Monday, March 30, 2015

Real Influential Women Role Models (Real and Fictitious) - Fictional Woman of the Week: The Women from "Reba" (2001-2007)

The final installment of my series this year is the Texas sitcom "Reba", starring country singer Reba McEntire as title character Reba Hart. Like I said, this show is a little too good to be true, and I'll explain why.

The show's main focus is the foundation of family and getting through life's obstacles as a unit. However, the real concept is questioning the true definition of family. The series opens up with Reba and her family at a court-ordered family counseling session. She is separated from her dentist ex-husband Brock (Christopher Rich) and they are trying to solve their marital problems and custody battles. It is revealed in this opening scene that Brock has to marry his dental hygienist Barbra Jean (Melissa Peterman) because she is pregnant, and that their high school senior drill team daughter, Cheyenne (JoAnna Garcia), is pregnant as well with her star football player boyfriend Van Montgomery's (Steve Howey) child. These are the plot points that set off the fireworks for the rest of the series. Reba and Brock also have two other children: the cynical Kyra (Scarlett Pomers) and the innocent, youngest Jake (Mitch Holleman).


Reba Hart (nee McKinney) (McEntire) is literally the mom of the group. When Van's parents disown him due to the pregnancy, Reba takes him in. Reba eventually has a full house minus Brock, which includes baby Elizabeth when she is born during the Season 1 finale. Right away you know that she is a good mother and genuinely cares about others. Though being a stay at home mom seems to be her main role, she is also seen working as a secretary for Brock's dentist rival and eventually goes into the real estate business with Van.

But of course, this full house also means that the other woman, Barbra Jean, feels entitled to show up unannounced at any time. She calls Reba her best friend, leaving Reba nauseous at the very thought. The conflict between these two is the true heart (Haha, Hart/heart) of the show, but it usually is more lighthearted and comical as opposed to serious, angry female rivalries. They are a typical duo with Reba as the short deadpan snarker and Barbra Jean as the tall goofy one.

But see, that's the thing. Though Reba clearly shows her dislike for Barbra Jean, she sucks it up and tolerates her, but while often insulting her to her face and wanting absolutely nothing to do with her. Very rarely would a jilted wife in real life put up with the other woman's antics let alone even deal with her in a civilized manner. There are even times when she is the mediator between Barbra Jean and Brock when they go through a rough patch. What ex-wife would do this? This is probably why Barbra Jean misreads Reba's good nature.

However, Reba isn't perfect herself. A lot of times she has a lot of pride and thinks she knows what's best for everyone but she ends up having to eat her words. It especially pains her when she has to apologize to Barbra Jean or get her approval on things, particularly in my favorite episode "Date of Mirth" when Barbra Jean has a crush on her marriage counselor and Cheyenne and Van convince Reba to get permission from Barbra Jean to date him, and in the episode "Parenting with Puppets" when Reba is convinced that Barbra Jean's parenting tactics are incorrect, leading her to mistakenly blame Barbra Jean and Brock's son Henry for breaking a lamp.

But then again, Barbra Jean "BJ" Hart (nee Booker) (Peterman) using puppets as a parenting technique is pretty juvenile. But that is her nature. The reason why Reba can't stand her, other than the fact that she stole her husband, of course, is her immaturity and over the top personality. She often has these cutesy or crazy ideas with which Reba originally wants no involvement. However, Reba is eventually roped into Barbra Jean's schemes, such as when she takes Reba to see her marriage counselor to explain her crush issue in "Date of Mirth". Other examples are the time they diet together with Cheyenne in "Have Your Cake" and when she and Reba go out man hunting during Barbara Jean's separation from Brock, an activity that Reba surprisingly finds herself enjoying, in "The Two Girl Theory", two of my other favorite episodes.

Barbra Jean may be a pest, but she is also caring and a sweetheart. She is often the one to bring up the Lord or pray in the middle of a scene, though often dramatically. When I watch "Reba" episodes, I see people criticize Barbra Jean in the comments for this reason, saying that she is a phony praying and calling herself a Christian, yet getting pregnant by someone else's husband. Now is my chance to defend her.

