As a typical single, romantically minded, literature loving girl, I am well aware of the standards among my kind. I find, however, I’m not the most apt to adhere to standards.

My all time favorite Austen is Persuasion, not Pride & Prejudice. I’d much prefer Mr. Knightley to be my hero over Mr. Darcy. Emily of New Moon is a more kindred spirit to me than Anne with an “e.” (Though I’d fall head over heels for a real life Gilbert Blythe any day of the week.) I think guys named Rick have a built in tendency toward skeeziness so I’ve never trusted Humphrey Bogart’s character in “Casablanca.” Canadians have a better chance of falling into my own personal “intriguing” or “sexy” categories than any man from continental Europe. I appreciate boldness, not flirtation. And long walks on the beach are always better solo than with another person.

I was thinking over the weekend about how set I am in my preferences. My “types,” if you will, whether it be in regard to books, movies, travels, hobbies or men, are well defined. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? That is, does it make me capable of focusing on what is most likely a well-suited fit for me without wasting my time? Or does it increase the chances that I will overlook unexpected possibilities for joy/fun/satisfaction?

Of course the thought that my preferences could be potentially damaging to my life brought me around to the additonal thought that I may very well be outside of other people’s set preferences, too. Ouch.


Seeing It All

Truth be told, I’m not the world’s greatest reader. Don’t mistake me, I love to read. However, I don’t love to read everything. I’m not one who can power through a book simply because I’ve begun it. If a story hasn’t captured my imagination or engaged my mind or emotions by the time I’m through a few chapters, I’ll put it down and forget it. I don’t read quickly and there are only a handful of books, or less, which I ever bother to read more than once. What I consider a good book (very subjectively) is one that grabs my imagination, descriptive and sincere enough to create scenes, characters and events in my mind’s eye. If the imagination doesn’t care about what I’m seeing on the pages, then no other part of me cares about it either. I think this is why I also enjoy movies and television so much. Seeing fictional lives play out in front of my eyes is one of my favorite things. I’m a visual person. Granted, the movies and television shows permit my imagination to be rather lazy, but I won’t pretend I don’t prefer them to a lot of other activities. I get excited when I see a trailer for a new movie and it leaves me with that desirable eagerness to see the full film. I adore television series acted so sincerely and written so well that the characters and their stories become things a person can’t help caring about from week to week. My hope with writing fiction includes the aim of creating people the readers want to have in their lives.

I’m excited for this new movie, “Love Happens”. Okay, so I’m willing to see basically anything that stars Aaron Eckhart because, well, I love him, but this really does look good. Sappy? Probably. Predictable? Probably. But also warm, comforting and sigh-worthy. This one looks awfully sweet too: “Paper Heart.”

Books, Friendship


Let me share a fond memory of days gone by…

Jessica, Claire and I drive away from campus one spring evening. Across the bridge into West Virgina, over the hills into Pennsylvania, and into the land of shopping known as Robinson Township. It’s a mysterious place, this so-called Robinson Township. No homes. Just places to spend money. Impossible to find on Mapquest. A veritable vortex of American capitalism. For us college gals residing in the old steel city of Steubenville, Ohio, it is a haven of civilized commerce. And a mere 40 minute drive from the dorm to the Barnes & Noble front door! But on this particular evening we ventured beyond Barnes & Noble, beyond the disconcertingly named Quaker Steak & Lube (great wings!), to a little strip mall. What do we see in the window of one of the strip mall’s tenants? “WE BUY BOOKS.” Bright florescent lights make the declaration, to which we reply, “So do we!” Oh it was a happy day, the day we discovered that warm, well stocked, low priced oasis: Half Price Books. Our lives would never be the same, nor would our book shelves.

Flash forward to Spring 2009, Appleton, WI. Rolling down Casaloma Drive one Saturday morning, my eye catches a sign to my right. I squeal (really, I squealed) and accelerate, eager to get home and share the news with Jessica. “We’re getting a Half Price Books!” The thrill! The joy! The potential! The new book shelves I’ll need to purchase!

I finally made my first visit to the new store last night. It was everything I remembered our beloved Robinson store to be. Honestly, I think my heart grew a size or two when I walked through the door. 9 books, 2 dvds and 1 cd later, all at half price of course, I felt I’d just spent an hour with a long lost, very dear friend.