Saturday, April 27, 2013

In Honor of National Poetry Month

April is almost over, but I wanted to post something for National Poetry Month.  I've had a bad relationship for poetry in the past.  I think it has a lot to do with how poetry is taught in school and which poems they make you read.  I despised poetry even though I have always loved every other form of literature.  Over the course of high school, my feelings began to change a bit, but I still shied away from it for the most part.  Then, this year (my first year of college) I realized that it's nowhere near as scary as I'd thought it was all these years.  I definitely have a certain college class and a certain professor to think for finally making me realize that.  Now I have a much bigger love for poetry, and I've discovered that writing it isn't as scary as I'd always feared either.

For my English class this semester we were asked to write a found poem.  A found poem is a poem that is written from pieces of another work of literature.  You search that work, find bits of pieces of it, and rearrange it to create your own work.  In this case we were told to work with the short novel "Noon Wine" by Katherine Anne Porter.  The assignment was scary to me when I first learned of it, and even when I turned my poem in I wasn't all that proud of it even though I'd worked hard on it.  I've always felt that poetry is more restrictive (and I still believe it is in many ways) than prose, and I didn't think my poem fit that.  However, my professor approached me one day to tell me that she'd really enjoyed my poem.  I was shocked since I'd thought it had been horrible.  That was kind of the last thing to break me away from the fear I'd had about writing poetry for so long.

I still don't consider myself a poet by any means, but I've decided to post the poem I wrote for that class here (and on my writing blog) in honor of National Poetry Month.  I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've ever shared any poetry I've written other than what I've been required to in classes because I've always been so scared of it.  I guess this is just another step in getting over that.

Foreign America

Some kind of accent.
It wasn't Cajun, Nigger, or Dutch,
So it had him stumped.
What kind of foreigner could he be...

"I'm a Swede."
Never seen any Swedes in this neck of the woods.
The first Swede I ever lay eyes on.
Heavens, he looked lazy,
Worthless, he did, now.

"Been here long yourself?"
Been right here all along.
"From Ireland, I reckon?"
What makes you think...

Been settled here for so long
It don't make much difference.

Friday, April 26, 2013


Remember how a couple of days ago I wrote that I was getting a ton more writing done lately?  Well, I'm thankfully still doing that.  Even though the school work has been piling up thanks to finals, I'm still managing to get quite a lot of writing done, and it feels great.  I've started creating schedules for myself every day, and it really helps.  (I even scheduled in writing this.  That's how much I've been scheduling things the past couple of days.)  I pretty much did the same before, but now they're a bit more detailed.  I think if I manage to keep this up then I should make it through finals without much stress while still getting quite a bit of writing done.  Needless to say, I'm feeling pretty good.

Still, it will be nice to get through finals.  I'm so looking forward to summer break!  Now, I'm off to accomplish the next thing on my schedule: editing one of the fanfictions I'm writing.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Book Review: Love Finds You in Paradise, Pennsylvania by Loree Lough

ISBN: 1934770663
Published: April 1st, 2009
Publisher: Summerside Press
Read from April 16th to 20th, 2013
Synopsis from Goodreads:
For as long as anyone can remember, tourists have flocked to the quaint town of Paradise, Pennsylvania, where Amish buggies are as common as shops selling handcrafted goods. But to attorney Julia Spencer this town is anything but a paradise. Raised in foster homes, Julia has succeeded in life only through steely determination and independence. The close-knit Amish people are a mystery to her, but local veterinarian Simon Thomas knows them well and is fiercely protective of their simple ways, which are increasingly threatened by the outside world. When Julia agrees to defend a local teenager charged in a case involving an Amish boy, she and Simon find themselves on opposite sides of an intense and emotional legal battle. Just when it seems they will never understand one another, God has something to teach them both about the power of forgiveness and the joys to be found in Paradise.


Overall, I thought this was a really cute book.  It's not amazing by any means, but it kept me entertained.  My only real complaint is that I found countless grammar errors and typos.  It got a bit annoying at times, but I get the impression that this is from an author who writes books incredibly quickly (she has 60 listed on Goodreads).  I've come to expect that from those types of books.

It is a Christian book, but it was much less preachy than most of the Christian fiction I've read in the past.  Religion is a big part of the characters' lives (especially the Amish characters), but for the most part it just felt as if that was a part of the characters.  I didn't feel as if I was being preached at like I have while reading so many other Christian books.

I really enjoyed the fact that there were Amish characters and that the two main characters volunteered at a wolf sanctuary.  They both made the book a bit more interesting.  I've always been fascinated by the Amish way of life, and I absolutely adore wolves.

I definitely recommend this book if you want a quick read that's cute and romantic.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Lots of Writing Talk

It's been a rainy week so far.  I know that's a necessary part of spring, but I'm still hoping it clears up soon.  After I left my umbrella in my parents' car after spring break, my mom gave me a different one, and I learned this week that it's broken and basically useless.  It's made walking around campus the past couple of days a bit of a pain.

