Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Dizzying Orbit

So much is happening all at once. With three tests this week, and two papers and project due the next, I've been a little stressed out lately. Thankfully, two of the tests are done now, as well as the project, so my to-do list is getting shorter.

But I'm still finding it difficult to pace myself. I'm trying to do well with my school assignments, however, I'm trying not to lose the time when I want to read, or write, or even just to have family time which will be changing a little in two weeks.

My family met our future puppy a week ago. She's a little black lab, but from the looks of her parents she won't stay little for long. It's kind of funny because I'll be at school most of the time, so Mom and my sister will have to do most of the training, and then I can come home and just play around with her. It'll be great having a dog again.

So anyway, it's more difficult this semester to divide my time the way that I would like. I would love to do some writing, but I'm having a hard enough time trying to write an analytical paper about The Epic of Gilgamesh.......

In a week or so, my schedule will slow back down, and maybe then I'll be able to get some creative projects underway, but right now it feels likes I'm walking around with schoolbooks orbiting my head.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

As the Rain Falls

     The storm rolls in, dark and grey. The clouds fill with droplets until they spill downwards onto the Earth. Storms bring fear and apprehension, though strange children actually enjoy the booming drums and light show in the sky. I used to be one of those strange children, watching out my window, feeling the vibrations of thunder through my fragile bones. The sky would flash, and I would look to see if the bolt struck the ground. I wasn't afraid, all I felt was awe.
     Storms invoke a different feeling in me now that I'm older. Not fear, not apprehension... maybe caution. Maybe it's because I've had to drive to school in the middle of a storm to get to my night class. I know the power that develops when electricity, torrents of rain, and a dark sky combine, and I don't want to risk upsetting the balance. 
     But I also know that the power of a storm can be good. The rain washes over dried up fields, and the waters begin to rise. Rain can bring growth... life refreshed. I try to remind myself of this as I begin to plan the next transition in my life, transferring to finish my degree.
     There are many unanswered questions, will I get the aid I need, will my courses transfer, should I live in a dorm or commute? And then there's the even bigger question, where will I go once I graduate? I don't have all of the answers, and I'm trying not to be anxious about the unknown. 
     I know that rain brings growth, even if the storm brings uncertainty. So I'll stand in the rain and watch as it falls, a sign of better things to come.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Review of Love is a Battlefield

Love Is a BattlefieldLove Is a Battlefield by Annalisa Daughety
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was a bit of a different read for me. At first the beginning chapters didn't grab my interest, but I kept reading to see if the writing would smooth out eventually. Overall, while the story itself was interesting, the writing style was distracting making hard to stay motivated to keep reading. However, the book does have potential, and certainly had it's shining moments. Here are five aspects I liked about the book, as well as five areas that, in my opinion, could have been improved.

Five Good Aspects
1. The portrayal of relationships in the book was realistic, some being wonderful and others not so much. The comradeship between all of the park employees was fun to read.
2. The slow build of the romantic relationship between Kristy and Ace was well done. Their relationship was not instant but built up slowly. My favorite scene was when (view spoiler)
3. Ace was a likable character, in fact I almost liked him more than Kristy. He did his best to understand others, and helped out when he could.
4. In the past I've come across books that drone on and on about historical facts, which I tend to skip over in order to get back to the story. Not so with this book. The historical facts are woven into the story in a way that makes the information interesting and important to the story without being boring.
5. When Zach's character was introduced, I knew that he would play a negative role in the story. However, I really liked how Kristy was compassionate and sympathetic towards Zach, instead of taking her anger out on him.

Five Problem Areas
1. The biggest issue I had with the book was the writing style which relied on a large amount of telling narration and over-explanation. I found that those areas distracted me from the story.
2. Some of the conflict seemed forced, especially towards the end. The death of a hardly mentioned character did not affect me, so I found the conflict after that to be lacking.
3. Throughout the book I just couldn't decide whether I liked Kristy or not. She could be confident and feisty in one chapter, but then whiny and insecure in the next.
4. I didn't mind the fact that Kristy's ex-fiance, Mark, got some attention in the story, but when he (view spoiler) I was a little annoyed.
5. I guess this would be an insignificant issue, and maybe it's because the story is set in a tourist area, but I found it strange that whenever Kristy went to a restaurant it was always busy.

In conclusion, this book took me a bit longer to finish, as I had to force my way through chunks of unneeded explanation, but I did like the story and I'm giving it three stars because it has potential.

