Is There Someone in My House?

Daily Prompt: Trio No. 3

Today you can write about anything, in whatever genre or form, but your post must mention a dark night, your fridge, and tears (of joy or sadness; your call). Feel free to switch one ingredient if you have to (or revisit one from previous trio prompts).

It’s 3 a.m. and I’m the only one up. I’m glued to my laptop, tapping away at the keyboard as I write about the previous day when I hear a disturbance downstairs. It’s a scraping, tumbling sound, as if someone had broken in through the back door and knocked down the alphabet blocks that my niece had left in front of it. We had stacked them before retiring to bed.

I’m tense as I listen, wondering if someone is breaking in. But all is silent now. I begin to relax and then—there’s the noise again! Immediately I’m on edge. I consider waking my parents but that will take too long plus this is an old house and the floors creak. The robber will hear me. Why didn’t we activate the stupid house alarm? Did we activate the alarm? I can’t remember. My mind is racing and my adrenaline is pumping, rendering me immobile. I don’t know what to do. Now it sounds as if someone is creeping around downstairs, trying to slide their boots along the wooden floors to avoid the creaks. Maybe if I move around a bit it will scare him off or maybe he will come up here and kill me. Ah, what to do?

I wonder what he’s trying to steal down there. Better not be the carrot cake my mom baked earlier today or the TV, my dad would be raving mad. He’s looking forward to the football match between Real Madrid and Barcelona scheduled for later this morning. But I can’t stay in bed like a punk while someone creeps about my house. I need to take charge and figure out what this is about. Maybe we can talk it out. That works sometimes. In the movies.

I take my time sneaking out the bed, creeping down the hall (avoiding the creaky spots), and then down the stairs. It’s dark but this is my house and I know it well. I get to the bottom of the stairs. I see no one but I jump as I hear the noise again—scraping and tumbling. Quickly I silence my gasp, hoping the burglar didn’t hear me. With my phone in my pajama pocket and a heavy book (the dictionary) in hand, I slowly creep towards the noise while straining my eyes for any movements. There’s the noise again. It’s coming from where the refrigerator is. That dumbass is raiding my fridge!

I raise the book high and quickly jump from behind the wall separating the kitchen from the dining room to see who is messing with my fridge but no one’s there. Now I’m terrified and once again rooted to the spot this time with my eyes bulging and with a thick book raised above my head. Is there a ghost down here? I know I heard the noise coming from here mere seconds ago. I don’t know what to do and fear has caused my nerves to give out. I can no longer think clearly. Thoughts come undone. And now I’m starting to tremble, slight tears gathering at the corners of my eyes. I guess now I know why people in scary movies never run when I yell at them to—

“Ahh!!”

I hear the noise again but it’s closer this time. Right next to me actually. The scream snaps my brain back in motion and as the noise continues, I realize it is coming from the fridge. The silly thing is making ice and the tumbling ice is what I hear. Stupid fridge. I turn on the kitchen lights, relieved, and make a cup of tea to settle my nerves. Just to reassure myself, I check all locks and windows in the kitchen, living, and dining rooms, and double-check that the door to the garage is also locked. Ah ha! The silly fridge had me going there for a while. It and my pesky imagination.

I settle into a chair at the breakfast table to sip my tea, reveling in the silence of the night. Everyone and thing is asleep and there’s nary a sound, except for the tumbling ice. My eyes scan the room taking in the shredder for the mail we throw on the breakfast table, the radio my mom turns on when she’s cooking, the bags in the corner from my visiting cousins,  and the toys my niece played with earlier. There’re the blocks we stacked now tumbled over and the dirty rain boots—

What? I stop drinking my tea. I didn’t bump into those blocks when I came down and we did stack them before bed. We don’t have any pets and I’m the last person up….Is there someone in my house?

Wishes for my TBR List: 5 Books I Want to Buy

I’m super excited because I came home to find two 20%-off coupons from Barnes & Noble waiting for me in the mail. I can’t wait for the weekend so I can get to shopping. The following are books I’m eager to add to my TBR list. I’ll be honest here and state that most likely these books will be bought and placed on my bookshelf, where it will sit and collect dust for a few months before I actually read them. But I am a book-lover, a bibliophile at heart, so I can’t pass up an opportunity to collect more books. Though I am on a book-buying ban, I shall lift it for the weekend because—coupons!! Possible purchases might include:

The World of Ice & Fire

The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin (Bantam, Oct. 28, 2014)

“This lavishly illustrated volume is a comprehensive history of the Seven Kingdoms, providing vividly constructed accounts of the epic battles, bitter rivalries, and daring rebellions that lead to the events of A Song of Ice and Fire and HBO’s Game of Thrones. In a collaboration that’s been years in the making, Martin has teamed with Elio M. García, Jr., and Linda Antonsson, the founders of the renowned fan site Westeros.org—perhaps the only people who know this world almost as well as its visionary creator.”

