Tag Archives: books

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Happy Wednesday, November 13, Folks!

I haven’t posted a weekly in a while so here goes! Every week Jill at Breaking the Spine hosts ‘Waiting on’ Wednesday. Instead of talking about books that are soon-to-be released I think I will talk about books already on my shelf that I’m looking forward to starting or finishing.

1. Graceling – This book has been staring me in the face for months now – I really want to know how good it is and delve into the world of fantasy this Christmas.

2. The Book Thief I’ve heard so many wonderful things about this one. It’s coming out as a movie soon so Lauren gave me a copy to read… I am ashamed to say I haven’t even started it yet! Sooooooon.

3. Eragon When I book-binged this summer and purchased 15 books in 2 weeks – this was one of them. The entire Inheritance series costs $60 so even though my intention is to read them all, I only bought Eragon and I really want to read it!

4. Sula This Nobel Prize winning novel by Toni Morrison was assigned for my American Lit class. I’ve started it, but we don’t begin analyzing it until next week so I hope to finish this one by Sunday! Such a beautifully written novel.

5. Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood’s novel is on my book list for January 2014 for my Canadian Literature class. I’m pretty curious as to what discussion will come out of this novel in our class.

 

Which books are you looking forward to reading in the coming weeks/New Year? Loop it back.

S

 

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Life Update – November 12

That horrible moment when you realize you haven’t written a post on your blog for over a month.

I miss writing so much. I’ve sat down to write many times and have 10 very rough draft posts. I have some ideas for poems – but I’ll wait to unleash them until I start my poetry class in January. Lately I’ve just been so lazy. I wrote a six page essay talking about the layers of history in two poems for my American Literature class a couple weeks ago – after submitting it I realized I had effed up the title and misspelled one of the words. IN THE TITLE. What a mess. Since then I’ve kind of given up on school (not really). For next summer, I’m looking for a job at a magazine, or with a publishing house, as an editing intern. Anything that keeps me writing all summer would be prime.

Personal I’ve been spending a lot of time with A and B recently. Since A’s mum has been away, we’ve just bonded and enjoyed each others company. A brought another A into our little group and she’s wonderful, a little awkward — but wonderful. I had a little shindig for Halloween and while it went really well, something seemed off. Our group isn’t as tight as it once was and I’m afraid that as time goes by we’re all going to start getting pissy at each other. N and K had a celebration for K’s birthday and didn’t invite us, which was weird. B and I are kind of frustrated, and to be honest, my feelings are sort of hurt over it. There is never a time when I don’t invite all of my friends to come and be together, so when I find out that my friends organize events and don’t include me it’s a slap in the face — am I wrong?  Trying to rebuild a friendship is tough. Once you’ve been screwed over it’s tricky to trust that person again. I’m not sure what will happen, but hopefully it’ll blow over and we can all just learn to be more considerate of each other.

My anxiety has been super high lately. Lots of what I have going on is getting me stressed. If I’m not at school, I’m working. If I’m not working, I’m volunteering. Then I have rehearsals for Sundays and Christmas. I teach Jr. High Class. I also have friends, and my mum in one house and my dad in another. My man keeps me grounded, but it’s hard to talk about such depressing things sometimes. I don’t want to be a downer, so I keep things to myself and then they build up and the ground is swallowing me and even though nothing bad is happening I feel like I can’t breath and I’m suffocating all because of how exciting life is… Because I just can’t cope with too many things at once. Does anyone else feel this way?

BooksI can’t believe how good this month was for me and books. I read Doctor’s Sleep which was pretty fantastic, started reading Dante’s Inferno and Sula by Toni Morrison (for my Am. Lit. Class). The rundown from now until Christmas will be so busy for reading so I’m getting a head start. Speaking of which I should go and read for my class tomorrow morning as it’s already 11pm and I’m exhausted.

I’m sorry I’m not around much – I’ll try to post more than once a month from now on!

S

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What a surprise! I had no idea this was even a thing until I was nominated by my dear friend Lauren @ Books, Tea & Me. First, a little background on this award and what I must do to formally accept it.

