Tuesday, December 27, 2011

my top memorable books of 2011

the broke and the bookish TTT: my top ten books of 2011.

1. the hunger games by suzanne collins- i think this has made everyone's list today lol

2. the night circus by erin morgenstern- this is the only book i was anticipating n really couldnt wait for the release date to get my hands on it. im so glad i did.

3. nyx by joe quesada- i am obsessed with the character x-23. she is my new favorite kick butt heroine.

4. water for elephants by sara gruen- i read this so i could see the movie and i never saw the movie. the book was great though.

5. the virgin suicides by jeffrey eugenides- it left me like this: O_O... :'(

6. the lover's dictionary by david levithan- this was such a fun read. there is nothing else to say. it is so unique, i've never read anything like it.

7. story of a girl by sara zarr- my professor recommended that my class read this one to see how sara zarr's writing is so real.

8. never let me go by kazuo ishiguro- this was so beautiful. i havent seen the movie yet, but the book was very good. i want to read the remains of the day by ishiguro next year.

9. will grayson, will grayson by john green and david levithan- i had to read this one for school in may. it was so unusual with memorable characters. definitely one to look at for craft.

10. dash and lily's book of dares by rachel cohn and david levithan- i just finished this one recently. i didnt care much for the ending, but i loved it none the less.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings

omgsh i have been waiting for this list all month!!! ahem. anyway, today is top ten tuesday again hosted by the broke and the bookish. today is top ten books i hope santa brings. so i have to be the cynical one and say i dont believe in santa... (sorry everyone). so these are books that are on my endless TBR list and on my christmas wish list.

1. instructions by neil gaiman- one of my most favorite poems ever. i found out recently at work that it was illustrated and published as a picture book. needless to say, I WANT IT.

2. the tale of the nutcracker by alexander dumas/the nutcracker and the mouse king by e.t.a hoffman- ok i know im cheating by putting two books here. but the nutcracker is my favorite ballet as well as my favorite christmas story. it is just so sad that i do not own these books.

3. the joy luck club by amy tan- i have wanted this book FOREVER. i absolutely adore the movie and i think i borrowed this book from the library to read it about 3x. i think its about that time (as jonathan says ^_^) this book needs to be on my shelves.

4. stories: all new tales by neil gaiman- i am obsessed with anthologies. i love short stories and i love neil gaiman. why would i not want this book?

5. the pacific by hugh ambrose- i have the complete dvd collection of the mini series that was made about this book. i would rather read the book first. i know i said the same thing about band of brothers and it is still collecting dust on my shelf  >_< i think i've said this before in one of my other posts, but i kinda have this thing for books about war. they have their own section on my shelves and everything.

6. metamaus: a look inside the modern classic, maus by art spiegelman- again with the war books. i loved maus and i see this book at work everyday. i swear sometimes it calls to me with the way the mouse on the cover is staring. "buyyyyyy meeeeee" >.<

7. atonement by ian mcewan- i LOVE the movie. i heard the book is amazing. this has been on my TBR list forever. i refuse to get it from the library because even if it ends up sucking, i'll still have it as a wonderful love/war story.

8. eloise series by kay thompson- ok in all honesty, i want the book eloise at christmastime because its my favorite christmas movie. however, i would like to have all the eloise books because i love eloise as a character. maybe more than i loved madeline as a kid.

9. east of the sun and west of the moon: old tales from the north- i think this is the one book that i dont care what edition it is or what publisher or illustrator. i just want to own the story east of the sun and west of the moon. it is what inspired my favorite book east by edith pattou. it is a fabulous story and i must have it.

10. d'aulaires' book of norse mythology- so, east of the sun and west of the moon is a norse tale. i have this thing for norse and celtic mythology. this edition has beautiful illustrations and wonderful stories and lots of information about norse mythology.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Top Ten Books I Want To Give As Gifts

broke and the bookish top ten tuesday. today is top ten books i want to give as gifts, even if i wont give it to them.

1. the maze runner by james dashner: i'd give this one to my godsister. she wants a new start a new adventure trilogy.

2. the help by kathryn stockett: i would give this one to my mom. she likes books like this. i'd probably give her the secret life of bees by sue monk kidd too.

