Posted in ✈ Travel Tuesday ✈

Travel Thoughts: The Airport ✈️

I watch people lugging bags or rolling suitcases. And I wonder what kind of adventure awaits them on their arrival destination?

Is it Egypt to visit the Pyramids, a feat of architectural genius?

India to experience the best of both worlds?

France to learn why the French are so intellectual? Or to understand high culture?

Or are they seeking enlightenment, humility, discernment, peace, God’s face?

Posted in Books & Reviews 📚

My reading so far…

And the TBR continues to go down, down, down! YAY! This calls for a confetti celebration!

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Expectation vs…

But there’s still so MANY books to go! 🙄

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…reality.

I’m currently on my 38th book of the year as I write this, and I’ve realized that books are becoming even more meaningless and distasteful, so much, that I’ve been lowering my expectations with every book I choose to read. In this way, I won’t be totally disappointed if the book turns out to be boring or just didn’t quite live up to its gloating standards.

As for the classic challenge that I’m currently doing, well, let’s just say that I haven’t read as many classics as I would’ve liked to (as yet), but I’ll devote a month or two for that sometime just to get them out of the way and out of my life.

So far…

Books I enjoyed:

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Books I didn’t enjoy:

Murder, Handcrafted (Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Book 5) by Isabella Alan

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Amish quilt shop owner Angie Braddock solves mysteries and whines a lot! She’s not Amish, but her best friend is, and almost every chapter, she reminds readers about this and seems to subtly poke fun at Amish clothes and culture. I’m glad to get rid of this cozy mystery from my TBR. 

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

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Reviewers RAVED about the cleverness of this book, but it was all over-hyped, for there was nothing clever, new, or original about this story. I unraveled the so-call “you won’t see it coming twist” from the very first page and the other one as soon as Emma stepped into the picture, so I don’t understand the glowing and high-as-the-mountain reviews for this book. The entire book is a joke.

All of This Is True by Lygia Day Peñaflor

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All of this is stupid, irrelevant, pretentious, poorly executed, bland, and downright boring. 

I CAN’T

Books I revisited:

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Books I DNF’ed:

#Prettyboy Must Die by Kimberly Reid

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This so-call pretty boy CIA agent didn’t do it for me. He spends the majority of the story being sexist, and he’s a proper right arrogant jerk that looks down on everyone. He spends almost every chapter talking about his so-call good looks and whining. I have a strong dislike for whiny protagonists. I had to put this book down for many reasons that if I were to go into them, it’ll end up being a full review and I don’t want a reminder of why I STRONGLY disliked this drivel.

When it comes to saving the world, I’d rather leave my life in another pretty boy’s hands: Ethan Hunt’s. 

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Posted in #amwriting 💙

Cry 😢

Short Story #30

The twins were so identical that it was impossible to tell them apart, but that’s where their similarities end for if Ray was the sun, Marcus was certainly the dark stormy weather.

“You make me out to be a robot,” Marcus accuses his twin as they sat in Mille Fleurs with three of their closest friends. “A robot without feelings, too.”

Ray elegantly shrugs for it was the Gallic thing to do before responding, “You’re so emotionless that when you’re chopping onions, you don’t even weep, but the poor onions do!”

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Ramses found this highly amusing and the éclair that was about to be devoured was paused midway. Trishanti tried to hide her giggles behind a napkin as she stole a peek at her ex-boyfriend’s expression. Benny only shakes his head.

“I am not emotionally detached!” Marcus defends. “Just because I am not your typical stereotypical over sensitive Frenchman means that I am void of emotions. I just deal with it better than Mr. Sunshine In A Cup over there.”

“Marc, come on, we all know Ray’s the better twin.” Justin playfully inputs.

“And you call yourself a best friend.” Marcus rolls his eyes and looks at the healthy slice of tarte tatin that was placed in front of him by the waitress five minutes before the conversation took a weird turn. “I maintain that my brother is a saint, but it doesn’t make him flawless or perfect.”

Ray shrugs. “You’re right, but you’re only deflecting from the conversation. What a heartless thing to do!”

