Blogging · Books · Uncategorized

Blogger Recognition Award

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I’ve been tagged for a Blogger Recognition award. Aw, shucks.

First, I would like to thank Valerie @ Valerie’s Musings for nominating me and my little old blog. Her blog is a new one for me, but given what I’ve seen so far she’s a pretty cool lady. I mean, she’s a librarian…that automatically makes her amazing.

Second, I would like to thank all the little people…Oh wait, sorry. It’s not that kind of award.

The Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Select 10 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

How I Started Blogging:

I started this blog at the beginning of the year, almost a year into my separation period. Before my ex and I had split up I was writing frequently and working on multiple stories that I hoped to turn into books. Then, alas, all of that disappeared. With the stress of finding a new job, a place to live, divvying up our belongings, etc. I lost all inspiration and motivation to write. To be honest, I lost some of my motivation to read, also. I decided to start blogging for a couple of reasons: a.) I wanted to get back in the habit or writing again so that hopefully it would give me inspiration for more stories, b.) Starting a book blog would give me more motivation to up my reading game, and c.) Because I never have enough people to talk about books with in real life. Thus far, it’s all been working out pretty well.

Advice to New Bloggers:

  • Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. I’ve read lots of posts where people admit that they feel like their own sites aren’t good enough, that they don’t have enough followers, that they don’t post enough, etc. My advice to those people is simple: Don’t worry about it. If you enjoy blogging, then do it for that reason alone. Just have fun with it. If you spend too much time worrying about how many followers you have you’re probably going to take the enjoyment out of it. Remember why you started blogging in the first place. At the end of the day, all that matters is what you are getting out of this.
  • Talk about yourself sometimes. I don’t mean you have to put all your deepest, darkest secrets out there, but it’s a good thing to let your readers get to know you. It’ll make them feel more connected to you and your blog and it’ll keep them coming back.

My Nominees: 

I’m not good at nominating people. I appreciate all of you and your blogs and I don’t want to leave anybody out. So, if you’re reading this I hereby name you as a nominee.

 

 

 

 

 

Blogging · Books · Uncategorized

The Little Things

As I’ve been trying these past fifteen years few months to make some improvements to my mental health, I’ve had to start thinking more about the little things. It’s a terrible habit of mine to focus on the negative and completely forget about the positive. I dwell on things to the point of no return. (I’m sure you’re all smart enough to understand why this is a horrible, self-destructive habit.) What I really need to learn is to focus on more positive things and to let the negative go more easily. I’m not trying to become one of those people who eat rainbows and try to shove positive vibes down your throat all the time, because, honestly, I find that incredibly unrealistic and unattainable. I do, however, recognize the fact that being a more positive person is beneficial to my overall mental health.

These are some of the positive things I’ve been thinking about lately. They’re little things, but they make me smile, nonetheless.

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  • Books – This one is clearly a no brainer, given that I have an entire blog dedicated to books. Books have always been my biggest source of comfort. For me, there are few experiences that make me happy than wandering around a bookstore for hours, discovering new stories, worlds, and characters. Without books I would be a lost freaking soul.

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  • Animals – Not just my precious little fur babies, but animals in general. I can be having the worst day imaginable and the second I see a dog/cat/squirrel my heart explodes and my brain goes *squeeeeeeeeee* (Yes, I have literally made that sound before.) Life is so much better with animals.

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  • Chocolate + peanut butter – The most sacred of all food combinations. Give me something that consists of chocolate and peanut butter (especially Reese’s!) and I reach an instant state of ecstasy.

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  • Baking –  Not to toot my own horn, but I am a damned good baker. Even though I don’t do it professionally anymore, it’s still one of my favorite things to do in my spare time. There’s something incredibly satisfying about making a delicious, beautiful treat with nothing but a few ingredients and your own two hands.
  • Texts from my best friend – She sends me the most random, silly messages sometimes and I absolutely love her for it. She always knows how to cheer me up when I need it.
  • Dancing – Whether it’s my weekly dance classes or just dancing around to music at home, dancing always boosts my mood.

