The third book I've read in 2010 is The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. I finished it Tuesday night (February 23rd). Here is my review of Mr. Albom's book.
The story starts off with us meeting Eddie, a maintence worker at an amusement park, Ruby Peir. He has worked here since he was in high school, and no matter how hard he tried he can't get away from the Pier. He feels he's done nothing important in his eighty years. On his 80th birthday, Eddie is killed while trying to save a young girl from being crushed by a cart.
Eddie goes through his journey to Heaven, meeting five people that were effected by Eddie's life. They waited for him, after meeting thier own five people, in a place they considered to be their Heaven.
I find it really hard to review this novel because of the fact that it wouldn't be fair to tell you who Eddie meets and what lessons he learns from them.
Eddie learns the lessons that teach him that his life was meaningful--as is every life. He also learns that he was put on Earth for a reason--as is everyone. Most importantly, his fears and regrets are justified and he learns the truth behind them all.
To me, this book had no real 'problem' or 'plot' to it--though it was well organized. It was hard for me to get into and it was slow moving. However, it put my mind at ease hoping that this was the journey that we take to Heaven--or at least something similar.
Have you ever noticed that no matter what, whatever flavor of sucker you like least, you'll always grab it? That's happened to me twice in the past two days, so today I thought to myself "SELF! BLOG ABOUT IT!" So here is my blog about the stupidest sucker flavor EVER.
Banana flavored suckers. They're stupid. They don't taste like banana, they're like this fake banana-coconut-pear-ish-kind-of-thing. No body likes them. I've discovered that some sucker companies have tried to improve their disgusting banana flavored suckers by calling them "Banana Split" but they still taste the same. Do you know how hard it is to give away a sucker when it's banana flavored??
"Hey, David, you want a sucker?"
"Yeah, that'd be great!"
*hand David the sucker.*
*David glances down to read lable.*
*David makes a face*
"Uhh, no thanks. I don't like Banana."
"Hey, Mr. Brunk, do you like banana suckers?"
*Mr. Brunk makes a face of disgustion and looks at me like I'm stupid.*
"No! They're gross! I don't understand why they even make those things!"
"I know! It's stupid!"
And so I turned back to my tabel and asked around and finally someone took it. But they didn't eat it. As I sat there marvaling at how disgusting banana flavored candy is (save for Runts, of course) I announced to my possie, "I'm gonna write an article about how stupid it is to make banana flavored suckers and post it on my blog!"
I don't think any of them expected me to do it though...
*Oh, by the way, the conversations are not word for word. They're just roughly how the conversation went.*
Have a wonderful and blessed banana flavored sucker free day!
Secondly, this post is in response to Jackson Pearce's post on muses on 2-24-2010. *Hence why I'm posting today.* To read her post click HERE
Although I do use the phrase "The writing muses hate me" or "The writing muses just aren't with me today", a muse, in my opinion is a very superficial thing. The muse can be as real as that alarm clock buzzing at 5:30am or as imaginary as your friend as a child (or, you know, teenager...). You interpret your muse as you want to.
I credit each writer to his or her own creativity (unless you've totally stolen someone's story), and it does bother me a bit when people thank their muses. Who are they thanking? Themselves for thinking of the idea? God for planting the tiny seed in their brains when they were born? Everyone in the world who someone influenced the idea? But just because I credit the author, it doesn't mean that the author credits themselves.
I know that it might be hard to imagine someone not wanting to take credit for his or her own work, but maybe the story really happened to someone. Or the core of the story anyway. Say your cousin went to war and you're basing you novel off of his or her experiences and adding more to it. I can understand why you wouldn't take credit for that. You're giving the credit to your cousin because he or she went through the experiences and they were real to them. However, they're not to you. Your cousin deserves credit for that. But you still wrote it.
