Confessions of a Journal Hoarder

Hi, I’m Berrak, and I’m a journal addict. It’s been 89 days since my last journal purchase and seven days since my last pen purchase.

Like most people, I’ve always had every intention of using my journals on a daily basis. I mean, I’m a writer. I need to put pen to paper, to feel the words flow through my body onto the page. I’m a prolific documenter.

Of course, I can’t go one day without journaling.

Of course, I need to use my planners to keep track of the million projects I’m juggling.

There are some things technology can’t take away from me.

Except…well, we know better, don’t we?

By the time I make it off the computer at the end of the day, I’m so worn out, my hands barely work. My handwriting has gotten awful. I mean, most doctors have better handwriting than I do these days. But as I mentioned in the first post of the year, this is the year I’m going to change that.



I mean, I didn’t buy all of those lovely pens and markers just to have them lying around. (Let’s not bring my stationary and pen addiction to this session.)

So, how am I going to make this new habit stick? Read more Confessions of a Journal Hoarder

Brain on Fire, Gone Girl, Dark Places

I’ve had fierce writer’s block the past few months, but instead of writing about that, I’m going to write about the books I’ve been reading.

gillian flynn dark placesRosamund Pike Gone Girl Movie trailergillian flynn gone girl






First of all, if you’ve read Gone Girl, hated the way it ended but thought the writing was great, then you should read Dark Places. In my opinion, Dark Places was the better of the two books and I’m looking forward to reading Sharp Objects. I went to see Gone Girl at the theater Saturday night. Having read the book, I was skeptical about the way it would be adapted but I thought it was well-cast. Love him or hate him, Ben Affleck made a great Nick Dunne. Rosamund Pike was despicable and I’m left wondering whether her depiction of Amy Dunne is more likely than Annabelle to give me nightmares. I went to see the movie with my friends Michelle (who had read the book) and Mike (who hadn’t). We all came out of the movie theater on the same wavelength: Almost all of the characters in the movie are pretty much awful – and we hated the movie. But then again, that’s how I felt at the end of the book, which is why I recommend Dark Places as your next Gillian Flynn read. However, I’ve never been good at movie reviews or else I would’ve made a career out of it. If you’ve read the book & went to see the movie, you should read this review.

Gillian Flynn adapted her own novel into a screenplay and, perhaps because she spent ten years at Entertainment Weekly presumably chopping thousands of words of precious copy into mini-blurbs fit for print, she seems to have had little trouble excising only the most vital organs from the body of her 400-plus page bestseller.

There’s been a little buzz about the movie being misogynist—criticisms that were also leveled at the book—but I did not find that to be the case. Yes, most of the female characters are deplorable for various crimes typically coded as feminine: for being shallow, fickle, attention-hungry, dumb, gullible, controlling. But it’s not like the male characters are a pack of winners, either. Almost everyone in the movie is a straight-up terrible person, the only possible exception being Margo, Nick’s sister.

brain on fireSpeaking of books, I finally got around to reading Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan. It’s the true story of a journalist whose body attacked her brain and she tells the powerful true story of her descent into madness. I finished it in a day and firmly believe that it’s a book that everyone should read. We’re all familiar of the stigma of mental illness and how little we truly understand about our bodies and minds, despite all of the medical advances we’ve made in the last few decades. The book also does an amazing job of displaying the impact our loved ones have on us, as well as the affect mental illness can have on those closest to us. It’s an incredible story about fear, perseverance, and faith.

I would soon learn firsthand that this kind of illness often ebbs and flows, leaving the sufferer convinced that the worst is over, even when it’s only retreating for a moment before pouncing again.

In addition to these books, I’ve also re-read The Giver, finally read Ender’s Game and began reading And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini.

What have you been reading lately?

