About Me

IMG_20170422_015807_552Hello, everyone! My name is Lauren Roland. I’m currently a second-year English Graduate Student at the University of Montevallo. My life at the moment consists of working in the legal field and studying my butt off while still attempting to have a social life. I’m due to graduate December 2018, and that day can’t come soon enough.

My hobbies include buying way too many books and never reading them (although hopefully this blog will help me remedy that), writing nonsensical stories, and baking delicious treats. I used to work in a bookstore, and as such, I accumulated far more books than the average person has ever seen in their lifetime. I quit the bookstore nearly two years ago, and yet I still haven’t worked my way through the ridiculous pile of books I bought while I was there!

There are two reasons I decided to start a blog:

  1. It would be great to have an online portfolio of my work somewhere where people can read it, and not just have things crammed in random notebooks scattered around my room.
  2. I want to share my love of books (and writing, and baking…) with everyone. The question, “What’s your favorite book?” usually triggers a ten minute or longer rant about my favorite books in each particular genre, and usually ends with the person nodding politely and finding the soonest possible reason to escape.

Since the title of this blog is “Books are Only the Beginning,” I won’t just be reviewing or talking about books on this blog. I will also be posting writing samples or writing discussions, recipe reviews, and “Life of an English Grad Student” posts, along with some random goings-on in my life. It’s been a bit since I’ve been an active blogger (I used to use Blogger and had two blogs on there, but have since decided to move on to something more professional), but I’m thinking it’s time I got back into the scene.

As of May 2018, I have five weekly series going on, although they may not be posted every week because life continually gets in the way:

  • Sunday: Book review day! I’ll try to keep up with all the new books I’ve read, and might even slip in a few thesis reading book reviews in here while I’m at it.
  • Tuesday: Top 5 Tuesday meme, courtesy of Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm. This is a great way to relax and try and see what other people are reading and thinking.
  • Wednesday: Recipe review day! I love trying new recipes and figuring out whether they work or not, and using my boyfriend as a test subject. (He hasn’t died yet, so I guess I’m doing something right!)
  • Thursday: Book tag day! I know that some people might get tired of these, but I enjoy looking at different tags and reading peoples’ opinions and responses. One of these days, I may even be creative enough to come up with one on my own.
  • Friday: First Impression Friday meme, created by JW Martin @ Storeys of Stories. It’s a great way to keep track of the new books I’ve started (and this one I might write out weeks in advance, probably whenever I start a new book!), and to remind myself what books I need to eventually review.

Currently, Mondays and Saturdays are extra days, where I might publish something or I might not. Saturdays seem to have become a rotating/temporary series day, where I’ve published my ENG 529 and my ENG 590 series and might have a future thesis-only series on that day, too. I want to start putting up more short stories or more flash fiction pieces (usually inspired by the word prompt of the day on the WordPress reader), but so far I haven’t had time to work those bits in there.

26685509_10215181213073199_2106232633420222020_oI’m dating the most wonderful man named Steven Ford. We sort of danced around each other for nearly a year before we had our respective friends just kinda yell “KISS ALREADY!” at us. I met him while playing X-Wing at the local comic book store, and the rest was history. We made things official between us on December 23, 2017, and made it public (via Facebook, of course) on January 1, 2018. This is a man who loves my cooking (so maybe I’ll have a comment from him on my recipes from now on!), loves to go on hikes, and is a truly accomplished photographer. He also happens to be the sweetest person I’ve ever met. I am truly completely happy and content with him.

To be honest, the best things in my life have come out of that comic shop. I’ve met several great friends and my boyfriend.

I know this “About Me” is nearly a rehash of the “Welcome” post I wrote when I first started this blog, but I figured this would be a better way to get some information out quickly.

FAVORITES (This may be expanded as time goes on)

Books: The Book Thief (Markus Zusak); The Lord of the Rings & et. al. (JRR Tolkien); The Expanse Series (James S. A. Corey);

Movies: Secondhand Lions (live-action); Robin Hood (Disney Animated Version); Howl’s Moving Castle (Miyazaki); Kiki’s Delivery Service (Miyazaki); Porco Rosso (Miyazaki); Big Hero 6 (Disney); Wreck-It Ralph (Disney);

Video Games: The World Ends With You; Final Fantasy VI; The Zelda Series; Animal Crossing; Pokemon Series;

Television Shows: Psych; Agent Carter;

Anime: FullMetal Alchemist; Hetalia: Axis Powers; One Punch Man; The Devil is a Part-Timer;

Food: Fried rice; pasta; brownies; sushi;

Hobbies: Writing, Reading, Cooking, Baking, Cleaning, Assembling Furniture; Video Games; Hiking;

I made the banner at the top of the page (I used to be big into graphic design but I was never good enough at it to do anything with it).

Drop me a line sometime! I respond to every comment, and I’ll gladly check out whatever you’re writing, too!

Be sure to check out my Publications page to see all I’ve accomplished!

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