Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Coming Attractions: May

{April showers bring May flowers, in this adorable desktop wallpaper from Craftberry Bush!

Well, if March was a month of hard work, April was really a month of re-acclimation to not having quite so much hard work, but working hard nonetheless, you know? What I mean is, instead of having quite so many side projects requiring my attention, I had to shift the focus back to schoolwork, which is now quickly threatening to kick my butt, as well as everything else going on in this beautifully busy Spring. 

May is everything I've been waiting for. The school year is drawing to a close, some big projects that have been in the works for a while are entering their final stages, and Seattle's finally getting to see some sunshine around here! Not to mention my darling sister, The Cheerleader, is finally graduating high school in about a month, and not only is she celebrating that specific milestone of her life, but she's also starting to take the time thinking about her future... more specifically, her future here, with me, at UW! May is a time for looking forward, to summer, to fun, to not being tethered to my planner all the time with so much going on.


{scheduling some much-needed coffee dates with my wonderful Little; the first backyard fire pit of the season, with many more roasted marshmallows to come; beautiful weather taking over the Emerald City, in the view from my window} 

  • My most popular post this month: Top Ten Tuesday: Books for Fans of Once Upon a Time (even though it was only published yesterday!) 
  • My College Fashion posts from this month: The 100 and Weetzie Bat
  • My favorite post I wrote this month: The Origin Difference: What Formats Do You Favor? 
  • Books I've read this month: Despite not having posted any reviews this month, I actually managed to read six books, three of which were for school, and two of which were for College Fashion: 
    • Kass Morgan's The 100
    • Dorothy Allison's Bastard Out of Carolina
    • Francesca Lia Block's Weetzie Bat
    • Carla Trujillo's What Night Brings
    • Marissa Meyer's Scarlet
    • Ford Maxford Ford's The Good Soldier

these are a few of my favorite links...

1. Author Alexandra Duncan tackles censorship and slut-shaming after her book Salvage was shelved onto a "Slut" shelf on Goodreads, by launching a giveaway to spread the word on some of her favorite "sluts" from books, an endeavor in which she has been joined by fellow YA women Beth Revis, Megan Shepard, Sharon Biggs Waller, Jessa Hollbrook and Trish Doller. Write on, ladies! 

2. When I saw all the hype leading up to the release of Dorothy Must Die, I thought I smelled a rat... and that rat turned out to be James Frey! Why everyone should be boycotting Full Fathom Five. 

3. Buzzfeed is a wondeful site for time wasters, but instead of spending a couple minutes on their random quizzes or ridiculous videos, why not tackle 36 Life Changing Poems Everyone Should Read, instead? 

4. However, I can't deny that the levity of Buzzfeed's lists don't appeal to me, too: here's a list of the 26 Types of English Majors you'll meet in your department. 

5. And, if you are, like me, recovering from a several bout of mental drought - ie, the unforgiving, merciless Writer's Block that came to Seattle alongside all this beautiful weather - try getting a little inspiration from this incredibly well-done video about Writer's Block, by British YouTuber KickthePj. 

quote of the month

Monday, April 28, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books For Fans of ABC's Once Upon a Time

"Top Ten Tuesday" is a weekly countdown meme, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish!

This week's Top Ten Tuesday subject matter got me what might be classified as "irrationally" excited, due to the inordinate amount of culture I consume outside of my regular book habit, and how excited I was to attach that singular hobby to absolutely everything else. How was I suppose to stick on one TV show, one song or band, one musical, one whatever, for a booklist? I actually ended up just brainstorming a list of potential sources of inspiration, and then baby book lists off of each of those. 

While I was conducting this time-consuming exercise - as a means of procrastinating writing an essay, due Wednesday in English, of course! - I remembered that I had missed this past week's episode of Once Upon a Time... and immediately put aside everything to watch. I swear, it took me an additional ten minutes of the episode to finally hit upon the fact that I was watching my real inspiration. 

