You, Yes YOU, Are Successful

I’ve thought a lot about success lately. How it affects us as writers and how it affects us on our writing journey.

First, let’s start with the definition of success. According to the dictionary, success is the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.

 

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What I love most about this definition its simplicity. It’s so mindnumbingly simple.

You set a goal. You accomplish it. Boom, you’re successful.

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But I’ve noticed as writers, it’s not always that easy, is it?

We compare ourselves to others. We base our success on other people’s success.

And when someone achieves success, especially success we think we’re due, it’s easy to feel lousy about yourself and be like:

What’s my point?

My point is that YOU control your success. YOU control your feelings of achievement. You control your destiny to greatness. Because there is no universal definition of success except for the ideals that you place on to yourself.

Be Happy For Others

Someone else succeeding is not going to keep you from being successful. Another writer getting that offer of representation or signing that contract is not keeping you from getting your offer or your contract.

Define Your Success

Success is not one size fits all. Set goals for yourself that are based on your dreams, your wants, and your desires. And start taking the steps to fulfill them. It could be something as easy as, “I want to write 2,000 every day, all month long.” And if you drive yourself to meet that goal, guess what? You’re successful. You’ve succeeded. You can keep going, achieve more goals! Nothing is too small or too large to be a considered a goal.

Do Not Compare Yourself to Others

It’s easier to say than to do. Trust me, I know. In the publishing world (and the real world) it’s easy to find a ton of people to compare yourself to. But the fact of the matter is, you will never be happy with yourself if you’re constantly comparing yourself to others, noticing what they have that you don’t or what they’ve accomplished that you haven’t. You don’t know the details of their journey and you can’t always control the factors around your own journey. But there are a few things you can control.

Work hard. Dedicate Yourself. Make It Happen.

You can make magic happen. All you need to do is set goals, work hard, dedicate yourself, and it will happen. I’m not saying it will happen overnight. I’m not saying in two days. But it will happen. You can do this.

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So tell me. What goals are you setting for yourself? What things are you going to let go, because someone else’s success isn’t the same path as yours? What is your definition of success?

 

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Waiting on Wednesday: Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty

I practically fainted when I heard about this book. I’m a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes, so I was beyond excited to hear about a YA novel coming to a bookshelf near you! Have you heard of an upcoming YA book called Lock & Mori?

Well. Get ready.

Check out Lock & Mori

Lock & Mori

In modern-day London, two brilliant high school students, one Sherlock Holmes and a Miss James “Mori” Moriarty, meet. A murder will bring them together. The truth very well might drive them apart.

Before they were mortal enemies, they were much more.

FACT: Someone has been murdered in London’s Regent’s Park. The police have no leads.

FACT: Miss James “Mori”Moriarty and Sherlock “Lock” Holmes should be hitting the books on a school night. Instead, they are out crashing a crime scene.

FACT: Lock has challenged Mori to solve the case before he does. Challenge accepted.

FACT: Despite agreeing to Lock’s one rule–they must share every clue with each other–Mori is keeping secrets.

OBSERVATION: Sometimes you can’t trust the people closest to you with matters of the heart. And after this case, Mori may never trust Lock again.

 

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I haven’t read anything from Heather W. Petty  before but you bet your buns I will be now. I can’t wait to check this one out.  Out 9/15/15!

What do you think? Will you be reading this book?

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Shout out to Jill from Breaking the Spine for hosting Waiting on Wednesday!

May 2015 Update – Where the Hell Have I Been?

I haven’t been around much lately.

What the hell have I been up to? Well, let’s see.

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March Highlights

 

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  • Saw my favorite band since elementary school. Yep. Blink 182. It was an absolute dream and I couldn’t believe that it was happening.
  • My old roommate Haylee was getting married so I attended her bridal shower. She makes the cutest cups. Check them out.
  • I recorded a sweet podcast with podcast genius Brian LeTendre about writing and Camp NaNoWriMo. If you’re thinking about starting a novel, you’re already writing one, or you’re thinking about participating in NaNoWriMo, I think you’re find it helpful! Listen now!
  • I did a ton of other non-fun things like smogging cars, getting things fixed, paying rent, getting Nova puppy shots, etc.
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She’s a weirdo and sleeps with eyes partially open. Love her!

