Tuesday, February 21, 2012

On Reading, Writing, and Talking About Myself

Okay, everyone.
I don't do book reviews, but I DO pimp out phenomenal reads and try to convince you to read them!

Over the past month, I've read several books, but only a couple have stuck out in my mind.  Read them.  Love them. 

Last week, I posted an excerpt from Saving June by Hannah Harrington.  It was for the Is It Getting Hot In Here blogfest, but that is not the reason I fell in love with the story.  If you enjoy a good love story, this is it, sure.  But if you fall for a raw, honest tale of life, love, and loss, you will love this book as much as I did. 

No one likes cancer.  To hear of it, live with it, read about it...anything.  I'm no different.  I lost a grandmother to it.  Nothing about cancer is good.  But this book?  This book made me see it differently.  It made me see the strength in the victims, in the hope of survivors.  I can't remember the last time a book touched me so deeply, made me see the world more clearly.  This is not a sad story of death.  This is an uplifting tale of spirit and life.  Taking advantage of our time on this beautiful Earth.  And understanding that even though life ends too soon, what we make of our time here is what truly matters the most.  Also, John Green is full of awesomesauce. 

I promise these books won't disappoint!  They will, however, bring out the fanboy/girl in you.  You've been warned.

About writing...
I've been doing so well with my writing lately, it's scary.  Jumping back and forth between two stories has been easy and enjoyable.  And pushes me much closer to my goal:  to be out on submission by the end of this year!  I vow to myself and to you all, my lovely readers:  this is my year!  :)

And about myself...

I was tagged to reveal six facts about myself by the unbelievably talented Isabel Bandeira.  She has a way with words, and I'm so happy I discovered her blog.  This lady is going places!  Check out her blog.  I know you'll adore her as much as I do.

As for me, and I'm sure you're all on the edges of your seats waiting to hear about what I could possibly say next to make you love me more ;), here's six facts about me that (I hope) I haven't revealed yet.

1.  This is the reason I have difficulties writing most nights:

Oh, hai!  I iz fluffy and petable. I stealz food and important things. 

His name is Dexter, and he is also the reason there is a packaged string cheese probably sloppily half-devoured under someone's bed or the couch or something this evening...but he's also how I stay warm in bed when our furnace inexplicably craps out mid-winter(or whatever this is in Chicago).  I love him, but he gives me serious anxiety sometimes.  The other cat has a weird fetish in which she sucks on my clothing...while I'm wearing them.  I don't get it, it kind of freaks me out, but I can't help but love her and her girly meows and wide eyes.

2.  Someone recently asked me what my life's theme song would be and I responded with six of them:
Brand New Day by Trevor Hall
Have a Little Faith In Me by Joe Cocker
This Is Your Life by Switchfoot
Best Days by Graham Colton
Sooner or Later by Mat Kearney
Tonight by Tobymac

Because how can you choose just one??

3.  I began writing my bucket list.  Said list includes things such as 'Meet Josh Groban' and 'Buy a puppy'.  Because my goals in life are simple and easily satisfied.  If only Josh Groban would give me ONE SECOND of his time, he could buy me a puppy and we'd live happily ever after!!!!
(I'm not a stalker)
(I might be kind of a stalker)
(One of you has to have a Josh connection, right?  RIGHT??)

4.   On a more serious note, I lost my job again.  The bakery I worked for went out of business and now I'm on the hunt again.  The bright side is that the bakery proved to me how much I still want to open my own and taught me what NOT to do to run a successful business.  I am grateful for the opportunity to work there and to learn SO much.  Not to mention, it was such fun!  I will miss it.

5.  I choose candle scents based on what I'm writing at the time.  For example, if I'm writing a beach story, I'll choose summery scents that remind me of the ocean.  For a winter story, I choose Christmas and baking scents, anything that gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling.  It puts me in the mood and gets the creative juices flowing.

6.  If I could move anywhere in the States, it would be to Georgia.  My friends down there are nothing short of family and if I had the nerve to leave my family, I would be there in a heartbeat.  However, if I ever had the opportunity to move to England, no one could stop me.  Nothing, no one, no how, no way.  I would be there, and I would love it.  And I bet Josh Groban would love it with me.  ;)  Just kidding!  Kinda...

Now, I'm supposed to tag others to reveal six facts about themselves, but I would honestly rather just link you to their amazing blogs.  They have all touched my life in some way or another, and I hope they touch yours, too.

Candace Ganger-Because she is beautiful and inspiring.
Julie Dao-Because her prose is melodic and haunting, and someday the whole world will know.
Isabel Bandeira-She tagged me for this post, and everyone should see what this woman is made of.  Mad skills, people.  Amazing.
Carolina Valdez Miller-Read her blog.  Enough said.

And that's that!  Should these fellow bloggers choose to participate, excellent!  If not, I am just happy to pass their greatness along.

A special shout-out to my newest followers:  Thanks for the follow!  You're the reason I'm here...glad to meet you!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Is It Getting Hot In Here??

Happy Valentine's Day!  A day for being in love, for hating love...and for all sorts of love in between.

I'm late in posting, but I didn't want to miss out on the fun!  Today is the Is It Getting Hot In Here Blog Hop hosted by Cassie Mae.  Hop over to her page to check out the entries!
I'm cheating this year because I didn't have time to write my own scene...instead I'm posting the kiss scene from Saving June by Hannah Harrington.  I adored this book, and you should all read it!  :)


The night air is clear and cool and silent, save for the bugs humming around the buttery-yellow lamps overhead, a car's wheels sounding against pavement as it guns out of the parking lot.  And beyond that, faint echoes of the ocean tide.

'You can't hold yourself responsible for what she did,' Jake says, so softly I barely hear him.  'There's nothing you could have done.  Nothing.'

I shake my head.  'You don't know that.'

'Come on, Harper.  You're smarter than that.  It was her choice.  Hers, not yours.'

I feel like he's lying, except he's never lied before, he never sugarcoats anything, so why would he start now?  And if he's right, it doesn't really change anything.  It may not be my fault, but she's still gone, she still chose to leave.  I'll still always wonder why I wasn't enough.

My eyes water, my breath catching in dry not-quite sobs.  Jake moves toward me, but I wave him off.
'I'm fine,' I insist, swallowing hard, trying to shove the emotion down again.

He says, 'You're not fine.  And that's okay.  No one is expecting you to be okay right now.'

'It doesn't matter, okay?'  I whisper.  'How I am-it's not important.  It doesn't matter.'

One of his hands falls across the inside of my knee.  I turn my head to see his face, hovering inches from mine.  His expression is so open and understanding and sympathetic that my throat closes up just looking at it.

He leans close and says, 'It matters to me,' right against my mouth, and then kisses me like he means it.

I've thought about what it'd be like to kiss Jake over the past few days, way more than I'd care to admit.  But I don't even have time to register the firm press of his lips against mine, without breath, before he pulls back.  His face freezes, eyes wide with oh shit written across them.  Maybe I'd be offended if I wasn't so sure that my own expression matches his perfectly.

'I shouldn't have done that,' he blurts out.  'I'm an idiot.'

'Yeah,' I agree, 'you really are.'

I grab the collar of his shirt and tug him back to me.

........And then it gets better.  ;)

I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine's Day!  I'm off to check out the rest of the entries....