Snapshot 2/29/20 // Leaping and Living Each and Every Day

Currently listening:Careless Whisper” – George Michael
Currently watching: Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir S3
Currently playing: The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
Currently reading: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

February is one of those months I always want to like but every year I get disappointed. It was a hard month. Work was extremely busy and life has been hard at home too. Every spare moment between all of that though I have been tending to my goals. I didn’t get everything done that I wanted, but I did do a lot. Road bumps happen, but you just got to make sure to keep driving until you get to your destination.

(FIGHT ON!)

February Goals:

  1. Research, research, research (Round 2)! Half a check to this one… I did do more research just not as much as I would have liked to. This one will carry on into March. As long as I keep going, I’ll finish. No matter how long it takes.
  2. Finish organizing my room/desk/work space! Check. This was where a majority of my time went and man, was this a lot rougher than I expected! I have a few little things left to sort but the hard work on this is done.
  3. Stick to my planned blog posting schedule! Major check. I did this, and I did this well. I even added an extra post for Valentine’s Day!
(The sweet scent of victory!)

March (the month where spring finally arrives!) Goals:

  1. Research, research, research (Round 3)! Slow and steady wins the race. This is the third time I’m posting this goal but every month I get a little more done. Hopefully March will be kinder than February was. (I just want to write the story already! maybe I’ll do a bit of both… hehe!)
  2. Stick to my planned blog posting schedule! I’m determined to make this a habit and the only way to do that is to treat it as such. So I’m keeping this one here so I keep holding myself accountable and get the work done.
  3. Become more interactive on Twitter! I barely use my account but I want to be more active on it! Twitter has a huge writing community and I want to contribute. If any of you have a Twitter account, we should follow each other! My handle is @jaiiiilynn4
(Deadpool clearly approves)

What I Read:

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. This is my second reread of this book, and I loved it as much as the first time I read it (I just had more knowledge of what twists and turns were coming to better prepare myself lol). This is a great book, and I know so many of y’all out there agree. The characters are all so diverse and fantastic and real. I love Leigh Bardugo’s writing, just the right amount of description, action and feeling. I hope one day to write as well as her. ❤ If any of you have not checked out any of her works yet, I highly recommend. She is a Queen for a reason.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. This was a divine little read, I really enjoyed it! Since the theme of February was cleaning up my work spaces, this book was very appropriate and informational. I learned a lot. For example, the cleaner your space the better you feel and the less distracted you are. So simple and yet so easily overlooked! It makes sense. If you have less things out grabbing for your attention then your mind in turn will become more clear too! Her voice throughout the book is cute as well, and I felt really relaxed as I learned about tidying which usually causes me stress haha! I also loved the idea of saying thank you to your possessions. You should treat them with respect and I feel like a lot of people overlook this, like when you get home and just unceremoniously dump your stuff down without another thought. You should on an everyday basis take care of the things you own and remember that they are there to make your life easier and in turn look out for you too. It was such a fresh and positive way of looking at things, and of course “sparking joy”. I highly recommend this book to anyone trying to make a change in their life.
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. Currently reading this and currently loving every damn second of it. I don’t want it to end, so I’m taking this one slow. You can only read a book for the first time once right? Expect all my thoughts next month on this beauty of a book.

What I’ll Be Writing:

  • Poetry- posted every Wednesday
  • Living Life vignettes- posted every other Friday
  • Alternate Reality flash fiction collection- posted the last Tuesday of the month
  • Snapshot! monthly recap- posted the last day of every month
  • Announcements- posted as needed

All of my writings are independent of each other and stand alone so no need to read any of the previous work to understand. If you want more information about any of the above, you can check out the About page on my site or just click here, lol.

Here’s another gif of Deadpool (because why not?)…. and an accurate representation of my writing in art form, lol. Basically. I love a good fight scene.

February Round Up of Brilliant Posts I Read By Other Bloggers:

My Round Up of February Posts:

If you have read this far then you must have noticed all the Deadpool gifs *wink, wink*. I love him so much and have no regrets. Deadpool is the only thing I’ll watch on Valentine’s Day. Honestly, to me, it is one of the most romantic movies of all time. That aside, let’s go out and enjoy this extra day we get this month! Happy Leap Year!

How were your February’s? Did you meet your goals? What are you looking forward to in March?

Till next time,

Snapshot 1/31/20 // Delighted and Disillusioned by the Endless Variety of Life

Currently listening: “My Shot” – Hamilton: An American Musical
Currently watching: Letterkenny S3
Currently (re)reading: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

New year, new me, new blog! Hey guys it’s 2020 and though it was long, look we survived January! As you can see at this point I was a busy little bee and redesigned the look of my blog! New colors! New fonts! New graphics! (note: all. the. exclamation. points! I’m really proud of myself y’all.) (and also super tired but it’s WORTH IT.)

(Both halves of me as I type this)

Someone was working on her goals, lol. Let’s head into them now, shall we?

