Books · Life · Uncategorized

BookCon 2018

After three days of exploring the streets of New York City, I am finally back home in Charlotte. Honestly, I’m a little sad about this. I had such a good time this past weekend that I wasn’t quite ready to leave yet. There were so many more places I wanted to check it, so much food I wanted to eat! It’s okay though, because that means that I’ll just have more things to discover when I return next year.

I arrived in the city on Saturday and spent the day at the museum, plus doing some wandering around. I found some fantastic food places to check out, not just on Saturday, but the entire time I was there. My favorite food places were Gotham West Market (which is like a fancier version of a food court, with options like tacos, ramen, and dessert waffles), Bibble & Sip (a bakery that makes French pastries with Asian flair), and Rustic Table. I tried so many amazing food options while I was there. I forgot how much better the food is up there than it is in Charlotte!

Sunday was reserved for BookCon. I got there early so that I could attend one of the first panels of the day. (There were so many panels that sounded interesting. It was hard to pick only a few.) Just walking into the convention center gave me a rush of giddy excitement. It was easy to feel and see the excitement of everyone around me, too. It was an awesome feeling, just being around others who love and appreciate books on the same level that I do. I was finally among my people!

The first panel I attended, We Need Diverse Books, was my favorite. Authors Dhonielle Clayton, Tomi Adeyemi, Tracey Baptiste, Zoraida Córdova, Anna-Marie McLemore, and Rebecca Roanhose spoke about their own works and what diversity means within the magical worlds they created. From the standpoint of both a reader and a writer, I gained a lot from the panel and really enjoyed it.

In addition to the panels there was an autographing floor, booth after both of books and bookish merch for sale, giveaways, and workshops. I returnef to the air b&b that afternoon with a pretty sweet haul. Next year I’m just bringing an empty suitcase with me to fill with books!

The highlight of my day was when I got to meet one of my favorite authors, V.E. Schwab! She was so lovely! Not only did I get to meet her, but I got a signed copy of the ARC for City of Ghosts! You guys can’t even imagine how excited I was. (I also feel compelled to add that I did not act like a complete goober or say anything awkward when I met her. Yay.)

BookCon was even better than I hoped it would be. Next year I plan on attending both days, so I can check out more of the panels and take advantage of more author meet-and-greets. It was so nice to be surrounded by other bloggers, readers, and writers. I loved every second of it.

I came back home Monday evening, but not before making one last stop at a place I’ve always wanted to visit…

The Strand. The perfect ending to a perfect trip.

Life · mental health · Uncategorized

Enough

enough

Yesterday I was feeling super anxious about something, which manifested in the form of bitterness and anger. Anger is a common symptom of anxiety for me, one that I don’t really know how to cope with. I wrote an entire blog post about it yesterday, with magically got erased. Believe it or not, this didn’t do much in terms of making me feel any less rage-y. 😒

Today, my brain has decided to take all that leftover anger and anxiousness and turn it inward. I can no longer be mad about the event that was plaguing me yesterday, so today I’m just mad at myself. Again, this is a common occurrence for me. My brain loves to find any and every excuse to tell me that I’m not good enough, creating further anger.

Me: “I no longer feel close to most of the friends I used to have.”

Brain: “Why would anybody want to be friends with you? You’re a terrible friend.”

Me: *makes suggestion that gets ignored or scoffed at*

Brain: “Why would anybody listen to you? Your ideas and suggestions aren’t good enough.”

Me: “I wonder if I’ll ever finish writing this book.”

Brain: “You won’t. You’re a terrible writer and nobody wants to read your story anyway.”

Me: *feels crappy about my body*

Brain: “Why should you feel good? You’re not skinny enough or pretty enough.”

Me: *feels stupid around Boyfriend and his family*

Brain: “You are stupid, what do you expect?”

Etc. etc. etc.

I could fill up an entire post with the bullshit that’s playing out in my head today, but I’ll spare you. I spend a great deal of time telling myself that I’m not good enough and look for others to make me feel validated as a human being. Which is stupid, because I know that I’m not supposed to do that. As part of recovery, I’m supposed to remind myself that I am good enough, that I’m perfect just the way I am. I’m supposed to tell anyone who says otherwise to go fuck themselves. I’m not supposed to care what others think about me, period. Sometimes I’m great at remembering all of this and it’s not an issue. Then, there are days like yesterday where my anxiety sneaks in and attacks from all angles, making it virtually impossible to think rationally.

I’m not sure where I intended to go with this post. I guess I’m just sharing my frustration. I wish this was ending on a more uplifting note, but it is what it is. I know some of you out there can relate and can use the reminder that they aren’t the only ones who deal with this kind of stuff.

