Influential Book Challenge

I was challenged by my sister-in-law to do a list of 10 books that have impacted my life in some way. I went with nine fiction books that I’ve spent tremendous time thinking about after I read them and one poetry book which helped shape my love of poetry and here they are:

1. Wren to the Rescue (Really all three books from Wren’s War series) – Sherwood Smith – One of the books from my early life that taught me that girls can be powerful, save themselves, and don’t always need a prince or someone else to rescue them. I still find myself thinking about the characters from this series and wondering what happened to them after the series ended…

  1. The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern – Captivating story and first book I read both before and after writing my first novel. I’d been worried about how the process of novel writing from an author’s perspective would change my perspective while reading, but it has enhanced my reading experiences. I notice things like point of view, where chapter breaks happen, etc. and how they affect the story and appreciate them even more than I did if/when I noticed them before.
  2. Arrows of the Queen (Really all three books of the Queens Own series) – Mercedes Lackey – I reread this book (and sometimes the other two as well) at least once every year (sometimes more often), especially if I want inspiration to keep moving forward through tough times.
  3. Lirael (Really all three books of the Abhorsen series) – Garth Nix – One of the first books that showed libraries the way I always imagined they could be- fierce, powerful, and full of magic! I adore this series!
  4. Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame – Charles Bukowski – First and favorite book I’ve read by Bukowski. He helped me find my poetic voice and hammered home numerous important and influential qualities such as: a) Great poetry can come from modern times b) Poetry doesn’t have to rhyme c) Poetry can be about everyday subjects d) It’s all about the endings
  5. Dragons of Autumn Twilight (Really all three of the Dragonlance Chronicles series) – Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman – Longtime favorite series of mine… They were a gateway into the huge collection of Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms novels which I devoured and reread throughout my formative teen and early twenties years.
  6. The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien – This is my favorite Tolkein story and was my introduction to Middle Earth, where I have often dwelled and left the cares of this world behind. (For the record: the new Hobbit films are Peter Jackson Fanfiction about the Hobbit, not a cinematic version of the Hobbit story.)
  7. Night Watch – Sir Terry Pratchett – First book I ready by Sir Terry Pratchett and was a wonderful introduction to Discworld. Discworld is full of humor and intelligence and has helped me through some of the toughest times in my life and kept me laughing during some of the best times in my life.
  8. The Lies of Locke Lamora – Scott Lynch – One of the most interesting books I’ve read with one of the trickiest main characters… I can’t wait to see where this story goes…
  9. A Wise Man’s Fear – Patrick Rothfuss – Complex characters, massively detailed world, and a storyline that sucks you in and keeps you hungering for more… I loved Name of the Wind and it was one of the most original books I’d read in a while at the time when I found it… but then I read A Wise Man’s Fear and it blew my mind because I loved it even more than the Name of the Wind and I hadn’t thought that would be possible… I NEED to know what happens with these characters…

(I was going to put the Harry Potter series (because I have loved this series as a dear part of my childhood and adulthood and I’ve been to every midnight release for all the books that had one and all the movies) and A Song of Ice and Fire series (because my husband introduced me to this series before we even started dating and most of our road trips turn into discussions about who will win the game of thrones and why and how) but although these series deserve shout outs I decided against including them because to me they’re a series and you can’t really separate one book from the others.)

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The End of the Harry Potter Era

I just got out of the LAST Harry Potter movie.  It really is the end of an era.  WOW!

I have been to every midnight release of every Harry Potter book and movie since there have been midnight releases.  Wow.

The movie was good.  The book, of course, was so much more… the movie was amazing though. I actually like how the Hedwig situation was handled in the movie better than how it was handled in the books.  It just made more sense to me that she would be out and about flying around instead of in a cage.

I’m glad I was there.  I have 1st editions of all 7 Harry Potter books.  Unfortunately my copies of the 3rd and 4th books are gone.  Someone “borrowed” them and never returned them.  I really ant them replaced.  I also want to reread and rewatch the series now.  Wow.  I hope someday I get published and impact the world even a fraction as much as J.K. Rowling has.

(Author’s Note:  I did replace those missing first editions with other first editions. And I did reread and rewatch the series.  In fact I reread them at least once a year because I love them that much.  This past year I even joined a Harry Potter Book Club with some friends who had somehow missed out on reading and watching the series.  The club would read a book and then we would meet for drinks and snacks and talks and watch the movie together.  We are on the 6th book at the moment.)

 

The Best Day of Inventory Work So Far

What a great day!  Today was filled with a multitude of tasks that I could cross of f my list and complete.  It got me out of the awful area of the warehouse and gave me some variety.  It felt good to get so much done.  Also, my routine of greeting people has begun paying off.  There were plenty of smiles to go around today!  Again, one of the ladies complimented me on my great smile and an older guy from another department called me beautiful!  That was flattering and rather strange…  Today I answered my first radio call!  The warehouse guys have begun teasing me; they’ll walk by and say “Faerie copy Faerie” like I’m being radioed.  So far I have not fallen for it but it’s pretty funny anyways. (Author’s Note: As I retyped this entry I didn’t find that funny… I guess you had to have been there! … */facepalm* )  I sliced my finger on a plastic container and had to get a band aide and that was also interesting.  For lunch, the catering lady actually saved me some chicken tortellini!  It was SUPER DELICIOUS!  My feet still hurt intensely, but if my days are like today, then I think everything is going to be great with this job. I realized that having a walking talking (aka radio aka runny screamy (because people run around screaming into them)) hanging from my pocket pulls my pants down just a bit.  It is SUPER annoying because now I’m constantly tugging at my clothes!  Without the radio my clothes work alright.  Today I also realized that I’m the youngest person on my team!  J is 29 and he is the closest person to my age.  Oh!  I forgot about G.  I will ask tomorrow to find out how old he is.  Sometimes I feel really young!  This is none of their first jobs.  My speed at pulling and stocking is definitely improving.  I don’t know how my mistakes record has been but I’m going for zero mistakes!