 

April Highlights

 

I went to Coachella! It was one of those bucket list things. My best friend and I decided to go last year and we bought tickets before we even knew who was playing so that we could do the payment plan. Well, thank heavens we did because one of my all-time favorite bands, AC/DC was headlining. We saw a ton of fabulous shows including Hozier (he’s adorable and SO talented), Father John Misty (not a fan of his music but his show was absolutely enthralling and hilarious), Brand New (amazing!), Circa Survive (stupendous!), David Guetta (so much fun!), and so many more. Johanna and I camped at a nearby campsite called Indian Waters Resorts. I highly recommend staying there if you are ever in need of a campground and you find yourself in Indio.

 

Here are a few picture highlights from Coachella:

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AC/DC

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Steely Dan baby!

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View from inside the Ferris Wheel.

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  • I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo. My goal was 50K and I only made it about halfway but I’m so happy that I started and tried, despite “failing.” Because in my opinion, if you tried, you never actually failed at all! Now I have 26K into a new WIP in one month. Woot! The next session of Camp NaNoWriMo is in July and YOU can participate.
  • My buddy Brian LeTendre and I started our SUPER AWESOME SUPER SECRET COLLAB PROJECT THAT I CAN’T SHARE ANYTHING ABOUT BUT I WANT TO BECAUSE I AM LITERALLY BURSTING. Oh, and apparently he is too because he spilled the beans, kind of, not really.
  • I was delighted to be a guest post on Sione Aeschliman’s blog. I talked characteristics of good writing! Find out my secrets here.

 

May Highlights

  • Nova got her final puppy shots! Now, if only I could get her to stop chewing on everything!
  • My brother came out to visit for 48 hours. We celebrated my father’s birthday and he set off for Nova Scotia, because he’s just that awesome! It’s always good to see my brother because well, he’s simply the best.
  • Pen and Muse Press is running a new blog tour for Laura Lee’s fab book Identity Theft, about catfishing. It has it all! Humor. Suspense. You can sign up here to get a free review copy AND join the tour!
  • My sexy car got new tires, new front end everything, and now she’s driving like a breeze!
  • I’m querying book #4. Le woot!
  • My friend Haylee got married! Congratulations Haylee! I attended the wedding and it was gorgeous and she was gorgeous and I’m so happy that her and my longtime friend Trousie have started their life together

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What have YOU been up to the last couple of months? I’d love to hear. Or if you blog it, feel free to link it to me in the comments so I can check it out.

Or, if you have any questions for me about what I’ve been doing or Coachella, feel free to ask them below and I’ll answer them.

Here’s a picture of my perfect, doggy child being adorable.

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Very truly yours,

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Blog Tour: Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly + Giveaway

Okay. First off, I have just read your new favorite book. Have you heard of Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly? I’ve actually never read anything from Tina Connolly before but I can assure you that now, I’ll be reading pretty much everything that shoots from this woman’s fingers. Let me give you the details…

About the Book

SERIOUSLY WICKED

SERIOUSLY WICKED

by Tina Connolly

The only thing worse than being a witch is living with one.

Camellia’s adopted mother wants Cam to grow up to be just like her. Problem is, Mom’s a seriously wicked witch.

Cam’s used to stopping the witch’s crazy schemes for world domination. But when the witch summons a demon, he gets loose—and into Devon, the cute new boy at school.

Now Cam’s suddenly got bigger problems than passing Algebra. Her friends are getting zombiefied. Their dragon is tired of hiding in the RV garage. For being a shy boy-band boy, Devon is sure kissing a bunch of girls. And a phoenix hidden in the school is going to explode on the night of the Halloween Dance.

To stop the demon before he destroys Devon’s soul, Cam might have to try a spell of her own. But if she’s willing to work spells like the witch…will that mean she’s wicked too?

Pub. Date: May 5, 2015

Publisher: Tor Teen

Find it:

 AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads

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Review

 

First off, if you’re looking for a fun, quirky read, look no further! Seriously Wicked is seriously freaking fantastic! I was absolutely in love with this book from page one.

