i need to re read this book

anonymous asked:

11:37 PM It's raining again, and I should be in bed but I can't put down my book--and I can't quiet down my thoughts. We haven't seen each other in four years and I just want him to come home, come home, but it isn't home anymore and the only person waiting for him here is me. And I can't give him what he needs. So I listen to the rain, and I read, and I imagine.

I don’t know the entire context (or full circumstances here) but this is so lovely.

I can tell you’re hoping, a deep hope, for something. Just know that I’m hoping with you. 

ask-patient1274  asked:

I've read that some high profile figures either get training in some sort of hoof-to-hoof combat or conceal a weapon or two on their person, just in case. Considering your recent encounter with the witchleeches, perhaps you should consider something like that to supplement your magical abilities. Or a bodyguard. Equestria needs you to be safe, your highness.

That’s really not common. High profile figures are rarely in danger. Mostly they’re surrounded by ponies who appreciate them, at worst perhaps some that have a hard time respecting personal boundaries and might be a bit annoying, but that’s hardly cause for violence.

There are of course places in Equestria which are less safe, at least when you’re on your own. Once you get away from civilization there are wild things about which might not be as kind as ponies are.

Still, that hardly justifies having guards. I’ve already discussed my objections to this, so I won’t repeat them. If anything I should have the company of a friend when going through places like the Everfree Forest. My friends are quite capable.

As for non-magical self-defense, I have read numerous books on the topic. But that won’t help when I’m caught by surprise and overwhelmed before I can react. And while I try to stay in shape, I’m not exactly an athletic pony, so my magic is going to be my primary means of defense.

It really was just unfortunate to run into creatures against whom magic was not a viable defense, at least once caught, and the fact that I was successfully ambushed (which granted isn’t simply bad luck but rather that I can be lost in thought while wandering and not pay enough attention to my surroundings).

I know my safety is important, and there are times I’ve passed up opportunities to do things I’ve dreamed of, because the risk is too great. Not for my own sake, but for Equestria. But I don’t want to live sheltered either, I did that for a large part of my life and it kept me from growing as a pony.

If I live in fear, surrounded by guards, disconnected from the citizens, I will not be the kind of Princess of Friendship that Equestria deserves. I have to try to be a regular pony, as much as that’s possible in my position, but without exposing myself to extreme and unnecessary risks.

mrsariayoureakiller  asked:

Sometimes I'm really annoyed about how the show has white washed Tyrion yet made Dany's character darker like in s5 and s6 they made Tyrion the one seeking peaceful solution against the Slave masters when that was Dany's role in the books I mean yes Dany can be ruthless when she needs to be(which is something she represses in book 5)but she's not Viserys or Aerys the one she's aways been compared to has been Rheagar and it's aways been in positive terms(cont)

So if they have her closest advisors doubt her sanity this season it would just further do a desrvice to her character I’ve actually been re-reading the books and I was reminded how book Dany despite her “fire and blood’‘moments had a very gentle personality and this innocence in her despite having to gorw up quickly but unfortunately this has been lost on the show somewhat I don’t know if it’s because Dany is older there but I really miss her having scenes that shows her as a human being

I get angry about it, too. I feel like it’s kind of sexist if I’m being honest. They’re making Tyrion unshakably moral and the one who has to talk Dany off the ledge.

BUT Tyrion and Dany are currently my favorite friendship on the show and I think that what matters is that he does talk her off the ledge when necessary. Maybe we get to see her humanity more in the books but I am still happy with show Dany.

In terms of them “doubting her sanity,” I don’t think it is ever going to be that serious. I could be wrong, of course. But from what we saw between Dany and Tyrion and Dany and Varys in ep2, I can’t see them being that surprised or upset when she burns the Tarlys. I’m assuming that’s what you mean when you say “doubting her sanity.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m worried for how that scene will play out as well. But I think that Tyrion and Dany are more united than ever before and that Varys, who smiled and said he expects nothing less when she threatened to burn him if he betrays her, will understand that she is doing what rulers do in this universe–killing traitors. Even Jon and Sansa discussed this in ep1, when they said that the penalty for treason is death. 