3. dash and lily's book of dares by rachel cohn and david levithan: ally, you probably read this one already. i just started it and i love it so far. i think its better than nick and norah's infinite playlist.

4. house of many ways by diana wynne jones: my sister skittles would love this one. she has both howl's moving castle and castle in the air.

5. on writing by stephen king: for ally because you love to write and this one is a good writing guide. i'd probably get this for luis too.

6. tithe by holly black: for my godsister breshia, just because lol.

7. every you, every me by david levithan: to my skittles. she wants a new book from a male perspective.

8. hans christian anderson's fairytales: for my cousin to read to her kids ^_^

9. the warrior heir by cinda williams chima: to luis and my godsister, breshia, because you both love adventures and this is one of my favorites.

10. the things they carried by tim o'brien: jonathan i'd give this one to you because you like books about war and history. i really think you would like reading historical fiction. tim o'brien seems like a good place to start.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

top ten childhood faves

top ten tuesday!!! today is top ten childhood favorites.
i was a bit of a history buff as a kid, so many of my favorite books from back then are historical fiction.  other than that, these are books that let me escape from reality or have a character that was just like me that i could empathize with.

1. soldier boys by dean hughes- this book is one of the first books i read that was written from two perspectives.  one soldier is a nazi, the other an american.

2. a separate peace by john knowles- i had to read this one in my 8th grade english honors class. i was the only one who liked it.

3. dear america series- i LOVED these books, i think i have almost all of them. each book is a different time in history and is about different girls of different ethnicity. it is their diary, so it was like reading a diary from someone my age in that time period.

4. the outsiders by s.e. hinton- this book has been on my TTT a number of times and it will continue to be. i first read this book in the 7th grade. i absolutely despised the teacher who assigned it to my class and to my surprise, i loved it. it was the first book i read that took place in modern times that i loved.

5. blood and chocolate by annette curtis klause- so i wasnt really a kid when i read this one, i was about 14 or 15 when i did.  blood and chocolate was the first paranormal romance novel i ever read and i still make sure i read it once a year. each time i read it i fall in love with it again.

6. strega nona by tommie depaola- i absolutely adored this story. my mom read it to my sister and i to teach us about obedience and consequences i think, but it was just so funny. it was like an italian telling of juan bobo.

7. julie of the wolves by jean craighead george- this was one of the first books i read that was separated into three different parts. it is a book about eskimos and how change was forced upon their culture told from a young girl's perspective.

8. zel by donna jo napoli- i practically worshiped donna jo napoli as a kid. she is to me what laurie halse anderson is to other ya readers. zel was the first book i read by her. it is a unique twist on rapunzel.

9. little women by luisa may alcott- i grew up with my sister and two cousins. to me, we were like the march sisters and i was jo march lol. i wanted to write and i was a bit of a tomboy.

10. peter pan by j.m. barrie- i saved the best for last. peter pan is probably my most favorite story of all time. i own several different editions of the story as well as the sequel and some spinoffs. i still want to go to london and see the statue and big ben and maybe if i'm lucky, the second star to the right ^_^

Sunday, December 04, 2011

on books i have read so far this season

might contain spoilers.

title: the unidentified
author: rae mariz
book birthday: october 5, 2010
rating: 2 stars

 it was just so BORING. it was so ehhhhhhhhhh. it started out so slow and nothing ever happened. the plausibility wasnt there, the whole made up gadgets and twitter was kinda lame.

perfect chemistry series
author: simon elkeles
series rating: 4 stars
these were okay. i enjoyed perfect chemistry for the fun factor more than the romance. i think brittney forgave alex too easily in the end. in rules of attraction, i enjoyed the family dynamics more than the romance. The romance in chain reaction was good, it had way more drama than the first two. i found myself paying more attention to the relationship between carlos and alex in rules of attraction. in chain reaction, it was a combination of family and love interest. over all, the series seems focused on family. these books are my go-to cheesy romance books that make me smile because they all have happily ever after endings.

title: seven tears into the sea
author: terri farley
rating: 2.5 stars

i wanted to read this book because i am obsessed with celtic mythology. this book is about selkies, but not the usual female selkie, it is about the male selkie which i find (or should i say found) very interesting. the book was so dull. it dragged on, the protagonist fell in love to quickly and it didnt go anywhere, it fell flat like everyone just accepted it. there didnt seem to be any real antagonist to the story. at first it seemed like it was the townspeople who thought she was crazy, or the guy she used to have a crush on in elementary school and was now a jerk. idk, every conflict was never really resolved or it was resolved too quickly. i wish the protagonist's superstitious grandmother and the protagonist's love interest were elaborated on more. their stories kind of fell out of the picture and we were just to accept what was said. there were wayyyy too many holes in this story.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

top ten books for winter

so i missed top ten tuesday. i'm still going to make a list cuz i really like this topic. this tuesday it was top ten books on my 'to be read' list for winter.

