Nov 16, 2014

Reading Slumps and Author Events

It happened again.

I am in the middle of yet another reading slump, this one came out of the middle of nowhere. I was reading a lot and enjoying the things I was working on and then BAM, no more interest in books anymore. It has been this way for about a month.

One of the best and easiest ways for me to get out of slump is prepping for an author event. Whether the event is in the store or outside of it, I like to have a connection with authors I will meeting. This past week had a lot of author meeting in it. And these authors have written some pretty enticing titles.

But no.

No reading inspiration was found.

I am still hopelessly slumped. I blame two people for this. Jessica Arnold and Joelle Charbonneau.

Jessica Arnold ruins my life with a good book.
Joelle's dystopian series ruined me for others.

I like how a random internet search found them both pictured in a woody park, plotting against me. Not only do they give good plot, but they also give amazing hair.

Side note, Saturday night went to bed with purple hair, Sunday morning, woke up, showered, and no longer had purple hair. I knew the purple would fade but I was hoping it would last a few more washes than it did.
Me! With hair you can barely tell is purple.
The Looking Glass by Jessica Arnold is one of my favorite books that I have read in 2014. It may still be too early to call it, but I always think that I will have plenty of time to read as the year winds down and the holidays start happening and I never find time. I also really enjoyed Joelle's trilogy more than I have enjoyed any series in a really really really really long time. I really don't enjoy second books in a series, but Independent Study held up well on its own while still being a relevant part of the overarching story. One of the things that I liked the most about about Joelle's storytelling is anytime I thought she was going left, she would zag right and sometimes breaking my heart in the process.

Then sometimes you are working on a blog post and this songs comes out and dancing happens more than working through my writing block.

Yep, I am feeling a little bit of writing blocked as well as reading blocked. I set a goal to work on the blog more and I have horribly failed. I have been able to use the blog as a resource to remember and timeline past events. And I want to make sure I still have these records throughout my bookselling career as well. Time and energy are always factor. Attention might also be a factor.

One of the decisions I made when I bought the bookstore was that I would go to 4 events a year in lieu of more traditional pay. Every year I go to LTUE in February and the Vegas Valley Book Festival in the fall. It is really fun to go to the same events every year and see different authors, and the same authors, and fans, bloggers, friends. Every year is a chance to both renew old connections and make new ones.

Nov 14, 2014


Growing up my grandparents always had a picture of the last supper in their dinning room. It was there for every meal I shared with them. But every one of my aunts and uncles hated it. When they asked if there was anything I wanted from the house when they moved I asked for the framed print of the last supper.

My grandmother said that it was mine but that she wanted to keep it for a little longer. She moved from Connecticut to Texas she put it up in her dining room. And it was always there for every meal I shared with them.

One day I was visiting my grandparents in Texas. I happened to be searching random things on the internet. I looked up some paintings of Salvador Dali and noticed he had a version of the last supper that looked very similar to the picture on the wall. I ran into the dinning room and it looked the same. I pulled the picture off the wall and it had a little card on the back that said Salvador Dali. It felt like kismet. When I first asked for the picture I didn't know who Dali was, but when I was in Italy we went to a museum and he became my favorite artist. And this picture was only a print but it felt like it had always been meant for me.

I was 18 when I found out about the artist for the picture. My dad had been dead one year two months and four days. Even though I had just returned from Australia my life had so little meaning and so little direction.The picture remained on the wall in the dining room and time passed. I moved to Utah. I started to find and lose and find again meanings and joy and reasons for living life.

On my 21rst birthday I was living in a house with my best friend and boyfriend and a huge package arrived. I think I knew what it was the moment I saw it, but when I opened it my breath was still taken away. My picture was home with me. On the back, next to Salvador Dali's name in black marker it said, Happy 21st Birthday. It was the best birthday of my life.

That picture was the best gift I was ever given.

Apr 20, 2014


The fact of the matter is, I don't think I am a particularly good fan.

There are the things I love: books, Cindy Pon, Frank Turner, Nathan Fillion, and food. But there is a limit to how much time I am willing to spend devoting time to things like waiting in line or aggressively stalking. Books and food respond well to aggressive stalking, Cindy Pon hasn't noticed yet, but for the others...I am not sure? Is it that I care about myself too much to be a good fan?