January Goals:

  1. Research, research, research! Check, but still not done researching for that pesky WIP yet. This goal will live on into February, and that way I can hopefully get to writing in March.
  2. Plan a steadier posting schedule! Check. You can check out the link here for the post announcing it or go to the ‘About’ page on my site.
  3. Enact redesigning the site! MAJOR CHECK. This was where a majority of my time went and I’m very proud of it. It’s simple I know, but I did it all myself, so please allow me to revel in my hard work.
(Thank you for indulging me)

February (aka the month in which Jai freezes her buns off) Goals:

  1. Research, research, research (Round 2)! I like researching and learning new things especially when I find something useful to use for my WIP’s story and world building. Not going to lie though, it can also get very tedious drudging through lots of facts and dates that are about as interesting as watching paint dry. On the bright side, I’ll share a tidbit. This revamped WIP of mine takes place in the very world we live in, (LE GASP!) just another side of it. (*cue eyebrow wiggle*) Vague, yes. Generic, I know. Confusing, for sure. Forgive me.
  2. Finish organizing my room/desk/work space! I need to clean my room, like for real. There is so much going on: paper all over the floor, clothes thrown over my chair, AND BOOKS LEAKING OUT OF EVERY ORIFICE LIKE WATER OUT of A BUSTED PIPE. I definitely need to clean that way I stay focused and stop thinking about my TBR pile for the next year. (Crooked Kingdom I’m coming for you next!)
  3. Stick to my planned blog posting schedule! I’m putting it here as a concrete goal. The only way to build a habit is to practice it. It’s 2020 and I’m holding myself accountable. Damn straight.
(Rosa Diaz’ entire being is an accurate depiction of my dead seriousness)

Side note: I’ve also started reading as soon as I wake up now, instead of waiting till bedtime and… I’m finding I really enjoy it? I think I’m actually reading more than I was before. Starting your day with cereal and an epic tale in your head is basically everything you need to survive the day.

What I Read:

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I first read this book in high school, as I’m sure most Americans have. I wasn’t sure what to expect then since a lot of the books we were forced to read in high school, though classics, weren’t always the most engaging. The Great Gatsby was different. It stuck with me. Short and straight, outlandish and lovelorn, it was a book I felt that anyone could relate to. Even through the grand parties and the lifestyles of the rich and the careless, at the heart of the book is an indescribable insight into the human soul. All of us of been so locked into our past at one point that it takes up our future, just like Gatsby. All of us have acted innocent, sometimes spoiled, and even ignorant just like Daisy. All of us have been the outsiders to someone else’s life where the grass always seems greener on the other side, just like Nick, but in the end we see the situation for what it really is and realize no, the grass really isn’t that green after all. As my first read for the new decade it didn’t disappoint. Even after all these years I find I enjoyed the story more than I did when I was in high school and honestly, I understand a lot more about the characters now than I did before. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. Every book lover should read The Great Gatsby at least once.
Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari. I started this one in December and finished it in January. It’s a reread but I thought it deserved another look. Funny, charming and thoroughly researched, all the statistics are fascinating to learn, and Aziz’s wit keeps the book entertaining even through all the data heavy information. It’s a good look at the current trends in romance.
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. Short, sweet and sometimes sour it’s a collection of vignettes told from the perspective of Esperanza Cordero about all the interesting characters of Mango Street where she grows up. It’s an inspiring coming of age novel that in the past I had only read bits and pieces of in school, but seen in its entirety now I’m really glad I read it. The vignettes range from as long as half a page to maybe four pages, and each one goes straight to your heart, either to hurt or to heal it with the endless variety of humanity life has to offer.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I’m in my second re-read of this beautiful book before I finally get to CROOKED KINGDOM which I regrettably have had yet to read. (I KNOW, RIGHT? WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE??) Alas, that shall be the very next book I pick up dear readers. Right now I’m just enjoying my ride here with Kaz in Chapter 18. He is very addicting. Expect the full mini review in next month’s Snapshot!

What I’ll Be Writing:

  • Poetry- posted every Wednesday
  • Living Life vignettes- posted every other Friday
  • Alternate Reality collection- posted the last Tuesday of the month
  • Snapshot! monthly recap- last day of every month
  • Announcements- posted as needed

So I’ve been doing the poetry and vignette thing for a while but as you guys might have noticed… I added something new! The Alternate Reality collection will be a feature of flash fiction posted on the last Tuesday of every month. Expect horror, sci-fi, fantasy along with many other potential genres! Oh, and a ton of MAGIC. These will be more out there stories so if you’re in for a wild ride check out the first post February 25th! Like the Living Life vignettes all the pieces will be independent of each other so there will be no need to read the predecessors to follow along.

I’m a firm believer that magic is out there. Sometimes it’s simple or subtle or we don’t recognize it for what it is at the time. That type of magic you will find in the Living Life vignettes. As for the wraiths, dystopian societies and current intergalactic wars that have been spanning centuries … (who knows?) that type of magic will be prevalent in the Alternate Reality collection.

I hope you are looking as forward to the adventure as I am.

Here are January’s Amazing Posts from Other Bloggers I Adored Reading:

My Round Up of January Posts (look how much I wrote!):

Thanks for hanging in there with me till the end of this long post, and I hope you guys like the new look of my blog! Here’s to the next eleven months: may we work hard towards our goals and may we all write our hearts out!

What are some of your February goals? What current books are you reading that are just too good to put down? (I think Kaz is calling me lol.) I’d love to talk in the comments!

