Thoughts on Life

…Three Months Later

I can’t believe it’s been three months since I’ve posted! What a crazy time this has been. And WordPress has just informed me that it’s also been two years since I began this adventure! Even crazier.

First, my life update: I have officially graduated from grad school! Woo! Woo! (Picture courtesy of my aunt.)

kat's graduationI now possess a Master of Library Science degree…and now have to find something to do with it. I have been applying to as many jobs as I qualify for and realize that it might not be as easy as it was when I graduated college the first time. I may have to take a step back and get a full time job in an office again if things don’t pick up. Which wouldn’t be too bad except that I would severely miss my library. I love what I do, I honestly do. So I am looking into other options. And realized that I need to start writing again if I ever hope to become published. I could definitely work at my library part-time and write freelance and work on my novel and pay the bills, I think. At this time, there is only an inkling of a plan and the pressure to settle into one. Mostly from myself as I am my own worst critic. Hopefully that means I will also be able to pay more attention to all of you again. Working six days a week and then dealing with finals did not make it easy on me. But I see that I am almost to 200 followers and I just gained a new one a couple of months ago! That is amazing news to me.

Here’s what I plan to publish in the next couple of days:

  1. Updated book lists, i.e. what I have read since the last update, some Top Ten Tuesdays, and what I am currently reading/loving
  2. Recipes!! I have been brushing up on my cooking skills and have been really enjoying tweaking recipes I found online and giving them my own twist
  3. An original story or poem for your reading pleasure

There are probably some other things as well but we’ll take that as it comes. Thank you for your patience and time. You’re rockstars and I can’t wait to share more with you soon! 🙂



‘Tis the season…for finals. Yay!

Just kidding.

But seriously, it’s finals time at my house and it’s no fun. At the time of writing this, however, there is little left to be done, thankfully! I have turned in two presentations and one paper. I still have presentation responses to complete, an end of the year discussion board post, and one final paper. Then I will be home free!

What do I plan to do with this spare time I will have from next Tuesday until Jan 25th? Why, I plan to read, of course! Also, I will watch movies, buy and wrap presents, celebrate Christmas, see my boyfriend and my family, visit with friends, have a cocktail or two, go to the gym, and any other activities which might happen to catch my eye.

All in all, I’m hoping that it will be a refreshing experience that will rejuvenate me enough to finish my last semester strong. I expect it will still be mostly fueled by adrenaline, panic, caffeine, hard work, and endorphins but I’m okay with that. Basically par for the course with grad school and college in general.

What’s on your to-do list for this month?

Top Ten Tuesday: Nov 24

Top Ten Tuesday

November 24: Thanksgiving themed Freebie — ten books I’m thankful for, authors I’m thankful for, Ten fictional families I’d like to celebrate Thanksgiving with, a personal non-bookish thankful list, etc. etc.


Ten things, Bookish and not, that I am thankful for:

  1. My family
  2. My health
  3. Libraries + all the free materials and resources they provide, especially the numerous books and WiFi
  4. My favorite authors, which are too plentiful to enumerate here
  5. Clean drinking water for my Nalgene, coffee, and tea
  6. My relative sanity during this time of stress
  7. My job and the income it provides
  8. Free time to read my books
  9. Warmth during these cold months and a roof over my head
  10. My followers and all their support, thank you!


Wish you all a very happy and gratuitous Thanksgiving, may it be filled with warmth, joy, and laughter. And please, stay home instead of shopping. This time of year is about family, whether related to you or not (friends and significant others and pets count!), so take one day and devote it to them. There will be plenty of time for shopping, or thinking of creative hand-made gifts for everyone after November 26.

November Update

I can’t believe it’s been nearly 2 months since I have posted! Even last semester when I was taking 4 classes didn’t feel this hectic. You may know by now, I am a bridesmaid in 3 weddings in 6 months and I am in grad school and working, so life has been crazy. There has been lots of planning and parties, dinners and long text battles to hammer out the details of things. I have barely been able to keep up with friends and my reading, let alone find time for sleeping and blogging. I unfortunately have been unable to participate in NaNoWriMo this month (shout out to all of you impressive people who have been able to do it!) which fills me with great sadness, though I have been writing some poems and jotting down story ideas on the side. I have also met a new special someone so making time for him in between the madness has been trying for both of us.  However, I am now 2 successful weddings and most of the fall semester down and in a short lulling moment before the holiday rush so it’s a good time for an update I think.

