The Boss Babe Blog
Build your career without sacrificing your life.
Groundhog Day is a holiday we all know as the deciding day for mother nature. Will there be 6 more weeks of winter, or will spring come early? Of course, most adults look forward to the latter choice, while many children pray for snow days to continue for just a little while longer. However, Groundhog Day has a literary significance as well. On February 02, 1882…approximately 5 years before the first Groundhog Day, Irish novelist, James Joyce was born.
James Joyce is regarded as one of the most important and influential authors of the 20th century. He published many books, just a few which are: Ulysses, Dubliners, Finnegan’s Wake, The Dead, The Cat and the Devil, Grace, A Mother, and The Ondt and the Grasshopper. Some of his more influential and popular quotes include: “Shakespeare is the happy hunting ground of all minds that have lost their balance.”, “Writing in English is the most ingenious torture ever devised for sins committed in previous lives. The English reading public explains the reason why.”, “Christopher Columbus, as everyone knows, is honored by posterity because he was the last to discover America.”, and “Your battles inspired me - not the obvious material battles but those that were fought and won behind your forehead.”.
Some fun facts about James Joyce are as follows: He was born in the same year as the famous author Virginia Wolfe. He was afraid of thunder and lightning. At least one of his literary characters were inspired by his wife. His books are now considered part of the “public domain”. He was born in the Republic of Ireland, but he died in another European country. Last but not least, of course, he was born on Groundhog’s Day, before Groundhog Day was even an official holiday!
If you’re a fan of James Joyce, or you’re looking to read some of his famous works, you can browse through the collection of books and other merchandise at low prices from Amazon, the world’s largest online shopping center, below!
Last month, I suggested that you start reading the “Fablehaven” series by Brandon Mull. If you caught interest in that series, you may still be working on getting caught up, and you may be excited to read the new release that will be available to the public this month! Is so, you can track the progress of the new release here.
If not, don’t worry. Not everyone enjoys young adult fantasy. Some of our more hardcore readers are looking for something a little darker, scarier, more honest, and more real. When I think of horror, I think immediately of Stephen King. No, I’m not going to suggest you read any of his more famous books like “Carrie” or “Cujo”. If you enjoy horror books, you’ve probably already read these classics once or twice. However, I will suggest a lesser known Stephen King novel that is just as genius as all the rest.
“The Bazaar of Bad Dreams” is a collection of short stories, all written by Stephen King. I picked this book up at the library a week ago, and though I haven’t had the time to finish it yet (it’s not exactly the type of book you crack open right before you fall asleep), I have enjoyed every second that I have spent reading it.
I’m certain that you’re familiar with Stephen King and (at least) his popular works, but if for some strange reason you’re not, here is a little synopsis:
“Stephen King is the author of more than 50 books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Finders Keepers, Revival, Mr. Mercedes, winner of the 2015 Edgar Award for Best Novel, Doctor Sleep, and Under the Dome, now a major TV series on CBS. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by the New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.
My favorite quote from this book, so far, is: “Human nature has no bottom. It is as deep and mysterious as the mind of God.”. If you’re wondering what this lovely piece of literature entails, look no further. The book review from Good Reads states the following: “There are thrilling connections between stories; themes of morality, the afterlife, guilt, what we would do differently if we could see into the future or correct the mistakes of the past. “Afterlife” is about a man who died of colon cancer and keeps reliving the same life, repeating his mistakes over and over again. Several stories feature characters at the end of life, revisiting their crimes and misdemeanors. Other stories address what happens when someone discovers that he has supernatural powers—the columnist who kills people by writing their obituaries in “Obits;” the old judge in “The Dune” who, as a boy, canoed to a deserted island and saw names written in the sand, the names of people who then died in freak accidents. In “Morality,” King looks at how a marriage and two lives fall apart after the wife and husband enter into what seems, at first, a devil’s pact they can win.
Magnificent, eerie, utterly compelling, these stories comprise one of King’s finest gifts to his constant reader—“I made them especially for you,” says King. “Feel free to examine them, but please be careful. The best of them have teeth.”
