Updates! Updates! Updates!


As many of you can see, I've been a pretty terrible blogger lately! What can I say...Life.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Work Week Drama!

Is it bad when you are more excited to get to work to hear the latest drama from your co-workers than the actual work?

Well then, consider me bad, but it's really one of the most entertaining parts of my day. I'm not too terrible of a drama queen. At least, not in front of anyone but my mom. Or maybe, other people just have more interesting lives. Whatever it is, I LOVE it! I just get to hear everything that is going on without having to get involved or having it directly affecting my own life. Pure bliss!

I get to hear who is seeing who, who's facebooking everyone at work, who's mailbox got run over, where people are going for the weekend, who lost wieght, who gained weight. It might not seem terribly interesting, but it makes my day sometimes!

And, it has definitely made work more worth it. The environment is social and laid back.

Where do you get your drama fix from?
Anything new going on with anyone?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Discussion Topic: What Compels you to Read a Book for the First Time?

I know this topic has been discussed before, but perhaps not all by itself or to this length.

What I am wondering is what compels you to read a book for the first time?

Or, another way of saying this might be...

What are the steps you go through to determine what to read?

I think many people start with a recommendation from someone, especially a friend or a family member, but what happens if you are out of recommendations, you've just finished that spare books on your shelf, and the last thing you read was one of the best books you have picked up all year! Where do you possibly go from there!?

Now, I'm one of those kinds of people that stockpiles! Very rarely are there no other books on my shelves that I have yet to read. Currently, I believe there are over 100 books on my shelf left to read, just waiting for me to choose one of them next! Nevertheless, when I am looking for the next best thing in stores, the first thing I do is...

1. Look at the book cover. Now, I know they say never to judge a book by it's cover, but it certainly is the best way for a book to make a first impression.
2. If the cover in enticing enough, I read the title. Titles that tend to grab me are usually peculiar, something I have never heard before. For example "The Near Witch," "The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane," and "The Knife of Never Letting Go," all very insteresting titles.
3. Then, if I am still hooked (which I almost always make it to step 3) is I read the backcover of the book. This is really the do or die point! Does the story appeal to me, does it sound original, like a fun quick read, or the same old, same old, ripoff of something else, or just completely opposite of what I feel like reading. I tend to lean towards characters similar to my age with a touch of romance. I enjoy fantasy and sci-fi more, with some historical fiction and tend to shy away from realistic fiction.
4. Next, I check the price! With so many books waiting to be read already, it's hard to spend more than $7 on a book that you're not positive about. However, you wouldn't believe how many books I can find for $5 or less. I've got all my little places.
5. Finally, I turn to a random page, kind of towards the beginning and read a page or two, just to get a good feel for the writing.
6. I make the final decisions. To read or not to read. To buy or not to buy!

What is your process when you are faced with a book store like the one above!!!??? That's a lot of books to choose from!!!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Storyteller Challenge #4: Random Promt Generator!

The Storyteller Linky ButtonShah is at it again, creating lots of opportunities for us writers to practice, do a few prompts, talk about them and so much more. It's been a while since I did one, but when I saw my prompt, I was inspired to do something.

The prompt for this challenge is randomly generated and every one is funny, a bit off, but full of inspiration!

Here is the prompt that I recieved:

The painfully shy, German grandmother who feeds the pigeons and secretly plays the lotto.

And here is what I came up with!

Grandma Ba-bam-ee
Doesn't Fight the Lottery

Grandma Ba-bam-ee
Sits on her German fanny
Counting her docket
Deep in her pocket.
She finds bird seed
And pigeon feed,
Some torn tweed
And a type of greed.

The birds were feeding
While Grandma was seething;
Still not enough sums
Reaching her thumbs.
Ba-bam-ee needed a ticket
To satisfy her thicket.
The night filled with crickets
And still no ticket!

Tomorrow would be better,
And the pigeons were fatter.
She’d try again
And by summer’s end
She might have enough,
And a little more scruff,
To pay for the fluff
Instead of having to huff.

Grandma Ba-bam-ee would be,
More than you and me,
The richest hag
In all the bag.
No more sitting on benches
With only wrenches
Thrown into her trenches;
A life like the French’s.

Painfully shy
And about to cry
Grandma turned from the lights
Trying to block out city brights.
But the lottery called to her.
It sang and begged of her!
“You can win like before!
A dollar or more!”

Holding her ears so tight
Ba-bam-ee yelled with might,
“You run my life!
Not now! I can’t fight!”
It haunted her dreams,
Pulling at frayed seems.
Cold on the streets,
Needing warm sheets.

Those with homes passed her,
Ignored and suppressed her.
But Grandma stuck up her nose,
Struck a daunting pose,
Walked to the park,
Sat down by the arc,
Fed the lark,
No lack of spark.

