My Crazy, Bookish Adventure Weekend

Some people are going to read this post and be like, “Book stuff isn’t an adventure.” If you’re one of those people, this post might not be for you.

For those of you who are like, “Books? Tell me more!” read on.

Always Raining Here

My bookish weekend started on Friday when I finally got my copies of Always Raining Here.

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It’s a webcomic that ran from 2012- 2016, a story about two teenage boys’ quest for love. (Okay, it didn’t start out as a quest for love… but they’re teenage boys!) I’ve been waiting for these books for awhile, so it was a nice surprise to finally get them.

The Texas Teen Book Festival

Saturday was the Texas Teen Book Festival with a few authors I’d heard of, and many more who were new to me. The authors sat on panels such as “You + Me = Fate” and talked about themes in their books, writing process, the importance of diversity in books, and other interesting topics.

Though I could have bought these books cheaper elsewhere, I bought a bunch at the festival for a few reasons.

  1. It’s important to support other authors. One day I hope to make a living from people buying my books.
  2. They’re signed! Signed books are always better!
  3. If I don’t buy them immediately, I put them on a list and forget that I really wanted to read them.

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(I’ve already read When Dimple Met Rishi, and it was lovely.)

The Library Sale!

I love the sale at my local library. Not only are books cheap, but I love used books. Part of it is that I just love owning things that other people owned, that have wear marks and maybe writing in them. The other part of it is that I’m conscious about waste, so when I can buy used, I feel good about my purchasing decisions.

I went for the YA/ children’s books first, and was immediately perplexed. Instead of stacking the books so the titles could be read, they looked like this:

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My apologies for the blurry picture. Please don’t tell my husband… he’d be appalled.

Why would you stack books so that you can’t see the spine?? It’s incomprehensible to me, and reminds me of that weird backwards bookshelf trend (which will be the subject of Friday’s blog… stay tuned).

From there, I moved into the main room with all the other books. I was briefly distracted by a copy of The Annotated Alice, an annotated version of Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland from 1960. I actually own the exact book that was being sold, but I don’t have much willpower when it comes to Alice in Wonderland. I want to own multiple copies of every version of this book ever made.

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Yeah, I don’t understand it either. Moving on.

I acquired some great finds, including an old Stephen King anthology with “Rage,” a rare short story that King himself asked to be pulled off the shelves.

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The leather-bound book is a copy of Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal, by Christopher Moore. Now, to be honest, I probably wouldn’t have bought this book, except that someone had put it with the religion books. I know volunteers run library sales, and someone just put it there because it looked like it belonged, but it made me laugh, so I had to buy it.

I bought Girl On A Train because it sounded better than The Girl On the Train, which I disliked, though everyone else seemed to think it was great.

There was also a book I spotted called, “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.” This raised so many questions for me. Is there also a “Manly Art of Breastfeeding”? Is the implication that someone isn’t womanly if they don’t breastfeed? What if I don’t have children? Should I breastfeed other people’s children in order to be more womanly?

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I didn’t buy that one though. I figured someone else needed tips on being womanly more than I did.

Did you have any bookish adventures this weekend?

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Q is for Queens of Wonderland

Hello, and welcome to Blogging A to Z 2017! Thanks for stopping by. Fellow A to Z-ers, please make sure to leave a link to your blog in the comments.

My theme this month is 26 of the Best Characters in Fiction.

IMG_8394Did you think we’d make it through A to Z this year without an Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland post? #sorrynotsorry

There are so many delightfully crazy characters in Alice in Wonderland, but the Queen of Hearts and the White Queen have always had a special place in my heart.

The Queen of Hearts is just plain angry, shouting “off with his head!” constantly. But no one really pays attention to her, and no one actually gets beheaded. She’s like upper management, loud and annoying, but with no idea of what’s really going on. Her poor husband is quite intimidated by her.

She plays croquet with flamingos and everyone is so afraid of her that the other cards paint the roses red. (They planted a white rosebush by mistake… oops.)

The White Queen appears in Through the Looking Glass, also by Lewis Carroll. She lives backward, knowing things are going to happen before they actually do. I wouldn’t want to know my future, every move I made before I make it, but it seems to work for the White Queen. More importantly, she’s given me one of my all time favorite quotes:

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

-From Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll

I’ve always thought those were words to live by, finding impossible things to believe every day. If they happen before breakfast, even better! After all, what’s imagination for if you don’t believe in the impossible?

