Top Books of 2019

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*leans back in my chair and takes an extra long sip of coffee ’cause dramaticness is awesome*

What’s up, fellow humans? I feel like my eyes are on fire, and my brain has turned to jello. Also, I planned to write this post on…what, Thursday? But somehow being an official procrastinator meant I’m writing it right now. No biggy, it just mean you get a more rambley post.

I just came back from the theater, after seeing Little Woman for the second time. Apparently everyone thinks I will really like this movie, and have been asking me to see it with them. Not that I’m complain because GUYS. THE MOVIE IS BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE. MORE INSPIRATIONAL THAN IMPRESSIONIST PAINTINGS. AND guys. It made me eyes tear up just slightly.

I think I have become too emotional for my own good. The tears were just under the surface, and they didn’t receive that wave to wash them out, but still, they were there. They were there. *pats the tears on the back*

But that’s not what I wanted to talk to y’all about. ‘Cause I like, never talk about movies on my blogs. Because movies are eh.

Today I’m going to be giving you my top reads of 2019. In 2019 I barely read at all, due to…nothing, but I barely read at all. 😂 So you shall just have to stay put as I give you the most meaningful read in 2019, in no particular order.

1. Unwritten Melody by Tessa Emily Hall

Does breaking free require breaking the rules?

This has become one of my all-time favorite books. Just, please, I so relate with James Russo, and even Cassie. I’ve read the book four times this year, since I got it in June, and wow. Just so inspiring, and thought provoking, and inspiring.

I always come up with some kind of poetry or art work or song after I finish reading the book, because it’s just steeped with art. And ah, the truth written in this book! Tessa Emily Hall does an amazing job with the character arcs, the message, and just endearing you to the characters.

Each time I finish the book, I jump up and do a victory dance, because they’ve conquered the obstacles, they understand each other and those that mean something to them, AND they’re dating. So. XD

2. 27 Days Left by Alison Gervais

“If you knew you had to do the right thing, but that something bad may happen to you because of it, would you do it anyway?”

Wow. This book…I read it twice in a row, because I just needed to get everything out of it. The premise is that one of Hadley’s classmates commits suicide, and when she attends the funeral, she’s offered a contract with death. She has the opportunity to go back in time 27 days to convince her classmate not to give in to his suicidal thoughts.

*leans back and cracks my knuckles* Wow, folks. This book was so good. So good. Hadley was kinda annoying, tbh, but I think that’s because I related with Archer more than I related with Hadley.

She was just so inexperienced in everything to do with hurt, pain, and the nasty side of life. But she was willing to learn, and that made all the difference. AH I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH. 😍

3. Coral by Sara Ella

“There is more than one way to drown.”

AHHHHHHHHH. This is a book to scream over, folks. IF THERE EVER WAS A SCREAM WORTHY BOOK.

Here’s an Amie secret. I am a sucker for fairy tales, and especially fairy tale retellings. I know, I know, I but up that anti-girly front, and wear cowgirl boots everywhere, and all that nonsense, but the little girl that used to wear a tutu, ballet slippers, and a feather boa hasn’t totally died in me yet. 😂

But the spin she took on this story is just… 🤯

Following Coral, Brooke, and Merrick battle through their lives, figuring out their emotions…it just. Hit home. Sara Ella described everything exactly as I’ve experienced it. Depression, anxiety, just that hopelessly lost feeling that just doesn’t want to go on. And Hope?

*sad emotions* *nothing else because spoilers*

4. Fallen Leaves by Tessa Emily Hall

“There is a time right for everything”

“Purple Moon”, which “Fallen Leaves” sequels, is an awesome book, but I personally liked “Fallen Leaves” better. But honestly, they kinda just went together, and I can’t for the life of me remember why I thought “Fallen Leaves” was one of the best reads of this past year. XD So just take my word for it, it’s really good.

5. Romanov by Nadine Brandes

My name is Anastasia . . . The history books say I died . . . They don’t know the half of it.

EEEEEEP *shrieks* *flops*

This was one of my most anticipated books of 2019, and it surpassed all my expectations! I also read “Fawkes” this year, and eh. It didn’t give me the same happiness that Romanov delivered.  Ahhhhh, Nadine Brandes knows how to combine the right amount of fact and fiction, and now I want to go read as many historical books about Anastasia Romanov as possible. XD

And those are my top favorite books of 2019. Some honorable mentions are “Jane Eyre,” “Wuthering Heights,” “To Best the Boys,” and “Spark.”