She had a good life,
Before this strife,
But never was she more content
When she found a cent.
She’d hid it away
Until came the day
When it would pay
And take her away.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Book Review #10: "The Near Witch" by Victoria Schwab

Title: The Near Witch
Author: Victoria Schwab
Publisher: Hyperion
Edition: Paperback Advanced Reader's Copy: August 2, 2011
Summary: The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children. If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company. And there are no strangers in the town of Near.

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.
But when an actual stranger—a boy who seems to fade like smoke—appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.

The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.

As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know—about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.

Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.


I found this book in one of my favorite places on the planet: the basement of the downtown bookstore! That's where all the good stuff is hidden!

High Notes: I have to start with the fact that the very best part of this book was the backcover summary (which I have typed out for you in the summary section about.) Now, don't take that the wrong way! It doesn't mean that the rest of the book wasn't just as poetic, but the summary is probably the BEST summary I have read in my entire life!!! I think summaries are terribly difficult and this one just seemed effortless and beautiful.

The entire book reads just as seemlessly beautiful, really like some old folk music, or a poem. That was my favorite part. Victoria schwab really does know how to craft a sentence and paint a scene.

I also loved the style of the book. It read like a story some elder would tell his/her children, as a warning, or as a great story to lull you to sleep. It had this very old storyteller tone, both somber and pretty at the same time. 
Low Notes: I've read some other book reviews about this book before writing my own and the one thing I noticed complaints about the most was the character developement. The story really is about just that...the story. The main characters are very typical of the YA characters of our generation. The main girl, Lexi is strong willed, independent, lacking in a very sturdy mother or father figure, has a younger sibling to take care of (note also: Katniss Everdeen, Elena Gilbert, etc) and the main boy, Cole, is quiet, secretive, a bit broody, but really a loving teddy bear under it all (note also: Edward Cullen, Stephen Salvatore, etc.) Nevertheless, that does not mean we love them any less. And besides that fact, there are other very unique characters in the story that break the mold, especially, the two witches that live right outside town.

The story did slow a bit in the middle, but once the two main characters set out into the woods for the final time to complete the task they need to do (I'm trying not to give anything away), things pick right back up.
Character Development: 3.5/5
Dialogue: 4/5
Prose: 5/5
Believability: 4/5
Style and Grammar: 5/5
Entertainment Value: 5/5
Overall Rating: 88% A quick and beautifully written novel!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Finding the Time to...

The last few weeks, especially since starting my new job, has been all about finding the time to do...ANYTHING!!! The list begins here...
  • Hang out with friends
  • Exercise
  • Make jewelry
  • Paint
  • Draw
  • Watch tv
  • Read
  • Do something new
  • Get back into something I love
  • Etc.
Most of my friends are back home now, but many of them don't have a steady job yet so they have all this free time and I can barely hang out on the weekends, let alone when I get out of work at 5 or 6 o-clock.

Exercise has been a big goose egg. I was taking a Zumba class there for a few weeks, but had to stop because I can't get out of work early enough to make it. Plus, that's the last thing I think about doing when I make it home just before 7.

My jewelry has been shoved aside and I haven't added anything new to Etsy.

I've had this hankering to draw and paint lately, but won't get everything out at night because I know it will just be left out because I don't think I'll have a lot of time to finish a whole project. I like to start and finish the same day so I often need a few hours and working into the wee hours of the morning is a no-go when I have to be up so early for my 30 minute commute!

I love to watch tv and read! I get a bit in before bed, but not a lot. My DVR is filling UP!

Sometimes, I think about trying something new. Who knows what? Going back to school, taking a dance lesson, but when is that going to fit into my schedule?

Get back to something I love. Here I am referring to horseback riding. I used to take lessons as a teenager and it was really the most fun I have ever had! I'm trying to get back into it now!

Etc. And the list goes on and on! I can't even make it to the bank to cash my check! Or go and get my eyes checked so I can get more contacts! Now, I know why some people wish there were 48 hours in a day!

How to possibly juggle it all or free up some of my time!??! There is just so much more I want to do!
Anyone else feel the same way?
How do you handle it?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Who vs. Whom

This is a rough one that I am always looking up!!!

It's even a pain in the butt to have to try and explain so I am just going to let grammargirl.com take it away once again! Here is her Quick and Dirty tip...

"Like whom, the pronoun him ends with m. When you're trying to decide whether to use who or whom, ask yourself if the answer to the question would be he or him. That's the trick: if you can answer the question being asked with him, then use whom, and it's easy to remember because they both end with m. For example, if you're trying to ask, "Who (or whom) do you love?" The answer would be "I love him." Him ends with an m, so you know to use whom. But if you are trying to ask, "Who (or whom) stepped on Squiggly?" the answer would be "He stepped on Squiggly." There's no m, so you know to use who. So that's the quick and dirty trick: if you can't remember that you use whom when you are referring to the object of the sentence, just remember that him equals whom."

