Record Collection

img_2845There are 330 records in my collection as of January 9, 2019. This list includes Alternative Rock, Christmas, Classical, Comedy, Country, Dance, Folk, German, Hip  Hop, Jazz, Kids, Metal, Outlaw Country, Pop, Rock, Rockabilly, and Soundtrack.

To organize and keep track of all of these, I use an app on my iPad called MusicBuddy and it catalogs and organizes all of my records for me. So when I get more records, I’m going to continue to add to this blog. This collection is a conglomeration of records given to me by my mom, grandparents, friends, and records I’ve found at local thrift stores.

They’re organized first by genre, then by artist. If you see any that are in the wrong category, feel free to message me so I can fix it. Like I said, my app placed them into the genre Discogs placed them into.

KEY: Artist – Album Name 1, Album Name 2, Album Name 3, etc..

All records that are underlined are the ones that are photographed.


Alternative Rock: 7 records

img_3079Dance Gavin DanceArtificial SelectionInstant Gratification (signed), Mothership, Summertime Gladness/Pussy Vultures (7″)

David Lee Roth – Just Like Paradise

Jefferson Airplane – The Worst of Jefferson Airplane

Pink Floyd – A Momentary Lapse of Reason


Christmas: 15 records

img_3083Andy Williams – Merry Christmas

Charles M. Shulz – A Charlie Brown Christmas

Elvis Presley – Elvis Sings the Wonderful World of Christmas, Christmas Album

Floyd  Robinson – Charlie the Hamster Plays Christmas Songs With Floyd…

img_3086Jim Nabors – Jim Nabors’ Christmas Album

John Denver – A Christmas Together, Rocky Mountain Christmas

Johnny Cash – The Christmas Spirit

Luciano Pavarotti – O Holy Night

Richard P. Condie – Christmas Carols Around the World

Tennessee Ernie Ford – O Come All  Ye Faithful, Sing We Now of Christmas


Classical/Easy Listening: 17 records

img_3087101 Strings – Henry Mancini, John Denver

2Cellos – Score

Arthur Fiedler – Arthur Fiedler Superstar

Boston Symphonic Orchestra – Appalachian Spring/The Tender Land – Suite

Clarinet Kings – The Best Polka img_3088

Copperas Cove Bands – The Proud New Generation Band ’74

Engelbert Humperdinck – King of Hearts

Ferrante & Teicher – Moonlight Melodies

Heintje – “Mama”

Hollyridge Strings – The Beatles Songbook

Jean-Pierre Rampal – Fascinatin’ Rampal

Mannheim Steamroller – Saving the Wildlife

Richard Clayderman – Love Songs of the World

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – Hooked on Classics

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Die Zauberflaute, The Magic Flute (box set)


Comedy: 8 records

img_3092All in the Family Cast – All in the Family

Bill Cosby – 200 mph, Bill Cosby, Bill Cosby ‘Live’ Madison Square Garden, For Adults Only, When I Was a Kid, Wonderfulness

Various – The Watergate Comedy Hour


Country: 40 records

img_3093Alabama – Just Us, Mountain Music

Barbara Fairchild – Kid Stuff

Barbara Mandrell – He Set My  Life to Music, Love is Fair, Meant for Each Other

Buck Owens and His Buckaroos – The Kansas City Song

Charley Pride – The Best of Charley Pride, The Best of Charley Pride Vol. III, From Me to You, Pride of Country  Music

Conway Twitty – By Heart, I Love You More Today

Don Francisco – Forgiven, Got to Tell Somebody, Holiness, Traveler

Don Williams – Cafe Carolina, Greatest Hits

img_3096Freddie Hart and The Heartbeats – The Pleasure’s Been All Mine

Glen Campbell – Galveston, Glen Campbell’s Greatest Hits

Jean Shepard – A Real Good Woman

Kendalls The Best of the Kendalls

Kenny Rogers – The Gambler

Loretta Lynn – Coal Miner’s Daughter, Entertainer of the Year – Loretta, Here I Am Again..,  Just a Woman, You’re Lookin’ At Country

Moe Bandy – Rodeo Romeo

Skeeter Davis A Place in the Country

Sonny James – The Sensational Sonny James

Statler Brother – Bed of Roses

T.G. Sheppard – Perfect Stranger

Tammy Wynette – The First Lady, Just Tammy, Tammy’s Greatest Hits

Various – America’s Greatest Country Stars Live and In Person, Country Girls


Dance/Electronic: 4 records

img_3098Crystal Fighters – Cave Rave

Devo – Oh, No! It’s Devo,  Q: Are We Not  Men? A: We Are Devo!

M|A|R|R|S – Pump Up the Volume (7″)


Folk: 29 records

Albert  Hammond – The Free Electric Band

Andy Williams – Andy Williams’ Greatest Hits, Moon River and Other Great Movie Themes

Cat Stevens – Foreigner, The Very Best of Cat Stevens

img_3102Dale Evans – Heart of the Country

Jim Nabors – Everything is Beautiful

John Denver – John Denver’s Greatest Hits Vol. 2, Poems Prayers & Promises

Johnny Cash – America: A 200 Year Salute in Story and Song, Any Old Wind That Blows, At Folsom Prison, Believe in Him, The Gospel Road: A Story of Jesus, Heroes, I Walk the Line, Johnny Cash at San Quentin, Johnny Cash’s Greatest Hits Vol. 1, Look At Them Beans, Ragged Old Flag, Starportrait

img_3101Johnny Cash & June  Carter Cash – Carryin’ On With, Johnny Cash and His Woman

Johnny Horton – Johnny Horton’s Greatest Hits

Marty Robbins – Greatest Hits Vol. IV

Peter, Paul & Mary – Album 1700, The Best Of…

Simon & Garfunkel – Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme

Various – Zenith Presents Hootenanny Special


German: 20 records

img_3105Extrablatt – Vico Ganz Neu!

Flotte Franz Und Seine Bierbrummer – Ja Das Haben Di Madchen So Gerne

Gaudeamus Igitur – Romantic Old Heidelberg

Hoffbrau Singers – Ein  Prosit! A Toast!

Ivan Rebroff – Kosaken Mussen Reiten

Johannes Heesters – Da, Geh’ich Ins Maxim

Lucie Baierl – Wine, Women and Schrammeln

Paul Horbiger – Servuswein img_3104

Peter Alexander – The Golden Album of Peter  Alexander, Peter Alexander Prasentiert Walt Disney’s Welt

Robert  Stolz – Ein Shoner Herbst

Serge Jaroff – The Best of Serge Jaroff and His  Don Cossacks

Various – A Echte Gaudi, Ein Heurigenabend Bei Toni Karas, Music of the Austrian Alps, Musical Memories of Germany Vol. 2 “Auf Zum Oktoberfest”, Schenkt Man Sich Rosen In Tirol

Wiener Schrammelguartett –  Erinnerung An Wein

Winer Terzett – Tanze Aus Dem Alten Wein


Hip Hop: 6 records

Boogie Boys – City Life

LL Cool J – Radio

New Kids On The Block – Hangin’  Tough, Hangin’ Tough (Calendar Pack 7″)

Snap! – The Power

Various – Electric Breakdance


Jazz: 12 records

img_3108Dean Martin – Dean Martin Hits Again, Gentle On My Mind, This is Dean Martin!

