Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Note...

I don’t know how I’ve managed to not mention this yet, because it’s actually a really exciting opportunity, but I’m now being sent books to review! ....or at least I will be in the near future. 

An agency found my blog (via another blog, I think), and contacted me about adding my information to a database of reviewers to receive press releases about new books. If I’m interested in reviewing it, I reply and they send me a copy of the book. How cool is that?

In any case, I haven’t received/reviewed any yet, but I’ve requested a few, and I guess we’ll see what happens there. I don’t know if this will end up opening any doors or anything like that, but it’s cool to think that someone, somewhere, read my blog and thought ‘we should get her to read our books’.

Also, free books. You know me. Books are my favorite things and free is my favorite number. It is an excellent combination if I do say so myself. And I do. So there you go. 

Reviews from the books I finished pre- and during the beginning of school insanity are coming. Eventually. I promise. Also on the back-burner: a riveting piece on acceptable clothing choices (because I am oh-so-qualified to comment on fashion...). I know, you await my next post with bated breath. You are on tenterhooks. Every time you try to pull away I drag you back with promises of reviews and rants about horrible clothing. I am cruel. And this is why you love me. 

...You do love me, don't you?

Anyway, back to Don Quixote (for a class. I've already read it on my own, so there may or may not be a review. We'll see). Every time I pick up this book, Man of LaMancha starts playing in my head. It's really quite distracting. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Today in the life

Today was a good day, and while nothing of great consequence happened, I thought I’d share.

Class in the morning, drove hall-mate to hospital to get blood work done, had lunch, etc.

After whiling away a good half an hour doing who-knows-what, I had my individual conference with my Chinese professor in which we basically sit in a room for 10 minutes and he sees that I still can’t speak Chinese. He said that he thinks my listening and speaking skills have improved, and since I’ve been feeling like a complete dunce when it comes to my beloved Zhongwen, that was a nice little boost to make me feel like maybe I’m not sucking quite as much as I’d originally thought.

I spent a little bit of time in Carpenter working on my editing project that I really need to finish in the near future (why don’t people give me deadlines? I can’t work open-ended like this….) and then headed to the Alumnae Association’s Careers in Writing in an Era of Media Turbulence panel discussion. I haven’t attended many of these panels in the past, but I really wanted to go to this one – so badly, in fact, that I got someone to cover my 4-6 shift at the library so that I could attend (and if you know how broke I currently am, then you know how significant giving up a shift is). The talk was really interesting and all of the panelists had a lot of great information. I also hounded them afterwards and asked a ridiculous number of questions and shamelessly gave out my information, but that, I have learned, is what I should be doing. The talk also opened my eyes to the fact that there are a lot more resources within the BMC community than I originally realized, so now there are a few professors who, given enough time, will groan at the sound of my name or the sight of yet another email from me asking when I can stop by their office for a little chat…

It really was great though. Even if it doesn’t lead anywhere ‘networking’-wise, I still learned a bit more about the publishing industry and what I really need to do if I want to be a part of it.

I realized that this blog is a huge thing for me. I started off scared out of my mind. Everything about a blog was foreign and bizarre and so Not. My. Thing. And then something just took over and blogging was great. Everything around me could suddenly be turned into a blog post – into a chance to write about what I see and experience, but not in a pretentious look-at-me-and-my-interesting (not)- life kind of way.

One thing that everyone on the panel said was that you just need to keep writing. No matter what. I scold myself for not writing in my journal more, but when I stop and think, I realize I’ve been writing all summer. Sure, I’m not writing as much fiction and poetry as I’d maybe like to, but I have not abandoned words. I still try to keep them flowing through me in some way, shape, or form.

Now I know I just have to take a few more steps. I need to put myself out there more. I need to get more involved. As a senior taking 5 classes, working, and trying to stay healthy, all while maintaining some semblance of a social life, that’s easier said than done, but I think I can make it work.

Sooo… I got a bit off-topic. The talk was awesome. I think I pretty much covered that. After the aforementioned talk I met up with the roomie (we lived together sophomore year, she graduated last year and is now living and working in Philly, but she’ll always be my roomie [and Puddles] to me) and we met another friend for dinner at a nearby restaurant that is able to accommodate my friend-with-many-allergies. After dinner, roomie and I headed back to campus and ended up hanging with 2 of my hall-mates (the other in our group is gone for the weekend).  We ended up kind of just chilling in my room/the hallway outside my room with one other person from the hall, drinking red wine and making fun of the ridiculous stuff that we all say. It was a good time.

After dropping roomie off at the train station, one of my hall-mates and I just sort of hung out outside and talked for a bit. It was sort of a serious discussion and sort of a share-time, but we had our lighthearted moments and it was a nice bit of bonding.

So yes, many good things happened today:

  • I don’t suck quite as much at Chinese as I thought I did
  • I got to learn more about an industry devoted to my first and never-ending love (coughBOOKScough)
  • I got to see roomie!
  • I got to hang out with some really amazing people while either eating good food, or drinking decent wine
  • I got to get to know one of my hall-mates a little better

I still have lots to do and think about (and write about – the reviews are coming, I swear!), and since I didn’t really get much reading done today it means that I actually have to be productive this weekend, but I feel good. Mildly overwhelmed, but good. I know that there are some steps I need to take, there are some things I need to write, and there are some changes I need to make. There are also lists I need to make, but the lists reflect the above-mentioned ‘musts’, so everything is all intertwined.

I feel good right now. Let’s see how I feel tomorrow when I have to get up to do Saturday paging…