While the others laugh, Marcus scoffs, leans back and runs a hand through his auburn wavy hair. “All right, what’s the lowest you can hit me?”

Delighted, Ray stops eating for the moment and teasingly grins. “You never cried after reading Charlotte’s Web.”

Gasps simultaneously went around the table.

“I know you’re not a crier, but that’s a low blow even for you,” Trishanti accused.

“Says the ex,” Marcus sneers. “Look, the book sucked. I mean, all the other animals were going to get killed someday, so why do we care about the pig alone? Isn’t that selfish? He wasn’t even all that special. He stood under a stupid web and if a spider spun webs with words, then it makes the spider special, not the pig. THE SPIDER CAN SPELL!

“However, we all know that spiders don’t have a long lifespan so where did it get the time to be all philosophical and stuff? Wilbur is such a whiner that I couldn’t feel sorry for him. I don’t eat bacon, but if he whined one more time, I would’ve made him into bacon. He’s so dramatic, I guess he majored in theater.”

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“Wow, you’re going to make a great dad.” Ramses sarcastically remarked. “It’s just a children’s book. Lighten up.”

“Says you, but my children are not going to read a book with the main character running around sobbing and squealing that it doesn’t want to die. In real life, spiders die and leave their children behind. Do human children cry about that? No, they try to kill the spiders. Fight me all you like, but I rest my case.” 

Ray cracks a loving smile at his younger half. “And that’s why you’ll be a top lawyer. Don’t ever stop being you.” Two hours later, after the food was eaten and everyone caught up with one another’s life, Ray stood to help his twin with the crutches. As Ramses made a remark about forgetting Marc’s broken foot, Ray saw another opportunity to rib his brother, “I know, right, and it’s not like he cried when he was flung from the motorcycle either.”

Marcus sighed in exasperation. “Ray, you’re lucky I love you.”

“Otherwise you would’ve beaten me up with the crutches?”

“How do you…? Ray!” 

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Would Marcus ever cry? Who knows? I just wanted to write some banter.

All grammatical errors are mine.

I am currently reading my way through classics and wondering if my feelings have changed hence the existence of this story. Do I feel as Marcus does about Charlotte’s Web now? I guess you’ll have to wait for the review to find out. Coming soon!

I love Marcus. But I love Ray more. He was practically the very first character I developed when I took writing seriously back then, hence the reason he’ll biasedly always have first place in my fictional heart. 

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Posted in Books & Reviews 📚

20 Books I want to read in 2020! 📚

This should’ve been posted since last month, but today’s the 20th, so hey! In no particular order, these are the books I hope to read this year:

1. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

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For those of you that read this blog, no explanation is needed. This was my first literature book and the book that made a Francophile out of me. I’m not sure if I’ll get to this book before 2020, but the year’s still young and I’m curious to see if I still like the book… although I don’t think it’ll be a 5-star book anymore.

2. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

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This book was only recommended to me 1,000 times. I might’ve exaggerated, but many bookworms have recommended it, so I put it on the list. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything from EH, so this short novel should be the first. 

3. 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die by Peter Boxall

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1001? I’m certain that I haven’t read 90% of the books in there and if I did, I probably strongly disliked them. I love lists, but don’t tell me what to do before I die. However, I’m curious to see how bias this complied list is.

4. Paris Was Ours by Penelope Rowlands

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32 writers share their observations and revelations about the world’s most romantic city. I’m naturally intrigued by anything Paris, so this collection of memoirs should hit the spot.

5. Khu: A Tale of Ancient Egypt by Jocelyn Murray

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I got this book for two things: the cover and the location. I honestly have no idea what the story is about so it’ll be a surprise read.

6. Napoleon by Andrew Roberts

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This man! In 1804, Napoleon declared himself emperor for life. He is one of history’s greatest military leaders and although he won many battles, the defeat at Waterloo probably haunted him to death. When simulations are run today, they show the French winning, so he had no right to lose. However, like Nebuchadnezzar and many other heads of state over the years, they needed to learn WHO really is in charge. 

