Conditioning Your Old Fimo Until It’s Like New

We know that MixQuick belongs in every Fimo artist’s toolbox. But why? If you have ever worked with polymer clay you know that old clay can get hard. Never fear, you can actually save even hardest clay. I had a block I used for a necklace almost six years ago and I got it back to an almost new state.

Here I would like to show you how I do it with the slightly harder Fimo and their MixQuick conditioner.

Like I say, life is too short to knead hard Fimo until it is soft, and you know me, I like to make things as simple as possible!

My favorite little helper when it comes to hard Fimo is my trusty carrot kitchen grater.

I start by laying out some Seran wrap over the counter to catch the crumbs and keep my kitchen safe since polymer clay will eat up certain types of plastic. Then I put the kitchen grater on it and begin grating the hard Fimo. The Seran wrap is important since the crumbs really will go everywhere, and nobody wants a Fimo sprinkle mess.

One disadvantage of the kitchen grater is that you can cut yourself if you aren’t careful like I have in the past. I usually don’t use them unless I have no other option.

Once I have it broken down into a sandy pile I place some chunks of MixQuick around so that it can soften the hard polymer clay. I then wrap it up nice and tight with the ceranwrap and leave it set for at least 24 hours.

Now that you have the hard part done you can begin with the fun part. Kneeding. I usually use a noodle machine for this process but if you Fimo is really hard you might need to work it by hand first until you get a workable mass. THis can be cumbersom and take a long time depending on how much clay you need to condition.

Still, I hope you do not have too much old / hard Fimo laying about because this can be a trying job. But if so just try to have fun with the processing stage, afterall, it is part of the sculpting process!

Oh one more thing when it comes to make your old clay usable again, do not save on the wrong end, buy the MixQuick. It is cheaper than a new block of clay. And do not, I repeat DO NOT come to the idea to use oil or whatever else you may put in there there is no alternative. Imagine how – haha, funny – it would be if you invested your precious time in your expensive Fimo and are too cheap for MixQuick and it just ruins everying. Don’t do that to your Fimo. And certainly do not do that to yourself.

One thing to note, never use more than a third of the overall weight of MQ when you do this, you will lower the quality of the Fimo if you do.

Currently Reading: Agatha Christie’s “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd”

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is a classic Agatha Christie mystery that will keep readers wondering until the very last page. The plot revolves around the investigation into the murder of business tycoon Roger Ackroyd, which quickly becomes more complex than it appears. Christie’s writing is superb, and the novel is chock-full of red herrings and plot twists that will keep readers guessing. Finally, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is a thrilling and well-crafted mystery that will appeal to Christie enthusiasts.

I recently finished Agatha Christie’s “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd,” which was originally published in 1926.

The novel is set in the fictional village of King’s Abbot, which is based on the actual settlement of Great Missenden in the English county of Buckinghamshire. The plot revolves around Roger Ackroyd, a wealthy widower who is assassinated in his study. Mrs. Ferrars, his housekeeper, admits to the murder, but she is subsequently discovered dead in her own home. Inspector Hercule Poirot suspects that there is much more to the matter than meets the eye.

Agatha Christie’s career took a significant turn once she published The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. It was her first major success and branded her as a mystery writer to be reckoned with. Hercule Poirot, Christie’s most famous detective, made his debut in this book as well, making it Christie’s first novel to feature him. Before this, Christie had built her reputation on writing humorous and cheerful love stories and comedies. She demonstrated to the world with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd that she was capable of penning intricate mysteries that were thrilling and kept readers wondering right up until the finale. Due in large part to the success of this novel, Agatha Christie is considered to be one of the best-selling authors of all time.

The novel is a classic murder mystery with numerous twists and turns. Christie does an excellent job at suspense-building and keeping the reader guessing until the end. This is a book I would recommend to everyone who appreciates a good mystery.

Currently Reading: Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express”

Agatha Christie’s novel Murder on the Orient Express was first published in 1934. The plot revolves around a murder that occurs on the Orient Express, a train that runs from Istanbul to Calais. Belgian investigator Hercule Poirot is on the case. He questions each passenger in order to narrow down the suspicions. He eventually solves the case.

For those who aren’t familiar with the genre this is one of the most known and well-loved murder mystery novels of all time, Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express has been lauded by critics and fans alike for its cunning storyline, intriguing characters, and thrilling writing. The 1934 novel follows detective Hercule Poirot as he investigates the murder of an American businessman on the eponymous train. All of the passengers are potential suspects, making it much more difficult for Poirot to solve the case using his sharp deductive talents alone.

Christie has been hailed by reviewers for her intricate planning, which keeps readers guessing right up until the final page. Readers have praised her clever character development and the way she uses red herrings and false leads to keep people guessing. The characters in Murder on the Orient Express are complex and well-drawn, making them both believable and sympathetic. Not only is Christie’s plot exciting and excitingly written, but her style is straightforward and simple.

In sum, Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express is a timeless story that justifies its status as a literary classic.

It is an interesting side note, but Christie travel by this express significantly which ran for three centuries, between 1883 and 2009, and the Orient Express lived up to its name as a luxury train service. The service was known for its European routes that included stops in Paris, Istanbul, and Vienna.

This was an excellent read for me. Which means that it was a quick read with good suspense. I didn’t realize just who the murderer was the first time I read it untill the very end. Anyone who enjoys mysteries should read this book.

The novel is a classic murder mystery  that follows world-famous investigator Hercule Poirot as he tries to investigate a murder aboard the Orient Express. The book is full of unexpected twists and turns that keep the reader thinking until the very end. Christie’s writing is excellent, and the novel is a page-turner. If you enjoy mysteries, this is a book you will not want to miss.

Murder on the Orient Express on Film

Sidney Lumet directed the 1974 film adaptation of Agatha Christie’s novel “Murder on the Orient Express,” which starred Albert Finney as Hercule Poirot. The film received six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, and won three of them.

Poirot investigates the murder of a wealthy American traveler aboard the Orient Express in the film. The suspects are all train passengers, and Poirot must use his analytical skills to find the killer before the train arrives at its final destination.

The film stayed mostly true to the text, with a few alterations to match the medium of film. The film, for example, consolidated the book’s numerous timelines into a single chronology. A storyline involving a love triangle involving three of the passengers was also introduced to the film.

The film’s superb performances, notably Finney’s portrayal of Poirot, and gripping plot were hailed by critics. Some people thought the film’s finale was unsatisfying since it diverged from the book’s resolution.

Albert Finney refused to reprise his part as Hercule Poirot in later film versions of the books because he believed he had done everything he could with the character. He also believed that other performers should be given the opportunity to play the role. Apart from that, he despised wearing the “fat suite” on the sweltering sound stage.

The film adaption of “Murder on the Orient Express” starring David Suchet was released in 2010. Suchet played Poirot in the television adaptation.

The film stayed mostly true to the novel, with a few alterations to the plot and characters. For example, Poirot in the film is more emotional and vulnerable than Poirot in the book, and the film introduces a new character, Miss Lemon.

The film received positive reviews from critics for its superb performances, specifically Suchet’s depiction of Poirot, and for its realistic interpretation of the original story.

Kenneth Branagh directed the 2017 film adaption of “Murder on the Orient Express,” which starred Branagh as Hercule Poirot. Critics gave the movie mixed reviews.

The film stayed mostly true to the novel, with some alterations to the plot and characters. The film’s Poirot, for example, is more narcissistic and vain than the novel’s Poirot, and the film adds a new character, Dr. Arbuthnot, who does not appear in the book.

The film’s graphics and performances were acclaimed by critics, but many believed that the changes made to the source material were unwarranted and that the picture was too long.

Suchet’s performance is my favorite since it feels the most genuine.

How I Stay Focused: Sometimes

When attempting to be productive, it is critical to maintain focus since it allows you to best organize your time, break down large tasks into smaller ones, and pause to recharge.

If you’re having trouble staying focused all day, there are several things you can try to help yourself. To begin, make a list of just about everything you must accomplish and keep it handy. This will assist you in staying focused on your priorities and avoiding distractions. Second, divide your projects into smaller, more achievable steps. This will make the task appear less daunting and will increase your chances of success. Finally, take frequent breaks to allow your mind to relax and regenerate. This will provide you with the energy you require to return to your responsibilities with fresh eyes.

Here Are My Three Easy Tricks to Stay on Track

Make a List of Everything You Need to Do

When you have a huge amount on your plate, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and lose sight of what’s most important. Making a list of all that needs to do throughout the day. Then keep referring to it when needed. This may mean that you are frequently looking at your list or you might need to only occasionally glance at it to stay on track. No matter what you need this will assist you in staying focused on your priorities and avoiding distractions.

Divide Your Work Into Smaller, More Manageable Chunks

Attempting to tackle a big task in one go can be intimidating and frustrating, and you are more likely to no get it done which can be discouraging.

A better strategy, one that helps you see your work progress, is to divide the task into smaller, more manageable pieces that you can work off the list. This will make this process appear less daunting, give you chance to pause, and in the end it will give you the best results.

Take Frequent Breaks to Allow Your Thoughts to Rest

When trying to stay focused, it’s critical to take frequent breaks. This will allow your mind to rest and your body to revitalize, allowing you to return to your tasks with renewed vigor.

You will be surprised how much you can get down and how easy it makes things feel when you employ these simple tricks.

Sure, it can sometimes be difficult to stay focused, especially when our lives are busy, but it is important to try to maintain a clear frame of mind and focus on what needs to be done. If you are having difficulty, take a break and return to your job at hand later. And most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

Currently Reading: Agatha Christie’s “Third Girl”

In “Third Girl,” Hercule Poirot, one of the world’s most famous detectives, is tasked with solving a murder. The victim is a young woman who was discovered dead in her apartment, and there are three possible suspects. Poirot will have to use his deductive talents to determine which of the three is the murderer.

“Third Girl” is a suspenseful mystery that will keep audiences wondering until the very end. Christie has developed a complicated and convoluted narrative that will keep readers engaged. Poirot is a skilled detective, and Christie has built a complicated and tricky plot which will keep readers engaged. Fans of mystery books will enjoy this.

In Agatha Christie’s “Third Girl,” the housemates are an unusual group. Clara is shy and retiring, Sonia is exuberant and fun-loving, and Myra is quiet and secretive. They all appear to get along, yet there is an undercurrent of tension between them.

Clara is the first to learn about Sonia’s hidden past. She’d been keeping it a secret, but when Clara unintentionally uncovers a letter from Sonia’s mother, she discovers the truth. Sonia is the illegitimate daughter of an affluent family who has kept her true identity hidden from her housemates.

Myra is the next to find out, and she’s not happy about it. She’s always suspected that Sonia was hiding something, and she’s not thrilled to find out that she’s right. Myra is also worried about what this means for Clara. If Sonia is hiding her true identity, what else is she hiding?

The roommates’ relationship starts to unravel as secrets are revealed and mistrust sets in. Clara begins to distance herself from Sonia, and Myra starts to keep a closer eye on her. The tension between them builds until it finally explodes in a dramatic confrontation.

The reader must finally determine if the housemates can overcome their disagreements and stay friends.

Third Girl by Agatha Christie was a good book for me. The novel is a mystery story about a young woman named Poirot who is attempting to investigate a crime. I enjoyed how the novel had me wondering until the very end. I really enjoyed the characters and how they grew during the novel. Overall, I felt the book was excellent and would suggest it to others.

William Morrow and Company published “Third Girl” in 1966. Agatha Christie died in 1976, she was born in 1890.

Hercule Poirot: Then and Now

Hercule Poirot has become one of the most famous fictional detectives of all time. Agatha Christie created Poirot, who first appeared in Christie’s novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles and went on to solve over 33 crimes in both short stories and novels.

Poirot is an eccentric figure known for his fastidiousness, love of order and symmetry, and his motto, “Order and procedure, that is the thing.” Initially debuting as a secondary character, Poirot soon became the center of the narrative and has starred in over 50 books and short stories.

Poirot has been played on screen by a number of actors throughout the years, most notably David Suchet in the long-running television adaption.

Christie’s works are still famous today, and Hercule Poirot is one of the most beloved fictional detectives of all time.

The cultural significance of Agatha Christie’s and Hercule Poirot’s work cannot be overstated. Christie’s novels have entertained readers all over the world for almost 100 years, and Poirot has become one of the most recognizable fictional characters of all time. Christie’s ingenious plots and Poirot’s odd demeanor have caught the public’s imagination and turned them into cultural icons in their own right.

Poirot’s popularity is as high as it has ever been and his stories have been adapted on both the big and small screens. Murder on the Orient Express, a fresh adaptation of Christie’s novel, was released to critical and financial acclaim in 2017. The popularity of this renowned detective does not appear to be waning.

Babies From A to Z: At Least How We Experienced It

When you become a parent, your life changes dramatically. You must begin to consider things like school, doctor’s appointments, and bedtimes. You must also be more cautious about what you say and do, because your children are constantly watching and learning from you. I learned all of these things along the long road of motherhood, some the easy way, some the hard way, but all of them were rewarding.