The Tarlys are traitors to Olenna Tyrell, one of Dany’s allies. Dany gives them the chance to bend the knee to her, but they refuse to. And while traitors like Karstark were killed in the BotB, we can assume that if not, Jon would have executed them for treason. So I don’t know why Dany’s choice to execute the Tarlys, who are not only traitors, but traitors who refuse to repent, is so controversial ALREADY, and it hasn’t even happened yet. To me, this scene is perfectly normal and understandable. And even more importantly, the leaks tell us that while apparently (again I don’t really know why this will happen and I’m not sure I believe it) Tyrion and Varys question Dany’s actions after the fact, JON will agree with her.

I guess the reason people are so bent out of shape about this is the fact that Dany burns them with dragon fire instead of just beheading them or something. But that’s always been her way. I don’t know why people are suddenly shocked about this now. The Tarlys have only ever been presented as hateful men, not people we should feel sorry for. To me their death will be no more upsetting than that of Kraznys. As is, not upsetting at all. 

Oh well. When it comes to defending Dany, our job never ends -_-

garr9988  asked:

Quick question, are you familiar with the Goosebumps series by RL Stine? There's a "little" something in the series known as "Monster Blood". I'm not gonna say what happens when you eat it, but.. well, I hope you have roof insurance. And a good tailor... (I recommend maybe reading the books for more context xD)

Haha do you know who you’re talking to!? Do I know what Monster Blood is haha I was a REAL little kid, and had managed to convince my parents to let me go to the scholastic book order program, buying one that looked super scary, from the continuing Goosebump series my older sister had! MonsterBlood it was called! And wow..reading that dog growing..and GROWING the descriptions of this incredible substance it caused QUITE an incredible reaction in the kid beast! I wanted that stuff so BAD! I NEEDED it! I even recall stomping around pretending I’d eaten some, POSITIVE I was about to grow like Trigger did, because of how excited I got..and how things tended to get BIGGER the more I thought about eating some!

Then 2 years later staring bored at the shelf of kids books and reader’s digests at the end of the grocery store checkout aisle I stopped as one of them caught my eye. It had a picture of a GIANT converse, and the caption “Evan’s Growing up WAY too fast!” I instantly grabbed it! devouring the book, reading it as quickly as I could, skipping looking through the pages, desperate for the words I loved that made me feel so GOOD! Words like “GROWING” and “BIGGER” my breathing getting faster, red faced, feeling dizzy as I read Evan getting tricked into eating some of that monster blood, that miracle goop that grows endlessly and if ingested does the SAME!

It was INCREDIBLE! the boy was growing out of control! Through his house and as a tremendous giant he stomped around town! But..unlike him, i would have WANTED more growth! I read how he hated every inch, freaking out that he was “too big” and I was SO JEALOUS, relating to his younger cousin Kermit who wanted to eat it and truly GROW tremendous! I was so in a daze I barely noticed my mom asking me to hurry up, more than a little embarrassed at her beastboy standing there reading with one hand groping himself and moaning about GROWING with the other haha.

So yeah, i DEFINITELY know of that book series and that amazing substance my friend! It’s one of my macro formative experiences!

Thank you for the tag @biancadama !

1. Last movie I watched: Baby Driver a couple weeks ago. Wow, I need to watch more movies. It was really fun, and the action sequences make it worth while (if you’re into that sort of thing)

2. Last song I listened to: I don’t know actually. I had this fancy breakfast with my dad yesterday, and there was fancy music™ that I am too uncultured to name.

3. Last book I read: finally finished Difficult Men, the book about 3rd Golden Age show runners. David Milch (NYPD Blue, Deadwood) sounded fucking off his rocker. A lot of times he wouldn’t write scenes, he’d just improvise them on the day. The actors would have no lines to learn, and nothing to refer to. Fucking insanity.

4. Last thing I ate: A “Canadian Cobb salad”. It had Canadian bacon in it, plus chicken and shrimp. 😂

5. If I could be anywhere right now, where would I be?: I’m in Niagara-on-the-Lake right now, and I’m good. I’d stay here.

