i'm darkness and light, bubbles and faerie wings. i am sparkles and glitter, shadows and clouds. i love purple, and faeries, and books, and music.

Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

Let’s Pretend we Never Met [a book review of sorts]

[Yeegads!! I started this post on June 13…Like, almost two months ago! I didn’t realize I hadn’t finished it. Totally a cheat post for Blogust. HAHAH!]

Let’s Pretend We Never Met
by Melissa Walker

If it were up to Mattie Markham, there would be a law that said your family wasn’t allowed to move in the middle of the school year. After all, sixth grade is hard enough without wondering if you’ll be able to make new friends or worrying that the kids in Pennsylvania won’t like your North Carolina accent.

But when Mattie meets her next-door neighbor and classmate, she begins to think maybe she was silly to fear being the “new girl.” Agnes is like no one Mattie has ever met—she’s curious, hilarious, smart, and makes up the best games. If winter break is anything to go by, the rest of the school year should be a breeze.

Only it isn’t, because when vacation ends and school starts, Mattie realizes something: At school Agnes is known as the weird girl who no one likes. All Mattie wants is to fit in (okay, and maybe be a little popular too), but is that worth ending her friendship with Agnes? (goodreads.com)

First things first:

  1. I work at a bookstore. We sell this book.
  2. I know the author. We met because of my (now defunct) book blog.
  3. I am unable to be passionate or excited about anything that I do not actually love. No poker face.

Second things second:

  1. In the mid-80s I read a book titled Thirteen by Candice F. Ransom. That book had me in tears almost from the second chapter. I still own that book. It’s about being a kid and friendships changing as you start to get older (10 – 13 years) and how sometimes your best friend from childhood might suddenly have different interests from you as you grow up. That story has stuck with me all these years. I had to find a copy of the book because I lost mine as I got older. It’s one of those stories that clicks with you on such a personal level that you keep it in your heart forever.
  2. I have loved Melissa Walker’s novels since the first one I ever read – Violet on the Runway back in 2008. Melissa was the first author I met through my blog. She left a comment on my review and I felt like I’d won the lottery. Imagine! An AUTHOR who noticed something *I* wrote. It was amazing. Turns out she’s a wonderful person with whom I enjoyed chatting and whatnot over the years. I have bought every novel she’s ever written. I love her writing. So. Much. It’s almost as though she is able to write exactly what I feel, and think, and get that all on the page. She writes people, teens especially, so well. So realistically. (Realistic?) I have met her. I am not super close BFFs with her, but we talk on social media. I think she’s an amazing woman. But this has nothing to do with how much I love her novels. There are some I love more than others, but ultimately she just happens to be an author who writes stories that I fall in love with. Much like Sarah Addison Allen in adult fiction – and I have never exchanged any sort of anything with that author.
  3. THIS: 

 

[and now, almost two months later…]

I loved this book. Seriously, I did. By page 174 I was in tears. There is so much emotion in this story. Emotion that I know I felt when I was 12. Emotion you will be familiar with. Melissa Walker has an uncanny way of putting on the page what you think in your head. In the two months since I read the book, I have hand-sold almost all of the copies we got in the store. I don’t read a lot of contemporary fiction, so I am more than happy to grab a copy of this book and tell young readers about it when they are looking for something without magic, or fantastic beasts, or fantasy. Thing is, like with Ginny Moon, I get goosebumps when I talk about Let’s Pretend We Never Met. I have said to a couple of young customers that MW can write out what you will find yourself thinking/feeling that you never express out loud. So far that seems to have interested them. I hope they felt I told the truth!

It’s hard being a pre-teen, (or a child, or a teen. You get it.) It’s scary, and difficult when you have to change something drastic at that age – going to a new school, leaving your friends behind. Worrying that because you aren’t there, with your friends, at all times, they will forget you. That you’re left out of everything. That you’re no longer a friend they hold dear. No more BFFs. That’s not a feeling or worry just held for pre-teens. It happens all the time. And Melissa Walker captures that feeling, that anxiety and sadness, so well.

The struggle of wanting to be friends with someone you think is amazing, but also not wanting to be friends with someone everyone else doesn’t like, so you don’t seem like a loser, or un-cool. That struggle, too, is so well portrayed in this story.

