Friday, April 22, 2016

Book Lover

If you’re anything like me, you’ve got an insatiable appetite for reading.  I think that might be destiny –  I was named after a character in a romance novel my mom was reading when she was pregnant.  Since I was a pre-teen I’ve been addicted to reading.  I overheard my mom telling someone that “Shannon will just go in her room and read for hours…” and I sort of took that comment and ran with it.  Ever since then, I’ve kind of been hiding in my bedroom, reading smut novels and self-help books.   I had a job for a year or two that was basically just babysitting computers in the middle of the night.   I was able to sit with my feet up, reading my Harlequin romance novels by the dozen.  I literally read every paperback romance novel at the local library that year.  I think the librarians thought I was joking when I would fill a grocery bag with about 15 books each time I checked out and said that should keep me going for a few days.
Eventually, I got away from reading as much.  I changed jobs, had kids, found some other hobbies that couldn’t be done with a book in hand.  But every so often I would come back to reading.  For a while after my divorce, I would stop at Walmart on Friday nights and get the 3-for-$10 paperbacks.  I would read them all by lunch time on Saturday.  So I was excited when Nook came around.  I could read my books on my Blackberry’s 2 or 3″ screen, so I invested the $400 or so into my first Nook.  Back then, books were cheap.  You weren’t paying the paperback prices, let alone the hardback pricing.  Eventually I moved onto reading on my droid phone, my tablets, my iphone, ipad.   And eventually the prices kept going up & up.  The most I paid for books in the beginning was about $4.  Now I’m buying books that are $10-$20.  Granted, those are usually non-fiction books that are on the best seller lists.  But still, the cost is much more painful.
That’s why I’m glad that my first true love is cheap romance.  Smut novels.  Nothing too serious or necessarily well written, but entertaining.  I can still find books for $0.99-$2.99 in that vein.  But even better is the app I’ve recently found, BookBub.  It gives links to books that are either on sale or are Free!  I’ve downloaded over 200 books this month.  Now I will have plenty of reading material to look thru, like my own library really, at no cost.  There are other subjects, but depending on what subject you look at, there are some with few quality books.  But if you like romance, you’re gonna love this app.  On iPhone, the app will only let you download to iBooks.  But from the daily email or website, you can download to one of the other book apps, such as Barnes & Noble Nook or Amazon Kindle.  I use all 3 services so that I can get the most free items.   When there’s a rainy day, I’m all stocked up and ready to read!

Overwhelmed with Choices

My week has been an up & down mess.  Today I decided that I would take a half vacation day since I had forgotten not only my lunch, but also my purse, at home this morning.  When I got home, my package from Goulet Pens was waiting for me.  Days like this are better that Christmas in my opinion.  So of course I couldn’t wait to dive in and fill my new pens and try them out.  I wish I had a bit more patience, because I decided to pull apart the Noodler’s Ahab Flex pen before looking too closely at it, then didn’t get it put back together the right way.  So I kept trying to get it to fill and it wasn’t working.  I managed to spill a good amount of ink all over the place, including both hands.  Noodler’s Blue Eel is a beautiful color, but I’m not sure I want to be wearing it on my hands at tonight’s high school orientation.  Eventually I figured out that the feed and nib weren’t in all the way, and once I shoved them a little harder, I was able to get it to fill more fully.  Again, another mess of ink that time.  The Lamy Safari in limited edition Lime Green is FABULOUS.  I love the way it writes and the grip of it.  That might beat out my TWSBI Eco pen as my daily carry fountain pen.
Then there are the notebooks that are overwhelming me.  I bought a sampler pack of 6 pocket sized notebooks to try out, but I got 5 full sized A5 notebooks to replace my Leuchtturm notebook for my bullet journal.  They don’t come in dot grid, so I had to settle for some lined and some graph.  I’m not entirely impressed with either choice so far.  And the flimsy covers are concerning me more than I’d thought they would.  But after spending all this money, I’m definitely going to give them a try.  I think I will start with the grid ruled, since that will come in handy when I’m drawing my tables and check boxes.  Migrating to this new notebook will be a time consuming task. But I generally like the way that the Medium Leuchtturm notebook has been working this week.  I don’t need to tote that giant Master notebook around with me.  It will stay home and take care of the long-term stuff I want to track.  My daily notebook can be small and more portable.  I’m excited to get started.
Yesterday I came across a journal idea for a circle family journal.  Questions to answer, then pass the book on to another family member so they can put their own memories in the book.  I asked my younger daughter, but she had no interest in doing it.  I had gone thru and adjusted a standard composition book to washi tape 2 pages together to create a thicker paper for lettering practice.  That was another suggestion I found on Pinterest.  I might still answer the questions myself and then just gift it to my kids so they have some of my memories to hold onto.

Falling into the Black Hole of my life

Yesterday I was having an unusually strong anxiety attack.  I’d been overtired from getting less than 3 hours of sleep and just couldn’t take any more interaction at work.  I went home and took a nap.  I slept thru my alarm and was a few minutes late to a school meeting for my daughter’s upcoming Washington DC school trip.  Come home, still anxious, try to relax by watching movies that calm me (Spotlight is a great addition to my iTunes library for this purpose.  The people speak in low, calm voices for the most part.)  I clean up my desk a bit, bring down all the writing and journaling stuff that had been accumulating next to my bed.  I tried to get to sleep around 10pm, then it was 11 and 12 and 2:30.  My fitbit shows the sad story of my lack of sound sleep again last night.  When my alarm went off this morning I was back into my panic state.  I dread having to call my boss to say I’m not coming in.  He always tries to get me to come in for a half day.  Then I spent some of the day in bed trying to update my journals.  Reading Pinterest.  I stumbled upon a combination of 2 ideas that I liked.  One was making a hand lettering journal by washi taping 2 sheets of composition book paper together, the other is a circle family journal where people can write their memories and pass it along so someone else can write their ideas in it.  C doesn’t like that idea.  I don’t know if J will do it.  I think she has done something similar with her stepmother. I might still answer the questions in the journal myself and then if they decide they want to add to it, they can.  Otherwise they will just have my memories to save.
Tomorrow I get my new Clairefontaine notebooks and my 2 new pens and new bottle of ink, which I’m excited to practice my new layouts on.  This week I’m running several formats against each other to confirm what I want to try or what works best.  I’m going to keep using my giant Master notebook for some of the things I initially put in it.  The big stuff.  The permanent details.  The daily and short term will go into the newer smaller notebooks.

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