Hello ladies and gents!Long time no chat.

I'M STILL WAITING FOR THIS FLIPPING BOOK!! Although I heard that they are a
bazillion truckloads of mail behind since this little Canada Post strike... my
book better be in one of them.

So anyways, until I have something better to blog about I'll tell you what I've been up to. Sometimes, books stick with you longer than you ever thought they would. As a mentioned in the last post, I read Michael Pollan's, In Defence of Food. I've actually read a TON of food
books, and they all pretty much say the same thing- be more conscious of what
you're buying, where it comes from, and what you're ACTUALLY putting into your
body. Every time I read a food book I always walk into the super market with my
measly pay cheque and feel pretty much dooped. Of course we'd all love to by the
farmer's market home-brew foods but really, I know I can't afford it,and I have
a decent job. Or can I?

Today I went wandering around downtown and was thinking about food,(as
usual) and money (or lack of it). In the last couple weeks since reading that
book, I've been thinking more and more about what I am putting into my body and
trying to buy fresh food on the way to work, make more food at home and not
worry too much about the calorie aspect.(in Pollan's book he tells you neat
things like now to get the nutrients we'd get from one apple 50 years ago, we'd
need to eat three today etc)Anyways, so today I'm walking around and thinking
about a latte but the only coffee shops around charge you about 5 bucks a cup,
which I think is just retarded. So , I end up wandering into The Local Market,
and sure enough found some milk in the fridge for 3.99! *Light Bulb* I can
afford to buy some local products like milk (not skim milk, milk with fat and
vitamins) if I just pay a bit more attention. Since I've been trying to pay more
attention I'm noticing a few things.
Firstly-my skin, which is honestly
horrible, looks so much better at this time of the month than it
usually does. I'm not saying its perfect, but its noticeably
better.
Secondly- I am happier! I feel better when I eat better- and when I'm
not counting calories and stuffing my face full of aspartame- the shit bloats
you you know!?
Thirdly, and my most favourite of them all- I tried on a pair
of shorts today, a size 6, AND THEY WERE BAGGY! When you eat real food with real
nutrients and yes, CALORIES, it fills you up and I haven't been snacking as much
on junk. Sure,I rented No Strings Attached last night and indulged in a little
candy, but who cares. I also noticed I didn't eat ALL of my candy, which never
happens!

I'm so on board for trying to eat better. Since it's summer, I think it
might be a bit easier. If I end up spending a little more on food,and a little
less on junk I don't need. Today I also found an incentive to eat better. I made
an appointment to donate blood! Being a vegetarian, I know I'm a higher risk for
being a bit anemic, and they test for that before you give, so I'm determined to
munch on leafy greens so that I pass the test!

So that's what I did today. I think this post could very well lead into the
ones I intend to write about the book I'm expecting in the mail. We'll see. If I
knew it was going to take this long I totally would have waited to publish this
blog but oh well. I'll keep you updated in the meantime!
To donate blood call 1-888-2-DONATE. Check it out at www.bloodservices.ca
Maybe you're starting to wonder why I haven't blogged about reading a book yet? I Am.

The excuse is that I've actually been reading several. I really don't plan on this blog being about reading a book and telling you about it and/or whether or not I liked it. The intention is to blog about the book as I go through it, and live through it.

There is a particular book I wanted to start with, and I totally had my heart set on getting on with it by now. However, I ordered this book in the MAIL which turned out to be a huge mistake as the mailman is on strike. I thought the dispute would only last a few days but here we are at another weekend with no mail. I wish I could just decide not to go to work! It's driving me bat-shit crazy as I already have an addiction to checking the mailbox, especially when I'm expecting something, and now I have to resist all my temptations to open that little metal box ( I can hear it calling me even today, and today is Saturday) because DUH, there is nothing in it. Humph.


So I guess I'll tell you what I'm up to to tide you over.

I just finished reading In Defence of Food by Michael Pollan, which was incredibly interesting (and a quick read if you like those).
I am currently reading The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls, a true story that actually leaves my mouth gaping open in shock. I really want to tell you everything about this book but it's one you just have to read for yourself. I can't even put it down or stop thinking about it.
I am going to read either Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut and/or Myst- The Book of Atrus by Robyn Miller next.


And as I wait for the mailman to come back to work I am in no hurry to read these books, especially seeing as how it's 'summer' here now. I don't even know if I'll be able to even focus on a book today as I'm SO hungover and trying to prepare my stomach for round 2 tonight. I need to go wash the rum and cigar smoke off of my body and then maybe The Glass Castle and I will have a bath together. ( Sorry Shaun, you can have the next turn!)
Back when Chantelle ( one of my very best friends) and I met, we hit it off right away talking about books. Oddly enough, when I run into a fellow reader these days, it often starts a connection a little deeper, bridging the acquaintance-to-friend gap. For me at least. Anyways, she told me to read A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. Its a YA book, so being about 20ish at the time, I was skeptical. However, Since we'd been talking about books we both enjoyed, I decided to trust her judgement.

I thought the book was wonderful. I'd wished I had read it when I was younger, (as I would have probably loved it even more) but it still struck a chord with me as one of those books I'll love forever.

