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Want Your Life to Be a Book? Unrealistic Hiccups

1706248833Ah, do you ever read a book and daydream about living out those exact scenarios, character’s lives, have Tobias/Four embrace you in his fear landscape, or Captain Wentworth hold your gaze, torturing you before a kiss?

Of course you do! You’re a reader aren’t ya?

Happy Monday folks! This was not the planned topic for today but I randomly got to thinking about this and thought it would be fun to share while wondering if I’m alone in these thoughts.

So many times when reading a book, or watching the movie adaptions to books, I as well go off into la-la-land and daydream of living these lives instead of my own at times; completely normal.

Many times in these daydreams while reading I come across some very realistic questions that quickly remind me it’s not just movie magic that gets away with things, book magic too!

What do I mean by this, you may ask? Well haven’t you asked yourself,

“Umm, so if she’s wearing a tank top the entire time while in the middle of nowhere, how does she never need to shave her armpits, or if she’s wearing shorts, her legs? They magically stop growing during the duration of her outdoor adventure? She jumped in that water, got out and never had to worry about the frizz ball her hair would become when dry…”

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Oh, and girls (Sorry guys) but do these girls NEVER get their menstrual cycles?

*laughing at my own rant here*

Now let’s jump into Classic daydreaming ladies. (Jane Austen era)

I came across this web series on YouTube about modern day people signing up to participate a few months in a documented lifestyle in the Regency era. It’s like Downton Abbey but in real life dinner theatre style. They did not know what title or lifestyle they were going to be given and had to adhere to every realistic restriction of that time period. To say the least, some were very unhappy with their results.

Some examples:

1. No eye contacts, so you had to wear old manufactured spectacles. One of them was a maid and the heavy cleaning responsibilities made this an inconvenience.

2. The family chosen to be the wealthy group to be served had the luxury of a weekly bath with clean water in the tub. Those who played servants needed to wait to use the tub to bath but here’s the kicker…they had to use the same bath water the family did. Um, gross.

3. Don’t get me started, as a woman, on the menstrual cycle issues…yea, gonna leave it at that.

4. Up before the crack of dawn (the maids) to vigorously clean, barely no sleep, no breaks.

5. Bathroom situations…not even gonna go there.

There’s just a few. I need to recap on the webseries because I know that was a lot more that made you go, “hmm”…

It was interesting because I have dreamed of that era for as long as I can remember. I have always wanted to attend the Jane Austen festival in England because everyone for the entire length of the festival dress as in the area, attend balls and all. Watching this documentary slapped me with the reality of living in that time period, especially as a woman. Though I love to dive into that world in books and movies for a time, I am also very grateful to be living in the 21st century. Though I will say, there are lost aspects of those days I do wish never died with it *cough cough* gentlemen! *cough cough*

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Can ya blame a girl for wanting to disappear every so often.

In the end, its good to remember; disappearing into the world of books is absolutely lovely, wonderful, thrilling, amazing, heart-wrenching, adventurous as long as we remember that these ventures are not real life (Even the inspired by real-life ones) and there is an actual life worth living once the book is put down.

I just laugh thinking of all the times I’m reading and stop to ask myself, or the book one of these questions.

“If Katniss was a hairy beast who they waxed head to toe, how did she look in that dress her mother had with them legs?” *chuckle*blog katniss shave

These book-magic moments that we just accept and never question cause hey, we like our pretend world! Don’t mess with it and try to ruin it with them “Realistic” questions? Pfft! Sheesh! Well, these moments remind me they are just books, and I will not be, and can not be Tris in Dystopian Chicago with Tobias’ arm around me or Anne in Regency era of Persuasion with Captain Wentworth gazing into my eyes hoping i understand his meaning without words. Once the book gets put down, real life awaits…and well, what does Des do?

She goes back to her computer to live more make-believe by writing her book “ha ha ha!…ah, I crack myself up”

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Anyway…do you ever stop reading for a moment and ask a realistic question about certain character scenarios you read? Am I alone? It’s okay, you can be honest. I’m used to being weird. *wink*

The Unrealistic Hiccups that thrust us between real life and make believe and we love it and wouldn’t have it any other way!

writesmall1-300x300So continue and journey off into the land of make-believe! Who knows what it can inspire in real life.

Signing off…

<3, Des

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Writing, Anime, TGIF

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TGIF! HAPPY FRIDAY!