6. Where would you time travel to?: As long as it’s a return trip, I’d like to visit the 1970’s.

7. Fictional character you’d hang out with for a day: in an answer that shocks no one, Jesse Pinkman. Video games, tacos, drugs, cuddles, what more could a girl want? If it was pre or early Mr. White era, it would be all light hearted and fun. If I got post-felina Jesse, I’d put him in a bathtub and keep him safe. 😰

I tag: @elephantandthedove @elliotnyalderson @ancatdubh777 @a19a14 @desertdeville @seagirlsf @cinnabongene @whatwearewillbe @yoporkchopsandwiches @nicetomethyou @jessepinkmanvevo @yeahmanicandobetter

Book!Gems I wish the BBC had included

 D’Artagnan showing up, alone, at the monastery to get Aramis like “I am so tired and hungry and have had such a hard time Aramis let’s go” but Aramis is like “First let me read you my thesis and also some poetry…I can’t get you real food but we do have spinach” and d’Artagnan’s entire reaction

Athos teaching his manservant a form of sign language so there’d be at least one person he wouldn’t have to speak verbally with

Athos locking himself and his servant in the cellar of this dude’s inn and drinking all his wine, ransacking all his groceries

D’Artagnan being so overwhelmed by Athos’ angst, so awkward, so uncertain how to respond so he just pretends to fall asleep and Athos lowkey finds it adorable like “aw look at this. lightweight. #BlessHim”

D’Artagnan showing up to talk to Athos. Wearing a dress. And Athos not even batting an eye.

The Inseparables teaching d’Artagnan to play tennis but he nearly gets smacked in the eye by the ball and panics, “I have to meet with the king I cannot go to the palace with a black eye” and that one guard dragging him about it so d’Artagnan chases him all over Paris on a duel and actually kills the guy. The king finds this hilarious and gives everyone money I’m crying

Papa “Do not sell this horse” d’Artagnan, Charles *Immediately Sells the Horse* d’Artagnan

Athos “d’Artagnan don’t do the thing” de la Fere, Charles “Athos I did the thing it went about as well as you expected” d’Artagnan

D’Artagnan’s hysterics over Constance and Athos initially trying to calm him down but then just telling him to go ahead and weep, d’Artagnan actually fainting from being so upset about Constance

Athos “You jostled my injured shoulder, prepare to die” de la Fere


Athos being the leader of the Charles d’Artagnan fanclub

D’Artagnan making smalltalk before his duel like “is your arm okay for fighting?” and then apologizing to Aramis and Porthos because he’s that sure Athos is going to kill him before he can fight them I mean in what way was that not pure gold c’mon son

The Boys scrounging for food and they all contribute and then d’Artagnan being like, “I know a guy who has chocolate”

Rochefort and d’Artagnan hating each other to such an extent they kinda bond over it

The musketeers forming a Friendship Walk so many across it takes up the entire street

D’Artagnan fighting Rochefort at that inn and then getting the hell beat out of him by everyone there, subsequently fleeced, and then showing up at Treville’s office like “look man, I got nothin’”


That one scene where Athos spends like half an hour giving d’Artagnan a detailed play-by-play of gambling, losing all their stuff, winning some back, losing it again, while d’Artagnan steadily wilts on the spot.

D’Artagnan’s tendency to exclaim/whisper/mutter/hiss “merde !” so often it’s practically his catchphrase

D’Artagnan being lowkey insulted and quite honestly alarmed by life in general

MBTI: reasons to live

Okay so this is a bit more serious than my usual posts which are literally about memes and procrastination, but I thought it would be sorta nice to give each type a reason why they should stay alive. These sorts of things are important :)

INFP: there are so many books left for you to read

INFJ: you see things differently and the world needs people like that

INTP: live for that discovery you’ll make a decade from now

INTJ: you haven’t truly left your mark yet

ENFP: there are animals who need you

ENFJ: who will campaign for change without you?

ENTP: you’re gonna do something big, just wait

ENTJ: you are the one thing holding some groups/organisations together

ISTP: you haven’t visited every continent yet

ISTJ: the world needs your innovation

ISFP: there’s so many beautiful things you haven’t seen

ISFJ: trust me, your friends need you

ESFP: you brighten up the lives of everyone you meet

ESFJ: one day, you’ll be so in love that you’ll be glad you’re alive

ESTP: there are so many experiences left for you to feel

ESTJ: you may not know it, but people are relying on you

sock-monkey-homunculus  asked:

Hi. I want to write an epic space opera, so I was wondering what are some classic points my stoey needs and what has been done to death? Also, fun fact, Charlton Heston's character in Planet of the Apes is from my town. Unfortunately, his school was made up.

Rod Serling once gave the best advice to writing: take however many books you’re reading right now, and double that.