Or let's say you have this amazing dream of two people sitting in a meadow, one of them who's a total hottie and he's sparkling. And he's telling her how hard it is for him not to basically eat her and drink her blood. Who would you thank for this? Yourself? God? Anybody who influenced it? Well, you dreamt it. You don't know who influenced it. God seems pretty reasonable too--but I thank God for everything.
But you still wrote the book. (And yes, sometime you just have a God-given ability that you couldn't have just simply learned. It was a gift. USE IT!)
Now, let's say that your muse is a band. Or a person. Or whatever. For example, I love listening to Robert Pattinson's music when I write because of how deep and emotional the songs are. He's one of my 'muses'. 3 Story Fall (a band that broke up before they got far) was, and still is, one of my muses. One of their songs in particular fits my story really well, so when I was down when writing draft one, I would go and listen to it. Leanna Renee Hieber and Stephenie Meyer are two more muses because they're just down-right inspiring. Jackson Pearce is another one of my muses because she's kind of given me a better image of how to go through the writing process from outlining to publishing. Plus her books are just amazing. *Plural because, even though her second book isn't out yet (SISTERS RED), the cover is amazing, and I am judging this book by its cover.*
Music is a huge muse, for a lot of people--so don't be afraid to use it. Piano melodies are really nice for me--especially River Flows in You. People can be muses. Movies, occasionally can be. Pride and Prejudice (2005) is a muse to me and helps me write better sometimes if I watch it because I am reminded of the simple essence of love rather than what's in movies these days. But be careful with movies--it's easy to steal ideas and not even know you're doing it.
If you'd like more of my opinion on the subject, comment and I'll post more. This is just my two cents.
With eternal love and blessings, Officially Inspired
So I have some pet peeves, and today one of them occured. Here is my rant:
Why can't people put the lids on right at fast food reastaurants? I mean, how hard is it to make sure the lid actually snaps? You don't need much qualification to work at a Wendy's. I can understand sometimes when they're really busy, but still they need to value their customers. Or if it's a self-serve fountain, I would totally admit it was my fault. But when they push down one side too hard to mark that it's Dr. Pepper, they should know that when the customer goes to take a drink and if they tilt it whatsoever, it's going to spill on them and make it look like the wet their pants! I'm just saying!
This week was spirit week at school, well the three days we actually had of it. Wednesday was tye-dye day, and I've realized that I no longer have any tye-dye shirts that fit. When did I out-grow tye-dye? Thursday was crazy sock day, so obviously, I showed up in my colorful, striped, toe-sock glory. (It was also twin day, but I didn't dress like anyone.) Today was '80s day, and so I dressed as if from the '80s. *Not as an actress meant to be Robert Pattinson's wife--but that was a pretty amazing compliment.* We also had an '80s dance after school, which was a snooze fest, save for some of the teachers dancing to Michael Jackson's THRILLER. I have to say, I appreciate his music a lot more now that I've learned that he wasn't totally a freak. He was so talented, but so surrounded by sadness. RIP MJ.
Okay...I really thought I'd have more to say than this.
So let's talk about writing a bit, after all what's the name of this site?
First off, my reading and writing teacher has read chapters one through eleven in my novel--and she didn't realize that it wasn't a finished draft, so she had a lot of questions. But I'm not so sure what she thought about it. I'm kind of worried about giving her chapter twelve, just because it introduces and makes a new character who is really...not a nice guy. But, I'm hoping to finish chapter fourteen by Monday so I can give her twelve, thirteen, and fourteen.
Secondly, inspiration. So, Mr. Brunk gave me these pretty amazing pictures from his trip to England. These pictures included Tower Bridge, some Cathedral, Big Ben, down town London, a mote from a castel, the ocean taken from the bottom of the castel grounds (picture at the top of the blog), and his three-wheeled car he used while he was there. *Which I won't post due to the fact there's a liscens plate on it.* Anyway, the pictures were really inspirational to me and kind of reminded me of who I was and why I write. Where I come from and how lucky I am to be where I am. I really want to get back to writing now, and Hallie and Edward may have to take a trip to England at some point, just because of these pictures. *I might have to as well...*
Above is a picture of London Bridge on the left, compared to a bridge in Hamilton, Ohio on the right. London Bridge isn't really anything special--it just has a plaque on both ends.
