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)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Beauty Queens

As you all probably know, it took me forever to read this book.  Many of you are probably thinking that's rather uncharacteristic of me and I'd have to agree with you.  I usually read books much faster.  Let me first say that it wasn't because I hated the book and it was painful to get through it.  The writing is fantastic.  However, there were some parts that were difficult to get through.  I'll list everything for you.

Reasons I Liked the Book:
-It's very well written.  Libba Bray really is an incredible writer.
-There are many issues in this book that teenage girls face everyday and they need to know they can conquer their trials.
-It was funny and incredibly original.  The format of the book provided the lighthearted element.
-The characters were well thought out and had very distinct personalities.
-Excellent suspense (better toward the end of the book)
-Teenage girls are told by media, friends, relatives, etc that they're not beautiful enough and they need to be someone else's idea of perfect.  This book makes it clear that's not true.  Everyone is beautiful in their own way and that's how it should be.
-Pretty faces come with brains and feelings too.

Reasons I Didn't Like the Book:
-Lesbian and transgender issues (I realize these are current issues, but that doesn't mean I want to read about them.)
-Shocking heterosexual sex scene
-Frequent use of the "F" word where it wasn't necessary.

There really were some good morals and principles taught in this book.  I didn't always appreciate the way these morals were taught.  One thing this book does is make you take a step back and look at who you really are.  Do you like what you see?  Would you rather be someone different?  Look different?  Be true to yourself.  Become the best version of yourself.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I just have to say, I love it when books have a beautiful cover!  This is going to be the new cover for the paperback version of Matched by Ally Condie.  Great book, intriguing cover... all around fantastic.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Here's a little story I wrote for my writer's group yesterday at our first meeting.  The task?  Write in the second person.  This is what came out.  (No editing has taken place yet, this is the free write version.)