View all my reviews

Monday, February 3, 2014

brown carpet
brown like dirt
recycled, filtered air, and awkward silences
outside the ground is covered in sludge
but I would rather be out there
than sitting in this cafe
as souls with empty, lifeless eyes
walk by, ignoring me.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Book Review: The Host

The Host  Loved the book... Can't wait to see the movie! :) ♥m @April Briscuso @Natalia Elliott @Courtney Harden

     Shocking isn't it? I think I shocked myself when I picked up this book at a thrift shop and thought, "Oh, why not." Before, the only example of Stephenie Meyer's writing that I had heard of was the Twilight series, which I purposefully didn't read. I'm not a fan of vampires and the story line just didn't appeal to me, but The Host intrigued me. I had actually found the movie online, watched it and thought the plot was interesting. Which isn't that weird because I tend to like stories of aliens taking over human bodies (Stargate SG-1, anyone?... okay, maybe it's a little weird), but I didn't feel like buying the book and I forgot about it until I found it at the thrift shop.
     The Host takes place on Earth after a race of aliens have taken control. These aliens are small, spidery kind of creatures that are placed into a human's brain stem and the "soul" take over the human mind and body. Normally, after the joining the human host disappears, but when a soul named Wanderer is placed into Melanie, Wanderer is overwhelmed with Melanie's emotions, thoughts, memories, and even hear's Melanie's voice inside of her head. At first, Melanie and Wanderer fight for control but as Melanie shares memories of her brother Jamie, and her boyfriend, Jared, Wanderer begins to develop feelings for them as well. Melanie convinces Wanderer to go find them, as they were going to search for more people of the resistance, humans who had been able to avoid capture. 

     When Wanderer/Melanie eventually find the resistance including Jared and Jamie, the group wants to kill her thinking that she is a spy who will tell other souls where the group is hiding. But Jeb, the leader of the group gives Wanderer a chance, gradually letting her contribute and help around the settlement. Over time Wanda, as Jeb calls her, gains the trust of Jamie and is able to share her side of the story. Jared is harder to convince, and when Wanda begins to receive romantic attention from Ian, another member of the settlement, it causes disagreements between Wanda and Melanie. With souls searching the area, tensions in the settlement, and Wanda knowing of way to safely remove a soul from the host without hurting either body, Wanda must decide if she'll remain in Melanie's body or sacrifice herself so that Melanie can be with the people they have both grown to love.

     Surprisingly, I really enjoyed reading The Host. It took me awhile to get through the first few chapters while Melanie is trying to convince Wanderer to go find Jamie and Jared, but once they arrived at the settlement I couldn't put the book down. Literally, it took most of the day to read and I think only put the book down to eat lunch. Melanie and Wanda's struggles are believable and the characters themselves are likable, though personally, I related better to Wanda than Melanie, but that's probably just because the story is told from Wanda's point of view. It is a character driven story and really shows how different characters grow and mature as the story progresses. Wanda comes to understand the way humans function and wants to protect them. Melanie starts off as taunting voice in Wanda's mind but as the two begin to know each other and experience life together, by the end of the story, they are really good friends and Melanie pleads with Wanda not to sacrifice herself. I liked how life in the settlement was portrayed, it certainly wasn't glamorous, people were defensive and grouchy, even the romantic relationships were not rainbows and butterflies, but everyone worked together to survive. The Host was definitely much better than what I expected and I'll most likely read it again.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Preemie Crochet Hat

     A few weeks ago after searching and searching I couldn't find just a simple baby hat that I could crochet. The patterns that I was finding on Pinterest were either too girly, had too many different stitches or just time consuming. So I made up my own pattern. This pattern (for the preemie size) only has 8 rounds so it works up pretty fast and it uses simple double crochet with just one round of decreasing. 
Let me know if there are any mistakes in the pattern.

  • Caron Simply Soft or similar yarn.
  • Size H crochet hook

dc - double crochet
dc2tog - double crochet 2 together (decrease)
sc - single crochet

Round 1: Chain 5. 15 dc in 5th chain from hook, join with slip stitch.
[Begin working in back loops only]

Round 2: Chain 2, 1 dc in same stitch as chain, 2 dc in each stitch to end, join with slip stitch.

Round 3-4: Chain 2, *1 dc in next stitch, 2 dc in next stitch* repeat around, join with slip stitch.

Round 5-6: Chain 2, 1 dc in each stitch to end, join with slip stitch.

Round 7: Chain 2, *dc2tog in next stitch, 1 dc in next stitch* repeat around, join with slip stitch.

Round 8: Chain 2, 1 sc in each stitch to end, join with slip stitch.
Fasten Off.