Archives for February 2014

That Shady Kind of Book Pass

  reality GrasshopperJungle June 27 13

This week I’ve been proudly watching the monsters pass around A.S. King’s Reality Boy and Andrew Smith’s Grasshopper Jungle. They get that kind of shady, far away look in their eyes as they hand it off. They start to whisper without meaning to, because they have the best secret in the whole freaking world,  right in their hands. They act they are doing something so wrong it just has to be right. It’s totally epic. I get it. It’s real. In my head they are passing secrets and truth and everything that really matters when they start that shady kind of book pass.

I remember passing books just like that. The ones that were so amazing they made you feel like you were punched in the face, but somehow in a good way. Books like this are raw. They hurt. You ache when you read these books and you want everyone to read them. You need to share these words with the world.

They really yelled at my teenage brain. The ones that  me feel a little less crazy or weird or unusual. Or, even better, that made me feel that my kind of crazy-weird-unusual wasn’t so messed up after all. These are the kinds of books that made me feel like if “they” knew we were reading books like these, they’d take them away or I’d be in big trouble. These books make us think about our demands, because good books really are about everything.

I’m so freaking proud to be a teacher every day! But, damn, on days like these, I want to scream and yell to anyone that will listen, “LOOK AT THESE AMAZING SASSY HUMANS! They are everything that is everything the world! BE AMAZED BY THEIR AWESOME!”

A bit much? Nope! My monsters are really are that epic.

Thank you, A.S. King. Thank you, Andrew Smith.

You are pretty freaking epic, too!

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There are other things that get lost

“But when we miscarry, and little ‘evidence’ is available to support a life existed, the support disappears—leaving the mother grieving and treated as neurotic for mourning the very same ‘baby’ who’d been exuberantly cheered for all over Facebook just an hour before.”

This post from Still Standing punched me right in the heart!

I know loss isn’t fun, I get that. I’m not always happy. I don’t always feel things the way people who haven’t had their world crushed, multiple times, mind you, act. It isn’t happy. It isn’t polite dinner conversation. I’ve lost a dear friendship, too. Loss leads to loss, it seems. I don’t blame anyone, but it makes me so sad. It hurts in a different way, but almost as badly. It is, in fact, one of the worst things in the word. Being broken sucks. It is like being consumed by something so like the Nothing from The Neverending Story. Not being able to fill the kind of emptiness that just grows deeper and blacker all the time is the most urgently painful thing I’ve ever felt.

I know I’m not that fun all the time. I wish I was more fun, too.

Believe me. I want to be.

I want to BE happy.
I want to BE a Mama.
I want to BE able to make my husband a Daddy.
I want to BE the kind of friend that doesn’t cry when she finds out you are pregnant.
I want to BE in love with myself and not hate all the parts of me that don’t know their effing job.
I want to BE.

It’s one of the many other things that were lost along with those tiny heartbeats that don’t mean as much to you. The ones that leave me empty and broken.

 

 

Grasshopper Jungle…because #unstoppablecorn is history!

Title: GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE

Author: Andrew Smith
Genre: Fiction | YA | LBGT
Release Date: 2/11/14
Sixteen-year-old Austin Szerba interweaves the story of his Polish legacy with the story of how he and his best friend , Robby, brought about the end of humanity and the rise of an army of unstoppable, six-foot tall praying mantises in small-town Iowa.
To make matters worse, Austin’s hormones are totally oblivious; they don’t care that the world is in utter chaos: Austin is in love with his girlfriend, Shann, but remains confused about his sexual orientation. He is stewing in a self-professed constant state of maximum horniness, directed at both Robby and Shann.
Ultimately, it is up to Austin to save the world and propagate the species in this sci-fright journey of survival, sex, and the complex realities of the human condition.

 

 


 

This is the truth. This is history.
It’s the end of the world. And nobody knows anything about it.
You know what I mean.

February 3rd – The Midnight Garden
February 3rd – The Story Siren
February 4th – Good Choice Reading
February 4th Bookish
February 5th – I Read Banned Books
February 5th – Jenna Does Books
February 6th – Bibliophilia, Please
February 7th – Scott Reads It
February 7th – Live to Read
February 10th Alice Marvels
February 10th The Society
February 11th Lexi Swoons
February 11th A Reader of Fictions
February 12th Roof Beam Reader
February 12th Forever Young Adult
February 13th The Compulsive Reader
February 13th Books and Bling
February 14th Book Chic Club
February 14th The QQQE
February 17th JeanBookNerd
February 17th Ticket to Anywhere
February 18th Sleep Eat Read Books
February 18th Read Now Sleep Later
February 19th Anna Reads
February 19th Word Spelunking
February 20th Books With Bite
February 20th What A Nerd Girl Says
February 21st Wastepaper Prose
February 21st LRB – Guest
February 24th We Are Word Nerds
February 24th Cabin Goddess
February 25th Ex Libris
February 25th Cari’s Book Blog
February 25th A Good Addiction
February 26th YA Reads
February 26th The Young Folks
February 27th Novel Thoughts
February 27th Fangirlish
February 28th Once Upon a Twilight
February 28th Naughty Book Kitties

Andrew Smith is the award-winning author of several Young Adult novels, including the critically acclaimed Winger (Starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Booklist, and Shelf Awareness—an Amazon “Best of the Year”) and The Marbury Lens (A YALSA BFYA, and Starred reviews and Best of the Year in both Publishers Weekly and Booklist).

 

He is a native-born Californian who spent most of his formative years traveling the world. His university studies focused on Political Science, Journalism, and Literature. He has published numerous short stories and articles. Grasshopper Jungle, coming February 11, 2014, is his seventh novel. He lives in Southern California.


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Arting It Up: 29 Faces

29 faces challenge

Participating in 29 Faces is one of the best things I’ve done for my creativity. The practice of focusing on one face every day has made a huge positive impact on my art. I’ve even made drawing a face part of my daily art routine.

During the month of February the challenge is live again. It’s hosted at
http://29faces.blogspot.com. I hope you join in the fun!!

Below are a few of my most recent faces. I love this creative routine!

[Read more…]