Job Application

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While I would love to use you all as an outlet to vent about what has driven me to seriously start looking for a new job, but that would be unprofessional and I would probably get into a lot of trouble.

Basically, I’m just tired of feeling like I hold myself to a higher standard than my superiors do; and the general feeling that I could leave tomorrow and no one would notice. That’s not how you want to feel at the place you work; especially a place you pour your blood, sweat, and tears into.

So, I’m working to finish up my CV (a type of resume I had never heard of until last week) and polishing up the questions (that my buddy Sara has been super nice to help me with) to apply as an adjunct professor for an online college/graduate program. Now, it’s an open application system, so there isn’t a guarantee they will have anything for me, or even pick me at all, but I feel like this is a good move.

I have always thought about teaching higher ed. with my degree, but haven’t really seen an opportunity for it. Since this is online courses, it’s convenient not only for the students but the professors too! I really hope something comes out of it, they even have an archives studies class, and as I am currently working as an archivist, that could be really cool to teach.

So keep your fingers crossed for me!

The Jewel

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Number one of my 365 days of YA Challenge, the chosen book for the month of January.

Goodreads Summary:

The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence… and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.

I wasn’t all that excited about this book. The reviews I’d seen weren’t that great, and when I started it it just seemed like a mix of Wither and The Selection. However, the further into it I got, the more underlying parts were revealed – not that any were explained that much – and I became intrigued.

It’s basically a set up book, giving us just enough information to hook you and pull out a series. It was entertaining though, and besides the incorrect use of the word “nauseous” repeatedly, I found the writing pleasant enough with an easy flow.

Violet, the main character annoyed me for a while. Self proclaiming a distaste for the situation she and her friends were put in but not doing anything about it till the end. She needed time to grow up I guess though. And a lot of people hate the romance in this story. It didn’t really stand out to me among the book ships, but I didn’t find any reason to dislike it. They are two people who have never been allowed to dream bigger, open themselves up to another person outside of their stations, or hope for a romantic relationship of their own – I see why they are drawn together and they seem compatible enough.

Lucien, possible leader of a brewing rebellion – is who I’m questioning the most. He’s given us every reason to trust him, but there still seems to be something off. The Duchess is my favorite character, she’s a complex villain and you never know how she’s going to react. The final twist at the end with one of the minor characters didn’t catch me that off guard, I always thought there was more to them than it seemed.

Don’t know if I’ll continue the series, we’ll have to see how I feel when the next one comes out, which is October.

Writing This Week

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This past weekend I got a lot done. I finished my hand edits of the article I am trying to publish, and I made a new rough outline for my MS.

The plan, is to finish editing my article this week and get it ready to be sent to the journal for peer edit. Now, like all publishing, I doubt that I will get it accepted the first try, but I’m still going to hope!

With my MS, I plan to start up with that again next month. My plan is to open a blank Word document and just start over. I will probably pull some things from the first draft, but I don’t feel like it will be that much, especially with all the changes to the story structure I have planned.

What are all of you writing right now?

Blue Lily, Lily Blue

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Goodreads Summary:

There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.

So far, this is my favorite of the series, we all know I had some problems with the second one, and this one made up for all of those issues. We are back focusing on finding Glendower, and the sub-plots I feel are more applicable to the main goal of finding the Welsh king and somehow trying to find a way for Gansey to survive.

The three people resting in the tomb, and the one who should not be woken is really intriguing. And like I said before, at least it’s back to focusing on waking Glendower, who is one of the sleepers. Though we didn’t find him, the one who was woken was really interesting, and it will be fun to see what happens with the one who isn’t supposed to be woken.

Now that the Grey Man’s employer is involved I can get behind him a bit more than in the previous book. He didn’t make much sense to me in the second book – most of what happened in that one didn’t – but now that we see how deep his employer is in the lives of Blue and the boys, his role as a protector becomes more evident, and the few moments he has, they are very poignant.

The boys: Adam isn’t a complete douche anymore, which I appreciate. He seems to be coming to terms with his social station and that of Gansey and Ronan as well, and letting them help him; being a part of Cabeswater is definitely a help, he has something that makes him needed by the others and that makes him less intimidated by them. Ronan’s layers are coming off a bit more. We got to know him in The Dream Thieves, but now we are getting to know him even more, and his crush on Adam is becoming more apparent, as well as his fierceness when it comes to the group – even Blue. I’ve always loved Gansey, and he is even more likable in this one, we are getting to see the deeper side of him and he’s becoming a boy – not the facade he puts on for his family and friends to keep everything running.

I really loved the shifting of everyone’s relationships in this one. Adam finally coming to terms with his own conflicting thoughts and making a conscious effort not to take out his uncertainties on the rest of the group. Gansey and Blue are starting to bond on a personal level; Ronan isn’t as haunted ; and poor Noah – always there to help everyone out with their tough times but never able to receive any help in return.

I’m looking forward to the last book, and really hoping that somehow Gansey is saved – though the odds are certainly against him (and Stiefvater is not giving the fandom much hope!). Seeing how all of the sleepers interact will be really interesting, and how all the magic being released culminates.

Coming This Week: Jan. 26

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It’s the last week of January, wow this month has gone by fast. And while I’m glad this month is almost over, I am dreading this week. Work has been horrible lately, and that’s going to lead to my post for Friday, and about a new job I’m applying for.

Book discussion wise, look for Blue Lily, Lily Blue and The Jewel my first review for books I’m reading for the 365 days of YA challenge!

Wednesday I’ll update you on my writing progress of late and the schedule I’ve set for myself.

Now I don’t know about you all, but it’s going to be a multiple cup of coffee kind of day for me – so hang in there everyone.

Emmett Till

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Emmett_TillI mentioned on Monday that I was going to be historic today. And I had planned to do something in relation to Martin Luther King. Originally I was thinking about doing it on the Freedom Rides, but as I was editing my capstone as I get it ready for publication (hopefully someone thinks it’s smart enough!) I came across a reference I made to the case of Emmett Till, and noted to myself that I needed to provide a footnote with a description of the event.

Well, talking to my husband a while back (I think Till was a clue on Jeopardy or something), I realized once again that this boy and the affects his death had on African-American civil rights isn’t all that well known. So, given that, my personal interest in African-American history in the early 20th century, and the fact that I honestly don’t know much more interesting facts about MLK as most people (I’m a social historian, so I tend to ignore major public figures in favor of general society), I decided I would tell you all a little about Till.

First enjoy how adorable is he in that hat, he’s so dapper.

Ok, not get ready to become angry/depressed/disappointment in humanity.

In 1955, Emmett Till (14 years old) left Chicago to visit Mississippi with his uncle and cousin. Now, growing up in Chicago, to middle class parents (his father was a WWII veteran) in an all black community, he was not prepared for the unwritten law of Jim Crow. Knowing this his mother was hesitant to allow him to visit the south. Several days after arriving, he and his cousins went to a grocery, where Emmett is said to have whistled to the clerk when they walked out of the store.

The clerk was the white wife of the shop keeper. The shop keeper and his posy went to Till’s uncles house and demanded that they hand him over (I can’t remember, but I don’t think he was home, here is a good website about the event I found though). When the lynch mob got a hold of Till, they beat him, shot him, and then ditched him in a river – hoping the alligators would destroy the evidence.

When Till’s body was found he was unrecognizable (identified by his belongings). His mother, making a public statement about the immoral act, held his funeral with an open casket – forcing that people acknowledge the extent of Jim Crow cruelty and garnering global recognition of race relations within the U.S.

Now, I could go one for a while about how his case created a new emotional investment in the civil rights movement, how it’s global recognition affected the decolonization and rise of independence of African nations, and the moral questions it asked in a post war society; but instead I will just leave you with all of these ideas.

Emmett Till’s murder emphasizes the extreme prejudice of Jim Crow society and acts as a marker for a turn in the civil rights movement; the national emotional reaction to his death began the shift from a bureaucratic movement to one of action and catalyzed the social movement general society recognizes as the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s (though it started in the 1940s).

The Dream Thieves

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17347389Goodreads Review:

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. 

Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. 

Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…

I felt like this one was a bit slower than the first, and kind of sporatic. Really it felt like an adjustment period for the characters, which I guess they needed. But I had hoped for more answers, and instead got more questions.

This book focused more on Ronan and his weird ability to take things from his dreams. Though we got more of his background and saw how devoted he is to his brothers (biological and non), I don’t really feel like I know him that much better, but mysterious is basically his label of the group so I guess that makes sense. However, I don’t really understand how his dreams play into the larger goal of finding the Welsh king. I mean I understand they are tied to Cabeswater, and Adam is now tied to Cabeswater too, and this book was only about Cabeswater, basically nothing to do with Glendower besides the fact that he may be there, and that kind of annoyed me.

Adam, I didn’t love him in the first book, and I still don’t, he turned into a general ass in this one and I was so glad when Blue ended whatever little relationship they had. Towards the end when he started to come to terms with all the changes in his life he got a little better, so I am hoping in the next one he’ll finally start to grow on me.

I still love Gansey, and Blue became a bit more open in her perceptions of people which I appreciated; but honestly I didn’t feel like either of them were in the second book very much. The two of them also got closer which I liked, I think they balance each other pretty well (when Blue isn’t being difficult) and are a good team with similar goals. Everyone wants to find Glendower, but I feel like these two are the only ones who are doing it for non-selfish reasons.

I didn’t really like the Grey Man, I mean I understand why he was needed to tell the other side of Ronan’s story, but I don’t really see how he’ll play into the larger scheme of the story, I guess we’ll find out! And I am not a huge fan of Blue’s mom, she’s just so flakey – and with her obsession over her ex-boyfriend you’d think she’d be more willing to help Blue find a way for Gansey to survive – which no one seems worried about by the way!

Overall, I didn’t like this book as much as the first one, I feel like it was more of a way to stretch the series, and I am losing sight of what the actual mission of these characters and this series is.