Why I’m Bad at Writing Book Reviews; Plus, a Book Review!

Okay, so today I’m going to write you a short book review because I read things.  Lots of things.  No big surprise, I know.  Two English degrees and I’ve been working as a bookseller for most likely way too long.  I read books, I love books, I know books.

Now, confession time: I am terrible at writing book reviews(not a surprise, assuming you read the title of this post).  I blame this on the fact that I have the shortest memory ever, and also on the fact that I look online and read these fabulous gigantic things that are essentially books by themselves (short books—maybe kids books?) and they’re funny and thought provoking (I laugh, I cry, I make scrunchy angry faces) and they’re also a little daunting.  I cannot for the life of me write these type of book reviews.  I don’t know why, they just automatically give me intense writers block and then I suddenly become overcome with this feeling of sadness because clearly you’re a failure of a writer (and a reader) if you can’t write a witty book review.  Why did I bother with that MA?

I cannot be the only writer who suffers from this.  And I swear, I’m fine when I’m working at the bookstore.  I can babble on for hours about books I love.  I even had customers (a husband and wife) film me once to send to their mother for whom they were buying the book (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society) because my review of it was that amazing and entertaining that they made me say it all over again to record on their cell phone.  They knew that she would absolutely want to read the book (Which is excellent and will absolutely give you the warm fuzzies.  Everyone needs the warm fuzzies once in a while.) if she heard me rambling on and on about how amazing it was.  That said, I did think it was a bit weird to be recorded (it was a very nice couple, maybe ten years older than me…though now I’m having awful Borders flashbacks…) but, for the record, I happen to be that enthusiastic about that particular book…and therefore my review probably was that spectacular.  I have no idea if this woman ever read or liked the book, but that isn’t the point. Continue reading

The Bookstore Lorax

I meant to put this guy up the other day when I finished him, but it’s been one of those weeks.  And so here I am today with him.  Take a moment to consider how many dead trees we have in the store, and what the Lorax (who speaks for them) would think of that.  I feel that he’d probably be a Kindle user.

Final Lorax

I actually have a process for these.  Back when I first started making them, Patricia and I were considering what would work the best to paint on since they were going to live in such an odd space (on top of bookshelves).  Canvas would be too expensive, plus we’d actually have to hang them.  So we ended up picking foam board which was both a good and bad thing. Continue reading

Happy New Year!

Subtitle: New Coloring Bookmarks, Maybe?  These ones are going to be “Coloring Bookmarks in Space!”


That’s a little preview.  I have one completed, one drafted, and one not drafted (but I know what I want it to look like, which is something. Continue reading

First Officer Douglas Richardson on the Millennium Falcon

I’ll admit that I have a Cabin Pressure problem (read: obsession).

I don’t really think it’s a problem; really I don’t.  I happen to like it.  Plus, I have this brand new talent to relate absolutely anything to Cabin Pressure.  And I mean anything.  Because MJN pilots, Star Wars pilots…makes perfect sense.


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On Writing and Not Washing the Car

Hello internet.  It has been a long while.  I keep telling myself that I need to get back on here and write things, and then I psych myself out thinking that my first post back on my blog needs to be perfect and then I chicken out and don’t do it at all.  It’s an endless cycle, and a really stupid one at that.

Thus said, I wanted to share something that’s really been inspiring me the past few months.  I’ve been trying to write more and more, and therefore read more and more, and generally be a more productive individual.  I have goals I want to accomplish, gosh darn it, and I’m going to do it.

This is from Stephen King’s book On Writing.  I had, admittedly, never read anything by him up to this point, but I picked it up one day while working at the bookstore and didn’t put it down.  It doesn’t so much give you little nitty gritty details about the inner workings of language, plot, or what-have-you; but it does highlight the fact that writing isn’t an easy thing in a way that managed to convince me to get over all of the useless telling myself that I’m going to do something and actually do it.  My favorite quote:

“…it’s writing, damn it, not washing the car or putting on eyeliner.  If you can take it seriously, we can do business.  If you can’t or won’t, it’s time for you to close the book and do something else.

Wash the car maybe.” (107)

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Amy and Angela’s Adventures Underground

Underground as in caverns…because caves are different.  Trust me.

Outside the CavernsAmy and I ventured to the lovely Florida Caverns State Park today to check out their lovely Caverns.   Continue reading

Happy Fourth of July!

