Thoughts!

College Semester Spring 2018

Wow!

That’s going to be my word for today. Wow! Making the decision to finish my degree was one of the hardest I had to make this year. I knew that it would be very time consuming, that trying to find another job that works with my school schedule would be next to impossible and it’d cut into my reading time! But who cares! I’m so glad that I did it! I have learned so much in the last few months and it really makes my inner nerd jump with joy.

This semester I took three courses, all flex. I knew that I had a shorter amount of time during this semester (10 weeks vs the normal 16 weeks) and everything would be a bit tight. Due to that, I wanted to take a smaller amount of classes as this is my first semester back in 6 years.

I took a math course, new student course and intro to philosophy. I had one of the best math professors ever! He spent 30 years (if I remember correctly) teaching young students and used the techniques he learned to help us grasp mathematical concepts. He was so funny, honest and understanding. I wish I could take my next math course with him but he only teaches that one level. Darn!

New Student Experience is one course I can gladly say is over. It wasn’t hard and I didn’t hate it, it was just pointless. The New Student course is the one where you ‘discover yourself’ or learn about the campus amenities. This is something I could’ve learned in orientation. The fact that I had to take an entire semester of this is ridiculous. It didn’t teach me anything and was just another one of those courses that eats your money.

My Philosophy course was fantastic! My professor was great and it taught me a ton of new things. I learned to ask all sorts of questions, about God, society and impressions of others. I loved it! A few of my posts I’ve written here were directly because of my excitement! I’m actually taking more philosophy courses and believe it’ll help me hone my writing! Yes!!

So this is finals week and I only have a math exam left. Last week! But then the next semester literally starts in two weeks. I will be taking my last math course, general psychology and fundamentals of speech. I went on rate my professor and researched all of my professors first. Who knows? Hopefully they are as good as I read! Will update when school starts back up!

Happy Readance,

Jade

P.S. I’m getting a degree in English and Philosophy

 

Literature Readings, Thoughts!

Modernizing Required Readings for Students

Heya!

So I have been thinking long and hard about what I want to achieve in the world of literature. My want to go back to college and finish my degree was more about accomplishing my own goals and learning new things. I hadn’t yet figured out what I wanted to do with my degree, specifically, besides writing bestsellers. I’ve been reading, writing books and creating new stories since I was a young child, since before I could remember. Despite my detours in life, I always knew this is where I would land.

To translate that into academics, I want to delve deeper into the literary requirements of our youth. I remember being a young girl, inspired by big works like Shakespeare and George Orwell and also the smaller works like Summer of my German Soldier (Bette Greene) and Melusine. I always found it fascinating to read works by authors who lived long ago but realized that my fellow classmates did not. They were disinterested, flighty and annoyed. This made me really think about the works that we were required and what I could do to make reading more appealing.

So I’ve realized the best way to go about this is to modernize our required readings. I am a firm believer that the best writers weren’t only born 200 plus years ago. Yes, we can learn great things from our past but we can also learn a multitude of things from the present. We have hundreds of amazing writers here in this century and we need to recognize them. Do not take this as I am wanting to replace the genius works of the past. I want to give an alternative modernized literary option for teaching those students who squirm and fuss at the thought of reading outside of a text message. These are students who normally hate reading. I want them to be able to pick up a book they can relate to, learn the same skills of tension, mystery and cultural appreciation.

Over the next few years, I am going to compile a list of required readings and find comparisons in the modern world of literature. I want to develop a list of books that will still teach life lessons, broaden horizons and open the minds of our youth. I will be blogging my path with this and will eventually make a static post of the comparisons that I’ve done so that you guys are updated!

I would really like some suggestions that could help me on this journey. I found a really great one on GoodReads but it’s 500 books long! That’s a great start but I am going to break them apart, following a specific criteria, and choose The ones I think can really transform literature. If you’ve read a modern or contemporary book that you think could rival the literature of old please feel free to let me know! Also, tell me the book that you think it parallels. This is going to be a great journey!

P.S. To make a clear distinction, I am talking about new and original stories, plays and novels written now, not revisions or rewrites of old ones.

Good Readance,

Jade

Thoughts!

Reviewing Ready Player One- The Movie!

 

I know, I know! I already did a review on the book and I said I would not be doing movie reviews with the blog reboot but I couldn’t help it. DID YOU GUYS SEE THE MOVIE!?!?! Alright, alright. I actually really loved it. I read the book in about two days in January and then I found out that the movie was coming out and I got so excited.

After watching a few of the trailers I realized that the movie would be completely different than the book. I mean, the tone is different, the characters are different and even the methods of gaining the keys are different. In the book, and I won’t spoil it, the deaths of certain characters hit you harder than what actually happens in the movie. It’s very light hearted with more a comedic release than the distress of the main character in the book.

BUT WHO CARES?