...Yes! Finally a solution that makes sense! Thanks Grammar Girl!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Random Capitalization Syndrome!

Do you Suffer from Random Capitalization Syndrome!? I know the Entire Marketing and Advertising world does. I know my Mother does. So, ask Yourself again. Do You?

Random Capitalization Syndrome is the REAL DEAL! Ask any Editor and they will Tell you that some People like to Capitalize RANDOM Words for no apparent reason whatsoever. It's not Grammatically Correct, there is no pattern to their Madness, and usually there isn't any consistency either.

One day, the word Tree will be capitalized in a Sentence. However, in the following sentence tree is Left to Stand on it's own. All By Itself!
Is this getting Annoying yet? Do you Realize what I am doing yet? Are you confused by the Random capitalization that is occuring? I am.

So, to prevent this from ever happening again, at least with my readers, and mostly in their formal writing, here are the basic capitalization rules that we can all learn to live by, instead of confusing and frustrating ourselves and others with random capitalizations here or there and everywhere...

Capitalization Rules

Rule 1

Capitalize the first word of a quoted sentence.
He said, "Treat her as you would your own daughter."
"Look out!" she screamed. "You almost ran into my child."

Rule 2

Capitalize a proper noun.
Golden Gate Bridge

Rule 3

Capitalize a person's title when it precedes the name. Do not capitalize when the title is acting as a description following the name.
Chairperson Petrov
Ms. Petrov, the chairperson of the company, will address us at noon.

Rule 4

Capitalize the person's title when it follows the name on the address or signature line.
Ms. Haines, Chairperson

Rule 5

Capitalize the titles of high-ranking government officials when used before their names. Do not capitalize the civil title if it is used instead of the name.
The president will address Congress.
All senators are expected to attend.
The governors, lieutenant governors, and attorneys general called for a special task force.
Governor Fortinbrass, Lieutenant Governor Poppins, Attorney General Dalloway, and Senators James and Twain will attend.

Rule 6

Capitalize any title when used as a direct address.
Will you take my temperature, Doctor?

Rule 7

Capitalize points of the compass only when they refer to specific regions.
We have had three relatives visit from the South.
Go south three blocks and then turn left.
We live in the southeast section of town.
Southeast is just an adjective here describing section, so it should not be capitalized.

Rule 8

Always capitalize the first and last words of titles of publications regardless of their parts of speech. Capitalize other words within titles, including the short verb forms Is, Are, and Be.
Do not capitalize little words within titles such as a, an, the, but, as, if, and, or, nor, or prepositions, regardless of their length.
The Day of the Jackal
What Color Is Your Parachute?
A Tale of Two Cities

Rule 9

Capitalize federal or state when used as part of an official agency name or in government documents where these terms represent an official name. If they are being used as general terms, you may use lowercase letters.
The state has evidence to the contrary.
That is a federal offense.
The State Board of Equalization collects sales taxes.
We will visit three states during our summer vacation.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been subject to much scrutiny and criticism lately.
Her business must comply with all county, state, and federal laws.

Rule 10

You may capitalize words such as department, bureau, and office if you have prepared your text in the following way:
The Bureau of Land Management (Bureau) has some jurisdiction over Indian lands. The Bureau is finding its administrative role to be challenging.

Rule 11

Do not capitalize names of seasons.
I love autumn colors and spring flowers.

Rule 12

Capitalize the first word of a salutation and the first word of a complimentary close.
Dear Ms. Mohamed:
My dear Mr. Sanchez:
Very truly yours,

Rule 13

Capitalize words derived from proper nouns.
I must take English and math.
English is capitalized because it comes from the proper noun England, but math does not come from Mathland.

Rule 14

Capitalize the names of specific course titles.
I must take history and Algebra 2.

Rule 15

After a sentence ending with a colon, do not capitalize the first word if it begins a list.
These are my favorite foods: chocolate cake, spaghetti, and artichokes.

Rule 16

Do not capitalize when only one sentence follows a sentence ending with a colon.
I love Jane Smiley's writing: her book, A Thousand Acres, was beautiful.

Rule 17

Capitalize when two or more sentences follow a sentence ending with a colon.
I love Jane Smiley's writing: Her book, A Thousand Acres, was beautiful. Also, Moo was clever.

