Literary Pilgrimages

I am a pilgrim, a wayfarer, an adventurer.  I am a sojourner, making my way through lands real and imagined.  I travel by multiple mediums.  My feet carry me across continents familiar and strange.  My imagination soars through the minds and hearts of people who have gone before, ferried by the pages of a book.

 

I am a reader.  I am an explorer.  Sometimes, the two combine and I become a pilgrim.

Merriam Webster dictionary defines a pilgrim as “one who journeys in foreign lands”.  Traditionally, pilgrims journey towards a sacred, often religious place.  One of the most famous pilgrimages in literature is Chaucer’s band of characters telling tales on the road to the cathedral in Canterbury.

I am a lover of pilgrimages.  My journeys, however, are literary in nature.  In them, I travel to a place that holds bookish significance–the house or grave of a writer, the location of a beloved text, the place that inspired a famous text. Continue reading

Weekend Coffee Share: 1/14/17

If we were having coffee, I wouldn’t be that chatty at first.  Even though it’s 10 AM as I write this, I’m still in my early-morning haze.  Since it’s January, it’s been terribly cold and snowy in Minnesota, which is perfect sleeping weather.  I hate being parted from my warm blankets… even if it means getting coffee with you.

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve joined in the coffee share.  I’ve missed you all!

Life has been pretty slow over the past few weeks.  Aside from work, I haven’t had many places to go or things to do.  The holidays were so busy that I’ve been thankful for the lull.

At work, I’ve been making an effort to plan ahead.  Learning to be a librarian involves so much more than checking books in and out.  One of my goals is to start reaching out and creating community partnerships–starting with making a list of organizations and businesses to promote events at.  In addition, I’m working on being more organized and planning ahead.  The holidays snuck up on me and, aside from a few decorations, I really didn’t do anything special for my patrons.  I don’t want that to happen again!  I’ve already outlined activities and displays for next month and hope to continue the trend.

This weekend, I’m going to the cities to hang out with a friend from college.  We’re going to see La La Land (which I’ve already seen, but adored so much that I need a second round) and get dinner afterwards.  We’ve been tossing around going on a trip together this spring and will hopefully start making plans.

The rest of my weekend is likely to be spent indoors enjoying all the DVDs and graphic novels I’ve checked out from the library.  I also hope to do some writing for my blog.  I’ve got an idea for a new series that I hope to get going.  Stay tuned for more information on that in the future.

How has your week been?  Anything interesting going on in your life?  What would you share over coffee?

This post is part of the Weekend Coffee Share link up at Part Time Monster

 

Inbox // Outbox 1/9/16

Inbox:

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

I’m halfway through the audiobook version of this and am doing my best to withhold judgement until the end.  I really WANT to like this book.  I just don’t know if I can.  The historical aspects are really enjoyable, but a couple of the main characters get on my nerves.  Plus, the reader is annoying–his voice trails off at the end of sentences and is hard to hear.

Saving Hamlet by Molly Booth

This was a fluffy, fun YA read.  Theater kid, Emma, suddenly finds herself promoted to Stage Manager in what is on track to become the worst production of Hamlet ever to grace the high school stage.  One evening, she trips and falls through the auditorium stage’s trap door and finds herself enlisted as an assistant at the Globe Theater in London… in 1601.  There’s not a lot of depth here, but my not-so-inner literature nerd loved all the Shakespeare.

Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken

Bracken’s first book, Passenger, didn’t blow me away.  There have been quite a few YA novels about time-traveling pirates released lately and none of them have been as satisfying as I wanted them to be.  Still, I’m intrigued enough to keep going and hope to get to this in the next week or so.  (Probably when I finish the Hamlet book).

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Outbox:

Continue reading

Under Construction

Exciting news!

 I received WordPress Premium as a gift for Christmas this year, which means some changes are coming to Keep Your Feet.

Currently, I’m working on redesigning my site’s theme… which means that things are going to be messy for a while. During the transition, please bear with me. I plan on tinkering until I settle on a look that feels right.

This is a step I’ve been wanting to take for quite some time! I have my own domain name and look forward to what lies in store for Keep Your Feet.

Here’s to a bright future for my little corner of the Internet! Thanks for sticking with me!

2016: A Story in Three Parts

As another year comes to a close, it’s time to reflect.

By global standards, 2016 was pretty much a train wreck.  Personally, though, it was a beautiful journey that I will tell in three parts.

INTRODUCTION:

A year ago, I was an unemployed college graduate with no idea of what I wanted to do with myself.  You see, for the majority of my life, my intuition has been my guide.  Until this point, early every major life decision has been guided by instinct.  College?  My gut lead me to the right fit.  Major?  My heart found home in the English Department.  Work at camp in the summers?  It just felt right.