Most of my time lately has been taken up by studying, writing papers, and writing/editing non-school stuff.  Finals are the week after next, so things are predictably getting a bit hectic as far as school goes.  Still, I've been in a really great mood as far as writing goes lately, and I've made a lot of progress over the past week or so.  I'm currently writing two fanfictions and one original fiction.  I'm almost done with the first edit of one of the fanfictions, and afterwards I'm going to let it sit for at least a couple of weeks before I go through and edit it again.  Hopefully it'll be online sometime in June.  The other fanfic is turning out a bit longer than I originally planned.  I have no idea how long it'll take me to get the first draft done let alone redrafting and editing.

As far as the original work goes, I should be about halfway done with the first draft, and I'm really happy with how it's going so far.  Some things are turning out way different than I had planned with the outline, but I think it's a good thing.  We'll have to see how I feel after the draft is finished.  It's also a bit difficult to tell because I'm planning on it being a series, so I may have to change the outline of the future books too depending on how much more it ends up changing.  I'm really excited about it though because the basic idea of this story has been developing since I was in eighth grade and had to write a short story for English.  It's become much, much different than that story was, but the basic idea of it is still the same.

As you can probably tell by this post, writing has basically taken over my life recently.  It's always a big part of my life, even though I never really talk about it online, but lately it's been even more so.  Other than some reading and school work, it's seriously all I've been doing lately.  I haven't even been on Tumblr in days, and that's an incredible accomplishment as far as I'm concerned.  I think I've kind of set a schedule that involves writing more than I used to, so hopefully I'll stick to it.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Book Review: Werewolves Rule by K.C. Blake

Published: August 21st, 2011
Publisher: self-published
Read from April 9th to 15th, 2013
Synopsis from Goodreads:
This is the second of the Rule series. Vampires Rule was the first. This book begins a few months after the first one ended and continues to follow Jack and Silver as they prepare for their battle with head werewolf Jersey Clifford. Jack’s world is falling apart. Silver has told him she needs space, he might not graduate from high school, and he feels incredibly alone. Enter a new threat, a new enemy. The question is does she want Jack dead, or does she just want him?

At the beginning of this book I wasn't as into it as I had been the first book of the series.  For probably slightly less than half the book I was somewhat bored.  Not enough to not want to read it, but I wasn't exactly excited to pick it up and read either.  Somewhere around the middle though it got a lot better very quickly, and I really enjoyed the ending.

Blanca turns out to be quite the interesting character.  I'm a little weirded out by her to be completely honest.  I was somewhat in the first book, but it just worsened in the second.  Isobel and Ian were both interesting new characters that were introduced.  Isobel grew on me over the course of the book, but even now that I'm on the third book, I still don't know how I feel about Ian.  I didn't really like Isobel's place in the story at first, but I appreciated it a lot more later.

Jack and Silver's relationship got quite frustrating in this book, and that was the main thing that annoyed me for the first half of the book.  It didn't bother me as much during the second half, but it felt a bit repetitive.  After a while I just wanted to yell at them to stop lying to each other.  They'd been through it enough times by then that you'd think they'd have learned.  Still, it got better over the course of the book, and by the end it wasn't as frustrating.

Overall, I thought it was a good book even if it was a bit frustrating at times, and I'm really looking forward to finishing the third book and seeing how everything ends!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Boston and a Long Week

It's been a somewhat long week.  I feel as if I've taken a million tests when in reality it wasn't quite that bad.  It was actually a good week for me if we forget the fact that I locked my keys in my dorm room yet again.  In reality what's made it seem so long is the tragedy in Boston.  I've been glued to the news all week.  It doesn't help that a boy I went to high school with also died this week.  I'm hoping for a happier week

I actually have two tests back to back on Monday morning, so I'll be studying for at least part of the weekend.  They seem like they'll be easy enough, but I know I need to look over the stuff a bit more.  I also hope to get some major writing done this weekend.  With everything happening this week I've only had a few minutes to write.  I really do need to set aside a lot of time for that over the next couple of days.

If anyone reading this is from the Boston area, I really hope you're doing okay.  I'm still paying extremely close attention to everything that's happening.  Hopefully it's all over soon.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Book Review: A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

ISBN: 0446608955
Published: September 1st, 2000
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Read from April 5th to 8th, 2013
Synopsis from Goodreads:

There was a time when the world was sweeter… when the women in Beaufort, North Carolina, wore dresses, and the men donned hats… Every April, when the wind smells of both the sea and lilacs, Landon Carter remembers 1958, his last year at Beaufort High. Landon had dated a girl or two, and even once sworn that he’d been in love. Certainly the last person he thought he’d fall for was Jamie, the shy, almost ethereal daughter of the town’s Baptist minister… Jamie, who was destined to show him the depths of the human heart—and the joy and pain of living.
From the internationally bestselling author Nicholas Sparks comes his most moving story yet…


If you follow me on Goodreads, then you might have seen that I only gave this book two out of five stars.  It's rare that I give books that low of a rating.  Three stars is usually about as low as I go.  I looked through my Goodreads account, and I hadn't given a rating lower than three stars since August 2010.  So yeah, I wasn't really impressed with this book.

I've read two other Nicholas Sparks books before, and I gave them four and five star ratings.  I don't know if it was just this book, or if I would feel differently about Dear John and The Last Song if I went back to read them now.  (I was sixteen when I read those two...)

I think the biggest thing that bothered me about A Walk to Remember was the writing style.  It's a short book, which isn't inherently bad, but I felt like everything was being summarized to me.  That kept me from getting into it and connecting with the characters.  I wasn't emotionally invested at all.  I actually felt kind of guilty for not being sadder while reading the ending, but I just wasn't connected to what was happening.  The summarizing thing also made me feel as if it was written for children almost too.  It definitely isn't, but the writing style just kind of gave that feel to me.  There's not even necessarily anything wrong with being for children.  I enjoy reading middle grade fiction occasionally  but I just did not like it in this book.  It bothered me throughout the whole story.

I saw the movie years ago, so I knew how it was going to end.  Still, I didn't like it.  It seemed too unrealistic, and I'm sure those of you who have read the book or seen the movie know what I'm talking about.  I just thought it was unnecessary and pointless.  Maybe I wouldn't if I'd been more emotionally invested and had connected with the characters better.  As it was though, I didn't like it.

The book wasn't bad for the most part.  I just didn't care.  I had to force myself to pick it up and read.  I probably wouldn't have bothered except it was so short that I figured I should make it through the whole thing.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

How I Met Your Mother Season Six Review

I had planned to review the first and second halves of season six of How I Met Your Mother separately like I have in the past, but I was almost done watching the season when I realized that I never reviewed the first half.  It just completely slipped my mind, so instead this is going to be a review of the entire season.  It took me months to get through this season, so let's see how much of the earlier episodes I can actually remember.

I want to start by saying how much I love Barney and Robin.  They're probably my OTP (one true pairing for those of you who don't know) of the show.  I love Lily and Marshall as well, but I just love Barney and Robin.  Every time there's even the smallest hint about their feelings for each other I get excited.

I am not a fan of Zoe.  Overall I guess she's an okay character, but I was just not a fan.  Most of the time she didn't bother me, but her actions in a few episodes made me dislike her.  I was really glad when her and Ted finally broke up.

This is a somewhat random comment, but the entire time Nicole Scherzinger was on the show I kept thinking about how she was a judge on The X-Factor during One Direction's season.  Pointless to point out, but I just wanted to put it out there.  Another random comment I have to make: they mentioned Hogwarts in an episode.  How can I not comment on that?

Marshall's dad dying was definitely the saddest thing to happen on the show (yet at least).  I was in tears when Marshall found out.  That's the only time How I Met Your Mother has made me cry.

I'm a bit conflicted about Nora because I really love her as a character, but as I said before, I love Barney and Robin together.  I don't really want Nora and Barney together because I want him with Robin, but I still enjoy the episodes that Nora is in.

And the season ends with finding out that Lily's pregnant!  I'm really excited for that.  I've already watched three episodes of season seven, so I know a bit beyond the initial episode.  I'm really excited for the rest of that storyline though.

Hopefully I'll actually remember to do two reviews for season seven.  Plus, I only have a few weeks until summer break, so I'll have more time to watch the show!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Vampires Rule by K.C. Blake

Published: April 14th, 2011
Publisher: self-published
Read from March 29th to April 4th, 2013
Synopsis from Goodreads:

They don't call him Jackpot for nothing.
Jack has always beat the odds... at least until now. When he was attacked by a werewolf, vampires saved him. When he got tired of living the vampire life, another werewolf attack freed him, making him human again. Now Jack just wants to live a normal life, but what's normal about a hunter girlfriend, a brother who wants to stake him to be on the safe side, and a head werewolf building an army to rule the world?

I've read K.C. Blake's Witch-Game series, and I really loved those books.  That's why I decided to read this series, even though I wasn't sure how I would feel about it.  I'm kind of burned out on vampire books, and I haven't even read that many.  I don't even really understand myself because I'm not a big fan of vampires, but I still feel like I end up reading a decent amount of them just because of how many there are.  I'm getting more and more tired of them though.

That being said, I did enjoy this book.  The vampires are more-or-less stereotypical vampires as far as I can tell from the first book, but I was really interested in how werewolves are portrayed (and I'm a bigger fan of werewolves anyway).  It's also interesting how the author mentions fairies, since I haven't read many books that mention them at all.  I'm actually in the middle of the second book right now, and the mythology of the series is getting even more interesting.  I don't want to write any spoilers though.

