Filtering by Tag: spring break

Unread Books and Convention Time!

With two months left until graduation, one question weighs on my mind: what will I do with all my books?

I haven't gotten to a book-hoarding stage, where paperbacks creep out of the floorboards and my hardbacks cut up my skin when I sleep in a pile of them at night, but my three bookshelves are stuffed with manga, YA, and children's books. All the textbooks from college and grad school have been exiled to the computer room in the front of the house. If you opened my closet, you'd find thrift store collections of Grimm's fairy tales jammed with retired library books, sold with the plastic and bar codes still on their covers. I even have one shelf in my closet dedicated to anthologies, since I've gravitated towards them after having to procure stories for my students during grad school.

Unlike this comic, I'm not keeping books for my future brood. Rather, I reread them many times, enthralled by my favorite scenes and characters, and I love being able to lend them to friends as well.

But after I graduate, what will happen to me? What will happen to these books?

I'm willing to make my life difficult: if I have to move, I will break my back packing and moving all these books with me. However, I want to make sure that every book I'm bringing is one I want to keep - and that means catching up on all the unread books I have.

Above, you'll find a chunk of one of my bookshelves - probably the most jam-packed section. I've read most of these books, but there are a few that I've lined up to read over the next few weeks.

The best part about finding books I don't like, or don't want to keep, is that I can donate them. It makes getting rid of books easy, because I know that other people will pick up those books and like them, even if I didn't. I could never, ever throw a book away *shudders* Always donate, kiddos, haha.

In addition to my book worries, spring break has started! I've got a thesis to format, adding the finishing touches on the persnickety formatting requirements, down to the appropriate spacing between headers, leaders, and margins. I must take naps, do laundry, clean my room, eat out, write, and do something fun. Well, the fun part is something I have covered this year.

On Friday, I'll be going to Megacon, a giant sci-fi and anime convention held in Orlando, FL. I LOVE these conventions, but you wouldn't know it from my blog. Come to think of it, I only started blogging during my first year of graduate school and, since then, I haven't been able to attend (due to a combination of deadlines, teaching, and creative writing events). The stars aligned this year, allowing my brother and I to have the same week off... and that week happened to include Megacon.

Couldn't. Be. More. Perfect.

In the two years since my last convention, I'm sure that a lot has changed. I'm feeling a little nervous, actually, because I've been out of the loop in what shows and fandoms are popular now. My life has revolved around devouring novels, memoirs, poetry, and studying craft... so I haven't had the time to watch a bunch of anime or buy new gaming systems to play some amazing RPGs (my favorite types of games). I've only recently gotten into Doctor Who (thank goodness), and I've reached Season 5, watching a few episodes with the 11th Doctor, Matt Smith, so I'm feeling pretty good about that.

Normally, whether I'm behind or not shouldn't matter, but I'm trying something new. Stepping out of my comfort zone, shall I say.

I'm going speed dating while I'm there.

Inspired by Geek Love, a sci-fi speed dating show that aired on TLC, I'm going to take a chance and have some fun (and hopefully swallow my nerves, haha). Even if this experience turns out to be a disaster, it'll make for a good blog post, haha!

Because I lack a fancy phone, I can't live tweet my Megacon adventures, but I will be taking my Kindle Fire. If the hotel and convention area have free wi-fi, then I should be in business!

What have you all done / plan to do for your spring break? How do you handle a growing pile of unread books?

Carried Away

The air is thick with whimsy. The scent is heavy and sweet; I can feel it collect on my tongue as I try to catch clouds. They drift away from me, crawling towards the end of the world with such determination that I can't help but feel in awe. Come back clouds, I call, come have tea with me and tell me stories of what you've seen. They won't come down. They've promised the Sun and Moon to remain silent and unobtrusive. But they shower me with sparkling powder that makes my skin glow and my veins pop with color.

I left my shoes behind a long time ago. They were cute little things, leather with wire shoelaces, but they cut the backs of my heels. They were not made for land, but they hardly deserved the sky either. They're in the conserve behind my house, placed neatly next to my polka-dot backpack and tin of mints.

A street vendor was a curly mustache had come into my life as briefly and nonsensically as a Roald Dahl plot device; he sold me six balloons for a pack of gum and a hair ribbon. He told me to wait until I got home to tie the balloons around my wrist. Instead, I did it right there and drifted away. I bobbed over my house and kicked off my earthly items, watching the plants try and catch them and my dog barking and wagging her tail from inside the screened-in pool area.

The balloon turned to swans and they carried me higher, faster, and the strings multiplied and formed a net around my body. I found a pair of goggles in my penny-sized purse and strapped them on. I sat back in the string net and stared up at the swans who, in a past life where I may have had to stitch nettle-sweaters in silence, could have been my lost brothers.

There's only the sky. Endless blue, but not the kind that's full of salt and rainbow fish. This blue is pure; the air up here is gauzy. It tickles your throat. There's too much and too little and the winds each have their own names and up here, only up here, can they whisper them to you.

Somewhere below a boy is waiting for us to land. He wipes his glasses with a green cloth and keeps watching the skies. Consulting his compass, a trinket from childhood, he knows that I'll soon be landing. The compass doesn't point north. It points to the heart.

Spring Break is finally here. It's just begun but before I know it I'll find myself standing at the edge of the week, peeking over and seeing the classes back in session and the grades pouring in. However, I'm not there yet. I'm trying to enjoy the moment.

There's something relaxing about wandering in and out of stores. A delight, perhaps, in the colorful displays and whirring electronics, and the people who come out to gaze in windows and carry heavy bags. I never tire of it. Yesterday I came back with a few treasures, but perhaps the most thought-provoking one is actually a new perfume I picked up.

I'll never forgive Bath & Body Works for discontinuing my favorite scent as a girl, Daffodil Fields, but once and a while I'll feel curious about what the company is up to. I'll wander in, take a peek. Kind of like an older sister. But when I went in yesterday, I was immediately drawn to a new fragrance. The ribbon-typography yanked me in and the smell, well, it made me smile and start dreaming, right there in the store. I fumbled around for some cash and, in the end, settled on a small spray bottle and lotion of Carried Away.

The official website describes the scent thusly:

"Master perfumers have blended lush raspberries and juicy pear nectar with white jasmine and whipped vanilla to create this whimsical fragrance inspired my the way love sweeps you off your feet."

I'm not sure if anything can truly be captured in a bottle, except perhaps a genie. However, I must say that I'm greatly inspired by Carried Away.

I get carried away by many things. Crushes, manuscripts, side projects, grading, big dreams that threaten to swallow me whole with their repetition. However, it's not often that I'll look at something and think, "Oh, that's the sky in that bottle. It's the clouds, the birds, the sun and the love that I may have seen or felt as splintered pieces over the years."

Just the size of the atmosphere.