Life is Too Short to Read a Boring Book

it is ok to take out the bookmark and move on

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Internal messages

I don’t know at what point in my life I got the message that it is somehow sacrilegious to not finish a book that I have started reading. But because of this strong message in my mind I have books all over my house with a bookmark in it.

I must have 12 unfinished novels.

For some reason it is very difficult to just take hold of that bookmark and slide it free from the book.

Perhaps it is not the right time for the reading of that particular book.

Perhaps the interest that we initially had in the book was lost when we began reading it and it did not live up to our expectations.

Perhaps it is simply just not a very good read?

Still, it is very difficult for me to give up on a book. There’s something about quitting that runs through my mind. There are messages from my parents about following things through and not giving up on something that you have started.

Life is too short to press through a boring book.

But I’m here to tell you that life is simply too short to hold onto things that aren’t of interest. Your time is better spent moving on to other books that seize you by your emotions and carry you through page after page.

So pull out that bookmark! Set the book aside and if the timing is right later you can come back to it. But there’s no sense in beating yourself up or forcing yourself to plunder through a book that bores you to tears.

There are so many books on my bookshelf. At the rate I read, that I would never finish them all! I decided there’s nothing wrong with testing out a book for a few chapters and then deciding whether to continue.

No more plundering through boring books for me. And if you needed the permission to pull out that bookmark and move on to something else — here you are! You have my permission!

An analogy

I made a decision some years ago while eating a plate of cold french fries from some fast food place somewhere, that with the caloric content of french fries there’s simply no point in eating them unless they are delicious. I decided that if the fries suck I’m going to throw them out.

There’s simply no sense in putting my body through the difficulties of processing the caloric garbage of french fries unless they’re so damn good that I just can’t help myself. So if they’re not hot and delicious they go in the garbage.

Just an analogy. No reason to burn or throw out the book that bores you. You can set it aside or donate it and free up a little space in your home. Don’t hang on, hold on, and press yourself through something that is uninteresting or simply not your thing.

Save your reading time for books that move you.

Read the books that move you, inspire you, entertain you, teach you, and give your life that ooey-gooey feeling of cuddling up with a good book.

It is totally okay.


Christina Ward is an avid reader, poet, and writer from North Carolina. She is also writing a book of her own that she one day hopes doesn’t bore the masses. Stay in touch for book releases.

Medium UPDATE–Here’s what you may have missed

Fiddleheads & Floss Newsletter

Hi to all my WordPress followers!! This week on my Medium account I did ALL of my links with the “Friend Links” which means that YOU–even if you are NOT a Medium member, can enjoy this content. I thought I’d share the newsletter with you! Read below to see what you may have missed over at Medium. I promise, I will get some of these poems posted here as well 🙂 Have a GREAT weekend!! If you would like to follow Fiddleheads & Floss on Medium, here is the link:

https://medium.com/fiddleheads-floss

What a week — sucky for MPP but a lot of great writing! Fancy that?

Here are a few highlights — all friend links so you can share this with friends or other writers you think may enjoy it. Thanks guys!

First offDid you know I am related to an ax murderer?

Two writing prompts for you!

Emily Dickinson Poetry Prompt (Thank you Jenny Justice for your response to this one — I really enjoyed it!)
Haiku Prompt (This one is from House of Haiku — they have great prompts!)


Poetry is queen this week!

This Poetic Sea (Thank you to Heath ዟ and Anna Rozwadowska for all you do to support L.L. writers!! You guys are the best!)

A terrible uninvited guest — IN MY BATH!!

Ladder-back Chairs

I Grow Restless

Late Night Ladies

The little guy that sent my heart through the roof this week when I stepped on him!

Without this guy I can hardly walk.

Poor Icy — R.I.P (Dennett thank you for your condolences and understanding!)

On the Outskirts of the Blue Ridge


Don’t miss these writing articles!

Are you running on a hamster wheel for Medium?

For the sake of Great Story


Articles to inspire you — win at life!

You need to be doing this right now!

The worst boss I ever had.

That is all for this week — stay tuned for a great poem due to post any day now— Rivers Through the Wasteland.

Happy weekend everyone. My tribe. My people. You guys are the best.

I hope you have found something wonderful here to read and share. Delivering content that makes your life better or more meaningful in some way is remarkably rewarding — so let me know what you appreciate and I will do more like that 🙂

One poem this week I wrote in less than 2 minutes and gave it ZERO edits — hoping that this would make it feel more authentic, be more relatable, connect better with readers — it received 1.1K claps in 12 hours. I learned something here. About not leaving my reader behind with poetry so complex that it isn’t enjoyable — thanks you guys for teaching me!