Frank Sinatra – I’m Glad There Is You/You Can Take My Word for It Baby (7″), Strangers in the Night, Ultimate Sinatra

Jack La Forge – Unchain My Heart

John Tropea – Short Trip to Space

Paul Winter – Common Ground 

Various – Happiness Is (Box  Set), Kings of Swing

Winter Consort – Road


Kids: 20 records

img_3115Al Smith – Happytime Songs for Children

Candle – The Music Machine

Carole and  Jimmy Owens – Ants’hillvania

Children’s Television Workshop – Songs From Sesame Street 2

Disney Choir – It’s A Small World

Disney – Walt Disney Presents Mickey Mouse and His Friends

Ethel Barrett – Children’s Stories: The Mysterious White  Envelope

img_3112Marcy Tigner – Sings Nursery Rhymes, Wear a Smile

Nancy  F.A. Woolnough – The Adventures of Raindrop #3

Peter Pan – Popeye the Sailor Man 4 Exciting Stories

Richard Wolfe Children’s Songs – A Raggedy Ann Songbook

Sesame Street – Sesame Street Gold! The Best of Sesame Street, Sleepytime Bird, The Year of Roosevelt Franklin: Gordon’s Friend

Sharron Lucky – Follow the Clouds

Singspiration Trio – Songs for Children No. 2

Strawberry  Shortcake – Strawberry Shortcake and  Her Friends (photo disc)

Susie and Johnny – Sings Stories by Susie and Johnny and Their Singing Pals

Thomas Moore – Sleepy Time


Metal: 10 records

img_3116Bloodrock – Live

Jethro Tull – A Passion Play 

Metallica – The Good The Bad & The Live: The 6 1/2 Year Anniversary Collection,  Harvester of Sorrow, Jump in the Fire, Kill ‘Em All

Motley Crue – Girls, Girls, Girls

Slayer – Hell Awaits

Twisted Sister – Love is for Suckers, Under the Blade


Outlaw Country

img_3119Johnny Rodriguez – Foolin’ With Fire

Kris Kristofferson – Border Lord, Me and Bobby McGee, The Silver-Tongued Devil and  I

Kris Kristofferson & Rita Coolidge – Full Moon

Merle Haggard – Amber Waves of Grain, The Best Of The Best Of Merle Haggard, It’s All in the Movies, Same Train Different Time

Tanya Tucker – What’s Your Mama’s Name

Waylon Jennings – Wanted! The Outlaws

Willie Nelson – Willie  Nelson’s Greatest Hits

Willie Nelson & Family – Honeysuckle Rose


Pop: 38 records

img_3122Connie Francis – The Very Best of Connie Francis

Cyndi Lauper – True Colors

Debby Boone – Surrender

Eurythmics – Greatest Hits

Gene Pitney – The Many Sides of Gene Pitney

Go-Go’s – Beauty and The Beat

Halsey – Badlands

Helen Reddy – Long Hard Climb

Johnny Mathis – Close to You, More Johnny’s Greatest Hits

Maureen McGovern – The Morning Afterimg_3123

Michael Jackson – Thriller

Neighborhood – I Love You.

Neil Diamond – Classics The Early Years, Gold, Hot August Night, Tap Root Manuscript

Oh Wonder – Ultralife

Olivia Newton-John – Olivia’s Greatest Hits Vol. 2, Physical

Panic! At The Disco – Death of a Bachelor, Pray for the Wicked

Paul Anka – 21 Greatest Hits

R.B. Greaves – R.B. Greaves

Ready for the World – Oh Sheila

Rick Springfield – Working Class Dog

Righteous Brothers – Back to Back

Sonny & Cher – All I Ever Need Is You

Sylvan Esso – Sylvan Esso

Toni Basil – Word of Mouth

Various – 24 Groovy Greats, From Broadway to Hollywood, Love is Blue (box set), Super Stars – Super Hits, They Come to America, Zenith Presents The Hit Makers

Wayne Newton – Summer Wind

Wham! – Make it Big


Rock: 54 records

img_31294 Skins – A Few 4 Skins More Vol 2

AC/DC – Fly On the Wall

Adolescents – Brats in Batallion

Alice Cooper – Alice Cooper’s Greatest Hits

Animals – The Best of the Animals

Bad Religion – Against the Grain

Bauhaus – Mask

Beastie Boys – Licensed to Ill

Beatles – 1962-1966, Introducing… the Beatlesimg_3139

Billy Joel – An Innocent Man

Blood, Sweat, and Tears – Blood, Sweat, and Tears

Boatz – Boatz

Bob Seger – The Distance

Bobby Darin – It’s You Or No One

Camel – Breathless

Chuck Berry – Chuck Berry’s Greatest Hits

Circle Jerks – Group Sex

Cliff Richard – Two a Penny

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Deja Vu

img_3141Cure –  Boys Don’t Cry, Japanese Whispers

Dad  Punchers – These Times Weren’t Made for You

Everly Brothers – Everly Brothers’ Original Greatest Hits, The Golden Hits of the Everly Brothers, Very Best of the Everly Brothers

Fleetwood Mac – Fleetwood Mac, Greatest Hits, Rumours, Tango In The Night, Tusk

Free Beer – Highway  Robbery

Grateful Dead – Touch of Grey (7″)

Green Day – Dookie

Hard-Ons – Dickcheese, The Worst Of…img_3135

J Geils Band – Freeze-Frame

Jerry Lee Lewis – By Request: More of the Greatest Live Show On Earth

Jesse Colin Young – Love On The Wing

Journey – Escape

Kenny Loggins – Nightwatch

Kenny Loggins & Messina – The Best of Friends, Native Sons

Lee Michaels – 5th

img_3147Mike & The Mechanics – Mike + The Mechanics

Pat Benatar – Crimes of Passion, Get Nervous, Heartbreaker, Live From Earth

Stevie Nicks – Bella  Donna, Rock a Little

Tom Jones – Live in Las Vegas, This Is Tom Jones, The Tom Jones Fever Zone, Tom Jones Live! At The Talk Of The Town

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img_3146Rockabilly: 12 records

Elvis Presley – Almost in Love, Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite, Elvis Now, Elvis’ Golden Records, G.I. Blues, How Great Thou Art, Let’s Be Friends, Pure Gold, Rock ‘N’ Roll, Welcome to My World, Worldwide Gold Award Hits

