Spoooooky . . . or Not

Apparently every year on the Friday before Halloween, the Provo Library holds a scary storytelling up in the attic of the building. The building was renovated a while ago, and the attic was the only part never touched by the remodel. So a scary storytelling up in the attic would be a fun Halloween activity, no?

No, it's not.

I'd never heard of it before now, and there's a reason for that.

The storyteller--Ginger--was . . . well . . . entertaining, I suppose?

Story 1: Three boys can't go trick-or-treating and go to a witch's house instead, because the town grocer told them that "some things that happen on Halloween can't be undone."

Story 2: A woman dies and has her hand cut off. She left a little baby behind whom the innkeepers rear. A creepy peg-leg comes after her and tells her that "she's meddling with magic that she knows not from whence it came from" (yes, that was the spoken syntax--shudder).

Story 3: The evil stepmother gets sick of the stepchildren, so she cooks them and feeds them to their father.

Story 4: A bratty girl dies because she won't listen to her mother.

I was continually laughing because I felt so uncomfortable and the stories were so awful. Spooky? Definitely not. Funny? Only in an uncomfortable way. There's a reason I'd never heard of this particular Halloween event.


a first, and I hope, a success

The other day I made my first ever chocolate cream pie for Brooke's birthday. (She likes pie better than cake.) The filling turned out pretty good, I think. The pie crust, however, was a hack job. I will be requesting a pie-crust tutorial when I'm home for Thanksgiving. I didn't have any whipped cream to spread on top of the pie, but I think that, overall, my first cream pie endeavor was a success.

In other news:
  • I bought my Christmas ticket for $95.20, round trip. I'm completely serious.
  • I interviewed with Church magazines today for one of their internship positions for next spring/summer. I feel good about my interview. Now I just have to wait more.
  • It's getting cold. I'm adjusting.
  • I love my fall and winter clothes.
  • I hate wind.


Operation Superhuman Reader: Young Adult Literature

Like I said before, I'm not going to post reviews of all of the books I'm reading for young-adult lit, but these books deserve a post. These books could just be another literary fad and may not transcend through several generations of readers, but they're replete with likable and unlikable characters, meaningful themes, and moving plot. I read both books in a little over a week and am eagerly anticipating the release of the last book next year (still so far away!).

The Hunger Games (Hunger Games, #1)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
adventure/romance/sci-fi perhaps

Set in a post-apocalyptic-like future world, this book follows Katniss Everdeen in her participation in her nation's Hunger Games, a barbaric reality competition in which the contestants kill each other to win. The story is well written and fast paced; I made my way through the 350ish pages quick.

What was most fascinating was the examination of humanity, mercy, and authority. Sure the book is easy to read and extremely compelling in its plot, but the character development is still thorough and the themes still deep. I was impressed. As an adult I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I think that this book would definitely engage teenagers: the writing is good, the characters relatable, the premise morbidly fascinating.

I'd definitely recommend this book to teenagers and adults alike, especially if they're looking for a quick, fun, and still thought-provoking read.

View all my reviews >>

Catching Fire (Hunger Games, #2)
I didn't include my review for the second book, Catching Fire, because it references events that would spoil The Hunger Games for you, but I did include the cover, just to further entice you.

Granted, these books are no Steinbeck or Tolstoy, but they're good, fast-paced, entertaining reading. Enjoy!



In Sunday School and Relief Society today we talked about temples and temple work and as the teachers taught and we discussed I was struck with gratitude for my parents' temple marriage. Their decision to be married for time and all eternity completely defines our family and fully defined my childhood and continues to define my relationship with each of my family members. Knowing that I'm sealed to my parents and siblings for eternity adds a depth and bond to each of those relationships that couldn't be there otherwise.

In one class we talked about the mission of Elijah and the turning of the hearts of children to fathers (and vice versa). We started talking about the how the "earth would be utterly wasted at his [Christ's] coming" if this turning of hearts didn't happen. Without the keys of the priesthood, without the power to bind families together forever our entire mortal experience would be in vain. Everything we've worked for would be wasted if we couldn't be sealed to our spouses, children, parents, siblings.

I'm so blessed to be sealed to my family, immediate and extended. My family are my favorite people, and I can't imagine not being with them in the eternities.


The Charlotte Diet

These pants were always kind of loose, but after my cyst/surgery/excruciating pain/no appetite summer, I look like I could be on a diet commercial.

And in case you were wondering, yes, I can take off these pants without unbuttoning or unzipping.


a hankering

I have a hankering to bake today. I have so many possibilities: sugar cookies, chocolate chewy brownie cookies, Denver sheet cake, cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, angel biscuits, banana chocolate chip bars, apple donut hole muffins, maybe even a chocolate cream pie.

Hello, weekend.

I want to see this trailer

Lately my life has felt like a movie. You know, that kind of movie where the plot twists are so ridiculously improbable yet you still find yourself sitting on the edge of your seat dying to see what happens. You don't know who to root for (well, I'm rooting for me, obviously, but if I felt inclined to give the full scope of my movie life, you'd know there would be others for whom to cheer in addition to the star of the show), and you wonder how everything is going to play out, because the plot is so crazy that you can't even guess.

That's my life right now: a movie starring Charlotte Jane as the protagonist, a chick flick that I hope contains some grain or two of substance, because if my life has to play out like a romantic comedy, I at least want there to be moments of emotional poignancy.

So I'm trying to just sit back and enjoy the show, participating when the director calls. But sometimes I'd like to see a trailer for this Charlotte movie, because maybe I'll see clips I haven't yet lived. Because I'm a-okay with a spoiler alert. Just so you know.