7. Love and Louis XIV by Antonia Fraser

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This man! I’ve been trying to read this book for so many years now, but I keep putting it off. Louis XIV is fascinating, but I am more intrigued by the way he handled his crown and put France on the map. I’m actually looking forward to reading the detailed part of this Sun King’s reign.

8. Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe

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I am only familiar with a few works from this man that is said to be a genius and one of the most influential writers in American literary history. I recall “The Tell-Tale Heart” because it was one of the first short stories I had to read for a writing class and also in Spanish. Then there is “Annabel Lee” because I listened to Matthew Gray Gubler read it with such emotion. EAP sounds like an acquired taste, so I’m quite curious to see if it’s a taste that I’ll enjoy.

9. The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer

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I don’t normally chase after Christian Literature, but it’s A.W. Tozer. This book focuses on God’s character throughout and I can’t wait to get into it.

10. Akhenaten, Dweller in Truth by Naguib Mahfouz 

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I’ve had this book on my TBR for the longest while, and I am hoping that this is the year that I can finally get this Sun King off it. When I came across it, I had to remind myself that this is a novel and not a history book about the heretic King.

11. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

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I have no idea as to how I’ve never read this book in my teenage years. Absolutely no idea! Inspired by a real-life case of wrongful imprisonment, the protagonist Edmond Dantès appears to capture so many hearts, that I am hoping he can live up to the hype when I get into this book. 

12. How the French Invented Love by Marilyn Yalom

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When this book first came out – I think it was 2012 – I couldn’t wait to put my hands on it. Then I got it and I dumped it into the ever-growing pile of TBR and forgot all about it… until now. The French didn’t invent love, God did, but the French are so devoted to the pleasures of love, I can’t even stereotype it. Throughout centuries, the French have been exemplary when it comes to showing affection and it’s been recorded in their movies and printed in their literature, but the question is: are they truly the world’s greatest lovers? Eh, anybody can love. This book focuses on love through the eyes of French culture and literature.

13. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

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Here’s the thing: I tried reading this book waaaayyy back and I just couldn’t get into it so when I came across it in my TBR, the first thought was to throw it out, but I relented because I believe in second chances. I also couldn’t get into the movie because Keira Knightley does nothing for me. Neither do Jude Law, or Matthew Macfadyen or any of the actors for that matter. The book was first published in 1878 and many writers consider it to the greatest work of literature ever. 

14. A House for Mr. Biswas by V.S. Naipaul

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I could never get into books from Caribbean authors for we tend not to see eye to eye. V.S. Naipaul fits perfectly into this category and that’s why I stayed away from reading any work of his for so long, but now, the time has come for that moment of truth, so I really hope to get around to this one before the year ends. 

15. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

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I have no idea what this book is about, I just want to read it, although I didn’t like the last book I read from this author. 

16. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby

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This memoir describes Jean-Dominique Bauby’s life before and after suffering a massive stroke that left him with locked-in syndrome. The entire book was dictated, letter by letter, by the blinking of his left eye. He died two days later after the publication of his book. I look forward to actually reading this book.

17. The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport

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Their story is a tragic one. This book is a look at the last royal family of Russia and I look forward to seeing how Rappaport painted these girls’ portraits.

18. Alexander the Great by Philip Freeman

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This warrior needs no introduction, but I’ve had this book on my TBR for too long and it’s time to finally get over it.

19. 1984 by George Orwell

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This book mirrors a lot of what’s happening in the world today. Written in 1949, this book is said to be a great masterpiece and reasonably “prophetic”. People are in awe of his psychic skills when in fact, God warned us about what was going to come to pass in these last days if we don’t repent in a book written way before 1984 called the Bible for it’s the living and standing Word.

20. The Epic of Gilgamesh, an epic poem from ancient Mesopotamia

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This epic mythological tale is regarded as the earliest surviving great work of literature and the second oldest religious text after the Pyramid Texts. I think it’s a knockoff of the Bible as do all mythologies, but hey, I gotta read it before I knock it. It’s been on my TBR like forever, so I’ll try to get to this one before the year kisses us adieu. 