Hello everyone! It is Friday and I am hoping to make this weekend a good one, dang it! #hashtag determined. Did any of you see that Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake video from this week, making fun of how we all use, or more appropriately, overuse #hashtags? Ha-larious!

I have been on a determined streak to stop being a brat and find a way to write. There is no excuse. Other people write entire books on their phones, if they want or have to. That, personally would drive me insane but the point is, if you really are passionate about something, you’ll find a way towards it!

I have been slacking on the writing front and need to stop. I’m working on chapter 13 which is very exciting! I sometimes sit in front of my manuscript, overwhelmed by all the scenes and ideas coming at me all at once. I want to rush ahead and write them but I feel as though I can’t do them justice until I chronologically get there. Yesterday, two new characters popped in to say hello and give me their back story. Girl and Boy performed a few dialogue scenes for me while I was taking my writing break, and TV binging. Every commercial break, I had to reach for my phone and jot down what they were showing/telling me. My struggle last night was mulling over the idea of writing two completely opposite stories at once. My other bestie quickly knocked me off that crooked tree, bringing me back to reality. I will hold that Contemporary YA story close by but continue finishing my Dystopian first draft.

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Showing and Telling

I read a helpful blog post an author shared on twitter last week and lately I have understood it’s point more. I’m reading through my manuscript, already seeing that much will need to be trimmed for it’s final look (ouch) and I’m seeing all the possibilities to actually SHOW certain things mentioned instead of just TELLING them to the reader. Man, the revision/editing process is definitely gonna be interesting!

What I am excited about, though equally petrified about, is being accepted into this Writing Critique Group who are going to be such assets in helping me put this story together well.

In Bookish land, something cool is happening this weekend

Austin Teen Book Festival! Man, these are the times when having a long lost rich uncle who generously wants to fulfill my hearts desires, would really come in handy right about now. I need fun, cool, YA book festivals in my life right now.

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Luckily, I have my first Miami Book Fair event in November coming up.

In Other News

So (yes, once again I am mentioning my awesome niece here) this young whipper snapper sucked me into an anime series I am currently obsessed about. I have not been obsessed about anything anime since my Sailor Moon days. (I was OB-sessed with that show)

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Yes, I have fallen in love with this series, The Legend of Korra. I had watched the first episode of the second season, and have heard my niece endlessly speak about Avatar: The Last Airbender forever now. Well, once my interest was peaked after that episode, I binged on the entire first season in one night. Then, my temporary room mate also got sucked into it and we watched the entire first season (again) and caught up with the new season episodes.

I believe YA has allotted me the shame-free zone of being a nerd with out being sorry. To YA, I say, thank you. *tips hat*

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When I “grow up” I want to be just like Korra *chuckles but is entirely serious*

THE LEGEND OF KORRA

I mean, look how badass she looks

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And look at the cute boy she gets to parade around town with *wink*

So these are my Friday updates! Writing, Anime and TGIF, it be Friday, folks!

May you all have a great weekend full of fun and bookish reads!

<3, Des

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Update: It’s Hump Day

Hello fellow readers, writers, bloggers, bored web-surfing aficionados…

It’s HUMP DAY!

Mid-week has come along so quickly, there is hope for the weekend to come even more quickly. Now, the tricky thing about that is, the weekend then disappoints by coming and going just as fast or even faster…boo!

So it has been some time since I have blogged. The hunt for Red October…no, no, I mean the hunt for a new laptop is still underway with no ounce of success yet to be seen, hence all the writing delays; my blogs, my book (that one stings and punches my gut)

I decided to do an update this fine Wednesday afternoon. It’s been an eventful two weeks, I will say that, but before I can continue…I need COFFEE! Um momento…

*runs to kitchen to prep homemade version of a pumpkin pie spiced latte*

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Ah, yes…all is well in the world again… *sips coffee*

So today’s blog will make more sense to probably frequent readers. It will be an update of things that have happened recently in life. (all still relevant to reading, writing, ect…)

UPDATE #1

(Let’s get the personal things out of the way first)

Yesterday was a year since my other brother suddenly passed away. The family got together to eat, sing some songs, remember, and celebrate his life.

I was dreading yesterday to say the least. I have been baffled by the black hole that has sucked up time and caused it to go by in unfathomable speeds. A year makes no sense. How has a whole year of my life already gone by? This event seemed like it happened mere months ago. All in all, it went really well. We all held up well. They had my 14 year old niece and I play some songs on guitar. We all ate, we sang, we conquered the dreaded day.

Death of a loved one, most definitely stays with you. I’m learning more and more each day that it may very well always be with me in some degree.