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  • Cemeteries – Most people find cemeteries creepy or sad, but I love them. I find walking through the cemetery a very quiet, peaceful activity. I love trying to read the old, faded headstones and being among the stillness of the statues. It works wonders for helping me clear my head.
  • Halloween – You guys, HALLOWEEN IN COMING. Have you seen all the decorations that are popping up in stores already? 😍 I get a tad obsessed with costumes, candy, and Halloween decor this time of year.

That’s all for now. Hopefully I will be able to come up with more things in the future and continue making progress on this.

~~~

Are you a naturally positive or negative person? What are some of the little things that make you feel happy? 

Adult · Books · Fantasy · Sci-Fi · Young Adult

Series I Don’t Intend to Finish

There’s nothing more heart breaking than finishing a really amazing book. If you’re anything like me, you cry a little on the inside and walk around for a few days asking everyone “What am I supposed to do now?!” Cue the book series. With a book series there are hours and hours of reading before you reach the book withdrawal phase.

Unfortunately, not all book series justify such a huge time commitment. Why read a few mediocre books when there are series like Game of Thrones out there?!  Here are a couple that I’ve started over the past few years that I probably won’t be finishing:

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The Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman – This book had potential, but it just missed the mark a little. The overall concept was a good one, but all of the characters felt incredibly flat.

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The Borden Dispatches series by Cherie Priest – Lizzie Borden meets Lovecraft. I didn’t hate this book, but I didn’t love it either. It was a little heavy on the horror/sci-fi aspects, which is fine, but there wasn’t enough to keep me interested beyond the first book.

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The Magicians series by Lev Grossman – I believe I’ve already expressed my opinions of this series on here before. Maybe once…or like five times. For my new readers though, allow me to fill you in: YUCK. I hated the main character of this book so much that I gave up reading it halfway through. Twice. The magic system and the world they were in didn’t do much for me either. (Several people told me that the tv series was better than the books, so I gave that a try for a while. I gave up on that also.)

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The Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard – This one felt like another one of the Hunger Games/YA dystopian ripoffs. *yawns*

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The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon – I’ve actually gone back and forth on whether or not to continue this series a dozen times. I actually loved the first couple of books. I love Jamie and Claire and I love the unique story that Gabaldon created. Unfortunately, after the first few books I felt like things started too get a little too…wait for it…outlandish. The over-the-top action and ridiculous scenarios became too much and took away from the overall story. I stopped a few books in because I didn’t want to start hating it.

Books · Fiction · Writing

Hunger

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The house was unusually quiet that particular evening. Dinner had been a casual affair, consumed faster than it had taken to prepare. The remnants of the meal had already been scraped away and forgotten. The effort had gone unnoticed, but she didn’t expect anything otherwise.

The creatures, worn from their usual pacing and state of restlessness, were sound asleep in their respective corners. Sounds of the one-eyed panther’s snoring cut through the silence in little ragged breaths.

There were chores to be done. Odds and ends lay around the house, cluttering the table and her brain. A sweater lay draped across the back of the chair. A light gray shoe peeked out from  beneath the couch. Empty cardboard boxes laid in a heap next to the front door. She sighed as she surveyed the room. There was always so much work to be done and never enough energy to complete it all.

A dull ache pounded a rhythmic beat against the base of her skull. It was going to be a long night.

The sky outside grew darker. She breathed a deep, heavy sigh and tried to focus on the book on her lap, but the pain in her head made it hard to see the words.  Growing irritated, she eventually got up and began pacing back and forth. The white bear raised his head slightly off the ground and grunted in commiseration before thumping it back down again. None of them were strangers to discomfort.

Her stomach growled; she should have eaten more for dinner. She continued her slow measure across the room, chewing her nails while she did so, trying to chew back the gnawing hunger in her gut.

