Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Goodbye May

Well, May was just as busy as I thought it was going to be, but I felt very productive. So that counts for something, right? It was also notoriously not like May. Thank goodness summer is now upon us!!! :D

You all know how much I love mushrooms :)

So in the first part of May we all went to Fort Worth/Dallas for State Convention. That consisted of Mom and Dad leaving us with grandparents for days on end (a big deal for my mom). I got to work in my aunt's chic flower shop which is always so much fun. While we were there, my sister and I also got to see Wicked with two of our aunts and a cousin. Let me repeat. I HAVE SEEN WICKED. It was my first Broadway and it was amazing :D How many of you have seen it? Or at least know enough about it to appreciate my lifelong goal? (Seriously, I've been wanting to go for 11 years now.)

I graduated!!!! Obviously, because I had a post about it :P I did a central Texas co-op graduation and it was well worth the small fee to be able to share the moment with so many of my friends. Not to mention actually going up on stage and receiving a diploma from my parents while friends and family cheered. I am so happy to be done with school forever :D I also got to graduation shopping and get a gorgeous charm bracelet from James Avery with bookish pendants :D

Also, my Dad finished serving in a local political position he's held for a long time, so that was a big deal. There's been some turmoil about his leaving and another woman having his job, but it's all good and we're excited to move on. There was a touching last meeting with acknowledgments and gifts. bragging rights warning As one of his gifts he received a flag that had flown of the Texas State Capital . . . in his honor. *uber proud, fangirling daughter moment*

I always think of May as being the beginning of our very warm and dry spell. I'm pretty sure we never even hit  90 degrees (F). *gasp* And not only that, it rained about two weeks of the month. We got 8 inches in an hour and a half one day. Just like last Memorial Day, our river flooded really bad again and people had to evacuate. We are always safe from water damage except for our garage, but almost every road in the county washed out in some way. Our side street has a nice sinkhole now. Craziness! Also, due to the unusual weather, I saw fireflies in town for the first time in my life. I even saw a bluebird! We never have those. Cool, huh?

I also made two amazing discoveries this month. The first was chocolate covered sunflower seeds from TJMaxx. Oh my goodness, guys. They were addicting! Sweet, salty, crisp, healthyish? Yeah, I may have to stalk the internet to find more :D

My second discover was Peter Hollens. I'm sorry, but his music is all I could ever ask for. Beautiful, inspirational, scenic, classic, multi-track, a capella. He's basically a one man Pentatonix unless he sings with his lovely wife. You have to check out his YouTube channel! I even gave you the link; you have no excuse!

Last but not least, I got a new laptop! My old one's been virtually dead for two years, but I've managed since we have like four other computers in the house. It was reaching a ridiculous level, though, since everything I do for work and fun is on the internet except reading. So, I bought a grey Dell Inspiron 15 with my graduation money. I have a poll running on Twitter for a name. The options are: Glyph, Alcott, Sterling, or Sir Percy. So far Sir Percy is winning. What do you vote?



flummox: verb perplex (someone) greatly; bewilder
peculate: verb embezzle or steal (money, especially public funds)
pariah: noun an outcast OR a member of a low caste in southern India

I read the first one, looked up the second one by accident (I was going for percolate), and was curious about the third thanks to Amiee Meester :)


"Family is often born of blood, but it doesn't depend on blood." ~Mr. Benedict from The Mysterious Benedict Society

"She announced her age right away, for children consider their ages every bit as important as their names." ~The Mysterious Benedict Society

Any guess what book I read this month? :P


~Cover to Cover: 0~

None. Oops. Maybe this month. *nods*

~Middle to End: 4~

The River Girl's Song by Angela Castillo
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl 
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
Where Courage Calls by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan

~Front to Middle: 1~

Where Trust Lies by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan


~Words: 21,446~

Definitely a new record for me! I may or may not keep working on Chapter 30 tonight. 
I'm still blown away by you people that can write 50k in a month. Are you human? I didn't think so.

