Sunday, December 12, 2004

Good Sunday morning. Just found the top of my desk to the rhythm of Transiberian Orchestra. I love their music, especially their Christmas CD. My daughter saw them live in Green Bay and said they were fantastic. Their music is so varied in nature she had an elderly man next to her and a teenager in front of her. A cross of Pink Floyd and the Pops is how she referred to it. They perform in Green Bay every year and donate part of the proceeds to a local charity as well as invite several local musicians to play with their orchestra. Thought that was pretty cool.

I have the apt. shaking with music this a.m. but yesterday afternoon we were shook by a 5.2 earthquake. Steve and I were sitting in the living room watching a movie when we heard and felt a rumbling. At first I thought it was a big truck coming up our "goat trail" but Steve lived in LA for years and he knew what it was right away. Lasted a good 20 seconds or more and gave us all a good shake. Not as bad as a couple of them I experienced in Alaska, but enough to make us take notice. It was centered just off of Tortolla in the British Virgin Islands and we are two islands away.

We went for a walk on Sapphire Beach yesterday. It is a gorgeous bay with a large condo complex, but fairly quiet right now. That won't be the case in a week or so. The big catamaran that had run aground on the reef some time ago broke lose and now it is up on the shore after our last storm. I am glad it is down the beach from where the condo tourists hang out as there are parts washed up on the shore as well. Gotta watch where you are walking down there. Gave me the creeps to peek into the port hole - kept thinking something was going to pop up from the murky water in the hull. Sure didn't look much like the interior of the cats we have sailed on. They are more stable than a regular sailboat, which is good for me since I get motion sickness easily.

During one of our sailing trips I was re-reading the Printz books for a presentation I was doing and before I knew it one of the other women had my copy of Skellig by Almond. She curled up with it and didn't give it back until she finished it. She was surprised that a "kid's book could be so well written" as she put it. I had to smile about that comment - I hear it often from my students! Skellig is my favorite of Almond's books. I love the mystical angel like quality to Skellig and his connection to the baby.

The Eathsea series starts tomorrow night. I read that it was filmed in Vancouver. Not surprising due to the islands in that area. Looking forward to watching it. Also heard on the news that the Great Lakes area is getting snow right before I arrive there. So between thinking about fantasy and the cold and snow, my mind went to Kate Constable's The Singer of All Songs. I was intrigued by this book and Calwyn, the novice ice priestess. Living in a world surrounded by a towering wall of ice is a bit reminiscent of living in an isolated Finnish enclave in Upper Michigan as a child where the snowbanks were taller than me. During bad storms it could a couple of days before the plows came through. In this novel the chanters are hated for a power they are born with and cannot deny - like being born of a race or ethnic background you cannot change, no matter how much you would like to so you could blend in with others when you left the security of home. If only our uniqueness could be viewed as a gift rather than a curse. Calywn escaping Antaris with Darrow, a man she barely knows, is so like a young woman leaving the security of her neighborhood where everyone knows and looks after her, even when she would prefer they didn't. Calwyn is off to help save the world and at the same time she just might find herself.

Okay, that's it for me for today - it was a rambling message for sure - all those connections we make in our heads. That's why I tell my students they each have their own conversation with a book based on their own life experiences and foundation knowledge. No two people read the same story.