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Pornography: A Caricature of Intimacy

When it comes to pornography, it can be hard to distinguish truth from opinion. Most sources of information about porn are presented with a political slant, a religious bias, or a personal agenda. So how do you get the facts? I have a few for you, along with some non-biased resources. In this article, we will discuss one of the most often expressed opinions about pornography.

Popular Opinion:
Pornography will enhance the intimacy between you and your partner if you watch it together.
Fact:
Psychology Today brought out in an article on pornography and intimacy “They found that people who didn’t view any porn had lower levels of negative communication, were more committed to the relationship, and had higher sexual satisfaction and relationship adjustment. Their rate of infidelity was at least half of those who had watched sexual material alone and with their partners.”
In another study in the article, it was found that “people who watched porn were more likely to engage in flirting (and more) outside their relationships in one experiment; and more likely to cheat and hook-up in the other.(link)
These studies line up with recent Pew Research Center data which says that 70% of American adults feel that pornography is not harmless. (link)
So pornography isn’t really that great for your relationship. So what? Did you know that pornography is inherently harmful, not only to those watching, but to those involved in making it? What if I told you that it was addictive? The facts are there to back up these statements. We will look at another Opinion/Fact in my next post.
Oh, and be sure to check the sources. Don’t take my word for it. It doesn’t hurt to do your own research!
Bold are books I've read
Italics are books I've started but never finished


1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
(I like the mini-series and movies that this book inspired more than the book itself, to be honest)
2 The Lord of the Rings -- Tolkien (This book was.epic. The first time I read this I was 10 and it quite literally changed the way I looked at books.)
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling (read the first four books, bits of the fifth, never touched the sixth or seventh.-Chasing_Vertigo) I did the same, how odd!
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (This was a sad book.)
6 The Bible (Working on reading it through!)
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell (So amazing. I blew through this book in a day!)
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman (Read the first book, never got around to buying the second.)
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott (I do love this book!)
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller (Haven't read this yet, but I want to.)
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (I love Shakespeare. I have ever since I was little. Not sure why. :D)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien (My dad read this to me and my sister when we were younger. Good memories.)
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger (Started this but never finished it. I guess I wasn't in the right frame of mind.)
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger (NOPE! Don't want to. Too sad.)
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell (This book was really long, but I loved it. I hated the sequel. Stupid.)
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald (This made me view storylines and characters differently.)
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams (Zoomed through this. It was so brilliant and different.)
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll (One of my favorite books. The key is to never look at symbolism. All that matters is what he wrote, not what he might have meant!)
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens (Took me forever but I made it through this. Again, like the media this inspired more than the book itself.)
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis (I could read these over and over, not gonna lie. My favorites were The Magicians Nephew and Voyage of the Dawn Treader.)
34 Emma -Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell (Unless you're examining this in school or something, not really worth the time to read, even though it's super short. Had to look at this chapter by chapter for grade 9. Boring.)
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (I should have loved this, all intrigue-y and about secret societies.... but I didn't. Blegh.)
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery (Not a fan.)
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding (I have no desire to read this.)
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan (Nuh uh, one of my friends told me how it ends. Too sad.)
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert (Massive, but awesome.)
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons (<3!!!)
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen (Liked the movies better... :D)
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov (Messed-to-the-up)
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold (Heck no!)
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas (Love this story. Perfect revenge tale!)
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
(I love this book. It's creepy to the max.)
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett (Sad.)
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Inferno - Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray (Blarg. HATED.)
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White (Sad)
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Loved!)
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad (Thought this book was about mental illness when I started it. Um.... Nope. lol)
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare (LOVE. Everyone should experience this story.)
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
(read this after I saw the musical. It was an amazing story, but I liked the play better.)

42 out of 100! I feel pretty good about that. :)

How to Organize During the School Year

Part One:
Where to Start

Just got hired for a nice part time job at my school (where I am most of the time anyway) and I'm thrilled. There's nothing like nailing an interview and snagging a job you really want. In addition to this, I got registered for all my fall classes, am currently finishing my summer credits, and am trying to make sure none of my friends feel neglected or pushed aside.
All of this got me thinking - Where the heck am I going to fit my writing in? Because, it absolutely must be there. I can't not write.
On twitter (terrible and beautiful thing that it is) SammiKWalker started a hashtag #500words. A lot of writers have a 500 word per day goal. It might look small, but those 500 words add up over time, especially when you don't have very much time to begin with. Perfect! I thought. 500 words is just enough to make a dent in my word count at a reasonable pace. 
But how will I do it? I'll take a look at my busiest day. Let's see...

Morning schedule: 
Class
break/homework
Afternoon:
Class
Class
Class
Work 
Evening:
Meeting
Homework/Sleep

Well, looks like there's no time to spare here. Guess I'll give up on writing.

HA! Yeah right.

Let's take a look at my less busy day.

Morning:
Class
homework/break
Afternoon:
Class
Class
Work
Evening:
Work
Break
Homework
Sleep

Okay, this looks more promising. I have 2 full on breaks in the day, and some random downtime that I'm sure will pop up. Being organized will help me get everything else done so I can write! 

What will I use to keep my organization.... organized? Quite a long time into browsing the Staples shelves, I found what I needed:



The 5 Star Mead Advance student planner. So now I have it, how do I utilize it? Markers, or course! Highlight everything once it's done, when it's something super important, when it's going to be done more than once... there are a myriad of colors for a reason.

