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,

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,

The Summer Bucket List Book Tag // All the Summer Vibes

Yay!! It’s my first tag ever since I started my website so I’m super excited! Thank you to Sophie @ Sophie’s Corner for thinking of me for this ❤ and also to the original creator Tiffany @ Read By Tiffany for the great idea and tag graphics! Here we go…

First of all, SUMMER IS HERE! It’s my favorite season for so many reasons, almost too many to name. Here’s to endless daylight, ocean waves and ice cream to our heart’s content during these hot days. Not to mention all the fireworks and BBQ’s and just all around good vibes!

The Rules

  • Link back to the original creator in your post
  • Feel free to use any of the tag graphics in your post, or create your own!
  • Tag 5 other people at the end of your post, and let them know you’ve tagged them.

Whenever summer comes rolling in, know the ocean isn’t too far away. Lady Midnight takes place in California where sun, sand and surfers are everywhere you turn. Even though I wasn’t as fond of the rest of the Dark Artifices trilogy, Lady Midnight still holds a special place in my heart. The old school Hollywood, mystery and revenge vibes surf out a great story. Emma, the main character is badass, and I wish I had a best friend just like Julian. It demands to be read with the water in sight.

I will read anything by Sarah J Maas, and ACOMAF is tops when it comes to romance. The way Feyre and Rhys’s relationship changes throughout the whole story can’t help but keep you entranced. There are definite fireworks all over this book.

I took this one a little metaphorically, and picked what I am currently reading now. Little Women isn’t necessarily about a physical road trip but it’s a journey through life and how Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy grow, change and become who they are meant to be. It’s a fantastic read, and I started it because I wanted to read it before the new movie came out. I understand now why it’s a classic!

This book undid me. I loved Madeline Miller’s spin on the Iliad. The retelling was beautiful, and harrowing and there were just too many feelings associated with this book that I can’t even. If you haven’t read it yet, PLEASE PICK IT UP.

This book. This book. This book! So many twists, so many turns and I haven’t even finished it yet but as soon as I finish this post I will be running right back to it. AHHHHH! The world building is fantastic and believable, and the story and characters keep you guessing.

This one is super cute. It takes place in Italy and there’s gelato which is the Italian version of ICE CREAM <3. Not only is the romance spot on and believable but the reader also gets to experience Tuscany through the main character Lina’s eyes as well. It will make you want to just run and jump on the next plane for the perfect summer vacay.

This book will forever have a special place in my heart. I’ve read it a few times which is a big deal for me because most books I only read once. I don’t know what it is exactly but the whole vibe of the story with the race, the water horses, the threat of danger in such a believable realistic way… and not to mention the November cakes is special. Rereading it recently this past autumn I discovered some things I had missed before. Thisby was a breath of fresh air in my lungs.

This book is not for everyone. It faces the very heavy topic of suicide. Murakami’s writing has a very mellow way of going about it. The story really makes you understand what Toru is experiencing around him after losing one of his closest friends and what happens after. It is a coming of age story with Japan as its backdrop.

I have yet to read this one yet but it’s on my TBR pile and I am very excited!! Food, food, food!! I have some dietary restrictions so I’m looking forward to getting my fill of delicious food through this book!

What book is more inspiring for a writer? I’m savoring this book slowly and taking in all of the experiences that Stephan King shares and knows that each and every writer has had or will have. Rejection, acceptance, thinking is this all going to work out?, safety nets, no safety nets, bad times, good times, and eventually success. 🙂 Which to say, it’s very relatable.

Tags

I tag anyone of you who wants to try it!

Have any of you read the books on my list? What are some books you are looking forward to reading this summer?

Love,

Snapshot 4/10/19

Currently listening: “The Last of the Real Ones”– Fall Out Boy
Currently (finished) reading: We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett Currently (re)reading: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
Currently watching: Friends (Season 3)
Currently playing: Devil May Cry 5

Music is good. Books are good. Friends is surprisingly good. Why didn’t I start this show sooner? (Because you take your sweet time savoring everythinggggggg). I get it all done. Eventually.

If you are looking for a book that is packed to the sheets (are we making up expressions now, really?) with strong female characters who are not afraid to REALLY get things done but who also have the relatability of normal human beings We Rule the Night may be the right call. At times the story did slow and the ending was a bit abrupt (leaving an opening for a sequel?) but the strong feminism ties that are the framework of the book really do make you feel empowered and ready to take on the world. Which is always a nice feeling. Especially since the book is based off the real story of the Night Witches of WW2. So, if you have a need to be in that very specific niche of a mood… I recommend.

I also am re-reading the Grisha trilogy because let’s be real, Leigh Bardugo is writing goals and I just preordered Joan He’s Descendant of the Crane the other day because all I have been hearing is good things. I’m really setting my reading goals high this year. Last year I read 25 books and this year I’m hoping to set a personal best (at the very least 26, SMALL STEPS JAI).

I do have a habit of trying to do to much at once. Though, to my credit, I always follow through (just my sleeping patterns tend to suffer). The thing about habits is that if they are good they are GREAT, and if they are not good then they are most definitely not great. Are you picking up what I’m putting down?

In other news I find I am enjoying blogging. It’s kind of relaxing! Which is good news for any of you who enjoy reading my dribble. Writing the Living Life vignettes helps me too. When I write it just feels like all my feelings have a place to go. Before I just kept them to myself, and that was fine but when you share the stories and you share your experiences I don’t know it really does just make your world feel a bit better. It’s like when a painter paints or an architect builds. The world gives us all these feelings and we need to get them out. And if we show others these feelings and they get it, it makes you feel more understood in return. Do you know what I mean? And you get one heck of a picture or building. Or story. 🙂

Why didn’t I start doing this sooner? (Oh yeah, because I take my sweet time to savor everything. Duh.)