What are you reading this Fall?

 

 

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Scrapbooks and Conferences

I am posting this today for two reasons:

1. I am all of the sudden obsessed with graphic design scrapbooking. I suppose because I do blog covers so often at work it just makes sense to do the same at home!

2. I am frantically preparing for SYTA 2017 this week, leaving for Albuquerque Thursday morning.

Here’s to successful designs and successful traveling!

 

Capture

Fall Must-Reads

Autumn is all about falling leaves, falling in love, and falling deep into the pages of a great novel. This year read all the best fall classics by following this list, our list of Fall Must-Reads.

Get cozy, get scared, and get reading. 


  • Dracula by Bram Stoker.
    • Fall back into the late 19th-century as you follow the English lawyer Johnathan Harker to Transylvania, in hopes to finalize a transfer of real estate to the mysterious Count Dracula. Wolves, blood, and seductresses follow, making this a perfect cozy cold night read.
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
    • This is one of the most common classic fall reads we could think of, the story used as a school-time norm for spooky Halloween stories. Set sail with Captain Robert Walton as he listens to Victor’s story of terror and vengeance.
      Poor Frankenstein, or should we say, poor Victor!
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
    • Ah, Jane Austen in the Autumn…there’s really nothing quite like reading a classic love tale when the leaves begin to change. This one, in particular, is one of her more comical ones, the story following 17-year-old Catherine Morland around in her world of class-driven socializing and love-stricken fantasizing.
  • The Complete Tales And Poems by Edgar Allan Poe.
    • From the Tell Tale Heart to Cask of Amontillado, Edgar Allan Poe has his hold on classic fall spooky reads and has for quite some time. Sink into the Pit and the Pendulum, dance over the pages of Ligeia, or fall right into the Fall of the House of Usher.
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
    • An utterly classic seasonal read awaits within the bounds of Bronte’s best (in our opinion only) book, Wuthering Heights. This fall-classic provides readers with all the drama, love, and creepy Victorian vibe that you will need to make your crisp autumn night a little bit warmer.
  • The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow By Washington Irving.
    • Ichabod Crane, the schoolmaster from the quaint village in New York, wants nothing more than to spend the night with his sweetheart at her party, but ends up being chased and terrorized through the cozy autumnal woods by none other than the Headless Horseman himself! Talk about a bummer.
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K Rowling
    • We think ANY Harry Potter book is an extremely excellent read for the fall season, but there is just something in particular about the Goblet of Fire that makes us want to cozy up under some blankets and lose a day in deep reading. Maybe it’s the tournaments beginning in fall, maybe it’s the holiday themed Yule Ball, heck, maybe it’s just the school setting in general that makes this so perfect for Autumn. Honestly though, can you go wrong with Harry Potter in any season? No. The answer is no.
  • Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
    • Sally and Gillian will allow you to escape to their wonderful world of witches in Alice Hoffman’s classic, this tale one of love, magic, and even horror. This is a Halloween classic for us, both for the mystery factor and the creepy ghost scenes. And the love part, of course, that’s a pretty big deal in here. 
  • Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
    • Again, this is one of those options in which truly any of the books in the series would do, but we are always drawn to the Little House in the Big Woods most in this season. See the family’s beginnings and learn what life on the homestead is all about, from fall to summer.
  • Salem’s Lot  by Stephen King
    • Diving straight into the horror realm, our next option comes from the king himself, Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot. This story follows Ben Mears as he makes his way back to Jerusalem’s Lot, Maine, in search of good novel content by way of the old creepy Marsten House. It turns out that much more than the house is creepy, as the towns folk are slowly turned into horde of vampires by the home’s new owner.
  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    • There is something about Scout and Boo that puts readers in the fall mood, whether it’s their heartwarming, albeit harrowing, chain of events within the novel or the fact that we all had to read this when we headed back to school in autumn.
  • The Call Of The Wild by Jack London
    • Though the setting is much more frosty than fall, the story line takes us to Autumn in mindset nonetheless. Read all about Buck’s trials and tribulations on his sledding journey across the Yukon and find out what it truly means to be wild. 2 (2)

The Girl Who Shared Too Much

This is a rather weird portion of my senior sem project from years ago, one I feel was rather undeveloped re-reading it. It is certainly still interesting as a concept, though!

The Girl Who Shared Too Much

    Breakfast was rather dull without her bright smart phone screen lighting up her eggs and orange juice, even though her fiancé’s face seemed to provide its own light across the table that she was envious of every day. Her own face, though uniquely stunning, never seemed to light up on its own. The contour of her cheekbones and the angles of her jawline only glowed under the light of a screen, where compliments were free and easily given.

   Tablets, Kindles, iPhones, laptops, TVs, the number of screens she actually had may have astonished some, but to her, they were just more mirrors around the house. She thought she felt a vibration on the table and instinctively reached for her phone, realizing red-faced that it was, as it always was, the L a block away rattling their second story apartment walls.