Fantasies from worlds even more magical than the Enchanted Forest
1. Throne of Glass, S.J. Maas
OUaT has no shortage of kick ass heroines working against massively dangerous magical foes, and they would definitely find themselves in good company with YA's current fantasy assassin-in-residence Celaena. 

2. Poison, Bridget Zinn
Ditto to Kyra, a kick-butt potions master with a flair for flying darts and with a magical pig as an accomplice. Snow would LOVE her.

3. Stardust, Neil Gaiman
A far out fantasy with elements that reference fairy tale standbys with passing glances, and integrate every baddy in the book, Stardust crafts a world just as amazing as the Enchanted Forest.

4. The Princes Bride, William Goldman
Cuttingly ironic and hilariously sarcastic, the sense of humor permeating this modern classic's tale of a Farm-Boy-turned-Dread-Pirate and the Princess Bride he loves fits right in with the wise-talking residents of Storybrooke.

Classic tales get a makeover for the modern world
5. Catherine and Jane, April Lindner
Updated, modern takes of the classic Bronte sister's opuses Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre (respectively), these YA novels effectively transport the drama of fiction into heady and rocker-filled modern eras. 

6. Sisters Grimm series, Michael Buckley
You're never going to believe this: a Middle Grade series about the daughters of fairy tale royalty (the Grimm Bros, in this case), living in an East Coast town, complete with magical border, populated by some of fantasy's favorites, including resident royalty, like the amoral Mayor Charming, assisted by people like a kindly granny and the Big Bad Wolf, and antagonized by a wisecracking boy who never grew up (in this case, it's Puck, from Shakespeare, not Peter Pan). Best part: it was a national bestseller before OUaT ever premiered.

7. Beastly, Towering, A Kiss in Time, by Alex Flinn
Flinn's YA works are well recognized for their transposition of classic fairy tale characters and tropes into the modern teen Universe. 

Where fiction meets fantasy, as two worlds collide
8. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
A science fiction future-past (alternative history is just so much fun!) meets up with the page-hopping Edward Rochester and his darling Jane; meanwhile, our intrepid heroine Thursday Next battles love, mystery, and basically everything else endangering her small hometown. 

9. The Percy Jackson series, Rick Riordan
The rousing and well-reviewed Middle Grade juggernaut has spawned two movies, detailing the exploits of a boy who finds out he's descended from the Greek Gods. I'm sure Emma would find the situation a little similar... and can't you see Henry loving this series?

10. The Unwritten series, Mike Carey and Peter Gross
A dark and explicit series of graphic novels following the experiences of Tommy Taylor, a grown man who finds that the Harry Potter-likebook series his father published with him as the protagonist, may be grounded more in fact than fiction.

And, just as an extra, in honor of this current season's big baddie... 
11. Wicked, Gregory Maguire
Because everyone likes an alternative take on an old tale... and while OUaT's Wicked Witch is a Total Bitch, it's nice to reminded that we always have Elphaba to turn to when we need a bit of a different perspective.

What's in YOUR Top Ten?

The Origin Difference: What Formats Do You Favor?

Yesterday, I complained to a friend about how I hadn't gone book shopping in a couple of weeks.

Unfazed, she reminded me that I had just purchased six books on Kindle the previous day (because she's helpful like that). After several protests from me, explaining how different those two concepts are, she asked me why I found physical books so much more appealing than ebooks. Not wanting to get into yet another discussion about the relative merits of e-readers, I expostulated on the many merits of all forms of books, not just tethered to the physical and technological realms.

