In Which Nobody Puts TxtingMrDarcy in a Corner… Least of all Herself

Hello again Blogloves!

I have a confession to make. I’m sure that it’s going to surprise exactly .01% of you, but here it is:

I wrote myself into a corner.

After years of reading blogs, and loving blogs, and writing blogs, I felt the need to try to FOCUS myself.

“I should pick one thing and be really good at it!” I thought. “Every REALLY good, successful blog has an IDEA! Or a FOCUS! Or a THEME!”

Obviously, since I posted about books a great deal of the time, I pegged them as the thing that I am PASSIONATE! about, and started only posting about that.

And then? I got bored. SO bored.

If I didn’t love a book, I didn’t post about it. I got tired of trying to sound knowledgeable, and trying to formulate well-written opinions based upon my vast amount of reading. Even when I loved a book so much that I wanted to buy a notebook solely for the purpose of writing “Brooke + Life After Life” over and over again with pink puffy hearts? I still didn’t want to write about it.

I started to long to get back to just writing about LIFE again. Life, while it’s happening. Whether it’s boring and repetitious,  or fantastic and fresh every single day. That’s what I did when I started almost three years ago. (Holy crap) It worked for me.

(Example: I didn’t even blog about THE ROYAL BABY. Because I didn’t think it “fit.” How stupid is that?!)

(PS- OMG da widdle PrinceGeorgiekins and his widdle cheeks!@.)

Even while I didn’t blog for so much of this year, I tried to keep connected via Twitter, and Instagram, and other forms of social media. And even though it’s been A YEAR, the smoke has started to clear, and I’m ready to get back to interacting with all of you again. I miss the perspective that you give me- that whatever I’m going through here, there is a BIG world out there full of fun and laughter and amazing friends that I have yet to meet.

So, allow me to introduce myself, Internet.

My name is Brooke. I’ve been married for two years to my childhood sweetheart-of-sorts Army Boy.

We are parents to a devious beagle named Wesley (OF COURSE it’s after the Princess Bride.)

We live in a small town in Pennsylvania, with a lot of corn and cows, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We just sold our first home and bought our second, and I suddenly found myself a bit of a country girl.  Not, like Pioneer Woman -level country girl, but it feels close.  We dream sometimes of adventure, and when we do we do it big-time. See: Ireland in 2011 and Scotland in 2013. (The UK has my heart forever and ever.)

I am a completely unashamed book hoarder, but also share my affection with cupcakes, wine, travel and anything British.

Thank you for stopping by today, and I can’t wait to get to know you all again.



TxtingMrDarcy Reads: “Blogging Killed the News Media”* Edition

Plot Summary (from Amazon) : The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beat the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED.

NOW, twenty years after the Rising, Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives-the dark conspiracy behind the infected. The truth will out, even if it kills them

Soundtrack: “Song 2”~ Blur

This seems like the perfect track to ramp over a hoard of zombies on a motorbike to. ‘Nuff Said.

Best Enjoyed With: An Ice-cold Coke

WOW. Just WOW.

After reading the end of this book, I had to come in and share the whole thing with Army Boy, because I was having trouble wrapping my head around it. It was that powerful. Mira Grant proves that you can achieve a true horror novel with subtlety, and having some of the worst scenes happening “off-screen.”

Shaun and Georgia Mason are given the chance of a lifetime when they’re picked to be the media coverage inside the Presidential Campaign of Senator Peter Ryman. There are a few differences to our current political climate, however.

One: The country is overrun with Zombies. Scientists simultaneously developed a cure for the common cold, and one for Cancer. When introduced, those beasties mutated to bring about the apocalypse in the form of Kellis-Amberlee, a virus that causes the dead to reanimate.

Two: Due to number one, everything is done completely differently in the United States. Blogging has exploded as a viable form of news, because it’s frequently the quickest to pick up a potential story and run with it. No filters or network affiliations, just the truth. In a harrowing time, that’s exactly what people want most.

Sean and Georgia are two thirds of a blogging team (the third being their friend Buffy, fictional writer and tech-guru extraordinaire) who are chosen to present the inside scoop on Senator Ryman’s campaign. Little do they know, they’re entering dangerous territory even by daredevil Shaun’s standards.

I don’t feel like it’s too much of a stretch to compare this book to one of my post-apocalyptic favorites, “The Passage” by Justin Cronin. Mira Grant’s world is realized just as fully, and I found myself wondering what the characters were up to each time I had to put the book down. And oh the characters- Georgia is steely and super-saavy, even when diving into the shark-tank of politics. She’s my new favorite to join my zombie apocalypse Justice League of Awesome and Not Dying. (I so did not just make that up off the top of my head.)(Yes I did.)  Shaun wouldn’t be out of place on an episode of Jack-Ass, and the other staff of After The End Times are brought to life just as vividly.

