July Resolution

Eat Breakfast

I’ll be taking pictures every day so that hopefully by August I can present to y’all 30 days of breakfasts.

I’ve lost ten pounds in a year from not eating well. I’m still a vaguely healthy weight but it’s time to start eating right and taking care of myself again.

June recap post soon.

BW,
Hero

My Back Hurts

Days until I leave for college: 61

Episodes of Battlestar Galactica I have left: 52

Some photos I’m proud of:

photo 1

photo 3

photo 2

Trying to remember how you guys could have possibly missed me when I post useless things like this…

Who’s excited for the World Cup? Go England!

I don’t even know, guys, talk to me. I’m going to post about my summer resolutions soon, I just wanted to touch base and see how y’all are doing. I’m okay, mildly exhausted and a tiny bit stressed, but overall I’m doing well.

/randomjunkpost

Hero

While You Were Sleeping

So I have this idea, and it basically goes as follows: we’re going to pretend I haven’t completely spaced for the last couple of months. Instead, we’ll pretend that you (meaning everyone who isn’t me) has been in a coma, and I’ve had all this really fun stuff going on, like riding around in furniture moving vans and getting snow globes with Florence in them and accidentally falling in love with your brother—wait, that’s a spoiler, but seriously we all saw it coming—and everything else that happens in that Sandra Bullock movie, and I’ve been trying to tell you but I haven’t been able to because you have been in a coma. Which is why there haven’t been any blog posts. Because you have been sleeping.

So that’s settled.

The question now is, what have I been doing while you’ve been sleeping? How have I been spending my time, what memories have I stored up to tell you? And now I’m talking about things that have happened to me and not Sandra Bullock.

Well, first (things first I’m the realest)—no, stop, enough. Starting over: firstly, I graduated! …Technically. I’m not having a ceremony, but I’ve finished my work for the year and my diploma says May 31st, so I think therefore we can say I am a graduate.

[insert some sort of confetti]

Let the uninhibited dorm shopping commence.

Other things that happened:

I got my class schedule for my first semester of college, went into complete and total panic mode, spent an entire day hammering out a four year plan for my degree, decided to drop sociology (which I’d never wanted in the first place), and now I feel better. College is scary, guys—I alternate between feeling excited and like I can’t do it. It’s gotten to the point where I start getting stressed as soon as I start thinking of any reality of college life (i.e. finals), so I just concentrate on the things I need to buy and how amazing my book lists are. The problem with having absolutely massive goals is that there’s so much more self-imposed pressure, and while I know I’ll be able to handle it when I’m actually living it, the thought of it right now just crushes me under a mountain of self-doubt and makes the pre-college jitters incredibly overwhelming. I cannot fail. But I will fail. But I can’t. I’m going to die.

I went to Florida! We go periodically to see my grandparents, and we had an especially great trip this summer because we actually got out and did things and made the most of it… Family is always hard; there is no such thing as a family that isn’t at least sort of dysfunctional, but we had a good time despite the arguments. I am amazing at Mah Jongg, in case anyone was wondering—probably because I’m a hundred years old, but who asked you.

IMG_4489I had my final orchestra concert, got slightly choked up, then realized I wasn’t leaving my conductor just yet since he’s also my cello teacher, and managed to force it down. Still, it’s odd without orchestra… Solo work is great, but I don’t know. I’m itching for August so I can start up again. Though I don’t look forward to chair placement. Can’t you just stick me somewhere without having to listen to me play solo? (Also, somehow I managed to get a little scholarship money with my completely mediocre playing. My college is nice to me.)

Finished 30 Rock. [insert large amounts of sobbing and yells of "MY LIFE IS OVER"]

Then I started Battlestar Galactica, so now I watch copious amounts of that. (Look, I promise I don’t watch as much TV as it sounds like. Or I won’t, anyway, when I have a life. Which I WILL. Soon. At some point. [Somebody please be my friend.])

I read a decent amount of books (if you aren’t following me on Goodreads you are an official loser also I refuse to be blamed for not catering to your laziness because I haven’t updated my 40 books page ugh gosh). I think I liked them all. Kurt Vonnegut is super excellent.

I went on a retreat before my vacation and experienced many emotions, as you do. I don’t really like myself very much, which was a hard realization for me, but I needed to understand that I can’t just fix myself, I have to love myself in the process. And I need to quit being so negative—seriously. It’s been hard, but at the very least I am trying. There’s not much else I can do.

Ummm, what else…

I ate a salad today. I know, health nut over here.

The truth is, guys, my life is not very exciting, as much as I wish it were. And part of why I find it hard to blog is because I feel like I should have something to talk about and I honestly don’t—half my posts feel like cop-outs. I want to be funny and engaging and I love writing here, but it’s difficult when a) I feel like my life is really pathetic and I’m just waiting around like Rapunzel to actually go and do stuff, and b) I’m too ‘busy’ doing completely nothing to think up something to write, and c) I have to battle feelings of inadequacy 90% of the time, and it’s unfun. I’ll do my best to change that. I do honestly want to keep this blog up in college, so don’t think I’m giving up on you. Just forgive me if I disappear every so often. It’s hard to get a grip on this emotional rollercoaster sometimes.

