Thursday, January 29, 2015

Modern Decency #2--After School

As I scrolled through a modesty board that I'm apart of on Pinterest, I got annoyed by the lack of pins with pants in them. I'd say 3/4 are of ankle length skirts and the rest of the pins have knee length ones. There's, like, three pins in all that contain pants. I thought, Sheesh, people. Post the way I want. Then I realized that was stupid and the only way to change things was to do it myself. Hence, this post.

This is something I'd wear to youth group or after school, as I hang out while my sister is at play practice.

"Hey Mary, can you take a picture of me?"

"Sure, but I'm doing school work."

Pants: from my mom. They're not actually purple; that's just the lighting.
Purple shirt: thrift shop, $4
Purple and green scarf: birthday gift from said sister.

Later I'll be doing a post on what I wear to class. My school has a crazy dress code I'd love to post about.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


BlindBlind by Rachel DeWoskin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Can I just point out that cover? I am all for elaborate ones, but I think this one is absolutely perfect for the book.
When Emma Sasha Silver loses her eyesight in a nightmare accident, she must relearn everything from walking across the street to recognizing her own sisters to imagining colors. One of seven children, Emma used to be the invisible kid, but now it seems everyone is watching her. And just as she's about to start high school and try to recover her friendships and former life, one of her classmates is found dead in an apparent suicide. Fifteen and blind, Emma has to untangle what happened and why - in order to see for herself what makes life worth living.
I honestly don't know what to think about Emma. She went from a sort of quiet girl to a blind one stuck in the spotlight, so that was quite an adjustment for her. Somehow, though she found the strength to keep on moving. Her thoughts were realistic in the way John Green makes his characters' thoughts realistic: the beautiful, highlight worthy quotes were balanced with nasty every day ones. And I love that.

On the other hand though, Emma was super selfish until the (super abrupt) end. She's mean to her mom (and knows it), without ever really considering that something traumatic has happened to her, too. Her child went blind, for goodness sakes!

And then we have Emma and the guys in her life. When some guy named Josh kisses her, these are her legit thoughts:
"Kissing Josh made me realize that I was also going to kiss other people, including, I hoped, Coltrane Winslow. And maybe Seb too, if that ever became okay with Dee" (p. 371).

If Josh (or Coltrane, whoever he is, or Seb) thought something similar while kissing her, she would have been grossly offended. So why is it not a big deal that she's the one doing it?
the fault in our stars animated GIF
Except Augustus is super awesome.
Aside from that though, I really liked Emma. She had a realistic big family that I loved, and when she wasn't being rude, she was epic. Not many characters can make me cry over their relationship with a dog! So I guess Emma was pretty realistic. If she were perfect, the book would have been dreadful.

That's the thing: weak characters can't uphold a strong plot, but good characters can uphold a weak one. Even though very little actually happened, I was so captivated in Emma and how blind people live that I could hardly tear myself away from reading.

My only other complaint is how Claire's suicide was handled. I expected more from that, although I did highlight some beautiful quotes (yes, I wrote in a book). They really accomplished nothing at their meetings about her except argue.

So, yes, I gave this book four stars when it probably deserved three. That is the power main characters wield!

View all my reviews

Language: B?
Violence: A? B?
Adult Content: I don't remember. A or B.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

All About Me!

This month, Cait @ Paper Fury and Ski @ Further Up and Further In are hosting an Author Edition for Beautiful People! Which author is this for, you ask?



1. How many years have you been writing? When did you officially consider yourself a ‘writer’?
I first started a year or two ago, probably after finding the Go Teen Writers blog by Stephanie Morrill and Jill Williamson and reading their book. That really took my writing to the next level.

2. How/why did you start writing?
Because all of my friends were doing it! Few of them want to take their writing out to the world though.

3. What’s your favorite part of writing?
As someone once said, "It's hell writing and it's hell not writing. The only satisfactory time is having just written". Pardon the French, but...yes. I feel awesome finishing things.

4. What’s your biggest writing struggle?
Getting back after a break. I took a nice long pause after the 100 for 100 challenge which ended right before Christmas. Now I have to try to get back in the swing.

5. Do you write best at night or day?
Day, when everybody is up and about and I am surrounded by bright sunlight. I'd love tow rite during the mysterious night, when everyone else is sleeping, but...then I'd fall asleep.

6. What does your writing space look like? (Feel free to show us pictures!)
My bed:
There's the blanket I knitted! It's not technically done (see the missing left corner?), but I love it.
The library:
They have pretty awesome swivel chairs.
7. How long does it typically take you to write a complete draft?
A month if it's November, longer if it's not.