~Chapters: 8.5~ 

My jaw dropped when I calculated this. How in the world?! I'm so happy :D

~Progress Update: 95%

I had hoped to finish the first draft this month, but it keeps getting longer! I did reach the 30 chapter mark I wanted to. I just think the book is going to be more like 32 with an epilogue :P

Then there's the rewrite/edit which stands at about 10% D:

~Biggest Problem: New Ideas~

There are some things I need to be able to weave into the book on this rewrite and some things I should take out. And then there are areas that are heavily lacking something. And I need to be able to invent something to go there that fits, interests, and adds. What a delightful task . . . -_-


~Followers: 39~

That's still +5, so I'm content :) Thank you to all the lovelies who joined me and to the bloggers who continue to mention me here, there, and everywhere. You are all the reason I'm still here :D

~Views: 7,992~

This is rather scary, really. But thanks, guys! Just for the fun of it I looked at which countries all my traffic was coming from. The U.S. was the top, of course, but Poland was second with 12 views. Cool, huh? I had a total of 10 countries people have visited my blog from. (If you've got Blogger, they tell you under Stats.)


My goals for May were:

1~ Edit my WIP
I got a smidge of this done, so I guess I pass?
2~ Finish at least 4 books
I finished four and began one, so that was something. I have so many good ones I just bought that are calling to me from my shelf!
3~ Find another story to beta
You guys are so awesome ^.^ I got two stories to edit from Emily Mundell and one from Gloria, a friend of mine. They are all SO GOOD! I'm just saying, the world had better watch out because we've got some killer books coming.
4~ Finish writing my first draft
This was extremely ambitious. I did not email any of you in tears, so I am proud of that. However, I was a few chapter shy of finishing, still. But it's so close!!
5~ Reach 50 followers
Weeeell. Yeah, I didn't hit this. But I only spent one day working on it, unless you count being on Twitter. But that's okay. I am perfectly happy with who my followers are. I don't need a bigger number to feel good about blogging, because all of you are so encouraging and awesome!

Not my best month as far as reaching goals :P

My June goals are:

1~ Edit my WIP
I know, I know. This has been one of my goals for months now. But it's a process and now that I'm actually done writing my story, it's time to tweak and rewrite. *shudder*
2~ Read 3 books from start to finish
It's about time I get to some of these on my shelf. Can't wait to absorb some more great writing. Why can't reading by osmosis be a thing?
3~ Finish Emily's The Sorceress and the Squid
Have I mentioned that this story is COMPLETELY ADORABLE yet?! Because it is. I love it and I can't wait for all of you to have a chance to read it, too.
4~ Research self-publishing
I'm pretty certain that I want to self-publish my first novel, but I still don't have any idea what that entails, exactly.
5~ Host a giveaway
You read that right. I want to do a giveaway for a whole bunch of reasons, but mainly because it's almost SUMMER and that means we'll all be reading more in theory. So you deserve a chance to get something awesome. I just haven't decided what yet. :P


Phew! End of really long post :P What do you vote for my laptop's name? Was May insane for you as well? What am I asking, May's always crazy. What are you looking forward to most in the summer?

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Class of 2016 ~ A Reflection on My High School Years

Yep, you read that right. I graduated! And I learned so much from high school. Why isn't that one word?! ^.^

~Grades Matter~

I'm a straight-laced, firstborn girl, so grades have always mattered to me. Like, don't tell me I got a 99% on that pre-K Math test. It should have been a 100%. But, still. Even without college in my future, I learned the importance of making good grades.

The largest and most influential part of my high school education were the World View classes I took at a co-op with my pastor as teacher. They were college-level, multi-credit classes that covered everything from history to philosophy and required a great deal of reading. Everything was filtered and examined through a Christian world view and required a 3-5 page essay. I totally soaked it up. ;)

All of that's to say, good grades were sometimes a little hard to get in that class, but if I really put myself to it, every week, I could be an A student. And I was. The grades mattered to me, my parents, my teacher, and my self-esteem. It made me feel good to get just as much positive feedback as critique. You can only do high school once. Doing it well counts, especially if your future career depends upon you having made good marks.

~Sleep Matters More~

Being a pretty driven personality, I had to learn to draw the line. I would stay up through the night finishing a book that I procrastinated on, just so I could finish my syllabus pages and get a 9 instead of an 8. It took me two years (half of my classes) to learn that it's not always worth it. Sometimes, you need the sleep and the energy to just start over again the next morning instead of one grade higher and circles under your eyes.