Now, you know what to do. No longer suffer from random capitalization syndrome!!! Save yourself from the urge to capitalize what you think should be capitalize and only what should be capitalized.
Rules and examples found at http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/capital.asp

Monday, January 23, 2012

12 Things I do when there is Absolutely, Unequivocally Nothing left to do at Work!

NOTE: All this extra fun amounts to a mere fraction of my day. This post is really just for fun and is in no way meant to slander my work place that has been so wonderful to me.


So, the new job is going really well. I enjoy the proofing above anything else, but there are times when I have absolutely nothing to do for a few minutes at a time. This means that there are no proofs currently available for me to proof, I have done all the side work that I know of, and I have asked if there is anything extra I can do and no one has yet to give me anything.

Suffice to say, I get a little creative (or not) about filling my limited empty time.

1. Check my blog. (Obviously.)
2. Check my Etsy store.
3. Control myself when I want to check Facebook. Facebook is just a no-no at work for me. (Although, I will admit, I've gone on to grab something for my Etsy store or to add a new link and have randomly checked my notifications, but I try not to stay on it.)
4. (One of my personal favorites...) Peel tape off my desk. I can't even begin to try and explain why there is so much tape stuck to my desk. The previous owners must have been tape hounds or maybe they just plastered the desk in photos or wrapping paper. (I really have not found a use for tape anywhere in this office so I can't think of any better explainations.)
5. Apply lip gloss (All the time! lol.) I am addicted to chapstick/lipgloss so there is usually always one on or around me. Like my purse most often. But now I have one on my desk and I apply it a ridiculous amount of times during the work day. (Pathetic, I KNOW!)
6. Organize my desk. As I look around, at this very moment, not much is out of place. Some may think that I am severly compulsive. (Maybe a bit, but it's not a chronic condition.) The truth is, I just use my extra time to straighten things here and there. Ergo, I straighten them. I have the best looking desk in the office. (NOTE: Most likely, the person with the best looking desk, has the most extra time on their hands. Also NOTE: By the second week, my deask was a disaster zone!)
7. Clean my desk. I've never had much of an affinity for cleaning. Like, none at all! Yet, I find myself cleaning like a maniac! I even have a drawer full of these little wet wipes (AMAZING!) that I use every week to remove the dust and ink stains on my prestinely white desk. (That is the main part of the problem, really. My desk is white, so every pencil mark, ink mark, marker mark, finger mark, skid marks from the keyboard or mouse, speck of dust, et cetera, show up.)
8. Chat it up. Not only with you lovely people, but people in the office. I am getting to know all of them pretty well. I like almost all of them and the others I don't necessarily not like, but rather don't know very well. Sometimes, it's so quiet, I just crave hearing someone talk or even walk by my door.
9. Write notes. I like writing notes, but now I find myself doing it for just about everything. It's ridiculous. The amount of sticky notes now living in my agenda book, on my cork board, and on random things on my desk would put the Post-It note office to shame!
10. Collect paper clips off the floor. Another completely primitive goal. As opposed to tape, paper clips actually play a very important role around the office. It's rare that a proof doesn't come to me with at least one paper clip, let alone three or four, mildly secured around the pieces of paper. So, it stands to reason that I would find tons on the floor. So, I pick them up and store them in my little paper clip organizer. They are all stored by color and size. (Honestly though, some just make it to the trash.)
11. Use different colored pens to perform different tasks. I now have a pen for almost everything. One for keeping track of my time scedule, one for taking down notes, one for proofing, one for making final proofing notes for the artists, one for my agenda book, and one for when I'm angry! (The angry one is RED!)
12. I make posts like this.
Well, it is probably time to do the rounds again and ask anyone and everyone if they need help with something.
I just love to be productive in any way possible. Even if it means cleaning, picking, peeling, or moisturizing. :)

What do you find entertains you during those minutes in the day when there is nothing left to do? Could be at work, at home, at school, et cetera. Share your random thoughts with me.


NOTE: All this extra fun amounts to a mere fraction of my day. This post is really just for fun and is in no way meant to slander my work place that has been so wonderful to me.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Book Review #9 "Haiku for the Single Girl" by Beth Griffinhagen

Title: Haiku for the Single Girl
Author: Beth Griffinhagen
Publisher: Penguin
Edition: Hardcover: November 1, 2011
Summary: Unsolicited relationship advice from relatives, disastrous dates, men who wear thumb rings, and the moments of deep satisfaction when a single girl realizes that she can do whatever she wants with her time- it's all here in Haiku for the Single Girl. Reading this brilliantly incisive and wittily illustrated collection, every woman- whether single or not-will laugh until she cries, and then start laughing all over again.

Just the name of this book makes me chuckle, so when I saw it in the store, I figure it was something I needed to read.

