Monthly Archives: December 2015

Announcement

Last week, I alluded to news that I would share today. Here it is.

I have put in my notice at the library and will be starting a new, full-time position on January 4th. I will be working at BB&T…doing something with checks.

I’m looking forward to saving some money and working more regular hours.  And having every weekend off.

So yes. Merry Christmas to me. I’ve done a drug test and gotten the paperwork taken care of. I’ll give you more information when I have it.

But I DO know where two coffee places are within 5 minutes of the building. Do I’m ready.

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Weeding

Usually, during Book Club Thursday, I talk about what I’m reading.  Lately, I’ve been doing more writing than reading, so I thought I would talk about what I’m not reading.  And get rid of it.

I’ve been spending a lot of time on awfullibrarybooks.net.  While none of my books are that bad, a lot of them are from a different time in my life and need to go.  Today, I’m going to get rid of ten and explain why I chose them.

  1. Shatner Rules by William Shatner.
    Reason: Honestly, I’m just not invested in what Shatner has to say.  I’ve enjoyed him well enough, but I don’t love him.
  2. The Mislaid Magician by Patricia C. Wrede & Caroline Stevermer.
    Reason: I LOVED Sorcery and Cecelia, but I haven’t found the sequel The Grand Tour.  If I ever read that one, I’ll just purchase this (the third) again.  It’ll be a while.
  3. Graceling by Kristin Cashore.
    Reason: I bought this book because a friend recommended it. Honestly, I’ve never been very excited about it.
  4. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis: The Gift of Friendship by Colin Duriez.
    Reason: I still haven’t brought myself to read The Lord of the Rings Trilogy or anything Lewis wrote besides the Chronicles of Narnia.  Why would I read about them?
  5. I am Legend by Richard Matheson.
    Reason: I took this book because a friend was giving it away.  It was very nice of her, but I’m never going to read it.
  6. Swipe by Evan Angler.
    Reason: Ditto.
  7. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair.
    Reason: At one point I was actually curious about this book, but I’m not any more. Also, I’m over reading a book just to have it sit impressively on my shelf.  If the story doesn’t interest me, you can forget it.
  8. Home, A Memoir of My Early Years by Julie Andrews.
    Reason: I love Julie Andrews as an actress, but I’m not that invested in her life.
  9. Elixir by Hilary Duff.
    Reason: There was a time I really wanted to read this just because I loved Hilary Duff, but I did that with Lauren Graham’s book and was sorely disappointed.
  10. I Don’t Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson.
    Reason: This is a book about a stage in life I almost can’t see happening for me because of the stage I’m at right now.  And I don’t want to read about it.

All in all, I’m just not excited about any of these books, and I have far too many to waste space with books I don’t want to read.  And the fewer books I have, the less guilty I will feel about getting new books and reading them because I’m excited about them.  I want to be excited about every book on my shelf, for one reason or another.

This is why we weed.

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Three Things Inspiring Me Right Now

Today has been a very weird day, and I would love to tell you more but I don’t think I can yet.  Next week though, I promise.  Stay tuned.

But since that is the biggest thing happening in my life right now, I’m not sure what else to talk to you about.  When that happens, I turn to Pinterest, and this pin here suggested I tell you three things that are currently inspiring me.  Here you go.

1. “All Over America,” a poem written by my 12th grade English teacher.

All over America,
poets are becoming poets.
Maybe they do not have to do this in other lands,
but in America they know
   they will be asked,
When did you …? by someone who cares.
Scribbling the last line
as he waits to read at the open mic,
the morning after when she wakes up alone,
sitting in her room as her parents thump each other
     against the walls,
grad school, sophomore year, one sunny morning
in sixth grade…blah, blah, blah,
I knew then…
They are blossoming into themselves as poets.
And when they learn
it is not all cellos and lamb with rosemary,
     that they will still be daughters
and brothers and neighbors and cranks
and the one who forgot
to turn off the coffee pot or walk the dog,
they will find yet more beautiful disappointment
to turn into deathless verse.
I am so in love with this poem.  I want it framed on the wall in my writing corner or in my bedroom.  Hell, I want it tattooed onto my skin.  I love it so much, and as a writer, that “beautiful disappointment” means a lot to me.
2. I’m on season 5 of The West Wing and I’m loving the characters and their passion but also the way it deals with real issues.  Donna is the literal best and her compassion is inspiring too, but there is a lot of focus on the scriptwriters, showing their struggles to communicate the president’s agenda and sentiments.  It inspires me to write.
3. Demi Lovato’s CD, Confident.  It’s inspiring on a personal level, because I want to be that confident and comfortable with myself.  Her other songs are just as moving.  I had the line “I was your amber, but now she’s your shade of gold” from “Stone Cold” stuck in my head all day because it is SO poetic.  “Yes” is exactly how I feel about Jonathan and makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.  When it comes to the story I’m working on, “Confident” and “Waitin’ For You” have my main character written all over them.  The line “Bitch, I thought you knew that I was coming for your title,” is basically her attitude towards the Sheriff right now.  It’s helping me get into her “after” mindset.
These are three things that currently inspire me.  Where are you finding inspiration this week?  Let me know in the comments.
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Book Club Thursday…on Friday

Yesterday kind of got away from me, but I didn’t want to miss my opportunity to tell you guys about this book I read, Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein.

