Hey everyone! Since we’re still in January I thought it might be a good time to talk a little bit about the challenges I’m planning on doing this year.
As I said previously I am pretty being soft in the goals department for 2023 but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to set some challenges or participate in some things.
First things first, even though I haven’t done a post on it in a while, I am still doing my TBR card game, it’s just something that Rich and I do every month, and I’m trying to catch up by taking care of previous picks.
I’m of course participating in BooksandLaLa’s Buzzwordathon, I’ve already finished my pick for January so we are off to a good start.
Also because I enjoy making him participate, Rich picked out 25 books off my TBR shelves to go into a jar. I’ll pick one a month at least and try to get it off the TBR. He also picked me 23 to read in 23 just for fun. Again, it’s not a hard goal or anything, but it will be fun to look at the list at the end of the year to see how many I completed.
Other than that I may participate loosely in some readathons, but nothing is going to be set in stone until I see how I’m feeling at that time. I want to enjoy my reading this year and be kind to myself when I maybe don’t feel as well.
Though I’m not technically doing 12 picked by 12 friends, feel free to leave me a comment with a recommendation!
Hey everyone, I’m just going to get into it right away – 2022 was not my year and things kind of went off the rails for me. This was especially true for the last few months of the year. For the first time in years I didn’t hit my reading goal and it was purely because everything that happened destroyed my mental health and sent me into a slump. I’m not going to get deep into it, but a new diagnosis of another auto immune condition was added to my list – at this point I have multiple autoimmune bingos and would prefer no more. I also spent 2 months fighting with insurance to try and get the medication I needed and Calypso had another December health scare (she’s fine! thankfully we just needed to run some more intensive tests to make sure she was good). Those are just the most intensive of the issues I dealt with in the last few months.
So what about 2023? Well I’m really hoping to get back on track and definitely doing some catch up here in January. I’m probably not going to set any super hard goals for myself and simply work on finding my healthy place mental health wise. There’s going to be a little more mood reading happening until I’m completely back in my groove and mostly I’m going to try to just enjoy what I’m doing. 🙂
As for writing, of course I’m going to do Camp NaNoWrimo and NaNoWrimo, but I’m also not going to set hard goals there and just enjoy the process.
I’m really hoping that 2023 is a year of healing and adjusting for me, there are definitely some lifestyle adjustments with my new diagnosis. I set my reading goal at 200 like I have the last couple years and I feel positive about it but won’t be upset with myself if life happens and I don’t reach it.
Hey everyone! I figured it might be good to do a general update since I haven’t done one in a while.
First and foremost, for anyone who saw my post last week about taking Calypso to the ER vet, she is fine! The vet suspected she had a bought of gastritis as xrays and bloodwork were all clear. She took a few days to get back to normal and she’s still a bit skittish (she has as much anxiety as I do, I swear) but she’s feeling a lot better.
Here’s some floof tax to show how much better she feels:
As to what else is going on with me, I’m trying to find my equilibrium in some ways. For months, the last couple years even, I’ve bottled some stuff up without realizing I was doing it. I’ve ignored grieving after losing two members of my family because I just had to move on. I won’t lie, within the last couple months things have definitely come to a head and I’ve had to let myself accept the grief, stress and anxiety. So now I’m working on getting back to where I need to be.
I am looking forward to Camp Nanowrimo in April, I’m hoping that will be a nice refresher for me. Other than that I plan on getting back on my usual reading pace and really work on mental health and self care.
Hey everyone! I just wanted to take the time today to wish everyone a happy new year!
I had a quiet new year’s eve, spent most of it consoling my anxiety filled cat since all of our neighbors were setting off fireworks while also taking it easy and playing a game. We’re not much into reveling for new years in our house, but we celebrate in our own way.
I have no way to know how 2022 is going to go and after bad 2021 was I don’t want to jinx anything by hoping or assuming. Let’s just say we’re going into this with caution.
So what can you expect from the blog this coming year? I’ll be back to posting every day after my few holiday absences the last couple weeks and I’m hoping to be able to bring you even more reviews. I’d love to look into posting some more fun posts, so feel free to comment if you have any post types you’d like to see here!
Hey everyone! I know this is a new concept here on the blog but since we’re heading towards the end of the year and the last almost two years have been so outside of normal, I felt like thinking about some last quarter goals wasn’t a bad thing.
I of course have my usual TBR books that I want to get through, but I would like to get caught up on past TBRs and make up some ground on review books that I still have. I hate to admit it but I have some back titles on Netgalley that I need to get taken care of.
I’d also like to go back to the goals I made at the beginning of the year and see what series I need to finish, I know Fruits Basket was on that list and I’m only halfway through the manga series. I would also like to finish Kamisama Kiss since I’m almost done with that one, I think I have 6 or 7 volumes left.
