Mar 29, 2012

March Sponsors {pt2}

Thanks for everyone who sponsored in March!  
Again, everyone is sharing their favorite post...

Amelia & Laura: Harvest Kitchen Sisters

Kristy: A Little Something
Favorite post: Being Mama (such a sweet, sweet, sweet post)

Tico & Tina
A very awesome "About Us" page.  Love it.

Erinn: It's the Journey
Favorite post: 10 Things I Believe In
(#2 is my favorite)

Check them out.
I have the best sponsors in town.
Photobucket

Mar 28, 2012

the.book.chat. {Funniest book/character}

Oh goodness.  It's been a doozy of a week here. My mom has been in town for a couple weeks and yesterday we had a little too much fun.  She took a nasty spill trying to climb onto a ride with the boys and broke her arm!  Like ambulances and all.  So it's been a crazy couple of days with doctors, hospitals, pharmacies.  I know...not funny, right? I need a good laugh around these parts.  I apologize that my post this week is meager in the humor department.

I have a confession...I don't read much out of the "humor" section.  Like at all.  So I really need some great recommendations here, folks.
I read most of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and that was funny...in a weird way.


I really want to read a few biographies from some of my favorite funny people...



I love a character who can make me laugh...especially when the book is dark or dramatic.  It's nice to have that comic relief.
Minny & Celia
I just love Minny's feisty attitude and Celia's country charm.  
There were plenty of sad parts, for sure, but all I have to say is pie...and you know.


It's just nice (and probably hard) for authors to write in some humor that the reader "gets".

Again, I'm sorry that I don't have quotes and more for this week's book chat.  I promise I'll be back in full force next week!  

And about next week...
Let's talk about endings.  
What kind of endings do you love/hate?  Cliffhangers? Happy/Sad endings?
Is there a great ending quote you want to share?
What book had your favorite/least favorite ending?
Answer any or all of these. And don't worry about spoilers...just make sure you give fair warning. :)

Can't wait!
Share your link for this week below :)

Photobucket

Mar 26, 2012

Confessions of a bookworm/aspiring author/movie buff...

I hope no one thinks I'm being the proverbial party pooper here.  And if I come across too whiney or bitter, I promise I'm not.  I just have been thinking a lot lately about this whole Hunger Games thing, and the blog was practically writing itself.  So here it goes...

I haven't seen it yet.  I know, I know.  I have gushed plenty about how this is my favorite book and I'm a huge fan. And for approximately 12 months my heart has simultaneously leapt and dropped at the mention or glimpse of anything HG.  But for some reason I have lost the motivation to see the movie!  I know you're probably thinking "Gosh what is wrong with this whiney girl?"  Don't worry...I'm wondering the same thing.  What is wrong with me?

Well, let's start at the beginning.  A few years ago...the summer of 2008 to be exact, I fell in love with a little series of books called Twilight.  Go ahead, judge away.  "My name is Jessica and I liked Twilight."  There, I said it.  I even got another blogger friend (who I won't throw under the bus) equally obsessed with the series.  At that time, there was hardly a movie poster to be found.  It was rare to meet someone who even knew who Bella & Edward were.  And then IT happened.  The pop-culture craze that hit like the plague.  Like memories of a zombie apocalypse, it became an epidemic.  Everywhere we turned: hysterical teens, awkward brunette actresses, boys covered in glitter, pure pandemonium.  Bookstores began stocking novels now covered by actors shelved next to "companions" and calendars, bookmarks, buttons and posters.    By the time the first movie came out, I was hiding behind Jane Austen novels afraid to admit that once upon a time I too was torn between a 17 year old vampire who shimmered and a werewolf who rarely wore a shirt.
For shame!

So, yeah.  Part of me is afraid to get into this new craze.  For over a year now I have been begging the universe..."please, not this book!  Not this series!"

But it's not just The Hunger Games.  Almost every book I've read and loved have become movies.  My friend Becky made a good point on the topic, "Hollywood is running out of ideas".  True story, friend.  I don't exactly know how to take all of it.  Is it a good thing or a bad thing...an homage to literature...or a slap in the face?  You see, I have always been a major movie buff.  And a book worm.  I should be delighted by the collaberation of the two, right?
Seriously, what is my problem??

Well, I came up with a few points to consider...

1. People forget it was ever a book.  In fact, some people never know it at all.  Example: The Oscars.  Six of the nine Best Pic nods were originally books.  Did you know that?  Do you know which ones?  Should we be thanking the movies for making them famous or blame ourselves for not knowing the books even existed?  How would you like to be the author of The Descendants...no one will ever believe her now.  But don't feel bad for her...she got a cameo in the movie.

2. It replaces the book in my memory.  This is strictly a personal issue.  But you know when you read a book, you create your own visions of the people and places of the novel.  Once you see the movie, it's hard to get back the original vision you had.  It's all replaced by visions of Robert Pattinson.  And unlike 2.2 million American girls, I'm not okay with that.