Ricky Nelson – Legendary Masters Series


Soundtrack: 24 records

img_3145Burt Bacharach – Lost Horizon

Dory Previn – Valley of the Dolls

Isaac Hayes – Shaft

Jack L. Warner – 1776

Leonard Bernstein –  West Side Story

Mary Martin –  Mary Martin Sings The Sound of Music

Mr. Pickwick – Mr. Pickwick Sings Songs from Mary Poppins

img_3144Neil Diamond –  Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky –  Suite from “The Nutcracker”

Ray Parker Jr. – Ghostbusters

Rossini – The Barber of Seville (box set)

Simon & Garfunkel – The Graduate

Unknown – HearSeeDo: Hanna-Barbera Record of Safety, Superman

Various – 2001 A Space Odyssey, 50 Happy Years of Disney Favorites (1923-1973), Fantasia, The Fox and the Hound, Grease, Song of Norway, That’s Entertainment: Musical Highlights from Camelot! Sounds of Music! etc., Top Gun, Urban Cowboy

Vince Guaraldi – Selections from the Soundtrack ” A Boy  Named Charlie  Brown”

Books, Books, Books & MORE Books!

img_0706This is another collection post, my classes don’t start restart for another thirteen days so I’m re-cataloging all of my collections. Fun stuff, right? Well, this will be laid out the same way as my records: by genre, then alphabetically. I was going to sort it by “finished,” “being read,” and “TBR,” but I thought it’d be best to sort it as though it’s literally an online catalog. There are a whopping 300 books in my collection as of January 9, 2019, and it only continues to grow.

The unread list is way longer than the finished list because I have a bad book shopping problem.. I just can’t stop. Also, if you want to read about all of the books I read in 2018, you can do that here: Danielle’s 2018 Reads.

Also, every January, I’ll republish this blog.

KEY: Author – Book Title, Book Title, etc; Book Title* = Kindle edition; (Subscription)


(Auto) Biographies: 9 books

Barker, Travis – Can I Say

Cahalan, Susannah – Brain on Fire img_2855

Gilbert, Elizabeth – Eat Pray Love

Graham, Lauren – Talking As Fast As I Can

Pelzer, Dave – A Child Called It

Rhimes, Shonda – Year of Yes

Sheff, David – Beautiful Boy

Strayed, Cheryl – Wild

Taylor, Corey – America 51


Classics: 15 books

Alcott, Louisa May – Little Women

Alighieri, Dante – The Inferno of Dante

Austen, Jane – Pride and Prejudice

Bradbury, Ray – Fahrenheit 451

Carroll, Lewis – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Other Classic Works

Fitzgerald, F. Scott – The Great Gatsby

Grimm, The Brothers – Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales

Hawthorne, Nathaniel – The Scarlet Letter

Hinton, S.E. – The Outsiders

Maugham, William Somerset – Of Human Bondage

Orwell, George – 1984

Salinger, J.D. – The Catcher in the Rye

Steinbeck, John – Of Mice and Men

Tolstoy, Leo – Anna Karenina

Wiesel, Elie – Night


Comics // Manga: 18 books

Archie:

Rosenberg, Matthew – Archie Crossover Collection

Ruiz – Archie’s Pals ‘n’ Gals Double Digest

Superstars, Archie – Archie 1000 Page Comics-Palooza, Archie Giant Comics Medley, World of Archie Comics Double Digest #72

Uslan, Michael – Archie #603-605*

Batman: img_2867

Johns, Geoff – Earth One

Miller, Frank – Batman Year One

Beetle Bailey:

Walker, Mort – I’ll Throw This Book at You, Beetle Bailey

Calvin & Hobbes:

Watterson, Bill – Something Under the Bed is Drooling, Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat

Death Note:

Ohba, Tsugumi – Death Note Black Edition (1-6)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Kinny, Jeff – Rodrick Rules (#2) and The Last Straw (#3)

Miscellanous Comics:

Martin, Ted – Pavlov’s Pad

Walker, Brian – The Comics


Crime // Mystery: 11 books

img_2875Blashfield, Jean F. – Why They Killed

Bosch, Pseudonymous – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, The Name of this Book is Secret, This Book is Not Good For You, This Isn’t What It Looks Like, You Have To Stop This

Carr, Caleb – The Alienist

Christie, Agatha – Murder on the Orient Express

Gray, Tyler – The Hit Charade

Murphy, Shirley Rousseau – Cat on the Edge


Fantasy: 28 books

Black, Holly – Zombies vs. Unicorns

Flinn, Alex – Beastly, Bewitching, Cloaked, A Kiss in Time

img_2874Gaiman, Neil – American Gods, Coraline, Unnatural Creatures

Lewis, C.S. – The Chronicles of Narnia (adult)

Maas, Sarah J. – A Court of Thorns and Roses

Maguire, Gregory – Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, Mirror Mirror, Wicked, Son of a Witch

Martin, George R.R. – A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings

Meyers, Stephenie – Twilight

Riggs, Ransom – Hollow City

Rowling, J.K. – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince, Deathly Hallows, The Cursed Child, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Shan, Darren – The Vampire’s Assistant and Other Tales from the Cirque du Freak

Tolkien, J.R.R. – The Lord of the Rings Collection

Wesley, Kathryn – Tenth Kingdom


Fiction: 28 books

Anonymous – Diary of an Oxygen Thief

Backman, Fredrik – A Man Called Ove

Beverly-Whittemore, Miranda – June

Coehlo, Paulo – Adultery, The Alchemist img_2862

Coupland, Douglas – Worst. Person. Ever.

Donoghue, Emma – Room

Egan, Jennifer – A Visit from the Goon Squad

Eugenides, Jeffrey – The Virgin Suicides

Foer, Jonathan Safran – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Haddon, Mark – the curious incident of the dog in the night-time

Holbert, Bruce – Whiskey (PaheHabit)

Hopson, David – All the Lasting Things*

Kerman, Piper – Orange is the New Black

Kultgen, Chad – The Lie

img_2853Lovering, Carola – Tell Me Lies

Moriarty, Liane – Big Little Lies, Nine Perfect Strangers (BOTM)

Nunez, Sigrid – The Friend (PageHabit)

Roquelaure, A.N. – The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty

Rowling, J.K. – The Casual Vacancy

Sloan, Robin – Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

Stockett, Kathryn – The Help

Sundquist, Josh – We Should Hang Out Sometime

Sweeney, Cynthia D’Aprix – The Nest

Weisberger, Lauren – The Devil Wears Prada

Yarbrough, Steve – The Realm of Last Chances


Humor: 10 books

img_2877Bombeck, Erma – All I Know About Animal Behavior I Learned in Loehmann’s Dressing Room, When You Look Like Your Passport Photo It’s Time To Go Home

Hanks, Tom – Uncommon Type

Kenemore, Scott – The Zen of Zombie

Mazzetti, Dom – The Swoly Bible

Norman, Matthew – We’re All Damaged

Offerman, Nick – Paddle Your Own Canoe

Ronson, Jon – Lost at Sea

Sedaris, David – Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls, Me Talk Pretty One Day


Poetry: 6 books

(Most of these are only here because of the way they’re set up.)img_2851

Hopkins, Ellen – Perfect

Kaur, Rupi – Milk and Honey

Marciuliano, Francesco – I Could Pee On This

Sones, Sonya – The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus, Saving Red, What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know


Psychology: 6 books

img_2865Haycock, Dean A. – Murderous Minds

Kaysen, Susanna – Girl, Interrupted

Kenrick, Douglas T. – Sex, Murder, and the Meaning of Life

Pitts, Victoria – In the Flesh

Shroder, Tom – Acid Test*

Thomas, M.E. – Confessions of a Sociopath


Reference: 13 books

Brooks, Max – The Zombie Survival Guide

Chaffey, Daniel – Dirty German

Davis, Ali – How to Love Me

img_2872Ducommun, Debbie – Rats

Frankfurt, Harry G. – On Bullshit

Gray, Henry – Anatomy: Descriptive and Surgical

Horne, Charles F. – The Book of Arda Viraf*

Kellett, Jenny – Miley Cyrus*

Osborne, Rick – Luke 2:52 Bible: The Ultimate Manual

Pasterak, Annette – Skin Picking*

Smith, Hutson – The World’s Religions

Zondervan – NIV, Beautiful Word Bible, Hardcover, Multi-Color Floral Cloth

Romance: 31 books

Carpenter, Kim – The Vow

Cross, Maya – The Alpha Group Complete Collection

Day, Sylvia – After Burn*, After Shock*, Bared to You, Captivated by You, Entwined by You, One with You, Reflected in You

Gruen, Sara – Water for Elephants

Guillory, Jasmine – The Wedding Date (PageHabit)

Hannah, James – The A to Z of You and Me

img_2856Haslett, Adam – Imagine Me Gone

Honeyman, Gail – Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Hughes, Anita – Rome in Love (Willow Lane)

James, E.L. – Fifty Shades series, Grey

Lauren, Christina – Beautiful Bastard

McGee, C. Sean – The Time Traveler’s Wife

Morris, Heather – The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Moyes, JoJo – Me Before You

Quick, Matthew – The Silver Linings Playbook

Shaffer, Mary Ann – The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Sparks, Nicholas – Dear John, The Notebook

Wild, Meredith – Hard Limit*, Hardline*, Hardpressed*, Hardwired*


Schoolbooks (UC Denver): 7 books

(I’ve bought more than just these, these are just the one’s I kept after the class was over.)

img_2878Goodall, Jane – In the Shadow of Man

Lieberman, Daniel – The Story of the Human Body

Machado, Carmen – Her Body and Other Parties

Mill, John Stuart – On Liberty

Pinker, Steven – The Language Instinct

Weiner, Jonathan – The Beak of the Finch

Younge, Gary – Who Are We — And Should It Matter in the 21st Century?


Science Fiction: 9 books

img_2854Abnett, Dan – Doctor Who: Silent Stars Go By & Touched By An Angel

Benson, Reynolds – Metal Gear Solid

Bradbury, Ray – The Martian Chronicles

Crichton, Michael – Jurassic Park

Doescher, Ian – William Shakespeare’s Star Wars

Levitin, Sonia – The Cure

Lucas, George – Star Wars Prequel Trilogy, Star Wars Trilogy

Varley, John – The Barbie Murders


Self-Help: 8 books

Barron, Dr. James – Please! Don’t Marry A Caterpillar

Bethke, Jefferson – Jesus > Religion

Cain, Susan – Quiet

Cutrone, Kelly – Normal Gets You Nowhere

Fulghum, Robert – Robert Fulghum’s All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, Uh-Oh

Kleon, Austin – Steal like An Artist

Wiest, Brianna – The Truth About Everything


Thrillers // Horrors: 52 books

img_2869Adams, Taylor – No Exit (BOTM)

Anson, Jay – The Amityville Horror

Bell, Darcey – A Simple Favor

Burns, Catherine – The Visitors

Fiegel, Michael – Blackbird (PageHabit)

Finn, A.J. – the woman in the window

Flynn, Gillian – Gone Girl, Sharp Objects

Frances, Michelle – The Girlfriend

img_2859Hawkins, Paula – The Girl on the Train, Into the Water

Hendricks, Greer – The Wife Between Us

Hill, Joe – Horns

Hunt, Margot – For Better and Worse (BOTM)

Katzenbach, John – The Analyst, The Dead Student, What Comes Next

Kepnes, Caroline – Hidden Bodies, Providence, You

King, Own – Sleeping Beauties

Knoll, Jessica – Luckiest Girl Alive

Larsson, Stieg – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

img_2850Levin, Ira – Rosemary’s Baby, Son of Rosemary

Malerman, Josh – Bird Box*, Unbury Carol (PageHabit)

Miranda, Megan – All the Missing Girls (Willow Lane)

Molloy, Aimee – The Perfect Mother (PageHabit)

Moody, David – One of Us Will Be Dead by Morning (PageHabit)

Patterson, James – The President is Missing

Pinborough, Sarah – Behind Her Eyesimg_2852

Rice, Anne – Interview With The Vampire

Richmond, Michelle – The Marriage Pact

Robins, Jane – White Bodies

Rollins, Danielle – Breaking, Burning

Searcy, Amanda – The Truth Beneath the Lies

Slaughter, Karen – Pieces of Her

Tartt, Donna – The Goldfinch

Tremblay, Paul – The Cabin at the End of the World (PageHabit)

img_2860Vega, Danielle – The Merciless I-IV, Survive the Night

Ware, Ruth – In A Dark, Dark, Wood

Watson, S.J. – Before I Go To Sleep

Windo, Nick Clark – The Feed (PageHabit)

Winslow, Emily – Look for Her (PageHabit)

Wong, David – John Dies at the End


Transgressive Fiction: 25 books

(Consisting mostly of Chuck Palahniuk, I actually dedicated an entire blog to this genre during my time at CUDenver last year. If you’re interested, see it here: Chuckleheads101)

Ellis, Bret Easton – American Psycho

img_2058

Palahniuk, Chuck – Adjustment Day, Bait, Beautiful You, Choke, Damned, Diary, Doomed, Fight Club (signed), Fight Club 2, Fugitives and Refugees, Haunted, Invisible Monsters, Invisible Monsters Remix, Lullaby, Make Something Up, Phoenix*, Pygmy, Rant, Snuff, Stranger Than Fiction, Survivor, Tell-All

Welsh, Irvine – Trainspotting


Young Adult: 24 books

(I made this category about any characters/plots that were set in high school. I know some of my romances, thrillers, etc. could be YA, but these are mostly just fiction/fantasy YA… I think.) 