Let’s start with what I’m currently reading:
currently reading 11.24.15
I am completely spazzing out over Winter, of course. I am about halfway done and losing my mine. This finale is shaping up to be a great ending to the series. There is emotion and action, failures and triumphs, bloodshed and relationship ties; basically everything a girl could want. I have just started Carry On and already have high hopes for it. I am just about to start A Thousand Nights and hope that it is as impressive as it sounds. The Christmas Wedding is just for fun, something I am reading in my down time at the library, lighter and fluffier but with emotional substance. The Rest of Us Just Live Here so far has been weird, which I’m told is par for the course with Ness, and might be because I have no idea which YA book he is referencing in the first few chapters so I’m a little confused. Hopefully, that shapes up soon.
What else have I read in the last couple of months, you might be wondering? Lots of wonderful, delightful things, including a few much anticipated titles from my favorites! Here is the list:
Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George
Golden Son by Pierce Brown
Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
Magnus Chase: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods by Rick Riordan
The Hollow Boy by Jonathan Stroud
Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
The Rose Society by Marie Lu
The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
And I think all of these, with the exception of Queen of Shadows which received 5, achieved 4 stars on the general Goodreads Scale. I have been trying to keep my reviews updated on there since I have not been blogging them so you may want to check those out for further info on my thoughts!

“If Librarians Were Honest…”

alphabooksIn honor of Banned Books Week, I have been thinking a lot about books mean to me and what it would be like to not be able to ever read certain ones again. A book is a powerful thing, it can offer new ideas, allow empathy to bloom, and shed light in inner emotions and connections. Which leads me back to a poem that I’ve been meaning to publish on here for awhile.

It describes exactly the way I feel about a book, any book, all books. How they change and impact you, how they can alter your perceptions and expand your world. There are few things in this world that have that capability, to have such a profound ability to kill you where you stand and raise you from the depths of your personal hell. They can make you laugh, cry, cringe, dissolve, reform, rave, rant, become more determined and understanding, waste an entire day, drink three cups of tea, fall off your chair, ignore the world around you.

If Librarians Were Honest – Joe Mills

If librarians were honest,

they wouldn’t smile, or act

welcoming. They would say,

You need to be careful. Here

be monsters. They would say,

These rooms house heathens

and heretics, murderers and

maniacs, the deluded, desperate,

and dissolute. They would say,

These books contain knowledge

of death, desire, and decay,

betrayal, blood, and more blood;

each is a Pandora’s box, so why

would you want to open one.

They would post danger

signs warning that contact

might result in mood swings,

severe changes in vision,

and mind-altering effects.

If librarians were honest

they would admit the stacks

can be more seductive and

shocking than porn. After all,

once you’ve seen a few

breasts, vaginas, and penises,

more is simply more,

a comforting banality,

but the shelves of a library

contain sensational novelties,

a scandalous, permissive mingling

of Malcolm X, Marx, Melville,

Merwin, Millay, Milton, Morrison,

and anyone can check them out,

taking them home or to some corner

where they can be debauched

and impregnated with ideas.

If librarians were honest,

they would say, No one

spends time here without being

changed. Maybe you should

go home. While you still can. 


Playing Catch-up

welcome to maineI realized that it’s been nearly a month since I have logged on to give you an update. It’s been a hectic month indeed! I’m not making excuses, I’m just saying I have been neglectful. So I’m going to do this post as a general what’s happening one and a second one for all the books I have been consuming, which I’m sure is the real reason most of you read this.

In the last few weeks, I have moved back to my home state of Maine. Hurray for no longer being a displaced New Englander. Whether or not the move is permanent, we will have to wait and see. But I’m relatively certain I will be here for the next six to eight months. And thankful that it is cooler here than the D.C. area. Plus I was able to go strawberry picking and picked about 30lbs of them with my dad! strawberry picking

I have also completed a summer course on YA literature, which was pretty phenomenal. We were allowed to choose almost all of our own books for the course from a wide range of genres. We studied how teens choose books and why certain themes might be appealing to them. We also wrote a final paper on the topic of our choosing and I am proud to say that I earned a very high grade in the class.