I hope everyone is having an awesome Independence Day so far!  You may remember our little neighborhood bike parade from last year.  This years parade was (surprisingly) sunnier than last years, regardless of the fact that there’s a hurricane currently running up the Eastern coastline.  Our prayers are with everyone in Hurricane Arthur’s path.

Ready to Ride Continue reading

Graduation! Finally!!

Hello all! Its been such a long time! Since January, in fact. Too long. But I have good news (well, I think it’s good news). I’m done. What do I mean done? Well, take a look at this fabulous hat. Graduation SelfiePretty fabulous, no?  I didn’t take it off for the rest of the day, although that was, in large part, due to the wonderful things it did to my hair.

The Crew

My family braved the 12 hour trip to come see me (and they brought cookies!), not to mention braving the long sit at the Georgia Dome, plus the awfulness that was trying to get out of the Georgia Dome.  (P.S. Georgia State, the long underground maze thing was confusing and unnecessary and made us all feel a bit like cattle).  The ceremony was decent despite the huge wait and the awfulness once it ended.  Our speaker wasn’t fantastic but she didn’t drone on for an hour and a half about nothing like when my dad graduated back in high school, so that was lovely.  Stopping points are nice.

The downside to graduating everyone in the school at the exact same time (as somewhat expected, and no, they don’t call your name anymore) was that there were a million of us on that field and it was hard to find your family in the crowd/they couldn’t find you.  Greg sent me a text right after they first herded us in that reads, “throwing your hands up like you just don’t care wont help us find you.” What insight.  Thanks Greg.

Also, Georgia State, this would have been cool if…


…we had been forewarned, like the audience had, that there was going to be an explosion.  Most of it had fallen once we all managed to figure out that no one had actually tried to blow up the building, its was just confetti, and no, we didn’t need to hide under our chairs.  Not that anyone did hide under their chair.  But I asked everyone around me and I wasn’t the only one who freaked out and thought that the building absolutely MUST be on fire.

So…after the confetti, and trudging through the field trying not to trip on confetti, and the lovely wandering in underground circles bit, we all emerged into the cloudy, grey day and tried very very hard to find our families.  And then after we finally found our families (trust me, this was a challenge) we went and sat in our cars.  And we sat and we sat and we sat.  What better way to end a lovely graduation than with a traffic jam?  Eventually we did make it home for dinner(home as in the Macaroni Grill near home):

Graduation Dinner

And then, we traveled back in time to the Thursday previous and witnessed the ceremony where GSU actually called my name.

I was, of course, the awkward one on the stage.  The first thing I did was drop the paper that I was supposed to hand over to Dr. Dobranski.  I was the only one who dropped anything.  Out of 3 departments worth of students.  I’m probably the only one who noticed that, but dropping things in front of large groups of people can make you seriously self conscious. :)

I want to thank all my family, friends, and professors and anyone else who helped me out on my supremely long journey.  It feels good to finally be done.  Thank you Grandma Alice, Grandma Bessie, Aunt Polly, Aunt Vera, and (technically) Greg for driving all that way to see me.  Thanks Mom and Dad, for, you know, being wonderful, supportive, loving…just the best parents ever.  True story.  And congrats to all the other graduates out there, all the high schoolers (Rachel!), and my preschoolers and kindergartners(whom I hear did a fabulous job preforming at their graduation ceremoies!)!!!!!!!!!!! Moments like that deserve a few extra exclamations!


Chef Boyardee Pizza

Growing up we never ate Spaghettios or Chef Boyardee Ravioli.  Other kids must have, but for us that was fake Italian and the simple presence of it in our house would have been blasphemous to our Italian heritage.  Imagine my surprise a few weeks ago when my dad started reminiscing about the Chef Boyardee Pizza kits he remembers from childhood.  And then imagine my further surprise when, after joking about it with Greg for the entire winter break, he actually finds said pizza kits at Publix and buys one.  (And for less than $3, you can go get your own!)

Hat not included.

And of course Greg headed back to college before he got the chance to suffer (did I say suffer? I meant enjoy…) through the Chef Boyardee Pizza Maker experience.  Continue reading

Merry Christmas-The Magical Night of Lights

Michael and I pre-celebrated on Monday and went to Lake Lanier’s Magical Night’s of Lights with Jonathan and Taryn.  I don’t know that I’d call the experience magical, but I was certainly glad to get to hang out with the new Mr. and Mrs. Blanton for the first time since their wedding.

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