A Word I Like

MYRIAD

1. A very large number things

 2. A unit of ten thousand (from classical history).
ˈmirēəd/
(source: merriam-webster.com)

As usual when I pick words I like, I like the sound. The softness of the “mir” sound, then joined with the two separate vowel sounds, i and a. I’m not in love with the meaning (it’s fine), just the sound of it.

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 (source: flickr.com)

A MYRIAD POEM:

Evening: New York

 

Blue dust of evening over my city,
Over the ocean of roofs and the tall towers
Where the window-lights, myriads and myriads,
Bloom from the walls like climbing flowers.

(Sara  Teasdale)

Reading List, 2013

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I’m proud of myself for reading so many books this year. My goal was 100, and I read 132! Some of the extra reading was because I was unemployed for a while – a silver lining, I guess. I’m organizing the books by the ratings I gave them on Goodreads. So, here we go – the five star books I read this year, in no particular order (R= reread):

Stars: *****

Eleanor and Park (Rowell); The Book Thief (Zusak, R); Wonder (Palacio); State of Wonder (Patchett); The Storyteller (Picoult); Because I Am Furniture (Chaltas);  Out of the Easy (Sepetys); Crank (Hopkins); Because of Mr. Terupt (Buyea); Butter (Lange)

Stars: ****

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Meaning of the Universe (Saenz); Mad About the Boy (Fielding); Reconstructing Amelia (McCreight); The Great Gilly Hopkins (Paterson); Spectacle (McCullagh); How to be a Writer in the E-Age (And Not Lose Your E-Sanity) (Hyde); Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns (Weisberger); Sisterland (Sittenfeld); Parallel Visions (Rainfield); Junie B., First Grader: Turkeys We Have Loved and Eaten (and Other Thankful Stuff) (Park);  The Third Wheel: Diary of a Wimpy Kid #7 (Kinney); Tapestry of Fortune (Berg); 12th of Never (Women’s Murder Club) (Patterson); Reference Sources andResources forYoung People (Harper); Summerland (Hilderbrand); Anybody Out There? (Keyes); The Mystery of Mercy Close (Keyes); And the Mountains Echoed (Hosseini); The Engagements (Sullivan); The Devotion of Suspect X (Higashino); Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (Lin); Family Pictures (Green); What Ever Happened to Janie? (Cooney); Code Name Verity (Wein); Prom (Anderson); The Higher Power of Lucky (Patron); Glass (Hopkins); Define Normal (Peters); Notorious Nineteen (Evanovich); Fade to Black (Flinn); Just One Day (Forman); Perfect Escape (Brown); The Casual Vacancy (Rowling); Sahara Special (Codell)

Stars: ***

Confessions: The Private School Murders (Patterson); Starry River of the Sky (Lin); No Talking (Clements); The Cuckoo’s Calling (Galbraith); W is for Wasted (Grafton); Chocolate Fever (R, Smith); Rhymes with Witches (Myracle); The Opposite of Hallelujah (Jarzab); Clementine (Pennypacker); Reflective Teaching, Effective Learning: Instructional Literacy for Library Educators (Booth); Audrey, Wait! (Benway); Traitor in the Shipyard: A Caroline Mystery (Ernst); The Sixty-Eight Rooms (Malone); The Best Little Girl in the World (Levenkron); The Heist (Evanovich); Murder on the Orient Express (Christie); 21 Proms (Levithan); Daddy’s Gone A Hunting (Clark); Scarlet (Meyer); Inferno (Brown); The Interestings (Wolitzer); Swamplandia! (Russell); The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (Gladwell); The Silver Linings Playbook (Quick); Noah’s Compass (Tyler); Such a Pretty Face (Lamb); Vegan, Virgin, Valentine (Mackler); 17 & Gone (Suma); Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Strayed); Collateral (Hopkins); Private Berlin (Pattrson); The Mother-Daughter Book Club (Frederick); Boy Meets Boy (Levithan); The Moon and More (Dessen); Silver Girl (Hildenbrand); The Next Best Thing (Weiner); Merry Christmas, Alex Cross (Patterson);  The Marriage Bargain (Probst); Dear Bully: Seventy Authors Tell Their Stories (Hall); On the Jellicoe Road (Marchetta)

Stars: **

The Lemonade War (Davies); Mistress (Patterson); Fallout (Hopkins); Thee Undertow (Baker); Eyes Wide Open (Dekker); Picture Perfect (R, Picoult)

Stars: *

None – guess I just didn’t keep reading anything I hated!

If you’re on Goodreads, which books got 5 stars from you?

Midwinter’s Eve Giveaway Hop

Hi everyone! I’m giving away two YA books as part of the Midwinter’s Eve Giveaway Hop.

midwinter 2013

I’m giving away two books, both by Ruta Sepetys:

BetweenShadesOfGray_f2

out of the easy

How to win: respond in the comments = one entry. Follow me on Twitter at @lisarosenman = one more entry. Follow my blog = two more entries. Just let me know how many entries in the comments! I’ll check it all out when I pick the winner.

Happy winning! Open internationally.

For more blogs doing the Midwinter’s Eve Giveaway Hop, check this link:

Click here

Sponsored by http://maryinhb.blogspot.com/2013/12/midwinters-eve-giveaway-hop.html

 

Time to admit it: grad school is kicking my butt

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I looked up the last time I posted, and it was… a few days before the semester started. Coincidence? I think not.

