A close up at the best bookstore…ever

A long time ago I wrote a post called Beautiful Bookstores. In that post you got a glimps of The Barns and Nobles located in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. 

Last week I decided it has been too long since my visit to this amazing book store! This time I went prepared to take pictures and share them with you!

   
     

  

  

  

  

  

  

 I know some of the pictures are blurry  but I think you can still see the awesomeness! 

If you ever visit Baltimore you’ve got to check out this bookstore!  

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Change 

Change. 

It’s a word that makes me excited and strikes fear into my heart all at the same time. 

There’s lots of different types of change. I like to categorize them into four general groups.

The GOOD- This is the kind of change that all, any human welcomes eagerly. This change in life’s story involves something awesome happening that you’ve only dreamed of happening. And you embrace it, with all your heart. For example: You just won the lottery! 

The BAD- this change isn’t actually bad…it’s a great thing. Its change that is saving you from something bad–your saving grace. This second group of change is tough but it’s necessary. This type of change usually involves our willpower. We don’t eagerly accept it.  We fight through it because if we realize if we don’t change we are headed for disaster. Example: losing weight, getting out of a bad relationship, overcoming an addiction.

The UGLY- This type of change refers to situations in which we have no control over. It is thrust upon us without our choice.This change is usually very unexpected and often unpleasant (at first). Example: losing a job, getting bit by a super spider and becoming Spider-Man.

And then there’s that last category of change–the one the bulk of this post is about.

The CHOICE. This category of change is  when in life you find yourself facing a path which leads two, five, or seventeen different ways. Each one of them means change, you just have to decide which path to take. You know you can’t just stand there and not ever choose. These are the changes that you are in control of but often leave you with questions and the dreaded task of making a decision and sticking to it. This type of change involves taking a risk or a chance. And sometimes you don’t know how it will turn out. Haha! Can you guess which category of change I am facing right now!? 😉 

As I was thinking about change and making a decision, this thought hit me. 

What really makes a good life? 

You do. 

It’s not money or a perfect job or a house on the beach…you make your life good. It’s up to you. Even though I’d love all those things….I can still be happy without them. There’s nothing more dangerous than waiting for something to happen to live and fully enjoy life. You’ve got to choose happiness where you’re at, you’ve got to choose to make the most of your life now. If you live each day to its fullest–smiling, thankful, laughing, building good relationships, loving people, helping people, exploring, etc., no matter where life takes you…rich or poor, moving here or there…you will have a good life. There are so many things we have no control over in life, but what we do have control over is our attitudes and actions. 

What’s the point of all of this? 

Change happens. Sometimes it’s good sometimes it’s bad. Sometimes you have a say in the matter and sometimes you don’t. But no matter what change brings your way…you can always be in charge of how you face it or reacte to it.

Stay positive! Do good! Make people know they matter! Try your best! Be the best possible version of yourself! Enjoy the little things! If you’re doing that…no matter what path you take, what change you embrace…it will be okay!

Bathrooms, wall to wall carpet and other mysteries of the universe

The universe has many mysteries.

One such mystery is why…oh why, did people ever decide wall to wall carpeting in the bathroom was a good idea?

bathroom-carpet

I suppose this mystery isn’t completely unsolved to the masses of the world. You may be one of those individuals who put carpet in your bathroom. WHY???

I am bringing up this topic today because I am one of those people who own (I guess I should say rent? but that sounds strange!) a bathroom in which the entire floor is blanketed in carpet. I should note that I DID NOT put the carpet there. I’m pretty sure it’s been there for nearly 50 years. (Along with all the appliances in the house! The house is like a well preserved view of life and interior designing in the 1960s.) At one point I think the carpet was pink, matching the tiles on the wall and shower; slowly it has faded into a dull, liver and pink colored monstrosity.

You ask: Autumn, why not just rip the carpet out and tile the floor? Stop fussing!

My answer: I rent.

The people I rent from are ever so nice! They are literally the nicest of the nice. But they like the carpet in there. I cannot bring myself to ask why. It might change my opinion of them. I’M KIDDING! They like it because tiles are cold and hard and carpet is a softer, warmer option. All I can think is: True…but what if the toilet over flows? What if you spill your hair gel on it? And again…what if the toilet over flows???

Another reason I am bringing up this topic today is because over the weekend an incident occurred involving the said carpet.

It all started on Friday.

