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!!