Week Thirty: Results

Guys! I did it! I’m updating on Saturday like I’m supposed to! Aren’t you proud of me?

No? Okay, then let’s just continue…

Unfortunately I didn’t have time to finish a book since I last updated, BUT I am now about halfway done Clockwork Prince. I should be able to finish it within the week, though. I’m experiencing the hesitation I get when I’m almost done a book but I don’t want it to end. The third book, Clockwork Princess, is not going to be available until March 2013. The wait is going to kill me. This book (and this series) is pretty much the epitome of my ideal book. Harry Potter aside–who could ever compete with my love for Harry?–Cassandra Clare incorporated my favorite elements to create an awesome series: Victorian London, a brooding guy (I don’t know, I have a soft spot…even though I’m a lesbian…I try not to think too much about it), magic, sword fights, steampunk, literature, and poetry. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of Clare’s books.

 Today’s a rainy one, so I’m spending it inside with my book, tea, and mom. It’s actually pretty nice, since we haven’t been getting along for a while. I’m hoping that I can use all this time to get further in the book–I’m not pushing myself to finish it today. Tomorrrow I’m supposed to go over my friend’s house for a pool party, but it’s supposed to rain tomorrow as well. I’m not sure what’s happening with that, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to read a lot tomorrow. But I’m determined to finish it whether I want to or not.

I’m still reading Perfect by Ellen Hopkins, but I haven’t been paying it much attention. I’ll work on finishing that this week as well. So far I like it. It’s easy and fun to read, and her style is so unique. If you haven’t read any of her work before, I strongly suggest it. She’s a wonderful writer.

I have a lovely pile of library books waiting to be read, and I’m so excited to get started!

Read ALL the books!

  • Hit Lit by James W. Hall
  • Ash by Malindo Lo
  • Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters
  • The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
  • Across the Universe by Beth Revis
  • Leviathan by Scott Westerfield

I’ll let you know when I start reading these, but in the meantime you can keep up with my progress on Goodreads.

Happy reading!

Jen xx

Apparently I have commitment issues…

I’m not even going to apologize. I’m sure you’re all tired of my crap, but whatever. Let’s just get this show on the road, yeah?

(Okay I’m sorry, I’m really sorry. I don’t even know why I haven’t been updating. It’s not like my social life is booming or anything. Quite the opposite actually. Well, except for this week. The week I decide to update is the week I’m the busiest. I don’t understand. Anyway, sorry. Really.)

Currently, I am five books behind schedule but I am working on fixing that. Since the last time I’ve updated, I have finished a few books. So here’s a quick review of each.

Supernatural: War of the Sons by Rebecca Dessertine–This book is based on the AMAZING show on CW. It’s about two brothers who fight demons and are caught in the battle between Heaven and Hell. The books are pretty much long, published fan fiction for the show.  I actually really enjoyed this story. I thought it was believable and everyone was in character the entire time. It felt like it could have easily been part of the show. It was funny and exciting, and the story was really creative. If you love Supernatural, check this book out.

Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs–I watched the movie before I read the book, but only because the library wanted the DVD back within a few days whereas I had a few weeks to read the book. I was a bit worried about how I’d respond to the book afterward, but I thoroughly enjoyed both the movie and book. I feel a bit more attached to the book–surprise, surprise–because I feel as if it has more resolution. The movie is just a lot of weird happening, but I feel that the book has more of a moral to it. A lesson that Augusten learned and felt important enough to share. I really didn’t know what to expect with this story, but I enjoyed it. A bit disturbing but highly hilarious!

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare–I love Cassandra Clare’s work so much. She’s one of the best storytellers I’ve come across. This book is the first in the Infernal Devices series, which is the prequel series to the Mortal Instruments. I only read the first book in TMI (The City of Bones) but I loved it. I don’t know why I never finished it, but I plan on reading the rest this year! Clockwork Angel did not disappoint me. It’s set in one of my favorite settings: Victorian London. The story is magical and dark and fantastic and romantic and simply amazing. It was difficult to put down and I finished it within a couple of days. I’m currently reading the sequel, Clockwork Prince. The third book’s cover was recently released and the book will be coming out soon.