As I was detailing the stolid beauty of an old secondhand hardback, or the transient love affairs of library books, it began to dawn on me how much I enjoy one type of book over another. Not just in purchase, but in reviewing, as well. Why do I have these kind of prejudices for and against stories based on not how they're told, but how they're sold? Why do I favor certain formats, in both consuming and reviewing? So, I set about making a list. Unranked, unrestrained, here's my reasoning behind my own format favor: 


Cost: Blissfully, gloriously free. Usually teen reads I don't feel seriously enough about to actually purchase, their non-impact on my bank account and marshmallow-type subject matter make for less necessity on my part to actually enjoy it, which results in either the kind of comfort and absence of pressure that makes reading the book a brain vacation, which I rate reasonably high, or, if its just not what I'm looking for, I don't feel any sort of qualms about DNFing. Therefore, grading is a little less tethered to cost, than me actually liking it. Support your local libraries! 

Cost: Usually less than $5 unless I'm really, really dedicated to the series, or if it's a new release. These are my popcorn reads, the babies I fly through at Superman speeds while on long car rides or waiting for class to begin. However, over time, my ebook needs have been changing: what began simply as a means of hiding the worst of my gushy YA habits, has become my crutch, in a means of easily procuring whatever reading materials I'm craving at that very second. Most of my Kindle books result in lesser rankings, due to their cheapness and the relative ease with which they are procured... which is sad, because I feel like this is how I buy about half of my current reading material. 

Cost: Fairly average for the amount I'm willing to spend on a book, around $15, I think. They're not new releases - otherwise they'd be in hardcover - so there's less pressure to be thought highly of, but due to the fact that they're also usually something I've been looking forward to reading, due to aforementioned hardcover issues, I've built up my own expectations and fully succumbed to hype. Due to that fact, they're usually not as good as I've imagined them to be, but since I paid good money for them, and was basically predetermined to enjoy them, the scores usually even out in their favor. 

Cost: Hella expensive, usually around $20 or more. The most expensive of all my book purchases, I really try not to make this one a habit, but being that my mother feels no such qualms about discerning between various book formats, she routinely kills me by purchasing these new releases, and then handing them off to me when she's finished. With a sturdiness that lends it a certain demand to be thought highly of, hardcovers usually are enjoyed less, but rated more highly, by me, due to their sheer dominating strength and imposing nature. 

Cost: Free as the birds in the sky, but virtually priceless to the procurer. ARCs aren't just free, they're untested, unproved, books with no past and only a glimmering future that you can help decide. Especially in the book blogger community, ARCs are a status symbol, our nerd version of street cred, and something one can never have enough of. ARCs are the best, and since there's usually not any conflicting reviews out while you're reading, you really are free to make confident claims about how you actually think the book is. Usually with a better score, because holding them makes me feel good. #notashamed. 

Cost: Usually around or under $5. Aw, my darling secondhand babies. Inexpensive, but almost like a different kind of book-buying altogether, with alternative stories pressed in between the pages of the old ones... there's nothing like finding the goldmine of handwritten notes or the pearl of another's bookmark, pressed flower, or newspaper clipping. Besides, you just can't beat that smell. Usually best loved and best looked after, secondhand books make me feel like I'm adopting, giving a book a second chance at life. Rated highly for the benefit of history. 

So, how about you? Do you favor specific formats?

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Stacking the Shelves: It's Only Week Four

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly Saturday book meme from Tynga's Reviews, all about sharing the books you've added to your shelves over the course of the week.

It should come as no such surprise that I have, yet again, fallen into the gaping pit of indecisions, fear, and anxiety that comes customary to the college experience... and it's only Week Four. Due to the impending tidal wave of projects waiting to ambush me at any moment in virtually all of my classes, and time dedicated to things like my sorority, Daffodil, and the fact that my sister, The Cheerleader, is not only in the Spring of her senior year, but that I'm attempting to desperately woo her to Sigma Kappa as much as possible, I'm swamped with various projects that all demand my attention. 

Needless to say, a particular brand of retail therapy was much in order. While I would rather spend my time and money purchasing paperback, there were a couple of deals on Kindle this week that were just too good to pass up, especially due to the fact that leaving the house would entail putting on what my roommates and I have nicknamed "real-people pants," and that just doesn't sound like a good deal for me right now. 