Thankfully I have been making summer plans, so hopefully I will actually have fun stuff to write about in the coming months. For now, I need sleep.

Thanks for sticking around with me, guys. Means a lot.
Hero

Only One Week Left to Register!

Hero:

Just a heads up in case any of my readers are interested in attending Chapter One Con—registration ends in a week!

Originally posted on Chapter One Young Writers Conference:

Hey there! A reminder that registration for the Chapter One Young Writers Conference 2014 closes one week from today, at 11:59 PM central time on Wednesday, June 11th. That means you only have one week left to get in on all the writing tips, workshops, and shenanigans! (During the Saturday sessions, we may just be giving away signed copies of both Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan and Allegiant by Veronica Roth, along with movie posters from Divergent and The Fault In Our Stars to lucky attendees.) (What, who said that?)

Register to attend Ch1Con here.

See you soon!

~Julia

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January Reading Recap

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I am blatantly stealing this idea from The Perks of Being a Bookworm, but I’ve been negligent of my poor blog this week (in which nobody is surprised ever, I’m basically the less funny American version of Nat from communitychannel, who gets comments like, “Nat, you’re like an alcoholic father, as soon as we get used to you being around you leave us again”), and I want to regularly update y’all on the books I read this year. Also, one of my resolutions is to review books, which I haven’t properly done yet.

The Vicar of Wakefield

 The Vicar of Wakefield is a book about a vicar (obviously) and his family, and their various misfortunes. The Vicar is very self-assured in his own righteousness and that of his family, and ironically this confidence in virtue that they don’t actually have leads them into many pitfalls—some hilarious and some cringeworthy. The Vicar is sometimes compared with Job from the Bible, a concept at which I laughed probably too much. The Vicar is in no way like Job, patiently enduring the evils in his life for love of God. I’m sure the Vicar thinks of himself as a kind of Job, but most of the evils in his life are his own fault. That being said, he is well-meaning; once he actually attains humility and, after falling so far, finally has a firm grasp on the virtues he’s always thought himself to have, his life picks up. It’s also admirable how he wants the best for his family and loves them unconditionally, even if he is too foolish to do what’s best for them at times.

In all honesty, I did not enjoy this book. I had to read it for school and it reminded me excessively of Emma in so many respects, but almost worse in that its plot was dull for a good 70% of the book and every character was unbearable and unlikeable and impossible to empathize with. I just wanted to be done. At the same time, I can see the merits of the book, and the discussion that followed it was interesting. I rated it two stars, allowing myself to dislike it.

The Beautiful and Damned

Fitzgerald’s second novel, The Beautiful and Damned, stars Anthony Patch and Gloria Gilbert, a couple who scorn nearly every other human being alive and yet are miserable themselves. Their romance is built completely upside-down and this book recounts the story of their explosive and disastrous marriage. Fitzgerald writes masterfully, somehow making two completely horrible and unlikeable people relatable and forcing you to care about them. I was stunned and how much I empathized with Gloria, even though I agreed with her on nothing and was often disgusted by her and how cruel she could be. Anthony doesn’t even have redeeming qualities of meaning well, but you somehow care an awful amount about him too (even though you also spend the whole book wanting to kill him). Unlike Gatsby, where the inevitable train wreck of a conclusion comes out of nowhere and takes you by surprise (even though you vaguely expected it), you can feel this train wreck building for the entirety of The Beautiful and Damned, but the unbelievably powerful conclusion still manages to completely slam you in the chest and knock you senseless.

Man. Fitzgerald. Flawless.

I loved this book, unsurprisingly. I love Fitzgerald, I would love him for his writing alone, as I’ve said before, but this story was so moving and such an absolute tragedy that I was blown away. Four stars.

Heaven to Betsy & Betsy in Spite of Herself

This definitely isn’t my usual speed of book—in fact, I was basically in the process of picking up The Brothers Karamazov when my friend Sophie ordered me to drop everything and read this series. Of course, I’ve only read the first two so far, but I am planning on finishing it this year. This book is actually two books in one, following Betsy Ray’s freshman and sophomore year in high school and her ensuing adventures. In Heaven to Betsy, Betsy starts high school and deals with the average teenage dramas (making and breaking friendships, balancing school and fun, and boys) without being trite or preachy or overdone. Betsy in Spite of Herself is a classic example of being true to oneself. It seems self-evident, but so many young girls still struggle with pressures to conform and are invariably unhappy with their inability to be comfortable in their own skin.

Although this book is set in the early 1900s, Betsy’s problems, dreams, and experiences are all incredibly relatable. She doesn’t feel stuffy and old-fashioned; she feels like your literary best friend, going through the same things you are and offering you companionship along the way. Sophie told me these books are an essential part of growing up, and I think they are—it makes me wish I had read them at the age of Betsy and Tacy, because reading them now just means I relate to Betsy’s older sister more than anyone else. (“I’m off to see the great world!”) I loved these books, I definitely recommend them to any girl in high school, even if you’re a senior, they’re honestly good for the soul.

I’m currently reading a couple books right now (check my Goodreads widget in the sidebar), and I hope to have them all finished by the end of February. I have two flights in the next week, so that should give me plenty of reading time.

Thanks for reading, and best wishes!
Hero