Halfway There

I’m halfway through my reading goal for the year. I finished the fiftieth book out of my one hundred book challenge. Out of those fifty, I currently have thirty books in my possession. Two of my nonfiction books and two fiction are out on loan, one title I borrowed from a friend, I read five books on my Nook, and the other ten were from the local library. Since the last book I finished (ONE NATION: WHAT WE CAN ALL DO TO SAVE AMERICA’S FUTURE by Ben Carson, MD) is a loaner to me from a friend, it all balances out.

Here are some pictures, in chronological order from oldest to newest read. (A couple of these were rereads, but most were first timers.) To see my complete list, check out my goodreads shelves.

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I read diverse books: from genres to subject matter to authors. The first half of the year I covered all types of fiction, from chapter books to adult, plus a graphic novel and poetry collection. Non-fiction featuring current events, education, self-help, and biography. Authors and characters with medical issues, from all walks of life, and of a variety of ethnic backgrounds—I read it all.

What have you been reading?

Photographic Evidence

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I’ve been playing hooky
Running away from stress
Enjoying the weather
And forgetting my whole mess

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I’ve been playing hooky
And seeking out beauty
That comes this time of year
While running after cuties

I’ve been playing hooky
I have my proof, you see
All that I’ve been doing
Is inspiration for me
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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Hope everyone had a magical weekend. Here’s a peek at one of our seasonal adventures.

On a side note, if you put both an orange and a vanilla flavored Tootsie Fruit Roll in your mouth at the same time it tastes like an orange creamsicle.
Autumn on the Gulf Coast came and went and came and… I hope it sticks around this time! The crisp weather of fall (if we’re lucky enough to receive typical seasonal weather) is invigorating. I usually get inspirational writing boosts this time of year but it hasn’t happened yet. So, I’m sitting at my desk with the table top fan blowing on my face, praying for the courage to step forward with my WIP. I haven’t made major progress on Corroded (because of other projects—and laziness) in at least two months. This blog is my jumping point to get back into the swing of things. I need to face the climax of the novel and conquer!
Even growing up in the also sporadic climate of coastal California, inspiration happened this time of year. I believe I began each of my novel length stories in the fall, starting at fifteen years old. The bulk of my poetry was written in autumn, with a generous helping of winter and some spring sprinkled in. Flipping through my poetry notebook I can count on one hand the poems written during the summer months. And speaking of poetry, I haven’t written a cataloged poem since I was pregnant with my oldest in 1998. Question to self: What’s up with that?!
But for now, I’ve got a terrifically awful poem to share. Remember, these poems are two decades old in some cases. Don’t hold it against me! This one happens to be from the autumn I started college, at seventeen years old.
Breath of Life
Days do ever pass Leaves turn golden and fall Attending our last class Is a walk down an endless hall
Sometimes it will seem Like it’s you against the rest But your light will forever beam You know you’re one of the best
So keep in touch With that strong sensation It will give you much Over-powering elation

So Much to Read, So Little Time

Most of my down time lately has been spent reading. Studying is more like it. Up to my ears in non-fiction reading. Here’s a sampling of titles, all from the local library:
Secret Lives of Boys: Inside the Raw Emotional World of Male Teens by Malina Saval *Graphic language at times—the first chapter has it the heaviest.* Over-all, a fascinating read. Boys are a lot like girls when it comes to worries/fears.
Exiting Nirvana : A Daughter’s Life with Autism by Clara Claiborne Park It’s refreshing to find a book dealing with an older child on the spectrum. And one that’s artistically inclined, like my son. Since I have so many informative books to read right now, I’m using this one as my light/nighttime reading. As interesting as it is, I look forward to some fluff.
1001 Great Ideas for Teaching and Raising Children with Autism or Asperger’s by Ellen Notbohm and Veronica Zysk Lots of good ideas: some old, some new. Taking notes…
The Everything Homeschooling Book by Sherri Linsenbach Need I say more?
On a good—possibly pathetic—note, I’ve written over twelve chapters of Corroded. Eleven of those (89 pages) have been through the mill in the awesome critique group I’m in. Thank you, QuillMasters! My main character is based on me as a teen, but amplified. The more she stretches her limits, the more fun (and harder!) it is to write. It’s almost like reliving high school, thinking about all the “what ifs” and if I had that chance, would I have been brave (or stupid) enough to do or say something… For the most part the answer is no. And, an enormous NO for ever wanting to actually go back and live through it again.
Speaking of me as a teen: back by popular demand (well, all four people who voted wanted to see more) is a random poem from a seventeen year old me.
Lost
Crashing waves against the sand. The tempest whirls in my head. A soul dragged down by Satan’s grasp Has left the world victim of the sacrifice.

Numb no More

I’ve felt emotionally numb off and on over the years, especially since becoming a mother. It’s difficult to draw the line between mother-fatigue and depression but either (and most diffidently the combination of the two!) could be counted as a cause of the numbness.
Since my WIP is a teen novel, I felt the urge to reconnect to my younger, emotional self. Pictures from the era provide an opening but it’s my poetry that drags all the emotions back—kicking and screaming. And, wow, was I in touch with my inner angst! Check out my brooding self in Pebble Beach, 1992…. Oh, I miss my hair!
I thought it’d be fun to start adding a few poems to each post—providing a flash-portrait of some of the imaginings of my former self. I’ll even put the desperately awful ones up.
I’ll start things off with a poem which I turned in to my Creative Writing teacher and he wrote a “please see me” note on the bottom of it. I was too embarrassed to confront him, thinking he might be suspecting abuse or something. But he never followed up on it, not sure if that’s good or bad… hmm.
The poem, written by my sixteen year old self, was inspired by the movie ___________.
Wait, you tell me! (Hint: 80’s fantasy. No, the movie title is NOT in the poem/title.)
Mask
Illusions surround my every move Walking through the corridor of eternity I feel tampered with and used
Down the path I see someone I know look again it isn’t who it seems to be A face turned and twisted in my mind to become fantasy
But after all what is a face environment or a smile? They are things we hide behind truths we run from for miles.

What movie do you think it is? Comment!
The first correct person might win an autographed copy of the poem. 🙂
And don’t forget to vote.