On my absolute favourite website - www.goodreads.com- I have the book listed as a favourite and last week there was a message in my inbox asking me if I'd like to join a thread, in which Ms.Bray herself would be answering reader questions. I was so puzzled in what to ask one of my favourite authors. What would you ask someone like that if you had the chance? I don't think I've ever had the chance to communicate with an author so famous! I was pretty excited but decided to stick with some safe questions.

Reading through the thread, I was glad I did. I know she writes for the YA group, but I didn't think there would be so many 'young adult' questions. Also by the end of the few days we were allotted to ask the questions, people were asking the same things over and over again. I read through the questions before I asked mine to make sure that I didn't ask something someone else did. Anyways, I guess she's nice enough to reply to the people who claim to stalk her, LIKE OMG LOVE one of the male characters she wrote about in her trilogy,and if she prefers the The Matrix or Inception, etc.

So I ended up asking her what her favourite books are, and if she always knew she'd become a writer. Like I said, played it safe.. I wasn't even sure she'd reply. BUT SHE DID. Due to technical difficulties, it took a little longer, and I wasn't sure if she was even going to reply, i was on the edge of my computer chair! I also wasn't sure if I could ask two questions, but both were answered! I just think that's so cool and I was so stoked about it. I mean, how often to we get to ask one of our favourite authors anything? I definitely don't live in a town where a bestseller would come promote a book, let alone answer questions. And now I give you, the extremely polite, Libba Bray!

"Hey Alana--no worries, we don't get out the thumbscrews for sneaking in two questions. :) Oh gosh, it's always so hard to nail down favorite books, but here are some of them: Charlotte's Web, Goodnight Moon, The Hotel New Hampshire, The Beak of the Finch, How To Say Goodbye in Robot, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, 'Salem's Lot, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice...so many more but I'll stop there.

I had no idea I'd become a writer. My first love was art, then music, then theatre. But when I was eighteen, I had a very bad car accident in which I basically broke my face and lost my left eye. For the next six years, while going to college, I had a lot of reconstructive surgery. But that first year--my freshman year--was really awful. I was broken on the inside as well as the outside and I had no way to talk about the heartbreak and rage. But I had received a little yellow journal as a graduation present and I began to write everything down in there as a way to cope. Eventually, I looked forward to the writing. It was the one place where I found I could be completely honest, and that saved me. I wrote myself into being a writer, I suppose. Thanks for your questions. "





Other Q& A's:


Natalie wrote: "What inspires you? how do you come up with these amazing ideas for novels?"


"Well, thanks! Truthfully, just about everything is inspiration. If you put the cereal box in front of me for too long I'll suddenly want to spin off a story about Riboflavin. (My vote for most superhero-sounding nutrient. But I digress, and it's only the first question...) I have many, many interests, especially when it comes to what I like to read, so I tend to say, "Hey, what would be fun to work on for the next X number of months/years? Gothic Victorian boarding school fantasy? Yeah! That sounds fun!" It's like deciding where to go on a road trip. Of course, once I get into the writing, I discover all new things and I realize that under the idea or inspiration is a story I desperately need to tell. But I don't know that until I'm too far in to chicken out. :)"

Carling wrote: "Hey Libba. I don't know how many people have told you this but you are awesome. What advice can you give to a wannabe writer on how to improve her awesomeness? Thanks.

PS I love Beauty Queens :)"

"LOL. Um, is now the time to tell you that I put my shirt on inside-out this morning? Yeah, my awesomeness is very, very questionable...but thanks. But yay for writers and writing questions and on that end, my advice is to read. Read, read, read. It's like a master class in book form. I keep trying to learn from everything I read. I know this sounds really basic, but you'd be amazed at how many people don't actually read. So, yeah. Do that reading thing. It really IS the awesome. Rock on, my friend. (And thanks for the BQ love.)"

And We're Off!

Welcome! I've been meaning to start a blog like this for so long! I've tried blogging like a journal before but I'd just get stuck on deciding what exactly to put in it, so I decided to try a different approach. So here's to a fresh start!

My name is Alana, I'm almost 24 years old, and I absolutely love to read. Since moving to a town where I only know a handful of people, I have a lot of time to do it! I noticed the other day ( OK it was pointed out to my by a coworker :s) that I always have a book with me. I started thinking about how a lot of conversations I have, the things I'm thinking about, and just in general where my life is at, has a lot to do with the book I'm enveloped in at the time. Books to me really are like a time line of my life I guess is what I'm trying to say.

The intention for this blog is that I will be able to keep track and share my life through these books. There will of course be other content to my posts, the books are just to keep me on some kind of track. It's a good hobby for me and maybe one day I'll have a few followers who might just be into blogging about these books with me. I'll apologize in advance for my lack of writing skills, but this isn't about my horrible grammar, spelling, lack of structure, etc etc.... a few more etcetera's.. It's simply for fun! For example, the date there says JUN.. I dont know how this template is set up to say that, and I have absolutely no idea how to fix it, so JUN it is... moving on...

So here it is. With a weird title that comes from a Jack Johnson song relating to my favourite book, I give you, Red Wine, Mistakes, Mythology, a blog about me and my books.