About This Blog

Trying Something New

Posted on August 14, 2010. Filed under: About Me, About This Blog | Tags: , , |

Hello all!

I’ve missed posting like I used to, but it’s been such a whirlwind I haven’t had the time to do that and keep up with plans, friends, and family. As it is, I’m currently in Nashville at my best friend’s apartment where I’m hoping to round out the last of my “family and friends” visits before spending my last week in the states at home.

I just returned from Indiana where I visited some of my family and spent some time at the State Fair, which is probably third in my list of favorite times of the year. The first would be Christmas, and the second is Halloween, if only because that’s my birthday. That being said, I live for the Indiana State Fair, and I could write a book on my experiences there and how I learned how to eat at the fair and what wonders there are to be experienced there.

The only thing I will mention is that if you ever make your way to the Indiana State Fair, which trumps just about every other state fair that’s south of the midwest, you have to be careful. Here are a few of Rae’s tips about avoiding some of the pitfalls of the fair.

1. When entering the animal barns, look down and up.

Normally the obvious thing to do would be to look down and watch your step. After all, pigs, sheep, horses, and cows are herded along the rows and aisles of these barns, and we all know what that means. However, I say to look up because it’s a well known fact that 4H kids are notoriously deviant in their own, good-natured way. They like to use the rafters to hang those Halloween-inspired spiders from strings that they then lower in front of unsuspecting fair-goers. Let’s just say if you’re terrified of spiders (like me) and experience this once, you spend all other years looking down and up at the fair.

2. Deep-fried foods are good, but don’t go overboard!

We know Americans are obese. My mother told me the other day that according to something she heard on the news we (meaning she and I) are now categorized as obese. Very encouraging right before we go to the fair to pig out! That being said, I have a saying regarding the fair: “If you fry it, they will eat it!”

You’ve probably heard of deep-fried Twinkies, deep-fried candy bars, and deep-fried pickles, all of which are delicious. But one of the new specialties at the fair this year was something called deep-fried butter. I don’t know about you, but if we’re deep frying something that’s normally used in deep frying, that’s a little bit of overkill. And considering the heart attack-inducing qualities of plain butter, I have to wonder why more people didn’t keel over at the fair after sampling this new delicacy. Personally, I say stick with some of the standard fair foods, and you’ll be fine.

3. When at the Indy State Fair, ALWAYS visit the Expo Hall.

This is a must. If you don’t do this, you are crazy. Why is that? Because the Expo Hall is like the Holy Grail of incredible offerings for the avid fair shopper. No, I know fairs are supposed to be about the food, the midway rides, the animals, but when they’re selling things like motorcycles, gutters, windows, customized license plates, and license renewals in one place, you have to take notice.

4. Walk around the fairgrounds, but find some place cool to eat.

This is especially important when you go to the fair in 99 degree weather with a heat index of 107, like my family and I did this year. If you don’t go somewhere cool to eat, you’re asking to be sick as a dog, and really, with all the amazing fair foods to sample, that’s quite foolish. So be smart and go to the Pepsi Coliseum where you’re sure to find some cool air.

5. Ride the tram.

It costs $0.75 to ride the tractor-driven trolleys around the fairgrounds once. They stop several places along the way, and you can plan where you want to get off to go to your next location. But ride them because they’re nice on your feet after you’ve been walking all day, they give you a break from the heat, and it’s quite fun just to chill and watch the people walking around.

That said, this was not the only thing I wanted to share in this post.

So I’ve decided on my plan of attack for posting new information about China once I arrive and have all my access cut off. I’m hoping things will work smoothly, but you’ll have to bear with me if they don’t. I decided against making my own website as there’s really no guarantee they won’t block that one, too.

What I have done is got a Posterous account. This website allows you to post to multiple sites at once, but it also sets up a blog and allows you to customize the domain so that you can share your blog with friends. It’s really a good idea because Posterous allows you to email blog posts to the website, and it pulls all the information from the email and transfers it into a blog post for your blog. This includes attachments of pictures and videos, which the site will host for you.

