Friday, January 30, 2015

Snow Adventures

Hi. I'm back. I know I've been away for a little while from posting, but I'm hoping to change all that. With all the snow that's been hitting the country recently with the recent snow storm in New England, I've decided to write about my own snow adventures.

I come from an area that seems to always be in the middle of a snow storm and we either tend to get nothing or several inches at one time. I am from Philadelphia and we were in the path of the latest Nor'easter that gave the New England area around 2-3' of snow, which also included parts of Northern New Jersey and parts of New York. My area was supposed to get about 14", but at the last minute, it ended up barely hitting us at all and we only got an inch. When I was a kid, we had quite a number of blizzards and major snow storms. I went sledding once at a local park. I loved playing out in the snow making snow angels and having snowball fights with my brother. We lived behind my aunt's funeral home and we were right next to her driveway. Sometimes with blizzards, the snow would make a hill on one side of the driveway and we would have fun climbing up it and sliding down it. It made some great memories. And the best part after playing in the snow while my dad shoveled was going back in the house for a nice cup of hot chocolate. I am one of the few people who likes snow - I just don't like it when it gets icy and starts getting messy and dirty. Last year, my mom and I went down to Virginia in February to visit family for a few days and we ended coming back home during a snow storm. We took a train both ways and coming back, it was pretty neat seeing the snow fall on the trees and all - I appreciate the beauty of snow after it just falls with a nice white blanket of it. However, the train got icy at the area between the cars and getting off was horrible since I had to juggle carrying bags and trying not to slip and fall at the same time. It was an interesting experience, but it was okay in the end.

Since I've gotten older, I have to shovel outside of my house nowadays since my parents are older, but I wouldn't take any of those fun days back. I probably started shoveling as a pre-teen/teen and I haven't really stopped since. I just happened to start shoveling around the same time that I was diagnosed with a heart condition, which basically means that I can still shovel, but I have to be careful and pay attention to my body. More on all of that later on in a future post.

Happy Reading and Keep on Writing!!


Saturday, January 10, 2015

If I Stay Book Review

2015 Reading Challenge

Once again, the list for it is at: or on an older blog post of mine at:

2. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
    Reading Challenge Theme/Topic: Book that became a movie

     Firstly, I decided to read this book after seeing previews for the movie. I'm one of those people who believe that the book is always better than the movie and let's face it, that's true. Saying that, I have to read the book before seeing the movie - or I try to anyway.

     Gayle Forman seems like the kind of author who writes about things that no one really likes to write about. She reminds me of Jodi Picoult or even some of what Mitch Albom writes. I know there are people out there who think that those who write about death or deciding to live or die in a comatose state only write about those things because it sells. I'm not quite sure. Yes, all three authors that I have mentioned have become very successful published authors and all three have had books that were made into movies. I think maybe they write about these issues to breach the gap. Most people fear death and don't even want to think about the aspect of death and dying. The thing is, death exists and there's no escaping it. I think writing about it like these authors have can show us that maybe we don't have anything to fear and even though no one really knows what happens after we die, or for the purpose of this book what happens when someone's in a comatose state, it gives us hope in a way.

     If you haven't figured it out by now, If I Stay is about a teen who has an out of body experience while in a coma and has to decide whether to live or die. No one really knows if someone in a coma can hear other people talking to them or know what's going on around them. Who is to say that they don't? In fact, doctors and nurses encourage loved ones to talk to people in that state to see if it helps. I believe that it can help, even though I've never had to experience talking to a loved one/friend that way. There were two things that I liked the most about this book. The first is that the story drives on the passion of music for basically each main character. Music does indeed drive the soul and everyone has something that they are passionate about or have a talent for. Honestly, I don't know where I would be if music didn't exist because some artists have helped me through the most difficult times of my life without them even knowing about it. So I can see how much music impacted Mia and Adam and how playing their respective instruments helped them through their lives. The second thing I liked is how Gayle went back and forth between the reality of what Mia was going through in the hospital and the past, her backstory. It added a dimension to the story that I really haven't read or seen before.

     I personally have never lost everything that I love like Mia did, but tragedy is the one thing that strikes everyone at some point or another. It's said that it takes one to lose everything to realize what they have and to make it out on top, better than before. I guess it may be true, may be not. I may not know what it's like to lose everything or for the purpose of this book, my whole family in a car accident, but I do know what it's like to have to start all over. I will talk more about this later on, but when I was 14, I was diagnosed with a heart condition that would change my life around in a way that I never knew would ever happen to me. My journey with that actually started when I was 11, but it took two years to come to a diagnosis. At the time, I had thought everything was going great in my life. After going through everything that I did, life had changed completely, had been turned upside down for me and I had no clue how to come out on top, you know, not to let it get the best of me. It took years for me to gain control. It's something that isn't always easy, but eventually I realized if I hadn't gone through that, I wouldn't be where I am today.

More info about the book:

Gayle Forman's website:

Happy Reading and Keep On Writing!


