Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wednesday's Weekly Wordplay [6]

Wednesday's Weekly Wordplay is a weekly puzzle started here at Bells Beautiful Books so that I could share my love of word puzzles with you! I will never share one I haven't already done myself because that would be cruel and I want to solve these too! On the following Wednesday, the answer to the previous week's puzzle will be revealed. Please comment your answers and maybe somewhere along the way there will be prizes for those who answer them first! Enjoy!


How to Solve a Cryptogram:
"Cryptograms are quotations in a simple substitution code. Each letter of the quotation has been replaced by another letter. A letter is always represented by the same letter throughout the code. A letter will never stand for itself."
-Classic Cryptograms


AN  CBCR ' Z  LMM  KVSN  VUND  VR  ZXN  PLSN  PXBQ ,  YHZ  AN ' DN  LMM BR  ZXN PLSN  YVLZ . 
- YNDRLDC  YLDHKX



Last Week's Answer:
Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them.
-Flannery O'Connor
(Love the lady's writing, but this isn't very encouraging :(  )

Monday, November 21, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I Would Like to Have at My Thanksgiving Dinner

Top Ten Tuesday is a wonderful little thing dreamed up by the wonders over at The Broke and Bookish, a lovely favorite of mine. I like a good list and this one seemed fun! It's kind of like that question... If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive who would it be? And people say Einstein or Lincoln or Robert Pattinson. (Guess which one is my answer?) I'm going to go with authors dead or alive because ten authors is a lot to have at one dinner table. I really don't have a clue how these authors are in real life, so seen below are my own romantic notions.




These people are decked out for Thanksgiving.
You can't even sit down at that table.

10. C.S. Lewis--He would just be fascinating to talk to. This is the man who made me more comfortable and understanding of the concepts of heaven and hell. Not only could we have an intense conversation about religious philosophy, he'd also be the guy with really awesome stories and insights into just about everything. I recently picked up a free book of his about the Middle Ages. This guy would be like a wise, genteel grandpa who everyone would gather around at the end of the night by the fire so we could hear about the first Thanksgiving.

9. Stephenie Meyer--Cheesy, but I think it would be so cool to have a conversation with her about Twilight. She's probably so sick of Twilight though and I'd probably become ashamed and talk to her about The Host even though I don't remember The Host enough to have an intelligent conversation with the author of it about it. Not to say it's not a good book, because it is, but it's been awhile since I read it. She would be kind of awkward I think because anyone in my family would go batshiz crazy to meet her, so she would probably just cower in the corner while we threw questions at her.

8. Justin Bieber--He had that autobiography, right? He's an...author? I'm not sure, but whatever. He would definitely bring Selena Gomez because they will still be together because he did NOT have a baby and she's best friends with Taylor Swift, so she might come and then I could meet my most favorite celebrity ever! He would be the chill younger cousin I could go hang out with in the family room to play video games with and leave the adults to talking (even though I am 21 and now considered an adult).

7. Chuck Palahniuk--Have you ever read one of his books? (Most likely, but if you haven't) they're absolutely insane. What goes on in this guy's head? I'd like to hear his life story or what drugs he takes to make that stuff come out of his brain. He's a genius. Chuck would be like cool Uncle Chuck who has crazy adventure stories to tell and is kind of a pariah with the adults in the family but all the kids love him. He would play video games with me and JBiebz.

6. L.J. Smith--I can't decide if this is a real answer or not. I would mostly want her at my Thanksgiving dinner to simply make fun of  her. I feel like she'd be the crazy, ethereal Bohemian aunt (maybe married to Chuck--the floaty pixie to his hardcore meth addiction) who says the most random things completely out of the blue like "Once while hiking, I saw a snow white buck" in the middle of one of Grandpappy Lewis' parables and everyone would kind of nervously giggle and brush it off because she's already lost in thought about something else entirely.

5. Douglas Coupland--Professor Potts, my Youth in the Age of Rock literature professor, once said if you ever had a bunch of small stories and didn't know quite how to string them together, write a novel about a bunch of characters telling stories. Again, maybe I just want a bunch of authors to sit around and tell me stories, but I think Coupland would be the best at it. Like if we had one of those writing contests like the Shelleys (Percy Bysshe and Mary, to you) had in which Frankenstein was created, Coupland would always win. I wish my family was literary enough to have these kinds of contests, but I'd make Coupland my dad at this dinner and he would have a special Thanksgiving competition and I'd write about the turkey coming alive and killing everyone and he'd write a social commentary piece about a backwards Thanksgiving where it's a bunch of turkeys surrounding a human for dinner or something like that.

