Tag Archives: love

Ode to Writing & Prompt Reminder

In honor of Valentine’s Day I’d like to post about three love-related announcements (and some delightfully adorable Deadpool-related photos because that movie blew my heart wide open).maxresdefault

97c1efd3d4e609e3e80ddea777290b261) Reminder that you can submit a story from the love/superhero themed prompts selected at the beginning of the month to me atAmyoung0606@gmail.com beginning 2/22, which will be published on this here humble blog. See HERE for this month’s prompts and HERE for my post about how I’m writing mine for this month.

 

2)I traveled all the way across the internet to one of my favorite author’s blogs in order to post what I love about writing. She was gracious enough to allow me onto her blog space in addition to putting up with my super fan antics as I continue to gush and fawn over her writing on a daily basis. Read my short post here!

3) I’ve written a poem. Not a good poem, but a poem nonetheless. This poem expresses my love of writing. Enjoy!

Ode to Writing

Every word I write, I love you more.

Every scratch of my pen, I know you more.

A plot device there, a metaphor there,

Brings me closer to who you are

Late nights with strained eyes—burned out creator,

I yearn for you to reveal your true nature.
I dream of life for you beyond these walls.

With friends, strangers, readers young and old.

You, dear creation, will be a book one day.

It is my love for you that paves the way.

images (2)

Happy Reading and writing!!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

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February Prompt: Superpowers and A Sexy Spandex Mercenary

Hello my sexy spandex-covered minions!

deadpool

February 2016 begins a special month. And no, it’s actually not because it’s Leap Year or because there’s Valentine’s Day. It’s because February marks some big goals beginning and one of the most exciting cinematic “debuts” to hit the silver screen.

First, let’s discuss my impending revisions for Dollhouse Daughter. It’s been two months since I’ve graduated with my MFA and I’ve let the manuscript sit and percolate and my brain to forget all of late nights and dead end ideas while writing her third full draft.

It’s time for……..REVISIONS, EDITS, AND CUTS.

Dun dun duuuuuuuuun!

[gasp here please]

But Mistress Spotted Writer (yes, yes that’s me), revisions stink. Why not take more time away and work on something new. Give yourself a bit of break. They tell you to leave a manuscript for 6 months before revising again. Well, they don’t have a second half of a book to write and major structural arcs to re-develop. I do. And so, as I journey this February into the land of red pen markings and cut up manuscript pages, but not without some built-in fun.

Now, onto the fun part of February. If you haven’t guess by the first photo in the post it’s:

sdfsdfsd

Deadpool. I’ve never been more excited about a comic book movie. Even when I learned that Emma Frost was going to be in Wolverine Origins (she wasn’t bad) and then in X-Men First Class (where the writers kind of dug Emma Frost into the ground. Sorry January Jones, not your fault) I was not this excited. Arguably, my interest lies most in Ryan Reynolds’s being cast as Deadpool rather than my love of Deadpool. Don’t worry, I love the Merc with a Mouth plenty, but it’s the perfect casting that makes me so excited.

Reynolds has been preparing for this role since he was born. He fits the character’s background and style to a tee, and he loves the character. With those elements, plus the correct rating (R for Really Fuckin’ Awesome), add a sprinkle of delightfully on point soundtrack music, and a devoted and equally enthusiastic director and you have the recipe for the perfect comic book movie.

And thus my excitement and LOVE of the Deadpool movie has inspired a very SUPER list of writing prompts for this month.

deadpool2As usual you have until the last week of February 2/22-2/28 to submit to me your piece so that I can publish it on my blog for all of my followers and the world to read. This month I’ll be better about reminders and perhaps even slip in a submission of my own since all of these prompts are so crazy this month. Send all submissions to Amyoung0606@gmail.com

Just remember, Deadpool never gives up when he wants to kill someone, and this exercise is to help you never give up on your writing,  to have fun, and maybe even kick some bad guys in the chimichangas. Don’t feel you have to make it perfect or share. Just write. Write for you. Write for your character. Write for Deadpool. Just write something and get your creativity on the page/screen.

February Prompts:

1. Write a story about a garage sale that isn’t full of your usual selection of ragtag junk but instead is offering bargain prices of intangible, abstract items like “true love,” “unbreakable courage,” the ability to control minds,” “x-ray visios,” etc.

