Blogging · Books · Uncategorized

Blogger Recognition Award

blogger-recognition-award-logo

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? 

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?

Books · Fantasy · Fiction · Sci-Fi · Uncategorized

Book Covers That Made Me Say “WTF?”

In yesterday’s post, What Makes a Good Book Cover, I talked about what types of book covers I find aesthetically pleasing and which ones I do not. For the most part, my dislikes in cover art include too much empty space, nothing but a a title, and repeating the same generic images over and over again. After I posted this yesterday I realized that I forgot to include another crucial category of “bad” cover art: those that are downright gaudy or absurd.

I don’t feel like I need to offer any explanation here; the pictures speak for themselves.

 

These are only a handful of the horrible book covers that are out there. (Do a Google search. I promise you won’t be sorry.) I think my favorite is Zombie Raccoons and Killer Bunnies. I hope they make a movie adaptation sometime in the future.

Uncategorized

Dance Your Heart Out

Today is National Dance Day! Hooray! I order you all to go put on your dancing shoes and bust a move. Right now. Move!

In all seriousness, dance is something that is actually very important to me. I’ve always loved to dance and did so frequently growing up, whether at social events or just in the privacy of my own bedroom. I hate to break it to you, but if you didn’t grow up in the 90s, dancing your ass off to the Spice Girls, you never really lived.

Three years ago I was fortunate enough to discover another kind of dance and it has since changed my life for the better: Pole dancing. (Yes, an often taboo topic among those who don’t really understand or appreciate it. But hey, if you’ve ever met me you will know that I am no stranger to talking about and/or doing taboo things). Pole dancing has been an amazing experience for me. It has helped to make me stronger, both physically and mentally. It has helped me learn to appreciate my body more for what I can do with it, rather than what it looks like, and it serves as the perfect outlet for stress. My body image and anxiety improve significantly when I’m focusing on dance. On top of that it’s just plain fun. I love working on choreography and coming up with new concepts for the shows we put on. Dancing is a great way to channel my creativity and use it to make art that I can share with others.

It can have its downsides, of course. It has taken a lot of time and effort to reach the skill level I’m at now and I still have a long way to go. People sometimes judge me for it because they automatically assume that because I pole dance I’m also a stripper. (Not that I have any problem with strippers.) It can definitely be dangerous if not done correctly and even on the best of days it leaves my body sore and bruised. But you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Fantasy · Sci-Fi · Uncategorized

Top 10 Tuesday: Doctor Who Edition

Since The Broke and Bookish, who typically comes up with each week’s theme, is on brief hiatus, I’m doing something a little different for this week’s Top 10 Tuesday. Instead of talking about books this week, I’m going to talk about a few of my favorite moments from Doctor Who instead.

*insert TARDIS sounds*

Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead – This two-parter was my very first exposure to Doctor Who ever and for that reason it holds a very special place in my heart. Silence in the Library introduced me to some of my favorite characters: the 10th Doctor, Donna Noble, and Riversong. In the episode the Doctor investigates a planet that is the biggest library in the universe, (A LIBRARY PLANET!!!) only to discover that the library is completely devoid of people and has been sealed shut. There he meets a strange archaeologist named Riversong, who seems to know everything about the Doctor even though he knows nothing about her. 

The Eleventh Hour- This was Matt Smith (the eleventh doctor)’s first episode and it was absolutely brilliant. It was impossible not to fall in love with his performance as a quirky, playful, and youthful iteration of the Doctor, especially given he had such big shoes to fill after David Tennant’s departure. 

Blink- This was one of David Moffat’s best episodes and interestingly enough the Doctor only played a minor role. In the episode we encounter a young woman named Sally Sparrow who receives a mysterious message on the wallpaper: Don’t Blink. The message is from the Doctor, warning Sally to be aware of the Weeping Angels, alien angel statues with the ability to send you back/forward in time. 

Doomsday- The 10th Doctor and Rose’s final moment together on the beach before they had to part ways, separated by different universes forever, was such a tear jerker. I can’t even…*bawls* 

Vincent and the Doctor- Amy and the eleventh Doctor travel back in time to visit Vincent Van Gogh and help him combat a monster that only he can see. 

The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances- Another prime example of Moffat’s early storytelling. This two-parter brought the ninth Doctor and Rose back to the London Blitz where there is a child in a gas mask terrorizing the city. It was creepy as fuck. 

Human Nature/The Family of Blood- The Doctor and Martha are stuck at an all-boys school, with the Doctor believing that he’s a school teacher. For some reason he can’t remember who he is. It’s up to Martha and the school nurse to help him remember before a sketchy ass student and an army of possessed scarecrows kill everyone.