Even though Barbra Jean may not realize that some of her words and actions done in innocence may aggravate Reba, she does recognize that she is a sinner. She feels a lot of guilt for what she did to her. She states this every so often, particularly in "The Ghost and Mrs. Hart" where she thinks that ghosts are haunting her because of the wrong she did to her "best friend." Perhaps Barbra Jean tries to forge a friendship with Reba to amend her wrongdoings. Does nobody think that maybe Barbra Jean is turning to Christianity because of the wrong she has done and is trying to make peace with God? For some reason, people seem to have this misconception that we Christians think we are perfect and preach it but don't act it. That couldn't be farther from the truth. As Christians we acknowledge that we are flawed and Barbra Jean is a fictional character that also does this.

Another person who acknowledges the error of her ways is Cheyenne Hart-Montgomery (Garcia), the pregnant teenager of this series. Like with Nikki Parker and Maya Wilkes, we see Cheyenne live with the aftermath of her actions, such as watching her juggle student life and motherhood, but unlike them, we watch her go through the actual pregnancy as well. During the first season, Cheyenne endures a lot of ostracizing and ridicule for her position, along with the fears of having to grow up too fast and put any of her aspirations on hold. Towards the end of Season 4 and into Season 5, she develops an alcohol problem to cope.

Notice too that all three teenage mothers in my series this year keep their babies and raise them. I find this interesting because no other option seems to be considered.

Though she is vain and ditzy, Cheyenne actually has a heart of gold. In "The King and I" it is suggested that she was kind to the nerdy kids in high school, she volunteers, and she's a very good mother to Elizabeth. Her partner-in-crime husband Van pretty much fits this description as well.

But the thing about Van is that his willingness to commit himself to Cheyenne is very unrealistic, just as unrealistic as Reba's strange relationship with Barbra Jean. I had this issue with the show when I first watched it too. In many cases, never is there the guy who impregnates a woman going to be the type of man Van is. Perhaps the show wanted to create a character like this to encourage deadbeat dads to stand up to the plate, but it also gives false pretenses to young women that guys are going to be like Van, when the sad reality is that they are more likely not. In the first episode of the series, he is willing to marry Cheyenne and the marriage lasts throughout the series even though oftentimes the two bicker about things and face bumps in the road. Regardless, they never separate like Brock and Reba and eventually Brock and Barbra Jean. Unlike the previous generation, Cheyenne and Van have a very successful partnership. Interestingly, Cheyenne is portrayed to anticipate and enjoy sex more than Van, so that is different.

Finally there is Kyra Hart (Pomers), who can basically be considered a sub-character, often involved in the sub-plots earlier in the series but receiving a bigger role as the story goes on. She is the smart sarcastic kid who is your typical middle child - often forgotten. Well, at least she feels this way. Towards the end of Season 2 and into Season 3, Kyra moves in with her father and Barbra Jean, feeling like there is no place for her in the filled Reba household. She is the rebellious one who often masks her feelings and makes fun of the stupidity of others, specifically that of Van, Cheyenne, and Barbra Jean.

Although she may come across as an antagonist, often stirring up conflicts to her advantage, there are moments when she softens her heart (Haha. Hart/heart again :P). A shining moment for her is in the episode "Mother's Intuition". In this episode, Kyra keeps canceling dinner plans with Reba and it is revealed at the end that the reason for this is that she needs to stay home to keep Barbra Jean, who is depressed because Brock has moved out, active in life. In the final scene Barbra Jean lacks motivation to go to the park with Kyra and Henry, but Kyra persuades her to get off the couch and join them, much to Barbra Jean's appreciation. What's nice about this is just that. We actually see a nice side to Kyra, and that is rare. She has a strong mean streak to her, especially towards Barbra Jean. It shows that she genuinely cares about her stepmother and has warmed up to her. It also shows that it is not impossible for Kyra to be kind. Kyra is also the one who usually reluctantly, yet willingly, takes part in Barbra Jean's shenanigans.