The purpose of this award is to recognize emerging bloggers and also to encourage people to visit and interact with other bloggers. There are a few rules to accepting the award.

• Each nominee must link back to the person who nominated them.
• Answer the 10 questions which are given to you by the nominator.
• Nominate 10 other bloggers for this award who have less than 200 followers.
• Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
• Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them.

Nominator’s Questions

1. Is there a book that you tell people you’ve read but honestly have not?
B is going to hate me for this one – but I actually have never finished reading Under the Dome by Stephen King… so I’m not sure how the TV show ends or what the dome is all about. Sorry baby!

2.  If you could trade places with any famous person for one day, who would it be?
I would love to spend an evening listening and watching Ella Fitzgerald sing on stage. I don’t know names, but whoever had the chance to listen to her amazing talent for an evening.

3. What is your most frustrating book-related pet peeve?
I can’t stand it when there are multiple, two or three-page chapter. Please, just stay focused long enough to get something out!

4. If you could change one event in the history of fiction, what would it be?
I wish they hadn’t made Harry Potter books into movies. I can’t even remember how I used to picture Harry and his friends before Daniel Radcliffe was cast as HP.

5. What is your guilty pleasure?
I smoke the occasionally joint – why? Because I can and I like it ^_^

6. Which is your favorite season?
I love spring, but here in Calgary we usually have winter right up to the day before Stampede starts in July. This year Fall has been beautiful, there’s something magical about seeing everything shut down for Winter. I’ll say Fall 🙂

7. Which fictional character do you relate to?
Not from a book – but I feel like Monica Gellar (Friends) and I are kindred spirits. I’m anal and everyone I love knows it and accepts it. Ultimately all we want is to be successful in a career, get married, have babies, and live a beautifully structured life.

8. If you had to choose one genre (like world building, emotional realistic) to be stuck reading your entire life, which would it be?
This is a tough question… I think I’d go with historical fiction. Revolution, The Girl You Left Behind, Sarah’s Key, etc. All fantastic reads and I’m always on the hunt for more!

9. Name five books you’d recommend to turn one into a book- lover.
City of Bones, Me Before You, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Revolution, and, 1984 (this last one is a heavy read, but a classic that is so intriguing it’ll turn any ‘non-reader’ into a lover of literature!!)

10. If you could be anyone from The Hunger Games except for Katniss, who would you be?
Oh boy.. probably Effie Trinket. Although she drives you crazy, you can’t help but admire her upbeat attitude towards everything. Plus she dresses in such a neat way 🙂

This next part was really tough! There are so many people I’d love to nominate for this award. To accept the award simply follow the steps listed above – my questions for you are below 🙂  Afterthought: I’m going to leave some blank so I can nominate some later this year or next.

My nominations ❤

1. Liza @ Classy Cat Books – this blog is impressive! Liza has reviewed at least 30 books since I started following her blog and every review is insightful and informative.

2. Helen – Helen has been a friend of the family for a long time now and even though I’m sure she has more than 200 followers I wanted to spread the love 🙂

3. Mo @ Mo_Books – I recently started following Mo’s blog. I love how involved in the book community she is. I should follow her lead and get more involved in discussions around the interwebs.

4. The lovelies @ Casual Readers – I was looking for a book club blog to follow for a long time. They started as a group on Goodreads and now I’m hoping to hop into that group and join them on their casual reading adventures! Ps. There ain’t nothing casual about how much these guys read.. wowza!

5. Kayla @ The Thousand Lives – Girl, you’ve probably been nominated 1000 times but you’re seriously one of my favourite bloggers. Super sweet and such a great writer!

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Questions for those nominated…

1. If you could live in the setting of one novel, which one would you choose?

2. You must choose three things to take to a deserted island – what would you take?

3. What is your most prized possession?

4. If you could go back in time and relive one memory, what would it be?

5. What is your favourite song?

6. Who is your best friend? What is he/she like?

7. Where was the last place you went on vacation?

8. Who would you most want to sit down and have dinner with?

9. Why did you start blogging?

10. When is your birthday? (just because I probably didn’t know until now…!)

Now I must go and spread the love and let the lovelies know I think they’re blogs are Liebster worthy!

