Guilt Free Creating

FullSizeRender (1)

 

Hello Book lovers,

I know some of you are not only lovers of reading, but also lovers of writing. In the last few months I have decided to start something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, write a book of short stories. I am currently working on the first draft for my first short story and have been pondering the question, “how do you balance writing and reading?” I believe both are equally important to be a good writer. Read everything and make time to write, but how do you find that balance in your everyday life? For me it looks different everyday, there are many factors that determine my balance. But overall it’s just fitting in what I can into that day, going with what I feel like doing and leaving the guilt out of it. If I have the day off and I want to read all day, I read as much as my day allows me to. Other days I have no time to do either, but I’ll write a sentence or paragraph before I enter the land of ZZZZZZZzzzzz’s and I read a few pages or a chapter before I cannot keep my eyes open anymore. There are other days I have an idea for my story so I spend time creating for hours. Other days, I need a break from everything and I do other things that I love and I might think about what I have currently written. Sometimes, when I’m outside in nature, away from books and my computer, that’s when I come up with the most ideas for my stories.

The most important thing I have been trying to practice lately is guilt free creating. I believe being a writer, at least for me, is a lifestyle and there is a balance. There is no need to always be typing at the computer or tucked away in a book. However, it is a lovely place to be with balance. I don’t feel guilty when I don’t feel like writing or reading and all I want to do is go for a walk with my pup or spend time with my husband. I don’t feel guilty when I just want to watch a movie or take my mind off my writing. I write because it’s what makes me feel alive, I will always write, no matter where life takes me.  So, why allow guilt into one of the places where I’m at my happiest?  However, there are times when I don’t want to write, but I make myself write, simply because if I always went on feelings I would never accomplish any of my dreams, since writing isn’t always rainbows and cotton candy. When it comes to creating something you love, it takes balance.

 

Crystal Lynn

 

Advertisements

Fall Reading

 

img_1332

 

Hello Book Lovers,

Happy autumn! I love fall, it’s one of my favorite seasons. A big comfy blanket, over sized mug of tea and a good book. My perfect bliss. I have a TBR pile just waiting to be read and a cabinet full of tea. I’ve been waiting for this season all year long.

These last few months I have collected some book gems that I found at a going out of business sale at a book/ movie store. I’ll be posting more and giving a book haul in a future post.

My current reading life has been quite chaotic. Last year was one of the first times I felt guilt free with reading books and not finishing them, if  I felt no interest. I’ve realized  there are endless amounts of books to read and life is too short to read a book you’re not interested in. This year I have started and closed before ending, more books than I have fully read. The first half of the year was filled with piles of  unfinished books, which turned into book slumps. But I’m back on track and have finally found those books that fit my current mood.

13526165

Where’d You Go, Bernadette By Maria Semple

I haven’t reached too far in this book, but I’m enjoying the letter format and the quirky characters. I’m curious to see where this plot ends up and I’ve heard many good things about this story.

411el4vmdpl-_sy344_bo1204203200_

What We See When We Read By Peter Mendelsund

So far, I’m in love with this book. Don’t be surprised if it ends up on my favorite books of 2016 list. Beautiful illustration and interesting insight into what happens when we read. I’m only chapters into this book, but I already know I’ll continue to love it.

 

Until Next Time,

Crystal

 

 

 

 

2015 Top 5

For me 2015 was a good reading year, my Goodreads goal was 30 and I fell shy  ending with a total of 22 books. I doubled my reading from 2014 and have started to read more diverse books. Even though I fell short of my goal, I’m pretty happy with how many books I read. I experienced my first play since high school, explored essays and read fiction from Chinese, Arab, African American, and Israeli authors. I also started quite a few books and didn’t finish them, something before I would have never done. It’s quite freeing.

2016 my Goodreads goal is 35. I thought about dreaming high and doubling my goal, but I decided this year I just want to enjoy reading and take my time. I also want to keep expanding the diversity in my reading and will be trying out a few different reading challenges. I will post more about that in the future. I enjoyed all the books I read, but this year I fell in love with five books. They are in no particular order, picking my number one favorite would be just too hard. I linked all the books to Amazon, but I encourage buying from local bookstores or supporting your local library, if possible. I also won’t be giving any spoilers or any specifics about plot. I enjoy going into a book with little knowledge and like to do the same for others. So if needed click on the book titles for more information.

bostongirl

The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant

Boston girl is a beautiful story of what it was like to be a woman before woman’s rights. I fell in love with this story and recommend it to everyone I see. A story about love, loss and fighting for your dreams. A must read.

cover-inside

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

If you want an emotional journey of dealing with pain and learning how to love again, read this book! A beautiful read and I could gush for hours over how much I loved this book.

feminists

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

It could be my bias opinion, but everyone should check this book out. It’s actually an essay, so it’s short and to the point. This essay is based on the  Ted Talk  she gave. I encourage you to either watch the Ted Talk or pick up the book at your library or local book store.