Till next time,

Snapshot 12/31/19 // Learning From the Risks and Rewards of 2019, and Anticipating the Roaring 20’s Ahead

Currently listening: “Meet Me In the Woods“- Lord Huron /
New Year’s Day“- Taylor Swift
Currently watching: The Office S3/ Shameless S4
Currently playing: Sims 4
Will be (re)reading: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

2019 is over.

It was a terrible, wonderful, weird and life changing year. I switched jobs, got super sick, then got super healthy, and grew a lot (A LOT) I believe as a person in 2019. I certainly feel different at least. December was a culmination of everything 2019 was: terrible, wonderful, weird and life changing. Let’s take a look at those goals shall we?

December Goals:

  1. Research, research, research! Check. I didn’t do an enormous amount on my WIP but I did a decent job (which will continue into the new year…. spoiler alert lol).
  2. Post 2 Living Life vignettes this month. Check.
  3. Redesign my website a bit. Check. I did a little of this and am going to be laying it out in January so be on the look out for some changes to my blog!
  4. Play my violin more. Check, check! I played more than I did in November!

So overall December was very successful! 2019, though challenging, was also kinda… fun. I risked and (thankfully) was rewarded. I met a lot of new people, learned a lot of new things, and discovered a lot about myself. Now let us head into 2020….

2020 Goals Heading into January (aka the ROARING 20’S ARE BACK BABY):

  1. Research, research, research! Again I’m putting this one on because this month I intend to finish all. the. research. for that pesky WIP. That way I can move onto outlining, and then finally WRITING. The BEST (and hardest) part. This baby step will help me to reach one of my ultimate 2020 resolutions to FINALLY finish that first draft.
  2. Plan a steadier posting schedule! That way I can get a routine down for myself and for all the lovely viewers out there kind enough to listen to my rambles and read my stories.
  3. Enact redesigning the site! I’ve planned, and I’ve got some more planning to do but I hope to show the changes by the end of this January.

Christmas has come and gone.
My food coma is growing strong.
Cleaning up my room is taking too long.
BUT, all is okay.

I got to see the Rockefeller Christmas Tree (which was wonderful and brought me so much joy) AND the new Little Women movie all in the same month. Just a small PSA. EVERYONE NEEDS TO SEE THIS MOVIE. IT IS BEYOND AMAZING AND I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT.

Okay I’m done. But really you need to go see it. Now.

What I Read:

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. What can I say about this book. That it ruined romance for me? Yes, because no boy alive can compare to Will Herondale or James Carstairs. Not to mention that Tessa is just so relatable. I love this book. I will love this series till the day I die. It mesmerized me for years, ever since the summer before I started college when I first read Clockwork Angel. It shaped a lot of who I became, and it always seemed to fit with whatever was going on with my life at the time. Will loved to read, Jem loved the violin, Charlotte reminded me of my Aunt, Henry my Uncle. It got me through so many hard times. This series is one of my tops and though I enjoy a lot of books not many make it to the top. I love it so much I think I won’t read it again for a very long time. That way it will sort of seem like new again.
One Day in December by Josie Silver. Fun, romantic read that I enjoyed. Definitely more of an adult book, and not very young adult. Modern, contemporary story about love at first sight and fate and chances taken and chances NOT taken. It did lag though at some points but it always picked up. Reminded me of the play If/Then with Idina Menzel that I was fortunate enough to see. It also reminded me of Sleepless in Seattle a bit at the end with the (SPOILERS) radio and Laurie calling in to speak to Jack. Everyone knows a person like Sarah who is stardust incarnate. Jack was agreeable. Laurie was very relatable, quiet and just trying to get through life like the rest of us. Enjoyed it very much though. Not gonna lie I also really liked Oscar, and his whole personality and spiel. Recommend if your looking for a December romance read.
The Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffmann with illustrations by Sanna Annukka: A classic, I’ve wanted to read this story for years because every Christmas I always watch the ballet on Youtube so I wanted to know where the original story originated from. Not disappointed. I really enjoyed it, and it is very much a fairytale. Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson vibes. I am going to try to integrate it as a book to reread every year. PICTURES IN THIS EDITION ARE GORGEOUS. Overall, it is a quick, lovely Christmas read.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo is one I’m sorta reading right now. Here and there. I’m enjoying it! It is inspiring me to clean my room…

Aaaaand drumroll please…… tomorrow I will be starting my reread of….

oh yessssss THE GREAT GATSBY! I’m so excited. It is finally the return of the Roaring 20’s!!!!!

What I’ll Be Writing:

  • Living Life vignettes
  • (moody) Poetry
  • Monthly Snapshot! post
  • and who knows… maybe some surprises?

My Round Up of December Posts:

Alright 2020… I think I’m ready. Bring on the downs, the ups and all the screams of fear and excitement for the roller coaster ride you’ll be. I’m ready to ride.

What are some of your resolutions this year? I’d love to talk in the comments!

Till next time,

Snapshot 11/30/19 // Stuffed From Stuffing (& Starving for Gingerbread)

Currently listening: “The Christmas Song“- Nat King Cole
Currently watching: Friends S10
Currently (re) reading: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
Currently playing: Sims 4

November, November
you passed so fast
I want to remember
each memory to the last

November always goes by too fast for me. Thanksgiving, the bitter cold days seeping in, and the random warm days that trick you into believing summer will be back soon. Also, NaNoWriMo. This month always reminds me of writing and pumpkin bread and stuffing. Gosh, I love stuffing.

