Completed my challenge! It wasn’t a particularly difficult one, but my challenger-sister and I just drove from North Carolina to California in four days, and I think I maybe made myself sick on one of them trying to make sure I finished reading on time.
My challenge was to read this book by today:
Melodramatic as that title is, I enjoyed the novel pretty well. The story is a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, so–as a fan of fairy tales and their various manifestations–I was excited for this challenge. It’s set in a fictional woolen mill inspired by the early Industrial Revolution and the cultural transition of values from superstition to “reason.”
The narrator is incredibly frustrating sometimes, and there are several characters in whom I was more interested, but the plot itself was strong enough that I didn’t have any issues sticking with it. It’s an easy read, I really like the writing, and I’m grateful for the pleasant resumption it provided for my challenges.
I discovered in the author’s note that she visited a functioning 19th century woolen mill in Missouri which is extraordinarily convenient to the sight-seeing trip that we’ll be taking back east next week. If I can convince my sister to read the book herself before we leave, I think it would all be pretty cute to check out the Watkins Woolen Mill State Historic Site as an interactive follow-up to this challenge.
This is the part when I should choose a new challenge from the suggestions I have. However, since I am on this grand cross-country adventure, I’d like to open the floor to travel-challenges for my sister and me in case anyone has any good ones that we can afford. My last post got 5 views, so I’m not overly expectant, but you can’t get what you don’t ask for. So! At risk of this being a particularly clumsy conclusion, I am requesting challenges relevant to a drive through northern CA, NV, UT, CO, KS, MO, KY, WV, VA, and NC. Thank you and good night.
Since the emphasis of this blog so far has essentially been on my failures and not so much on me and/or my positives, I thought I would write at least one post giving a little more background on who I am and why, I swear, I don’t completely suck. I originally asked my sister, who role-plays online a lot, to find me a character profile thing off of Deviant Art to help give me some direction with this idea. She offered me some “memes,” which are actually just rebranded Myspace surveys that apparently go around Deviant Art now. I don’t expect anyone is any more interested now in what I’m wearing or “how many buddies are online” than they were in 2007, so I will not be posting that here today, even though I did fill it out for fun.
Instead, I guess I’ll just go with my original plan of telling you about myself by myself:
I am your humble writer, Jerrika L. Waller.
My favorite color is decidedly purple. I have a B.A. in English and Comparative Literature from UNC-Chapel Hill, and would like to use it for editing, writing, and publishing in general. I would not like to use it for teaching, contrary to that bafflingly popular assumption. I like to think I’m reasonably talented at drawing and designing things. I enjoy crafts and painting when I have the time, space, and inspiration, and when my materials aren’t scattered throughout a storage unit and multiple houses.
I’m basically the exact profile of a Pisces, although I’ve avoided any hallucinogenic drug addictions or experiences, which I consider a general plus to my life so far. I have a dry sense of humor that, when most characteristically mine, doesn’t usually make complete sense. The most immediate and cogent example I can think of is my current “performance art” project I’ve been doing with my Facebook profile pictures this year: every month I’ve added another stream of “blood” falling down each cheek, and eventually the images will depict blood just pouring out of my black-rimmed eyes as the streams run together.
Why? The official explanation is that I’m doing it ironically, inspired by Tara and Raven—the authors of My Immortal, the tremendously bad Harry Potter fanfic I mentioned a few posts ago. However, there’s also a more internal part of me that is just amused by the semi-public appearance of blood pouring out of my face, for reasons I haven’t entirely worked out yet. That amusement is really the impetus for the “performance” at this point; for all the entertainment Tara and Raven provide, it isn’t really more than a couple months’ worth, and we’re quite past that benchmark. Although my jokes aren’t usually this long-term (or goth), they are usually this confusing/quirky.
I have two younger sisters to whom I’m very attached, and both of my parents are alive and divorced. I have two cats—one who stays outside, one who stays inside—and a dog who is mostly my charge. He, like me, lives with my mom, who takes care of him with the other two family dogs. I have the extraordinary good fortune of several very good and close friends, and I have an adorable godson.
Perhaps my proudest accomplishment to date is my induction into the Royal Prussian-Swedish-American Family House of Lords and Ladies; I am actually Lady Jerrika, ROLO. I was nominated and accepted into the Order for outstanding character and loyalty to the family—or at least that’s what I was told. I’ve been informed that I can’t get “Lady Jerrika L. Waller” on my driver’s license because “Prussia isn’t a country anymore,” which I think is nonsense, but I can hardly complain if that’s my only “disappointment” with the title.
I like pretty much all animals enough to declare my love for them upon sight, but my favorites are wombats, goats, sheep, tigers, and penguins. Dragons occupy a special place in my heart. I like bubbles, stars, and tiaras. I love Indian food and cheesecake. I do not like lettuce or country music.
I have had an exciting week, and it isn’t even over 😀 St. Patrick’s Day happened, of course, which I spent with the Boy and his family. The next day was my sister’s 21st birthday, which included: her joining me in a bizarre therapy session where she received a drawn birthday cake and a pen; and our Mom teaching us how to play racquetball.
My birthday was yesterday. I woke up to a strained back that scared the crap out of me because it felt like an omen to remind me that in just a matter of time I’m (hopefully) going to get old and then die someday. Despite that, it actually turned into one of my favorite birthdays I’ve had. I got to spend it with a bunch of my favorite people…
and I got to dress up…
and my mom made amazing cupcakes and shepherd’s pie for me…
and the Boy really outdid himself with being the best and sweetest…
and I got to use a bath bomb for the first time, which turned the water green and had a piece of paper in the middle that said “BANG”.
The excitement continues this weekend as I head down to visit my best friend tonight so I can go to her bridal shower tomorrow and do maid-of-honor things. While waiting for the ok to head out for that, I took a couple of the dogs for a walk because Mom told me there was a little girl selling Kool-aid in the neighborhood.
Wore these guys right out, and gave me the opportunity to look ridiculous in front of a child who made more money today than I did, so that was great.
To update on the challenge, it has been hilariously unsuccessful so far. I’ve selected a handful of things to get rid of, but I’m about a week behind, which means I’m going to have to get rid of more penalty items. I suppose it’s for the best because I’ll get rid of more crap, but I really do need to catch up.
That’s all for now; hopefully the next time I check in I’ll have more of my ducks in a row (and ready to donate or throw away).