S

Friday (Morning)

It is 9:16 am, as I sit down to write this post, and it has already been such a beautiful day. I wish I could say that the beauty extended to the weather outside, although I have to admit we are having autumn in a way I’ve never seen in Calgary. I woke up to a text from my dear friend J giving me instructions on exactly how to get to her apartment for tomorrow’s “friends-giving”. It’s the first time we’ve been invited to a thanksgiving dinner outside our family and it just makes me feel all grown up! I’m not sure what to wear, but it’s going to be something Fall and something fabulous!!

I then checked other notifications on my phone and there were a bunch from WordPress. Instead of looking at each one on the tiny screen on my phone I moved to my laptop and began to open all the messages of love left behind from visitors to my blog. I reached fifty followers and have been nominated for the Liebster Award ❤ Lauren has been the inspiration behind this blog since day one. Even though our lives are quite different and we don’t see each other as often as either of us would like, I feel she has become family.

Along with a few other people here in Calgary, A and B, I’ve never felt as blessed when it comes to companionship as I do now. True friends. Not just friends that text when they’re bored and remember you’re around – friends that actively think of you and are excited to see you busy in your life. They’re happy for you when, even though you don’t have time to hang out as often, you are genuinely happy.

What a wonderful morning.

Over the last few days I realized that I still have so many faults that I need to work on. When it comes to my faith and being an upstanding citizen, I sometimes feel like a failure. Instead of letting this get me down I’m now just allowing that feeling of disappointment to push me forward and make me work at being a better, more loving, less-selfish person. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’m unbearably selfish, or hateful, I just feel like those two areas of my personality need work done to get to place where I am happy.

In other news: I’m giving myself two days to read The Book Thief, and then I must get back to my course readings – In Cold Blood and Scarlet Letter (somehow I managed to get an A on that exam without having even read the book – hehe).
Love you all. Thank you so much for your support on this blog. There are some stand out blogs for me that should expect some award nominations soon 🙂

 

S

toptentuesday

It has been so long since I’ve completed a TTT Post (my last one)- Hosted by the lovelies at The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Literary Turn-offs

This was an interesting one. I struggled to come up with more than five at first, but then I got on a roll and realized there were lots of things that will make me put a book down.

1. Arrogance in a main character. Let me get a little more in depth on this one. I don’t like it when a main character has a sense of superiority over others that doesn’t get squashed fairly quickly in a novel. If, by halfway through the novel, the character is still acting high and mighty I have to put it down and move on.

2. Everybody dies at the end.I know this sounds stupid because you’d already be at the end and there wouldn’t be much you could do about it – THAT’S EXACTLY WHY THIS IS A TURN OFF. If I spend hours of my life investing in characters to read every single one of them die…. *shakes head*

3. Lots of little chapters.
I need to be able to get into each chapter and read for a while before it switches character or scene. If there are 4 page chapters that make your mind jump all over, I just stop after a few awkward chapters and call it a day.

4. Someone spoils the ending.Not really something the author does here, but if I’ve started reading and don’t know what the ending is like and someone tells me how it’s going to end…. That is just so annoying.

*I feel like this is such a negative post.. I don’t know if I like it…*

5. Too many characters.
This is probably why I don’t like “classic” novels. Anything that introduces tons of characters, and then proceeds to list each of their brother’s best friend’s next door neighbor’s and their dogs, I just don’t get. Life is too short to know the names of someone’s great-aunt’s best friend from elementary school.

6. Big confusing words.
There are some texts out there (read: most things from my literature classes) that use words that we just don’t use now. I’m not talking about reducing literature down to txtin spk – BUT if I have to look up the meaning of every second word then I’m not interested.