My advice: 
Don't use the erasable highlighters. They are neat and gimmiky, but there is are drawbacks to their neatness. First, their color and consistency is watery. No bright highlighting powers here. Second, they are erased by friction i.e. heat. So if you leave your highlighted papers/books somewhere it gets too hot *cough*Arizonainthecar*cough* all of your pretty, pretty yellow lines will vanish. No joke.
Other than that, there is a difference between cheap markers and expensive ones - as writers, I'm sure you agree. But I've found that if you don't mind waiting a little longer for the ink to dry, and the color being slightly duller, dollar markers/highlighters are fine. Especially if you use them up quickly. Get the expensive ones when you're going over a close friend's manuscript! 

What about planning for the month as a whole? 
In the month view of my planner I write the number of words I will have written at the end of the month. Usually for 30 day months its 15000 words. Then in the little day bubbles, I write at the bottom 500 words. If there's something else going on that day, I highlight accordingly to coordinate with the colors in the detailed view in the planner.

Look for my next post where I give you a sample of an organizational checklist.

Hope this helps!

Something Sunday 5/23













Here's the latest Something Sunday. Enjoy, and leave a comment!

List of Canonical Evil Baby Names

Unusual City Names

The Rules for Capitalizing People's Titles

Hesed Books A TON of awesome book related stuff. I want so much from this site right now!

Critique Partners can be found here - this is the first time I've seen a respected blog do something like this. Very helpful. The rest of the blog is definitely worth a look as well!

Book-club themed drinks - Perfect for a night in.

An expansive list of phobias.

The Writer's Guide to Twitter.

A list of animals and their meanings.




Collaborative Writing: Online

Most of us writers these days are part of online communities. Sometimes, this can lead to opportunities to work collaboratively with other authors. If you've ever tried copy/pasting entire documents into a discussion post every time you edit a sentence (like me and my writing partners did), you know it's hell. Torturous. Frustrating. Tedious. And there seemed to be no solution.
I had heard other writers say they used GoogleDocs for their online collabs. So I got an account. I was overwhelmed, for some reason. It all just seemed so... horribly complicated, and way harder than copy/pasting.
Well, to avoid the tedium of copy/pasting this colab around, I forced myself to figure GoogleDocs out, and I figured I could put together the instructions for what I did, which are, hopefully, helpful if you're thinking about using it.
These are the instructions I made for my writing partners, so any references to MSN groups etc. are for them.

 

GoogleDocs: Getting StartedCollapse )
The monthly challenge at TWA has commenced for the month of January. We are to gather in teams of three or four, and then compose a story of 10,000 words or less, about whatever comes into our minds when we think of a Summer Wonderland, or Summer in the Middle of Winter.
Having never done anything like this, I didn't know what to expect-worse case, joining a team with a control freak and not being allowed to contribute anything. Fortunately, the worst did not befall me. I found two of the most friendly, creative writers you will ever meet, and then, the journey began. With nothing more than an extremely vague set of instructions for the challenge and some faulty Instant Messaging services, we set forth, determined to show our story to the world.
Little did we know what that story would become...
Our sun has an expected lifetime of about 11 billion years. That's it. A pretty bleak hypothesis! Sunshine the movie, though not plausible, took that theory and ran with it. Very enjoyable. It starts out as a there-and-back-again mission to save the world by 're-starting' the sun, and turns into an everything-is-going-wrong-and-we're-going-to-die kind of thing. The ride in between is intense, the characters and situations unique if you pay attention enough, and the different technologies are interesting. It's science fiction, obviously, but the fun is in the ideas.


Who I would recommend this to: Sci-fi junkies, people who like space movies, people who like Chris Evans, anyone who liked the feel of the movie PUSH.   

The Balancing Act

"All you need is love" is a very appropriate saying. Everyone needs love, even if it's not in a conventional love. If something as simple as lipgloss can make you experience a form of love (or self-love in some cases ;) ) it's obviously an emotion we need at a very basic level. I feel love when I study, when I pray. I feel love when I spend time with other people. I feel love when I listen to music. When I read. When I write. When I see bright colors or interesting photos.
Love is part of the balancing act. It has to be part of the schedule. "Feel Love" should be at the top of our list every day, no matter what's going on. Even if all we're doing that day is seeing someone we loath, STILL feel love. Even if it's just love for everyone BUT that person. :)

Coraline- The Movie

I have forever been in love with Neil Gaiman's works. Skipping over how much his writing has influenced me, I'll move onto how one in particular has proved magical- Coraline, the stop-motion animation movie released in 2009.
Let me first say, the best way to watch this movie the first time is in 3D. Unquestionably innovative and original, the movie is turned into an experience by the high level of involvement 3d provides.
The story revolves around Coraline, a girl who moves into a new house with her parents, where she discovers many wonderful and terrible things.
This movie is terrifying and hilarious, touching and strange. I would suggest that small children or sensitive children do not watch the second half of this movie. It WILL scare them.
For everyone else, this movie is a must-see.
It's so weird and different you will be fascinated.
I walked away from it feeling like it was well worth my money, and, indeed, worth the money I will spend to buy it.


Honestly, this movie is better than I can describe right now. I will try later. :)

What I've learned on my trip to Oregon

Friendship must be treasured, no matter the distance.

If you let them, people will take advantage of you forever.

How you feel is more important than how you look.

A pair of earrings can make you feel beautiful.

No matter how much you own, you will always want more.

Pictures become more important with age.

Giving your parents space is just as important as them giving you space.

No two people have the same relationship with anyone else.

Michael Jackson owned the rights to Lady GaGa... that explains a lot.

The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are relevant no matter where you are.

You're only as old as you act.


Think about it.
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