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To be honest, I am not sure if I’ll even get to read all the books that I mentioned here, but I am looking to expand my reading horizons a little. Lately, I’ve been engrossed in French Literature and I could’ve easily listed 20 French books I’ll love to read before the end of 2020.

What books are you looking forward to reading this year?

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Posted in Books & Reviews 📚

꧁ TBR Book Tag ꧂

Madame Writer always discovers the best book tags around and although I’m not as invested in books as I used to be, I couldn’t let the TBR Book Tag pass me by! Let’s do… wait, let me grab a coffee first… okay, let’s do this!

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How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

I actually don’t. I used to keep a notebook, now, I read whenever the impulse to do so kicks in and when I do, I choose a book at random.

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Is your TBR mostly print or ebook?

The printed format suits me better as I’ll devour it faster than an E-book!

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How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

Refer to Q. 1.

A book that’s been on your TBR list the longest

This book:

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And this one:

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There are others that have been in my TBR even longer, but every time I look at the bookshelf, I keep wondering why I haven’t read those books as yet. The first one was a gift; the second one I bought when I was going through my lawyer phase.

Hopefully, I’ll get to them sooner rather than later.

A book recently added to your TBR

Alex is some kind of wonderful, intelligent mathematical sciencey genius who makes cooking look easy. I used to watch his YouTube channel (Alex French Guy Cooking), so when I saw his book, I had to get it.

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I love how he experiments with food and cooking methods. I love it when he goes in-depth into a technique as he demystifies (or complicate) cooking. He made me appreciate food chemistry. The best part of his cooking journey? He was self-taught. 😄

A book in your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover

Beautiful? What even is that?

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Okay, you caught me. I bought like 4 books because of their pretty shiny covers, but to keep them strictly in my TBR? A no-no. I already read them and passed them on to new owners. 

A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading

I’ve gotten rid of a lot of books I don’t ever plan on reading recently, so I guess it’s safe to say that I plan to read what’s left of my TBR.

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An Unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for

I am not excited about books anymore for they end up being disappointments as authors are forgetting how to author and expectations end up shattering like a favorite tea or coffee cup.

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However, I’ll like to get my hands on a copy of Antoine Griezmann’s freshly printed manga Goal

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A book on your TBR that basically everyone’s read but you

A few years ago, I got this really awesome book “The Greater Journey: Americans In Paris” on sale at my favorite bookstore. One year later after the purchase, it starts trending everywhere even on Twitter! And I was like, “I’ve got that book and I’ll read it soon!” It still sits on my bookshelf to this day sadly wasting away.

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A book on your TBR everyone recommends to you

I don’t recommend books anymore – unless it’s the Bible – so I don’t take recommendations from anyone for every time someone recommends a book to me, I end up disliking it greatly… I don’t know why. However, there is one book that people kept recommending to me because I used to read voraciously and that is “Evening Class” by Maeve Binchy. I have no idea what it’s about for I want it to be a surprise read.

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A book on your TBR you’re dying to read

Did Lestat ask this question? The brat!

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How many books are on your Goodreads TBR shelf?

I don’t do Goodreads. I live my TBR life through the bookshelf in my room and I refuse to count how many books left to read – over 300 I guess – but I’ll inform you when I get to 20.

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If you’re up to do this challenge, feel free to and don’t forget to check out Madame Writer’s entry here:

The TBR Book Tag

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Posted in ✈ Travel Tuesday ✈

Instagram’s Favorite Street! 🇫🇷

With its candy-coated pastel houses and weathered cobblestones, it’s easy to see why Rue Crémieux is a HUGE hit on Instagram. This car-free backstreet is the most Instagramable street in Paris, much to the annoyance of the locals. 

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Photo via aei-voyage.be

While the picturesque street in the 12th arrondissement is garnering a lot of attention, tourists also have to be mindful of the residents.