You walk to an amusement park.  The colors of the lights on each ride force you to squint even though it’s night.  As you walk through the gate you give the ticket office your money another kind person stamps your hand and you are suddenly filled with the most thrill you’ve had since your 7th birthday when you got the toy you wanted so badly.  You know what that toy is.  Certainly no thrill on any of the rides could match what you feel in this moment when that ink marks your hand. 
You blow on the stamp to make sure it’s dry and you don’t smudge the perfection of it.  Even though it’s not perfect.  In fact, the ink is quite illegible.  But, to you it’s perfect.  It’s possible that you actually do feel like you’re seven years old again playing with that new toy.  But, today you are twenty-five. 
The rides all glimmer before you and you can see them so much more clearly now that you are inside the park.  Nothing can stop you from the thrill of these rides.  They seem to stand so tall before you and you wonder if they’re actually safe.  But, you only wonder that for a moment.  You’ve never actually heard of anyone getting hurt on a ride.
Are those your friends you see?  Yes!  There’s Margaret, Ben and Mark.  They all stand there with expressions as gleeful as your own.  Except for mark.  Amusement parks don’t seem to hold much joy for him since the incident on his own seventh birthday.  His was not as great as yours.  Some people still talk about Mark’s incident.  They say the park had to shut down the ride to be cleaned.
You look at Mark and bite your lip remembering the story.  You were there, and though you didn’t see them shut down the ride you know it was a definite possibility.  As you make your way towards your friends you see Mark shake a little white bottle in his hand and smile back at you with an expression that says, that’s not happening again.
“Hi!” Margaret says to you.  She looks as though she may burst from the excitement and it feeds your own.
“Which one first?” you say.
“All of them,” Ben says in his gruff voice.  Ever the enthusiast.  And also that one friend who just doesn’t know where or when to stop.
“I say we start at that one,” Margaret says pointing to a gigantic structure to your right.  She’s jumping up and down now, her blonde curls bouncing and dancing in the lights of the park.
You take a deep breath realizing the immensity of the ride.  It’s massive and seems to touch the sky.  Suddenly you feel as though you will burst as Margaret looks about to.  “Race you there,” you say and dart off toward the line.
You hear their footsteps behind you, but you don’t look back.  You’re not the best runner after all.  Steadiness on the feet is how you win the race.  Somehow you make it there first and the ride is even bigger than it looked before.  The line isn’t long and in just a couple of runs it will be your turn.
“Oh I’m so excited!”  You don’t have to look at her to know who said it.  It’s possible she hasn’t stopped repeating the phrase the whole time you’ve been in line. 
Watching the ride take off with a bundle of passengers has made your heart race and you almost feel like you are in the car with them ready to take off.  Then you hear their screams.  The shrill scraping of their voices ripping through their throats.  Yours feels scratchy now too, even though you didn’t scream.
Beads of sweat appear at your hairline and suddenly you don’t know if you could really do this.  What if you end up in the small percentage of those who actually die on the rides in the amusement park?  What if the car you are strapped to with no hope of release is suddenly rocketed off into the never-ending blue sky and only falls back down after it has touched the balance of earth and space?
Your line inches forward and you don’t think you have the courage any longer to face your friends.  They will see the sweat and the watering eyes and now is not the time for panic.  You’re not even on the ride yet. 
You watch the next car full of people with joy spread across their faces and wonder why none of them seem afraid.  Wait!  There is one girl with long dark hair who appears as terrified as you feel.  You almost shout, “Wait!  She doesn’t want to go!”  Somehow you are able to restrain yourself, though you feel the words attempting to escape the back of your mouth.  Then you realize she’s just a young girl.  If you were to yell that out everyone would know that you are afraid to ride the ride that children are allowed on.
Suddenly, you’re standing at the gate.  You know you’re going to be next and silently pray the car will never return.  Maybe they will be the ones who get stuck up there and you will not longer have to go!  Then you hear it.  It screeches a low moan.  Your vision is fading, your heart collapsing.  
The passengers, full of smiles and grins and giggles, push up on the restraint in front of them.  How could they?  How could anyone be so willing to ride something that would put them in danger?  You can’t do it.  Then the gate swings open and you feel your legs moving toward the car.
The seat is awkward and low, but you sit in it anyway.  What are you doing?  The restraint comes down on you and the worker comes to check if the restraint is in place.  You wish he hadn’t done that.  Now you know there is a little bit of space between you and the harness.  You were blissfully unaware of it before now.  Maybe not blissfully, but more so than now.
You feel the car lurch forward and you feel as though you may scream as you heard the other passengers do.  But, you keep it inside you.  Before you realize what’s happening you are hurled forward at the most incredible speed you’ve ever before experienced and you can’t help yourself.  You scream a cry that could wake the graves of the next town.  You flip this way and that way.  Your hands cling to the bar in front of you and you feel yourself weightless for seconds at a time.  Beautiful exhilarating seconds.
Your hands release the bar in front of you, the wind on your face is intoxicating and you cannot help the laughter that escapes. 
In one swift second it’s all over.  Your car is pulling into the blackness of the tunnel you started in.  The restraint is lifted and you feel heavy.  You stand and stumble slightly, but the grin is still on your face.
When you turn around you see the same expressions on your friends’ faces.  You say, “We gotta do that one again.”

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Everyone Should Read This

I took a one day break from my other book to read The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch.  Usually, I don't read much by way of non-fiction.  Many of you read my post about writing non-fiction.  I have always thought there is a time and a place for non-fiction by way of self help.  Normally I pass by the section without so much as a wave of recognition.  I'm not very good at seeking for help, especially when I need it.

Because I don't really read in this genre willingly, it took this month's book for my book club to read this one.  I have to admit, it was so worth it and completely inspiring.  Sometimes we don't always realize we're looking for help when we find it.  Because of this book I've realized I just need to step up to the brick walls in my life and realize that there's always a way to get to the other side and reach our childhood dreams.  Since there is a child within each of us, these dreams are not really that far-fetched.