My Very First EBook: A Distorted Dream and Other Works

In 6th grade, my English teacher opened up an entire new world to me with just a prompt. Our assignment was to write a poem completing each prompt. The first line began with “I am…”

Up until that moment, poetry was  just something I read. I grew up reading “If” by Rudyard Kipling in Turkish, and then in English when we moved to the US, not to mention all of my favorite poems in Turkish. That day in 6th grade, I realized I could also write poems.

Granted, they were crappy poems, but I got better. In high school, I found spoken word poetry, though I never had the guts to do it myself. I went through high school writing ridiculous poems such as “First Kiss” (Because I was in high school when…I had…OK, moving on) and other teenage angst filled poems.

In my late teens and early 20s was when I really got into my poetry and started to branch out as far as stanzas and imagery. Granted, a lot of it was pretty doom and gloom and emo. Then I got a little sassy and you can see my attitude problem coming through the lines.

The last time I wrote a poem was years ago. This past year, I made it a personal goal to get back into poetry and eventually try my hand at spoken word. To do that, I went back and re-read some of my older poems, discovering that while most of them were crap, there are a few that I’d like to share with the world.

A Distorted Dream is the first short story I was ever able to finish, and it took me approximately two years to complete. The poems that follow in the book were selected from all of the poetry that I have kept. These words should give you a little more insight into who I was back then and the demons I had to fight in order to move forward. They’re not all bad, though. A couple of the poems in the second section will show you the hopeful side of me, and the third section?

Well, let that be a surprise.

What happened to the poems that didn’t make it into this book? Well, they’re sitting in a reject pile, ready to be put into a book of their own. If I hit 150 sales with this book, then I will release a free PDF that will include brilliant works such as “Etch-a-Sketch Bitch”.

You can download the PDF version of my very first EBook for $4.99 using the link below.

That’s a cheap price to pay for an intimate look into my soul.

Oh, is this where I mention that the third section is erotica?  (Sex sells or something?)

Add to Cart

“Daring Greatly” Could Be My Motto for 2012

When I was chosen to read and review Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly for the BlogHer* Book Club, I wasn’t exactly sure what kind of impact it would have on my life. See, this past year has been a year of turmoil, changes, and making lots of decisions that have left me scared and exhilarated at the same time. I have to be honest – I don’t read a lot of books in this genre. You know the kind – self-help. Talking about how to live a better life and to love, etc etc.

Needless to say, I was a little skeptical going into this but Brown does not approach things analytically. It’s not preachy. It’s just down-right honest. I felt like Brown is someone I could sit down and have a conversation with over a cup of coffee. She talks about our culture of ‘never enough’, and the relationship between scarcity and joy. One of my favorite parts of the book was something I’ve tried to focus on in my personal life.

“…every time we allow ourselves to lean into joy and give in to those moments, we build resilience and we cultivate hope.”

Parents, she even has a whole section on “Daring to be the adults we want our children to be”

I feel like this will be one of those books I re-read every few years as I dare myself to go after my dreams.

Oh, and as far as those dares I’ve accepted these past few months? Don’t worry – an update is coming soon.

*This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

Free Kindle Books

Hey y’all. Quick post to tell you guys about a site I am currently obsessed with. (For my REAL post from today, click here. I know, I’m blogging again. Crazy.)

Back to the site…

We know I love love LOVE my books and I am opposed to e-readers. Well, I was opposed to buying an E-Reader just for the sake of having one but now that I have my iPad, and there’s a Kindle app…I was still resisting.


UNTIL this site appeared on my radar.

Pixel of Ink

Pixel of Ink is, from their About page:

Pixel of Ink features daily publishing of Free & Bargain eBooks.

Here’s what you will find for both the Kindle and Nook:

  • Free eBooks – both the Limited Time Offers and often forgotten but Popular Classics
  • Bargain eBooks that are highly rated (4-stars and up) yet a bargain at under $1under $3, or under $5
  • eReader accessories for the Kindle and Nook that are an absolute steal of a deal (i.e. 50% off or more)

Prices & availability are accurate at the time of posting and are subject to change, and may differ from one country to another.


