"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'" ~ C. S. Lewis

Monday, January 23, 2012

Buckets of Tears or Don't Read this Book While Driving

So my original title for this post was Tears and Snot and Drool, but I though that was a bit disgusting for a post title. So instead I subject you to it in the first line. Classy, no?

I drive over 2 and a half hours 3-4 days a week commuting to school. Most of the time I really don't mind it and when people ask how I can stand it I have two words for them: Audio Books.

I can't even begin to tell you how many books I have managed to read over the last year and a half by listening to them.

However, sometimes this can cause problems. Such as when I listened to the ending of Bridge to Terabithia. I have read this book multiple times. I have seen a couple different movie versions of it. I ALWAYS CRY. I am a crier. I freely admit this.
But usually I just kind of tear up. Or have the silent tear trickle. I honestly can't think of ANY book or movie that has ever made me sob the kinds of body shaking sobs that Bridge to Terabithia does.

Until now.


11-year-old Aubrey has everything she needs: food, a house, and a new family - her beta fish Sammy. A tragic accident has taken her family away and when Aubrey has to move in with her grandmother one of the only ways she can express what she's going through is writing letters. But as she develops a friendship with the girl her age next door and gets to know her grandmother better, Aubrey slowly learns that maybe she's not so alone after all.

Aubrey's grief is so raw and so harshly painful that I found myself literally gasping with sobs. Part of the experience is listening to the amazing performance of Becca Battoe. She captures the voice of Aubrey so well and does remarkable justice to Suzanne LaFleur's beautiful prose.

Perhaps you think my adjectives are a bit too glowing? Go read, or better yet, listen to this book. I guarantee it will touch your heart. I can't get it out of my mind and I can't wait to get in my car tomorrow so I can hear the rest.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Grown Up or Something

I can't believe I graduate this May with my MA in English. These two years have flown by in a blur of reading, grading, writing, and, fortunately, a lot of laughing too.

But the scary thing is that I now have to figure out what I'm doing next.

I have definitely decided not to go straight for my PhD, but that means I have no plans.
funny pictures - There's nothing to be scared of. There's nothing to be scared of. There's nothing to be scared of. There's nothing to be scared of.


Except I just found this great accredited online program to get my Masters in information and library sciences.

So I started the application today.
funny pictures of cats with captions
I also set up a "professional" e-mail address.

donut worry we iz professionals
And started working on my CV.

And updating my resume.

funny pictures of cats with captions

I'm feeling all grown up and everything.

funny pictures of cats with captions

Now excuse me so I can go get dressed and maybe eat some Lucky Charms.

funny pictures of cats with captions

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Breaking the Rules

If you read my post yesterday you may remember that I said one of my goals for this year was to figure out what I wanted to do with this blog.

Well, last night I think I finally realised what the problem is. Then I read this post today by Jamie Harrington, and she's come to the same conclusion.

When I started blogging I had no idea what I was doing. I was following one blog (Nikki Stafford's fabulous Nik at Nite) and pretty much only talking about Lost. Then I started visiting the blogs of other Nik at Nite followers whose comments I enjoyed. And I discovered the world of author and writer blogs. I also found that people wrote about funny stuff from their lives. And food. And movies. And socks. And other random stuff. So I started writing random posts about whatever I wanted to write. Then I started reading more and more blogs and suddenly there were "rules" - There were things you were "supposed to do" to build readership and develop a platform.
funny pictures - Can't heer yur rules  Earz too small
I felt like I was doing everything wrong. So I set up a schedule and failed miserably, so I started only doing one regular feature (Retail Wednesdays) and feeling guilty for not doing more. And I stopped having time to go to other people's blogs. My readership dropped off and I got frustrated.

Over the summer I established a schedule again. And actually kept up with it. But I had even less time to visit other blogs. Then school started and I stopped having time to do any blogging or reading and I felt guilty. Constantly.
funny pictures of cats with captions
It stopped being fun. It started being a chore. An extension of all of my other responsibilities instead of a chance to be free and goofy and enjoyable.

