Friday, May 31, 2013

Obligatory Depressed Post

You know when you do something stupid without thinking about the major consequences and without thinking about those it is going to affect, and you end up lucky.... but you don't feel like you should have been lucky. The guilt is just so powerful and so overwhelming that you feel like you should take the consequences of your stupid decision just to prove you aren't a scumbag and you are a capable and willing adult.... if you haven't figured it out by now, I'm kind of feeling that way today, and I'm not quite sure what to do about it or how to shake it.

Saying you are sorry about something can be a hard thing for some people, and for some people, they throw the phrase around like it's just paper or something. It's a whole different thing though when you've been told that your apologies are worthless, especially when you are sincerely sorry and when you want for the person or people you've hurt to feel at least a little bit better. I had a friend say that once when we were in high school. I won't go into details, and since then, we've resolved our differences and we are friends again. But the way she said it, and the fact that she said it has really affected me. It made me feel like some sort of destructive monster whose only goals was to hurt everyone in her path and make everyone's life a living hell.

For several years after that, hell even now some days, I'm afraid to get close to people because I know I'll just hurt them. It's counteractive too. Humans are social creatures, and I would like to be close to people- have friends like I see my friends hanging out with on Facebook and stuff. But some part of me just can't reach out to people anymore, so I live my days working my 9a-6p job five days a week with really only my partner Felicia and our animals. I'm happy I'm not completely alone. There were years I was completely alone and they seemed almost unbearable. Sadly, it was during college, and I used to laugh sometimes and ask myself .... I wonder what these people would think if they knew they were sitting with a dead person.... with me.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Reaction - Best Book of the Decade : 1960 - 1969

There have been an obscene number of hits on the last poem that I wrote and posted. I can't decide if it is because I have a picture of buttered toast accompanying it, or because of all the food and tongue imagery and the fact that I get a lot of searches simply because I'm a lesbian, lol. No matter, I just thought it was very curious.

Today, I am reviewing the list : Best Books of the Decade 1960. That means all of the books on this list were published between 1960 through 1969

They picked .... To Kill A Mockingbird

My Reaction --- Man, oh man, they made it hard for me today. There are SO many good books published in this decade that deserve to be recognized, including One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Slaughterhouse Five, A Clockwork Orange, The Phantom Tollbooth - and that's just to name a few of my favorites. All in all though, I think that To Kill A Mockingbird deserves Swick Best Book of the Decade Award: 1960 without saying much.

Why This One? --- 

Do I really need to say much more other than that? This is a beautiful film.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Poem #6

Thoughts churn over and over like butter
thickening, slickening, in such
strange ways. Hard to grip better
and slip from my mind through my mouth much.
My tone suggests they are full of salt -
Sharp on the tongue, alarming the senses,
but no more than creamy milk malt
chocolate that runs so pensieve
from the depths of your own.
I'm surprised.
So many people like salt on their vegetables
so why do they sugar their meat so fine?

2013 (c) Summer Fenwick

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Reaction - Best Book of the Decade : 1950 - 1959

Today, I am reviewing the list : Best Books of the Decade 1950. That means all the books on this list were first published between the years 1950 through 1959.

They picked ... Charlotte's Web

My Reaction ---  Okay, so I can't say a whole lot about why I'm not sure this is the best book of the decade because it was my absolute favorite movie as a kid. I could quote it backwards and forwards and in my sleep. I played the tape so much that when it finally died, my daddy went out and bought me a brand new tape I loved watching it so much. And with crisp animation and cute sing-along songs like this, can you blame me? (I really need a copy of this for my DVD collection)

As much as I have fond memories of Charlotte's Web and everything that goes with it, the adult in me won't let me select a book simply because of my nostalgia. This is a great children's book that everyone NEEDS to read at least once in their lives.

