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Books Read in 2012

Jen’s 2012 book montage

The Ruins
Die Trying
The Black Dahlia
Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within



Jen’s favorite books »

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Books Read in 2011

  1. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  2. The Piano Lesson by August Wilson
  3. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
  4. Anne Hutchinson: Puritan Prophet by Timothy D. Hall
  5. The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave by Frederick Douglass
  6. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  7. The Curse of Caste; or The Slave Bride: A Rediscovered African American Novel by Julia C. Collins
  8. Excavation by James Rollins
  9. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  10. Quicksand by Nella Larsen
  11. The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead
  12. The Whiskey Rebels by David Liss
  13. Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner
  14. Skin Tight by Carl Hiaasen
  15. True Evil by Greg Isles
  16. The Burning Wire by Jeffery Deaver
  17. Zodiac by Robert Graysmith
  18. Michigan by Bruce Rubenstein
  19. Bath Massacre by Arnie Bernstein
  20. Bite Me by Christopher Moore
  21. Emergency Stopping and Other Stories by Jeff Vande Zande
  22. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
  23. Folk Song by Li Xiao
  24. 29 and Counting : A Chick’s Guide to Turning 30 by Julie Tilsner
  25. Yeah, I Said It by Wanda Sykes
  26. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  27. Vulcan’s Forge by Jack Du Brul
  28. Under the Skin by Michel Faber
  29. One of Our Thursdays is Missing by Jasper Fforde
  30. The Wild Things by Dave Eggers
  31. Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk
  32. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  33. The Xibalba Murders by Lyn Hamilton
  34. Galveston by Paul Quarrington
  35. Write That Book Already! The Tough Love You Need to Get Published Now by Kathi Kamen Goldmark and Sam Barry
  36. The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim by Jonathan Coe
  37. The Killing Floor by Lee Child
  38. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

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Post-School To Do List

These are things that I’ve thought of recently and things that have been sitting around waiting for me to have more time. In no particular order:

  • finish novel (in progress)
  • make dog treats (done)
  • paint canvases for the stairwell (done)
  • can salsa
  • clean/organize bedroom
  • submit short stories to literary magazines
  • finish quilt for Kayla
  • read a book for fun (done)
  • Ashley’s challenge quilt
  • vacuum lint trap in dryer (done)
  • start scrapbooking again
  • do whatever the hell I want, whenever the hell I want

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99 Things – Part 5

Here are the things I think I could still complete before I’m 30.

1. Draw and frame a self-portrait.
2. Travel solo.

4. Write a complaint letter.
8. Live through a blind date.
11. Have a mantra.
15. Make the first move.
23. Stock an emergency disaster kit.
24. Minimize pointless drama.

31. Write a body manifesto.
32. Watch the sun rise and set on the same day, by yourself. I could do this in Miami…
33. Make more money than you spend.
43. Fall in love (or lust) without blowing off your friends.
53. Be notorious for something.

Here are the things that either I don’t care about or are not going to happen before I’m 30.

10. Memorize your ring size.
13. Buy a kick-ass mattress.
14. Read: Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom by Christiane Northrup, M.D.

17. Find the perfect red lipstick. Why?
21. Perfect your A.M. stretch. I don’t have time for that. I promise I’ll do this just as soon as I’m done with school.
34. Be a nudist for a day. Um, no.  While I have no trouble walking around the house sans clothes, I do have issues with sitting on furniture… ewww
35. Adopt an awkward teenager.
37. Kick one habit.
38. Own a cashmere sweater.
Why?
41. Jettison your “skinny” jeans. So not going to happen.  Once I’m done with school, I will have time to exercise and fit back into those suckers.
42. Collect correspondence with friends. This book was published in 1998–pre Facebook.  If it was revised now, I bet this one would not be on the list.
44. Dub the “Greatest Hits” from your childhood.
48. Adopt another motherland.
50. Have your fortune told.
51. Cry often.
So not going to happen.
52. Give props to a teacher.

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99 Things – Part 4

I just updated this list. It now only contains completed items. The new to-do list is now in Part 5.

Here is my to-do list of items to accomplish before I’m 30 (from Colleen Rush’s book). If anyone has suggestions and ideas on how I can complete these tasks, please leave a comment.

3. Google yourself. I’m sure I’ve done this at some point.  I don’t think I found me though.
5. Make brownies from scratch. I’ve never made brownies from scratch, but I’ve made MANY other baked goods from scratch, so I’m going to count this one as done.
6. Dye your hair an outrageous color. I dyed my hair purple… It’s more tinted purple… It did a better job of dying my skin than my hair.

7. Accept compliments.
9. Invest in seriously frivolous undies.
done
12. Claim your granny panties.
I don’t own granny panties.
16. Quit something.
18. Track down your best friend from kindergarten. I’ve tried finding Sarah Simms (and you’d think with Facebook that would be easy), but I can’t find her.
19. Exorcise the words “like” and “you know” from your vocabulary.
20. Write thank-you notes for everything.
I write them when the situation calls for it.
22. Declare your birthday a national holiday. It already is.
25. Unplug your TV for awhile.
I don’t have cable right now.  Does that count?
26. Own your mistakes.
27. Talk to strangers.

