novels

Belonging

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She was a professional protagonist

Placed into uncomfortable settings

In tree-topped forests and

Sun-dried seas, vacant hills and

Unexplored bedrooms

It seemed almost possible

Fitting into these odd scenes

But as her story continued and

Each chapter she danced to something

New and uninviting

She still searched for a page

To blend into

And maybe by the end of her novel

She could have a less fictitious view

On the literary life she leads

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Remember How Important 100 Is

Remember the times in elementary school when we would celebrate the “100 days of school?”

If your school didn’t do that you were missing out. It was a time when school children and faculty and teachers and parents would come together and celebrate the monumentous number that is 100 and more importantly what the number 100 means. In relation to school, 100 meant that the year was almost over, so like any sensible educational system would do, a party would be held in order to recognize what an exciting number 100 is. I remember having to bring in 100 of some sort of small item, like Cheerios or M&M’s. I would count them out at home (ever so carefully) and my mom would double check my math (which was needed). Then we would go to school and do some super-fun activity with our 100-counts of an item.

To celebrate 100 once again, because this is my 100th post on WordPress, I decided to count out, or write out (I should say) 100 things that I want to do (in no particular order of importance). It’s not a bucket list because I don’t know if a) I will want these things to happen in the future or, b) if they will indeed end up happening.

Feel free to skip around, just know I slaved over this for you, and then number 100:

Madi’s List of 100 Things She May or May Not Do

1. Read all of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s books, short stories, etc.

2. Make fairy houses

3. Learn to not be grossed out by raw meat (touching, smelling, looking at)

4. Hold a piglet (again)

5. Buy a ceiling-high bookshelf and fill it with a lot of my favorite books, keeping them alphabetized and following the dewey decimal system

6. Get my license

7. Eat a whole pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in one sitting, and don’t give a darn in the world about it

8. Own three cats at one time

9. Name pets or potential car literary characters or novelists (Zelda, Hemingway, Theodore, Ophelia, Montresor, etc.)

10. Jump off of a high rock, swing, bridge (landing in water, preferably) and yell YOLO

11. Have a bigger closet

12. Complete a marathon, race, or something, all for a good cause

13. Help a chicken cross the road

14. Keep up a blog

15. Learn to forgive

16. Learn to forget

17. Learn to love

18. Marry a really cool guy who will most likely have a good job (or can at least cook and touch raw meat)

19. Cut down on saying “like” and “um” whenever possible

20. Pretend that books are dominos and knock them down

21. Have a lemonade stand for Alex (cancer)

22. Do some yoga

23. Ride a horse

24. Master Magic the Gathering and make everyone think I’m so cool

25. Beat my boyfriend at Mancala (seriously though, he wins everytime time)

26. Pull an all-nighter

27. See Lady Gaga in concert

28. Volunteer at a food pantry

29. Host a writing workshop for kids or young adults

30. Write a novel

31. Laugh at the fact that I think I can write a novel

32. Get a chocolate facial

33. Spend a whole day with my mom

34. Donate money every month to help homeless pets

35. Pet every cat I see

36. Strive for equality

37. Graduate college

38. Consider going for my masters

39. Think of all the people that wronged me, write a song about it, and get someone who can sing better than I can

40. Become Zumba certified

41. Learn how to cook a Thanksgiving dinner

42. (to go with 41) Cook for a big group of people (and don’t cry)

43. Ponder the idea that no one will read this post

44. Donate gently used clothing to help someone who needs it

45. Pay for someone’s groceries

46. Name a ficus fern (0:50)

47. Look for the bare (bear) necessities

48. Travel to Italy

49. Accept the fact that there are bad people

50. Try a raw tomato again and see if I like it

51. Overcome my phobia of stinkbugs

52. Live in a city

53. Become a reporter

54. Write thank you notes to everyone who has impacted my life

55. Be a foster home for cats that are moving from shelter to shelter, and hopefully get some adopted

56. Read Anna Karenina 

57. Do a juice detox

58. Continue to drink immense amounts of coffee

59. Visit places on BuzzFeed’s list of areas to visit before the world ends, mainly stopping at “The Lost City of the Incas”

60. Pick up trash alongside of a highway

61. Learn to crochet

62. If 61 is completed, donate homemade crocheted scarves to homeless shelters

63. Host a 1920’s party and make everyone dress and act the roles of a famous 1920’s character (I’ll be Zelda Fitzgerald)