UPDATE #2

Writing Process

Yes, I am still whining like a child who wants and believes she “needs” her lollipop. This whole, not having my own computer thing has put me in a sort of funk. My mother’s office computer has been what’s helped provide these random blog posts recently but is not the most convenient, for many different reasons which I will not list off right now.

This is why writing has not been taking off as much or as fast as my mind is racing with ideas, scenes and dialogue. I am grateful to be a writer in this era than in the era of pen and paper though. I absolutely love the simplistic forms of the days of old, don’t get me wrong. My bestie and I own feathered pens, actual ink to dip and wax seals on parchment paper. We write letters to one another and snail mail them. Nothing like receiving letters and goodies in the mail!

Well, unfortunately I wouldn’t last in such a writer’s era due to my carpal tunnel in both wrists that flare up from time to time.

I am excited about some new plot developmental ideas that have recently sprung up. Cant wait to toss them in there and see how the story slightly shifts and evolves. I see the brilliance of first drafts and revision.

UPDATE #3

I had coffee with an author! And she is from my absolute favorite and dream publishing house!

I don’t know if they would appreciate me name dropping them publicly here so I will not release their name in case.

I remembered recently that a certain author who writes YA fiction and is well known (one of her novels was turned into a motion picture that everyone knows at the mention of it’s name) lives in my town. My niece and her daughter were in a theatre production together which I went to see. I decided to take a leap and make a bold move. You never know unless you try and ask, right? So I found her email, wrote her and asked if she’d be willing to meet for coffee.

I nervously checked my email and refreshed it a million times the first few days. Almost two weeks later, I kinda chucked it up as, “hey, at least you took the chance to ask”

Then…it came. I had mail! She wrote back and even better, she was willing to meet me! I was so excited.

We met the end of last week. She was so nice! I loved and appreciated her honesty. She provided me with such amazing information, I am still processing it all. I am very grateful to her for all her help and guidance.

Through that meeting I was able to get connected with my very first WRITING CRITIQUE GROUP! (beta-readers!)

This makes me very nervous and excited! They only accept members who are serious about publication. They will be, as a group, reading my first draft pages… *gulp*

I’ll be attending my first critique meeting the first Monday of October which is in another week and a half! These little advancements remind me how real this all is and could be; writing a novel and pursuing it for the possibility of being able to one day soon, share it with others. So I’m sure you all will be hearing monthly from me on how those go.

Side Note: How embarrassing! Before the novel writing venture began, all I ever knew was writing for screenplays and theatrical skits and plays. I had never written a novel before so being completely new to this, I did not even know the most basic rules to formatting a novel. I showed her some sample chapters to just read through and let me know in time if it’s just terrible and I should chuck this dream in the air.

I appreciate her honesty to tell me without shame that the least I could do to make my manuscript look better is…

Double-space everything and indentation for new paragraphs and dialogue

Yea…I had everything single-spaced and random points and paragraphs indented with space between them…wow…when I got home, I opened my manuscript, transferred it from Celtx to Word and did those two small adjustments…Oh dear…they were not small at all!

What a difference. I was tempted to immediately email her the same sample chapters I gave her but in the less eye-sore version for her to stomach. My friend told me not to, that it was fine. So I lifted my pointer finger from the mouse’s clicker, and backed away from the send button.

UPDATE #4

Reading

What am I reading this week?

Well, I am finally taking a dive into the C.J. Redwine world (her brain) and soaking up DEFIANCE!

DEFIANCE

I must say, I have been very excited to read this book! I had watched an author interview (Live Chat) through Epic Reads (of course) last month and was introduced for the first time to C.J. Redwine and her book series. Being fairly new to YA literature still, I am catching up here on known authors and books. I. ABSOLUTELY. LOVED. HER! Even more so, after the interview chat, I read a blog she posted for Epic Reads. It was 10 things you may not know about her. I was peeing on myself laughing so hard, cradled on the floor. I knew right then and there, with that personality, I HAD to read her book. I purchased it but had to wait. I had a couple books in line before this one.

Side Note: Doesn’t Rachel look B.A. on that cover?

So finally, I started this book this week and am loving it! I love the storyline, I love the plot so far and if there is something I really appreciate from an author, is their ability to write character development well, especially when it comes to the two characters who are clearly the love interests here. Logan and Rachel’s slow but tense relational development is amazing! No INSTA-LOVE here which I whole-heartedly appreciate.