BACK STORY

The one-block pedestrian street was originally built as workers’ housing in 1857. From 1865-1898, it was known as Rue Millaud. It was renamed for Adolphe Crémieux, a French lawyer and politician. During the catastrophic Crue de la Seine de 1910 (1910 Great Flood of Paris), water from the Seine reached as high as 1.75 meters on one of the buildings. In 1993, the street was closed to vehicles.

TODAY

We live in a self-absorbed world. With the hashtag #ruecremieux now linking to over 31,000 images on Instagram, Rue Crémieux might be a paradise for Instagrammers, but they’ve taken away the residents’ privacy. They used to be able to take their tables outside to have lunch, but now, they can’t do so with yoga aficionados, dance sessions, and fashion shoots blocking their doorways. The residents are okay with people taking photos, but they’ve demanded that the city of Paris to protect their privacy by closing the street to visitors on evenings and weekends which is fair enough. Imagine looking out your window and seeing this:

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Dimanche 💃 #paris #ballet #streetdance

A post shared by Club Crémieux (@clubcremieux) on

Or this:

And this:

And even this:

It’s a beautiful street, but it’s rude to disturb the peace and snatch away privacy. Some even go as far as recording residents leaving their homes. People are sheep, literally, and when they see something goes viral online, they want to do it, too. You travel to experience, not to take pretentious photos of yourself.

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Posted in Books & Reviews 📚

Books #148 – #151: predictable cheesy YAs and spies

I found this post while sorting through drafts! Apparently, I had written it a few months ago and forgot all about it! I’m just thankful I have something to post today! 🙂

Book #148: You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner

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This book won the Schneider Award for teens and I want to know how and why. This book was nowhere near excellent or mind-blowing. What drew me to this book was the Deaf Culture aspect. I’ve been working on a story in which the male protagonist is deaf – I may have mentioned this already – and I wanted to read similar stories along the line like it, but this book was so terrible, I did not get very far.

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Kinda how I feel about this book although I haven’t picked up ASL in a while!

Julie is Indian American and a graffiti artist who attends the Kingston School for the Deaf. Someone writes a slur about her best friend and she covers it up with a graffiti mural. This is illegal. And what do you know? The so-call best friend snitches and Julie is expelled. I DNF’ed this book before the halfway point, so I can’t really say much about the story, but the writing style was a turn-off and the art accompanying the story was pretty boring!

This story is recommended for 12 years old and up. I wouldn’t even recommend this to anyone and the usage of foul language was a dead turn off. No, universe, you’re not welcome. 

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Book #149: Love, Life and the List by Kasie West

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Let’s get right into it. Things that bothered/annoyed me:

^ This sentence: He was the best friend in the world. (Page 3)

^ The texting: Most teenagers (and most adults for that matter) do not text in full sentences completed with full stops!!

^ When the story is written in the first person, the protagonist tends to overshare and in doing so, they become little narcissists. Hence why the author ends up overwriting most of the time.

^ Pages 85-86: Why is this girl on the phone… IN THE LIBRARY?! This irks me. And on top of it, she was talking rather loud.

^ Page 90: Throwing books? You don’t throw library property at each other! What hooligans! I’m sure the author wouldn’t want me to throw THIS book at someone!

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We have Abby. She’s an artist and is in love with her best friend Cooper who doesn’t “like her like her” that way. However, there’s a nice boy named Elliot who does and he is also into art. He sculpts. 

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I thought this book was going to be about Abby getting over unrequited love and falling for someone else who was not Cooper who took her for granted and even missed her big art show! Some best friend. Cooper and Abby as endgame were forced. I came away from this story not caring for Abby as she was irritating and I didn’t care for Cooper either. I mean, was I supposed to swoon over him? There was no chemistry between them at all. What in the world was West thinking?

Abby’s grandfather Dave and Elliot were the most exciting thing about this book. Like, where can I read their stories? love coffee

Book #150: The Gordian Knot by Bernhard Schlink

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The Gordian Knot is a term used to describe a complex (sometimes unsolvable) problem and is often associated with Alexander the Great.

