Good Boy: Book Review

Good Boy: Book Review

Photo on 5-24-17 at 7.59 PM

*No Spoilers*

Listen guys, I don’t know much about hockey. I know there is a puck. And skates. And ice. I know there is something called a power play, but I don’t know what is so powerful or playful about it. I know that live games can be fun when you have a beer in one hand, a giant pretzel in the other, and players fighting on the ice. That is about how far I can stretch my hockey knowledge, but somehow Elle Kennedy (and Sabrina Bowen) have made this sport a large topic in my reading this year.

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A Court of Wings and Ruin: Review

A Court of Wings and Ruin: Review

*Spoilers*

ACOTAR Review  (GoodReads)

ACOMAF Review (Bitchy Fantasy)

This book is probably the most interesting one in Sarah J Maas’s career because it’s her first attempt at completing a story. Yes, there is the second trilogy coming (give it to me now!), but from what I’ve heard, it will be from a new perspective. New storyline. Same characters? But different story. I think. I’ve been reading Maas’s books for years now, but I’ve never heard her say “the end”. The end is the most important part. It determines if you have a good or bad taste in your mouth when you close the book for the last time.

So what did I taste? Read more

The Assistants-Book Review

The Assistants-Book Review

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The Assistants by Camille Perri is porn for the millennial. It’s a cathartic romp into a debt-free world that every 20-30-something fantasizes about. We follow Tina, a 30-something assistant to one of the most power men in media, and she is a woman caught between a rock and a hard place–still lingering student debt and a job with no chance of upward advancement. She is stuck in a sink hole created by the choices she made all in the name of a college education. yassss the higher the debt the higher the education!! yassss Read more

Big Little Lies: Book Review

Big Little Lies: Book Review

No Spoilers

Thank god for Big Little Lies. I’ve been in a reading slump pretty much all this year, and the only books I have been able to complete are new adult. Sex has been the only motivator so far this year, but there is nothing more motivating than murder.

Big Little Lies is set in an idyllic, beach town in Australia. (To an American, all Australian towns are idyllic and on the beach tbh.) We tumble into the world of the most vicious animal in the kingdom: the mom. Soccer moms, moms on juice cleanses, career moms, moms who do yoga, and moms who commit murder. Madeline, Jane, and Celeste are the three stars of this show (quite literally, as well), and the story follows the highs and lows of their intersecting lives, leading up to the murder of someone. Everybody has secrets, and everybody has lies they tell the world and themselves. Big Little Lies tries to navigate the world of womanhood through the lens of motherhood, and I enjoyed myself for the entire ride.

My favorite part of the book was the Greek chorus of “witnesses”. Their testimonies are sprinkled between chapters, and they are used for comic relief or as an ominous warning to the danger that lies ahead. I loved the whip smart dialogue, and I am enjoying their incorporation into the HBO show. I loved Madeline, Jane, and Celeste. The author did a great job of creating three very distinct characters who sometimes fall into their tropes (the assertive one, the shy one, and the beautiful one) but she does it so expertly that it creates intimate connections with all the women very quickly and easily. I will say this book is quite funny, it doesn’t carry the sardonic, pessimistic tone of a Gillian Flynn novel, but it’s lightheartedness does not mean it does not have serious stakes. I found the ending very satisfying. It wrapped up everything nicely, but I’m pretty sure there is something ugly beneath that beautiful wrapping paper.

 

Rusty Fork V: Character-sitter

Rusty Fork V: Character-sitter

I don’t know if I explained earlier, but these posts are not going to be filled with advice. Don’t come here looking for a teacher. You will only find a novice writer and part-time adult doing the best she can, which is usually the bare minimum. The analytics say there are, on average, 20 of you who read each post, so I will keep entertaining you as best I can. I live to serve…my own selfish desires.

My characters have become real, living, breathing people. Sometimes, I want to cry because they are so much a part of me now. It’s like how people say you have mastered a language when you dream in that langauge. I am dreaming in the language of my characters. I know them, at least I think I do, and I am finding it easier to write scenes because their thoughts have become second nature.

Yes, I still have a long way to go, and sometimes I get frustrated at the characters because they don’t always do the things I want them to, but I love them through it all. I am an ill-prepared mother, raising these three children on my own, and I really hope I don’t accidentally kill one of them or forget one in a JC Penney. I am more like a 14-year-old on her first babysitting job, and I am terrified that something is going to go wrong. It is my duty to see these characters to the end because they deserve a story. This responsibility causes some stress, but I have never felt so fulfilled in an artistic endeavour.

So I keep writing, and I keep dreaming.

Maybe one day I will give you all a more substantial update, but I am keeping the story close to me for the time being.

Rusty Fork IV: Location, Location, Location

Rusty Fork IV: Location, Location, Location

A road trip down I-40 led me unexpectedly back to the town I was born in, and it’s the town that has inspired the location of my story. I do have a Pinterest board for inspiration, but it’s private. The afternoon was cathartic, and it was inspiring to see, smell, and hear the world I imagined in my head. I tried to picture my characters walking down similar sidewalks. It felt real because it was once real to me, even though I am so completely removed from that world now.

Enjoy a slice of small town life.