9780141329819

Peter Pan by J.M Barrie

I adored this book. From the beginning to the end this book was magical and whimsical. Sometimes in life you need to reconnect with your inner child and dream. It’s a beautiful book that differs a little from the movies that have been made, but we all know that the book is always better, so go check it out!

61iSZPEMKkL

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

This is a must read for all writers and those who just simply love words. A must have for the bookshelf. I plan to read this book every year, it’s a good way to refresh a writer’s weary soul.  It’s as if Anne Lamott is giving you a big hug and saying, “keep on writing, it’s worth it, every thing is going to be okay.” And as writers sometimes along the way you need a little Anne Lamott in your life. She  weaves beautiful thoughts about life with thoughts about writing.

Those are my top five books of 2015. Happy reading!

Until Next Time,

Crystal

Out of Sorts Book Review

Out-of-Sorts-Cover

Out of Sorts by Sarah Bessey is a story of one woman’s emotional journey of feeling a little out of sorts with personal faith. I gave this book a 5 out of 5 stars and fell in love with every page. From her own personal faith, the church community and it’s traditions, Sarah Bessey shares both the sorrows and joys of her own personal journey of sorting out her faith. She not only gives us glimpses into her own journey, but encourages us to step back and sort through our own boxes of faith. She does not shy away from the questions we find easy shoving under the rug and calls them to light with grace and passion. This book is far from a self-help book, but instead a beautiful journey written in prose. I’m recommending this to all my friends and family and with the holidays coming around the corner it makes a great gift.

“I think the kingdom is more poetry and life than it is definition and boundaries. Go for a drive, go for a walk, go to work, look up, and fill your eyes with the Kingdom already come.” – Sarah Bessey, Out of Sorts

“If there is one soul in your care, one face in your loving gaze, one hand you are holding, then you are holding the world.” -Sarah Bessey, Out of Sorts

Pick up this book at your local book store or order online.

Until Next Time,

Crystal

abideinlove

Diversity, Feminism and Current Reads

Happy Friday!

Friday is one of my favorite days. It’s the start of the weekend and that means I get to spend time curled up with a blanket, a good book and a hot cup of tea. I haven’t been able to choose a lot of my current reads, due to school. However, the last school read was one that I highly recommend. Second Person Singular by Sayed Kashua, gives you an eye opening glimpse of what it’s like to be an Arab. In the media we mainly see the conflict between Jewish and Arab and the horrifying outcome of not seeing eye to eye, but we never see the raw humanity of both. Kashua allows us to enter the raw and vulnerable world of Jew and Arab, giving us a chance to wear the shoes of an Arab. He shows us what it might look like if Arab and Jew looked past race and saw each other as what they both are, human.

I gave this book a four out of five stars. Keep in mind this book contains suggestive language and parts can be hard to digest, but Kashua paints us a raw picture of humanity and what the media chooses not to show us.

Second_Person_Singular_by_Ayed_Kashua_book_cover

I currently have two books I’m reading. One is a E-galley and the other is one that I picked up at my local library.

I had the amazing chance to read Sarah Bessey’s Out of Sorts(click here to pre-order), before it comes out on November 3rd. I’m currently loving it and plan to finish it very soon, so check back soon for my review.

Out-of-Sorts-Cover

My last current read is Astor Place by Stephanie Lehmann. I won’t say much about this book, simply because I’m only on the first few chapters. I will say this though,if you like fiction, feminism and stories about what it was like to be a woman in the 1900’s, check this book out! I will be talking more about this book in the future.

16130517

Until Next Time,

Crystal

End of Summer Reads

Hello Book lovers,

I am alive! I, however, have been sucked into the black hole I like to call University.  But don’t fret, I have been reading and my heart has been happy.

419rjQNqYhL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

Cinder by Melissa Meyer

Genre: YA, Sci-Fi Dystopian.

Last Christmas break I started Cinder by Melissa Meyer. I was quite close to the end, when I needed to bring it back to the library and then school started and the rest is history, but I have been wanting to finish it. I picked it back up recently and finished it.

Cinder isn’t just your average re-telling of Cinderella, she’s a cyborg. When a mass virus hits the land and her step mother gets in her way will she be able to stop the virus and still go to the ball? I enjoyed this book, but I’m afraid to say I didn’t love it. Now I did pick it up from where I left off, so I wasn’t 100 percent invested, but overall I enjoyed it.I gave this book a three out of five stars on Goodreads and a three out of five simplybook love stars.

ypl_kmilford_greenglass

Greenglass house by Kate Milford

Genre: Middle grade, Mystery

Greenglass house is a home away from home for smugglers and Milo Pine and his parents run the old Inn. Milo is excited to spend a relaxing Christmas vacation with his parents, until unexpected visitors show up and things begin to go missing. I gave this book a four out of five stars on Goodreads and a three out of five simplybooklove stars. I thought this was an overall cute read, but wasn’t a fan of how it ended.