For more book suggestions, read one of the following articles:
It’s a beautiful thing…seeing a child holding a book. It’s an even more beautiful thing to see that a child is interested in writing a book. We’re living in a world where technology is taking precedent against paper-bound books. That’s not necessarily a bad thing…human advancement is something incredible that should certainly be celebrated and encouraged. However, real, honest, diverse, traditional, literature is a culture that binds people from all corners of the world together…and it is slowly dying. Every day, more and more children are born that will not be forced to read “Tom Sawyer”, “Bernice Bobs Her Hair”, or “Goodman Brown” in English literature class on a standard paperback novel. Each day, we are seeing more and more young people raise a questioning eyebrow to their peers that faun over the distinct smell of a bookstore and a coffee shop. So, I’ve decided to go on the hunt for young people around the world that understand and appreciate these simple pleasures. Not only that, I’m looking for young people who celebrate this traditional literature culture! Young readers, young authors, and young book club members…I’ll be featuring them here. I’ll let their stories do the inspiring and their own words do the teaching.
Today, I want to feature a young (15-year-old) girl named Zuni Chopra. Zuni is a young author living in Mumbai, India. She has written 2 books of poetry, and she is in the process of publishing her first novel. She has a passion for fantasy and literature of all kinds. She gives her Twitter followers a small bit of advice to battle writer’s block: “If you care about it enough, it will get finished”. She is the picture-perfect example of perseverance and unpredictability. “I don’t know what I’m going to have for breakfast tomorrow morning, so I don’t know if I’m going to keep writing”, she states. This is a unique bit of wisdom, unusual to find in someone so young. No one truly knows when they will lose their desire to write, or if they ever will. By knowing this, and embracing the fact that you’re unsure what tomorrow will bring, you’re more motivated to complete your tasks today.
Zuni has become an author at only 15 by publishing the novel “The House That Spoke”. Readers seem to have no complaints regarding the teenager’s talent. “Reading Zuni’s book was like experiencing all the seasons of Kashmir in my own home” – Masood Hussein. She’s certainly a girl with her head screwed on straight. “Keep in mind, not everything you write will be of value, and not everything you have of value will be written.”, is another piece of useful advice she has for all of the aspiring young authors and readers of the world. Benjamin Franklin once said: “Write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”, Zuni has followed this advice, leading one of her readers to say “Just finished this wonderful book by 15-year old Zuni Chopra. The House that Spoke: 232 pages of sheer delight.”!
Follow Zuni Chopra on Twitter for more literature inspiration.
We’re over halfway through the month of January, so you may already be 200 pages deep in your latest read, but if you haven’t picked up a good book yet this month, I highly suggest that you find one. If you don’t have anything in mind, or you’re just too busy to head to the local library to pick one out, you’re in luck, because we have a great series of books to share with you that just might last you well into the Spring. If you do love these books so much that you just fly right on through them, we’ll be publishing further suggestions in the coming months.
Wondering why we’re so profusely encouraging you to get lost in a novel, when there are so many other things you could be doing, such as starting up your work-from-home career, spending time with your children, or taking a little vacation for yourself? Well, let’s be honest. We all need a little mental stimulation and bodily relaxation once in a while. Work is stressful, children are a handful (or two), and vacations are expensive and time-consuming. Reading a good book is a better way to chill. Reading before you shut off the lights for the night can help you get a better night of rest. Reading before you head to work in the morning can “wake up” your brain and get you ready to tackle the challenges of the upcoming hours! Reading improves your communication skills, and even boosts your moral! With that in mind…what exactly should you be reading?
Our suggestion for January is a fantasy book. Let your mind wander for the new year. There are over 300 days of possibilities ahead of you, so a little inspiration may be just what you need right now! Brandon Mull captures that spirit perfectly in the children’s fantasy series “Fablehaven”. A children’s book may not be your idea of a great read, but you also might be missing out. Children’s books and young adult books often make better reads, because while the story still stimulates your brain and your critical thinking process, the words are easier for many people to read, and usually more fun and relaxing.
The summary for book #1 is as follows:
For centuries, mystical creatures of all description were gathered to a hidden refuge called Fablehaven to prevent their extinction. The sanctuary survives today as one of the last strongholds of true magic in a cynical world. Enchanting? Absolutely! Exciting? You bet. Safe? Well, actually, quite the opposite . . .