My November goals were:

  1. Write 25,000 words for my WIP. That was a failure, but a failure I am very proud of. By setting my goal to work on the story I found out exactly what was wrong with it and why I was struggling so much with it. It needed to be expanded upon. I need more information and to do more research (which I’m doing now). The original WIP I intended to write for NaNo was just a small cog in the machine of a trilogy that this story is turning into and I am so excited.
  2. Post at least 1 Living Life vignette again this month. I did do this one.
(smirk)

December goals (and candy canes, not coals):

  1. Research, research, research! I’m going to keep digging down deep into the black void of the internet for this new expanded WIP. If I don’t come back you know what happened lol.
  2. Post 2 Living Life vignettes this month. I think I can do this. So I’ll put it on here.
  3. Redesign my website a bit. I’ve been meaning to update somethings and move a few bits around. So, why not now. The present is always the best time to do something. That way it will look better for 2020 too.
  4. Play my violin more. I’ve been neglecting my beloved instrument because of work and laziness which is no excuse. I’m actively going to try to practice more this month.

Also can I just say I love Christmas so much. I’m just gonna throw that out there so be prepared for many holiday themed vignettes and poems. I’m warning you they. are. coming.

Also I had a great dream where I got to co-write a book with Maggie Stiefvater. I wish that would really happen omg. Just throwing that out there universe, if you are listening. I also got the opportunity to see Frozen 2 on its opening night. Let me just tell you guys I loved this movie so much. If you loved the first one you definitely need to see the second. It doesn’t try to upstage the first movie at all but continue it on, if that makes sense, and the music and growth of all the characters is just fantastic. (SPOILERS AHEAD) I loved the scene of Elsa fighting the Nokk and the song, Show Yourself, is also BEAUTIFUL. Elsa shows that she only needs herself to be complete and that is the absolute truth. Romance and partnership is perpetuated in society as something that we all need to feel “complete” and “loved” but all you really need to feel those things is to be yourself and love yourself. Just like Elsa, who knew she was different and fought it until she decided to accept herself and her powers and ultimately find the greatest happiness within herself. Olaf was also hilarious AF and who doesn’t love Anna and Kristof 😀 It is said so much but it really is true, just BE YOU. Unapologetically, wholly, wonderfully, unforgivably YOU. That is the way to achieve the greatest sense of peace. THANK YOU DISNEY<3

What I Read:

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. I… I loved this book. It was real, it was raw. I got SO attached to Alex and TOO attached to Darlington. Man. And Dawes, Dawes, Dawes and college me live on the same plane of existence. The magic was so real to me. The history and references in all of the tombs of the Ancient Eight, the privilege problem. My goodness this book. 100% worth the read and I can’t wait till the next. It’s not for everyone definitely (lots of heavy and traumatic topics are explored) but to me this book was excellent in how in handled everything. The right amount of dark side without becoming depressing and all this magic so grounded in reality. I- dang. Five stars, hands down.
All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater. I really enjoyed this book and all the magical realismness (is that a word?) with the personifications of the character’s darknesses, and how they overcame them. It’s an atmospheric, simple story with a very important lesson. When the characters’ darknesses manifest that is the first miracle, and the second miracle will occur when the character knows how to overcome their darknesses. The magical realism in this book is very well done. Maggie always does a great job in all her books of making magic seem touchable. Daniel was my favorite character but all of the cast was real and alive. I recommend reading it!
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. This is my favorite series of books of all time. This is my sixth read through of Clockwork Princess and it won’t be the last. We all have those books that we will never, ever grow tired of. No matter how many times we read them. The Infernal Devices are my books. What does Tessa say? “‘Words have the power to change us.‘” Yes, yes they do.

What I’ll Be Writing:

  1. Living Life vignettes
  2. Holiday poetry (joy to the world, you lucky lot lol)
  3. WIP snippets
  4. Monthly Snapshot! post

As promised last month here is a snippet from my WIP:

Rue scowled. “I don’t like you.”
“The feeling is mutual.” Evans replied.

Haha, yes short and sweet but I kept my promise 😉

Some posts I enjoyed this month:

My round up of November posts:

Bring on the holiday cheer December, you are the only think that is going to keep me going till summer is here again. I wish you all lots of hot chocolate, thoughtful presents, great company and happy holidays to come!!

How were all your Novembers? (Do they go by as fast as mine?) What are the books that you will never tire of (that are part of your soul)? I’d love to hear about them!

Till next time,

Snapshot 10/31/19 // Something Spooky This Way Came

Currently listening: “This Is Halloween” – The Nightmare Before Christmas
Currently (re) watching: Over The Garden Wall
Currently reading: Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Boo. (Sorry I couldn’t resist!) Happy Halloween! Thank goodness for October. After the harshness of September, October never fails to cheer me up. Pumpkin spice lattes, apple picking, orange leaves and sweater weather. Also, (*cough*) CANDY (*cough*).

Me, tonight.

My October goals were (*drumroll, please*):

  1. Rework my WIP, which is a check. I definitely changed things around a bit and now have an idea for how I’m going to handle NaNo!
  2. Post 1 Living Life vignette, HAHA CHECK! I posted two.
  3. Go pumpkin and apple picking, check check! This one was easy since I go every year.