What we have here is a strange spy novel which starts in the dashing French countryside, but ends up in New York. The writing was terrible, the plot weak, the characters pathetic and nothing really made sense. It was supposed to have been a Cold War spy thriller, but I ended up with a story that was not memorable. love coffee

Book #151: Femme Fatale: Love, Lies, and the Unknown Life of Mata Hari by Pat Shipman

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Margaretha Geertruida MacLeod better known by her fascinating stage name Mata Hari hailed from the Netherlands and was an exotic dancer and courtesan. She was convicted of being a spy for Germany during World War 1 by the French and was executed by a French firing squad in 1917.

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Ever since I came across Mata Hari’s story in the newspaper when I was really young, I’ve been intrigued by her background. Reading her story many years later, I’ve come to understand the dancing spy’s persona better. She was intelligent and an excellent linguist. A spotlight seeker who drew the admiration of many men wherever in the world she went.

She loved turning heads.

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The author did a good job in explaining Mata Hari’s story from her early life to exotic dancer and mistress, as an alleged spy for France to her death. A lot of research went into this book, but pages devoted to what life was in the Dutch East Indies and the Dutch presence in Indonesia was extraneous. Mata came across as a spoiled egotistical opportunistic sugar baby to military men. 

In short, it was a well-written story, but I was left wanting to shake some sense into her for being so dumb and trusting all for the sake of wanting to live as a material girl. The author was very sympathetic towards Mata, but I was not. Her life and death were controversial, yes, but she was naive to a fault.

Fun Fact: In Indonesian, matahari means “sun” or “eye of the day”. love coffeelove coffeelove coffee

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Posted in Espresso Shots ☕, Football ⚽

July 15th: a special day! 💙

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How have you been? I’ve been well and while things on my end are cooling down, I’m not sure if I’ll be returning to blogging full time as yet. Anyways, I’ll leave this for another time. I want to see how this week goes first. So, it’s July 15th and a very special day for me. 😄

Les Bleus

It’s exactly one year since Les Bleus won the prestigious World Cup. Going into that WC, France was not one of the most prepared team, but during the tournament, Didier Deschamps went from strength to strength with each game. Although France produces some of the world’s best players (ask the EPL and the La Liga), they were not outright favorites going into the tournament. Many were favoring Germany, Argentina, and even Portugal. Many fans rooted for Croatia in the final because society demands that we root for the underdog. What does that accomplish in football? 

Legend has it that I am still celebrating our victory… Okay, I’m not. I’m actually over it. 

Speaking of football, I am delighted that Antoine Griezmann is now a part of FC Barcelona! 🎊 With 5 French players on the team, FCB is slowly turning into FC Francelona! 😅

This season of football is going to be interesting and I look forward to what Griezmann is going to bring to his new team. 😄

Birthday Girl

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Another reason why July 15th is so special? It’s the day my best friend and little sis was born! You guys may know her as Tammy over on Godinspiredart, but to me, she’s more than just Tammy. She’s a woman after God’s heart, a ray of sunshine, an inspiration, my best friend and little sister! She’s multi-talented and she uses them all for God’s glory. 

One day, I’ll tell you guys how God made us meet. 💙😃

Joyeux Anniversaire, mon amie! May you continue to chase after God’s heart and may He shower you with blessings and grace in Jesus’ Name. All the best on this special day as you celebrate the gift of life which was given by the King and may today be one of the most memorable of the year! 💙🎂

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

Jeremiah 1:5

Photo belongs to Tammy. She was gracious in letting me use it. 💙

And since it’s the beginning of a bright and new week, happy Monday everyone! 

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***GIFs via Google Search

Posted in Challenges/Tags/Fun Stuff

꧁30 interesting questions challenge ꧂

I love fun challenges and when I read the 30 interesting questions challenge over on Stories of Hope blog, I just had to participate. This post was supposed to have been done since last month, but I am always late to the party.

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Let’s do this!

1. What are your nicknames? What do you prefer to be called?

Well, almost everyone calls me Dee and I have no problem with that at all.