I think what I love about this book the most is this book is the author, Tina Connolly’s world building. She managed to make this fantastic setting, full of magic, teen angst, mischief, and love and it’s so completely believable.

I think it’s rare that an author can build a magical setting like this and have it be completely believable. Miss Connolly did it flawlessly. It’s not easy to write dragons and pixies and werewolves and have your readers be like, “Yeah, okay, I believe it.” And I did. I believed it and I loved it. I think part of the reason that Tina’s world building is so amazing is that she creatively has come up with these tiny little details that make the story so believable. For example, witches use Witchipedia to look things up. Not Wikipedia. It had me giggling. But it’ s things like this that only make you love the story and the world even more.

 

I could go on FOR DAYS about Tina’s writing voice. It. Is. Amazing. On the first page alone, I was giggling about dragons and magic and witches. I was completely in love with and cared about the main character Cam, right from the beginning. I like Cam because she’s fun, she’s smart and she’s not a whiney, someone-come-save-me kinda girl. Even the secondary characters are fantastic. I absolutely adored Jenah! And can we all applaud that Tina managed to write a teen that actually had a parental figure that the MC likes and can take advice from? LOL.

I think Seriously Wicked is a super unique read because I feel like there aren’t that many witch stories out there right now that mix contemporary magic and setting with traditional witch lore. And this story, though it is light-hearted and sweet, is unique enough that it absolutely sticks out. I racked my brain trying to figure out what other books are out there like it and I came out with absolutely none. This book is somewhat, in my opinion, groundbreaking in YA.

There were a few twists and turns but what I loved about it most is that since the characters were so relatable, that any person could pick this up and relate to Cam’s longing for belonging, or her coming-of-age, or even her light romance with Devon. I think there’s absolutely something for everyone in this book.

If you’re looking for a bewitching book that will surely put you in a spell, pick up Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly.

 

I give this book 5 out of 5 werewolf pups.

 

About Tina

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Tina Connolly is the author of the Ironskin trilogy from Tor Books, and the Seriously Wicked series, from Tor Teen. Ironskin, her first fantasy novel, was a Nebula finalist. Her stories have appeared in Women Destroy SF, Lightspeed, Tor.com, Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and many more. Her narrations have appeared in audiobooks and podcasts including Podcastle, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, John Joseph Adams’ The End is Nigh series, and more. She runs the Parsec-winning flash fiction podcast Toasted Cake.

 

She is originally from Lawrence, Kansas, but she now lives with her family in Portland, Oregon, where it is nice and green and wet. Photo credit Caroline M. Yoachim.

Website  | Twitter | Tumblr | Pinterest | LibraryThing |GoodReads |Facebook

 

Giveaway!!

5 winners will receive a finished copy of SERIOUSLY WICKED! US Only.

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Tour Schedule

Follow Seriously Wicked around the web!

Week One:

4/27/2015- Pandora’s Books- Interview

4/28/2015- Bookfever- Review

4/29/2015- On Starships and Dragonwings- Guest Post

4/30/2015- GenGen’s Book Blog - Review

5/1/2015- Bookhounds ya- Interview

Week Two:

5/4/2015- The Midnight Society- Review

5/5/2015- Alice Marvels - Guest Post

5/6/2015- Book Briefs- Review

5/7/2015- Bittersweet Enchantment- Interview

5/8/2015- Stories & Sweeties- Review

Have any other witchy reads for me? Have you read Seriously Wicked? Let me know in the comments below! Oh, and huge thanks to Rockstar Book Tours, Tina Connolly, and Tor Teen for letting me check out this new book!

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Beware the Little White Rabbit Blog Blitz

I’m over at Pen and Muse today talking a fantastic Alice in Wonderland inspired anthology! In case you missed it, I wanted to share it here because I think this is going to be amazing!

First off, if you’re not familiar with Leap Books, check them out. They’re a small press run by one of my favorite authors Shannon Delany. This year is the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland this year and Leap Books is celebrating it with a trip down the rabbit hole!