7. Vulgar language.
One novel sticks out as an example – Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling. As soon as I see the ‘C’ word I shut the book forever. ‘Nuff said.

8. E-BooksI have never been able to finish a book on an e-reader. If the book only comes as a pdf online or on a kobo then I doubt I’ll ever get around to reading it. I like to be able to actually turn the pages quickly during an exciting part. Tapping the screen just isn’t the same.

9. Someone I don’t like recommends it.
This is wrong – and a flaw in my personality for sure. I’ll automatically associate the book I’ve been recommended with the person who recommends. If I don’t like that person then that book will probably never be read. Every time Lauren says I should read something (Me Before You – waaaaahhhh) then I at least try to get into it.

10. If one of the characters is unreasonable / pathetic.
I can’t deal with protagonists that are helpless and/or unreasonable when it comes to conflicts. If the girl has been told that the guy she’s falling in love with is an axe murderer and yet continues to be all like “omg but I love him and we’re going to be together forever” then I’m like, OKAY FINE *slams book shut*. Same goes for pathetic people. I feel like this also applies to movies. Troy sticks out in my mind for an example – when Paris crawls away from his fight like a big lame baby – automatic turn-off.

What are some of your Literary Turn-Offs? Send me comment so I can see!

School :D

You probably can’t tell but I am so excited that classes start today (for me on the 9th). I’m going down to campus just to see familiar faces, and walk amongst the buzz of students. There’s nothing quite like the first day of school. I wish I had this passion for academia back in Jr. High or High School, but I suppose there are some things you grow into.

You may have noticed I have been struggling to get through the fourth book of The Mortal Instrument series. I’ve been busier than ever for two weeks now and I just haven’t felt like reading this one. I don’t have the burning desire, to pick it up and finish it, like I had with the first one. I’ve been telling myself to just get on and finish it, but then last night I reviewed the course outline for one of my English classes – American Literature from 1945 – Present. On the reading list? In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Sula by Toni Morrison, and The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Have you read any of these books? Did you enjoy them? I’ve got to go and purchase Capote’s book because the course outline menacingly says ‘read prologue thoroughly before Monday’s class – if you do not read it, do not come.’ I’m going to love this prof…

It’s sad that my YA books must take the shelf for a few months, but I’m so excited to open my mind as a reader. I think it will be good for me to discuss the books I’m reading in school on this blog. I’ll probably get more discussion out of you wonderful people than the dunces in my class. Hm…too negative too soon?

 

S

waiting-wednesday

This week I decided to post my very first “Waiting On” Wednesday post which is hosted by the lovely Jill @ Breaking the Spine. I have a list of books that I’m looking forward to getting my hands on, so as each one gets closer to being released I’ll post a new WoW thread. My first can’t-wait-to-read book is…

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

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Ever since reading The Shining, and being truly too scared to fall asleep at times, I’ve wondered what happened to innocent little Danny Torrance. On September 24th (and yes it is already on my Goodreads ‘to-read’ list) I’ll finally be able to get to know the adult now known as Dan. The following synopsis is straight from King’s website, found here.

On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless—mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and tween Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the “steam” that children with the “shining” produce when they are slowly tortured to death.

Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant “shining” power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”

Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted readers of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

Eep! How exciting!

S

Through the Years in Books

I’ve been working on this post for about two weeks now. I wanted to give everyone a brief history of myself as a reader, and an even briefer look at me as a person. How I’ve grown and overcome some tricky points in my childhood. How I’ve become the person I am today!

Here goes nothing…

My dad made it a priority to get me reading from a very young age. By three I was reading aloud every night with him and not long after that I was reading to him whilst he fell asleep on the bed next to me. My whole family helped me with my reading – it was something we used to bond with each other. One of the first Mervyn Mousebooks I remember reading was Mervyn the Mouse. It’s a cute book with two stories inside, all told in rhyme, about a field mouse who has his tale chopped off by a combine harvester and then must learn to deal with the taunting that follows. I wrote a paper on it last year for my Children’s Literature class and got to re-live the memories of me sitting with my granddad in his chair and reading the two stories in this little tattered book.