I started a new job!! Yay me! I officially have my first library job at a smaller, local library and it’s going pretty well. I’m still in the learning process and a lot of what I do on a daily basis is a bit repetitive but I’m enjoying it. I get to talk about and look at books all day long plus interact with the regulars who are all very nice. It’s great to be back in an environment where people who aren’t your coworkers know your name, I’ve missed that.

Additionally, I have been dealing with all three of the weddings in my life again. First and foremost was my best friend’s bridal shower which went very smoothly, I am happy to report. Next on the list will be dress shopping with one of my sister and my friend’s bachelorette party 😉

sconeI am planning on using the next six weeks or so to really have some “me” time and focus on getting back into a healthier lifestyle, reading books for fun, and maybe doing some puzzles. I’ve also taken up cooking, well, baking, again and my first two trials (scones and garlic cheese biscuits) went pretty well. No complaints from my taste testers aka mom and dad.

I’ve been really busy settling back in but now that I’m more or less settled, I want to get back to this blog and my other writings. After all, NaNoWriMo is only 4 months away! So hopefully, you’ll be hearing a lot more from me in the coming months. But I make no promises once September hits, that’s sure to be a doozy.

Oh and did I mention that I was able to see Monticello, Colonial Williamsburg, AND Mount Vernon before I left? I am definitely one lucky nerd!

mt vernonmt vernon panorama

End of May Update!

Wow, how long has it been since I’ve written? Nearly 3 weeks! My bad.

But, in my defense as always, I have been very, very busy. I have hands in a lot of pies at the moment and I confess this blog hasn’t been as much of a priority as it should have been. I really need to start writing these when I’m in the car or on a plane or something.

Lots to update you on, so let’s get started 🙂

1) Successfully completed my first year of grad school! Woot woot!

2) Finished it with a perfect 4.0 last semester and with a cumulative GPA of 3.96

3) Had two weeks “off” where I did nothing but work but have since started my summer course

4) Visited Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown, and Monticello last weekend, I enjoyed seeing all of them

5) I continue to have more books than time

6) I am newly addicted to Downton Abbey (nearly done S3!)

7) Finally have the chance to watch Season 4 of Once Upon a Time and am loving it as always (I Ship Robin/Regina)

8) My summer class is already kicking my butt, however it’s on YA Literature so I think I can manage once I wrap my head around how much reading I will be doing over the next six weeks!

9) Tonight, I am attending the 8th grade graduation of my cousin, so proud of him

10) Planning for three weddings is still a royal pain in my ass

11) Oh, and if I didn’t mention it before, my little sister just graduated from college and my baby sister just moved out to Oklahoma for grad school

12) I only have three more days of work and approximately two weeks until I move home to Maine (yes, it’s official)

Hopefully this week when things settle down, I will back-post my Top Ten Tuesdays and Book Reviews for your reading pleasure, but here is a quick look at what I’m reading now:

currently reading 6.5.15

Promote This Star: Delilah

delilahHi everyone,

I have something a little tear-jerky to share. My cousin Amanda who is like a sister to me has a dog that is currently having some health problems involving her blood count and some expensive (but necessary) transfusions. Unfortunately, Amanda doesn’t have the money to pay for the bills anymore. The little dachshund is only 6 years old and is my cousin’s best friend and therapy pet. I remember the day she got this little puppy and she cares so much about her, has been through thick and thin together. I really don’t want to see them parted if I can do anything to prevent it.

Amanda started a campaign to help pay for the treatment and is only trying to raise $3,000 via GoFundMe. I just donated to help her towards the goal line.

If you have even a couple of dollars to contribute, every little bit helps. I know you’ve never met me, or her, but just reading this spreads the message a little further. We would really appreciate anything you can do to help us in this endeavor.

The campaign can be found here: Help Save Delilah 

And thank you in advance.


