Sunday Salon

Good morning! For the past few Sundays, I’ve been sharing with you all the things I’m grateful for and least grateful for from the previous week. Today is no different.

Most Grateful for:

  • I’m less overwhelmed by my school work. It’s been pretty hard being a mom and taking almost the maximum amount of units this semester. I think what’s saving me from insanity is the fact that I’m enjoying most of the subjects except math.
  • Family! My mom is so supportive of me. Yesterday she bought me a new printer since the two that I already owned were breaking down. Plus, she watches my kids so I can go to my evening psychology class. I don’t know where I would be without her.
  • Jill Scott’s music. If you don’t listen to her, you should change that.
  • LetterMo! Yes, I’m always adding it to my list on Sundays but it’s such a great feeling to receive snail mail. This is the last week of LetterMo but I’m still going to keep it up. I have about ten letters to mail off this week.
  • The fact that I finished two books last week: Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral along with How to Be Black by Baratunde Thurston, which was a hilarious read. 
  • Poetry! I’m dipping in and out of a ton of haiku collections right now including Basho: The Complete Haiku by Matsuo Basho and translated by Jane Reichhold.

Least Grateful for:


  • The feeling that I’m in an Adele song. There’s a guy I’ve been crushing on (not-so-secretly either) for the past few years. Yesterday, I found out that he’s dating my neighbor. It’s really time to move. Did I mention he looks like Orlando Bloom?
  • The lack of blog writing, reading, and commenting. This week I want to do much better.

With poetry, my mom, and LetterMo, there’s so much to be grateful for. What are you grateful for this weekend? 

African American Read-In and Discussion

Welcome to today’s read-in. I’m one of three bloggers co-hosting this event along with Doret from The Happy Nappy Bookseller and Edi from Crazy Quilts. This year’s read-in book is The Ninth Ward by Jewell Park Rhodes. It’s the story of a young girl living in New Orleans right before Hurricane Katrina. Since the book’s publication in 2010, it’s been nominated and listed as a best book by several organizations including Goodreads, School Library Journal, and 2011-2012 The Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award.

Instead of discussing the book just one day, Doret, Edi, and I decided to discuss The Ninth Ward all week long and give readers a chance to still read it if they didn’t have time before. Wednesday’s discussion questions will be on Doret’s blog and Friday’s questions on Edi’s.

From the book:

They say I was born with a caul, a skin netting covering my face like a glove. My mother died birthing me. I would’ve died, too, if Mama Ya-Ya hadn’t sliced the bloody membrane from my face. I let out a wail when she parted the caul, letting in first air, first light.

Here are my questions for you:

  1. The Ninth Ward is one of the newest additions to the magic realism genre. As you read Lanesha’s story, how did you feel about the fantastical elements such as Mama Ya-Ya’s visions or the ghosts that lingered throughout the neighborhood?
  2. This was the first book I’ve read that dealt with Hurricane Katrina and some of the issues surrounding it like Mama Ya-Ya and Lanesha being too poor to evacuate before the storm. Have you read a book that dealt with this hurricane before? Whether or not you have, how did the storm’s role in the book feel to you? Could you imagine it and its aftermath as you were reading or was it vague?
  3. Last but not least, what did you think of Lanesha?


Be sure to check out Doret’s and Edi’s questions on Wednesday and Friday. Thank you joining this year’s read-in.

Sunday Salon

Good morning! Right now the house is pretty quiet since most of my family is still asleep. I’m sitting at my desk with a hot cup of coffee, hoping that it will soothe my throat. My family and I have the flu, so much of this week was spent buying massive amounts of Kleenex, lemons, and honey. Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked yet.

I really enjoyed taking the time last week to share the things I’m grateful for so it may become a regular feature on this blog.

This week I’m grateful for:

  • The fact that I was able to read two books! Can you believe it? Two books after not being able to finish an adult book since December! The really sweet part about it, is that I finished them both this weekend. The books: How Georgia Became O’Keefe by Karen Karbo and The Thorn and the Blossom by Theodora Goss. There’s something about not being able to read that takes an emotional toll. Now I feel like I have my reading mojo back.
  • Libraries and librarians. If you’re a librarian or work at a library, you rock! I have three research projects to do and I’ve already needed massive amounts of psychology articles. If it weren’t for the university and college librarians, I wouldn’t have the reading material that I needed.
  • Once again I’m grateful for LetterMo. I’m finding it really therapeutic to write letters to people. I don’t talk about myself in the letters but just writing people and wishing them a good day makes my day better. I’ll probably keep writing letters after this month is over.

What I’m least grateful for:

  • Bombing my math test. It’s funny that it’s not bothering me that much. I plan on doing a much better job on my next test. I also think math was the reason why I couldn’t read either. I put too much pressure on myself to do math instead of taking pockets of time to read.
  • Having the flu.

So that’s it. What are you grateful for this week?

Sunday Salon: Being grateful

Instead of lamenting about my lack of reading (and studying) last week, I rather talk about what’s lifting my spirits. I got the idea from Bryan over at Unfinished Person. On Fridays, Bryan usually posts about the things he’s grateful for that week and also, what he’s not grateful for. I love the idea and I always want to write a similar post but usually forget to. Not today.

This week I’m grateful for:

  • LetterMo! It’s also known as A Month of Letters. LetterMo was started by author Mary Robinette Kowal. Participants mail off 24 items this month and write back to everyone who writes them. I love writing letters and decided that a letter a day isn’t too hard. Sitting down for a few minutes a day and finding the words to write to someone has been really uplifting. I bought some beautiful rainbow notecards from Target and it’s been fun to figure out which colors to give a person. There’s nothing like receiving letters and not bills to make a person’s day. I’ve already sent out five letters and I can’t wait to send out more. Plus, LetterMo has its own site where you can find other participants to write to. If you would like a letter from me, let me know in the comments or email me.
  • Decorating sites. Like I wrote in a previous post, I’m looking for a house to rent. I’ve given myself two months to find a place. If I don’t, then I’ll just improve my apartment. Visiting decorating sites like Apartment Therapy and looking at beautiful rooms is a mood changer. It gives me ideas on what I can do to my own home.
  • My Nook Color! In December, the screen of my Kobo broke and the company sent me a new one. In January, my new Kobo stopped uploading e-galleys and library books which is the only reason why I have an e-reader to start with. So my mom, being the fantastic person that she is, decided to splurge and buy her favorite daughter me a Nook Color. My mother has made my year! I’ve been playing around with it but decided not to download too many apps. I barely have time as it is.
  • My blogging friends. To everyone who left a comment last week to let me know I’m not the only student to have trouble reading for pleasure while in college, to everyone who decided to participate in this month’s read-in, to everyone who talked to me on twitter or sent an email, thank you. I love being a part of the blogging community and your comments and conversations, remind me of what I can contribute.

So that’s what I’m grateful for. What are you grateful for this week?