My Reading List So Far This Year (2017)

Reading is, by far, one of my favorite things to do. That feeling you get when you finish a book is like no other. I love it when I pick up on allusions in books, or references to other books or writers that I’ve read. I definitely haven’t read as many books as I was hoping this year, but since I got a new library card for the library by my work, it has helped a lot. When I check out a book, it’s more of a requirement to finish it ūüôā Here are the books (that I can remember) and a little synopsis that I’ve read this year.

  1. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwoodall the ugly
    I ordered this book through Book of the Month Club because it was rated Book of the Year in their system, and I can see why. I’d definitely call this one of my all time favorite books. It moved me emotionally throughout the whole book, and showed me a different perspective on tough matters such as appropriate age differences¬†of¬†dating. Wavy is the daughter of a meth dealer and an addict, and this book portrays her life growing up from a young child to an adult. It becomes a powerful love story that will definitely stick in your mind weeks after finishing it.
  2. Your Voice in my Head by Emma Forrest-
    your voiceThis memoir was very captivating for me as I could relate to many of the behavioral and addiction/men issues Emma wrote about. Emma writes about being an English journalist living in America, her experiences through mania and depression, and her experiences through different relationships in her life. Beautifully written with a witty voice, I would definitely recommend this memoir to all of my girlfriends.
  3. Into the Water by Paula Hawkins-
    I was SO excited to read this book because I absolutely LOVED¬†The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. I could barely wait for this book to come out and almost pre into the waterordered it. I ended up forgetting about it and checking it out at the library when I randomly went in there one day during my lunch break. And let me tell you now, this book definitely wasn’t as good as TGOTT. I feel like Hawkins was so excited about how well her first novel did, so she rushed to get another one out. I could be wrong, though. It just seemed all over the place- the characters weren’t developed well, there was less of a mystery, and seemed pretty unoriginal. Oh well, it was still a fast read.
  4. Snow White: A Graphic Novel by Matt Phelan-
    I was introduced to Graphic Novels in my Young Adult Literature course at CSU and snow whitehave been obsessed ever since. There are many retellings of classic stories through graphic novels (sort of like comic books) which become compelling, short, and visually stimulating reads to potentially help kids enjoy reading. I read the Farenheit 451 retelling, which was quite awesome. This Snow White retelling was pretty good, but I guess I expected more dialogue. The drawings are very beautiful! And it literally took me 5 minutes to get through.
  5. All our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai-
    all or wrong todaysThis is a crazy, fast paced, compelling book about time travel, futuristic societies, love, and relationships. I liked that the chapters were only about 2 pages long, so it felt like a fast-paced roller coaster. The narrator is hilarious and the writer is beautifully descriptive- here’s an awesome quote I took away: “Maturity colonizes your adolescent mind, like an ultraviolet photograph of a vast cosmic nebula that turns out, on closer examination, to be a pointillist self portrait.”

There were also a few other books that I started to read, and didn’t quite finish-¬†Truth and Beauty by Ann Patchett,¬†The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene, and¬†Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough. I probably won’t go back and read the Ann Patchett, but I will probably go back to the others when I find time. The Art of Seduction is extremely lengthy and can be quite repetitive, but it is very interesting. And Behind Her Eyes is a thriller, and I just didn’t finish it because of the many different things that started at my life during that time.

I’m excited to get more books and keep on reading! Please let me know in the comments if you’ve read any of these, what your thoughts are, or if you have any book recommendations! Thanks!

 

 

 

 

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Embrace Your Muse

“You will know that you have found your muse when you encounter a force that makes you feel courageous enough to broaden the range of your creativity. The presence of this force will erase your self-doubt and motivate you to give your thoughts and feelings form.”

“If you surround yourself with people who support you, keep a pen and paper handy, immerse yourself in culture, and brainstorm frequently, you will soon reconnect with your muse.”

-Madisyn Taylor

Every day I get emailed an inspirational little tid-bit from a site called¬†Daily Om.¬†I don’t always get around to reading them, but yesterday I read the email and the subject was about Embracing your Muse. As an aspiring writer, and a human in general, I am very curious about inspiration- how inspiration works, how to be inspired, how to express myself in what inspires me. I’m so glad I read this article because it inspired me to think about what my muses are- what motivates me to have that creative spark.