1

The movie was great. I absolutely loved it. One person on twitter said they hated that it became more of a love story and I disagree. I think the fact that you see the two physically together you see the romance more but they were just as ‘together’ in the book, just online. Sounds weird but it’s true. I loved the imagery, the CGI, the move back and forth between real and animated was so smooth. The music was spot on, character development was amazing. You didn’t NEED to read the book in order to follow the movie or to really fall in love with the characters and that is huge coming from an avid reader like me.

2

I am usually a hard critic when it comes to book to movie adaptions because I am just another reader, like you. I find it hard to see what I’d only imagined in my head, done incorrectly. This is definitely a change I will accept. I think that Steven Spielberg did amazing and I can’t wait to see more films by him.

3

Yaaas! The excitement is real! Let me know what you thought of the movie! Did you like the changes they made? Were you on board with the fact that he spends more time in the ‘real world’ as opposed to how he spent most of the book in his trailer? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!

Good Readance,
Jade

 

 

Thoughts!

Hearing From You! My favorite people!

Questions!
I’d love to hear from you! Comment below! Please answer any of the questions below or feel free to ask any of your own.

giphy

What do you like to read?
What’s your favorite genre?
Do you like to write? If so, what?
Have you read any of the books I’ve reviewed? New or older posts?
What books would you like to see reviewed?
Do you like the posts not related to reading and writing? If not, what would you like to see?

Jade

Thoughts!

Reading for Self Betterment and Accomplishing Goals in 2018

Heya Readers,

I’ve been reading since I was a young child and, for the most part, it’s been for entertainment. I hardly ever read non-fiction. I always found it hard to find something that didn’t drone on like a history book. Lately, I’ve been really getting into biographies (autos) and non-fiction works and I think it’s because I’ve been seeking for something real. Something that will actually do something for my mental health. Don’t get me wrong, my love for fictional books (paranormal romance, thriller, psychological thrillers, mysteries, science fiction, general fiction, the list could go on) will never die but this is different.

I’ve been through a lot over the last few years. After the loss of my daughter last year (my second loss in two years) grief, depression, hurt, nights of crying myself to sleep, days of lethargy and more ruled my 2017. I am feeling better (Although I still cry when I think of her sometimes) and I plan to have a better 2018. I know that you can’t rush the healing process but it has been eight full months since I gave birth. I’m just ready to stop feeling so…down.

I’ve really been trying to take back control of my life. Last year I slacked off on a lot of things. My plans for weight loss, my strive to officially get a job in my career field (I tried to find the right fit and couldn’t and I didn’t try again, I’m embarrassed to say). After celebrating Cherchez La Vie this past December I listed several of these things on my goal list for the next six months. I’ve accomplished a few of them. I just got a new job and I’ve been attempting to figure out how I can work the gym into my new busy schedule.

As a child, I always wanted to be a writer. I thought the ability to spin stories and create new worlds, worlds better than the one I’d been living in, was a fascinating idea. I had a hard beginning and landed in foster care. Then I was adopted. It was tough and I still feel some of the residue of abandonment and rejection that was a huge part of my early years. Reading and writing were ways I could create something new. It could make the pain go away, it could make me feel wanted. Because…your characters never disappoint you right? Riiiiight.

Somewhere along the way I got distracted by the glamour of building design and the philanthropy of creating safe and envirnoment-friendly spaces for the homeless. It was a weird girlhood dream of mine, especially after a few months of HGTV and Extreme Home Make over (Move That Bus!). I studied hard and right out of high school I enrolled in college at the University of Kansas to get my master’s degree in Architecture. That was just a funny way of saying I was going to be stuck in school for six years. I loved it, for the short time I was there. I started out with reciprocity grants and scholarships, that only lasted for a while.

Attending school as an out of state student, without scholarships, would cost me nearly $30k a year. I eventually ran out of money and had to withdraw. That was six years ago. I was really upset about it in the beginning but decided not to drag me down. I moved to Florida; eighteen hour road trip with a friend, stretched over two days. I made new friends, I met my soulmate. I changed the course of my future even though I wasn’t sure how it would pan out.

My love for writing has never gone away, I have dreams and goals that, I feel, are bigger than me. I want to accomplish them. I am going to accomplish them. In 2018 I plan to set that into motion. Get a job in my career field, finish two books (WIP!), and continue my education. It will be tough but I’m sure that I can do it.

I have lived in Florida for three years now. This means that (exaggerated pause for effect) I can get instate tuition at the university here! I had no idea and I just happened to be sitting on the couch, watching TV when one of those commercials drew me in. You know, the ones that are like ‘Hey, do you want to finish your education?‘? Yes, one of those. The university here is actually pretty amazing, I’ve already been on campus. It’s literally a dream come true. That’s a major plan for self betterment that I’ve already put into motion. Less than two weeks from now I am starting my spring courses. I should graduate just over two years from now.  I’m getting my degree in English, with an emphasis in rhetoric and fiction writing.