(Author’s Note:  This paragraph jumps around a lot.  I thought about changing it so it was more logical but leaving it this way really conveys what a streaming consciousness my journal was.  I wrote these entries after working 10-12 hour shifts where I stood and ran around the whole time moving heavy cases.  I had a 45 minute commute in the morning and an hour commute with rush hour traffic on my way home.  When I got home I had to spend an hour feeding my Roommate’s pets.  That was our arrangement:  She was a flight attendant and was only home a few days of each month.  I stayed in her house for the first three months of my employment in BigCity and my rent was to feed the animals consisting of 2 dogs, 1 cat, and 1 pygmy goat and take care of the house.  The cat was an inside cat.  The small dog was an inside/outside dog who sometimes stayed with Roommate’s best friend for weeks at a time.  The big dog who was ancient was an outside dog and shared a fenced area with a grassy area, a kiddy pool, and a play house, that also included part of the large three car garage.  Each animal had an extremely particular diet that I had to adhere to that took about an hour to feed all of them.  (Ask me some other time about it and I might tell you.)  Roommate parked in that garage when she was home.  I slept in the small garage attached to the other side of the house.  Also I am terribly allergic to cats and nature.  You can start to see why I stopped writing about the details of my living situation as more details emerge.  It was not a great situation but I was determined to succeed with this job to prove that I could be successful.  I had a plan and was stubborn enough to live in a garage for five and a half months to try and make it work.)

On a radically different note: My cousin is going off to boarding school!!!!  He leaves in two weeks!  YAY!  There is hope for him yet!  There is hope for my grandparents!  YAY!  I’m going to try and see him before he leaves so he knows we all support this decision and to try and help him see it as the positive opportunity it is.  I’m so glad this is happening!   (Author’s Note:  I have a troubled cousin.  He’s one of those kids that you hope will turn out to be a succuess story about how they overcame their troubled childhood to become an upstanding member of society.  Instead he keeps making poor choices and things are looking bleak for his future.  This boarding school was a chance for him to turn things around, get away from so many negative influences and away from the bad habits.  It was such a big change and the family pinned so many hopes to his being successful there…. Turns out he made worse choices at the school, ended up getting kicked out and as soon as he turned 18 was arrested and tried as an adult for the crimes he committed there.  He is now in jail, rightfully rotting away.  The thing I comfort myself with is this thought:  as much as he adored the Harry Potter series he will not get to know how it ends.  He won’t get to watch the movie or read the books.  He burned so many bridges that no one will send him anything and he has no way of getting it.  It seems like a petty, small thing but I literally cannot handle thinking about real things that go on in jail so I focus on this small, petty punishment and what a big, awful thing it will seem to him and I feel like good about that punishment.  I hope to never hear from him, speak to him, or know anything about him ever again.  Some people can be rehabilitated but some people are just evil.  I believe this cousin is an evil person and I refuse to allow that influence in my life.  This paragraph is the most I’ve talked or thought about him in years.  When I’m done writing it I will go back to happily pretending he does not exist.  If you have someone like this in your life, you are not doing yourself any favors by allowing them to bring such darkness to your days.  Sometimes you have to burn the bridge to keep the crazies from following you across.)

On another different note: I haven’t talked with or heard from Boyfriend at all today.  He seriously sucks at the long distance thing.  I’m lonely and my feelings are hurt.  I feel like I’m the only one who initiates contact.  He is also always busy hanging out with the drama bomb group.  It’s all so strange that I don’t know what to think anymore.  I didn’t talk to him much yesterday either but my positive thoughts kept me feeling alright.  We do GREAT when we’re together but things seem to fall apart when we’re apart… I just miss him so much and I get so sad.  Cliche, as it may be, when he’s around things are brighter and even my sadness is not so sad as it is when he’s around.  I’m going to be now because it’s 9pm now and officiate Late and I’m SO tired! (Author’s Note:  He ended up calling right after I wrote this.  We got better at the long distance relationship thing as we practiced more.  The biggest help was figuring out our schedules and making set plans for talking that worked for both our schedules.  I worked from 5 or 6 in the morning to 4 or 5 in the evening.  He worked in retail with a rotating schedule that could be morning, afternoon, or closing shifts that may not have ended until 9:30.  Sometimes he even had to work late night shifts and our schedules may be exactly opposite.  We overcame that and a lot of the frustration by communicating our expectations, schedules, and affection.  It’s easy to feel lonely across long distances but if you speak each other’s love language it makes the time you do have together that much more special.)

Goodnight and sweet dreams! (Author’s Note:  I always want someone to tell me to have sweet dreams before I go to sleep because I feel like it helps me actually have sweet dreams, instead of nightmares or not being able to sleep.  If there wasn’t someone to tell me, I often wrote it to myself in my journal as a closing thought.  I even would tell all the pets at Roommate’s house to have sweet dreams.  Good karma and all that. 🙂 )