Every book I have read by this author has managed to put words to feelings I have had throughout my life. Growing up, being grown-up. She gets it. She gets what it feels like to grow up and manages to write amazing characters who bring real life to life in their stories. That sounds weird, but it’s the only way I can think to express it.

I loved this book. I have read a bunch of other stuff between this novel and now, and nothing else has captured me the way this story has. I now have my second favourite book of the year, after Ginny Moon. Wonder what book will round off the top three?

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living with a cat

My entire life has been, “I have dogs, but I love cats, too! I’m just allergic!”

And I meant it. I was certain I was as much as cat person as a dog person. The cats I have known throughout my life have been quiet, purring, calm creatures. I briefly lived with a cat I rescued back in 2000-and..er..something. 2001? 2000? It was when I lived with Kewpie, my first Finnish Lapphund. He was a kitten, and then he wasn’t, and I suddenly could not breathe after I got home from a week away. The friend who was cat-sitting said he wasn’t going to give the cat back because he loved him. Well, that worked out fine, because as much as I didn’t want to say goodbye to Taliesin (now Danny), I legit couldn’t breathe from the cat fur. It was bad. Bad enough that I let him live with my friend. (And he’s still alive today! The cat, I mean. Well, the friend too. They are both alive. So yay all around.)

Enter Abigail.

I have learned a lot in the 6 months she’s lived with us. I have learned that I have trouble handling animals that do not listen and/or obey commands. I have learned that cats can sound an awful lot like whining, crying, small children and that sound brings out a very strong rage within me. It’s a nails-on-chalkboard sort of reaction. I can’t stand it.

I have learned that cats do not listen when you tell them “no”, nor do they care that you don’t want them to do something. And when they are annoyed with you they take it out on things you might have laying around the house – like Yoshi. Or the little urn we have on the piano with Jinx’s ashes in them.

I do not understand cats. I didn’t think they were like dogs at all, but I naively thought they’d be a little more similar. After all, all the other cats I have known sleep most of the day, and like to snuggle and purr at you. Abigail does not do any of these things.

Not that she’s mean. She’s not. She’s quite sweet, but my god is she a bitch.

My neighbours (who have always lived with cats) have said we did not get a Starter Cat. They are right. We were adopted by a poor kitten who was neglected, and abandoned by the humans who “owned” her. She was outside 99% of the time, and for three months, she was alone and abandoned in the shed next door. She was knocked up by a tom cat last summer before she was year old, had kittens, sent outside two days after the kittens were born, and then brought a 5 1/2 week old kitten to my neighbours’ house to be rescued as those humans kicked the KITTEN out, too. That kitten lives with my friend Elissa now and her name is Joy and she is exactly that. Joy. That kitten turns a year old between today and Sunday.

As I write this, Abigail is alone in the back yard, happily laying in the grass. She’s got her harness and leash on. She’s happy out there, but she doesn’t like to be out there ALONE. So she’ll stare in the house until you come outside. Then she lays between your feet.

This is the thing about Abigail. She wants to do what she wants, but she doesn’t want to be alone. Ever. She follows us around the house. She needs to be on the same floor as us at all times. She wants us to pay attention to her, but I have no idea HOW. She doesn’t want to be pet, or played with. She just wants you to… I don’t know. Worship her from afar but in a way that shows you’re paying attention to only her at all times?

I don’t get cats at all.

She wants to be outside, but she’s become quite the scaredy-cat since she’s moved indoors. If she makes a break for it when we open the back door for the dogs, she takes two steps outside and plops down. We aren’t the type of people who like outdoor cats who wander. Abigail is perfectly content in her harness and on leash. She can cover a lot of space in the yard. But she wants us outside with her. And if she’s not outside, she’ll wail at the doors, and windows non-stop.

She’s smart. She can open doors and locks and stuff. Thankfully she can’t reach the doorknob on the front door or we’d be in trouble. She doesn’t care about cat toys, or dog toys. I don’t know how to play with her. Sometimes we’ll just hold her, and bounce her in our arms like we are soothing a baby, and look outside the window. She likes that. She’s weird.