3.  Books were not meant to be movies. If you're an aspiring author, it's something you just have to come to terms with. If your novel gains any success, it will likely become a movie.  You may or may not have a say in it. If we wanted to write movies, we would be screenwriters.  And be warned, if your novel does become a huge success and turned into a blockbuster, you probably will not be invited to be on Jay Leno or Ellen and no one will recognize you on the street.

4. People don't need to read books anymore.  Now, I realize this point isn't entirely true.  Most people who saw/loved Twilight or The Hunger Games read the books first.  In fact, I believe Twilight created a whole new generation of "readers" and for that, I think it was an important series.  But you certainly didn't need to read the books.  In fact, you didn't need to read Water for Elephants, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Help, My Sisters Keeper, Pride and Prejudice, The DaVinci Code...you get the idea.  But as we all know...the book is always better.  Jokes on you Hollywood.

5. Money, money, money.  This is the one that irks me to my core.  I just picture a group of sleazy business men sitting around counting their Benjamins and laughing.  Evil laughing.  Cashing in on a popular novel's fan base is an easy way to make a buck these days.  Millions of them to be exact.  Just check out your local Hot Topic.  You've seen it.  How much of that money do you think the original author sees?  Which, by the way, is probably not what he/she wrote the novel for in the first place.  Authors make the fans, movie-makers make the money.

I apologize that this is becoming the length of a novel (pun intended).

6. Amazing adaptations.  Who out there is going to deny the amazing work done with film adaptations such as The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  My dad is a huge Tolkien fan and even he was blown away by the films.  I feel these were entirely an homage to the originals.  Literally like watching your dreams come to life.

7. Fans unite.  There's no place like the line at opening night for a group of fans to come together.  Films have proven to be a lot of fun for fiction fandom.

Okay, I think I've been on my soapbox long enough.  I just hope you all see that I wrote this mainly from the perspective of an bookworm/aspiring author/movie lover.  I'm torn, I love seeing a story I love come to life, but when I think of some rich producers in Hollywood taking control of my stories/my characters/my baby...it makes my heart ache.

So, let me just end by saying this.  If you were standing in line at 9pm on Thursday night donned with your shiniest Mockingjay pin aside your best friend dolled up as Effie or Katniss, I commend you.  In fact, I envy you.  You see passed all of this and you enjoy a story and it's characters for what they are.  You are a fan, plain and simple.  And I think you rock.  You make the authors proud.  I mean no offense to you or the movie, which probably is, as you have claimed, an excellent adaptation of the novel.   Thank the sweet movie-making heavens for that.

My point is only this...don't stop reading.  Just please for the love of Peeta, don't stop reading.  As long as there are readers like you, there will be authors like Suzanne Collins.

And for the record, I do still plan on seeing it.  At this point, it's just a matter of finding a babysitter ;)
Photobucket

Mar 22, 2012

Thrifted treasures

I've been hitting up the thrift stores & antique shops a lot lately.
I just have to share a few of the lovely things I have found.  :)


How cute is this antique mini wagon?
Jude just loves to pull his toys around in it.

My mom also picked up that animal crackers bin for Jude's room. so cute!


Oh man do I love that Fujikawa book!
Every page is amazing.


I picked up that frame at Goodwill for $1 and just copied one of the pages from the book & framed it.  
Easy peasy 5 minute project...done.  For Jude's room, of course. :)

I also picked up a handful of random frames to be spray painted. 
:::evil laugh:::

Are you guys sick of hearing about Jude's room yet but not seeing any pictures?
Yeah me too.  I promise, it's coming.  Think how poor Jude feels!
((really I don't think he cares))


Linking up with Mandy from Harper's Happenings
Photobucket

the.book.chat. {Favorite Dystopian novel}

"Imagine a world where..."

  Dystopian literature has always been a favorite of mine.  There's something so fascinating to me about alternate societies and how people would act in them.  They are more than just the opposite of Utopias.  In fact, both forms of society are meant to create a perfect world, but dystopian societies usually result in the opposite.

  In case you haven't noticed, dystopian fiction is popping up all over young adult lit.  How do I feel about this? I love it!  And I hate it.  Allow me to explain.

  A dystopia is a place where you don't like where you are, but it is very hard to move.   I think what makes the literature so enjoyable to read are the ones who do move.  The heroes/heroins who speak out against the regime and stand up for what is right, even if speaking against an entire society. The ones who see the bigger picture.  We relate to them; we want to BE them.
  But often when I'm reading dystopian fiction, I think about the majority. The ones who go along with it.  Who don't speak out.  Then I think about who I would be and who I am now.  That kind of self-reflection is priceless!  And I'm a grown adult.  Imagine that kind of reflection to a 15 year old.  For that reason, I think dystopian literature is fantastic for young adults.

  Dystopian literature is best when...A- it really stretches the imagination, B - it doesn't sugar coat it, and C- it's important.
Case in point...The Giver and The Hunger Games.
(come on, you guys had to know I was going there)

  One of my first novel obsessions was The Giver.  That book is the reason I love dystopian lit so much.  It changed my life.  My young, naive, little 10 year old life.

