My New Business Adventure

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Just a few short weeks ago, as a way to gain more experience, fill my free time, and make extra money for a trip I'm saving for, I began my own website as a freelance writer and editor. The site features various services I'll be offering, (article and blog writing, website copy, editing, creative writing, etc.) as well as some estimated prices, information about me, and a portfolio of some of my past work.

I would love to take on more writing and editing clients on a freelance basis. I can write content for your website or business, edit a blog post, write an article, or even create a personalized story for you to read to your child.

If you're at all interested, please take a moment to look at my website. Contact me via my website if you have any interest or questions. Or, if you don't need a writer, but you know someone who does, send my information their way! I would love the opportunity to do great work for anyone who needs it!

https://annieburdickfreelance.com/


The Basics:

Who: Anyone who needs an awesome writer or editor for anything!
Why: Because I promise to do excellent, timely work for you, ensuring to engage your audience or impress your toughest clients. I'm also a very versatile writer and I offer affordable prices!
How: Check out my website and Facebook page. Fill out a contact form via my website and you'll hear back from me very soon!

Book Review: The Fifth Petal

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry

Salem’s chief of police, John Rafferty, now married to gifted lace reader Towner Whitney, investigates a 25-year-old triple homicide dubbed “The Goddess Murders,” in which three young women, all descended from accused Salem witches, were slashed one Halloween night. Aided by Callie Cahill, the daughter of one of the victims who has returned to town, Rafferty begins to uncover a dark chapter in Salem’s past. 

Callie, who has always been gifted with premonitions, begins to struggle with visions she doesn’t quite understand and an attraction to a man who has unknown connections to her mother’s murder. Neither believes that the main suspect, Rose Whelan, respected local historian and sometime-aunt to Callie, is guilty of murder or witchcraft. But exonerating Rose might mean crossing paths with a dangerous force. 

Were the women victims of an all-too-human vengeance, or was the devil raised in Salem that night? And if they cannot discover what truly happened, will evil rise again?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Wow. The best part of this book, by far, are the characters. They take a great story and elevate it by leaps and bounds. Though I'd probably know more backstory on some of them if I read the "previous" book (and I probably will), I was fully invested. I love Callie. What a champ. 

When I was in middle school and early high school, I was fascinated by the Salem Witch Trials. I read several books about them just for fun and was so entranced when, on a trip to Boston, my family made a day's stop in Salem, the place where it all happened. This younger nerd in me needed this book. It felt like it was written just for the me of 7 years ago. The mystery, supernatural elements, and suspense of this book were very impressive. The pacing really sped up in the middle of the book and drove me on to the next page every second while I was reading. 

The writing in this book is very impressive and instantly intriguing. I'm very glad I had the opportunity to read this book, though it certainly spooked me at times too.

Book links for Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble.


I received an advanced copy of this book from TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest review. Check out the rest of the tour here!

A Few of My Poems

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

These are revised versions of several poems I wrote and edited in my poetry class last semester. They are some of my personal favorites pulled from a larger completed portfolio.

Yawn

I.                    
Stranger--
you and your gaping mouth
eyes clenched tight
with me walking by
on a street I never bother to
 remember
transfixed on something
mundane.
I fall in
sliding (stumbling?) into warm darkness.
I am the cold-weakened creature
preparing for hibernation
with my backpack on.

I’ve tried to understand
but can’t
something about
the black hole on
your stranger’s face makes
an escapist of me.

II.                 

Inside my darkened cave
I grumble and whimper
and wait for the sun’s
sweet return.
As salty rays trickle in
you may feel me clambering back
out of your yawn

back to the forgettable street
where I watch the strange faces pass
and forget yours almost immediately.

III.              

As I walk on frozen
hoof-feet numbed by slush
my heart feels frozen,
but not by subzero chill

every face I pass by
reminds me that every-
one is in pain too
            some
            days
and I wonder where
their hurt lives

whether they’re like me,
hiding it behind smiles and loud stories



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Anachronism


:a thing belonging or appropriate to a period other than that in which it exists, especially a thing that is conspicuously old-fashioned

Alt. definition: the speaker

The modernists tell me I should be happy when I look around and see a world of progress, innovation and momentum


But all I’ve found is progress polluted by suffering and the sweat of the people with bosses standing on their shoulders, pushing down with weighted shoes, eyes desperately scanning for the next big thing

I see people with translucent ropes of technology around their necks and wrists, their nooses tightening slowly so they have time to adjust to less air in their lungs and pressure on their forearms

I see a culture that blames the person and never the root—he should work harder, she asked for it, someone has to be at the bottom, I don’t want to be at the bottom


I see a world filled with people who don’t know why they fight. Maybe they do it just to feel like something is happening, that their fists and guns have a purpose, that they have a purpose

I see young people, raised to doubt their neighbors rather than love them. Raised not to look people in the eye, but to keep their eyes locked to a screen where I’m sure they feel so much safer


I see a lack of everything I know past decades. Simple kindness, simple joy, simply being present.