She stood in front of the fireplace, staring into the grate despite the lack of flame. It was the middle of summer. too hot to light a fire. She averted her eyes from the smiling faces on the mantle. There were few, if any, pictures of her in the house. Tears stung the corners of her eyes. She repressed the urge to scream and rip everything off the mantle, to stomp on all the pictures until the glass shattered beneath her feet.

Instead, she waited.  Waited for her nerves to settle and for her head to stop aching. She waited for her stomach to quiet it’s screams of loud protest.

She had no idea how long she’d been standing there, the only indication of time passing was the growing darkness outside. The room was almost completely blackened. She wondered if she stared long enough whether a fire would ignite in the grate on its own accord.

She waited.

Her heartbeat grew louder, until it thumped loudly through her chest and filled the room. She hoped the noise wouldn’t wake anyone. Her pulse quickened and her hands began to shake violently. It was going to be a long night.

The pangs in her stomach worsened until it felt as though it was turning itself inside out. She dropped to her knees, hands clinging to her abdomen and tears streaming down her cheeks into puddles on the floor. She hadn’t even realized that she’d been crying. The ringing in her ears was deafening. She put her hands over her ears and tried not to scream. Waking them would only make it worse for her later.

Then, suddenly, it came to an abrupt halt. She was alone on the floor with nothing but the silence again.

The silence.

It was so loud that she never heard the footsteps. The soft patter of black paws as they inched their way across the room until they were directly behind her.

Her hunger was finally silenced as the youngest panther made his feast.

 

Books

Bookish Habits

Hi there. Are you still with me? After yesterday’s erratic post I wouldn’t blame some of you if you stopped following me. 😛

Let’s get back to books today, shall we? I’ve seen some posts recently on other’s bookish habits and it’s made me think about what my own habits are in terms of books and reading. Most of them are pretty normal…I think? Maybe not, maybe they are a little quirky. I have no idea. Give them a read and tell me what you think.

  • I don’t always finish books – I used to be one of those people that just had to finish a book. Part of it was due to the fact that I was afraid I’d be missing out on something if I stopped reading it. The other part was the feeling of being a “failure” for giving up. I’ve forced my way through plenty of bad books in the past, all for nothing. Over the last couple of years I’ve finally given myself permission to stop reading a book if I’m not feeling it. There are too many good books out there waiting to be read.

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  • I go to the bookstore regularly just to look at the books – I spend the majority of my lunch breaks at Barnes & Noble, which is conveniently located right down the street from my office. This is my happy place. Barnes & Noble is at the top of my list for places that make me really fucking happy. (It’s right up there with Disney World.) Most of the time I just browse while I’m there. Even if I know I’m not going to buy anything I just like to look at the books. It gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling of contentment. It’s like being among friends. (Actually, it’s probably better because the books are quieter.)

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  • I read the blurbs on the back cover a dozen times before deciding whether to buy a book or not – I can literally pick up the same book a dozen times, read the blurb on the back, and stick it back on the shelf before deciding whether or not I am going to get it. It can be something that I already know I want to read, but I’m still going to do this anyway. Sometimes this occurs during the same visit to the bookstore, other times I’ll spread it out over a couple of visits.
  • I prefer that my books match – If I have a hardcover version of a book, the other books in the series also have to be hardcover.
  • I carry a book in my purse at ALL times – Even if I know I won’t be reading it (like when I’m at work), it’s still coming with me. Just for emergency purposes.

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  • I have hangups about integrating my books with someone else’s – Read my recent post for a better explanation.

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What are some of your weird (or not-so-weird) bookish habits?

 

Uncategorized

Existential Ice Cream Crisis 

Since getting back from “vacation” a few weeks ago, I’ve been in a little bit of a reading rut and haven’t had much to post about. It’s more than just a reading rut, actually…

I mentioned one particular incident that occurred during my vacation that was particularly stressful, but that was actually just the tip of the iceberg. Without going into detail I will say that there were several factors surrounding that trip that made it anything but pleasant. I hoped by the time we got home I would be feeling better, but unfortunately there was some residual bitterness clinging on. On top of that, my poor Beaker (my dog) is having a hard time right now. There have been multiple trips to the vet and some very long, sleepless nights for both the little guy and myself. I can’t stand seeing him this way and even though we are doing all we can to make him feel better, I am still feeling somewhat helpless.

