Weekend Reads #68: Cinderella

Weekend Reads is a weekly post in which I discuss a variety of topics and mention the books I plan to read on the weekend.

This weekend’s post is inspired by a Weekly Writer Wisdom post I saw on Sara Letourneau’s blog that asks:

What stories (novels, myths, legends, etc.) have taken up residence in your soul? How or why do you think they moved you to this degree? Has a story ever inspired you to do something new or different, change your worldview, etc.? Is this something you hope to accomplish with your own work?

Instead of focusing on several books/stories that have resonated with me, I’ll instead discuss one that has stuck with me since the first time I read it as a child, Cinderella.

We’re all familiar with this fairy tale about a girl who’s abused by her evil step-mother, attends a ball with the help of her fairy god mother, and is later rescued from her horrible life by a charming prince. I can’t recall having the story read to me, but I do recall reading it over and over again as a kid.

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What’s On Your Nightstand: January 2017

What's On Your NightstandWhat’s on Your Nightstand, is a monthly meme hosted by 5 Minutes for Books on the last Tuesday of every month that summarizes what you’ve read for the month, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan to read next. For my posts, I also include articles, music, art, TV shows, and whatever else I did in the month.

January was rough for me. After all the wrap-ups and reflections and look-ahead posts, I was drained and wasn’t in the mood to read or blog. I instead spent much of my time watching movies and TV shows and now have so many TV shows I want to keep up with that I’ll have to make a schedule for them. I also read a couple interesting articles because of the divisive administration currently in power in the U.S., but I didn’t keep track of them so unfortunately, I won’t be able to share much in that section. But, enough of my rambling. Here’s what I did in January.

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“Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination” by J.K. Rowling

very-good-livesGoodreads summary:

In 2008, J.K. Rowling delivered a deeply affecting commencement speech at Harvard University. Now published for the first time in book form, Very Good Lives offers J.K. Rowling’s words of wisdom for anyone at a turning point in life, asking the profound and provocative questions: How can we embrace failure? And how can we use our imagination to better both ourselves and others?

Drawing from stories of her own post-graduate years, the world-famous author addresses some of life’s most important issues with acuity and emotional force. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

Toward the end of last year, I visited the library and unsure of what to get, I grabbed whatever caught my eye. Very Good Lives was one of the three books I left with.

Very Good Lives is the published copy of a speech J.K. Rowling gave at Harvard’s commencement in 2008. It’s not the first that I’ve encountered it. I watched a video of Rowling giving the speech a couple years ago on Brain Pickings. There were several other commencement speeches in that post, including one by Steve Jobs, and all were uplifting.

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Reflecting on 2016: Life

Since getting my first job in 2012, I started assigning themes to my new year. For 2012, the theme was Hope because with getting a job, I hoped that my circumstances would improve and I would be able to manage my student loan payments. I forgot what the theme was for 2013, but for 2014 it was Progress. I wanted to build on what I attained in 2013 and continue to move forward.

For 2015, I wanted to Improve. I did well professionally in 2014, but not so great in my personal life. I needed to improve my health, relationships, and finances, and though I tried, I failed miserably in some areas and by the time 2016 rolled around, I was so angry with myself that I constantly berated myself for my failures. By reading Pema Chödrön’s Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better, I learned that such internal dialogue isn’t healthy and that failures can help us to improve. Sometimes they are blessings in disguise, but it’s all a matter of Perspective, which was the theme for 2016.

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What’s On Your Nightstand: December 2016

What's On Your NightstandIt’s December, which means it’s wrap-up season. Everyone’s wrapping up something, whether it’s presents or the books, or posts, or goals. I was at a loss at first on how to do this because there is an overkill of wrap ups in the blogosphere and I tend to do two wrap ups every quarter: one is a monthly wrap up, a new feature I started this year, and the other is a quarterly wrap up. I thought it would be too much for readers if I should do both of these plus the several reflection posts I usually do at the end of the year, but then I thought about why I blog and that made me feel better about doing whatever the hell I want.

I love having people read and like my posts, but the only way I can maintain my sanity on here is to remember why I blog and that is to entertain my damn self. 🙂 With that said, here’s what I consumed since my last What’s on Your Nightstand post.

What’s on Your Nightstand, is a monthly meme hosted by 5 Minutes for Books on the last Tuesday of every month that summarizes what you’ve read for the month, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan to read next. For my posts, I also include articles, music, art, TV shows, and whatever else I did in the month.

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“A Time Code” by Ruth Ozeki

A Time CodeQuick overview:

A Time Code is the first in a series of books called The Face where a writer pens a short memoir about their face. Ruth Ozeki structures A Time Code using an observation method she found in “The Power of Patience,” an essay by Harvard professor of art history and architecture Jennifer L. Roberts.

In her essay, Roberts says she tries to teach her students immersive attention by sending them to a museum or gallery to spend three full hours observing a piece of art and detailing their observations, questions, and speculations. Likewise, Ozeki details her observations, questions, and speculations about her face while looking at it in a mirror for three full hours.

Sounds difficult, doesn’t it? Ozeki is a Zen Buddhist priest but even she began to get fidgety after a while. She records her thoughts by first stating the time and then jotting down her thoughts. For example:

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Weekend Reads #64: Answers to Your Questions

A couple weeks ago, I shared the wonderful news that I now have over 800 subscribers to my blog and that I’d celebrate by doing a Q&A. Well, now I’m here to answer the questions you all asked.

I never thought I’d have so many people subscribed to my blog, but I’m happy for it and I do appreciate you all following along with me here, reading and sharing my posts, and tagging me in things. You all have helped to make this hobby enjoyable.

The first questions were from Liz at Cover to Cover, who asked:

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