At the end of the series, Kyra begins to focus on music and has a band.

"Reba" was cancelled a bit suddenly as well, but at least this series has a decent finale that wraps everything up. During the final scene, everything is hunky dory. Cheyenne and Van are getting on their feet, Barbra Jean decides to not leave Texas for work so she could work out things with Brock, and Reba actually ends up finally calling Barbra Jean her best friend. Then Reba delivers the following monologue:
"I'm just so happy that all of our lives worked out...Six years ago I thought I was cursed. Turns out that I'm blessed. Blessed to be in the middle of the craziest, most dysfunctional, WONDERFUL life I could imagine. And I love all of you."
This gets Van all choked up and he suggests that they take a group photo to capture the moment (but really, the only reason why this is done is to mirror this same event that takes place in the closing scene of very first episode). Then Reba delivers the following line as an homage to the show's theme song "I'm a Survivor", sung by McEntire herself:
"We got through it all. Because we're survivors."
This ends the series with the picture being taken, accompanied by the song playing and audience applause in the background, and a final montage of scenes from the show.

I'm not sure if I like this series finale much either, so therefore I don't like any of the series finales on this list. lol :P

To me, everything ends too perfectly. I know that they were probably going for a happy ending, but this final scene insinuates that because the show is over, their lives are essentially over and they will never have any more problems because they "got through it all." It's as if because it was the series finale, it had to be entirely conclusive with everything tied in a precious bow.

But then again, the whole show is like that, so you have to take it for what it is. It has its serious moments, sure, but ultimately it's a sweet show about family and crazy family members and experiences. Perhaps instead of emulating everyday life, "Reba" is there to give us hope of what life could be and that it's possible that we all can have a positive outcome.

Well, that is all for this year's "Fictional Woman of the Week"! I hope you enjoyed this spin on it! Happy Women's History Month, everyone! We'll see what I'll cook up next year! :D

Monday, March 23, 2015

Real Influential Women Role Models (Real and Fictitious) - Fictional Woman of the Week: The Women from "Girlfriends" (2000-2008)

"Girlfriends" is my most intense sitcom on this year's list, and by intense I mean that it covers more serious issues than the other two do. The show discusses jealousy, sex, weddings, failed marriages, being a black woman in today's America, and AIDS, which is somewhat rare for a sitcom. Though other sitcoms may include it, this sitcom focuses on it a bit more heavily. It's actually pretty educational in regards to AIDS, especially in the episode "The Pact". Even though all three shows bring God and religion into the equation, "Girlfriends" is the one that tended to do it the most often.

The show follows the lives of four professional women. They also have a male friend in William (Reggie Hayes), but the main focus of the series is the female camaraderie.

Of course I would like it. :)

TV Tropes

I started watching this show again because I noticed that Tracee Ellis Ross, who played "Girlfriends" lead character Joan, is now in the new ABC comedy "Black-ish".

Out of all four ladies, I always felt like I related to Joan Clayton, Esq. (Ross) the most. Joan is a lawyer but eventually in Season 5 opens up a restaurant called "The J-Spot". She is considered the mom of the group and is not as free-spirited as the others. However, she is very loyal and usually the voice of reason. Even though all four women are the show's main characters, she's the rock that holds the story together. Without Joan Clayton, we wouldn't have "Girlfriends". We see her perspectives the most. In the beginning episodes, she would even break the fourth wall so we could see her inner thoughts.

I also like how she often addresses her friends as "You guys."

However, watching it again as an adult made me realize her negatives more.

Throughout the whole series she is on the search for a husband. This is her main goal, which now that I think about it when writing this series, is a change of pace. Here we have a professional woman looking to be a wife when normally female characters would more likely be wives looking to have professional lives.

This isn't a bad thing to want nor is Joan a horrible person, but at times in her quest to find true love she can be very insecure and in other circumstances get too involved where she shouldn't. Then there are times where she is not as loyal as she could be and tends to be selfish and condescending, even though this is not her intention. She is just trying to juggle her friends and priorities, which proves difficult for her.