This is probably not the answer you want to hear, but it’s a mistake to think in terms of tropes. A lot of people go into writing with their heads: they want to subvert expectations in a clever way. They write because they want to get a pat on the head for being smart (”in this novel, it turns out the Love Interest is actually the Dragon with a hint of Lightning Bruiser!”). Overused tropes and clichés aren’t the problem, though. When people say they didn’t like a story because it was cliché or overdone, what they mean is, they didn’t believe it.

If you want to tell a military scifi story, do that. It’s like a piece of advice an acting coach once gave me: no matter how many actors there are, there’s always room for one more good one.

If you want to tell a story about space pirates (to pick a particularly common scifi theme), tell a story about space pirates, but “don’t try to impress me, try to convince me.” This means identifying exactly what it is you want to say and convincing me of it. A lot of people bristle at this because for some strange reason, we have the first culture in human history that is suspicious of clear communication, and for some reason, loves ambiguity.

So, if you want to tell a story about space pirates, you have to identify what it is you want to say. Suppose you have the idea that all criminal organizations are is just “outsider capitalism.” It’s family and protection for people who have none of the above, and that the difference between pirates and a big business is simply that one is run by people on the outside who “weren’t invited to the party.”

So, if that’s what you want to say, a story about space pirates starts to take shape. Your main character comes to life, as he is the person the audience sees the story through and we like who he likes, trusts who he trusts. You start the story inside a big interstellar corporation, but our hero sees they practice all kinds of underhanded traits he later sees in the pirates, except the “big guys” get away with it. Since a good rule is that the main character is the person in the story who gets into the most trouble, you have him as a stiff executive who gets kicked out of a corporation, who then is forced to join the pirates because like everyone else there, he has nowhere else to go. Your main character is in some way an unfinished, imperfect person; the point of the story is to have him improve or learn something. 

At first, because he has the expectations the audience does, our hero believes they’re all cut-throats, but we see a different side to them: we see them not as evil, but people who are somehow unacceptable to society in some way. All the pirate characters are created to drive that idea home. One was pushed off his home by a corporation; one is a member of a religious group that isn’t liked; one is a cyborg, which are discriminated against; one is a runaway clone of an executive about to be chopped up for parts. None of them have families, since the point of the story is to show how organizations like this can be surrogate families. The story starts to write itself: our hero tries to protect his surrogate family (as our hero cares, we care, too), and we see the pirates get punished for things the “big guys” get away with. 

The finale writes itself: the pirates fight the big corporation and our hero chooses to side with the pirates even after a final temptation. Endings should feel easier to write than beginnings; a story is like a funnel, at the beginning, anything can happen, but as it goes on, the range of possibilities narrow until one final outcome is possible. 

See? Right there, we have a story that subverts expectations and does something interesting with an overused trope (space pirates), but subverting expectations is a means, not an end in and of itself. It’s all about expressing clearly what you have to say.

Keep reading your Bible

Please. I’m begging you.

I know, I get it. It can be overwhelming to think about. You don’t know where to start. It feels like a chore at times. You get too easily distracted. I. Get. It. But please don’t give up on it.

You need it if you want to survive and remain strong in your faith. Without it, you will spiritually starve yourself to death. You can’t maintain a strong relationship with the Lord when you’re never reading the Word He gave you in order to be close to Him.

Find a book related plan to go off of. Look for reading challenges. Keep a Bible journal. Join a Bible study group. Do something. Make it a habit, to the point that a day without it feels like a day without brushing your teeth. Stop putting it off, please. It’s in your best interest. You’ll never regret spending even the smallest bit of time in the Word.

Please just read your Bible.

I swear if I see one more person compare that fyre festival to the hunger games I’m gonna re-enact that “ read the book ” gif like first of all, why the fuck do we have this constant need to compare shitty events to fandoms? not to be “ that asshole ” but in some situations yall need to come back to reality.

second of all its literally nothing like the hunger games. first of all the island they’re at isn’t some god damn uninhabited destitute island there’s a town like ten minutes away from the festival grounds. people tweeting they’re hiding in their tent and trying to figure out how to make weapons binch stfu you aren’t on naked and afraid, take your shit and go to the town and kindly offer compensation to anyone who can offer you shelter until you can leave.

these mf are acting like the festival grounds are the entire island and they’re required by law to stay there so they’ve gone all lord of the flies in the span of like a day.

the only people I have sympathy for are the Bahamian’s that are gonna probably somehow be blamed for all this and stuck cleaning the damages with nothing to show but a massive dent in their tourism cause you dumb mother fuckers decided to loose your fucking minds because you weren’t getting spa treatments and rentable yachts fuck off.