I pick ... I, Robot

Why This One? --- Much like The Hobbit and Tolkien were the forerunners in the high fantasy field, Asimov is the granddaddy of most modern science fiction, both books and movies. You've probably seen the I,Robot movie they did a few years ago with Will Smith, and while it was a pretty good little film, the movie does NOT resemble the book in ANY form or fashion. The only thing that is congruent between the two are the famous Three Laws of Robotics....
1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm

2) A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
The REAL I,Robot is actually a collection of short stories that are centered around these laws and that stretch them to their limits, blurring the line between technology and humanity, from its primitive origins in the present to its ultimate perfection in the not-so-distant future--a future in which humanity itself may be rendered obsolete. Most of the scenarios though written in the fifties are still prevalent today. The science-fiction mind is simply astounding. And this is why I,Robot wins the
Swick Book Award for Best Book of the Decade: 1950s

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Poem #5

There is a lot that I need to say
but when I speak no words come out
and because I'm silent, you push away
thinking between us there's no doubt.
Sitting, stewing, mentally screaming
my mouth is dry with salty crusts
Yank, spit, vomit, tears streaming
It's deep down inside me and it's just
burning; it is burning me alive
Throw the water, put it out before
it all turns to ash, it all turns to dust.
it all turns to ash, brittle black bones
and nobody knows how hard I tried.
and nobody knows how loud I cried.
As you push it deeper down my throat
Salty jagged edges down my throat.

2013 (c) Summer Fenwick

Myeh, not my best but it popped out today, so I'm owning up to it.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Talking Animals In Books

I got harrassed today for the last. time. about how I like to read anthropomorphic books and how reading said anthropomorphic books makes me a 'furry' .... if you feel that way about these books, you obviously don't know what a furry is.

I, sir, am not a furry. So don't make that mistake again.

Here is a list of anthropomorphic books that (if you read them) will change your mind.... They are in no particular order except whatever I thought of first when I was writing this list.

This is the saddest book you will ever read.

I know you've read lots of sad dog books, but Old Yeller and Where The Red Fern Grows got NOTHING on The Plague Dogs.

"A lyrical, engrossing tale, by the author of Watership Down, Richard Adams creates a lyrical and engrossing tale, a remarkable journey into the hearts and minds of two canine heroes, Snitter and Rowf, fugitives from the horrors of an animal research center who escape into the isolation--and terror--of the wilderness and eventually drown trying to swim away from the government who wants to kill them. "

Not only that, but there was an animated film of it with some of the most terrifying scenes since
 Watership Down.

Oh wait, did I mention that Watership Down and The Plague Dogs are written by the same person?

This seems like a little known book and it's a real shame because it has such great potential! for being a classic. If people would just read it!

"Two gypsy boys are fleeing through a war-ravaged country-side during the night carrying a secret bundle. The boys stumble across a town that has been reduced to smoking rubble, and a zoo that is still intact. When the boys take shelter in the zoo, they discover a menagerie of talking animals. Both the boys and the animals tell their tales and their desire for freedom"

The comparisons between the Nazi concentration camps and their victims and the zoo animals and their handlers and cages are striking and compelling. At times, heartbreaking. And why haven't you read it? Why has nobody I know read it yet?!

When I was going through the list of anthropomorphic books available at our library, I will be completely honest when I say I didn't have high hopes for this one. It just seemed too much like copy-n-paste everything else that I had already read (specifically Redwall, which I will get to praising a little later) and granted, the first few chapters were less than inspiring. After you get through the obligatory introduction of characters and setting though, this little book has some surprising substances that rivals some of Shakespeare's plays. You heard me right, I am comparing this 'talking animal' book to Shakespeare, and it definitely deserves a look.

"On a night of riding stars, a tiny squirrel is found abandoned and close to death on a distant beach. Adopted and raised by a kindly squirrel, Urchin has no idea of his powerful destiny or of the way he will influence the island of Mistmantle. The rule of the good King Brushen and Queen Spindle is threatened by an evil plot from within the court. When their young son is found murdered, the isle is thrown into turmoil. Behind the scenes, the wicked Lord Husk and Lady Aspen are determined to take control. But to underestimate the power of the islanders and the ancient prophecies is a big mistake…."

2 ) Johnathan Livingston Seagull

Although the allegory between Jonathan and say Jesus Christ or Buddha is painstakingly obvious, this is one of those unique little inspirational books that can be read across all types of faiths and still convey the same message.

"This is a story for people who follow their hearts and make their own rules...people who get special pleasure out of doing something well, even if only for themselves...people who know there's more to this living than meets the eye: they’ll be right there with Jonathan, flying higher and faster than ever they dreamed. "

Not to mention, there is some pretty impressive black and white photography throughout kind of demonstrating the flight techniques that the seagulls describe in the book.

