New Website

Hey everyone! Apparently this isn’t ALWAYS redirecting to my new blog site, so here’s just a quick and friendly link – please go over here to The Bent Bookworm and click follow – yes, some of you will have to resubscribe, sorry about that – to continue to read my posts! Thanks so much to everyone who has liked and commented, you’re the best and I love this little bookish community. 🙂 ❤

 

Something Else Sunday #12 – The Beginning of a Love Affair, Part 2

img_3913

Mid-yawn funny face. Still cute.

It’s Sunday again! I’m in the middle of a 24 hour shift at work (which basically involves sitting at a desk, being available, and awake…not a lot of actual work). Still waiting on the new domain to transfer over so I can start blogging over there…I’m sooooo excited and feel like I can’t possibly wait another day but wait I must. 😛

This week I’m continuing my story from last week’s Sunday. Like I said: I’m doing something a little unusual, a departure from my typical Sunday posts. Why? I just felt like something different, and this idea had been knocking around in my head for awhile. It’s my story, one that’s still growing, but the beginning, at least, I can tell because it’s over and done with. This part sounds kind of like a downer…but it gets better! Also, even if it’s depressing or sad, it’s still MY STORY and deserves to be told. If it can help even one person realize that they are worthy of happiness and fulfillment in life, than it’s worth writing.


(Read part 1 first)

The little girl was growing up very fast, now. Pain has a way of doing that.

People kept asking her what she wanted to do. She was good at writing. Or she had been. She loved books. But she wanted to go places, do things, and help people. She wanted adventure. Some people kept putting pressure on her to be a teacher, be a writer…but she knew in her heart that while she loved those things, she didn’t want to make a career of them. Reading and writing were her joys, her relaxation, her outlet, and to her it just didn’t make sense to make a job of it. Odd as it was, given her other interests – medicine, the science of the human body, and to some extent the biology of the entire world, was her real driving interest. 

About her junior year of high school, she started writing again. Non-fiction now, more than before. Her fiction seemed uninspired, and her lack of experience annoyed her. She felt she couldn’t write a good, realistic story – even of the fantasy type – without more experience with people and places than she had, and it frustrated her. 

It came time to make decisions about college, and she let certain people push her away from what she wanted to be her life work. She majored in English. 

About this time too, there was this guy. 

She was angry about a lot of things, and so was he. She was in love. She thought they needed each other. She thought they would make each other happy. So she married him. 

Turned out, he was really very bad for her. He cut her down in all kinds of little ways, and told her he was intimidated that she was good at – better than, he thought – he was at a lot of things. Like writing. He was a writer. He was going to be an author. And her writing – that she already thought was rather shoddy and miserable – intimidated him. 

She loved him. She didn’t want to make him feel bad. So she stopped writing all together. She wanted to be a supportive wife, so obviously making herself smaller or giving up part of herself for him was the proper course of action. 

Little did she know how far down a dark road that way of thinking would lead her, and how long it would take her to come back to the light. But this was still the beginning.

7f97e7c00dce2c03cf7d8f071fe36c4c

She finished her degree, and was so tired of picking apart books and essays for hidden meanings that she quit reading almost completely for about two years. During this time she had developed a rather snobbish attitude about popular literature (no Twilight or smutty romances for HER, thankyouverymuch), so the idea of picking up something that might be lighter, easier, more FUN to read, was out of the question.

But she had graduated, and that meant she could go on to other things now. Things that interested her, that set her brain racing, that made her stretch her mind and grow new thought pathways. So she went to phlebotomy school – it was the only medical course she could afford. 

She passed with flying colors. Her patients loved her. She loved working with all the different people, learning new things every day, playing with all the different machines and tests. This, THIS was what she was made for.

The books – she still loved books. In a way she still loved writing. But nothing had made her feel alive like this before, even though her job was a very simple one. Funny thing though, working this job – rekindled her love of reading. It was as though working a job so far removed from books, writing, and the literary world in general, made it come back into focus for her. 

Slowly, she began to realize that she didn’t necessarily have to make a choice. Even more slowly, she began to realize that it was okay to good at something and be proud of that thing. But she still had a long way to go.

