I once wanted a manual on how to deal with grief because I was falling apart two years ago, but despite my experience, I'm no better equipped to deal with this than I was then and I'm still trying to wrap my head around it all. Some of my classmates and college mates passed away and I'm trying to make sense of it all. As I'm writing this, I'm hitting the backspace key on my keyboard because nothing really captures it-- the memories that are flooding back, how I once said hi as he stood by the water fountain and I was walking to my friend's room and how I briefly saw the other guy as I walked into class.

It's strange how everything hit the news so fast, even to me, a person whose extracurriculars revolve around the news, and how nothing the news really says-- the cold hard facts, will really capture who these people were. For many, it'll just be another tragic story but for my college community, it's personal. I had lived in the same dorm and we had mutual friends. Although our interactions were brief, a hi here and there when we ran into each other, whether it was in dorm or on campus, it was given that I would be seeing him when we came back this year. I had seen him the earlier in the day that he passed away. He was sitting with my friend in both of my classes. I never knew the other men, as the news likes to call them, but I did see them in passing a couple times. It's weird to see them called adults because to all of us, we're still young and childhood was only a couple years ago.

It's surreal to see their faces on the news.

It's still hard to wrap my head around the idea that they're gone.


Two years ago, I fell in love with writing-- the whole therapeutic aspect of it all and it helped me deal with a lot of things that were happening. And as always, I'm turning back again to the same unfinished work-in-process to make sense of everything that's happened in my life

Momento mori. Yesterday, my biology professor said that we are at the prime of our lives and by graduation, we'd be physically going down hill. We laughed, because we're (almost) invincible. We're young and we have everything in front of us.  As I turned around, I saw a flashes of faces go by-- people I've lived with, people I've seen around and it's weird how hours later, I'm never going to see them again. 
I know now that we never get over great losses; we absorb them, and they carve us into different, often kinder, creatures...We tell the story to get them back, to capture the traces of footfalls through the snow.”-- Gail Caldwell, Let's Take the Long Way Home
We are made up of the stories, the memories and the people that we know, however cursory. My condolences go out to the families, friends and fellow community.

I'll be posting sporadically in the coming weeks and I hope you'll still be along for the ride.

Tech Meets Books// The Geek's Guide to Dating by Eric Smith

I really liked making this week's Tech Meets Books wallpaper. I met the very cool Eric Smith at BEA this year and got a signed copy of The Geek's Guide to Dating. I somehow made small talk about Philly, which was a feat because I tend to be unintelligible when I meet authors.

Philly holds a special place in my heart and it's so great seeing it change for the better in the past decade. Philly is also where the Quirk Books headquarters is, so I was filled with a lot of Philly-love at once. (On an unrelated note, if you're ever in the area, Omoi Zakka on Pine St. and S. 16th St in downtown Philly is a design/Japan lover's delight.  They have so many pretty, whimsical things from stationery to daily items such as alarm clocks. If you're not, they have an online store as well.)

The Geek's Guide to Dating is a cute book filled with dating advice skewed toward geeks (including book lovers) and the dating advice is practical. It was incredibly fun to read and I loved how there were 8-bit illustrations throughout the book.

And as usual, I made a wallpaper inspired by the book and I wanted to do something with 8-bit, which I've never really done before. I hope you like the wallpaper!

Geek's Guide to Dating Wallpaper
Download link below the jump

Creative Spaces// Design Inspiration

It's no secret that I really enjoy design, whether it's book covers, typography, or interior design and I recently made a Pintrest account to collect and sort inspiration from around the web. Before I made an account, I didn't really understand the Pintrest craze but now that I have an account, I totally understand. Collect those pretty pictures and pin, pin, pin.

Here are some of my favorite work spaces that I found and I love that a lot of these are DIY friendly.
What I love about this is that it's really vibrant and bright. Although it's not the "typical" bookcase, it still does it's job done. It's a collection of IKEA boxes that are painted and then stacked. Super simple yet pretty. (photo via Marie Merseir)

Insta-books (3)

Insta-books is back! I really love looking at photos and books so here's another round up bookish Instagrammers.

Indie Magazines that I Love

I don't read books on a regular, punctual basis. Hold up, you say, you blog about books. How does that even work? I binge read a lot since free time comes and goes. Since I have magazine subscriptions that more or less come on a punctual basis, so I end up reading magazines regularly. While I enjoy reading the usual Time, National Geographic, Vogue/TeenVogue, and Nylon, I also independent magazines.

Independent magazines aren't as well known but the quality are just as good, in many cases, better than their big-name magazine counterparts.  They're chock full of wonderful writing, photography and design as well as for the most part, ad-free content, which is a rarity these days. 

I find usually find myself opening one, cracking one open, as I study for exams. Procrastination at its best. Jokes aside, here are some of my favorite indie magazines. 

Kinfolk Cherry Bombe Paper Darling Magazines

Tech Meets Books// In the Age of Love and Chocolate

I'm back with another installation of Tech Meets Books! Back when I read All These Things I've Done, I said that I didn't really want to read another series. Well, I take those words back because I ended up reading the Birthright trilogy and I loved In the Age of Love and Chocolate, the final book in the trilogy. So in typical fashion, I made a wallpaper and I hope you like it!

Download link below the jump

Review// Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater

I picked up a copy of Sinner at BEA earlier this summer and read it all mostly in one go. It's enjoyable, even if it's mostly a companion book of sorts to the Shiver trilogy, which I haven't read.

Stiefvater writes in the author's note at the beginning of the story:
"As I wrote the hot-cold relationship of two people who took turns being the sinner and the sin, I puzzled out how a place like L.A could both destroy a person and build them into something impossible and new... It's also despite the shape-shifting, the truest novel I've written. I hope that those who don't need the truth in it will only see the werewolf and I hope that those who do need the truth will see only the human." 
When I first read these lines, I couldn't take it seriously but in many ways it's true. Sinner is about two characters who aren't perfect and are incredibly flawed yet still manage to find satisfaction and happiness. Does that mean that I need to see the truth? Haha, maybe.