2. Write a story about a character who goes on vacation for the summer, suffered in an accident (chemical spill, magic spell, car crash, ice cream accident) and returns home with a superpower that is summer-themed. Like harnessing the sun to make laser beam from their palms or they can turn any food or liquid into ice cream at will.

3. The idea of casting a love spell on someone is unethical because it takes away that person’s free will. The love is therefore not real. Write a story about a character who casts a love spell on another character.

Happy reading and writing! And don’t forget:

deadpool_pancakes_by_cystemic

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For the Love of Books–Why Doesn’t The World See It?

Now this may seem a little rash, especially considering everyone on the planet may not share my intense love of reading, but why do people cringe when you say you like to read? I mean, honestly, I must have slept in the day that the universe voted in reading as the most un-cool thing a person could do.

bookloveThe horror of hearing people refer to reading as: boring, useless, waste of time, stupid, nerdy (not that it’s a bad thing), and overall an obligation for school only. The ability to read is one of the most fantastic aspects of being a human being, but too many people choose to reject it in favor of being “cool.”

I recently heard a conversation between two people discussing the Harry Potter books. The guy in the conversation commented on how he couldn’t get involved in the movie because he didn’t understand the point. My inner self cringed at the statement because it was so simply incorrect. How can a book designed for 10 year old’s be too difficult to understand the simplified movie version? Ignoring the blatant silliness of him comment, the girl responds that she doesn’t get the movie either. Well, DUH! Read the book first! Alas, I feel like I am simply talking to myself in this regard because these kinds of people don’t read. They don’t have time for it or they have better things to do. What could be more entertaining and enjoyable than escaping into some other life, some other world for a few hours.

Here are a few quotes that explain exactly how I feel about books and why other people should too. It is just simply necessary, so much that once you start reading you shouldn’t want to stop. I bring a book to work every day and read during my lunch because what else do I have better to do to fill the empty moments in time than to open my mind up to the hundreds of possibilities that books have to offer.

room readings booksa

While it may sound a little extreme to call reading a drug–it is! As many book lovers know, it is so easy to get sucked into the world an author created that you almost lose your will to do anything else. You eat, drink, dream about the story. It’s as if a movie is playing continuously in your head until you are done with the book, and then you start a new one and the cycle begins again. Unlike drugs, there is no downside. I wish I could show the non-readers how truly fantastic a story can be in your life when you have become so immersed that your emotions overflow into laughter, tears, and even yelling at the book.

221872719112785668_CS3CrhHr_bNot only do books provide the best entertainment possible because of their limitless possibilities, but they provide a primal need in all of us to escape from the harsh realities of life. Books release you from the obligation of responsibilities, sometimes even providing insight into life’s problems. It provides closure to the heartbroken/grieving, provides a sense of companionship in similar situations, and lastly a sense of wonder in the human condition.

Even more importantly, books are common interest for so many different people that it could potentially be an easy way to find a significant other, but most people find reading an unattractive quality. As it has shown over time, women were not allowed to read and it was frowned upon when they did. It doesn’t make much sense to oppress people’s wish to read, but it seems like we are backtracking into older, less intelligent ways by looking down on those that choose to read in their spare time. Sad, but true.

books love

To me, one of the best dates I have been on in a long time is when my boyfriend and I went out for lunch and he suggested going to the book store afterward. I was thrilled, since he is normally a non-reader. We ended up spending an hour or two in Barnes and Noble browsing the book section and my boyfriend even picked out a book. Although he would rather have me read the book than read it himself, he is open and admires my love of books. Our date concluded with me reading two chapters of his news book on the way home from the store.

I simply have such a irrevocable love for stories and the people who write them that I feel it is my duty to show how truly astounding books can be. It is not just a hobby, part of my job, or entertainment. It is a way of life–a part of your soul, to have the many characters of books influence the way you think about your choices and emotions.

book tattoo

There is a permanent impact that books make on a person’s life similar to the adorable tattoo shown above that is undeniable to any avid bookworm. Books make life exciting, they thrill, teach, amaze, and change people with simple words on a page/screen. I only hope that this age of “reading is dumb or uncool” starts to fade with the introduction of massed produced e-books and e-readers to bring back a much needed revival of the love of book reading.