" . . As he sank low in the water, a strange hollow voice sounded within
him. There's no way around it. I am a seagull. I am limited by my nature.
If I were meant to learn so much about flying, I'd have charts for brains.
If I were meant to fly at speed, I'd have a falcon's short wings, and live
on mice instead of fish. My father was right. I must forget this
foolishness. I must fly home to the Flock and be content as I am, as a
poor limited seagull . . . "
But he is not a 'poor limited seagull'.
A beautiful little book. Not many pages, so most people could read it in about an hour.

1 ) Redwall

By far, the most well-known of all anthropomorphic books series Brian Jacques's immortal Redwall series. It spans at 22 separate books, a few spinoffsa television show, and there is currently a Kickstarter campaign to turn it into a video-game.

"Redwall Abbey, tranquil home to a community of peace-loving mice is threatened by Cluny the Scourge - the evil-one-eyed rat warlord - and his battle-hardened horde of predators. Cluny is certain that Redwall will fall easily to his fearsome army but he hasn't bargained for the courage and strength of the combined forces of the Redwall mice and their loyal woodland friends."

Yeah, Redwall is a pretty big deal.

They aren't just kiddie books. They are all ages book, and while most of them don't make adults heads turn, these, my friend, will stay with you long after you turn the last page. Trust me.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Poetry In The Good Ol' Days - part 2

I've really been trying to get back into the swing of things when it comes to writing poetry. It is not only soothing by means of getting your emotions out. Sometimes, poems are like puzzles. To be a certain kind of poem, there must be so many syllables, so many lines, and so many rhymes. And then freestyling, you just write what comes to mind and develop a rhythm as you go. I feel like poetry is really a lost art in this day and age, and I wish more people would come to appreciate it.

As I don't have a poem for you today, I have decided to post an older poem that I wrote for a Valentine's Day Poetry Contest while I was in college. I won first place with it actually. I was pretty proud of myself :)

All deaths I could endure would you sing me
a song, dear nightingale. I have long yearned
to hear the rubato alto melody
at the stroke of midnight… just once more.
Awake, I thought I had been dreaming
when the first somber F minor refrain
swept over my psyche. Outward peering
through the window, I sang into the fog
a gentle countermelody; if I
could only ease your sorrow! Dolce
rondo for hours-days!- on end, I cry…
“All nigh. All nigh” … the lament goes on
With aching bloody throat, I sing no more
and lost forever that which shook my core.

2010 - 2013 (c) Summer Fenwick

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Reaction - Best Book of the Decade : 1940 - 1949

Today, I am reviewing the list : Best Books of the Decade 1940. That means all the books on this list were first published between the years 1940 through 1949.

They pick .... 1984

My Reaction --- Oh man, this is another tough decade for me, but I feel like they got the author right. George Orwell wrote some incredible stuff back in the day that is still relevant over 50 years from when it was first published. In science-fiction, this is a very impressive feat. This book definitely falls on my "100 Books You MUST Read Before You Die" list (huh, maybe I should type that up as a blog post some time.) But it doesn't rank as high as another George Orwell book that was published in the same decade and on the list made second place. See, I think these two should be switched around... at least for another decade or so, let's pass marriage equality in all 50 states and then I'll reconsider 1984 leading over ....

I pick .... Animal Farm

Why This One? ---- Yes, I know a lot of people are liking cursing at me through their monitors right now and ' How in the world can you pick Animal Farm over 1984?! Don't you know Big Brother is watching you?!' - to which I say : Chill out. It's only my opinion.  Animal Farm speaks a lot more to me than 1984 simply due to the fact that I, as a lesbian, have personally lived ...

