Reading corners for booklovers

Most of us will grab our books from the bedside table at night and will probably fall asleep after a few quick minutes. But how could we not? Our bed is so comfortable and our day routines leave us generally so tired that our sheets, blankets and everything else lull us into the land of the dreams without even noticing. Unless of course you have insomnia or the book is so damn good that you’re afraid it’s going to be one of those nights where you won’t sleep… but that’s another topic. But let’s face it, unless you don’t feel tired, the bed is not always the best place for reading. And if you fall asleep while reading, how many times have you woken up to find the cover of your book bent, and twisted in between your sheets?

Reading is a special experience and I believe it’s a good idea to have a reading corner besides the bed. And if you have the space (you really don’t need much, that’s why it’s called “corner”) investing into it is definitely worthy.

We spend too much money in acquiring these magnificent couches to place them in front of the TV. Why shouldn’t we invest in a nice place for reading? A corner that drags you into this world of books and makes you want to spend Sunday afternoons or rainy days in it, with a cup of coffee on the other hand. And even if you don’t use it, they actually look awesome as decoration.

A clever idea is to find a place in your house/apartment/flat where you wouldn’t jeopardize too much space. If you have stairs, then you’re done. The pictures below can give you good ideas.  Windows are also an incredible option. These images display some interesting ideas. I must confess I don’t have the proper credits for the pictures. They have resided in my computer for many years in a folder called “dreamed house” yeah, I know… but it’s good to dream (some day, maybe I’ll get to use all of them for real) Meanwhile, I continue feeding my inner interior decorator with the most tangible tool: Pinterest!

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You don’t need too much furniture to improvise corners like these ones. Take advantage of some cushions with vibrant colors and textures. (they say bright colors are better… I couldn’t agree more). If you don’t have the possibility to have a window in the chosen space, you could install some lights under the stairs. In fact you don’t need a complex electrical installation, there all sorts of LED lamps and LED candles out there. Be aware you might also need curtains if you’re near a window, sometimes the reflection or the lightening from thunders (yeah, I had to think of all possibilities) could interrupt your reading. Or maybe you just don’t have a nice view, and you don’t feel like staring at a brick wall or having the sensation that a neighbor is eavesdropping at you (again I had to think of all situations here… please feel free to add more in the comments if you come up with something I haven’t thought of). Overall, when you build/install these corners, take into account two factors: lighting and comfort; this will help you submerge into your reading without any distractions.

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Additionally, take into account that chair or couch you use is as comfortable as possible. You could take advantage of modern designs or retro chairs that could be as different as you want from the rest of the room, not only in design but in color as well. To enhance the place, you could use one of those standing lamps that not only look terrific in their design, but also help at the time of reading.

Another brilliant idea is to adapt your wardrobe or wall spaces, and make them into hidden and comfortable reading spaces for you. You can use them to distance yourself from the rest of the world, grab a book, and spend hours in it. Add some shelves and cushions inside this space (I bet you’ve realized that I love cushions) A lamp installed in the wall will also be a perfect addition to this reading closet.

And you, do you have any reading corners in your place? any other suggestions for these reading corners I have not taken into account? I’d love to hear from you. 

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Oh men! we´d better achieve our dreams or….

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Oh men, If I thought I would had a weekend like the previous one, years ago, I would have laughed really hard. I´ve always envisioned myself writing a novel in the late years of my life. I would say “SOMEDAY I will write a book, when I´m retired, and have time, and blah blah…”, but then one day I just decided to say that is BS!  I will accomplish this dream “RIGHT NOW RIGHT HERE”, not in the near future, or someday when I´m in a retirement house, but NOW, when I have a day job and almost no time. I made the right decision…

For the past months, I´ve been trying to write my first novel. I started writing short stories first but when I got what I thought an interesting idea for a novel, I decided to give it a go. I decided I was going to put ‘writing´ as number one in my priorities list. No more “extra activities” that would drive me away from it. I would write everyday, if possible, until I actually made a habit of it.

Then, to not bore you anymore with the process to achieve this goal, I started to research about the process of writing books, how to build up characters, plots, etc. So much material about it, you wouldn´t believe me.

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Finally, I decided to enroll myself in the Writer´s Digest bootcamp: Agent One-on-One: First ten pages, which basically focused in the first ten pages of a novel. We got a video tutorial from Ms. Paula Munier of Talcott Notch Literary Agency, who was brilliant, the cleverest person I´ve ever listened to. She gave excellent advice of what Agents were looking for and what she expected to find in the first pages of a novel. She also talked about all clichés, and all the times she got to reject queries from writers. I was “Oh my, I´ve never going to make it!” I did some research about her clients, looked in the web for their books, and believe me , those were quality material, beautiful books, written so amazingly that I was “I don’t stand a chance, English is not even my native language! I´ve never going to be at that level” But I was already registered in the course, with 200 $us invested, which here in my country is a LOT of money.

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So to shorten things, Paula Munier was assigned as the agent who would review my pages (out of five agents in the bootcamp). I was thrilled, maybe she was the toughest one, but the one I´ve imagined myself working with. I sent my pages, expecting to receive a critique that would say “this is not good, you really have to improve, you should consider changing careers, or are you sure you want to be a writer?” I was already mentally preparing myself for that, telling me that I would try not to take it so bad, that I would improve, that this was just a course, and that I was there to learn and to improve.

What I got was: “Nice work, Easy and Fun to read, Engaging premise, Likable hero, Colorful cast of characters, Unique great style” and I was … My god I was stunned.

