As I promised, a new challenge. Do it with me I dare you.
This is the thing: Once a week (it is now Wednesday so it shall be on Wednesday..) I will randomly pick a prompt from my “642 things to write about book” and write a short story. No rules. It’s easy.
Prompt 1:“The Art of Love”
Musical inspiration was completely coincidentally given by Easy to Love by Sons of William
Love is seen as many things, I’m sure, but I don’t think many see love as an art. Yet this is what I think it is. I mean, think about it: what is art? Sure, 10 people will give you 10 different answers but when you get down to it art is a piece of someone’s soul put on display. It takes time and energy and it will never be perfect no matter how hard try, but it is completely and one hundred percent you. There’s no faking in art, no hiding. This is where love and art overlap. When love is true, and I don’t mean true as in love-at-first-sight-let’s-elope-tomorrow-I’ll-never-love-anyone-else-ever-again true, I mean a love that grows up with you, that accepts and alters not when it alteration finds, as good old Bill once said. I mean love that withstands the challenges of life. The art of love is being together for 25 years and loving each other even when you hate each other.
She’s screaming at me right now. My wife, that is, my Amanda. I think I said something wrong during the washing up, I don’t even remember, but there she is, in the middle of our living room, red-faced and flinging her arms around in anger and suddenly I’m struck with this idea of the art of love. Even now, when I would love to just stick her in the hall closet so the yelling stops, I love everything about her. Falling in love is easy, staying in love and truly loving someone through all the shit that life brings you, that’s art.
Every day you give part of yourself to this person, and they give you a part of themselves right back. It requires ultimate trust. If she ever were to leave me, I would crumble because without the pieces of herself that she gave me, there would not be enough left to keep me standing. But that will never happen, I am sure of that, because this thing we have, our life, that is our artwork.. and it is everything.
Hello my lovely internet friends. Hope you’re all doing well. I must apologize for my absence of late, I still really need to get back into regular blogging and writing book reviews now that I don’t work 45 hours a week anymore. I mean to do blogs and then it’s a week later and I’m like “… shit”. Which brings me to today’s topic. About three hundred years ago (more like a month) Leah tagged me in her “10 most influential books tag“, and because she’s awesome and the tag is awesome I am going to do it. I could probably make a 100 book list but hey. Let’s get started shall we?
1. Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone
I started reading relatively late. When I was younger I always refused to read, much to my parent’s frustration, until I was about 10 years old when on one random night I felt like reading about a boy living in a closet and took HP off it’s shelve for the first time. I was smitten and I think I read the first four books in about as many months. It was how I fell in love with books. The start of everything. After this I would become the girl who was reading in class and forgot the whole world around her. FYI, I was in a Montessori school which means that you can decide what you do when, so I could read whenever I wanted to. I remember my classmate shaking my shoulder, telling me that we were allowed to go home now.
2. Jan Rap en z’n Maat
I am so sad that this beautiful book was never translated into English because now most of you will never be able to understand the importance of this book. I read this book at a relatively young age. I have no idea how I came by it because it’s definitely not a kids book but oh well. It’s a novel based on the experiences that the author had while working in a youth shelter in the Dutch city of The Hague (Den Haag). We see all kinds of different teenagers come in, looking for a place to stay. These kids have problems ranging from severe mental issues to a transvestite who was kicked out of his house, to physical abuse and rape and everything in between. This book has had such a big influence on me because it was reading about these kids that made me want to go into Social Services. That eventually lead me to education and my desire to become a guidance counselor.
3. And Then There Were None
The first time I ‘read’ this book, I didn’t actually read it myself. My mom read it to me as a thing over the summer when I was about 12/13 years old maybe. It was something that we could do together at night before we went to bed. My mom being the teacher that she is was able to make the already amazing book incredibly scary and mysterious and even more exciting than it already is with her theatricality. Basically I was scared to go to bed after reading another chapter. She loved it of course, and so did I. It spiked my love for Agatha Christie, even though I have read way too little by her, and it made me better understand how much books are worth. Reading a book together is one of the most bonding things to people can do together.
