Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wednesday's Weekly Wordplay [8]


Wednesday's Weekly Wordplay is a weekly puzzle started here at Bells Beautiful Books so that I could share my love of word puzzles with you! I will never share one I haven't already done myself because that would be cruel and I want to solve these too! On the following Wednesday, the answer to the previous week's puzzle will be revealed. Please comment your answers and maybe somewhere along the way there will be prizes for those who answer them first! Enjoy!


How to Solve a Cryptogram:
"Cryptograms are quotations in a simple substitution code. Each letter of the quotation has been replaced by another letter. A letter is always represented by the same letter throughout the code. A letter will never stand for itself."
-Classic Cryptograms

L  ENXVZ  POMV  UEZQ  BEZMVHGOXLEZG  ALXP  RTGVUN ,  OZJ  L  OR  GE  BUVMVH

XPOX  GERVXLRVG  L  JEZ ' X  YZJVHGXOZJ  O  GLZQUV  AEHJ  L  OR  GOTLZQ .

-  EGBOH  ALUJV




Last Week's Answer:
There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.
-Will Rogers

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wednesday's Weekly Wordplay [7]

Wednesday's Weekly Wordplay is a weekly puzzle started here at Bells Beautiful Books so that I could share my love of word puzzles with you! I will never share one I haven't already done myself because that would be cruel and I want to solve these too! On the following Wednesday, the answer to the previous week's puzzle will be revealed. Please comment your answers and maybe somewhere along the way there will be prizes for those who answer them first! Enjoy!


How to Solve a Cryptogram:
"Cryptograms are quotations in a simple substitution code. Each letter of the quotation has been replaced by another letter. A letter is always represented by the same letter throughout the code. A letter will never stand for itself."
-Classic Cryptograms


MWUCU ' A  TB  MCRJD  MB  IURTN  F  WPZBCRAM  GWUT  XBP  WFKU  MWU  GWBHU  NBKUCTZUTM  GBCDRTN  EBC  XBP.
- GRHH  CBNUCA



Last Week's Answer:
We didn't all come over on the same ship, but we're all in the same boat.
-Bernard Baruch

Experimental Writing: Experiment One

This quarter, I am taking an experimental writing class as my last writing class to complete my major. It's with a writing professor I've never had before, but I'm really excited to have him. Today I had to complete my first writing experiment and I'm kind of proud of it for no reason in particular, except that it inspires me and I love it. It was taken from Hazel Smith's The Writing Experiment.

1A. Word Association-- I started it for inspiration for my novel and it evolved into something really personal.

a cut, a slice, a knife a heartache so profound an attack of pleasure pain all the same nicks and nooks and crannies books and words shoes and socks what have we got? nothing much I'm fine I'm fine reality television glows glow-in-the-dark stars closet brother DEX father figure gone alone abandoned phone calls calling caller empty tone alone again

1B. Phrase Manipulation-- I chose the phrase to start with and went from there. 'Wandering' is one of my favorite words.

simply wandering through the park
siply wandering away
wandering away through the park
through the park simply im wandering
away im wandering through the park
to simply get away

1C. Word Pool-- I found a website that would generate word lists and so I had it generate ten words and then I manipulated them to fit what I wanted to say

month comradeship episode moisture belongings market joviality interim hearing pleasure

for a month
comradeship
in the interim
moist belonging
hearing joviality in
episodic pleasure
now on the market

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Book Review: Alphabet Weekends




Alphabet Weekends by Elizabeth Noble
Pages: 425
Publisher: Harper
Genre: Fiction/British/Romance/Chick Lit
Series: None
Bought At/Borrowed From: Salvation Army, Chico, CA