I’d definitely have to say one of my greatest muses is God. I am inspired and awed by God’s work in my life on a daily basis, and what he has gotten me through in the last 10 years of my life. I have experienced pain, hurt, loss, death, grief, addiction, depression… you name it. I believe these struggles that I went through helped me become a stronger person, and that God got me through them and brought me to where I am today. This last year has been a spiritual journey for me, and I feel like I am closer to God now than I have ever been, and I feel truly blessed.

But let’s go back to those painful experiences for a moment. The times that I wrote the most and seemed to have the most inspiration was when I was going through the hardest times of my life- especially the death of my grandmother and heart break. At those times I didn’t know what else to do with myself- I was brimming with sadness and pain, and the only thing I knew what to do with these emotions was to write it down on paper. Some of my most meaningful poetry and creative expressions were written during these times. And now, I embrace these difficult times and feel grateful for them, because I have experiences that will help me be a better person and writer.

In my opinion, being a writer is all about experiences and story telling. I’m inspired all the time by books- I think about how the writer came up with the ideas they wrote about, and what they experienced in their actual lives to be inspired to write those stories. My new goal is to remain aware for when things come up that inspire me or strike my curiosity. I try to always have a notebook with me so I can write down ideas or thoughts I want to explore. From now on, I will embrace my muse(s), remain curious, and explore environments that support my creativity.

Insurmountable

We are

the expendables-

how extraordinary

is the notion

that we could be gone

from this world

tomorrow

maybe some people

weren’t made

for this world-

their pain is felt

more than most.

It is all relative.

Contextual, at best-

the differences in

our lives,

insurmountable

 

JHF

Risk

I often wonder what it feels like

to be you

A lyric stolen from a song

A line of a poem

never to be published

The intangible things

are somehow just as critical

as the ones

screaming at you.

The crimson red flags

you choose not to trust

at first

How does it feel to be perceived

as a risk

to someone else’s well-being?

How does it feel

to be perceived at all?

Friends

Friends, you said

friends is what you’d like to be.

My friendship means the world to you,

you said.

Another reason

why trusting people’s words

never comes easy to me.

Maybe your

definition of friendship

is different than mine.

Friends don’t hurt

each other-

At first I considered

taking you up on this friendship option-

Yes, please, I said.

And instantly regretted it.

You said,

not yet,

anyway.

Maybe someday.

Fuck you.

Somebody Else

This morning, I was driving to the gym before work like I have been each morning the past couple of weeks. The radio was on my favorite alternative rock station, 93.3. It’s usually a calm, peaceful, short drive. A song came on, and it sounded like a song from the 80’s, kind of Depeche Mode-esque. It hit a cord in me, ¬†even though I hadn’t really listened to the lyrics yet. I “shazamed” it and listened to it on Spotify as I was working out. “Somebody Else” by The 1975.

And. It. Hit Me.

Emotions I have been trying to avoid for the last 4-5 months. Sometimes I allow them to come up to the surface. But then I tell myself that I “shouldn’t” be sad about it, and he doesn’t deserve my tears, and blah blah blah. I tell myself I’m over it. I tell myself I’m over the last one, just like I’m over the one before, and the one before that. But this song brought up the emotions of all of them. The same sense of abandonment, of hurt, of being replaced by somebody else. And as I write this, I don’t know what else to say. I’m at work, and I will not allow the emotions to get as far as letting tears out. Maybe I’m not over it. Maybe there will always be a missing piece of my heart, maybe three pieces. Three tears I’ll save for you.