"All animals are equal except some animals are more equal than others "

... this is the story of my life for the past decade. Yes, I am getting on my soapbox. This is the age of equality though, and a lot more people need to read the allegory in this book. It only portrays the political unfairness, and financial unfairness, but the social unfairness in our world today. You read it in high school and hated it, but now that you are grown up you really need to give it a chance. This book wins the Swick Book Award for Best Book of the Decade : 1940s because of its' relevance to current events and would probably open a lot of people's eyes if they read it outside of mandatory high-school crap.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Poetry In The Good Ol' Days

When I was young and full of dreams and still in high school, I dreamed of writing a spectacular epic poem. It was a science-fiction story about the dangers of conformity and apathy. I was really very proud of it at the time, but now I look back and I wonder 'what was I smoking?' - granted, I wasn't smoking anything which makes the attempt even scarier. I still have some fondness for it, and I feel like it is a terrible thing to go to waste. I did spend a lot of time on it and there are some very nice lines. So while you will never see it published in a book or raved about in the realms of academia, I have preserved it here on my blog in that little side page there called "Attempted Epics" -- Aside from the one listed, I vaguely remember a tale about a girl with superpowers that eventually destroyed her in a gruesome way, and a story vaguely inspired by the mythology of the 13 Greek winds.I have a couple more floating around that if I can find I will post. For now though, I am considering writing more epic poetry now that I am more skilled at my craft.

I am especially proud of these lines...

Where and when
Am I - ?
The darkness becomes brighter
Blinding darkness
Becomes light
Is this the absolute?
The beginning of the night?
The night which I'll
Forever sleep
My dreams –
Forever suspend
Hanging limply
In the unconscious void
And then this world
Will end?

Spiral Staircase, act 1, pt 17
2004- 2013 (c) Summer Fenwick

Friday, May 17, 2013

Reaction - Best Book of the Decade: 1930 - 1939

Today, I am reviewing the list : Best Books of the Decade 1930. That means all the books on this list were first published between the years 1930 through 1939.
They pick .... The Hobbit

My Reaction ---- YES! YES, the public on finally agrees with me. This should be a celebrated book. I know I probably have Hollywood to thank for its' popularity, but I'm going to pretend like everyone that voted for it has read it and pretend like they all voted for it because it is obviously a great great book.

Why This One? ---- The Hobbit is one of the great granddaddies of the modern high fantasy book as we know it. Granted, there had been plenty of fantasy-esque books published before this time, ( see : John Carter of Mars series, and Gladiator  ) that are said to contribute elements as well, none of them have been so remember as well as Tolkien's The Hobbit.  I have a great theory (that I won't go into too much detail with because if luck with have it, I will write a doctoral paper over it) that Tolkien actually wrote the novel to help him cope with the experiences he had in World War I and that the book itself is a thinnly disguised autobiography. If you have read a biography on his life, you'll notice some very interesting similarities ;)

The Hobbit is hands down the winner of the Swick Book Award For Best Book of the Decade - 1930s

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Poem #4

Flying by the May sky
just seems to grow
warmer, warmer, brighter, brighter
when I finally had the
strength to let go.

All my feelings flew away
on a cold current out to sea
further, further, lesser, lesser
and the remains sank
slow to the ocean deep

That was me
down in the waves
cold, cold, remorse, remorse
but it is summer time
and years gone by have taught me
I have a choice.

2013 (c) Summer Fenwick

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Poem #3

It was a little hard for me to come up with something to write about today. I have real world issues in my life write now and it's one of those BIG THINGS that whenever you try not to think about it, you just think about it more. I've been asked not to say anything about it, so unfortunately, I can't talk about it either. I've been typing and deleting and typing and deleting over and over and over, and nothing is coming out!

What's worse is when you've sworn to secrecy not to talk about something, but it bothers you so much that you want to talk about it but you know you can only talk about it with the person you swore secrecy to, and if you do talk to someone else, you are breaking your promise and despite your best efforts to mute your confidante, it'd be just your luck for the person you swore secrecy to find out what you did and then you are in super mondo huge trouble about it. Instead it brews inside you, and it sits there and you dwell, and you don't get anything done that you intended to because you are a compulsive worrier almost by nature.

So, I just prefer not to talk about it at all, write a lame haiku, and run around in passive-aggressive circles on my blog

Silence is golden,
except when your lips are bound
tight with iron bolts

2013 (c) Summer Fenwick

Reaction - Best Book of the Decade: 1920 - 1929

Today, I am reviewing the list : Best Books of the Decade 1920. That means all the books on this list were first published between the years 1920 through 1929.