Here are the details. But beware! Of the Little White Rabbit!

 

Beware the Little White Rabbit

An Alice in Wonderland inspired anthology

 

Coming April 14, 2015

GoodReads

 

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Edited by:

Shannon Delany and Judith Graves

 

Contributing authors:

Charlotte Bennardo, C. Lee McKenzie, David Turnbull, Christine Norris, Jacqueline Horsfall, Medeia Sharif, Laura Lascarso, Tom Luke, Jessica Bayliss, Crystal Schubert, Holly Odell, Jennifer Moore, and Liam Hogan. If you want to check out each authors bios, please check out Leap Book’s blog.

 

Blurb

Curiosity often leads to trouble…

Thirteen powerful voices in young adult fiction invite you to journey into startling new Wonderlands in this nod to the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s timeless character, ALICE.

Mystery. Madness. Mayhem. Each story in this collection will intrigue, bewitch, and enchant. Through rich historicals, castles and keeps, wild wormholes, secret workshops, deadly plagues, and gritty urban explorations, we present new tales of Alice and her white rabbit.

Whether an intrepid reporter, a would-be car thief, or the last human in a world ruled by machines, at the heart of each story Alice is a girl discovering who she really is in worlds that never fail to surprise.

What wonders await, oh curious reader? Leap down the rabbit hole and discover the truth…

 

 

 

Excerpt

 

“There came a crack like thunder.

A rabbit hole, launched from its orbital warren, streaked down through the clouds. It hung in the air like a frozen fork of lightning. Beneath the helmet that Hatter had made for her, Alice felt the root ends of her hair tingle from the electrical change that accompanied its arrival. What appeared to be a stuffed white rabbit tumbled earthward. Payload delivered, the hole rapidly lost its integrity and dissolved into a glimmering fragment that dissipated on the wind.

Alice crouched low amongst the ruins as the rabbit sniffed the air, internal sensors trying to get a fix on her location. She clutched her vorpal sword. The pistons on the rabbit’s spring-loaded flanks gave a venomous hiss as it launched itself into a powerful leap.”

 

~ Alice, Last of the Beating Hearts by David Turnbull

 

What do you think? Doesn’t it look fantastic? Let me know in the comments below!

 

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Cover Reveal: Sweet Madness by Lindsay Currie and Trisha Leaver

SWEET MADNESS, September 18, 2015 from Merit Press

Lizzie Borden took an axe

And gave her mother forty whacks.

When she saw what she had done,

She gave her father forty one.

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Who was Lizzie Borden?

A confused young woman, or a cold-hearted killer?

For generations, people all over the world have wondered how Andrew Borden and his second wife, Abby, met their gruesome deaths. Lizzie, Andrew’s younger daughter, was charged, but a jury took only 90 minutes to find her not guilty. In this retelling, the family maid, Bridget Sullivan, shines a compassionate light on a young woman oppressed by her cheap father and her ambitious stepmother.

Was Lizzie mad, or was she driven to madness?

 

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Pre-order on Amazon

Pre-order on Barnes & Noble

 

About the Authors

trisha-leaverTrisha Leaver lives on Cape Cod with her husband, three children, and one rather irreverent black lab.  She is a chronic daydreamer who prefers the cozy confines of her own imagination to the mundane routine of everyday life.  She writes Young Adult Contemporary fiction, Psychological Horror and Science Fiction and is published with FSG/ Macmillan, Flux/Llewellyn and Merit Press. To can learn more about Trisha’s books, upcoming shenanigans, and her quest to reel in the perfect tuna, visit her website www.trishaleaver.com

 

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lindsay-currieLindsay Currie lives in Chicago with her three awesome children, husband, and a one hundred and sixty pound lap dog named Sam. She has an unnatural fondness for coffee, chocolate and things that go bump in the night. She spends her days curled up in the comfortable confines of her writing nook, penning young adult psychological horror, contemporary fiction and science-fiction and is published with Flux/Llewellyn, Merit Press and Spencer Hill Contemporary. Learn more about her at www.lindsaycurrie.com

 

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Giveaway

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Monday Gratitude: Things I Love

I started Monday Gratitude in February and it received a tremendous response. So here I go again!