8. How many projects do you work on at once?
One or two. I currently am editing one and letting another one sit. I want to begin another novel, but I only have a vague idea about the plot.

9. Do you prefer writing happy endings, sad ones, or somewhere in between?
My favorite endings are the slightly sad but still hopeful, so I hope my writing reflects that.

10. List a few authors who’ve influenced your writing journey.
Stephanie Morrill and Jill Williamson, I guess.

11. Do you let people read your writing? Why or why not?
I just recently wrote a rough draft "behind closed doors", as Stephanie Morrill calls it. It helped a ton, and I was able to get a lot done. I want other people to see my writing, of course, but for Stephanie and I, that time is not during the first draft.

12. What’s your ultimate writing goal or dream?
Uh, being published? I'd love to be an editor at the publishing house too.

13. If you didn’t write, what would you want to do?
Be a journalist, be a therapist, or work in day care. I love writing, I love helping people, and I love babies.

14. Do you have a book you’d like to write one day but don’t feel you’re ready to attempt it yet?
Yes, every once in a while I get an idea for an adult novel. I think I might wait until I'm more of an adult though.

15. Which story has your heart and won’t let go?
My Jane Eyre retelling!

And there you have it! Do you let people read your books before they've been edited?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Terrible Two

The Terrible TwoThe Terrible Two by Jory John
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I LOL'd for nearly the entire novel. Not kidding.

Thank you so much, Netgalley and Abrams, for this free book to review!
Miles Murphy is not happy to be moving to Yawnee Valley, a sleepy town that’s famous for one thing and one thing only: cows. In his old school, everyone knew him as the town’s best prankster, but Miles quickly discovers that Yawnee Valley already has a prankster, and a great one. If Miles is going to take the title from this mystery kid, he is going to have to raise his game.
It’s prankster against prankster in an epic war of trickery, until the two finally decide to join forces and pull off the biggest prank ever seen: a prank so huge that it would make the members of the International Order of Disorder proud.
This is one of the funniest books I have ever read. It began with a pranking war, which was awesome, and then a pranking alliance, which was even more awesome. Niles and Miles (I wish they had different names though!) are hilarious, although Niles has quite a devious side. He's bullied, but he doesn't mind helping the bully find Miles after Miles first refused Niles's invitation. What a mouthful!

My only qualm about this book is the random cow facts sprinkled throughout. I honestly did not need to see a couple of pages of a book Miles receives about cows. They only needed one fact anyway.
disney animated GIF
If you think children who read this book will automatically become liars and pranksters, then stay away from this book. I'm not saying everything they did was good, but it sure was hilarious. Just trust that most middle schoolers do not have access to cows. A lot of the other books by Jory John seem to be more actively inappropriate, but this one is fantastic and I would totally recommend it to any prankster.

View all my reviews

Language: A?
Violence: A?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Bookish Turnoffs

I have 350+ novels on my to-read list on Goodreads. Some of my friends have over a thousand. And these are just the books that made it to the list! What about the hundreds of others we've seen, but ignored? Why did we turn away from those ones?

To be honest, I know I've missed a ton of great books. Why didn't I give them a chance?

Reason Number 1: The blurb has too much information, or too little.

I want to know the plot, but I don't need the back story! That's kind of what THE BOOK ITSELF is for. Also, I hate seeing too many names. I don't know who they are because I haven't read the book yet. Keep the list small, or we all become Dories.
What It’s Like To Be In College, As Told By Our Favorite Disney Characters | Her Campus
Similarly, I want to know what the plot is. I'd rather not hear that character #1 is a headstrong servant and character #2 is some evil royal with a heart of gold. Obviously, they're going to clash. What makes this cliché different from all the other similar stories? Why should I care about these people?

Reason Number 2: When I scroll down to see the reviews, the first one to come up is a five star rating from the author.

If an author reviews their own book, Goodreads puts it on the top, so it will be seen. I can't pinpoint exactly why this bothers me so much though. Like, I get it: you're the author. Duh, you love your book. I know they want to have high ratings. But seriously, this is so cheap. It shows your desperation/pride to give your own book a five star rating. Now, if an author were to give their book a one star rating, I'd probably add it to my shelf simply because the author is so different from any I've seen. If they're willing to write a scathing review for their own book, I'm dying to see what other peculiarities are in the book itself!

Reason Number 3: It's from Createspace, Amazon, or Smashwords.

Some authors self publish and do an amazing job. These authors make me happy, because they clearly have put in a ton of work.

When NaNo offered to give all winners two free copies of their book (which they did again this year), I nearly went for it. And that would have been a huge mistake. I certainly wasn't ready to work with a publishing company, much less take on a self publishing one like Createspace! This will forever bug me about NaNo. Yeah, the copies of your book is free, but not the cover designer, an editor, marketing, ect. I would rather have a good book that took forever than a lousy book that I can publish right away.