The end is a beginning

beginning end ts eliotI saw this photo while scrolling through my WordPress reader and the concept keeps getting stuck in my mind. I have been thinking a lot about beginnings and endings lately, what they mean, how to identify them, how to avoid them, how to deal with them. There are about to be a lot of changes in my life, most from the choices I am making and I am having difficulty determining if there is one more big one that I should make. But I suppose if I think of the ending as a beginning to something new, potentially something better, then it’s not so scary or overwhelming. But if I think of it that way, what does that mean about all the time I spent doing what I am about to end?

I often find myself stuck in these cyclical phases, these thoughts that go round and round. I can’t always tell if it is just how my brain is wired to process information or if it’s a symptom of my OCD or if it’s something else entirely. But regardless, a thought will occur and it just keeps going, running on a track, tumbling in the dryer of my mind. Sometimes, I can push it aside and other times, I cannot. Sometimes, I can break free or call a friend to distract me, and other times, I sit and wallow and think and think and think.

Right now, I am on the brink of something major. I can see the path clearly in front of me. I know what I should do and I want to be strong enough to do it, and yet the tiny niggle of fear, of doubt is holding me back. Making me wonder what if. I don’t want to wonder that, I don’t want to care so much, I simply want to be happy and move forward. I want to make my choice, and stick to my choice, and accept my next beginning, the next step in my life. Knowing what you should do, knowing when to make an end a beginning is a part of being an adult, a part of growing and growing up; knowing your own mind and not being easily persuaded to change. Even by your own mind.

If an end is a beginning, then that should be nothing to fear.

If that’s the case, then why am I so afraid to do what needs to be done?

(Thanks to Matthew E. Nordin for making me stop and think.)

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

Hi everyone! It’s been a long while since I did one of these posts and it’s not Wednesday anymore but that day got away from me, so instead, you get TWO posts today! YAY!

As you know, I’m in grad school. As you may not know, I am taking a leadership class. For this class, I had interview someone that I saw as a leadership for the end of the semester paper. I chose one of my good friends who is not only an amazing person but also a fantastic leader. He and I skype for nearly two hours, catching up, exchanging ideas, and having me pick his brain about his leadership style, difficult situations that he has faced, things he has learned, and just generally what his journey has been like so far.

And boy, did I learn a lot!

There are lovely nuggets that I want to share with all of you today, things that really resonated with me and made me question everything that I have been doing lately.

#1: Question everything.

Doesn’t matter who said it, where it comes from, or how it is happening, question it. Don’t just take things at face value, don’t be afraid to dig deeper and discover what is really going on. “Question the artificial barriers we have built up in our minds.” Question rules, people. Question your own excuses.

who did you notice more#2: Be observant; look for patterns.

Everything has a sequence of events, anything that happens to you and your reaction to it is a result of a previous circumstance. When you see someone who is successful or beautiful, write down why you think that. Do it over and over again until you can see the pattern and figure out why you think that someone is successful or beautiful and then figure out how you can do it in your own life.

#3: Take the blame.

No one wants to do it, to accept responsibility for their mistakes or those of their team but you will earn respect by doing so. By publicly stating it was your fault, no one can say it behind your back and make you feel bad about it. Own the blame, say it loudly and often; this is especially important as a leader, no one cares about the excuses, they want results.

#4: Create a clear plan.

Give yourself steps to success. Create bite size, manageable steps to get closer. Don’t do meaningless things or things that won’t matter until you accomplish something else; do what needs to be done next and give yourself a victory, even if it’s small so you can move forward.

#5: Stand out.

Don’t be afraid to be different from everyone else. People will notice someone who stands apart more than they will someone who blends in with the crowd. Take your idea and really push it, be unique.

So, thanks to Brian, I have begun to question everything that I am working for and deciding if it’s really where I want to be, what I want to be doing. Life isn’t life unless you are happy and I need to do more of the things that make me happy and help work towards my personal goals. Mainly, this means going back to working on getting my manuscript published, even looking into self-publishing again, to see what can be done about it. I might be in grad school because it presents great opportunities for real world jobs, but do I really want to just have a fall back? What do I really want to be doing and why am I not doing it?

If you’d like to know more about my friend, who is an entrepreneur, leader, and great inspiration; here is a link to his Web site: