Hello 2018: Books

When I think about what has shaped me throughout my lifetime, and what is my #1 go-to when I’m feeling down, it’s definitely books.  So when thinking about things that helped me through 2017, I want to take a time to shout-out reading.

Books

As soon as I could read, books were all I thought about.  One of my favorite stories to tell in my classes is a contest we had when I was in second grade.  For every 20 books we read we would get pushed down the hallway in the principal’s chair.  And whoever read the most books would get a prize at the end of the year.

Every week I went down that hallway.  Every. Damn. Week.  And it was exhilarating.  I blew the competition out of the water.  There was no contest.  I was the clear winner from day 1.  I remember one of my classmates trying to keep up but that didn’t last long.  I was barely 7 years-old but that always sticks out at one of my fondest memories.

Every time we had a book fair or a guest author my parents continued to help foster my love of reading by buying me books and getting autographed copies.  I still have most of them, and very rarely if ever have I sold a book to a used bookstore.  Even the really awful books that I have to slog through over the course of a couple of months I’ve kept because one day I want to have my own floor to ceiling library in my home.  With a small sitting area in the window…  One day.

This year I didn’t read a lot, mostly because I went to work, came home, slept… rinse and repeat month after month.  I finished Game of Thrones earlier this year and have been trying to read through a couple other books.  My goal for this year is to read at least 24 new books.  (I re-read Harry Potter all the time, so that doesn’t count)  I’ve always wanted to read through a list and post reviews, I’ll look into doing that later this year as well.

Books.  They just make me happy.  The smell, the feel, the pages as I turn them.  Ahh, books.

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A Bookworm Chef | Daily Prompt

Digging Up Your Digs

500 years from now, an archaeologist accidentally stumbles on the ruins of your home, long buried underground. What will she learn about early-21st-century humans by going through (what remains of) your stuff?

So somebody stumbles upon the long abandoned ruins of my house, most likely covered in piles of garbage, right?  Just kidding, just kidding.  500 years from now, eh?

Let’s see, well first let’s assume I buy a house in the future, and that I settle down here in Japan.  What will they learn from that…

First, and most important, is that they were addicted to books.  Hard copies, not the digital copies.  They’re going to find hundreds of books scattered all around my house.  Mountains in the bedroom, some in the bathroom, and most importantly a whole living room that is centered around bookshelves.  Think Beauty and the Beast, floor to ceiling library style.  Well, what remains of that after 500 years.  The books will probably be in bad shape, unable to be read, but will show how much people in the 21st-century still enjoyed the real copies.

I’m really hesitant to make the jump to digital books, there’s something about it that feels like a betrayal.  I love books.  I love the smell of a new book.  I think I enjoy the smell of old books more.  I’m that girl in the used book stores that cracks open that ancient book and sticks her nose right in the spine.  It’s almost like I can smell where it’s been.  Ahhhh.  Talking about it is making me want to sniff some books, haha.

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Greasers | Daily Prompt

A quickie today, vacation is over after tomorrow!

Daily Prompt – Off the Shelf

Take a look at your bookcase. If you had enough free time, which book would be the first one you’d like to reread? Why?

 

When I look at my bookcase, I get really depressed.  Here in Japan, I have maybe 10 books.  In America, I have boxes and tubs full of books.  I think at last count I was somewhere around 5 full size tubs and 5 big boxes full of books.  I think I got somewhere around 450 before I gave up counting each one.  😦

So, for this one, I’d like to imagine I’m digging through all of my books at home, getting ready to sort them by favorites to put them back on my shelves.  I’d probably spend a good day or so going through all of them, making different piles that correspond to how I feel about them.  I know the pile of ‘all-time favorites’ would probably be huge.  I love all books, and I can always find something good about a book, even if no one else can.

But while going through this box of books, I think the one I would re-read the quickest is the Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.  That book inspired me so much when I was younger.  The story of the Curtis brothers and their friends really moved me.  To this day it still tops my list of favorite books.  I first read it in 7th grade, and I think I finished it in a day.  It’s a quick read and very quickly paced.