Wow, obviously I talk a lot. Thanks for sticking around. I said all of that just to say  I’ve picked up Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes (creator and writer of Grey’s Anatomy, How To Get Away With Murder, Scandal, etc). Shonda (as she’s so informally referred to on the inside flap) is an introvert, like me! She, too, has issues with public speaking and large crowds. The book is about how saying yes turned her life around. “Yes, I’ll do…” “Yes, I would love…” “Yes, I will show up to…”.

Year of Yes

I’ve actually already started it and am excited to tell you guys what I’m gleaning from her story. She has a particular voice that makes me feel empowered when reading it. This year, I am really trying to incorporate books that will help me live a better life, fuller life. Live life…in general. This is one of many on my list this year. So here we go.

By the way, if you’ve read this book and loved it, leave me a comment below! Tell me what you thought of it? Did it make you laugh? Did you smile? Are you an introvert like us? (Yes, that’s me referring to Shonda and I like we are best friends). What are your plans for a brighter future? Do you have any goals, big or small, that you want to accomplish this year? Are you in school now?

Happy Reading,

Jade

Thoughts!

Reading Black Authors

I recently read a book by a black author and I loved it. It had nothing to do with the author’s race or our connection through ‘blackness’. I never really cared what race wrote what book, it’s never had any bearing on my thoughts of the book. I have never wanted to limit myself and I refuse to let anything stop me from reading. If it’s a great story, I’ll read a book by any race.

Recently, I joined a facebook group for black women that love to read and it’s really blown my mind. The camaraderie, the honesty, and the uplifting comments really made me feel like I belonged. As an introvert, that’s a huge deal. Members posts the books they are currently reading or their views on an upload. So I chose one book they suggested to me, and I will be doing a review on it, but I really liked it and in turn I picked up 3 other books I saw posted to the group. Once you gain my trust, I might just start listening to you.

Sometimes I’m not too sure about the suggestions I get. Before, when I was just randomly asking out to the world, I’d have people suggest political books, which I’m not very fond of (Am I going to read Fire and Fury? I have no idea). I’ve had someone suggest I read overly religious books, fire and brimstone types, and I’m usually iffy on those as well. I can be a stickler, with no real guidelines, but usually I will pick it up and crack it open.

Whenever I ask for suggestions people want to know what I’m looking for and I can’t really answer that question. I tell them to just give me their favorites, nothing political, nothing religious but people like to push their favorites so…eh.

I love to read different genres. As a kid I started with Julie Garwood’s The Wedding and fell in love with romance. I went through phases of Stephen King, Mary Higgins Clark, Agatha Christie and wild wonders like James Patterson’s Angel Experiment series and Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer. I didn’t move into non-fiction and biographies until I got older. On Writing by Stephen King, Steve Jobs, and Shark Tales by Barbara Corcoran were a few that I loved.

I can’t really choose an ultimate favorite genre because I’ve read so many books and I’ve loved so many that fit different criteria. I’m a big fan of mystery, romance, and psychological thrillers but I’m also an avid reader of paranormal romance, futuristic science fiction and oddball humor. I like to hear about different walks of life but I love it to be in story form. I’m not a fan of the fifth grade history book biography theme.

I am African American and I write but I never thought it was a big deal. There was nothing in my upbringing that told me black people can’t be writers. No one, other than those who told me to choose a career that was going to make money, told me I couldn’t succeed at being an author. I’ve been reading adult novels since I was seven and it never crossed my mind that people thought this was incredulous. I’ve never pulled up the authors profiles to check and I’ve never seen a “Written by a Black Author” sticker on any covers in Barnes and Nobles. Have you?

That being said, I do want to support my own people. I do feel that it’s important that they know we are reading their novels and are behind them 100 percent. Since joining this facebook group, I’ve heard about more black authors than ever in my entire life.  As a bibliophile and book addict I’ve obviously added a ton of novels to my To Be Read file. I’m very excited. Hopefully I will find more gems like Allegedly, a book by Tiffany D. Jackson. I have a few more on my list, suggestions from the group, and will be doing reviews on them here. If you have any thoughts on this or if it’s a thought you’ve had let’s chat!

Good Readance,

Jade

 

P.S. If you have any suggestions send ’em right over! Don’t be afraid!

Thoughts!

An Angel Mom’s Perspective

Heya,

One of the hardest things that I dealt with after both of my loses was not really knowing where to turn or what to do next. I knew that there wasn’t a one size fits all rule on healing or dealing but I just wanted to read something from another angel mom’s perspective. I looked all over and just couldn’t find anything that fit me. I decided to write my own story, in my own voice, about my experience; hoping to reach others who felt the same.