The entire book consists of over 100 haikus, all with the same theme...Being a Single Girl.
High Notes: It reaches into the psyche of the single woman and bares it to the page without any restraint. Learn a little about your single self or single friends in this quick read. The blunt trauma of receiving relationship advice from others, the madness of seeing some guy from highschool, now chubby and disgusting, and still thinking "what if," the cold stare you give when everyone in the room suddenly couples up without leaving you a memo, or the fantasy of walking around the corner, running into the hottest guy on the block, and him not minding that your hair isn't quite right that day or that you spilled his coffee.
For example...The first Haiku...

I feel it's approach,
As inevitable as death;
Internet dating.

The truth in every poem is hilarious and a must-have for every single girl.
Low Notes: The book reads so fast becuase it only consists of the haikus. However, it makes it perfect for sharing with friends or just having on the coffee table or in a waiting room.
Character Development: N/A
Dialogue: N/A
Prose: N/A
Believability: 5/5
Style and Grammar: 5/5
*NEW* Entertainment Value: 5/5
Overall Rating: 100% A quick, honest, and funny read!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Jeans: Both Comfortable and Sexy! Do you feel the same?

Today is Friday and that means casual day at work! But, regardless of the more general name, it really means JEAN DAY! Once, we had almost an entire week of JEAN DAYS because there were little to no meetings in the office so the executives made a decision to let us all be terribly comfortable and happy!

That's what got me thinking. Pretty much everyone I know, including myself, wears jeans pretty much any and every time we don't have to dress nice for work or go to a special event.

Here's where the dumb question comes in, but is that pretty typical for everyone? I remember that when I was in elementary, I might have owned one pair of jeans. They just really weren't that big of a thing. But now, jeans take up a fourth of my entire closet.

It may be stupid, but I'm not very conscientious of fashion as of late and for some reason this hit me.

Plus, I just had a conversation with a new friend that moved to our county from a big city. It was pretty funny because he was comparing the two places and one of his biggest complaints was that girls never wore mini skirts or high heels here, just jeans. lol. My friends and I were like, "What's the supposed to mean? You don't find us attractive. Jeans are sexy?" We all got a pretty good laugh out of it.

So, do you wear jeans mostly on your off days? Am I losing it a bit today with this completely random topic?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Discussion Topic: What to do FIRST? Read the book or watch the movie?

What should you do first? Read the book or watch the movie/show?

This topic has come up in discussions before, but we never just talked about how you choose and what seems to be the best way to go about doing things.

In the past, I have found that most people say to read the book first. However, I feel that reading the book first sets too high of an expectation for the movie. You read the book, fall in love with every word of it, and you expect the directors and writers to fit it all into a 2 hour period. Yet, this never works. Lines must be cut, scenes must be rearranged, and all in all, many of us end up hating the movie for it!

Seeing the movie/show first can allow you to enjoy it for what it is, without the heavy expectations. You take the new twists and turns for what they are, just some wonderful entertainment.

But the discussion goes both ways. When in came to Harry Potter, I'm very happy that I read the books first. I think it helped me understand the movies better, know more of what was really going on, especially in a world that is so new. The same goes for Lord of the Rings. That movie would have been terribly confusing (not really the plot, but all the names) without having read the book first.

On another note, sometimes I have watch a series/movie, loving the characters, the ongoing plots, etc. Then, turned to read the books for the full inside info, and absolutely condemned the book for not being as good. Case and point would be my two reviews of The Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars. I LOVE the shows, but really can't stand the books at all.

It's hard to decide which is the better route.

Perhaps if I make a list, this will help...

Read the Book First and was Happy with the Show/Movie:
  • Harry Potter
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Frankenstein
  • Confessions of a Shopaholic
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Much Ado About Nothing
Read the Book First and was Unhappy with the Show/Movie:
  • Twilight
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Beastly (was a little better the 2nd time around)
  • Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Saw the Show/Movie First and was Happy with the Book:
  • The Last Song
  • Matilda
  • James and the Giant Peach
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream
Saw the Show/Movie First and was Unhappy with the Book:
  • The Vampire Diaries
  • Pretty Little Liars
  • Great Expectations
Seems to be just about even to me.

However, I think your best bet is to read the book first, but WELL BEFORE the movie/show comes out. Give yourself enough time to forget some of the book, so it can be a pleasant surprise when certain parts show up in the movie to remind you.

What do you all think?
Do you have a list of your own that you could make out?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"The Tourist" Movie Review

At first, I thought, "FINALLY! Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie are making a movie together!" Then, I thought, "CRAP! They've both done some strange movies lately and this could be double the disaster."

Luckily, it started playing on the Stars channel while I had the free few months or so, so I figured I might as well DVR it (BEST invention EVER!) and give it a try.

I was not disappointed!!! Parts were a little artsy, yes, but the overall story was fascinating and terribly romantic!