They picked : The Great Gatsby

My reaction --- Oooohhh.... this is a really really tough decade for me, because I really like The Great Gatsby,  (even more so now that there is a movie adaptation starring DiCaprio) but I feel like it's not the only one worth mentioning.... so there's probably ---

Why this one? --- What is there not to like about Winnie the Pooh? Now an iconic Disney(C) character, Winnie the Pooh has starred in books, movies, theatre, television shows, cuddly toys, and even its' own pop philosophy book. Winnie the Pooh, although originally British, has slowly become an American icon who continues to remain popular even with kids today. When I consider how long trends with kids last, I am amazed that Winnie the Pooh and his friends have held the reigns for so many decades, and I think that's worthy of some praise. Good going, you silly ol' bear!

Both The Great Gatsby and Winnie-the-Pooh win the Swick Award for Best Book of the Decade 1920s

Monday, May 13, 2013

Poem #2

When do you know you give up too much?
"Sharing is caring" and "giving is good" -
it isn't logical to starve and such,
but you starve because you know that you should.
If hunger is an indication, then
do you steal out of your loved one's mouth?
Should you have to steal at all when
you ask and receive "I don't know" due south?
There's nothing left. That is all you have.
In the end, it just was never enough.
They wanted the impossible - cut you in halve
and take all the raw red stuff.

2013 (c) Summer Fenwick

Reaction - Best Book of the Decade: 1910-1919

Today, I am reviewing the list : Best Books of the Decade 1910. That means all the books on this list were first published between the years 1910 through 1919.

They picked : The Secret Garden

My reaction --- What? This seems like another one of those nostalgia picks. I've read this one and although thoroughly entertaining and a great youth book to be sure, does it define a whole decade? - does it beat out everything that stands against it? No, it certainly doesn't. I don't see anything particularly deep or meaningful about this story; I mean, apart from, 'you should be nice to your sick cousin even though he's a dick'  .... I could be jaded after seeing the 1993 Secret Garden a bajillion or more times because my sister liked it so much. If you have some deep, meaningful insight into the symbolism or imagery or allegory or anything literary having to do with this book, feel free to contact me. It has baffled me for years why people revere this book.

I pick... Dubliners

Why this one? --- You know what's awesome about this book? James Joyce. You know what makes this book beat up all of the other books in this decades? This book has balls. This book has balls because it dares to write about something that nobody else would at the time. The entire playful anthology is a giant allegory for the infamous Great Famine of Ireland (< there's a wikipedia link if you know nothing about it) That's right, folks. Dubliners is a book of short stories with symbolism, allegory, imagery, that very very vaguely veils the happenings of this time period. The worst part is that most of the short stories are hilarious. Dubliners wins the Swick Award for Best Book of the Decade : 1910s

Dickish sick cousins got nothing on James Joyce.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Reaction - Best Book of the Decade: 1900-1909

Okay, this is a beginning of a new series of blog posts for me. There is a feature on where you can make lists of what you think are the best books in certain genres. I've been perusing these lists and picking my personal favorites out of each list made, and some of the results I am just a little surprised by what is one there. So! - I am writing down the reaction I have for the ones voters number one by readers and giving you my two cents as to why its' there or what should be there instead. Anyway, it should be fun.

Today, I am reviewing the list : Best Books of the Decade 1900. That means all the books on this list were first published between the years 1900 through 1909.

They picked : Anne of Green Gables

My reaction --- What? Okay, I have never personally read any of these books; although they have been long on my to-read list since I'm an assistant out at the youth desk. I'm just not sure how out of everything that this book is competing against why this one won. Yeah, it's a growing-up story and we tend to be very fond of those ... see other growing-up classics : Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Little Women, David Copperfield, etc. But why does this one take the cake? I have no idea. I think the only reason it is on the top of the list at all is because people have fuzzy warm feelings when they think about it. The same fuzzy feeling I get whenever I read something like The Poky Little Puppy. It's not ohmygoshthebestbookintheworld but it's one from my childhood that I remember reading and liking and reading with my parents, etc. Sure, it brings back good memories for a lot of people, but that doesn't make it the best in my opinion.