To be continued next week (final part)…

Exciting Changes

579136_10151756814548375_347204588_n

CUPCAKES FOR EVERYONE!!! (Why yes, I’m a total Hufflepuff, how did you know?)

First of all, I want to say THANK YOU to everyone who has followed or commented in the last day or so…I’ve had a HUGE influx of both subscribers and comments and it’s made me SO VERY HAPPY you have no idea. Actually most of you probably do, hehe. 😉 But anyway, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! You’ve made this little book-obsessed blogger very happy. 😀

Second, I am also very excited to announce I’m switching from the free WordPress to a hosted site, which will mean a new design and hopefully more cool bookish stuffs. The lovely Ashley at NoseGraze is taking over my hosting and I am so grateful for everything she has helped with already. I am pretty much technologically illiterate when it comes to websites and all the behind-the scenes stuff, so all the things I read about self-hosting and domains and widgets and code just made me feel like my brain was leaking out my ears. I’m really happy to be able to just let her handle all this, while I get to read more books and play with more bookish stuff AND still have an awesome blog!

There shouldn’t be any interruption, as far as I understand it, but I’m sure I will have an EVEN MORE EXCITED post when all the transfer is complete! I am well aware that this post already contains way too many exclamation points, but you know what…deal with it. I’m allowed to be overly excited for once.

 

Halloween Read-A-Thon

halloween-readathon

I’m so excited to have found a group of people to do this with! As I wrote in my beginning of the month post, I was already planning to spend most of the month with Halloween-type books. This just makes it so much more fun! Many thanks to Lauren at Wonderless Reviews for putting it all together and making the gorgeous graphics available. Pretty much the rest of my month is going to be filled with spookiness and indulging my sense of the paranormal. 😀 😀 😀 I can’t wait to see what everyone else is reading.

costume-party 28962906
My pick: Stalking Jack the Ripper. This cover gives me a slight chill every time I look at it (there’s not actually blood pictured…but I keep thinking I see blood on the knife…), though from what I hear it’s not all THAT creepy of a book! I intend to find out.

haunted-house 22543648

My pick: Dracula. I’m listening to this version from Audible, with different narrators for each person. So, sort of dramatized, but not exactly. I’m thoroughly enjoying it so far, but I keep getting annoyed at the way the women just accept being second-class citizens.

urban-legends 248596

My pick: Something Wicked This Way Comes. I don’t know a whole lot about this book, to be honest, but it sounds creepy AF. Lory at Emerald City Book Review posted about it a little while back and I put it on my list!

witching-hour1 19119826

My pick: The Werewolf of Paris. I’m trying to read some of the original supernatural stories this year, stories that started or shaped our modern day ideas of vampires, werewolves, etc. Obviously the legends of these types of creatures have been around much longer than even these books, but I thought this and Dracula were both good starts.

trick-or-treat 16034235

My pick: Treat – Throne of Glass. I still have so many other books to read I have to mix it up a little or I will NEVER get through my pile of library books!

all-hallows-eve 29631300

My pick: The Architect of Song. While not specifically relating to Halloween, it does have a good deal to do with ghosts and again, sounds creepy AF. I am SO EXCITED to read this one!!

Fingers crossed I will get to all of these! Are you reading anything special for Halloween or autumn in general?

Something Else Sunday #11 – The Beginning of a Love Affair

img_3970

Weekly cuteness overload, courtesy of Sir Tristan.

It’s Sunday again! I’m in the middle of a long weekend and am enjoying it immensely. I finished one gargantuan book and have spent a few hours listening to another while doing creative stuffs.

Pssst….reminder again, only a couple of days left on the giveaway for The Woman in Cabin 10…click through for the original post!

This week I’m doing something a little unusual, a departure from my typical Sunday posts. Why? I just felt like something different, and this idea had been knocking around in my head for awhile. It’s my story, one that’s still growing, but the beginning, at least, I can tell because it’s over and done with.


Once upon a time, there was a little girl. 

This little girl’s favorite thing in the world, was a good story. Before she could even speak, she was carrying books around, begging anyone who would take notice, to read stories to her. To tell her stories, if books weren’t handy, but books were her favorite. Her very favorites were ones with pictures of dogs and puppies. She learned to read quite early – possibly the result of her mother growing tired of the ceaseless “read to me, one more?” entreaty. Books…books before toys, books before friends, books before EATING. 

