I am a wild child still even with five kids under my hat, a crazy mountain manbeast at my side and living in a dry cabin in the woods. I have lived all over the world, have studied Medieval Literature, Film, sociology, history, comparative religion and danced at the The Hofbräu House.
I hung out for an afternoon with a black beanie in the house where Karl Marx was born, snuck into a castle at night and taken photos of the moon, manipulated an East German young officer into taking me on a diplomatic tour of eastern block countries. I have been stalked by wolves and climbed in abandoned gold dredges and went back to school in my late 30’s.
Today I am a book blogger, a graphic designer, a publicist, a promoter, a diva, a 20th-Century Mona Lisa.. I am a zen crochet queen, I can make a gourmet meal with duct tape and a ketchup packet. I concoct worlds, fantasies and weave dreams. In other words a writer. And all from my little cabin in the woods… I am also a partner, a kept woman of a geriatric cat, a fierce and loyal friend to everyone but myself.
Who are you?
If I had to put it into one sentence it would be this:
Cabin Goddess is a blog which has become the “Small Blog with Big Dreams” which saved my sanity to a blog which still saves me daily and has expanded my world outside these small walls of my cabin.
I have too many books to mention. But if I could name one that blew me out of the water it would be the tight, clean writing of Michelle Browne. Her unique dystopian coming of age story blew my mind. I had read one of her sci-fi shorts and it was wonderful but this one, wow, this one was incredible!
This year is still a toss up! I love Grasshopper Jungle. It ruined me for a month and I could not get into anything. Reading Taken and the Almost girl helped but Grasshopper Jungle probably .. no it changed my life. Even my kid Nathan got off on it and is totally reading every book by Andrew Smith he can get his hands on.
My favorite reading space here is in bed. I believe it comes from when I would hide from everyone in my room and read. I loved reading by natural light so outside I would always have a book. My mom wanted me to get some sun because I was pale (yes the 70’s before we really pushed skin cancer) and so I would lay on a blanket with lemon juice in my hair and a reading a book! But there are tons of great ideas!
One of my favorite quotes is something I read over 10 years ago and it has bee true to myself, my kids and life in general. Especially when being an online person is so easy to be a fake person!
What do I think of when I read the word literature? Since I have a degree in Medieval Lit I tend to think of literature from a much different perspective. But I am only going to bore you with a few of the books I think are mainstream enough for everyone to give them a chance.
Let’s do one I think everyone should read, Beowulf. Oh ya, I forgot it has been a movie a few times over (throwing up a bit in my mouth)… go pick it up, in fact go grab the audio so you can hear Seamus read it in Old Saxon! OMG SEXY! Or you can grab the newly released Beowulf translation by Tolkien. It is the adventure of a lifetime to read. The middle book, Le roman de Tristan ed Tseut(The Romance of Tristan and Isolde) is another incredible book. Want to read a romance with dragons and all the incredible conventions of chivalry which we are constantly reading in books in our bubblegum-pop paranormal romance and all the incredible action packed, man eating dragons and craziness we see even in our fantasy movies today!? It is one of the books I translated and deconstructed in my thesis. Sex, murders, sacred love, curses, magic.. dare I go on? Get the English translation and I swear you won’t be disappointed.
Do I really need to discuss Sir Gawain and the Green Knight? Monty Python and the Holy Grail? Wait wait… King Author? Hello, you want to read it and get giggily over all this really cool stuff? Seriously it is so amazing and you learn about so much that you can apply to all these cool things in literature and genre reads today! Oh ya! Heck even some of the zombie books I read can be brought into this. I will have to go into that later, because I did actually write a paper on it and my teacher wanted to string me up, but I stand by it! If there are conventions to be played with you can do almost anything with them!
Many of you regular readers have heard the story about my parents deal with my reading; I got to to read my choice in books after I read a classic. So three of my books to one classic was what the final deal was when I hit fifth grade. (I really wanted to read my Stephen King and H.P. Lovecraft books!!) When I became a mom my kids were allowed to read what they wanted and I read the classics out loud or we listened to audio books. By the time they were around 8 they were asking me for suggestions. I had them reading fantasy books such as A Wizard of Earthsea, and The Hobbit. I wanted them to enjoy classic literature that would keep them being imaginative and drive them to always fight to triumph over evil (grin) SERIOUSLY! They still take life on with flair and my youngest ones, 14 and 15, will threaten you with magic, swords and ninja throwing stars.. well OK not really but they use their wit and I don’t think kids get enough of that encouragement.
The three books on the bottom row, A Wizard of Earthsea, The Book Book of Amber and Lord Foul’s Bane are at the top of my list for fantasy classics. The Book Book of Amber was introduced to me by Geoff and how I missed this growing up is beyond me. Neil Gaiman’s mentor was Zelazny and Gaiman is a god so can you imagine? Oh goodness go buy it! It is not even in Kindle version, so I cannot read it anymore but I have the audio version and listen to that. Donaldson’s series? I read those over and over and my first ex-husband introduced me to it.
I have a ton of favorites which are considered the general classic books. From Hemingway to Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca, which I mentioned last year. For me reading any of the classics above and these puts me back in either my father’s wing back in his office or my grandfather’s where there is always the smell of leather, typewriter tape and manila folders. It always brings it back from scent memory. When I am really feeling lonely I will read a classic.
Good books evoke can be memory placeholders like the scent of certain perfumes. The feelings and places we read them can be brought back by reading books which we associate with these memories. When I miss my grandfather I always read Old Man in the Sea.