PS—I should think of a good movie title.


Pumpkin Play-Doh

Think that pumpkin Play-Doh sounds like a fun fall treat? Just forget to add the baking soda in the pumpkin bread recipe.

I was so excited for Saturday night. Emily and I planned to bake pumpkin bread and watch Wait Until Dark: a stellar October Saturday night. Well, Wait Until Dark is nowhere to be found anywhere in Provo during the month of October, so we settled on The Ring (creepy but funny). We even wore festive Halloween socks, with the exception of our friend Josh who didn't wear any socks.

We ran to Smith's, where we picked up some extra pumpkin, and Emily posed with the Granny Emilie's bread.

Then we went back to Em's apartment and mixed up the pumpkin bread.

Then we baked the pumpkin bread. And it took forever. And it was looking funny. And then it finally finished and came out looking like Play-Doh. You know when you think that if you just take one more bite of something gross, it'll end up tasting okay? I tried that. It still tasted Play-Doh-esque.

I threw it off Emily's balcony in angry frustration.

The movie was good in a dumb, funny way, though, and I ended up spending the night at Emily's. And after church today I tackled the pumpkin bread again.

Victory. Take that, Play-Doh.


Catch me up please

A couple of weeks ago I walked into my college advisement center and applied for graduation. I applied for my college graduation.

Remember the days of little freshman I-have-absolutely-no-clue-how-to-be-a-grown-up-college-kid Charlotte??

Because I do, and to be honest, it wasn't that long ago. Would someone please catch me up on the past three years and tell me how in the world I got to be a college senior applying for graduation??

I couldn't decide which graduation application receipt SP to post: "Yay! I'm graduating!" or "Yikes! I'm graduating!" So you get both.


Brief rant

Get this: I am, at the very moment of writing this, in the library finally studying.

I get to the library, find a table, get settled, and then other people sit down and just start chatting it up with each other. Then more people come and join, and I'm just sitting there trying to study 401Ks and the origins of paper. Agh!!!

I move upstairs.

And once again I sit down at a table where just five minutes after getting all my stuff out again people decide to come and congregate and catch up on life. Because it's not like the library is for anything academic, right? It's just a social gathering place, no? And really, it's not like I have midterms or anything.

Just chat away. Really. Don't mind me.

ZT to the max.


Productivity Improvement?

Plans for tonight: hunker down in library and study my butt off.

What I really did: went to Applebee's for karaoke night so Emily's roommate could "publicly step out of her comfort zone" for a class assignment.

Has my productivity improved from last night? Clearly not.

Maybe this is what collegiate senioritis feels like. . . .

Good intentions. . . .

Yesterday, this was my to-do list:
  • Personal finance "Wealth of Great Health" assignment
  • Daily internet task for personal finance
  • read through Howl's Moving Castle chapter 10
  • Finish The Millionaire Next Door
  • Read my scriptures first :)
  • Get through half of History of the Book review sheet
  • Get through three days of personal finance notes and eleven Millionaire Next Door review points
  • Go to Target
  • Clean my sheets and towels
Note that this list was titled "What I HAVE to get done today." How much did I cross off?? Three things: reading my scriptures, going to Target, and doing my laundry. I worked on a couple of the other things but only was able to cross off three things. Oi vey.


Operation Superhuman Reader: Young Adult Literature

As I've mentioned in a previous post, I'm in a class that looks at literature for adolescents, and we read a lot. Soon I think I'll post a list of the books I've read so far and my ratings, but posting an individual post about each book with my review would easily take over my blog. Ha.

But, I do want to post this review, because I found this book fascinating. Last week we split into groups, with each group reading a different Robert Cormier novel. (Cormier wrote The Chocolate War, if you've heard of that book.) Cormier writes what the field calls "bleak" literature, literature that doesn't carry that optimism often pervading adolescent fiction. His books are dark, but his writing is incredible. Cormier has been called the "grand master of young adult literature."

The book I read was Tenderness, his darkest novel written. And interestingly—and creepily—enough, I actually really liked it. I like it moreso after the fact, but I like it all the same.

Tenderness Tenderness by Robert Cormier

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
bleak literature/psychological thriller(ish)

I'd bump it up to three and a half stars. This book follows the collision of the worlds of two dysfunctional teenagers, one of whom is a serial killer just released from juvenile detention for killing his parents, the other a seriously insecure runaway girl. The concepts in this book were so alien to me—I mean, not many people can (thankfully) relate to the psychopathology of a serial killer—and it was that exploration of Eric's mentality that kept me reading. It was a little disturbing when, by the end, I found myself sympathizing with Eric. Scary. This book made me reexamine my definition of humanity and made me think that maybe some seemingly black and white situations aren't as easy to figure out as we might think.

The writing in this book is just brilliant. Taking such an intense topic and writing for teenagers, Cormier does an expert job of creating the characters and crafting the story. He's not ever graphically explicit in the murders (no actual murder even takes place within the timeframe of the book—you just see flashbacks), and with such a serious, sensitive, and intense subject, a book like this wouldn't succeed without exceptional writing.

I think there are young adults who could handle this book, but clearly, some could not. I'm conflicted about how to feel about this book as a young adult book. I'd like to give teenagers credit when it comes to dealing with intense literature, but I also think many students wouldn't react well to this book. Oh the quandary. . . .

View all my reviews >>

I won't be as audacious as to give a blanket recommendation for this book, but it's one to consider. Don't read it if you like only happy books, and even then, read with caution. Ha.
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