So I've decided to do two things - actually three - actually four things this year:
  1. Post what I want to post when I want to post it. I want to rediscover the fun of blogging. I want to remember why I loved coming here.
  2. Stop feeling guilty for not posting regularly. Who wants to read my continually apologies for not posting? No one! That's who. So I'm not going to apologize. I'm just going to post.
  3. I'm going to go back to visiting other people's blogs. Not to get more people to visit me (though I've noticed that's usually a side-affect), but because I miss reading what you guys have to say. I miss laughing and chatting and getting to know you all better.
  4. Clean up the clutter on my blog. Maybe even mix up the background - though I do like this one. Get rid of old things I don't need. Make it a little fresher. You know. Before the end of the world and all :)
So Much Pun
So that's my goal/plan. I'm breaking the blogging rules and doing what's right for me. I hope you'll stick around for the ride!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Looking Back:

This has been an interesting year for me, and I thought it would be good to do a little reflecting on the highs and lows:
  • Survived a full year of grad school, which I loved/hated/loved depending on the day.
  • Survived a full year of teaching freshman English, which I pretty much loved/loved/loved - except for that whole grading papers part :)
  • I started a tumblr. Best time sucker EVER.
  • I won NaNo for the second time and ended up with an actual workable, revisable manuscript that I love.
  • I managed to keep up with all my favorite TV shows and still do all the work I was supposed to.
  • I read 140 books - only 10 shy of my goal.
  • Experienced the heart-rending closure of Borders. Saying good-bye to my co-workers, customers, and the store itself was one of the saddest things I've gone through and brings tears to my eyes even now.
  • Started a book club and then a book blog with a bunch of my coworkers who just couldn't bear saying good-bye to each other forever.
  • Became an aunt to the CUTEST little ladybug girl in the entire world.
Proof that she is in fact the cutest ladybug girl. ever.
  • Cut my hair. (hey, that's a big deal for me!)
  • Managed to post on my blog pretty regularly over the summer.
  • Lost track of my bloggy buddies. Didn't carve out the time to visit around and keep up with everybody. I really, really miss it.
  • Experienced the premier of the final Harry Potter movie with an amazing group of movie-goers in Toronto.
  • Went to Italy! With good friends and professors from school.
  • Was a panelist in three panels at Polaris (including moderating 2 of them) - WAY outside my comfort zome, but SO loved every minute of it!
  • Started going to the gym again!
  • Decided not to go straight on for my doctorate, which is a decision I'm happy with.
  • Laughed a lot, made good friends, cried some.
Looking forward:

This year is going to bring a lot of changes and, while I don't really make "resolutions" I think it would be good to make some goals or articulate some hopes.
  • Finish grad school on a high note! I graduate in May and I want this semester to be more positive than this past semester was.
  • Get at least one adjuncting job. I love teaching freshman English and I would love to be able to do this while I figure out what my next step is.
  • Figure out what I want to do with this blog. The every day thing is most definitely not working. Also, I feel like it gets stale when I put myself in too much of a schedule. But I need some sort of regularity to keep myself motivated. So I need to figure that out.
  • Get back to visiting all y'all's blogs. I miss it. I miss it so much and that made me realise that I don't want to do without it. So I need to carve out some time to do it.
  • Rewrite Solo, my NaNo novel. I love this book, but it needs some serious work. I will buckle down and do this. I don't want another crummy rough draft sitting around moping at me.
  • Win NaNo for the third time. Yes.
  • Read 150 books. I want to make this goal this year.
  • Step out of my comfort zone more. I'm not sure what form this should take, but I'm getting claustrophobic and if I'm not moving away from home yet I need to do more things to get me out and meeting people with like interests.
  • Help build our group book blog into a great place for readers to gather and share book love.
  • Waste less time on the interwebs. Twitter is fantastically fun and Tumblr is a great place to share fandom love, but honestly? I need to set a timer or something and get out more.
  • Go to the gym regularly. Even when I'm busy. I know I feel better when I do this, so why is it so hard?!
  • Laugh hard, cry sometimes, make more friends.
What are your highlights from last year? Things you're looking forward to this year?