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Thursday Evening

Tonight I am slowing down to appreciate the simple pleasures of life. After reconnecting with some friends from the past I invited my favourites of today to join me in an evening of inappropriate smoking, drinking wine and, 100% guaranteed, an amazing evening 🙂 

The happy comes in waves – Perhaps I have too much time on my hands? I constantly worry about the dumb things in life. But for now, just the glass in my hand and the friends sat across the table dominate my mind and consume my energy.

True happiness.

Prospect of Love

What’s wrong? Where are the smiles we used to share
behind the backs of the others?

Why are you keeping your sadness inside? I want to know whats wrong,
hold you until you feel safe enough to walk ahead of me.
Don’t you know you’re stronger than this?

Never look back, just know that I am half a step behind you
ready to catch you if you should fall.
Not that you would be down for long, because you’re you.

I admire. I fall every time. I just can’t help but love you.

Shambala. It’s going to happen. I just read a post that convinced me even more that this is something I need to experience. I’m not only excited about the chance to go this summer, but the chance to attend the next year, and the next.

I had a “earth-to” moment today when I came to the conclusion that my life is boring and I need to change it – ASAP. So I spent many hours today thinking about my life now, and my life five years ago, but more importantly, my life five years from now.. Am I heading down the path I really want to be following? Or is that dark mysterious forest to the left more my style? Right now I’m dabbling on the edge but I think life would be far more interesting if I indulge for just a few years. Then I’ll return to this narrow path and be a closeted freak. I just want a few years to experience every sensation, see horribly beautiful, sexual, earthly, natural things…

does any of this make sense?

Anyway. Take a look at the blog post that gave me the desire to go, here.

And these are two songs to convince you to come too…this one and this one! The more I listen to ‘Move for Me’ the more amazing it becomes.

Have a wonderful night you readers of blog posts,

S

Image

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

The End of September

AHH Blog ❤ I’m so sorry I’ve been so busy (excuses, excuses.. i know) and I haven’t updated you in forever. School is going so well. I’m up to date with everything except my religion class… woops! Lately my only reading has been for school which is why I don’t really have much to say here. I will update you on these reads though!

School

Ralph Ellison – Invisible Man

Flannery O’Connor – Good Country People

Elizabeth Bishop – At The Fishhouses

All of these are for my American Literature class with Prof Rob Boschman.. oh my he’s amazing! I love how much he appreciates our thoughts and ideas. On the other end of the spectrum we have Ivan Grabovac… slightly arrogant and doesn’t really allow for discussion in his class, even though we’re all trying at any moment we get. As soon as he says ‘For the next 10 minutes, I’d like us to split into small groups…..’ BOOM – everyone’s talking.

Both classes are going well and I really enjoy analyzing and discussing literature on such a deep level. I’m looking forward to picking classes for next semester. ALSO – officially an English major now 🙂 How exciting! It took so long to get my Academic Advisor on the same page as me, but now…. woohoo ^_^

I read The Great Gatsby and Scarlet Letter (sort of not really) for my theory class and we had a short, six-question exam last Wednesday that my friends and I were pretty freaked about. But after a kick ass study sesh with the two A’s… you know who you are… I felt pretty confident and ended up coming out of the exam excited to find out how I did. I HOPE SUPER AMAZINGLY. 15% dependent on 6 questions is scary.

Personal

Life has been so positive lately. I immersed myself in church and all that goes along with it. Tuesdays and Thursdays for 4 hours I work at the YDC (Youth Drop-In Centre) which is an after-school program for teens. The building is church-owned and operated, but it is officially run by the City of Calgary and I was interviewed by Chris who will place me in other CoC (lol – immature moment) leader positions if they fit with my schedule. The interview was such a positive experience.

So along with working at the Drop-In centre, I lead a small group on Friday nights (see below) and sing on the worship team. This past Saturday we had a fun team-building day that included breakfast, rhythm, a huge group rehearsal (awesome), and an afternoon spent racing around the city trying to complete our worship pastor’s made-up version of the Amazing Race. It was actually really well done and was such a great way to bond with the other worship peoples 🙂

B and I have never been better. We’re both small group leaders every Friday night at Youth, which is basically teenager church… haha so weird. We’ve really grown together lately and started having serious conversations about marriage and spending our lives together. I’ve honestly never been as happy as I am now. On Sunday it will be our official first anniversary since we started dating – yay! I have some plans for us on Thursday night: I think we’ll start with…. OH he reads this blog – sorry hun, you’ll have to wait 😉

Class just started so I have to love you and leave you ❤

 

Ps – thank you for sticking with me through my busy September – I truly appreciate you all so much.

 

S

Wonderings on a Wednesday

I wish people loved each other more. Telling people that what they feel is wrong. And that who they love is unnatural. Love between two men or two women is not a sin. When I saw a post today clarifying the difference between sin and temptation… I just. It’s hard to talk about it and keep everyone anonymous. I just read an instagram post, made by someone who is very much a part of the Christian youth and young adult groups at church. How can someone like that be leading teenagers into a safe and happy place when he will statistically rule out 1/2 of them because he preaches that their friends who have same-sex loves are sinful, and another 1/4 of them because they themselves have a same-sex love.

It actually made me sad to see how many people liked his post. I’m heartbroken right now.

Wednesday (Evening)

Last night was a wonderful day. I spent time with a woman who could one day be my step-mum. She’s wonderful. We spent all day in a mall, trying on pants, and I didn’t want to kill her, or cry, or anything. N just made me feel super comfortable and happy. I didn’t just buy dress pants – which is a struggle most days – but jeans too!

When my dad is around her he is happier. He smiles more, laughs more, is up for doing more. I honestly feel like she’s a blessing for our family. My mum is beginning to see how much happier she can be without my dad around and that’s something I’ve been praying for. I remember a few years ago praying for a miracle to save my mum and dad’s relationship. I know its weird, but I think N was the miracle. She didn’t help my parent’s marriage, obviously.. but she’s made my dad happier, which makes me happier, which makes everyone happier. Trust me on that.

 

Today was a wonderful day,
sweet treats and sweet meetings between two almost strangers,
laughter and happiness – emotions once forgotten – 
Now, in search of them, I start to smile and feel joy.
It’s good to see him enjoy a lavish life.
I don’t mean one with money,
no that’s just a dream,
But with love – he smiles like he did in the 70’s.

So many good memories, so many grey areas.
But now the good is coming back
and he’s smiling again.
Today was a wonderful day.

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