Today I just found out, that this series is a trilogy! I knew there was a second book after this one (Deception) but I did not know there was a third! Very exciting. I will review on it more when I finish it.

Goodreads Synopsis:

“While the other girls in the walled city-state of Baalboden learn to sew and dance, Rachel Adams learns to track and hunt. While they bend like reeds to the will of their male Protectors, she uses hers for sparring practice.

When Rachel’s father fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the city’s brutal Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector: her father’s apprentice, Logan—the boy she declared her love to and who turned her down two years before. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can’t be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.”

UPDATE #5

Banned Book Week

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This week is Banned Book Week.

There are different and interesting emotions tied to this week. So as I wrote previously, this topic became heated when a group of parents fought and got a book banned in an entire county.

Eleanor & Park.

That’s a heavy reality. They got a young adult fiction novel…banned.

This weekend I played “Mommy” for my niece and nephew while my sister and her husband went away for the weekend to a marriage couple retreat. Samantha (my 14 year old niece) told me she read the sample chapters of Eleanor & Park. Her mom then read them too and decided this was not a book Samantha would be reading till later when she gets older, if she’s still interested.

I read the sample chapters. It was difficult to get through the first chapter. The reason is just due to personality differences. Sure, I let out the occasional swear word here and there but I’m not a huge sailor. My other bestie is from New York and has the NY vocab which means the F*Bomb is apart of every sentence structure. I laugh because my New York family who like in Florida are the same way, so I’m used to it but personally, I just never cared for the word or in-your-face crude sexual references. Again, it’s just my personality hence my preferences are different than others, which is okay. It’s the beauty of humans, we’re all different.

After reading the first couple of chapters, I understood my sister’s decision and agreed with her. I do not want my 14-year old niece reading this book yet. Not at this age. I’d re-visit the topic when she’s seventeen or eighteen. Here’s the thing also, my niece is one of those rare precious gems of her generation. She is wise beyond her years and is not into what typical teenagers her age are into. She loves the simplistic innocence of life, fangirling, animation, books and gaming. She is not sheltered or oblivious what-so-ever to the world around her, but just chooses to live her life according to her own personal convictions and not going along the much traveled tide.

Anyway, now that I have flattered my niece enough, (I admire her & love singing her praises) the best part of the decision made is that they (mother & daughter) discussed it together, hence causing Samantha to understand and accept her mother’s wishes to not read this book.

I will say, I am still curious about the story, because I am told it’s a sweet story that leaves a slight tear (slit) in your heart.

To reiterate, if you do not agree with a certain book in regard to your teen’s reading, discuss it together.

Banning books just leads to all sorts of negative outcomes. It makes you fear, “What’s next”? We’re banning fiction novels today, what’s up for banning tomorrow?

Looking at some of the banned books of the past, which some are now classic literature read in High School English classes, has to make people pause & wonder if this was the best course of action.

What book are you reading for Banned Book Week?

I am still currently finding one. My pockets are currently empty. I can’t buy new books yet but once I can, I will add a banned book to my list to read.

A cool reference Epic Reads made correlating with this week is Lauren Oliver’s Delirum book series. In the story, a dystopian society view love as disease and have even found a cure for it. Due to this development and new livelihood, books have been banned within the society, especially books encouraging, demonstrating the destructive, and emotionally unstable symptoms of “love”. Interesting huh? Check it out!

UPDATE #6

Last…

IT’S TEA TIME *BOOK SHIMMY* WEDNESDAY!

It’s Wednesday which means, at 3:45EST Epic Reads gals will be chatting live for Tea Time bookish nerdy talk. I’m sure they will be chatting about Banned Book Week. Also, there’s a giveaway during the chat of Mindy McGinnis’ Not A Drop to Drink YA book!

Crossing my fingers for a win. I would LOVE to get my hands on this story.

Well there you all go! My update from the last two weeks.

Hope everyone’s having a brilliant day!

<3, Des

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Banned Books Week and “Eleanor & Park”

Banned Books Week:

ALA Freadom Slide 2013 (2)

Now when it comes to topics like this, I like to tread lightly. We all are passionate about one thing or another or even many. Growing up within a certain system which I allowed myself to be very black and white with, and recently coming out of it, I have learned that life isn’t black and white…at all. I learned to open my mind more and appreciate and accept differences whether I agreed with them or not.