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What is Monday Gratitude?

Monday Gratitude is a new feature on my blog where I’ll be listing neat things that I find and the events, books, blogs, and people that I’m thankful for.

 

  My friend Julie over a DeadlyEverAfter.com is running a March Madness writing showcase, where readers can submit their short stories. The only rule is that the story must revolve around “madness” as a theme. I’ve been loving the creative stories!

 I’m obsessed with lace and tattoos. So I made a Pinterest board of the two together.

 Modcloth has a new look book board for bohemian fashion & decor. I’m in love with it. If someone could buy me one of each, that would be great. I mean just look at this adorable cactus mug!

 The new moon happens next Friday. Gala Darling has suggestions on how to make the best of it and live a happier more magical life.

 Have you seen this chocolate dessert that blooms like an actual flower?

 An artist uses candies to transform a room into a sweet wonderland. It’s so incredible. I love the colors and the psychedelic dreamland that’s been created.

 Oprah and Deepak are running a FREE online meditation course called Manifesting True Success. It last 21 days and I’d really recommend it. I’ve done some of their free programs before and I loved them. I even did them at home, in my PJs, with my dog.

 Amy from The Midnight Society reviewed the movie HORNS. I’ve seen it and let me tell you, it is weird. But excellent.

 To fill your wanderlust: The Laughing Medusa has a list of how you can have an adventure in your own town!

 Andrew de Torres is one of my favorite musicians. He’s been in Danger Radio, The Scene Aesthetic, the Price of Spain, and most recently he started a new band called Kaptan. I love his new song. Check it out here!

 

What are you thankful for today? Let me know in the comments below!

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Bleak House and Social Responsibility (and GIFs)

I love classics. I love Dickens. And I love re-reading them over and over again. One of the things I miss most about college and my English literature courses was the healthy discussion around books, meaning, and their themes or symbols. Today, I want to talk Bleak House, one of my favorite Dickens books.

The novel Bleak House by Charles Dickens is filled with critiques and moral lessons for all readers while offering an entertaining and entwined plot. Of the critiques that Dickens offers the reader, the most important are the parallels of charity abroad vs. charity at home and the need for social responsibility in the world. In a world with so much stimuli and drama, it is easy to be enthralled with nothing but concern for one’s own life. Charles Dickens expresses the importance of contributing to the welfare of society because it is the world’s duty to take care and love one another. Without this care and love, our society and individual lives are doomed just like so many characters that are afflicted in his novel from the lack of help at home. Dickens critiques those that advertise their charity and reminds the audience that charity must be genuine. These important and relevant lessons to any time period are also supported in other works including A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and Silly Novels By Lady Novelists from George Eliot. These authors work together to instill in society that it is vital for our survival as a race to help one another. The lack of concern to improve life around one another, as revealed in Bleak House, can consequently lead to great unhappiness, further problems, and even unexpected death.

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Esther, the protagonist in Bleak House, is an orphan who is taken in by Mr. Jarndyce (her gracious benefactor) as a guardian. Her travels to Bleak House lead her to meet two friends (also cared for by Jarndyce) named Ada and Richard who stay with her throughout the novel. One night before they reach Bleak House, they are set up to stay overnight at the house of Mrs. Jellyby. Mrs. Jellyby is a strong headed woman who is obsessed with her “mission” of charity to help Borrioboola-Gha in Africa. This woman is so caught up in her cause that she neglects her family and their needs in their entirety. Esther, Ada, and Richards’s arrival find the house a complete mess, children are running around, and another poor child has his head stuck in a stairwell. Humorously, Mrs. Jellyby fails to notice any of these hectic situations or have any concern for her children as she is merely concerned with writing a letter on the topic of her charity in Africa. When Mr. Jarndyce asks Esther what he thought of Mrs. Jellyby, Esther replies, “ perhaps she was a little unmindful of her home…it is right to begin with the obligations of home…no other duties can possibly be substituted for them” (Dickens, 83). This understatement of the lack of care in Mrs. Jellyby’s home best portrays Dickens’s opinions of social responsibility. It is noble to care for mankind, and other duties of society to try and make a difference. However it is irresponsible to ignore the plights of those around and under one’s care. This was a vital message that Dickens desired to reveal, which is why he has Esther say it, instead of letting the reader draw these conclusions for oneself after reading about the state of Mrs. Jellyby’s home.