Tuesday morning I finished my second book of 2010 (which I know isn't very impressive), Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher. I meant to review it a few days ago, but have run out of time each time. So here is my review of Whale Talk:
The book started out with some very funny lines in reference to politically correctness. The main character, T.J. Jones (the J is redundant), has a sense of humor unlike any character I've ever read about and so he always had me laughing. Although, it wasn't exactly a sense of humor per say, but he just wasn't afraid to tell it how it is and he knew no boundaries. So reading him go through different things was very humorous and my family looked at me quite worriedly when I would suddenly burst out in laughter while reading.
The story is about T.J. trying to organize a swim team at Cutter High. They've never had a swim team before--and although T.J. is an amazing athlete, he's never played on an organized team before because he doesn't like being told what to do and he doesn't like the way the players treat the other students at school. But his close friend, his English teacher, Mr. Simet is in charge of the swim team and is begging T.J. for his help. So T.J. posts flyers at the lake and gets some responces. Their teams ends up being made up of a kid who has the mental copasity of a child, a fat guy, someone who doesn't talk, a body builder, a very studious student, a one-legged guy, and a swimmer (T.J.). On the back of the book it says "There's bad news and good news for the Cutter High swim team. The bad news is they don't have a pool. The good news is only one of them can swim anyway."
T.J. and his team work hard to get ready for their meets and to meet their letter requirements. They practice at the All Night Fitness Center, but the pool is way to small. The athletic council is trying to deny the swim team's letter requirements because they didn't know that each person could meet their best times every time they swam. While they're trying to pull everything off and make sure that each of the swimmers get their Letterman Jacket, T.J. is also struggling with Rich Marshall and Mike Barbour--two of a kind guys who are nothing but pure jerks. Rich is racist toward his own step-daughter, and so T.J.'s family ends up taking in Heidi and Rich's wife and twin boys since Rich is so abusive. Rich is very angry at T.J. (who he's already had problems with) and Mike gets even more angry at his already sworn enemy, T.J.
T.J. stays grounded and calm by his adopted dad, who has promised to do anything he can to help kids. His dad teaches him a valuable lesson. His dad loves to watch the video about whales and how they communicate. T.J. learns through this metaphoric subject that even though the swim team looks like they have nothing in common, save for they're all miss-fits, they all speak the same language and understand each other.
"I wish we were whales." T.J. Jones
This book has some very crude language and some violence--not recommended for people under 13 years of age. Please note, this book has been banned in several schools. I do not support those bans. (*The Sledding Hill by Chris Crutcher is a book about Mr. Crutcher's books being banned.*)
There--I said it. What I've always wanted to say, but I felt I shouldn't. I've said it and I can't take it back. Here's why I think the war sucks.
You see, my cousin, Jimmy, has been to Iraq twice already--one time leaving less than a week after his daughter was born--and he shipped out to Afghanistan Saturday night at ten. Air Force personnel have either gone once, volunteered to go, or haven't gone at all. Now, I do understand that some Air Force people have gone to war more than once because of their job, and I do understand that some Air Force people can't go to war because of their jobs. Whether there isn't the need for them there or there's enough of them to do the job over there. Now, I have nothing against the Air Force, my other cousin is in the Air Force. And although I'm VERY proud of Jimmy, I've wished a million times over that he had joined the AF.
But you know, I got to thinking. How do I go through a day when I know that my cousin will be shipping to Afghanistan that night? How would I deal with knowing that I was going to be going to a place like that? I don't think I could do it. What was going through Jimmy's head an hour...fifteen minutes...one minute before he boarded that plane? How do you prepare yourself mentally for that?
