Posted in Random

2019

December 31, 2019. The end of the year, the end of a decade. I normally do end-of-the-year recaps on this blog, but this is the first of this scope, really.

And looking back, I’m honestly baffled about how far I’ve come–not in the span of a year, no, but in the span of 10. I mean, I was toddling into elementary school for the first time when the decade began. Now I’m about halfway through high school, hopefully a bit wiser and more mature. But this decade has been one of many transitions, realizations, and so much growth. [pats self on the back] you did it, kiddo!

Now, let’s zoom in on 2019. Last year was a year of growing into a new skin, of realizing who I was and what I might want to do. This year, for me, was about becoming confident in said skin, and for the most part? I think it was a success. 2019 certainly had its ups and downs, but I’d say it’s a step up from the last…oh, three years or so. Not quite so awful as 2016, and not perfect, but certainly better.

It’s been an amazing year for books, in my opinion. I honestly don’t remember another time when I’ve stacked so many books on my Top 10 list, or given so many books of one year 5 stars (Aurora Rising, The Pioneer, King of Scars, Like a Love Story, etc.) . Of course, this was also a year of new series, so…fingers crossed that Aurora Burning and The Survivor (among others) won’t disappoint. We had a load of amazing movies, and lots of franchises coming to an end along with the decade. (Avengers: Endgame, Dark Phoenix, The Rise of Skywalker), and several other movies that certainly need mentioning (Captain Marvel, Jojo Rabbit, Spiderman: Far From Home, Joker, Knives Out, etc.) I’ve discovered an onslaught of great artists, thanks to Apple Music, and I went to Canada for the first time. I started a WIP that I’ve been neglecting to write for a good three years, and I completed another year of NaNoWriMo. Oh, and Trump got impeached. THANK. GOD. I mean, there’s no way he’s getting removed from office [ahem], but hey, it’s a start. Blegh. Again, 2016. What a dumpster fire.

But one thing that I find fairly notable is that I’ve starting to take this book blogging thing semi-seriously. I’ve started participating in tags, I’ve found a bunch more lovely blogs, and gotten so much insight into this cozy little world. So I’d like to thank all of you reading this, for liking and commenting on my posts, tagging me/following along with tags, and for just sticking around.

With that said, there’s a few improvements that I think I’ll start making to this blog next year:

  • For my Book Review Tuesdays, I’m going to try and start going through books that aren’t in the 3-5 star range; it’s good to review stuff that’s not the best, after all. I’ll start putting my actual star ratings on there, along with some other info.
  • I’ll try and do weekly updates. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to keep up with monthly, but we’ll see how that goes.
  • At the end of every post, I’ll try and post a link to a song that I listened to/liked as I was writing it. I’m a very music-oriented person, and I thought it would just be a fun little addition. (Currently listening to Wilco’s “Red-Eyed and Blue”)
  • When NaNoWriMo/Camp NaNoWriMo season comes back around, I’ll try and put some updates on that as well.

 

So let’s make this next decade–and year–one of rising beyond, one of growth, improvement, and joy. [holds out lightsaber] Let’s do this.

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And while I’m at it, I’ll start on one of the things I said I’d improve on. Let’s end this post with a song.

I got into girpool in August, and though this isn’t my favorite of their songs, I think it perfectly captures the New Year’s Eve state of mind, and reflecting on how things used to be.

 

So thank you for spending this year with me. Have a great rest of your day…SEE YOU IN 2020

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Posted in Random, Stories

On Writing, and Overcoming Unexpected and Frustrating Obstacles

Two posts? In one day? It’s more likely than you think.

 

The other day, I added a little image to the sidebar of this blog, the winner image for NaNoWriMo 2019. I’ve seen a lot of bloggers post about their progress with it, but I neglected to even think about updating my progress on here, for no apparent reasons other than my inherent laziness. But yes, I did participate in NaNoWriMo 2019 (It’s a lovely program for all you writers/aspiring writers, if you haven’t tried it out). 2019 was my third year participating, and I can speak to the amazing results that it produces. 20,000 words, people, 20,000 words!