Kendra and her brother Seth have no idea that their grandfather is the current caretaker of Fablehaven. Inside the gated woods, ancient laws give relative order among greedy trolls, mischevious satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies. However, when the rules get broken, an arcane evil is unleashed, forcing Kendra and Seth to face the greatest challenge of their lives. To save her family, Fablehaven, and perhaps the world, Kendra must find the courage to do what she fears most.
The most exciting part of this series isn’t even the series itself…(although, that IS pretty exciting). The best part is the sequel series is set to be released on March 7, 2017! This sequel series will follow the same main characters as the original series…just with even more exciting adventures! So, if you start reading now, you’ve only got less than two months to finish Fablehaven before the next series of books hits the shelves! There are 5 major books in the original series, 7 if you count the Caretakers Guide and Book of Imagination, although neither are essential to the understanding of the storyline.
Personally, I’ve read the entire Fablehaven series, and I am looking forward to the new upcoming books. In fact, I believe I might read this series again…just to refresh myself on the wonderfully magical world that Brandon Mull has so delicately designed. I hope you’ll join me in this new adventure for the new year!
The word on the street last year was that content marketing is dead. Slapping an abundance of keywords into a short article no longer yields results…that is certainly true. However, just because content hacking is dead, doesn’t mean content marketing is dead. The content you add to your website, blog, or portfolio still has as much significance as it did in the early days of the internet. Rest assured: If you’re starting up your first attempt at a blog in this new year, you haven’t arrived too late to the party…you’ve just got to reinvent your method of entrance.
Have you noticed that Hollywood seems to be releasing more remakes than ever in 2017? Have you ever thought about why that’s the case? In my opinion, they’ve run out of unique, interesting storylines. Every time they release something “new”, critics want to deem it “predictable” and “boring”. Every storyline seems to have been filmed over and over again. Hollywood is hoping that the young generation will bring in new issues to enhance, new stories to create, and new characters to make the nation fall in love with…but until that happens, they’re stuck working with what they already have. Bloggers are facing many of the same problems. Readers are just average people…and the average person is busier than ever before. They don’t have time to browse blogs just for the sake of browsing blogs. They have questions, concerns, and curiosities, that they need answered quickly and completely, as to not disturb their busy, daily schedules. If your blog doesn’t offer something new, fresh, and thought-provoking…you’ve got no chance at making it in the marketing world.
The good news is, as I said at the beginning of this article, content marketing isn’t dead…you just have to be ready and equipped to use your imagination a bit more than your blogging ancestors. Luckily for you, I’m here to help you figure out how to inspire that creative brain you’ve kept under lock and key for so long.
First of all, you need to stop looking at stories from the “common-folk” perspective. “Beauty and the Beast” is a classic princess tale that has been retold time and time again…but nearly always from the perspective of the beauty or the beast. How would the story be different if it were told from the perspective of Chip, the little teacup that so admired the princess? Would he have heard her innermost wishes and dreams that she dared not tell in her version of the tale? Would he have been angry at his master, the beast, for the treatment that the princess received, or would he have felt sympathy for the beast, because the beast had confided in him the level of pain and loneliness that the curse had cast upon him? The reader, no doubt, knows the story of the Beauty and the Beast, but casting a new perspective on the age-old tale could be exactly what is needed to attract a larger audience to the tale.
Another way to spruce up your writing is to pay attention to your own life. This may seem like an obvious statement, but the issues you face in daily life are quite similar to the issues your readers are facing. So, if you wouldn’t Google a question…don’t write about it. If you do Google a question, pay attention to the answer and critique it. If there is something you would add or take away from the answer you find, there is no shame in rewriting the article. Of course, make sure it is in your own words…plagiarism is a big no-no, but the idea is definitely a good place to draw inspiration. So, for example, if you run a cooking blog, you already know that there are thousands of online recipes for butterfly-cut chicken. However, butterflying a whole chicken in a cast-iron skillet in less than an hour is something not many people know how to do. Although, it could be turned into a very useful article, because nowadays, everyone is looking for a time-saving tip, especially when it comes to cooking.
