Showing posts from June, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Best of 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and it's a way to share what you're loving in list form. The topic changes every week, so there is always something new to discover!
This week's topic is:  Best Books I've Read in 2015 (So Far).  I always love doing this topic!

Here are my best for the year to date (in no particular order)...
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan
Yes Please by Amy Poehler
The Walking Dead, Compendium 1 by Robert Kirkman
The Walking Dead, Compendium 2 by Robert Kirkman 1984by George Orwell
Let the Right One Inby John Ajvide Lindqvist Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trailby Cheryl Strayed Slammed by Colleen Hoover The Revenge of Seven  by Pittacus Lore
What are some of the best books you've read so far this year?

Happy reading!

Beyond the Books: Collections

With the unfortunate demise of Jessi's "Life of a Blogger" feature on her blog, Karen, over at Kissin Blue Karen, has adapted the idea into something similar (with permission from Jessi) for fellow bloggers to partake in.  While I didn't participate as often as I wanted to in the past, with Summer coming along I should be able to draft some posts for this feature more often.

This week's topic for Beyond the Books is:  Things I Collect.  Now, in general, I'm not necessarily a collector of "things", but there are some items that I tend to always pick up when shopping/traveling/exploring/antiquing/etc.  In no particular order...

I have an affinity for maps...old maps, maps I've used, maps with writing on them, all maps.  I don't know what it is...perhaps the fact that they represent traveling or something...but maps have always interested me.  I have a framed map of Vienna in my living room.  It has holes in it, writing on it, and it's …

Writer's Workshop: I'd Live There

Kat had some great prompts this week, but I'm going to go with hotels I'd love to live in.  Pure fantasy and dreaming!

Sylvia Beach Hotel:  Newport, Oregon
The most local and, probably, the most plausible for a visit on the list, the Sylvia Beach Hotel is a book lovers dream.  Each room is modeled after a specific author/work, they have a massive library on the top floor, the restaurant is called the Tables of Content, and there are no TVs or WiFi access.  Added bonus, you're able to visit the hotel even if you aren't staying there.  Any room that is empty is open to explore.  I've done this!  So awesome.  Plus, it's right on the beach :)

Hotel Sacher Wien:  Vienna, Austria
Possibly one of the most famous hotels in Austria, the Hotel Sacher is renowned for its sacher torte, a delicious concoction of dense chocolate cake with a marmalade filling and chocolate ganache.  It's perfect with a cup of coffee to tone down the richness of the cake.  Aside from that, t…

Top Ten Tuesday: Re-Read Like The First Time

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and it's a way to share what you're loving in list form. The topic changes every week, so there is always something new to discover!

This week's topic is:  Top Ten Books On My TBR For Summer 2015.  While I love this topic, I feel like we just did it last month (see:  Books in Your Beach Bag).  So, instead, I'm going to do Top Ten Books I Wish I Could Read Again for the First Time.  This has nothing to do with the actual topic, but it's a topic I missed for TTT in the past.  So there!

In no particular order:
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Harry Potter by JK Rowling...duh
Midwivesby Chris Bohjalian
Hauntedby Chuck Palahniuk
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
Night by Elie Wiesel Anna Kareninaby Leo Tolstoy
The Time Traveler's Wifeby Audrey Niffenegger
If on a winter's night a Italo Calvino
What are some books that you wish you could re-read for the first time?

Putting Hellmann's to the Test

I have been a product reviewer for about a year with Influenster and have been able to offer my opinions on a variety of things.  This time around, I was sent the newly designed Hellmann's Mayonnaise to test out.  While I am not the hugest fan of mayo in general, I find the new packaging to offer many positive attributes!

First, the shape of the bottle allows for the mayo to settle near the opening, unlike traditional containers.  In addition, the improved plastic spout allows for better stabilization of the bottle.  It's great because it has less of a tendency to fall over in the fridge than the old design with the smaller top.  Genius! 