I’m a fan of The Song of Ice and Fire series so OBVIOUSLY I want to add this book to my collection. I plan to collect them all—comic books, short stories, and whatever else GRRM publishes on the series. I’m going all out for this. I might even get the shows once I get around to start watching them.

Related article on io9:

George R.R. Martin Reveals the Worst Fate that Could Befall Westeros

A Brief History of Seven Killings

A Brief History of Seven Killings: A Novel by Marlon James (Riverhead, Oct. 2, 2014)

“From the acclaimed author of The Book of Night Women comes one of the year’s most anticipated novels, a lyrical, masterfully written epic that explores the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in the late 1970s.”

I’ve only read one book thus far by Marlon James—The Book of Night Women—but I am a major fan. I read The Book of Night Women a few years ago while in college and was so moved by it that I forced my mom to read it as well. It is an emotional read, highly descriptive. I strongly recommend it to all. Because I know James is a great writer and know his stories are ones that will stick with me (and to which I can relate), I look forward to reading A Brief History of Seven Killings. It has gotten pretty good reviews thus far.

Related article from The New York Times and an interview on NPR:

Once on this Island: Marlon James’s New Novel, ‘A Brief History of Seven Killings’

A ‘Post-Post-Colonial’ Take on the Violent Birth of Modern Jamaica

Faeries Tales

Brian Froud’s Faeries’ Tales by Wendy Froud and Brian Froud (Harry N. Abrams, Sept. 16, 2014)

“In Brian Froud’s Faeries’ Tales, readers encounter individual faeries, each with a story to uncover, as told by the faeries themselves. Many of the stories are familiar to humans, but the “true” story is told by the faeries. Similar to the Trolls fragments, the faeries’ tales are coupled with portraits and interspersed with drawings and studies of the mysterious and enchanting folk who travel back and forth between the human world and theirs.”

It was while reading the ImagineFX Sketchbooks: Volume Two magazine that I first saw Brian Froud’s art. I immediately fell in love with them. His sketches portrayed pixies and faeries that seemed to be up to mischief or thinking of some. I was surprised when I saw those same sketches on the cover of a book in Barnes & Noble. I had forgotten that he stated that the sketches were for a book project. Since I didn’t have the funds to purchase it then, I would love to get the book now. I like the art and I’d love to read the text that accompanies them.

Related YouTube video (person flipping through ImagineFX’s magazine):

ImagineFX Sketchbook

The Sense of Style

The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century by Steven Pinker (Viking Adult, Sept. 30, 2014)

“In this short, cheerful, and eminently practical book, Pinker shows how writing depends on imagination, empathy, coherence, grammatical knowhow, and an ability to savor and reverse engineer the good prose of others. He replaces dogma about usage with reason and evidence, allowing writers and editors to apply the guidelines judiciously, rather than robotically, being mindful of what they are designed to accomplish.”

I enjoy reading books on writing so when I saw a review of The Sense of Style in one of my Shelf Awareness newsletters, I wanted to immediately download a copy on my Nook. I haven’t read any of Pinker’s prior books but he’s often quoted and held in high esteem so I’m assuming this book will be good to read. The reviewer on Shelf Awareness described it as a “lively book” so I’m looking forward to the fun.

Related article on Shelf Awareness:

Review: The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century

Behind the Gates of Gomorrah

Behind the Gates of Gomorrah: A Year with the Criminally Insane by Stephen B. Seager (Gallery Books, Sept. 16, 2014)

“Psychiatrist Stephen Seager was no stranger to locked psych wards when he accepted a job at California’s Gorman State hospital, known locally as “Gomorrah,” but nothing could have prepared him for what he encountered when he stepped through its gates, a triple sally port behind the twenty-foot walls topped with shining coils of razor wire. Gorman State is one of the nation’s largest forensic mental hospitals, dedicated to treating the criminally insane. Unit C, where Seager was assigned, was reserved for the “bad actors,” the mass murderers, serial killers, and the real-life Hannibal Lecters of the world…Behind the Gates of Gomorrah affords an eye-opening look inside a facility to which few people have ever had access. Honest, rueful, and at times darkly funny, Seager’s gripping account of his rookie year blends memoir with a narrative science, explaining both the aberrant mind and his own, at times incomprehensible, determination to remain in a job with a perilously steep learning curve.”