64. Bake a lot of cookies every winter

65. Save up money so my children can afford (so I can afford) college

66. If college tuition is higher (much higher) in the future, forget 65 and run away to a different country or planet

67. Build an igloo/snow-fort so amazing, an eskimo would shed a frozen tear

68. Get another tattoo

69. Continue collecting mugs (I think I’m almost at 100!!)

70. Listen to a Justin Bieber album (or some other artist I don’t like) and see if I can appreciate their music

71. Finish painting my room

72. Sky dive

73. Bungee jump somewhere tropical

74. Ride on one of the fastest trains in the world (take that Septa!)

75. Climb a tree to the tippy-top

76. Grow a garden

77. Write a short story for WordPress

78. Get my eyebrows waxed

79. Learn to surf

80. Take a road trip after I graduate college

81. Make a quilt

82. Quit my bad habit of biting my nails

83. Go yard sale hopping and try and find really cool things

84. Take a pottery or ceramics class

85. Swim with the manatees

86. Try one of the hottest peppers in the world

87. Go to Nifty Fifty’s (haven’t been there in probably 14 years)

88. Stay in a cool hotel just because

89. Order a coffee at Starbucks with a long name

90.  Partake in a flash mob

91. Convince everyone that I’m actually a princess from a faraway country

92. Visit museums

93. Build a tree house

94. Steal a Madison Avenue street sign

95. Eat at an expensive restaurant

96. Get a book signed by any of my favorite authors (the ones that aren’t deceased)

97.  Be on television

98.  Go dancing

99. Puddle jump in a rainstorm

100.  Be myself

Now that you’ve read this all the way through, it’s time for you to know what you’ve earned…nothing! But in all seriousness, you did get to see how cool the number 100 is. Just knowing that I’ve spent countless hours, minutes, probably well over 100, on this blog is something worth noting. See if this compares to counting out candies for your seven year old to take to class.

Confessions of a Not-so-Teenager Twi-Hard

You know that one thing that you have in your life that you know is bad, but you love it anyway? Call it a guilty pleasure, if you must.

Well. I’m here to admit, no matter what I have said in the past, but I have a guilty pleasure, I know it’s bad, but I must come out with it: I’m a Twilight fan.

Let me defend my case here, before you decide you never want to read anything I write again.

I’m going to start by saying the movies have the worst acting, and the books are no literary works of genius. Yes, Edward sparkles and Bella is moody. Yes, their love story is stupid, predictable, and yet unrealistic. Everything about the movies, books, merchandise, you name it, it isn’t worth the time of day.

Bet your wondering why I just admitted to being a fan and then bashed it, right?

The reason I love Twilight is because it’s nostalgic. It reminds me of those painful tween-early teenager years where I didn’t fit in and all I wanted was a “true love.” Twilight stands for a time period of my life where I could read stupid novels and not be ridiculed, both publicly and privately. There was no worrying about whether reading a certain type of novel would damage your reputation, and you certainly didn’t need to hide the hard-cover editions and your poster of Taylor Lautner every time Jessica from gym class came over.

Me, 2010. Camping, somewhere north, maybe? In the height of my Twilight craze, here you can see me crouching as I hunt (I'm clearly a vampire).

Me, 2010. Camping, somewhere north, maybe? In the height of my Twilight craze, here you can see me crouching as I hunt (I’m clearly a vampire).

Truth is, why does anyone care how bad a novel is or a movie? No one is forcing you to watch it, or read it (unless they assign it for English 101). My point is, I’m tired of people looking at me like I’m crazy just because I like a corny romance that just so happens to include wolfish, shiny and/or pale faced boys. I’ve had people say, “You like Twilight??” Hey now, just because I enjoy The New Yorker, Earl Grey tea, and my go-to hairstyle is a coiled bun, doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy some poorly written vampire saga.

There are several confessions I’d like to make at this time. Yes, I had a poster of Taylor Lautner, shirtless (I had to take it down once I started dating Colin). Yes, I have all of the books, and I have read them cover-to-cover four times. And yes, I have Twi-hard merchandise, including a “Team Lautner” necklace and purse, and I have a tote bag with Bella and Edward on it.

Did you just lose respect for me? Well, you probably shouldn’t, in fact…you should gain some respect for me. The fact that I love one of the world’s most hated piece of entertainment and I’m not afraid to admit it is pretty gutsy.

I finished Breaking Dawn Part 2 (that’s the movie) and let me tell you it felt good. There were those obvious scenes that I rolled my eyes at, or mocked (Kristen Stewart’s angry voice and “Bella and Edward” having sex) but overall I was happy with how it ended. It’s a little bittersweet, having both the books be completed as well as the movies. Good news is, there is always Netflix or a rainy day for me to start it all over!

So, it’s okay to like things that people loathe. In fact, I think this is what makes us human. I stopped liking Twilight because it’s what everyone else was doing. I figured I couldn’t have people thinking badly of me, so I switched to more popular series like The Hunger Games or to authors like James Patterson. But, I’m a closet Twi-hard no longer. If this is what makes me, well, me, then so be it!

“Death is peaceful, life is harder,”Twilight