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Rusty Fork I: The Why

Rusty Fork II: Strength

Rusty Fork III: The Tools

Moons Out of Molehills

Moons Out of Molehills

My grandpa once said the moon was mine. It’s the kind of scene that would open my biopic. It’s a simple story that I was reminded of many times growing up, and I even wrote a super, cheesy paper about it my freshman year of college when I thought I was hot shit. Are you going to tell us the story or what? Well dear reader, I was sitting on the back porch with my grandpa. He pointed to the moon and said, “The moon is yours.” I don’t remember his exact words. I can barely remember what I ate for lunch (broccoli cheddar bread bowl from Panera), but that is essentially what happened. I’m doing a horrible job introducing this post. Get ready for a quick change of tone…

I’ve been thinking about my history with depression and anxiety recently, and I’ve come to liken it to making a coin shine in a moonless night. Once in a while, you might find a street lamp, but it can seem like a hopeless task for most of the journey. I’m not saying that there is one right or one wrong way to handle these issues, but I do want to talk about my own struggles and where I am now.

I was always called a worrier or an over thinker. They were traits to trivialize or ignore. My mother would laugh it off, “That’s just Liz.” She didn’t do it out of carelessness or spite. I think, in her own way, she wanted to normalize what I was feeling so that I would feel normal. I am a sheet of paper. My mother is the paperweight on top. She has kept me grounded through the years. She is the one that suggested I try counseling. She is the one who told me to go for a run when I was getting anxious. She is not perfect, but she is perceptive and strong.

College created physical distance between us, but she was always there for me. I had a really hard time. A. really. hard. time. Sometimes I didn’t know if I would graduate. Sometimes I didn’t know if I would live. Some people say, “Oh man, college was the best years of my life.” Not me. You could not pay me to go back to that head space. The constant worry about my future. The worry. People forget how exhausting worry can be. There were days I was too tired to eat or sleep. I lost my freshman 15, and then I gained 30 back.I joined a sorority. I lived with roommates. I had a steady boyfriend. I should have been happy, and then I was angry when I wasn’t. I was angry that I couldn’t ride the bus to class because I had a panic attack the last time. I was angry that I couldn’t give my senior thesis presentation because I was worried about a panic attack. I was angry that I was worried and not living.

Being angry and sad and worried is exhausting.

I couldn’t tell you when things turned around. It’s funny how you can pin point all the sad moments in your life, but happiness is usually vague and undetectable. This post was never meant to be a how-to, more of a self-centered look at my own life, but I know it started to turn around. I moved back into my mom’s after graduating.I found a job, not a life changing career that fulfills me everyday, but it does help pay my student loans down and it keeps me in a routine. Routines keep me centered. When I am centered, it is easier to stay happy, normal. Find a routine. Be willing to break it at times. Know that you can always come back to it.

A lot of my anxiety stems from crowds and claustrophobia. This also led to a fear of public transportation. Avoid those triggers. Be vocal with friends. Work around it, and when you are ready, fight it. Find the strength to face it. You will be exhausted after. You might fail the first time or slip even when you are more seasoned. Sometimes the normalcy you are fighting for will feel like making a coin shine in a moonless night, but here is a little secret, normal is what you make normal.

Now back to the beginning to tie it all together. My grandpa was not theorizing that I had ownership of the moon, I don’t think I could afford the monthly payments and I assume it would get rather lonely, but that the reach of my life extends beyond my flesh, four walls, state, country, planet, and it travels past the moon and many other moons. I have not considered myself religious for a long time, but I believe there is something to everything we are doing. I take solace in this. I take comfort in this simple story that has created my own personal mythology.  I’ve learned to not pay attention to the coin. Look at the moon.Look at the stars. Look at the sun. They always come back. 

Rusty Fork III: The Tools

Rusty Fork III: The Tools

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This will be the most visually stimulating post that I make in this series. I have mad respect for bookstagrammers who can actually take decent photos. Enjoy the harsh sunlight. I didn’t think about editing or adding filters to the photos until I wrote this sentence, and I am too lazy to go back now.
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A) Neo 2 Alphasmart – deserves an explanation. Maybe one day I’ll do a post on it.
B) Laptop – self-explanatory
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C) My Bible – this is where I plot and draft many of the scenes. The pages are scattered with quotes and descriptions that have not been used yet. I had a nightmare that someone broke into my car and stole it from me.
D) Sticky Notes
E) Pens and Highlighters
F) Progress Calendar – I stole this idea from VE Schwab. It’s an easy way to see what progress you’ve made and can be utilized in many different ways. Each stars represents something I have completed for the day: read for an hour, write/plan for an hour, and work out.
G) Plot Sticky Notes (different from regular sticky notes) – I’m a very tactile person and Scrivener wasn’t cutting it. I had a flash of genius a few weeks ago, and stuck up the basic plot points for the three main characters on my bedroom wall. It has helped tremendously.
H) Progress Stars – everybody loves a reward, even a sticker reward.
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I) Plot Calendar – this plot calendar is much more detailed than the original plot hanging on my wall. The story takes place over three weeks, so this makes it easy to break down each character’s story day by day.
J) Candle – because it’s calming as shit.
K) Note cards
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L) Books on writing – okay, sometimes books on writing can be cheesy as hell and very limiting, but you can always find a glimmer of inspiration from them. I have enjoyed the Write Great Fiction series shown above.
M) Kindle
N) Book with prompts – this book has become part of my nighttime routine. I pick one prompt and write a short paragraph from the perspective of a main character. It has helped A LOT at finding the voices.
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O) Desk

Rusty Fork I: The Why

Rusty Fork II: Strength