This week, it was brought to Epic Reads (which then means, it was then brought to the attention of me and other booknerds everywhere) that a certain book, was banned in an entire county in America.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

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I have not read the book. It came out in February. I have searched and read reviews on it. I have searched fan art (which there already is plenty of) and have gained a sense, or the gist of the book. Today on #TeaTime EPIC READS which are every Wednesday USTREAM 3:45pm EST (we booknerds call it Book Shimmy Day!) this was the topic of the week. Next week begins Banned Book Week. http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/

Crazy because I didn’t even know this was a thing. (banned books week . org)

I had and still have many thoughts, feels, and opinions on this matter. I played “devil’s advocate” and analyzed both sides of the argument. At first I didn’t know what to feel exactly. My personality I have come to know is very old fashion and I love that about me. I’m an old soul trapped in a twenty-something year old’s body. I love the Jane Austen and classics of the days of old, I’m not your typical extroverted twenty-something year old. I love to stay home and watch movies, read books, have shenanigan time with close friends.  Anyway, my point is that, due to my personality, I felt one sided instantly about this whole thing.

There’s a list of apparently sailor words (curse words) that are mentioned up the wazoo in the book and something about sexual content supposedly.

The book was placed on a Summer reading list for kids at school. Parents were outraged and gathered together, confronted the school board and got this book banned in an entire county.

So here’s the thing…I get wanting to censor your children from certain content that you feel is inappropriate for them. You have chosen to set a certain standard for your child to be raised in. I, personally understand that. As it is, as much as I love T.V. I cringe, a lot at the things tweens and teens are watching and have visual access to that NEVER was the case when I was younger. Lots of what is available to teens to watch these days I find not beneficial but here’s the thing…at the end of the day, that is my opinion.

Sure the “revolutionist” in some of us, wants to ROAR, wave flags and change certain aspects of today to help mark a better tomorrow for our children who will one day be the ones making this world go round, or not.

(gosh theres so much that can be said here, I’m trying to focus my thoughts…)

To ban books, when we live in a fully accessible of all things age, and television is the ultimate visual access along with the internet, is not the positive or efficient move here. Young adults, and kids do not read enough. Theres a problem with the coming of  age generations and it’s got a lot to do with the lost art of imagination.

I grew up in a television watching home. No one in my home read or encouraged reading. I had no bookish friends who provoked me either. I never stepped foot into a library other than in school, when the entire class had to go for a picture session. Or when in 5th grade, our group skipped school together like idiots in a large group, got caught and we were forced to sit in the library and write a 500 words essay.

Ok, I laugh because only me! I was secretly excited about writing the 500 word essay. I wrote it in my best cursive, filled the pages and I believe, I went further than the 500 words. My friends lovingly made fun of me for that. (Imagine if I read more…I would have probably discovered my love as a writer and believed in it more at an earlier period in my life than much much later…like…recently.)

I look at my 14 year old niece who is a booknerd who helped introduce me to YA (young adult literature) which now I am obsessed with reading with no more shame. I see how just two years ago, she was awakened to books and reading. I’ve seen how it’s molded her creatively in many different creative outlets.

Reading something with inappropriate language or scenes doesnt course her towards emulating them…why? My sister and bro-in law are AMAZING parents who communicate with their kids. Their kids are their best friends and vise versa. I have never witnessed such an amazing family unit. I tell them all the time, how right they got it with these two. (14 yr old niece and 11 year old nephew). They watched television together, never off in their separate rooms. They don’t live like strangers in the same house. Samantha and her mom (Vanessa) talk about everything. Vanessa knows about her daughters fanfictions, and OTP’s, she knows about her daughters gaming love and Legend of Korra feels. They communicate and spend time together. Same goes with Nicky and his dad. They go outside & warm up for sports together, watch games on TV together. These kids are not any more ignorant to the craziness kids learn about in school but are diamond in the ruffs who have no desire or interest in exploring the craziness teens have now become accustomed to participating in.

This is where I agree with the girls from Epic Reads, and @OurReadingWorld who posted:

“Banning books is so not the solution. Communication is. 🙂 Books are the way to freedom and knowledge”

To ban a book in the entire county, so that others could not access it either, is not a victory. How far will it go then? I think of some of the books they mentioned that have been throughout history banned. Books, that now in 2013, seem ridiculous that they were banned. They’re common books or classics that are read in High School English classes now.