I did put mayo on my sandwich this time around, but it's just not one of my favorite condiments in general.  I'm a mustard girl.  Regardless, the product tastes great and the bottle design is pretty awesome.  I definitely recommend purchasing this newly improved packaging for your mayo needs :)

If you're interested in becoming a …

Racing the Shore -- Flash Fiction Challenge

"Racing the Shore"

I ruffled the fur of his neck as we gazed across the river.Charlie, my aging protector.Always the first to greet me at the door and the last to take his eyes off me whenever I left the room.He had been my constant companion for ten years and it was hard to believe that we were sitting here again; the very spot where our bond was forged years ago.I silently thanked my father for the gift of Charlie and unhooked his leash.
“What do you say, boy?One more adventure?”
And we raced along the shore.

This post is part of Charli Mills' Flash Fiction Challenge hosted by Carrot Ranch Communications

June 10, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about an animal rescue. It can be a typical dog or cat rescue from the pound, or helping a critter less fortunate. Go where the prompt leads you.

The rules can be found here.

The Prompt Box

A new resolution halfway through the year...

I recently discovered, through a great blog I stumbled across during the A-Z Challenge, the wonders of a Prompt Box (she'd posted about it recently).  Brilliant!  Why hadn't I thought of this?  I used prompts for years when I was teaching writing, but had never really applied them to myself.  Complete disconnect  So I made one yesterday.

This is my Prompt Box.

I filled it with quotes, images, ideas, and things that inspire me.  Every time I pull a prompt out, I will replace it with a new inspiration.  Whatever I come across that speaks to me. 

With this box, I will finally begin to write the way I should be writing...the way I want to be writing.  Every. Damn. Day.  For a minimum of ten minutes; more if I am on a roll!

I might post some things.  Others I will not.  I believe, in this practice, I will find serenity, creativity, passion, and catharsis. 

How do you get jazzed to write?  Does anyone else use a prompt box? …

Writer's Workshop: Disney Princesses

If I had to choose a Disney Princess to live the rest of my life as, it would be....

What makes Merida such a great choice?  Several things.  First, she isn't your typical Disney Princess.  She's unruly, marches to her own drum, and does not fit the often portrayed image of a traditional Disney Princess:  overly large eyes, impossibly tiny waist, ankles, feet, etc.  She's more robust.  Remember the outcry when Disney first released the newly sexualized images of Merida?  Case in point!  In addition to her appearance, Merida yearns for the options to choose her own fate.  She does not want a husband chosen for her or to be won in a competition.  This is not her idea of romance or destiny.  I also like the fact that, in the end, she doesn't end up with a prince who has to save her.  Instead, her mission is bonding and finding common ground with her mother.  In addition, Merida is a bad-ass archer!

"There are those who say fate is something beyond our command.  …

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday:  The Sandcastle Girls
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn @ A Daily Rhythm. Here are the rules: grab whatever you're reading, open to a random page, select no more than two sentence (NO SPOILERS), share the title and author, and GO!

Here's today's teaser:
"The women look like dying wild animals as they lurch forward, some holding on to the walls of the stone houses to remain erect.  She has never in her life seen people so thin and wonders how in the name of God their bony legs can support them.  Their breasts are lost to their ribs.  The bones of their hips protrude like baskets.           'Elizabeth, you don't need to watch,' her father is saying, but she does.  She does." --page 13

The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian

Haunting images of the Armenian Genocide...I know little of tragic.

Happy reading!

Top Ten Tuesday: Anticipated Releases

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and it's a way to share what you're loving in list form. The topic changes every week, so there is always something new to discover!
This week's topic is:  Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases for the Rest of 2015.  There are always so many books that I'm looking forward to getting my hands on.  Here are ten on my current radar:

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee -- July 14th
Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty -- July 14th
The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman -- August 4th
The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz -- September 1st
The Fate of Ten by Pittacus Lore -- September 1st
Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs -- September 22nd Carry On by Rainbow Rowell -- October 6th
Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor -- October 20th Winter by Marissa Meyer -- November 10th
Tricky Twenty-Twoby Janet Evanovich -- November 17th
What books are you eagerly anticipating?

Also, look …