A random, eclectic mix of thoughts, feelings, observations, and experiences – LIFE

Posts tagged ‘reading’

A Birthday and a Million Projects

Sunday was Babe’s birthday. We celebrated in minimalist fashion, I’d like to call it. Lol.

Last week Monday was my niece’s birthday and my sister made fried chicken wings and macaroni. It was pretty awesome, and Terneille kinda raved about it. When I told my sister her birthday was coming up, she immediately went into planning mode. “I’ll make her a pan of macaroni and fry some chicken wings! What time you want it?” YAY, for awesome sisters! That made it a lot easier for me.

cakecropBabe requested a carrot cake. Last year was cheesecake. This set my wheels turning, and I wondered if I could pull something kind of experimental off. I measured, poured, and mixed with confidence. It was only after I put the bundt pan in the oven that I started wondering if I was crazy, and imagining the horrible ways it could all go wrong. But it worked! WAAAHOOOOOO! Carrot cake and cheesecake in one, y’all! I know, I know. I’m a little out there. Whatevs. It worked and it was pretty tasty. Babe really loved it and my sister even called to tell me that she “NEEEEDS” me to make one for her. Hahaha.

Since I’m currently unemployed and don’t even have pennies to count, I made it rain on Babe in a different way. COUPONNNNNS! Let’s just hope she remembers to cash ’em all in. They’re pretty valuable, lemme tell ya!

So aside from birthday stuff, here’s what’s up:

  • I’m venturing into the world of zines. I’ll be making some of my own. Four, to be exact. I’m excited about it! I plan to complete the first issues of each one this weekend. Then I’ll start selling them on Etsy next week. Look out for linksies!
  • I finished The Whispering Willow! Did I mention this already? Even if I did, once is not enough. I FINISHED IT. The writing, that is. There is lots of editing to be done. But the first draft? FINITO!
  • I started writing a new novel. It’s not as fun to write as I thought it would be, and that’s probably because I didn’t plan it ALL out before I started writing. I work much better with a plan. A pretty precise plan. NOTED.
  • I need to workout. My body is all achy and sedentary and I’m super lazy right now. I hope to start this weekend. A little bounce on the trampoline. A 20 minute run. 15 minutes of yoga. I’ve gotta get this body in MOTION. STAT.
  • Currently reading The Distant Hours by Kate Morton. It’s a bit slower than her other two novels which I completely devoured. It’s taking me a bit longer to get through it due to pacing plus my zillion plus one projects I have going on. But it’s good. I’m enjoying it. Morton knows how to spin a tale. That’s for sure.
  • New 100 word story is up. Read it, comment on it, share it! ūüôā

What about you? What’s up? Working on any projects?

Link

100 Word Story: Mommy First

100 Word Story: Mommy First

I post a new 100 word story on my Alicia Audrey blog every week. They are based on prompts posted at Julia’s Place. If you haven’t already, please hop on over and read this week’s story. Read, comment, and share!

100 English Words

As I read, I make note of words I’ve never seen or heard before, are interesting, or are underused. I keep them in my writing journal. Even when I don’t have it near me, I write the words on the newspaper, napkins, scraps of paper… Anything in my reach. Everyone loves beautiful words, right?

Here are 100 beautiful words that I StumbledUpon a while back, and never got around to sharing:

Ailurophile A cat-lover.

Assemblage A gathering.

Becoming Attractive.

Beleaguer To exhaust with attacks.

Brood To think alone.

Bucolic In a lovely rural setting.

Bungalow A small, cozy cottage.

Chatoyant Like a cat’s eye.

Comely Attractive.

Conflate To blend together.

Cynosure A focal point of admiration.

Dalliance A brief love affair.

Demesne Dominion, territory.

Demure Shy and reserved.

Denouement The resolution of a mystery.

Desuetude Disuse.

Desultory Slow, sluggish.

Diaphanous Filmy.

Dissemble Deceive.

Dulcet Sweet, sugary.

Ebullience Bubbling enthusiasm.

Effervescent Bubbly.

Efflorescence Flowering, blooming.

Elision Dropping a sound or syllable in a word.

Elixir A good potion.

Eloquence Beauty and persuasion in speech.

Embrocation Rubbing on a lotion.

Emollient A softener.

Ephemeral Short-lived.

Epiphany A sudden revelation.

Erstwhile At one time, for a time.

Ethereal Gaseous, invisible but detectable.

