Tuesday, February 1, 2011

you should know this.

Listening To: When U Love Somebody by the Fruit BatsBackground Noise: Ina Gartan is making grilled steaks, herb-ricotta bruschetta and watermelon mojitos (she is making these things in her kitchen, not mine) (sadly). Her food looks slightly more delicious than my oatmeal. But only slightly.

Hey beauties (and beastlies)! I had planned to utilize this post to write about my favorite books in 2010. But then the list started getting lengthy. (I'm sure that fact comes as a real shock to you. ;) I'll try to get that posted soon. And I'll try to unleash my internal editor so you won't be in front of your computer reading all day. I'm going to experiment with something new and exciting here on the blogaroo. I'm going to try ... wait for it ...


But not today. (Ha :) But in the coming weeks, I'm going to work at embracing shorter posts. Shrimpy posts. Shorty McShortsters. I sometimes feel like I need to write very full (...very fragmented) posts every time I get on here. I realize this isn't the case. I realize this also leads to long absences when the world gets a little too spinny. So I'm going to do my best to champion brevity.

Just not today ...

Today I have a variety of links and ponderings and oddities I've been meaning to share with you. If you need to look like you're taking notes in class, this is the post for you ;) In the name of embracing brevity, I call this list:

Things You Probably Already Know But Will Totally Be Glad to Know if You Don't Already Know Them

* Firstus: You should know about this cover. This piece of bookish gorgeousness is called Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin. I checked this book from the library last year and didn't get very far along before I had to take it back. I remember thinking, when I read it, that I would like it more in a different season. Are you this way with certain books? Perhaps that sounds wackadoodle. But some books feel very seasonal to me and that one didn't jive with summer. I hear the book is lovely. I don't doubt that. I just wanted to save it. I haven't picked it back up yet, but I did flat-out-
gasp when I saw the paperback cover (pictured) in Barnes & Nobel. That cover is way, way different than the hardback cover. I like it a thousand times more. I've come [---] that close to buying it. I'm fairly sure I will buy it soon because pretty book covers are to me what shiny things are to turkeys.

I think its interesting when a paperback release issues a very different cover than a hardback. Would be fun to know which one is more appealing to readers. Here is a link to the original cover. Which do you prefer?

* You should know about Sebastiaan Bremer's stunning, stunning art. These photographs look like beautiful, blurry dreams.
Wouldn't it be cool if snow looked like that every now and then? Like confetti-whims of color?* You should know that my dog is way too adorable for her own good. A few weeks ago, my brother sent a text that said, "My dog just got a trim and now he looks like Eric Estrada." Made my day. I'll see if I can round up a pic so you can laugh too. Biscuit does not look like Eric Estrada. But every now and then she does this particular face I find so darn funny. I call it Biscuit's Rufus Scrimgour's impression:

And, of course, I also love it when Biscuit just does Biscuit. Which is to say: she is the cutest thing I have ever seen.

* You should know about my birthday bag. Actually, you probably don't give a double-stuff Oreo about a purse. But I hope you'll allow me a moment of very girly gushing. My birthday, which coincides with the day America has set aside to celebrate its favorite rodent, is fast approaching. According to ... somebody, this is an important birthday (though it feels exactly like all the rest so far). And like all the rest of my birthdays, I've extended my birth"day" into a birth"season" that I affectionately call birthdaypalooza!. I have many fun and exciting plans scattered throughout the month(s). (Including oral surgery.) (Which isn't so much part of birthdaypalooza ... but I'm trying to think happy thoughts. Like this: I get to eat ice cream all day!) I plan to justify every frivolous book purchase as, "Well. It is my birthday ... month."

My parents have already given me some incredible gifts for my birthday. They told me this was a birthday worth celebrating big even before I tried to guilt them into celebrations with my "birthdaypalooza!" spill. My parents gave me not one, but two new bags that are gorgeous. This is #1:

I carried it around all night the night I got it ... even though I didn't leave my house again. You know how little girls sometimes carry around purses and pretend to be grown-ups? That's how I felt. (I didn't so much do that when I was a kid. I stuffed books and Cheetos into a Dukes of Hazard lunchbox ... but the idea was similar, I think. In a redneck sort of way.)

Reasons The Bag is complete fabulousness:

1.) The Bag is the perfect size (holds books, holds notebooks, all the important stuff) without being too cumbersome. A bag must be big enough to hold books. Because even though I have (begrudgingly...) retired the Dukes of Hazard lunchbox ... I still love to carry books with me. Rory Gilmore would be proud of me for that. (Also, I've replaced the Cheetos with a Luna Bar. And my mama would be proud of me for that.)

2.) The bag has actual structure. I like the look of hobo bags but I hate fishing around for keys and lip gloss and my phone in that pit of "catch-all" that accumulates in slouchy bags.