As always, thank you for listening. ❤

Life · Uncategorized

Traveling Solo

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I don’t know what the weather is like where all of you live, but it’s COLD here this week. The temps have dropped to the teens and 20s, which is pretty low for Charlotte. People keep pointing out that I’m from New Jersey. “Shouldn’t you be used to this?” I don’t care where I am from, 20 degrees is still freaking cold. Plus, I’ve been living down South for approximately 11 years now and I have gone a bit soft. I will, however, still walk around complaining that they’re cancelling school because it’s cold. In my day we whippersnappers went to the school even if there was 3 feet of snow. And we walked to the bus stop. Kids these days. They don’t know how easy they have it. *angrily waves cane above my head*

I’ve been thinking about travel recently, which really has nothing to do with the weather (although I do kind of wish I was anywhere but here somewhere warmer right now). The company I work for is pretty generous with the amount of PTO that we are given each year. I’ve been at the company for almost 2 years now and, with the exception of the Canada trip last summer, I’ve used most of my days off just hanging out at home. I would really like to start doing things with my time off, rather than just be a hermit. This is where it gets tricky though.

I’ve been on plenty of vacations throughout my life, but all of them have been with family. Any trips I’ve taken by myself were trips to go visit family or friends in Florida. I don’t have a ton of money, but I do realize that there are lots of places I can go and things I can do that won’t break the bank. Even if I can find affordable things to do, I admit that I am still intimidated. My anxiety can make traveling stressful to begin with and, truthfully, I don’t know if that will be worsened if I am traveling alone. For all I know, it could actually be a really liberating experience for me and I could love it. (I could end up running through the streets, flashing my tits during Mardi Gras, yelling “I’m free!” You never know.)

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Part of me feels like I might enjoy some solo travel. I am a pretty introverted person. I like my alone time and I like being able to find quiet activities. If I take a trip by myself I can get a massage, wander around a bookstore for 5 hours, or sit in a cafe and just relax until my heart is content. (No more climbing mountains or crying in the middle of glaciers, thankyouverymuch.) I’ve been thinking about attending BookCon in June. I don’t really know what you do there, but it sounds like something I might enjoy. Plus, I am not entirely unfamiliar with NYC, given how often I used to visit when I was growing up. I haven’t been to NYC in probably 9-10 years and I would love to go check out some places that I’ve never had the chance to visit.

Buuuut (here comes the anxiety creeping in) what if going by myself is scary? What if I get lost or mugged or something else terrible happens? Or what if I just hate being by myself and feel awkward the entire time? What if the zombie apocalypse finally happens and I get stuck in NYC with no escape plan? At least if you’re in your own home you have a slight advantage over the zombies. Should I carry a small machine gun with me in the event of the zombie apocalypse? Do they even make tiny machine guns? There’s a lot to consider.

What are your thoughts on solo travel? Have you done much of it? Is it something that you’ve generally enjoyed or was it weird? I’d love to hear about some of your experiences. 

Life · Uncategorized

Meet Merlin 


I would like to introduce you guys to my new kitty baby, Merlin. I adopted him this weekend from the Humane Society. (This was the Christmas present from my boyfriend that I hinted at earlier.) He’s 8 months old and I fell in love with him pretty much instantly. His name was Nash, but I’ve decided to call him Merlin instead. 

Yesterday was his first day in his new home. I’d say he’s adjusting well. 😊

Life · Uncategorized

…And to All a Good Night

Greetings! I hope you all had a merry and most enjoyable holiday. Or at least a generic, non-shitty Monday. After all my griping and worrying, I am happy to report that I not only survived Christmas, but I actually managed to have a good time.

I survived both dinners with the boyfriend’s family. Fortunately, no meat was flung in anger, which means that I will probably be invited back next year. (Disclaimer: I call this “fortunate,” but I feel like the only ones who are benefiting here are my boyfriend’s family. Just imagine the story I could have shared with you all if I actually had thrown a rib roast or ham across the room. *sigh* I’ll do better for you guys next time, I promise.)

We opened presents with my boyfriend’s daughter on Christmas Eve. Lots of books and Harry Potter-themed gifts were exchanged at out house. The animals also received presents and lots of treats.

Here’s a shot of Beaker, all worn out from playing with his new toys, and Ash, trying to disguise himself as a present:

One of my favorite gifts I received was from my mother. She took several years worth of home movies and had them converted from VHS tapes onto DVDs for my siblings and I. I watched a few of them last night and really enjoyed myself. It’s nice to be reminded of forgotten times and relive happy childhood memories. There were some nice scenes of me sleeping/farting, taking a bath, and attempting to eat a plastic bag out of the garbage can. I was so much more sophisticated back then. I also learned that when I was 3-4 my voice sounded like that of an 80 year old woman with emphysema. I’m really glad I grew out of that phase. Or maybe I didn’t and everybody has been shielding me from the truth for all these years? (This is bothering me. I feel like I need to investigate further.)

There’s another exciting present that I received from my boyfriend that I can’t wait to share with you guys, but it’s not quite time yet. Anyone want to guess what it is? Hint: No, I didn’t get engaged and I don’t have a bun in the oven. There are brownies in the oven at the moment though, which, to me, is even better than having a bun in your oven.