    “You realize it’s an actual addiction” her fiancé continued to say; as her hands flew back to the fork and egg she should have been focusing on. He sounded lighthearted enough, but she knew that after her last ‘incident’ his already short fuse needed no more excuse to be lit.

    “I was just wondering if mom got my text last night about changing our engagement photo shoot appointment to Tuesday instead of Saturday. The weather is supposed to get nasty this weekend, at least that’s what my….”

    “Phone told you, I know.” His half-finished egg sandwich found its way to the trash can as his feet found their way out of the kitchen. “I could have told you if you asked me you know, real people do watch weather and communicate face to face, weird I know,” his voice trailed monotonously away and she was sure he was going to leave for work before giving her a kiss goodbye.

    She put her plate haphazardly in the dishwasher and gulped down her orange juice as she remembered the last time he refused to kiss her. It was a couple months into their engagement and he refused to kiss her goodnight, not even on her cheek. Panic started to set in again as she recalled that night, the way he found her mirrors all open.

    It was her tablet, sitting on the bed that night, which caused it all. Usually, she was good about putting away her things and locking her screens and doors before bed, but that night she was floating on a happy high that made her forgetful.


    A smile crept across her face thinking of that particular incident, starting to light up the edges of her mouth. She shouldn’t be smiling at all, which made her panic even more as she speed walked down the hallway to the sound of his toothbrush hitting the sink in the bathroom.

    “It only happened twice. You know I feel bad, it wasn’t like I actually cheated on you though.” She regretted the words as soon as they left her mouth, her mouth that definitely wasn’t going to get a kiss now, and she timidly watched the light leave his face and join the hue of hers.

    “Twice that I know of. And darling, you left your laptop open this morning in the living room. Let’s not pretend you still think it’s not cheating.”

    Her heart felt like it was going to pound out of her chest, or maybe stop, as guilt and fear rushed through her body. She ignored the instinct to turn around and check her laptop, as well as her instincts to cry or leave.

    It was the shutter of the camera, the click of her smartphone flash, that made her most happy usually. The satisfaction of knowing that temporary beauty she held was captured and ready to be shared.

   No, she couldn’t even lie to herself anymore, it was the click of the mouse as she pressed share online that really satisfied her. That hollow click meant that her photos were being sent out and viewed and admired and that people would tell her how meaningful her mirrors are to them as well.

  Hungry eyes meant nothing to her when she considered the nude factor, the amount of skin she was actually showing. Cybersex wasn’t sex to her, it was attention and admiration. Sex was deeper in real life, it was connection and love.

    “Your phone is ringing”.

    She didn’t hear her phone, though, as she was concerned with the continually fading light in her fiancé’s face. She loved that light more than anything in the world, she was sure of that as she stood before him. She was also sure that the only light she could count on tomorrow was that of her screens and mirrors.

 

 

FacelessBooks

FacelessBooks

A Senior Capstone Project Revisited (2014)

 

In generations before us college was an interpersonal connection of faces and names, knowing the right people and meeting the wrong ones by mistake, or vice versa. We shook professors hands and hugged fraternity brothers unashamed, we even looked our peers in the eyes during conversations and important events. We didn’t, however, have the networking abilities to find each person we made a connection with and further the relationship afterward, nor did we view this as immediately necessary.

Today instead of graduating from a swirling world of face to face interaction, a real life world of faces so to speak, we are graduating from an institution of screens. Mirrors reflecting our true selves, social media has taken control of our lives as students and humans in general, and it is by no means going away anytime soon.

We put into our profiles and pages our whole life, our experiences and our events. We use these screens as electronic journals, typing away our thoughts and plans, hoping that other people care about them just as much as we do. Our free time is spent checking up on what other people are doing in their free time, which is most likely something similar to what we’re doing on our own screen.

Look around in hallways anywhere on campus and you’ll see an average of 7/10 students or teachers on their phones. The quad is full of professional iPhone filtered photographers, and each concert or comedian visiting is hard to see through the glare of phones in the crowd. Laptops have taken precedence over paper, typing skills over cursive skills, and homework is preferred electronically over personally. If you need an extension you can hop on Gmail or Facebook and send a quick line to a professor, connect with them instantly.

So why are we so addicted to social media, and how is it affecting our lives? Do the negatives of screen envy outweigh the positives of networking or is social media simply another small step on the grander scale of technological advancement that we must learn to live with and adapt to even further?

In my series of flash fiction pieces, I would like to address these issues and allow you to think about them as you listen to the stories of our generation, our songs of screens. Like the irresistible songs the sirens sang to the men in the Odyssey, these stories show the irresistible attraction to screens, in almost any form, that we all now have.

These stories put into words our digital experiences that we have not, and our real emotions that come along with them. They are books of peoples experiences, with no faces or names to distract from the bigger picture, these stories are FacelessBooks.


Flash Fiction Series Revisited to be posted soon.