1. linger by maggie steifvater
2. leaving paradise by simon elkeles
3. atonement by ian mcewan
4. the nutcracker by hoffman
5. stories: all new tales by neil gaiman*
6. zombies vs. unicorns*
7. the looking glass wars by beddor
8. dash and lilly's book of dares by levithan and cohn
9. east of the sun and west of the moon*
10. house of many ways by diana w. jones


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

top ten authors i would have to thanksgiving dinner

top ten tuesday again hosted by the broke and the bookish. today is top ten authors i would have to thanksgiving dinner.

1. jane austen - i know she's dead. but still, i love her all her books (with the exception of one), and from her biographies it seems like she'd be a great person to have and to contribute good dinner conversation.

2. kaoru tada - another writer that has passed on. i love her romantic comedy mangas. her work itazura na kiss is my above and beyond favorite but she died before she could finish it. i'd love to pick her brain and find out what happens.

3. luisa may alcott - ok so maybe i'm putting all the dead ppl first >.< anyway, i love her books as well. little women was one of my favorites growing up. she is kind of a jane austen equivalent for me.

4. elizabeth scott - one of the queens of teen fiction. i would love to have her over and witness creative genius.

5. neil gaiman - who wouldnt want neil gaiman over for dinner? he is just amazing.

6. j.m. barrie - i love this writer. peter pan is one of my favorite stories of all time. i would like to have him over just to tell him how wonderful he is and to have him tell stories while we sip hot chocolate by a fire place ^_^ (what i can dream lol)

7. s.e. hinton - i have all of her books. i love her books (again with the exception of one). i would love to pick her brain too.

8. laurie halse anderson - definitely royalty in the world of teen fiction. i would love to have her over. i think anderson and elizabeth scott would make great stories together.

9. michael turner - creater of soul fire and artist to so many comics. probably my favorite comic artist ever. he also passed away at a young age.

10. donna jo napoli - another author i think would provide very interesting dinner conversation. her books also inspired me while growing up.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

top ten books collecting dust on my shelves

it's top ten tuesday again!!! hosted by the broke and the bookish. today is top ten books that i have bought on shopping sprees at book stores and have not gotten to read them yet. it's truly a sad thing considering all the books i've borrowed from the library n have read instead of these books. so here are the top ten books that are screaming at me for ignoring them:

1. the mists of avalon series by marion zimmer bradley - i think its the size of them that intimidate me.

2. 20,000 leagues under the sea by jules verne - i wanted this book so much i even put it on my christmas list. then it got lost among the other books i got with the bn gift cards that year.

3. a company of swans by eva ibbotson - i read a few of her books that my friend let me borrow n i read another from the library but the one that i own i have not gotten to yet =/

4. everlost by neal shusterman - i bought it on a whim and never read it.

5. go ask alice - i know, its a shame i have not read this yet when every teen when i was in high school read it and most ppl have at some point in their life. here i am in my 20s and i still have not read this book.

6. milkweed by jerry spinelli - another book i realllly wanted especially after reading night by weisel and the boy in striped pajamas by boyne.

7. band of brothers by stephen ambrose - i kind of have this war book fetish. i have so many, i used to read them all the time as a tween, i was really into historical fiction n memoirs. i got this one as a graduation gift n its still sitting on my shelf.

8. anansi boys by neil gaiman - considering how obsessed i am with neil gaiman, i am surprised that as i was staring at my bookshelf making this list that i have not read this one yet.

9. hood by stephen lawhead - i dont remember where i got this one, if it was at a yard sale or something. i liked the cover n that it was about robin hood. mayb i havent read it cuz its long n a trilogy n thats just eh right now.