Living with a cat can make me feel incredibly defeated and hopeless at times. It has brought me to tears. Those of you reading this who have had cats or have cats are probably laughing at me and rolling your eyes. She’s so happy to see us, and be around us, but my god, I don’t know how to live with her. Yoshi is terrified of her. Sophie doesn’t give two hoots about her (ha).

But I know she’s probably not quite 2 years old yet, and it’s only been six months that she’s been an indoor(ish) cat. Every month she has slight changes in her personality. She’ll pick a new thing to love and a new thing to hate. She’s also learning. I know eventually she’ll settle into that cat-who-sleeps-all-the-time. But meanwhile, I am frustrated by how hopeless she can make me feel. Dogs listen. They can be trained. They want to please you. Cats want you to please them. I just want her to be quiet and not break things, and stop beating up Yoshi. And maybe… you know, snuggle with me on the couch once in a while.

Cats. Amirite?

 

PS – Abigail is the only cat neither of us seem to have an allergic reaction to. So that’s nice of her, I think.

it’s not a challenge really, more like a suggestion

Yo.

So, five years ago (WTF? FIVE?) my wonderful friend Yoj and I did a thing we dubbed Blogust. The idea behind it was to write a blog post every day in August. I didn’t make it through the first two weeks. Heh.

I have been wanting to write more on here for a while. I had lofty ideas at the beginning of the year that I’d at least get 5 or more posts written a month.

Ha! Ha! Ha!

Oh, well. So I am reviving Blogust in a new incarnation. I am going to aim for 2-3 posts a week. I’ll be honest with you, if I make it to five posts this month, I’ll consider this a success.

I write a lot more on FB, and I have said this so often…but I hate writing updates on FB. But it makes it SO EASY to just share an Instagram photo, with a caption and post directly to FB than it does to my blog. If I could post directly here from IG, well, I’d be posting on here a lot more often. I don’t feel like uploading photos all the time and rewriting captions. It’s annoying. I’m lazy. When I am home I don’t want to have to THINK when I am online. I play mindless games that entertain me.

I haven’t been writing in my journals much lately either. I need to. I need to get all the words currently tangled inside my head out onto a page in some form or another. If I am going to write on this here blog, I will. I might end up making some of the posts private. It’s not that I don’t want to share with you all, but well, I might not want to share. Sometimes I write, and I keep it all on one place so when I look back, I can see the entire picture that was my past. And sometimes you don’t want a bunch of stuff on the internet for everyone and their kitchen sink to read. Am I right?

This has just reminded me that I need to put the wordpress app back on my phone. That will make posting when I think of something to write easier. Still wish I could like up IG and my blog though.

So welcome to August. Even though I am pretty sure it was mid-June a second ago. We’ve had the crappiest weather this summer. I believe this summer isn’t going to go down as the best in history. Even my garden — sorry, Jinx’s Garden — is suffering from being too soggy. It’s been pretty tragic all around.

But I will write. Or try to write. Because August is my new year’s start. It’s the golden, sunset month. The new school supplies, and last lazy days time of year.

August makes me think a lot. I’m often too inside my own head during this time of year, so maybe putting words out there will help.

At least five posts. I can do this.

Blogust, yo.

blogust has taught me one thing

I can no longer spend a ton of my free time on the internet.

Although I feel more creative, the last place I feel like spending said creativity is here.

Metal laptops and bright computer screens just muffle my creativity.

When I am at work all day I can’t spend any more time thinking of things when I get home. I just need to relax, breathe and stay quiet for a while.

I’m not even reading much right now. Though I read a lot while on vacation.

There was so much I wanted to write about with the second half of the month’s challenge topics, but I just don’t have it in me. Coming over to my blog began to feel way too stressful and I was becoming way too anxious about having to post something.

Did I get what I wanted from blogust in the end? Yes. I forced out that creative block and it made me depressed.

Yes.

Depressed.

Which in turn made me much more interesting in being creative and writing songs, singing…

But it didn’t make me want to write more every day on this here piece o’ technology.

I need to step away from blogust and hold on to the good it did re-release in my soul.

I am just out of free time and trying to write here every night after the grueling days in the office just wasn’t fun. I was resenting my blog more than enjoying it. Alas. Reverse result. Oops.

But I did accomplish one thing. I started to FEEL again. That’s good, right?