So, remember that time I MET Veronica Roth?

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Sorry about the blurriness, but I may possibly have fangirled a lot tonight.

I met my writing idol.

Her name is Veronica Roth.

And she’s pretty cool.

My thoughts for the last hour have been, “hrufijoweosdjfkbiehufsjdkmlaodksnjfbjghjd” on replay.

Wow,

I got to ask her a couple of questions, and, ladies and gentlemen, when asked what kind of dinosaur she could be, she told me she’d choose to be any one with a long neck, just like Littlefoot from “Land Before Time.” How many of you remember that show?

When she addressed all of us, she told us that since NY got to meet a couple of Divergent cast members (what!!!), she would read us a deleted scene from the Divergent short stories. It was the (spoiler) scene in which Tris jumps into Dauntless headquarters…from Four’s perspective!! I died. It was beautiful.

My best friend and fellow Divergent fangirl, Tyler-Marie, went with me, and told Veronica thank-you for enduring the process from formulating an idea in her head to getting it published because it inspired her as a future writer to change lives just as Veronica had.

You know what Veronica said?

“YES. Write it down. Do it!!!”

She was pretty great, folks.

If you haven’t started devouring the Divergent trilogy, you need to do so ASAP. Plus, for all you “I-just-can’t-wait”-ers, all three books are published, as of yesterday. You won’t regret it.

If y’all have any questions, I’m happy to answer them! Today was amazing!

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Oh, the joys of fandom.

This week could be life-changing for me. I say could be” because, well, it could not be. Tomorrow, I will arise in the wee hours of the morning–okay, so more like 5:30–and embark on a journey–so what if it’s only an hour!–to my local bookstore. 

“Why the theatrics?” you ask?

I can hear that question echoing in each of your minds.

Well, my dearest cyber-friends, my fellow bookworms, I shall, within the next twenty-four hours, be holding in my hands a copy of Veronica Roth’s Allegiant. If you have not tasted the riches of her Divergent trilogy, you, my friend, are depriving yourself.

I know, I know, you’re probably thinking that I did not answer your question satisfactorily because why on earth would I be freaking out over the book itself? To be fair, I probably would be in a tizzy over the book itself, but that alone is not why I’ve assumed a grave, melodramatic tone today. Along with my book, I–if everything goes as planned–will also hold in my hands a wristband to meet my Young Adult literary idol, Veronica Roth.

The problem?

I am absolutely paranoid that something will go wrong!

You know that feeling when you want something sooooo badly that you’re almost sure it’s too good to be true? That’s my entire being at the moment. If, indeed, I get to meet Veronica, I will update you as quickly as I can.

I will leave you with a meme that encompasses the majority of my emotions and attention span at the moment:

And, for the record, I DO think I do all of these things. Well, maybe not the bottom left…

India Recap!

To all of my blogger friends: Thank you for understanding how difficult it was for me to be away from my blog for an entire month.

251_zpsf46a5ba7There are no words that will adequately capture India’s beauty. This country is home to a wonderfully vibrant culture. I was in the state of Rajasthan, the textile capital of India, and it undoubtedly lives up to its name. There is color everywhere and traffic is crazy! We shopped at bustling markets and bought the most lively scarves, shoes, and jewelry. We got ripped off a few times. There are no lanes and traffic lights are mere suggestions. The primary mode of transportation is the “auto rickshaw,” which is a three wheeled golf cart-like vehicle whose drivers are fearless. My first auto ride was facing oncoming traffic. Coolest experience of my life. Don’t ever trust a rickshaw driver when he says he knows where he’s going. Hindi is a very interesting language and is accompanied by what I would like to call “the head bob.” Anytime one asks a yes or no question, he must prepare himself for a noncommittal shake of the head and the subsequent confusion. I also learned the art of using a Turkish-style toilet, also known as a squatty potty. These squatties are not toilet paper friendly so make sure to carry toilet paper and a trash bag wherever you go. I never knew that the simple act of using the restroom could be such an experience.

Perhaps the oddest phenomenon is the extreme gap between wealth and poverty. Driving down a city street, you can see a beautiful house right next to a slum in which people sleep on concrete slabs. That said, we did visit an absolutely gorgeous castle in Jaipur. The secret passageways, the innumerable balconies, and the life teeming within the palace are so inspiring for an aspiring writer! From the moment I entered the palace, I felt the life that existed so long ago within its walls. Our last day in Rajasthan, we visited a monkey temple and were able to feed the monkeys from the palm of our hand! Who knew monkeys had fingernails like us! Call me ignorant, but I sure didn’t.

DSCN0225The culture and the history and the life within Rajasthan were amazing, but I will never forget the evil that we encountered. An ancestor’s role in the times of royal rule determines peoples’ occupations and caste. If one’s great grandmother was a dancer in the king’s court, she grows up being told that she’s good for nothing but prostitution. If one’s great grandfather was a king’s weapon-maker, he is born into a gypsy community that believes they are under a curse because their weapons failed to bring the king’s victory. The list goes on and on. The culture’s beauty is, in some ways, a façade that covers the fear and darkness underneath. Nevertheless, I will never forget India and hope to go back again one day.

Thank you for sticking with me during my blog hiatus! If you have any questions (please have questions), I will be ecstatic to answer them. Comment or email me. Let me gush about India some more!

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-coffeeshopreader

India – Adventure and Blog Hiatus

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old woman

I cannot believe it’s here! By this time in two days, I will be in India. Yes, India. As I’ve never left the country, this trip marks a milestone in my life. The culture is so beautiful and colorful and rich–I don’t know how I’ll keep up! I will be working with victims of human trafficking. This next month will involve some of the most rewarding and some of the most difficult moments in my life. From riding an elephant to buying fruit in an overwhelming market, this June will be teeming with adventure.

Sadly, I will not have access to the internet while in India, which means no blog postings for a month! *Insert crying here.* I absolutely love blogging and book reviewing, so I will be taking notes, pictures, and drinking in all of my experiences in India (minus the squatty-potties) for my next few blog postings, which I will upload promptly upon returning to the States.

Lastly–and you can take this as a simple request or as what it really is: me on my knees BEGGING you to stick with me–I won’t post for a month, but all of the amazing stories, sights, sounds, culture, etc that I will post afterwards will be worth it.

Sincerely,

A Bittersweet Blogger Who Will Miss This Very Much For The Next Month

also known as

CoffeeShopReader

“Date a Girl Who Reads”

“Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but…. she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype…….

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.”

                                      – Rosemarie Urquico

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