It’s the warmth of a summer sun pressing through and pouring between the gaps of illuminated tree leaves; it’s the peaceful, calming noise of pouring rain that trickles through gutter and pipe; it is imagery conjured into something more real than the spell of any grey-bearded sorcerer or maiden, mother, and crone. Attempts have been […]
Not sure who needs to hear this today…
Fear makes us feel inferior, it makes us feel like we can’t tackle any task. Fear freezes us in our tracks. Fear is the root of inaction. And inaction is the root of misery. So, fear leads to misery. If we let fear rule our lives we will be stuck, but we are not trees. […]
Very apropos to my current thoughts.
I was watching a great show on Netflix this weekend called The Imposters. I binged season 1 in about a day and a half. The show got me truly hooked. Sadly, I read it was canceled after season 2… Anyway, it is about a bunch of con artists living all of these different lives. One random, outside character said something that truly stuck with me. She mentioned a mug she saw at an airport that said
“If you wanted to do it, you would have done it already.”
This quote really struck a chord with me. I talk so much about how I want to change my life but I have to think about whether or not I really want to. Because, as this saying goes, I would have done it already.
So I decided to put my actions where my mouth is and change my circumstances instead of just…
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As you may know, Milkman by the Northern Irish author Anna Burns was the winner of the Man Booker Prize 2018
Kwame Anthony Appiah, 2018 Chair of judges, had this to say:
‘None of us has ever read anything like this before. Anna Burns’ utterly distinctive voice challenges conventional thinking and form in surprising and immersive prose. It is a story of brutality, sexual encroachment and resistance, threaded with mordant humour. Set in a society divided against itself, Milkman explores the insidious forms oppression can take in everyday life.’
On finishing it I was left with a similar feeling as when I completed another Booker prize-winning novel, Marlon James, A Brief History of Seven Killings, that is, a feeling of exhaustion and of wonder, how could an author sustain this kind of writing, stay with this voice, day after day for as long as it took to…
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Okay, the bra bit got to me and provided a much needed laugh.
February 11, 2019 #OpenBook
Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and your pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
Yeah, I’m not going back in. I’m clumsy enough when there’s no fire. If everybody is safe, then I’m good. If I went back in, then I would end up being pinned by a falling beam or something and ending up as story material for Grey’s Anatomy. And I mean that in a dying way.
Speaking of that show, I used to watch it. It came out when my first born was chillin’ in my stomach. That’s a terrible time to start a show that’s 99% drama. I was a teacher and my husband worked an afternoon/evening shift as a custodian for the school (because small towns rock and they found…
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A Wednesday re-blog.
“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” – Suzy Kassem Live long enough, something’s going to happen and break your heart. It’s… life. Other people will tell you “no,” there are countless setbacks and petty frustrations, lots and lots of obstacles. Imagine how long it takes a baby to learn how to walk. Or […]
A Sunday re-blog. #StackSleeping
When I worked in a college library, I had to periodically go around and wake people from where they had fallen asleep in the book stacks, on tables, or in quiet corners. I didn’t wake them to be cruel but because the library had to close sometime, and they couldn’t spend the night even […]
A Wednesday re-blog. Another stop on my UK trip.
After finishing The Secret Library: A Book-Lovers’ Journey Through Curiosities of History, I idly typed into my search engine of choice, ‘secret library Nottingham’ and was surprised by actually finding one. Bromley House Library is smack bang in the centre of town, its unassuming doorway sandwiched between a charity shop and a newsagent. It was very much like finding the Book Cemetery in Barcelona á la The Shadow of the Wind.
Arriving for my tour – which can be taken every Wednesday at 2:30pm for the excellent price of £2 – this is the scene that first greets the visitor, from there I knew it was going to be a book lovers dream to wander around in. I later found out that that staircase is only supported at top and bottom so only one person can ascend or descend at a time.
This magnificent old building, built in 1752…
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A Sunday re-blog. What’s on the other side of your fears?
You can read the original article here.