I also read four books about writing and publishing. I wrote quick reviews on my Goodreads account if you’re interested in checking them out, but I’m not going to spend time writing about it here.

Last month I mentioned that I was participating in Camp Nanowrimo during the month of June. While I failed at my attempt, I refuse to let my story die. It’s really important to me and I think it’s important to tell. I hope that I’ll at least have the first draft written this year. I’ll keep you updated, if you wish.

Besides that, nothing much has been happening in my life. I’m just waiting to go back to college. I’m not used to these long summers! I miss my university and my friends–and the convenient location of Starbucks on campus. I miss my dorm and the freedom. Fall semester cannot come soon enough.

I’m not going to promise anything, but I’ll try to get this blog updated on a regular basis again. I’ll try. Check back later this week!

Hope you’re having a great summer!

Jen x

*RAGE* I keep falling behind on this!!!!! (Yet another apology)

I can’t believe I’m YET AGAIN behind on this blog. I apologize a thousand times over. Please forgive me?

According to Goodreads, I am now five books behind schedule. Yikes! However, including the books about writing and publishing that I borrowed from the library, I am currently reading fifteen books. When I finish those, I’ll hopefully be ahead of schedule. On my reading schedule right now are:

  • The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson (I’m almost done, I swear)
  • Supernatural: War of the Sons by Rebecca Dessertine–basically a really long fan fiction about my new television obsession, Supernatural. Check that show out!
  • Supernatural: Witch’s Canyon by Jeff Mariotte–another fan fiction
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. If you didn’t read the last post, this book does not count toward my goal. It’s just a tradition of mine to read the entire series over the summer.
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
  • A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
  • The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly. I really have no idea what this book is about, but my girlfriend has been trying to get me to read it for over a year now. I finally gave in. (Note: I only refused on principle. She was trying to make me read it. I don’t take to kindly to force. 😛 )
  •  Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs. I picked this up at the library the other day (along with the movie). My stepsister was obsessed with this and it’s gotten a lot of praise. I figured I should check it out. Also, I broke my rule: I watched the movie before reading the book. I was very confused, but I enjoyed it.\
  • Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. I’ve read the first of the Mortal Instruments series (City of Bones) and I own the second. This book is the first of the prequel series. It should be interesting. My roommate loves them.
  • Hit Lit: Cracking the Code of the Twentieth Century’s Biggest Bestsellers by James Hall
  • This Year You Write Your Novel by Walter Mosley
  • Show Me About: Book Publishing
  • Fiction Writer’s Workshop by Josip Novakovich
  • Beginning Writer’s Answer Book
The month of June is the first of two Camp NaNoWriMo sessions–the second one being in August. For those who do not yet know, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. The challenge is to write a 50,000+ story (novel length) in 30 days. Camp NaNo is the same challenge but during the summer. I decided to participate this summer because I have more time than I do in November, and I have a really good idea in my head. This also explains why I borrowed so many writing books from the library. I needed inspiration and motivation! I also downloaded a free trial version of Scrivener, and let me tell you: it is writer’s paradise. It’s organized and just…wonderful. I tried explaining my glee to my girlfriend, but she just nodded. Boo. You can check it out at this here link.
 
Who’s a fan of Perks of Being a Wallflower?! Because I am, and the official trailer has been released! I’m going to read the book again before it comes out on September 14. I’m also hoping to get my Perks tattoo before then! I can’t wait! Who else can fangirl with me?
 
I’ll try to be more consistent with my blogging! I sincerely apologize again. Hope all you bookworms are having a fun summer!

Let’s Play a Game of Catch-Up (Weeks 20, 21, 22)

Holy @$%^&* I am freaking late posting this! My sincerest apologies, everyone. I’ve been busy applying for jobs and writing a story–which I’m actually really proud of. Oh, and reading too, of course. However, I still haven’t finished any of the books I’ve planned to! I don’t know what’s going on with me! I have all this spare time to read now that it’s summer, and I’m not finishing anything? In my defense, there has been a severe heat wave and I only recently had the AC turned on. Most of my time previous to that was spent sprawled out in my living room trying not to touch too much hot air. (It didn’t work well.)