4. The Color Purple
I read the Color Purple when I was in College for an assignment where we had to analyse the pedagogical situation in a book of our choosing. I chose this book simply because I knew my mom owned it, not knowing what it was about. I was sucked in pretty much from the first page on, with the weird writing and the horrific situation that we are thrown in right away. I was fascinated by it, I was impressed and proud with Celie as she changes and develops over the years. I wanted to kill Mister. It was amazing.
5. Dresden Files: Storm Front
You know how you read the first book of a series and you fall in love and you read the whole series (10 books long at that point) in basically two weeks? It was like this for me with the Dresden Files. I came across it because of my dad who had bought one of the graphic novels, thinking it was an actual book, so he gave it to me. It was funny, brilliant, exciting.. it was perfect. So when my dad did get the books in the mail I about snatched them from his hands and read them in lightning speed. It pains me that the books aren’t more popular.. Argh I just love it so much and I want to be able to talk about it!! May 27th the fifteenth book will be released. It’s called Skin Game.. whatever that means. But that means you now have little over 2 weeks to read 14 books. You can do it. Go on.
When I was in my early teens, my parents wanted to watch Stephen King’s Carrie with me. This is an 18+ movie so one could ask what my parents were thinking.. but anyway I ran out about half way and refused to watch it for years. Years. Even the dvd case scared me. My parent’s thought it was hilarious and teased me relentlessly with it. At some point I did a book review on a book by my favourite writer at the time named Carry Slee. My dad helped me type and thought it was extremely funny to keep type Carrie White instead of Carry Slee. Eugh. Anyway, one day I thought ‘fuck this shit’ and bought and read the book, which was much better of course. This was the first SK book that I have read, and it has now developed in a slight obsession. I don’t always feel like reading him as sometimes the book can be very long (IT, I’m looking at you here) but I love him.
As someone who both wants to work in education and with troubled teens, this book struck a chord with me. I admire Jodi Picoult so much for having the balls to write this and humanize the shooter in this situation. I believe I have mentioned this book several times over the last year and a half and I think I’ll keep doing this until everyone in the world has read this book. I have always said that I love Jodi Picoult because she isn’t afraid to write about different and controversial subjects, this is especially true with this book.
8. The Help
Ever since high school I have been fascinated with the civil rights movement in the US in the ’60s. I don’t know why but it was one of the few subjects in my history class that I studies with actual interest. I did my graduating project on it. This is why I picked up The Help in the first place (that and I heard that it was a great book) but I kept reading because of how much I loved it. After reading something like this I always thank the Gods that I live in a time and country where everyone is accepted as they are. I count my blessings.
9. Looking for Alaska
This is the second John Green book that I read, TFIOS was the first, but it was this book that had the most impact on me. I kind of hated Alaska, which surprised me, but I felt sorry for her. I could see what was going to happen from a mile away. What I love about this book is that we don’t get a definite answer and that the reader is allowed to decided for itself what happened that night. I wrote about what I thought had happened in my review because my theory was itching to be voiced. My review for Alaska has been my most read review to date.
10. Love Story
Love means never having to say you’re sorry. I cried. I hate that book. Hate.
Wait, what’s this? Why yes I am still alive. I have not disappeared from the face of the earth like it may seem. What did happen however is that my laptop had decided it needs a vacation and promptly handed in its resignation (read: it broke). I am going to negotiate with it tomorrow and hopefully I will get it back in working order without coming out of pocket too much. We shall see.
What have I been doing in the meantime? Well I went to see the Phantom of the Opera at the Cadillac palace theatre in chicago. It was absolutely amazing and I loved it and want to go again. I went to the aquarium with friends last sunday. I watched the oscars with friends, I went out a lot.. Basically I have acquired a social life. Yay me!
I do owe you all some reviews but it’s harder for me to write them on my phone or iPad. I will try though. Next up is the Every Day by David levithan review. I’m almost done with that. After that we shall see.
I am reading and updating my ‘read in 2014’ list regularly so if you’re interested, please have a gander at that. I have come to learn that it isn’t wise to check out too many library books at once. I learn fast.
Anywho, I shall rise from the ashes once more! Don’t give up on me yet!
You can find it under the check it out section on the right. Isn’t it pretty?? The text could be a bit bigger, I might correct that later on. But for now, if you want, you can put it on your blog. It would be awesome and amazing if you did!
For those who are interested, I made the button with PicMonkey. It’s really great for editing and making pictures extra pretty. Go check that out!