2. How often do you doodle? What do your doodles look like?

I don’t doodle much as before, but does this…

…count? It’s the last thing I did sometime back in November or so. 

3. What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Do you count sheep? Toss and turn? Try to get up and do something productive?

I recite Psalm 91 and pray. Another great one is Psalm 4.

4. Do people consider you as talkative or quiet?

I am both talkative (especially if we’re talking about God, the Bible, travels, etc.) and quiet.

5. What makes you cry?

When people accept/return to God acknowledging Him as their EVERYTHING. And humanity…

6. What is your biggest pet peeve?

When the Lord’s name is taken in vain. I also dislike it when people listen to music via their headset really loud. Like, what’s the use of having a headset if other people are going to be hearing your music?

7. How many times a day do you look at yourself in the mirror?

I normally look in the mirror when I’m leaving the house.

8. What is the strangest thing you believed as a child?

That people entered inside the television set from behind to be on TV. 😆

9. What is one guilty pleasure you enjoy too much to give up?

Guilty pleasure? What is that? Here I quote the great Matthew Gray Gubler: “Don’t feel guilty if you like something.”

10. Who performs the most random acts of kindness out of everyone you know?

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11. How often do you read the newspaper? Which sections?

I don’t read the newspapers, but I do read news online once or twice a week.

12. Which animal scares you the most? 

This question is very subjective so I’ll give a pragmatic answer: diseased animals.

13. Are you more likely to avoid conflict or engage it head-on?

I run away from conflicts. 

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14. What was the most recent compliment you received?

It was from my sister in Christ, Leiya. She said that she enjoys watching me grow in Christ. 💙

15. What question are you tired of hearing?

Do you watch Game of Thrones? No. Just no.

Is Annie okay? Of course, she is! She was a CPR mannequin for Smooth Criminal’s sake! She saved millions of lives!

Why do you like Tom Cruise? You, do you.

Why do you support France and not Spain? Last time I checked, Messi wasn’t Spanish and it was Les Bleus who got me into football, not FC Barcelona or Argentina for that matter.  

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16. What is the strangest thing you have eaten?

I’m not an adventurous eater so I have to go with pepperoni. 👎

17. Do you have a whole lot of acquaintances or just a few very close friends?

Close friends that I cherish and love.

18. Do you have a catchphrase?

None I can think of at the moment so I guess I don’t have one.

19. What’s your all-time favorite town or city? Why?

San Fernando! It’s the most beautiful place in the south and it should’ve been the capital of Trinidad. The people there are very different than the town people and they don’t have time to mind your business. And the hill’s got a panoramic view!

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20. If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?

I love the name my parents gave me so I don’t see the need for changing it.

21. When was the last time you lied?

Let’s see…

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22. What’s something that amazes you?

Simply God. Especially the way He answers prayers! 

23. Would you rather be the first person to explore a planet or be the inventor of a drug that cures a deadly disease?

The inventor for I wouldn’t be able to explore another planet anyway given the firmament God put in place.

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24. What is your favorite amateur activity?

Reading and also walking to clear my mind while communicating with God.

25. What was your first thought when you woke up this morning?

Another day? Thank You, God! 💙

26. What is your favorite song (at least for the moment)?

“All I Want” by Michael W. Smith.

27. List someone you know, and describe them in 5 words.

Lee is caring, eager, driven, focus, and learning.

28. You can select one person from history and have them truthfully answer one question. Who would you select and what would the question be?

Oh my! So many people! Here are a few:

Albert Einstein: Why can’t you take the time to fix your hair? And why would a grown man be sticking his tongue out of his mouth?

King Solomon: How did you ever make time to communicate with your 700 wives one on one?

King Louis XIV: You were four-years-old when you ascended the throne and you became the longest reigning monarch in Europe. How did your longevity affect your reign?

Napoleon Bonaparte: Why in the world did you continue to trust Talleyrand even after you found out that he was not trustworthy? 

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29. Which celebrity or artist do you resemble the most?