Happy reading and writing! Just a reminder, book are our friends show them some love and read them!

love books

 

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Family Ties: Knotted or Ripping at the Seams

Being that family is the main focus of my novel, I thought now was the right time to discuss how important it is to have a realistic family in a fictional novel. The easiest part is picking the perfect family.

The American Dream

You want your story to have it all—the nuclear family, maybe some pets, except the perfect family does not exist. What we have in our minds of what a family should be is not what people should be in the pages of a book. People want to relate to your story and there is no better way to relate than to provide an honest picture of family. It can be difficult to pinpoint the aspects of family that everyone can relate to, but there is one fact that remains true. Family can bend and break because it’s not a perfect, fragile piece of glass. Instead, I needed to think of it as a flexible, powerful rope that even when cut can be knotted back together. My fictional family is less than perfect, struggling to survive in a new place, but always working to stay as one.

 

One of the hardest tricks to master when building your fictional family is the flaws in the relationships between the members. Flaws in characters are difficult, but flaws in relationships are complicated times two or four. My task in constructing the Brooks family was making each family member was then showing how they interact. Looking in on my own family, I realize that your personal relationships are the best way to learn–the good, bad, and unusual.  Every day I can be grateful knowing that every moment I spend with my family allows me to give more in my writing.

If a perfect family is unrealistic, then the writer of any story must consider what kind of family would suit the story. In my case, the nuclear family was both familiar and useful to the story. What more does an American family need to be than a Mom, Dad, brother, and sister? It gives me the room I need to develop strong women, vulnerable men, and a family ready to overcome each other’s differences. In the long haul, this idea saves you from the expectation that every family is the same or better than your own. Rather, what they are expected to do is pick you up when you have reached the bottom and show you what family truly means. It means caring for each other for the flaws that bond you, not just in blood, but in love too.

I hope this post inspires you to bring some of the hope and maybe a little dysfunction of your family into your writing.

 

Happy reading and writing!!!

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The Tell-Tale Heart: My Love Poe

Creepy and mysterious!

So, I think it’s time for me to confess my love for Edgar Allan Poe. As sure as I am a lover of books and aspiring writer, I have loved Poe from the moment I picked up a middle school edition of his short stories. Inside this book, I found   the magic of Poe’s writing.  He was a legendary literary critic, poet, and author. I say legendary because his ideas have surpassed just becoming classic literature. They have become a basis upon which people can appreciate writing for its truly powerful purpose.

Even for those who “don’t read” they know Poe’s reputation. He is one of the most famous and revered American authors to date (if that isn’t a fact–it damn well should be). Like all great writers, he has dabbled in a bit of everything, but eventually settled into what he was destined to do. Write horror. He is credited with many contributions to mystery, horror, detective fiction, and science fiction.

Without Poe, the genres detailed above would not be what they are today. He allowed readers to see inside the human mind, and wasn’t afraid to highlight the frightening parts. Yes, I’m talking a big game, but that is only because Poe walked a pretty big walk in his time on Earth. I believe that my love for Poe began when my 8th grade teacher had a week dedicated to Poe and we read “The Raven.” Cliche to read “The Raven” first? Probably. However, it was the best possible poem to introduce Poe to me. I proceeded to learn everything I could about him, and fell in love with his stories. I cannot claim to have read them all. At the same time, though, some of my favorite stories are his or come from his influence. Part of my love for detective fiction stems from that heart-racing mystery that Poe provides in many of his stories, which is probably what brings me to my next topic.

Pop culture. Dread it or use it, pop culture has an effect on the public. It can enlighten people as book movies encourage people to read, or it can scare people away by the out-of-date references of the past.  For Poe, nothing has helped more than the pop culture influence he has bestowed upon the world.

A screen shot from the episode featuring Poe's notebook

First, let me take you back to an episode of Syfy’s Warehouse 13, which utilizes the power of word to bring Poe to life. I recently watched the episode in season 1 titled “Nevermore,” which features an “artifact” or supernatural item that must be contained by the main characters Myka and Pete in the show. What they create in the show is a notebook and pen used by Poe that hold the power of his words within them. The notebook causes the possessor to fuse with the words on the page and create a link between the text and the person in possession of the pen. It is a painful process to be so close to the  words of Poe that it almost kills the man.