The third piece of advice I must give you is this: Don’t be afraid to be controversial. In today’s world, everyone is walking on eggshells to be politically correct, and while it isn’t a good idea to walk around deliberately insulting every person you meet (remember, connections are still everything), it could be beneficial to business if you decide to disagree with the crowd, every once in a while. Take a glimpse at Kanye West. His career as never boomed as much as it has in the past couple of years. Surprisingly, he can’t say his success was from marrying a Kardashian, his success was actually from calling out Taylor Swift on an award show stage. Did this move piss off her fans? Of-course. Have his rants been controversial in the music industry, all around? Yes, they have. However, his little fits onstage have earned him extra stage time at recent award shows (+1 for publicity), an abundance of mentions in social media (+2 for publicity), and even some talk-show conversations focus…(+3 for publicity!). Controversial marketing has built the image of Kanye West that we all know and love (or hate), today. He is living proof that in a country founded on freedom of speech, you should never be afraid to give your opinion. It could save your brand.
The bottom line is: Offer a fresh perspective, get a little controversial, and solve the problems in your own life…follow this formula and you’re going to have readers coming back to your blog day in and day out looking for your latest article. Content marketing isn’t dead, and it probably never truly will be, you just need to stop playing it safe and start actually playing the marketing game. Your brand, and possibly even you’re career, depends on it.
This is a belated birthday message. Happy 40th Old Man.
First of all, happy belated birthday. I would have written this yesterday, but I couldn’t bring myself to sit in front of the screen and face you…or at least the absence of you. I just wanted you to know that I’ve been thinking of you a lot recently. You’re on my mind, you’re in my nightmares. I can smell the bonfires we used to create and taste the food that you taught me to make. In everything I do, I’ve been thinking of you.
I thought of you when I sent the first text message that would eventually compromise my relationship. You know, the kind that you used to send to other women before mom found out. I can see why you did it, the thrill was incredible. I can see why you hide from us now, the pain it caused when they found out was unbearable. The entire time I worried: “Am I turning into him?” Yeah, I was a cheater like you.
I thought of you when I scored that 83 on my Biology class. Why couldn’t I do better? You were always pushing me to be better…and bashing me when I didn’t meet your unrealistic expectations. Mom came home to me crying…crying over a passing grade. She was confused. She was even holding back laughter until she heard me say, “If dad were here, he’d be screaming at me. He’d be disappointed. He’d have whipped me by now…”. Yeah, I was a perfectionist like you.
I thought of you when I was bent over the toilet with the seat raised. You had told me to lose weight, you had told me I could be prettier. I trusted that you weren’t lying to me. I wanted to find out. Ironically, I didn’t look very pretty in that moment. Mascara running down my cheeks…my face flushed red…vomit on my shirt…snot dripping from my nose. I asked out loud, “Am I pretty enough for you now? Can I stop?”. Yeah, I was obsessive like you.
I thought of you while I was screaming at my mother over something that had started as such as simple disagreement. I knew I was in the wrong, but I also knew I was in too deep to back out. I inherited your stubbornness, I suppose. My brain kept registering, “Make it stop, make it stop, make the fighting stop”. I remembered the night I watched you stand at the back door and scream at my Mom before pushing her out of your way. Yeah, I fought like you.
I thought of you when the dogs were at the foot of my bed and I was tired and they wouldn’t stop whining. They needed to go out to pee, but I was too lazy to move, and no one else was home. The noise that erupted from the back of my throat was an octave lower and a whole lot rougher than I even knew my voice could sound. When they slinked away, I started to feel bad. Yeah, I sounded like you.
I thought of you in the middle of a panic attack. When all I wanted was something to make the pain go away. I wanted pills, I wanted alcohol, I wanted weed, I wanted drugs…I wanted anything that could make the world disappear, or make me disappear from the world. The pressure was too much to handle, and I wondered how you ever coped. Yeah, I was damaged like you.
I thought of you when I knelt down in front of the alter a few Sundays ago. I needed to say a little prayer for myself. I was taking life for granted. I was overlooking my blessings. I was pushing myself too hard. I needed the ability to slow down and enjoy the life around me. I wanted to not be so cynical. Then, I said a little prayer for you, Dad. That wherever you’re at, whoever you’re with, that you’re happy, because that’s all that really matters. Yeah, I guess I love like you.