The Spectacular Now, Tim Tharp
A novel recently adapted for the major cinema crowd with Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller at the helm, The Spectacular Now is a contemporary with a warm and comedic teen romance that carries all the weight that naive youth and its first brushes with reality entails. 

If I Stay, Gayle Forman 
Yet another teen-romance-with-heft with ties to the silver screen - the movie adaptation is set to premiere August 22nd, starring Chloe Grace Moretz and Jamie Blackley - this book follows a young girl's decisions, fluttering between life and death, basically posing the question in the title of the novel itself. (Recommended by one of my best dude friends, so I feel like that bears witness.) 

Jellicoe Road, Melina Marchetta
Damn, I'm killing it on the teen dramas today, and I'm only just now starting to recognize it. I'm not even going to bother glossing over the plot, because not only is it emotionally complex and unable to be summarized in just a sentence, but its popularity as a novel ensures that others would be much better at explaining it than I. 

So, there's my haul. What're you stacking your shelves with this week?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

College Fashion Post Link Up: Weetzie Bat

When attempting to find a source of inspiration for my most recent blog post, I experienced a bit of a conundrum in terms of what book about which I would write... mainly because I felt completely unmotivated to read anything new. I was tired of tackling YA, which, though most popular with the College Fashion readers, was a little redundant with its themes and characterizations. I wanted something out of the box, that would also ideally not take me so long to read, and maybe would introduce some of my more seasoned readers to something they hadn't read before (because I'm a humanitarian like that).

Flipping through my Pinterest boards - as I am wont to do not only when seeking inspiration, but basically at every other point in the day, as well, because let's face it, social media is my life - I stumbled across an old editorial from 2010, from LA screen-print-clothing-company-turned-hipsterwear-juggernaut Wildfox Clothing, who had taken inspiration from '90s fictional fashion maven Weetzie Bat, from Francesca Lia Block's book series of the same name. And there it was: inspiration stared me straight in the face, with its platinum blonde bangs and pink tutu skirt. Weetzie Bat became my muse, and I am so, so happy with how this post turned out.

It's not one of my most popular... maybe even one of my least, comments-wise. Primarily due to subject matter, it seems: I must confess, Weetzie is a little more of Rookie Mag's bag than College Fashion, but I also think that's one of the reasons why I like the post so much. In the end, Weetzie's offbeat styling and  verve for everything she encounters was just what I needed to break through this reading slump, so even if this post wasn't one of the most loved, at least I'm not burnt out on love triangles and a sixth grade reading level anymore.

So, check out my College Fashion article detailing Weetzie's history and style right now! And just in case you needed any further prompting, here's a quick preview of my favorite look of the article, based off of the many characters with whom Weetzie finds herself sharing a house:

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Bittersweet

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature created by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that gives bloggers the opportunity to highlight upcoming releases about which they are extremely excited. 

This week, I'm looking forward to summer, which makes beach reads a reasonably welcome topic at this time. Featuring family and brutality in a summer paradise, Bittersweet, by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore seems like it will serve up plenty of heat for those smokin' summer evenings, making its day May 13th. 

Mabel Dagmar is shocked as her gorgeous, Old Money roommate Genevra Winslow, affectionately nicknamed Ev, not only chooses  to befriend her, just a scholarship student at their prestigious East Coast university, but invites her to spend the summer at her family's Vermont century-old estate. There, the Winslow clan has been retreating for over a hundred years, and soon enough, Mabel feels like she's one of the family, too. Sinking into the languid summer's heavy rotation of sun, sparklers, cocktails and comfort, she finally feels like everything she's ever wanted - money, friendship, a boyfriend - is within her grasp... but it soon comes to light that her new position as one of the family makes for a great position for viewing some of the family's more dangerous secrets. 