The pen, however, holds the power. It allows the person who holds it to recreate the stories of Poe in real life. A pendulum, trapping a man in a wall, and forced love are some of the disastrous effects of Poe’s writing in a young boy’s life. The episode brings the two together to solve the supernatural issues going on in the story, and the overall message is—Words have power. The simple fact that the writers of this tv show chose Poe is not a coincidence. He has always had a very powerful connection with the words he placed on paper. He has influenced me, and some of my favorite authors to delve into the darkness sometimes.

Next, a more recent event in pop culture has given this lover of Poe something to be excited about:

The movie--The Raven featuring John Cusak as Poe himself!

The Raven will be coming to theaters very soon, and I anticipate its arrival. The scene is set–Poe must help the police find the suspect behind murders copying his stories to clear his name and stop these horrifying killings. Sounds spooky and fantastic to me. Any chance I can have at seeing great writing on the big screen in an inventive way, I will TAKE IT!

You see, I have faith that this movie, like Hunger Games, Harry Potter, and many others will spur some in the audience to go back to the books before/after watching the film. It is an opportunity to show the world how exciting and powerful the written word can be as well as those who write it down.

I look forward to the move and invite you to check it out as well. Here is the trailer below:

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Poetry Month Continued As Requested

Since I received a few encouraging words on my poetry yesterday, I decided to contribute a few more. This first one is a HUGE  emotional response. Like many poets, my poems thrive on heartbreak and forsaken love.

Power Over Me

My hands are tied

Bound to your will

Though I stand firm

For your hand I bow

 

My heart is chained

To a fence of despair

Ready and waiting

For you to release me

 

Like a caged animal

I sit here waiting

For my love

To be set free

 

In your shining eyes

I see the agony

My thoughtless action

Has befallen my beloved

 

All the worldly treasures

I would hand over

Just for you to

Be in my arms once more

 

The past fades away

As you take my hand

Reaching for a future

Together


 The next poem takes a mythological spin with my take on Atlas’ myth.

Inspiration According to Atlas

How did Atlas find the strength

To hold the heavens on his back?

When I struggle every day

To carry the earth over me.

 

The weight crushes my spirit

And grinds my shoulders down.

My feet falter beneath me

As I push my will forward.

 

In a world where good deeds

Are repaid in friendly malice,

I fall under the pressure of

Judgment from my loved ones.

 

At the end of the day I find

I’ve made it through the pain,

But one memory still remains

I must do this again tomorrow

Happy reading and writing!

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Double Whammy…Of AWESOME!

Now that my critical essay is finished and sent to my mentor, I can exclaim the good news! Thanks to kasiajames and  mywithershins, I have been nominated for the Versatile blogger not only two times in one week, but three times overall. I feel so lucky that I have found followers who appreciate the goal my blog has in its future. What goal, you ask? Foremost, it is a writing journal depicting my career as a writer. Yet, it is so much more than that. It’s a private diary opened up to share my deepest fears about the craft, a self-help book for handling the struggles, and a news cast of technology/book/writing related subjects.

The Versatile Blogger Award set a few rules for its nominees:

1. Thank the award-givers and link back to them in your post.

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

3. Pass this award along 15 or 20.

4. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.

Since my lovely nominators have been linked above, I will move on to the 7 things about myself. I have been nominated twice, so I feel that I should do 14 things instead of 7, to be fair.

1. I tend to talk/yell at the t.v. or books when I watch/read. Although the book or t.v. can’t respond, it still makes me feel better to get my frustrations or excitement off my chest.

2. I love all furry animals/pets, but I have a huge dislike of fur/dander. The dislike I have verges on OCD because as soon as I am done petting a dog or cat, I must get rid of the fur or it will bug me.

3. I love watching my boyfriend play video games. I do not have capable reflexes and dexterity to play myself. I love to cheer him on, and learn the story of the game. I also would love to work for a video game company to write their texts 😛

4. When I watch vocal competitions like The Voice, X Factor, and especially American Idol, I tend to be overly critical of the people performing. No I didn’t go to Juilliard or some fancy NY music school, but my years of vocal training give me a better ear than a lot of the people watching. My mom asks me my opinion of the vocalist before the judges because she knows I’ll be honest about my criticism. Haha, I’m mostly honest and only slightly resentful about the singers opportunity at fame.

5. I’m a bad person and watch my t.v. shows illegally online. I’m one of millions of people, but it isn’t something good because technically it’s illegal.

