November was one of the craziest months of my life. Get ready for a long wrap-up and lots of photos.
1. If you’re sick of politics, skip this paragraph. The rest of the wrap-up is more entertaining. I promise. I protested Trump without breaking anything or starting any fires. Not even a small fire. I spent a lot of time talking about fear and bullying. Since I’m a straight, white, nonreligious woman, it’s possible for me to sit back and ignore discrimination, but many people in the US don’t have that luxury. We can’t normalize Trump’s bad behavior, or the bad behavior of his followers. If you see something wrong, speak up. If someone is sharing their story, listen. Patriotism doesn’t mean blindly following a leader. It means working to make the country the best it can be.
2. I don't have "residue." I just really like munchies. My backpack got swabbed for "residue" in the security line at the Denver airport. I don't know what kind of "residue" airports check for. Drugs? Bombs? This has never happened to me before. I found the whole thing hilarious because when the TSA agents opened my backpack, they were surprised to find that it was stuffed with junk food. I really like Doritos, okay? Don't judge me, airport cops! The TSA lady who swabbed my backpack did compliment my keychains, though, so that was sweet. Also, they didn't find any mysterious "residue" in my backpack.
3. I’m a master of children’s literature! I was in the airport because I went to Louisville, Kentucky to finish my master’s degree. I can now put the letters M.F.A. after my name whenever I want to feel pretentious. I’ve been a university student for 11 years and have earned 3 degrees. I don’t think I want a doctorate in literature, so I’m done with school forever! (Probably. Maybe.)
4. Public speaking almost murdered me. Have I ever mentioned that I hate public speaking? While in Kentucky, I gave a lecture about narrative structure and read part of my thesis to a conference room full of people. I’m sure my mentor said nice things when she introduced me, but I could only hear my heart pounding. I made it through all my public speaking without losing consciousness, so I guess everything went well.
|I took this selfie after my reading to prove to myself that I was still alive.|
5. My ass has more fans than my academic work. I’m a country girl, so I’m always caught off guard by the catcalling and sexual harassment that happens in cities. The harassment was strong in Louisville this month. One man told me I was sexier than all the girls at the bus stop. He asked if I wanted to “communicate” with him. I’m not entirely sure what that means because I declined his offer to “communicate,” but I’m insulted on behalf of the bus stop girls.
6. Maybe I like art? I went to an art museum for a school project, even though I’m not really an art person. I’m more of a sports bar person. My assignment was to find art that “spoke to me.” I rolled my eyes at the assignment until I got to the museum. One painting captured my attention immediately. When I got closer to it, I discovered that it was painted with chocolate sauce instead of paint. I guess I do like art!
|Some of my own "art." Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky.|
7. Authors are better at public speaking than me. The best part of studying literature for 11 years is that I’ve met a lot of authors. In November, I got to hear lectures/readings by Lamar Giles and Natasha Trethewey. I was very impressed with both of them. I especially appreciated hearing them discuss diversity in literature and their experiences as authors of color. If you want to be a fabulous individual, consider donating to We Need Diverse Books.
8. I blame the extreme exhaustion. I went to a lecture where the speaker analyzed part of a Laini Taylor book. I can’t remember which book, but my exhausted mind was completely blown by her writing style. I’ve never read a Laini Taylor novel, so where should I start? My zombie brain also loved the picture book I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen. I read it several times and laughed like an idiot every time. Sometimes I wish I had kids so I had an excuse to buy stupidly amazing picture books.
9. The strangest walk of shame ever? The oddest thing I saw in Louisville was a woman in a sparkly black ball gown, carrying a stack of pizza boxes down the street at 5:30 in the morning. If I was braver, I would have asked her where she found so much pizza that early in the morning.
|Not Louisville, but I did take this photo early in the morning.|
10. Mammoth Cave—chubby chicks need not apply. The day after I graduated, I went on a two-hour tour of Mammoth Cave. I’m a bit claustrophobic, and there are some tight squeezes in that cave. I really wished I was thinner while I was in there. The tour was totally worth it, though.
11. Bucket list item. One of the items on my bucket list was to eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken . . . in Kentucky. I did it! If you’re curious, my bucket list mostly consists of me eating different foods out of buckets. If you read #10, I guess my cave-exploring hobby is going to be short-lived.
12. If you want people to smile at you, bring a flower everywhere. I got this flower from my mentor after reading my thesis, and I carried it through two hotels, two airports, one airplane, and one national park. I noticed that people are much nicer when you’re randomly holding a flower. A lot of strangers smiled at me.
Books I Read
I read 8 books in November:
The Power of Myth – Joseph Campbell
Sarah, Plain and Tall – Patricia MacLachlan
Native Guard: Poems – Natasha Trethewey
Anyone? – Angela Scott
Bound by Duty – Stormy Smith
ZIA, the Teenage Zombie & the Undead Diaries – Angela Scott
Floor 21 – Jason Luthor
There Once Lived a Girl who Seduced Her Sister’s Husband, and He Hanged Himself: Love Stories – Ludmilla Petrushevskaya
Best Books Of November
1. Native Guard: Poems – Natasha Trethewey
2. Sarah, Plain and Tall – Patricia MacLachlan
3. There Once Lived a Girl who Seduced Her Sister’s Husband, and He Hanged Himself: Love Stories – Ludmilla Petrushevskaya
#ReadIndie Starts Today—Sign Up
I’m on the review team for #ReadIndie! I’d love it if you joined us.
“Welcome to the first ever #ReadIndie challenge! This event was created to promote indie authors who we think are amazing! What is this challenge, you ask? #ReadIndie is a two week time span in December during which we will only be reviewing and promoting indie titles.
So what is #ReadIndie all about? This isn't necessarily a read-a-thon. Instead, the challenge is simply to post indie reviews for two weeks in place of the reviews you would normally post. However, each review you post and link up will gain you an extra entry into an indie book giveaway! This is ALL about spreading the word about incredible authors who don't necessarily get the hype that they deserve.”
Please consider joining #ReadIndie and helping us promote indie books in December. Head over to Cornerfolds to sign up and find out more. (Did I mention there are prizes?)
All The Things!
All the Things (AKA my TBR pile) = 30 books.
I’m currently reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami.