Top Ten Wallflowers in YA Fiction

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The thing about wallflowers is they spend a lot of time in their head. I think because of this, they have more figured out than their peers. They’re introverts, but at the same time, they kind of want to reach out.


Top Ten Wallflowers From YA Books

  1. John from the Abandon series
  2. Raven Queen from Ever After High                    
  3. Nicki from Dork Diaries
  4. Cerise Hood from Ever After High
  5. Cather Avery from Fangirl
  6. Malachi from The Testing
  7. Charlie from The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  8. Lincoln from The 100
  9. Greg from Diary of a Wimpy Kid
  10. ilsa Herman from The Book Theif

By Karrington (Contest Winner)


Popular books with long titles

My husband said my book title, Nocturnal Meetings of the Misplaced is too long. In response, I’m writing this blog.

Popular books with long titles:

  1. Something Wicked this Way Comes
  2. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy #1
  3. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
  4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  5. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very bad Day
  6. I’d Tell You I love You but then I’d have to Kill You
  7. From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
  8. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
  9. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter #5)
  10. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter#4)
  11. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

I read all these books and loved them.

Perk of Being


Please send me the name of a book with a long title you read and loved or didn’t love. 


Oh, and Happy Father’s Day to any dad happening to read this.

Why I Write

why I writeBy R.J. Garcia

Why do I write? This is a question I’ve been asked. I think there are two main reasons why I write. The first is letting my imagination run wild is just fun, an escape, the greatest high for me. When I was little it started with playing pretend. In grade school, I was bullied a lot. I couldn’t wait to come home and pretend to be somebody else, with some other life.

Another reason, I write is explore things that I don’t understand. When I was a kid, I played with a boy named Joey. He had a beautiful dirt-streaked face, and wore the same tattered clothes all the time. He lived next-door to my grandmother. It was a third and fourth grade friendship. Although he never even held my hand, he would always say cool things like, “When we’re married, we can have a cat and a dog,”or “Once we’re grown-ups we can live on a boat and travel the world.”  I always just believed him.

I knew Joey’s mom had passed away, and his dad wasn’t around much. Yet, I only went inside his house one time, but would always remember it. The stack of dirty dishes next to a leaky sink, a refrigerator which bore no magnets and a kitchen counter cluttered with empty beer cans. Some adult must have been around to drink all the beer and install the imperfect plumbing, but there was no sign of them.

Sadly, I was in fourth grade when my grandmother died, and I never saw Joey again. I lost them both really. I always wondered what happened to him.

As a social worker, I’ve collected other stories similar to Joey’s, some much more tragic. I am awed and inspired by the resiliency I’ve seen firsthand. I have also been left with the same feeling, a rumble in my stomach. The rumble I first felt at my friend Joey’s house. Maybe writing is like self therapy for me, too…

Why do you write? Drop me a line.



Wallflowers are Awesome



Okay, sometimes wallflowers are sad, but no one is perfect.

7 Reasons Why Wallflowers are Awesome:

  1. They are good listeners.
  2. A wallflower doesn’t judge others for being different.
  3. Wallflowers are faithful, trustworthy and devoted.
  4. They don’t mind spending time alone.
  5. A wallflower doesn’t follow the trends.
  6. Wallflowers are deep thinkers.
  7. They may blossom late, but they always blossom.wallflower

National Puppy Day

By R.J. Garcia

For National Puppy Day I thought I would blog about dogs. Dogs have been living with humans for 10,000 years. In this time they have learned to trust and rely on us and to be there for us in return. Some studies have shown that dogs can recognize people and learn to interpret human emotional states and moods. Studies have even suggested that dogs can avoid people who don’t treat their owners well.

All I know is that my dog loved me whether or not I ignored him for hours, acted like a grump or had bed head and a pimple at the end of my nose. A dog’s love is without condition. There is the old saying, “May I become the kind of person that my dog thinks I already am.”

There is something so easy and safe in the relationship you have with your dog. If you need them they will be there. I remember being bullied at school and having my childhood dog stay by my side all evening, as if he sensed my sadness. When I lost him it was like losing a family member. Dogs really do become like part of the family. The loss is unique because it is the loss of a truly unconditional love.

According to a recent survey, despite the painful loss, most people who have loved and lost a dog will eventually get a new one. Dog owners score higher on measure of well-being than those without pets. They know the relationship is worth it.

I thought I’d end this blog with a picture of my new love. She looks a little like my first dog. Maybe she is his great grand daughter. He did sneak away a couple times.



A Valentine’s Day Blog

By R.J. Garcia

I have been lazy and neglectful and need to at least write something by now. Valentine’s Day is this big thing, so I thought I’d write about it. It actually started when Saint Valentine was imprisoned for marrying commoners, way back when. Of course, that’s the part Hallmark doesn’t tell us.

Okay, You’ve probably guessed, I’m not the most romantic person in the world. That might be why I like this Valentine card.I'm not sick of youI do love reading books. Young adult books are some of my favorites. I prefer Gothic suspense, or suspense, or even a good fantasy to romance. There are some books which are undeniably romantic. The Notebook was one of those books. The Fault in our Stars was even more touching because it was based on a true story.THE Fualt in our Stars

I like to read books that have an element of romance, but where the romance isn’t the main plot. I at least need a deep friendship, if not a romance to be part of the story, or the book leaves me feeling a little cheated. I was told by an literary agent that she can’t sell YA that doesn’t have romance.

Now comes the confessions of a bookworm, part of my blog. Some of my best Valentines were spent reading a good book and eating chocolate… Whatever you do, just have fun!


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Fictional Characters w/ Mental Health Issues

winnie-the-poohAccording to the Canadian Medical Association it is official: Winnie the Pooh is ADD, Piglet suffers from Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Tigger is hyperactive. I think we all spotted the Tigger thing, a mile away. We kind of suspected Rabbit has OCD and Eeyore is clinically depressed before the diagnosis came.