It would be an understatement to say that this is not the case. After a certain age, most of us have the observational skills to recognize that there are numerous changes that occur when you become a parent. Some of the more noticeable changes are that you have less time for yourself, that you must budget your time and money differently, and that your priorities shift. However, there are numerous less visible changes that occur. For example, you may discover that you are more patient, organized, and understanding. Parenting is a big responsibility, but it can also be a lot of fun. If you’re considering becoming a parent, be ready for significant changes in your life.

While eFrog and I have those ever so precarious baby steps behind us, my sister and her wife are just getting started. So today, I thought that I would write something for them.

I was in charge of organizing my sister’s baby shower. I wanted to make sure it was perfect, so I made sure to include all of her favorite games and foods. We started off with the classic “Guess the Baby Food” game. We had a variety of different foods, ranging from sweet to savory. My sister was able to guess all of them correctly. For the main course, we served a variety of finger foods. My sister’s favorite is chicken salad, so I made sure to include that. For dessert, we had a beautiful three-tiered cake. It was decorated with pink and blue icing, to represent the upcoming arrival of my sister’s baby girl.

The next game we played was the “Guess the Baby’s Gender” game. We had a few different ways for people to guess, including a “predict the size of the belly” game and a “guess the number of diapers in the box” game. My sister was able to guess the gender correctly. She is having a baby girl! We were all so excited for her. For the final game, we did a “guess the baby’s name” game. My sister had a list of names that she and her husband had been considering. We all took turns guessing which one they would ultimately choose. It was so much fun!

If you ever find yourself in the position of organizing/hosting a baby shower I can only offer a couple of tips that made it easier for us to make sure everything went smoothly. First off when it comes to anything like this you need to have a guest list pretty early on. As you have already read, we did the whole gender reveal thing per my sister’s wishes. That meant both men and women were invited, though I don’t think that that is a feature of this type of celebration alone, but my sister wanted her husband there, and he didn’t want to be the only man.

Get your guest list together as early as possible. This will help you determine early on the number of guest you intend to invite and what type of food to serve.

Next, you need to decide on a theme, of course our theme was the reveal and I styled everything around that including the games that I have already mentioned. This can be anything from a classic baby shower to a more unique theme, like this one where we revealed the gender at the end. Then you need to pick a location. This can be anywhere from your home, their home, your mother’s home or something more involved like a park pavilion or a rented hall. And finally, you need to decide on a date. This is important so that everyone can clear their schedules and be there to celebrate the new arrival.

Once your have that done you can go about picking out invites and either have them printed like we did or do it yourself. Since my sister wanted the whole reveal thing to be incorporated into the party we spend an entire Saturday afternoon looking through designs online. I was glad when she finally settled on one and honestly, I think she was too. But that has never been my thing and I was relieved when she said “here it is” since it was getting stressful looking at them. They honestly all look sort of similar, at least to me. She was of a different opinion, obviously.

From my experience games are one of the most important parts of the shower – regardless of the theme or people attending – because they help break the ice and get everyone involved.

Parenting Changes Everything: How Becoming a Parent Will Surprise You

Parenthood is something for which one is never truly ready. You believe that you are, but the truth is that you are not. When you have children, your life will go in so many different directions that it’s hard to keep track of it all. The following are the three most surprising things that change over time:

Suddenly You No Longer Have as Much Free Time (At All)

Do you remember when you used to have an almost unlimited amount of time at your disposal (after work, chores, and such)? Those times are distant memory when you have children. Since you became a parent, you no longer have complete control over your time. You have to plan everything around your child’s schedule and their requirements. It is not always simple, but it is well worth the effort, at least for us it was.

As a Parent You Have to Be Much More Organized

Parenting requires a lot of organization skills. And while you might not have them at first, you quickly pick them up through your sudden on the job training. How hard can it be? Well, if you are organized it isn’t and that is the point. But you have to keep track of things like: their doctor’s appointments, your child’s school activities, food – clothing – shelter, and everything in between. If you’re not organized, it’s easy to let things slip through the cracks.

This goes for anything in life really, but when things slip between the cracks when you are busy as a parent you run the risk of disappointing them. While, life can be full of disappoint if you let it, keeping an overview of everything can help make things run smoothly in your household. That is why I am an obsessive list maker. BUT, nobody has ever complained about forgetting their toothbrush when we go on vacation so there is that!

You Become More Patient, Seriously Zen, Patient

Being a parent requires a significant amount of patience. There will be times when you question your mental stability, but you have to keep in mind that this is merely a passing phase in your life. It’s not going to be like this forever. You have to maintain your composure and ride out the storm.

The experience of parenting is one that is fraught with difficulty but rich in rewards. It is not always simple, but it is well worth the effort. When you become a parent, you’ll notice changes in many unexpected areas, such as the ones listed above.

When you have children for the first time, it is a completely new and extraordinary experience for you. You are instantly responsible for another person’s life, which can be a frightening as well as a rewarding experience. Some of the joys of becoming a parent for the first time are being able to witness your child’s development and growth, to see them accomplish their goals, and to simply take pleasure in their company. It has the potential to be a wonderful and memorable time that you will cherish for the rest of your life.

Being a parent for the first time is not without its difficulties, that much is obvious. It’s possible that you constantly feel tired, that you worry about whether or not you’re doing everything correctly, and that you have the impression that you’ll never get a break from your responsibilities. However, these obstacles are all a necessary part of the journey, and they will make the rewards that much more satisfying when they are overcome.

Therefore, if you are a parent for the first time, I hope you enjoy the ride! It will be one of the most challenging and difficult experiences of your life, but it will also be one of the most rewarding.

When I Am Feeling Overwhelmed I Get Organized

Since it is getting into the gloomy months a lot of my colleges have begun to complain about it being dark all of the time. Darkness does not bother me, but I can accept that some of us aren’t the nocturnal sort. So I decided to put together some of the things I do to stay focused during the day. These aren’t specific to a particular time of year by the way.

Don’t worry, if you’re having trouble staying focused at work, you’re not alone; we all get overwhelmed from time to time. It’s a common issue, particularly in this day and age of constant distractions and ever-increasing work loads.

But it is possible to overcome this obstacle and stay on track; you can even make the task itself easier, even in the midst of chaos, which does appear from time to time. Here are a few strategies I employ to maintain focus at work:

1. Get and Stay Organized

I know that it is a given, that it is easier said that done, but one of the best ways to stay focused is to get organized. And stay organized. This means having a place for everything and knowing where everything is. Stop looking for pens, your glasses, or the memo your boss gave you.

Start by de-cluttering your work space, keep only the things you need on your desk, get rid of anything that isn’t essential to your work. Then, create a simple system for organizing the things you do need so that once you are done with them they can be returned to there place where only they are stored.

The same things goes for the tasks that you need to complete during the day. Here you could start using a physical planner to keep track of your tasks, or using a digital to-do list app. This really depends on your type of job, I have used both and I think that the handwritten planner works the best (for me). Find what works best for you and stick with it.

2. Prioritize

There is no need to say that with a cluttered work space and a long to-do list, it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why it’s important to set priorities for the tasks you have to complete. Not everything is so important that it needs to be done right now. In fact you can schedule your day around the most important and then fit the others tasks in where they work the best.

That is why I take a few minutes at the beginning of each day to think about what needs to be done and what can wait. Then, I start with the most important tasks and work your way down.

3. Don’t Forget Yourself

It might seem counterintuitive, but taking breaks can actually help you stay focused, full of energy and give you a chance to reflect on what you have already accomplished. When you’re feeling overwhelmed or bogged down, a short break can give you the mental reset you need to power through trying chores.

All you really need to do is step away from your desk for a few minutes, take a walk or do something completely unrelated to work if you can. Just make sure you keep it brief – you don’t want your break to turn into a procrastination session which is all too easy when we have daunting tasks to complete.

4. Eliminate the Daily Distractions

In today’s world, distractions are ever present, in fact there are more distractions than ever before. And when you’re trying to stay focused, even the smallest distraction can throw you off course and waste a couple of hours before you manage (if you manage) to get back on course.

Eliminating distractions really isn’t that hard once you get the big one out of the way. That big one being your phone. Start by turning off your phone and putting it somewhere out of sight, I usually slide it in a drawer. Then, close any tabs on your computer that you don’t need for your current task. Try and limit it to two or three, this gives you an overview and you can close them before you begin your next item on the list.

I work in an open office. This in and over itself can be distracting. If you work in an open office, like me, consider using headphones to block out noise. And if you find yourself getting pulled into side conversations about topics that are not currently pressing for your attention, politely excuse yourself, then move to a different area.