My current reads are:

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell 

download

Hollow Earth by John Barrowman and Carole E.Barrowman

images

That is all for now, happy Thursday!

Until Next Time,

Crystal

Book Hangovers and Essays

Dear Book Lovers,

I currently have a book hang over. After finishing a few 5 star books, I can’t find that one book that stops the world for hours. Since there is only four weeks of summer left and there is no time to waste, I have turned to essays and plays. Here are a few that have kept me turning the pages.

We should all be feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I gave this essay 5 out of 5 stars. This essay is a fast pace and pleasant read. Adichie paints a beautiful picture of why we should all be feminists and tries to repaint the ideas of what being a feminist really means.

feminists

Why I write by George Orwell. A glimpse into the mind of a writer. I gave this essay 5 out of 5 stars. As someone who loves to write, this essay inspired me and encouraged the writer inside. A must read for all writers.

” So long as I remain alive and well I shall continue to feel strongly about prose style, to love the surface of the earth, and to take a pleasure in solid objects and scraps of useless information.”

whyiwritegeorgeorwell

Here is New York by E.B White. I am in love with E.B White’s writing but I gave this essay 4 out of 5 stars. I didn’t connect fully to this essay and I think it’s simply because I have yet to visit New York. This is on my list of re-reads, once I visit the Big Apple.

ebwhite

I decided, this summer was a great time to experience reading my first play. I chose, Peter and Alice by John Logan. A fictional play about the conversation and meeting between the real people that inspired Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan. I gave this play 3 out of 5 stars. I enjoyed this story, but do not have much experience with plays and it became confusing at times, but otherwise I thought this was a beautiful story.

peter-alice-prgramme

Lastly, a few weeks ago I finished the novel, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger. I gave this novel 4 out of 5 stars.  This has been a novel that has been sitting on my bookshelf for far too long. I am glad I finally have experienced one of J.D. Salinger’s famous works.

51namOub2kL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

What have you been reading?

Until Next Time,

Crystal

Go Set A Watchman

photo (3)

It’s here! A few months ago I pre-ordered, Harper Lee’s new novel Go Set A Watchman. Shocking fact, I have not yet read To Kill a Mockingbird. I’m currently reading Catcher In the Rye and after I finish I will be picking up To Kill a Mockingbird. I’m staying away from book reviews and comments about the new Harper Lee novel, I simply want to go into it with no thoughts or expectations. I’m geeking out about the fact that I now own a first edition novel by Harper Lee. I’m anticipating the moment where I can sit down and enjoy the pages, but for now I will make a special spot on my bookshelf for it.

Happy Tuesday!

Until Next Time,

Crystal

Feed Your Inner Nerd

Hello Book Lovers,

Do you ever wonder what to get for the book lover in your life? Or maybe it’s time to treat yourself and feed your inner nerd. Here are some gift ideas for anyone who loves a good book.

Sometimes reading can be tiring, make sure you don’t lose your place with this Spoon bookmark.

spoonbookmark

From Teapots to cookies and milk, who doesn’t like something cute to hold their place.

il_570xN.794087098_lukp

Display your love of reading with this cute books and tea poster. 

il_570xN.792838044_jcrr

Can’t get enough of that old book smell? Light this candle and fill your home with the warm aroma of aged books.

il_570xN.789842027_315w

Everyone needs a good reading sweatshirt, stay in and party with a good book.

a53ecd691d0305a661adb7f5f235312f

A good book is always better when accompanied with a hot cup of tea or coffee. Embrace your inner nerd with this reading mug.

il_570xN.370606388_9cuh

That’s all for now, happy Wednesday!

Until Next Time,

Crystal

Boston Girl

Hello Book Lovers,

You know those books that consume your mind and every time you close those pages you still think about the sentences, the characters and how it speaks to every part of your soul? Okay, so maybe that’s a little over dramatic, but I’m currently reading Boston Girl by Anita Diamant. I’m nearing half way and I’m finding myself in love with these characters, I can tell already I will have a hard time picking my next book. I also am asking myself, why have I not heard about this before? I owe everything to my dear friend who suggested this beautiful book and I have a feeling this book will make it to my top 10 books of 2015. If you haven’t already read this book, make sure to check it out at your local bookstore or public library.

bostongirl

Until Next Time,

Crystal