Series I enjoyed include: “The Penderwicks,” “Accidental Cases of Emily Abbott,” and the Shallows trilogy.

So. Here is the end.

I need to go and spend time with my family, and then drink more coffee and go to bed. I need sleep. XD Hopefully I awake refreshed.

Toodles!

~~Amie~~

People You Admire (+more)

Well, now.  Isn’t it wonderful to be back in the studio of Crazy A with nothing to talk about, except what I decide to talk about.  *smacks myself on my forehead* Ugh, I forgot about taking that picture for the contest.  Well, I’ll do that.  Wait, I’m publishing this Saturday…So perhaps future Amie will delete this intro.  That is probably for the best.

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AH HMM.  Welcome, one and all, to the spectacular post where Amie tries to be a writer and fails succeeds.  For the last week Amie has been procrastinating writing very diligently on her work in progress, and has been very happy with her growing word count.

Okay, and now I’m going to be me.  Just plain Amie, and ramble and try not to be professional, because at times we all need to unwind and ramp and rave, and so that’s what I’m doing.  (I only do this after I’ve been taken from my natural habitat for the day.  In other words, my house.)

How many of you writers just hit this dry spot after NaNo?  Only me?  Oh.  Well, I thought it was a pretty normal thing to have problems with.  Anyway, since it’s normal for me, I’m just going to bore everyone to death by talking about it.  Really, the only thing that helps me become inspired after the creativity lapse I get after NaNo is a week of sleep and a few friends.  (Not to mention other creative outlets.  Like, music and art, anyone?)

So, I feel sorry for you if you don’t have any writer friends.  Wow, I’m really rambling.  Maybe I should stop talking about writing.  I always feel like a writer/author should let their writing talk for themselves.  And then you have Kellyn Roth, and I just read her blog to read about her writing adventures, because, guys.  That’s what I wish my writing life looks like.

I had an idea for this post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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So, in life we all admire people.  Kellyn Roth is the person I totally admire when it comes to writing.  I often look at her posts, and her books, and I’m like, “Man, why can’t I be so put together?”  I compare myself to her (and it’s no fault of Kellyn.  Guys, Kellyn is amazing, and she’s awesome.  Like, really.) and then I begin to feel really bad because, um.  I just named my novel…After finishing it in September, and editing it and letting people read it.  She always has her novels named, AND COVERS MADE FOR THEM before she really starts writing them.  Guys, only one of my books has a cover done.

So?  I curl up in my bed with my chocolate and coffee, and wish I was a better writer.  (These feelings really help for melodramatic scenes I have to write, but otherwise…Hehehe.)  And then I don’t write for a few days because I look at my book, and I keep hearing my mind say that I’m a complete failure.

Now, before I get any farther, I must tell y’all.  This isn’t Kellyn’s fault.  It’s mine.  It’s my fault that I feel bad about my writing, or my art, or my music because I compare them to other people.  And it doesn’t help I’m one of the most competitive people I know.

Growing up, my mom would always tell me, “It’s not a competition, Amie.”

Smart Alec me would say, “I know, but it’s a competition to me.”  That’s (Sadly) my mindset.  And so?  I get discouraged.  But if you’re the same as I am in this area, I want to tell you something.

Just because you don’t (fill in the blank) like the person you admire, doesn’t mean you’re a failure, or that you’re doing things wrong.  My writing works for me.  I know in my head (well, half of it) that Kellyn’s way of writing would never work for independent Amie.  In fact, it would drive me crazy.  God has made each of us very unique, with unique ways to (fill in the blank).

And so?  I’m going to tell you to be the best self you can be, and find the way that works for you.  Don’t compare yourself to others, because you aren’t supposed to be like others. You’re supposed to be the unique you. ❤

(Okay, future Amie here)

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Rambling again, I shall say that the picture for the contest came off without a hitch, thanks to my very obliging father, and the wonderful morning sunlight.  Now, I must tell you what has happened to me.  It has to do with the library.

