Happy late Thanksgiving everyone! Getting my post up a bit later today since I just finished working a 12 1/2 hour day in retail. *phew* Guilty Pleasure Friday will be back again in two weeks, but for now, I leave you with my favorite reads from the prior week!
Alica McKenna Johnson guest blogged at Myndi Shafer’s with great writing advice about how to add more diversity to your writing. She’s honest and open about the tips she uses to write characters from different countries and ethnicities. Check out her guest post Don’t Bleach and Iron Your Work.
Jillian, a literary student who blogs at A Room of One’s Own, informed me of The 2012 To Be Read Pile Challenge! For all you bookworms with that evergrowing list of books to get to, take this challenge along with me and see yourself accomplish some great books you’ve never given yourself the time to get through. The only real catch is they need to be at least a year old in publication. I’ll be posting my list and hope you’ll share your own!
Thanksgiving is still in season and August McLaughlin shared the Books I’m Crazy Grateful For and sparked a fun conversation in her comments. Share your own books that shaped your life and made you grateful you’d read them!
Tim L. O’Brien posted an awesome blog about Why Books are Important. This is part three in his series and focuses on getting kids to read. He’s got smart advice and an awesome link to a site where you can check out the perfect titles for your kid of any age to read and have them glued to the page rather than to the screen.
If you don’t regularly follow the Life List Club blog hop every other friday, you missed an inspiring post by fellow co-founder, Marcia Richards all about long distance swimmer Diana Nyad. She’s a courageous woman who will inspire us all to do our own Xtreme Dream challenges. So after you’ve read Marcia’s post, check out Diana’s own blog about her recovery process from her attempted swim from Cuba to the Florida Keys after being attacked by box jellyfish.
What’s in a Name…:
If you haven’t been following Nina Badzin’s baby naming debacles, you’ve been missing out. She recaps the long nine month journey and also reveals her newest addition’s long awaited, and well thought out, name in Finally, His Name.
Because Humor is Necessary During the Holidays:
I love Sara Grambusch’s blog. She’s got the spunky and self-deprecating humor that I adore in a person, and she also provides delicious healthy recipes. In this post, Household Things I Do Wrong, she recounts the number of times she’s unsuccessfully mastered the art of housework. Let’s all pray she and I never become roommates; angels will weep for society.
The Good Greatsby will have you stitches with his headlines: Starbucks Announces: Come for Joe not John. Must read for coffee drinkers and users of public bathrooms everywhere!
Jenny Hansen serves up More Cowbell when she asks Is Adulthood Stealing Some of Your “Grooviness?” Dance parties are a known reaction to Jenny’s posts; you’ve been warned.
Charles Gulotta relives his edible memoirs in his entertaining tale toward intelligence; he calls it Chew on This.
Enjoy your weekend! See you all again Monday!
Hi ya’ll! Happy Halloween! Today’s post is brought to you by Dolly Parton! And I’m just thrilled to be celebratin’ with ya’ll on All Hallow’s Eve. Don’t you get to spookified, I’m here to guide ya and keep the ghosts away!
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. And since it falls on a monday, I had a whole weekend to celebrate. For starters, I went to work for Jess on Saturday. I was a big hit with her team. They made the credit goal we needed so I agreed to sing for them. Popular requests were 9 to 5 and Jolene. Two of my favorites!
Saturday night was the typical celebrity party. You know, attend a live concert, well, at least I think they were…
To end the night, some great reads that say Halloween!
Tiffany A White’s Ooooh Factor gave an eerie review for The Boo Factor of the scream favorite film Halloween.
Sara Grambusch made a Halloween monster mash-up that talked craft projects, party foods, and even wine and candy pairing in My Magical Halloween Puree.
Albert Berg gave away his book The Mulch Pile for FREE in honor of Neil Gaiman’s All Hallows Read. Be sure to get your copy of this spooky tale!
The Good Greatsby shared halloween stories from his creative children, The Fonz and Optimus Prime. Fonz has got a secret and he thinks you’d like to know what it is in Saturday Hallowiener.
Little Miss Vix shares her Top 10 Supernatural Favorites including books, film, and TV series. See if yours made the list or add to it!
If history is your thing, check out El Muerto: The Texas Headless Horseman by Catie Rhodes.
If you missed the final edition of Haunted Hawleyville by Pam Hawley, check out her last post about camping in the woods with her family, Visits from Jason and Freddy.
My too smart for her own good, amazingly lovely co-founder of the Life List Club, and friend, Marcia Richards, just tagged me in the hot blog game of the season: Tell us 10 random things about yourself! The rules are really complicated: I have to tell you 10 random things about myself. And then I select four people to tag and they have to do it too. I like this so much better than chain letters, so in the spirit of a favorite film, Twister, “Tell us, why you are the way are.”