Overall I did enjoy this book, although I did have a few small problems with it.  I'm not a huge fan of the romance aspect of the book.  I don't know why exactly.  It just doesn't really draw me in.  I find Jack's relationship with his brother Billy really interesting though.  And the mythology and history of the series is really intriguing to me.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I Love Spring Weather

The weather has been beyond amazing lately, and I love it.  Being able to walk across campus and not be freezing is wonderful.  I hope it stays like this because if it gets cold again I'm going to be really disappointed.

Things have been really calm lately considering how things were before Easter.  I don't know if I mentioned this here on the blog, but I had a bit of a breakdown right before Easter.  I kind of used Tumblr (and to a lesser extent Twitter) to vent when it happened, so if you follow me there, you saw.  Thankfully that's all over, and now things are just calm and going really well.  I'm extremely thankful.  Since I'm also finally over being sick, I'm just in an all around good mood.  I finally feel great and there's great weather.  It's just wonderful.

And there's less than a month of my freshmen year left!  Time has gone by so quickly.  I can't believe I'm almost done with my first year of college.  It's crazy!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Middle School Sucks

Does anyone actually look back fondly on middle school?  I mean, I have a few good memories of that time.  It wasn't all bad.  Overwhelmingly though, my middle school years sucked.  I didn't really realize that until I peer tutored over at the public middle school during my senior year of high school.  (I'd attended a Catholic school until high school, so it wasn't the middle school I had attended.)  I watched everything the kids were getting up to, and I realized just how horrible some of the stuff that happened during my middle school years was.

One of my biggest memories from when I was peer tutoring involved this girl having a crush on a boy in the class.  I peer tutored special needs kids, and it was a small class of roughly five students.  That meant word got around quickly.  Every kid in there knew that she liked this boy in the class, and I watched them, including the boy in question, openly make fun of her for it.  That was basically the biggest moment where I sat there and was like, "Did this really happen when I was in middle school?"  And I realized that, yes, it did.

As I said before, my middle school years weren't entirely horrible, but I realized that kids are extremely cruel at that age.  I can think of so much drama amongst my class during those three years.  It's when people started dating, and let me tell you, in a small class of less than twenty students, when two kids in the class were dating it was kind of a big deal.  There was a ton of drama amongst friend groups.  The most awesome thing?  My friends and I formed a huge about of that friend drama.  In fact, for the last semester of eighth grade, we were horrible to each other, and I'm pretty sure the entire class knew everything that was going on.

In the past I would blame everything on the other girls, but I've moved past it enough now to realize there were quite a few things I should have handled differently at the time.  The problem is middle schoolers are extremely immature and have no clue how to handle that stuff.  It's why middle school sucks so much.  You're throwing a group of kids together who are going through puberty, are probably really confused, and have no idea how to process or handle their emotions.  Of course they're going to be horrible to each other, and of course it's going to be a miserable few years for almost all (if not just all) of them.

If there was one period of time that I absolutely never want to relieve, that's it.  Those years were horrible.  Now, it's not as if I went off to high school and things got magically better.  Freshmen year really isn't all that different from middle school in a lot of ways.  Still, once you can look back on it, you realize that you actually matured quite a lot after middle school.  And thank God for that because no one wants to be who they were in middle school.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Naruto Shippuden Episodes 43-53 Review

I absolutely loved these episodes.  I really hated Sai at first, but during these episodes I really started to like him.  Now I find myself liking him more and more every single episode.  I think he may actually turn out to be one of my favorite characters.

These episodes were all pretty great.  They left me feeling extremely emotional.  Pretty much anything with Sasuke makes me emotional though.  I'm looking through my notes to figure out what to write in this, but honestly, my notes are pretty unintelligible because I was freaking out so much.  It shows how much I liked the episodes, but they're not very helpful for this review.

I really don't know what else to say other than that I loved these episodes.  In addition to not having good notes, I've been sick lately, and my brain is not really cooperating.  (I wanted to put off writing this, but I've been doing that for the entire I week I've been sick so...)

Oh, and I have to briefly mention my hatred for Orichimaru.  That just needed to be in here somewhere.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Sick for the Millionth Time

I've spent the past four days sick for what must be the fifth time this year.  I've been absolutely miserable.  There's literally nothing else I can say about this week.  That's all I can think about.  It really sucks because I sat down to write this post hoping I could write more than that, but I really can't.

Luckily I've felt better today, but I still have a long way to go before I feel completely better.  I've been making myself go to classes because I've had tests, even though it probably hasn't helped.  Let's just hope I feel even better tomorrow.  Now, I'm going to end this before I rant on about my misery even more.