*coughs* The library and I have a strong relationship.  I love it, truly I do, but then…Oh boy.  It drives me insane as well.  Please, please tell me the sense in having NO Sherlock Holmes books in all my state.  WHY?  And then, I requested Les Miserable to read, and like usual, I picked the oldest copy they had, because usually that’s the best.  It came today, and WHAT?! It was in French.  I’ve been learning French online, but NO WAY am I good enough to read a whole book in French.  Like, what?  Why would an American library have no copies of Sir Arthur Canon Doyles books, but have a French copy of Les Miserable that was published in 1930?  *shakes head* And that ’tis life.

The other day I was at work, and at my work there’s this long, winding hallway where you can’t see beyond the corner.  I was walking down it and when I turned a corner, I was face to face with a person that said, “Hello!” rather loudly.  I didn’t have time to prepare myself for a hello.  Because, seriously, there’s this whole mental process in order to produce a courageous hello.  Instead, I let out a mousy speak that somehow sounded a little like “hi.”  Yeah…The person just looked at me. 😞

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Okay, and since this is future me, I had initiative from writing my own post, and I actually made myself another cover for one of my books.  But I’m not showing it to y’all, because I’ll probably change my mind and redo it.

And now for the Amie Quote of the Year pole.  I’m so behind with this, because I just am.  (I actually keep forgetting about it, but not today, guys!)

(Oh and if you’re reading this in WordPress Reader, you’ll need to go to my actual blog for the pole.)

Even more future Amie *reads post, chuckles, hits publish* 

And this is what my posts usually look like if I don’t edit them.  Hope y’all enjoyed it. 😉

~~Amie~~

Ramblings…

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So, I know I posted yesterday, but as one of my commenters assured me, I don’t annoy y’all, so blogging everyday must make y’all happy!  (And I’m off school this week and have a list of blogging things I NEED to do, so yeah.  That’s life.)

Today I’m just rambling.  And showing you pictures.  And telling you what my life is like. It’s going to be a really random rambling, so you probably should buckle your seat belt tight, and hold on to the wheel.  (Or, if you’re like me, ignore the seat belt, throw one of your arms out of the open window, and hit the gas!)

Let’s start off with my mom trying Siri out.  I was on the way home from work.

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Apparently Illinois gets three cheers, no?  Don’t we all love Siri?  Lol, the adventures I’ve had with that thing.

Since we’re all ready talking about my mom, I’ll throw her in again.  I recently did a post with my photography here, and my mom asked me why I didn’t put her portrait in.  I think she was a little offended she wasn’t put in her famous daughter’s post.  Anyway, without further ado, my mom!

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Guess I had to get my craziness from somewhere.  😉

I’ve been giving my younger sister some photography lessons, and she’s gotten so much better!  It’s funny to see her trying to figure it all out, and she’s always thrilled when she’s found a new trick out.

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The other night when I was writing my book, she wanted to take some pictures of me.  I told her the camera was all hers, as long as she didn’t disturb me.  And, for your own gratification, here’s a snip-it of something I wrote.

“As you say,” Jonathan sighed; regardless, he dropped the backpack.  

“Smile!”  Cassy started pressing the button on her camera, and Jonathan looked straight at the shutter.

“This isn’t what I’d call a grand vacation,” Jonathan muttered through clenched teeth.  “This is more like torture.”

Haha, Jonathan.  Get used to it.  Having a photographer in the family is both torture and a blessing.  You get your Christmas photos taken for free!

Well, we’ve had a lot of flowers blooming in our yard.  Wanna take a look?  Sorry, I’m not giving you a choice.

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Can you see that little spider?  Isn’t he cute?

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Don’t you just love this flower?  I do.  It’s just so…So pink.

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Do you like flowers?  Which flower picture was your favorite?

Okay, so we have a huge garden.  3,000 sq. feet to be exact, and we’re growing corn, cucumbers, melons, squash (both summer and winter) tomatoes, beans, and…Um?  Is that it?  I think it is.  Hmm, I might remember something in a bit.  Anyway, it’s been a lot of work, and I’m starting to wonder what Adam and Eve were thinking when they took a bite of that fruit.

