Free-write: Grass

I’m taking a fiction workshop this term. I had a prompt to do a five-minute word-of-the-day (randomly selected from a dictionary) free write. This is what I wrote:

I read online somewhere that the scent given off when grass is cut is the scent released by the plant while in distress. So basically my allergies get invoked by the sound of a million blades of grass screaming in pain. Thus me having an allergic reaction to that. I’m allergic to their death screams. Which is funny cause it’s not funny at all. Fuck that noise thou. I like breathing. I’d rather not die, or be mutilated, which is of course what we are doing to the defenseless little green blades of grass. Can you imagine that? That’s be an interesting story. Uncut grass growing tall as humans, thick as them too. The get up and take it upon themselves, in all their mutilated glory, to avenge their fallen comrades of springs past. Their walking up the street, grab a long stick and wield that bitch like the angry little mother fuckers that they are. We’re all fucking doomed. We’re all gonna die at the sharp deformed heads and anger of our grassy overlords. So now I’m wondering if, when the uprising comes, will we know it’s coming? Will their mutilated “heads” still give off that same grass scent? Will we smell them coming. Should we inform The Rock and let him know something is cooking?

Looking at it now, the grammar errors are irking me and I really want to change them. I won’t, but boy do I want to.

Your turn, randomly pick a word from a page in the dictionary, write for xx amount of time without thinking. No thinking is the important part.

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Old School Comic

I found this little Digest among the books at my MIL’s house. It was a nice drive down memory lane. Glad I borrowed it from her. I finished it (after inconsistently picking it up) tonight. So I guess this is officially my first read of the year.

Sadly I can’t add it to my Goodreads feed but I read it so I’m counting it!

Golden Comics Digest, volume 3, July 1969.

Ahh childhood, we meet again.

Choices Made

I made up my mind yesterday about where to start reading.

“Woo, mind made up for #PopSugarReadingChallenge2018 I got my first two leisure reads for the year decided thanks to help from Hubby and Bubby!

Challenge prompts are: book made into a movie you’ve already seen (“Origins”) + a childhood classic you’ve never read(“The Wind in the Willows”)” -me, via Instagram

From my Instagram feed

Also…Today I finished the Audio book I chose and began the next one. The second audiobook I am listening to is The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum. It is the second book he wrote about the Land of Oz. So far I’ve met Tipp, a character whose name I recognized from the tv mini-series “Emerald City” that came out last year. So far I’m of the opinion that it’s a better book better than The Wizard of Oz. I didn’t like that book.

A Handful of Books

Happy New Year Dear Follower!

I created a page for the adventure of another book challenge. Like last year, the point of that is to see what I’ve read over the year. I’m excited about finding things to read for the prompts since it makes it “easier” to make myself pick up books on my To Be Read (TBR) list. Naturally, I’m stuck trying to decide which book to begin with this year.

reading-list

I was vaguely aware of a pattern I developed last year while making room for leisure reading. I’m generally reading three or more books at a time. Which seems instinctively odd to me. How could anyone possibly pay attention to more than one book at a time?! Well from what I discerned, it’s the types, reasons, and size of the books that matter. Generally speaking, at any given time last year, I was reading the following:

  • A textbook (or two)
  • A book related to research for class (usually an e-books -not needed every term).
  • A children’s chapter book with my youngest
  • A Classic Literature audio book
  • A physical book unrelated to class (my “for fun” leisure choice)

I have two classes starting next week, one of which is a writing workshop class and thus reading and writing intensive. The class has two text books, which I will have to read the majority of. The other class is an introductory class for anthropology, which is a fact intensive class, and those facts are found by reading (and apparently watching a movie 🙂 ). Maybe there isn’t as much reading in anthropology, I don’t know yet, I’m afraid to open the e-textbook.

Perhaps it’s the amount of school reading that’s got me hesitant to pick my first leisure choice for the year? Or, maybe, the problem is that I don’t know which prompt to fill first? OR, maybe I’m not sure which adventure to take first? It’s a puzzle.

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I have already chosen my first Audio book for the year; a re-read of Alice in Wonderland and it’s companion Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll. I’ve read this book at least four times from start to finish, possibly more, I can’t fully remember. It’s a comfort read for me. Alice is an old friend, a safe haven, a world of my own. As such, the audio I chose is the dramatic reading of it because: FUN! It will not take long to get through the entire story so I’m hoping by then I will know which adventure to take. I’m open to suggestions in the meantime!

 

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I need a nook like this!

New Series I Picked Up

While perusing my local library I came across author Jenn McKinlay and she quickly secured herself a spot on the list of my favorite authors. She is the author of several mystery series. I first took notice of her Cupcake Bakery Mystery series earlier this year. Immediate Literary Love! The series stars the sugar superstar Melanie “Mel” Cooper and her best friend the fabulously feisty Angie DeLaura. How could I not like a book staring two chicks who bake?  I couldn’t possibly. As such, I decided to give Mrs. McKinlay’s Library Lovers Mystery series a go. I’ve attached my GoodReads review below of the first book in the series, Books Can Be Deceiving. Give it a read if you haven’t. When you do, let’s compare notes!