As I was getting ready to head out to work, I run into my bathroom and do a final “did I unplug the curling iron & straightener check.”

Whoops! I didn’t! Glad I checked. The cords are ripped from the wall and I am whirling around to turn off the light and leave.

But then…

Huh? Is it just me, or does it look like a section of the carpet is extra dark– more liver colored than the rest?

Perhaps it is just the lighting. I inch closer. Strange. Then I remember the time. Got to go! I will investigate later.

Later…

I return from work, walk into the bathroom and jump back.

Yeah…that’s not discoloration. Or the lighting.

It’s Lake Eyrie.

A sopping, puddle of what I imagine probably emerged from the toilet has taken over more than half of the bathroom.

The only thing one can do in this situation is scream in horror.

Toilet water. It may be clean looking, but we all know the word clean should never be used to describe toilet water. Oh! And how the carpet loves it. It is drinking it right up.

I have no idea how the water has escaped its ceramic prison, as no one used the toilet at all that day, but the fact of the matter is… it has.

I am an adult. And being an adult means you have to do things you don’t want to do. You have to pay for things you don’t want to pay for. I had to clean this mess up. After soaking up the water the best I could and pouring sterilization cleaners on the carpet I realized…how can it ever possibly get truly clean? Carpet has so many nooks and crannies, twists and turns.

Light bulb!

I could burn it. I could burn the blasted carpet and be rid of it FOREVER and the bathroom would be clean once again.

It is too bad burning it was out of the question. But I think I just might have the winning argument for ripping the carpet out and tiling. Cross your fingers!

I’ll end my story now, and put it in that lovely storage room of case files filled with the mysteries of the universe. With a big permanent marker I’ll write across the top, “This file contains information to solving the mystery as to why people carpet their bathrooms wall to wall…and evidence on how this practice SHOULD BE ILLEGAL!” Lengthy, but necessary.

JUST ASK

One of the biggest things I’ve learned in life so far as a twenty something year old (and still learning) is the power the following phrase has: JUST ASK 

How many times do we analyze, ponder, worry our brains out for hours…days…months…even years because of situations that have happened in our lives? A friend turning suddenly distant, never getting the promotion, that relationship we want to happen never happening…

We rack our brains trying to handle these situations…figure them out–but we never dare ask. 

We end up wondering around for far too long in a gray space of uncertainty and often insecurity. And if it goes on for too long we get bitter.

But what if we just had asked? 

Just asking can be scary–It is absolutely scary because the answer will leave you no longer hovering in the gray area. The answer is black and white…it has the potential to fulfill your dreams or take them away. Out of fear we often tell ourselves we like the gray area because at least there’s hope there. We tell ourselves things will sort themselves out!

Let me tell you from experience the gray area of unasked questions is an exhausting area to be. It steals your energy, joy and confidence. It robs you of your own potential and growth in life. The gray area is a thief of dreams, and we don’t even realize it. The gray area is a life of what ifs. 

Just asking opens doors, windows, those dusty old closets and let’s the fresh air of certainty in. 

Just asking also closes doors, sometimes with a painful slam that leaves us reeling for days. But after that door closes and we pick ourselves up, something amazing happens: We start to search for a new door or we finally see the door right next to the one that is locked for eternity, wide open with sunlight streaming through it. 

Just asking will lead you to new friendships, amazing adventures and to where you are supposed to be in life. It will lead you to moving on to something better for you or will show you how to unlock that door you so badly want to open. 

Kiss the gray area of uncertainty and what ifs goodbye and JUST ASK. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful Saturday! 😀

The little seed that sprouted into a book

I was thinking today about the first little thought I had that led to the creation of my book. What was it? Where did it all begin? What was that one little seed of an idea that led to something huge–hopefully really huge, as in published huge–?

The idea of my book literally came from a dream I had a long time ago, when I was in my teens. 

Several types of people show up in dreams…there’s you, the main character; then sometimes, many times your best friends, they are the side kicks or the Robin to you, Batman; then there’s the people you think about ALOT, the Prince Charming of your dream. Of course you have your dream villains who come out in every shape and form (cafeteria lady, random customer, your arch nemesis, a cupcake….etc.). Beyond these main players in a dream you also have random people–the fillers; they make up the backdrop. I don’t know about you but half of the time I am like “who are these people?!?!” I don’t recognize them at all…not a bit! I’ve told myself they come from images my mind retained but I don’t remember at all. For example–the people you pass by in Walmart. 