Evanescent Vanishing quickly, lasting a very short time.

Evocative Suggestive.

Fetching Pretty.

Felicity Pleasantness.

Forbearance Withholding response to provocation.

Fugacious Fleeting.

Furtive Shifty, sneaky.

Gambol To skip or leap about joyfully.

Glamour Beauty.

Gossamer The finest piece of thread, a spider’s silk.

Halcyon Happy, sunny, care-free.

Harbinger Messenger with news of the future.

Imbrication Overlapping and forming a regular pattern.

Imbroglio An altercation or complicated situation.

Imbue To infuse, instill.

Incipient Beginning, in an early stage.

Ineffable Unutterable, inexpressible.

Ing√©nue¬†A na√Įve young woman.

Inglenook A cozy nook by the hearth.

Insouciance Blithe nonchalance.

Inure To become jaded.

Labyrinthine Twisting and turning.

Lagniappe A special kind of gift.

Lagoon A small gulf or inlet.

Languor Listlessness, inactivity.

Lassitude Weariness, listlessness.

Leisure Free time.

Lilt To move musically or lively.

Lissome Slender and graceful.

Lithe Slender and flexible.

Love Deep affection.

Mellifluous Sweet sounding.

Moiety One of two equal parts.

Mondegreen A slip of the ear.

Murmurous Murmuring.

Nemesis An unconquerable archenemy.

Offing The sea between the horizon and the offshore.

Onomatopoeia A word that sounds like its meaning.

Opulent Lush, luxuriant.

Palimpsest A manuscript written over earlier ones.

Panacea A solution for all problems

Panoply A complete set.

Pastiche An art work combining materials from various sources.

Penumbra A half-shadow.

Petrichor The smell of earth after rain.

Plethora A large quantity.

Propinquity Proximity; Nearness

Pyrrhic Successful with heavy losses.

Quintessential Most essential.

Ratatouille A spicy French stew.

Ravel To knit or unknit.

Redolent Fragrant.

Riparian By the bank of a stream.

Ripple A very small wave.

Scintilla A spark or very small thing.

Sempiternal Eternal.

Seraglio Rich, luxurious oriental palace or harem.

Serendipity Finding something nice while looking for something else.

Summery Light, delicate or warm and sunny.

Sumptuous Lush, luxurious.

Surreptitious Secretive, sneaky.

Susquehanna A river in Pennsylvania.

Susurrous Whispering, hissing.

Talisman A good luck charm.

Tintinnabulation Tinkling.

Umbrella Protection from sun or rain.

Untoward Unseemly, inappropriate.

Vestigial In trace amounts.

Wafture Waving.

Wherewithal The means.

Woebegone Sorrowful, downcast.

Source: 100 Most beautiful words in the English language* | Deshoda РStumbleUpon.

What are some of your favourite words? Learned any new words lately? Does the underuse of a particular word pain you?

13 Things About The Book Thief

I’m about halfway through The Book Thief (by Markus Zusak), and I’m really enjoying it. I can’t do a real review yet, but here are a few things I like about the book:

  1. It’s narrated by the grim reaper/death.
  2. The author throws away the ideas of subtleties in foreshadowing. You know a lot of things that are going to happen before you think you should, but it works. Mostly because you have no idea how or why those things will happen.
  3. The reader is directly addressed by the narrator. (I really like this because I’ve always wanted to write a book this way. It’s cool that I got to read one that does that.)
  4. Random German phrases. Babe and I affectionately call each other Saumensch and Saukerl from time to time.
  5. The secondary characters are as interesting as the primary characters. Their appearances always evoke a reaction like, “Oh, YAY! Him again,” or “Ugh… Not this prick again!”
  6. The reader knows just enough. Not too little, and not too much. It’s a delicate balance.
  7. I have no idea if this book is supposed to be young adult, or just plain fiction. Gotta love that in a book. (If you’ve read The Hunger Games, you understand the effect I’m talking about.)
  8. The Holocaust. I have no idea why this is so interesting to me, but it is. Movies and books that are directly related to it, or just around that time period grab me and hold me in the air until they’re done.
  9. History. See above.
  10. Awesome quotes. In talking about human nature, the narrator says, “So much good, so much evil. Just add water.” Another great one is, “The words were born on her breath, and died at her lips.”
  11. I think I forgot to mention quotes. “Her teeth were like a soccer crowd, crammed in.”
  12. The Jesse Owens incident. The main character’s best friend painted himself black and ran 100 metres, to see what it felt like to be Jesse Owens.
  13. Won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book. Someday, I’ll have a book to enter in the competition. Maybe – just maybe – that book will win.