I thought of you when I stood in front of the mirror this morning. I didn’t get my hazel eyes from Mom…it had to be from your Dad, and Momma never had this thick of hair. She never had this wide nose that bothers me so much, but that I wouldn’t trade for the world. It had to come from somewhere…yeah, I look like you.
I’m thinking of you now, and I probably will tomorrow too. I hear you’ve left the state, and your whole family behind too. I guess you think I hate you, but that’s really not the case. I think of you daily, and I miss your smiling face. I’ve shed too many tears to count, I’ve cried too many times. I’ve poured my anger out as an ocean, and I’ve forgiven all your lies. If you ever did come back around, I’m not too sure that I’d be ready to see you yet. Just like you I’m quick to forgive, but I’ll never ever forget. So, I wish you well, your wife and children too. I hope someday we’ll meet again, but until then…happy birthday to you.
If you're looking for your next thrilling book adventure, you've come to the right place.
Somehow, this author has managed to blend together the perfect mix of a steady-paced plot and a suspenseful undertone. As you dig deeper into the story, you may find yourself coming to the conclusion that as the saying goes "There's more to the story than meets the eye.". The characters are complex and interesting. The setting brings forward a sort of nostalgia that not all books are able to present. The first page is just as entrancing as the last page, and the last page is just as suspenseful as the first. Until you read the last line, anything could happen in this book.
When I was reading this book, there was a contradiction of sorts taking place in my mind. With nearly every page I turned, I was hoping that the Chimera Group would be able to accomplish their goal of becoming just as well-known and feared as the other crime families in the area. I wanted the to gain power, and I wanted them to gain respect from the Cosa Nostra right along with that power. Essentially, the author was able to make me go against all of my morals and cheer on the criminals in this epic tale. Now, THAT'S powerful writing.
Historical Crime/Organized Crime isn't even my preferred genre of story...actually, I wouldn't even be quick to say that it has ever held a place in my top ten...but this story has a different feel. This is a beautiful Historical Crime piece, but it's also a book that has an element to appease almost any reader that encounters its pages. There are few stories that would hand such a high praise to, but after losing myself in the chapter of this one, I haven't hesitated before writing all that I have.
This is a title that I have recommended to all my "reader friends" and my "bookworm family". I can never pick a favorite character, and I can never pick a favorite quote. Every time someone asks, I just have to tell them to read it for themselves, because this is the kind of story that cannot be explained, it just has to be experienced. The details are so thrilling, and the storyline is so realistic that you can actually feel a connection with the characters...even if you didn't live through the era of the Godfathers.
So, the question still stand: Will they make it to the top, or will they fall? If you want to find out, you're going to have to read this one for yourself, and if you don't want to find out, then there's nothing more for me to say other than "This one is your loss...".
Last month, I recommended three pretty incredible books to my readers. To Kill A Mockingbird, Up A Road Slowly, and So You Don't Want To Go To Church Anymore all made the "must read" list. If you took my suggestions, then you should have had a full month of good reads. This month, I struggled to choose books that could compete with my previous selections. After a lot of thought and more than one trip to my trusty bookshelf, I believe I have managed to create a list that will jump-start your Spring reading. With just a few days until April 1st, it might be a good idea to start reading as soon as you can get your hands on one of these novels.
Who We Are: One Direction, Our Autobiography
If you don't have the heart of a fangirl hiding inside of you, then you might think you're not going to be so hot on this book. As a person who personally enjoys One Direction music, I thought it would be interesting to get some behind-the-scenes insight on the lives of the band members. I found that this book is actually about a lot more than the lives of Harry, Niall, Liam, Louis, and Zayn. This books gives the reader an inside look into the life of a celebrity. From the first page to the last, the boys make it very clear that celebrity lives are quite similar to regular lives, as long as they work to keep it that way. You can read about what it's like to train with a professional sports team, perform live at the World Olympics, and walk the halls behind the stage in Madison Square Garden. Also in every chapter is another point of view of what it's like to visit a poverty-stricken country and talk to struggling families. Taking you from Los Angeles to London, this book will let you experience your wildest dreams through the account of someone else's most incredible memories.