10. peter pan in scarlet by geraldine mccaughrean - i saved this one for last cuz its origin shocks ppl. this is the offical sequel to j.m. barrie's peter pan. "*gasp* no way" you may say. yes it is. and i know for a fact the reason i havent read it is because i am worried that it wont live up to expectation, though no version or spin off of peter pan will ever be better than or equal to the original. mayb im scared i'll like it? idk. for now it just sits there.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Ten Books That I Read That Were Outside Of My Comfort Zone

today is: Ten Books That I Read That Were Outside Of My Comfort Zone (whether you liked them or not). so i tried to include books from school that i was forced to read as well as some others. 

1. drown by junot diaz - i had to read this in my immigrant literature class. it is a collection of stories, i liked some of them. definitely outside of my comfort zone because of the present day setting, spanish slang and cursing that was in it.

2. the brief and wondrous life of oscar wao by junot diaz - i read this in my advanced fiction writing class because it won the pulitzar prize. it was the first book i read with a lot of footnotes and it again had spanish slang and way too much cursing.

3. tyrell by coe booth - i do not read books written in ebonics, i can never understand anything thats going on or what they are saying >_< i had to read this in my advanced fiction writing class.

4. bodega dreams by ernesto quinonez - this was a good one. i read it in immigrant literature too. it is a modern take on the great gatsby.

5. the road by cormac mccarthy - i read this in my creative writing class. i dont read post apocalyptic books cuz i dont like thinking about the end of the world.

6. the outsiders by s.e. hinton - i read this in 7th grade like most of us did. before this i mostly read historical fiction and fairy tales.

7. the uglies by scott westerfield - the first real science fiction book i read. i still dont read science fiction too much, not my favorite genre.

8. candle in the darkness by lynn n. austin - religious fiction. i read it cuz my mom made me.

9. story of a girl by sarah zarr - i dont really read teen realistic fiction unless i read it for the craft or the story is interesting to me. this one i read for the craft.

10. wizard's first rule by terry goodkind - another science fiction book. i do not like science fiction so much. this book took me FOREVER to finish. it was like "there was a vine. and this vine curved in a particular way, and the way it curved reminded me of something my father said when i was a child. and when i was a child i was tiny" blah blah blah.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Top Ten Books I Had Strong Emotions Over

it's tuesday! i'm really starting to look forward to tuesdays and to the top ten lists. yes, i am one of those who takes joy in making lists so this is just a way to feed my obsession >_< so thank you the broke and the bookish
today is top ten books that you had strong emotions about whether it was crying, anger, laughter etc.

1. living dead girl by elizabeth scott - this book had me going WTHeck! at the end.

2. ps i love you by ceceila ahern - i cried. that is all.

3. the boy in striped pajamas by john boyne - go read it. now. if you havent, you must. and if you dont cry, you are a heartless being.

4. my sisters keeper by jodi picoult - the ending left me sitting there with my mouth hanging open.

5. if i stay by gale forman - i almost threw the book across the room. i was disappointed by the ending. i sat there and said: "thats it??? what the heck??"

6. stay by deb caletti - i have such mixed feelings about this book. i dont like it because of the writing/footnotes but i love it because of the issues it addresses and i can strongly relate to the protagonist.

7. forbidden by tabitha suzuma - another book that made my jaw drop. the ending totally caught me by surprise.

8. love letters by a.r. gurney - this one is a play. i loved it until the end. gurney definitely threw the ending out the window.

9. harry potter and the deathly hallows - because i sat there going "why?!?!" when a certain character died.

10. eclipse and breaking dawn by stephanie meyers - i dont like these books. i have so many issues with these books.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

top ten books to read during halloween

sooo today i'm participating in the broke and the bookish top ten tuesday again. the subject is books to read during halloween. im not so big on halloween considering i am a christian and ive never celebrated it. however, i do love a creepy book now and then ^_^. oh, one thing u must understand... i'm scared very easily lol so my list is books that are creepy or mind-bending to me.

1. the graveyard book by neil gaiman - i've recommended this to so many people at work lol it is such a creepy and beautiful story.

