joy writes things

Leave a comment

Reading Bingo Update – Books 4&5


Since we last spoke, I have indeed picked up the pace and continue to speed read my way past my problems! Huzzah!
White Cat (The Curse Workers Book #1) by Holly Black (the first book in a series)
Despite the fact that I found two typos and two things that are not consistent with the framework of the story, I loved this book.  It’s not typical.  It took me to a world I have never imagined, and surprised me happily.  I was shouting things at the main character with my mind, and reading through it with rage, frustration, and anxiousness.  I thoroughly enjoyed book #1 of The Curse Workers, and I’ve already started book #2.  If you like fantasy, you should give this series a shot.

ImageBoy Proof by Cecil Castellucci (a book you heard about online)
Boy Proof was my book that I heard about online.  I saw a vlogbrothers video in which John Green discussed 18 of his favorite non-best-sellers, and Boy Proof was one of them.  The book was a lot different than I’d anticipated based on John Green’s brief description, which was good and bad.  I do think that Cecil Castellucci managed to completely capture how it is to be an irrational, immature, emotional teenage girl who doesn’t quite understand why she does the things she does.  If you’re trying to get into the frustration that is the teenaged-female mind, definitely pick this book up.  It was written very well, and I really enjoyed the second half.

Side note: if anyone has any great YA books that are set in Paris, give me a heads up.

Leave a comment

Reading Bingo Update – books 1-3

I really wanted to write today, and my brain wrestled over what the topic should be for a while.  I regret to inform you (actually, the title probably already informed you.  Dang.) that this is simply a Reading Bingo Update post.  Don’t be too excited.

ImageI am not moving nearly as quickly as I need to be in order to accomplish my reading goals for this year.  I need to step it up a notch.  Even though I posted this picture before, I didn’t take any time to talk about the books I’d read, so I’m going to write about them briefly in the order I completed them.

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and Dan Levithan (a book without a love triangle)

I think I expected something edgier when I decided to read this.  It was very, very light reading, and not overly compelling.  It was a strange transition from Catching Fire to Dash and Lily.  The action was minimal and the plot wasn’t overly interesting.  Cute is the best word to describe this book and its characters.  While it definitely doesn’t come close to my top ten, it was an enjoyable and pleasant read.  (Sidenote: It annoyed me that Dash was supposed to be from New York but used stereotypically British phrases.  Something like that should’ve been caught in editing but skated by and there was no explanation for it.)

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (the last book in a trilogy)

As you already know, I am in love with The Hunger Games series.  After I read Mockingjay, I could only describe myself as wrecked.  Catching Fire was my favorite book of the series, which I realized stems from my desire to see Peeta happy, which he was at very specific points in that book.  I had very high expectations for Mockingjay after reading CF and I am SO GLAD I read it before seeing the films.  I was disappointed with the gratuitous violence that plagued the final chapters of Mockingjay.  I understood the purpose, and it wasn’t because I was emotional about it (which I obviously was), but because of the absurdity and crudeness with which the events were described.  That being said, I can’t say I liked this book.  I definitely enjoyed reading it, and I am still in love with the series as a whole, but Mockingjay was easily my least favorite of the three.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz (a book set in the past)

Immediately, I fell in love with the main character, Ari.  I love his attitude, outlook, the way he keeps everything inside, all of it.  I just adored him and I loved the way he was written.  Dante irritated me, which is just a sort of personality clash.  I enjoyed this book, especially after the story picked up toward the middle.  I had a slight problem with the ending; I felt that Ari changed in a way that didn’t feel natural to his character.  But overall, definitely a quality read with quality characters and some of the things Saenz writes are flawless and brilliant.

I hope your Bingo adventures are going as smoothly as mine, and hopefully faster.  Enjoy your 2014 reads!

Leave a comment

Valentine doodles

Being Valentines Day, I thought I would share some of my Valentine doodles with you, but before I do, I just want to say something I am grateful for.

So many people gripe and complain about how their mom is their valentine and “oh, how lame,” or “oh, how embarrassing,” or “oh I’m such a loser when will I ever find someone to be with.”

