Snow Globe

I want to rummage through stacks of books with you.
Dirty, musty books
so when we rustle their pages we choke with joy.
I want to sit on the floor, legs crossed
and pile adventures in my lap.
You’ll stand on a stack of encyclopedias and reach for
that perfect copy of Don Quixote
while I flip through Robinson Crusoe
until you reach down and say, “I found this one for you.”
I want to be lost with you inside a fiction more beautiful than the
huge snow globe we inhabit
always shaken by someone else til we’re displaced
tiny flakes in a fish tank.
So I think if I have to get lost, I’d like to be holding your hand
when my dreams for this life
seem so broken
like this damned snow globe
because aren’t they supposed to make you smile
and turn the sky white?
The sky was grey today. This snow globe’s defective.
I want to be poor with you
but only with you
because poverty isn’t romantic
unless all the riches in the world exist in the gold flecks in your eyes.
I want to be anything with you
because you’ll be anything with me
and that could stop this snow globe shaking.

With this, I revamp my current poetry series from one about my childhood to a poetry series about anything, because…why restrict myself? Poetry is freeing, and I need to be freed right now. Cheers. Let’s all work on making this snow globe a little better.


The Hypnotist: A Book Review

Who, me? I just read what NPR tells me to.
Okay, not exactly. But recently, yes.

I heard about Lars Kepler’s The Hypnotist on NPR last week. It sounded intriguing, if a little gruesome. And that’s exactly what it ended up being. Except for the part where I was totally disappointed with the ending.

The Plot: A family is murdered, no…slaughtered in Stockholm. The murderer leaves one of them, the 15 year old son, for dead, but he’s later found barely clinging to life. The detective on the case, Joona Linna, brings in hypnosis specialist Erik Maria Bark (who 10 years previous had sworn he would never hypnotize again) to question the boy, who is too far in shock to respond to police questioning. When they finally question the boy through hypnosis, they find…well, it’s really surprising, that’s all. 
But that plot line is all but abandoned about halfway through when Erik Bark’s son is kidnapped. And I still don’t really understand how the two lines are related.

While the book served its purpose to simultaneously freak me out and show me that life (and crime) is never simple, I was left wanting more, and not necessarily in a good way. It was incomplete; I wanted 25 more pages. Just 25 to help me understand the motivation behind all the crimes that take place. Just 25 to tie the pieces all together, because I know they’re supposed to be more connected than Kepler left them. I was disappointed, because I had been adequately intrigued by the gruesomeness of the book, though I usually can’t stomach those kinds of bloody descriptions. I had enjoyed the POV shift, the writing, the fact that most of the book was in present tense, the short chapters…everything about that book had been technically sound.

But it was just lacking. Things that had been brought up in the beginning and middle of the book that I thought would have some impact on the plot turned out to be completely irrelevant (such as Joona Linna’s flashbacks about an accident/his father, which I still don’t understand…and I was paying attention).

The authors (Lars Kepler is the pen name of a Swedish husband & wife writing “team”) wove an interesting motif through the book: most of the violence and crime was carried out by women and children. It threw me for a loop, and I was shocked, mortified, and TOTALLY into it. But then the authors seemed to add plot points simply for the sake of establishing it as a motif. For instance, at one point Erik and Joona come across a woman who has two naked boys in a room with a video camera trained on the bed. But why is that included in the book? I understand that it contributes to the motif and the shock value of said motif, but it literally carried nothing else out, and ended up making me look for the reason it was included. There wasn’t one, as far as I could tell.

And the ending seemed rushed, like the authors knew they needed to end it and knew people would want to know the resolution, so they just shoved it at us. But honestly, like I said before, it could’ve done with another 25 pages. It wouldn’t have bothered me, since I’d already invested hours into reading the 500 page book.

Maybe I just didn’t get it. I want to doubt that, because I like to think of myself as a semi-intelligent person who can keep up with a murder mystery, but I can’t be sure. And even if I did get it, and the gaps really are present, you should still read it.  Maybe we can feel indignant about its flaws together.

Librarians are Superheroes

I have one thing to say: Librarians are superheroes. SUPER. HEROES. They can do anything! I bet when they’re at home they go invisible or fly around and stuff. They are modern day Clark Kents.

I read a book 3 years ago that I loved and wanted to read again, but I couldn’t remember anything about it besides possibly what the cover looked like, the fact that the main character was named Mick, and that the co-authors were married (but I couldn’t remember their names). So basically, I knew nothing. But I went to Jonathon, my favorite person on the planet (and reference librarian at my local library) and asked him to help me. Long story short, he found the book I was talking about in like 10 minutes. I think I’ll marry him. I definitely had a case of New Book High and wanted to jump up and hug him, but you know…he’s a librarian and a pretty quiet guy, so I wasn’t sure how appreciated that would be.

This brings me, totally randomly, to my next point. I don’t want my generation to stop reading. We’re so into being social now, and that’s wonderful because I’m a really social person too, but I don’t want us to forget that books are important too. Reading isn’t as often done in big groups or at parties as movies etc are. Okay, reading is NEVER done at parties anymore. Unless it’s reading off a karaoke screen. Point is, we aren’t as good at being alone as generations before are/were.

So let us not forget how important it is to cherish alone time and the little things. The naps, the books, the love we have. But mostly, the books. Specifically, books that I will write someday :) HA just kidding (but really). 

Let us always raise our books high in support of those superhero librarians’ jobs. I turn my page for you, Jonathon, superhero of the library.

New Book High

You like that new car smell? Fine, but I’m a little more partial to new book high.

