Thursday, June 30, 2011

Some Frost for Mid-Winter..

Fire And Ice
~ Robert Frost

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favour fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wisdom for your Wednesday

"Face your deficiencies and acknowledge them; but do not let
them master you. Let them teach you patience, sweetness,
insight. When we do the best we can, we never know what
miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another."
~ Helen Keller 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Yoga Update

If there was one thing my yoga teacher wanted to get through to me last night it was the importance of correct breathing in yoga. When you practise Vinyasa yoga you should be doing Ujjayi breathing, or as it is also called ocean breath or hissing breath. Vinyasa yoga is a breath-synchronized movement, which means with each movement a certain breath is attached be it and intake of air or and exhale. This conscious breathing gives you concentration, focus and control, and will empower your practise and build internal body heat.

Ujjayi breathing is a deep inhale and exhale through the nose with a focus at the back of the throat, which slightly constricts the passage of air. To try it; Inhale and then exhale mouth open, imagine that you are trying to fog up a pair of glasses. Now try this as an inhale as well, you should hear a sound or tone coming from your throat which sounds like the ocean, thus the name ocean breath. Now once you have this sound close your mouth and breath through the nose, make sure you are taking deep breaths. You should hear the same sound as when your mouth was open, and your breaths when practising should be 3 second inhales, and 3 second exhales. Beware you may sound like Darth Vader while trying this!

Now women do tend to find it more difficult then men for some reason, I have no idea why that is. But the thing I find hard is to make a loud sound, I can definitely make the sound and do the breathing properly but I can’t make it loud enough. Probably because I am focusing so hard on getting the pose correct! Any who, this is something I plan to work on over the next few weeks as it is an integral part of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga.

The other thing I struggle with sometimes is exhaling and inhaling at the correct times as each movement is attached to either in inhale or and exhale. My teacher told me last night that usually any movement that you are looking upwards or your chest is moving up and out you should inhale as this is giving you full use of your lungs. And any time you face downwards or turn inwards it is an exhale as you are constricting the lungs. I found this explanation quite useful. Has anyone else had trouble with correctly breathing during yoga?  Any tips for me or anyone else reading my blog? I would love to hear your views.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wisdom for your Wednesday


Awakening, dawn's chorus
Welcoming, the day new, untouched
Waiting to be filled....

And will we paint a rainbow
With all its promise
Or dull the canvas
Sadly seen?

Each day brings its own colours
To be chosen, mixed,
Pigments of joy,
Happy moments,
Smiles and laughter....

And which will you choose?
For 'Life' is choice,
We are all painters
In our own way,
All needing to create
Something of worth,
Of lasting beauty,
Marking our journey....
Footprints in the sand....

The sky today is azure,
The sun warm and golden
A filigree of light and shadow-play
Through the gently swaying trees.

I clean my brushes,
Choose my palette
Of vibrant, living colours,
And begin to fill today's blank canvas

John Mcleod

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Review: Kisses From Hell

Kisses from Hell (Vampire Academy novella)Kisses from Hell by Kristin Cast

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kisses From Hell is a collection of 5 short stories about Vampires and love, they are written by 5 fantastic Authors who already have successful careers and many fan’s (including myself). Each of these stories is quite different from the next, some are your usual clichéd romance, and some you will need to expand your mind for as they are out of this world different.

The first story is Sunshine by Richelle Mead. Richelle wrote the much acclaimed Vampire Academy series, and in keeping with her series she wrote this short story in the same world she already created. The story is about how Eric Dragomir and Rhea Daniels came to be in love. If you haven’t already read the Vampire Academy series Eric and Rhea are Vasilisa’s parents, so it is a prequel if you like to Vasilisa. And if you’re a VA fan you will just absorb this story as fast as I did, can’t get enough of the VA world.

The second story is Bring Me To Life by Alyson Noel. Alyson wrote the addictive Immortals Series which is about Ever and Damen and their fight to be together. But for this short story Alyson delves into a new world where mist creeps in places it shouldn’t be and things are not as they seem. It is a real gothic Vampire story.

The third story is Above by Kristen Cast. Kristen Cast along with her mother P.C write the compelling House of Night novels. In this story Kristen has let loose her imagination and come up with an artistically written, strange but enticing tale of two races, one living beneath the earth and one above. Rheena does not belong below and longs to be free above, and when she finally finds her freedom she also finds love and her death. This story is very poetic and some will find it hard to follow.

The fourth story is Hunting Kat by Kelley Armstrong. Kelley is the Author of the Otherworld Series and The Darkest Series which I am yet to read. So I cannot comment on or tell you about it, but I can tell you it is on my too be read list. Kelley is a very accomplished writer though, and you can see this over at her website where you can see the list of all of her written works. Man that girl can write! Anyway Hunting Kat is a follow on about a character from Kelley’s The Darkest Series. And just by reading her short story I can that the series is well worth a read. I will get on to that!

The Fifth story is Lilith by Francesca Lia Block. Francesca is another Author whose books I have not read many of, apart from Pretty Dead which I read just before I devoured this collection. I absolutely loved her writing; it’s so gritty, different and poetic. But she did fail to astound me with Lilith, I enjoyed it but it was a sick romance. Lilith is a very dark story with a not your usual vampire. Even so the writing and story is great if not for a romance and Francesca has a huge array of novels that I plan on getting stuck into.

I must admit most of these stories left me feeling like the romance was missing. It’s as if they have been toned down completely so 11 year olds can read them without freaking their parents out about what they are reading. And in some of the stories the romance was strange and disturbed, but I suppose it is called Kisses From HELL. So that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy them, I would go as far to say that they have reopened the short story genre to me as I have never really enjoyed reading them.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wisdom for your Wednesday

The Tides of Providence
Poet: Patience Strong
It's not what you gather, but what you sow,
That gives the heart a warming glow.
It's not what you get, but what you give,
Decides the kind of life you live.

It's not what you have,
But what you spare.
It's not what you take,
But what you share
That pays the greater dividend
And makes you richer in the end.

It's not what you spend upon yourself
Or hide away upon a shelf,
That brings a blessing for the day.
It's what you scatter by the way.

A wasted effort it may seem.
But what you cast upon the stream
Comes back to you recompense
Upon the tides of providence.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Waiting, Waiting...

Ok so these are five books I am excitedly awaiting the release of in the coming months.

Alyson Noel’s 4th book in her immortals series ‘Everlasting’ is due to come out in two weeks in America, but not until August the 11th here in New Zealand. Man we have to wait ages for books here!

Passion by Lauren Kate releases on 17th of June in New Zealand. It's the third book in the Fallen series, and a prequel to everything that occurs in Fallen and in Torment. Should be interesting…

The third book in the wolves of mercy fall’s series by Maggie Stiefvater, ‘Forever’ releases in New Zealand on the12th of June. So not long to wait for this one!

Darkness Falls, Cate Tierman’s 2nd book of her Immortal Beloved Series is due out in September this year.

And last but definitely not least, the book I am most looking forward to being released. Silence, by Becca Fitzpatrick is due to be released on October the 4th!

So I don’t have too long until I can feed my addiction for these series. But in the mean time I am swiftly working my way through the House of Night series by P.C and Kristin Cast. And I’m loving it so much that I am already on book number 5 and I started the series about 2 weeks ago. Phew.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wisdom for your Wednesday

Today I wanted to share with you all Martin Luther King, Jnr’s famous ‘I have a dream’ Speech. Now I know most of you won’t read the whole thing because it’s really long, but I hope you give it ago because it is truly inspiring.

I have a Dream
~ Speech by Martin Luther King, jnr.

I’m happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating "For Whites Only". We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

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