Heading into (NANOWRIMO) November this is the plan:

  1. Write 25,000 words for my WIP. I’m a slow writer I’ve learned, so I set a more realistic goal for myself this NaNoWriMo.
  2. Post at least 1 Living Life vignette again this month. Honestly with NaNo I’ll be lucky if I have time for just one. But I’m going to try!
Me, this entire month. Probably.

What I Read:

Books Read:
The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I don’t think I can do this book justice. It just needs to be read to be understood. Wow. It’s dark… but the characters are alive. They breathe just like you and me. So many connections to the classics. CHARLES, OH BABY . And Henry, I don’t even. Honestly, (*beware, spoilers coming*) I expected more people to die at the end the way this story was going and Francis even comments on it somewhere at the end that Henry should have just killed them all. Enthralling story that no matter how dark it gets you just need to see it to the end. Very dark… can put you in a black cloud/ endless dark tunnel mood. SO WELL THOUGHT OUT AND WRITTEN. Julian, and the depiction of evil in him (as something that seems good on the surface). I need a mental break.
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. I was meaning to read this for a while and then someone mentioned it at work and I took it as a sign to just BUY IT. This book is a TRIP. Whoa baby. In the best possible way. An October book, true and true. I’m going to read this again next October and maybe the October after that. It’s a great book, not necessarily one of my all time favorites but it’s a GREAT book. It’s simple (the moral) but haunting and well played. Out there prose that paints a definite picture. The story will stay with you long after you finish it.
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson- The story ends the same way it begins and I got chills after reading the last paragraph. I see where all the inspiration for the show came from. Good bones. Chilling and atmospheric. The show goes a lot more in depth, and that is what I knew first so my impression may be a little skewed. But I enjoyed reading the book. Nell, poor baby, and the house is quite the character itself. Madness. Loneliness. Theo was my favorite and Luke grew on me. But Nell, Nell, Nell still lingers in my mind. The foreshadowing all along makes it so clear from the beginning of the story to the end.
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. I’m only three chapters in but I can tell that this book is amazing. I’m sold. Next Snapshot! I’ll go into more detail but right now I’m LOVING it.

What I’ll Be Writing:

This month, no lie, my WIP and NaNoWriMo is my main priority so my posting will be sporadic at best. I’m going to try to post 1 Living Life vignette, and of course any poetry or tags that cross my way but not much more than that. I’m still debating on whether or not to post weekly NaNo updates… would you guys be interested in hearing about that?
And of course at the end of the month you can expect my ever consistent Snapshot! post.

Some posts I enjoyed this month! :

-Kal @ Reader Voracious “Bookish Banter I Have the Memory of a Goldfish, So I Annotate
– Sophie Li @ Sophie’s Corner “My Editing Process Part 2 (+ more templates!)

My Round Up of October Posts: (LOOK HOW PRODUCTIVE I WAS)

I watch Over The Garden Wall every Halloween, and right after I post this I’m going to go grab a Twix and head into the Unknown. October was fun and I’m hoping to have just as much fun in November. That pesky WIP of mine that has been haunting my mind for years is going to get written!

Are any of you doing NaNoWriMo this year? What are your stories about? I’d love to hear about them!

Till next time,

Snapshot 9/30/19 // Waking Up Because September Is Ending

Currently listening:Wake Me Up When September Ends” – Green Day
Currently reading: The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Currently watching: Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir S3

I am going to be real with you guys right now. I sort of… faded in September. Nothing bad happened really, the weather wasn’t terrible and my friends and family were all doing great which at the end of it all made everything worth it. I, unfortunately though, sort of lost the swing of writing. I had to cover a lot of shifts at work, felt very uninspired with anything I attempted to write, and descended into a morose mood at the heart of which had me missing summer terribly.

(Me, beating myself up all month )

My goals for September were simple:

  • Keep working on my WIP which I technically did do, in dribs and drabs. I got nowhere near as far as I wanted to because my head was just not into it. It was a chore to write and think about, and that is not how this is supposed work. The reason I wanted to write it in the first place was because it was supposed to be something that I wanted, needed to get out and do. It’s supposed to feel like if I don’t keep pounding away at that keyboard I will never feel settled. It’s supposed to make the world around me fade and make me fall into the story. And I had none of those feelings. So for October I’m doing a reset. Reworking the plot and replanning the characters, that way I’ll be geared up for NaNoWriMo in November.
  • Focus back on my Living Life vignettes. I wanted to at least post two this month and trust me I wrote two but neither were nowhere near posting material. So for October, while I’m getting my head back on straight, I am going to try and focus on getting out at least one.

Heading into October then this is the plan:

  1. Rework my WIP
  2. Post 1 Living Life vignette
  3. Go pumpkin and apple picking, because honestly this is fun and puts me and Autumn on better terms lol. (I don’t hate you Autumn, I don’t I promise. Summer is just like the peanut butter to my jelly, or like the Cat Noir to my Ladybug.)

