Life Update – Little Rock Internship

picsThe summer started off kind of rocky and for a moment I thought I was going to have to cancel the rest of my plans. But, God’s timing is always perfect and better than what we could ever plan. So, a week after my Dad got home from the hospital, I got in the car and headed to Little Rock.

For the past six weeks I’ve been working with THV11 in Little Rock. The internship has been one of the coolest opportunities I’ve been given and each day I got to learn and experience something new. Continue reading

Advertisements

Book Review – Sharp Objects

picsss-e1532798303434.jpg*      *      *      *

I couldn’t decide on the rating for this book but I think it earned these 4 stars. There is no doubt that Gillian Flynn is a fantastic writer and very creative. I did have a few issues with the book, but on the whole it really was a great read.

Camille Preaker is a journalist based in Chicago and from a small town in Missouri. She’s battling demons that have plagued her for her entire life and they just get stronger when she’s sent back to her hometown to cover the two mysterious murders of two young girls in Wind Gap. Both girls were strangled and had their teeth pulled out and Camille finds herself relating to the victims. She must solve the puzzle for her story while also surviving the nightmare of her childhood home with her overly neurotic mother and beautiful, but somewhat evil, young sister. Continue reading

East: A Review

picsRating: 4.5

This is one of those Young Adult books that I think all kids – especially girls – should read. It features a classic heroine who acts as the savior in the majority of the novel while also being in touch with her femininity. For instance, her love of the loom and sewing is extremely important and even saves lives throughout the novel. Anyone who likes young adult novels, fairytales, or strong heroines should read East.

East is a retelling of the fairytale “East of the sun and west of the moon” and also has some Beauty and the Beast similarities. I personally believe the retelling is done really well and Edith Pattou created a beautiful, thoughtful, and entertaining story. Continue reading

Two Kinds of Decay: A Review

picssI’m not a very emotional person, but Sarah Manguso picked up my emotions like a plastic sack of eggs and threw them against a brick wall. Reading this wonderful memoir, “Two Kinds of Decay,” (5 stars, btw) was a decision that would result in me crying (not literally, but I would have if I had an ounce of emotions) because it reminded me why I love reading so damn much.

While keeping her distance from an obviously horrendous and traumatic experience, Manguso tells an honest, quick paced, truthful, and emotional story of her life and the disease that interrupted it. At a young age, Manguso was hospitalized with chronic idiopathic demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP), a persistent form of Guillain-Barré syndrome: an autoimmune disease that attacks the nervous system, causing spreading numbness and paralysis. If the disease wasn’t treated regularly with her blood being cycled, removing the bad blood (or plasma) with new, fresh, and clean blood, than it would have spread to her lungs and suffocated her. Instead, she was left with this half hearted, poor excuse for a ‘treatment,’ which really just left her in the hospital, often paralyzed, and unable to live a normal life.

Continue reading

The Crooked Path

picssThe other day my class had the honor of hosting for a visiting writer, Domingo Martinez. We had the pleasure of listening to him talk, give us advice, and answer any questions we could throw his way. I haven’t read all of his book yet but I have flown through a couple of chapters and let me tell you, this guys has lived quite the life.

Or, as he puts it, he’s taken the crooked path.

First off, I do suggest his books to anyone interested in memoirs. I can tell he’s spent years honing his voice and perfecting his craft, so now his novels have a unique tone and language. He’s worked hard over the years and never let his past or struggles stop him from being heard.  Continue reading

Book Review: Room

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 11.23.06 PM.pngTold from the perspective of five-year-old Jack, Room, written by Emma Donoghue, takes readers on an exciting, emotional journey. The novel opens up to the morning of Jack’s fifth birthday in “Room” where Jack and his mother, “Ma”, have lived for his entire life. Readers explore this world in Room through the eyes of Jack, seeing everything as if it were the entire universe, which is what Ma told him. However, the need to be free after eight years being imprisoned drives Ma to come up with an escape plan. This involves Jack feigning his own death and running from “Old Nick,” their captor, after jumping from his truck. During his “Great Escape,” Jack is able to get away and explain to the cops what happened to him and Ma. The police save her and arrest Old Nick. The story, far from over, continues to follow Jack as he discovers the outside world. Readers see both Jack and Ma deal with the trauma, fear, confusion, and consequences of what they went through. The themes touch on the troubles of one’s reality completely altering, positionality, and rape. Continue reading

Writer Interview: Jack Kardiac

SquintRightFacingIn order to continue discovering how other writers see our crazy writing world, I’ve talked with a long time writer peer of mine, Jack Kardiac.

This interview was another over email. I met Jack online (goodreads.com). We met when I posted a need for a beta reader for my short story collection, Perspectives, and he responded with a proposal: I’ll read yours if you read mine. Therefore, I read his second short story collection, Squint, to be available for purchase soon. We worked really well together and have continued to ever sense. I look forward to working with J more in the future. Below is a short biography about Jack and a blurb for his available book, Squint. Continue reading

Writer Interview: Lewis Smith

picsMy words alone only carry so much meaning alone. While I like to say that my words make worlds, other people’s words have just as much power.

Therefore, I’ve interviewed a few different writers. This one was an email Interview with Lewis Ben Smith.

Lewis was my 8th grade History teacher and it’s still taken some getting used to calling him “Lewis” rather than “Mr. Smith”. Recently, however, Lewis has been more of a peer of mine, as we sometimes edit each other’s work and promote one another. I know him well and have read, in full, two of his four published novels. Continue reading

Proud vs Pride

21765583_1757387074562161_530472964156759836_o

For some reason, it’s often seen as selfish or arrogant to be proud of yourself. If you say “I’m proud of this accomplishment” you run the risk of other’s thinking you’re conceited.

There is merit in modesty humility, though. It’s probably not a good idea to wear a shirt that says “I’m the best” everyday or force your friends to throw you a party every time you make an A or B on a test, but if an accomplishment is a large, unusual, and meaningful one, then it’s 100% okay to be proud of yourself. If you just made an A on your MCAT, then you should have a party. Yeah, modesty is a virtue but that doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to voice your own excitement at your achievements. Continue reading

Chain Smoking

21762046_10210204500455748_9149997079439913457_nFirst and Foremost I must give credit to the idea of “chain smoking” to Austin Kleon in his book Show Your WorkIn the book he discusses the importance of chain smoking (in relation to writing) and gives examples of writers who practice it. Now that’s out of the way, I’m going to Steal Like an Artist and write like the idea were my own.

Chain smokers go through multiple packs of cigarettes a day. As of 2013, the average adult aged smoker went through almost 22 cigarettes each day. In order to continually be smoking without a break, they often will light one cigarette with the butt of another.

Can we, as writers, identify ourselves as chain smokers? Not in the (albeit unhealthy and honestly gross) habitual way of literally inhaling the smoke of cigarettes, but in how we write. Are we going through multiple pages a day? How many writing hours are we averaging a day? Do you light the beginning of one story with the end of another? I believe we should all strive to be chain smoking writers. I know I do. And In no way am I saying writers have to write 22 pages every day, but continuing forward without a writing hiatus is more beneficial than we may give it credit.  Continue reading