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Tag Archives: good writing

11 // The Hunger Games series

 

The first time I heard about “The Hunger Games” was from my Dad. For a while there, he would often bring up this author named Suzanne Collins who had written some really interesting book. He wasn’t sure much of what it was about, but it was receiving a lot of buzz. Since I like to stay in tune to any kind of up-and-coming novel (especially one in the YA genre), I kept my eyes peeled for it on bookshelves.

I came across it originally at some discount book store at one of those outlet shopping malls. Looking at the cover alone, I wasn’t sold. In my mind, it looked like a ‘boy’ book. Now, obviously, that is a ridiculous notion because I’ve read lots of books that are probably geared in some way more at guys than girls (examples: Harry Potter series, An Abundance of Katherines, really any book with lots of boy characters and narration). So I took a look at the back of the book and read the blurb. It turned me off more. Made-up cities. Strange names. I usually shy away from novels like those. Which again, now that I think about it, is so stupid.

Fast forward to the summer when I took a vacation with my parents after my internship had ended. I knew we’d be driving for hours across a lot of terrain. I believe we were visiting the Maine area, and would be going to lots of national parks and such. Essentially, not the type of places where you could just watch TV or pop in a movie easily. I knew I’d need to stock up on some books for the road. I’d been hearing tons of good things, consistently, about Hunger Games so I finally broke down and bought a copy of the first book. At that point, the series was established and there were 2 books out by then. I only bought the first in the series though. I wasn’t sure I wanted to take a risk on two novels in a series I wasn’t familiar with.

So my family’s road trip began, and so also began my relationship with The Hunger Games series. I devoured the book in mere hours. I was so completely absorbed into the world, into the competition, into the characters. Katniss struck me as a very relatable character and I just thought the whole story was fascinating. After reading that first book, it reminded me a lot of “Battle Royale” for a younger set. And I was hooked. I bought the second novel in the series when we visited a bookstore in Bar Harbor. I was just so excited to keep reading. I really wish the third had been out then, because I probably would’ve bought it right on the spot.

It’s been at least a year and half since I finished reading those books. I still haven’t fully finished the third book because by the time I had gotten it, it had been quite some time since reading the second one. I’d forgotten what was going on with the story and couldn’t keep my focus on it. So today, I decided to just dive back into the series and read them back-to-back. I need to know what happens to Katniss and Peeta and Gale and everyone. I’ve enjoyed being pulled back into the world of the Games, of District 12, of everything. It’s also been a REALLY long time since I’ve sat and read for hours at a time. I’m nearly done with the first book after reading it incessantly all day today. I’m also very excited for the movie to come out. All I can hope is that they don’t stray a ton from the novel.

May the odds be ever in your favor.

 

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4 // The World Needs More Love Letters

I’m starting to get involved in a project. More specifically, something like a movement. I stumbled upon this “The World Needs More Love Letters” campaign a few days ago, purely by accident. I was on a blog I regularly visit, and they had done an interview with the founder of this movement, Hannah Brencher. She’s taken it upon herself to spearhead a huge group of people (it has gone global) that send anonymous ‘love letters’ to people who need them. The letters typically center around encouraging words, positive thoughts and general good-vibe feelings. I was so impressed with her backstory and how she got it started (PS, she’s only 23! Like me!) and it made me want to start doing something to help.

Any kind of organization/non-profit/movement that inspires complete strangers to write to each other for a common good is something I can get behind. So I signed my email address up on her site and I’ve recently received my first instructions for letter writing. What’s cool is that there’s always a monthly “bundle” of letters that go to one specific person. People can request letters for friends, family or co-workers if they think that one person in their lives could use some cheering up or some positivity. I haven’t begun writing my big letter yet because I know it’s going to be a tall order to start out on. I’m writing to someone with cancer, and those words shouldn’t be taken lightly.

On a slightly less serious note, Hannah and her fabulous team encourage people to leave anonymous letters around their hometowns, or along their commutes, or anywhere that a little letter could be found. Last night, my friend and I were at Target and I was looking for some cute stationary to begin my foray into letter writing. I wanted something cute, but generic enough that it could appeal to any subject matter I’d be tackling. My friend was so inspired by my want to get involved, that she decided to jump in too. So last night, we bought a bunch of adorable cards and envelopes. I got mini ones for my ‘anonymous around town’ letters, and some larger ones for the big letters I’ll be sending.

We wrote out our words thoughtfully, and got very excited about the notion of leaving them for people. We took to the streets of our hometown around 10 p.m. last night and hid notes cleverly at local shops that were still open. I put one envelope in between two Hershey bars at one of our local gas stations, in hopes that some home-sick college freshman from the local university would happen upon it. Today, I wrote 3 more letters. I’m going to visit my grandma today, and I plan on leaving some along my way to her house.

This feels good to have something positive to focus on. Knowing I might make a difference, even a small one, in someone’s day. It’s possible that my letters won’t all be found. Some people might throw them away or think it’s weird. But I like the hope in it. And I would be thrilled if I found one. So I’m going to keep writing. Because everyone could use a love letter, every once in a while.

3 // Friday Night Lights

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I never wanted to watch Friday Night Lights. It was one of those mindless football shows that I just automatically dismissed and assumed I would hate.

One of my favorite authors, Sarah Dessen, always talks about the show on Twitter. I trust her judgement on shows but I kept hesitating on watching.

The other night I was scrolling through Netflix and FNL came up on my recommended shows list. I decided to just give it a shot. Verdict? I’m really glad I did.

I’ve only watched 8 episodes so far, but I’ve managed to get chills multiple times already. One episode made me tear up. That’s the kind of writing that really gets to me. The kind that moves you. So I’m going to keep watching. Lazy Saturday mornings are perfect for Netflix marathons.

Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t lose.