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In chapter eight, we are reminded of Mrs. Jellyby by a new character named Mrs. Pardiggle. Mrs. Pardiggle is an annoying woman who forces her sons to give their money away to her charities against their will. When Esther is talking to Mrs. Pardiggle, Mrs. Pardiggle tries to get Esther and Ada to come with her to make her rounds to spread word about the Bible. Esther tries to get out of it by saying that she is too inexperienced as of this point and she “thought it best to be as useful as [she] could, and to render what type of services [she] could, to those immediately around [her] (Dickens, 128). Esther’s comment is a direct address of the question of charity at home vs. charity abroad. Esther acknowledges the need of social responsibility but criticizes Mrs. Pardiggle indirectly by commenting that Esther needs to help out “those immediately around her (Dickens, 128).” Mrs. Pardiggle makes it a point to try and help other people and make their lives better, but Mrs. Pardiggle doesn’t see her own hypocrisy. Her own children are miserable, and yet she does nothing to change that. She is blinded by her charity work and caught up with advertising her good deeds. Dickens is successful in portraying to the reader the state of unhappiness and unrest in society (represented by Mrs. Pardiggle’s children) that will inevitably transpire if immediate problems are home are ignored.

It appears at first to the reader that Mrs. Pardiggle is taking charge of her need for social responsibility by helping others, but it soon becomes apparent that her intentions may be all but in the interest of genuine help. Even Esther, who does not like to find fault in others, recognizes Mrs. Pardiggle’s narcissism. After watching Mrs. Pardiggle leave a house that she was unwelcomly visiting, Esther comments that, “I hope it is not unkind in me to say that she certainly did make…a show…of doing charity by wholesale (Dickens, 133). Esther acknowledges Mrs. Pardiggle’s rapacious benevolence, but knows that it is not one of genuine concern or even one of a wanted concern. Mrs. Pardiggle does her charity only to advertise it and have the ability to brag about it. There is something honorable and dutiful to help out fellow mankind, however those truly honorable in recognition for their good deeds need not make an advertisement out of it like Mrs. Pardiggle does. Dickens illustrates that Mrs. Pardiggle’s and Mrs. Jellyby’s duties are done merely in vain, not for the goodness of mankind. This show put on by Mrs. Pardiggle, is seemingly similar to works by George Eliot entitled, “Silly Novels By Lady Novelists.”

In Silly Novels By Lady Novelists, George Eliot critiques female writers at the times for their foolish topics and thinking that they are better than all others. Mrs. Pardiggle is in a seemingly familiar situation. She too, like the lady novelists addressed in this piece, “keeps a mental pocket mirror, and is continually looking into it at her own ‘intellectuality’…she mistakes bombast for eloquence and affectation for originality (Black et al, 406).” This describes Mrs. Pardiggle perfectly. She has such a high opinion of herself and tries to advertise how good she is doing. Someone worthy of much praise and someone who was actually doing good things for others, would most likely receive warmer welcomes than she did when visiting Jenny’s home and she would not have to advertise it. Similar to Eliot’s line “affectation for originality”, Mrs. Pardiggle has an affectation to appear to have the quality of being charitable, however if she truly was engaged in charitable deeds, she would notice the unmet needs and the desire for change that her children wish for.

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Jenny, who Esther meets through Mrs. Pardiggle’s visit, mourns the death of her baby. Jenny is lucky enough to have a friend that sneaks out of her house just to watch over Jenny. The women tells Esther and  Ada when they go back to Jenny’s house to bring some presents for comfort, that is her husband were to find her out of the house now, he would murder her. Esther and Ada reply “may heaven reward you, you are a good woman” (Dickens, 135). At this period of times, men had complete control over a woman. They controlled the woman’s assets and could even beat them without consequence. She is risking being beaten by her husband for being out so late, but compassion and duty to console another human being drives her to take the risk. Jenny’s friend understands human longing for help and understands that though she is at risk for sneaking out, it is for a good cause. Here, Jenny fulfills Dickens’s call to action to help a fellow human in need and the goodness and comfort that result.

