Neil Gaiman

Sunday Quotes – Love By The Book

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.

Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets

Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up.

Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Vol. 9: The Kindly Ones

Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.

Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough.

Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.

Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.

Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

All Hallow’s Read – Do You Know What It Is?

(Image via vampires.com)

 

(Hi everyone. I’m reposting this because I think it’s such a great idea for the small and big kids in your life. Especially if the biggest kid is you. You deserve a Halloween treat, too!)

 

Do you want to be part of a new tradition? Do you love scary stories? My favourite author, Neil Gaiman, wrote a blog last year (2010) about sitting on an airplane shortly before Halloween. He was thinking about books and traditions and this is what he thought:

You know, there aren’t enough traditions that involve giving books.

That one thought lead to an idea:

I propose that, on Hallowe’en or during the week of Hallowe’en, we give each other scary books. Give children scary books they’ll like and can handle. Give adults scary books they’ll enjoy.

And All Hallow’s Read was born.

There are so many ways to do this. Buy a new book, comic or graphic novel. Buy a book from a yard sale, used book store or library. Look through your own collection of books, buy an audio or digital book or find free books on the internet.

Or rummage through your dark, scary attic…if you dare.

You could record yourself reading a book and give the recording and book to someone. Or go to the library, get some scary short stories and record them for a little friend. Maybe, you could create your own scary story. There are so many options.

If you’re not sure what age appropriate books to get, check out the recommendations section on All Hallow’s Read or search some of your favourite book sites.

I know it’s early but my gift to you is the link to the video recordings of Neil Gaiman reading The Graveyard Book. And if you prefer reading your books, here’s a list of free horror tales from Project Gutenberg.

So, how about it. Want to help make this a great tradition?

All Hallow’s Read – Do You Know What It Is?

(Image via vampires.com)

Do you want to be part of a new tradition? Do you love scary stories? My favourite author, Neil Gaiman, wrote a blog last year (2010) about sitting on an airplane shortly before Halloween. He was thinking about books and traditions and this is what he thought:

You know, there aren’t enough traditions that involve giving books.

That one thought lead to an idea:

I propose that, on Hallowe’en or during the week of Hallowe’en, we give each other scary books. Give children scary books they’ll like and can handle. Give adults scary books they’ll enjoy.

And All Hallow’s Read was born.

There are so many ways to do this. Buy a new book, comic or graphic novel. Buy a book from a yard sale, used book store or library. Look through your own collection of books, buy an audio or digital book or find free books on the internet.

Or rummage through your dark, scary attic…if you dare.

You could record yourself reading a book and give the recording and book to someone. Or go to the library, get some scary short stories and record them for a little friend. Maybe, you could create your own scary story. There are so many options.

If you’re not sure what age appropriate books to get, check out the recommendations section on All Hallow’s Read or search some of your favourite book sites.

I know it’s early but my gift to you is the link to the video recordings of Neil Gaiman reading The Graveyard Book. And if you prefer reading your books, here’s a list of free horror tales from Project Gutenberg.

So, how about it. Want to help make this a great tradition?

Music Is What Feelings Sound Like

(Image via vi.sualize.us/view/melaniebosveld)

I love music. It has helped me make a boring work day go faster, idly pass time or grab some friends and dance. As someone dealing with a chronic illness, music lifts my mood even when I don’t realize it needs lifting, hugs and comforts me when I’m sad and articulates my feelings in ways I can’t. I will pretend I’m the singer or do little daydreams and fantasies and form a little story around the singing of the song. The type of song changes throughout the day as my mood and health changes. Music, in short, entertains me, helps me get through my day and sometimes takes me away from my chronic illness and transports me back to a time or place when I was not sick.

When I hear a new song and fall in love with it, I can and do listen to it repeatedly. At some point I will discover a new song and the repeat option on my mp3 player gets activated once again.  Currently, it’s Adele singing a live version of One and Only.

I, like so many, fantasize that I can sing. A song I pretend I can sing is Independence Day by Martina McBride. One of my favourite versions is a duet Martina did with Pat Benatar on a CMT Crossroads show. And since they are both great singers in their own right, in my mind I can sing like Martina or Pat.

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I will put music to work for me. When I go to the dentist, along comes my mp3 player. I’ll start playing a relaxing cd and before I know it, my appointment is over. A couple of cds that I listen to are Namaste and the soundtrack to Hero. The song that made me buy Namaste is called The End of Suffering.  The video has Thich Nhat Hanh ( a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, a poet, a scholar, and a peace activist) as the artist but it’s actually Phap Niem & Gary Remal Malkin.  There are other videos on YouTube that has spiritual teachings read by Thich Nhat Hanh as part of the song.

The soundtrack for the Chinese movie Hero starring Jet Li was composed by Tan Dun who is a Chinese contemporary classical composer.  Itzhak Perlman performs the violin solos for this emotional soundtrack. Hero is also one of my favourite movies. Here’s a review of the movie and a link on YouTube for the movie. (What did we do before YouTube?)  OK, back to music.

Have you listened to any internet radio stations? There’s a jazz station that I listen to when I want to relax or fall asleep. And there are so many varieties of stations and music. I can listen to Christmas music in July,  folk, electronic dance, soundtracks or music by decade.

Words are also music to my ears. Comedians such as Lewis Black, George Carlin and Billy Connolly always make me laugh. And my favourite author, Neil Gaiman, did a tour for a book that was released in 2009, The Graveyard Book. Each city that he visited, he was videotaped reading a chapter and answered some questions from the audience.

The last song I picked is from the Holly Cole Trio called Cry (If You Want To). As you listen to the words, how many times do you wish you had someone in your life tell you the very same things that are said in this song. Sometimes we all need to cry (if we want to), due to the many stresses of our chronic life.

Cry (If You Want To)

Cry if you want to
I won’t tell you not too
I won’t try to cheer you up
I’ll just be here if you want me

It’s no use in keeping a stiff upper lip
You could weep, you could sleep, you could loosen your grip
You could frown, you could drown and go down with the ship.
You can cry if you want to.

Don’t ever apologize venting your pain.
It’s something to me you don’t need to explain.
I don’t need to know why
I don’t think it’s insane
You can cry if you want to.

Well, the windows are closed
and the neighbors aren’t home
If it’s better with me than to do it alone
I’ll draw all the curtains and unplug the phone.
You can cry if you want to.

You can stare at the ceiling
and tear at your hair
Swallow your feelings and stagger and swear
Show things and throw things and I wouldn’t care.
You can cry if you want to.

Well, I won’t make fun of you
I won’t tell anyone
I won’t tell lies
but you do what you should’ve done
I won’t advise you to go and have fun.
You can cry if you want to.

Well, it’s empty and it’s ugly and it’s terribly sad
I can’t feel what you feel,
but I know it feels bad.
I know it is real and it makes you so mad,
You could cry.

Cry if you want to
I won’t tell you not to
I won’t try to cheer you up
I’ll just be here if you want me to be near you.