The Hunger Games Trilogy: Mockingjay
Obviously, if you're going to read this book, you need to read the first two books in the trilogy first. However, I wanted to bring special attention to this book for two reasons. First of all, the last movie in the series was recently filmed, and it just became available on DVD. Secondly, this book was my favorite of the three. I believe that it had the most interesting plot, it managed to fill in all of the gaps that the other two books left behind, and it ended the series in a very bittersweet and realistic fashion. From the first chapter, I couldn't put this book down. It was instantly captivating, starting off directly where the second book had finished. If you haven't read this series yet, then you are surely missing out. This is more than a teen fiction dystopian novel. This is a love story, a war story, and a coming of age story all thrown into one. Science fiction, action, and comedy are all elements in the plot. This is one of the few trilogies I know of that actually have good movies to boot. This is a bandwagon that you need to jump on. The sooner you read the books, the sooner you can watch Jennifer Lawrence run for her life from a pack of engineered dogs and forest fires.
Across Five Aprils:
Let me just start by saying I was itching to include this book in the March reading list, though I chose not to because I had already added another novel by the same author. This book is written by Irene Hunt, yes that is the same author as "Up A Road Slowly". This story is equally, if not even more enticing. A story about a boy growing up during the Civil War, it's heartbreaking and relatable. Much like "To Kill A Mockingbird", this novel addresses issues that many people weren't adamant about discussing during those times. What happens to a family when it is spilt down the middle by the divide between the North and the South? It's a simple question to answer, but a difficult reality to face: The family is torn apart. Some brothers try to keep in touch, others have to look each other in the eye and decide whether to follow the orders from their commander or spare their brother's life. This was yet another book that I couldn't put down until the last page had been turned. I highly suggest it to anyone who likes a book that will make you think.
So, what do you think? Are there any books that you would add to this reading list? Drop a title in the comments below!
Consider me your test dummy. For as long as I can remember, I've been searching for new, interesting books. I was that one kid who had read every recommended book before they were 10. My favorite classroom was the library, and I would argue relentlessly that the library WAS actually a classroom in its own right. So, needless to further explain, I have quite a few novels under this belt of mine. If you are anything like me, you don't like wasting your time on books that aren't exhilarating, eye-opening, or intellectually engaging, when you could be spending that precious time reading something worth actually reading. That's why I am going to be writing up a short list for you every month. This list is going to contain books that I recommend. I have three little gems in mind for you today.
1) So You Don't Want To Go To Church Anymore
2) To Kill A Mockingbird
3) Up A Road Slowly
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
What books do you recommend we get our hands on as soon as possible? Let us know in the comments, or on social media!
Never, would I attempt to claim that I have perfect English language skills. English is my first language, and I have always maintained a certain interest in the subject, but I am by no means the best writer in the world. However, I have noticed that I have a better grasp of the English language than many people, especially in my age group, do. This specific command over the English language has given me an advantage in many other areas of life. If you feel like your English skills are "efficient enough", and you don't need to put any efforts towards improving, I am going to lay out a few points that might just change your mind, today.
1) Good English skills make you seem more professional.
When you have good English skills, you are more likely to be confident in what you say and type. You don't second guess yourself, or hesitate, as often. When an individual is sure of themselves, they automatically become more convincing, and they appear more professional. Also, you will more than likely have a chance to communicate with your clients or employers before you are actually assigned a task. It is crucial that you can communicate clearly and fluently with these individuals. The way you communicate will be a representation of the way you will work. So, improving your English skills will, in turn, improve your reputation and level of professionalism.
2) Improving your English skills will improve your problem-solving skills.
Problem-solving skills are something that potential employers look closely for. As a professional, you need to be able to think quickly, and handle tough situations appropriately, no matter what your line of work entails. Consider the following question:
Sarah lives in a single story, pink house.
The walls are pink. The floors are pink. The ceiling is pink.
The kitchen is pink. The bedroom is pink. The bathroom is pink.
The television is pink. The stove is pink. The couch is pink.
What color are the stairs?
This is riddle that has been around for quite a while. Most people will be quick to answer: "The stairs are pink.", but truthfully, that is not the correct answer. In the very first line of the riddle, the house is described as being a "single story, pink house". If the house has only one level, there is no reason for there to be stairs. Individuals with better English skills tend to pay more attention to detail. They are also more prone to understand the multiple meanings of certain words. While it is true, you may not need to solve this riddle in your place of business, you will have to use the same thought process to solve real-life problems. Problem-solving is a valuable skill, and improving your English skills can help you develop that.