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Tom All Alones is a ruinous place in Bleak House where Jo, a street urchin, lives. Tom All Alones is full of filth, disease, vermin, and parasites. It is where sickness dwells and the working class live; if one can call their lifestyle living. One cannot deny the connection between illness and Tom All Alones. Jo, Charley and Esther all suffered from smallpox and have different outcomes. Jo eventually dies from illness, Esther nurses Charley back to health from smallpox, and Esther herself recovers from smallpox, but is forever changed by it. The prevalence of sickness is a commentary on societal desires for the upper class who forget about those who can barely feed themselves. The wealthy knew about the unhealthy conditions of Tom All Alones and did nothing. As a consequence of doing nothing to help any of the poor souls that dwell in Tom All Alones, Dickens shows the audience the punishment. If someone had acted and tried to make a difference, perhaps Tom All Alones would not have been so dirty or disease ridden. If it was not so disease ridden, perhaps Jo would not have died. Perhaps Jenny’s baby would not have died. Perhaps Esther would not have gotten sick and been scarred for life.  A seeming contained mess of filth known as Tom All Alones has now become everyone’s problem, not just those who are forced to inhabit there. Dickens demonstrates the effects that misery and unhappiness has on all people, even if the effect is not seen at first.

Misery affects all of us.

This commentary can also be found in Charles Dickens novel A Christmas Carol as well as in pieces from the work and poverty section of A Broadview Anthology. Scrooge the protagonist is a hard unfriendly and uncharitable man to say the least. When he is asked for a monetary donation for the poor, Scrooge basically says that if the poor cannot feed themselves, then they deserve to die. He continues on to say “it is not my business” (Dickens, 316). Later back at Scrooges home when the ghost of his old working partner visits him, Marley tells Scrooge, “My spirit never walked  beyond our counting house…mankind was my business…charity, mercy, forbearance…”(Dickens, 321). Dickens does not take a chance in the reader missing his moral points. The ghost of Marley blatantly tells Scrooge that business does not mean anything in life because he had no ties to another being. He provided nothing to his fellow man and refused to take part in any social responsibility close and far away. He failed to provide care and charity for mankind as whole and as a punishment Marley is doomed to wander in unrest for all eternity. Marley then, calls to reform Scrooge so that Scrooge does not have to bear the weight of chains and the pain of restlessness for the rest of his life. Scrooge may think that his lack of apathy or compassion will never affect him until Marley reveals the truth. Scrooges comment that “It is not my business” to care for others is a view that many upper class held. They could not see how the struggles affected their lifestyle, so they did not feel the need to aid in any way. They only saw it beneficial to act, when something for themselves could be gotten out of it. If any character in Bleak House had made any effort to try and aid the disease in Tom All Alones, they would have remained most likely un-afflicted.

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The reality of the world is that most people care for themselves. If others are hurting and in need, it is the general idea that their struggling is usually their own fault,or at the very least, solely their battle. Through the use of the novel Bleak House by Charles Dickens, readers are called to action to change their selfish ways. Through dramatic events and loveable characters, Dickens reveals the necessity for kindness and the need to genuinely help one another. It is vital for the survival of the human races to care and provide for those who need it. Dickens stresses the need to act first at home to solve problems before moving any further and trying to aid distant places. The inability to recognize problems at home only lead to unrest and disaster, as demonstrated through the use of Scrooge, Esther, and many more characters. Although this message may seem like one out of a hallmark card, these key themes are still something that if practiced and applied, would make this world a much better place.

love eachother

Care for each other like you care for yourself.

 

Works Cited

Eliot, George. “Silly Novels by Lady Novelists.” The Broadview Anthology of British Literature: the Victorian Era. Ed. Joseph Black. Broadview P, 2006. 407-420.

