Monday, July 27, 2009

Exciting News!

A literary magazine known as the Ampersand Review is going to publish my poem, "Mudfish"!!! I was absolutely astounded to get the e-mail telling me they had accepted that poem, and I pretty much made high-pitched squealing noises for about fifteen minutes. You can visit the website of the literary magazine here: and check out the vibe of the zine and some of the work they have featured before. I don't think I'm getting paid, BUT, it will be something to put on my somewhat sparse resume, and I'm over the moon about it.

Now that's over, I want to recommend a memoir by Julie Powell called Julie and Julia about one woman who decides to cook her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking all in one year. Julie is, in all honesty, a total and complete hot mess, and she details much of her disastrous, and enlightening, "year of cooking dangerously." There is a film featuring Amy Adams and Meryl Streep that will be coming out soon, and so that's exciting.

But what is really the most exciting is that I'm going to be published. WOO!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Another Good Book

So during our fantabulous Knobels Family Camping Trip, I was able to finish another book, this one called The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson. Larsson is from Sweden, and the story takes place there, which makes for some interesting places, names, and situations. Once I had wrapped my head around the pronunciation of words, however, I found myself deeply engrossed in this thrilling novel. The story centers around a missing heir to a Swedish industrialist's fortune who mysteriously disappeared thirty years ago. Now, the missing girl's uncle, who has been haunted by her disappearance for all of these years has hired an experienced journalist who was wrongly convicted of libel, named Mikael Blomkvist, to come and live on the small island he inhabits and work on the case for a year. By the end of the story, the journalist receives help from a past juvenile delinquent orphan named Lisbeth Salander, who has incredible skill in obtaining information about just about anyone, though her means may be questionable. The ending is completely unexpected, and the book is filled with danger, suspense, cleverness, and even some sex, and it is not for the squeamish or faint of heart. If you can't enjoy a good sexual-deviants-getting-what-they-deserve scene, then The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo may not be for you.

The only complaint that I would really vocalize is the fact that Larsson does a lot of telling, rather than showing. His descriptions of places and people can get a little listy, and there were paragraphs where I thought to myself, he definitely could have thought of a better way to do this, but the story speaks for itself, and this list0like characteristic of his writing does not detract from the novel as a whole. I probably wouldn't really have noticed it if I hadn't taken a creative writing class this past semester. The novel does start off a little slow, but by after the first 100 pages, you will be hooked. And don't let the length of the book defer you, it goes by just like that *snaps fingers* and when it's over, you'll wish you had hundreds of more pages to read. Thankfully, Larsson's next book in the series will be coming out this month, and I really can't wait.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


So my family and I are in the midst of preparing to go to Knoblels, an amusement park with a campground attached to it in the middle of no where, PA. Though I was reluctant to try the place at first, last summer, after one day there, I was in love. The park is extremely family-oriented, but that doesn't mean it's boring. They have two excellent wooden coasters, and a new luge coaster that was just completed in time for this summer, was well as at least twenty or so other fun rides. Everything is done by a ticket system, where you buy tickets in order to ride the attractions. If I remember correctly, The Phoenix, a roller coaster, is $2.25 in tickets which doesn't seem like a bad deal to me. The amusement park also claims to have the "best bumper cars in the country" as voted by someone or another, and they do live up to their reputation. Besides rides that everyone will love, the park boasts some of the best food in the country, as specified by the Food Network. You can't walk fifteen feet without running into some sort of ice cream vendor, and there is one pavilion where you can sample authentic food from seven different parts of the world. The park is nicely decorated and extremely clean, which is a huge selling point for me. While the local Six Flags does have some of the best coasters I've seen, the aesthetic appeal of that park leaves much to be desired, unless you enjoy walking around on hot tar, picking your way around bits of litter. Oh, and did I mention that Knobels also has a water park? There are water slides, both with inner tubes and without, and the largest pool in the state of Pennsylvania. So beat that, Busch Gardens.