Here is a list (well known books) that have been banned or challenged; targeted for banning in the last few decades:

1. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
3. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
4. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
5. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
6. Ulysses, by James Joyce
7. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
8. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
9. 1984, by George Orwell
11. Lolita, by Vladmir Nabokov
12. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
15. Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
16. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
17. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
18. The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
19. As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner
20. A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway
23. Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
24. Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
25. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
26. Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
27. Native Son, by Richard Wright
28. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey
29. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
30. For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway
33. The Call of the Wild, by Jack London
36. Go Tell it on the Mountain, by James Baldwin
38. All the King’s Men, by Robert Penn Warren
40. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
45. The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair
48. Lady Chatterley’s Lover, by D.H. Lawrence
49. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
50. The Awakening, by Kate Chopin
53. In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote
55. The Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie
57. Sophie’s Choice, by William Styron
64. Sons and Lovers, by D.H. Lawrence
66. Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
67. A Separate Peace, by John Knowles
73. Naked Lunch, by William S. Burroughs
74. Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
75. Women in Love, by D.H. Lawrence
80. The Naked and the Dead, by Norman Mailer
84. Tropic of Cancer, by Henry Miller
88. An American Tragedy, by Theodore Dreiser
97. Rabbit, Run, by John Updike

For more detailed info on the complete list and for details on why each titled was pursued for banning, visit:

http://www.ala.org/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/classics

ABOUT THE BOOK AT HAND:

I am actually very curious about this book. Eleanor & Park. Not due to the rebellious teenager in all of us that wants to purposely stick it to the man, *chuckle* though it’s fun to do that at times but honestly, after some of the reviews and fan art I found on the book, I’m very intrigued about the story between Eleanor & Park.

Um first, as a girl who suffered self-image issues during those school years, I am LOVING that the heroine is not your typical looking protagonist female. She has crazy curly red “Disney’s Brave Princess Merida” hair, she’s not skinny and dresses (due to her low-income circumstance) pretty funky. Then, she actually slowly gets the attention and heart of a, what seems attractive mixed Asian American boy.

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(too cute…love these fan arts-they’re what has me intrigued to read this)

I respect John Green as an author. Especially after reading “The Fault in Our Stars” I find myself trusting to a certain extent his opinion.

He reviewed and wrote:

“Eleanor & Park reminded me not just what it’s like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it’s like to be young and in love with a book.”—John Green

Here’s a small synopsis from a blogger:

“Eleanor is a “big girl” with bright red hair (kids on the bus call her Big Red, and she describes herself as resembling a barmaid)…

Park is a half-Korean kid who’s passably popular but separated from the larger social order of his school both by his race and by his passion for comic books and good music. On the first day of school, Eleanor sits down next to him on the bus. Over time, she begins reading his comics over his shoulder. Then he lends them to her. They bond over music. Eventually, they begin holding hands on the rides to and from school.

The hand-holding, by the way, is intense. “Holding Eleanor’s hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat.” Evocative sensual descriptions are everywhere in this novel, but they always feel true to the characters. Eleanor describes Park’s trench coat as smelling “like Irish Spring and a little bit like potpourri and like something she couldn’t describe any other way than boy.” Park watches Eleanor’s mouth so closely that he “could see that her lips had freckles, too.” After Eleanor castigates him for saying she looks “nice,” Park thinks: “Eleanor was right: She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.” And they are relentlessly, deliciously fascinated with the feel of each other’s touch. Two-thirds of the way through the book, when Park realizes they’ve only touched north of the chin and south of the wrists, I felt as flabbergasted as he does.”

Funny, I didn’t know John Green was the one who wrote this review blog…here’s the link

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/10/books/review/eleanor-park-by-rainbow-rowell.html

In Conclusion:

With television and the internet, banning books to try and control what your children are exposed to is not the solution. If anything, we NEED to get our kids eyes peeled off from the television screens and the endless hours in front of video games (don’t me wrong, I love Gamers) and introduce this generation to the beauty of imagination, and mental creativity through the endless world of books! We then need to sit down and actually communicate with our children. Have open, honest conversations about life instead of just taking things away, saying, “No!” with no further discussion, and explanation.

Of course, we’re (well, some of us) not wanting our teenage girls reading “50 Shades of Grey” for instance, so sit down with your teen and talk to them about saving that book for later, when they’re older, and explain why. Then at eighteen, revisit the topic, for example. The point is, if you want to set a standard for your child, great! You have boundaries for your child, okay!

To gather a town and ban books which are already in a battle to stay alive and well, especially with our younger generation only hurts a community more than helps it.

So next week is Banned Book Week. Epic Reads and the community of Banned Books are wanting to help bring awareness and encourage reading!