Thursday, January 8, 2015

The First Phone Call From Heaven Book Review

I have officially read one book so far in 2015 and am in the middle of my second one. I will be doing book reviews for each book that I do read this year. As with the Reading Challenge, some of the topics can pertain to the same book, but for me personally, I am going to try to read just one book for each topic/theme. The list can be found here at:

I also posted the list to my blog. See it here:

2015 Reading Challenge

1. The First Phone Call From Heaven by Mitch Albom
    Reading Challenge List Theme/Topic: A book from an author you love but haven't read yet
    I got this book for Christmas and I put it off mainly because I knew I had wanted to use the above topic/theme.

Just like any other book from Mitch Albom, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. For one thing, I've always liked how Mitch writes about issues that not a lot of authors do, like the afterlife or death. And he writes it so splendidly also. Saying that, everyone has lost someone(s) they loved and grief is like no other. I have been through a lot of deaths in my family/friends, but only a handful of tough losses. The hardest one of all was losing my grandmother almost five years ago. Most people want to know one thing when someone dies: to know that they're okay. I wasn't any different. I like to believe that heaven is a better place to be. The First Phone Call from Heaven touches on that with the main characters getting a phone call from someone in heaven and letting them know that heaven is a wonderful place and that there's nothing to worry about. Even though the story is entirely fictional, who wouldn't want to hear from a deceased loved one and know that they're great. I believe in angels and that they guide us through life. Some people believe certain things are signs from a loved one that they're alright. It could be as simple as seeing a butterfly and by seeing one means that a grandparent, parent, etc,  is always right by your side. I'd like to think that our loved ones who have passed on can communicate to us on Earth by showing us signs, either by appearing in a dream or something simple as a butterfly and the like. Death is the one thing that most people are afraid of and I think this story really shows us that death shouldn't be feared at all - that heaven is truly a great place to go to after life. I also did like, however, that one of the characters was having a hard time believing. We all go through a period like that and it's okay. We're not perfect and God doesn't expect us to be - I believe that we have to go through periods of disbelief and hard times to become a better believer and person in the end. This is the first time that Mitch has used several view points than he usually does, but I think that by doing that, he made the story that much more stronger and powerful. The only thing I need to complain about is when he started making the viewpoints on some of the lesser characters, like Amy. - I would have been a little bit happier if the viewpoints were all just the main characters of the book, you know, the ones who were getting the phone calls. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone, though.

Information about this book:

Author's website:

Hope you enjoyed this.

Happy Reading and Keep On Writing!


2015 Reading Challenge List

Here is the list for the 2015 Reading Challenge I'm doing. The link to the actual website is:


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2014 Book Reviews Part 2

This is the second part of my book reviews of the books I read in 2014.

7. The  World According to Garp by John Irving

I had a love/hate relationship with this book. While I did enjoy a good portion of the story, there were parts that I didn't care for or felt it dragged on at times. For the most part, I enjoyed Garp's character.


8. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

 I thoroughly enjoyed this second book in the Hunger Games trilogy. Like the Hunger Games book, I thought that the characters of Katniss and Peeta were extremely well written. I can't wait to read Mockingjay.

9. Divergent by Veronica Roth

 I got this book because I kept on hearing how good it was and didn't really know what to expect. So I was relatively surprised when I realized how great this book really was. I literally couldn't put it down, as I kept wanting to know what happened next. I have yet to see the movie, but will be sure to see it soon.

10. The Time Machine by H. G. Wells 

This is one of the worst stories I have ever read. There's not much to say except that it left me confused and not sure what was going on during the entire story.

11. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

A good read. While it wasn't the best book that I read in 2014, it is still one of the best classics I have ever read.  I thought how Emily wrote the characters of Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw was simply ingenuous.

12. Sophie's Choice by William Styron

As with The World According to Garp, I developed a love/hate relationship with this book. Although it is fiction, I really got interested in how William Styron wrote about what happened in the concentration camps, especially Auschwitz and the gas chamber, as well as mental illness in dealing with Nathan. I did enjoy Stingo's character as well, just because I want to be a writer just like he did. The only negative thing I have to say is that it tended to drag on a little bit at times. I feel like some chunks of paragraphs could have been taken out and the book still would have been good.

There you have it. As of this writing, I have read one book this year (2015). A review will be up soon.

Happy Reading and Keep On Writing!


Monday, January 5, 2015

2014 Book Reviews Part 1 (and yes I realize it's 2015)

As promised, I'm going to review the 12 books I read in 2014. I'm going to split it up in two parts - the first six today and the other six tomorrow. I originally planned to do this on Saturday, but I ended up being sick and anyway, here it is. I'm going to link each book to amazon, so you see if you want to see what it's about. Remember, these are only my opinions and since it's being done so late (and a good majority I read in the beginning of 2014), I'm not going to go into too much detail. I will do that, though, in reviews that I do for any books I read in 2015.

