Pages in Memory

For as long as I can remember, books have always been a constant presence and staple in my life. As a young toddler, I can even recall wandering through the house with my little, square “Golden Books,” in hand, desperate for someone to read to me, often leafing through the pages myself and scribbling new words and ideas into them. Reading for me, was always a comfort and escape, providing me solace, room for imagination and an adventure to call my own. As I grew older, I ravenously read through each Babysitters Club book and Sweet Valley High series books, in addition to countless others. Many times, I can recall visiting the library for their various events and visits throughout the week, leaving with a stack of books heavier than I could manage to hold in my small hands.

Reading quote

When I was a teenager, I befriended a classmate who would become one of my closest friends through the years of high school. She and I spent much time together, sharing a lot of similar interests; reading and writing, in particular. One day, in 9th grade, she mentioned she had a book she’d recently finished reading and felt I would enjoy it, informing me of the “unexpected twist” towards the end, aware of how I always sought to find intellectually-stimulating stories/plots. A day or so later, she placed the book in my hands, “The Last Time They Met,” by Anita Shreve. The title alone was alluring and I was eager to begin reading. That same day, upon arriving home from school, I began reading and within several hours or a day, the book was completed. What an adventure it was, weaving through the intricate verbiage and plot twists, leaving me desperate for more. After completing the book, Anita Shreve, an author I’d never heard of before, became one of my favorites. Eager to read more of her books, I asked my friend if she knew of any of her other books and she happily informed me she had yet another one of her books she could lend me by the name of, “The Pilot’s Wife.” Similar in its composition to her preceding book, it left me intrigued and shocked as I worked my way through the pages.

Anita Shreve

To be able to write in the way Anita did is a true indicator of talent in itself. Her unique and careful way of weaving a story without faltering, leading the reader to believe one way, only to completely dismantle those beliefs midway through the novel, is enticing and suspenseful. The only other author I can recall sending chills down by spine beyond Shreve is Paula Hawkins, the author of “The Girl on the Train.”

The Last Time They Met

With all of this being said, yesterday in the midst of readying myself for the day, I briefly paused to check my Twitter feed, only to see a shocking tweet by one of my other favorite authors, Jodi Picoult, which read: “Mourning the loss of #AnitaShreve – a remarkable storyteller who brought me hours of reading joy.” Upon reading her words, a lump gathered in my thought as I quickly closed out of Twitter and tapped by Google app, feverishly typing Anita Shreve into the search bar. What appeared was a vast listing of death notices, articles stating her cancer diagnosis and passing in recent days. Immediately, nostalgia overwhelmed me and I was transported into my 9th grade social studies class, sitting with my friend as she handed me my first Anita Shreve novel.

The Pilots Wife

Sometimes I think it was Anita Shreve who inspired me to want to write even more than I already did. Her talent and writing ability was immeasurable, one I always hoped to emulate someday. The emotions were often palpable through the pages as I leafed through them. Like author, Jodi Picoult, I do am truly blessed and honored to have been able to read her stories and am so grateful for her sharing these talents with the world. How lucky am I to have been able to read her stories and be able to enjoy them time and time again. It is my hope Anita will rest in peace knowing how much she positively impacted lives – especially mine.

“A book is a gift you can open again and again.”


Nostalgia in Melody

Good Morning! I hope you’ve been having a pleasant weekend, thus far, wherever you might be reading from. Over the past several days, I contemplated whether or not I should write a post regarding a movie I recently discovered and saw and after having listened to numerous songs from the soundtrack, I figured I’d be foolish not to share about it.

