Hometown Treasures

Sometimes, going home is hard. You’re leaving friends, jobs, and a place that you just got settled into. But if there’s anything good about going home? It’s that you know that place like the back of your hand and all of the little secrets that your hometown holds. The local coffee shop with the best pastries, the clothing store that always has all of its prices at 70% off, a bead shop with the friendliest owners. For me, it’s a bookstore.

I love books. I love bookstores. I love them so much that I could spend an eternity in one and it still wouldn’t be enough time. I love the atmosphere, the book smell and getting to read new stories I’ve never knew existed. My favorite bookstore is a little gem in Baraboo, WI called the Village Booksmith. If I could, I would gladly give them all of my money. It’s unfortunate that I do have bills to pay so I guess I won’t be giving them ALL of my money.

The Village Booksmith is a bookstore in Baraboo, WI that sells new, old and rare books for a great price. A popular book that typically sells for $20-$25 could sell as low as $5 at the Village Booksmith. Plus, they have a great variety of books to offer: history, science fiction, gardening, architecture, biographies, foreign language, books for kids, etc. They have any book you could possibly imagine. I even saw some old Vietnam military manuals once. And if they don’t have a specific book you’re looking for? They will help you locate in online and get it shipped right to your door. They’re book wizards I swear.

THEY EVEN HAVE A WHOLE THEATRE SECTION.

For you non- Thespians, let me explain a thing or two about finding a theatre section that sells theatre texts for reasonable prices. To find a bookstore that has a theatre section that has more than Shakespeare in it and contains more than a shelf of dusty Ibsen scripts is like finding a unicorn in your backyard. In other words, it’s nearly impossible.

But the Village Booksmith has done it! They have created a unicorn in their store for the theatre nerds. Their theatre section is a whole 8-shelf bookshelf filled with books on every genre of the theatre: scripts, theatre history, costume design, directing, makeup design, scene design, prop design, sound design, acting, stage management. And scripts. Lots and lots of scripts! Needless to say, it’s my favorite spot in the whole store. The last time I was there, I purchased about 10 theatre books that would normally run for $400-$450 for about $80. It was such a good deal I almost felt bad. Almost.

So if you’re in the Baraboo, WI area, be sure to drop by the Village Booksmith. You’re sure to find a treasure or two in there. I know that when I’m back in my hometown, the Village Booksmith will be the first place to visit (even before my parents)!

 

Until Next Time,

Dana Qualy

Let’s Chat

Hi everyone,

13269362_495596163976343_2083116012_nHow are you doing? Well? Not so well? Hopefully you’re doing well. If not, I’m putting a picture of my dog in this blog post to brighten your spirits just a little. Look at that adorable face!

How am I doing? That’s a hard question to answer. Things are… seemingly good. My blood work is good, my apartment is not on fire and it is not a chemo week. Things are good. So why am I still making that grumpy face when I know something isn’t good?

It’s because we don’t talk anymore.

I’m not saying you and I don’t talk anymore. There’s a good chance I have no idea who you are so we’ve never met (Hi, by the way. Nice to meet you). I’m saying people don’t talk about the hard subjects anymore. When I say hard subjects, I’m referring to tragic events that have happened and once they’re over, no one calls it by what it is anymore (ex: bombings, suicide, abandonment, etc.) Why don’t we talk about them?

The easy answer would be “technology has ruined the future of communication,” but I don’t believe that. Others would argue “it’s not socially acceptable to bring up such things,” but I don’t believe that either. There are YouTube videos and blog posts and news articles about challenging content that we as a society choose to click away from. The opportunity is there and we do not take it. There are people telling their most personal stories to inspire others and we step away from them hoping that they’ll stop for our convenience. People pour their hearts into that work and we ignore it. For whatever reason, we don’t want to know. We don’t want to ask. I catch myself doing that all the time. In fact, I did it to a fellow woman who posted about her cancer story. I got about halfway through her story, realized that it was going to have a very sad ending and CLICKED AWAY LIKE A MONSTER. Who does that? Me. I did that. Why?

The answer is hard to admit: I was afraid. I was afraid to finish the story and to get to know this person even if I never got to meet her in real life. I was afraid to make a connection and care. I was afraid that what she had to say would alter the world that I live in now and I didn’t want my world to be screwed with. I have a whole blog dedicated to positivity and good vibes for people. To bring a smile to someone’s face when they need it. I could’ve reached out and sent her good thoughts or at least finished reading her blog post. But I didn’t do that and I should have.

So let’s talk for a second. Can we do that? Are we at that level yet?

Everyone has something that has touched their lives and yet they won’t talk about it because they’re afraid. Afraid of what others will say, afraid of the answers they’ll receive, whatever it may be. For me, it’s cancer (insert scary music here). I’m beginning to believe that there’s some folklore where if you say “cancer” in a darkened bathroom three times, a nurse with chemo drugs will pop up in the mirror.

It’s not that I’m afraid to talk about it but I’m afraid that what I have to say will turn people away so I try really hard to not talk about it unless it’s in a cancer update post. And even then I try to spin it in the happiest way that I can so I don’t alarm anyone.

Because cancer has become such a large part of my life so quickly it only makes sense that I think about it and talk about it a lot. I know that I have friends and family out there who want to ask me questions about it but refrain for whatever reason. So I want you to know something:

You can talk about it with me.

Cancer is a really scary word, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t talk about it. The only way for our worldview to be broadened is by talking about the hard stuff. Cancer is unruly. It is real. It affects a lot of people, so let’s talk about it. Maybe then we can try to find something positive and good about something that’s really horrible. I’m not one for tip toeing around problems. I’m not a medical professional nor am I an expert on anything, but I am willing to answer any questions I can about it, so don’t be afraid to ask. Being curious about hard subjects is not wrong and shouldn’t be punished. The more we talk about these hard subjects, the more room there is for finding some positivity as we move forward in our lives.

Or, if you’re not ready yet, we don’t have to talk about it at all. We could talk about the weather or some other topic you’re really into. I am also down for that. You just let me know and I’m ready to listen.

 

Until Next Time,

Dana