The next big event in books I remember was Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. It was first published when I was 7. My Primary 4 teacher, Mrs. Murray, sat us all down in a circle and began to read to us. I remember her holding the hardback version of the book and reading a chapter a day to us. After a few days I begged my parents to buy me my own copy so that I could read along with her, but I ended up finishing the book about a week later, well before Mrs. Murray had finished reading to the class. It changed my life. Every year from 1997 to 2000 I would await the next book hoping that it would not disappoint. And it never did. At this time in my life I was living in Scotland but had just found out that the next year my parents and I would be moving to Canada. In 2001, I went to see the first Harry PotterHP 1 movies in the cinema – it was the first time I’d ever seen a movie in IMAX and it was spectacular. The years that followed brought the last few years of the Harry Potter series and, of course, the movies that accompanied. Whilst I enjoyed the movies, I wish they had left them to the imagination of children. Now I can’t help but see Daniel Radcliffe in my head as HP.

During my HP years I read other things, of course, like the Josie Smith books (when I was between 6 and 10) and then I moved onto some of Jacqueline Smith’s books, which used humor and great friendships to battle tough subjects that teenagers may face (like abuse, friends turning on each other, sex, divorce, etc). I think because I was an only child, I had a lot more opportunities to read than some of my friends who had bigger families. I think of that as a blessing and a curse. Too much time on my hands meant that, yes, I did get to read a lot, but I also never learned how to interact with children my age and found myself not being able to relate to anything going on with my school friends.

When I turned 13 I was living in Labrador, and struggling in school. I had found the move to be quite photo(10)a shock, and had a hard time settling in and making friends. My grade seven teacher, Mr. John Hicks, believed in me. Being the English teacher, John and his wife, Kathleen, who was the music teacher, helped me see the potential in my writing and my singing – two of my favourite things in life. I was cast in the school musical two years in a row, and I began writing in a diary. I’ve had about seven of them since. All bound in black leather with different scribbles on the front, usually in nail polish – weird? Over the years I’ve lost track of them (how terrifying) but I have the first one and the most recent few. Sometimes I’ll re-read just to remember how far I’ve come.

A book that sticks out for me during that time is Go Ask Alice. Whether the diary is real or not, I remember reading it and thinking: ‘Wow, Sarah. Your life is pretty chill compared to this girl’s.’ I then read other “dark” books similar to this one like It Happened to Nancy, also by Beatrice Sparks. Looking back I feel like these books are a bit weird to read and I probably wouldn’t read them now.

During my first school year in Calgary I read Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt, which turned out to be HomecomingByCynthiaVoigtone of the best books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. We discussed it so much in class that I couldn’t possibly read it again and just simply enjoy the story, which is a shame, but still.. Its on my ‘favourites’ list. My grandma visited Calgary this year for the first time and she borrowed it from my shelf a few days before she went home. I didn’t realize until later that she had written a card, apologizing for taking my book hostage, and had left it where the book used to sit. She loved Dicey and her family’s tale so much that she read the next couple in The Tillerman Series and sent them to me from across the pond!

I went through a long phase of not reading and focused on singing and musical theatre. I spent hours laying in a dark room listening to soundtracks of Chicago, Wicked, Rent, Spring Awakening, Phantom of the Opera, Cats. I wanted to sing on Broadway. That was my dream. Although I didn’t make it I did perform here in Calgary. A lot. With a group called Stagestruck – it was a good time in my life. I was happy and I had a group of friends who were my age and who had similar interests. Everything took a downward spiral when the time to decide what I wanted out of high school came. I left Stagestruck and sort of lost my grip on who I was.