Trust me, all-nighters are not all their cracked up to be. Especially when you have a speech you have to give the next day after a full day of classes. (I do not know from personal experience.) Don't do that to yourself. Sleep for a few hours and get up early. And start on it earlier next time. ;)

~Classes Are Awesome~

They're not everybody's thing, but I adored being able to go to co-op for those four years, one day a week. I abused my freedom somewhat the first year, but that taught me a lot. I became more comfortable with who I was and loved having the competitive atmosphere that I wasn't getting at home, with siblings only in grades below me. At the same time, they made me really thankful that every weekday was not spent zipping from one class to another with deadlines and teachers and annoying or really hilarious classmates. It was great to be able to come home, eat a ton of food, watch movies, and sleep in.

~Friends Are the Best~

I made the mistake of never spending very much time with people at school. I carpooled with my teacher's family, so I always hung with their daughter (my best friend). But I do wish that some weeks I would have set aside the textbook and said hello to my classmates. Because, looking back, it's the conversations and fellowship I had with people that stands out to me. Thankfully, in spite of my reclusive habits, I still have friends I took away from those years :)

~Pray When You're Stressed~

Stress is just part of growing up. It doesn't go away after high school. (Trust me.) And no matter what I did to try and de-stress myself so I could go right back to stressing, only one thing ever worked: stepping back and praying. Sleep was great and all, but sometimes I couldn't even sleep, I had so much I needed to be doing. Prayer was literally the only thing that could calm my mind enough to keep going and try to enjoy what I was doing. God knows what He's doing people. Don't forget to cast your cares upon Him. He really does like to listen, but unlike parents, He can renew your strength, too.

~Netflix Is Therapy~

Again, stress is gonna happen. Know how to cope. There is nothing wrong with watching an episode of your favorite show even when your to-do list is full. I repeat. Netflix is therapy. It can also be a trap, so maybe don't binge watch with a full to-do list, but a break is deserved. Sometimes the only way I could get back to the grind was to step away. 45 minutes of your life is not the end of the world. And, let's face it, it's much less of a trap than social media ;) But dude, I kept up with Downton Abbey, Call the Midwife, and multiple detective shows through those four years, so I was watching plenty of TV.

~I'd Do It Again~

If it came down to it, I'd do it again. I would. And I know this is probably unique to me, but I'm that kind of person ;) Even though it was largely a sleepless, stressful time, getting up at 5 am and reading people who wrote hundreds of years ago was incredible. Falling asleep while reading was marked off my bucket list. I actually saw sunrises back then. I had hours more in each day and I was using my time well. It was one of the most formative and reading-filled times of my life. It was, in a word, awesome. Oh, yes, I'd do it again.


How close are you guys to finishing high school? If you're done, HOORAY! What have you learned? Are you a driven personality like me? I have to say, no matter how much I loved school, I am very glad I don't have four more years ahead. I'm done. Experience is the route for me (so thank you, awesome friends)! :D

And I am typing this from my shiny, new laptop!! (He doesn't have a name yet.) Graduation presents are awesome, y'all. Take advantage of them. It was totally worth 100 invitations, to get 50 cards back with money. *nods*

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Mysterious Benedict Society ~ A Review

Hello, people, I still live. Guess what book I finally finished? And I'm handing you a review while it's still fresh on my mind this time.

It's been a while since I've been able to sit down and enjoy an original and clever story. Stewart's style reminded me very much of Lemony Snicket's without quite so much eccentricity. You must all go read this book (and The Series of Unfortunate Events) if you haven't.

It took me a while to get through this book, but it was through no fault of its own. I told you May was going to be crazy, and it has been. But, hey, I graduated so no more school stands in my way. Ever. *explodes*

Anyway, this was a gem of a library find and I even roped my dad into reading it! Of course, he finished it in four days and it took me weeks, but he basically doesn't sleep, so . . . yeah. It had his kind of humor and he needed something lighthearted in his life at the time.

~Back Cover~ 


When this peculiar ad appears in the newspaper, dozens of children enroll to take a series of mysterious, mind-bending tests. (And you, dear reader, can test your wits right alongside them.) But in the end just four very special children will succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and resourceful children could complete. With their newfound friendship at stake, will they be able to pass the most important test of all?



