New Years Resolutions

Normally I’m not a huge fan of making New Years resolutions. I’m really terrible about working toward general, long term goals when I don’t have specific perimeters or guidelines in mind. However, I have two vague goals that I’ve had in mind for a while–reading more broadly and writing more regularly–and since I haven’t managed to pursue these goals like I want to, I decided to set specific goals within these general ones.

28ac88647e7b7abd3a1faa0284636e4cReading more broadly:

I have pleasantly surprised myself with the variety of books I’ve picked up over Christmas Break so far. I saw this book list on pinterest recently and I hope to use it to continue this trend of reading outside of my comfort zone.

Writing more Regularly:

Unfortunately, in the crush of college classwork and all of the writing that comes with it, I’ve started neglecting writing for fun. I have some novel length projects that I’m in the editing stage of, but it’s really hard to establish a writing routine that has priority over classwork when I feel overwhelmed every time I sit down to work on editing. I’ve decided to write 200 words of whatever pops into my head every day for the month of January, and adding 50 words to the daily word goal every month in the hopes to slowly, but surely, establish a strong writing routine.

What New Years Resolutions are you planning on? Have New Years Resolutions ever been effective for you? What do you think of the reading list? Are there other things you would add to the list? Comment below!

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Goodreads

I recently finally jumped on the Goodreads bandwagon, and, let me tell you, sometimes I forget the sheer mass of the amount of books I’ve read in my short lifetime. I also realized that I do a lot of re-reading of books, which isn’t in and of itself bad, but since I’ve started college I spend a lot less time reading new literature and a lot more time falling back to old favorites. So, this Christmas Break (which is only a week away!!) I’m going to attempt to read ten books that I’ve never read before, possibly in genres I don’t read very much, and possibly review them. As I study to become an English teacher, I also want to be prepared to share books with students with tastes other than my own, so I’d like to start gaining a knowledge of good fiction (and non-fiction) outside my basic taste in fiction.

If you have any suggestions for me to add to my list, leave them in the comments!

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Books Can Be DangerousSA2-Stack of Books

I didn’t notice her reading the book at first. It was odd for her to be reading, but I figured, with as small as it was, it was probably some schoolbook she’d been assigned. But then I realized something odd; she had not complained about the book once. As I had said, Jessica isn’t much of a reader, so usually her assigned reading for school is accompanied by much huffing and puffing—that is, if she even reads it at all. I’ve walked into her room to find Spark Notes pulled up on her computer screen before a test more than once. I didn’t exactly approve, but I also didn’t really blame her either. Some of the books they assigned were very dry and uninteresting to an avid reader, much less someone like Jessica who didn’t like to read in the first place. Finally I decided I had to know what this book was that she was reading so willingly.

Using all of my stealth skills I had learned tiptoeing around the house when she was a baby, I snuck into her room, hoping to find the book. Luckily for me, I didn’t have to search too hard; she had left the book sitting on top of her bed. Of course, she happened to walk in as I was reading the title, catching me in the act of snooping. She rolled her eyes and gave me one of those signature, “Mom!”’s that teenagers are so apt to give, but she had really made me curious. Plus the title, A Field of Dandelions, hadn’t given me much to go on. So I hesitantly asked her what it was about, and what class she was reading it for. Her answer was quite the surprise. Not only was she reading it because a friend told her about it, but it was also a fantasy book! I have to admit, I was pretty stunned. I can’t recall ever seeing her with a non-schoolbook that wasn’t written by Nicolas Sparks. But it was also obvious that she wanted me to leave her alone so she could get back to reading, so I did.

That didn’t mean I stopped watching her though. Right before I started cooking dinner, she had sat down in her favorite chair in the living room, the book in her hands. The entire hour I spent cooking dinner, I kept one eye on her, watching. It was odd, watching someone read a book that I knew nothing about. Her face went through a whole range of emotions, none of which I could really figure out. Her eyes went wide, later she gasped, and at one point she even laughed out loud. By the end of the book tears were streaming down her face, and she looked like she had just run over somebody’s cat. With a soft little sigh, she uncurled herself from the chair and went to wash her hands for dinner. As soon as she left the room, I dashed over to the side table she had left the book on. I was going to read that book tonight.