Days 3-4

I know I said I would try to do this challenge every other day, but things have gotten hectic and it’s so much easier to just post one of the many book reviews I have waiting. But here, finally I’ve gotten to days 3 and 4. Anyway, this is part of the #LoveMe challenge. Which I found via Nevillegirl. 

3. A word that describes you

It took me a while to decide what word to describes me. I have so many words that I’m in love with, but don’t necessarily resonator with who I am.Then I realized I was being silly and obviously the word is Whimsy.   The word whimsy is defined a couple of ways:

  1. capricious humor or disposition; extravagant, fanciful, or excessively playful expression.
  2. an odd or fanciful notion.
  3. anything odd or fanciful; a product of playful or capricious fancy.

Odd, playful, capricious in humor are all definitely descriptions for me.

I love the word whimsy. I like the way it sounds. I like it’s meaning. I like that it’s a word containing a strangeness.  I like being whimsical and slightly…different.

4. A person who loves you

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This one is easy. Grant.

Let me tell you a story. Once a upon a time I was going to a homeschool co-op school, and there I met this kid. He was funny and smart and dorky, a little bit like me. So because he was smart and actually seemed to care about getting the homework done I decided to become friends with him.  I sadly don’t remember how it actually came about, all I know is around 7th grade we became friends and friendly rivals.  As we grew up I could tell sometimes that he had a crush on me. That became even more evident when my family left for missions and he continued to stay in contact with me, even though my internet connection was sketchy sometimes or I was just busy.
So fast forward to now and we’ve been living together for two years and he still kinda likes me. I never thought I’d be this lucky.

It’s interesting…with anxiety there’s all these worst case scenario thoughts that are flashing through my head. When we were first married I was terrified that my anxiety, my ”insanity” would drive him away and that terrified me. But recently I’ve really been able to work through that thought, with a lot of help from Grant. My anxiety is always going to be with me, but I don’t need to let it control me, and I know Grant will always have my back.

Through all my anxiety and depression, and the shit that just happens in life, Grant is the one thing I can hold onto that I know will never change. I don’t mean that he won’t change, I know he will, people always do. But I mean his love. I know that I can always trust him to be there for me, and to like me even when I really don’t like me.

 

The Art of Memoir By Mary Karr

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Goodreads Synopsis: Credited with sparking the current memoir explosion, Mary Karr’s The Liars’ Club spent more than a year at the top of the New York Times list. She followed with two other smash bestsellers: Cherry and Lit, which were critical hits as well.

For thirty years Karr has also taught the form, winning graduate teaching prizes for her highly selective seminar at Syracuse, where she mentored such future hit authors as Cheryl Strayed, Keith Gessen, and Koren Zailckas. In The Art of Memoir, she synthesizes her expertise as professor and therapy patient, writer and spiritual seeker, recovered alcoholic and “black belt sinner,” providing a unique window into the mechanics and art of the form that is as irreverent, insightful, and entertaining as her own work in the genre.

Anchored by excerpts from her favorite memoirs and anecdotes from fellow writers’ experience, The Art of Memoir lays bare Karr’s own process. (Plus all those inside stories about how she dealt with family and friends get told— and the dark spaces in her own skull probed in depth.) As she breaks down the key elements of great literary memoir, she breaks open our concepts of memory and identity, and illuminates the cathartic power of reflecting on the past; anybody with an inner life or complicated history, whether writer or reader, will relate.

Joining such classics as Stephen King’s On Writing and Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, The Art of Memoir is an elegant and accessible exploration of one of today’s most popular literary forms—a tour de force from an accomplished master pulling back the curtain on her craft.

Find on Amazon and Goodreads. 

Though I am primarily a poet and fiction writer, I would like to write my memoirs eventually. Thus how I came to pick up this book in the first place. But sadly I found, for me, this book was a waste of time.

The Art of Memoir is not helpful. There are very few actual activities that Karr suggests to do to help you with your memoir writing. When I’m reading a “how-to” book I’d like to be given activities. That was one reason I didn’t enjoy it.

I also didn’t like how long-winded and rambly it was. I wanted to get to the point, the “bit of insight” but Karr wanted to go on a tangent about how people have a hard time remembering things.

Added on to this I hated it when Karr would say things like “get a real job” to the writers reading her book. Which is all very well and nice for someone to say after they’ve had 7 books published and made money on them.