This book was so inspiring I actually wrote my first fanfiction about it, hahaha.  I still think about the Outsiders all of the time.  I like to think that reading S.E. Hinton’s book and connecting to it is what made me want to become a writer.  Before that I had read books just to read them.  I was more interested in the number of books I read.  In second grade we had a reading contest (you know, those small kiddie books with maybe 12 pages).  And the previous record was like 80 books.  I read over 200 in the time we had.  It seemed like every week they were pushing me down the hallway in the principal’s chair for completing another chart.  There were footprints that represented the number of books you read… I think my sheets went all the way down to the floor.  I devoured books like they were candy.  And it wasn’t until I picked up the Outsiders that I really found joy in the story, rather than just wanting to add another to my collection.

And, as an added bonus, I have the actual first copy that I read.  My rabbit ate the back cover and I couldn’t return it back to my school library.  The librarian was really understanding but I still paid for another copy.  So, now when I look back at that book, not only am I reminded of where it’s taken me, but I’m also reminded of my best friend.  ^^

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/off-the-shelf/

Hard Choices | Daily Prompt

A Bookish Choice – Daily Prompt

A literary-minded witch gives you a choice: with a flick of the wand, you can become either an obscure novelist whose work will be admired and studied by a select few for decades, or a popular paperback author whose books give pleasure to millions. Which do you choose?

 

Both are such good options, to me at least.  I would love to be an obscure novelist, someone who really carves out their own, unique niche, but only a few people understand/get into.  I think that would be a lot of fun, because then you can really build a relationship with your readers.

On the other hand, it would be great to be a popular author and entertain millions.  To be able to be a writer like J.K. Rowling, who pretty much raised an entire generation on her books, I would love that.

So I really can’t decide.  But if the witch were holding the wand to my head like a gun, I would definitely have to choose being an obscure novelist.  I think that way I could stay truer to my roots and the real reason I want to get into writing.  I could build an interesting and fun relationship with readers.  I want to be accessible, involved and really give not only interesting books, but interesting experiences as well.  I really want to see this dream begin to come to fruition soon.  I keep taking these steps, it’s time to finally achieve it.

Having a lot of fun with my friend here.  Trying to keep on, keeping on.  Hitting a lantern festival tomorrow, so I’ll most likely have plenty of photos to share.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/a-bookish-choice/

An Introduction of Sorts…

I’ve had this blog for a while, but only last year did I really start to update it.  And then I fell off the band wagon, of course.  Haha.

So, in honor of the New Year and the blogging challenge I’ve started (Zero to Blogging Hero, check it out in my sidebar), I want to give a brief introduction of myself.  ^^

Who I Am

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My name is Megan, I’m a 25-year old English teacher living abroad in Japan.  I’m currently in Fukuoka city and I love it.  I graduated from college with a double major in Journalism and Japanese Studies.  It took me a couple years to make the decision to return to Japan, but I finally did in May of 2013 and I couldn’t be happier about my current situation.

Why I’m Writing

I’m a Journalist.  I say that very lightly.  I think ‘struggling’ Journalist would be a better idea.  While I was living in America I had a really difficult time finding a job, even though I had quite a bit of experience and skills.  So, I eventually gave up and applied for an English teaching company in Japan.  This isn’t my end-goal though, I’m still a long way off.  I want to eventually live and support myself by writing.  This blog is my first step in that direction.

I started this with the intention of writing every day.  It got to be too daunting last year, especially with a big move to Japan and not having internet for over a month.  But now that I’m well-adjusted to my life here and have finally figured out a routine, I plan on blogging as much as I can.  I don’t want to say ‘every day’ because let’s be realistic, there might just be some days where I can’t physically do it.  But I’ll try.

And hopefully, exercising my brain and my fingertips every day will help me to clear up my writer’s block.  I’ve been pretty blocked up for over 3 years now, so this is also an attempt to help get my creative juices flowing again.

What Makes me Unique

If I had to describe myself in one sentence, it would be: ‘I am a 25-year old book devouring, video game conquering, bunny loving, crazy craft addict.’

I once briefly flirted with the idea of having a blog dedicated to reading that list of 100 best books, but I never got to it.  Maybe I’ll start it up as a side project later on.  It’s hard to get English books here in Japan though.