The future, however, holds infinite possibilities and the prospective paths had me absolutely paralyzed.  I had absolutely no idea of anything.  My intuition, the little tug that pulls me in the next direction, had failed.

So, at the beginning of 2016, I felt my heart tugging me back to Europe and, against all logic, I followed. Continue reading

Tis the Season: Light Amid Darkness

In past Tis the Seasons, I’ve shared many, many holiday stories: family traditions, interesting historical tidbits, heartfelt sentiments, favorite songs, and so on.  When faced with writing a post this year, though, writers block hit and it hit HARD.  I had lots of ideas, from sharing new memories to fleshing out older stories, but every time I sat down to write, I ended up staring at a blank page.  The words just wouldn’t come.

Then, I got thinking about what my friend Rachel said in her post earlier this week about Christmas being a time of light in the darkness and hope when all feels lost.  The more I thought about it, the more it felt right.  Light in the darkness… what a timely message.

We live in days of darkness, days of sorrow, days of pain, days of disappointment.  It’s been a rough year for so many both here in America and abroad.  We live in days of horrific war, days of the displacement and death of innocents, days of bombs and destruction.  We live in days of intolerance, of cruelty, of fear.  We live in days where people are massacred and ostracized for their beliefs, for their cultural heritage, for their orientation, and for their gender.  We live in days of doubt and days of deep insecurity where truth and trust cease to exist. Continue reading

Tis the Season: A Holiday Story by Corina Carrasco

Today’s Tis the Season post is a short story by Corina Carrasco from at Wasted Days And Wasted Nights.


She was working late on Christmas Eve and again all day on Christmas Day. It was the third year that she had no family to keep her away from work and so she had volunteered to take the shifts that no one wanted so that others could be with their families. She considered it a gift to both her co-workers and herself. Her co-workers could stay home and celebrate their traditions with their families. She could spend the time at work and be distracted from the fact that she had nowhere else to be.

In previous years, she would not have missed family Christmas. She would not have given up the spirit of family being together, laughing and loving, even teasing and rolling their eyes at the words coming from the black sheep. She loved being with everyone else, in a house too full for stretching out one’s elbows but full enough to lock the warmth, both outer and inner, inside each person.

Christmas Eve wasn’t bad. A lot of people came into the coffee shop to relax after getting the last of their errands finished. Feeling accomplished, they would sit and enjoy that venti hot drink before moving on. There were smiles and holiday wishes. Other people would pop in to get that last minute Christmas gift that they had forgotten, or the one they would have on hand in case they needed one more gift. She sold a lot of gift cards that night and by closing time, she had all but forgotten that she was closing up alone and that she’d go back to her empty house to put on Christmas carols and have a cup of hot chocolate so she could sleep well and pop back into work at seven o’clock the next morning. It would be busy even though it was a holiday. She wouldn’t let her mind wander to the past. That was all over. Continue reading

Tis the Season: A Thailand Christmas and a New Holiday Perspective

Today’s Tis the Season post comes from Britta of  It’s a Britta Bottle!


A Thailand Christmas and a New Holiday Perspective

One of my absolute favorite Christmas memories is a relatively recent one, in what some might see as a most unconventional location.

The Setting: A shopping mall, Bangkok, Thailand

The Event: Christmas Ice Skating

The Players: A group of Western English teachers

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A visual image of the scenario

Christmas in Thailand! Say what! Continue reading

Tis the Season: Holiday Artwork by Rachel Finegan

Today’s post comes from my friend, Rachel, who is a fantastic artist.  While not a blogger, I asked if she would like to feature some of her Christmas-themed work and she generously agreed.  She also gave me a short statement about what the holiday season means to her, which I have included below.

If you’re interested in seeing more of Rachel’s art, you can follow her Facebook page or follow her Instagram account, illustrachel.


I was thinking about the post idea, ‘What does the holiday season mean to you?’

It’s cheesy but, to me, Christmas means the promise of light in the darkness, and hope when all seems lost. I like that we celebrate Christmas in one of the coldest, darkest, bitterest points in the year; because to me, we celebrate that light and life will come again, and the darkness will be just a memory.

wreath Continue reading

Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree

  1. The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace
  2. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  3. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
  4. Personality Types: Using the Enneagram for Self-Discovery by Riso & Hudson
  5. Finding God in the Waves by Mike McHargue
  6. Difficult Women by Roxane Gay
  7. Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories by C.S. Lewis
  8. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
  9. The Man Born to Be King by Dorothy Sayers
  10. Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly link-up hosted at The Broke and the Bookish

Check out my biweekly book Inbox//Outbox

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