Weekend Recap

FRIDAY

  • I like my ice cream on a cone, but I don't like the cone.

    Ryan (my 4-year old cousin) hung out with us for the night while his dad went to a meeting. I love when he visits! (He lives on another island with his mother.)

  • Babe and I took him to a new game room. It’s pretty cool with about 15 flat screens set up with game consoles like XBox and Wii.
  • He chose to play PacMan, a Mario Bros monster truck driving game, and something else I don’t remember.
  • It was hilarious, watching him play the games and get so excited that he couldn’t sit down.
  • We fed him Cheetos, root beer, and vanilla familla ice cream in a cone. The cone was not consumed.
  • When we were about to leave, “Sexy and I Know It” played. Of course, the child stopped, struck a pose, and said, “SEXY AND I KNOW IT!” The woman who was helping us said, “Awww, he’s so cuuute!” Hahaha.
  • As we walked down the sidewalk (in the shopping centre) from the game room to the ice cream parlour, he stopped about 3 times to strike a pose and remind us that he’s, “SEXY AND I KNOW IT!” Hilarious.
  • While hanging out in the ice cream parlour, after we were done eating our ice cream, he told us the story of “Jack and the Beanstalk.” I kid you not, the boy told the story VERBATIM. It was amazing. When he was done telling the story, we sang a few nursery rhymes.
  • In the car, we turned the radio up and sang and danced.
  • His dad’s meeting went later than expected. We found a spot to park and listen to music. Eventually, I got out of the car to entertain him with dance, and he joined me, dancing in the dark, on the side of the road. FUN.

SATURDAY

  • We didn’t go running. ūüė¶ It rained in the early hours of the morning, and by 6am, it was wet and gross. We just stayed in bed.
  • At 6am, there were two doorbell rings. We were annoyed, and hell-bent on ignoring. Eventually, I realized that it was probably my cousin, meeting us to run. I opened the door, told her we were still in bed, and she could come in and sleep or something until time for yoga.
  • Babe and I didn’t end up continuing to sleep. We chatted and laughed in bed, and then decided to get ready.
  • Yoga was great. It was a rather relaxing class. We didn’t do anything too taxing. Leg raises were the toughest part. We also did sun salutations, warrior poses, triangle, shoulder stand, bridge, and breathing exercises.
  • We left feeling relaxed and refreshed. Off we went to get breakfast!
  • Unlike last week, they did NOT run out of my Saturday morning special. Babe and I had our desired breakfasts, and we watched two episodes of Modern Family (we may be slightly addicted) and an episode of Downton Abbey (another slight addiction).
  • We just relaxed for the rest of the day, with our nooks. Babe is reading Graceling, and I’m still reading The Book Thief. SO good!
  • We were bad girls and had chocolate cake (me), tiramisu (Babe) and nachos for dinner.

SUNDAY

  • No run again. The weather did not cooperate.
  • We did some cleaning, and more Modern Family + Downton Abbey + reading
  • The usual FamJam at my great-gram’s house. Ryan was there.
  • I got lots of spontaneous hugs from Ryan throughout the afternoon. I even got a “Myyy Alicia!” with one of the hugs. ūüôā
  • When I was leaving, Ryan started to cry. My heart broke a little. I told him to be sure to call me when he’s back in Nassau. He left for Abaco this morning.
GOAL FOR THIS WEEK
  • 300 word Flash Fiction + 2 edits
  • Complete character development for novel
  • Outline ideas for children’s books
  • Start work on grant proposal for business
  • Find an illustrator for children’s books + Get quotes
  • Complete registration folders for the event
  • Record ideas from The Book Thief,¬†A Secret Kept, and The Forgotten Garden

How was your weekend? Did you do anything interesting? What’s your week looking like?