Albertalli, Becky – Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Almond, Markus – Marching Band and the Expanding Universe

Benjamin, Chloe – The Immortalists (PageHabit)

Brashares, Ann – My Name is Memory

img_2864Cabot, Meg – The Princess Diaries vol. I-IV (adult)

Chbosky, Stephen – The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Cormier, Robert – The Chocolate War

Forman, Gayle – If I Stay, Where She Went

Friesen, Jonathan – Both of Me

Green, John – The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns

Hinton, S.E. – That Was Then, This Is Now

Jonell, Lynne – Emmy and the Incredibly Shrinking Rat

Levithan, David – Every Day

Milne, A.A. – A Tale from Winnie-the-Pooh and a Smackerel of Verse

Sewell, Anna – Black Beauty

Stewart, Trenton Lee – The Mysterious Benedict Society

Strayhorn, Willa – The Way We Bared Our Souls

Vizzini, Ned – It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Teen Angst? Naaah…

Yoon, Nicola – Everything, Everything

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Chapter One: Commute Home

Before reading, see: Prologue//Flashback: Maddy’s 

Disclaimer: This is a revised version of chapter one! I workshopped the hell out of it in one of my classes this semester, so I thought I’d update it here too. Thanks for reading! I hope you guys like these characters just as much as I do and that this is the start of something worthwhile. 

Chapter One: Commute Home (Revised)

Today, I decided to walk home a little lackadaisically. It wasn’t my usual speed, but I knew it would get me to where I was going — especially since I wasn’t in much of a rush. For some reason, this particular Friday just felt different. It was nicer outside than it had been this past week, so I decided to take it all in. The cool spring air was slowly caressing my bare legs with each step. It was chilly and almost unbearable, but I didn’t mind. After all, it’s my fault that I woke up with hope that the Texas weather would stay consistent throughout the day. The mornings were always deceiving compared to the afternoons.

With each step, I noticed the trees were coming back to life, the grass was slowly becoming greener after each watering, and the animals were thriving off it. It’s sort of ironic to see all of the animals coming out of hiding, as if Texas knew what the winter season was. Here we just get a handful of freezes and a bunch of cold wind. We barely get any snow. Most birds even come here from up north to avoid their states’ weather, as if the sunny beaches of Cancun were too far of a flight.

As I walked, I counted the steps between each sidewalk crack. “One-two-three, one-two, one-two-three-four,” it was almost like a dance, albeit an unusual one, but the counting came naturally. I started to imagine a polka band playing at each step. The casual “oom-pah-pah, oom-pah-pah,” that was filling my brain took me down my path. I took this course home every other day, so I was bound to get there eventually.

After quite a few “oom-pah-pah’s”, I turned the corner next to my family’s old diner and knew I was almost home. Or rather… I thought I was, until I bumped into something sturdy. I should’ve looked up, god damn it, I thought to myself as the man I bumped into started to turn red.

“Shit! Watch where you’re going!” he exclaimed, holding his cup away from the damage I just caused. He didn’t notice I was watching him until he started wiping off his laptop bag and flannel with his hands. With just a quick glance, this man really had a lumberjack thing going on. Beard and all.

“Oh my god, I’m so, so sorry. Please let me help you,” I said to him, while I opened up my backpack to find my pack of wet wipes.

“Thanks, but I’m fine. It’s fine,” he said kind of aggressively, but his expression softened when he finally looked up; his light brown eyes pierced my greens. “Ugh, I’m sorry. I’ve just had a long day,” while he held his hand out, “My name’s Alexander, I didn’t mean to frighten you.”

I didn’t expect him to take such a turnaround, but I closed my bag and shook his hand anyway, “Maddy, my name’s Maddy. I’m so sorry.”

“Please, just stop apologizing. It’s okay. I said it’s fine, and I meant it,” he said more calmly while he put his hand on my shoulder.

Almost immediately, I shrugged his hand off, “Okay, are you sure you’re okay? That coffee had to have been really hot. Please, let me buy you another one.”

“Alright, alright, you can buy me a new cup. Is the diner fine?”

“Actually, would it be okay if we went down the street to Starbucks instead? I don’t really want to set foot in there.” Immediately, I mentally crossed my fingers and hoped he wouldn’t ask why. Especially since Gordon and I haven’t had time to fully evaluate it.

“Umm, yeah. That’ll be alright. I’d actually prefer it if that’s what you’re more comfortable with. Just lead the way,” he said.

* * * *

On our way to Starbucks I realized that there was more to this guy than I thought. He wasn’t just a tall, rugged man, but he had quirks of his own. Not only was he avoiding the sidewalk cracks as he stepped, but he kept the same number of steps between them too.

“What on earth are you looking at?” he asked.

“Oh, nothing,” I laughed nervously. “I just noticed that you never step on any cracks. I do the same thing.”

“Were you counting? I try to keep at least two to four between each crack. I’m not superstitious or anything,” he chuckled while he rubbed the back of his neck, “I just kind of kept the habit from when I was a kid.”

“Oh, I suppose I was,” I blushed, “I do the same thing… except I imagine polka music playing.”

“Polka, huh? Care to elaborate?” he asked, and I reluctantly let him in on my little secret, because he let me in on his. And to my surprise, we ended up walking my weird, and quirky way all the way to the coffee shop.

* * * *

When we got to Starbucks, I ordered my usual iced green tea latte; the matcha was my favorite part. It made me feel as though I was actually taking a step towards something healthy. I didn’t even know Starbucks had this drink until a few weeks ago, but I fell in love at first sip.

“Your total is $5.75,” the barista said. So, I quickly went to search my backpack, but noticed my wallet was missing. I could’ve sworn I had it earlier, and it wasn’t long until I started shaking in panic.

“Um, Alex? Do you mind getting this?” I asked nervously, “I can pay you back later. I promise.”

“It’s Alexander, and are you asking me to pay for your coffee after you spilled mine all over me?”

I couldn’t read if he was serious. All I could get out of my mouth was, “Oh, yeah… I’m sorry. Um, I might have some kind of cash in this bag somewhere,” and I started to search again.

“Nooo, stop! I’m kidding,” he smiled and put his hand on mine. “It’s really no problem, I swear. You can get the next one.”

We went to a table in the back corner of the cafe to wait for our order, and I still couldn’t stop thanking him. He even pulled my chair out for me, and suddenly I couldn’t remember the last time I was ever out with a guy. Clearly, I wasn’t used to this kind of chivalry.

“Maddy, it’s fine. Stop thanking me,” he said. “But, if you don’t mind me asking, what was that back there?” he asked.

“What was what?”

“Why couldn’t we go into the diner? I mean, I prefer Starbucks, but you seemed a little reluctant to go in there.”

“Oh, it was nothing.” I could tell by the look on his face that he didn’t believe me, so I quickly added, “I just have a few bad memories there, that’s all.”

“Yeah? If you don’t mind me asking, what are they about?”

“That depends,” I said, “Why Alexander? Why not just Alex?”

“I just don’t like shortening my name. My mom gave me my whole name for a reason, ya know?” he said, while he messed with the straps to his bag. He was fidgeting, just like what I do when I’m talking to new people. This is insane. We really were so similar.

“Oh,” I said. “So, I suppose you’ll just call me Madeline then?”