You can take a peek at Jenn McKinlay’s books over on her GoodReads Profile. 

Books Can Be Deceiving (Library Lover's Mystery, #1)Books Can Be Deceiving by Jenn McKinlay

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A cozy little mystery about who killed the award-winning children’s author. I enjoyed this book; however, I found Mrs. McKinlay’s other series more enjoyable. There wasn’t as much humor in it as I was expecting considering the other series of hers I had started. The premise is fun though and the characters are lovable. I found myself rooting for Lindsey and Beth along the way. Sadly I found the twist at the end somewhat predictable and cliche as far as mystery reveals go. I’m going to read the next book in the series before I give up on it since I do enjoy the Cupcake series the author has written.

View all my reviews

Project Thoughts

Hello again!

For term 17EW5 (spring term) I am taking English Composition II; which means more writing will be done. Writing of the academic persuasion of course. Speaking (well, writing) of persuasion, our term project is a persuasion essay on a current topic in our field of study. I’m an English major…English Language & Literature to be precise. That can account for a billion or so topics though so I chose to focus on the degree after this one; which is Library Sciences. Here’s what I had to say for my first journal entry (requirement: select two topics to choose from for the essay, both must be re searchable, and debatable).

Possible persuasive essay topic # 1: E-books: The effect of e-books on public libraries’ resources and funding.

        There is no doubt that the advent of electronic publications (e-books) and the Internet have had an effect on the literary world. From the downfall of the small neighborhood bookstore to often unauthorized file sharing, e-books have turned our traditional methods of reading on its ear. But are we really helping society by providing literary works at convenience or hindering it? Authors and scholars alike are trying to keep up with the demand for convenient reading of current works as well as digitizing long-publicized works and even out of print works. In doing so we risk sharing works without proper monetary compensation to the author, and copyright infringement. In addition, and more importantly, we may also be risking the spread of knowledge. Public libraries depend on government funding to acquire their resources. With the cost of keeping up with the digital age we are adding in the cost of new technology along with the books; which now must be purchased in both print and electronic form. In the end this monetary limitation diminishes the quantity of resources.

        With many families, such as mine when I was a child, dependent solely on public library resources for their studies we have potentially deteriorated the spread of knowledge to the families that cannot afford to buy books or have access to computers. One could argue that libraries should not purchase e-books in order to have those funds available for more print resources and computer equipment. Can they keep up with the demand for a particular title though by doing so? How long would the next J.K. Rowling book be on one person’s request for the book borrowing? What about those copies not being returned? Loss and damage to printed books are all problems libraries have had to face since their inception. Maintaining e-books; which cannot be damaged or loss, can save the library in the long rung.

Possible persuasive essay topic # 2: Banned Books: Censorship of art and free speech or a protection of innocence?

            The cliché “words can hurt” is true, as is the cliché that “the truth hurts”, but we must also remember that “the truth can set you free”. It’s because of the latter phrase that I’ve always questioned the banning of books. Literature is considered a branch of art known as the humanities; one in which we as humans express our views of the times in which we live, our beliefs, politics, social injustices, and our fears. By banning books we are letting the select few determine which aspects of life we can and do express. In addition, this form of censorship limits future knowledge of the struggles of our own species. Worst of all, we limit free speech; the most basic of human rights. There are those that argue that books should be banned from schools to protect children from ideas such as profanity, sex, violence, racial themes/slurs, and “alternative” lifestyles. As a mother of three children, ages 6, 9, and 13, I completely understand the desire to protect the innocent from those things. However, as a mother it is also my job to prepare those children for the reality of society at large, and that “ain’t pretty” as they say. Many of the well-known banned books have life lessons children need to learn, and they should learn them…at the appropriate age for the subject matter. Recently our eldest read “Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain, a book banned due to racial slurs and immoral character portrayals. At the time of publication the book was banned for the same reasons, people didn’t want blacks and Native American’s portrayed the way they were in the story. However, how they are written is how they were treated. Should the lesson that people should not be treated as inferior to each other be dismissed because it’s not a nice subject matter? No. It should be taught. By giving him this book to read his eyes were opened a bit more to an injustice that he was already seeing in reality, it gave him a comfortable means to approach the subject with his parents. That is the benefit to literature, when presented at the appropriate stage, it teaches the truth of life.