So I heard you found somebody else
And at first I thought it was a lie
I took all my things that make sounds
The rest I can do without
I don’t want your body
But I hate to think about you with somebody else
Our love has gone cold
You’re intertwining your soul with somebody else
I’m looking through you while you’re looking through your phone
And then leaving with somebody else
No, I don’t want your body
But I’m picturing your body with somebody else
Come on baby
This ain’t the last time that I’ll see your face
Come on baby
You said you’d find someone to take my place
I just don’t believe that you have got it in you ’cause
We are just gonna keep ‘doin’ it’ and everytime
I start to believe in anything you’re saying
I’m reminded that I should be getting over it
I don’t want your body
But I hate to think about you with somebody else
Our love has gone cold
You’re intertwining your soul with somebody else
I’m looking through you while you’re looking through your phone
And then leaving with somebody else
No, I don’t want your body
But I’m picturing your body with somebody else
I don’t want your body, I don’t want your body
I don’t want your body, I don’t want your body
I don’t want your body, I don’t want your body
Get someone you love?
Get someone you need?
Fuck that, get money
I can’t give you my soul ’cause we’re never alone
Get someone you love?
Get someone you need?
Fuck that, get money
I can’t give you my soul ’cause we’re never alone
Get someone you love?
Get someone you need?
Fuck that, get money
I can’t give you my soul ’cause we’re never alone
Get someone you love?
Get someone you need?
Fuck that, get money
I can’t give you my soul ’cause we’re never alone
I don’t want your body
But I hate to think about you with somebody else
Our love has gone cold
You’re intertwining your soul with somebody else
I’m looking through you while you’re looking through your phone
And then leaving with somebody else
No, I don’t want your body
But I’m picturing your body with somebody else

Blogging

This, my “blog”, has become a little bit of a burden. I feel like there might be a better word to explain it, but “burden” fits it for now. I’ve had it since 2013, and have used it for many different purposes. But now I feel like it’s just sitting here, wasting away, because I don’t know how to use it, what to write about, who my audience is, and all of these questions keep burdening me to the point where I just don’t write for it anymore.

I have a private blog that I write in almost every day- just super random thoughts, notes, reminders, etc. I also journal still. But writing for a public-ish audience still frightens me.

I definitely miss the days of writing papers for school. Researching topics, Writing about the potential meanings of books… Learning about the world and exploring it deeper by expressing myself on paper.

Now that I’m not in school and I have a job and busy schedule, it’s hard to find the time to just sit down and write, let alone think of a compelling topic to write about. I think writing solely about myself must be a bore. But then again, the purpose is for me getting my voice out there, and finding my vibe along the way. I can’t give up. I can’t lose hope. I’m just¬†going to keep writing.

Reminder

Just in case you forgot…. “You can measure your worth by your dedication to your path not by your successes or failures. You can battle your demons instead of battling your gifts- in part by realizing that your demons were never the ones doing the work, anyhow. You can believe that you are neither a […]

Scents

I’ve lost so many friends this year. And I wonder, is it my fault? And I don’t want to know the answer to that question. Is it because we were never truly friends in the first place? Is it because nothing is real anymore? People place so much value on their social media accounts and appearances. Nothing is real anymore. Forced. Fake. Fragile. Broken. No one wants to share their broken pieces and let others help them mend them back together. Pride. We are all broken. Lost. Lonely. Scared. I can smell it, the putrid fragrance that¬†develops densely,¬†deep within the bones. The scent¬†pierces my nostrils, envelopes my lungs, sneaks into my pores. It becomes me, and I become it. I take it on. It conforms me.

Empowerment of the Day

My motivation/empowerment/mantra for the day…

I am a fucking badass rock star. I just went through one of the most difficult things anyone will EVER go through, an 18 month confrontational therapy based therapeutic community. I’m deprogramming and getting back into the real world, socializing, contemplating, living, planning, working, breathing, staying sober, praying, laughing, singing, dancing, writing, reading, loving, sharing, bonding, being. It’s all up to me now. I create my destiny, I desire myself and my future, I see myself finally. Sure, sometimes I get anxiety and fear that fills me up to the brim until I start to leak, but I breathe and live through it without destroying myself.

My life is my message, my life is my lesson. I will never cower away from it again. I will never shrink down again. I will stand up and hold my head high. I won’t allow you to be a part of my life or plan unless you have something positive and meaningful to bring to the table. I can be a bitch now, I give myself permission. I won’t allow you to take up space in my life or head if your intentions are to use me, if your intentions are dishonest and below mediocre. I can tell now, and I won’t allow it to move on a stagnant,¬†meaningless level. I’m not ignorant, I’m not stupid, I’m not shallow, I’m not weak, I’m not that girl anymore. I’m a wise young woman with a head full of knowledge and a heart full of pure amazingness. I am beautiful not only on the outside, but on the inside as well.¬†I literally cannot be stopped, and that is the most exhilarating feeling in the universe. I am my own universe. Sometimes I can’t help but let the words flow freely, and share them with the universe, because a little part of myself is transferred and I get positivity transferred back. Thank God I had the courage to make that one decision that would influence the rest of my life, and I am living it.