Of course she also described the parts where I could improve, like improving the flow of the scenes, avoiding overwriting, American grammar and punctuation (the British influence of course), and some issues with my second scene.  But nonetheless, I was thrilled.

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And true, there is still a lot to improve, but it is all about the HARD WORK, and nothing else. If you want to write, you have to do it all the time. You have to read millions of books, if you want to improve your craft. It´s hard work and nothing else. Revision after revision and craziness along the way of course! I usually find myself about to go nuts when I get into one of those hard “revision” sessions, like I would dream with characters and get traumatized with grammar rules. But it is worth it.

In the end, we don´t get a second life, we only have this one, we´d better make the best of it. That means we only have NOW and THIS LIFE to make our dreams come true. We’d better devote ourselves and work our asses off to achieve our dreams, or else when are we going to do it? There is no other way around.

Believe in your dreams and just work the hell out of yourself to make them come true!

 

What’s not to love in this year!

Third day of 2014 and I already love this year! At first I was thinking, maybe I was just lucky, but then when I look to the day before, I realize that today´s outcomes are only the result of yesterday´s effort.

You see, like almost all other past years I made a list of resolutions. Buy my resolutions were so empty hearted or so superficial, like losing weight, eating healthy which are good actually good resolutions in themselves, but were not really my main ambitions in my life. This year´s resolution list was a little bit different, and I got inspired by a friend in this subject. Instead of writing the resolutions in my notebook or in a piece of paper that I would put in a drawer of my night table or somewhere I would not remember later,  I did it “big” this time.

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You see, I was always a little bit embarrassed of having this piece of paper in sight for everybody, and most of this embarrassment was because the resolutions were not that awesome to be widely public. I didn´t want everybody to know that I just wanted to lose weight or go to the gym; it just felt so trivial and superficial in some ways. But 2013 taught me what I really wanted to do with my life.

When my friend told me that she just read the resolutions she made last year and she realized that she almost fulfilled most of them, she felt like 2013 had been a complete success. I immediately thought that my problem was not in assessing 2013, which had been a pretty good year, but it was in comparing my last year resolutions with my status today; merely because of a simple reason: I didn´t know where the piece of paper I wrote last year was anymore and even more lame, I didn´t know what was written there anymore… probably something about diet, gym… in few words BS…

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So this year, I sat down the 31st of December, I wouldn´t let the 1st of January come without having this settled down. I clearly wrote down my goals, very specific ones for my dreams and the sort of life I want to have, on a piece of cardboard and glued it to the most visible place in my room. You see I would never do this in my room, you know I´m all about decoration and my room is proudly one of the most beautiful rooms that exist in the world, yes! I feel very proud about that… (I will post some pictures later… I promise). I also assigned every day of the week for a specific purpose, like today for example is “Friday Blog Day”.

I never started a year like this one before, I feel so determined, well driven, and I constantly smile whenever I remember that this is 2014, my year! This is the first year ever that I haven´t made a  mistake when writing down my first year date; you know how you tend to make mistakes the first days of the year and you still write last year ‘year? Well not this time! because I´m completely conscious of this year.

On the third year, I´ve already got very good results for one of my goals for this year, So 2014 you are about to witness my success!!!

BUSY LIVES ARE THE BEST!!!

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So this last month has been chaotic for me… Yep, I know, I haven’t written anything here in this period of time… What was I doing? Well just creating an online virtual store, working full time as tech writer, preparing a bachelorette party, translating some documents and the list could go for ages…

But actually, this has been a very, VERY good month; it was all chaos but very fulfilling. I may not have achieved something big and I may be in diapers with the online virtual store, but still, things are getting accomplished little by little.

And I even found that I want to start other projects as well, I can´t help it, I´m a constant project machine… I never get bored; there is no easy weekend or peaceful resting time… Yesterday, for example, I decided to give me a break, I switched off the computer at around 7:00 pm and decided to turn on the TV to catch a movie and just do nothing. I caught a very nice one: “Valentine´s Day” (I´m not that romantic but anyway…), but whenever there were commercial breaks I would find myself without knowing what to do…. How funny is that?… I usually watch TV while the laptop is on, or I have my tablet or cell phone near me to check stuff at the same time… I felt like I was not being productive enough with my time…. Is that lame? I really don´t know, and it wasn´t like I was disconnecting myself from the electronic world, I was in front of a good piece of electronic device: the TV!!!

Anyway, I finally got it, I LOVE multi-tasking, I LOVE being busy; I feel that I have the chance to do so many things in one day. And this is not about dependence on technology, I really enjoy doing other physical activities such as sports, dance and shopping (come on I´m a girl, who cannot love shopping?). So I guess that just watching TV was too “easy and so simple” for me…

So get the chance to BUSY YOURSELF, enjoy every day at the very BEST, do as MANY THINGS as you can, go to bed feeling exhausted but feeling that you made THE MOST OF YOUR DAY… life is so short… do you want to let it go WITHOUT DOING MUCH? 

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Image source: antdagamertv.blogspot.com 

From Nomadic Matt blog: How to Deal with Unsupportive Friends and Family

From Nomadic Matt blog: How to Deal with Unsupportive Friends and Family

This time I would like to post this “post” from Nomadic Matt blog, one of the coolest guys I´ve ever read on the online travel community. This post “got me” so bad because I know that most of the people who want to have a nomadic life style, like myself,  won´t always have the support from their friends or family. So please enjoy, click on the title above and read it!