I just want to say that I am so grateful that I can spend Valentines Day with my parents.  I’m super grateful that my parents are around and don’t mind spending ridiculous amounts of time with their nerdy, television obsessed, tablet-over-using daughter.  I am very grateful for my mom and dad being my valentines.  Someday my life will probably (hopefully) be different; I will move somewhere new and exciting and find new people and new non-relative valentines and that’ll be a great adventure, but until then I am so happy and grateful for all of these silly, meaningless, Hallmark holidays to spend with my family.

Here are some things I’ve drawn lately; happy Valentines day!






Leave a comment

Why do bad shows happen to good actors?

Welcome to the first edition of Bad Shows, Good Actors, the series where I highlight a talented individual who is unfortunately stuck on a less-than-excellent show.  Today’s shining star is Giovanni Ribisi.

Since the start of his career in 1985, Ribisi has been featured on many different television shows.  While this is not necessarily a bad thing, only a few of them stuck.  His last long-running role was on My Name is Earl, and before that he had a recurring role on Friends as Phoebe Buffay’s younger brother.  I knew he was talented simply by his approach to the role of Frank Jr. on Friends, but clearly his diversity speaks for itself.

Every year I give a few new sitcoms a shot.  Dads was one of my 2013 hopefuls which quickly disappointed me when it came to writing and acting.  Everything about it felt cheesy and the jokes were stereotypical, at best, and were too mind-numbing to be considered offensive.  Racist stereotypes, short-guy stereotypes, old people stereotypes – honestly, you name a stereotype and it has probably been prominently featured as a gag on Dads.  One of the only things (if not THE only thing) that makes Dads almost worth watching, is Giovanni Ribisi’s brilliant comedic timing and hilarious delivery.  He is charming and excellent in this brown-paper-bag of a show.  Despite the likelihood of Dads getting cancelled, I hope Ribisi finds himself another home in the prime-time spotlight.

Leave a comment >

Well, here before you sits my new header (the very childishly drawn picture up there).  I got a little tablet happy the past week and it very obviously distracted me from everything else in life.  Tablets are awesome.  If you enjoy drawing, you should get one.  Then you too can have fancy headers.  (Or – idea- just commission me to do one for you.)

Every day thousands of ideas run through my brain like a gazelle stampede.  When I was a kid, I used to lay on the floor of my grandparents’ living room and stare up at the ceiling fan.  While it was spinning, I could only focus in on one blade at a time.  I wish I could harness that ability and use it to focus in on one of the idea-gazelles.

It’s so hard feeling unsettled all the time.  Please don’t take this as another one of those “nothing is really wrong in my life so I’m going to complain about my mild discomfort” entries that people post all the time.  I swear that’s not what it is.

I just feel really stuck.  I feel like this time in my life is supposed to be so full and explosive, and I’m spending it on my parents’ couch not staring at any sort of ceiling fan, but instead staring at the hypothetical possibilities I’ve imagined for myself somewhere beyond where I am.

I read an awesome article the other day (link here), which talked about being appreciative of the now – even if it feels like nothing is happening.  I suck at that.  I absolutely suck at it.  My whole life I’ve wanted to be somewhere I could not reach, somewhere into the future where things were all “worked out.”  I’m not a particularly happy person by nature.  I’ve been told my whole life that things are supposed to “get better,” and I’ve clung to the hope that comes with that statement, not really grasping that it takes a whole lot of work on my part to make it better.  That’s my problem.  I can’t make the connection from now to a better version of now.  It’s like when you’ve just gotten out of the shower and you’re huddled up in a towel.  You’re freezing (because it’s winter.  I should’ve mentioned that.  Readers from Florida and California, pretend you know what winter feels like.  Oh! It’s like when you’ve left the air on for too long and it’s only 50 degrees outside anyway), and you know that if you get dressed and blow dry your hair you will be perfectly warm and content but you just can’t bring yourself to face the two minutes of freezing you will endure when you step out from your towel-barrier.  That’s me.  I’m stuck in my towel-now.  I realize this may not have been the best analogy.

My resolve for 2014 is to try harder – at everything.  I want to love better, I want to have more motivation, I want to be a better child, friend, human being.  But I have to try harder.  Trying harder to try harder is really hard.