With that being said, several evenings ago, I was mindlessly perusing through the movie section on Netflix when a title captured my attention: Begin Again. It is a movie from 2014, starring Keira Knightley, one of my favorite actresses, Mark Ruffalo (also a favorite actor of mine), in addition to one of my favorite musicians, Adam Levine. After seeing the title, I recalled when it first arrived in theaters three years ago. I’d been interested in seeing it, given the cast, as well as the music in the film, but never got around to it. I’d forgotten about it once it arrived on DVD, but when I saw it appear on Netflix, I decided to take the leap and see what it was all about. If I remember correctly, I don’t believe the reviews of the film were all that positive, though from what I’ve often found, a lot of reviews often don’t end up matching my opinion and perspectives. We all have different tastes and experiences which color our perspectives and ultimately our thoughts on films.

Begin Again                     Begin Again photo

The film started off rather slow, if I’m being completely frank. It was about a half hour into it, when I had to make the decision of whether or not to let it run for slightly longer, or switch it off. I opted to continue and looking back, I’m so very grateful I persisted and gave it a chance. To this very moment, I am STILL thinking about and listening to the music from the film. In particular, one song entitled, “Lost Stars,” truly stood out to me, not only for the melody, but for the words, the words that are as meaningful as they are true, filled with poetic beauty and similes. What’s even more appealing and interesting about it is that both Adam Levine and Keira Knightley recorded their own versions of it – both of which are beautiful in their own right and it’s refreshing to have the opportunity and ability to hear it sung by both a male and female voice, given their differences in tone. The passion in the song is one that is incomparable to many songs I’ve heard today.

Begin Again movie 2

Hearing “Lost Stars” in the movie led me back to a time in my teens, a time when I often sat holed up in my room, with my first-ever laptop in my bed, or sitting on the floor with the CD player listening to many of the same songs over and over again. Hearing those songs comforted me, inspired me and often touched sentiments in me I couldn’t place into words back then. Often times as an adult, I forget how powerful music can be, not only for its melody, but for it’s words. It’s easy for me to become easily distracted by the stresses and worries within my life, not realizing the ability of music to calm and soothe me, if I allow it to. Whether it is singing along, or simply listening, music has a way of leading me back to a place where I can truly believe anything is possible through effort, desire and drive.

Celebrity Sightings In New York City - July 3, 2012

If you get a chance, listen to “Lost Stars” by Adam Levine and/or Keira Knightley from Begin Again, the movie. Or, take an 1hr 45 minutes (roughly) to take in the film, itself. Perhaps it will inspire you as much as it did for me.

Music Quotes

Black, White and READ all over: What Newspapers mean to me

Good Monday morning, to you! I hope your week is off to a pleasant start, thus far and also that your weekend was one filled with fun and relaxation. The weather held up for the most part, so that is always appreciated, of course. The past two days seemed to pass by rather quickly, but it was good, nonetheless. Let’s do a quick breakfast snapshot, before I indulge you in today’s musing:

Breakfast (August 12, 2013):

1 container Yoplait Light Boston Cream Pie Yogurt: (I’m not sure if I’ve ever had this flavor before, but it was a decent one. I’ve come to really enjoy Yoplait Light yogurts, as an alternative to Greek yogurts. What I truly appreciate about it, is that despite it not being Greek, it still maintains a rather thick consistency with more substance than other traditional yogurts, outside of Greek. Plus, I love that Yoplait Light has so many different, unique flavors.)

1 cup Dora the Explorer Cereal: (Okay, before you laugh, roll your eyes, or maybe, both, this cereal is yummy! I’ve never had it before, but last week a HUGE box (19 servings, total) was on sale for about $1.99, so it was a steal! I’ve really been enjoying it. They are small stars, with flecks of cinnamon and are sweet, but not overly, so.)

1 cup Special K Red Berries: (As always, a tasty favorite! Sadly, I’m approaching the end of the box, but I still have the Special K Multigrain Flakes in the cabinet, so we’re A-OKAY for now!)

1 Banana (Yum! The bananas from Whole Foods, for some reason, are particularly sweet and satisfying… perhaps because they are a mere .49 per lb?! Perhaps, just saying!)