In wake of this news flash, I decided to blog about some other fictional characters that have mental health issues. It lets the rest of us know we are not alone:

  1. Charlie Brown – He is classic Avoidant Personality Disorder. Symptoms include: avoiding work, social or other activities because of feeling they will not succeed anyway. They may also feel unwelcomed even when it is not the case.  People with this disorder are often quite likeable. Low self-esteem and self-isolation are other signs.  Poor Charlie is often defeated in his own mind, before he even tries. Ron Weasley may also fit into this category. I really like these two guys.
  2. The Joker from Batman – definitely has Anti-Social Personality Disorder. Some of the symptoms are: disregard for what is right or wrong, pathological dishonesty and  using charm to manipulate others. Also arrogance often marked with illusions of grandeur and risk taking is common. The Joker is a criminal master-mind with zero empathy for others. Probably not too many people with this disorder are reading my little wallflower blog.
  3. Sheldon Cooper – Clearly has Asperger’s. Notable Symptoms are: limited or inappropriate social interactions. Challenges interpreting nonverbal communications. Tendency to discuss themselves rather than others. Awkward mannerism. Despite their poor social skills, they tend to have above average intelligence. Sheldon is classic Asperger’s with intelligence reaching the stratosphere.
  4. Ariel from The Little Mermaid –had hoarding issues related to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Ariel may use items to fill the void caused by the loss of her mother. She collected and hoarded countless items from the human world. Of course, she did go on to live happily ever-after.the-little-mermaid-screenshot

I just want to say, if fictional characters with psychological issues can still have fulfilling lives, then we can, too.


Scariest Movies and YA Books


1477084594311 the-conjuringA scary book or movie can drench your ordinary bedroom in horror, and leave you checking the closets and under the bed, or not sleeping at all. Here are some suggestions, if you’re into that kind of torture. What is your favorite scary book, or movie?

The Outsiders

By R.J. Garcia

For National Read a Book Day I thought I’d blog about The Outsiders. It is the first book, I fell in love with. And for some reason, I never forgot the opening line: “When I stepped out of the dark movie theater into the bright sunlight I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home.”

the-outsiders-by-s-e-hintonS.E Hinton brought each character to life. Even the characters with smaller parts left you wanting more of them. There was this melancholy feeling to the narrative that pulled you in without being overly sentimental. Even the setting, 1950’s Oklahoma and poor and rich sides of town is its own presence. From the action-filled fights to the genuine relationships between the characters, the book is hard to put down. It is even harder to forget. Yes, I am still all fan girl over this book.

There are two main social classes in the story. The Greasers are the poor people who are not treated with the same respect as the rich preppy Socs. Both social classes are involved in an ongoing feud. Ponyboy’s brother Darry is strict, playing the role of his surrogate father while his other brother Sodapop is his good looking and laid back brother. Ponyboy’s best friend is Johnny, who is gentle innocence makes him the heart of the book. Dally Winston is a juvenile delinquent who honestly cares and looks out for his friends. He is good and bad. Together they and a couple of their other friends make up the Greasers. Everything is great for the gang, going to the movies, and joking around at home. Until one night Ponyboy and Johnny are out and get jumped by Socs; what would happen that night would change their life’s forever.

Despite intense plot lines that include: running away, fighting, a fatal stabbing, fire and suicide, there is a latent decency throughout. It leaves the reader with a sense of what is right and wrong. The Outsiders truly showed the value of innocence. I was twelve years old when I first read it. Although it was written before I was even born, the messages are timeless. It made me realize, I didn’t want to grow up too fast. It also taught me that it doesn’t matter how much money a person has, but what is on the inside that matters. If you have a chance to read this book, I guarantee it will take you away and leave you thinking.


Forget Me Not

It has always been interesting to me how memories work. We all hold onto  parts of time.  They’re stories that can be told in a few minutes, when the actual events took hours, or years to unfold. I think everyone has a friend, or relative who tells the same story, over and over. Maybe they tell the story of how they met their significant other, or how they scored the winning point in the big game.

When I worked in a nursing home, I met a ninety year old, white lady from the South. She had to pick cotton in the fields as a young child. She said she would sometimes sneak away and play with a little African American girl, who was also picking cotton. She told me, “We weren’t supposed to be friends, but it didn’t stop us.” She couldn’t remember the other little girl’s name and recalled little else about that part of her life. It was sort of memory in a nut-shell.

It’s like my grade school story. I had hit an older bully on the bus who had picked on my brother. So boys actually started daring other boys to kick me. After they’d run away. It usually wasn’t fast enough…

I beat-up boys.

I beat-up boys, but only the mean ones.

If and when I caught them, I would punch them a couple times. It was kind of like tipping cows, which is a thing in small towns, and running. Sadly, I was the cow. I don’t remember many details. I would have to embellish to paint a vivid picture.

Now if you can, imagine remembering everything? Even mundane details like the bathroom sink being crusted in toothpaste last Wednesday, but clean on Thursday. And not only recalling what you had for breakfast two years ago, but what you were wearing when you ate it. There are people who literally remember everything. This ability is called Hyperthymesia, and it’s very rare.

A woman, named Owen, talked about some of the dark parts of her gift on 60 Minutes. “Sometimes, having this sort of extreme memory can be a very isolating sort of thing,” she said. “There are times when I feel like I’m fluent in a language that nobody else speaks, or that I’m walking around and everybody else has amnesia.”

Memories are rooted in the cerebral cortex. Long-term memories are tucked away in the temporal lobe. Hyperthymesia is believed to be caused by enlargement of temporal lobe.
Would you want to be able to remember everything?

What early memories have you tucked away?