I’ve recently taken to watching old episodes of Criminal Minds on Netflix so when I read Seager’s interview on Biographile, I was immediately interested in his book. The interview makes the book sound quite sensational and dramatic. You can’t help wondering what horrors Seager will reveal and just how a place like Gomorrah is managed. Basically, I want to get this one to satiate my curiosity.

Related interview on Biographile:

Welcome to the Madhouse: Q&A with Psychiatrist Stephen Seager

The Kite Runner

“The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner coverIt’s no secret that the events of our childhood greatly affect us. For some people, certain events leave such a deep scar that they carry the burden into adulthood. Others discard the burden along way. In Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, the protagonist Amir carries the burden of his childhood regrets throughout much of his life. It’s not until mid-adulthood, when he receives a call from an old friend, that he begins to let go of the burden.

Quick summary:

The story opens with an adult Amir considering the call he had received. It then jumps to the beginning, to Amir’s childhood and to a peaceful Afghanistan of kite-flying winters and summer afternoons spent with friends. The tale, relayed by the adult Amir, follows his development while hinting at the unrest brewing beneath the surface of Afghanistan.

Amir is born into an affluent family. His father is a merchant in Kabul and belongs to the ethnic majority, the Pashtuns. Amir greatly admires his father and tries hard to please him. Unfortunately, his efforts go unnoticed. As such, he has a strained relationship with his father. Though his father provides for him, Amir wishes he had more of his attention. It’s just the two of them—Amir’s mother died during childbirth—and the house servants.

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One Lovely Blogger Award

One Lovely Blog AwardSo I am behind on just about everything these days due to being sick. Actually, this is the second time I’ve caught a cold since fall has begun. I hope it doesn’t turn into a monthly occurrence. Along with the changing colors of the leaves, the nominations I’ve received for two blogger awards have helped to perk me up.

I was nominated for the One Lovely Blogger Award by Rhoda over at Rhoda in Manila. She has a wonderful blog that I find inspiring. Thanks Rhoda :D.

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Leibster Award

Liebster Award

I’m excited to announce that Betzcee over at Betzcee Rambles has nominated me for the Leibster Award! Muchas gracias Betzcee!! :D

According to her post, the award is meant to encourage newer bloggers and boost their readership. I think it’s a wonderful way to highlight a blog and recognize a blogger for his/her efforts.

I’ve decided to follow the rules; though I am a bit late in doing this post (I’m ill. Coughing and sneezing and runny eyes and a headache prevent me from writing much or staring at a screen for long). But I feel okay to do a post so let’s get started.

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Mess is Where the Books Are

Daily Prompt: Sweeping Motions

What’s messier right now — your bedroom or you computer’s desktop (or your favorite device’s home screen)? Tell us how and why it got to that state.

It used to be my bedroom. Papers and books scattered across the floor like a second layer of carpeting with art supplies lining the walls but all that has been picked up and cleared away because of the attack of the silverfish. Now the messy place is my nightstand, where bills are thrown and forgotten.

Actually, it’s not a nightstand but a small office bookcase (too broke to buy a nightstand). The spillover from my bookcase is stocked on it as well as art supplies and a few electronics. On top, I have a lamp, alarm radio, batteries, medicine, Bible (of course), an exiled Nook Color, a few articles I’ve printed, an old purse, Our Daily Bread (a daily devotional), Christian Rudder’s Dataclysm (which I just completed), pens and highlighter, a bottled water, booklight, and a stack of bills I try hard to make invisible by the force of my mind.

I’ve tried tidying it but every time I succeed in doing so, it refills within a few days. Sometimes I wonder if my family contributes to the mess. It simple cannot be just me. The thing is my nightstand has become an easy place to throw things I’d rather not think about—bills—or to place things that I can quickly access from my bed—currently-reading books, medicine, Bible, and water, a bit in that order.

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