Johnny Depp plays his signature slightly not-all-there, but handsome persona, charming you the whole way through with his clumsy, yet clever character.

Nevertheless, Angelina Jolie steals every scene (a VERY difficult thing to do next to the previous Captain Jack Sparrow). She's stunning from head to toe! Looking robust, healthy, steeled and confident, yet graceful, she makes me want to be her, and have the capabilities to stare someone straight in the eye and either intimidate or attract them without saying a word!

This is a difficult one to summarize, even just a little without giving too much a way, but I will try and just be plain cryptic for you:

Depp is a tourist who meets a beautiful woman during his travels that changes his entire life from a seemingly dull existence into an edge-of-your-seat European adventure. The problem is, did he ever want to meet this mysterious beauty in the first place, or did he decide to stay with her the moment he first laid eyes on her.

Definitely one to check out. Especially if you love just a little artiness, but not too much, some action, adventure and intrigue, and just the right amount of romance.

Monday, January 16, 2012

PoeKitten: Another Bookmark Break Challenge 2011 Winner!

PoeKitten from Many Waters

Poekitten joined the Bookmark Break Challenge in 2011, having read 114 books in total, and she is rejoining for the year of 2012! She's a fabulous competitor and I am so pleased to have her around 2 years in a row!
(NOTE: If you are a BMBC '11 Winner and you have not recieve the questionaire, please email me at redmatinee7007@aol.com and give me your email address. I was missing a few and plus my demon mailer shot some questionnaires back to me.)

Let's see what PoeKitten had to say!
Challenge Questions:
1.      Why did you join the Bookmark Break Challenge in 2011?
I thought it would be fun to keep track of how many books I read.  I love to read and knew that I read a lot but had never kept track.  This seemed like a great way to figure out how many books I read.
2.      Did you set a goal for yourself in this challenge?
Nope, just read as much as I could!
3.      Do you have a goal for this challenge in 2012?
Again, I just want to read as many as I can.  I did set a goal of 115 on Good Reads so I guess that works!  I read 114 last year and I’m hoping I can at least read as many as I did last year.  I didn’t increase it too much cause my first child is due in July and I’m not sure how much reading I’ll be able to do once munchkin arrives!
4.      How did you learn to read so fast!?
I have no idea.  I’ve always read fast but it can be a blessing and a curse.  I don’t always catch all the details.  I think this is why I don’t mind rereading books!
5.      What was the kind of thing you were reading the most? (Fiction, nonfiction, poetry, a certain genre, books for school?)
I was mostly reading Christian Fiction.  I got most of it for free on Amazon for my Kindle.   I did read other stuff too, like Harry Potter.
6.      How did your love for books begin?
It began before I could read.  I remember watching my mom read and I wanted to be able to read too!  I was so excited when I learned and I’ve never stopped.
7.      What was your favorite book you read this year and why?
I don’t have a single favorite.  I really enjoyed the Percy Jackson and The Olympians series.   The Hunger Games series was also enjoyable (though I hate saying that cause it’s not a fun/nice topic!)
8.      What was your least favorite book you read this year and why?
I’m not sure.  There were some that I didn’t think were as well written as others (that what you get for reading free books) but none that stick out in my mind.
9.      Any books you are looking forward to in 2011?
2011?  Do we mean 2012?  Um, not that I can think of.  I’m rereading some favorites now.  I’m hoping to get a little ahead in the beginning so I if I can’t read as much at the end of the year it will be ok.
10.   Any advice for those entering the challenge in 2012?
Just read.  Even reading for 5 or 10 minutes is good!  I bring my Kindle with me just about everywhere I go and if I have some downtime I love being able to read instead of wasting it.

Random Questions:
1.      What do you love the most about yourself?
This is a hard one.  Um, I love my eyes.  They’re brown and I just like them.
2.      What’s the most random thing that popped into your head today?
How I really want to have baked chicken for today.  Food hasn’t been sounding good so I’m excited that something finally does!
3.      What’s your blog and what’s it about?
My blog is called Many Waters and it’s about my life.  I write about being a military spouse, what I’m sewing/crafting, what we’re doing on our house, our about furbabies (we have 4) and about being pregnant.  Before we were pregnant I did share a little bit about our struggle with infertility.  It’s a little bit of everything.
4.      Tell me and my readers 2 truths and 1 lie and we’ll try to guess the lie.
  • I love to eat Salmon
  • I have at least 5 quilts to finish is my sewing room at the moment
  • I lived in Asia for 3 years.
So…what do you think?  If you want some help you can find the answers on my blog.
5.      Tell me and my readers something you hold true to your heart, some wisdom.
Never give up hope.

Thanks, Poe for the fantastic answers!

Let's not all forget to try and guess what Poe's lie might have been out of her 2 Truths and 1 Lie!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mini-Series Marathons!