I think this book is a case of it just wasn’t for me. I found myself bugged by the voice of the author, and only found one activity with practical advice on writing. I gave this book 1 star on Goodreads. Don’t bother with it.  If you want advice on writing, try Natalie Goldberg.

Art & Anger By Jane Marcus

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“Anger is not anathema in art, it is a primary source of creative energy. Rage and savage indignation sear the hearts of female poets and female critics.” – Jane Marcus

Find on Amazon and Goodreads. 

Art and Anger is a collection of essays published in 1988,  authored by Jane Marcus. I found this book at random, I was looking through the library for books on Sylvia Plath or Virginia Woolf.

This book is well worth the read. It’s insightful and offers up many interesting points on feminism and how it’s used in literature. Though the author primarily focuses on the words of Virginia Woolf, there is also an essay about the play Salome by Oscar Wilde and a few other subjects.

I liked the correlations of anger in art, that Marcus pointed out and talked about.  Marcus’ essays never fail to bring up interesting subjects, even though they are essays. Though at times it is perhaps a little repetitive I think this book is well worth your time. I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads, and would happily read this one again.

 

Love Charms and Other Catastrophes By Kimberly Karalius

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Goodreads Synopsis: Aspiring love-charm maker Hijiri Kitamura was excited to come back to Grimbaud for her sophomore year—until she learned about the upcoming charm-making competition. She, along with her friends and fellow rebels, had worked too hard to free the town from Zita’s tyrannical love fortunes to allow some other charm maker to move in and take over. The only solution is for Hijiri to win the contest herself.

Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done, especially when Love itself has decided to meddle in Hijiri’s life. Concerned that its favorite charm maker has given up on finding a love of her own, Love delivers a very special gift—the perfect boyfriend, specially crafted just for her.

Find on Amazon and Goodreads. 

I fell head over heels in love for the first book in this duo, so I was very excited to read the second book.

Sadly I found this book fell a little flat. While the world is as magical and fantastic as ever,  I didn’t find myself connecting to the characters quite as much as I wanted to. I never really loved any of them. Hijiri is adorable, and I really wanted to like her. But I found myself too distracted by the rest of the story to find time to connect with characters.

I dislike the idea of ”perfect” boyfriends, soulmates and true loves. I feel that is just a bunch of nonsense. No one is perfect. That’s just all there is to it. Thus I found it hard to believe in Ken, Hijiri’s love interest,  as a character. On top of that I was annoyed with the setup. Hijiri doesn’t want to fall in love, so that fact that Love comes along and decides to force her into it, didn’t sit well with me.  The whole story was based around the premise that “love can fix anything”, and while it can fix somethings, it’s not a magical wand that you can wave and suddenly have your life be perfect.  Life takes work.

Love Charms is an easy read. It’s prose is beautiful, and the world is one of a kind. And if you want just a sappy love story, then by all means, please read this story. If you’re looking for a love story with a little more substance, this probably isn’t the book for you. I did give it three stars though, so I don’t think it’s a terrible story.

Our Writing Website

Grant has been working on putting together a website for our writing and updates. The site went live last night! http://musesmadwardrobe.weebly.com/

I would be ever so grateful if you were to visit the website, and consider signing up for our newsletter. Grant and I put out this newsletter quarterly, and the next issue is due at the end of this month. We have lots of cool updates to share in this one!  The link for that is here. http://musesmadwardrobe.weebly.com/we-are.html

Thank you, as always, for all of your support. For reading my blog and thanks in advance for checking out my partner and I’s new website.

 

Phonogram, Vol. 1: Rue Britannia

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Goodreads Synopsis: Britannia is ten years dead. Phonomancer David Kohl hadn’t spared his old patron a thought for almost as long… at which point his mind starts to unravel. Can he discover what’s happened to the Mod-Goddess of Britpop while there’s still something of himself left? Dark modern-fantasy in a world where music is magic, where a song can save your life or end it.

Find on Amazon and Goodreads. 

This was a 1 star book for me, and honestly ended up skimming the last 1/4, so I’ll be quick.

Phonogram could have been a unique idea if I had been able to find out what the hell was going on. I mean really there was little to no explanation for what was happening, the world or the magic system. The main character was a dick and really annoying. The art was black and white, which turned me off from page one. I like color in comics! And overall I really felt like I was wasting my time.

Like I said this is a short review, and the moral of the story is: Don’t bother. It isn’t worth your time.