On my lunch break today, after I’d eaten my little sandwich and strawberries, I walked a few blocks to my town’s local book store. I want to LIVE in that store. There’s a smell (possibly comparable to new car smell…) that I’ve never experienced anywhere else, even in other book stores. It’s like love mixed with paper and giddiness. Or something way more eloquent that I can’t think of right now…

Anyway, I walked over to a section of books and was just browsing for a few moments when I saw the 4th book of one of my favorite series.  That series got me through some of the toughest times in my life, which is strange to say since it’s a young adult novel about a girl in her junior/senior years of high school. But in the series, the main character suffers from massive panic attacks all the time, so when I had my first panic attack I was fairly certain that I knew what it was. I’m just glad I’d HEARD of the symptoms of a panic attack so I wouldn’t think it was a heart attack… And when the counselor I was seeing wasn’t really helping, I looked to the books again for guidance. I didn’t find it as much as I’d hoped, but I saw a little of myself in Ruby Oliver (the main character) and really liked what HER counselor was saying.

But back to the story. I found that book and practically peed. I thought the series had ended after the third book, but oh no, there was number 4 staring me right in the face, saying, “Buy me, read me, you know you want to!” And I DID want to. I never, ever buy books brand new if I can get them at the library. But I was not about to wait around for a few months for my library to get a couple copies of this book, so I spent 2 ½ hours’ wages on a 200 page book, and it’s all because of new book high.

New book high: (n) 1. The feeling one gets when one purchases/acquires a new book. Often, the person feeling “new book high” will squeal uncontrollably (thereby causing passersby to stare uncomfortably), jump up and down, or clutch the book to his/her chest like Gollum and his precious. 2. A feeling that literally turns the recipient of new book high into Gollum. Recipients’ hair immediately falls out and they begin mumbling to themselves while walking in a half-crouched position and petting their new book.

I was pretty much the definition of new book high. My adrenaline levels were positively through the roof, I was squealing a little, and I couldn’t stop smiling. All the way back to work, I admired my new book, and I seriously couldn’t wait to finish my shift (only four more hours…now three…okay, I have a ten minute break I can totally read 15 pages!) to get home and read that baby!

New book high: it’s like being a child again, only without the incontinence (okay…maybe a little).

Ohh, the Irony.

Writer's block = FRUSTRATION.

I named my blog Writer’s Block because I couldn’t think of anything besides “I’m Insane” or “Jelly Beans Taste Good.” Little did I know, the title would come back to haunt me.

I am writing a novel. My characters used to flow out of my mind like water down a downspout. I’m not sure that’s a very good simile, but it is what it is. Plus, it was either that, or a peeing analogy.
I was chuggin along for a long time, but I stopped writing for a couple weeks when life got busy and I kinda forgot…it’s practically a SIN that I forgot. The ultimate sin. If I were Catholic, I’d be hailin’ Mary all over the place.

But I’m not Catholic, I’m just a writer whose characters hate her.
Female main character: Has fallen out of my brain.
Male main character: Well, I’m too in love with him to let him screw up. But he has to screw up, or the book is complete crap.
Main character’s friend: Is driving me nuts.
My characters hate me. Whyyyyyyyyy?

I’ll tell you why. Because I neglected them for almost 3 weeks. What kind of author am I? I may as well have abandoned them on the side of the road. Or killed them all off one by one. I may as well have given them all STDs. I may as well have sent them off to war.
Or not.

My writer's block apparently turns into my hands eating my face.

Maybe I should bribe them with chocolate. Or let really good things happen to them (to trick them) and then delete the good things after I extract some life out of them. Because my characters are flat. How dare they?!
This blog post was an attempt to shake the writer’s block (and the cotton fluff – Winnie the Pooh reference, what’s up!?) out of my brain. I don’t know if it worked, but at this point I’ve begun telling you about my life so much that I might as well babble on about my obnoxiousness (and my stale cornflakes).

Walden Pond

My teacher just returned our annotated copies of Walden Pond by Henry David Thoreau yesterday. I loved that book and want to think about it again. And I want you to think about it too.

I love the motif of new beginnings and regeneration he presents in the book. I find my most richly annotated passages to be the ones in which he speaks of every morning being a new beginning (and at some point he says that every moment is a new one). Those passages hit me especially deeply.

When I began reading Walden, I had just returned home from a trip to Maui with my friend and her parents. In Maui I had discovered that I love the relaxed lifestyle of the people who live there (but also discovered that I cannot handle heat above 85 degrees!). I felt so at peace with myself by the ocean and wanted that inner peace to continue in my every day life. It was great, then, that our next assignment in my junior English class was to read Walden.

The passages were difficult to read, especially since Thoreau never ONCE decided to stay on topic, but I found that if I took my time (each 15 page avg. chapter ended up taking me about an hour to read…), I could really absorb what he was trying to tell me. There are a few chapters that I still don’t understand, and possibly never will. But I think that just adds to the book’s truthfulness in life. There are certain parts of life that I really just will not understand, but if I experience them, try to figure them out, and then move on, I think I’ll do just fine. My favorite line was at the very end of the book. After chipping away at the assigned chapters, I was both relieved and saddened to finish. But I’m so glad that Thoreau saved the best, and most hopeful, until last:
“Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.”

Whether I got the most important message of the book or not, I will always take away that dawn and new beginnings don’t just happen in the mornings. Beginnings happen any time, at any moment. Its totally up to you to make your life what you want it to be.
I feel like a different person for reading this. I feel enlightened, changed, excited, and hungry for fulfillment. Even since finishing the book two months ago, I can feel myself slipping from who I was when I read it. I think I might have to read its most important parts over and over and over to remind myself how much life is worth. And that’s totally OK with me.

Thanks, Thoreau.