Food · Reading

Don’t forget to eat chocolate!

This reminder might seem unnecessary to some, because of course chocolate is not something one would forget to eat. However, it is highly important that you have some today, because the 13th of September happens to be International Chocolate Day!

I have been obsessing over this since last night, trying to figure out how to celebrate it. I am extremely busy with work but a day like this cannot go unnoticed! First I figured I could buy some chocolate bars, but that seemed like a poor way to celebrate, then I upgraded my thinking process to baked goodies (cakes, brownies, cookies) but even those didn’t make it feel all that special… plus I would end up with a destroyed kitchen that would take hours to clean.

So I went all the way. An international day celebrating the thing I love most had to be given its proper due, and that meant going to a patisserie and buying ALL THE THINGS. Well… erm, some things anyway. I had ice-cream and an assortment of cakes!

How else can you celebrate ICD? Continue reading “Don’t forget to eat chocolate!”

Reading · Writing

My Book Hangover

My eyes are bloodshot and my mind groggy after staying up until 9 a.m. today trying to meet a work deadline. Of course, that would not have happened if I’d put the book I’d been reading aside instead of making up my mind to finish it because supposedly I could not focus until it was over. Before I knew it, the clock struck midnight and I had over 10 pages to translate and 30 to edit.

This series has managed to do the impossible and made me love it as much as I love Harry Potter.
This series has managed to do the impossible and made me love it as much as I love Harry Potter.

I usually am able to curb my book hunger, but last night was just impossible. I was reading the third book in the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson – The Hero of Ages. I don’t often review books on my blog unless they’re indies, but this one series had such a profound impact on me that it really does deserve a mention. I’d never before come across a book with a political and magic system so extensive and complex, or one with so many vibrant characters, where every single person had a part to play. The story had so many twists and turns that I could never, not in a million years, see coming. After every book I sat down in awe of the sheer brilliance of the author and his ability to keep his characters alive in my head long after I’d replaced his books on the shelf. Continue reading “My Book Hangover”

General · Reading · Writing

You lost me at the ending.

I always read books to the end, regardless of how much I dislike them or feel bored by them. I have two reasons for this: a) Leaving a book unfinished makes me uncomfortable. It will always remain at the back of mind, reminding me of my incompetence, telling me that I’ve failed; and b) I always give the book a chance to redeem itself with a fabulous ending. Yes, that doesn’t work all the time, and true, it might not make me love the book, but it will probably matter when it comes to rating.

Endings always determine how much I love the book.  Or how much I hate it. I feel that some authors put so much emphasis on the plot and character development – which is not a bad thing on its own – and end up writing the ending as an afterthought, using it as a way to simply wrap things up without really making sure that it is up to par with the rest of the book or trying to make it as satisfactory as possible. Incidentally, it was not a book that had me thinking about this today, but rather a movie, “Lucy” to be exact. The movie was very interesting and gripping all throughout, but the ending… I was seriously underwhelmed. Instead of leaving the theatre feeling happy, my mind buzzing with what I’d watched, I felt quite disappointed, and my mind quickly shelved it under “Seen, Not Worth it”.

That’s not to say that I haven’t read books with such kind of endings. There were endings that I completely fell in love with like Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.

I know, Marshall, I really do.

Continue reading “You lost me at the ending.”

Food · Reading · Writing

Sweet Snapshot Sunday #3

It’s time for another one of those posts where I share drool-worthy pictures with the masses and giggle with glee as hunger starts bubbling within you and… er, I mean… what? I don’t do anything like that. I don’t.

*clears throat*

Work has been hectic as always, but I finally allowed myself to leave the house for a few hours and expose myself to some sun. I swear I am so pale you would not believe me if I said I was experiencing my hottest summer in years. Plus I was getting very crabby and was desperate for a breather. I went to one of my favourite “sweet haunts” – Magnolia Bakery. Next to my No. 1 dessert – the Snickers Icebox Pie – I had a Chocolate Chunk Blondie with a layer of chocolate on top aaaand a Vanilla & Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake.

They were all very delicious. =D

Vanilla & Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake
Vanilla & Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake 

Continue reading “Sweet Snapshot Sunday #3”

General · Reading

Let’s talk about books. Please.

You probably think my request is weird. If I wanted to talk about books, why not hit up Goodreads, some other online community, or maybe even one of the many book blogs out there? That is true of course; the Internet has made it so much easier to discuss almost any book under the sun, no matter how obscure. Yet… it does not replace the feeling of gushing over (or even bashing) a book in person.