2. coraline by neil gaiman - the book is wayyyy creepier than the movie. it had me walking on eggshells and looking over my shoulder for a while >_<

3. sandman series by neil gaiman - again, neil gaiman. i dont think anyone can go wrong reading neil gaiman on halloween, but this series is the icing on the cake for me. the best part is that it is a comic book, so you can take in the art as well as the story.

4. the virgin suicides by jeffrey eugenides - it was hauntingly beautiful.

5. the phantom of the opera by gaston leroux - one of the classics. this book will have you looking around corners even in theaters on broadway. well... i did for a while anyway >_>

6. anna dressed in blood by kendare blake - i realllly want to read this book. my co worker and i are strongly considering it for our halloween read. it looks so creepy and on top of that, its a love story? sigh... a bundle of happiness.

7. the unbecoming of mara dyer by michelle hodkin - i want to read this one too. it just seems mind twisting and though i've heard some criticism about the writing, i've heard no complaints about the story except that it is number one a trilogy.

8. the complete tales of edgar allan poe - because its edgar allan poe.

9. the poison eaters and other stories by holly black - while i love the tithe series by holly black, i love her short stories more.

10. the ghosts of innisfree - i forget the author at the moment. but this is a book of ghost stories from ireland. as some of you know, i am obsessed with celtic myths and stories so this is definitely on my list.

Friday, October 21, 2011

waiting for...?

so every wednesday breaking the spine hosts "waiting on wednesday" where you post a book that you cant wait to come out. i was going to participate in it when i realized, i dont have any books that im excited about =/ there hasnt been a new release that i have been anxious to read or itching to get my hands on in a long time. ok well... mayb the night circus.... but i havent even gotten a chance to read it yet cuz im in the middle of 2 other books right now and it hasnt called out to me from my book shelf "reaaaadddd mmmeeeee" yet. mayb around halloween i'll get to it. idk.
i used to be excited about the maggie stiefvater wolves of mercy falls series, but then i got tired of the whole paranormal romance thing. and also melissa marr's wicked lovely series ended *tear* i still havent read the last book!
idk im just not motivated to read the whole paranormal romance thing lately. mayb something in realistic fiction. im not too crazy about sarah dessen or deb calletti. i have read a few of their books, a couple excite me, others fall flat. geez im so picky >_< lately i've read sarah zarr's story of a girl and water for elephants by sarah gruen. oh and im almost done with looking for alaska which has taken me FOREVER to get through because i felt the first half dragged onnnnnn. i do want to read levithan's every you, every me just cuz i havent read anything he's written himself. everything i've seen by him, he co-wrote.

anyways, i work in the teen/kids section in barnes and noble so i am up to date with the new releases and whats out in paper back n all that fun stuff. im keeping my eye out for anything that jumps out at me.

oh!!!! ps- if anyone wants to read a creepy book on halloween, i've heard anna dressed in blood by kendare blake is a good one.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Moving On

From Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin.

"you forget all of it anyway. first you forget everything you learned- the dates of the hey-herran treaty, and the pythagorean theorem. you especially forget everything you didnt really learn, but you just memorized the night before. you forget the names of all but one or two of your teachers, and eventually you'll forget those too. you forget your junior class schedule and where you used to sit and your best friend's home phone number and the lyrics to that song you must have played a million times. for me, it was something by simon and garfunkel. who knows what it will be for you? and eventually, but slowly, oh so slowly, you forget your humiliations- even the ones that seemed indelible just fade away. you forget who was cool and who was not, who was pretty, smart, athletic and not. who went to a good college. who threw the best parties. who could get you pot. you forget all of them. even the ones you said you loved, and even the ones you actually did. they're the last to go. and then once you've forgotten enough, you love someone else."

10 books that I've judged and bought based on their cover art and/or title

i'm participating again in the broke and the bookish  top ten tuesday. today is 10 books i've bought and judged based on the cover art or title.

1. living dead girl by elizabeth scott

2. wicked lovely by melissa marr

3. blood and chocolate by annette curtis klause

4. the night circus by erin morgenstern: though i do like the european cover better than the u.s. cover. 

5. speak by laurie halse anderson

6. hatchet by gary paulsen

7. wintergirls by laurie halse anderson

8. twisted by laurie halse anderson

9. tithe by holly black 

10. the wizard heir by cinda williams chima 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Top Ten Books I Wish I Could Read Again for the First Time

Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week its the top then books you wish you can read again for the first time.