1441124706-1

This is STILL me at the end of a good book. 

She was 4 years old when she wrote her first story. It was only 3 or 4 lines, something about a girl named Mary that was cold because it was winter. It was written on the huge lined paper children use to first practice their letters.

A few years later (in about…1995?), she was using her dad’s fossil of a word processor to type stories when she wasn’t reading them. And she read A LOT. To the point of hiding books between towels in the bathroom so that she could read when nature called. She was frequently caught in school with books between the covers of her textbooks. Her mother always checked for flashlights after she went to bed. She was MOST PUT OUT by the age recommendations on books, because they always seemed ridiculously patronizing and on more than one occasion caused her mother to take possession of a book before she was finished reading it. THE HORROR OF AN UNFINISHED STORY. It started early, people. 

Most of the stories she wrote, at first, were fanfic – even though she didn’t know it! She just knew that she loved the characters in her favorite books and she was so sad to not be a part of their lives anymore, that she just HAD to continue their stories. The first of these was some version of The Boxcar Children. It has, mercifully, been lost to the ravages of time. 

Not too long after that, she discovered how much FUN it was to make up her own stories! She was forever starting books (though finishing them…that’s another thing), usually revolving around some girl or boy with a giant family (she was an only child until the age of 12) of multiple sets of twins that may or may not have had the same parents. When other kids were out biking around the neighborhood, she was typing away in her own little world. 

Eventually, people noticed that she didn’t only like to write, she was halfway decent at it. In school she was pushed into entering some fictional writing contests, and lo and behold – she was always shocked – she won. Not once, but 3 times. Her family – especially her paternal grandfather and grandmother – was thrilled. They were always asking to see her newest stories. Not that she surrendered these very often…she liked keeping her daydreams private, for the most part, but gradually, she realized…she liked the thrill of writing, liked this telling stories to others. She was good at it and it brought her joy.

She was also well on her way to becoming an obsessive book collector. For every Christmas and every birthday, her only request was…more books. Some poor misguided members of her extended family always thought that “books” translated to “clothes.” Sigh. At times she wondered if no one else spoke English, or if there was something wrong with her. Other kids definitely thought there was something wrong with her. But then, eventually she realized it was just easier to pretend she didn’t care what they thought. Pretend, because she did care, and the teasing hurt, but…there were always books.

tumblr_odekphtcdp1rmidh1o2_r1_500

Then one day, her grandfather – the one who had always told her she could do whatever she put her mind to, the one that loved her writing and told her not to listen to the people who said it was a waste of time – died. He was 69. She was 15. It was a sudden, swift heart attack, with no precursors or warnings. The little girl, who had been painfully, slowly growing up, was devastated. One of the pillars of her world just suddenly vanished.

She thought she would never be able to write again, because every time she sat down at a keyboard, she could only cry. For the first time in her life, words brought her no joy. 

To be continued next week…

 

Happy October!

img_3915

I am so in love with the shelf by @bookishsteph1 on Instagram. Go check out her feed, now. NOW. 

Ah, yes! It’s finally here! The month at least, even if the air here doesn’t QUITE have the autumnal nip to it I’m hoping for. It’s coming though…autumn is coming. *deadpan*

Anyway, it actually kind of snuck up on me…I’ve been randomly making a list of spooky-atmospheric-but-not-horror books for October, and I guess it’s finished now because it’s time to post it and get started! So I’ll put that up along with my progress for September and goals for October tomorrow.

BIG NEWS: I’ve finally reached the coveted 80% feedback ratio on NetGalley! So excited about that. Maybe at some point I will qualify for cool ARCs. Hehe.

Oh, and, teaser…I’m putting up a giveaway for this Book of the Month Club box later this week! Make sure you follow so you don’t miss it! The book is The Woman in Cabin 10.

IMG_3911.jpg

Banned Books Week!

Sometimes, living in (or under, if not necessarily in) a country that has very little government regulation of printed material, it’s easy to forget about all the places in the world that keep strict hold of their publishing houses. As an adult no longer involved in the education system, it’s easy to forget that there are people actively working to keep certain books out of schools and universities. It’s easy to forget that in some places, people are jailed, abused, their entire lives stripped away, because they wrote something contrary to either their government or the religious majority.