When the Winslow's power comes from a more shocking source than she could ever have imagine and elicits striking violence into the core of the comfort she had so recently attained, Mabel must choose to hide the secrets she's uncovered, or revert to the powerless positions she held before. In defining for herself the lines running between good and evil, she finds that the two aren't so mutually exclusive, but she can't have both. 

Why am I excited? 

An idyllic waterside retreat plagued by corrupt people with too much money on their hands and shady dealings in their past? Man, is this going to make for a helluva summer read. And man, does it sound like an episode of Revenge (which is right up there by Scandal on the list of kick ass TV shows of which I have never been able to partake in, but seriously feel like I would enjoy immensely). I can't wait to get my hands on this novel! 

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Characters Who've Shaped My Life

"Top Ten Tuesday" is a weekly countdown meme, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish! 

Diving a little into the deep end of the swimming pool this morning, for a post partially inspired by a revelation made by one of my English department compatriots, who suddenly discovered  that his sense of moral compass was determined more by Chris McCandless in Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild than it was by his religious upbringing. Seriously, that happened in class yesterday afternoon.

Regardless of your church affiliation - or lack thereof - I know there's a book there on your bedside table of years past, with someone inside who spoke to you, and changed the way you viewed the world. Be they the best friends you'd do anything to emulate, or the fearsome foes you'd face down whenever the time called for it, there are voices hidden within the bindings of some of your favorite reads, that you've listened to, maybe even since you were a kid, whose philosophies of life were adopted as your own. Here are mine!

1. Hermione Granger, from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series
Being smart isn't just cool... its amazing. You can work wonders, if you read for fun.  

2. Elizabeth Bennett, from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
Being sassy works just as well, as long as you learn from your mistakes. 

3. Emma Woodhouse, from Jane Austen's Emma
Being driven and compassionate is also important. 

4.Tom Sawyer, from Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Adventure never killed anyone. (I mean, it almost did, but it didn't. And that's what's important.)

5. Beka, Alianne, and Keladry, from various series within Tamora Pierce's Tortall universe
Girls can seriously kick ass. Seriously. Also, fantasy is super cool. 

6. Milo, from Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth
Remember that thing Tom said about adventure? Never be bored, or boring, either. 

7. Gemma Doyle, from Libba Bray's A Great and Terrible Beauty
You have an unlimited, unlocked potential. You just need to take the chance for yourself. 

8. Paul (aka Muad'Dib), from Frank Herbert's Dune
One person can lead a revolution. (And knowing how to fight is really important in space.) 

9. Mary, from  Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden
You can be the one to make things magic. And spend some time outside every once in a while, it's good for you. 

10. Annie Dillard, in her biography An American Childhood
The most amazing thing you can always learn to be, is yourself, and the most important stories you can ever tell, are your own. 

What are your Top Ten?

I'm an English Major: Rewards for Being a Couch Potato

A brief anecdote about my recent experiences in the English major, here at UW. 

In my two short years I've been a part of the UW college campus, the only good things I've heard about being an English major... have been spoken by fellow English department members. 

At the risk of sounding cynical, I'm going to go out on a limb and say one of the concentrations specific to our scholarly focus - beyond even Literature and Creative Writing - is learning how to defend it in conversation. It's kind of an ego-killer when you hear about how all the other scholastic options are better than yours at your own school... and especially when even the Communications department thinks they can get in on the fun.

Recently, I suffered a bit of a Crisis of Future, after the publication of The Daily's annual "Career Guide" alongside its usual daily campus newspaper, where I found not even a single mention of a Humanities major, regardless of English itself making that list. What had so far been an ordinary morning suddenly spiraled into chaos, as the various factions of my brain desperately fought to regain domination over the near-crippling doubt set in place by the idea that maybe my English major was a waste of time. (This is kind of a routine thing with me, a kid who was raised on the "doctor, lawyer, accountant" mantra.)