Sometimes I feel guilty, being here--safe at home with a seemingly carefree life while Jimmy and countless others like him are risking their lives for our seemingly carefree lives. Some think that it's not worth them fighting for, but yes, it is. Because they're not fighting for the ones they don't know--they're fighting for the ones they do. Their wives, kids, grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, friends, nieces, nephews, in-laws. Cousins. When I begin to laugh at some joke that's really stupid, I'll cut myself short and think "I'm sitting here laughing while Jimmy's in Afghanistan. That's not cool." I know that Jimmy wouldn't want me to think like this, to close out things just because he's a world away. And I won't, completely. I'll just wear a necklace (that he doesn't know I have...) that was his when he was little. I'll keep it close to me, wear it everyday. That way I'll always remember what he's risking every second of everyday while I sit here with my seemingly carefree life.
I know that Jimmy is thirteen years my senior, but sometimes I feel like I could tell him anything. But I don't. Until now, at least. The last time I got to see him, I gave him a letter telling him everything I've always wanted to tell him, but could never say to his face. I hate crying in front of my dad, my brother, and my grandpa--but that's kind of inevitable. And I think that's because I don't want to make them cry. But I hate it even more if Jimmy sees me cry. I feel I must be strong for him. Yes, he has seen me cry, but I've never seen him cry. And I don't think I could stand to see him cry.
So, in closing, thank you, Jimmy. For everything. You're in my prayers and I pray that God will walk with you and that He will bring you home to us safely. I hope you read my letter. I love you, Adulto.
OMG! Seriously? I haven't posted since January 23rd?!? Today is February 5th!! (Which means book club should be today...but it's not.)
I'm so sorry for my absence, I've had a lot going on since Mike agreed to do the interview. *Uhhh...doesn't that mean I have something to blog about?* So without further delay, I give you my boring life recap.
Report cards came out and I got strait A's, surprisingly since I got a C on my science exam. I got a lamp for my room. There was a death in my family and so I was out of town all night Tuesday and just really didn't feel like blogging. I saw Jimmy for the last time before he ships out last Sunday. Jimmy ships out tomorrow. :'( I had a snow day today, and the roads are just now getting bad. My Power of the Pen (yes the one from a month ago--'member the one that got snowed out? Twice) that I was supposed to have tomorrow has been cancelled due to snow. And I cancelled book club because of the POP meet, but now it's because of weather. Plus, I couldn't get through the book--but hey, it's the first time and at least I made the attempt. Unlike some other times some people have failed to do so. Oh, and we got a new car! It's a Ford Flex and it is AMAZING!
In other news, I am a new found fan of Chris Crutcher. He is an amazing author with some pretty awful language, but his books are wonderful! My dad told me to watch Jerry McGuire this morning...he kinda overlooked that it was rated R...ooops. ;) It was good though. Dear John comes out today! I really want to see it! The Lightning Thief movie comes out a week from today! Can't wait!
Well, I must go write. A really huge scene is coming up and I just can't get myself there. *hangs head*
Have a wonderful and blessed day!
With eternal love and blessings, Officially Inspired *Above is a picture my awesome cousin, Brent, sent me from his trip to Tennessee!*
Welcome! My name is Hanna and I am currently a freshman in college, just trying to figure out this little big thing we call life. Although it isn't always what we expect, it sure beats the alternative, am I right? I love reading, music, and photography, but my true passion is writing! I've started and stopped a few projects, but I think I'm going to see my current project through. . . Maybe. I'm pretty short and absolutely adore my cat, Buddy. I'm an avid supporter of our troops and veterans and am very dedicated to other causes and charities. My favorite musician is Ryan Simpson, check him out. I love music, all kinds of music - Except bad music. I think that's all you really need to know about me. Feel free to take a look around - although this blog dates back to my 12 year old self (YIKES!) so I'd prefer it if you didn't do that.