3.) It looks like a grown-up bag but it is also a smidge funky.

And 4.) I absolutely dig the pop of color. The Bag is a very pretty, not-too-loud teal. More like a tiffany-blue.

I decided to model it for you:
Which, as you can see, involved some Cirque de Soleil contortions of epic proportions. I know the picture isn't top quality, but the general theme is this: The Bag is adorbs! I'm giddy over it. I'll show you the other one (which is a crazy-stylish tan color) some other time. Try to contain your excitement. *sarcasm*

* You should know that, sometimes, it is necessary to turn up "When U Love Somebody" by The Fruit Bats
and dance around in your apartment/dorm/cubicle/cave/certified living space. Especially if you are having a stressy day. Especially if you have a thousand other things to do. Especially if you can convince your roommates/besties/bf/gf/semi-significant other/child or dog to dance with you. My iTunes says I've listened to this song approximately one billion times over the last year (slight exaggeration) (but only slight). I still love it. As soon as I hear the first note, I smile.

* You should know about a book that will rock your spinny little world all to pieces. My hilarious and outlandishly talented friend Jenny B. Jones celebrated the release of her new novel, Save the Date this week. Publisher's Weekly called JBJ "sassy." Oh, YES they did! Actually, this was their exact quote:"Jones's sassy style is merely one of this romance novelist's many endearing talents."

I love that. :) This book is getting seriously great reviews and lighting up the bloggyworld and I am thrilled. I'm doing jumpy claps for all of the good. I'll be posting my review soon. To celebrate the release of Jen's book, I'll be giving away a signed copy of Save the Date here on the blog during the week of Valentine's Day. But I realize you probably can't wait that long. I wouldn't be able to wait that long either. Save the Date is on shelves as of today. Also, you can click here to find it on Amazon. And you already know Jen runs the coolest blog ever.
* You should let me know if I'm missing out on American Idol. I'm not watching American Idol this season. But I hear the show is going way, way better than people thought it would go. I saw this clip of Chris Medina over the weekend and it made me very teary. What an amazing couple. Also loved this clip. Apparently, this girl is from Rossville, Georgia ... which is only a hop-skip-and a jump from me! While I would totally be willing to cheer for her based on proximity, I sincerely think she has a gift. Plus I love to see close families sticking together, cheering each other through tough seasons. Lauren Alaina, you are a rock star. And your hair is gorgeous. You are my pick to win.

Are you guys still watching Idol this year? Should I give it a chance?

* You should know about Gatlinburg. I get emails sometimes from you sweet, sweet people asking if I ever do speaking engagements. The very honest truth is that I'm highly likely to go deer-in-the-headlights when I speak. Speaking is not my strength. Every now and then, something comes up and I try to get over myself long enough to remember what matters. Once I get over myself, it really is an awesome thing to be able to tell a a group of people (usually girls) that they are loved and accepted and awesome and that they have a big story to live out. I like to remind you, frequently, that you are very, very intentional, written into this point in history for a big reason. A good reason.

Perhaps you already know that, and don't need the reminder. But I don't think reminders like that are ever wasted. I truly dig that part of "speaking." I just don't like the "Speaker" with a capitol "S" part. I'm not a dynamic "speaker." I am, in fact, a very low-key introvert. And sometimes I'm the only person who laughs at my jokes. Also, I have a thick accent that does not come with subtitles. I think many writers are natural communicators in all areas. I am not like that. (And this is not me being modest ... I'm aware, and very okay with the fact, that speaking is not a particular strength.)

And now that I've convinced you that you probably don't ever want to hear me chat ...

I'll be leading a few sessions at an event called Connection that takes place this April in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Connection is designed for girls in 7th - 12th grade. At Connection, everybody comes together for the keynote address (which is lead by a sassy lady named Amanda who is quite fab). And then you get to pick from a whole bunch of awesome sessions to attend through the weekend. I'll be leading one of those sessions (actually I'm leading three ... but they're all the same session. Savvy?). I haven't finalized my topic yet but I'm thinking my session will center (somewhat) around one of the themes in Paperdoll. Doing a "session" doesn't feel the same as "speaking." This feels way more low-key so I'm quite excited about this. Reminds me of ye olde days when I worked in student ministry, which I do sometimes miss. (Until I remember that creepy mannequin my brother and his friends used to hide at various locations throughout the church so that I would see it, and scream.)

I know the odds of any of you being at
Connection are probably slim, but I sure hope you'll introduce yourself if you happen to be attending! It's always sweet to see a familiar face at things like this. If you're interested in going, or taking a group of girls, you can find more info about Connection over here.

And finally ... you should know that you are incredible. But I'm guessing you already know that. I hope you have a happy snowy-sunny week! And even if this isn't your birthday week, I hereby give you permission to eat a cupcake and make a wish. I hope you make a thousand flickery wishes, in fact.