Reynie: The child with whom the story starts and who carries the burdens of troupe leader and plan maker. Watching his inside struggles was both fascinating and enlightening.

Sticky: A jittery, bald fellow with a habit for polishing his glasses. I loved watching him transform as life got harder and harder for him. His photographic memory is unmatched.

Kate: This girl is spunky and bouncy and always willing to go with even the most outrageous of plans. She reminds me a lot of a Kate I know from church :)

Constance: Ah, Constance. By far the most unique and hard to love of the children, yet endearing in her own way. She definitely made me laugh the most, even if she was a stinker and never really changed.

These four kiddos are awesome and I can't pick my favorite. Each one of them made me laugh. I cannot say anything else about all the ranks of employees inside the Institute or the very strange yet similar Misters Benedict and Curtain without giving anything away. So you will have to discover gems like them for yourselves :)


Although I guess it never really said, the book struck me as being set in 1940s England, due to the buses and abundance of plaid suits. However, the children are secluded on Nomansan Island for the majority of the book at L.I.V.E., the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened. It's turf reminded me of Arizona, except it had a river separating it from 'England.' I'm sure all that nonsense helped you picture it in your mind :P


The four children that make up the Mysterious Benedict Society are sent on a secret mission to uncover the doings at L.I.V.E. Each has their own fear that they are battling that teaches them many lessons along the way. All of the children are without parents, one way or another, and so many of their struggles root in that. Whether it's being alone, unwanted, or unable to work together, it was really quite fun to see how each unique personality had to blend for teamwork. And in the end, each child was absolutely necessary.


9/10 mushrooms. That's right. My last review said 5/5 stars, but my brother told me I had to do a scale of ten because it was more precise, and I couldn't do stars, because they were too original. So there you have it.

The only reason I'm giving it 9 'shrooms instead of 10 other than the fact that 10 is just too perfect is because I found it a little hard to follow in several places. Some of the breakthroughs the children had while investigating were things I had assumed all along. Or I just wasn't getting what the big deal was. (I wouldn't make a very good secret agent.) All in all, though, it was an extremely clever book with a witty sense of humor. Though it was in the Young Adult's section at my library, I intend to have my 12-year-old brother read it. I think it was the reading level and length instead of the content that called for an older readership.


How many of you have read this book? It's awesome, right? It's one I heard about for a while and read on recommendation from several fellow blogs (you know who you are.) If you haven't read it, you really should give it a shot some time, because it's just neat and original. And even though it has two sequels, it's a satisfactory, self-contained story that would be great for the entire family. *nods*

And I also need 11 more followers before the end of the month to hit my goal *hint hint* But, it's just a number. You guys are all I could ask for!! Now comment away :D

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Everything Button

Voila, another tutorial! In this one I will walk you through how to get a snazzy button of your own. No thread required. And please note the pretty image; it was incredibly hard to find one that my font colors could be seen on.

~What They Are~

Buttons. They're not the kind shown in the picture above, so sorry :) They are pretty, custom squares that when you click them, boom, they take you to a blog. Mine is my sidebar and I hope you like it, because I'm going to show you how to make one exactly like it. Just not with my picture, please.

~Why You Should Have One~

Just like with Favicons, I find buttons are super handy. While they don't really round out your blog like Favicons do, they make your blog more accessible. Do you know how many of your internet friends have Favorite Blog pages? A lot. And they want a button to put there. So, if you have one, you're going to get more exposure as a blogger. That's always a good thing.

~How to Make One~

If you already have one, you don't have to read any further, but thanks anyway :)

I had no idea how to do this for a while. I knew I wanted a button, but I just never took the time to look it up. And then when Jonathan was parading his shiny new one, I realized that you click "Generate Your Button Code" underneath the button and follow the steps. It's that easy! So this tutorial will be for the buttons with the code that you steal. I don't know how to make or utilize the others yet :)

So have you clicked generate yet? Do so. This will launch the necessary website (www.mycoolrealm.com) in another tab. Go ahead and input your web name and path name, just like it wants.

Now I'm going to show you how to get your image URL.

Open Blogger and create a new post. Insert the picture you would like to use for button (again, I use PicMonkey for editing, etc). You will want the image to already be the desired dimensions- usually a square. Now, right click the picture and choose "open in link new tab."