I’ve claimed the corn as “my” corn, and so I’ve been weeding it.  We have roughly three rows, and a few scattered here and there.  (Lots of seeds dropped out of people’s pockets.)  Sadly, we had a bad gale and our method of keeping away weeds (A.K.A. cardboard boxes) cut down three-four stalks of my corn.  I felt like having a funeral for them.

Since y’all know I can talk forever, I’m just hurrying to the actual pictures.

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The corn a few weeks ago.  It’s been growing like crazy, and we even have a few husks!  I’m so excited!  *does happy dance*

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A baby husk.  Isn’t it so photogenic?  I’m in love with my corn, and I’m so proud of it!  Keep growing, little guys!  (And gals…I don’t suppose they have a gender. 🤔)

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Corn flowers and fluffy clouds. 🙂

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Here’s one of the melons.  I’m such a good photographer, that I made it look twice it’s size.  It’s actually rather small.  (Here’s a small hint.  Put your melons on cardboard.  Otherwise, they’ll rot.  We had quite a few rotten melons last year.)

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Anyone love acorn squash?  I think I’ll mail it to you if you do.  We’re gonna have a ton.  😬

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Our tomatoes are really sad looking, but they do have some fruit!

We went to a nature preserve, and they had go-cart golf-cart type things, and I got to drive.  I was so excited, but I brought a few screams from my mom.  Hehe, but I wasn’t as bad as my brother.  He had the little girls screaming bloody murder.  My poor ears.  Anyway, while we were there, I got pictures of this fella.

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Don’t know if you can see him in that picture, but I hope you can!

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He was a little baby, and he couldn’t fly much yet.  He was so cute!

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There was also a wood chapel. Sadly, most of my pictures didn’t turn out because it was just about to pour, and the lighting was horrid.

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That was the doorway inside.  The bell that you could ring was so loud!  My ears were throbbing and I’m afraid to say I was a little closer to tears than I’d like to admit.  Who could stand such a deafeningly loud, earth-quakingly alarming sound?

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My family would’t get out of the way.  😕

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What d’ye say, lass…Or lad.  Whichever you maybe.  Do ye like it?  I ken ye do.

And, since I think you’ll like this, I’ll through in some of my favorite blog posts at the moment.

For the Younger Sibling Among Us–Fro Allison

A Day in My Life As An Author–Once Upon an Ordinary 

Summer Nights–Maddy’s Digital Diary

Library Trip, Reading Program, and a (cool?) Video–A Storynerd’s Life

Go check out those blogs!

Lastly and probably most importantly, my siblings and I decided to put on a production.  I mean, we’re already planning a few more after this, but this was a starting point, you know?

I was supposed to be the newsboy person, and Jay, my brother (also known as Bilbo,) was supposed to be an old man.  Jay fell flat because the store didn’t have white dye or a fake beard.  (We tried to “dye” his hair by using flour and hairspray.  Hey, it worked *sorta*) Anyway, I had a bit of difficulty getting my long, thick hair taken care of, but I was ingenious, and even surprised my sister.

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But!  My sister wasn’t satisfied.  I was supposed to be a dirty ragamuffin with black hair, and dirty pants.  So?  I had to go dump a bucket of dirt on me.  Not exactly, but I felt like an elephant was spraying dirt down my shirt.  Needless to say, I was a walking dirt bag, as I later showed when I tried to take off the clothes.

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After filming and my dirt job.  My sister says I really looked like a boy, especially in the last scene.  To her I must have a boy’s swagger????  LOL, y’all can decide.  Here’s the video.

 

The music is not by me, though I’ve already been asked that.  I honestly say I wish it was. But, it’s not.  I’m not that good yet.  Enjoy!

(Oh, and I had to dye my hair black with wash out dye, and it got everywhere…Just like the foundation.  HELP!  I’ve never done make-up before!  Wait, brow liner and eye liner are different?  Is that why the prices were different?  I think I need a supervisor.  😳  Is eye liner easier to apply?  If so, it might be worth the extra money.  #cheap)

And that, m’dears, is the end of my rambling.  I’m surprised if you stuck with me.  If you did, here’s a high five that somehow made it through the screen???  Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it!

What was your favorite photo?  Do you enjoy a nice long ramble?  Do you like to drink hot drinks in hot weather?

~~Amie~~