One more thing: Zach J. Payne has started a pub for SONNETS!! Here’s the link: Sonnetry Be sure to give it a follow — and get to writing some sonnets!

~Christina

On the Outskirts of the Blue Ridge

a poem about an afternoon drive through the beautiful foothills of the N.C. mountains

Image by Christian B. from Pixabay

Hilltop mobile homes
parked in rows with
weary cars and tufts
of unruly grass.
They are weathered,
as am I.
Collections of scrap-metal,
small gardens boasting
late tomatoes, plump
red flashes on the vine.
Corn fields in thick
mounds that hug the earth.
Bovine fields gathered in fences.

Each blind bend in the road
is a new thing of some old things
to see, to let my eyes and soul
linger there in possibility.
Wouldn’t it be nice to
live here in this quiet
gathering of apple orchards
and tender rolling hills
that reach here and there
to the sky?—the way that mountains do.

The clouds move in thick
syrupy drifts over the peaks
rolling carelessly down each
curve, making a tender crawl
to the valleys before the trees
swallow their mists. Everything
moves slower here.

Christmas tree farms dot the steep
embankments, sloping up toward sky.
A mountain stream appears
and winds the same path as we—
it moves silently, adrift a stony path
alongside the road, carrying
inner-tubers, canoeists, brightly-colored
Saturday fun in the cool waters
of Blue Ridge. Everything
moves slower here, as do we.

Christina Ward is a nature writer and poet from North Carolina. Stay in touch!

Where the Crawdads Sing–by Delia Owens

a book review

Image by homecare119 from Pixabay

I just finished reading Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.

All. The. Feels.

The naturalist within me sang circles and ran around excitedly, arms in the air and miniature binoculars on the ready — while reading this intensely poetic and nature-filled joy of a book.

To say that I could not put it down is an understatement. I was consumed by it. And it has been a very long time since a book has affected me this way.

Reminiscent of my reading of Aldo Leopold’s Sand County Almanac in my college years, this book had all the nature I needed with a healthy dose of character development and plot. The story carried me on wings of curiosity while the characters unfolded, each to a different amusement.

I am from rural North Carolina and am quite familiar with our beautiful coastal marshlands, but this deep dive into the region was spectacular. Some of the descriptions reminded me more of regions further south, but as the story moved through these lush marshes — I didn’t care if the precise trees, grasses, or Spanish moss dripping from the trees was exactly right.

What Kinds of Wetlands are in NC? : North Carolina Wetlands
North Carolina has many kinds of natural systems ranging from ancient mountains to barrier island beaches. Riparian…www.ncwetlands.org

For once I didn’t find myself looking it up — to be sure the nature descriptions were right for the area. It infuriates me to read books that get the seasons and the botanical inclusions all wrong. This story carried me so well and the descriptions were so on point that I didn’t feel the need to investigate. It felt right. The author, being a nature scientist herself, had such a strong and authoritative, trustworthy voice throughout, that the reader is left to just enjoy the narrative.

Omniscient POV was also a great choice for this novel. The reader is able to have a birds-eye view into this sleepy town. 

And speaking of birds — as someone who thoroughly enjoyed my college ornithology classes and enjoyed the field work that happened to be on the coast of North Carolina — I wholeheartedly loved the birds in Where the Crawdads Sing. The birds were so involved in the story that they are almost a character in and of themselves.

I would say, as well that the marsh is its own character — as fully developed as the human characters in the story. All five senses as well as a deep sense of wonder are engaged throughout the story by the movements and moods of the marsh, so loved by the “Marsh Girl.”

This is a beautiful debut novel celebrating wildlife, natural experiences, and leading us through a moving coming-of-age story into a gripping murder mystery.

This book has it all. I was moved to laughter, to wonder, to fear, and to tears. If you read a book at all this year — let it be this one!

A billion stars!

It’s Never to Late to Teach Your Kids Body Positivity

even if you are still learning it for yourself

photo by Amy Treasure, Unsplash.com

My daughter is starting high school this year. Oh, how I remember that freshman year of mine in 1987. Big hair was in, and a shapely body with a tiny waist. I felt the pressure of thinness much earlier than those years but remembering how self-critical I was at that age has me certainly worried for my daughter.