3) English is spoken in most big cities around the world, though a bit differently in each.
No matter what country you travel to, you will most likely be able to find someone who understands at least a little English. However, they may speak English a bit differently than you. Lad, Cheeky, and Love are all words that are used a bit differently in the UK than they are in the US. To have a full grasp on the English language, it is best to study the way each culture uses the language in its own way. Even within the United States, you will find difference in the language. Ain't and Y'all aren't proper English, but they are a staple in southern English. I wouldn't encourage you to use those words in professional writing, but if someone else were to use them, you would be better off knowing exactly what they meant, instead of having to look it up. Having an international understanding of the English language gives you a big advantage in the workforce.
Clue: Read a book with over 600 pages.
My Choice: "Blonde" by: Joyce Carol Oates
When I was trying to decide on a book that fit the description for this particular challenge, I ran across a lot of prequels, sequels, series, trilogies, etc. I wasn't really looking for a reading commitment of that proportion. I just wanted a long novel, so I could get this part of the reading challenge over with. The title was really the first thing that caught my eye. "Blonde". It was so vague, it left me wondering what the story would actually be about. When I flipped through the pages and read the description on the cover, I soon realized that this was the story of Norma Jean Baker's life, written from what this author would imagine to be her point of view. Marilyn Monroe. A name that I would soon learn Norma Jean actually despised, a household name around the world. Marilyn Monroe. The epitome of beauty. What I would soon realize she was also the epitome of strength in more ways than one. I've always been an avid believer that as a society, we sometimes begin to bend and twist history until it fits the story that we would like to tell. We remember things the way we choose to believe that they happened, and most of the time we get a few details wrong. I can honestly say, if Joyce Carol Oates got anything right in this novel, then I had quite a few details wrong in my mind before reading this book.
Captivating from the first page, it was. Everything was written very realistically. No one was made out to be the hero, nor was anyone portrayed purely as a villain. Even Norma Jean's mother, who would force her daughter into a bathtub of scalding hot water and consider binge-drinking a daily affair, would be described in a positive light with a soft heart at times. Love triangles weren't actually perfect triangles, there were jagged edges and broken pieces thrown into the mix as well. The characters didn't always think rationally, sometimes they made less-than-appropriate decisions, and sometimes they were left in the dark and unable to see the entire picture. The author obviously held the understanding that sometimes even the people with the kindest hearts and gentlest souls, do some of the most unspeakable things. There was an abortion, a miscarriage, and a failed wedding proposal. There were friends lost, friends gained, and a question of who Norma Jean's true friends were. There was love, and there was betrayal. There were scandals at every corner, though most of them stemmed from good reasoning and were not so scandalous when you took the entire situation into consideration.
Now, I understand that no one will ever truly know how Ms. Marilyn Monroe was feeling throughout all of these different points in her life, and no one will ever be able to put into words her exact thoughts, but this book is probably the closest to the truth that anyone will ever be able to publish. I turned the last page of this novel with an entirely different respect for the woman that I thought I knew so much about. This was an eyeopening story, and even if it doesn't give us anymore true insight into the life of Marilyn Monroe, it will present you a new understanding of some of the hardships that the people in your very own neighborhood may be facing right now. You might start to see life in a different light after you finish this book. I highly recommend that you add this to your 2016 reading list.
Welcome! I know many of you may be familiar with the blog that we previously run on www.sierrawoodcock.com. You see, the problem was, the blog wasn't updated very frequently, and we noticed that it became a bit more of a spam page than a blog. With the new year, we decided to step up our blogging game, as well as redesign the entire website! (Just in case you hadn't already noticed.)
This blog is going to be like taking a glimpse inside of my mind when you read it, filtered of course, and a bit more organized than my Tumblr blogs. There will be posts about literature and writing obviously, there will be contests, opinion pieces, and television reviews. Pretty much anything you are looking for can be found here.
Like I said in the bio, you are encouraged to participate in blog conversations, start conversations, and share on social media, but please be polite. There is enough negativity in the world without you creating even more of it. Everyone is welcome here.
I hope you all enjoy the updates to come on our blog!