What I Read:


Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. I started this book last year and vowed to only read one chapter for every time I went to the beach. I finished it this summer, one year later. It was written in 1955 but even though that seems so far away, the lessons it teaches are still relevant today. The book has a magic to it in two ways, or at least it did for me. 1) It will keep you calm, I promise, the prose is very mellow and thoughtful. Then, 2) It demands to be read by the sea. I took away a great deal from it and its simple, but often overlooked in today’s world, lessons gave me clarity to reflect on my own life and give me the mental capability to relax. So if you need a major mental chill, or a 1950’s revamp to simplifying your hectic life I highly recommend.
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson. This is my second reread of the book. The first time I read it was a few years ago and this time around it was still a good read but I liked it less then second go round. Still glad I read it though! I really liked Peter’s message at the end, “all things end happy”, because it gave me hope, even if the ending overall was bittersweet. I also loved that it was narrated by Tink. On the other hand, I didn’t really connect with how the author handled some things so skip to the next bullet point if you want to avoid some spoilers. I really hated how the author handled Wendy and how everything went down with her. That plot point seemed weak and she was written with the intention for the reader (at least in my mind) to hate her. This portrayal of Peter I also didn’t want to grow up. It didn’t seem to fit his character for me so when he left to go to England with Wendy and grow up, IDK , it just really rubbed me the wrong way. He was depicted as wild and untamable in the book and it didn’t connect for me that Peter would want to leave Neverland. The bittersweet ending though made sense to me in that Tiger Lily and Peter shouldn’t have ended up together but they were still soulmates and each served their purpose in the other’s life to help them grow and change. Not all soulmates have a happily ever after but their impact on the other’s life still remains in how they both grew from the beginning to the end of the book.
The Secret History by Donna Tartt is what I am currently reading and let me tell you this book is good. It’s very dark academia aesthetic and I only have maybe a third left of the book to go. Next month I’ll talk more about it but damn. I highly recommend this book. It was the perfect pick to distract me through my September blues.

What I’ll Be Writing (hopefully, fingers crossed):

If the fates and my will power allow be on the lookout for at least one Living Life vignette this month, maybe a poem (I was dabbling with two this past September but neither is finished yet…), any book tags that hit me like a car crash, and then at the end of the month my strong and steady Snapshot! update post. At least I can do these on time lol. Small victories!

Here are some links to posts I enjoyed this month:

– Siobhan @ Novelties “Beyond the Blurb | Bloggers, Embrace Hiatuses, Don’t Run From Them
– C.G. @ Paper Fury “Pantser Vs Plotter | Which Is The Best Way To Write Your Book?!
– Caro @ bookcheshirecat “Getting Back To Writing #2: Into The Editing Cave
– Sophie Li @ Sophie’s Corner “My Editing Process Part 1 (template included!)

Wow, it felt really good to actually sit down and write this. It has been a long blah month. Watching Miraculous (it is so CUTE and I am both equally in love with Cat Noir and Luka ❤ ) got me through the doldrums but moving forward October is going to be a lot better. I’ll make it better, and get back into the swing of things (or the spook of things because it’s almost HALLOWEEN!). Now it’s time to turn off the repeat of Wake Me Up When September Ends.

How did yall’s September’s go? Hopefully a lot better than mine. What sort of things do you do to get through the blah days when all you want to do is sleep?

Till next time,

Snapshot 8/31/19 // Praying For Summer to Never End

Currently listening: “Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince“- Taylor Swift
Currently reading: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Currently watching: The Office S2
Currently playing: Pokemon Masters

If I could live in perpetual summer, I would. Don’t get me wrong fall is wonderful because everything is pumpkin, winter is nice because of cozy fires and hot chocolate, and spring brings with it all. the. flowers. but it also brings the impending arrival of summer once again. Some people can’t stand the heat but as someone who is endlessly cold I live for it. Not to mention the long hours of daylight, the trips to the beach, and the sweet thirst quenching lick of mint chocolate chip ice cream as it runs down a waffle cone…. dang now I need some ice cream.

My goals for this summer were to go swimming whenever the opportunity arose, get to the beach, finish the first draft of my WIP, and get out of my comfort zone and have some fun. So let’s recap:

  • Unfortunately I only got to go swimming twice this summer. Omg that is so pathetic. The weather wasn’t always on my side though when the opportunity arose so I’m not going to beat myself up too much on this one. And honestly, September is still warm so…. all hope is not lost for one more swim.
  • I DID GET TO THE BEACH, YES, THANK YOU, CHECK.
  • My first draft is coming along. It is nowhere near finished but it is moving in the right direction. The world and the characters are becoming clearer whereas before they were just quietly humming in the background and now they are starTING TO YELL. That’s when I start to get excited and when I get excited that means the story is getting ready to spill out *crossing my fingers*
  • August was fun, a lot of fun. I met a lot of new people and actually held a lot of nice conversations with said new people. That is way out of my comfort zone since I’m usually shy and quiet. So this last goal is a major check.

Going into September these are my new goals:

  • Keep working on my WIP, however long it takes, I’m just going to keep swimming. Hopefully, but no promises, I’ll have some snippets or info to share by the end of September.
  • Focus back on my Living Life vignettes. I got very distracted in August, and not going to lie, I might have been a little lazy. In my defense though it was my birthday month so I’m going to cut myself a break. Heading into September, I’m going to try to get at least two out. They are certainly not going to be weekly anymore though because I’m trying to aim for quality over quantity.

I’m keeping it nice and simple this month. That way I don’t overwork or stress myself out. And I still have some time left to lament over my precious summer…

Because before too long, I’ll be all…

And I’m not ready for that yet, lol.