1. east by edith pattou- this is my comfort book. i love this book. it was one of those that after i read it for the first time i just sat there hugging it to my chest for like 20 min.

2. blood and chocolate by annette curtis klause- this was the first paranormal romance book i ever read and i would read it again and again and again.

3. the man in the iron mask by alexander dumas

4. the outsiders by s.e. hinton- it was the first book i read and saw how special a book could be.

5. night by elie wiesel- it left me speechless. it is just so beautiful.

6. shiver by maggie stiefvater

7. the nature of jade by deb caletti- i was hesitant to read anything by caletti. but my bff insisted so i gave in and im so happy i did.

8. the things they carried by tim o'brien- one of the best books about war i have ever read.

9. harry potter series- who doesnt want to reread this?

10. the virgin suicides by jeffrey eugenides- it was so mind twisting and just creative genius.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

top ten book endings that left me with my mouth hanging open

so this is a weekly event on tuesdays that is hosted by the broke and the bookish n i just saw it this morning. sooooo im going to do it anyway ^_^

1. the hunger games by suzanne collins
2. forever by tabitha suzuma
3. my sisters keeper by jodi picoult
4. if i stay by gale forman
5. living dead girl by elizabeth scott
6. linger by maggie stiefvater
7. the uglies by scott westerfield
8. breaking dawn by stephanie meyers

ummm thats all i can think of for now.

Monday, September 12, 2011


*does happy dance*

that is all ^_^

Friday, August 12, 2011

stay by deb caletti

title: stay
author: deb caletti
book birthday: april 5, 2011
rating: 4.5 stars

so, i read stay by deb caletti a few weeks ago and i still cannot get over how much caletti nailed an emotionally abusive relationship. i was in one myself n what the protagonist felt is exactly how i felt and still feel. i still have the fear of seeing him again or hearing from him n though i dont let that fear control my life, it is still in the back of my mind, in little things like a memory. it is the second book i've read by caletti, the first was the nature of jade. i attempted to read honey, baby, sweetheart but it was just boring to me. normally when it comes to certain realistic fiction i have to relate to the character on a certain level or be fully invested in the character's story in order for me to complete the novel. i think stay is one i am definitely buying.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

how to be an artist

from a poster i have in my room that inspired me today. i hope some of it speaks to you too.

ps- i completed junowrimo ^_^

how to be an artist:
stay loose.
learn to watch snails.
plant impossible gardens.
invite someone dangerous to tea.
make little signs that say yes! and post them all over your house.
make friends with freedom and uncertainty.
look forward to dreams.
cry during movies.
swing as high as you can on a swingset, by moonlight.
cultivate moods.
refuse to "be responsible."
do it for love.
take lots of naps.
give money away.
do it now.
the money will follow
believe in magic.
laugh a lot.
celebrate every gorgeous moment.
take moonbaths.
have wild imaginings,
transformative dreams and perfect calm.
draw on the walls.
read everyday.
imagine yourself magic.
giggle with children.
listen to old people.
open up.
dive in.
be free.
bless yourself.
drive away fear.
play with everything.
entertain your inner child.
you are innocent.
build a fort with blankets.
get wet.
hug trees.
write love letters.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Instructions by Neil Gaiman

Touch the wooden gate in the wall you never
saw before.
Say "please" before you open the latch,
go through,
walk down the path.
A red metal imp hangs from the green-painted
front door,
as a knocker,
do not touch it; it will bite your fingers.
Walk through the house. Take nothing. Eat
However, if any creature tells you that it hungers,
feed it.
If it tells you that it is dirty,
clean it.
If it cries to you that it hurts,
if you can,
ease its pain.

From the back garden you will be able to see the
wild wood.
The deep well you walk past leads to Winter's
there is another land at the bottom of it.
If you turn around here,
you can walk back, safely;
you will lose no face. I will think no less of you.

Once through the garden you will be in the
The trees are old. Eyes peer from the under-
Beneath a twisted oak sits an old woman. She
may ask for something;
give it to her. She
will point the way to the castle.
Inside it are three princesses.
Do not trust the youngest. Walk on.
In the clearing beyond the castle the twelve
months sit about a fire,
warming their feet, exchanging tales.
They may do favors for you, if you are polite.
You may pick strawberries in December's frost.
Trust the wolves, but do not tell them where
you are going.
The river can be crossed by the ferry. The ferry-
man will take you.
(The answer to his question is this:
If he hands the oar to his passenger, he will be free to

leave the boat.
Only tell him this from a safe distance.)