I've always been a sucker for a good mini-series. What's that you say? This movie is 6 hours long? COUNT ME IN!!!

Lately, I have been really into BBC and with the benefit of Masterpiece Theatre I have been able to see quite a few of them, but none of them have struck a cord like Downton Abbey! (The second season started last Sunday with the first two episodes and the next two are on tonight!) Perhaps some of you have heard of this wonderful series, as it has become so popular that even magazines like Entertainment Weekly have given it a spot more than once, plus a 4-page spread complete with pictures! I don't want to say much to give it away, but it was based on the popular mini-series Upstairs, Downstairs, one of the first to not only feature the aristocratic lords and ladies of the upperhouse, but the maids and butlers of the lowerhouse as well.

Next, there's Pillars of the Earth, based on the book by Ken Follett. My parents both read the book so I was thrilled that they were willing to watch the 8 hour mini-series with me! We just completed it this week! It was fabulous, with a great cast like Matthew Macfadyen (Pride and Prejudice, The Three Musketeers, Any Human Heart), Donald Sutherland (Pride and Prejudice), Eddie Redmayne (Tess of the D'Ubervilles), Rufus Sewell (A Knight's Tale, The Tourist), Hayley Atwell (Any Human Heart), Ian McShane (Pirates of the Caribbean, Death Race), and so many more!

Not only that, but I found out that one of the books I just purchased, Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy, was also turned into a BBC miniseries, starring Gemma Arterton (Prince of Persia, Clash of the Titans) and Eddie Redmayne (Pillars of the Earth). This one was really hard to find. It wasn't in any of the stores I looked at, no talks of it showing on BBC America or PBS as a masterpiece theater. Netflix didn't even have a DVD copy of it let alone on instant play. Nevertheless, after digging on the Internet, I did find the first two episodes and am now searching for the other two through some streaming HD sites! YEAH! The first two episodes were very good. I just hope it ends happily. If anyone has seen it or read the book (like I should have done first!) Just tell me if it is happy. Nothing else, just happy, not, or bittersweet! Those are your only options!

So that's the latest and greatest mini-series I have dived into in the last few weeks. What about you guys? And it doesn't have to be the last few weeks. It could be EVER! I just didn't do ever because there would be too many. Although, I will mention Wives and Daughters (based off of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel), North and South, Love and War, and Heaven and Hell (all starring the wonderful Patrick Swayze and some soap opera people), and then there is a different North and South (starring the dark Richard Armitage from the BBC Robin Hood). Now, I better stop before I get into all the great Jane Austen mini-series!

So, again, I ask, what mini-series do you love!?!?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

New Books on my Shelf!

Like I needed anymore books, but when you hit the bargain section of one of your favorite books stores in all the world, there really is no helping it! So, I have 3 more books to add to my collection today!

Author__________ Title
Anna Carey- Eve
Stacey Jay- Juliet Immortal
As always, anyone ever heard of these titles/ authors. Thomas Hardy I know id pretty famous from his Victorian days, I'm just not sure how he reads. Do his books always end miserably like, say, Hemingway? Bittersweet like Dickens? Or happily ever after like Austen? The other two I have not heard anything on them, but the covers are gorgeous and the back sounded pretty good. Let me know!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Affect vs. Effect

I also haven't done one of these in a very long time! I guess I'm just being nostalgic in going back to some of the old blog features! Regardless of what this is, this grammar smack down has been bugging me lately, plus I've had to look it up about five times for work so it really is time to get it down and get it right!

The simplest way to figure out which one to use is to decide whether or not you need a noun or a verb.

Affect = verb

Effect = noun

Nevertheless, that's not really easy to remember.

A better way to think of it is using the nifty little phrase: Cause and Effect!

Affect causes something, like happiness, pain, ect.
"The affect of the clown was laughter (or screams)!"
"The affect of the bullet in his side was pain."

Effect is what happens after a cause, like the happiness, pain, ect.
"The laughter (or screams) was an effect of the clown!"
"The pain was the effect of the bullet."

See how they're like the backwards versions of each other?

However, there are always those fun excepts, and for that, I turn to another blog because they explain it a million times better than I could at the moment.

(The following is from Grammar Girl.)

Rare Uses of Affect and Effect
So what about those rare meanings that don't follow the rules I just gave you? Well, affect can be used as a noun when you're talking about psychology--it means the mood that someone appears to have. For example, "She displayed a happy affect." Psychologists find it useful because they know that you can never really understand what someone else is feeling. You can only know how they appear to be feeling.
And, effect can be used as a verb that essentially means "to bring about," or "to accomplish." For example, you could say, "Aardvark hoped to effect change within the burrow."
That's all for now!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Natalie: A Bookmark Break Challenge 2011 Winner!