What I Read:

Steadily, just like in July, I finished three books in August. Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman was the first. I loved this book. Tragic and beautiful and real and raw and so many feelings all in one. A beautiful book with the beautiful setting of Hawaii and Mr. Watanabe and Kai and a beautiful sister relationship woven throughout in flashbacks and mother daughter struggles and asexuality and learning its okay if you don’t know. ITS OKAY NOT TO KNOW. It’s okay if you don’t know where you’re headed in life. IT IS ALL OKAY. Some relationships are forever till the end of time and sometimes people come into your life to teach you something or help you work through something and you know you might not ever see them again but you will always remember them. All of that… in one beautiful book. How many times did I say beautiful?

Then it was To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo. I adored this book too. Omg I love Elian and his piracy and his connection to the ocean and his goodness and his loyalty to his crew with Madrid and Kye and Torik. And Lira and her strength and confidence and her sense of duty and then when everything comes together at the end and the whole little mermaid retelling!!! It was great. I loved it and I loved it and I loved it. Descriptions are fantastic but I would love to see more of the world there seems like so much more to explore here with these 101 kingdoms.

My last was The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and omg this book was too real. It was fantastically written and very understandably a classic. The depiction of mental illness that Esther, the main character experiences, is eye opening and the story really gets you inside her head. You really understand why she makes the choices she does and even though it is a bit slow at times as a whole the pacing works for the novel.

I just picked up Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson to reread for the second time. It’s been a few years since the first read and since I’m a mood reader I’m gonna read it again because I feel like it, ya know?

What I’ll Be Writing:

Be on the lookout for at least two Living Life vignettes this month, any poetry that hits me like a bolt of lightning randomly, any book tags that I’m tagged to do or that strike my fancy and of course my ever steady monthly Snapshot post.

Here are some (like two) links to my (minimal) posts from this month (because I was lazy and having fun with my friends omg lol, focus Jai):

Then here are some fantastic reads from other bloggers (who have their life together, unlike me) I enjoyed this month:

How were all of your summers? Did you meet your goals? I’d love to talk in the comments!

Till next time,

NetGalley Book Tag! // (Or Rather a Modified Tag Because I Don’t Actually Have a NetGalley Account Lol)

August made me a little lazy, so I’m a little late doing this tag but better late than never! The lovely Sophie @ Sophie’s Corner tagged me for this one (thanks Sophie!), and even though I don’t have a NetGalley account I’m not going to miss the opportunity to have fun with this so I’ll be taking a little liberty with the questions here if you’ll bare with me ;).

The Rules:

  • Link back to the tag’s creator (Kourtni Reads)
  • Thank and link back to the person who tagged you
  • Answer the questions the best you can. If you don’t use NetGalley, you can substitute other sites or places where you get books!
  • Tag a few people to do this too

Auto-Approved: Who’s one author whose books you automatically want to read, regardless of what they’re about?

I’m pretty sure I have mentioned my love of Leigh Bardugo multiple times already, so what is once more? BRING ON NINTH HOUSE.

Request: What makes you want to request a book that you see on NetGalley?

In general what makes me pick up a book and chose to read it? Definitely the premise must sound intriguing to me. Something fresh, something new, something that might have to do with adventure, romance, fantasy or YA if we’re getting into specifics of what I lean towards. But… I’m pretty open to reading anything and everything. There is something to learn in every book.

Feedback Ratio: Do you review every book you read? If not, how do you decide what books to review?

I definitely don’t review every book I read. Honestly, it has to be a book that I would shout from the high heavens YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK to all the people down below. The only books that would fall into that category are stories I know I could read over and over. And over. And then over again. Those special books, ya know? The ones that know the map of your heart and soul. (*cough, cough*) The Book Thief (*cough, cough*)

Badges: If you could create your own badge to display on your blog, what would it be for?

HA HA! Let’s see… Notoriously Slow Reader or Reader of Too Many Books At Once or At Least She Tries Very Hard.

Wish For It: What’s one book that you are absolutely dying to read?

Besides Ninth House, hands down Erin Morgenstern’s A Starless Sea. Take me away…..

Tag:

I tag anyone who wants to try it! ❤

Who is your favorite author that (beyond all doubt) you will read every book they write? What are some books you’re looking forward to reading?

Lots of love,

Snapshot 7/31/19 // The Dog Days Are Here

Currently listening: “Back to December” – Taylor Swift
Currently reading: Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman, To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Currently watching: Supernatural S2
Currently playing: Rune Factory 4

Great news guys…. it’s still summer! This is my favorite season and August is a whole another beautiful month to enjoy, and it also happens to be my birthday month! I’m loving every second of this season, but I might be biased. 🙂

So last Snapshot update my goals for the summer were going swimming as much as possible, getting to the beach, finishing the first draft of my WIP, and going out of my comfort zone and having some fun. So let’s get these bullet points hashed out.