Then there’s my Nancy Drew re-read – I’m still doing it, but not at the rate I had originally planned. Honestly other things are the priority right now, so while I’ll still read them as I can, they are not at the top of the pile.
Finally, as I stated earlier I am planning on doing Nanowrimo again this year. I’m going to try and be laid back about it, do the bulk of my writing on the weekends, but I’m also not going to punish myself if it is slow going.
Let’s be honest, my mental health has been severely affected through the last almost two years, so if anything I need to be kind to myself, but I also want to get things done before the end of the year so I can start 2022 with a clean slate.
Anyone else setting goals for themselves for the last quarter of 2021?
Happy release day to 21 Questions by Alexandria Rizik! To celebrate its release I’m excited to bring you all a Q&A I was able to have with Alexandria about the book and her writing experience/process. If you haven’t already make sure you check out my review for 21 Questions. Also, huge thanks to Alexandria for answering my questions and thank you to Sparkpress for reaching out to me about reviewing this title!
Alexandria Rizik is an award-winning filmmaker and the author of two books, the poetry collection Words Written in the Dark and the children’s book Chocolate Milk. She was born and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona, where she was brought up by a large Armenian family. She received her bachelor of arts in English literature from Arizona State University. Alexandria’s love for writing began when she was a young child: her aunt bought her a journal and told her to write her a story, and the rest is history. Her favorite part about writing is being able to write the happily ever after that doesn’t always happen in real life. Besides writing, Alexandria loves yoga, wine, and family time. She lives in Scottsdale, AZ. Learn more at https://www.alexandriarizik.com.
Now, let’s get to the questions!
It says that this book is based on some of your own experiences, could you share a little bit about that?
Yes, this story was inspired by my first real relationship and breakup when I was seventeen. The only way I could get through it was by writing. It started as a screenplay that I wrote. I love film and cinema and was just getting into screenwriting when I was going through this breakup. But eventually I adapted it into a book. A lot of the scenes, like the haunted house scene, movie theater, the drive-in theater are based off of real events (obviously I exaggerated them to an extent). My ex-boyfriend’s family was kind of odd and being a writer with a very vivid imagination, I concocted this story that they were drug dealers and using him to deal to a high school clientele. Looking back, I sound crazy and they were probably just reserved, private people (as opposed to my crazy Armenian family). But that’s where the plot of the story stemmed from.
How long did the writing process for this book take?
So, I started writing the screenplay at seventeen. I even submitted it to a few contests. But, a few years later I adapted it into a novel. It’s evolved so much since the first draft. So overall, it’s been a ten year process from beginning to end.
What are your five must haves while writing?
My five must haves while writing are either coffee or wine, (depending on the time of day), a nice fall-scented candle, obviously my computer to write on, sometimes headphones to listen to music, and I also love using Pinterest. It draws inspiration.
Do you have any upcoming books in process?
Yes! I’m always writing something but what I’m focusing on mostly right now is the sequel to 21 Questions, titled 21 Confessions and also another book I’ve been working on for a while titled Mi Amor. I also just finished a screenplay titled, Cigarettes & Other Toxic Loves.
What is your dream project?
Oh my gosh, this is a hard one. My dream project would be adapting 21 Questions and its sequel into a Netflix series. It’s going to happen, I’m manifesting it.
What are your favorite writing tools?
My favorite writing tools are my iPad or computer (or my typewriter if I’m working on poetry) and my copy of The Emotion Thesaurus.
If you could describe Kendra and Brock in 5 words each, what would they be?
Five words to describe Kendra would be independent, determined, forgiving, awkward, and innocent. For Brock, I would say fearless, misunderstood, hot, charismatic, and infamous.
How do you deal with writer’s block?
I don’t really believe in writer’s block. I believe that whenever we struggle to write it’s due to our own inner self critic judging our words. To avoid “writer’s block,” it’s important to just keep writing, even if what you think you’re writing sucks, it can always be edited. But writing something is better than nothing.
Who would you recommend this book to?
I’d recommend this book to any girl who knows what it’s like to be in love for the first time and how your heart shatters when it ends because you never thought it would. And to any girl whose ever known what it’s like to try and fix a person they care about. Sometimes people don’t want to be fixed and sometimes it’s just the wrong timing.
Lastly, do you have anything you want to share with readers regarding this book?
21 Questions is a story of two teenagers with young hearts and old souls. They’re beautifully flawed and I hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Hey everyone! I know a lot of people have recently been getting into watching Asian dramas as of late, especially Kdramas (Korean dramas), especially with the selection that Netflix has had and been adding. Here’s a little secret – though I’m not Korean or Asian, I have been watching them for years. Part of this is because my partner is Korean (and his mom likes to sometimes recommend some) and part of it is because I’ve always been interested in Asian cultures. Plus, Hulu used to have a massive catalog of Kdramas and was always spamming me with ads for Boys Over Flowers – so I fully fell down the rabbit hole. I have come nowhere near to watching a huge amount of dramas, but I like to think I’ve watched some really good ones. There are definitely some genres or types that I feel line up well with book tropes and book genres, so here are some fun recommendations that I have.