I hope your week is packed full of twirly candles and falling stars. Wishy things. Let me know what's new with you in the comments.

pea ess - Stephanie and Alex - I am not ignoring you! I'll try to answer your questions (and a few I've been getting via the email abyss) real quick like!


  1. I liked that Fruit Bats song. I had never heard of them!

    I'm not watching Idol either; this is the first time in history I haven't watched. I'm not watching House either. I guess I'm not excited about TV as much as I was before.

    Thanks for the Biscuit pics!

  2. P.S. I brought back Cat General for your viewing pleasure!

  3. Ha- I keep wanting to write longer, more exciting posts like yours instead of my wimpy, singular topic blog posts. :-)

    Happy birthday month! (Cute bag!)

  4. I love that you posted a note about Jenny's new book. I am actually reviewing it right now for Christian Book Previews. It is wonderful! :]

  5. Such a cute bag!!! I hope your birthday is fantastical! :) I cannot wait to read Jenny B. Jones book. I love her other ones. Can't wait for more posts!

  6. I love the idea of more posts (though I do adore reading your long ones :). Biscuit has got that impression down!

    I also carry a book with me always. I just hate that paperbacks get so bent and scratched up in my bag. I'm actually considering making a little cover for books to carry in my bag. :) Like those Kindle covers on Etsy. Except this one will hold *real* books. :)

    I loved "Save the Date"! And I completely understand the speaking thing. I'm taking public speaking class this semester (ugh-have to in order to graduate), and while it's actually a lot more fun than I expected, it still makes me crazy nervous. I love to listen to my classmates talk. I just don't want to have to. :) Anyway, tomorrow is my first real speech. I hope I don't pass out. But if I do, we can kill two birds with one stone because another girl is supposed to be demonstrating how to give CPR.


  7. I love Lauren Alaina! She's my pick to win. And this season of American Idol is surprisingly good. I like the judges a lot better this year.

  8. Biscuit's impersonation of the MOM just makes her that much cooler. I wasn't going to watch idol either but I got pulled back in. I love Simon, but it's actually pretty good without him. To be honest I hate it all passed Hollywood week and will probably stop watching then. That bag is so cute!!! I love bags.

  9. 1) I've been meaning to read Alive I Have Been! I wasn't sure it was the same book until I looked at the original cover, which is the cover I prefer.
    2) Happy birthday! And I LOVE your birthday bag! I'm drooling with purse envy.
    3) The Fruit Bats are fun! I hadn't listened to them before. A band I discovered today that you might enjoy is The Shakespeares. Their first CD comes out next month.
    4) I didn't realize Jenny had a new book coming out! I thoroughly enjoyed her last one and will have to find a copy of Save the Date soon!
    5) I'm sure you're going to be a great speaker! Are non-high school students allowed to come stalk you? :) If you let us know what times you're speaking, maybe Trish and I will drive on over to say hi.

  10. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MONTH!! I hope it's as fun as pink sprinkles and as sweet as peach tea on a summer day. :)

    1. that book cover is truly stunning!

    2. I love your precious puppy's faces! so sweet.

    3. that purse is so CUTE! and that color is gorgeous

    4. I've been seeing that book everywhere on the internet world and have been wondering to read or not to read. I guess I'll not have to read :)

    5. So you're missing our on American Idol, are you also missing out on Top Chef?? You haven't posted anything about it yet. I think it's my fave season so far! Love seeing all the old faces, but sad that my favorites are already gone.

    6. I'd come to your sessions if I could!

    Happy Wednesday! Oh and don't make your posts too short, k? :)

  11. oops, on number 4 i meant I'll HAVE to read...

  12. I'm not going to be at Connection, but I LOVE Gatlinburg—it is such a weird-slash-awesome place! My family has been going to the Pancake Pantry since my dad was my age, so its a part of our family history :) Good luck on your sessions!

  13. Chances aren't so slim--I am trying to find a way to be in attendance at Connection :) Being a Chattanoogian, I am just trying to convince my mother now. Lol.

  14. I'm reading this from the hospital bed - a vast difference from the cubicle I normally read from :) I was wondering if you could send me some info on the conference you're speaking at. Our new Middle School Director was talking to me about attending some conferences for young girls and this sounded like a good one. If you could send info to my email address (bethanybrooke82@gmail.com) I'll pass it along!

  15. Alice I Have Been has intrigued me for quite a while and I finally just finished reading it. It was a quick read--I finished it in less than 3 days. It was a very disquieting story and it drives me absolutely crazy that no one will ever truly know what actually happened. My opinion on the covers is this: While I like the paperback cover way more than the original hardback cover, I think the hardback cover actually fits the story better. The paperback cover gives the impression that it's lighthearted and whimsical, and while it does have those characteristics at times, I would not describe the overall story that way. I am making my sister read it just so I can have someone to talk about it with!