Friday, August 23, 2013

Book Review...Icons By Margaret Stohl

When an author who has written a book I loved comes out with a new novel, I find myself like a kid on Christmas morning. Excitedly staring at the cover, wondering what I will find inside.

When I finally received Icons in my hands, I excitedly made it my current read...especially as I've been on a dystopia kick lately.

At first, Doloria and her best friend Ro seemed like the typical beginning of a complicated teen angst triangle that seems typical (and not always in a bad way) but the back story seemed more interesting...The Day, as it is known, began as any other, until literally everything and everyone stopped. Except Dol, or so it seems. The Lords came to Earth and placed Icons in prominent cities across the globe, creating a net of Silent Cities that enslaved the human race under constant fear of The Day happening again. Out in the Grasses, the Mission seems to be exempt but still living under the shadow of fear. Until all that she has known is shattered and destroyed as the two are captured and taken to the Embassy. At which we find out there maybe more to things than it seems.

And that's about all we really get. I can't say I necessarily disliked Icons. To be honest, I felt a odd mixture of indifference, disappointment, and a struggling sense of hope. I wanted to connect, but every moment that started to hook me sadly became vague and lacking. Who were the Lords, and what are the projects going to become? What information is so dangerous that Dol's book is worth killing for? Did Dol's parents (and the others) knowingly participate in the mysterious program? What information did we have that precluded the Lords arriving? And the "documents" in between chapters stopped the flow for me.

I wanted to like Dol, and at times I did. But, other times I felt as if the whole story line gave just enough to spark interest then let it go that it was difficult to. Tima, however, I would have loved knowing more about. The other part of the triangle? Of course we see it coming, but sadly, I could care less if they had any love/angst conflict.

I'm not sure if this is a beginning of a series (it certainly felt as if it could be), but I would pick up the next book if it were, hoping to get a little more than we were teased with. There was just enough that I'd like to know more...

Friday, August 16, 2013

Making It Work

Where a movement is generated from changes everything, whether a chest circle that's muscular or originates from your ribcage, or a spiritual movement of taking control of your happiness.

Recently, I took part in an intensive that included bellydance, yoga and biomechanics, practice, and the history of tribal bellydance. But, beyond all of the hours spent dancing, drilling, conditioning, zilling for six plus hours a day, I found the parts of myself that had remained buried under the layers of what I thought I had to be, others thought who I should be, and some strange sense of how I thought I wanted to be.

The simple fact that we all seem to forget is that while we are essentially the same, the paths we take are drastically different. What makes me feel free and happy may be totally different from anyone else. And this is a beautiful thing.

It takes a long time to realize this, mostly because we are beaten over the head since birth to conform, yet be special, yet THIS is what is beautiful, be normal...but, when you finally find your own path, it is liberating. Not to say staying on the path is easy, or even necessary. Sometimes, the path is unmarked at times. This may bring out self doubt or a panic session, but I keep reminding myself to do what makes ME happy.

Needless to say, I don't drill/dance/practice for six hours a day at home. Life has many ways of complicating things, and sometimes I'm lucky to get forty-five minutes in four times a week. And that is okay. Could I be a better dancer with more? Of course, but I would be a broke dancer with a lonely puppy, tons of laundry and dirty dishes, miscellaneous unused vintage jewelry just wishing to be loved again by a bellydancer, a very unhappy lil man and supportive yet frazzled husband.

So, I choose happy, and make my life work for me. I just wish it hadn't taken me so long to figure that out.