I feel like I have to be extra nice to self published authors who have no idea what they're doing, but they should have known! The waters of being published at all are deep and stormy, so you have to be careful to do it right. I can't help it if you didn't.

Reason Number 4: It's about something we've all heard before.

I never again want to see a book about the smart, sassy girl falling in love with the bad boy. Ever.

Reason Number 5: It has a lame title.

I love Jill Williamson (as you probably know), but if you look up CaptivesOutcasts, or Rebels on Goodreads, it's going to take you a while to find the one you're looking for. I'm still going to read these books eventually, but only because of Jill Williamson. Without her name, getting my attention would be a lot harder. I do love books about brothers though....

Reason Number 6: It simply isn't for me.

You can't blame everything on the author, right? ;) Sometimes a book just doesn't look like something I'd want to read. For example, I don't know if I've even read any paranormal or horror books. They just aren't might type! Maybe I'd love some of them, but unless it comes with recommendations by people I know, I probably won't read it. Not the author's fault.

And there you have it! What makes your bookish turnoffs?
Running Through the Stars

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Crown of Midnight

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don't know when I'll pick up the next book, Heir of Fire; I just know I definitely will.
From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena's world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie...and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.
It took me a MONTH to read this, but it was worth it. The thing about fantasy is that you have to be in the right mood for it, and you have to be alert so you can learn the secrets and world building. It's exhausting, I tell you! But Sarah J. Maas is spectacular at weaving beautiful stories, and I'm glad I stuck through with this one. I nearly returned it to the library at the half way point. I was crying. I was laughing. I was frozen. I was in love. I was betrayed. I'm so glad the next book is out already, because I don't know how I would last if it weren't. But after reading that one, I'll have to wait for the fourth one, and I have a feeling my soul will be shattered. One of the creepiest parts in the book is how the king is never directly named. Always referring to him as "the king" or "the savage" or "Dorian's father" certainly created an aura of mystery around him.
movie animated GIF
I had a few inklings as to who Celaena really is, and it turned out I was right. But simply getting confirmation was enough from me, even if it wasn't a shocking surprise. THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING! Oh gosh. Poor Erilea; that continent has been through a ton, but it's about to go through a heck of a lot more.

Poor Chaol as well. They were happy for a brief while, and then...ugh. I totally sympathize with both him AND Celaena. I mean, I probably would have reacted just as they did if I were in their situation. And I sure hope I won't be.

I did have one problem with this book though, and it's about the main death: everyone immediately dismisses the king as the perpetrator. Just because he didn't kill this person himself doesn't mean he couldn't have authorized it! Celaena turns out to be right, but I felt like they whittled down the suspect list way to quickly.

I will read absolutely anything by Sarah Maas, even if it takes me forever.

View all my reviews

Adult content: C. It's there, but not graphic.
Violence: B or C
Language; B

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Left Behinds: The iPhone that Saved George Washington

The Left Behinds: The iPhone that Saved George WashingtonThe Left Behinds: The iPhone that Saved George Washington by David Potter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So, I know reviewers aren't supposed to quote from an ARC in case the author changes things around in the final copy, but this book was so darn funny I just had to.

Thank you, Netgalley and Random House Children's, for this free book to review!
On Christmas Day, Mel finds General George Washington lying dead as a doornail in a stable. But Mel knows that George Washington must cross the Delaware River, or the course of American history will be changed forever. 

Could Mel’s iPhone have sent him back in time to 1776? And can Mel and his schoolmates, know-it-all Bev and laid-back Brandon, come to the rescue? Perhaps, with a little help from two colonial kids and Benjamin Franklin himself. 
I'm okay at history, but reading about a kid (and a boy, at that), who really loves it was awesome. Mel's always been more on the sidelines, but he's not afraid to take charge when no one else is capable.

I've got two quibbles about this book though. First off, the length bothered me. It felt like the author, David Potter, finished this book, wanted it to be longer, and added twists at the end. It would have read smoother if the plot were half as long, with more development in the minor characters.

My second quibble is George Washington: grant it, I don't have a iTime app on my iphone (nor do I have, you know, an iphone), so I don't know his personality. But apparently he only agreed to cross the Delaware because Mel told him about Washington D.C. and he was vain enough to change his mind. It sure was funny though.
"I like it! Washington, D.C." Then his eyes flash. I am 'Washington, G.' G., and only G. Who is this Washington D.C., you speak of? I have no relation with such initial. What abomination is this? After all I have suffered? All I have risked? To be--to be insulted! In such a manner! 'Tis an outrage!" 65%, The iPhone that Saved George Washington. The exact quote may not be in the final copy, but I sure hope it will be.
Would I read other books by David Potter? I hope so! This one was absolutely hilarious. Bravo to David for such humor.