SKAM 4.02 Clip 2 - The secret

N: Wasn’t it nice this weekend?

S: At the party?

N: Yes?

N: I thought it was really nice. There were a lot of nice, new people.

S: Yeah, you liked them?

N: Yes! Such as, or like, that guy Yousef. Do you know him well?

S: Yousef?

N: Yeah, your brother’s friend.

S: No, not that well.

N: He was quite charming though!

S: If you think being immature is charming.

N: I thought he seemed quite mature?

S: Trust me. You don’t want a muslim boy.

N: Why not

S: Because, just trust me, they… They`re together with Norwegian girls just to take advantage of  them. And as soon as they’re serious, when they actually want a woman in their life… They marry a muslim girl and ditch you.

N: Don`t you think that’s generalizing a bit?

S: It’s not generalising. Muslims can only marry muslims. It says so in the Koran.

S: Why are we talking about Yourself, aren’t you together with William?

S: Or, what… What’s going on with you two?

N: Umm. You know. You know that thing with  why I came back from London?

S: Because he worked all the time? Wasn’t that it?

N: But, that’s in a way not the whole truth.

S: Okay…

SN: Hi! I was just wondering. Aren’t you on a bus?

N: Yes! It’s a russe buss, yes.

SN: Yeah, we’re looking for someone to buy our bus, and we’re finished in may so I thought I’d check with you.

S: How much do you want for it?

N: Yes, Sana is in on our bus.

SN: Yes, um, 300.000?

V: What’s that?

SN: We’re selling our bus.

V: Really! That’s something we’re very, very interested in!

N: 300.000?

V: That’s what a bus costs. When can we come and look at it?

SN: Sometimes this week? I can send you a tekst. Bye!

V: Bye!

N: Hello? We can’t start buying buses for 300.000! We’re 5 people!”

V: That’s what a bus costs. I mean, all the buses are being sold at the moment. So if we’re going to try to buy a bus in may 2018, that’s not going to work. We have to buy a bus now, or there won’t be a bus!

M: I could join the bus, if you need people?

S: I agree with Vilde

N: We don’t have 300.000 kroners!

S: It’s not like they need the money by tomorrow. We’ll sort it out.

N: How are we supposed to sort that out?

V: You know what, Noora? You must read a book that I’m currently reading. It’s called The Secret. And it’s about if you just let the universe happen, everything will manifest in your life. You just have to be responsive.

M: You know so much about the universe.

M: How?

V: I’m very interested in the universe.Like planets and stuff. And stars…

V: (In Swedish accent) The stars are shining!

M: You`re my star, did you know that?

V: That I’m yours?

M: Mhm

V: You`re mine! You’re my sun! The sun is a star.

Call me by your name, a film review

Spoiler-free, of course.

top 5 scenes I absolutely loved:

#1 the war memorial scene 
simply can’t get over how well-directed and gorgeous this scene is. Literally perfect.

#2 the first kiss
Monet’s berm. Both Armie & Timothée are AT THE TOP of their acting game in this scene.
Also, the way it’s shot.
Also, the way it’s written / adapted from the book.

#3 goodbye scene
Oscar-nominated Timothée Chalamet, there is just no need to say more.

#4 Elio’s dad monologue, aka Michael Stuhlbarg breaks everyone’s heart
GOD I JUST CANNOT GET OVER THIS SCENE. My heart broke into pieces right there and then. 

#5 end credits
My heart broke into even smaller pieces, if that’s even possible.  

Bonus thing I really loved
Sufjan Stevens’ songs are gorgeous and incredibly well-timed in the film.  

top 5 scenes I didn’t love:

literally none because this film is PERFECT. 

Part 9 of Lance Bonding w/ the Lions!