Except this isn’t 1987 and there’s a movement toward body positivity that I find very encouraging. Body Positivity is a phrase used to describe the acceptance and celebration of one’s shape, size, color, and all its unique features — regardless of age and stage in life.

Why aren’t we extending courtesy to ourselves?

It is no longer acceptable to make fat-shaming remarks. It is no longer ok to discriminate against people based on their race or age — not that these things were ever ok, but we are growing as a society that is more inclusive of all people.

We know that we shouldn’t criticize others for how they look and that we should treat other people with kindness. All people. We know these things and we try — -but why aren’t we extending that courtesy to ourselves. Why aren’t we showing ourselves the same measure of acceptance that we try to emulate socially?

We look in the mirror and declare, “I’m fat.”

We look in the mirror and declare, “I’m old.”

And we are doing these things in front of our daughters, our sons, and other people that love us. Which brings me to the question of “How can I teach Body Positivity to my daughter if I have not yet learned that lesson for myself?”

When I was her age I relied on my parents, events and conversations at school with my peers or teachers, and music. We didn’t have Cable television in our house so I guess you could add the afternoon sitcoms to the list of social influences I had. Thirteen years of Girl Scouting and more years than that of the Methodist church.

Today our children have You-tube sensations. They are bombarded with images of the beautiful and the perfect. Pop culture is everywhere — magazines, television, Facebook, Instagram — and kids are glued to their smartphones. We’d be crazy to think they aren’t being inundated with images daily that help to form their sense of self-identities.

It starts with us.

Body Positivity is a crucial message to add to the mix and if we want it to compete with all the other images, they are receiving then we’d better make it frequent. We can start by eliminating critical talk about ourselves. We can start by speaking to our strengths and challenges and remove the focus of what we look like, how our hair is doing on a given day, or whether or not we are having a “skinny day.”

Growing into Body Positivity

The Positive Psychology website has a great list of directives to help you develop a better body image:

· Focus on your positive qualities, skills, and talents.

· Say positive things to yourself every day (practicing affirmations puts this suggestion to use)

· Avoid negative or berating self-talk

· Focus on appreciating and respecting what your body can do

· Set positive, health-focused goals rather than weight loss-focused goals.

· Admire the beauty of others but avoid comparing yourself to anyone else.

· Remind yourself that many media images are unrealistic and unattainable for the vast majority of people

It is difficult, but worth it.

As a woman in my forties it is no longer a struggle to just accept my weight and shape. I now see a face that is aging and wonder where my eyebrows went and what this weird hair is on my chin. Now, aging has entered the mix.

We can start by eliminating critical talk about ourselves.

But if I am diligent enough with my self-talk, I can keep the focus on health-centered goals and self-respect. My daughter tells me every day that I am beautiful. I wonder what a difference it would make if I agreed with her. Warts and all — beautiful. Short and frumpy — beautiful. Wildness for hair — beautiful. With or without makeup — beautiful.

The time for body positivity could not be more important. Take some time to appreciate your body today with all its quirks and flaws and yes even that weird hair on your chin — and celebrate all the positive things your body can do or has been through.

Our children are learning from us and it is up to us, the people that love them, to teach them that they are perfectly wonderful.


Christina Ward is a mom, step-mom, and grandmother. She is also a poet and writer from rural North Carolina.

Excavating a Poem

a free verse poem celebrating the process

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

Excavating a Poem

Some, a breath
exhaled slowly
into life-giving words.

Some, an excavation
with bristles firm,
then soft and careful.

Some, roots
gnarled and half-buried
we trip over them
and follow them to trees.

Some, grains of sand
to be gathered and shaped
into delicate mounds
washed into the sea.

We gather. We excavate.
We dig and we build.

We are careful to use
the right tools, the right angles
the carved-out landscapes
of metaphor and dream.

We speak for them, but they
are our teachers.


To all my fellow poets out there digging deep, finding the breath to breathe life into your poetry, or just listening to your poems until they speak themselves to you…it is a gift to be their voice.Embrace it. Be mindful. Always seek. Always listen.

