Life · mental health

Fits of Gratitude (Pt. 2)

A while back I wrote a post mentioning a few of the things I was grateful for in my life. They were small things, but things that brought me joy, nonetheless. This time of year is always a difficult one for me. With the beginning of the holiday season, I often find myself feeling lonely and in a bit of a funk. This year has been no different. Compounded by some news I received a few weeks ago regarding my dog’s health, as well as my own ever-present health problems, it’s been a struggle to feel the holiday cheer.

So, in an effort to remind myself to be thankful for the little things, here’s Fits of Gratitude, Part 2.

My Animals – There isn’t a single day that goes by that I am not grateful to have Beaker and Merlin in my life. Their companionship, silly antics, and snuggles are there when I need them the most. They give my life purpose and serve as a constant reminder that I am not alone. I adore these two more than anyone/anything else on this planet.

The Bookstore – My home away from home. It’s where I spend my lunch breaks to read or get some writing done. On weekends, I browse and visit friends, both new and familiar, among the stacks. The people who work there know me and always make me feel welcome. There’s always coffee in my hand and the smell of baked goods in the background. I don’t know where I’d spend most my free time if this place didn’t exist.

Books · Life · travel

Wanderlusting: London

Have you ever wished that you were anywhere other than wherever “home” is? I’ve been feeling that way a lot lately. Not that there is anything wrong with my life or where I live. More and more, I am just finding myself wishing that I were traveling and seeing new places. Call it a major case of restless wanderlust, if you will. I was hardly home from Portland a few days before I already felt that familiar itch start to creep up. “Where can I go next?” Is a question that pops into my brain on a regular basis.

Fortunately, there are some upcoming trips in the works to look forward to. (I’ll be visiting New Orleans for the first time in Janurary, and heading back to NYC for BookCon in June.) I am also currently saving for a trip to Europe next Fall-Winter. I have been dying to visit various places in Europe since I was a teenager. And you know what? It’s time to finally make it happen. I’m tired of waiting.

I’m not 100% positive where I will end up on my European excursion, but there are a few places I am really leaning towards. One of them is London. What’s so exciting about London, you ask?

Interior of Shakespeares Globe Theatre Southbank London England. Image shot 2006. Exact date unknown.

For starters, it’s home of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater! I’ve been a Shakespeare fan since high school and would absolutely love to get a taste of what it was like to actually see one the bard’s plays in an authentic setting. (This is actually a reconstruction of the original Globe. Sadly, the original theater burned down in 1613.)

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I’m told that Charing Cross Rd. is a must for any bibliophile, as it’s lined with bookstores, selling both used and new books. (In case you don’t find what you’re looking for on Charing Cross Rd., here’s an entire map of all the different bookstores in London. *swoons*)

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The Sherlock Holmes museum!

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All the Harry Potter things! For example: Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station, the Warner Brother’s studio tour (you can go behind the scenes and see how the movies were made), Harry Potter and The Cursed Child…need I say more?

Of course, there are all the usual tourist attractions in London, as well. Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Kensington Gardens, The British Library, etc. Not to mention, all the food I have yet to try! 🙂

Adult · Books · Fantasy · Fiction

First Impression Friday: Bloody Rose by Nicholas Eames

Happy Friday folks! It was another short work week for me, as I took off today to take Boyfriend to get Lasik surgery later. This morning I’m getting my word count on at my favorite coffee shop. Days off are perfect for writing. 🙂

It’s also time for another First Impression Friday! (For those who are unfamiliar, FIF is a weekly meme created by J.W. Martin. The goal is to talk about a book you recently started reading. Share you impressions, predict what you think will happen, say whether you think you’ll enjoy it, etc.)

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Live fast, die young.

Tam Hashford is tired of working at her local pub, slinging drinks for world-famous mercenaries and listening to the bards sing of adventure and glory in the world beyond her sleepy hometown.

When the biggest mercenary band of all rolls into town, led by the infamous Bloody Rose, Tam jumps at the chance to sign on as their bard. It’s adventure she wants – and adventure she gets as the crew embark on a quest that will end in one of two ways: glory or death.

It’s time to take a walk on the wyld side.

I freaking LOVE this book already. The way the author takes the concept of a musical band and turns them into a group of touring, fighting mercenaries, then throws in handfuls of 80s music references without it being even slightly cheesy is an utter delight.

At first I found Tam to a strange choice for a protagonist. Compared to the other characters in the story she’s the least experienced and most normal of the bunch. After a little while I changed my mind. Seeing the story through her perspective made much more sense, since she’s a bit of a blank slate. Plus, she’s the bard. She’ll be telling the story of Fable for years to come.

It’s obvious some crazy shit is going to happen in this story. I’m guessing that despite their lack of participation in chasing after the Horde, they’ll end up right in it’s path at some point. Tam will also, most likely, end up joining in the fight and become more than just a bard. Maybe she’ll figure out that she has some kind of magical music gift than allows her to lull monsters to sleep! (Or not.)