Am I wrong to feel unsatisfied?


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Train People

Across from me a man leans against the train door with 20 pens clipped around the collar of his shirt,
a colorful plastic necklace with a chain of dirty cotton fabric

A man in a wheelchair takes up the entire aisle,
bright pink hair and seven layers of sweaters catching the eye of every other passenger

Once in a while there are people clutching cats and every time there are others who stare blankly or lustfully. Once, there are homeless men fighting, throwing words and fists that startle us, the new college students sitting across the aisle.

The assholes trying to “secretly” take pictures of that girl across the way don’t surprise me and I’m sad that I’m so accustomed to things like this, sad that I don’t feel comfortable enough to say anything, because any other day I might be the girl getting my ass photographed. I wonder if that girl would have stood up for me.


Probably not. The train doesn’t feel like the place for courage
I’m a turtle in its shell and she probably is too


 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Real-Life Princess

What bodies with blurred faces
and meaty hands poised over
their keyboards
dragging and formatting
the perfect women
decided that these were
what we wanted all
every girl to emulate
for generations
?

Did they ever think to give
Jasmine a weak chin
thick legs and a soft
supple belly from
years of living without want
or the frizzy hair of
a girl in salty heat
?

Is it possible that
Cinderella developed OCD
and refused to leave a room
without turning on and off
each light ten times
or wiping down the door
knob, perfectly trained to
self-destruct after years
of slave labor and confinement
?

I assume Rapunzel
would have anxiety
disorder by now, being
held like a zoo animal
in one small room and
constantly lied to.
would you live that way
And still sing and dance
rather than panic and pull
out every hair you have
?

What if Belle had PTSD?
Snow White could be a schizophrenic
Sleeping Beauty might need pills
to manage her depression
and maybe if all of them were
a little less polished

{
hair not perfect every day
waist not unreasonably tiny
and eyes not grotesquely oversized
}

All of the little girls who love them
would love themselves just as much



November/December/January Wrap-Up

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

I've been lazy and busy a lot the last few months, and therefore haven't done a wrap-up since October. To make amends, here is what I read in November and December and January.


1. Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
5/5
Genre: Sci-fi, dystopian, literary fiction
Goodreads link

2. Beauty and Attention by Liz Rosenberg
4/5
Genre: Historical fiction, literary fiction
Goodreads link

3. Goodbye, Columbus by Philip Roth
4/5
Genre: Classic, literary fiction
Goodreads link

4. The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
4.5/5
Genre: Fantasy
Goodreads link

5. The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
 (#2 in series)
5/5
Genre: Fantasy
Goodreads link



6. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
5/5
Genre: YA/middle grade, family drama, fantasy
Goodreads link

7. Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
4.5/5
Genre: Memoir, humor
Goodreads link

8. The Fireman by Joe Hill
4.5/5
Genre: Dystopian, sci-fi, adventure, literary fiction
Goodreads link


9. Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson
4/5
Genre: Suspense, mystery, thriller
Goodreads link

10. The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket
(book #4 in Series of Unfortunate Events)
(childhood re-read)
3.5/5
Genre: Middle grade, adventure, mystery
Goodreads link

11. The Girls by Emma Cline
4/5
Genre: Historical fiction, drama, crime
Goodreads link

12. Disinheritance by John Sibley Williams
4/5
Genre: Poetry
Goodreads link



Book Review: Disinheritance

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Disinheritance: poems by John Sibley Williams
4/5

Synopsis: A lyrical, philosophical, and tender exploration of the various voices of grief, including those of the broken, the healing, the son-become-father, and the dead, Disinheritance acknowledges loss while celebrating the uncertainty of a world in constant revision. From the concrete consequences of each human gesture to soulful interrogations into "this amalgam of real / and fabled light," these poems inhabit an unsteady betweenness, where ghosts can be more real than the flesh and blood of one's own hands.


Review: This is an incredibly powerful and moving book of poems. I'll confess I'm definitely not a poetry expert. I've taken poetry classes and love reading it, but I don't always understand every poem and I don't always know how to identify what is good poetry and what is not. The only thing I can judge poetry by now is how it makes me feel as a reader, how the words affect me and stick with me. 

This is why I know that these are excellent poems. As is the case with most books of poetry, I loved some poems and cared less for others. This is a personal taste thing, and everyone who reads this book will certainly choose different favorites. However, the overall theme of this poetry--the experiences of loss, grief and sadness on the path of a normal life-- had a strong effect on me. The writing is beautiful and at times very haunting. There are several "personas" that are threaded throughout a variety of the poems, which adds a great element of continuity to the collection. All in all, this writing impressed me deeply and this little poetry book is very well worth the read. 