It’s been often said that I look like…

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…God! I was created in His image after all. I wouldn’t even give my left foot to look like any of these basic celebrities out here.

30. What do you want me to know?

Jesus is coming again. Are you ready?

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This fun challenge is open to anyone who wishes to participate. Thank you to Stories of Hope for allowing me to join in the fun. See her post here:

30 Interesting Questions Challenge

***GIFs and images via Google Search

Posted in #amwriting 💙, Ray & Marcus da Díxon 💙

Busboys!

Short Story #27

“Joyeux Anniversaire! Joyeux…”

Marcus scoffs as his and Ray’s friends – Benny, Justin, Ramses, and Hasan – cheerily sang birthday greetings to them. “Come on, guys, do you want the whole of Montmartre to know it’s our birthday?” 

“Aw, Marc, don’t be grouchy!” Ray positively beams. “We only turn eighteen once!” 

“Don’t encourage them!”

“We still love you, Marc!” Benny and Ramses chortled as the little party walked to the top of the district with Moulin de la Galette in sight.

“Eew! No! Love me less!”

The guys heartily laughed as they came to a stop in front of Le Petit Eiffel its blue and white facade beckoning potential patrons in. The twins had a reserved table for six two months ago and they were looking forward to spending the evening in good company. However, when they walked inside the Belle Époque inspired restaurant, the maître d was near tears and looked as if he was ready to quit.

The little party paused to take in the scene. One busboy was clearing a table of five, two waiters were trying not to crash into each other as they sped to the kitchen with orders and many patrons were complaining about poor service from such a fine establishment!

The maître d sighs. “It’s been like this for the past two hours. Monsieur Deschamps has broken his leg and left his nephew in charge, but Gregorie has not been nice to the staff and they had it to here and some of them quit earlier even the head chef.” 

“What can we do to help?” the twins asked in unison. 

The man was bewildered. “Are you joking? It’s your birthday! Your table is reserved and…”

“We want to help in any which way we can.” Ray was adamant. “La carte, s’il vous plaît.” He scanned the menu and grins. “I can cook everything except the frog legs,” he said making a face. “I’ll cook, Ramses can help, Marc and Benny can bus the tables and Justin and Hasan can be wait staff.”

Marcus frowns. “Why can’t I help you cook?”

“You’ll eat the dishes before they reach the tables.” Ray was already making a beeline for the kitchen. “All right, men, let’s go to work!”

***

Le Petit Eiffel had to turn away some patrons after word spread about the da Díxon twins busing tables. When the doors closed at midnight, everyone was exhausted. Marcus sat next to his twin munching on a pack of Lays he found abandoned in the kitchen cupboards. Justin, Benny, and Ramses were on the phones to their parents while Hasan hummed under his breath to an old Egyptian tune.

“Some birthday this turned out to be, huh?”

Ray smiles at Ramses. “At the end of the day, our expensive cologne and fancy clothes mean nothing. Tonight brought me immense joy and when I look back at the year I’ve had, I don’t think any memory will top this night. Being selfless as Jesus is my main priority and I love to serve whenever I can.”

Marcus nods in agreement and runs a hand through his wavy red hair just as Guy the maître d’ and the skeletal staff of the restaurant wheeled a cake on a trolley into the sitting area.

“Joyeux Anniversaire, jumeaux!” Guy happily exclaimed as everyone gathered around the cake. “Marcus, Ray, and friends, we thank you tremendously for your help tonight, especially on such a special occasion. May the good Lord continue to bless you.”

The twins grin at each other as the restaurant filled with the sweet traditional singing of “happy birthday”.

French terms used:

* La carte, s’il vous plaît – The menu, please.

* Joyeux Anniversaire, jumeaux – Happy birthday twins 

Inspired scripture: 

And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Matthew 20:27-28

All grammatical errors are mine.

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I must confess that I rarely write stories now. I only write when I’m inspired by God and lately, my focus is not on writing stories so I don’t know when another one might be published on this blog. This one was meant to be longer, but hey, the shorter version works, too. 

Blessed Tuesday and…

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