Poetry: Tragedy

When I was little

My mom listened to NPR in the morning

And I could listen to horrible things

Car bombs and war

And I was fine.

I could hear them

But I couldn’t comprehend them.


And I hated the people

Who turned off the radio

When they reported the dead

Or who watched America’s Next Whatever

When the news had something to say—

How can you hide from tragedy?

How can you disrespect the dead

Like that

To not hear their stories?


But as I grow up

I’m beginning to understand

The pain

Of reading down past

The newspaper headlines

The devil is in the details

And the pictures.

Tragedy is just that—


How do you deal with that?

It is so hard

To open my ears

To the cries of a world

Mourning countless deaths, wrongs, unhealable wounds

Because it means

Opening my heart as well.

That’s gonna scar.


I understand

The mute radios

And the distracted TVs



But I can’t let myself

Hide from the stories

I have to hear them

These stories need to be shared

These dead need to be mourned

By those one mile away and those on another continent

By those writing eulogies and those listening to them

We need to come together

So that there isn’t a Next Time

To remind us again

What we should have done Last Time

(This Time)


I’m older now

And I’m beginning to understand.

These stories can make me cry, now

But they connect me to the rest of humanity

Pulsing with the same grief, rage, confusion

I cry with a chorus of millions,

And from that chorus blossoms the strength.

If this wound must scar

Let it at least be one that reminds us to love

Instead of one that drives us to hate.


I would cry harder

If I were a person

Who couldn’t understand at all.

This poem has been building inside of me for a while now, ever since the initial Ferguson shooting and riots, but the recent Charlie Hebdo attack got me to put it down onto paper. I honestly believe that these tragedies need to be talked about, that society should put a premium on acknowledging them instead of hiding from them. I don’t think we should dwell on tragedy, but we all feel these horrific losses, and if we as a world could come together in mourning and stay together afterward–that might be a step toward peace and tolerance.

I know it’s not that simple, but I wish it was. 

2015 Reading Challenges

I’m deciding to take on a lot of reading challenges this year. I love the idea of reading challenges. I started blogging mid-spring last year, so I didn’t have a chance to take part in any. I’ve signed up for a lot, but I’ve kept my goals for each rather low, so I don’t think they will stress me out too much (I hope).

I want the challenges to widen my reading horizons and to connect me to a wider blogging community. I know I’m a bit late getting around to signing up for these, but last week I was busy with holiday/birthday/vacation craziness. I’m just easing back into productivity, both with this blog and school, so give me a break.

I’m lumping them all together into one post to save time and to avoid boring you all to death with repetitive posts.

what's in a name challenge

What’s In A Name Reading Challenge

This challenge is hosted by The Worm Hole. I absolutely love the unique premise and couldn’t resist. The official post about it and the sign up post are here. Here are the basics:

The challenge runs from January to December. During this time you choose a book to read from each of the following categories:

  • A word including ‘ing’ in it
  • A colour
  • A familial relation
  • A body of water
  • A city 
  • An animal

Basically, I’m reading six books for this challenge.

banned book challenge

Banned Books Challenge

This challenge is hosted by Buckling Bookshelves. Official rules and sign ups are here.

The premise is to read banned or challenged books (from any source). I’m going for the Trouble Maker level (3-5 banned/challenged books). I’m probably going to take a lot of my books from this list.

A lot of banned books are “classics.” A personal goal of mine this year is to read more classic books (since I basically only read them for school, and even then, grudgingly) and this sounds like a good start. Also, I love the idea of reading banned books.

Nonfiction reading challenge 2015

Nonfiction Reading Challenge

This challenge is hosted by The Introverted Reader. The rules and sign up can be found here.

The challenge is simple: to read nonfiction books. I’m going for the Dilettante level (1-5 books). It’s not a ton of books, but it’s enough to keep me motivated to find interesting and informative books to read.

fairytalle retelling challenge

Fairytale Retelling Challenge

This challenge is hosted by The Daily Prophecy. You can find all the information here.

The basic idea is to read fairytale retellings. You can define fairytale retellings however you like. I’m a big Alice in Wonderland fan, so I’m counting it as a fairytale. I’m going for the Magic Mirror level (5-9 books).

Some of the books I’m thinking of reading are:

  • Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay
  • Winterspell by Claire LeGrand
  • The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer (I started this series but stopped after the first book, I might go back to it)
  • Alice in Zombieland (and the rest of the series) by Gena Showalter (again, I read the first book but not the rest of the series)
  • Splintered by A.G. Howard

Re-Read Challenge

The Re-Read Challenge

This challenge is hosted by Belle of the Literati and So Obsessed With. You can see complete rules here.