6. I used to be very shy when I was little. I’m not shy anymore, but I still cannot call to order pizza or Chinese because of this. It’s just weird and I don’t want to mess up! Ordering online is amazing!

7.  I love to dog tag (fold the corners) of the pages of my books (even books I’m borrowing from the library). I know I’m not supposed to do it.  I could easily just use a piece of paper or bookmark, but it’s just instinct to fold over the pages. I’ve lost a lot of places that way, too. Maybe I should force myself to use a bookmark….Nahhhh!

8.  I have a huge pet peeve about people who pass you unnecessarily, especially on the highway. To me, there are only two reasons you should waste the gas to pass someone: when it’s a big truck/vehicle (which I get nervous by…too many blind spots) and when someone is going under the speed limit (or going the speed limit so close to you that you can’t go the speed limit). Logically, there is no other reason to get in front of someone to get 3 seconds ahead. Unless, you’re a conceited, selfish idiot who needs to be first and can’t drive behind anyone.

I think you will get better results with this!

9. I want a puppy when a man proposes, not a ring. Why spend thousands of dollars for a superficial version of the marriage license. Granted, a cheap ring obviously gives the appropriate message without breaking the bank. A puppy prepares you for living together and sharing responsibilities. I knew at age 11 that it was important to prepare a couple for marriage. With an almost 50% divorce rate in the U.S., this decision is not made lightly. So many couples make the mistake of getting engaged too soon to people they don’t know. For me, this step may not be for everyone. If you feel confident and know your partner is prepared for the responsibility (and not going to run out on your for the next hottie in da club), then this is a creative, romantic way to save money and propose!

10. I have such a huge fear of being alone that the longest I have been single (since I started dating at 16) is 6 months. It doesn’t mean that half of those relationships were beneficial, but it taught me so much about the way people think/feel, and about myself.

Definitely looked amazing!

11.  I love dying my hair. I love it so much that it became an addiction. I have staved off the call of dying my hair for about a year, but it’s getting difficult. I naturally have medium brown hair, but I’ve been a red-head, blonde, and a raven-haired woman all before. I haven’t ventured into too many unnatural colors, but my favorite dye job has to be bright red with blonde highlights.

11.  I love the spoken language almost as much as I love the written one. I find the romance languages (Italian, French) to be entrancing and beautiful. At the same time harsh languages like German and Russian are powerful to hear, and compelling to speak. Something about languages other than English interest me. Maybe it’s because English is boring to me, as I hear it every day. I think it is because there is so much more of a challenge for non-English speakers to live in a world that is slowly being overrun by the English language. The depth and history that accompanies the older languages will never be replaced. It is vital to hold on to the diversity of the spoken word.

12. I just recently learned that colors do not actually exist. Human brains merely perceived color when the light is reflected off an object. This makes me mad! I want to know what it’s like to live in a world out of Pleasantville. If our brains make us see in color, then I want to know what it’s like to see without color. Every other animal can do, so why can’t we?

We would treat life very different if there was no color!

13. 13 is my favorite number. I like it because everyone else associates it with bad luck. Since everyone stays away from the number that means I get all the good luck associated with it. Na na na poo poo!

14.  My ultimate goal in life is to love people. It is said that everyone has a calling. Well, I learned mine pretty quickly. Coupled with my passion for writing, I have a passion for people. Loving people, to be exact. Because without love, then there would be no passion, hate, caring, empathy, cooperation, friendship. Society relies on the love we have for life, and each other to survive. I vowed that I would love everyone I was capable of loving. Every friend I made would have me as a constant friend, loving them even when everyone else in their life was gone. I would love the world even if no one else did, and I still do. Now my love goes to a very special person. Someone who has been crushed by the promise of love from people who never planned on keeping it. My boyfriend has the constant love I vowed to give everyone even if I never got it in return. Luckily, I get the same from him, so it is a dream come true.

 

Next rule is to nominate 15 to 20 other bloggers for this award. I don’t have that many, but these ones are truly amazing:

Raging Gail

Writer’s Block

Sorry, I can’t Stay Long

maggiemaeijustsaythis

Off Duty Mom

Classic Confusion

Caffeinated & Random

mywithershins

The Raptor’s Claw

Write to Perfect

 

I want to thank everyone who has supported me in my journey of becoming a writer, and now a devoted blogger. Thank you! Happy reading and writing! AND check out these blogs because if they interest me, chances are they will interest you, too!

