Read Whatever YOU Want To Read!!

Warning RANT up ahead….turn back now if you don’t want to read my rant….or skip to the bottom for some announcements….

Rant commencing in…3….2….1…..

This Slate article may be old news at this point but go read it, come back here and then we’ll talk….

Okay, did you read it? Good.

There are a few points in this article that I’d like to respond to.
1.) The age range of what is considered “Young Adult”. According to Ruth Graham (the author of the Slate article) says that “Young Adult” readers are between the ages of 12 and 17. Now, There are several novels that are considered “YA” that I wouldn’t let a 12 year old read because of content or language, or any number of factors.

2.)

“Adults should feel embarrassed about reading literature written for children”. – Ruth Graham 

I think the fact that the author is tossing around the word children is demeaning to the “YA” readers out there. By calling a young adult a child, you’ve just taken away that label of adulthood you’ve given them. I don’t think an adult should ever have to be embarrassed for what they read. I think if you are a parent you would likely read a book before you let your child read it, as my parents did with the Harry Potter series. After reading this article I asked my dad, “are you embarrassed that you read all of the HP books and his answer was a resounding no…and then he asked for an explanation and I pointed him towards the article.

I don’t think it is up to Ms. Graham to decide who should be reading what.

3.)  ***THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS POINT**** Skip to number 4 if you haven’t read The Fault in Our Stars or the Divergent series

“Most importantly, these books consistently indulge in the kind of endings that teenagers want to see, but which adult readers ought to reject as far too simple. YA endings are uniformly satisfying, whether that satisfaction comes through weeping or cheering”. – Ruth Graham 

No, I’m sorry. This is not entirely true. If this was truly the case ***Spoiler alert*** than John Green would not have killed Agustus Waters and Veronica Roth would not have killed Tris. I think this statement from Graham discounts the fact that “YA” readers can be critical readers, and that they are still in touch with reality. Real life doesn’t always have happy endings, and it doesn’t get wrapped up for you in a shiny red bow. There are lots of “YA” books with unsatisfying endings, but yet they remain fan favorites.

4.)  “And if people are reading Eleanor & Park instead of watching Nashville or reading detective novels, so be it, I suppose. But if they are substituting maudlin teen dramas for the complexity of great adult literature, then they are missing something.” 

I’m sorry but WHAT?!? This comment from the author makes me a giant squid of anger ( <— watch the video, you'll understand). 

By the way, this guy up here, yeah he writes YA for any and all readers that want to pick up one of his books. 
So now, she’s criticizing adults who read YA and adults who read detective novels. I read both. I (at 21 years old) still consider myself young…and an adult….and a reader. I think no matter what age you are, you can learn something from “YA” literature. Adults and young adults alike have a lot to learn from Gus and Hazel, and yes even Eleanor and Park. There is a lot that can we can all learn from Q and Margo Roth Spiegelman of Paper Towns; lessons about life, and rush judgments, and not getting to know someone complexly and deeply. Just because the narrator is in high school, or college doesn’t mean that someone out of that age group can’t learn a lesson or two. 
5.)      

But I remember, when I was a young adult, being desperate to earn my way into the adult stacks; I wouldn’t have wanted to live in a world where all the adults were camped out in mine.” – Ruth Graham

Listen, this post is not supposed to be some sort of academic response to the Slate article, if it was I wouldn’t be using the “Giant squid of anger” gifs, there is nothing academic about giant squids of anger. This is just to say that a reader is a reader. Whether that person is reading “YA”, detective novels, or non-fiction…or a YA non-fiction detective novel. No one should dictate what you read. You read what you like to read. When I was in middle school, I lugged around my dad’s World War Two books in my back-pack and read them during silent reading when everyone else was reading the books of the day and no one was telling my “you are a “young adult” that wasn’t written for you. So I guess what I’m asking is, why the double standard? 
I guess I just don’t think that what another person chooses to read should be looked down upon by someone, and you certainly shouldn’t be embarrassed by what you choose to read. Authors write for an audience, I don’t think that John Green, Maureen Johnson, or Suzanne Collins would look at an adult and say, “sorry, I wrote that for “Young” adults, you can’t read that.” Of course they wouldn’t! They write so that we can read. Regardless of age, race, or gender authors write so readers can read. Writers write so that hopefully you can find something in their books; whether that is a momentary escape from reality, a lesson about relationships, or even in some cases making a friend because of a common interest in authors and books. 
Readers read so that at the end of a really hard day at work, or a really stressful Monday ( you know what I’m talking about : p ), or just needing to relax at the end of the night we read. We pick up a book and step into a world of someone else’s creation. A world void of phone calls with complaints on the other end, a world with out computers freezing up at the most inopportune moments, a world where you aren’t mowing the lawn. We read so that for a little while at least we are living someone else’s life. We are Q on the search for Margo Roth Spiegelman, we are Hazel in Amsterdam with Gus, or we are Rainbow Rowell’s Cath, trying to navigate college without her twin sister….and yes, those are all examples from YA novels, some of my favorite YA novels. 
Writers write so readers can read. It’s as simple as that. 
(that sort of segues to my next point) 
Camp NaNoWriMo starts in just under three hours and I’m so excited! I’m going to write a novel, for anyone who wants to read it. Whether they be an adult or a young adult. I don’t care who reads it, as long as someone does. Who am I to say that people can’t read what I or someone else writes. That’s not up to me or anyone else to decide. If you are out of the 12-17 year old range and you want to read something that is labeled as a “Young Adult” novel go ahead…if you want some recommendations check out the authors and books that I linked to, I promise you you won’t be disappointed. 
Sorry about the rant, this article just kind of made my blood boil when I read it….anyway, getting ready to start writing in a few hours, I’ll post a word count update as soon as I can. 
Blessings and happy reading, 
Megan 


7 Quick Takes: 8/9/13

Happy Friday! I don’t really have much of consequence to share with you today….it was a pretty boring week…but, lets see what I can come up with, here goes nothin’

1.) There was an accident just recently at our church campgrounds; a young boy (about 4 yrs. old) ended up being air lifted to University of Michigan Children’s Hospital. He is in ICU. Please pray for him and his family!

2.) It has been almost two months now and I am still having some pretty bad digestive issues….and I can’t seem to find a solution. I’m very reluctant to go see a doctor, but I’m thinking right now that may be my only choice…..(please note that if a doctor or nurse happens to read this and might be willing to answer a few questions, please send me an e-mail!!!). Okay, that will be the last time I beg for help, I promise!!

3.) We went bluebe5.)rry picking this week, but not one of us thought to take our phones and get some pictures……I will however try to post pictures of the pie, jars of jam, and maybe just a bowl of blueberries, because I know you are all just dying to see them right!?

4.) Our Vacation Bible School is starting up on Monday, please pray for our leadership, our workers, our Children’s Pastor (my dear ol’ dad!), and especially the kids that will be coming! Mom and I are doing snack and Bible memory, Dad is in charge, and we are hoping to have at least a hundred kids (but more would be awesome!). Please pray that lives will be  changed during this awesome week!

5.) I finished my quilt, but I’m not going to post pictures to this post. I’m going to give my quilt it’s own post later this week……this is because I have not been able to get any decent pictures of it yet, but I’m trying hard to get some decent ones! Look for a post coming soon!

6.) I am so looking forward to our family reunion tomorrow!! We only do this every two years, so it will be wonderful to see everyone! We have family coming in from out of state, new babies to love on, and lots of stories to tell and food to eat! It should be lots of fun!

7.) I’m linking up with Jennifer Fulwiler over at Conversion Diary as I do every Friday. Go check out all the other Quick Takes this week!!

Blessings,

Megan

Quilting Without a Pattern….

A metaphor for life perhaps? Maybe…..

So, I had this idea that I was going to make a quilt. I didn’t have a pattern, or any fabric at all….but I wanted to make a quilt. I went out and bought a couple yards of black fabric, lot of fat quarter bundles, and tons of remnants on sale. Still no pattern, and no plan in sight.

This is where Pinterest came in and basically saved the day. I found this pin….

….and I figured that I could do a quilt, following the same basic idea that my final product should resemble a bookshelf filled with books. Easy peasy right?!

Finally, after about two months of cutting, and sewing and repeating that process 50 million  thousand (Hey! Don’t judge, that’s what it felt like to me!) times, the top of this quilt is done!

Next I decided that I didn’t want a boring back. I was going to use a single piece of fabric, sized to fit the front then assemble it all and quilt it….well, no one ever accused me of not being ambitious so I started to cut into all of my scraps…..once again–no plan. No pattern.  
On a non-quilt related note: I learned a lot about my self during this whole project 1.) I would not be able to ever quilt by hand….EVER! I love, love, love my machine and I think I’ve taken it for granted….never again! 2.) My seam ripper is my very best friend. I made lots of mistakes while sewing the books, and that seam ripper got lots and lots of use. 3.) I do lots of things on a whim….with nothing but a general idea in my head, and I think I need to do that more often. I can kind of be uptight about stuff, but if I can learn to just go with the flow, and not over analyze or over think….I can be happy with the outcome! 4.) I’m my own worst critic…and I really have to get over that. People look at the top and tell me how great it is and all I can see are imperfections. I’m still learning how to stop being so critical of my self…..
Anyway, back to the quilt. I just started cutting……4 1/4 inch squares to be exact. Lots of them. Two days it took me to cut all the scraps into the right size…for what? That I still didn’t know. Then I organized them by color Roy G. Biv style….cause that’s how I roll! After a day of thinking about it I started laying them out, again on a whim, no real though behind it…..or so I thought. Here you have it, the back of my quilt all sewn and ready to be assembled! 
There is is, I can’t wait to start assembling the whole thing. I have my batting, and I’m all set to go! I just have to finish the embroidery on the bookshelf portion and that is almost done. Hopefully sometime next week I’ll start the quilting!
Good night all, 
Blessings
Megan 