“Madeline, huh?” he winked, “Would it be alright if I called you that? It’s so beautiful.” Suddenly, I could feel my cheeks turning red, this guy really had an effect on me. I couldn’t believe how easy it was for him to make me blush.

“No, I suppose that wouldn’t be a bad thing. So, now I guess I have to tell you my story then,” I started, right before my order was shouted out to the whole café.  “Well, that’s me,” I moved to get up, but Alexander stopped me.

“I’ll get it, they just set mine on the bar as well.”

“Uh, alright. Thanks.” I shot him a smile and he went for our cups, but on his way back, I noticed that he was looking at my drink like it was a foreign object.

“How on Earth do you drink this stuff?” he asked, while holding up my drink and inspecting it. He looked like he was looking at an undiscovered object. Like matcha was the strangest thing ever.

I laughed and asked him, “What do you mean?”

“This dark green stuff… it looks like there’s dirt in your drink.”

“Uh, have you ever tried matcha before? It’s ah-maaaze-iiing,” I informed him.

“No, I haven’t. I don’t tend to drink or eat food that looks like dirt,” he said, and I immediately felt myself start to shut-down. We just met, and he was already criticizing my drink.

“Well, it doesn’t taste like dirt. I’d ask you to try it, but you probably don’t have fantastic taste buds considering you got a grande black coffee at Starbucks of all places,” I snapped.

“Woah, woah, woah… calm down. Madeline,” he grabbed my hand, “I was just kidding.”

I quickly pulled it away from him. “Well, it’s really hard to tell if you’re kidding Alex. I don’t read sarcasm very well with you apparently and I don’t know how to deal with it.” I slowly started to scoot my chair away from the table, “Maybe I’m overreacting, but you’re not great at being facetious.”

He threw his hands up in defeat and said, “Okay, okay, okay. I’m sorry. I’ve been told that my face isn’t very great at expressing itself.” I could see the remorse in his face, and I felt horrible. I really need to stop doing this to everyone. “So, what is it about the diner? I know we just met, but I wish you’d talk to me. There’s just something about your eyes that resonates with me. I want to know everything about the girl who spilled coffee on me,” he said, while rubbing his finger along the outside of his coffee cup lid.

I could feel a wave of warmth wash over me, I seriously needed to interact with more people, I thought to myself. It shouldn’t be this easy for him to make me feel this way. Reluctantly though, it was only fair I told him a little bit about myself, so I decided to tell him, “Okay, well since you told me your weird name thing, that diner actually used to be my parents. The place was originally named Maddy’s after my grandmother, who was also my namesake. At first, it was awesome. They bought it when I was around eleven-years-old. I spent all my summers there, my first job was there, and it was great… until they sold it. Now it’s just a run-of-the-mill restaurant. I’m just glad the new owners kept some of the nostalgia intact even though my parents’ menus aren’t there anymore.”

“I’m really sorry to hear that, it must’ve been hard having to adjust. Have you gone in there since?” he asked, and this time I let him grab my hand. First, this man is everything. He was complex, but I could still understand his quirks at the same time. Second, how did this all come out of a spilled coffee?

Before answering his question, I decided that it was time to leave before things got a little too personal. “Actually, I hate to cut this short, but I should probably get going. Swanson needs me. We can always dig into this later, if you want?” I scooted away from the table.

“Wait, who’s Swanson?”

“My cat. He’s very particular about when he gets his food,” I said while I stood and started to put my backpack on.

“Oh, you have a cat? That’s another interesting note on Madeliiiine… what was your last name? Mine’s Woods,” he said.

“Alexander Woods, huh? That sounds fitting,” I told him. I almost had to stifle a laugh to cover up the irony. This man looked like a lumberjack, and his last name was Woods. He was definitely going to hear about this later; if there is a later. “I’m a MacCarthy. Not like Melissa, more like the usual Scottish last name.”

“So, Madeline MacCarthy. That explains your hair and eyes. Are you Scottish?”

“You know what Alexander, seriously. Let’s save this for another time. I really need to get home to Swanson.”

“Alright, alright, alright. Let me give you my number and we can meet again? Maybe next time you won’t get my shirt dirty,” he joked.

I pulled out a scrap of paper from my backpack and a pen, “Sure, actually, here’s mine. Don’t lose this,” I grinned.

“Oh, trust me. I won’t.”

 

November 12, 2014

It was a humid, yet chilly Wednesday night; which oddly isn’t unusual for Texas. The sun had just left to awaken a new part of the world and I was just getting off work. As soon as the clock hit 10:23, I would leave the confinements of C.R. Clements and set off to my destination: home.

Copperas Cove, Texas was a small town that I knew like the back of my hand. It used to only take 20 minutes to get through the entire thing, no matter which direction you went through. Surrounded by five hills, with a school district that worships the Bulldawg football team and faculty scandals, Copperas Cove isn’t a place that is well-known. Yet, it’s very close to the third biggest military post in America: Fort Hood (1). Primarily made up of military brats (me included), the town only holds 32,000 people as of 2016 (2). So, it’s a melting pot.

Now, the school that I worked at was my old intermediate, my fifth-grade alma mater, and where I walked the halls as a part of Ms. D Smith’s Snakes; my homeroom class. As a freshly graduated eighteen-year-old, it was a bit uncomfortable to walk the halls as a custodian, but I did it anyway. I started the full-time custodial position in August of 2014, so by November, I was already three months into my job. At the time, I was living with my mom and I was about to hit my one-year mark with my boyfriend Cody Lee. We started dating my senior year of high school, but we went through a long and winding path until we finally were the complete high school definition of official; it was on Facebook. However, we won’t go too far into those details because they’re pretty personal. Let’s just say, that we were both involved with other people when we first started hanging out, I met his parents, he met mine, and we were basically dismissing the inevitable.

“You know you like him, I don’t know why you’re staying with that guy who hasn’t talked to you in two weeks,” my mom would say while I’m on my way out the door to see Cody.

“I know. I know. I know. I have to break it off because we’re going through the same cycle of nonsense that we go through. Every. Single. Time,” I’d tell her.

This wasn’t the exact conversation, but at the time I still dismissed it. Eventually, I realized I wanted to be with the beautiful brown-eyed boy I met in the aisles of Wal-Mart a few months prior. So, I had to break it off with the guy in Indiana who had been ignoring me for weeks. Since he blocked me on Facebook (wow, I was clueless when I was seventeen), I decided to text him and break off the relationship officially before we finally crashed.

Cody on the other hand, well, his story is for him to tell. All you need to know is that, after months of self-doubt, we officially got together on November 12, 2013.

After he got off a shift at Wal-Mart at 10pm, he walked up my parents’ driveway with a bouquet of roses and asked, “Will you go out with me?”

To which I promptly replied, “No,” and walked away.

“Okay then,” Cody said as he walked back to his Suzuki Forenza.

“No, no, no stop, wait! I was kidding! Yes,” and I ran up to him, put my hands on his face, and kissed him.