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The Pitfalls and Rewards of Studying Abroad

I am slowly gathering together the things I need for my awesome June residency in Dublin, Ireland. The cost is insane, but the reward will be priceless. The opportunity to write and learn in one of my ancestral homes has been a dream for as long as I can remember.

My process for getting ready has been slow (due to money issues), but as a first time international traveler I have jumped one major hurdle….THE PASSPORT.

I have finally applied for my passport. Most friends and family advised I  do it almost a year in advance to ensure I received it. I could have been super cautious, but the truth is that if you know the system, you don’t have to work that far in advance. Typically in the off season (not Summer/vacation times) it will take about 2 to 3 weeks for your passport to be processed and arrive (according to the guy at the post office). With that in mind, I am confident that applying only a few months before my departure will allow ample time for my passport to arrive.

It was a hairy process to start as many people already know. For those that don’t I will give you a run-down.

1) It’s expensive, so before you begin save at least $150 to cover the costs of getting the passport.

2) Documentation is the most important aspect of this process. If you have all your ducks (papers) in a row, then the process will go by a lot smoother. You will need first: your birth certificate (and if you don’t have that you’ll need to research the alternatives) with raised seal/lettering and both your parents’ names. For Pennsylvanians, this new rule has posed a huge problem. Until somewhat recently, birth certificates in PA did not require the names of parents, which makes the passport application process more difficult. Next, a photo ID (driver’s license usually) will have to be photo copied front and back on one page to prove you are who you are.

3) That damn picture is one of the most difficult parts of the process. If you do it yourself, there is a list of parameters you must follow before it is accepted. And if you don’t do it yourself, the cost of having the post office or acceptance facility will cost you. $40 with the U.S.P.S. to be exact. It may seem excessive, but if you want it done right, then you’re bound to pay the money if you can’t do it yourself.  Although I know that Rite-Aid (drugstore chain) has been known to do passport pictures, as well as AAA for a LOT cheaper.

4) Filling out the application should be the easy part. One thing you must be careful of when filling out important papers is to use pen with care. Read carefully because your responses must be placed correctly or it will not go through. I found that for U.S. citizens, the passport book will let you go anywhere, but the passport card is mainly for traveling just to Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, and Bermuda. Be careful about which one you pick because it will save a minute of your time.

5) Finally, paying the fees. Ensure that you have the money set aside and what forms of payment are accepted. If you can figure out how much and who to write the checks to it will make the process go by quicker. Just be sure to have to money in there because they will charge you tons of extra money if you don’t have sufficient funds.

With all of that said, I am looking forward to receiving my passport. I have dreamed of the day I could leave the country, and travel to some of the most exciting places in the world. The postal service employee was intrigued to know why I was going to Ireland, and when I said writer he was surprised. It was nice to received such an optimistic response from a stranger. Some people don’t have respect for the craft, and automatically assume you’re a dumb, starving artist roaming the world for some useless inspiration.

At the same time, he encouraged my dad to get a passport in case I was “hit by a shalelie” and I needed my parents to come get me. Not that I disagree with younger kids going on trips, but I’m 22. Anyway, he continued his monologue by saying that he could easily change my name on my passport if I happened to, you know, get hitched while I’m over there. I was flattered at first by the assumption I was enough of a pretty young thing to attract all of the eligible Irish bachelors.

However, I am not the shallow, insensitive type to fall for a guy with an accent. It is a disgrace for women from America to fall in love with men they don’t know just because they’re from a foreign country. Yes, I’ve just described hundreds of harlequin romances, and every hopeless romantic girl’s dream. I just can’t see it happening. For me, going to a new place is fantastic, but it truly takes longer to know and love someone.

As much as any young woman would be swayed with a drink or two and a crooning Irishman: I have a prince charming already, so hitching a foreign guy would be a waste of a perfectly good relationship right here at home.  Too many women make rash decisions with their fleeting emotions, regretting them soon after. It is easy to feel like you fall in love, but the lasting flame of a strong relationship will overpower the allure of a foreign country. I wish all of the single ladies good luck with their dream to make P.S. I love you come to life, but there is a comfort knowing I will have a devoted man that I know to come home to after my trip is over.