It took a few chapters to get started, but once it did it was an exciting adventure filled with puzzles and classic literature references.

Billionaire Mr. Lemoncello, a famous game designer from Alexandriaville, has invested a good deal of money to build Alexandriaville’s new library and has invited a group of 12 year-olds to participate in a lock-in before the library opens to the public.  Once they arrive, they’re invited to be part of the game of their lives, with the chance to win amazing prizes.

If Willy Wonka had a library instead of a chocolate factory, this is what it would be like.

During their time in the library, Kyle and his friends have to use their brains and work as a team in order to find their way out of the library.  Along the way, they solve puzzles related to the Dewey Decimal system as well as their town’s history.  The reader is invited to solve the puzzles too, creating an interactive experience that helps to draw one into the story even more.

This is a book of juvenile fiction, so the puzzles aren’t too difficult and the language is fast-paced and clear.  Plus, everyone gets what they deserve at the end, whether they’ve been good or bad.

I loved this book.  I can’t wait to read the sequel coming out in January or Grabenstein’s other book, The Island of Dr. Libris, which is said to feature my personal favorite literary figure…Robin Hood.

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Supergirl

I am FINALLY going to talk about Supergirl, after promising to for weeks. Keep in mind, I am a single episode behind, so this is before “Human for a Day.”

I was very excited by the show’s premise and had been looking forward to it. The waitress in the first episode said it all: this is someone for our daughters to look up to. We have so many different male superheroes. Having a woman is amazing.

I also love that there are different types of strong women featured in this show. We have Kara, who is inhumanly powerful, Alex, who learned how to be physically powerful, and Cat Grant, who is a successful business woman and has learned how to work the system. She’s the one who tells it like it is about how things are different for women in the world of business.

As the show grows, I anticipate many others. Lucy, for instance, is shaping up to be a bold, intelligent woman. Though she is presumably physically strong, since she’s in the army, that isn’t her defining characteristic.

I was hesitant about her appearance at first. It’s the most boring kind of “drama,” this love triangle. And it pits women against each other in what should be a show about female empowerment. That’s part of why ice been enjoying it less lately. Between that love triangle and the fact that one of the women used the term “friendzone”…

This show needs more female writers. A third of the writers when the show is about women is not enough.

The characters alone are enough to keep me coming back for now, even if the storyline could use some updating. As the characters develop and the show finds its legs, I have complete faith that this show could do a lot to close the gap of men and women superheroes.

And isn’t it about damn time?

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Book Club Thursday: Special Edition

I previously talked about how important living writers are, and tonight, I attended an event that reminded me of that.  At the Gastonia Public Library, poet David E. Poston read some of his work before answering questions and signing books.

To me, David E. Poston will always be Mr. Poston, 12th grade AP English teacher, who agreed with my reading of the poem “What You Missed,” who discussed A Brave New World and Shakespeare’s plays, and who taught me that good writers borrow and great writers steal.

At first, I wanted to read the book simply for nostalgia, to be able to hold it in my hands and think, “I know this person, I studied under this person.”  The more he read his poems, the more they spoke to me in a deeper way.  The religious imagery in “The Childish Things He Put Away” and “R & B” remind me of my own complicated, winding relationship with Christianity.  Others, like “May 35th” remind me of the joys that come with growing up in the South, but also that I must remain vigilant to keep up with a global community.  And “Road to Nowhere, Bryson City, NC” reminds me of a specific day, going bird-watching with my uncle and cousins, and makes me think my own father could have written it in his life.

Any story can travel through time and space to touch a person (“Shakespeare must be a black girl,” Maya Angelou said, because he wrote exactly how she felt growing up in Louisiana), but there is something to be said for a writer who lived in your particular hometown in your particular lifetime that can speak to specific things that make your experience unique.

David Poston’s book of poetry Slow of Study  is rich in imagery and deep in thought while still telling simple stories that anyone can enjoy, even if they don’t like to “tie poetry to a chair and beat the meaning out of it.”  Instead, they can enjoy a story and the beauty of language.  Anyone who grew up in North Carolina and anyone who likes a good story should pick up this book.  Anyone who likes Southern poetry probably already has it.

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Good news: The all-consuming, life-destroying hassle that is NaNoWriMo is officially over.  I know what you all want to know: did I do it?  Is my novel officially 50,000 words long?  Well…

winner

Yeah, I did.  And though I was kind of (okay, completely) cheating, I still feel rather accomplished and that I am a step closer to getting it published.

The bad news is that now I have to edit…and that, along the way, I realized that this is only one-third of the story I want to tell.  Today, I’m taking a break.  Tomorrow I start line edits, which are due by December 27th, when I’ll send it off to my editing panel and start work on part 2.

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