Dickens, Charles. “A Christmas Carol.” The Broadview Anthology of British Literature: the Victorian Era. Ed. Joseph Black. Broadview P, 2006. 313-360.

Dickens, Charles. Bleak House. London: Penguin Books, 1971.

All GIFs compliments of the interwebs.

 

 

Have you read Bleak House? Did you like it? What was your favorite theme or motif from the book? Let me know in the comments below.

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Monday Gratitude: Things I Love

I’ve been wanting to do a Monday gratitude post for a while now so I figured now is a better time than ever.

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What is Monday Gratitude?

Monday Gratitude is a new feature on my blog where I’ll be listing neat things that I find and the events, books, blogs, and people that I’m thankful for.

 

  A little writing peptalk on writing and never giving up by yours truly.

  I’m in love with this floral antlers necklace display. Yes please!

 My amazing friend Julie is putting on a March Madness writing showcase. Check out the details! You can be a part of it, too!

 My amazing friend Riki Cleveland reviewed my other amazing friend Tyler Snell’s new book MANHUNT. Come swoon with me (and pre-order the book)!

 Brian Taylor has written one of my favorite posts of all times. SHUT UP AND WRITE.

 The Midnight Society talked about their favorite classic monsters. Hint: Mine is the swamp thing.

 I’m in love with the Aim for the Moon pillow from Modcloth. Super cute!

 Love this! 10 Things Every Female Should Know. Awesome video from SoulPancake.

 Check out these Charming Character Illustrations from Tutti Confetti (feature on Chic-Type). So awesome! My favorite is the one from Moonrise Kingdom.

 

What are you thankful for today? Let me know in the comments below!

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P.s. If you want to participate yourself in Monday Gratitude, just write your post and copy and paste it into the linky tool here to have it listed below.

 

 

Leap Books: SHINE Calls for Submissions by Judith Graves

As acquiring editor for SHINE, the new YA/NA line from Leap Books, I’m always in the market for great reads and what better way to seek them out than to share news about our upcoming releases and provide our submission guidelines?

ShineLeap Books, LLC has been around since 2009, but we’re just venturing into the world of ebook novellas for both young adult and new adult markets. Early in 2015 we’ll see the launch of two young adult SHINE titles and I can’t wait for these babies to go live.

half-lifeTina Ferraro, a two-time RITA Young Adult finalist and the author of The ABC’s of Kissing Boys (Delacorte Books for Young Readers), helps to launch SHINE with HALF-LIFE, a dreadfully fun paranormal. This story follows Trisha in the days before her 15th birthday, as her long deceased identical twin makes appearances in mirrors to help prevent her similarly early demise.

From author, Laura Lascarso, we have RACING HEARTS: Book One, the first of a new series that will do much more than image006just rev your reading engine. The book follows a pair of star-crossed lovers. Jesse wants to honor his father’s legacy; Brooke wants to prove her father wrong in this modern-day Romeo & Juliet set in the world of competitive car racing. Lascarso’s debut novel Counting Backwards (Atheneum) won the Florida Book Award gold medal for YA literature.

Thanks so much for helping to spread the word about SHINE and allowing me to connect with your readership!

Interested in submitting a manuscript to SHINE? I’m accepting both agented and unagented submissions at: submissions@leapbks.info – attention: Judith Graves.

 

The nitty-gritty details:

-          SHINE word counts: 15-30k

-          We’re looking for solid storytelling with romantic elements, engaging voices, and characters that LEAP from the page

-          All genres will be considered, but preference for: contemporary, thriller, paranormal, and mystery

 

Why an e-novella with Leap Books SHINE?

-          Introduce readers to your young adult fiction brand / style / tone / voice / worlds by giving them a short, fun, affordable read. Snag their interest in your other projects by offering a tale sure to SHINE

-          If you want to step into the ebook arena, but have been hesitant to offer a full-length novel, here’s your chance to test this market

-          Each book will be professionally edited and have an eye-catching cover

-          At a small press, you’ll have more one-on-one contact with our editors and other authors

-          Each title will be launched with a blog tour facilitated by a successful blog-tour organizer

-          SHINE titles may be compiled into anthologies to be sold in both print and ebook format.