Most of her problems in the show involve her childhood best friend, real estate agent Antoinette "Toni" Childs (Jill Marie Jones). Because Toni was always there for Joan in the past, Joan feels indebted to her and is quick to give her the benefit of the doubt whenever she wrongs her. Even though Toni is often there for Joan and is the first one Joan turns to in times of trouble, like when she thinks that she is pregnant in "Pregnant Pause", Toni is often Joan's main antagonist that causes her unnecessary stress. She is usually portrayed as the bad guy because, like I said before, the show is from Joan's perspective. Their on-again, off-again friendship is much of the show's conflict, especially early in Season 2 when Joan goes to therapy because of her. Another example is the story arc in the last half of Season 3, which consists of Toni preparing for her wedding to Todd (Jason Pace) with Joan persistently and obviously being jealous of her.

Toni stands up for others and herself, but her narcissism and self-centeredness is her trademark at an extreme degree and she is often prone to hasty actions. She is very confident in herself, especially her looks, though she comes across vain, and like Joan she too tries to be there for her friends. She prefers the finer things in life because she grew up poor, but when she finally has her child Morgan with Todd, she matures and becomes a devoted mother.

Both Joan and Toni have qualities that don't make audiences totally despise them, but they both also come with baggage and drama, which they acknowledge. This makes them more human as opposed to archetype, cartoonish characters. There are many layers to them. Their roller coaster friendship is such an important aspect of the show that the hostility between the two even continues after Season 6 when the Toni Childs character is terminated, thus terminating the friendship once and for all because Joan missed Toni's custody hearing even though she promised she would be there. Jones decided to leave the show and her character, who is now separated from Todd, moves to New York so that Morgan could be with her father, leaving Joan feeling withdrawals and guilt. This plot point is very evident in the Season 7 episode "Everybody Hates Monica".

The other two women in their "four girl ensemble" are a bit more real and straightforward and less likely to get into high school drama but are also very loyal friends, though often caught in the middle of the Joan/Toni disputes. The first of the two is Maya Wilkes (Golden Brooks). She is introduced as Joan's secretary and assistant and is the teenage mother of the series, her son Jabari a recurring character. At first she and Toni don't get along because they come from opposite worlds, but eventually they warm up to each other.

Maya is the character that is most like everyday people. She isn't rich like Joan or Toni but struggles to make ends meet. Perhaps the fact that she is a mother makes her more down to earth than the rest and we see how good she is to her son throughout the series. She is the one with the quick wit and snarky remarks that often uses sarcasm to respond to and make fun of situations. She coins the phrase, "Oh, HELL no!" Lol. I love that. I think she says it at least once in every episode. I always like the way she expresses herself, even her laughter. She also mentions once that she loves her some Jon Bon Jovi. That's not very important but it needs to be included in this regardless. lol

Like Nikki Parker, Maya too tries to go to school and get her degree, but her stress in piecing together her life and having conflicts with her husband Darnell (Khalil Kain) emotionally leads her into the arms of another man, Stan, who is first introduced in "Maya Takes a Stan". This causes a separation between Maya and Darnell, but they eventually get back together by the end of the series. She also becomes an author of a self-help book entitled Oh, Hell YES!, so that's pretty cool.

Finally, we come to the comic relief and the character most post-graduates could relate to the most, Lynn Searcy (Persia White). I call her a comic relief because she's the one laid back character that has most of the funny lines in spite of everything, but it's not like she's only there for that reason. She seems to be more of a side character, and maybe she is at the beginning, but she eventually becomes a more solid character and has her own serious storylines, which get more and more serious as the series goes on and she matures as it progresses. She's also half white and was adopted and raised by a white family, thus adding more details to her.

Lynn is Joan and Toni's bohemian friend from college who is always crashing at her friends' places. In fact, now that I think about it, I don't think she ever has her own place in the entire series. She holds five post-graduate degrees but yet lacks motivation to find a job and struggles to keep one. She cares more about developing her creative side, being the artistic one of the group. She dresses like a hipster, attends poetry slams, and eventually makes a documentary about African American women and the AIDS epidemic.