Next Week, pick a book from the Banned Books List and read it! Share about it with your book clubs, friends, ect. I personally may be checking out Eleanor & Park, now that my curiosity has been tickled.

Check out Epic Reads Tea Time USTREAM chat on Banned Books Week, how they believe Authors have evil laughs, doppelgängers, upcoming Allegiant event and more! The full video is below!

If you’d like to just check out specific highlights and clips, check out their page here:

http://www.epicreads.com/blog/tea-time-recap-banned-books-week/

Have a great bookish week y’all!

<3, Des

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Reblog: How Not to Be a Writer: 15 Signs You’re Doing It Wrong

Today @mgbuehrlen from Twitter and Young Adult Books Central (@YABooksCentral) shared a post that as an aspiring writer was great to look over. It’s a checklist to kind of review your intentions as a writing. See if you’re in the right mindset when pursuing the dream of telling stories.

The link to the post is below…Here’s a snippet of it as well…

http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/2013/09/how-not-to-be-a-writer-15-signs-youre-doing-it-wrong-2.html

How Not to Be a Writer: 15 Signs You’re Doing It Wrong

 

Ever wonder if you’re doing this whole writing thing wrong? We have a bad writing session. The words are all glomming up in the back of our minds and refusing to flow across the page. Our editor hits us with a tough critique, in which he offers the humble suggestion that we change, well, pretty much everything about our story. Someone reads our story and, instead of laughing and crying in all the right places, his best response is a half-hearted, “Meh.

In the face of evidence like that, it sure doesn’t seem like we’re quite acing the How-to-Be-a-Writer checklist. Maybe we’d do better on a How-Not-to-Be-a-Writer checklist.

Let’s take a look at fifteen sure signs that maybe we really are acting more like non-writers than writers—and how to remedy that.

1. You’re trying to be the next Janet Evanovich/J.K. Rowling/G.R.R. Martin.

If we’re investing all our energy and hopes in surpassing some of the biggest names in the industry, we’re focusing on the wrong thing. Worse, if we’re trying to imitate great authors’ styles in hopes of one day mimicking their success, we’re dead in the water before we even start paddling.

2. Your time is better spent on activities other than reading.

First, if you don’t love reading so much you can’t stay away from it, you’ve probably signed the wrong job application. Second, if you aren’t absorbing storycraft through every pore, you’re missing your most important opportunity to better your understanding of what it takes to write an amazing story.

3. You’re obsessed with following The Rules.

The Rules may be very important guidelines, but writing is about so much more than that. Don’t get so hung up on The Rules that you lose touch with your own guiding story sense.

4. You’re protecting your originality by avoiding instruction on the craft.

The techniques of writing and the theories of storytelling are so much bigger than anything we can realize all on our own. The more we study our craft, the better our art will be—and the sharper our ability to create original material.

5. You change your writing process every time an expert suggests something new.

Writing experts may know a lot, but they don’t always know what’s right for you. We all have to find the processes that best suit our personalities and lifestyles, and once we find them, we need to stick with them.

6. Your genius doesn’t need to be critiqued.

The worst mistake any writer can make is that of claiming a genius that, ahem, doesn’t really exist. Much better to assume you’re less skilled than you really are, so you’ll then be able to ask for (and accept) the help you need to improve.

7. Your tender ego can’t bear to be critiqued.

Yeah, critiques hurt. Sometimes they’re about as much fun as a hug from the Iron Maiden. But delicate writers die. Only the strong survive and, more importantly, write better stories.

8. You believe everything everyone tells you about your story.

Joe over here says your main character is awesome. Lucinda says your ending is a stinkfest. Angus likes your ending but hates your main character. Don’t believe all of them—or even any of them. Weigh their opinions for exactly what they’re worth and make up your own mind.

9. You spend more time checking your email than working on your manuscript.

Procrastination is a parasite. Most of us struggle with it from time to time. But if we’re going to be writers, we must learn to purge it and gain the discipline to focus on what really matters—our writing.

10. You start ten stories for every one you finish.

Sooner or later, every story gets tough, and when it does, we become vulnerable to the lure of shiny new ideas. But writers finish stories. Cultivate discipline and force yourself to bring at least eight out of ten manuscripts to an end.

For the rest of the reasons #11-15
Click the link and check out the blog page where a part of number #11 I quote here:

“Writing is not about glory. It is not about acclaim. It’s not about being published. Writing is about writing…”

http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/2013/09/how-not-to-be-a-writer-15-signs-youre-doing-it-wrong-2.html

Great stuff! Enjoy!