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but every summer I read the entire Harry Potter series over again. As such, I’m reading Sorcerer’s Stone right now. I’ve really missed this book; it was the book that introduced me to a whole new world of magic and yet I often neglect it for the later books.

“It’s okay baby, I’m here now,” I creepily whisper to my tattered paperback as I hold it to my face.

If any of you are Harry Potter fans, I encourage you to check out Mugglenet.com’s new project, Alohomora. It’s an interactive site where fans read the books together, discuss theories, share stories, etc. It’s actually really awesome, but I haven’t been keeping my reading schedule parallel with their’s. I think I might try to catch up though, since I really miss that sense of community.

I’m still trying to finish The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson. It’s still interesting, but I feel that since I took such a long break that I’m not as invested in the story. I only really read to find out about Lisbeth (I can’t help that I have so many literary and fictional crushes! Do not judge me!) I’m more than halfway done though, and you can always follow my progress on Goodreads.

I realized how far behind schedule I was the other day, so I decided to start reading another book on top of these. The Harry Potter series doesn’t count for my challenge because I have already read them all…several times. However, I really do need to start doubling up on the books. I took a poll on my Tumblr and Facebook of which of the following books I should read first: The Hobbit, The Kite Runner, or Catcher in the Rye. The winner was The Kite Runner, and I’m so excited. So many people have recommended this book, and I finally get to read the book my girlfriend bought me as an apology!

In other news, I’m heading to the library this week. I’ve placed several books on hold and will be spending hours finding more from the shelves. I’ll post when I come home with my borrowed treasures. Hopefully this will help boost my book count!

In other other news, The Great Gatsby and The Hobbit movies come out this December!!!!!

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Leo DiCaprio as Gatsby and Carey Mulligan as Daisy. Nerdgasm.

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I still have to read these book, but GOD I freaking love the movies. This is the only series that has broken my “book first” rule. I’m so excited for this movie and to read the books.

I wanna know what everyone else is reading this summer. I’ve packed away most of my books so that it’s easier to bring them back to campus in the fall, but I’ve kept my summer reading list out. What’s on your list? TALK TO ME.

Week Nineteen: Results, Week Twenty: Goals, and SUMMER!

Geez, I really need to step up my game! Not only am I posting late, I failed my only goal. In my defense, this past week was finals week and I had to move out of my dorm this weekend (sadface). I was a bit preoccupied. However, since I am now home, without a job, and since all of my friends here are still in school, I have plenty of time to read. My goals for this week are:

1. Finish The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson. Yeah, remember that one? Finally gonna finish it.

2. Finish Roverandom by J.R.R. Tolkien.

I’ve been home for a couple days now, and the majority of it has been spent where I am now: on my ass in my living room, typing away at my computer. Sounds fun, right? Sometimes I really hate being introverted. But hey, it gives me more time to read and write. I’ve had this little plot bunny for a short story hopping around my head, and I really need to get it worked out. If I ever finish it, I’ll let you guys know. For now, the suspense of the unknown will just have to keep you occupied.

So, now that my summer vacation has started, it’s time for me to figure out what to do for four months of uninterrupted time. I’ve been spending a bit too much time on Tumblr and watching old episodes of Supernatural. I guess I should venture outside or something…I dunno. Anyway, here are some things I hope to accomplish this summer. Let me know if you have any awesome (or not so awesome) plans!

  • Get a job. I need money, pronto.
  • Get my license. I’m freaking nineteen years old and I don’t have my PERMIT?!
  • Apply for ALL the scholarships! My educational finances are looking pretty sad.
  • Drink more water. I’ve been drinking so much coffee and soda at college that I’ve started looking like shit. Gotta get that summer bod back. Psh, okay. But seriously, the pimples…
  • Fix that bike tire so I can ride it! I’ve missed my bike. For some silly reason, I didn’t bring it to college and I haven’t rode since last summer. Also, I need more exercise.
  • Write the short story I mentioned earlier.

I’m sure there are more things I need to do, but it’s summer. I’m not stressing about keeping a schedule or anything. I just hope I can go to the beach and the pool with friends often enough. (Yes, I do have friends! Aren’t you proud of me?) Yeah, so let me know what you’re up to and what your summer reading list consists of!