Whatever happens, I already know it’s going to be amazing.

 

Books

End of the Year Book Tag

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By this time last year, I had been close to reaching my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal. I’m so excited that I’m way ahead of the game this year and have already completed it! How are your 2018 reading goals going?

I saw this End of the Year Book Tag  on the Literary Weaponry blog. Since we’re almost at the end of the year, I thought I’d have some fun and take part.

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Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish? Other than the book I’m currently reading, the only book I still need to finish is A Cook’s Tour. There were a couple of books that I started and gave up on, but I don’t intend to finish those.

Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year? Not really. I just go with whatever floats my boat at the time.

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year? It’s unlikely I’ll get to actually finish all of them, but if I’m being optimistic: Red Sister, The Poppy War, and The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy. 

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Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favourite book of the year? Bloody Rose, which I am currently reading. I’m about 1/3 of the way through with it and it’s already freaking fantastic!

Have you already started making reading plans for 2019? Yessssss. There are like 5-6 books that come out in the beginning of 2019 that I already plan on reading. Do book bloggers every really stop making reading plans? 😛

 

If you’d like to do this one, consider  yourself tagged!

 

 

Adult · Book Reviews · Books · Fantasy · Young Adult

Mini Book Reviews

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My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb – This was such a great read! I loved Fitz and his ability to connect with animals. My heart broke for poor Fitz in this story, as he was the victim of shitty circumstance after shitty circumstance, simply for being born a bastard. His courage and perseverance were admirable given all the difficulties he faced. Burrich, Chade, King Shrewd, and the Princes are all fascinating characters and play a major role in Fitz’s character development throughout the story. At the same time, I hated every single one of them for worrying more about the poor kid’s loyalty than his well-being. I look forward to reading the other books in the series to see what happens to Fitz and see how his skills develop.

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My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars 

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare – I didn’t love this book as much as the first three books in the series. There was nothing bad about it, but compared to the previous books it felt a little slower. One thing that I did love was that more of the story was told from Simon’s point of view. He’s such a great character! As predicted, there was lots of drama/tension between Clary and Jace, which is starting to get a little old. I understood the need for it in the other books, but now it’s just starting to feel redundant. I did like the introduction of new characters in the story and the bigger role that some of the minor characters played.

Life · mental health

Funky Town

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I feel like I’ve been failing, or perhaps “slacking” is a better word, at the whole blogging thing lately. For some reason, since I got back from my Portland trip I’ve been in a bit of a funk. Some of it is most likely due to the weather. I’m finding it harder to go outside and get exercise, as it’s already dark by the time I get home in the evening. (Stupid daylight savings!) On top of that I’m just feeling incredibly bored and a bit sad. Usually at this time of year, when all the holiday fervor starts, I start feeling quite lonely. I find myself wanting to do more things, but I keep running into the issue that a.) there aren’t many things in Charlotte that excite me anymore, or b.) I don’t have anyone to do them with.

I’m already finding myself wanting to book another trip somewhere, just to get out of my own head for a  bit and to give myself something to look forward to. But is going away somewhere by myself really going to make me feel any less lonely? I don’t know.

One positive thing I have to share is that I’m still making good progress on the book. I have about a quarter of the book left to finish before I am done with my first draft. As I already have the rest of the story outlined and planned out, it shouldn’t (hopefully) take too long for me to finish. 🙂

I apologize for my lack of comments and posts lately. I’ve been reading plenty, but realize that I’ve been somewhat lazy with comments and writing reviews. Blergh. I really need to snap out of this funk soon before it starts spiraling back into a full-blown episode of depression.

I hope you’re all doing well and had a Happy Thanksgiving!

Books

Top 5 Characters I’d Want at Friendsgiving

It’s officially the start of a four-day weekend for me and I could not be any more excited about it. (Actually, I think I’m just excited that I survived another work potluck and don’t have to worry about it again for an entire year.)

I saw this Top 5 Wednesday meme pop up on a few different blogs today and it made me think about who I would want at my own table for Friendsgiving, if given the possibility. It would definitely more exciting than the usual Thanksgivings I attend…

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Albus Dumbledore – I don’t know why, but I feel like Dumbledore would make an interesting dinner guest, if not for his strange/random speeches alone.

Magnus Bane – Who wouldn’t want to dine with a warlock that’s several hundred years old and likes to wear glitter? I certainly would.

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Lila Bard – She’d a badass female and I bet she’d got some cool stories to share. She’d great with knives, too, so she could carve the turkey for us!

Alucard Emery – Because he’s a badass, magic-wielding pirate/adventurer.

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The 10th Doctor – He’s a time lord! I feel like that’s enough reason. If I got lucky, he’d ask me to be his companion and we could travel in the TARDIS together and have adventures.