The gobbledy-gook that appears in the search bar is your image's URL. Copy that and paste it into the code generator. Notice the string of random letters in the third line now? Yes, that's it.

So now, you get to customize. Click the "Help me find out" button for container type and use whatever it says to. I left every other option on its default, because I had customized my picture the way I wanted it previously. And go ahead with the representation. It's polite and handy for other bloggers. Then click preview. As long as it looks the way you want it to, go ahead and select "get code" and copy it.

Go back to Blogger, select your website, and go to Layout. I put my button in my sidebar, so add the HTML/Java Script gadget there. Paste your generated code that you copied and save.

Preview your blog to make sure it turned out the way you wanted it to. If not, go back and do the necessary customizations. If so, you're all set. Hit "Save arrangement" and you're done.


Hopefully all of that made sense. I want all of you to have shiny new buttons by the end of the week! Let me know if this was helpful and I'll walk you through any problems you have. Good luck!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Mock Cover and Real Blurb Release

I wasn't planning to post today, but you know what? I'm going out of town in about 20 minutes, so I figured I'd probably better do something. The chances of me getting another post in before next week is unlikely. So, I decided to release my mock cover and blurb for my novel Martin Hospitality.

First, the blurb, because that will fix an idea of the story in your head that you can use to assess my cover :)

Gemma Ebworthy is eighteen, pregnant, and alone. And now that she's been evicted, she finds herself sleeping in a barn, never dreaming that tomorrow could bring kindness of a life-changing magnitude.
The Martins aren't your typical family--even for rural Kansas. With more kids than you can count on one hand and a full-time farm, Gemma must make a lot of adjustments to fit in. But despite their many differences, Gemma finds herself drawn to this family and their radical Christian faith. When her colorful past comes to light, will the Martins still want to provide for her future?

It's so much better than my first draft, and I hope it encourages all of you guys to write your own blurbs (if you haven't yet). It's not that bad. And it's really fun to share. Any feedback, negative or positive?

Now for the cover:

Yes? No? Does it click or resound? While it's not ideal (because you can hardly read my name, etc), it's not bad. I like it because it gives you the setting and the journey vibe with the path. I also like it because there's no person on the front of it. That's one of my pet peeves and tends to be a thing for the Christian Contemporary genre :) However, this is the only idea I have had for a cover. So if anything else strikes you, let me know and I'll draw up another one. No I did not draw this, it's edited from Pinterest.


That's it! Let me know what you thought (in all honesty). If you want find out more about this story or any of my others, I just got Pinterest collages up on My Writings page. Hopefully I'll catch up on reading some of y'all's posts while I'm gone :) You can follow my travels on Twitter. Like Wicked tomorrow night with my aunts. *screams* Have a great week!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Top Ten Villains Tag

This has been sitting my queue for a while. Finally get around to it on this lazy Saturday :) Thanks for the tag, Rebekah!


1. Post the button.
2. Thank the blogger who tagged you.
3. List your top ten favorite villains and why you chose them (they can be from movies or books).
4. Tag ten other bloggers. (Ha!)


1. Khan from Star Trek

Okay, so any of the Khans from any of the Star Treks are pretty creepy. But the newest one was Benedict Cumberbatch, so . . . yeah ^.^ He represents alien evil to me.

2. The Master from Doctor Who

You don't have to watch Doctor Who to understand how unnerving this guy is. And he can regenerate, so he isn't usually in the same form. And he's just really, really evil and somehow always manages not to die. Again, alien evil that the teeny little world of mortals is oblivious to. He's the hard to identify villain.

3. The Smoking Man from The X-Files

That's actually his name. That or Cancer Man. He's a sneaky FBI dude who's always foiling the protagonists' discoveries and leading them down rabbit trails. He's infuriatingly hard to ruffle. And he's really hard to kill, too. This guy is much more real to me and basically the typical political enemy.

4. Severus Snape from Harry Potter

Villain or not villain? That's basically this guy's conundrum. Come to find out, he always knows exactly where he stands. He just likes to leave others guessing. Alan Rickman really made this character come alive. His life story is so interesting!