Getting to the point, one of these filler people appeared more and more in my dreams….slowly working up to becoming Robin status. And I wondered if the person really existed out there somewhere. 

There was the idea. 

My book is about a girl who in her dreams is madly in love with a guy who in real life doesn’t exist….or does he? I threw in a murder and a wedding, to spice it up. 

So that’s my story on how a little thought sprouted into the creation of my book. 😀

What about you? What was the idea, life moment that led to your book? 

Writing Update

Writing update! 

Last week ended on a high note with lots of writing and editing done. For several weeks I was frozen at this one spot in my second book, but finally the words started to flow. The inspiration flow all started with research on the meaning of flowers. Haha..yes, flowers. The two books I am working on are right now are set in the 1920’s, and the second one involves a serial killer who leaves a certain flower by each victim. For the longest time I really wasn’t sure which flower to use, so I got to work looking up the meaning of flowers.

During the Victorian Era people spoke through flowers, which I find fascinating (but I’m so glad it doesn’t really work that way today!). Flowers, colors of flowers, leaves off or on…it all meant something. A red rose meant I love you…but a deep red rose meant “bashful” or “shame”. A thornless rose meant “love at first sight” and you better hope no one gives you an orange lily…it means they pretty much hate you. (How sad! What if orange lilies were your favorite flower?). Some other interesting meanings I found: one of the meanings of the herb Dill is lust. Hmm.. just doesn’t scream lust to me! And Bachelor Button, as the name suggests, means “celibacy”, “single blessedness.” Pretty interesting stuff. Kind of strange that it got the writing juices flowing for me, but there you have it!

Other Updates: 

I am getting a new computer. At the beginning of February I did my taxes. I bought a certain tax system, downloaded it onto my lap top. Apparently it was too much (too depressing?) for my lap top and right after I pressed send (thank goodness!) the screen turned into a mess of black, blue, orange, green, pink, etc. lines. Then it went black. =( My poor laptop. The good news is after letting it sit for a day I figured I would go ahead and try to turn the thing on…and it actually still worked! The bad news is I could no longer get on the internet. BIG SIGH. It has been interesting using my phone as my main source for access to the internet; I only attempted to write one or two blog posts through my phone (haha…that was fun!)…so thankful for friends and family who let me borrow their laptops for blog writing. To make a long story short, I should have a new computer by the end of the week. Yay!!

Hiking Season is here! YES! Went to Rocks’ State Park in Maryland, which if you are ever in Maryland you should check out. My favorite part is a group of rocks called the “King and Queen’s Seat”; Indians used to hold meetings here years and years ago. By the way…I love hiking, so any trail recommendations, if I am ever in your part of the world?

What I’m reading: The final books of the Sebastian St. Cyr series. I held out until my birthday and got them as a gift. Speaking of this series, I got my little sister reading them! WIN.

I hope everyone is having an awesome Wednesday! =)

Peter Pan Must Die

Peter Pan Must Die

Peter Pan Must Die, John Verdon

Book Review
I received this book, Peter Pan Must Die, from the Blogging For Books program, in exchange for this review

The first thing that drew me into this read was the title. Somehow I sensed this book wasn’t about Never Never Land, Tinkerbelle, or never growing old. This book was about a murder. And let me just say…WOW.

Peter Pan Must Die is tells the story of a perfect case–a wife accused of murdering her husband; overwhelming evidence; life sentence; a woman nicknamed the black window– a woman capable of committing a murder…only she didn’t do it. Detective Gurney sets out to find the true killer, in a murder case with twists, turns, and one that leaves the reader wondering…who is Peter Pan (and all of us thinking find him before he finds you!)?

I have to confess though, the reason it took me so long to put up a review on this book was not because it was painfully boring to read. When I decided this book would be the one I MUST review I suddenly realized my only option was an e-book or in my case, a download onto my computer. I thought, “It will be no big deal”. But yes, yes it was! I never felt like grabbing my bulky laptop and curling up in bed and reading from the large screen with its’ blinding blue lights. In case you haven’t guessed I am a huge fan of hard copy books, books you can smell, books you can hold in your hand. I am not an e-book / kindle fan!

Final thoughts on Peter Pan Must Die—if you love suspense then you will enjoy reading this book. I was actually scared for the main character, thinking, “He’s gonna die, he’s gonna die!” The author really brought about a unique and terrifying antagonist…one that you won’t soon forget.

 

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