Tagged by Amy!

My niece Amy tagged me in the “25 Things About You.” Coming from her, I consider this quite an honor! So here goes — 25 Things You May or May Not Have Known About Me.

  1. I don’t have a lot of memories from early childhood, but I do remember the night my younger brother was born. I woke up during the night to get a drink and my next-door neighbors were there instead of my parents. By the time I woke up in the morning, my grandparents were there.
  2. I also remember a time when I was about 4 and ran through the house yelling, “Mary Jane! Mary Jane!” (Mary Jane is my mom.)
  3. I also remember telling my mom that it was no fun to be three. Two was way better in my little three-year-old brain.
  4. I love to read almost anything, but prefer books that make me think, “Wow! That one belongs in a lit class.” I don’t have much patience for books that are written just to make money.
  5. I love music. All kinds of music. Well – not rap or country or southern gospel, but pretty much anything else is good.
  6. Until a week ago, I had a poster of Sean Connery hanging in my office.
  7. I’ve always wanted to be a mom. When I was 12, I said I wanted 12 children and had names picked out for them.
  8. I love movies, but don’t really like “chick flicks.” I’d rather watch Batman Begins than The Notebook.
  9. I do, however, love musicals. Dreamgirls, Hairspray, and Mamma Mia are my favorite ones from recent years.
  10. I didn’t learn how to drive until I was 18. A year later I learned to drive a stick shift. I love to drive stick shifts.
  11. I am probably the only woman in the history of the world who was cold during pregnancy. Most people complained of the heat, but I couldn’t get warm until about a month before my babies were born.
  12. Speaking of my babies, they have birthdays on the 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, and 16th days of their respective birth months. NO, I am not trying to find one fill the 15th. I will gladly tell everyone that our dog was born on the 15th.
  13. Speaking of dogs, I have one. His name is Sirius Maximus.
  14. I really don’t think I’m that interesting. I’m having a hard time thinking of 25 things.
  15. Oh yeah. I’ve been written about in four books. Two tell the same story of something I did when I was really young. One was a book about birth experiences, and another one was about women and prayer.
  16. Speaking of birth experiences, four of my babies were born at home with midwives instead of in hospitals with doctors. It was a lot of hard work, but I’m so glad I did it that way.
  17. And — yes — I would be a midwife if I could afford the time and energy it would take for the training.
  18. I was born in 1968 and have had a lifelong fascination with all things hippie.
  19. Speaking of the 60’s and hippies, I went to a 60’s themed Valentine’s Day dinner last week. My hair is too short to pull off the hippie look so went in full beatnik fashion — black turtleneck, black leather knee length skirt, black tights, and black ankle boots. I even did real heavy 60’s eye make-up and left my glasses at home so it would show up.
  20. I always envisioned myself living in a city, but that hasn’t happened.
  21. I never envisioned myself living in Searcy, and that did happen.
  22. I would live at the beach if I could. My skin would hate me forever, but I would be in paradise every day.
  23. I don’t like coconut.
  24. I love to laugh. Once I was driving home from a work related trip with two of my co-workers and we laughed so hard we had to pull over and stop. I really think I might’ve been pulled over for driving under the influence of laughter if I hadn’t stopped for a while.
  25. Most people who know me think I’m way too loud to work in a library. I just smile and let them know that my office is WAY in the back, which is good because my office is usually full of music and laughter. And — until last week — Sean Connery.

Hmm — who to tag? I’ll have to think about that and get back to you later.

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One of my goals

Steven Curtis Chapman calls it living out loud. Superchick tells us everyone dies, but not everybody lives. Mercy Me sings, “live like there’s no tomorrow, love extravagantly, live a life to be followed. . . Good-bye Ordinary.”

I want to live. Live out loud. I don’t want to die without having lived.

The Year of the Book, pt. 2

So here’s my plan:

  • I’m joining a book club! I haven’t been a part of one for years and now, once a month, I’ll be able to sit down with other women who work on my campus and talk about a book we’ve all read. I’m looking forward to this for several reasons. First, it’s always good to spend time with other women. Female friendships are such a vital part of life! Second, I’ll be able to get reading recommendations from other people. We all have our own favorite reading habits and it will be good to branch out into different author, different genres, and different ideas. Of course the down side is that I’m sure my “list” will get even longer.
  • I will select one megabook — a Tale of Two Cities or Dr. Zhivago type — to read. A super read. An uberbook. A real chunkster. The chosen title will be revealed at a later date and I expect all of you to hold me accountable.
  • You know those books you read in lit classes and loved and promised yourself you’d get back to and read again? I’m going to choose one of those too. I’ve already narrowed it down to either Possession: A Romance by A.S. Byatt or Tom Jones by Henry Fielding. I’ll probably go with Possession because — well — it’s shorter. 🙂
  • I’m also going to do a few book reveiws for a friend’s publishing company so keep your eyes open here for some possible reads to add to your own list.

So there it is – the Year of the Book! I can’t describe how happy I am to have time to read just because I want to. I’m very thankful that I had the opportunity and ability to finish a master’s degree, but the joy I’ve had in reclaiming my life is beyond words. To my friends who are still traveling the school path, hang in there! It really does come to a close. I don’t know if I have reached the end of my school journey or if this is just a rest stop, but I’m going to refuel as much as I can in the down time.

The Year of the Book

Since this will be my first complete calendar year without grad school, I’ve decided to proclaim it The Year of the Book and focus on reading things I want to read instead of things I have to read. I’ll write a bit more about that later, but I’m kicking it off with this that was sent by a friend via Facebook.

Classics – How many have you read…

Apparently the BBC reckons most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here.

Instructions:
1) Look at the list and put an ‘x’ after those you have read.
2) Add a ‘+’ to the ones you LOVE.
3) Star (*) those you plan on reading.
4) Tally your total at the bottom.

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen X+
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien X+
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte X+
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling X
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee X+
6 The Bible X+++
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte X+
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell X
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman* (haven’t finished them!)
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott X+
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy X+
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare* (Many, but not all)
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier X+
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien X
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger*
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger X
20 Middlemarch – George Eliott*
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell X+
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald X+
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy*
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy X
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck X+
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll X+
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame X+
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy X+
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis X+
34 Emma – Jane Austen X+
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen X+
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis X+
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini X+
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden X
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne X+
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell X
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown X+
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery X+
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood *
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding X
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan X+
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel X (not sure if I loved it, but it’s definitely worth reading)
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen X+
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens X+
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez *
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck X+
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov *
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold X (again — not sure I love it, but it’s worth reading)
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas *
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac *
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy X
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding X+
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville *
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens *
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett X
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray *
80 Possession – AS Byatt X +++++++
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens X+
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker *
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro *
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert *
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry *
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White X+
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Alborn
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle X+
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad X
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery *
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams X
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas*
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare X+
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl X+
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo *

TOTAL READ: 47
TOTAL LOVED: 34 (books I have read more than once with much pleasure – likely to increase as I continue to re-read)
TOTAL PLAN TO READ: I’d like to eventually get around to all of them, but I starred the ones that I would go to first.

So . . . how ’bout the rest of you?