So, basically, free Kindle books.

They also have this page with useful links that have all sorts of deals, not just for books. So, ya know, go ahead and bookmark it.

I am in no way, shape or form affiliated with Pixel of Ink. Just wanted to share an awesome new site.

They’re also on Facebook.

Happy reading!!

When the cable’s out…

Last night, I came home to find that our cable was out. (We’re lucky though because we’ve had our power while other parts of NE DC have been powerless over the last couple of days.)

Andrew was still at work, and I was not feeling well so I decided to just clean up a little while waiting for cable to come back. [It still wasn’t back this morning]

When Andrew got home, I was nearly ready to fall asleep but wanted to spend some quality time with him. I was too tired for any kind of strategy/board games so I picked up my copy of Bossypants.

I’m going to read to you now,” I said.

This is something I had done in the past with Jim Bruer’s book but life has been so chaotic lately that our quality time has consisted of falling asleep while watching TV.

So we changed for bed, and then sat on the couch while I read a few chapters of Bossypants out loud.

As strange as it sounds, it’s soothing.  He doesn’t have time to read, and it’s a good bonding exercise versus me telling him about the books I read.

Side note: When I was younger, I wanted to be a teacher, and a news anchor.  In middle school, I worked on our morning show. When I was at home sitting at my desk, doing homework, I would read out loud from my textbook as if I was reading to a classroom. Yes, I’m a strange little panda but we all have our dreams.



Ten on Tuesday: Randomness

I have a ton of to tell you guys, but no time to do it! I promise I’ll get a real blog post up this week but for today, I’m snatching this from the lovely Nora! Ten on Tuesday is hosted by Chelsea and this week’s questions are from Lisa.

1. If you work, do you drive to work or take public transportation?
It really depends on the day.  Some mornings, Andrew drives me to work but I usually end up taking the metro (or walking from halfway if the metro is just atrocious). As much as I love to drive, parking fees in D.C. are awful so I can’t afford to drive and park everyday now.

2. How often do you get your haircut? Do you go to the same person every time?
Not as often as I should!  I go about every 3 months, unless I get the urge to try something new (like hack it all off!). I used to always get it cut by the same person in high school & college but since moving to the city, I’ve been trying out different hair dressers.

3. Do you read the newspaper? If so, a hardcopy or the online version?

I read the online version unless I happen to grab the newspaper at the office.

4. What is the best book you have read this year?

*Sigh* I haven’t read any books this year…Check back with me in May.

5. What is the best movie you have seen this year?
I haven’t been watching that many movies lately either! Hop was super cute though.

6. Do you tend to crave sweet or salty foods?
It really depends on my mood and what my body is doing at any given day.  Sometimes I crave a combination of both but lately, it’s been more salty than sweet.

7. Do you eat breakfast every day? If so, what do you have?

Lately, yes. I either have a bowl of Special K cereal or yogurt.

8. If you celebrate Easter, what Easter treat/candy are you most looking forward to?
I don’t celebrate Easter but I’m looking forward to all the candy being 75% AFTER Easter.

9. How late is “sleeping in” to you?

It really depends on the day and how late I was up the night before. If I was up till 4 in the morning, I’ll probably end up sleeping in till 9 or 10ish.

10. Where are you going on your next vacation?
Seattle! I’m going camping with my Numbah 2 and all of my west coast loves in July.

*If you miss me on days I don’t blog, go fan my Facebook page. I try to have a daily discussion up there everyday to keep the conversation going and check in on you guys 🙂 Today we’re talking about music. Yesterday was books!

I read.

Last night, as I was eating dinner, I figured I’d read a few pages of the book I am currently reading and then get to work.

But the next thing I knew, I was on the couch, engrossed in the book and I was ready to turn the last page.

I haven’t read like that in months. Maybe a year.

It was incredible. And peaceful. And super relaxing.

