On Location | Indiana State Library

On Location | Indiana State Library

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been researching and editing a history paper about Indiana Quakers and slavery I wrote last semester for an upcoming competition. My research led me to the Indiana State Library last Thursday, where I sat down with a letter from Levi Coffin and every Indiana Yearly Meeting Minutes record I could ever want. For three and a half hours I sat in a hard-backed wooden chair and poured over those minutes, thinking about the people who created them 180 years ago. A man across the aisle from me looked at several large maps intently, and stacks of other documents waited in the wings inside climate controlled rooms and drawers.

It’s a beautiful thing, hundreds of documents waiting to be read by some twenty-first century person who prefers paper to pixels.

Leeann | Scribbling in the Margins blog

#DearMe | International Women’s Day

Dear Me | International Women's Day

Dear Me,

Sweet, beautiful, 13-year-old Leeann. You are so smart, and so clever. You have a big heart for a teenager, and that’s why those girls pick on you. They don’t understand what it means to have empathy, or to defy peer pressure and be who you want to me.

I know it doesn’t feel like it now, but you will be so strong because of them, because of this swirling mist of doom they call junior high. You will never let people tell you how to feel or who to be again, because it doesn’t make you happy. And walking around miserable all the time isn’t doing you any good. You have so much potential, so much talent. Mom and Dad see it. I see it.

Life is not junior high, thank goodness. And although you’ll love it, life is not high school either. Or college. Life is what you decide it will be. Right now, life is words. It’s writing them, reading them, shaping them into something completely new. Life is taking control over what you say and what you do, and most importantly how you feel.

Don’t let the bad stuff become you. Do not become the bad stuff. Soak in the good, let it enter your soul like an endless stream, flowing into your mind until you can’t remember why you were upset or what discouraged you. Surround yourself with people who make you feel special. Walk away from the people who don’t. Taste the content on your tongue, sing it out to the world, for that is what life is. A song to be sung, and only you can sing it.

As Walk Whitman wrote:

The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.

In that powerful play we call life, what will our verse be? In that powerful play we call our life, what will your verse be?

For each thought we have and action we do (or don’t) take shapes us into who we are. Every word we say slides into a slot of the bookshelves of our lives and becomes our verse in the world.

“Life exists, and identity.” It’s the power we gain from our life, our identity, that can change us.

That can change you.


The Bookish Side of Valentine’s

Full disclaimer: I don’t get Valentine’s Day. I don’t see the reason for a day devoted to expressing your love for someone/some people, when you should be doing that every day.

Yet I have a tradition with my family where we have a Valentine’s dinner every year, and even when I’m at college we find a way to make it work. I love sitting down at a fancy meal with my parents and sister, with candles and candy as our centerpiece, and switching up our daily dinners. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about romantic love; it can by family and friend love too.

To support expressing that kind of love, I’ve complied a list of books I feel do a good job of celebrating family and friend bonds. Good Valentine’s reads that explore friendship and family, and leave you feeling good!

A Bookish Valentine's | Different kinds of books to read on Valentine's Day

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In Review: January 2015

January gave 2015 a great start. I had a wonderful internship, got an extra month at home, and managed to catch up on sleep and regain my sanity before heading back to school.

This year, I want to focus more on what I loved about each month. So I thought a quick post after each month would be a fun way to look back and remember the good things 2015 brings, one month at a time.

Let’s begin!

Favorite Book

What I Read: Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore | Scribbling in the Margins blog

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Favorite Post

Since I only wrote three, this is fairly easy. I’ll have to go with my review of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore; I really liked that book and loved how the review turned out.

Favorite Photos

In Review: January 2015 | Scribbling in the Margins blog

Winter Term internship at Indianapolis Monthly

In Review: January 2015 | Scribbling in the Margins blog

Awesome coffee shop, Coal Yard Coffee, I visited for Indianapolis Monthly

In Review: January 2015 | Scribbling in the Margins blog

Breakfast for dinner at a truck stop with a friend

In Review: January 2015 | Scribbling in the Margins blog

DG Bid Day 2015! Welcome Abroad to my friend Olivia. I’m so glad she’s anchored here (enough puns yet? :))

What are your January highlights?


What I’m Reading Spring Semester 2015

Welcome to the semi-annual school book list extravaganza!

Okay, so it’s not that exciting. But I’m proud to say that this semester I have the extremely reasonable number of 11 books for the next three and a half months. MUCH better than 31. It helps that I only have three courses this semester (I’m trying to make my blog like a fourth class, but so far I’m rather failing at that…) and that only one is an English class.

Liberal arts for the win my friend.

What I'm Reading Spring Semester 2015 | Scribbling in the Margins blog

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What I Read: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

4/5 pineapples

Oh, blogger’s block.

I was pumped at the beginning of this year about my blogging. I would do it more and consistently. I would have exciting new posts that would attract the attention of all my readers. I would find a style that worked for me. I would create a space that was a hobby, not a chore.

But the best laid plans…

I tried to post, I really did. But every time I started something, I didn’t like it. It never had the tone or content I wanted or that I felt was worth publishing. So I was silent.

Until now.

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