I pick... The Jungle

Why this one? ---  If you notice, I didn't rate this book very highly. I don't like the novel itself, but I do love, and I'm sure you all will once I'm through, the huge public outcry this book made about the food-processing industry - in particular, meat. While the book was really supposed to enlighten folks about the horrid working conditions of the poor immigrants that worked in these meat-packing plants, everyone became enraged and disgusted about the process and neglect in the meat-processing as it was. We're talking about vermin and feces commonly mixing with meat and inhumane butchering of animals. All sorts of health code violations. In fact, this book is one of the reasons that the health code exists at all. People were so alarmed by these things that end up in their meat that it sparked a revolution in America's food industry. While the conditions that the immigrants were working in were certainly cleaning, they remained just as miserable and hazardous. To think that the book made such an impact makes me have to, despite the fact I don't like a lot about it, give it the Swick Award for Best Book of 1900 Decade.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Just Too Many ....

I love the 'want to read' list option available on The only problem is that while I am surfing the site there are just too many books that I really get excited about and really want to read. They aren't always easy for me to get a hold of but thankfully, I work for a large library system with an interlibrary loan service, so all the books I could dream of are nearly at my fingertips.

About six months ago, I purged my 'to-read' list of everything on it, and I vowed that I would be very good at keeping up with the items on it- never having more than 10 or 12 on it at a time that way I felt like I was really reading the books I said I would. Well, 10 or 12 turned into 20 or 30, and now its' nearly at 50 books again. I was worried and scolding myself at first, but after a little thought and positive thinking, I have come to grips with the fact that... it's okay to want to read so many books, and I don't have to get through them all. There will be more books published that I want to read and many more that I haven't discovered yet; I will not possibly read all the books I know I would want to in a single lifetime....

So maybe that last statement sounds a little pessimistic, but I don't think so. It is almost a comfort knowing that there will be so many exciting books; I will never stop going on fantastic adventures throughout my whole life! I'm going to add dozens more books to my to-reads list. To hell with keeping up with it, I just want to read!

I've had friends, family, and strangers ask me why in the world my life's goal is to become a true blue librarian, and my answer is always 'for selfish reasons, I love books' - some laugh, some just nod, some tell me it isn't selfish at all to do what you love... and some think that me settling in this cozy vat of knowledge is all of my 'many other talents' going to waste. I really don't care what they think; I am happiest where I am. It's being happy what we all strive for?

All this unlimited reading the past few years has made me learn some things about myself I knew but never really acted upon so much.... I think my 6 year old self definitely knew more about me than my 16 year old self, and now that I'm nearly 26 the cycle has come back to knowing and to being more honest... isn't that funny? Here's a few examples ....

6 YRS SWICK : I'm going to be a marinebiologist one day!
16 YRS SWICK : I'm no good at math and science or swimming. I don't want to study marine life.
26 YRS SWICK : I wish the library had a larger nonfiction collection of marine life to read.

6 YRS SWICK : Comic books are really cool!
16 YRS SWICK : Only dorks read comics.
26 YRS SWICK :  Comic books are total legit forms of reading for all ages, and so much fun.

6 YRS SWICK : I like books like Brian Jacques's Redwall and books about dragons and spaceships.
16 YRS SWICK : Sophisticated adults read classics, politics, and philosophy.
26 YRS SWICK : I like reading a little bit of everything, but kids' books are the most fun for me :)

6 YRS SWICK : Let's play pretend. You be Gandalf and I'll be Bilbo and we're going to Misty Mountain!
16 YRS SWICK : Fan characters and fanfiction are so juvenille.
26 YRS SWICK : I like writing Pokemon fanfiction and I often wonder how books would be different if the characters did something else.

6 YRS SWICK : Who cares what you think? I happen to like what I read. I don't need to impress you.
16 YRS SWICK : Look at how versed in classics and poetry and philosophy and politics I am! I'm sure my professors will be really impressed. They'll think I'm really smart and pay attention to me in class.
26 YRS SWICK : The only person I'm interesting in impressing with my reading is myself.

.... yeah, I've really grown up. I wonder why I fell into such a peer pressure trap at that age. I guess because I've always been the shy quiet odd-one-out type.

How have your reading habits grown and changed since you were young?

Monday, May 6, 2013

1000 BOOKS

I finally did it. I hit 1000 rated books on :)

While I'm sure that I have read way more than 1000 books in my lifetime, just documenting that many and rating them, I think, is a great achievement. That's more books than a lot of people can claim that they have read.