If an eagle gives you a feather, keep it safe.
Remember: that giants sleep too soundly; that
witches are often betrayed by their appetites;
dragons have one soft spot, somewhere, always;
hearts can be well-hidden,
and you betray them with your tongue.

Do not be jealous of your sister.
Know that diamonds and roses
are as uncomfortable when they tumble from
one's lips as toads and frogs:
colder, too, and sharper, and they cut.

Remember your name.
Do not lose hope — what you seek will be found.
Trust ghosts. Trust those that you have helped
to help you in their turn.
Trust dreams.
Trust your heart, and trust your story.
When you come back, return the way you came.
Favors will be returned, debts will be repaid.
Do not forget your manners.
Do not look back.
Ride the wise eagle (you shall not fall).
Ride the silver fish (you will not drown).
Ride the grey wolf (hold tightly to his fur).

There is a worm at the heart of the tower; that is

why it will not stand.

When you reach the little house, the place your
journey started,
you will recognize it, although it will seem
much smaller than you remember.
Walk up the path, and through the garden gate
you never saw before but once.
And then go home. Or make a home.
And rest.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Date a Girl Who Reads by Rosemary Urquico

"Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilightseries.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes."   ---Rosemary Urquico

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Picture of Dorian Gray

this passage from oscar wilde's the picture of dorian gray has helped and inspired me through my writing process for a number of stories including the one i'm working on now. for all those interested it is in chapter 2 when henry is addressing dorian in basil's studio as basil is painting the portrait of dorian. in my opinion it is the most vital passage in the whole book.

"The terror of society, which is the basis of morals, the terror of God, which is the secret of religion,–these are the two things that govern us... And yet," continued Lord Henry, in his low, musical voice, and with that graceful wave of the hand that was always so characteristic of him, and that he had even in his Eton days, “I believe that if one man were to live his life out fully and completely, were to give form to every feeling, expression to every thought, reality to every dream,–I believe that the world would gain such a fresh impulse of joy that we would forget all the maladies of mediaevalism, and return to the Hellenic ideal,– to something finer, richer, than the Hellenic ideal, it may be. But the bravest man among us is afraid of himself. The mutilation of the savage has its tragic survival in the self-denial that mars our lives. We are punished for our refusals. Every impulse that we strive to strangle broods in the mind, and poisons us. The body sins once, and has done with its sin, for action is a mode of purification. Nothing remains then but the recollection of a pleasure, or the luxury of a regret. The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful. It has been said that the great events of the world take place in the brain. It is in the brain, and the brain only, that the great sins of the world take place also. You, Mr. Gray, you yourself, with your rose-red youth and your rose-white boyhood, you have had passions that have made you afraid, thoughts that have filled you with terror, day-dreams and sleeping dreams whose mere memory might stain your cheek with shame–"
"Stop!" murmured Dorian Gray, "stop! you bewilder me. I don’t know what to say. There is some answer to you, but I cannot find it. Don’t speak. Let me think, or, rather, let me try not to think."

Saturday, April 09, 2011

wicked lovely

i have been reading the wicked lovely series by melissa marr. i am currently on the book radiant shadows. i must say the series is very compelling, however i find that when i take a long break between books i have to google the summaries to refresh my memory. every book is very detailed; the rules applied to the world of the books are sometimes broken but mostly by the powers that the characters possess. for example, the protagonist ani in the book radiant shadows is half human, half faerie and feeds on negative emotions by touching her target or just being around them. but her powers are key to the overall plot and conflict within the dark court. her existance a threat.
melissa marr does a wonderful job of answering any questions the reader may have in her books. every book focuses on a different central character however all the characters are woven into the books so the transition between books is seamless.
her writing is sophisticated, her use of vocabulary is great. the wicked lovely books are for those who like to explore the darkness behind faeries and love an almost impossible love story. in short, these books are good for anyone who likes fantasy with a modern twist, a good love story, and a lot of action.