  • Honestly I have not gone swimming once this summer yet BUT tonight I am actually going to hang out with some friends and go night swimming! So better late than never lol
  • I HAVE gotten to the beach a lot which is a win! I even have a tan, sort of. I’m less pale than usual, let’s just say
  • My WIP is coming along, slowly. Very slowly, but it’s coming. This story has been plaguing my mind for years and it loves to tease me very slowly. There is no doubt I’m finishing this draft this year, because I’m determined no matter how long it takes for this story to reveal itself to me. Which I get, you can’t rush something that’s shy and is taking it’s time to get to know and trust you. I just wish it would move a little faster, but at least its moving
  • This last one is the real barn burner. Yes, I have definitely had a lot of fun in July. My new job has been great so far, and I’m making a lot of friends which of course leads to me being awkward but luckily it’s an endearing awkward and not uncomfortable awkward. Ya know? And I’m going pretty much out of my comfort zone which before I had rarely done. It’s exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. So highly recommended.

Heading into August I’m going to keep up the momentum with these goals!

In other news, this month I finished three books, which is great for me. Descendant of the Crane, Summer of Salt and Little Women. Descendant of the Crane was very well written with all the political intrigue. The twists and turns were a little fast paced for me at times but kept me entertained till the end . Summer of Salt was a nice, mellow summer read that still handled some really tough topics. The book sucks you in to the little island of By-The-Sea where it takes place and you get attached to the characters and setting that you feel like you’re actually there. In the book there is a graveyard where it is perpetually autumn. That is such a MOOD. Little Women was the one I most recently finished and now I get why it’s a classic. Honestly. If you haven’t read it yet, you should. For having being written in the 1800’s it is surprisingly relatable. That is probably why it is a classic lol.

Right now I’m very much enjoying Summer Bird Blue, it’s the type of book you want to savor slowly and it is the perfect book to read in the summer. To Kill a Kingdom I legit just started yesterday and so far the writing is very lyrical. I know this one had some mixed reviews, and I’m only four chapters in, but honestly the phrasing and words the author uses to describe everything so far really is beautiful. The Bell Jar kind of snuck up on me. I wasn’t planning on reading it yet but… I don’t really know. It just sort of called to me, and I answered it. Now I’m hooked. I’m about a third of the way through and I’m really curious to see how the story goes.

As for the writing schedule I am making a change to how often I post the Living Life vignettes. Right now I’m in a bit of a writer’s block slump with them so they are going to be coming out less regularly now and more so when inspiration strikes. That way I can give the best I got. I’ll still be posting poems and tags in the in between though so no worries! And of course my monthly Snapshot!

Here are some links to my posts from the last month:

Then if you are still hungry for more here are some of my favorite posts from some fantastic bloggers out there:

How are your summer goals going? Has anyone been reading any great summer reads? I’d love to talk in the comments below!

Till next time,

Top Ten Tuesday: Auto-Buy Authors // The Ones That Keep My Boat Afloat

I have never participated in a Top Ten Tuesday before but then I figured… why not? It looks like a lot of fun and I like to have fun. 🙂 Top Ten Tuesday is a book blog meme created by The Broke and The Bookish but now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This one seems like a good one to start with because I know my go to authors when the world is drowning and I need my boat to ride through those waves. In other words (metaphors aside), these are the authors whose books I basically pre-order without even reading the description.

1. Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus is one of my favorite books of all time. It’s so beautifully written and never fails to totally take me away from reality. That’s why I can’t wait for Erin Morgenstern’s next book, The Starless Sea. I can’t wait to be taken away somewhere beautiful and beyond my wildest dreams….

2. Leigh Bardugo

Leigh is a queen. Enough said. She had me sold from the beginning and never disappoints. Nikolai, Nikolai, oh Nikolai…..

3. Cassandra Clare

I enjoyed the Mortal Instruments but the Infernal Devices is really what sold me. I have read the series too many times to count that my copies are scribbled all over and very well read, so much so that the pages will open if they are just touched. Cassie you got me.

4. Maggie Stiefvater

Never has an author really hit a chord with me as much as Maggie. I don’t know what it is but I have a feeling our boats are out on the same sea. I love the way she tells a story and how she phrases things and introduces a character to the reader. Excelsior.

5. Sarah J. Maas

Sarah J. Maas I. Can’t. Even. Really. I’ve read every book in the ACOTAR series and I already have purchased basically every book in the Throne of Glass series that is just sitting on my shelf waiting to be read. Goodness gracious.

6. Diana Wynne Jones

My comfort food. Between Howl’s Moving Castle and Fire and Hemlock my top faves of Diana’s, she just makes me want to read every single book she ever written. And there is a lot of them. Whenever a storm is a brewing on the horizon I go to her and she always makes me feel better.

7. Markus Zusak

The Book Thief was my first absolute beyond all doubt favorite book of all time. I Am the Messenger is also another fantastic book by Zusak which of course I devoured all those years ago after I read The Book Thief, for like, four times in a row.

8. Neil Gaimon

Ahhhh yes. I love Coraline. I know it’s a little creepy, and disconcerting but…. gahhhh I can’t explain it. Neil Gaimon has a gift and American Gods is just waiting on my TBR pile. The Ocean at the End of the Lane was also another great read that I enjoyed by him.

9. Madeline Miller

Yes. Yes. Yes. Beautiful. Fantastic. Wonderful. Heartbreaking. Take my money Madeline Miller.

10. Suzanne Collins

I remember in high school devouring this series. It was all everyone was talking about and there’s a reason why. I’m so ready for the prequel next year. My boat shall keep floating till then.

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Who are some of the authors that float your boat? I’d love to chat in the comments below!

Till next time,