Quote of the Week

"I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! -- When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library."
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)

Thursday, March 31, 2011


I think I had a breakthrough last night.  So often while I'm writing a story I think about it as a movie in my head.  This is all fine and dandy until I realize that all I have offered my poor readers is description and stage direction.  The emotion falling completely flat.  It's been happening less and less now that I've noticed it.  But, unfortunately it still happens.
Last night The Proposal came on TV, and yes, I watched it instead of going to bed or doing homework.  I've always thought the movie was a little lacking in the chemistry part.  I never felt like she connected with him or showed her connection strongly enough until the very end.  While watching it, the opposite happened.  I actually found myself thinking about what her thoughts would be in novel form!  This has never happened.  And I thought that this could be one of those instances where a novel could be better than the movie (maybe) simply because the reader could experience what she's thinking!
I guess it's true that a writer is always writing huh?  For me that was an incredible breakthrough!

Friday, March 25, 2011


So, I had a bit of a meltdown today.  I woke up thinking, "what am I doing? and what was I thinking when I decided to become a creative writing major? I'm not a great writer!"  I was also supposed to be meeting with my advisor today to finalize my portfolio.  When I woke up this morning, I had one single piece in that portfolio and only one more meager story to put into it.  I really didn't know how I was going to make it through the rest of the semester.  And, more than anything, I was beginning to think that it was impossible for me to fulfill my dreams of ever becoming a writer.

There have been a few times in life where I have recognized that I needed help.  This morning was one of those mornings.  In the climax of my meltdown I texted my friend Jernae, who is also a writer, and said.  I need some positive affirmation.  She told me exactly what I needed to hear to walk into the meeting with my advisor with a bit more confidence.  I handed her my flash fiction and she actually remember what story it was.  (A good sign considering how many students she has to take care of, and how many stories she reads everyday.)  Not only that but I now know what other stories I can put into my portfolio and I feel confident in doing so!

I haven't felt inadequate in my writing abilities for a while now thanks to all the prayers I've said to help me not be a perfectionist and to help me learn from my failures.  I don't really know what my point was in writing this, other than to prove to myself that I'm not going to give up on my dreams.  I know that this is what I'm supposed to be doing and I love it too much to ever quit.  So, I shall send this message out into the ever growing void that is the internet and say,  "Look out world!  Because I'm one more person who believes in her dreams!"

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Loved It!

For my book club this month we read The Help and it was fantastic!  I knew it had been on the best seller lists forever and I wondered about it for a long time but never actually picked it up until now.

It's the story about three amazing women who risk everything to do what they feel is the right thing in a world where it's considered wrong.  I don't want to tell you too much about this book because I want you all to experience it for yourselves.  This is also the first novel that Kathryn Stockett has written and I was astounded that she could create such beautiful characters who each have a mind and voice of their own.  This is a book that also makes you think about what you would do if you were placed in the situations of these women?  Who would you be?

I highly recommend this book and hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Monday, March 14, 2011


I was pleasantly surprised by this book.  Because of other things that I've heard and read from Dr. Allred, I wasn't sure if I was really going to like this book or not.  Not only was I worried about the writing, but it was also a biography.  Typically, biographies are not really my style.  I've read a few that have been really good, but facts tend to leave me cold sometimes.  When I read a book, I usually do it to escape in some way or another into the life of someone else.  This book was assigned by Dr. Allred in my biographical writing class so I had to read it.  I decided to get a head start on it so that I could have spring break to read whatever I wanted to read.  But, I didn't expect what I read.  I'm also so happy to know the author of this book.

The Kamikaze had always been a bit of a mystery to me, why did the government of Japan allow so many men to plummet to their death in hopes of striking a foul blow to the enemy?  What I didn't know, was that these men were actually just teenagers, and the main character was only fifteen when he was drafted as a pilot into the Japanese air force.  This book gives a truly remarkable account of the Kamikaze and what they went through to be considered "worthy" to die for their country.  This book may be a biography but it reads like a novel.  While I was reading this book everyone asked me how a suicide pilot survived to tell the tale and I had to keep replying, "I don't know yet!"  I did find out and I hope you take the time to check this book out and find out for yourself.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Many of you know that I am in love with books.  Not only the stories, but the actual books themselves.  I love leafing through the pages of a new book, smelling it, and hearing the soft cracking when the cover of a brand new hard back is being opened for the first time.  Never do I allow my books to get wet in the stormy weather, and I never read in the bathtub because I'm terrified that I will drop the book in and it will forever be ruined.  So, because I treasure my books so much, I also want to make sure the stories are worth my money.  I will research a book before I ever purchase it.  If I know nothing about it, I will read the synopsis, editorial reviews, customer reviews, and put it on my wish list for a while until I'm sure it's a book I want.  I stew and stew about a book for a ridiculous amount of time before it's ever purchased.

Right now all of you probably think that I'm a total nerd, and I'd have to agree with you.  I never understood why I do this.  I understand that it's important to use money for good things and not buy something that I don't even want.  Originally, I thought this was why I research for so long.  But, books are the one thing that I continue to purchase even when I don't have a steady stream of income.  So, obviously, frugality is not the reason.

It occurred to me the other day, just how much I live my life through fiction.  So, if I live my life through every book I happen to be reading at that particular time, it's important that I live my life right, don't you think?  In essence, I'm saying that I not only research the stories I want to read, but I research the life I want to live.  The good news in all of this is I'm rarely disappointed with the books I buy.  Young adult literature has so many excellent stories with turmoil, love troubles, joy, and usually happy endings.  I think that's maybe the reason I read so many of them.

In short, I have a love affair with the written word, and I'm glad to share that love with all of you!
Happy Reading!

Friday, March 4, 2011


Whew!  I really liked this book.  It was so exciting, entertaining, and I hardly had a moment to take a breath.  This book was hard to put down.  I love those books where you literally can feel yourself holding your breath right along with the characters. 
The Scorch Trials by James Dashner is the second book in the Maze Runner series.  (If you haven't read the Maze Runner you can refer to one of my very first book posts.)  Thomas finds himself in another trial, only this time it's not a maze and the task at hand seems easier than the first.  But, when WICKED is involved, nothing is ever easy.  He finds himself in worse situations than he could have imagined for himself, all the while still trying to remember why all of this is happening and what he had to do with it.  His memories are starting to come back, but what do they mean?  Like it says on the back cover, "the maze was only the beginning."
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the first and I really can't wait until the last one comes out in November.   This is one of the most unique stories I've ever read and one of those that keeps you reading to find out how it can possibly all play out.  I guess that's the curse of the main character whose memory has been erased.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Happy reading!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Didn't Love It

I recently had to read Papa Hemingway for my Biographical writing class and I must admit that I didn't love it.  There were some redeeming qualities and some interesting moments, but overall, it didn't do it for me.  The biggest problem I saw was that the writing didn't match that of Hemingway.  Ernest had a very interesting life and that show by all the places he lived and all the books he wrote and the people he knew, but the writing felt stiff to me.  I realize that the book was written in the 50s and that can account for some of the stiffness but, apparently Hotchner's writing style hasn't really transcended time.  There were multiple people in my class that felt this way.  It's not that the book was bad because it wasn't, it just didn't capture my attention.