Friday, May 10, 2013

Where in the World has Alli been?

Hello! I feel like it has be FOREVER since I've really blogged and given you guys any real original content. And it's true. I haven't. I've totally been neglecting my poor blog. On the plus side...I have been reading so, there's that. 

I just haven't felt good lately. I'm back on night shift again. And I was doing really well with the schedule for a while. But then my sleep hours and wake hours got all jumbled up and I have yet to recover.

Also, on a deeply personal note, I've been working with my doctor and taking some different medicines. The mister and I are about ready to start a family and of course, because it's me, it is not going to be easy. So the doc is trying to get all my hormonal ducks in a row so that Ensign Kirk can come on board. (Too Trekkie/nerdy? Ok, so I mean Baby Kirk.)

We aren't really overly worried about this whole process. I'm just concerned it might take a while. And then if we can't have said baby then we will look into adoption. Which I am also totally fine with and in fact, it has always been on the table for me. I'd like to adopt one day whether or not I give birth to a child or children myself or not. 

Even then, if that doesn't work out, then I feel certain hubs and I can live a completely full life without children. But we at least want to give it a try so here we are. Our only real concern in all this is that it can take TIME. And while we are still young now, neither of us want wait til we are OLD to become parents. So really we just want to know what we are working with here. 

But back to the point, I think all these meds are doing a number on me too. So I have crazy hormones, an inability to sleep at the appropriate time, and as much I try not to, a pretty constant worry in the back of my mind about what might or might not happen. My concentration level has been limited to say the least. I'm doing good to be functional at work. At home I'm good reading or watching TV but if it requires more thought I'm out. So writing reviews has not been happening. But working on my TBR pile and catching up on the billion shows on the DVR have really been great distractions.

I've finally started feeling a little better. Not totally Alli but getting there. Here's what I've been up to...

We went to DC for a weekend to see the sites and cherry blossoms:

Hubs and I celebrated 3 years of wedded bliss on May 1. I love that man sooooo much! I have new addition on my ring finger. Since we eloped to Vegas there was no time or reason to have an engagement ring. But this year my sweetie added this beautiful chocolate diamond ring to my original wedding bad. I LOVE it!! It's different but SO ARE WE. Nothing we've ever done has been "normal" and I wouldn't have it any other way!

I've read several books:

The Sidekick Chronicles by Stacey Rourke
Sacrifice by Stacey Rourke
Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
The Bully Book by Eric Kahn Gale
Surviving High School by M. Doty
Every Day by David Levithan
Caught up on some television:

The Vampire Diaries--That Originals episode was AWESOME!
Grimm--Nick and Juliet--just get back together already!
Game of Thrones--Addictive!
Duck Dynasty--Makes me "Happy, Happy, Happy!"
Other internet type stuff: 

#BSMPhotoADay Challenge. I've never done one of these before and it's way fun AND this one is bookish! You can see my Instagram photos over there on the sidebar. If you are on Instagram, look me up! My user name is: mrscaptkirk51. This challenge is helping me feel connected but not overwhelmed. So yay for participation!
Pinterest: I've also been pinning the fool out of some stuff on Pinterest. If you are curious to see what caught my fleeting fancy, look for me, I'm Allison Kirk on Pinterest!
So that kind of sums it up for now. Now that I've laid it all out there, I'm really going to try to get those reviews up SOON. Like this coming week. At least some of them. 

And if you are the praying type we sure could use yours as we are going through these wait and see times. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher Guest Post

I'm so excited about today's guest post with author of The S-Word, Chelsea Pitcher! I'm not even going to try to explain this one to you. (I haven't read it yet, but I really want to!) Chelsea asked me what topic I'd like her to write about and of course I was blank. Finally, this was basically what finally came up with...

Me: I'm just interested in why you chose tackled such a major issue in THE S-WORD, especially this being your debut novel. Maybe you could discuss why this story HAD to written. (I really like stories that take on bullies. I wasn't bullied too bad but I was never Miss Popular either, if you know what I mean.)

And the following is Chelsea's response!

