if a compliment falls in a forest…

…can anyone hear it?

life, both offline and on, can feel lonely. you’re putting yourself out there and getting little to no feedback over and over and over and over until…


an unexpected comment changes things.

in the midst of complaining about the massive annoyance and hideously cumbersome interface that is overdrive (the software program all libraries use to allow their patrons to download audio and e-books), a friend, (hi, E!) unleashed two facts i immediately locked up in the treasure box of my heart.

(1) she said she thought of me when she signed up for the library. (i am so proud of her! especially since she can use overdrive and i cannot figure that jank out. trust me. i’ve tried four different times over the course of many years.)

(2) the books she was borrowing from the library? THE HUNGER GAMES. THE SCORPIO RACES. how’d those books get on her TBR list? this very blog.

be still my heart.

from time to time she has referenced my blog before, but with an insanely packed schedule, she only has time to read my words, not comment too.

i will ALWAYS be grateful my words (any words) are read, even if i don’t know so, but as the creator, the silence toys with my memory and it’s easy to forget my words were/are ever heard. in the quiet, it’s easy to think my sentences and paragraphs and posts are falling in the forest with no one around to hear them or their echoes.

as it turns out, someone was in that forest scooping up my thoughts and opinions and pondering what i’ve said, and, with those two tiny offline comments, left me a trail of breadcrumbs.

*follows trail*

convos with strangers

conversations with strangers #54

i am talking to strangers?! what? why?

the line stretched five people deep, and though i was in a hurry, it was warm inside the library and i needed to thaw. the mother in front of me placed her two books on the counter next to her son’s two books. the librarian scanned the boy’s books first and he eagerly grabbed them as soon as they were ready. his eyes were saucer sized and his grin even larger as he flipped through the pages. the mother traded her thanks for her two books from the librarian and nudged her son.

the turning of the page was his only movement.

his mother rubbed his head.


his mother patted his head and whispered something in his ear.

he looked up, startled, and breathed, “thank you.” even from my angle, i could see him blinking the wonder of that book out of his eyes as he focused on his manners.

as they walked away and i stepped up, the librarian and i were wearing identical smiles.

librarian: he was so engrossed in that book.

me: i know. i am so charmed right now.

librarian: that’s enough thanks for me, really.

me: exactly. exactly.

she handed me my book, told me its return due date, and now thoroughly warmed by the place and its patrons, i was more than prepared for a return to the winter temperatures outside.

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book club

BOOK HUNGRY: learning to swim

who says you have to be crowded into the living room, kitchen, and/or dining room to hold a book club? we are ladies of the 21st century. we don’t need no stinkin’ couches. so pull up a blog and join in the conversation.

the members of the BOOK HUNGRY are (alphabetically): patty blount, kelly breakey, karla nellenbachand myself. we pick a book to read. we discuss via phone. we post a review on our individual blogs the 3rd thursday of the month. click on their names above and enjoy.

this month’s BOOK HUNGRY selection is: 

LEARNING TO SWIM by sara j. henry

what it’s about from amazon: 

When she sees what looks like a child tumbling from a ferry into frigid Lake Champlain, Troy Chance dives in without thinking. When she gets the child to shore she discovers that his name is Paul, he speaks only French—and no one seems to be looking for him.
Her determination to protect Paul pulls Troy from her quiet life in a small Adirondack town into an unfamiliar world of wealth and privilege in Canada and then in Vermont. Her attachment to him—and the danger she faces when she tries to unravel the mystery of his abandonment—force her to evaluate everything she thought true about herself.
Sara J. Henry’s riveting, award-winning debut will keep readers engrossed right up to its shattering conclusion.

my opinion:

karla chose this book, so i knew a few things before i even picked it up from the library. it would be dark, suspenseful, and sad. my initial impressions of karla’s choice weren’t wrong, but i also should have known i’d enjoy it.

it’s a story of an unconventional mother and son (in more spoiler-y ways than one). the beginning of the book surges into action and doesn’t stop. it’s relentless, but in a quiet manner, which turns a bit into a whisper during the middle, but takes off again at the end. most of us (minus karla) didn’t see that one coming. whew boy!

i thought this was a standalone novel, but during our conference call where sara called in to chat with us (!), she explained it’s just the beginning. the second one, A COLD AND LONELY PLACE, came out last month and if it’s anything like the first book and its full slate of fascinating side characters, it’s worth a read.

p.s. book hungry’s had a big month. first, we get to talk to the author of the book we just read! and second, we’re expanding our ranks. one blake leyers is joining us and she’s diving right in by picking our read for next month. initiation by fire!

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