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – Jack Canfield
by Cristian Mihai
Let me tell you about fear. It’s poison. It’s poison for your mind. It makes you lose control, it makes you freeze, it makes you take the wrong decision. When you let fear take over, you’re just an echo of your former self. An empty shadow and nothing more.
But we’re all afraid, aren’t we? There’s no such thing as fearless. Even the brave are afraid. In fact, one cannot be brave unless one if afraid…
So… what is there to be had on the other side of fear?
The awful truth about life is that what doesn’t kill often makes you wish it did. There’s great sadness and pain in this world, and we all get our fair share. But, you see, eventually all those things that don’t kill us either make us stronger or weaker. After a while, when the pain becomes but a memory, we have a choice.
We can either decide to become stronger or weaker. We can harden ourselves up or not. The choice is always ours.
But we’re afraid… even when the pain goes away, we’re afraid it might return. Even after heartbreaks heal, we’re afraid someone else will break our hearts again. We might never want to fall in love again. We might want to spend a lifetime behind closed doors, just to be sure, without realizing that loneliness will also break our hearts.
That’s why we need to fight fear, we need to see what is it that we can find on the other side of fear.
All our dreams and expectations. All our ambitions. All the power and the courage and the determination and the discipline we could ever need. All that lies just on the other side of fear.
I’ve always wanted to go to the United States and forge a better future there. Ever since I was six, actually. I never even traveled there, mostly because I was afraid of the visa requirements. Or the fact that I’d fail. I just wanted to fight a sure battle, but no one could ever guarantee me that. No one ever will.
And I’ve filled the ocean that lies between Romania and the US with excuses, endless scenarios, and fear. I’ve thought about it, over and over again, and decided that it would be best to wait. Living in a foreign country, all by myself, seemed like too much. Just the thought that I’d need to go through a lot of trouble just to arrive at my destination seemed impossible.
I’ve never even been on a plane.
There’s one thing about me that I never lost, one thing that I didn’t learn or mimic from others. I want things so badly that I’d be willing to do anything to get them. When I decide that it’s time to do so, I don’t let anything stand in my way.
I did the same for writing. I wrote on and off for 8 years before finally deciding that I’d better man up and write more and more stuff. And finish stuff. And get stuff published.
There are no impossible journeys in life. Only journeys we’re too afraid to even start.
I used to think that I couldn’t function properly without smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. Stress and all that. I’d say that I couldn’t even write without cigarettes. But it’s been two months since I quit.
Now I know that life’s all about being afraid and doing it anyways. In fact, fear should motivate me. It should drive me to act, to try my best, to try to solve problems.
I don’t want to spend a lifetime dreaming about an ideal future. I don’t want to wish for it to happen. I want to make it happen. Because no one else will do it for me.
And that makes all the difference.
The world is never against you. The world does not hate you.
You’re just alone. You and your dreams. And it’s entirely up to you to make them happen, one at a time, before it’s too late.
Because the most tragic thing that could ever happen to you is to realize that it’s too late.
A Sunday re-blog. This review disrupted my current reading list…in a good way 🙂
Bone Witch – Book Review, by Rin Chupeco.
You can find the original blog piece here.
Bone Witch (2017, Sourcebooks Fire, Young Adult Fantasy) by Rin Chupeco
When I finish a book and review it, I also post on sites such as Amazon and GoodReads which gives me a chance to see what other people are thinking about the book too.
If I really love a book, I’m always eager to check out reviews and see if everyone else loved it as much as I did.
So after reading Bone Witch, I rushed over to GoodReads only to discover most reviewers did not enjoy this book. I was so confused, how could someone not love this book?
It’s beautiful and sweeping and wonderfully told, but many thought it was too slow and that nothing really happens.
I still think it’s fantastic! I was a little disappointed in the ending but it’s part of a new series so that will likely be cleared up in the sequel, and I don’t like to give spoilers in my reviews so I can’t really explain why the ending was disappointing. Sorry, guess you’ll have to read the book. : – )
And now, my review…
From the publisher:
“Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there’s anything I’ve learned from him in the years since, it’s that the dead hide truths as well as the living.”
