A Blog About Books

I am so sorry! I have been absent for far too long and I really have no excuse. In November I took a break to do NaNoWriMo. While I did not complete it, I did learn a lot about making and keeping writing habits. Now I just have to put this into practice. As you may have noticed, it’s almost March, so my track record is not great. That being said, I am working every day to be a better writer and make better habits in general, so I present to you a blog post. Aren’t you lucky? 🙂
One of the many things I have been doing lately is reading, of course. I got a couple of good books for Christmas, and have hit a couple of my favorite used book stores in the last couple months, too. So this blog  contains a list of the books I’ve read lately, with a brief overview and recomendation.  These are in no particular order and  they have nothing in common, except that they are all fiction.
The 12 Tribes of Hattie By Ayana Mathis
This book is a novel but, it is also 12 short stories. Each chapter is one of Hattie’s childrens’ stories. Hattie herself is quiite aloof as a character. We learn more about her through her sons and daughters then through direct cotact with Hattie. In this way, Hattie haunts the reader as much as as she haunts her children. Mathis writes beautifully, capturing the feeling of toughness and love Hattie attempts to bestow on her children, while also giving the reader an idea of the impact of the political, social, or economic issues going on during the decade each chapter, or story, is told in. This book deals with class, race, place, family, motherhood, and so many more really good themes. I reccomend it for anyone who likes to read books on Oprah’s List.
The Bean Trees By Barbara Kingsolver
I adored this book, like I adore all Kingsolver books, but this one even more so. She explores themes of identity, through names, family, place, people, race, and food. She also tackles the extremely current topic of immigration. To me, this book is a modern classic and should be required reading in high schools. The characters are familiar and lovable. The feelings evoked are universal. A very basic plot summary, no spoilers, is that a young woman fresh out of high school leaves home to find herself, finds a toddler, breaks down in a podunk town, and discovers a life. I reccomend it for anyone in their twenties who feels like they have no idea where their life is going.
Fun fact! There is also a sequel called Pigs in Heaven. I’ll let you know what I think when I get to it 🙂
A Shiver of Light By Laurell K Hamilton
Mom! Stop reading now! Skip down to the next book!
Ok, A Shiver of Light is the 8th book in the Merry Gentry Series. They are… a bit of a guilty pleasure. They revolve around Merry Gentry, first fairy princess born on American soil. She’s also the reincarnation of a fertility and love goddess, she has a bunch of hott guards, and she is allowed to sleep with all of  them. Yeah, these are steamy romance novels, and they are freaking hot! Even better than that, they are actually well developed and have really likeable characters, and a cool supernatural element. Hamilton also writes the Anita Blake series, which I have heard are also steaming hot, but very well written. I reccomend this for anyone looking for a bit of hanky panky with their literature.
Wither, Fever, Sever The Chemical Garden Trilogy By Lauren DeStefano
I really liked these books for what they were: A bit over the top, totally cliche, young adult novels. The idea that sometime in the future a virus would kill everyone once they reached 20 (girls) or 25 (guys) is compelling and I really enjoyed reading this series, but I felt like something was missing. Themes tackled were sickness, cost of health, mortality, time, adulthood, maturity, motherhood, siblings, friendship, and freedom, but none of the themes were explored as fully as they could have been. When I finished the book I felt lacking in answers, or wanting more from the story.
The Kept By James Scott
This book starts out with Elspeth, our main character, coming home to her entire family dead. It is a very serious thriller and pageturner. You never know what’s going to happen but you’re dying to find out. You can’t stop rooting for poor Elspeth and Caleb, from the tragic beginning to the tragic end. This book explores many themes including indentity through names, gender, family, religion, as well as nature vs. nurture, revenge, violence, isolation, good vs. evil, and motherhood.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and Hollow City By Ransom Riggs
I originally saw these books on the shelf at the bookstore and they caught my eye because of the black and white photos sprinkled throughout. They were all oddities and trick of the light pictures, and that intrigued me. I soon discovered the story was not only equally interesting, but it coincided well with the pictures. It doesn’t even feel forced. This is a very rare art to get right and I value it highly, coupling visual and literary arts in a novel, because I’d like to do it one day. This novel has magic and the supernatural, but is grounded in history and emotion. Additionally, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is going to be coming out in theaters this year so you know you’re probably about to love it. I reccomend it if you love to have a jump on the newest trends.
The All Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion By Fannie Flagg
This book is a classic Fannie Flagg book, maybe minus some of the lesbian undertones. Full of middle aged identity crisis coupled with an exciting hidden story from the past. A story that involves fierce female bonding and women succeeding in a man’s world, in any ways they can. Fannie Flagg may be formulaic, but sometimes it’s exactly what you need. I love to pick up one of her books for some easy, feel-good reading.