Now, there we were almost an exact year later. November 11th. While I was walking to my car after a long shift, my “David Tennant as the Doctor” text tone went off and I checked it.

Are you still coming over, Cody asked. (We had an agreement that I’d sleep at his parents’ house tonight because we stayed at mine quite a few in a row.)

So, I texted him back: Yes? Let me go get my things and I’ll be right over.

Drive safe. Text me when you get there.

I arrived at my moms’ house at around 10:40pm, sent a quick text to Cody, and went inside to get my stuff and tell my mom about my day. It was my usual routine, so I grabbed my makeup, hair products, pajamas, and a few outfits. I always tended to overpack, so it all went into a suitcase. After a year of dating and sleepovers, Cody’s parents were definitely used to me hauling in my things. So, I updated my mom, said a quick goodbye, and as I headed out the door she said, “If he proposes, you better come back here and tell me.”

“We’ll see,” I yelled back at her as I shut the door.

When I pulled up to Cody’s house, I texted him that I finally arrived at around 11:45pm.  The moon was glaring through my ’77 Chevy C10’s windows and the air was cooling down. As I got out of my truck and went to grab my array of bags, David Tennant went off again.

Just come in the front door… don’t knock.

The text wasn’t usual. The whole thing wasn’t usual. So, I decided to leave my bags. Cody would’ve normally helped me with them, or he would’ve at least came out and opened the front door for me. Walking straight into the house though? That never happens. The door was always locked after 10pm. However, I continued my journey down the driveway and up to the front door where there was a note. Since this was a few years ago, I don’t remember the exact words, but I believe the note said to walk inside and follow the clues.

Inside the house, the lights were dimmed and there were red rose petals scattered on the floor. On the side table, next to their brown pleather couches, were more rose petals and another note. It read:

Danielle, if you’re a piranha. Then I’m a piranha.

The next note is where we baked our first batch of cookies together.

The saying was from Finding Nemo. Originally it was from the little girl in the dentists’ office, named Darla, who tried to shake Nemo awake (3). She was kind of a terror. Sitting in the dentists’ chair, she revealed her braces and said, “I’m a piranha.” Somehow, it evolved from there.

On the way to the next note, I avoided stepping on the rose petals on the destined path while I walked through the house. The next note was found on the kitchen table, also scattered with rose petals. This makes note number three over a span of maybe thirty feet from the front door to the back door. The clues were unneeded, but they were such a nice touch and the moment felt so surreal. My mom’s voice was running through my head, “If he proposes, come back and tell me.” Nevertheless, I continued to read the note:

I love you to the moon and back, now check the back door.

Quickly, I looked behind me. The back door was unlocked, but there was a note covering the peephole. This made note number four. Which simply said to open it and when I did, Cody quickly told me to shut it which caused my anxiety to act up. I started to get a little shaky, but I only waited a few minutes before I cracked the door a little and asked if he was alright.

“I’m fine, I’m ready, come on out babe,” he said.

I walked onto the back porch and there was a fire going with stuff for smores on a chair next to it. The air was only getting colder, so I was glad that I was wearing my letterman that night. Along with the fire, the smores, and the cool winter night, there was Cody. Kneeling on one knee in a suit holding open a silver box.

My hands flew quickly to my mouth. I was in complete shock. After all of the clues, I kind of knew what was coming. I had my mom’s voice in my head yet, I still couldn’t believe what was going on. My boyfriend, of a year almost on-the-dot, was kneeling in front of our favorite pastime; roasting marshmallows.

“Danielle Mahriahna-Skillings Johnson, will you marry me?”

Tears streamed down my face before I could even get the words out; this moment was so surreal. “Yes, oh my gosh, yes!” He stood up, put the ring on my finger, and it fit perfectly. I was seriously in-awe that he remembered my ring size; I couldn’t believe it. He wrapped me in his arms and I just continued to cry. After all the failed past relationships I went through in the past to get to this point; I was engaged, I was happy, and I was utterly in-shock.

It immediately hit me that I had to tell my mom. It couldn’t wait, and she wouldn’t have liked it if I waited until tomorrow. I had to tell her. So, I told Cody and he said that he already knew we would have to go over there. In fact, he planned to take me back home afterwards to tell her regardless.

So, we walked back in to the house and both of his parents were standing there in their pajamas with their chihuahua. They were in on the whole proposal the entire time.

“Welcome to the family! Even though you’re already like a daughter-in-law to us,” they said while hugging the both of us. I still couldn’t believe it. I was going to be an AllBee.

Creative Non-Fiction Inspiration

In this blog,  I’m going to discuss a Creative Non-Fiction piece and answer a few questions. This piece, in particular, caught my eye because of the name and the hook the author wrote in the beginning. The following is a link to the piece itself by Jane Bernstein:

CNF Inspiration Piece: The Marrying Kind 

Summary: The Marrying Kind is a short essay about the narrator getting ready to officiate the wedding of someone they’re very close with (the bride). She then proceeds to discuss more in-depth on the lengths her officiating goes through, bringing up her past marriage, the several weddings she’s officiated, and her relationship to the first bride she writes about.

wedding-officiants-services

At first, she doesn’t think she would or should do it. She thought that an online officiating site was just a scam until she joined her first couple in matrimony. After that, she continued to keep on going. Marrying people left and right. Same-sex couples, different religions, different families, she just kept going further on her quest to be an officiator but she still only married couples who she felt were in love.

Now, for the questions:

1. How does the form contribute to the meaning of the piece?

The form of this essay is traditional and it carries several descriptive characteristics. It’s estimated at around five pages of text and it kept me hooked throughout the entire thing. While this essay could’ve fit into the “shell” of a hermit crab essay, I feel as though the traditional route was better in this instance. Throughout the piece, the author incorporates several different factual statements, along with analogies, irony, and a few flashbacks.

2. What literary devices make this piece aesthetic?

The author uses quite an analogy when writing about the process of officiating a wedding ceremony. They compared a wedding ceremony to a simile; the form is precise.

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There’s also underlying irony in the text as well. The narrator often points out that it’s great being single, while also on her way to officiate a wedding that’s very dear to her. I found it ironic that she was relieved that she was divorced from her husband, yet she still found the sanctity of marriage to have an emotional aspect. However, this irony also gave her a reason to keep officiating. She knew all the trouble it took to be in a relationship. All the fights and the turmoil were inevitable, but if these couples were truly happy she wanted to be there for them because she went through them herself.

The author also uses flashbacks to make the story more in-depth. The narrator points out in the beginning that she knew the bride because she knew the bride’s mother. She brings up moments from the past in order to build onto the relationship she has to the bride and I feel as though it was very successful. A few would be:

  • the time when she felt the bride’s mother’s stomach before the bride was born
  • when she planned her wedding to her ex-husband
  • when she left her husband
  • her past relationships where she didn’t marry, but “played house”

In one of my personal writings that I’m working on, I’m including flashbacks as well.  I feel as though this tactic is very effective in increasing relatability, depth, and potential tension.