Do you love Paranormal books? Anything featuring monsters or ghosts? There are a lot of Korean movies or dramas that take on the zombie genre, but if you’re looking for something other than zombies I would recommend Goblin: The Great and Lonely God, Black or Scholar Who Walks the Night. If you want a paranormal drama with a comedy twist then go for any version of Oh My Ghostess. Another great one that is darker but definitely has a lot of comedy thrown in is The Master’s Sun.
Do you like books that have gaming or the gaming/tech industry in it? I have a couple Chinese dramas for you! They both have a lot of romantic comedy aspect to them, but Love O2O tackles other issues as well, such as how female gamers are viewed (especially if they excel at the game). Another great one is Go Go Squid! which had me laughing and crying at the same time way too many times!
Ok, so I know that contemporary romance, especially romantic comedy is a huge genre when it comes to books, so I would be remiss if I didn’t cover some dramas that were great romantic comedies to dive into. This one is going to require a list!
What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim?
Cinderella and the Four Knights
Strong Woman Do Bong-Soon
I Hear You
1% of Something
I just know some people are waiting for me to get to historical fantasy shows and there are definitely some great ones. If you want a Korean fantasy that is reminiscent of Game of Thrones in it’s political scheming then check out Arthdal Chronicles – I haven’t finished this one yet, but what I’ve seen of it so far has me hooked. I would also recommend Gu Family Book (also known as Kangchi: The Beginning) and Eternal Love (also known as Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms).
There are tons more that I could talk about, but I think that’s all I’m going to include in today’s post. If you’re wondering where you can watch Asian dramas Netflix does have a great selection. Another option and where I watch a lot of the dramas I watch is Viki.com – they have a huge catalog of shows from multiple countries as well as movies and are constantly adding new content.
Let me know if you’d like to know about more Asian dramas in the future and thanks for letting me indulge in a fun post today. 🙂
I’m pretty sure we’ve all been guilty of starting series and then letting them sit on our shelves waiting for us to pick them up again. I decided to pick a few series that I will try to finish this year and we’ll just see how we go.
Locke and Key – I’ve heard the entire story through audiobook, but I would like to read it in its original format. This one I’m actually almost done with as I’m currently working on volume 5 – so I’m pretty confident I’ll be able to knock this one out.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians – This one I’m a little more behind on, I’ve read through book three. I know that outing myself as being way behind on such a popular series is dangerous, but it’s one of those series I have and I told myself I would always get around to – so now I’d really like to.
Fruits Basket – I’ve been collecting the collector’s editions of this manga and so far have read through volume four. This is another one that is going to be easy to complete, I just have to buckle down and do it. I really have no excuse since manga tend to be such a quick read.
The Kane Chronicles – This one is right up there with Percy Jackson, as in I should have read it by now, especially since it all ties into that universe. I’ve read the first book and have the audiobook of the second, so if I can just devote some time to it, then I shouldn’t have an issue.
So there you have it, those are the four series I’m setting a goal of finishing by the end of the year. Hopefully when I revisit this in a year I’ll be able to say that I completely most if not all of them and be able to pick another group to finish.
I don’t know about everyone else, but this week isn’t an optimal reading week for me. It’s a week of scrambling to get done, hoping that what I’ve done is enough and still dealing with the normal day to day. That being said, I just wanted to pop in quickly to say that I hope everyone is staying safe, and celebrating whatever holiday you celebrate in your own way. The end of 2020 is near, we just have to hold on for a little over a week.
Here’s hoping you get all the books you are wanting and have tons of time to read them in the coming year. Have a great day tomorrow!
I know I already posted about my overall goals for 2021 but I wanted to get a little more specific with my writing goals. These will of course be fluid since I’m not going to force myself to write if I’m not feeling it – that never ends up well. So here are just a few more specific goals.
Finish something – I have so many half finished stories, or even some that are near completion, but nothing really finished. This coming year I would really like to finish at least one of them and be able to put it to rest.
NaNoWriMo – This year was the first year I participated in the two Camp NaNoWriMo sessions in April and July and while I didn’t necessarily get a ton done, I enjoyed the process. I spent some time editing and proofing, but for me I came at it with a more relaxed approach. I would like to be able to participate in them again next year (and NaNo in November of course).
Start Something New – Now with so many unfinished things you may be asking why I would want to start something new – but hear me out. I would like to explore a genre that I don’t typically write in and see how it flows. A lot of my stuff is paranormal and fantasy based and I would really like to challenge myself to write outside of my comfort zone.