View all my reviews

Grading: (Guess who's writing this WEEKS after reading the book? Results may not be accurate)
Violence: A?
Language: A? B?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Top Ten Most Anticipated Novels For 2015

Today I'm linking up with The Broke and the Bookish for their Top Ten Tuesday! The theme this week is our ten most anticipated debut novels for 2015. Because it would take entirely too long to go through my Goodreads' To Read list, find out which books come out in 2015, and then if they're debuts or not, I've decided to get rid of the debut part. So here is my top ten most anticipated books for 2015, whether or not they're by first time authors.

1. The Secrets We Keep
I WANT THIS SO BADLY. One sister dies, so the twin makes a split second decision to pretend to be her? Yes please.

The Secrets We Keep
Ella and Maddy Lawton are identical twins. Ella has spent her high school years living in popular Maddy's shadows, but she has never been envious of Maddy. In fact, she's chosen the quiet, safe confines of her sketchbook over the constant battle for attention that has defined Maddy's world.

When—after a heated argument—Maddy and Ella get into a tragic accident that leaves her sister dead, Ella wakes up in the hospital surrounded by loved ones who believe she is Maddy. Feeling responsible for Maddy's death and everyone's grief, Ella makes a split-second decision to pretend to be Maddy. Soon, Ella realizes that Maddy's life was full of secrets. Caught in a web of lies, Ella is faced with two options—confess her deception or live her sister's life.

2. Siren's Fury (Storm Siren #2)
I read the first book, Storm Siren, a little while ago, and I fell in love with the cover. Oh yeah, the story too. But especially the cover.
Siren's Fury (Storm Siren, #2)
"I thrust my hand toward the sky as my voice begs the Elemental inside me to waken and rise. But it's no use. The curse I've spent my entire life abhorring—the thing I trained so hard to control—no longer exists."

Nym has saved Faelen only to discover that Draewulf stole everything she valued. Now he’s destroyed her Elemental storm-summoning ability as well.

When Nym sneaks off with a host of delegates to Bron, Lord Myles offers her the chance for a new kind of power and the whispered hope that it may do more than simply defeat the monster she loathes. But the secrets the Bron people have kept concealed, along with the horrors Draewulf has developed, may require more than simply harnessing a darker ability.

They may require who she is.

Set against the stark metallic backdrop of the Bron kingdom, Nym is faced with the chance to change the future.

Or was that Draewulf’s plan for her all along?
3. Written in the Stars
No, I did not add this simply because of the fact that I love romanticizing about stars and DAT COVER.
Written in the Stars
Naila’s conservative immigrant parents have always said the same thing: She may choose what to study, how to wear her hair, and what to be when she grows up—but they will choose her husband. Following their cultural tradition, they will plan an arranged marriage for her. And until then, dating—even friendship with a boy—is forbidden. When Naila breaks their rule by falling in love with Saif, her parents are livid. Convinced she has forgotten who she truly is, they travel to Pakistan to visit relatives and explore their roots. But Naila’s vacation turns into a nightmare when she learns that plans have changed—her parents have found her a husband and they want her to marry him, now! Despite her greatest efforts, Naila is aghast to find herself cut off from everything and everyone she once knew. Her only hope of escape is Saif . . . if he can find her before it’s too late.

4. The Orphan Queen
Something about the blurb convinced me that I will be able to tolerate this Long Lost Princess story. I can't wait to see if it holds up.
The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen, #1)
Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others.
5. All Fall Down
While I haven't brought myself to read other books by Ally Carter after reading Heist Society (I just didn't feel like reading the second book), she is undeniably the best at writing spies. I just ordered the boxed set of the first three Gallagher Girls though, so apparently I have committed myself to reading about spies. Okay.
All Fall Down (Embassy Row #1)
Grace can best be described as a daredevil, an Army brat, and a rebel. She is also the only granddaughter of perhaps the most powerful ambassador in the world and Grace has spent every summer of her childhood running across the roofs of Embassy Row.

Now, at age sixteen, she's come back to stay - in order to solve the mystery of her mother's death. In the process, she uncovers an international conspiracy of unsettling proportions, and must choose her friends and watch her foes carefully if she and the world are to be saved.
6. Inherit Midnight
I got to read an ARC of this and absolutely loved it. You need this book in your life.