More recently, at least in the United States, books are ostracized or banned because they “are often about people and issues which include LGBTQIA, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities—people or issues that, perhaps, challengers would prefer not to consider,” according to a blog post by Maggie Jacoby. Words that make the majority uncomfortable. Words that might challenge the status quo.

The American Library Association started keeping track of books that were repeatedly being flagged in the 1990s. Since then (and throughout history) there has been a shift in what calls a book into question. It used to be more focused on race, sex, and language. Now it’s more about diversity in lifestyle and realism in children’s and YA books.

To me, the point of Banned Books Week is to celebrate the freedom for everyone to express themselves. If my beliefs or my lifestyle is so unstable that I can’t even let people READ a book that shows another path of thought, that might just mean I need to reevaluate. Books that challenge our preconceived ideas have been some of the most instrumental in history, helping to shift thought on racism, sexuality, religion, and a myriad of other topics. I’m linking below to several interesting lists of books that have been banned or censored…some of the titles totally surprised me, I had no idea some of these were controversial at one point in time! Of course, I totally remember when the religious right was convinced Harry Potter was the end of the world and my mom refused to let me go back to one family’s house after seeing the books on their shelves. Haha. I’m sure this didn’t at all affect my desire to go out and read every book on these lists. 😛 Rebellious child, much?

Banned Books That Shaped AmericaThe Red Badge of Courage, seriously? I must have missed something when I read this years ago. The Call of the Wild, too? And Moby-Dick? Who knew.

Banned or Challenged ClassicsLord of the Rings??? *wide eyes*

Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2015The Bible, haha…well, I guess THAT has come full circle. While I understand objecting to being forced to read a religious book as a standard for living, I personally don’t object to them as literature. It’s a frame of reference. It helps (maybe?) me understand where people are coming from. This goes for ANY religious text, in my opinion.

Frequently Challenged YA Books – this list really needs to be by title, not author…my eyes are crossing, but it’s extremely thorough, haha. Since when is The Handmaid’s Tale a YA, though? And The Witch of Blackbird Pond, really, how dare they. One of my favorite books from childhood…somehow I managed to get this one past my mom and I swear I read it 10 times at least.

Best Banned, Censored, and Challenged Books – as voted by GoodReads users. No real surprise here…best way to make a book popular is to attempt to ban it, I swear.

I’ll have at least one more Banned Books post this week. This is a topic really near and dear to my heart! What’s your favorite banned/censored/questioned book? Have you read very many from these lists?

 

Something Else Sunday #10

img_3883

Well, this is about the extent of my fall decorating. Hehe. Next year…next year!

This week…well. It’s sucked, mostly, to be honest. I didn’t get much reading done. Work was just blah. Issues is…issues. I have them. 😛 My writing mojo has officially up and left me, despite receiving some lovely snail mail. I only sent one letter…apologies to all my lovely penpals. 😦 I’ve just had no inspiration and my overall mood has been rather on the blue side and I hate writing letters that sound that way.

yarma_medium

I did finish this little guy. He’s not perfect but I think he’s cute – especially for my first finished crochet project in about 7 years! Edited to add credit where credit is due: the pattern is Foxy Fox Lovey, by Briana Olsen. 🙂 The granny squares from a couple of weeks ago never got finished into anything, sadly. Maybe one day I’ll find the motivation to weave in all those ends. Or not. 😛

img_3850

Also went to see this re-enactment of the Battle of Nakdong River, which was pretty cool and included paratroopers and the South Korean Air Force’s “Black Eagles.” I was actually really impressed by the fighters…I’ve seen quite a few air shows, but never a performance of 8 fighters flying in formation.

173473891

Books! I received TWO book boxes in the mail this week, both of which made me squeal and dance up and down. I already reviewed the September Lit-Cube, and this week a review of the September OwlCrate will be coming. 😀 I’m also in the middle of The Dream Thieves. I’ve kind of been dragging my feet on it, purely because I’m enjoying it and I really like the vibe all the characters have right now and I’m kind of scared to see what happens.