My favorite Lynn-centered episode is "Take This Poem and Call Me in the Morning". In this episode, Lynn meets her love interest Sivad, a poet who performs at one of the slams Lynn attends and is the one who inspires her to make the AIDS documentary. She finds out that he is celibate, which marks her relationship with him a huge story arc for her. Out of all four women, Lynn is the most sexually experienced and experimental. Sex is a huge part of her character and she is very open about it. Sometimes it is used for comedy, but other times it's a big factor in her relationship with men that can either make her or break her. At first she hides this from Sivad and tells him that she is celibate too in order to get closer to him, but he eventually finds out that she is lying. They then agree to become a couple anyway with Lynn willing to repress her sexuality to be with him. Knowing how sexually driven she is, seeing her willing to surrender that about herself for love is a very mature move for her and renders respect.

Lynn utters one of my favorite lines in this episode. I liked it so much that I put it under my Facebook quotes. She equates sex with freedom, so after the poetry slam at the end of the episode when she and Savid are discussing her sexuality, Lynn says:
"My sexuality has been my spirituality."
This was so profound to me when I first heard it. It's beautiful. I never really linked sex and worship together before but her saying this made a lot of sense to me. This brought up to me a whole new way to express spirituality and a whole new way to connect to God, though she is referring more to a connection between two people. Sex is a beautiful thing that is often tarnished by media, so therefore Lynn saying this reiterates the true intention of sex.

However, it comes to a point where Lynn can no longer handle her new celibate lifestyle and the two decide to call it quits and have a mutual breakup the following season in "Snoop, There It Is". Even this is handled good-heartedly and maturely. It's actually pretty impressive that she lasted as long as she did, so I consider this storyline a turning point for her character. Towards the end of the series, Lynn finds music and starts a band called "Indigo Skye". She is seen singing, songwriting, and playing the guitar.

As you can see, this was a very deep show. It had eight very good seasons, but unfortunately it did not get the series finale it deserved when it was cancelled in 2008 and abruptly ended with no satisfying conclusion.

Next week's sitcom had a decent series finale, but it was too good to be true. In fact, the whole series was too good to be true. There's your clue. Stay tuned and thank you for reading! :)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Real Influential Women Role Models (Real and Fictitious) - Fictional Woman of the Week: The Women from "The Parkers" (1999-2004)

The first installment of our series this year is the women from "The Parkers", which was a "Moesha" spin-off. I've been wanting to talk about it, so I decided to use this chance to do so.

Wikipedia

This show has a mother/daughter theme. Nikki Parker, the mother of the duo, was played by Mo'nique. I've realized that in every installment of my list this year, there is a character that went through a teenage pregnancy, and Nikki is the first of the three. Nikki actually made my "Fictional Woman of the Week" list last year, so therefore I'm not going to discuss her too much in-depth now, but she's still worth talking about in this blog post.

Because she got pregnant in high school, Nicole "Nikki" Parker (Mo'nique) missed out on college to raise her daughter Kimberly Ann Parker (Countess Vaughn). So when her daughter attends Santa Monica College, Nikki joins her.

What I like about the show now as an adult, other than its slapstick humor, is the college setting. I loved college life, so because a lot of the scenes of this show is set on their college campus, particularly their student center, it appeals to me. The concept itself is interesting. It's very rare that you see a mother going to college with her daughter, which makes this show unique.

Regardless of how irrational she may be when it comes to her unrequited love for Professor Stanley Oglevee (Dorien Wilson), which is the main plot of the show, there are many admirable qualities about Nikki. She is very devoted to her family, friends, education, and business. She's very strict sometimes, but for good reason. She is often encouraging others and seems to have a very positive outlook on life. At the end of the series, she finally graduates college and gets her man.

Kimberly "Kim" Ann Parker (Vaughn) is actually the complete opposite of her mother. Even though she is just as devoted to friends and family as Nikki is, education is not her top priority. Unlike the rest of the characters, she doesn't graduate college by the end of the series.