Thankfully for me, an extended weekend at home was on the agenda. After two days vegging out on the sofa and catching up with my television, especially an exceptional psychologically-healing DVR-enabled eight-hour marathon of the current season of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., I realized that checking back in with my schoolwork was probably necessary.

That's how, at 1am on Friday, I made the discovery that I had a two-paged, single-spaced essay reflection on comparison of two recent reads we'd covered in class, due at 8am on Friday. 

Stream-of-consciousness has always been my preferred essay-writing method, so in the ensuing hour, I knocked out both pages, and turned in the assignment without even glancing over my work, all by 2am. I was lucky enough to have my sister, The Cheerleader, sitting next to me, the following day when I received my results, plus grading commentary: "Beautifully written and great analyzing. I will be using this as an example in class." I  basically got a high five for being a couch potato, instead of the slap on the wrist that was going to help me stop procrastinating. (I am often rewarded for my study habits in this manner... hello, last Quarter's 4.0 in INFO.)

After reading the response aloud, my sister laughed, and vocalized a very pertinent question that changed the way I had been looking at my scholastic pursuits, "How much would it suck if you were anything but an English major?" It all clicked for me.

I am an English major, because I'm great at it. 


I have a firm handle on my talents, I work well under pressure, and routinely produce quality material, even if it may have stemmed from deadline duress. Sure, it may make it easier to get a job in the future with engineering or medical degrees, but if you do a terrible job, if you're not good at the things you do - or just as bad, if you don't like what you do - then how will that work out? I know how to work, and I enjoy doing it, and I do it well. At the risk of sounding like someone's "Words to Live By" Pinterest board, I have faith in my abilities and my future... even if those at The Daily might not. Writing wrocks.

end scene.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Lies My Girlfriend Told Me

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature created by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that gives bloggers the opportunity to highlight upcoming releases about which they are extremely excited. 

18607160This week, I'm waiting on an upcoming YA release that exposes the infidelity and hurt at the heart of a young relationship. The topic wouldn't come off as breaking new ground in the Young Adult Romance genre... except for those tied to the tumultuous romance are both women. There's been a lot of attention paid to LGBTQ teens in contemporary Young Adult lit recently, and rightfully so, and Lies My Girlfriend Told Me is one among many upcoming releases to touch on the socially conscious topic. 

Following the sudden and unexpected death of her girlfriend, Swanee, to cardiac arrest, Alix decides to work through her grief by searching through the things Swanee left behind, looking for mementos of their relationship in her room. What she is looking for is something to remember her by, but what she finds leads her to someone else entirely: Liana, the secret girlfriend that Swanee has been with the whole time she was with Alix. Shocked and betrayed, Alix decides she's going to get to the bottom of the matter... by texting Liana on Swanee's phone as Swanee. As they come closer together, Alix is faced with a heartbreaking quandry: she knows what it's like to be lied to, but does she have the strength to come clean? 

This book sounds incredibly intriguing. And, let's face it, I'm a total cover snob, too. The gorgeous text, the Instagram-y filter, the Cara Delevigne-like model on the front... I was sunk as soon as I saw the front of the book. 

Lies My Girlfriend Told Me, by Julie Anne Peters, is set to be published June 10th. 

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Bookish Things That I'd Like to Own (That Aren't Books)

"Top Ten Tuesday" is a weekly countdown meme, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish! 

This week's "Top Ten Tuesday" topic satisfies both the bookworm and the aesthete not-so-easily hidden inside me, by making a veritable shopping list of all the pretty nerdy things I want to own. But first, let's start off with one I only recently acquired...

1. A BRAND SPANKIN' NEW KINDLE PAPERWHITE. If only I could capture a decent picture of this majestic being, in its new and comfortable habitat of always-and-constantly-at-my-side. Originally a present for my mother, seeing her off on a trip to Japan, she opted instead for my old-school Kindle Touch, trading with me, which is why I now am in possession of the pretty pretty shiny shiny. 