My favorite message from the book: "The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something."  If you want something strongly enough you will find a way around, over, or through the wall.  Sometimes I forget how badly I want something because the wall is blocking my view.

Randy Pausch was a professor at Carnegie Mellon.  After only being married eight years and with three young children he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer which is almost always fatal.  This book shows not only how he lived the last months of his life, but how he lived his entire life.  He wasn't going to let the biggest brick wall he'd ever encountered stop him from achieving and living how he always wanted.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


As promised, here is a little snippet from my new story.  Hope you enjoy!

“See that hot guy over there?” I say to Stacey as I stand up from the table in the cafeteria.
She rolls her eyes.
“Remember how he’s my boyfriend?”  I continue standing and make my way over to him.
Tyler isn’t the guy you might find attractive, but I don’t really care what you think.  He’s my boyfriend and I love him.  He’s tall, lanky, dark hair, and over all pretty average looking.  Until he smiles.  And there’s that smile now.  He totally makes me melt.  I can’t help giving him a gigantic grin back.  I try to be coy, but it never works.
“Hey you,” I say when I reach him.  He has a tray of food in his hands, but he doesn’t let that get in the way of planting one on me right there in front of everyone.  They’re all used to it by now. 
“Can’t you guys go somewhere else to do that?” someone from the cafeteria calls out.  Guess they’re not as used to it as I thought.  You’d think that two weeks of seeing our relationship bloom people would stop with the snide comments.  Guess not.
With a relationship as happy go lucky as we have you might think it was one of those happy stories.  One of those that happens like this: boy and girl meet, go on date, hold hands, kiss, smile, happy still.  It was actually nothing like that.  He would have nothing to do with me.  Okay, that’s not really true either.  We didn’t really want to associate with each other. 
It was a mutual decision made long ago when a girl said something mean to a boy at recess and he punched her.  He thought he had super powers…and I didn’t believe him.  I taunted him endlessly.  But let’s not dwell on something that happened so long ago.  Everything is obviously different between us now.
All right, I know you’re dying to find out how everything changed between us.  But, I have to warn you this story doesn’t start pretty.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Lazy Days

You're probably all wondering why it's taking me so long to post anything lately.  It's summer!  I should be reading like crazy because I haven't much else to occupy my time.  The truth is...I'm wondering that myself.  I'm reading an amazing book right now and I still love to read.  But, for some reason I'm just not getting it done.

On the upside, I discovered a new idea for a book.  Unfortunately, not the ones I'm already working on.  This one is a comedy, but I suspect it will have a deeper meaning behind it as well.  Stay tuned for little snippets of My Boyfriend, Superhero.  (Or something like that.)

I hope you're all having a fantastic summer and that you're all reading fantastic books!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Can You Keep A Secret?

Can You Keep A Secret? by Sophie Kinsella

This book was so enjoyable!  I have to admit it felt a bit slow at first, but once it got going it held my attention and I couldn't put it down.  My friend Jernae recommended this book to me a while ago and I was finally able to read it.  And I was certainly not disappointed.

Whether you know it or not all of you are acquainted with chick lit.  It's just like a chick flick in book form.  This one felt pretty real to me, for the most part.  It didn't feel trite and insignificant like others in the genre can be.  The story was solid and so cute!

It is the story of Emma Corrigan.  She wants so badly to succeed in her job and get that promotion she's been waiting for, but the her chances aren't looking good after the last meeting she attended.  In a stroke of luck, she's upgraded on her flight home from that meeting.  The unlucky part?  She's afraid of flying and in a bout of turbulence she honestly feels she's going to die.  In that turbulence and amidst the screams of the other passengers she turns to the man sitting next to her and without thinking divulges all of her deepest secrets!  Of course, she never thought she'd see that man again, thank heaven.  When she arrives back to work the stranger she spilled everything to is there!

I recommend this book to anyone who needs a fun cute story and is ready to laugh.
Happy Reading!