She's actually pretty much considered the "dumb one" of the group. Most of the goofy one-liners come from her, much to the others' frustration at times. However, this being said, she also has a lot of innocence and has this cuteness about her, especially her giggles. She's the relatable, childlike, sweet character that ends up learning life lessons throughout the series and we watch her grow up. At the end of the day she has a decent amount of common sense and ability to make her own decisions and learn from them. Even though she is not book smart, there are times when we see her very worldly wise as she tries to stay faithful to her beliefs.

One shining moment of hers that comes to mind is during the Season 3 premiere. In the Season 2 finale, her boyfriend dies in a fire and leaves behind his baby girl and in the Season 3 premiere, Kim is determined to raise the baby herself, much to Nikki's dislike. Not wanting Kim to throw her life away for something that is not her responsibility, Nikki contacts the biological mother, leaving Kim angry with her. This episode was shining for Kim because this is one of the few times we see her acting like a mature adult taking things seriously. She was willing to raise the child and was disgusted by how the mother just abandoned her daughter. At the end of the episode, however, Kim gives the mother advice on how to be a good mom because Nikki left such a good example for her and is at peace with the situation.

In addition to all of this, Kim is a talented singer and fashion designer.

Next up is Kim's best friend, Stevie Van Lowe (Jenna von Oÿ), and the more I think about it, the more I realize that Stevie isn't very special lol.

Well, okay, let me talk about her first. She's a foil to Kim when it comes to smarts. She is very studious but, like Kim, has a singing talent. In fact, the two of them, along with their male friend "T" (Ken Lawson), whom Stevie dates for awhile, have their own singing group called "Freestyle Unity". She and Kim actually plan to go into business together by the end of the series. Unlike Kim, she has a very estranged relationship with her mother and often goes into bitter rapid rants about her.

...But that's all there really is to Stevie. There's nothing very exciting about her nor does she really add or take away anything from the show. I think the thing with her is that she's the "straight man" of the group, meaning that she's usually the most sensible and serious out of everyone and to maintain that role she is probably considered the least funny. She's the least likely to get into antics or be comical while in them, so therefore she's not going to be quite as memorable. But that doesn't mean that she isn't likable or influential. She has a lot of good qualities for her to deserve a spot on this list and this type of character is sometimes needed in comedy. She's basically a female companion for Kim and a decent person as seen from her actions, and that's all there is to it.

Finally, we come full circle to Nikki's best friend Andell Wilkerson (Yvette Wilson). Andell doesn't appear until the second season. In the first season Nikki originally has a best friend in a character named Desiree, and although Desiree is kindhearted, her personality proves blander than Stevie's, so thankfully she was replaced with someone with more pizzazz.

Unlike Stevie, Andell is more likely to chase after men and hilariously get herself into jams with Nikki, whether it is dressing in drag to get a signed jersey from Shaq ("Sign of the Shaq") or being trapped on a window ledge to get concert tickets from Tweet ("Kim's 21st Birthday"). However, like Stevie, she is the sarcastic friend who uses that very trait to knock some sense into her Parker friend. Normally Andell is sucked into Nikki's antics, especially when it involves her obsession over the Professor, but she always proves to be a good friend as she sticks up for Nikki and always stands by her side. In fact, even though she is the one who normally talks against Nikki's desired union with the Professor, wanting her friend to find love in the arms of another man who legitimately cares for her, she is the one who finally acknowledges their love for each other and brings them together in the series finale. After she locks Stanley in the closet, that is.

Andell is also a business woman. From Season 3 on, she owns a eatery named "Andell's".

Even though this is a show about close mother and daughter relationships, which is something that Nikki and Kim clearly do have, their heartwarming love for each other the core of the show, this is a show about friendship as well, even though the friendship theme is a bit more secondary.