By 6:30 PM last night, I had already eaten a light lunch, watched an episode of SVU and worked out.

I love my new schedule. I’m home by 3:45 (4:45ish if I walk home) and I have time to relax, write and still get to bed at a reasonable hour.

This is just one step closer to my goal of being a full-time freelancer.

Baby steps.

If you had an extra 90 minutes in the day, what would you do with it?

What was the last book you read in one sitting?

Last book you read that you’d recommend?

The Lot

Driving along in the middle of the night, distracted with thoughts from the day, an unexpected feeling tugs at my heart and I can’t place it.

Why this? Why now?

I begin to pay attention to the buildings around me and I recognize the source of nostalgia. Deserted in the night is a building and an empty lot. A lot that is filled of the most intimate memories in the daylight now overcome with the shadow of the door closing on my past. Tempted to pick up my phone and hear that voice, I turn my eyes back on the road…driving away.

In the rear view mirror, the lot is further away…like the memories that now have to be buried deep in my heart so I can heal.

I should avoid driving on this road until the building no longer calls to me, making me want to be back in the arms of the one I had to let go.

Hundreds of people will drive past…going in and out…unaware of the piece of me I left behind on that lot.

Please to Click to Find Goodies Inside

A very very short ‘survey’ since I have no real blog but there are LOTS OF AWESOME GOODIES at the bottom so keep reading!

Spell your name with songs.

Don’t Stop Believing (Journey)
Can’t Hold Us Down (Christina Aguilera ft. Lil Kim)
Petrified (Fort Minor)
Remember the Name (Fort Minor)
I Am Not My Hair (India.Arie)
Never Again (Kelly Clarkson)
Crazy Kind of Day (Beth Hart)
Everything I Can’t Have (Robin Thicke)
Sand In My Shoes (Dido)
Say It Right (Nelly Furtado)
Quicksand (Incubus)


Name: PQ
Birthday: April 1
Nickname: Princess, Q, Quello, Angel
Eye Color: Why don’t you look and tell me?
Hair Color: Brown and getting long…I might be chopping it off
Zodiac Sign: Hardcore Aries


Honestly, what color is your underwear? Purple 😉

Honestly, what’s on your mind? Work, this blog, my giveaway, money, seeing JP today, my trip to NC

Honestly, what are you doing right now? This & drinking coffee!

Honestly, have you done something bad today? Not yet…The day is young!

Honestly, who is the last person you talked to on the phone? My mom

Honestly, are you jealous of someone right now? Nope. Jealousy is for wimps!

Honestly, what makes you mad most of the time? Stupidity & injustice

Honestly, do you bite your nails? I’ve started to again for some reason.

Honestly, are you in denial? Of how awesome I am, yes…

Honestly, do you like anyone? I like lotsa people.

Honestly, does anyone like you? Lotsa people like me.

OK really…I have no blog for you BUT…I do have some awesome stuff to tell you. Are you ready? Pay attention and take notes.

In case you haven’t heard, there is this EPIC DC Blogger Happy Hour happening on Friday…We WANT to meet you…I promise we don’t bite…Unless you ask us…so come out!

In Non-DC related news, my numbah 2, my inspiration…the reason this website even exists finally…FINALLY self-published her amazing book. You have got to check it out. No, I mean it. You will not be disappointed. Trust me, OK?

Become a FAN on Facebook, Preview the book here and if you purchase it before August 31st, there’s an awesome 10% off promo code for you on the Fan Page on Facebook. Go. DO it. Now.

And in case you missed it, I have this AWESOME FUCKING GIVEAWAY GOING ON…it ends TONIGHT! So be sure to enter…Boys…you’re allowed to enter as well…I promise I have something for you to win!

For all the get well wishes I received and everyone that’s been patient with me as I was DYING the past few days…Thank you. I’m feeling much better today and thank GOD for Penicillin is all I’m gonna say.