Week 18: Results & Week 19: Goals

WHY DOES TIME KEEP HAPPENING?!

I swear, every time I think I’ve caught up, I’m two steps further behind. This week is finals week for me, so I’ve been pretty stressed out with studying, finishing up some papers, and making projects. My apologies.

Also, my roommate has gotten me quickly addicted to the show Supernatural. Ever heard of it? It’s fucking awesome. Go watch, now. It’s on Netflix. Anyway, when I haven’t been studying/writing/killing myself with work, I’ve been spending time with my roomie obsessively watching this show. And when I’m not doing that, I’m thinking about the show, reading fan fiction, and surfing the Supernatural tags on Tumblr…so I’ve been a little out of it lately. Again, I’m sorry.

As for my goals, I have finished all three of the little Princess Diaries books that I wanted to read. Shocked? Don’t be.  They’re each less than a hundred pages. >___< I still enjoyed them though. They are light-hearted and fun to read. Mia is such a funny, awkward, little character that I can’t help but laugh along.

For my goals for this week, I’m not aiming very high (finals, as I’ve said). I just want to finish J.R.R. Tolkien’s Roverandom. It’s a silly little story Tolkien wrote to explain to his young son where his lost toy dog went. It’s adorable reallly, the concept.

It’s pretty late and my roommate is already asleep. I should probably sleep soon, too. Lots to do. Ta-ta, happy reading.

P.S. Any Supernatural fans out there?! I started out as a Dean person, but I’m quickly obsessing over Sam’s story line. I KNOW that bad things are happening (I’m at season 6 now) but I can’t help it. I feel more connected to Sam than I do Dean. Also, I ship almost all the ships. Get at me. My favorites are Destiel and Wincest though. Strange and creepy, usually, but not for this show. They’re almost canon haha. Also, favorite character? I’m in LOVE with Cas. ❤ LET ME KNOW!

I’M LATE, I’M LATE FOR A VERY IMPORTANT DATE!

I AM SO SORRY. This week has been one of the most hectic weeks of this year! As such, I haven’t been able to blog at all for the past few days. I have three papers to write, finals to study for, friend drama to deal with, family tensions, girlfriend issues, and my own emotional and mental health to worry about. It’s been a tough journey so far. But summer is almost here, guys! In two weeks, I will be moving out of my dorm for four months where I don’t have to worry about schoolwork at all! I get to watch all the Supernatural and Doctor Who that I want, read ALL the books, and lounge around the pool whenever I feel like it. Oh and maybe bike and see people and whatnot…Possibly.

Let me do a quick wrap-up of what I’ve missed on this here blog:

  • I left you off on Wednesday (so long ago!) on Day 25 of National Poetry Month, missing four days of poetry.
  • My Week 17 goal was to finish The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson. I have failed.

My Week Eighteen goals are:

  1. Finish Project Princess (Princess Diaries 4 1/2) by Meg Cabot
  2. Finish The Princess Present (A Princess Diaries book) by Meg Cabot
  3. Finish Valentine Princess (A Princess Diaries book) by Meg Cabot

I know that all of these books are silly and small, but I’m sure I’ve told you that I love the Princess Diaries series. It’s a guilty pleasure. To make myself feel better, I’m hoping to use these three small books to boost my book count and to make me happier. I’m pushing off the Millennium book until after finals, when I have all the time in the world. It’s a time-consuming book since the plot is so intricate.

As for the poem to make up for lost time, I’m posting another Poe poem from my book. This is also as an honor to the writer, whose name has been marred by the movie, The Raven. I was so excited to see it, but the reviews claimed it was absolutely horrible. I was still in disbelief, but my friends reported the same account. I refuse to spend upwards of $30 to see a bad movie. Anyway, this is for you, Edgar.

Alone, by Edgar Allan Poe

From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were; I have not seen
As others saw; I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow; I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I loved, I loved alone.
Then- in my childhood, in the dawn
Of a most stormy life- was drawn
From every depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still:
From the torrent, or the fountain,
From the red cliff of the mountain,
From the sun that round me rolled
In its autumn tint of gold,
From the lightning in the sky
As it passed me flying by,
From the thunder and the storm,
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view.