I’ve back at work full time (finally!), and trying to keep up with two Library Media Studies classes (Information Literacy and the School Curriculum; Electronic Media and Design). I’m learning a lot of interesting things. In the Info Literacy class, we’ve been doing things I’m enjoying like a 25-hour pre-practicum and taking both sides of a position for and against the Common Core standards (I know, I know, but it was fun to me to have to ‘believe’ in both sides. I should have been in debate, huh?) The Electronic Media class is kind of odd… So far I’ve made Power Points about cross sections and halftone technique, and now I’m researching schizophrenia for a unit on perception. It doesn’t seem very relevant to being a librarian, but… it is what it is. At least I’m improving my research skills and making Power Points better than I used to.

So, obviously I still have my family obligations and family fun, and the occasional spurt of housework (VERY occasional). Can you guess what’s losing out?

Could it be… WRITING? (I hear that in a Church Lady voice from SNL past…)

So. Writing. I was diligent for a week or two, carving out an hour here or there to work on my MS. After all, I’m in love with my concept, and I’ve had a few new ideas (in the shower, of course) about how to increase the tension and the stakes. But I’m so overwhelmed…

I guess I need to give myself the advice I’d give a friend. Set aside even one hour a week for now, and make it non-negotiable. Even if I’m behind on classwork, I’ll still keep the commitment to myself. Because it’s really for myself – it’s no one’s assignment to me. Writing isn’t my paycheck, or my required coursework. But it is necessary to me. I commit to me.

What’s Up Wednesday

whats-up-weds

 What I’m Reading: I just finished a fantastic book, “Butter,” by Erin Jade Lange. Butter is a 400-something pound high school boy who is lonely and miserable. Out of desperation, or for attention, he creates a website that counts down the days until New Year’s Eve, when he will eat himself to death online. His website gains him the attention of other students, and soon he has people to hang out with, and is starting to lose weight. He has to figure out if his friends are really friends, and whether or not he still plans his grand exit on New Year’s Eve. I liked this book because it was unique to be in the head of someone Butter’s size, and because it made me think about the big issues of bullying and suicide in a different way. I just realized that I totally sound like a book report, so onward.

butter

What I’m Writing: I’ve been working on my WIP, and it’s slow going, because I’m trying to transition into using my new iPad with its wireless keyboard. I’m writing in Pages right now, and it’s mostly fine, but the cut and paste feature is annoying me to death. I probably don’t know the right way to use it. But somehow yesterday I lost 4-5 polished paragraphs, and I ended up with my laptop and my iPad, retyping paragraphs from one to the other. When my dad and kids came home from miniature golfing, I had in front of me my phone, laptop, and iPad, all laid out. It was kind of embarrassing.

What Else I’ve Been Up To: My kids start school next week, and for the older one, it’s middle school. I think I’ve been desensitized to the whole idea from talking to other parents, but we’ll see what it’s like when it actually starts. My kid is confident and has a great head on her shoulders. I just don’t want anything to change that. I know she’s supposed to be moving on, and I won’t wish for her to be younger, but I just want her to hang onto her core even as she changes.

What’s Inspiring Me Right Now: Ugh. I’m bad at this question. Is it cheating to say, nothing? Wait, I can do it. Since I only write at Starbucks, what inspires me right now is having a little bit of time to myself and enjoying my coffee. Is that enough for now?

coffee

Personality Tests: You and Your Characters

Last night, I remembered a personality test I’d taken once at work. All I could remember is that it gave you four letters as a response, and it told you about how you learned and worked best. I looked up the test, and it turns out it’s called the Personality test based on C. Jung and I. Briggs Myers type theory. I found it at http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp.

brain

I took the test for myself, and my husband did too. I found out I was an ISFJ, meaning introvert/ sensing/ feeling/ judging. He came out the same except thinking rather than feeling, which makes total sense if you know the two of us. Anyway, according to the website, I am “the nurturer,” I have a rich inner world, I feel a strong sense of responsibility and duty, have a strong sense of inadequacy, and desperately need positive feedback from others. I will let anyone who knows me decide if that’s accurate. 🙂 Famous ISFJs include Jimmy Carter, and Frederic Chopin. Good jobs for me include social work, teaching, and jobs in the medical profession.

As I was writing, I was thinking: did I know my main character well enough to take a personality test as her? I gave it a try, and I was pleased that I could answer the questions easily. According to the test, Alexis from my first book is an ISTJ. Her numbers on the scales for introversion and judging are high, much higher than mine. (Interestingly, she is the exact same type as my husband, and I wouldn’t say there were alike at all!) ISTJs are “inspectors,” concerned with right and wrong, and can sometimes be perceived as aloof. They are frustrated with the inconsistency of others. Famous ISTJs include George Washington, Andrew Johnson, and George H.W. Bush. Good career choices would be in management, accounting, and computer programming. To some extent, these aspects reflect Alexis; she’s certainly an “inspector,” and the other traits fit. But I certainly can’t see her with any of those career choices or having a similarity with presidents and generals!

Anyway, this was an interesting exercise, and I think I’ll try it with the main character of my second book, Rachael. I’m pretty sure that answering the questions as Rachael will show me how very much I *don’t* know this character, so it should be a valuable exercise.

Has anyone every taken this test? What were you? Dare to try it as a character?