Yellow took them back to the Garrison, only this time, the team could only see past Lance and Hunk. Hunk had his head in his hands, books and papers scattered around him. “Lance, I can’t do it. I’m gonna fail this test, I’ll be kicked out of the Garrison, never become an engineer, and at this rate, I’ll probably die alone.” Lance got up from his bed, and put down the book he was reading. He walked toward Hunk and placed a hand on his shoulder. “Hunk, buddy, it’ll be okay. You’re like the smartest person I know, and you’re gonna nail this test. And die alone? Please! Who could resist that pretty face?” Lance wiggled his eyebrows. “You just need to take a break. Let’s go sneak into the kitchen and get some snacks.” Hunk irritatedly huffed. “Lance, no. I gotta study. This is serious, if I don’t study I’ll fail.” “No you won’t. You’ve been studying for hours, you really should take a break.” “I said no.” “Come on, we don’t even have to go to the kitchen! We can go to the roof, stare at the stars.” “For the last time, no!” “Buddy, I’m really concerned about you, it’s literally been hours! Just a small break, at least thirty minutes. You should really take a nap and-” Hunk turned around, face flushed red with anger. “LANCE!! For the last time! I said no. You may not care about you grades and think all of this is a game, but not me. So. Leave. Me. Alone.” He quickly turned around, eyes glued to the notes before him. Lance quickly shut his mouth as water started to form on the corner of his eyes, mouth pressed in a thin line. He turned on his heels and walked out their dorm. Present Hunk looked to the ground, guilt plastered all over his face. “I-I didn’t know I was that harsh and mean to him..I honestly thought he was just trying to annoy me..” The vision shifted and they were on the roof of the Garrison, the night sky filled with bright stars. Lance was sitting in the roof, legs dangling off the side of the building. “Yeah, I know he didn’t mean it. It’s just the stress talking.” Lance said into his phone. “I know how he gets when he’s nervous.” Pidge looked to Hunk. “Who is he talking to?” Hunk shrugged his shoulders, and turned his attention back to Lance. “Haha, really? His dad’s the same way? Now that’s proof the he won’t die alone! You got married to his dad!” Hunk’s eyes widened. “He’s talking to…my mom?” “Well, I guess so.” Keith murmured. “Anyway, since you’re pretty much an expert with this, is there anything I can do to help him? He’s really pushing himself to the edge, and I’m really worried about him. I know he can do it; it’s just all in his head.” As Lance listened to her response, he broke into a wide grin. “Oh yeah. I can totally do that. Just hope I don’t set anything in fire in the process. Thanks for all your help!” Lance hung up the phone and stood, eyes filled with determination. “Alright. Let’s do this.”
The team were back in the dorm. Past Hunk’s hair was more disheveled, more papers scattered everywhere. Dark bags lurked underneath his eyes. Lance bursted through the door, flour all over his clothes and even in his hair. “I’m baaaaaacccckk!!” Hunk released a long sigh. “Lance, can you please just-” Hunk blinked. “Is that..pineapple upside down cake?” Lance beamed. “You bet the Gucci bags under your eyes they are! Wanna slice?” Hunk eyes shined and he quickly got up from his desk. “Do you even have to ask?? Lance!! You’re the best!!” Lance responded with a blinding grin. The team was suddenly back in the hanger. Yellow let out a soft hum as they went back to where they lay before. Hunk glances down at Lance who was still sleeping soundly. “He baked me my favorite cake. He distracted me from all that stress, and I didn’t even realize it.” Shiro grinned. “Did you pass that test?” Hunk softly chuckled. “Yeah, just as Lance said: I nailed it. He was completely right.” Hunk then frowned. “He tried to help me. And I..I was mean to him. And he forgave me.” He snapped his fingers. “Just like that.” Keith smiled softly at his sleeping form. “Yeah, he’s kinda like that.” Pidge stepped forward. “Alright. I have a feeling that I’m next.” As if on cue, the Green Lion made their way in front of the team.

[march study challenge] • 10/03/17

Day 10: handwriting

Today after my biology exam (and heaps of stress!) I just felt like winding down and taking a break. The past few days have been very hard on my sleep patterns (I’m thinking of Wednesday night in particular where I slept four hours and had three coffees the morning after!) and I always start to feel it at the end of a long week. As soon as I came home, I caved and took an earth-shattering nap, but I’m still so flipping tired. Complementing my lazy day is a cardigan I wore all afternoon, my chemistry notes with my handwriting on them (so I’m still passing today’s challenge!) and everything else laid out on the bed because my bed is the best friend of all. Who needs desks when you have comfy duvets and fluffy pillows?

ps. I’m re-reading this and you can hear my sleep deprivation in my awkward choice of words

How I Overcame Reader’s Block (And So Can You!)

As a kid, I adored reading.  Okay, more specifically, I enjoyed reading about dragons, but that’s not the issue here.  