Natalie from The Adventures of the Vereen-Davises

Natalie is a contender form 2011 who has also joined in for 2012! I am so very happy to have her around again. Last year she read a total of 52 books and really gave me a run for my moneu thoughout most of the competition until she start to pull ahead of me and then there was no catching up to her!

Here's what she had to say about the challenge!

  1. Why did you join the Bookmark Break Challenge in 2011? I loved the idea of tracking the reading that I did in 2011--it was interesting to see how much I would read without any school assignments or outside pressures.
  2. Did you set a goal for yourself in this challenge? When I first started, I didn't have a goal, but about halfway through the year I began to aim for 50 books (which would work out to slightly less than a book a week). I was happy with how things turned out this first year.
  3. Do you have a goal for this challenge in 2012? To read more than I did in 2011. So, 2012's goal is at least 53.
  4. How did you learn to read so fast!? I've always been a reader--ever since I read my first book without any help (Curious George Flies a Kite) at age 5. However, I got the reading thing down to a science when I went to law school and then English graduate school. I would read between 6 and 9 hours a DAY during those years of my life, and speed reading becomes the only way you can humanly get through all of the material necessary. I wish I'd thought to write down the number of books I'd read during grad school!!
  5. What was the kind of thing you were reading the most? (Fiction, nonfiction, poetry, a certain genre, books for school?) I adore contemporary British fiction--like Kazuo Ishiguro, Iain Banks, Ian McEwan and Patrick McGrath--but I'm also a sucker for something I can zip through in a short time (like a Patricia Cornwell thriller). There are also some really random books on my list from when I was unpacking my library this year and found some oldie by goodie teen novels like Caroline B. Cooney and Anne Brasheres!
  6. How did your love for books begin? My parents read to me constantly when I was a child: newspapers, magazines, novels, picture books. Anything with words on it was fair game.
  7. What was your favorite book you read this year and why? I loved Eric Larson's Devil in the White City, one of my first forays into nonfiction: it was incredibly interesting and the fact that everything in the book was true made this book one that I couldn't put down. I also re-read some favorites like Audrey Niffenigger's Her Fearful Symmetry (spooky, haunting and about London--in other words, AWESOME!) and The Time Traveler's Wife (beautiful in every way), and Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves (which makes you rethink everything you know about the way a novel is written. At points in the book, the text goes in circles, follows the edges of the page or needs to be read in a mirror. Literary, postmodern, yet all around creepy and entertaining).
  8. What was your least favorite book you read this year and why? Carlos Ruiz Zafon's The Angel's Game. I loved his first novel, The Shadow of the Wind, and thus, I was expecting more great things from the second book. The Angel's Game was a classic Gothic thriller until the last twenty pages or so, when the book takes an odd, odd direction, then leaves you scratching your head and going, "Huh? What just happened?" (and not in a good way, as Ian McEwan often does).
  9. Any books you are looking forward to in 2012? I really want to read The Woman in Black; I saw the West End play that is based on the book back in November 2011, and I'm intrigued to see how the book was translated onto the stage. Plus, I'm excited about the movie version coming out this year with Daniel Radcliffe--and I can't see the movie without reading the book first!
  10. Any advice for those entering the challenge in 2012? Be consistent. Reading dozens of book might seem overwhelming at first, but if you say, "I'll read one chapter a night," you'll be surprised how quickly you can start to finish your books.

  1. What do you love the most about yourself? I'm consistently optimistic. Of course, I have my down moments, but for the most part, I tend to see the good in everything and everyone until I'm given a reason not to.
  2. What’s the most random thing that popped into your head today? "I need to get some white linen pants this summer." (Because white linen  is totally what I need to be thinking about on a 40 degree day in January!)
  3. What’s your blog and what’s it about? My blog is The Adventures of the Vereen-Davises (www.vereen-davis.blogspot.com), and it basically follows my life: teaching, photography, travel, family moments, and our ongoing house renovations.
  4. Tell me and my readers 2 truths and 1 lie and we’ll try to guess the lie. 1) I used to jog past Hugh Grant's house and talk to his security guard in the hopes of catching a glimpse of him. 2) I only knew my husband a month before we decided to get married. 3) I'm an English major who secretly doesn't understand why people love Shakespeare so much.
  5. Tell me and my readers something you hold true to your heart, some wisdom. As corny as it sounds, be happy and try to make the people around you happy. And travel every chance you get--it's good for your spirits. :)
Thanks, Natalie! Can't wait to see you meet your goals this time around!

REMEMBER!!! Absolutley anyone and everyone can join in on the Bookmark Break Challenge 2012. If you are intested, comment below or check out the official BMBC '12 page here.