With the year coming to an end, (how is that even right?) I have reevaluated what I want on my little corner of the internet. While it might not show, I am opinionated. Though my opinions are strong they don't close my mind off to what others think. I'm very clearly able to see things from all sides. Which for me tends to hold me back in saying how I feel about certain things. I know it's my blog and my opinion reigns supreme on it but there's this little voice that doesn't want to offend anyone because of differing opinions. That leaves me with a very light-hearted middle-of-the-road public point of view.
I'm over tip-toeing around my own space. 2015 is the year of me. Hah! It sounds ridiculously dramatic and like I'm going to have a completely different blog. That's not the case. My opinions aren't hateful or dismissive and the focus of Kenzie Covered in Paint will continue to be art and books and maybe even a few 'think pieces'-- whatever they are.
My regularly scheduled posting has been interrupted both by my inner turmoil and by the fact that all my artwork is holiday gifts. I thought I'd do a little ramble so I can clear my draft folder and my mind.
First of all, I rainbow-ed my bookcase!It's not really large so alphabetical isn't necessary. I have a lot more books all over the house but these are mostly unread with a few random exceptions. Basically there isn't much logic when it comes to this lower shelf. For whatever reason I thought that this was in some kind of color order but looking at the picture I realize it is not... And yes that is the same rock in both photos. I moved it to the lower shelf as a bookend and it's there to stay.
I wanted to mention this new/old journal that I customized. It started as a red knock-off composition notebook. I've had it for years but only wrote on the first page. Collaging it added texture and stability. I reinforced the spine with rainbow duct tape, attached a page marker and pen loop too. It's been born again!
My plan was to use it as a 'catch-all' for lists, ideas and random things that have nowhere else to go. It's become something that I didn't expect or know I wanted; a book journal. I've never been one to write in the margins but now I can write thoughts about certain plot points, characters or quotes as I go. It helps me remember the book a lot more clearly as well! It's really fun to write predictions and I'm able to keep track of characters and story lines.
Something I've learned this year is my reading tastes have changed. A lot. Years ago my leisure reading consisted of contemporary chic-lit (Little Earthquakes & In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner were some of my faves) and the occasional mystery novel. I loved Stephanie Plum novels and I'm pretty sure I got through at least 12 of them. When I was around 19, I branched out and read the oh so popular Chuck Palahniuk books. At the time my mind was blown by his original story telling. I haven't reread any of his books and I don't plan on it. I'd rather have my fond while maybe overinflated memories. Of course in college I had my Kurt Vonnegut and Bukowski phase. I did go to art school after all...
Then I just stopped reading novels altogether. It wasn't that I didn't try but I just couldn't get into anything. Plus, I hadn't really learned to use Goodreads yet.
I didn't stop reading though. Instead of novels, I read blogs. Blogs about art, fashion, makeup, social justice, equality, feminism, music, LGBTQIA issues and learned a little/a lot about all of it.
I've become more aware of the subtle yet damaging messages that we are bombarded with in media. It's not that I can't enjoy a book with this content, I'm just more aware and less willing to make excuses.
When I picked up Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner a week ago, I expected a silly and fun chic-lit about women and love. Instead I was hit by fat shaming comments and women tearing themselves and other women down. One of the women spoke about how she slept with men that she didn't want to because it was the polite thing to do! Ew, what? How is this a good thing to have in a book that primarily women will read? Have sex even if you don't want to because the guy is nice... Because as women it's our job to be polite. Ugh.
The characters were all one-dimensional stereotypes:
A woman so beautiful that men flocked to her. Just shockingly gorgeous--what does that even mean? It wasn't really relevant to the story either. Another character described herself as not being ugly but each of her features were just not quite right together. When the shockingly beautiful character meets the not-so-attractive woman, she too thinks about how the features of her face don't fit quite right. What's the point? Nothing. Nothing at all to do with the plot. It doesn't even go in line with the beautiful girl's character to do that. The other characters were just as flat.
I saw the plot twists from pages away. Then it ends all wrapped up in a pretty little bow. So unrealistic. This again is why the book was such a disappointment.
I don't consider myself a literary snob by any means and I don't think that books aimed towards women should be looked down upon because they address love, fashion, and family focused plot lines.
When a book is feeding into the machine of creating low self-esteem and doing it so casually that one may not even notice, that's what I take issue with.
I'll be doing more book reviews and/or discussions in the near future. My art posts will be back on the regular as well. I usually spend Sunday filming a video but the clouds overhead didn't allow it. You can find my other video posts here on my blog or on youtube!
I hope everyone is having a lovely holiday! Happy Hanukkah! Or Merry Christmas or whatever it is you do or don't celebrate, I love you and thanks for reading.