I’m writing a book from an angel mom’s perspective. There will be a section for stories, quotes, tips, or just inspiring thoughts. I am requesting contributions from angel moms of any age, from any region and with experience anywhere from early miscarriage to infant loss. It can be long, short or just a few words of encouragement.

If you would like to contribute, please send your story to the email address listed below.

If you would like to remain anonymous please make sure to write that in your email, or do not include your personal information.

If not, just provide a first name, age or region (any of the above).

If you know anyone who would like to contribute, please share this information!

The Mothers of Angels @ gmail.com
TheMothersofAngels@gmail.com

Happy Reading!

Thoughts!

For the Love of Reading!

 

My life could be summed up by saying I spend a lot of my free time reading. Well, that part was true up until my guy, Tony, and I turned our second bedroom into a TV room. Technically, it could also be considered my library as there are books on every surface, even a rack designed for shoes that I have filled with hardbacks. They are stacked in rows, they are stacked two books deep on the shelves, there is even a book tree (all hail Christmas…that I don’t celebrate). In August, when we made the switch, I was very excited. Now I have a room specifically meant for reading and relaxing! It basically became into the room where countless hours of Netflix and Hulu turned me away from my love of reading.

One of my Cherchez La Vie goals is to get back into reading. It has been a past time that I’ve enjoyed since I was a young child and how dare I let it fall behind like this? I am also a writer, obviously, and after many years of being away, I decided to do National Novel Writing Month this past year. I knew that I was easily distracted by all the reading and the TV so I decided to put it on hold until after I hit my 50k words. It worked! Up until the end I was able to keep up my goal of 2k a day and I actually have a large chunk of a really great novel completed.

This was not so good for my reading. Books ‘sounded’ good but I hadn’t been able to pick one up and actively start reading since before November. It sort of depressed me a little, to be honest. I spent most of December trying to figure out what I wanted to read first. I went to the library and picked up books, I went online and had books delivered to my house, I even downloaded some onto my kindle and yet…nothing was good enough. I, of course, filled that time with any TV show I could find that was romantic, reality TV shows where I could scream at the screen, shows that had some sort of crime/cop theme or sci-fi outlet and it was glorious for a while.

Why did I think this would make me want to read again? 

Ah, so Cherchez La Vie goals. I decided, In 2018 I’m going to get back into the flow of reading. I picked up books on writing, I picked up some classics writers (you know, Chekhov, Balzac, Steinbeck, Faulkner), I picked up mysteries and romances. I also have my book tree that is only comprised of TBR (to be read, for the noobs) books.

Now, I was never really a fan of Goodreads. I do have a profile but I never consistently used it. I figured giving it one more chance might help me with my reading problem. I can keep track of the books that I read and stay away from all the other nonsense on the site. I set my 2018 Reading Challenge goal to 100 books. I am going to start with the dozen or so library books that I already have and then delve deep into the hundreds of TBR  books currently sitting in my living room.

I know, I know. If you haven’t read them by now, do you really think you will actually read them? Yes, Yes I do. I just have to choose the order wisely. That and I plan to actually get rid of the ones I know I will never read, GASP! But these are the ones I’ve had for years and still haven’t cracked the first page since I bought them. They have to go.

Anyway, I thought this plan would work and Lo and Behold! It’s only the 3rd and I’ve already read started and finished a few books. I plan to write reviews on them and hopefully, just hopefully, this is the start of my reading comeback.

 

Happy Reading.

 

 

 

P.S. Here are a few shows that usurped my time in 2017:

Blackish, Travelers, CSI Miami, NCIS, Chicago Med, Project Runway, Hells Kitchen, Royal Pains, Numb3rs, Medium, Blindspot, KC Undercover, MasterChef, SYTYCD, Stitchers, UnReal, Pitch, Cardinal, Rizzoli and Isles, Rosewood, Roswell, Bones, Castle, Timeless, Drop Dead, Diva

There are so many more but now my brain hurts. See ya.

 

Thoughts!

Long Little While

You’d be surprised how much you missed something when you’ve been away for a while. I talked to someone recently about my love of reading and they mentioned how I should write reviews. I thought to myself ‘I do!’ but I knew that I hadn’t been consistent with writing them. I don’t think there is any real science behind it, I just think that my love for reading has suddenly outweighed my love for writing reviews.

Don’t get me wrong! I love love love to review novels but I just get so caught up in the stories that I end up reading the next novel and not writing the review. I have sooooo many book reviews to write. I’ve at least read 4 books a week for the last month and a half. Each of them will be getting a review, it’s just a matter of time.

I look forward to the long nights until I get them all done and I hope that you enjoy them.

I love feedback guys! If you hate my reviews, let me know! If you love my reviews, let me know! If you have read the book before, please…let me know and tell me how you felt about it!

 

Jade