It frequently coincided with my equally as intense love of climbing trees, and some of my fondest memories involve being perched in a small tree and reading some hopelessly goofy, dragon-related literature while my mom and toddler siblings used the playground equipment.  If no climbable trees were available, I’d settle for reading under one and drinking a thermos of chocolate milk while they ran around in the park. 

As I got older, my tastes got a little more eclectic as I encountered Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Anne Shirley, the residents of Narnia and Middle Earth, respectively, and much to my mother’s horror, Stephen King, but my passion remained more or less the same.    

Bottom line is, I loved reading.  It was my paramount joy, my primary source of entertainment, and I didn’t think that would ever change.

So imagine my shock when, around my sophomore year of college at the age of seventeen, it occurred to me that I hadn’t really read for pleasure since I discovered the Hunger Games a year or two prior.  Moreover, and equally as horrifically, when I tried to read I found I couldn’t focus;  regardless of the quality of the story and how much I wanted to read it, the investment was gone.

Whether this was due to my first stint with organized education (prior to college, I was homeschooled) or the fact that I’d grown accustomed to the bite-sized chunks of candy-flavored, insubstantial information served up by the internet, the sad and simple fact was that I had fallen out of love with reading, and it looked like it was going to stay that way forever.   

Well, flash forward two-point-five years to Present-Day Brooksie, and since school got out in early May, I’ve read Chuck Palahniuk’s Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread, Ruth Ware’s In a Dark, Dark Wood, Emma Straub’s The Vacationers, Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, and Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You.  Despite the disappointing lack of dragons, I loved all of them.    

I drink books like nectar again, if you’ll pardon the floral language, and everything from the quality of my writing to the quality of my life has improved as a result of it.  

So how did I fall back in love with reading?  Well, I’ve spent a lot of time pontificating on this, and as far as I can tell, it can be narrowed down to three factors:

1.  Reading every day.

It started with lunch.  Every day, when I’d sit down at my university cafe, I used to get out my laptop and watch YouTube or whatnot while I ate my sandwich – a cool idea in theory, but really sort of gross whenever I rubbed my greasy fingers on the mouse and keyboard. 

When I made a conscious decision to read more, I began taking out my book and reading during the lunch period instead.  It didn’t come naturally at first – I was easily distracted and kept zoning out – but I ultimately found it very pleasant, especially when I listened to some classical music in the background as well (nice for atmosphere, and for drowning out noise and distractions.)  

I kept doing it.  

When that summer rolled around, I rediscovered an amazing little outdoor cafe by the harbor.  It had no wifi, which for my purposes, was absolutely perfect.

I went there to read Good Omens and eat home baked lemon squares, pie, and banana bread, listening to international tourists speak in other languages, and watch the boats go by.  It was a beautiful environment, and that (coupled with the fact that Good Omens is just really fucking awesome) made it easier than ever for me to want to stay longer and become more engrossed in what I was reading.

Afterwards, I’d take out my notebook and work on my own stories and journal.  Overall, I’d say that summer was one of the most intellectually productive I’ve had.  

Once school started again, it got a little harder to read every day, but by then my love of reading had pretty much caught:  it had become an intellectual drug for me again, a source of comfort, pleasure, and inspiration.  Also, it was another viable excuse to procrastinate on my academic responsibilities, which was always welcome.  So I kept reading.  It was still a relatively slow process, as I had to work around my already busy schedule, but the more I read the more adept I became at drinking in the information in hungry, satisfying gulps (a bit more suggestive than I’d initially intended that metaphor to be, but I’m going to go with it.)

But this isn’t to say that there were no bumps in the road back to bibliophilia.  There was another factor that I had to grasp before I reached the point where I could unabashedly adore reading once again.

Which is: 

2.  Reading what excites me.

No, I’m not speaking sexually, you pervert.  I’m talking about books I actually want to read.  

When I first started trying to get back into literature, I started trying to read the classics exclusively, like Around the World in Eighty Days and Little Women.  Let me be clear, these books are amazing (excluding the jarring amounts of racism and endorsements of British colonialism in the former) but after semesters of reading similar works for my literature seminars, they just felt a little like…academia.  

In fact, the only reason I was insistent on reading classics exclusively, I now realize, was because I was a pretentious, pseudo intellectual little shit back in those days with a horrible case of impostor syndrome.  What I needed to re-learn was what dragon-loving, Ten-Year-Old Brooksie long since already knew: the best way to enjoy reading is to read what you actually enjoy.