This is so unbelievably true. (Source: Fiction and Flowers)
This is so unbelievably true.
(Source: Fiction and Flowers)

You know what I’m talking about. You and someone else find out you’re reading/you’ve read the same book, and excitement ensues. I don’t care if that other person is a stranger, you will be itching to bound over and talk to them if you find them buried in a book you’ve already read. You will be eager to know what they think of it. You will feel happy if they share your feelings, good or bad, and you most definitely will feel sad if they disagree, yet it will be accompanied with a thrill. Thinking maybe you can show them the book from a different perspective, you will want to try to change their mind. And even if silence falls between the two of you, you (or them) will find a way to puncture it again with an afterthought regarding the book. And you’re probably nodding along to everything I’ve said in this paragraph. Continue reading “Let’s talk about books. Please.”

General · Reading · Writing

How to Choose Your Next Read.

It’s finally come to the point where I have more than 200 books in my possession that I’ve got to read – 60 physical books and around 15o eBooks. It is extremely daunting, and I often spend time gazing at my overflowing shelves or scrolling through the long list on my reader and wondering how the heck will I find the time to read them all, especially if I want to find time to write and work. Of course it would help if I would stop buying more books, but I have no self-control whatsoever. I’ve shared some pictures of my shelves a while back, but here’s how they look now:

I have no more room. As beautiful as all these books look, I'm also terrified by them. Did I mention that they're right above my bed?
I have no more room. As beautiful as all these books look, I’m also terrified by them. Did I mention that they’re right above my bed?

With so many books comes a great dilemma, the greatest dilemma of them all – which book should I read next? If you’ve come here hoping I would answer that question for you, you might end up being disappointed, because I’m at a loss myself. I mean, I’ve tried a couple of ideas… Continue reading “How to Choose Your Next Read.”

Reading · Writing

Read an eBook Week!

lulu coverSmashwords is having a site-wide promotion in celebration of Read an eBook week, an international event in which many authors and publishers participate to spread the joy of reading – and receiving free stuff. 😉

So today is just a quick post to let you know that my book, Puppet Parade, is up for grabs FOR FREE until the 8th of March! Simply click here and use the code RW100 at checkout!

Happy reading!

Food · General · Reading

My cure for a bad week.

I’ve been having a less than stellar week, some bad things happened that culminated with the loss of my tablet, the one I use for reading eBooks. To say I was upset would be understatement; I went to bed and cried into my pillow for a bit after the incident happened. I’m coming to terms with it now, and I’m already looking for a (cheaper) replacement as I’ve completely given up hope on retrieving it.

So today I decided to treat myself, and those who read my blog know that there’s no better way to cheer me up than with books and sweets! Yes, folks, it’s time for one of those posts again. I’m thinking it should be a regular segment on this blog! 😉

I discovered that we have the Magnolia Bakery here in Lebanon (I’m guessing some of my American readers will recognize the name). As is the case with any new discovery, I tend to splurge. My sister and I shared a slice of red velvet cake, a Snickers icebox pie with cream cheese frosting, a mini caramel pecan cheesecake, a mini white chocolate macadamia nut cheesecake and finally, a cheese marbled brownie. I was on a sugar high.

An extreme sugar high.

Continue reading “My cure for a bad week.”

General · Writing

I miss writing.

I haven’t written a single word in any of my WIPs in a long, long time… approximately eight months. I haven’t even done any editing on my novel that I was supposed to publish last year, titled The Muse Bunny. I have all but completely neglected my blog, which I used to try to update at least once a week. I miss it terribly, more than I can express. It’s not a case of Writer’s Block, and it’s not that I lack inspiration… it’s more because my creativeness is almost fully contractually bound.

In July 2013 I signed a game writer contract, and it has been a blast. I feel this will be the best job I ever have during my entire life time, and it saddens me that my contract will end next month and I’ll be back to scouring the job market in April… but at the same time, a tiny part of me is glad… the part that yearns to write something that’s actually mine, something that does not fall under the property of the company producing this video game. Continue reading “I miss writing.”

Reading · Writing

Purging my to-read list.

book stackEvery once in a while, I go to my Goodreads account and take a look at my ever growing to-read list… and I raid it. Very much like raiding a closet filled with old clothes and shirts that used to fit you six years ago but you couldn’t part with them because you’ll lose enough weight to wear them again (yeah right).

It’s a rather interesting experience; more than just deleting books that don’t grab your attention anymore, it’s involves some reflection – why is this book in my to-read list? Why did I ever think this was interesting? Another thriller? Why did I ever think I could tolerate reading a novel written entirely in tweets?! Oh my god I must’ve been half-asleep when I added this! … aaaand so on. Of course there are some positive thoughts too, mostly, “This book seems really cool, why do I not own it yet?” Okay, so it’s positive depending on how you look at it, since it involves spending a lot of money! Continue reading “Purging my to-read list.”