In the fall of 2013, Mr. X and I saw two Frank Turner shows back to back. One in Salt Lake City and one in Las Vegas. We kind of felt like we were pretty good fans, but after the show was over in Vegas we were talking to some other concert goers who were seeing 5 or 6 shows in a single tour. And I just thought to myself, I am not sure I care enough about ANYTHING to do that.

Maybe it is just part of being a grown up or being too self absorbed, but I can buy one Doctor Who shirt and feel satisfied. I can be half a season behind and still feel like I am a fan of the show.

Mr. X and I have seen Frank Turner 3 times in 6 months. We have driven 1418 miles to see him in concert in that same time span. And 2914 miles for all the Frank Turner shows we have ever been to. In June we will travel almost another 1000 miles to see him perform again. But when the show is over we don't wait in any parking lots or linger at any doors. We go home, or to our home for the night and continue on with our lives.

The last time we saw Frank Turner in Vegas we gave him two books we picked out from the store before he went on stage. We were lucky to catch him and chat with him without having to stand about and wait. When he put his arms around me in sincere thanks, I figured it would be the best moment we would ever have together.

In January I got my 3rd tattoo, inspired in part by Frank Turner lyrics. But I don't wait at the stage edge hoping to pocket a set list. As we watched him crowd serf at the end of the show in Flagstaff Mr. X lamented that we weren't closer to be a part of it. I reminded him that he hugged us. We didn't hug him. He hugged us and it would always be better.

Maybe a dinner or a lucky encounter at a bar could be better than that hug, but waiting in an alley for a door to open feels like it never will be better.

Apr 18, 2014


Thinking and writing have always been strong skills for me, but in the past few years I find myself more and more constipated when it comes to writing. I blame technology and the modern condition for this. I need to be consuming more mental roughage but take those two hours I have and spend them on Pinterest followed by complaining about how I don't have any time.

The digestible format has lead me to start thinking in sound bites. And while it is important to think about the reach and sharablity of anything you put out there, will anyone even care about my current constipation and why do I even care if they do our they don't? The demand and judgement of an invisible audience has become an increasing issue for me over the past few years.

The judgement of the other makes me feel like I don't have anything worth saying, but no one really is judging me. It is my own judgement of myself that is the issue. The past few weeks has brought me to refocus on some priorities in my life. I am not sure if we as individuals have cycles where we want to do certain types of things during certain times of the year, but I am starting to notice that when spring comes I start feeling more creative.

I have slowly been trying to incorporate more creativity into my life. I do it, and then I stop doing it. I try to blog more. I do it, and the I stop doing it. I pressure others to read more and then fail at it myself. The only thing I can think about lately is napping. I don't want to live my life that way anymore, but I am not sure how to fix it.

I am starting here and changing how I do things, even if only for today.

Every blog post and Facebook post becomes about facing insecurities and overcoming the prison of fear I have created for myself.
10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer
Like this infographic? Get more content marketing tips from Copyblogger.

Mar 17, 2014

Reading Slumps

Reading slumps seem to happen to me more now than they ever have before. There are so many things filling up the space of my mind, the only thing I can think to do when I have time to myself is close my eyes.

What do you do when you have a reading slump?

Sometimes life just doesn't have time for reading. I always hassle people to read for just ten minutes a day every night before bed. And I know I have time for that, but I just don't have the energy. I try not to feel too guilty about it.

Tonight on Facebook I saw a link from Suzanne Young about the 7 Awesome YA Series That You Haven’t Heard About… Yet. Sometimes seeing new books I want to read doesn't make me feel any better. I have tons of books around me all the time and not finding the inspiration or motivation to pick them up. But this time I saw a few titles that have me feeling a little excited about the prospect of picking them up!

Mr. X read and LOVED Red Rising and I keep coming up with reasons NOT to read it. I don't know why I let myself listen when I throw up reading road blocks.

I always say, "I hope I get to have time to read this soon." When really I have the time, I just don't have the energy. But I need to stop making excuses and just read this book.

As much as others have loved this book I know it will be the right fit for me, but sometimes that is its own problem. The more I think I am going to like a book the more pressure there is to LIKE the book. Sometimes this pressure IS what sabotages me.

These two books also look interesting since they were the only two books on the list that I have never heard of before. Have you read either of them?

Of the two London Eye looks the most interesting of the three to me. I am going to bite the proverbial bullet and start reading it tonight before bed.

11 Essential Ingredients Every Blog Post Needs [Infographic]
Bibliophile Exploring Dystopia | Food & Community | Utopian Projects