Granted, a lot of people could look at the list of things I've rated and tell me that over 1/2 of them "aren't real books" because nearly 400 of them are graphic novels of some sort and about 100 of them are picture books. I say boo on them - they see me readin'; they hatin'.

Want to know why they be hatin' me? Check out this....

That's 116950 pages, guys. ( not counting the 17 audiobooks, I have listened to. )

Over 90% of the books on that list have been from 2010 up to today( that means I didn't get to 1000 just by listing ALL my required reading in school )

The 1000 doesn't include the 8 books I lost interest in halfway through or the 7 I've started reading but haven't finished yet.( all 1000 I have read from cover to cover )

Here's a list of the longest books I've read in the past 5 years :

In 2010, Ulysses by James Joyce , 816 pages

In 2011, Les Miserables by Victor Hugo , 1463 pages
(technically, a re-read)


In 2012, The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams , 815 pages
(1 book, all 5 in the series)

So far in 2013, Marvel Comics's XMEN: Age of Apocalypse collection , 1072 pages

I am awesome.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Poem #1

Don't know
Which way up.
I thought I knew;
I guess that I don't,
and the breadcrumbs just ran out.
I would go back if I could,
but the hole is dark and deep.
Cold and wet, can't climb and can't even sleep.
I can't escape and this I can't cope.
Someone to throw down a nice thick rope!
I do not mind rope burns
At least they are warm
compared to this
dark deep muddy
hole in my mind.
The worst part is
I can't

2013 (c) Summer Fenwick

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Little Ramble About Writing.

I am really really enjoying this creative writing every day thing that I've been doing for the past week or so. I don't think I've sat down and written so much of a story since... well... Pokemon fanfiction aside.... since high-school.

I've read a couple reviews on for some really awful books like Marked by P.C. Cast and Halo by Alexandra Adornetto where people have dumped on them because they sound like Twilight fanfiction (having read both, I agree that they do) and then dump on the authors themselves for publishing that crap. Well, I agree that perhaps editors and publishing companies were not in their right minds whenever they bought said manuscripts for the authors, I don't see what is so fearful or pathetic about writing fanfiction...

Fanfiction is writing for the self, I think. More than it satisfies a niche in other people's lives, it satisfies a niche in yours whether you wanted a particular story to flow a different way or you wanted different characters to end up together - fanfiction is self-satisfying. I used to be a self-righteous reader, reviewer, and writer of fanfiction where I fall into traps like "OMGhowcanyouwritesuchanawfulHarryPotterMarySue?!" and "thisdoesn'trelatebacktothestoryatall" and "everyoneissooutofcharacter;howdareyou!" .... but the older I get, I don't know if I've grown up and said "You know, it's only fiction. Everyone's going to write what they wanna write and if it makes them happy, then fine. I don't have to like it." or if my give-a-shit meter is broken.

I am much more harsh with original fiction, of course. But fanfiction, I can overlook all sorts of awfulness.

... now that I am writing my own original creative writing again, I'm not always sure if I want to share it or not. I try not to make anyone Sue-ish, I try not to writing totally out of bounds, I am genuinely trying to write a good story, but I don't aim to profit from it (in the near future?) I am writing strictly for myself and my own satisfaction.

It's kind of nice not having any pressure from anyone to write. When I first REALLY started writing creative fiction, I was doing a piece that based each character from someone I knew in real life, and events in the story were fanciful but somewhat true. When my friends figured it out, everybody got in on the story and the characters and how they should act and I never finished the thing because everything got so convoluted and weird. I couldn't tell what was going on anymore. Nevertheless, I still had a lot of fun writing and rewriting, and I have fond memories of bus rides where we would work out plot points and character dialogue. My greatest regret though was that I never finished it. Now that I have the time, I'm writing it again, but things are going to go my way. I am more than happy to let old friends read it; although they likely won't recognize the characters anymore. As I grew up, they grew up too.

Maybe it's selfish that I'm writing just because I can with no editing or commentary whatsoever, and maybe that doesn't make me much better than my seventh or eighth grade self. Perhaps I will never really grown up out of that fan-character and writing about fan-characters phase...

... no harm in that.