7 Quick Takes: 7/19/13

Happy Friday friends! I hope you had a wonderful week thus far! I had a few days off this week and am heading into the office this morning, so I’m going to get to the takes…..here goes nothin’

1.) I finally did it! I finished my quilt top! It took a while, but the hard part is finally over….now I can focus on doing the back. For the back, I’ll be using up all of my leftover fabrics and doing a patchwork for the back….but the point is, the front is FINALLY. FINISHED!!

Here is some proof!

I still have to do some embroidery on a few books, add a few more quotes to the empty spaces, but other than that….DONE! I REALLY, Really, really hope that you can tell at a glance that it is supposed to be a bookshelf…………..? 
2.) I have really enjoyed having a few days off of work this week. Mom and I made jam, and pickles, and pies, and all kinds of other goodies! We have some wild black raspberries that grow in our yard, that we picked and made into about 4 pints of jam, and we still have lots more to pick!
3.) I have crossed a few books off of my summer reading list……but I’ve also added a few! I love finding great bargains, and if I can find bargain books, that is even better. On Monday I went up to Birch Run Outlets and was able to find a couple books for just a dollar each. So, while I’ve made progress on the reading list, the list grows each time I find a new book to read! Seems counter intuitive, but I like it that way! 
4.) Camp Meeting starts on Sunday, and it’s exactly what it sounds like. Church is held on our district campground. Our church Choir and Orchestra leads worship every year for the opening service of Camp Meeting, and this year is no different. We will be doing some of our best a biggest numbers from the year, along with lots of congregational worship songs. I love Camp Meeting, mostly because we don’t camp! We drive down for the services on the nights that we can, and that’s the way I like it. 
5.) Seriously though, this is a week that is pretty big in our denomination. Camp Meeting is like a week-long revival. We get amazing speakers, fabulous music, and you can really feel God at work during the services. We meet in a pole-barn turned tabernacle, in lawn chairs or folding chairs (pews if you want the front few rows.) and in true Nazarene fashion, there is usually something food related following a service. 
6.) Many will receive a call to ministry this week. Many will be saved this week. Many more will be Sanctified this week. In fact that is where I was sanctified. Saved in VBS as a child, Sanctified at Camp Meeting as a teen. God gave me all of Himself, as undeserving as I was…and years later I gave all of myself to God. Camp Meeting is life changing, and I expect this year to be no different. Please pray for us as we enter into this week, not just for me but for each and every person that steps foot on the campground this week, and in the weeks to come. God is doing big things! 
7.) I’m linking up at Conversion Diary, and on the off chance that Jen may read this, I’d like to say thank you! Thank you for hosting Quick Takes each week. I don’t even remember now how I found your blog, if it was through another blogger, or if I stumbled across it one day. I do remember the first time I added my link to Quick Takes though, and I was nervous as all get out, because number one, I’m not Catholic and that scared me. I don’t know what I thought, maybe I was afraid I’d be kicked out or something, I don’t know, that’s just me….I get nervous for no reason. Number two, I was afraid I’d never have anything to say, but I’m writing a couple times a week now, I’m actually keeping up this blog! That’s something I never thought would happen. Thank you for helping my find my voice! I have found so many wonderful blogs to read because of your weekly link-ups, and I’m not worried about that whole me-not-being-Catholic-thing, that’s the beauty of the body of Christ isn’t it?! So Jen, if you happen to read my little blog, THANK YOU! 
Have an awesome weekend everyone!

Blessings, 

Megan 

The Insomnia Strikes Back

I’m not going to lie….insomnia sucks! The last few nights, I’ve laid in bed staring at my ceiling unable to fall asleep….and on the rare occasion that I actually did fall asleep, I couldn’t stay asleep. I don’t know what is causing this, or why it is so sporadic when it does happen.

It’s the weirdest thing. I haven’t changed my eating habits, or introduced any new foods. My night-time routine is always the same. Normally I fall asleep to music, but not even that helps when insomnia strikes. I tried reading, watching re-runs of television shows on the iPad hoping and praying that something would put me to sleep. I tried completely clearing my mind, and not thinking about anything at all (which is nearly impossible for me.)

Finally, last night I was able to get a full eight hours of sleep, but that doesn’t happen very consistently. It gets really frustrating, because I have no idea what causes this, why it comes on the way it does.

Sorry for the random, rambling post….if anyone has any kind of advice for dealing with insomnia I’m open to it!

Blessings,

Megan

p.s. Please pray that I’m able to fall asleep tonight, and stay asleep! Thanks!