Whom I’ve Been Reading: Elle Lothlorien

It is no secret to people who know me that I hoard books, maybe a little bit. We have thousands of books in our house and have given up any pretense of calling our living room anything but a library. I have an entire bookshelf in my bedroom just to house my TBR list. The acquisition of books that interest me makes me feel genuinely happy and excited about life because I cannot wait to read all those stories. Our Little Free Library might have been constructed in part to help me make peace with letting go of books now and then because we don’t live in a Tardis or have an Undetectable Extension Charm on our house (more’s the pity).

But yo, my job is not to be a Reader Just For Fun. So sometimes it takes me longer than I’d like to get around to reading books on that TBR bookshelf.

Over Spring Break, I finally read The Frog Prince by Elle Lothlorien, a novel which had sat on my TBR bookshelf for several years, enticing me with its romantic-comedy plot and not-pink cover art, and seriously, I cannot believe I waited so long to read it! I devoured it in three days and loved loved loved it!

This book is a romance, but it’s a very sweet one — meaning the main plot of the story is about an amorous relationship, but it’s not an explicit read. I would feel comfortable recommending this book to my high school students who enjoy romantic comedies.

And the comedy? I laughed so much in the first several chapters of this book that I had to put it down occasionally until I finished giggling. Lothlorien’s voice is strong and funny, and her writing style, very engaging. I will admit the book isn’t a laugh-a-minute all the way through: the comedy does dial down just a bit as we get into the thick of the plot to make way for a compelling story. The characters are fun and realistic, I genuinely cared about what was happening to them, and the writing is really good from sentence-level to narrative architecture.

This book is called The Frog Prince but it doesn’t have tons of parallels to the Grimm Brothers’ “Iron Heinrich.” (Think Naomi Novik’s Uprooted and “Beauty and the Beast.”) Lothlorien’s book is pretty original. But if you want an enjoyable romantic comedy in a modern setting with the same kind of feels as a fairy tale, this book is a good choice for you.

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Monday Earworm: Red Hot Chili Peppers (Spring Break Edition)

So last week was our Spring Break, and we were invited to visit some friends at the top of a mountain in Colorado, which we did. And there, this Gulf Coast girl saw snow. Like, all the snow. Every last flake of it. More snow than I’ve ever seen in my life, collectively, including in photographs and movies. More snow than in movies about Middle Earth, maybe more snow than on the tundra. And more of it kept falling on us the whole time we were there.

It was beautiful and glorious and maybe one of the most awesome things ever.

I tried skiing, and I will probably never attempt this again. In fact, should I ever find myself stranded atop a snowy mountain I will either have to scoot down the slope on my bottom or have to be rescued by helicopter. How I will get up there in the first place remains a mystery, too, since I’m sure not getting on a ski lift willingly. In the grandest maneuver I managed during my morning of ski school, I slid down a modest hill on my back, screaming for help. I’m sure it was hilarious. I was not hurt and honestly, not even embarrassed, just happy to get out of those skis and sit in a snowdrift watching my family enjoy themselves. (For comparison, Tiny Beowulf was running blues by his third day on the slopes.)

Those little brown sticks poking out of the snow are the tops of a highway fence that is as tall as I am.

I rather liked sledding, though, and building a snowman, and simply sifting through the extraordinary stuff. It was like powdered sugar that’s had a little humidity and then been cooled down. Quite fun to stop around in and crunch underfoot.

I helped make this snow man. It has a Cheeto face, but the antlers were my idea.

Now, I’m pretty sure the snow in this song is not the same as the snow I experienced, because hey oh, Red Hot Chili Peppers. But whatever. Did you know they put on the best concert ever? Going to rock concerts is sort of a hobby of mine, and RHCP is one of the best I’ve ever seen, if not the number one ever.

Enjoy!

 

Just a Quick Note About This Weekend…

Hey there. This is just a quick post to tell you about two fun events I have coming up this Saturday in Austin, Texas, so if you’re in the area, please do stop by!

First, I’ll be speaking to the Austin Poetry Society that afternoon. Among other poetry- and writing-related goodness, I’ll talk a little about my recent Kickstarter experience and also lead a poetry writing activity. Come join us at 1:00 at the Carver Branch Library (1161 Angelina Street, 78702).

Second, that night I’ll be reading and signing copies at Malvern Books. Nia KB will be sharing the stage with me. Our reading begins at 7:00, and the address is 613 W. 29th St., 78705. Here’s the Facebook event page for it.

Both events in Austin are free and open to the public. I hope to see you there this weekend!

Monday Earworm: Dar Williams (Again!)

Dar Williams is clawing me out of Hamilton‘s clutches, slowly. If you like this song, definitely seek out the studio version from the album The Green World, but please also do enjoy this high-energy performance of “Spring Street,” one of my favorite of her songs. You can hear the audience singing along. If I ever have the ability and nerve to sing onstage again, it might be this song.