  The first time I read The Hunger Games, it really reminded me of The Giver.  It was sad, it was real, it was sincere and I believed it.  It wasn't only meant to entertain me...it was meant to move me.  I was able to connect it to the world I lived in and I knew it was bigger than me.  I had something to gain and it taught me I am more powerful than I thought.  It was a million amazing things rolled into one.  It wasn't about who ended up with who, or even who died or lived.  It was about a world that was inherently wrong, wrong, wrong and how one person could change that.



When dystopian lit is not A,B & C...that's when I get frustrated.  When it is superficial and I can't take it seriously, that's when I don't think they are great for teens.  But honestly, I think teens can see through that.  The only one I can think of is Uglies.  That novel really didn't have anything to offer, especially when placed in comparison with a novel like The Giver or The Hunger Games.

Speaking of superficial...pop culture. Pop culture is killing literature.  It takes a novel like The Hunger Games and throws a logo on it.  Prints that logo on a million shirts and keychains.  Mass produces dolls and stickers and pays billions upon billions of dollars on marketing 30 second trailers and by the end of all that, we forget why the novel was so important in the first place.  Pop culture is like the Capitol.  End soapbox rant.

(((shameful face)))
I AM going to see it.  Pop culture or no...that movie looks awesome.  And I really think it's going to be mostly the novel's fans who will go see it.   I just hope no one chooses to skip the book and just see the movie.


Some more notable dystopian novels:


Next weeks question:
Let's lighten it up a bit...
Share the funniest book you've read.  Or even the funniest character.
Non-fiction & biographies included.


You know the routine...link up below. :)


{Shameless plug: I shared my soundtrack for reading The Hunger Games and Delirium on Melissa's blog.  You can see that here}

Mar 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Let's Go Fly a Kite

We just got back from Jonathan's Kite Day at school.
It was PERFECT kite flying weather.

Even Jude joined in on the fun.

This face kills me.

Jonathan's kite in flight.

Jude's kite in flight.




Linking up:
The Paper Mama
And then, She snapped

Photobucket

Mar 20, 2012

Soundtrack for Spring

Happy Spring!


 I love creating playlists..seriously, it's an addiction.  And Spotify is my enabler.
Last Spring was all about Iron & Wine, Sara Bareilles and The Decemberists.

So naturally, I created a playlist for this Spring.
Enjoy.



Photobucket

Travel Tuesday: Bucket List Destination

I'm linking up with Megan from Semi-Charmed Kind of Life for her Travel Tuesday.
This week she asked which destination is at the top of our bucket list.

Lately, I have been Obsessed with Scotland and Ireland.  Obsessed, I tell you.














1 / 2 / 3 / 4

There are a couple reasons for this obsession.

1. These books.



2. This catalog that came in the mail, randomly.  It's full of these cruise/tours/expeditions all over the world.  Porn for travelers, am I right? 

3. Bucket list cliche
I have to kiss the Blarney stone.









Someday, I will make it there.

Check out her site for more wanderlust fun.
BWS tips button

Photobucket

Mar 19, 2012

March Sponsors {pt1}

This month, for my sponsor highlight, I asked my sponsor's to share their favorite posts.
Here are a few....

Bhrett : Lost in Relocation
This is a great post about how to overcome stress in a marriage that is told from experience.
The first line is my favorite.  I really dig her crunchy, hippie, gypsy vibe.



Jaqueline: Mother Mopher
Favorite Posts:
  Day in the life of Jaxon -To fulfill your daily requirement of newborn cuteness.
A Year Ago Today - A beautiful wedding post.  And because a Halloween wedding is clearly kickass.
Meet ST Elmo - Because he's one cool dude.




2Messy
Some very awesome DIY tutorials.
Jude needs a soctopus.



Mar 18, 2012

Steppin Out St. Patty Style

Erin go Bragh friends.

Yesterday, we went out to see what was happening in our small Alabama town for St. Pats.  So, you may not know but we have lived in Savannah for the past 5 St. Pats.  Savannah is home of the 2nd largest St. Pats party in the country. So, of course, because life is ironic like that, we live in the town with the SMALLEST St. Pats parade.  In case you're wondering what the smallest parade is like, it's one woman.  One woman walking down the street holding a flag.  And while you think that might be disappointing, it was actually quite hilarious.  The street was lined with green.  There were musicians and families and costumes.  Once again, Alabama.  You crack me up!


After the "parade" we enjoyed the sunshine some more and helped Jonathan practice riding his bike on two wheels.
Jeremy was on "fall patrol" and my Mom & I were cheerleaders.  He did pretty good.  I have to learn not to coddle him every time he falls, but sometimes it's SO hard.  

Well this isn't much of an outfit post since I never got a good full shot of my outfit.
It was a gorgeous day out.  Time to bust out the capri's.
Shirt: Old Navy (thifted)
Capri's: Kohl's
Sunglasses: Charming Charlies
Shoes: Tom's
Jude back pack: Ergo

Linking up: 

So what do you think of the new design?  I needed a change.  I'm sorry if it's too big.  I need to work on that.  I'm working on a monster iMac screen so it fits mine perfectly.  Then I look at it on my hub's laptop and it's gigantic.

Have a fantastic week!