But if you give a book-starved sorority girl a Kindle, she's going to want to buy it 2. A GORGEOUS NEW JONATHON ADLER KINDLE COVER (see more options here). 
Jane Eyre Book Scarf

And if you give a book-starved sorority girl a cute new Kindle Cover, she's going to want to find a means of accessorizing it with 3. BOOK SCARVES FROM ETSY. (find more options here.) 

Womens CAT sweatshirt Flying Books raglan pullover American Apparel (sm med lg )And if you give a book-starved sorority girl a chic book scarf from Etsy, she'll want some 4. OUT OF PRINT 
to pair it with. (see the collections here.) 

George Bernard Shaw quote laser engraved flaskAnd it only makes sense to pair those same super cute shirts with some super cuddly 5. BOOK SWEATSHIRTS FROM ETSY, amirite?

And if you give a book-starved sorority girl so many cute new clothes, she's going to want to wear them when she goes out. And while she's already going to be the nerdiest girl in any fraternity gentleman's basement she frequents, this George Bernard Shaw 6. BOOK FLASK will help drive the message home.

Other than those few things, I don't think my wardrobe needs all that much of a boost. My desk could probably use a bit of a makeover, though, which makes some 7. VINTAGE BOOKENDS from eBay and these adorable 8. NANCY DREW-WRAPPED PENCILS  sound like just the thing to spruce up for Spring.

Being in possession of 9. THE COMPLETE HARRY POTTER MOVIE COLLECTION wouldn't hurt, either. And speaking of HP, here's my number ten Bookish Thing I'd Like to Own:

10. A TIME TURNER. Because, let's be real: its origins and intended personal potential use are inherently tied to use, so it totally counts. I just want more time to read, guys.

What were your Top Ten? 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Moonlighting: The Daffodil Festival

Blogging isn't the only opportunity I get to show off my writing chops, you know. Sure, I've always got schoolwork and English classes - those college essays are never exactly as easy to write as I'd like them to be - and I've kept a journal since the sixth grade, but there's always more means of getting my work out there. I'm a writer with many hats... my pen has many caps, I guess? Regardless, beyond simply my blogging, sometimes I moonlight a little. 


I've never exactly been shy about my love for the land I came from. My Tacoma origins are a distinct place of pride for me, and despite my newly-planted Seattle roots, it's going to take a lot more coffee and plaid flannel of the Emerald City to stomp out the Grit City girl in me. And happily for me, my love for Tacoma perfectly complements yet another celebration of the great things growing in Pierce County of which I am extremely - and equally vocally - fond: Pierce County's Daffodil Festival. 

The Daffodil Festival is a community celebration that has taken place for over the past 80 years in Pierce County. Winding its way through the four Pierce County cities of Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner, and Orting, all in one day, the Daffodil Festival Grand Floral Parade - the year's biggest event - took place just this past weekend, and, naturally, when the question came up of whether I'd be back in town to contribute to the proceedings, the answer was an unequivocal and resounding "YES!" 

After all, this Festival transformed my high school experience through a senior year full of volunteering opportunities, charity work, community outreach, and even ambassadorship. I made friends for life, and bonded with not only a group of 23 of the most amazing young women I know, but the communities they came from, as well. One of the ways I'm able to give back to the organization who continues to inspire me so much, thankfully, is through one of the things I'm best at, so when the Daffodil Festival needs to get news out about what's going on, I've been able to lend a hand. 

Here are a couple of links to some of the articles I've been writing in the past couple of months in support of the Festival: 



Running in between the pages of the News Tribune and the Tacoma Weekly, this newspaper insert provides a means of communicating strictly Festival news, promoting the amazing women of the Daffodil Royal Court and the exceptional work they do, as well as thanking some of this year's sponsors.