Finished: January 10, 2012
Reading Competition: Book 1, 425 pages

Goodreads First Impression
Review: Alphabet Weekends was nice, simple, easy read that was perfect for the end of winter vacation/tumultuous beginning of a new school quarter. Overall, I enjoyed reading it, but it took me awhile to get into the shifting perspectives (so confusing in the beginning when you really don't know who anyone is, especially when most are related somehow) and to care about the characters' whose relationships make up the plot of the novel.
I almost immediately got into the story of Tom and Natalie, who are the main characters and those involved with the "alphabet weekends." The two are long-time friends, like since childhood, and somewhere along the line made a promise to marry one another if they weren't married by 35 or something like that. That time rolls around, just after Natalie's been dumped by the awful, arrogant, asshole Simon, and New Year's Eve. Tom proposes the idea of the alphabet weekends--26 weekends doing activities in alphabetical order (A is for abseiling--which I thought was like zip-lining the way it was described in the book, but apparently Google says it's not) after which Natalie will be desperately in love with Tom. Natalie doesn't agree and puts it to the test by agreeing to the crazy proposal. It's a typical chick lit book, so I'm assuming you can form an educated guess as to what happens. It does take a long time to get going--it is a 425 page book after all--but once it got going, I was into it. Once I finally understood all the shifting perspectives and who was related to who, I kind of enjoyed the shifting perspectives, especially when it came to Natalie and Tom. You would read Tom's thoughts about Natalie in a certain situation and then read hers in another and see how they both notice the same qualities in each other, but not in themselves. Or just getting both a guy and girl's perspective (though the guy's is written by a girl) was interesting.
I feel like I definitely have Natalie's initial view of relationships--you fall hard and fast and then you are a sucker for whoever it is you've deemed worthy of your affection, even if they aren't--and to see that change with her relationship with Tom gave me a bit of hope that I can change mine too, since it's something I've been working on.
Anna and Nicholas' relationship (the parents of Natalie for those of you easily confused by a large ensemble of characters) was hard to read, not because of the content, but just because of the way it was written. I didn't really care or catch on to their story until the middle of the book because not a ton happens in it. Anna is depressed and no one knows how to take care of her, including Nicholas even after half a century or two of marriage. I think for awhile though I got them confused because their stories were distinctly separate for a bit--it started with Nicholas' perspective but then mainly became Anna's until really neither of them got any chapters towards the end. I don't know. Their story definitely takes a backseat to the other two main stories of the novel, but I can't decide whether or not it is even poignant enough to matter. It was a little essential, combining a bit with Natalie and Tom's story during some crucial moments, but the moments could have happened without their own story at all. It's like there wasn't enough to make it count, but too much to completely ignore.
It was especially difficult for me to read about the Patrick-Lucy-Alec-Marianne foursome. I cannot ever imagine being in the situation that Lucy is in, but I think that's a big point to their story--you really can never know. This story is almost entirely separate from Natalie and Tom's and Anna and Nicholas'. Patrick is Tom's brother, so you see the two of them interact, and Natalie visits Lucy like once. However, Patrick and Lucy's story set an opposing side to Tom and Natalie's that are great in juxtaposition to each other.
What I liked most about this book was the realistic portrayal of relationships. I don't know if it's just because for the past few years many of the relationships I've read about include at least one supernatural being, but I thought Noble portrayed the three main relationships as relationships are, perfectly imperfect with all sorts of ups-and-downs and uncertainties but most of all a faith that gets you through them. Ok, so, maybe your best friend of thirty odd years won't say he'll marry you after 26 alphabetical activities, but it's their slow-burning, changing love that can happen. It's finding someone who will change your view of love and life. It's finding someone who could have been your best friend for thirty years. It's a take on what happens when you've spent your whole life with someone and your kids are gone and it's just the two of you again with your whole lives to look back on, and possibly regret. It's finding yourself in a relationship you don't want to be in anymore and taking a chance on a different one, even if you never expected it.
Overall, it's a decent read and I'm looking forward to trying out her other novels. I already have her The Reading Group ready for me at home!


Rated: 7-- Just enough to like, but not enough to put it in my all time favorites. Definitely an awesome beach/vacation read!
Up Next: The Lying Game by Sara Shepard