 

20 Things You Don’t Know About Me

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  1. I’m really short. Like, get teased about it short. Like, I have stools in every room of my house short.
  2. I’m a Leo, born in the year of the Snake.
  3. All but two of my friends are oldest or only children.
  4. I find a song I like and then listen to it over and over. And over. Until I don’t.
  5. I love playing any Super Mario game.
  6. Nailpolish only stays on my fingers for about an hour before it starts chipping. I’m not exaggerating.
  7. I cook and bake most of the food I eat from scratch. (I like to know what’s in my food.)
  8. My favorite color is blue, but I’m really picky about the shade of blue. Because I’m so picky about blue, I own more stuff in purple.
  9. I love all things Alice in Wonderland.
  10. I love pictures of ferris wheels, but hate riding them.
  11. I love roller coasters… the faster, the better.
  12. I hate repetitive sounds… windshield wipers drive me crazy.
  13. I’ve broken a tiny bone in my left wrist, and my left pointer finger tip.
  14. The Bells of Christmas, by Transiberian Orchestra, is my favorite Christmas song.
  15. Halloween is my favorite holiday.
  16. Most of my friends are organized, orderly types, and I drive them crazy.
  17. Sugar is not my thing. Fat, yes. (French fries, anyone?)
  18. The most common thing people tell me after they get to know me is: “I was scared of you when I first met you.”
  19. I want to learn to play the piano, and to draw.
  20. I don’t have a favorite season; I love the freshness and blooming flowers of spring, the heat and frequent trips to the pool in summer, the crispness of the air and fallen leaves in autumn, and the cold, gray days that beg for a lit fireplace in the winter.

A is for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

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I love all things Alice, and probably own half a dozen copies of this book.

I identify with Alice, maybe because she’s lost in a strange world  where nothing makes sense, as I’ve so often felt in the real world.

I get by, but sometimes I feel like I’m playacting, not understanding why everyone is painting the white roses red.

I know exactly how it must have felt when Alice fell down the rabbit hole.

Through this book, Lewis Carroll introduced me to the idea that it’s okay to play with language.  I knew that reading was fun, but most books follow a set of rules.  English teachers expound on those rules, and in school writing, I dared not break them.

But here was a published author whose book contains nonsense words!

Excerpt from Jabberwocky, by Lewis Carroll:

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

It opened up a whole world of language.  Suddenly, language was more than it had been before.

In school, I continued to write the way I’d been told.  But on my own time, I experimented and played with language.  Because now I knew I could.

Alice may have been lost when she first got to Wonderland, but she figured it all out eventually.  And what she didn’t figure out, she still managed to deal with.  Eventually, she got home, but the world was never the same.  Because once she knew about Wonderland, she could never un-know it.

Home-made Halloween

You can't see the spiders in this picture, but I assure you... they're there!

You can’t see the spiders in this picture, but I assure you… they’re there!

Halloween is my absolute most favorite holiday.  I love everything about it.  I love that it happens in fall, when it’s cool and crisp but not cold.  I love horror movies and people trying to “scare” me.  I love the costumes, and I love wearing black.  The only thing I don’t love is the candy.  (Yes, I know.  But give me french fries over candy any day.  Hey… holiday idea… something involving the consumption of french fries! But I digress…)

I started to think about my costume this year.  Every year for the past several years, I’ve wanted to be Alice in Wonderland, either the Disney version or a Steampunk version.  And every year, by the time I go costume shopping, the selection of Plus sized costumes is extremely limited.

I realized that I have never owned a store bought costume.  Never.  Not in over three decades of dressing up.  I’ve never gone to Wal-Mart or Target or the Spirit store and actually purchased an entire costume.  I’ve purchased props, like a witch’s hat, a wig, wings, fangs, makeup, craft items, or shoes.  But never a full costume.  I’m not sure why that is.  Honestly, I don’t remember ever wanting a store bought costume.  Most of the fun was in making up the costume, piecing together different things and coming up with something unique.

I’ve been lots of things over the years.  Last year I was a spider spirit, with netting sewn all over a skirt and an old black shirt, spiders hot glued on my webs.  I’ve been a witch, a vampire, a hippy, a devil, a black cat, and probably many other things I’m not remembering.  One of my proudest costumes was in high school, at a party I got a pity invite to.  It was a costume party, but I was the only person who showed up.  I used fake blood all over a white lab coat, smeared my face with purple eye shadow, and made up my lips and eyes with black lipstick.

Realizing this, I finally understand why I haven’t been able to find the perfect Alice in Wonderland costume… I haven’t made it yet!  I don’t know if it’s going to happen this year or not.  But when it does, it’s going to be great.

Do you make or buy your costumes?  What was your personal favorite costume ever?