radvent: entertaining

Day 17: Write out some ideas for a party that you will host in the next four weeks
Who will you invite? ★ What will you do? ★ Where will it be? ★ What will you serve? ★ How will you decorate?

Ooh, this is an easy one! I’m in a book club with some friends, and in January it’s my turn to host! The way we do it is, whoever picks the next book* hosts the next gathering at their house. A few weeks ago we met at Stephie’s house to discuss the book she chose, so next time we’ll meet at my house to discuss mine.**

The book club gatherings are pretty casual, and mine will be no exception. Lately we’ve started having book club on Friday nights and including dinner, so I’m going to make something. While there’s really no NEED for me to make no-cook one-handed appetizers, I’ve been meaning to try Helen Jane’s recipes for those, so maybe I’ll do that. My place is pretty small, so we can’t all sit at a table; that can be reason enough for skewered things! Plus I like the idea of people showing up to find that all the food is on sticks.

Decor-wise, I’m just going to make sure the place is clean! Maybe if I have time I’ll try some of the decorating ideas on my craft site. Also there will be drinks–some I’ll have, some that people will bring. It should be fun! I like book club.

*Actually each person suggests a few books, and the rest of the club narrows it down to one that most everyone can agree on. So far we’ve read a really wide variety of books, which was the intent.

**My pick was The Imperfectonists, by Tom Rachman.

some radvents

Day 11: What is your personal dream? What would happen if your dream came true?

I’ve got a personal dream I’m working towards right now! But I’m afraid to tell you what it is because I’ll feel super dumb if it doesn’t work out. So I guess the second question I’m going to answer instead is, “What would happen if you told the internet about it?

Fear of failure has been a pretty serious thing in my life. It’s why I almost always take the easiest path, it’s why I never try anything new unless the stakes are really low. But I’ve been attempting to get over that this year, and I have plans to barrel through the fear in 2011 too. Still, though, I’m afraid that if I tell the internet, it’ll jinx it. Well, I don’t believe in jinxing. I do believe that if I tell the internet, I’ll feel dumb if it doesn’t end up happening.

Conquering fear of failure? Going okay. Conquering fear of feeling dumb in front of the internet? Not going okay. Eh, I can live with it.

Day 13: Have you ever just quit something… without regret?

Yes! I had a professional blogging gig once, about the paranormal. It was interesting when I started, but two posts a week about something I didn’t believe in began to get tedious. Posts were due on Friday mornings, so I spent every Thursday night doing lots of procrastinating and bitching and moaning, and a little bit of writing. The only original post ideas I had were things I’d heard about here in Texas, which was fine, but then the head of the site told my fellow bloggers and me that we were writing too many things about Texas. After that I had no ideas.

When our contracts were up and we were each asked whether or not we wanted to continue, I barely wasted half a second before saying no thanks, and then I spent the next two Thursday nights telling everyone how great it was to NOT WRITE ABOUT THE PARANORMAL!!!!!!

Note: I have nothing bad to say about anyone I worked with or for at that site; it was just a bad fit subject-wise, and I should have realized that beforehand.

Day 14: Did you like to read as a child? Do you read more or less now?

Oh, I read like the wind. I taught myself to read at an early age, so once I hit elementary school I was reading ahead of everyone else. The teacher had to give me a special pass to the sections of the library for the older grades so I could pick books from there. I’ve heard friends talk about feeling singled out or ostracized when this happened to them as kids, and I definitely felt that in other aspects of my childhood.

But the reading pass made me feel special. While all my other classmates were at their desks, I’d walk down the hall and give the librarian my pass. Then I’d go back to the 5th grade shelves and choose whatever books I wanted. The library was always deserted when I went, so I could sit down on the floor and look through the books in silence. It was neat.

At some point my mother realized she could use my love of reading to her advantage. Anytime I was bothering her, she’d say, “Why don’t you go read a book or something?” When I figured out that that was her clever way of dismissing me, I started saying, “I don’t want to!” even if I did. What a brat I was.

radvent day 7: playing

Day 7: What were your favorite games as a child? What did you like to do with your classmates or the neighborhood kids? How did that affect the person you grew to become?

(Okay, obviously I’m not doing all of these, so we can go ahead and get that out of the way. So far I’ve been fine picking and choosing which ones inspire me, and I’ll continue to do that.)

I remember doing a ton of reading and writing as a child. Even in elementary school I spent lots of time in my room writing silly poems. My sister and I also did a lot of drawing, I think–we had this card table that we kept by the fireplace in the living room, and we’d always draw there.  And after church every Sunday my parents would take us to the local bookstore where we’d stock up on Baby-Sitters Club or whatever for the month.

My mom was always buying art & craft supplies. We had all sorts of finger paints and poster paints and play-dough and stuff. And I think that’s what we did when friends came over. I remember making things with friends a lot. Oh, and board games–tons and tons of board games.

I think it’s obvious how all this reflects who I am today–cerebral, creative, and unlikely to be found outdoors!