the tale.

One of my friends knew I was going on a long car trip. She knew I wanted to read The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. She knew I was clumsy and had children, but that temptress offered the book anyway! I tell you, I couldn't say no. What a fool I was! What a fool.

My old nemesis

What happened, you ask? Oh. I'll tell you what happened. Chocolate milk, the deadliest of all milks happened.

 Chocolate milk spilled out of the bottle in the cupholder into my bag o' stuff-to-do-on-a-twelve-hour-car-trip. And worse yet, I DID NOT KNOW, until it glued the middle pages together. A brown gloppy stinky mess. No chance to clean it up.

But the worst, ABSOLUTE WORST, was that this was a hard-bound, PERSONALLY AUTOGRAPHED, FIRST EDITION beautiful book ruined by yours truly. Oh. Yes. I felt so bad. It ruined my trip.

As soon as I got back to the US, I searched high and low for a replacement. I avoided my friend. I searched for a first edition that was autographed for about a week. Finally, I hunted down the address for Rebecca Wells. Then I wrote a particularly pathetic letter, explaining what happened and begging her for an autographed copy. Every possible mean of contacting were included. I didn't hear from her.

I finally gave up. After nearly two months I tracked down an autographed, first edition. I bought it and placed it in the bag with the ruined book. I wrote another pathetic letter apologizing and explaining what happened. I gave it to her husband and, like a coward, left the scene.

My friend called me later that week and told me it was fine. That she hated that I was so stressed about it, I should've told her, no need for another one, etc. She's even offered to let me borrow more books. I always say NO!

But that, folks, is not the end. About two months after this, I get a phone call. Guess who it was? Ms. Wells' assistant! Yes! She called me! They got my letter and wanted to help me. She was so very very nice. I thanked her profusely and told her I had purchased one already. She kind of laughed, apologized for taking so long to get back to me, that they understood what happened and if there was anything else that they could help with to let them know.

So, that, my folks, is my "writing an author" story. Pathetic? Yes. Will I ever borrow someone's book? Unless I can run to Barnes and Noble to replace it, then NO! I learned my lesson. Again.

Please feel free to share your bookish horror stories so I don't feel quite so bad.
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