Some of my favorite poems: "Things Start at Their Names", "I Sit My Grandfather by the Mouth of the Columbia River", "Procession", "Echo Chamber" and "Preparations Have Been Made"


Quote:

"...
I want again for all impossible

unsullied things,
like a fistful of stars

a fistful
of meaningful stars,

an impossible destination
to warm their bodies.

A reliable compass
made of broken arms."

-from "Forbidden Travel"


Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my completely honest review.

Goodreads link
Amazon link
Author Website


Top 10 of 2016

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Yes, this is late, but I got inspired to decide on my top 10 books of 2016, so here they are. I read a lot of awesome stuff, and some not great stuff, but these are the ones that stuck with me the most, that I couldn't stop recommending and that I rated the highest.


10. Rat Queens (Mostly Volumes 1 and 2) by Kurtis J. Weibe
Why It's Awesome: Amazing art, badass heroines, hilarious and dark


9. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Why It's Awesome: Interesting concept, fast pacing, twists I definitely didn't expect



8. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Why It's Awesome: Incredible writing, deep and complex characters, heartbreaking and honest story

7. Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Why It's Awesome: Defies second book slump, action-filled, political intrigue, ass kicking heroine

6. Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane
Why It's Awesome: Intense mind games, shock and awe, excellent writing

5. This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
Why It's Awesome: Ummm...monsters vs. humans. Also, amazing characters and structure


4. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows
Why It's Awesome: It's insanely funny, creative and historically based

3. Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
Why It's Awesome: Great characters, shockingly realistic, suspenseful and fascinating



2. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
Why It's Awesome: I DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO DESCRIBE THIS IT'S JUST INCREDIBLE


1. The Lunar Chronicles Series by Marissa Meyer
Why It's Awesome: One of the most addicting, creative, intelligent series I have ever encountered

Book Review: Her Every Fear

Monday, January 16, 2017

Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson
4/5


The author of the wildly popular The Kind Worth Killing returns with an electrifying and downright Hitchcockian psychological thriller—as tantalizing as the cinema classics Rear Window and Wait Until Dark—involving a young woman caught in a vise of voyeurism, betrayal, manipulation, and murder.

The danger isn’t all in your head . . .

Growing up, Kate Priddy was always a bit neurotic, experiencing momentary bouts of anxiety that exploded into full blown panic attacks after an ex-boyfriend kidnapped her and nearly ended her life. When Corbin Dell, a distant cousin in Boston, suggests the two temporarily swap apartments, Kate, an art student in London, agrees, hoping that time away in a new place will help her overcome the recent wreckage of her life.

But soon after her arrival at Corbin’s grand apartment on Beacon Hill, Kate makes a shocking discovery: his next-door neighbor, a young woman named Audrey Marshall, has been murdered. When the police question her about Corbin, a shaken Kate has few answers, and many questions of her own—curiosity that intensifies when she meets Alan Cherney, a handsome, quiet tenant who lives across the courtyard, in the apartment facing Audrey’s. 
Alan saw Corbin surreptitiously come and go from Audrey’s place, yet he’s denied knowing her. Then, Kate runs into a tearful man claiming to be the dead woman’s old boyfriend, who insists Corbin did the deed the night that he left for London.

When she reaches out to her cousin, he proclaims his innocence and calms her nerves . . . until she comes across disturbing objects hidden in the apartment—and accidentally learns that Corbin is not where he says he is. Could Corbin be a killer? And what about Alan? Kate finds herself drawn to this appealing man who seems so sincere, yet she isn’t sure. Jetlagged and emotionally unstable, her imagination full of dark images caused by the terror of her past, Kate can barely trust herself . . . So how could she take the chance on a stranger she’s just met?

Yet the danger Kate imagines isn’t nearly as twisted and deadly as what’s about to happen. When her every fear becomes very real.

And much, much closer than she thinks.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

A suspenseful thrilling ride with gripping plot turns and fascinating characters. I love the perspective of a character with anxiety disorder, which is something I can relate to personally. Kate is a complex person, written and developed very well by Swanson.


Such intrigue. In the first half I was constantly second guessing my own opinions about what was happening and who did what, which is awesome to have in a suspenseful book. Swanson's writing is engaging and stimulating. It made for a very quick and enjoyable read!

You do discover the answer to the main question fairly early on, but then the rest of the book is spent slowly giving away more information and details to build the full picture, all leading up to the dramatic and suspenseful climactic moments.

I felt that a few parts could be more developed or longer to expand upon the suspense of the situation, but truly this book was very intense and extremely hard to put down! The characters and situations felt real because of the details and the writing. That makes for an awesome mystery/suspense novel. I'll definitely be reading Swanson's other books soon.



Thank you to TLC Book Tours and HarperCollins for sponsoring the tour for this book! Check out the rest of the tour stops here
 
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