But High School changed everything…

I followed the path of singing again and sang with the school choir and in the Performing Arts’ twilight1Chamber Choir, which I successfully auditioned for. Slowly I gained confidence and with that came a rekindled love affair with reading. I started reading Twilight – it was the first time since Harry Potter that I truly loved characters and cared about what happened to them. Edward became my biggest crush (other than Joel.. tall and dorky and musical, he was shocked when I told him, but it ended up being okay – we’re still friends!) and all I wanted was to continue reading all about Edward, Bella, and Jacob. Those books molded the way I looked at guys. I wanted someone strong, who was willing to love me against all odds and fight for me, if needed. A blend of Edward and Jacob, if you will.

In my mind I blur the time between The Twilight Saga and The Hunger Games. I always think they were one-right-after-the-other, but there was a substantial gap between the two. I didn’t read The Hunger Games until a friend of mine lent me her copy whilst we were lounging on a beach in Mexico. I have to say that after reading the first couple chapters I found it dull and boring. Eep! Oh no! The only reason I started it at all was because I had finished reading Sarah’s Key and The Help, and Elixir (which is actually a really good read) and I needed something to do so I wouldn’t just sleep away the sunny days. I put Hunger Games on a back burner until the summer of 2012. I was that person… The one that only reads the books because they heard the movie was coming out, and the trailer looked cool. After finishing it in a day, and after realizing that I had made a huge mistake, I continued to read the other two books and finished within a few days. Amaaaazzing! Obviously everyone has reviewed these books so I feel like I might as well not bother, but a quick word of advice to anyone who hasn’t read them yet. Please. Read them. After seeing the trailer yesterday when I went to see Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (movie review here), I can’t encourage you enough to read the books and love them before the movies taint your imagination.

Graduated and heading for University…1174628_10153155963175364_754860065_n

As strange as it is to admit, I haven’t come all that far since high school. I’m not really close to finishing University, although I’ve finally figured out what I’d like to study, but that’s okay. Some days I get extremely frustrated with myself and think about where I could be. But whats the point in that? I am where I am, and the only choices I have are ones regarding tomorrow and the next day. I’m excited to be writing and reading again. As you can see, with this blog I plan to read so much that I forget whether I’m a shadowhunter or a young girl learning her, or just a girl who loves to blog and who is going to university and planning her future. Whatever the future holds I’m looking forward and upward.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Sidenote: I just gave B the link to this blog.. I hope he still loves me after reading it all [insert nervous laughter here]

S

BBAA (Book Buying Addictions Anonymous)

Hi. My name is Sarah and it has been 6 1/2 hours since I last purchased a book.

ImageAgh! I saw this one on sale today and had to buy it. I blame B. He asked me if I wanted to meander through the tall shelves of Chapters with his hand in mine and a Starbucks in the other. How could I say no?

I had to pick this one up after hearing people describe it as ‘the book to start your addiction with fantasy’ Again, how could I say no? Every time I find myself with a few extra dollars to my name I try to see what I can get to add to my ever-growing library. I can’t wait to have a house with floor to ceiling bookcases in one room.

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I hope everyone had as good a weekend as I did.

S

My First Month

Good Afternoon Everyone – Happy Friday!

As August comes to a close and schools are dusting off the desks, I just wanted to take a moment and reflect on this past month. When I started blogging it was truly a source for my occasional outbursts of energy. I would write until I didn’t feel so angry, or to share my excitement, or to pass the time. But in the last couple weeks I feel as though I’ve found myself. I write (almost) everyday because, well.. simply put? I adore it. Writing has always been a strong skill of mine and I’m so lucky to have a friend like Lauren, who, after editing every university paper I’ve ever created, suggested I start blogging. She felt confident enough in me to help me get started with some words of encouragement. Since my guest post on Lauren’s blog was published on Wednesday, I’ve been introduced to so many wonderful, insightful people. I feel like it was my true initiation to the book blogging community and I wanted to thank everyone for taking the time to come and visit – it truly means a lot to me.

I have a lot of ideas for this blog and am really enjoying the freedom I get here, when compared to writing for school (which I’m sure I’ll be talking about as we move into the fall season). Hopefully my schedule allows for reading and writing as much as I want it to.

Every time I see that someone has stopped by to take a look, or comment, or share their similar posts I feel giddy!

S

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