As usual, being stressed makes me start to feel like crap about myself. (Thanks brain!) As a result, I’m finding myself being restrictive and obsessive over food again. Unfortunately, no matter how long you’ve been in recovery, no matter how long you’ve fought the shitty, self-destructive voices in your head, it’s always so easy to fall back into old habits.

Truthfully, this hasn’t just started. Its been on and off like this the past few months, but recently it’s gotten worse. It’s frustrating because I’m smart enough to know that this isn’t the way to deal with stress, but that still isn’t enough to make it just go away. 

I know there is no such thing as “normal” and that everyone has issues that they deal with, but part of me can’t help but envy those around me who seem to have “normal” relationships with food. I imagine it must be nice to be offered ice cream by your co-workers and to be able to eat it without having some sort of existential crisis. (Side note: wouldn’t Existential Ice Cream Crisis be a sweet band name?) 

Sorry for being a downer today. I really need to finish the book I’ve been reading so I can post some more reviews. I hope the rest of you are doing well. ❤️

Books · Uncategorized

Book Integration (Alternate Title: Am I Insane?)

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This past weekend I attempted to squeeze another book onto one of my many bookshelves, only to be dismayed over the fact that it didn’t fit. The problem isn’t that I have too many books. (There’s no such thing!) The problem is lack of space and my current organizational system.

Now, I know that probably sounds crazy. If it’s my organizational system, how can it be failing me? That’s a funny story…

Almost 4 months ago I moved in with my boyfriend. Immediately upon moving on we were faced with the hurdle of combining all of our shit together. Given the insane amount of kitchen stuff we both have and our lack of storage space, this was no easy feat. We managed and, for the most part, we found a place for everything…except the books. In order to make room for all of our books Boyfriend was sweet enough to build me some extra shelves that are built into the living room wall. (It looks awesome!) Between that and the smaller bookshelves I brought with me, I managed to get all of the books unpacked.

So, at the moment there is technically space for all the books that we own, BUT I am still not happy with the current situation. You see, I am incredibly particular about the way I organize things. Especially my precious books. I organize them by genre and then arrange them alphabetically by author. I have a section for general fiction, classics, mythology/fairy tales, YA literature, children’s/middle grade literature, non-fiction, and cookbooks. (Can you tell that my years working at the library rubbed off on me a little?) I don’t care if anyone else finds it weird; this has been my system for years and I love it. On the opposite spectrum is Boyfriend’s system (or lack thereof) of organizing things. His shelves were a complete mess when I moved in. Books were just crammed on the shelves wherever they fit. The fiction was mixed with the non-fiction. Nothing was alphabetized. There were children’s picture books mixed in with the adult books.*cringes* I’m still having nightmares about it.

Even though there is less chaos on the shelves now, our books are still separate. In case I haven’t already conveyed how weird I am, I will admit that I haven’t been able to bring myself to join all of our books together. I tried, I really did. Logically, it makes more sense to combine all of our fiction, non-fiction, classics etc. together in their respective sections. But I can’t! I just can’t! For some reason I’ve always had a hard time integrating my books with someone else’s. I don’t even know how to explain it. It’s like having someone else’s books on the same shelf as mine somehow contaminates them. Or maybe it’s because they won’t feel like my books anymore? Like I’m giving up ownership of them, or something? I’ve been learning to make sacrifices in the time that I’ve moved in. I am coming to accept the fact that none of my stuff will ever be perfectly matched or “pretty” again. *sigh* I’ve mostly adapted to the fact the house will never look the way want it to. I’ve come to terms with the fact that my boyfriend’s standards of cleanliness are way lower than mine. But the book thing? No. It’s too big of a commitment!

All of this brings me back around to the beginning of this post. I have some new books I need to squeeze on the shelf somewhere, but there isn’t enough room. This means I have two potential options: a) Moving the books around again to try to find a better location for each section, or b) Integrate the books. The latter is the easier, more logical option. I know it is, but for some reason it’s stressing me out. :-\

Am I being ridiculous? Does anyone else have any weird hangups about integrating their books with their significant other’s?