The basic idea of the challenge is to set a goal for the number of books you will reread in 2015, make a post about it, and link to the hosts’ blogs. There will be a monthly link-up post to recap what you reread the month before.

My goal is to reread 12 books.

Some books I might reread are:

  • The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Enders Game by Orson Scott Card
  • Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
  • The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner
  • The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness
  • Graceling, Fire, and Bitterblue by Kristen Cashore

Book Haul #4: Christmas and Birthday Presents

Hey guys! My birthday was two days ago and Christmas was right before that and I got a ton of books. Usually for book haul posts I write about each book individually, but there are too many in this one (all of the books I got, plus the books my sister received). Also, since I didn’t buy any of the books, I can’t exactly explain why I bought them (as I usually do). I’ve decided to group the books together based on how excited I am about them and/or why. I’ll write little blurbs for some of the books.

Please comment if you recognize any of the books and feel like they are in the wrong category! I will be out of town (with no internet) for the weekend, but I’ll look at and respond to comments when I get back!

I’ll Read It Eventually…

Tsarina by J Nelle Patrick

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Sounds Interesting Enough

The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

Hexed by Michelle Krys

Excited Because the Premise Sounds Unique

A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff

A Girl Called Fearless by Catherine Linka

The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry

The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

Ink by Amanda Sun

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Firebug by Lish McBride

I’m really excited for this book. The premise sounds unique and just really works for me.

Salt and Storm by Kendall Kulper

When the Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen

Excited Because I Love the Cover

Splintered by A. G. Howard

Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander

Puddle Jumping by Amber L. Johnson

 Excited Because I’ve Read Something Else by the Author and It Was Great

Gone Girl and Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

I loved Sharp Objects, even if it made my skin crawl, and I’m excited to read more by Gillian Flynn.

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana PeterFreund

When I read Across a Star-Swept Sea, I didn’t realize it was a companion novel. I’m excited to read the book that came before such a great story.

Elantris and The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson

I loved the Mistborn series so much that I simply can’t resist more books that take place in the same universe (The Alloy of Law) or more of his writing.

What books did you guys get this holiday season?


One Lovely Blog Award!

A giant thank you to Justina Luther at Welcome to my Imagination for nominating me for the One Lovely Blog Award! It is such a great way to start the new year. These awards mean a lot to me and I’m so happy to have been thought of. 🙂

The rules for the award are as follows:

1.  Thank the person who nominated you for the award

2.  Display the banner/sticker/logo on your blog

3.  Share 7 facts or things about yourself

4.  Nominate 5 bloggers that you admire and inform nominees by commenting on their blog

one lovely blog award

Seven facts about myself:

  1. I don’t like science. Most of my family loves it but a combination of bad teachers and uninteresting information has left me annoyed at the subject in general.
  2. My hair was blonde and then it slowly (and naturally) turned red when I was in my early teens.
  3. I can’t handle spicy food. Black pepper is basically too spicy for me to eat. (I’m a wimp, I know.)
  4. I started reading YA books in 4th grade. It was really funny when I reread them when I got older and realized how many inappropriate scenes I had missed the first time around.
  5. I wrote two novels in elementary and middle school, with multiple drafts of the first book and plans for two more in the series. I dropped the concept because it stopped appealing to me as I got older, but I’ll probably come back to the concept some day.
  6. I’m really sarcastic. I don’t think I’ve put much of it into my blog, but in person I’m ridiculously sarcastic.
  7. I’m a total geek and I watch way to much TV. Some of my favorite shows are Doctor Who, Sherlock (BBC version), Once Upon a Time, Psych, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Merlin (can’t believe it got canceled). I’m behind on most of them (those that are still on the air) so please no spoilers!

I nominate:

  1. Holly at Belle of the Library
  2. Todd Medici
  3. Ashley at Words We Heart
  4. Jay at The Wolf of Starbucks
  5. Brin at Brin’s Book Blog

Here’s to a great 2015!

I’m An Idiot

If you follow me by email–

I’m sorry. I’m an idiot. I hit “publish” instead of “save draft.” You have an email for a post that doesn’t actually exist.

Ignore the post about identity. It’s really not finished. You’ll see it in like a week.


Happy New Year!