That’s all I have for now. Til next time,
Rach

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New Undercut Hair!

I have been talking about making a change for a couple months now, but couldn’t buck up the courage to actually do something. Thursday a friend of mine came over with trimmers and I let her start shaving before i could change my mind. She gave me a undercut with a design shaved in it.
I freakin love it. I can’t stop rubbing the back of my head and begging my husband to take a couple more pictures. I am really excited about the fact that every time I get it touched up I can have a different design shaved into it.
I’ve been so obsessed with my hair lately, it even got me thinking about it from a feminist and sociological position. I’m going to try and write a paper about the politics of hair in 2015 and how people use their hair to define themselves. I’d love to hear your thoughts on your own hair, or in the politics of hair.

Wishing you good hair days forever,
Rach

NaNoWriMo 2015

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Today is November 1st! I am so excited because it is the first day of a brand new opportunity. Today is day one of NaNoWriMo and I have fully and compltely committed to completing the challenge this year. NaNoWriMo is a fantastic opportunity to challenge myself and to set new routines and goals. I woke at a decent time this morning, despite the debauchery of Halloween night, and felt motivated enough to set my desk up and start my novel. Before three O’clock I wrote over 2000 words, more than my goal of 1,667, the prescribed wordcount on the NaNoWriMo website. I typed these, referring to the journal I’ve been writing in to prepare.
I’ve spent the last few weeks preparing for this moment, this true beginning, the first pages to my novel. I have used Pinterest as a tool to learn about story structure and outlining my novel. I also used it to research some of the history and mythology I was originally inspired by. I loved how I could create Pinterest Boards on several different subjects and I’ve realized in the last few weeks that there is a trick to Pinterest. The trick is to spend some time absently pinning interesting things on a topic, say for example, the Greek Goddess/Titan Hecate. Later, when I am feeling more focused I go back and explore these pins, taking notes or deleting ones that aren’t helpful.

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While the Pinterest research was more interesting, the outlining has been more helpful, for the first day, anyways. I found that when I actually sat down and thought about it I already knew basically where I wanted  to start and who I was dealing with when describing my main characters. I also feel more invested in this story than past novel attempts. I spent a lot of time thinking about where I wanted  the story to go and how my characters evolved and interacted within it. I feel confident in myself, in that if I can keep the habit of actually sitting down and writing every day I will stay on track and not lose focus too much, because I already have a basic idea of where it’s going.
My main goal for this month is to create a habit that I can continue for the rest of my life. If I can write for a couple hours a day every day, I am bound to create something extraordinary sooner or later.
Who out there is doing  NaNoWriMo this year?
Is this your first year?
If not, what are some of your tips for first timers?
First timers, how are you going to make sure you meet your goals?

Happy Writing,
Rach

Miracle Dip

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We had a potluck at work today.  I had big plans to make pumpkin bars shaped like little pumpkins. But of course life always gets in the way so I opted for an easy crowd pleaser. I’ve been making this dip for years and i honestly don’t know where I found it.  I’ve been tweaking it to fit my fridge and budget over the years as well.  I call it miracle dip because you can add or take away ingredients and is still basically pretty good. Also,  I never measure anything for this dip, just taste as you go.
Start with a jar of miracle whip. Throw the whole thing in a big mixing bowl. Add heaping spoonfuls of dill and parsley.
Add atleast a cup of bacon bits or chopped bacon. I usually add green onions to mine.  You can also add shredded cheese, green peppers, whatever fits your fancy,  really. Chill the dip for a couple hours before serving it with pretzels or crackers or chips.
Seriously, people freak out over this dip.

