The Clever Quill – READ. LEARN. INSPIRE.

An Educated Mind ~ Come Along On My Quest to Finish 1350 Great Works

  • Welcome To My Blog! I’m AJ! :)

  • A Little About Me

    In my early 20s, I was diagnosed with a debilitating illness that forced me to forego a more traditional path to a classical education, leaving University shy of achieving a formal degree. But I won't give up! I believe in everyone's right to learn, no matter what health challenges they face. I'm determined to leave this life with a more cultured mind regardless of the time I have to make it happen, whether it be a year or five. Be my witness as I embark on this Epic, Gargantuan Adventure! My Quest to battle imposed limitations, slaying the fiery Dragons of Injustice, Intolerance, Disdain and Complacency... = 1350 GREAT WORKS = ~~ : ME versus TIME : ~~ Join TEAM AJ and cheer me on!!!
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Get To Know Me

Here’s a little more info about me.  By the way, if you want to drop me a line, you can email me at:

Want to help me reach my goals? Donate a little to one of my two funds below–hey, a dollar here and there equals a new book! 🙂

My Book Fund                                         My Travel Fund

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Where I Live: Los Angeles, CA

Sign: Virgo

Pet: Holland Dwarf bunny named Percy Bysshe Shelley

Favorite Food: Blackened Cajun Chicken

Favorite Song: D’yer Maker by Led Zeppelin

Favorite Color: Pink

Favorite Shoes: Knee High Black Leather High-Heeled Boots

Favorite Film: Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day

Collect: Stationery, Books, Shoes, Scarves, Owls

Favorite Sports Team: Manchester United

Favorite TV Shows: Midsomer Murders, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Criminal Minds, Bones, Sherlock, Crossing Jordan, and reruns of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson & The Travel Channel’s Passport to Europe with Samantha Brown (thanks goodness for Netflix)

Favorite Book: Persuasion by Jane Austen

Music of The Moment:  “Emmylou” by First Aid Kit, “Let it Be Me” by Ray LaMontagne, “All You Are” by Above Envy, “Dreamsome” by Shelby Lynne, “Alone Apart” by The Swell Season, “Moving Pictures, Silent Films” by Great Lake Swimmers

Favorite Season: Autumn

Favorite Word: Serendipity

Favorite Pastime: Cooking for Friends (entertaining) and Going to the Movies

Favorite Hospital Food: Tuna Melts and Mac ‘n Cheese

Favorite Jamba Juice Drink: Aloha Pineapple

Favorite Magazines: TIME, Martha Stewart Living, Better Homes & Gardens, Southern Living, and Harper’s Bazaar

Favorite Music: Classic Rock, Standards

Favorite Scent: DKNY’s Be Delicious, Victoria by Victoria’s Secret

Fondest Wish: To Tour Europe for an Entire Summer

Biggest Dream: To be a professor of English Literature at Columbia University (or at least meet a fabulous one)

More Pictures of Me 🙂

An Educated Mind…For All!

I’ve always believed myself to be compassionate, altruistic, well-mannered, friendly, vivacious and eternally optimistic (sound familiar, Twitterverse? 😀 ) I’ve admired those qualities in myself and tried to live up to the standards I have set for myself.  There is an attribute that I prize highly above all the rest–my mind and its innate intelligence.  OK, so perhaps I’ve not applied to join MENSA (yet), but I have always done extremely well in school and really thrive in a classroom environment. This might be why I decided to become a teacher, perhaps hoping someday to become a professor of literature.

A few years ago, at the age of 23, I was diagnosed with a disabling illness that affects my lungs, and due to the long years of treatments,  is now beginning to debilitate my body at a rapid pace.  At the time when I first fell ill, I was still in University, working toward becoming a teacher.   Due to my frequent hospitalizations, I wasn’t able to continue; there ended my formal education.

I have since attempted to return to school several times– tried everything from online schools, to correspondence schools, to part-time technical/trade schools that felt as challenging as kindergarten.  My illness has been my adversary every time, succeeding in ousting me from even the most menial career education.

It’s somewhat embarrassing to share this with the world.  By looking at me, you would never guess that I battle an illness.  I’m not looking to garner sympathy or pity, but rather always prefer to do my best to earn respect, so my personal issues are not something I’ve readily shared with people in the past.  Having done alright in the business and professional arena, with many responsible positions, people assume that I have more titles than I really do.  Whatever education I have attained beyond my years of college have been the result of my own personal study and innate ability.

I am not satisfied.  I have decided that this incomplete education ends now.  I have looked for years for a program that would allow me to learn even if I had to be in hospital at times.  Guess what? No luck yet.  So, I have decided to take the reins of my own life, educating myself because no one seems to want to do it!   Maybe I won’t receive a yearned-for degree or certificate, but I will get what I prize above all else–a more learned and cultured mind.

I hope this endeavor helps me to keep striving for excellence within myself, to continue gaining wisdom to live what’s left of my life to its full extent, and to help me leave a lasting legacy for those who find themselves in a similar position.  I am determined to never stop learning and to make a purposeful life from the wreckage, finding a way around the obstacles that stand between me and further formal education, and sharing with the world what I learn along the way.

As long as my mind is alert and capable, I have the right to learn.  That is my ultimate wish for myself and for others like me–to learn until the end. Who knows? Maybe even longer than that.


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