10. I like to spend New Years alone. It’s a tradition long developed now where I gather up a stack of my favorite guilty pleasure films and stay up late watching the movies I want to watch. Last year, it was Anne of Green Gables, you can read an old post about it here. I also journal and look back at the past year and use the time to reflect on what things I want to accomplish in the next year. I love having this night to myself.
9. When I was little, I played by myself a lot, not out of choice, really, I’m just a lot younger than my siblings. So I got really good at speaking in different voices and having elaborate musicals, puppet shows, and plays with my stuffed animals. I practiced this talent by quoting movies, and reading aloud switching accents every page-which helps grow your vocabulary! In high school, our librarian noticed this talent and got me involved with Forensics, and not the CSI kind. It was speech really, but a whole lot more. My category was quickly decided as storytelling. I had to know 5 stories that dealt with specific topics and be able to tell them on cue by a judge. I did Irish legends of kings, kid’s pirate stories, lisping time machine inventors, gargly three-headed Greek sisters, and a whole rainforest of animals. Because I could do all the voices and was very animated, I brought home several first place trophies over the three years I was involved.
8. To coincide with my stories, I also learned by heart any number of musicals and performed these in dress on my neighbor’s porch to an audience of squirrels and sparrows. (I liked to pretend I was Sleeping Beauty and Snow White a lot.) I did entire song and dance numbers from Yankee Doodle Dandy, Guys and Dolls, South Pacific, Singing in the Rain, State Fair, Sound of Music, Kiss Me Kate, The King and I, and My Fair Lady. I loved it. And for those of you with kids who like to play dress up, my bag included: old nightgowns and slips (evening wear), poodle skirts (for twirling at parties), button up shirts with crazy prints on them (for playing school/work), and lots of costume jewelry and shoes.
7. When I learn how to make something, I go a little overboard. In third grade, we learned how to cross-stitch. My entire family and penpal received Christmas gifts that were cross-stitched bookmarks, magnets, and wall hangings. Then they all got friendship bracelets. A few years later the bead babies became popular, and my whole family got keychains. I had so many I started using them as diving toys in the pool for the kids I babysat years later. Next was knitting. I made so many scarves so quickly, I gave myself carpal tunnel, and had to wear a brace for several weeks. Let’s hope the next binge I go on is just my writing one.
6. The name of my first cabbage patch doll was Adele Patti, but I couldn’t pronounce or remember Adele, so I called her Patti. She was a premie and I loved the way she smelled like baby powder. Subsequently, the following Cabbage Patch Dolls that joined my family were Heather, Tay, Humphrey, Barney, Sara, Suzette, Keri Ann, and Sloane.
5. My place of zen has always been by the water. In high school I often walked down to the Rock River and read Wuthering Heights or wrote poetry. My Anais Nin/Sylvia Plath obsession created a boho-confessional style of writing that, though extreme and indulgent, was full of passion, and for that, I love the girl I once was. Now, I make my peace by the mighty Mississippi or far inside Myrick Marsh.
4. One of the most mesmerizing things I’ve ever done is hike the rainforests of Guadaloupe and swim under the Chutes du Carbet waterfall on this Caribbean French Island. I was 16 and had never left the country before. I was invited on a rare opportunity to go on a cruise with my best friend’s family and we stopped at several caribbean ports. Guadeloupe made the biggest impact on me with its thick rainforests, rich temples, and caribbean-french people.
3. You know the scene in Eat, Pray, Love where Elizabeth Gilbert (Julia Roberts in the film version) eats pasta to Der Hölle Rache Kocht In Meinem Herzen by Amadeus Mozart? That was me on my trip to Italy, with every dish of pasta I ate. Orchestras played as I savored my mostaccoli.
2. A year later I went to Ireland, and I wanted to make sure I remembered more than just the food I ate, like in Italy. I remember sitting on the cliffs of the Aran Islands and journaling. I told myself to remember this moment. I stared at the water rolling below me and snapped a mental photograph. It’s been seven years, and I still vividly remember that day and how the water looked below me.
1. I have been every form of Jessi(e) imaginable. I started as the most common Jessie. Then I was convinced by my sister to spell it Jessy, and a year later changed it myself to Jessi, which I stayed with since second grade. Cousins and siblings would try out grander adjustments like Jessiki. But over the years, it’s become more and more evident that I am a Jess. I never fit the full on Jessica, too high maintenance for me, but Jess is just right. Jess is friendly, Jess swaps food with you at dinner, Jess loves coffee dates, Jess likes to blog. 🙂 Hence, it’s just Jess. And it’s nice to meet you all.
Thanks for coming to my Happiness Project social hour! I hereby tag these people to keep the game going:
Everyone can play along! What are some random facts about yourself that I might not know? I’d love to learn more about all of you!