28. Hook up something high tech by yourself.
I do that every time I move.
29. Be a gracious guest. Always!
30. Escape creeps and kick criminal ass. (Take a self-defense class.)
I took a self-defense class at Fred’s studio earlier this year.
36. Eat soy. On a regular basis?  Probably not.  But I have eaten it before.
39. Use a great dermo. I don’t need a dermatologist.
40. Sleep in a hammock. I tried, I can’t.
45. Care about where your food comes from. I’m going to plant a garden next spring using the dirt in my compost heap.  I think that counts.
46. Carry something to read, a notebook, and a pen at all times.
54. Bounce back.

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Books Read in 2010 (4th Quarter)

42. Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler
43. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
44. Crusader Nation by David Traxel
45. Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
46. Julie and Julia by Julie Powell
47. Fool by Christopher Moore
48. Lucky You by Carl Hiaasen
49. Pop Goes the Weasel by James Patterson
50. Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Ben H Winters
51. Black by Ted Dekker

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99 Things – Part 3

Here is the final list of the accomplished items.

Dress for longevity. This is in reference to outfits that look great the first two hours you’re out at the bar or wherever and then kinda falls apart or the shape-wear becomes too uncomfortable.  Since I rarely wear shape-wear, I think I’ve got this one down.
Defy gravity. I have good bras, so this one is done.
Get over yourself. I do know that the world does not revolve around me.
Own a toolbox with all of the basics. Not only do I own a toolbox with all the basics, but it’s a kick-ass toolbox and it has more than just the basics.
Get a massage. Been getting them for years.  I highly recommend them to EVERYONE.
Memorize your favorite smells.  Surround yourself with them. All the plug-ins have cinnamon in them right now.  Before that, they had lavender-vanilla.  And I buy my hand-soap and lotion from Bath & Body Works in lovely scents like honeysuckle.  Plus I bought a lilac bush and planted it in the yard (my fave flower) and next spring I’m going to see about planting honeysuckle.
Fly first class. I did this on my way home from Mexico City.
Cultivate your own style. I don’t even know what is “in” right now.  I guess the scarves around the necks?  I’ve pretty much always had my own style.
Be a dork.
Tell someone your deepest darkest secret. I did.  I wrote it on a postcard and mailed it to PostSecret.com.
Make a killer cocktail.
Read your old diaries.
Give yourself flowers. Just bought some the other day at the grocery store.
Stop looking for a soul mate. Right now, I wish I could just find an available guy that I’m attracted to.

I also found this list online.  Reading through it, it is clear that a guy wrote the list, with items such as Have a really stupid accident which necessitates a hospital visit, shoot something, kidnap someone, say something obscene on national television, and post bail for a friend.

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99 Things – Part 2

Some of these things just don’t apply to me (or I’m not willing to discuss them on a blog for the world to see).  For example: “Stop chronic over-apologizing” or “Learn how not to be a flake.”  I don’t know that I’ve ever been the type of person to over-apologize and I’m not a flake.  The point is, by the time I’m done with my little series, it won’t add up to 99 and that’s just because evidently I’m close to average, but not your average woman.  I’m okay with that.  Here are a few more items I’ve accomplished.  (Once I post all the accomplished stuff, I’ll post the to-do list.)

Know the other mouth-to-mouth. I took a CPR class when I worked at the swim place in Texas.
Be your own muse. I took a creative non-fiction class in which I wrote about my own experiences and adventures.
Master a signature family recipe. I made Granny’s rolls for the first time by myself this year and they turned out awesome!
Negotiate for something expensive. I bought Alcatraz (my Escape) all by myself.
Hold your booze. I rarely get out of control when drinking.
Find your religion. I also did this in Mexico City.
Take your hobby more seriously than your job. I take almost everything more seriously than my job.
Get health insurance. I just signed up last month.  For dental too!
Invest in earplugs. After a sleepless night in a motel room, I bought a whole pack.  I take them EVERY time I travel.
Know your blood type. A+  I’ve known since middle school.
Confront someone who’s done you wrong. This goes with the “dump toxic friends one.”  Same person, same incident.
Walk in heels. Seriously?  Who hasn’t?
Disagree.  Out loud. I have no trouble with this one.
Research your family’s medical history. I know all about the diabetes and pancreatic cancer.
Open a bottle of champagne. I believe I did that last New Year’s Eve.

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99 Things – Part 1

I ordered Swim Naked, Defy Gravity & 99 Other Essential Things to Accomplish Before Turning 30 by Colleen Rush.  I was going to check it out from the library, but they only had one copy and it was missing.

I’ve started flipping through it and I’m pleased to see that I’ve already accomplished many of these items:

Swim naked. I did that back in my high school days.  It was Wixom lake, I believe and it was a Sunday morning–broad daylight.
Break all your parents’ arbitrary rules. I think I’ve done that, more or less.
Grow something. Not only do I have a few plants, but I also have the two dogs and a fish.
Dump toxic friends. Done.
Speak a foreign language. I did this, though not very well, when I went on that mission trip to Mexico City.
Create your own sisterhood. I love my group of female friends, which includes my actual sister.
Develop a Plan B. This one is in progress.
Know your friends’ family tree. I know most of Sarah’s extended family, and Dennis, Scott, and Kevin’s immediate family, Sarah’s brothers, etc.
Embrace your inner eight-year-old. I’m friends with Dennis and Marc, so yeah, I’m familiar with child-like behavior.  “:)
Build a raging campfire. I believe I’ve done this several times.

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    Ready for NaNoWriMo

    NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow and I’m feeling pretty confident.  I’m prepared with a general outline and character sketches.  Today, my plan is to bust through some homework (and possibly get ahead) so that I can focus on my novel.  We’ll see how it goes. Don’t forget that you can watch my progress at: Texas Jen

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