<3, Des

Posted in Uncategorized

Back in Action: Writing

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Forget what I look like! I’m writing again!!!

*dance party breaks out, horns and cirque du soleil acrobats come from out of the sky, through the roof hanging from silk ribbons that were threaded from double rainbow unicorn’s saliva in heaven, Aladdin’s Genie breaks through with the same procession he honored Prince Ali with-it’s a glorious celebration*

“Okay guys…guys, back into Genie’s bottle. Acrobats, thank you, thank you, much appreciated.”

Who says I was ever in Drama?

Once I reformed my Perspective (previous blog post plug) I made a choice to figure out how to make things work in the meantime. After much neglect, first, from performance anxiety (previous blog post plug #2) then from obnoxious inconvenient circumstances, which I allowed to hinder my writing. My characters have finally met. I’m still in the word vomit first draft process which means, I need to  stop beating myself up here and just get all these ideas out of my head already!

I already have the gist of almost every scene in Book one, now, all that is needed is the meat, and fillers that cover the skeleton.

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I avoided starting this chapter for so long, that once I sat down and did, two pages flowed naturally. We truly are our own worst critics, enemy sometimes. You allow all the insecurity of not being able to bring these characters to life, doubting your ability to tell the story to get in the way. You mull over these enemy voices in your head and start actually believing they just might be right.

You (hypothetical you, actually talking about me-sheesh! “ME, Me, me!” ) back away slowly, removing your fingertips from the keyboard…RIDICULOUS! It’s your story and their your characters, your best friends, your lovers, your confidants…who else to tell the world for them,

“Hey, we’re here, listen!”

Its been a whirlwind of two weeks and I refuse to neglect their voices any longer. They’re loudly in my head sharing their emotions and circumstance.

I feel like The Neverending Story here. I’m Bastian being asked by the Empress to bring them to life, give her a new name!
(I was obsessed with that movie as a child)

What helped this burst of determination I bet had to do with an email I received that left me stunned and silent for many hours after reading it.

I had written a certain author, asking boldly if they’d be willing to meet up with me for a chat, where I’d hope to receive some guidance. I wrote it two weeks ago knowing it could be a long shot and left it at that. It was hitting the two week mark and I thought, realistically, that it was just not gonna happen. I thought, “hey, at least I put it out there and tried.”

Welp! They wrote back!

Not only did they write back and give me already some great advice, they are willing to meet up which flooded my little heart with joy!

I feel so honored, they’d take the time out of their schedule to do so. It was a definite encouragement to get my butt off my hands and get to writing!

Just wanted to share with you all that I’m back in action!

Back on Track! 

<3, Des

My Epic Reads (@epicreads -Twitter handle) girls! The awesome-ness deserves… SQUID HANDS

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Coffee…an attempted Poem

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Let me count the ways…

The aroma that fills my nasal passages sending baby unicorn smiles through my insides

My eyes, they open

The world is set on pause due to your lack, my empty hand, and decaffeinated belly

Without you I am not right, I am not me

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But the moment comes where the silk thickness of your roasted brilliance pass the threshold of my lips

And life begins to dance in promenade along my taste buds

An Austenite waltz commences, Oh to be united each morning

coffee

The beauty of what you are is that you’ll never break my heart

The barista might, by getting you wrong because they have no pride in crafting the perfect cup

but their incompetency is not your fault, sweet nectar of dark goodness

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You awaken my senses, you give me a pleasant spunk that makes me now approachable

to the human race

Oh, what a pair we make

One day, our song-filled sweet smells of freshly ground beans will glide through the air

meeting him where he sips simultaneously

You will bring us together and we will make coffee-addict babies that will rule the world and rid it of bad baristas

*light chuckle* I kid, I kid. If that were the case, Italy would have rid the rest of the world already for their poor attempted replicas

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You are all I need, every passing day

to function, to drive, to pass the time away

Coffee guy may break my heart and say one day, “I’m giving up caffeine”

and in utter horrified disbelief and disgust, I will walk away

knowing the robot apocalypse has just invaded his brain, making us star-crossed lovers

who will never be

But I will still have you, Oh Coffee

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So let us engage in each passing day

With a book in hand, and you, Coffee, tickling my senses

Let us run around this world, in full blown stupidity, not caring who sees

We are one, we are…complicated

But I wouldn’t want it any other way

<3, me

-An Ode to Coffee

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