1. Cutting Edge by Robert W Walker

While the concept and idea seemed good to me at the time, it turned out not to be. It was confusing at times and slow progressing at others.

2. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens

Great read all around. I wasn't sure how it would be when I first started reading it, but I ended up enjoying it. One of Charles Dickens' best books ever written. I kind of felt a connection to Arthur. It really showcases how one thing can impact everything and everyone else.

3. Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares

Please note that this book is a sequel in the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series (three books) and continues the story 10 years after it left off in the third book. As a fan of the series, I found this book to be one of the best books I read in 2014. It shows how time changes people and bonds they once had. Going from teenagers to adulthood is an important step everyone must face in life, but it's also really hard. As careers start to blossom and thoughts and feelings change, you may not be as close as you were to those you were close to as teens. Obviously, friendships should be able to endure through everything and anything thrown its way and it can indeed, but sometimes it has to go off course for a little while to make a friendship that much stronger. That's kind of exactly what this story showcases. It also deals with mature issues that I never saw coming with Tibby especially. I don't want to go in detail to ruin it for anybody, but I will say that this was once again, a great read all around.

4. A Chorus Lineup by Joelle Charbonneau

I was drawn to this book in a bookstore in a way due to being a fan of the hit tv show, Glee. This is a glee club mystery story and since I have been doing theatre and shows for eight years now I believe, I found myself interested. I didn't realize at the time that it was part of a series of books. This is not the first book in the series, but besides that, it was still a good read and it didn't really matter that I didn't read the first book before this one. It progressed and flowed really good and that is why I believe I enjoyed it so much.

5. The Stanger by Albert Camus

I found the story to be just okay. It wasn't a favorite read of mine, but Albert Camus did a nice job of telling the story anyway. It just didn't strike my fancy.

6. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift

Great story telling by Jonathan Swift. In a weird sense, I happened to like this book when I thought it was kind of different in the beginning. Jonathan Swift did an excellent job of keeping the story going. My only complaint was not always being able to pronounce all the fictional names/places that were made up in the book.

This brings me to the end of part one. Stay tuned for part two tomorrow.

Happy Reading and Keep on Writing!


Friday, January 2, 2015

Meg's 2014 Book Awards

As promised, I've come up with an awards post based on what I read in 2014. Actual book reviews will follow up in a post tomorrow or Monday.

Meg's 2014 Book Awards:

Best Overall Book:
1. Divergent by Veronica Roth
2. Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares
3. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Worst Overall Book:
1. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
2. Cutting Edge by Robert W Walker
3. The World According to Garp by John Irving
4. Sophie's Choice by William Styron

Best Classics:
1. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
3. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
4. The Stranger by Albert Camus

Best Book by an Author I've Read Before:
Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares

Best Book by an Author I Read for the First Time:
Divergent by Veronica Roth

Book that Surprised Me (Thought I Wouldn't Like but Did):
1. Divergent by Veronica Roth
2. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
3. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift

Book I Thought I Would Like but Didn't:
Sophie's Choice by William Styron

Best Mystery:
A Chorus Lineup by Joelle Charbonneau

There you have it. If anyone has any tips or advice about how I can improve or categories I missed or something, let me know.

Happy Reading and Keep On Writing!


Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 Resolutions

Well, by now it is officially 2015, so Happy New Year!!!

It's that time of year again. That's right: time for making new year resolutions. Most people make resolutions and unfortunately, most of us end up breaking them or forgetting what they even were in the first place. Who hasn't done that? I'm guilty as well. But every year, I continue to make my resolutions anyway, because eventually, they've got to come true, am I right? So here are just a couple of mine.

1. Write more. This goes without saying. So, in recent years, I had been battling writer's block. That all changed a couple months ago and I can now say that I've just started working on what will be a children's series. I've always wanted to write for children, young kids in particular, but never really knew where to get started. After all, writing for children is the hardest genre to get into. I refuse to give up however. An actual idea came to me after the birth of my nephew this year and now I feel that I know where I'm going to go with the particular children's series I have in mind.

2. Read more. This also goes without saying. I tend to be more creative with my writing when I'm reading then when I'm not. Being that I only read 12 books in 2014, I am looking to improve dramatically on that this year. My goal right now is to read 52 books in 2015. As I complete a book, I'll be doing a book review on here and you can follow along. If you want to read what books I've read in 2014, go here:

I will be doing short book reviews of those in an upcoming blog post.

3. Get a job. No explanation needed.

4. Take care of myself better. Let's face it, most of us tend to put other's needs ahead of our own and there's always something we want to change about ourselves and I'm no different. I just won't be getting into details about that because I consider it to be personal.

5. Attempt to get back into my faith. I am a born and raised Roman Catholic and I have all intentions to stay that way. Like a lot of people go through, I have faltered away from my religion for a good while now for reasons that, once again, are personal in my life, and I just want to take steps to get back into it again.

That pretty much wraps it up. Hope everyone has a great year!

Happy Reading and Keep on Writing!!!