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Louisville Exclusive: Burger Boy

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I love breakfast.  I think it is the most versatile meal and should be enjoyed at any time possible. That being said,  fuck McDonald’s all day breakfast,  which does not even include the almighty biscuit, king of breakfast sandwiches and gravy’s perfect mate. Luckily,  I happen to be best friends with a fellow breakfast enthusiast, and we both learned of this hidden gem on Brook and Burnett long ago. We set off for Burger Boy today around noon,  when good breakfast was hard to come by. 

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Burger Boy is simple and unassuming, with an open counter and grill in view.  It’s got a juke box and some cool signs.  Regular diner stuff. The staff is always friendly, the service usually quick.  Bri and I always get breakfast, but I’ve ordered burgers there before,  and they are very good.

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Today,  though,  I got the Burger Boy Special. Biscuits & Gravy, to be brought out first, please; plus two eggs-over medium, toast, fried potatoes,  and sausage, bacon or ham. The biscuit & gravy I managed to get a picture of, but the rest of the meal was devoured at first sight.
The biscuits and gravy were good,  but a little cold. The gravy is always nice and thick, though, so it was still delicious. The bacon was crispy, the potatoes well seasoned. But the real show stealer was the eggs. I dont know if their eggs are organic or local, and I forgot to ask,  but they are seriously amazing.  They taste better than any egg I’ve ever had.  They’re light and soft and silky and buttery.  It tastes like they have a golden hen in the backroom laying eggs to order.
It was less than $20 for the two of us to eat huge meals and have some coffee. I would totally recommend Burger Boy for anyone at anytime who is hungry. Plus it’s open 24/7 and serves the full menu 24/7. So suck on that McDonald’s.

I’m baaack!

I have been completely MIA from blogging for a few months. I am ready to start again, and be better than ever. First, though I figured I would give a rundown of what’s been going on and where An Adjective And A Noun is headed in the next few months.
My husband and I moved, yet again. This time it is a bit more permanent, and all our own! I got (and quit) a second job. Allen for a new job that requires him to be away from home Monday through Friday. My number one goal has been to keep myself busy so i don’t get too lonely. This means I’ve been crafting,  cooking,  reading,  and drinking too much wine. I can’t wait to share all of my experiences with you guys!
You can expect much of the same content as in the past, but aA&aN will be heading in the direction of a lifestyle blog, particularly my lifestyle.  I will attempt to share my life experiences every day,  whether I’m decorating my new home,  cooking dinner,  or I just finished a new book. I love to write, and this blog started out as a way for me to practice my writing skills.  It has morphed into a type of journal to me.  It helps me to develop my voice and to keep memories close. I write for me, but I’m glad you can enjoy it, too.
As always,  I love feedback and comments.

Stay happy.
Rach

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Olaf, my faithful friend.

Teal Obsessions

I have been obsessed with teal things lately,  and I thought I’d share some of the fun things I’ve found.

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Got this adorable teal watch at Michael’s for only 8.99$ Its a gelly material, so its an soft and comfortable. My only problem is now I need to get the watch in all the other colors so I have one to match everything!

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Got new nail polish at Sally’s. This is the first time I’ve ever done a design on my nails.  I used masking tape to create a simple design.  The pictures don’t give the colors justice. They make me think of dragon scales.

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I also got this planner from Meijer.  It was on clearance for 4.69$ The clearance rack is always the first place I look,  no matter what store I walk in.
I absolutely need to keep a planner.  I work two jobs, work on this blog, and still attempt to live and enjoy life. In order to accomplish any of this,  I have to write down everything I need to do.  On a good day I accomplish 75% of these things.

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What are your favorite colors lately?