5. Set a Time Limit

When you’re facing a large or challenging project you should limit the amount of time that you are willing to work on it in a single session. I like to take the big, challenging projects and break them up into small, bite sized pieces. These can then be put on the schedule in the morning and you can work them off as they come. When we try and do it all at once it is easy to loose the oversight and end up with more work than is necessary.

I hope that some of these items were helpful. When I was in my senior year of college I began to implemented them on the ever increasing workload. Since then I have been able to tackle even the biggest tasks satisfactorily.

Hercule Poirot’s Ten Greatest Cases

Hercule Poirot, a Belgian detective invented by Agatha Christie, is regarded as one of the best fictional detectives of all time. Poirot originally appears in Christie’s novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles, and he has since solved over 33 crimes in short tales and novels.

Poirot is a peculiar character renowned for his fastidiousness, love of order and symmetry, and his mantra, “Order and method, that is the thing.” Poirot, who began as a supporting character, rapidly became the focus of the stories and has appeared in over 50 novels and short stories.

Poirot has been played on screen by a number of actors throughout the years, most notably David Suchet in the long-running television adaption.

Christie’s works are still famous today, and Hercule Poirot is one of the most beloved fictional detectives of all time.

Hercule Poirot’s Top 10

Agatha Christie is recognized as the “Queen of Mystery,” and her Poirot novels are among the most well-known and popular in the category.

Having read the most popular Poirot novels first will give you a fair understanding of Christie’s writing style as well as Poirot’s persona. Some of the later Poirot novels are more sophisticated, and if you are unfamiliar with the series, you may find them puzzling. Reading the series’ most popular novels first can help you comprehend it better.

The most popular Poirot novels are typically regarded as the greatest in the series, so you’ll be reading some of Christie’s best work. Reading the more popular Poirot books first can also help you comprehend the series’ popular culture references.

Here are the most popular stories with a short description of each book.

  1. “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd”: Poirot looks into the death of a wealthy businessman in a tiny town.
  2. “The Murder on the Links”: Poirot is called in to investigate the death of a man on a golf course.
  3. “Peril at End House”: Poirot investigates a woman’s murder in a coastal resort.
  4. “Lord Edgware Dies”: Poirot investigates the assassination of an aristocracy in London.
  5. “Murder on the Orient Express”: Poirot looks into the death of a man aboard a train.
  6. “The A.B.C. Murders”: Poirot investigates a sequence of murders that appear to be linked to a nursery rhyme.
  7. “Cards on the Table”: Poirot looks into a murder that occurs during a game of bridge.
  8. “Murder in Mesopotamia”: Poirot is called in to investigate the murder of an archaeologist’s wife in Iraq.
  9. “Death on the Nile”: Poirot investigates a woman’s murder on a cruise liner.
  10. “Appointment with Death”: Poirot is called in to examine the death of a woman in Palestine.

It’s All Because of Kafka

I have Franz Kafka to thank for rekindling my passion of reading as a child. For those who don’t know, Franz Kafka was a Czech-Austrian writer, probably most famous for his surrealist and absurdist writing styles. Kafka’s works frequently deal with themes of loneliness, existential anguish, and absurdity. His most famous works are “The Metamorphosis,” a short tale, and the novels The Trial and The Castle. The phrase “Kafkaesque” refers to events that are ludicrous and surreal, such as those presented in Kafka’s literature.

He was born in Prague in 1883 to a middle-class Jewish family who spoke German. He studied law, but after finishing his studies, he was hired full-time by an insurance company, leaving him little time to write. Despite writing several hundred letters to friends and relatives Kafka had a rocky connection with his father. He was engaged to various ladies and yet never married, and he died of tuberculosis at the age of 40 in 1924.

My mother used to read to me every night when I was a kid. This aided me in developing reading skills at a young age. I was reading at a grade school level by kindergarten.

When I got to junior high, though, the literature we were reading tired me. I quit reading completely. This changed my senior year when I was assigned to AP literature. We were required to read Franz Kafka’s short story The Metamorphosis.

I was moved to tears by this story. It was the first time a story made me cry. It was in a collection of short stories by Franz Kafka. I devoured the entire book in one sitting. Then I went out and purchased some more Kafka.

My younger brother brought home a book the following year and assured me it was full of adventure. My mother, as well as Kafka and Tolkien, are responsible for my passion of reading.