Through the course of the political campaign, you get a real feel for the changes that have taken place across the country. There are nods of humor (Georgia and Buffy [real name Georgette] are both named after George Romero, considered one of mankind’s heroes for preparing them for the apocalypse via his cinematic work. Apparently “George” was the new “Katie” after the dead started rising), some truly harrowing scenes with the infected and some intriguing descriptions of the various necessary technical advances. Grant also doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to picking off her characters, something that when done well can be incredibly effective.

If you’re looking to start a new post-apocalyptic series, and in the mood for some zombie mayhem, this would definitely be the choice for you.

Four and a half super savvy bloggers.

*-And seriously, after the coverage of the Olympics, can you blame it?

Who NOT To Trust As A Housesitter

This past weekend we made the trip up to New Hampshire for my cousin’s beautiful wedding. We sent Wesley off to the puppy spa, locked up the house, and turned off the water. We thought we had everything pretty well under control.

For some reason, I totally forgot to make sure that America, You Sexy Bitch was somewhere that it couldn’t get into any trouble.

And then I come home to these.

Sleeping pills + Twitter = BAD IDEA

Crocs Heaven ❤

Supporting Our Troops

Exercising Its Second Amendment Rights

I definitely expected this book to challenge some of my perceptions… but, erm?

AYSB, you are SO grounded.

I’m Fairly Certain That I Was Born On The Wrong Continent.

It seems like the Summer Bug has bitten me earlier this year, as my posting has turned over more and more to book reviews and less and less to the sharing of feeeeeeeeeeelings and anecdotes and little witticisms from daily life. Don’t worry! Those are happening! I just… tend to forget about them soon after and then curse myself because remember that conversation about the stuff with the things?! That would have been so great for mah blawg!

We’ve also hit that wonderful stretch of the year comprising of far too many three-day weekends, leading my motivation during the work weeks to be close to nil. This year, we took time to work on our friends’ vineyard, which was a remarkable if back-breaking day. The next weekend was Army Boy’s birthday, then memorial day, and now my own birthday is rapidly approaching. There has been a LOT of good food and good times going on around here.

Ooo! This week is BEA (BookExpo America, for those who do NOT look at a conference revolving totally around books and publishing to be akin to Christmas), and I’ve decided to participate in Armchair BEA for the first time. Though I’m slackerlicious on the itinerary of posting, it’s been a blast to follow along and discover loads of new book bloggers along the way. To anyone who may have clicked over from there, *waves frantically and nerdtastically!*

The job search? Still ongoing. I can’t believe that we’re approaching a year since the “annual review” which led to my beginning to take steps to make a serious move. It is NOT a fun time to be looking to change jobs, especially when a number of potential employers think it’s totally fun to ignore your salary requirements and then act shocked when you decline their laughable “offers.” (Seriously, why would I really be interested in making $8,000 less a year than I am now? Where is the logic there??)

Perhaps as a direct response to my job search woes, I spent most of the month of May indulging in some fabulous dystopian reads. It wasn’t a conscious choice, but once I saw that I had a theme going I had no reason to stop. If we’re buds on Instagram, you’ve already seen my self-imposed theme for the month of June: All Royalty, All The Time.

It’s only natural that I should wish to vicariously celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee in my own quirky way. (Aside from crashing on my couch in my pjs and forcing Wesley to watch every bit of coverage we could find. He might protest, but he was up with me at 5am for Will and Kate’s wedding, which I think says it all.) I’ve got some great reads lined up for this month, including the scandalous biography of Diana written by Andrew Morton, Untold Story by Monica Ali, “Sex with Kings…” by Eleanor Herman (“Sex with the Queen…” if I have time!), and if the birthday fairies are good, Elizabeth The Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch by Sally Bedell Smith.

PLUS! I have some NONFICTION mixed in there!! My third grade teacher would be so proud.

So, while I may WISH that I had been in London to watch the Flotilla (Dude, that’s been a party since the time of Henry VIII) and drink lots of things to the health of Elizabeth (and Prince Phillip, poor thing), I shall keep a stiff upper lip and pay tribute in my own way. Perhaps while wearing a jaunty hat. I am not sure about that part yet. It may push me a bit over the edge of “ridiculous,” non?