So I’ve made myself a new blog, which you can find here if you’re inclined to go ahead and subscribe. I’ll add the link in to my sidebar links as well, and I think you’ll appreciate the website once you see the name. I’m also going to use Posterous to continue posting at this address as well. However, I’m going to try to maintain some semblance of the original spirit of this blog, so I won’t be posting here as often while I’m gone.

Hopefully I’ll be able to update again before I leave. I wanted to do a post that lists all the books I’ve read lately just to prove I’m still getting in reading time while I’m getting ready for China. So I do hope you’re all doing well, and I look forward to seeing some of you catch up on my new blog when I get it up and running!

Thanks for staying with me so far, and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on everything from books to life adventures to whatever comes your way!

Rae

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I Was Walking Through The Park One Day…

Posted on May 2, 2010. Filed under: About Me, About This Blog, Uncategorized | Tags: , |

…in the merry, merry month of May. You know the rest of the song, don’t you? I’m not even sure what the title is to be honest, but I was struck by the song and felt it appropriate to throw that out there.

Now, randomness aside, I have some goals and plans that I’d like to share with you lovely readers of mine. I’m very grateful that you’ve chosen to read this humble blog, and since April was a bust, I have a specific plan for May.

I’ve decided that I’m going to have to get back in the habit of posting a blog regularly because I do terribly if I’m just let go. So I’m proposing that I write a blog post three times a week. I haven’t decided if I’ll post on specific days, but I think I can manage three times a week well enough. It might be a Monday, Wednesday, Friday week or it might be a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday week, but either way I’ll be posting more regularly. And I won’t be limiting myself to just three times a week. If I have more to post that week, I’ll do it.

All of this is to keep my blog more current than I did in April. I have several topics I can post on as well as an archive of book reviews I’ve been writing as I finish reading books over the year 2010. Speaking of, that was one of my goals for this year. I have a never ending list of to-be-read books on my computer that I keep updated based on what books I buy and what books I read and review. As of today, the list of total books to be read in 2010 has reached 55, meaning I have 55 books in my room to be read. Of those, I’ve managed to read and review somewhere in the neighborhood of 16.

I’ve got a lot of reading to do.

But I was thinking that one way to motivate myself to finish reading the five books I wanted to read and review this month would be to begin posting my book reviews on my blog. They’re rather lengthy, but they’re thorough enough for me. And quite frankly I only wrote them for me, but you might find them amusing.

So feel free to weigh in on that. Would you like to read my book reviews of some of the books I’ve read, or would you like me to write fresh things to post? Or some combination of the two? Let me know.

What I’ll do is post a book review this week and let you see what my style is for writing these reviews. If you’re interested in seeing more, I’ll post them. Sound like a plan? I thought so.

And since we’re talking plans, May is going to be a rather big month for me. I’m supposed to be receiving the contract from the university in China soon, and that’ll mean lots of time spent perusing all the nitty-gritty details of this job offer. On top of that, I have a second interview with Amazon May 20 that I have to arrange with their logistics people. They mentioned flying me in, but I’d prefer to drive up as long as they’re still willing to put me up in a hotel for a night. And I’ll be going to visit with a Chinese English teacher from the university in China who’s studying at my university and is in town right now. He’s offered to answer any questions I might have.

Here’s hoping May will bring some concrete decisions to make and allow June to begin my planning months!

What else did I want to say? I’m writing again even though it’s not on anything original. I made a goal to write something, anything fiction this month. I don’t even have to finish a piece of fiction. I just need to work on it steadily to fulfill that goal. So I’m working on a piece of fanfiction I began last year. It’s rather cathartic to have something productive to work on that isn’t bookstore work.

Finally I am going to get my butt in gear and start editing my novel again. It fell by the wayside at the end of March, but we’re fast approaching the deadline for getting my order in for the proof copy, and darn it, I still want that shiny proof. So I’ve made a goal to at least correct all the glaring grammatical errors by the end of this month. Feel free to cheer me on and check in on how I’m doing.