September is almost over, can you believe it? I’m going to take a step back from my current TBR list in October, and read mostly atmospheric, creepy stuff that’s been somewhere in my list but put off for the right time. Like Dracula. I’ve never read the original Dracula, can you believe it? I’ve been dredging up recommendations for various sources and am putting together a list. They won’t all necessarily be HALLOWEEN themed, but atmospheric enough to invoke the spirit, if that makes sense.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Something Else Sunday #9

il_570xn-896122708_jrm9

I desperately NEED this wreath.

Where is September going?? How is it halfway over already? I don’t really mind, since October is one of my favorite times of year. Spring is my absolute favorite, but I love all the changes of the season. Also I’m slightly obsessed with decorating for Halloween and Christmas. I’m trying really hard to restrain myself this year because I don’t HAVE that many decorations and BUYING them would mean shipping them all home in the spring. It’s soooooo hard!

img_3774

Sir Tristan says hello from the throne of the Most Adorableness. 

Tristan is being his usual cute self, supervising everything I do most closely.

img_3796

This week I got a little more spinning done, but no pictures because it looks exactly the same as the OWL yarn (green/black) from a couple of weeks ago, and I don’t have another finished skein yet! I was unexpectedly bit VERY HARD by the crochet bug after finishing that little granny square last week, and, um, well. It multiplied. How that’s possible, I’m not quite sure, but this was the result. I learned to connect the squares without ever breaking the yarn, which was HUGE as you can see the number of ends still waiting to be woven in here. Also, I’m not entirely sure what this is. I just wanted to practice my crochet, haha. I have many new diabolical plans now. Hehehehe.

img_3794

These happened today. The perfectly swirled frosting really made me happy. I know the season is slightly off, but oh well. 😛

29102898 173473891

This was a good week for reading! I finished 3 books, posted 2 reviews, and will have a review of the now very controversial The Cruelty up on Monday or Tuesday. Right now I am very happily reading (finally) The Dream Thieves and hopefully will get that reviewed this week too!

Hope you all are enjoying the last few days of summer! What’s your favorite thing about autumn? Mine is undoubtedly all the coziness imbued in the season. Hand knits, crackling fires, hot chocolate, heavy blankets…ahhh.

 

Something Else Sunday #8

I seem to have a trend of these being late now. Oops. Also, I only got ONE review posted last week! But you know, life happens. This weekend though, I did get TWO books finished!

img_3733

Here’s Sir Tristan being cute as can be while I start on my new BIG project. The claws are not actually hooked into my leg, just lightly into my jeans. Haha.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I did a lot of making on little stuff this week. Blanket squares, test skeins. However, I also managed to finish the first re-knit sleeve for my Vivian.

yarma_medium22

Also finished the first skein – a mini one, to test out the ply, etc. – on my BIG project.

yarma_medium21

This is eventually going to become a Thoth shawl.

thoth_small_small2

thoth3_small_medium2

Which has this awesome phases of the moon design.

I also decided on a whim to try to pick up my crochet hook for the first time in about 6 or 7 years. And I’m feeling the beginnings of a relapse. I can’t stop looking at crocheted blankets on Revelry.

yarma_medium23

Then there was a tiny little bookmark for a friend, in a lovely autumnal orange. I’ve been wanting to use that word all week. Autumnal. It looks so lovely written down but it’s such a bitch to say, my tongue always trips over it.

yarma_medium24

Hmm. So maybe all that explains why I didn’t get but one review written! Haha. However, I went on a slight – just a slight – Terry Pratchett binge and finished two books in as many days. One of my goals for this year was to read through the ones sitting on my shelf that I’ve never got to, so this was actual progress (covers link to GoodReads).

204939141 386372

Next up is a re-read of Sourcery, and then on to the next one I haven’t read, Wyrd Sisters. In the meantime, I’m reading the 4th in Rhys Bowen’s Her Royal Spyness series, Royal Blood. Which is amusing so far…I’m hoping it doesn’t delve into the supernatural, but stays in the scientific and rational side of things like they’ve done so far. This one is set in Transylvania, so we’ll see.

I can’t wait to see what everyone is reading this week! Off to poke through my Bloglovin’ feed. 😀 Have a great week!