It was a lesson I slowly but surely remastered, and it took me a while to realize that modern literature is teaming with smart, enriching reads, like Life of Pi, American Gods, Where’d You Go Bernadette, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, The Help, Everything I Never Told You, and countless others.  

Moreover, these were books I didn’t have to force myself to read;  they were books I found myself reading at four AM because I didn’t want to stop.  

I’ve also discovered classics that I can eat up in a matter of days, like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Which absolutely everyone should read, by the way:  Francie Nolan is a feminist icon, and way, way ahead of her time, not to mention it’s fucking hilarious and will make you cry like a little bitch), Jane Eyre, and basically anything written by Jane Austen.  I love these books for their sharp wit, applicable and timeless life observations, and striking lack of the pretentiousness that I’d come to associate with a lot of classic literature.

This summer, I my reading list includes Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse 5, Douglas Adams’ The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club, Louis Sachar’s Holes, Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See, and Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys.  I’m looking forward to reading each and every one of them. 

Ultimately, the point I’m trying to make here is that there’s no joy to be found in pretentiousness:  don’t read to prove yourself as an intellectual.  Read to enrich your soul, read what you legitimately enjoy, and read what inspires you.  

Which brings me to my next and final point…   

3.  Reading what inspires me.

This one might be true specifically for my fellow authors, but since I know a large portion of my followers are fellow authors, I think it’s applicable here.  

Ever since I was an infinitesimally small child, I’ve wanted to write stories.  When I was fourteen I wrote a hopelessly angsty YA novel about a half-dragon girl named Freedom and her misadventures with an ambiguously lesbian vampire and werewolf duo, a seductive and ambiguously bisexual elf (it was a time of self discovery for me), and a talking lion.  When I was eleven, I wrote a middle grade novel about a little boy who befriends a dragon.  When I was four, I wrote *ahem!* drew wordless stories about a winged wolf-creature named Starlight and his (in retrospect, overtly gory) battles with monsters.

It was bizarre, cringey, and I’m not gonna lie, pretty fucking awesome.  

Around the time I started college at around sixteen, I’d just decided I wanted to start writing again.  I had lots of ideas, and I remember in detail getting yelled at by my manager for scribbling in my notebook behind the counter instead of dutifully smiling at customers the way I was supposed to.  

But my writing was…well, to put it bluntly, it was really, really bad.  It only began to improve when I resolved to write every day.  It noticeably and drastically began to improve when I began to read works that I found creatively inspiring. 

While I was revising my manuscript, I read a lot of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, both masters of the kind of urban fantasy I was attempting to write,  and spent a lot of time figuring out what I loved most about their writing and how to best apply it.  This was also around the time I began reading Douglas Adams, which was, let me tell you, a magical experience.  It involved a lot of delighted gasping on my end and thinking you’re allowed to do that?

It really showed me what the barriers were for creative writing, or in this case, total lack thereof.

I think I owe these writers a lot for helping me to create several novel-length manuscripts I’m incredibly proud of, and one that I’m currently preparing to get published.

So in closing, for anyone suffering from reader’s block, feel free to try my approach:  read every day, read what you love and not to stoke your ego, and for my writer peeps, read what inspires you.

Either way, my books and I are enjoying a passionate long-term relationship, and every day I find myself loving them more.

The Artemis Fowl books advocate for the environment, deal with misogyny in the workplace and the need for feminism, and has some of the best character development arcs like ever over the span of eight books. Also, there’s magic and fairies with guns and time travel and a whole lot of sarcasm and really no downside to reading them

A guide to reading for fun

1. You don’t have to read books you don’t like! And you don’t have to finish books you’re not getting into. You push yourself to read/finish plenty of books you don’t like for class, so when you read for yourself make sure it’s, ya know, actually enjoyable.

2. Go ahead. Indulge in a beach read/ trashy romance once in a while. Or all the time really. No need to be a book snob when reading for fun. 

3. Ask your friends for book suggestions. They know what you’ll enjoy. 

4. Make a goodreads account to track your reading and get more recommendations. 

5. Get multiple library cards. I have 4: one near my Boston office, one near my other job, one in my hometown, and one for school. A good read is never far away from me. (Just make sure to return what you borrow on time!)

6. There’s a book/author/genre out there for everyone. Read what you love.