So, the first step in my preparations has been completed. I await the arrival of my passport in a few weeks in addition to saving necessary money for the plane ticket, and the trip. The excitement grows with every mention of Ireland, the writers, and the places we will see. It is the epitome of my life so far, and I will be glowing as I reach the most beautiful place in the world (in my mind).

Dublin, Ireland will be beautiful no matter what anyone says and I'm not even there yet!

Now I must get back to my paper, which is due two days before St. Patrick’s Day.

Happy reading and writing all!

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Love and Valentine’s Day: From A Writer’s Perspective

Since the beginning of time humans have been social creatures. Love is one of the most amazing and mysterious emotions known to man. The old believe love is learned over time and the young think it happens in an instant. Although I’m technically on the young side of the spectrum, my belief about love falls right in the middle. The opportunity for love can happen in the blink of an eye, but it takes time to get to know a person enough to love them. You can be 15 or 65 and fall in love for the first time.

I began dating when I was 16 and you could say I was a hopeless romantic. Learning quickly of heartbreak and rejection, I went through boy like paper towels. I gave my heart to a boy for a few weeks, and found that we weren’t compatible. You might call me shallow or fickle. I bet my parents would have agreed, but I learned how to love from a lot of little  mismatches. I have the pleasure of admitting I’ve been in love more than once, which is a feat not many people enjoy in their lifetimes. It’s not hard to fall in love. The problem people don’t figure out is that if you’re truly in love you never fall out of it. One person decides that the love isn’t real or strong enough to survive. It forces both to move on with their lives, transforming into hatred or if you’re lucky a comforting memory.

From Nietzsche's "On Reading and Writing"

I’d like to think every intimate (meaning close and loving) relationship I’ve had has changed me. Most in a good way, but others in a bad. No matter how the relationship ends, I take from it a learning experience to help me with the next one. The one thing that has never changed about my relationships, though, is the way I express my love. My significant other, old or current, will have collected notes or letters from me over the course of the relationship. I could say it’s an endearing twist on the common communication of past, but I’d be lying. Writing letters to the guy I love is just what I do. I can’t change how I love a man like I can’t change the ethnicity I am.  It is a staple to my life to write my feelings down for those I love.

Since it is the commercial celebration of love and relationships, I decided to explain how being a writer affects my love life. While writers are mostly loners, we long for love. Some of the most famous authors have been left to fulfill their dreams alone. Yet, it is not a lonely life for everyone. Authors like Robert Frost or my favorite, Stephen King have been able to share their dreams with women who care about them. Having someone to share in the trials and rewards is indescribable for a writer. If we have no one to share in the spoils of our craft, then what is the purpose of writing about life in the first place?

Sophocles, the Philosopher

My current boyfriend (hopefully the last) has know me for a good amount of time. As I’m only 22 years old, I haven’t had a lot of time to develop decades of relationships, but the ones I do hold onto are important to me. He’s known me since before I announced myself as a writer, and supports me regardless of the financial misgivings of the profession. It is a passion he respects and doesn’t understand as most people don’t. He cares for what I’m writing, listening as I read my stories to him. But what he enjoys most is my letters. I enjoyed 5 years of work with him, but the three months of work were the most special. I worked at a grocery story. Noble, huh? And with the massive amounts of free time at work I would write on anything I could find. I’d write him several notes a day, every day for over a hundred days. He loved the experience of my writing because it was the most personal and compassionate loving anyone could receive.

Like the sonnets of Shakespeare or Petrarch, love can be told a thousand different ways. But for a writer to love another person, there is no limit to the kinds and combinations of words we can use to express love in the deepest of ways. So, when I began focusing on my school work and spent less time away from my boyfriend, the letters stopped. I was able to see him and express myself in person and no longer needed the letters to show him I cared.

Some of Shakespeare's many thoughts on love

However, I wrote to him unconsciously.  In every story I was writing, I was putting a piece of him in one of my characters. It wasn’t a conscious decision to put him in, but he made a perfect hero in my eyes. All of the things that made me fall in love with him made it easy to put him in my stories. Although it probably would have worked out better if he was a villain, but lucky am I that I got a prince!  You see, it’s one thing to write how much you love someone. It’s a completely different experience to love someone so much that they are written into your stories. It is a blessing and a curse to put people you know in your stories.