Inherit Midnight
The Competition:

Outlandishly wealthy Grandmother VanDemere has decided to leave her vast fortune to the family member who proves him or herself worthiest-by solving puzzles and riddles on a whirlwind race around the globe, from the mines of Venezuela to the castles of Scotland. There will be eight competitors, three continents . . . and a prize worth millions.

The Players:

Seventeen-year-old Avery is the black sheep of the VanDemere clan, the ostracized illegitimate daughter. Finally, she has a chance to prove herself . . . and to discover the truth about her long-lost mother.

Marshall might be Avery's uncle, but there's no love lost between the two of them. He's her main competition, and he'll do anything to win-including betray his own children.

Riley is the handsome son of Grandmother VanDemere's lawyer. As the game progresses, Avery falls hard for Riley. Suddenly, losing the game might mean losing him, too.

As the competition takes treacherous turns, it becomes clear there can only be one victor. Who can Avery truly trust? And is winning worth her life?

7. Broken Trust
You will never guess who wrote this book. You might want to sit down. It's...Jill Williamson!!! Broken Trust is the third full length novel in The Mission League series, but it isn't even on Goodreads yet. :( All I know is that she's currently writing it, and it's supposed to come out in March. Reeeeeeeeeeally hoping for an ARC!

8. Becoming Jinn
In which a girl becomes a genie. Apparently there's a love triangle that doesn't look to good though...I'll give it a try anyway.
Becoming Jinn (Becoming Jinn, #1)
Azra has just turned sixteen, and overnight her body lengthens, her olive skin deepens, and her eyes glisten gold thanks to the brand-new silver bangle that locks around her wrist. As she always knew it would, her Jinn ancestry brings not just magical powers but the reality of a life of servitude, as her wish granting is controlled by a remote ruling class of Jinn known as the Afrit.

To the humans she lives among, she’s just the girl working at the snack bar at the beach, navigating the fryer and her first crush. But behind closed doors, she’s learning how to harness her powers and fulfill the obligations of her destiny.

Mentored by her mother and her Zar “sisters”, Azra discovers she may not be quite like the rest of her circle of female Jinn . . . and that her powers could endanger them all. As Azra uncovers the darker world of becoming Jinn, she realizes when genies and wishes are involved, there’s always a trick.
9. Red Queen
I was super excited for this, but a lot of the reviews coming in are negative. But apparently it's on it's way to moviedom soon!
Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)
The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of
those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?
10. All the Bright Places
Simply because I couldn't think of anything else and a lot of people have cried over this. Gotta love a tearjerker.
All the Bright Places
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him. 

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister's recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it's unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the 'natural wonders' of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It's only with Violet that Finch can be himself - a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who's not such a freak after all. And it's only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet's world grows, Finch's begins to shrink.
And there we have it! What's on your to-read list?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The One About Journals

Happy New Years! Since lots of people are making resolutions about persevering, I figured I would address one of the hardest resolutions of all: keeping a journal. I'm pretty sure everyone has tried to use one at least once, and we have all failed miserably. It's like talking to someone who can never reply. Fun at first, but then it wears off.

I, however, have discovered the secret! Just kidding: I've figured out what works for me. Find out what works for yourself, and tell me in the comments! I have three journals that I'm quite fond of, so I'll post them here for you to draw inspiration from.

Journal #1: Wreck This Journal
Wreck This Journal is seriously one of the best books I have ever bought. I'm not done with all the prompts yet, but I've really enjoyed doing some of them with my younger brothers. I've told the six year old that once he learns to read, I'll buy him his own copy.

Before demolition.... (With Mary @ Marchaelary and Christie @ The Celtic Cowgirl)
Displaying 20141126_164328.jpg
I was NOT READY for this picture to be taken!
Displaying 20141126_164434.jpg
"Tape this journal shut and mail it to yourself". I haven't done this one yet, but I can't wait to see the look on the mailman's face when I do.
Displaying 20141208_162556.jpg
This time I was ready. Michael (the six year old) is on the left, Mark on the right.
...After demolition:

I just had to dog-ear this one.

Journal #2: The Bookish Journal
In this one, I've written the titles of every book I have ever read--sort of. I don't think I listed Fun with Dick and Jane, which I learned to read with.

I've only filled in a couple pages.

Journal #3: My Happiness Journal
Hey look, it's the corner of my bookish journal!
"Forever is composed of nows."~Emily Dickinson. It's basically a big list of good things.

So, I guess if you want to start a journal for 2015, here's my secret to success: make it interesting. Have fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun, since that's sort of what journals are all about. Don't apologize for not writing every day! You own your journal, not the other way around.

Comment with your journalistic tips! Also: What is the difference between a journal and a diary?