 Audience, Reasons, and Why:

        As a life-long lover of books my chosen path is a degree in English Language & Literature with the eventual certification and degree of a Masters of Library Sciences. I feel very passionately about books and their availability. As a child I remember spending hours reading even after having just spent all day at school and half my evening on homework. One of my favorite family outings was always the trip to our local library; so much so that I can “remember” the smell of the entry way and both the upstairs children’s library and the “adult” library downstairs. Our family couldn’t afford all the latest gadgets. By the time computers started to become more common in households we still couldn’t afford to rent one. The public library is where we studied, where we went for books, and where we fostered our imaginations with free community children’s classes. Those circumstances exists for many families these days as well which makes the funding of public libraries (and schools) such a dire need to a community. That need and my love of books is why I am so passionate about literature. It is also why I am so interested in how the popularity of e-books has been affecting libraries’ ability to keep up with technology and book demands.

         I believe that outside of my classmates research into either of the topics should be (or could be) presented to government officials. The government chooses how much to spend on education and public services…both of which libraries provide. By limiting funding to libraries we limit resources to the poor, which affects communities which affects the population on the whole. As a society we are one, and we are only “as strong as [our] weakest link”.

 (p.s. The library of my childhood smelled like knowledge and love and fun.)  

That’s what I had to say about that! ;)-

Enjoy the slideshow of random images inspired by my babbling some of which made me smile reaaaaaally wide. Leave me a comment with your favorite banned book & Author!

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Day Three

Today was a typical spring Monday for my family and I. Little started soccer season with her first practice, HH and I had to work and rush home to get to said practice, and I have two chapters to read for class. Okay that last one is a new Spring thing.

This time last year I had only been discussing the possibility of returning to school. Obviously I have. 🙂

I somehow managed to write a very rough draft to the beginning of a random chapter of Amesha. What is that? That’s the working title for the story I’m writing during Camp NaNoWriMo.

Word count for today: 1428

Previous word count: 50

Total word count: 1478

*Pats myself on the back.* Now it’s time to get my read on!

Yep that’s about 100% accurate!

Angel Camp

I decided to do CampNaNoWriMo this year. It will be my first time doing camp but I’ve done NaNoWriMo before. Since I have only one class it may be doable to get to my goal of 30,000 words this month. I’m at about fifty so far. 


I didn’t do any writing yesterday. Today I wrote a two page paper for class so technically I was writing for hours!!! I also had to do an outline for my class project, complete my financial aid paper for the upcoming school year, and help HH with tax stuff. Yep all done today. Go me! 

Story wise there were 50 words done. There was also naming done and roles decided for each. It’s not much but it’s something. 

If you want to look me up my user name for Camp and NaNoWriMo is the same (avwebb78). Now for some virtual s’mores! 

Happiness

Week one of term 17EW4 has begun. This term I am taking “Contemporary Health”, it’s a wellness class. The first discussion post prompt is the following:

Do you agree with the statement: You can not be fully happy unless you make the choice to strive for happiness on a regular basis.

My thoughts on the matter: 😉

           I don’t agree with the statement: You cannot be fully happy unless you make the choice to strive for happiness on a regular basis. Saying that would mean that happiness is a straightforwardly defined feeling or state of mind. However, I believe the article that Dr Brodie posted about Happiness on greatergood.berkeley.edu is more accurate in its definition of what happiness really is. In the article it states “Most of us probably don’t believe we need a formal definition of happiness; we know it when we feel it, and we often use the term to describe a range of positive emotions, including joy, pride, contentment, and gratitude” (greatergood.berkeley.edu).

            As a child I often heard my parents describe me to others as their “happy child”. It was something my father believed that I should always be. If and/or when I showed any emotion that was not that of his “happy” child I was chastised and reprimanded. My mother on the other hand would not reprimand me unless my negative feelings were leading to bad behavior towards others. In hindsight I can point to which of my personality traits developed from that need to make my father not yell and to remain his “happy child”. “Happiness is, to a significant degree, a learned behavior” (Hales, pg 28). Something I never achieved as a child was the ability to be seen as that happy robot he pressured me to be. Also, thanks to hindsight, I’m quite glad I’m not an emotionally void robot.

          I can say with absolute confidence that I’m someone who can’t help but have their heart on their sleeve, a quality I inherited from my father, of course; being told to be something I am not is just not possible, it never has been and never will be. I have no desire to be a robot, nor do I encourage it in others. That is the benefit to my childhood emotional confusion; it has made me more self-conscious of what I say to my kids, to others, and sometimes to myself. It has also brought to my attention that being a “happy person” has little to do with constant attempts to remain in an “ideal” state of one emotion. Life is going to force you to feel everything there is to feel, both good and bad. To achieve a happy life one should spend it living as well as you can by making choices that can foster a good life (when those choices need to be made) and enjoy the positive when it’s there.

 Sources cited

Hales, D. (2017). An invitation to health: live it now! (17th ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning. 

 Happiness. (n.d.) In Greater Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life. Retrieved from http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/happiness/definition

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