The Daffodil Festival is always going to have a large place in my heart, which is why it will always have a place in my writing, as well. Though I may not mention it on my blog all the time, the Festival has events going on all year, and wherever those yellow dresses spread sunshine, you can bet I'm there, too. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

College Fashion Post Link Up: Fashion Inspired by The 100

I've decided that I've complained to you all enough about my cripplingly busy current state and little-to-no drive to complicate that business any further, and yet, here I am again, ready to complain about how cripplingly busy I am. I'll try to rein it in.

When struck in the middle of said business last week, I realized I had to turn in a College Fashion article by the end of it. (Cue the "Oh, sh*t, I've got a job to do" music.)

Scrambling for inspiration, I decided to pursue my best possible option: utilize a viewing party for one for some bad teen television as a means of productivity. As I was eating my feelings through a bowl of Lucky Charms and pondering whether I'd rather bury myself in an abandoned bunker or run away to a life spent living on the rails, as a future career option, now that any writing chops I had have obviously gone into their recessive mode, inspiration struck me like an overly-dramatic and overly-hyped commercial for a new teen series that had just premiered on the CW. The 100, by Kass Morgan, was thus chosen as my new project!

The book itself, was actually pretty enjoyable. Well-written, with an engaging and new premise, focusing on the inner relationships of teens instead of the astoundingly high-stakes peril they're in (as these things are wont to do), The 100 was an interesting and engaging new teen sci-fi release. It definitely had its problems, of course: multiple POVs with essentially the same voice throughout, the rather astoundingly terrifying contrast between excellent leadership skills and jaw-droppingly horrendous decision-making that shattered all believability for one of the main characters, etc. But overall, I can say it was pretty good.

(Not so much for the television series, which warranted its own mini-viewing party between me and one of my roommates... but I'm pretty sure I'm going to make that the subject of its own blog post, so you're just going to have to wait for that.)

At any rate, it was the subject of my latest College Fashion article, and I'm actually pleased with the results (for at least two of the characters... I just couldn't get Clarke's to look right!). Here, for your viewing temptation, is the outfit chosen to represent one of the main characters of the novel, Bellamy:

Remember to head over to College Fashion and like/comment on my "Looks from Books" column

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: To Rise Again at a Different Hour

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature created by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that gives bloggers the opportunity to highlight upcoming releases about which they are extremely excited. 

Getting your identity stolen is a scary thing... and a thing my family is becoming a little more intimate with this year, after the Seattle Archdiocese had its accounts hacked, and someone stole my mom's social security number! With this issue fresh in my brain, I stumbled across this upcoming release, about a man whose online identity, manipulated by a different person, causes him to call into question everything he knows about the divisions between reality and virtuality. Here's Joshua Ferris' To Rise Again at a Later Hour, due for publication this upcoming May 13th. 


Paul O'Rourke, a complex man who doesn't quite know what to make of his own many contradictions, can't understand the motives behind the mystery, after someone creates multiple social media identities in his name, and begins to impersonate him online. However, it isn't just the flagrant violation of his privacy and rights of his own identity that causes him concern, but the fact that this new, virtual version of himself just might be more interesting than the flesh-and-blood Paul. Now the question comes into play, not only why his identity was stolen in the first place, but what is Paul going to be able to do to get it back. 

Forcing Paul to come to terms with his past problems, present discomfort, and future uncertainty,  as well as his own issues with the internet, To Rise Again at a Later Hour is a hilarious account of one man's grappling with his virtual counterpart and the absurdities of the modern world. 

Why I'm Excited? 
Like I said, identity theft is something I've really got my mind stuck on right now, and growing up with a Dad whose main source of inspiration in this world deals with computers, as well as just having finished the INFO class from Hell last quarter, that explicitly dealt with information systems and social media, I've already got a lot of opinions on this subject matter. I can't wait to see how this one turns out, especially because it's supposed to be very humorously presented, as well. 

What novels are you waiting on this Wednesday?