When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.
In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha—one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.
Bone Witch, written by Rin Chupeco, is the first book in what promises to be a brilliant new fantasy series. The world-building is exceptional as the reader is immersed in Tea’s world where asha’s wield extraordinary powers and are both revered and feared. As Tea evolves from a simple, country girl to a powerful asha, the story introduces a cast of unique and entertaining characters. The descriptions of the asha’s outfits can sometimes be a bit drawn out, but overall the detailed descriptions only serve to make the world more real.
The story is told from the perspective of Tea and from the perspective of a Bard who has sought out Tea to hear her story. The story unfolds as Tea recounts her rise as an asha to the Bard. The story goes from present day to the past as the two storylines build and the reader begins to anticipate that Tea will reveal what happened in her past to bring her to where she is now. This gives the story a page-turning quality and even though the plot is somewhat slow, the writing and characters are sure to keep the reader engaged.
A beautiful, epic tale with strong female characters that will be enjoyed by teens and adults who love fantasy stories.
Thank you to Net Galley and Sourcebooks Fire for a reading copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Joseph Caraud, “Am Morgen”, Öl auf Holz, 1865, via Wikimedia.
Reading is more dangerous than I thought. Not only is reading while walking cause for concern, but reading in bed may also be a problem. At least people who lived during the 1800’s thought it was.
Like cigarettes are today, reading in bed was a fire hazard. People needed candlelight to see. If they drifted off to sleep while reading with a candle burning at their bedside, there was always a chance that the house could catch fire.
The Atlantic recently published an article that details how the British came to connect reading in bed first to fire and then to an immoral spirit. People who read this way were considered to be “insolent child[ren]” prone to crime. This kind of commentary seems like an overreaction, but the disapproval of reading stemmed from broader changes to society. By the…
A re-blog. You know what…fuck you spellcheck.
And what a ride it has been. Around the world, indeed. 200 or so countries. Lots and lots of people, lots and lots of stories…
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I’m re-posting the article and original blog of a brief look into Imposter syndrome. I know I experience such moments.
“It comes in the night. It comes for us all. Imposter syndrome, that constant feeling that you’re about to be revealed as a total fraud, seizes even the most successful among us plebes.
Exhibit A: An encounter between beloved author Neil Gaiman and another Neil, one whose historical importance can hardly be overstated. Gaiman wrote on his blog May 12 about meeting a legendary man, who said he felt out of place among great artists and scientists.
It was Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon. Wrote Gaiman:
And I felt a bit better. Because if Neil Armstrong felt like an imposter, maybe everyone did. Maybe there weren’t any grown-ups, only people who had worked hard and also got lucky and were slightly out of their depth, all of us doing the best job we could, which is all we can really hope for.
Here’s the post in full:
Gaiman’s words of comfort to his fan, arguing that no one at all really feels like they know what they’re doing, is clearly resonating with people. A tweet by fantasy writer Alan Baxter, quoting Gaiman’s blog post, has been liked 41,000 times at time of writing.
The feeling that you are severely under-qualified for the task ahead of you, or that you’re secretly the most incompetent person in a room full of bonafide geniuses, it seems, is pervasive.”
I am coming to terms with some of these insights more and more by the day.
You were one of first bloggers to let me promote my first book on your blog and I have never forgotten that. I’m sorry to hear that you think self publishing sucks. But if you have the time, I’m gonna tell you a few things. So here goes.
You say you queried twenty-five agents. Well, I queried 3,000! Ten hours a day, seven days a week it was go through the lists, get their emails, cut and paste my letter, and then send it out. One full year!!!
I was pushing my first book, a 164,000 word mess. It was a good story, but I had no concept of proper editing. Anyway, I was told time and time again that anything over 80,000 words for a first time author was heresy. Finally, I got pissed off and sat down and wrote an 80,000 novel just as a big FU. Then…
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