National Poetry Month Day 25

I really need to learn to manage time better. Seriously, I’m horrible at it. There’s only FIVE minutes left until the end of the day! My roomie and I have this thing where we play the Rocky theme song on YouTube for each other when we’re procrastinating or feeling lazy or just don’t want to do work anymore. We’re a good team hahaha. So I’m writing this post to the theme song. I feel strangely energetic and motivated for it being midnight. 😛

Birches, by Robert Frost

When I see birches bend to left and right
Across the lines of straighter darker trees,
I like to think some boy’s been swinging them.
But swinging doesn’t bend them down to stay.
Ice-storms do that. Often you must have seen them
Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning
After a rain. They click upon themselves
As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored
As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.
Soon the sun’s warmth makes them shed crystal shells
Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust–
Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away
You’d think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.
They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load,
And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed
So low for long, they never right themselves:
You may see their trunks arching in the woods
Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground
Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair
Before them over their heads to dry in the sun.
But I was going to say when Truth broke in
With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm
(Now am I free to be poetical?)
I should prefer to have some boy bend them
As he went out and in to fetch the cows–
Some boy too far from town to learn baseball,
Whose only play was what he found himself,
Summer or winter, and could play alone.
One by one he subdued his father’s trees
By riding them down over and over again
Until he took the stiffness out of them,
And not one but hung limp, not one was left
For him to conquer. He learned all there was
To learn about not launching out too soon
And so not carrying the tree away
Clear to the ground. He always kept his poise
To the top branches, climbing carefully
With the same pains you use to fill a cup
Up to the brim, and even above the brim.
Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish,
Kicking his way down through the air to the ground.
So was I once myself a swinger of birches.
And so I dream of going back to be.
It’s when I’m weary of considerations,
And life is too much like a pathless wood
Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs
Broken across it, and one eye is weeping
From a twig’s having lashed across it open.
I’d like to get away from earth awhile
And then come back to it and begin over.
May no fate willfully misunderstand me
And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
Not to return. Earth’s the right place for love:
I don’t know where it’s likely to go better.
I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree,
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.

(I STILL HAVE TWO MINUTES ON THE CLOCK! SUCCESS!)

National Poetry Month Day 24 *WARNING: possible triggers

So I’ve got 45 minutes until the day is over, and I’m sneaking this little poem in just in the nick of time! Today’s been another horrible day, but I won’t bore you with details. I’ve been attempting work, having panic attacks, and crying. Hence, there wasn’t a lot of time for poetry reading. I apologize. 😛

I’m just gonna pick another poem from Amy’s post at Insatiable Booksluts. I really need to get her to tell me her sources, because this poem just blasted a hole right through me when I read it. It’s so simple, but it’s so powerful. I don’t know if any of you have ever dealt with suicidal thoughts, depression, addiction, or anything of the sort, but this little poem wraps everything up so nicely. It’s like “Woah, you’re totally right Dorothy. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. Thanks.” And then we go off and drink tea and chat or something. I don’t know, I like tea and chatting. So I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. Let me know your thoughts on these poems! If you have any suggestions, hit me up in the comments!

Resume, by Dorothy Parker

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.|
Guns aren’t lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

National Poetry Month Day 23

Today’s been pretty difficult. There’s only a couple weeks left before finals, and those weeks are filled with papers and portfolios and studying. On top of all this, my friends have been bitching at me for no reason and then completely ignoring the fact that there was a fight at all. As if my feelings were a meaningless casualty. And the one thing I thought I had as a definite has been pulled out from under me. I’m on the verge of a serious emotional break and there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m a pretty firm believer in karma (not in the hippie and drugs sense, just getting what you deserve), but I’ve been looking at my past. I don’t know what I did to so suddenly deserve this. It’s just stress after stress, building up. I’m not sure I’m going to be able to finish my book this week. I’m not even sure I’m going to be capable of finishing my assignments. I don’t know.

Poetry. Right, that’s what you’re here for.

If you checked out the Insatiable Booksluts link I provided yesterday (was it yesterday…?) then this poem might sound familiar. I really just fell in love with the poems Amy chose.

Not Waving But Drowning, by Stevie Smith

Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he’s dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.