December 7, 2014

Reader's Problems Tag

So, I'm moving up in the world. Rachel found my blog and invited my to join the Reader's Problems Tag which includes answering questions about reading. So, Rachel's Blog, "Rachel's Reading Corner" is awesome and you should definitely go check it out! 

Now, my answers to these book related questions. (Because seriously, who needs to study for finals?) 

You have 20,000 books on your TBR. How in the world do you decide what to read next?
 I mean, I make lists of books I should read, but when it comes to it and I'm choosing what book to read next the answer is always just whatever book happens to be nearby. So, if you really want me to read a book, the only way to be sure I'll read it is if you hand me a copy. 
You're halfway through a book and you're just not loving it. Do you commit or are you committed?
If I don't like a book I feel no obligation to finish it. There are too many good books in the world to spend time reading a book I don't love. An important exception is One Hundred Years of Solitude which I've been fighting through for just about a year now. I will finish it. Eventually.
How do you determine which book from your TBR pile to read next?
Hm... Isn't this basically the same as the first question? In any case, my answer is the same.
The end of the year is coming and you're so close, but too far away on your Goodreads reading challenge. Do you try to catch up and how?
  I would try to catch up... but I definitely wouldn't stress about it. I mean, there's always next year. Plus, I tend to set impossible goals. That way even if I fail I still got higher than if I'd set some piddly goal I knew I could meet.
The covers of a series you love do not match. How do you cope?
Ooooh. That would drive me crazy. I don't know how I would cope. I guess I would just have to read faster so that I could finish them and pretend like I never even noticed the mis-matched covers. 

Everyone and their mother likes a book you didn't enjoy. Who do you bond with over shared feelings?
I try to just deal with it and bit my tongue. Everyone gets their own opinion, right? Besides, I know that I've read books I really liked even if I can completely understand why other people don't. So I shouldn't try to force my dislike on them.
You're reading a book in public and you're about to start crying. What do you do?
  I just cry. Books and movies make me way too emotional sometimes and there's nothing I can do about it. I suppose I would lift the book to hide my face though and pretend like I just had bad allergies. I would probably also try to take a five minute break from the book to calm myself down and get back to the real world.
A sequel of a book you loved just came out but you've forgotten a lot from the prior novel. Do you go back and reread the book, skip the sequel, read the synopsis, cry  of frustration or what?
Honestly I just keep reading and trust that eventually the second book will make sense on its own. I don't usually have enough time to reread the first, and I'm just too lazy to find a synopsis...
You don't want anyone to borrow your books. How do you politely tell them that when they ask you for one of your books to borrow?
No way. I hardly ever buy books so I rely completely on borrowing books from others, so I would never say no to people borrowing the few books I have. I think of people reading my books as a huge honor and compliment. 

You've picked up and put down five book in the past month. How do you get over these sorts of reading slumps?
I take a break and just let myself not read. Maybe it's time to go crazy writing. When I am really inspired with a novel I'm writing I usually don't read very much, and I think that's okay. 

There are so many new books coming out that you're dying to read. How many do you buy? 
  Yeah, I don't usually buy books. I let other people buy them for me, or borrow them from friends with similar taste. Or, now that I live in the wonderful USA I can just go to a Library and check out a book. Such excitement, and way cheaper. 

Looks like that's all for these questions. Feel free to leave your own answers in the comments or disagree with anything I said. I am a bit more careless with books than many book lovers. I mean, books are important, but the story itself is the most important part. I don't think that makes sense. I should go study for finals. Or, better yet, I should get some sleep before my 8:00am final tomorrow.

December 2, 2014


A Roustabout is someone who lives by chance.

I learned this from a guest speaker in my Professional Writing class, a man that told us his crazy life story with a banjo, a guitar, Polish bagpipes, a love flute, and a stick of hobo signs.

While I'm not quite at the point of applying for a grant to learn bagpipes in Poland or sitting in a sweat lodge to earn the right to learn to play the love flute, I like to think that I've kind of lived a life of chance anyway. It's not like I've done anything off the charts crazy, not exactly, I've just been incredibly blessed by incredible opportunities.

In two weeks I go back to Oaxaca, Mexico, a place I've come to think of as my 'home away from home' or 'home here on Earth'. It's a place that stole my heart and makes me dream of cacti and rain on dry dirt. It's the place where I'll get to see my family again after way too long, and the place where some of my best friends will get the chance to meet up again. I can't wait to go back, and even though I still have 12 days to wait I don't know if I'll have the chance to blog again before then because finals and projects and Christmas parties.

So here's the facts. Ten months ago (ten by the time I get back in a couple weeks) I left Oaxaca. Since then life has swept me off my feet and carried me across the world. If you had asked me a year ago, when I turned 18, to predict my 18th year, I would have painted an awesome picture, but it wouldn't have come anywhere close to how crazy and amazing this year has actually been.

I have sat through 15 plane rides since that first flight out of Mexico City. Granted, this includes those little connection flights that leave me stranded in airports because they're always delayed. By the time I get to Mexico again there will be another 3 flights thrown into the mix.

I have taken 10 train rides.

Only 5 coach rides (a coach is different than a bus, a coach is for long distance and is usually bigger; buses are short around the city and I am definitely not going to take the time to count those up).

And probably spent more than 100 hours in a car. I wasn't going to add this up either, but on at least 5 different occasions I went on a car ride that was longer than 5 hours, so that's 25 hours, plus countless 2 or 3 hour drives and then all those minutes added up... you get the point.

In 10 months I have stepped in 9 different countries, 7 of which I'd never been to before.

I've also been to 9 different USA states, 6 of them for the first time.

I started college at Champlain as a Professional Writing Major.

I wrote the first 73 pages of my latest novel. (I'm hoping to get it to 100 before I leave. That's just a much better number than 73. We'll see if projects will allow for that.)

I started writing for a magazine, got a job, opened a bank account, saw 5 concerts, practically met the Queen of England, kissed the man of my dreams, finished reading the Bible for the second time, made a ton of wonderful, wonderful friends from all over the world. You get the point. I've done a lot these past 10 months. It's been crazy and fantastic and new. 

I know at least some of this was planned out ahead of time. You can't exactly just hop a flight to London. But so much of my travels has also been spur of the moment, spontaneous decisions to skip class and fly to Dublin or hitch a ride to Pennsylvania.

I couldn't ask for better adventures, better stories I will one day get to write about. It's been a wonderful trip, and I am still in awe of how lucky my chances turned out to be.