I read a lot.  It’s just like watching a movie for me.  My imagination gets so active that sometimes I’ll forget where I am.  Yeah, I was that girl who walked home from school reading, tripped over a bump in the sidewalk and scrapped my arms/hands up just so I wouldn’t ruin the book.  Ahhh, some of the best years of my life.

My favorite author is Karin Slaughter.  She writes crime fiction, and boy is she good at it.  I’ve been hooked since book one.  I’ve met her in person one time and I almost died I was so excited.  I’ve always won one of her contests… I won the consolation ‘Don’t ever bake cupcakes again’ prize.  You can check it out here: http://www.karinslaughter.com/cupcakes2.shtml

I’m also a pretty big gamer and I have been my whole life.  I grew up with Nintendo.  I love anything Mario related and if it’s an RPG, I have to at least try it.  Two of my all-time favorite games are: Baten Kaitos and Tales of Symphonia.  I just recently bought a PS3 and have been addicted to Skyrim and Assassin’s Creed.  I’m always looking for new games to play, so throw some suggestions my way.  Tales of Xillia is arriving in the mail sometime next week, so of course I’ll be holed up playing that.

I have a healthy an unhealthy addiction to bunnies.  I got my first rabbit when I was 13.  His name was Cream.  He had a brother that I named Cookies.  One day I’ll scrounge up a photo of the two of them.  This is Cream.

Cream

He was my best friend for a really long time.  He passed away two days after my 23rd birthday.  That’s right, I had him for 10 years.  That’s an incredibly long time for a dwarf bunny.  I still miss him every single day.  Every one used to laugh and say that he was an exact copy of me, just in rabbit form.  He had the perfect attitude and everything.  That was my baby.  So, from having him for so long, stemmed this addiction to bunnies.

I love all types of bunnies.  Big, floppy eared bunnies to small, fuzzy fluff ball bunnies.  And everything in-between.  If it looks like a rabbit, I’ve probably saved the pictures, pinned it on Pinterest and posted it on my blog.  I’m a Grade A bunny enthusiast.  And I am NOT ashamed.

And lastly, I’m a craft addict.  It’s hard to be addicted to crafts in a country where you read/speak minimal Japanese, but as I learn more every day I plan on getting back into my crafting.  I used to make my own Christmas cards and do other random crafts I found on Pinterest.  I grew up in a house that really fostered creativity.  To this day my mom’s basement is full of every possible crafting item you might need.  Seriously, it’s like craft haven.  I miss it sometimes.  I could just go down there and create whatever I wanted.  For Halloween this year my best friends and I painted skulls.

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I’ll definitely be one of those moms that always does a bunch of crafts with their kids.  I’ll probably enjoy them more than the kids will.  ^^

What to Expect

Some days, I’m not even sure what I’m going to post.  Yesterday it was a collection of my favorite YouTube artists.  Tomorrow it might finally be a post I’ve been meaning to write since September.  Or maybe we’ll talk about skin cancer.  Or, honestly, maybe I’ll revisit illiteracy in America again.  Who knows.

And that’s honestly what makes blogging so much fun for me.  I never have a set plan, I never have set goals.  I just write, which is sometimes the best way to do it.  If something inspires me, I want to just take it and run with it.  I do have some loose plans for things I would like to do, but it’s never concrete.  I blog pretty much the way I live my life, ‘Whatever happens, happens.’

And you know what, I’m ok with that.

So sit down, shut up, keep your hands and feet in the car at all times, and hang on.  It’s going to be a wild ride.  Let’s embrace 2014 together, with a smile on our face and the wind at our backs!

Stackhouse Scrutiny

I just finished the final novel in the Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris, and I must say I was kind of disappointed.  I avoided reading reviews from other people because I didn’t want to spoil the book for myself.  However, once I picked it up and got about 3/4 chapters in, I read the last page and ruined it.

And man, was I disappointed.  I’ve been a fan for only a couple of years, so I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself a ‘die-hard.’  However, I do take books pretty seriously, and I really felt like the ending let me down.

Spoilers Ahead

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