Christina Ward
:::i paint with words:::

the skin i am in

a free-verse poem, “Human Prompt”

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

The following poem entitled “the skin i am in” was written in response to Medium’s Human Parts weekend prompt and is published here: https://medium.com/@fnfwriter/the-skin-i-am-in-93fc77d6ba7b?source=friends_link&sk=6d40596a9ef6f7ebf0846cefc782ae46

the skin i am in

watery womb
my cells gather
wrapped in the skin
i’d be born in
wrinkled, noisy
erupting into air


concrete burning
tiny feet running
june bugs darting
in the air of summer
the cool plunge
tippy-toed in water
splashing with daddy


mosquito bitten legs
scratching, blood rising in spots
stop picking, stop scratching momma said


school scares me, i think
the doors are so heavy, the kids are so loud
they don’t like my hair
i pick at that spot on my scalp
i stick my finger in the open wound
blood has a funny smell

stop picking momma said

i waited for someone else to open the doors
and slipped between before they closed

i don’t like the playground
i want to go home


the boys don’t pay much attention to a girl with unruly hair
and bad skin…i pick myself raw, then cover it up again

i can’t seem to bear this thing i am in, the calories adding up as they do

tonight i’ll add them all up


my baby is the most beautiful thing, tiny mouth to breast and i feel 
the tug of motherhood drawing me cell by cell toward purpose

i have to eat
i have to eat
i try to eat

my bones feel so thin

but this baby! oh this baby!


momma… you need this stuff for acne. i saw it on the tv.
yes baby, i think that would help my skin,

thank you, son


the skin i am in. the grandmother skin that i am in
scarred, imperfect. mine.
meals cooked. eaten. no counting.

a graveyard of skin-creams
the skin i am in
i love

Late Night Storm in July

a free verse poem

Image by WikimediaImages from Pixabay

It feels like a deep rumble in the belly of the earth.
Roaring through the skies like it came right out of 
the ground, a fat belch set free to shake the darkness
in the skies. The churning light, pulsing within its
thundercloud womb, burning to strike trees 
from root — the shift and boil and release.

That rumbling billow cannot be simply the shifting of air.
That sound that brings me to melancholy depth,
inner cogs grinding away, time anchoring to emotion.
A soul sitting still is moved by these sounds. 
Now, the rain. Paced and steady she is carried in
on the bowling thunder that unearths me. I imbibe energy.

I am jolted. The summer storm alights with all her fury,
unleashed on thirsty ground and earth-clinging trees,
bending in the throes of her gusts. Dripping patter
hammers the roof, drums out the monotony of a day
too long and a night too short. She is unleashed,
a great pendulum of ferity, flogging the night sky,
and I am unbound. My inviolable spirit — reborn,
a fat baby slapped again and again.



This poem was originally published on Weeds and Wildflowers, a Medium publication.

My name is Christina. I am a poet. 
:::i paint with words:::

Tea and Memories

a free verse poem

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Hot tea, infused with sugar
white, granular, swallowed-up.
Powdered creamer swirls, 
slips inside, a marriage
of “Good Morning” 
and “Wake up”
to me, sleepy on the couch.

Pungent warmth to tongue, to throat,
to the insides…a dissipation
to soothe the memories
away. Some days they come.

survivor, me? 
The multi-syllabic mess of me?

You have so much to offer, 
she said, with a genuine smile.
She was a nice lady, put-together
well-dressed, dignified, attractive,
walking in heels up steps.
Grace on stilts with a syrupy lure,
to share myself…to share me?

My input, my experience
my story, my chrysalis
shed, to empower other
women who shift 
in bruised realities,
someone stealing their right
to just be without a 
price tag on their needs.

Those women are the me I used to be.

I don’t feel very empowered
Sitting here sipping tea.
The past rises, even if you
swallow it whole again and again.
Insufficient distance between us
for my Soul to rise up and fly free.


This poem was originally published by Blue Insights: Tea and Memories

Thank you for reading Tea and Memories. Be sure to sign up for my mail squad of supporters here: https://mailchi.mp/1023c412b1fb/fnf

Abysmal You

Free Verse poetry


Image by Jess Foami from Pixabay

I dream of things unspoken.
You shake me to the surface
sleepy-eyed, confused.

You might still be real.

There might still be one moment
that is mine.

My nakedness aches.
I don’t want
the gray
the shadow
the memory to absorb you.

Eyes wide and blind, I am a child,
abandoned, untethered.


Original publishing: Abysmal You

My name is Christina. I am a poet. 
:::i paint with words:::

Christina Ward is an accomplished poet, aspiring author, and columnist for the Observer News Enterprise newspaper. She earned her Bachelor of Science from Catawba College in Environmental Science which greatly influences her work. She also studied creative writing and English at Catawba. Her poetry has been published in the Cameo print literary magazine, the Arrowhead print literary magazine, Vita Brevis Poetry Magazine, and in Wolff Poetry Literary Magazine.