Unconsciously, everyone we know helps us to form realistic characters. It is the easiest way for a writer to form a character. In this case, writing the love of my life into my stories is a blessing, so far. He is not phased by his involvement in my stories because I never put all of him in one character. Each person has many different personalities inside them: a soft side, a brave one, a private, and a public one. It allows me to use him without having someone recognize that it’s him. He can be a brave prince and a shy nerd depending on the story, but both describe him in a different way. Each day I have the gift of using someone I love to fuel my need to write.

Looks like philosophers really know their stuff

He is my support, my critic, and my inspiration. He may not know how the gears work inside my head or how it gets on paper. He does know me, and that is the most important thing. As long as he knows that I love him through his participation in my writing, I’m doing my job as his girlfriend and a writer. I’ve contemplated using my love writing skills in Hallmark cards, but the opportunity hasn’t presented itself. You can bet, though, that this Valentine’s Day my boyfriend will receive a card full from corner to corner with loving words specially chosen just for him.

Whether you have the chance to love someone now or are waiting for “the one” there is always hope that love will find a way. If not family and friends can be the best solution to a lonely heart. If not, the bars are open and the bottles are flowing. Go out, date or not and have a fun time 🙂

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Bibliophile or Bibliomaniac?

To most people, neither of the words in the title are particularly familiar. Bookworm is the only word known by all, but even that word isn’t associated with the correct definition.  Both words in the title have the prefix biblio-, which some know to refer to books. But what do the two words mean and how are they different? The first, bibliophile can be broken into two parts, biblio and phile. Philo is the greek prefix meaning love of or to love. So, putting together biblio (books) and phile (love of) gets you a noun describing a lover of books. Most of you following my blog can appreciate a name like that. To love books for what they hold inside each different binding. Bibliophiles are simple creatures enjoying books for the fantastic innovation they have become for story telling.

While  many people think a bookworm would be a lover of books, it is defined instead a branch of the bibliophile. A bookworm is a person who loves books for their content, in other words, for reading. Two seemingly synonymous words actually have a different meaning, just a similar starting point.

Now what do you think when you hear the word bibliomaniac? Sounds like a crazy person, right? Well, you’ve got the root of the definition right there in maniac. It describes a person clinically crazy about books. Now you’re thinking, that can’t be too bad, can it? It’s a version of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) that revolves around collecting and sometimes hoarding books. Again, not that bad, right? Not necessarily. For some people being obsessed with books isn’t a life goal and it’s difficult to live in the shadow of those who make books their entire life.

http://members.forbes.com/fyi/2005/1212/162.html

The above link depicts the life of a man who has oh too many bibliomaniacs in his life.  As I read through the story, I felt bad for both the son and his father. The father was addicted to books like drugs, but loved them honestly. He may have neglected his marriage, but he enriched his children and grandchildren with art and history. Unlike most bibliomaniacs, he didn’t hoard books with no point. He was also a bibliophile. He loved them so much that he bought author memorabilia, visited the sites of the famous authors, and passed on the books to his children.  The sad part of the story begins when the author’s father suffers a stroke and the vultures of the world swoop down and scarf up his amazing collection of rare books and art like he was already dead. It was a shame two generations before the author had been spent collecting this priceless library only to have it taken away in his father’s sleep.

The man had known what his collection was worth in dollars, but it was worth so much more in love and enjoyment. He was devastated to find his priceless companions kidnapped in his absence.  He could no longer pass everything down to his son. Even the settlement was not fair to this lover of books. They returned some art, only a few books, and money. Money? Money doesn’t replace the connection the man and his family had to the books. While bibliomania can be considered a curse to some, I’m sure the author respected and treasured the childhood he had because of the love his father and grandfather had for books.

The author ends the story on a positive note because the experience with his book-obsessed father has impressed an important moral in his life. That although his father’s books are now passed around throughout the world, that is the true beauty of them. To share books is to realize their importance and create a bond with other people based on those books. Collecting and reading books forms memories that surpass the ownership of those books in one’s life, but never leave the person whose read them. It is a lovely relationships between the imagination and the soul. The author ends the article with the beginning of his book collection. It seems that no matter how hard you try, bibliophiles and bibliomaniacs alike understand the value of books. Appreciating them yesterday, reading them today, and passing them on to future generations tomorrow.

 

If my library looked like this, it would be worth going crazy over books!

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