4. Mindy Kaling--Yay! She just released her book and I can totally count her as an author now! I feel like she would be the single family friend (awkward position, I know, but she could totes handle it) and the two of us would sneak away to talk about boys and chick flicks and when the night was winding down, we would pop in Love Actually or Elf and grab some Ben & Jerry's and enjoy the beginning of the Christmas season with snuggly blankets and fuzzy slippers and forget all the stupidness that being single brings because being single isn't stupid when you got yo' girls!

3. Mark Dunn--Mark's book about an oppressive government changing the rules of language due to letters falling off the statue of the guy who created the sentence with every letter in it (The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.) is a symbol of my love for words, word puzzles, and the playfulness of language in general. I feel like Mark and I could hide in a corner and race each other to solve cryptograms and attempt to make more sentences with every letter in them, whether or not they made any sense. He would be my age, even though he's probably a lot older, and we would delight in the alphabet all night long, sharing secret smiles across the table when someone uses incorrect grammar. Those smiles would mean we will ruthlessly trash this person later in private.

2. Megan McCafferty--Because she created a character that is similar to me, I wish was me, and who I base my life off of. Similar to J.K. below, it would simply just be a dream to have her there. I'd ask her tons about Jessica and Marcus because I love them. I would try to osmosis-ize as many eighties pop culture references that I could and attempt to even further become Jessica Darling. Also, I would bring a potential boyfriend over and ask her how Marcus he is. If this sounds obsessive, it's ok... It is.

1. J.K. Rowling--I feel like this answer is typical, but she's a huge inspiration to me. Having her seated at my Thanksgiving table would basically mean that I would be dedicating the entire day to her because I admire her so much. I think she would be a caring, compassionate aunt who would give me intelligent and sage advice on how to reach my dreams. And I would eat that up.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Gratuitous Picture: Writing for the Guardian



This is what I look like when I'm writing an article I really don't want to write: hair up, baggy sweatshirt, sweatpants, drink in hand. Oh, Guardian, challenging me all the time.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Obsessed: Breaking Dawn Part One

Today at midnight, I will be watching Breaking Dawn. I am so freaking stoked. Also, at around 930, I'll be watching Eclipse on the big screen, yet again. Once I get some homework and the first draft of my first major article completed, I will be good to go.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wednesday's Weekly Wordplay [5]

Wednesday's Weekly Wordplay is a weekly puzzle started here at Bells Beautiful Books so that I could share my love of word puzzles with you! I will never share one I haven't already done myself! On the following Wednesday, the answer to the previous week's puzzle will be revealed. Please comment your answers and maybe somewhere along the way there will be prizes for those who answer them first! Enjoy!


How to Solve a Cryptogram:
"Cryptograms are quotations in a simple substitution code. Each letter of the quotation has been replaced by another letter. A letter is always represented by the same letter throughout the code. A letter will never stand for itself."
-Classic Cryptograms


JTJQCEGJQJ X AL X ' B ORNJU XW X SGXZN SGJ YZXTJQRXSC RSXWFJR

EQXSJQR . BC LMXZXLZ XR SGOS SGJC ULZ ' S RSXWFJ JZLYAG LW SGJB .

-WFOZZJQC L ' KLZZLQ



Last Week's Answer:
The great thing about the movies is you're giving people little tiny pieces of time that they never forget.
-Jimmy Stewart

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Left Unread for Too Long

Top Ten Tuesday is a wonderful little thing dreamed up by the wonders over at The Broke and Bookish, a lovely favorite of mine. I like a good list and this one seemed a bit challenging (because I don't have my entire book collection with me here at school) and because I don't mind sharing my shame with you.






My actual bookshelf at home
filled with my shot glass collection, my Belle collection,
and other random trinkets that are special to me.


10. Random Sarah Dessen book: I've had two Sarah Dessen books for forever and I just read one this summer (This Lullaby). I'm not 100 percent sure, but I think the other one is Just Listen. I should read it. I've had it for ages.

9. Vampire Diaries: The Return: Nightfall by L.J. Smith: I don't like this series very much. I read the first four Vampire Diaries and when I got to this one, I literally stopped halfway through. It was getting ridiculous. Honestly, the only reason the series started again was because the show is super popular (and I freaking LOVE that show). And there are two more published in the Return series and I think more after that with a different colon-ic title. Plus there are Stefan's Diaries and it makes me sad. It's like writing an eighth Harry Potter book. Just leave that shiz alone.

8. Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge: Rosalie bought this for me out of the blue one summer's day for me to read. It's a very important and special book for her. I will admit I've tried reading it a dozen times, but I just can't get into it. I have a very hard time with Christian books that feel like they are trying too hard... Not exactly saying that's how I feel about this one though. (Sorry, Rose!)

7. How to Walk in High Heels: The Girl's Guide to Everything by Camilla Morton: This was also bought for me by Rosalie. I will say I have read chapters and sections at random, but I really would like to read the whole thing cover to cover because it has seriously some of the best advice ever! I'm disturbingly fashion/make-up/hair/girl impaired. So this is something I've definitely learned a lot from... Now I just need to implement it more.

6. Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri: When I read Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies for my Asian literature class my second year of college, I fell in love with Lahiri. I mean, that book was so totally depressing to me, but it was this affliction I felt that really drew me to her work. I went home that summer and found Unaccustomed Earth at a thrift store and bought it without hesitation, but I haven't read it. Maybe I'm scared I'm going to be supes depressed again!

5. Last couple Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books by Ann Brashares: I know for sure I've read the first two. I can't remember if I've read the third one. I'm certain I haven't read the fourth one. Plus, the fifth and final one came out this year I think. But I have number three and number four and I should probably read them. Now I know that there is an end to the series and I'm not going to have to wait for years, I will get on it. I've been itching to read them for quite some time now.

4. Salinger Box Set: I have this really old box set of Salinger's work (not the fancy schmancy one linked, but really old) and I have never read a single one. I know. I know. I've never read Salinger. How could I have never read Salinger. People read Salinger in grade school or high school or whenever. But honestly, I didn't really know these books were classic because I wasn't taught them in high school. It feels like everyone and their mothers read this in school, but I never did. Now everyone and their mother's all like " YOU NEVER READ THIS. WHAT BLASPHEMY!" which makes me not want to read it ever (similar to my aversion of the movie Forrest Gump). I'll read it because I want to read it, which I do. So shut up everyone and their mothers.

3. Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner: I really want to read this. Ever since it was all the rage and my high school AP Economics teacher read us an excerpt, I've wanted to read it. I will. Eventually.

2. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis: This has been recommended to me so many times, but I can never force myself to read it. I feel like I want to be at a point in my life where I'm very close to God and much more knowledgeable about Christianity before I start reading it, but my best friend said it might be even more interesting for me to read because I'm not in that place.

1. Sense and Sensibilty by Jane Austen: I started this book when I took the Jane Austen class offered at my school. That was a year ago. Now, these books have always been difficult for me to read. That sounds really depressing to admit, but I have gotten better at reading and understanding them. However, this was also required reading, so that made it also less fun to read (but I did like reading it after learning so much context about it--definitely helpful). I ended up dropping the class because they were going too fast for me to stay on top of the reading (because of my difficulty with it and the fact that it was all of the sudden required). So I'm abou three-quarters of the way through S&S but I just can't make myself finish it. I really should just start over, but that also sounds daunting. I have no idea when this will happen.   (Also, I bought pretty much the entire Jane Austen collection for that class and I really should read them too. We'll just call this top spot Everything by Jane Austen.)  (SORRY FOR ALL THE PARENTHESES!)

A Copyeditor's Rant [1]

Reading a writing project that is truly a copyeditor's worst nightmare. I am trying to not pull my hair out, shoot myself in the face, ect. Seriously, 80 percent of this shit looks copy and pasted straight from the internet. Couldn't even take the time to change the fonts so it looks uniform and like THEY ACTUALLY WROTE IT. It makes me wonder how people decide to become writing majors...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wednesday's Weekly Wordplay [4]

Wednesday's Weekly Wordplay is a weekly puzzle started here at Bells Beautiful Books so that I could share my love of word puzzles with you! I will never share one I haven't already done myself! On the following Wednesday, the answer to the previous week's puzzle will be revealed. Please comment your answers and maybe somewhere along the way there will be prizes for those who answer them first! Enjoy!


How to Solve a Cryptogram:
"Cryptograms are quotations in a simple substitution code. Each letter of the quotation has been replaced by another letter. A letter is always represented by the same letter throughout the code. A letter will never stand for itself."
-Classic Cryptograms


LCY UWYTL LCGKU TASBL LCY NSIGYE GE MSB ' WY UGIGKU

XYSXVY VGLLVY LGKM XGYQYE SO LGNY LCTL LCYM KYIYW OSWUYL .

-ZGNNM ELYPTWL


Last Week's Answer:
Why is it when we talk to God we're said to be praying, but when God talks to us, we're schizophrenic?
-Lily Tomlin

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Book Review: Living Dead in Dallas

SPOILERS: Possible spoilers if you don't watch the companion television series Tru Blood because I talk about it a lot.






Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris
Pages: 291
Publisher: ACE
Genre: Fantasy/Mystery
Series: Sookie Stackhouse series
Bought At/Borrowed From: Library bookstore ($2)


Finished: November 3rd, 2011
Reading Competition: Book 30, 10515 pages



Review: I wasn't a huge fan of the first Sookie Stackhouse novel, Dead Until Dark, so I went into this one with mild trepidation. See, I watched the show before I read the book. I don't know how heavily this sequence of events influenced my opinion of the book, but I actually had liked the show a lot better. I thought the way they set up who was murdering the girls was a lot better and just the recreation of the original plot line seemed more interesting. Though I'm not a huge fan of Tara's story in the show, I like that she's in the show and that Sookie has a friend. It seemed so sad without her. Anyway, the point is, I didn't like the book, but since my mom found novels two through nine at the library bookstore and bought them all, I brought one down to school with me to read in case I wanted an easy read.

And one night, I decided to start it. And I actually got kind of into it. I definitely had to picture all the characters I saw in the show for me to really get into it. It's funny though because some minor detail in the book will be different from show, like a character's relationship to another character or a small plot point that the show drew on but didn't do quite the same, and I see it happening as if it's the show but I have to consciously tweak it to fit what's actually happening in the book. However, it was still a pretty entertaining book.

I'm not 100 percent this is a spoiler because it's in the first chapter and is the mystery the whole book revolved around but basically Lafayette turns up dead in Andy's car at Merlotte's and Sookie wants to find out who really did it (I guess the show's analogous event would be Eggs ending up dead in Andy's car when Jason shoots him by accident.) At first when I found out Lafayette was dead, I almost stopped reading the book. First of all, I love Lafayette in the show. That bitch is my bestie. Though he's got his own crazy dealings going on (fucking Jesus), he's still such an anchor for the other characters in the show. He's tough, but deep down he's got a heart of gold. Second, I saw Nelsan Ellis, who plays Lafayette, at Comic-Con this year and I loved him, so basically killing him off was like killing me off the book.

I stuck through it. Mainly because I wanted the pages and nothing else on my shelves looks good to read right now (still need my memoir/biography and two Christian books and I'm not inclined to read the ones I brought). In the middle of the plot, these are all these other subplots. The first is that there's a maenad running about Bon Temps and Shreveport wanting a sacrifice from Eric and beats the hell out of Sookie in order to send a message to Eric. Another one is Sookie is summoned by the Dallas vampires in order to solve a mystery for them and gets wrapped up in the Fellowship of the Sun (which confused me because Jason is the one to do so in show). And another one is there's wild sexy orgy parties going on with some of the most awkward characters. And somehow, in the end, all of these ended up coming together.

I was kind of like... uh really? when it all went down. And there's this one part where the maenad is screwing with Sookie and she's focused on that so you don't get to know what's going on with the other people and then it comes to a culmination and you're like... wait, what happened? So, I was kind of confused. Maybe because I had been reading it from like two in the morning until six in the morning.

All in all, entertaining, but I LIKE THE GD SHOW BETTER! So I will leave you with this...



Enjoy that? I sure did. I love that song too. I play it a lot, though I have no one I will do bad things to, unless Robert Pattinson, Ryan Gosling, or Adam Levine happen my way. Please happen my way.

Rated: 5-- Good enough to keep me going in the series, but probably not to ever reread it once I'm done.
Up Next: As you can tell by my currently reading, it could be one of many books, but hopefull it's Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wednesday's Weekly Wordplay [3]

Wednesday's Weekly Wordplay is a weekly puzzle started here at Bells Beautiful Books so that I could share my love of word puzzles with you! I will never share one I haven't already done myself! On the following Wednesday, the answer to the previous week's puzzle will be revealed. Please comment your answers and maybe somewhere along the way there will be prizes for those who answer them first! Enjoy!


How to Solve a Cryptogram:
"Cryptograms are quotations in a simple substitution code. Each letter of the quotation has been replaced by another letter. A letter is always represented by the same letter throughout the code. A letter will never stand for itself."
-Classic Cryptograms



MFX BH BC MFOK MO CZVL CA SAY , MO ' PO HZBY CA GO DPZXBKS , GIC

MFOK SAY CZVLH CA IH , MO ' PO HUFBWADFPOKBU ?

- VBVX CAEVBK


Last Week's Answer:
There are two times in a man's life when he should not speculate when he can't afford it, and when he can.
-Mark Twain