Five Question Friday

1. Will you run to the store or to pick up a kid looking a mess?
Looking a mess? Not quite. I wouldn’t doll up. A short dress or shorts and a tank would do. I’d put a cap on if my 1 inch hair doesn’t meet society’s standards. Lol. I rolled out of bed one night to get my niece from a party, and I just threw on a short dress and flip-flops. *shrugs* I figure I’m fine as long as I can step out of the car, and manage to put air in the tires.
2.¬†Do you finish a book if it’s boring or you don’t like it?
Never. Babe has tried to get me to read one or two books that I just could not get into. I had to explain to her that reading is something that I do for pleasure. I have always loved it. There are far too many good books out there – books that I can appreciate – for me to waste time fighting through books that I just don’t like. If the first few pages don’t grab me, I don’t see how I can end up liking it. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is a prime example (though not Babe’s suggestion). People kept telling me that if I “could just get through the first 100 pages…” Um, what?! No. I’m not supposed to feel like I’m working. The AUTHOR was supposed to do the work. He/She is supposed to make me WANT to read it. Fail.
3. Beach or mountain vacations?
Since I live on an island, I’ll go with mountain vacations. I’d love to be able to climb and hike. I’d still like to have an island vacation (on a different island of The Bahamas) at some point. I think it would be terrible to travel all over the world, but not know/see/experience what is in my own backyard. 700 islands and cays (not all inhabited)… I need to go to at least 5 of them.
4.¬†What thing/event says “winter will end and spring is right around the corner” to you?
When the water gets warm again, I guess. We don’t really have a winter here. When I lived in Halifax, it was tulips. Seeing them pop up always made me smile.
5. Would you prefer couples or family vacation?
I really don’t know. I’ve never had either. I think both would be great. If I had to choose right now, I’d go with couples since we don’t have a family. Yet.
My week has been pretty good. It got rocky yesterday evening. Seriously, it doesn’t take much to change my mood sometimes. I was quite happy and feeling good until ONE comment was made. I’m under a lot of pressure these days, and I’m finding it a lot harder to deal with being told what to do and how to do it, random, unwanted criticism, and negativity. I’m just not in a place to deal with it in a positive way. I’m also not in a place where I can respond to issues as they arise. I am not a confrontational person to begin with, but at this time, I feel that I am a lot more likely to curl into myself. I’m a loner by nature. It’s only by very intentional thoughts and actions that I interact with others. It’s been a work in progress for a long time, and I don’t expect it to just flow every single day. Some days are harder than others, I guess.
I think I may be overdue for a good cry. Or scream session? I am SO not a crier, but because I don’t talk, talk, talk, a lot of things never get out of my system until I actually breakdown and cry. Lucky for me, I’ve been running and practicing yoga. This has definitely been helping. I’m one of those people that needs to be active, and using exercise as a release and refresher. Nothing wrong with that, right?

Took my lunch to the beach. Sat there to clear my head.

This weekend, there were a few things that I wanted to do. Lots of changes have happened with the plans, and now I’m just not interested. I’m not very flexible. I make a conscious effort to be, but right now, I can’t be bothered. When plans change, I get really annoyed, or very uninterested. Especially with things that I talk myself into. For example, a book binding workshop was scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. Help was needed to bind booklets for another event, so teaching people how to do it was an easy way to get help, I guess. I RSVPed on Facebook. A few days ago, they said they no longer need to bind the books, but will host a free workshop anyway, and people can make scrapbooks. Me? No longer interested. Thanks, but no thanks. I have no desire to express any sort of creativity, or to sit around doing something very basic (because I suck at artsy things) while people around me are doing awesome things. No, thanks. I talked myself into doing the book binding thing that would have simply been following instructions. I’m not interested in pressuring myself to be creative, and make my own scrapbook. Screw it.

Ok, whoooa. Lemme slow down. It’s still been a good week. I got a lot of things done. Yes, there is still a lot left to do. Yes, a lot of people have pissed me off this week. Work is getting crazy. The event is 29 days away. Hooolyyy! I’m getting a lot of flack for a lot of things that have nothing to do with me. When I get home, I really just want to relax. But there are things to do. Cleaning. Cooking. I can’t expect Babe to continue to do it all. I really have to pull my own weight. Then, of course, there’s the writing. It has to happen.
BALANCE. BALANCE. BALANCE. Balance is what I’m striving for. It’s always been what I’ve wanted in life. Until this point, I have succeeded. Now, it’s more difficult. I don’t want to say that it’s just not possible for the next 29 days or so. That would be quitting. I can’t quit. I just need to wind down and figure things out. Maybe the weekend (with nothing to do) will help. Maybe.
Random thing I just remembered: My birthday is in two weeks. There are/will be no plans. It will suck. I am (mentally/emotionally) ready.
The silver-lining to all these clouds: I am alive. And living. Not just breathing. And there will always be a better day.
How was your week? Do you have plans for the weekend? How do you express yourself best?