5. Tavington from The Patriot

This guy has literally given me nightmares for my entire childhood. He's Satanic and cruel and cold-hearted and will kill you if he feels like it. Also, he's based off a real man: Colonel Tarleton, so that's why I chose him.*shudder*

6. Joker from Batman: The Dark Knight

Duh. He's borderline insane but very smart at the same time. And he tells really horrifying stories before he kills you in a very brutal and artistic way. Everyone needs a sassy psychopath.

7. Mr. Waternoose from Monsters, Inc.

Who decided to combine a crab and spider and make him the bad guy in a Pixar show? I don't know. But he was always way creepier than Randall. I mean, he has a ton of eyes and can run up walls! This is basically my childhood villain. :)

8. The Phantom from The Phantom of the Opera

Forboding and misunderstood, he makes a really great, heart-wrenching villain. And he sings :) This guy's my obsessive villain.

9. Javert from Les Miserables

He's not really a villain, but he's pursuing the main character the entire story, so . . . yeah. He also sings while trying to overcome his justice/mercy conundrum. I found that interesting, because he thinks he's doing the right thing by persecuting an escape convict who stole bread. He has to realize the value of mercy, and that struck home with me.

10. Elphaba from Wicked

Again, hardly a villain. But she is known as the Wicked Witch of the West (who's quite scary). I think she's complex and insecure, but very smart. The kind of villain I'd want to be. I cannot wait to see Wicked this upcoming week!


Yeah, well, if this appeals to you and you haven't done it, go for it. If not, no worries. Everyone happy? Good :)


I just realized all my villains were from movies or TV shows. Not a single one from a book exclusively! But all the ones from books are pretty traditional: Moriarty, Sauron, The White Witch, Judas. You get the idea ;) Let me know how you liked the tag and if you're going to do it. How many of these were familiar to you?

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Reading with Intention

I must begin with a confession. I am terrible at remembering stories. I'll read a book and not even be able to give you the main plotline in several weeks' time. Not only do I find this sad, it's unfortunate, because what's the point of reading if I'm not going to remember anything? I'm going to summarize my thoughts on how to get more out of the books you read, even if they're just for fun!

~Take Your Time~

Several years ago I was made to read a book titled How to Read Slowly for an intense multi-credit, honors-level highschool course. I could not believe we were wasting our precious time learning how to read slowly when all of us were slow enough as it was! Come to find out, the book was less about speed as it was comprehension. But the title was still relevant, because there is definitely a connection between how quickly you read and how much you remember.

I'm not an uber fast reader to begin with, so my average speed is on the slow side. I think the main thing to remember here is to enjoy the book. I know we all have books we get so caught up in that we just fly through them. There's nothing wrong with that. But if you can relax into whatever your "normal" reading speed may be and deliberately read each word instead of blowing through the pages, you will (1) notice more details, (2) have to go back less, and (3) retain the story better. At least, that's been my experience.

Some of the stories I have followed the best have been the ones I have beta read. Why? Because I was reading slowly and deliberately. I had my eye peeled for errors, typos, and holes. But in forcing myself more alert than usual, I will forever remember those ladies' stories better than a book I pick up from the library. I don't think that's a coincidence.

~Take Notes~

This is another point that comes out when I beta read, because I leave the author suggestions and ideas in the form of comments. Doing this bugged me a little bit at first, because I had to stop reading and type. However, just like with reading slower, I found that I was getting more out of the story by not just zipping through it.

I know not everyone likes to mark up a pretty new book of theirs, but I encourage you to bring yourself to writing in the margins where you can, even if it's only on a Kindle version. I have always regretted not leaving a note when something stood out to me. This was especially the case with The Divergent Trilogy because I have no intention of reading that series again. I am still bummed that I didn't bring myself to use a pencil and underline all the author's references to the nature of man. If I had, I could still go back and see what stood out to me from the book without having to reread it. 

No matter what you are reading, I find that taking the time to complete these two simple steps is always rewarding in the end. Believe it or not, they will actually save you time! I want to be able to recommend a book and say more than, "It was good. I remember I connected with it somehow at some point." Maybe it's just me and you can retain stories better than I can. Either way, I encourage you to pick a book to try these steps and let me know if anything is different for you! And if you really want to get in depth, get a copy of How to Read Slowly by James Sire and see how your reading comprehension improves just by reading with intention.