However, next week's "Fictional Woman of the Week" centers fully on the friendship of women. That's your clue. Mull it over and see if you can guess what show it is and let me know your guesses in the comments. Stay tuned and thanks for reading! :)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Real Influential Women Role Models (Real and Fictitious) - Fictional Woman of the Week: Reloaded

Hello, everyone! I know I haven't been posting a lot during Women's History Month this year, which is what I normally do. However, I would like to before the month ends. Last year I was more prepared to deliver and right after March was over brainstormed about who to write about the following year. I came up with a decent series and I was excited to write about it, but then as the year went on it just sat there and I lost my motivation with it. I still plan on using it at some point for I still believe it is a good series of women to discuss, so therefore I am not going to disclose my ideas to you just yet.

This year, however, I will write spotlights not only on individual women from certain TV shows, but some of television's leading women. I've always wanted to write about the women from "Sex and the City" for "Real Influential Women Role Models (Real and Fictitious)" since that series began, and even the women from "Three's Company" found their way into my brainstorming for this year, but I decided to narrow it down a bit more.

There are times when at night I would binge watch sitcoms on YouTube from the early 2000s because I remember watching these when I was younger and like going back to them. This is something that I've been doing for the past few months and I see them differently now as an adult. I then noticed something that all of these sitcoms have in common: They are all lead by women. So therefore this year I would like to dedicate "Real Influential Women Role Models (Real and Fictitious) - Fictional Woman of the Week" to the women from these particular sitcoms. There's only three of them that I've been watching really, and there are three Mondays left of Women's History Month, so therefore it should fit well like last year's did.

Something I noticed about the women in my list is that they are all very flawed in some way, especially when compared to the perfect housewife women of earlier sitcoms. This makes them different and perhaps even more admirable, so this should be interesting.

The more I think about it, the more I am realizing that the women this year have a lot in common, so I'm excited.

The first one should be rolling around this upcoming Monday, or at least earlier in the week. I have other things to take care of as well so I'll do my best to deliver these for you. :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

#ThingsWritersGetExcitedAbout

This is a hashtag I use on Twitter sometimes. I use it to describe situations that only writers and readers would fully appreciate. Something happened today that is too much to fit into a tweet and worth more than a Facebook post, so I decided to dedicate a blog post to it.

Earlier today I went to Sprague Library on Montclair State University's campus with my father. This is something we do every so often. There is a small section on the first floor called "Pop Picks", which consists of recommended modern fiction and non-fiction and is pretty much one of the only sections in this library with this genre, so I go there to browse.

The last time I went to Sprague, I returned this book called The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks, which is from this section. I didn't finish it, but according to the library's policy, you can't renew a book unless you are a student, so I had to return it and wait until next time.

I was concerned about this though. The last time I returned a book, The Obituary Writer by Ann Hood, I never saw it in the "Pop Picks" section since. That one I at least finished and adored, so I was concerned that I would never see Sparks's book again on the shelf.

So today I went over to the "Pop Picks" section again to look for The Wedding. At first I had no luck. Let me explain how this section is set up. I left my camera at home so bear with me. I would've taken pictures of this with it. The top three shelves have the books displayed with their frontal book covers facing out whereas the bottom two shelves has books stacked together side by side with only their spines visible, which is what you would usually see at most libraries and bookstores.

I studied this section more because this is where I found the book last time. I was feeling discouraged because I kept seeing the same books I always see there and not my books. Then I looked up and on the second or third shelf, right in front of me with its cover facing out, was The Obituary Writer! I gasped I was so shocked and excited! I wasn't sure if I would ever see it again! After feeling thrilled about this, I resumed my search for The Wedding, because finding the other book gave me hope. Wouldn't you know that three books to the left of The Obituary Writer was The Wedding??? Usually the same books are displayed like this on the top two shelves but now my two books were! They were both right next to each other on the same shelf looking out! Now they are not lost from me! I thought this was a very cool coincidence. So then I took out the book and plan on reading this rest of it. :)

I also took out a book about Aphra Behn, the first female writer to get paid for her work. She paved the way for me and many others. I'm thinking about writing a blog post about her for my "Real Influential Women Role Models (Real and Fictitious)" series for Women's History Month.