3. What sort of ethics does the writer seem to be following?

Along with the irony that the piece has, she often points out the different characteristics of marriage. Due to her recent marriages, she predicts which couples are going to be happy and which ones aren’t by the way they interact with one another. She went through a lot of what everyday couples go through; arguments/disagreements/etc.  So, she followed through with the ones she felt would last. The ethics she follows might not be solid in logic, but they’re her own beliefs and she wouldn’t go through with something she felt was wrong.

15-20 Seconds of Creative Non-Fiction

As I laid my head down on the already fluffed pillow, I heard a small sound. At first, I wasn’t sure what it was or where it was coming from. It sounded almost in agony, yet it was so soft, so quiet; I didn’t realize it was coming from my own bedroom. Quickly, I threw my maroon comforter off of my recently cocooned body and I got up. My first instinct was to turn on the flashlight on my phone and check under the bed.

Around the light, it was pitch black,  and the chilling feeling of someone watching me crept over me. The darkness under my bed always creeped me out; I’ve seen too many horror movies. After too much overthinking, the hairs on my neck stood up; the noise was back. Except, this time, it was closer. I quickly scanned the room with my flashlight in hand and I saw it.

Or rather…  I saw her.

Underneath the dark wall of clothes that lined my closet, I shined my flashlight in her direction and her shiny blue-eyes looked up at me with exhaustion washed over her face. I walked over to her and saw that the blanket on the floor was spattered with blood. I quickly inspected the area around her and at a closer glance, I saw quite a few jellybean toes, along with ten unopened eyes, and five pink and black noses. My beautiful blue-eyed baby girl just gave birth to five squeaky little kittens.

Disclaimer: This is a creative non-fiction story about a 15-20 second moment in my life. I decided to write about this particular moment because it was the day my grandkitties were born (April 24, 2015). I kept two of the five and they’re pictured above.

Theodore Toe-fur Meowsevelt is the kitty on top. He almost died at six-months by eating a shoestring (you can read about it here: A Matter Of Four Days ). I’m so happy he made it through and he’s still my baby munchkin.

Patrick Meowsevelt, on the other hand, is still a chubby little man. He’s definitely grandpa’s cat, but he’s very particular and judgmental when it comes to who is in his house. They’re both such characters, and they’re little punks, but I love them unconditionally.

To read more on my boys and their mama, see the following:

Baby Blue Eyes

They Pounced

Theodore “Toefur” Meowsevelt: A Memoir From a Cat’s Perspective

Dead Media: the Phonograph & the Creation of Audiobooks

This is a conference poster I did for one of my classes! I’m pretty impressed with how it turned out and it’s so professional looking. The photo in the middle is of my mom when she was five-years-old back in the 70s. She’s the main reason I have over 300 records in my collection and I’ll forever be grateful to her for putting her records in my care.

Baby Blue Eyes

Baby blue eyes,

sitting on my lap,

how do you stay,

when I move my legs?

I’ll set you on the floor,

because my limbs fall asleep,

but you still come back.

Is it love?

Do you just,

want my chair?

Mama cat,

Oh,

Mama cat,

I don’t understand.

I’ll always appreciate,

your little claws.

Especially since this is,

a rare occurrence.

Or rather,

it used to be.

Do you miss my brother?

Is this just you,

being a sad little cat?

I know you hate,

your bratty kids.

I know you love,

to be squished and held.

But mama cat,

Oh,

Mama cat.

with your,

baby blue eyes,

what’s going on,

in that little head?

It’s Been a While

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QwerkywriterS

Click-clack-click.

Click-clack-click.

Recently I’ve acquired a QwerkywriterS and it has given me such nostalgia. For those of you who don’t know, it’s a typewriter-inspired mechanical Bluetooth keyboard. Sounds complicated, right? Well, it isn’t. Also, I realize the irony of me not using typewriters in my youth (considering I’m only 21-years-old and typewriters were around in the 1800s to the mid-1900s), but this isn’t about that.

I drew yesterday. Pen and brush to paper. Marker on multimedia canvas. It happened

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Artist: Me

for the first time in a little over a year, and let me tell y’all… I feel a little more like “me” again. It was a simple circular cat drawing, but it still counts!

Another thing to update the ol’ blog about is that *cue Eddard Stark,* stress is coming — as usual. We’re about to embark on an intrusion like no other and I’m here to write about it. Eleven people are going to be staying in my (well, my parents), house in a little less than two weeks. Now, I’d do the usual: “Day 1: They arrived. Day 2: They touched my things. Day 3: etc…,” but I will prevail! I will survive. But more importantly, I will not be rude. I feel as though I need to write that phrase a hundred times on a chalkboard before I’m calm.

Unless… any of my fellow readers have the Black Quill that horrible witch gave Harry Potter for the phrase “I must not tell lies” (you know the one). Anyway. Life’s great. I’m smiling through all of the stress. My biology grade keeps dropping, the intrusion is coming, I’ve been writing on my other blogs (see: Chucklehead101 and Writing101), and I’ve been rewatching Cougartown. Also, I’ve become obsessed with this game called Dancing Line. It’s slowly taking over my life.

Enough about me though, how has everyone been? Did you see this? Are you still keeping up with me?

Make sure to subscribe/follow/like and surf through my new blogs! Especially since Spring Break 2k18 is coming up fast, and that means more blogs and more content is coming soon: March 19th to March 26th.

Introductions

School has officially started and I feel more inclined to write than ever.

I’m not writing for school – for now – but I’m writing for myself. This semester is jampacked with three English classes and a biology class. Which means – a LOT of writing. So far, I’ve accomplished quite a few introduction discussion boards. They all sound kind of like this:

“Hi, my name’s Danielle Mahriahna-Skillings Johnson, but I just go by Danielle. This is my 3rd introduction discussion board and I want to kill myself (not really). I have most of you in my other classes so you already know everything about me that you need to. So, have a picture of my cat Theodore.”

Okay, maybe I didn’t write all of that but it’s close.

It’s so funny to me how it’s important to introduce yourself to people you’re never going to meet.  I understand the reasoning, but this is all online. I don’t want to stand up and tell you my favorite color. I want to sit here and finish my homework and pet Theodore. Sorry, I’m grouchy.

All of my classes are filled to the brim with discussion boards. Tell me about your life. Tell me about the major you’re pursuing. What do you want to do with it? What’s your opinion of online college (I’m in it aren’t I)? If you were to write a novel, what would it be about?

Now, I’m not here to complain. I’m here to express myself further and let all of my readers know that I might be inactive until further notice – which means my site visits will go downhill.

NEVERTHELESS!

I.

Am.

Still.

Writing.

I’m going to update Keeping Up With A Skillings (along with my other two brand new blogs) all throughout the semester. It just won’t be as often — so bare with me!

I appreciate every one of you so please continue to keep up with me,

Danielle