I started thinking about “The S-Word” when teen suicide was all over the news. Ellen DeGeneres called it an epidemic. The folks at It Gets Better were trying to convince young people to hold on a little longer, because life really does improve. I kept thinking: what can I do? Can I do anything? I didn’t work in a middle school or high school. I didn’t have kids of that age (or, let’s be honest, any age), so it would’ve been somewhat odd for me to infiltrate the PTA. But I couldn’t just do nothing. People’s lives were at stake. Good people, whose only fault was being born into a world that didn’t appreciate them, or see their awesomeness.

So I started to write. I wrote about all the ugliness in the world that baffled me, or made me angry, or broke my heart. I wrote about it as honestly as I could. I didn’t sugar coat or gloss over anything. I wanted to reflect the world back to itself, to hopefully show people, from my perspective, what was wrong and how we could change it.

I also wrote about the connections between things: how boys being beaten for wanting to kiss other boys is connected to girls being brutalized for showing any hint of sexuality. How abuse in school is connected to abuse at home. I wrote about how it’s all part of a spectrum of violence, of a society that divides people into categories of “valuable” and “useless” and punishes those who don’t measure up. And once I started seeing the connections, I couldn’t stop. One connection bled into another, until I had this giant, unbroken tapestry of cause and effect, of bullying begetting more bullying. 

I called it “The S-Word.” I wrote the first draft in a month. And while I didn’t specifically say, “Here is the connection between this and that,” I attempted to show how all of this bullying and violence and divisiveness is experienced by teens on a daily basis. I created Lizzie, who’s tormented by her entire class after she’s caught in bed with the wrong boy. I created Jesse, whose refusal to conform to traditional gender roles makes people think they have the right to attack him, both verbally and physically. Shelby’s dealing with racism in a school that’s ninety-percent white. Kennedy’s been labeled “easy” since seventh grade. The more I thought about it, the more problems I uncovered for this group of struggling teens; problems dealt with every day in real high schools and junior highs. Problems I encountered in my own high school days (though I believe things are worse today). It almost started to feel like too much; the problems were overwhelming. Did I really have to write about all of these things? 

But that was the point. That’s our reality. And it needed to be shown, if we’re ever going to find a solution to this culture of violence. My version of things isn’t the only one, and there are certainly issues I wasn’t able to touch upon. But if one person is moved by my story, and inspired to change their behavior, I’ve done what I set out to do. And if one person realizes she’s not alone in a world that’s trying to objectify or marginalize her; if one person realizes he’s valuable in a world that tells him he’s not worthy of being loved, I’ve done more than I could’ve hoped.

About The S-Word:

First it was SLUT scribbled all over Lizzie Hart’s locker.

But one week after Lizzie kills herself, SUICIDE SLUT replaces it—in Lizzie's looping scrawl.

Lizzie’s reputation is destroyed when she's caught in bed with her best friend’s boyfriend on prom night. With the whole school turned against her, and Angie not speaking to her, Lizzie takes her own life. But someone isn’t letting her go quietly. As graffiti and photocopies of Lizzie’s diary plaster the school, Angie begins a relentless investigation into who, exactly, made Lizzie feel she didn’t deserve to keep living. And while she claims she simply wants to punish Lizzie’s tormentors, Angie's own anguish over abandoning her best friend will drive her deep into the dark, twisted side of Verity High—and she might not be able to pull herself back out.

Debut author Chelsea Pitcher daringly depicts the harsh reality of modern high schools, where one bad decision can ruin a reputation, and one cruel word can ruin a life. Angie’s quest for the truth behind Lizzie’s suicide is addictive and thrilling, and her razor-sharp wit and fierce sleuthing skills makes her impossible not to root for—even when it becomes clear that both avenging Lizzie and avoiding self-destruction might not be possible.

Release date: May 7th 2013

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Purchase: Amazon

About the Author: 

Chelsea Pitcher is a native of Portland, OR where she received her BA in English Literature. Fascinated by all things literary, she began gobbling up stories as soon as she could read, and especially enjoys delving into the darker places to see if she can draw out some light.

Official links: | @Chelsea_Pitcher

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