Well, I think that’s everything I needed to share. I’ll be back later this week with my first book review post. I hope you’ll enjoy it. Let me know what’s new with you, and hopefully I’ll go above and beyond and actually get back to reading and commenting on other blogs!

-Rae-

P.S. Is the line to that song “merry, merry month of May” or “very merry month of May”? I’m not actually sure.

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NaBloPoMo February 2010

Posted on January 31, 2010. Filed under: About This Blog | Tags: , , , |

Well, it’s official.

I’ve joined National Blog Posting Month for February 2010. I have a couple of goals for having done this. And then I’m also hoping it will help me in the long run as I work on my BFS list for this year as well.

My first goal for NaBloPoMo is to consistently post at least one blog a day on the subject of reading and/or writing. That’s fairly simple and in line with the contest rules, so it should be the most obvious goal.

My second goal is to make this a habit. Blogging is something I’ve wanted to do consistently for a while. I love writing, and blogging is a rather painless way to continue honing my ability while keeping it sharp. In addition, I’d like to get some followers (eventually) who actually like reading what I post in order to keep me motivated to write.

My third goal is to use any self-discipline I use in writing daily to put toward my BFS list, which I have posted on the NaNoWriMo forums. What is a BFS list, you ask?

A BFS list is a list of Big, Fun, and Scary goals for the year. The idea is similar to resolutions, but it’s more involved because you’re trying to make specific goals as opposed to just the general “I want to lose weight” ones that always end up broken by the end of the year. In addition, each goal should be big, fun, and/or scary.

My list has a lot of things on it that most likely won’t get completed within the course of the year; however, I’m hoping that I’ll finish a majority of it. I’ve broken it down month by month, and February is the month I reserved for doing NaBloPoMo. Thus, here I am.

With that said, tomorrow begins the month, and I’m looking forward to developing a system. I’m going to attempt to do a few book reviews as well as put together some writing blogs, perhaps chronicling my own attempts at the art as well as following some other people who are writing.

If you plan to read my blog, feel free to sit back and relax. I’m here to entertain. And let me know if you have any thoughts, comments or questions. Snide remarks are welcome as well, but at least give me a chance!

-Rae-

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Welcome to The Book Wyrm

Posted on January 27, 2010. Filed under: About Me, About This Blog | Tags: , , , , , , |

If you’re reading this, it’s because you’ve found your way to my blog, and I welcome you here. The Book Wyrm is my place to talk about all things writing, reading, and otherwise books.

My name is Rae Reneau, and I have some experience in both the writing and reading that I refer to. I’ll summarize. I’ve been reading since I was very young and have collected quite a few novels over the years that I reread with gusto when I’m experiencing a dearth of new, good fiction. In addition, I always have at least a few books on my to-read list, and I’m generally always reading at least one book, if not two or three.

While I don’t have a background in English (owing to my own decision to study business administration in college), I do have a bit of a background in journalism. Originally I was a journalism and business major and took classes in both fields of study. I’ve also worked in newspapers, most notably (or not) at my community newspaper where I served as a stringer for a year, writing stories about community events and drilling out front-page stories with some effort.

I’ve been writing for years now. It started mainly in middle school with a journal I kept, developed into writing poetry, and eventually manifested in a desire to write fiction. To that end, I began working on writing short stories, fanfiction (to my detriment), and novels.

For the past two years, I’ve been a member of NaNoWriMo, the one place I’ve felt truly at home with other writers. National Novel Writing Month is one of my favorite times of the year, and after having survived to win in 2009, I’m trying to actively pursue writing with more enthusiasm now.

So to make it simple, here is my plan. I’m going to join NaBloPoMo for the month of February 2010 in the hopes that I’ll actually develop a habit of regular blogging. I intend to make my posts writing or reading oriented and focus particularly on my rather extensive (read: 30+) book list.

If you’re still interested after all that, sit back and enjoy. I’m here to entertain.

-Rae

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