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Now onto today’s musing. Each morning, my routine is relatively the same, no matter if it is a weekday or weekend morning. Upon stumbling down the steps, I prepare my breakfast, pour my coffee, turn the news/Good Morning America on, and seat myself at the kitchen table. However, while seated at the table, not only am I eating, and listening/watching the TV, but I am also feverishly reading. Since I’ve been a young child, each morning/day, I read the newspaper – not one, but two. For as long as I can recall, my family has always subscribed to the newspaper – the local county paper, as well as the larger, national city paper. It’s been a staple in my life and in my reading repertoire, consistently since the fourth grade.

Fondly, I can recall the newspaper stacked up, near the sofa, waiting to be read by my dad upon his arrival home from work, as a pharmacist. No matter how late he returned home at night, the newspapers would be read, in one way or another. In some way, the newspaper eventually became a source of conversation for my dad and I, as we often reflected on articles written, topics addressed and what we liked and disliked. My love of the newspaper was cultivated most specifically in the fourth grade, as I mentioned above. In the fourth grade, my teacher at the time, requested each of us to complete a “Current Event.” In other words, we were to scour the newspaper for an article of interest, clip it, and summarize it in paragraph form. However, not only were we required to summarize it in written form, but we were also instructed to present it to the class, in order to confirm our understanding of the article and all it entailed. From then on, reading the newspaper became a ritual, one I looked forward to and relied on.

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My love for writing, news, media and the newspaper, in general further expanded as I grew older. In fact, in high school, I applied and was accepted as a “Reality” Teen Panelist, in the Reality Teen section published each Thursday in my local county’s newspaper. Constantly, mind was churning about what topic I would write about next and there was no greater feeling than opening the newspaper on Thursday morning and seeing my byline and article. It was a silent honor and one I very much appreciated. How satisfying it was to know that people were reading my thoughts and words. My love of writing and newspapers spilled over into my local high school, as I became the News Editor, for the school paper. Though I tend to view my writing as more creative than hard news, it was a learning experience, as I learned how to operate Pagemaker, copy-edit, and spend much of my days attempting to ace and practice “AP – Associated Press Style.” Stemming from my days at both the school paper and the county paper, I still cringe when I notice someone utilizing a newspaper as a makeshift “umbrella,” often wondering if they know how much work, dedication and drama goes into producing the paper, each day. It is time well spent in my opinion, but one that often falls to the wayside, especially in today’s day and age, where many people turn to the internet, as opposed to the daily, tangible version of the newspaper. Of course, don’t get me wrong, as I am a media and news fiend – not only do I read the two newspapers each morning, but I also closely follow the news on Twitter, Facebook and the like. I always like to be “linked-in” – no pun, intended!

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At this point, you may be wondering as to why I decided to reminisce about my love of newspapers, today, of all days. Well, yesterday, believing both newspapers would be waiting for me, to be read at my disposal, one was noticeably missing. How empty my morning feels, sans a newspaper. In a way, as odd and dramatic as it may sound, newspapers have come to serve as nearly a friendship to me, as I am quite familiar with many of the writers/reporters, the sections of the newspaper (right down to the engagement and wedding announcements). Realizing one of the papers is absent is a palpable vacancy and void. While to others newspapers may nearly be extinct, to me, they are a link to my past, my childhood and truly, where my love of writing, reading, media and journalism was more or less cultivated. It is also an area, which bonds me to my parents, because they took the time to foster the love of reading, in me, providing access on a daily basis not only to newspapers, but to books. For that, I am always thankful. Until they are no longer around (which I truly hope they ALWAYS are), I will forever be a faithful reader of newspapers, available on the internet, or not. There is just something about the tangible feel of that newspaper, the scent of it, and being able to rely on it waiting for me on my front doorstep. Though the times may be changing, with media being readily available with the touch of a fingertip on a computer, phone, etc, there is something beautifully nostalgic and traditional about being able to touch all of the words and stories by hand, whether it is a newspaper or book.


QUESTION: Do you read the newspaper? If so, do you prefer the paper or electronic format?