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And on that subject…yes, I love to write. I want to be a writer when I get older, and I’ve currently got 3 WIPs in progress…none of them even close to finished, but we’ll just ignore that. Even though I wanted to go into biology until about middle school, I think that my passion for writing’s always been there, it just took me a while to realize that it was more of a passion than a hobby. (*glances at my current grade in Honors Bio* yeeeeesh, okay, goodbye, biology…) Currently, I’m not super comfortable with sharing the premises of said WIPs, but one of my goals in 2020 is to try and overcome that fear, little by little. I mean, I’ve got to do it eventually if I want to get these bad boys published…

Two of my three WIPs are kind of on hold at the moment, as I kind of hit a lag of inspiration for both of them. That, and both of them were written before it dawned on me that I should probably outline things before I write them down.

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[present self glares at past self]
The third one was the one that I started during NaNoWriMo 2019. For now, all I’ll say is that Star Wars was a major, major influence on it, and it involves a lot of patriarchy smashing, rock music, and reluctant familial bonds.

On the subject of said sci-fi WIP, I encountered a problem with it the other day. I had about a half an hour before I was going to leave to see The Rise of Skywalker with my family, and I decided to crank out some writing. I’d gotten to a scene that I’d played over innumerable times in my head, and I was absolutely ecstatic to get back to writing. But…all of my dreams were crushed when I opened up the file and got a series of messages about invalid file formats and Pages not being able to read it. With a little help from my mom (thank you so much for trying to help, by the way) and the internet (thanks for nothing, Mr. “Your file is probably toast”…I mean, you were right, but…), I tried to do technological CPR on my writing, but to no avail. I was considerably frustrated and distraught at the thought of almost 40,000 words, 60 pages, and many long hours of writing had promptly been flushed away.

But after the initial shock (and a healthy dose of Star Wars), I decided to try and turn my attitude around. Maybe this could be a growing opportunity, an opportunity to start all over, but with some different elements. I’d wanted to change my perspective from 1st to 3rd person anyway, right? And so, I polished up what’s done of my outline, (See, past self? It’s not so bad…), and I started the WIP over last night. (And I actually saved the file to my computer and backed it up on my Writing flashdrive, so that’s probably a better idea.) I’m only at about 1 1/2 pages and barely 1,000 words, but hey, you’ve gotta start somewhere.

Moral of the story? Anything can be an opportunity to start anew. Whether or not you’re dealing with an uncooperative Pages file, starting over, though it can be awfully tedious, is not your enemy.

Oh, also, save important documents in more than one place. That’s always helpful.

Posted in Random

Renovations Complete (…for now…)

Hi there, everyone!

I mentioned in Renovations that I would be cleaning up the look of this blog, and here we are!

I experimented with a handmade header image, but I didn’t feel like it translated well to this format. (Also, the top ended up being partially cut off, and it was a tad bit pixelated.) I played around with a few themes, and I’ve decided that this one works best for the blog.

Also, now we’ve got an actual name for the blog. Wouldja look at that, folks.

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I’ve also added a new set of header images, starring a few of my favorite books and a certain cat lamp.

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I hope you’re as satisfied as I am with the new look of this blog! As always, stay tuned for more nerdy content soon!

 

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Posted in Random

Renovations

Hey, this is just gonna be a quick post, but I’d just figured I’d let you know that I’m changing things up a bit with the design of the blog. Right now, it’s in a weird, unfinished limbo, so that’s why everything looks kinda wonky as of now.

BUT! Not to worry, I’ll clean everything up soonish, and create some logos and icons and such. Just in case you were wondering. 😉

Posted in Books, Random, Vacations

“A Few Updates” 2: Electric Boogaloo

Sorry, friends, looks like I’m gonna be on another (but shorter) hiatus.

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I promise it won’t be as long as it was last time, though. I’m going to Canada tomorrow (WOOHOO!), and I’ll be back about a week from now. I’m not going to be able to get to a Book Review Tuesday that week, but I’ll take LOTS of pictures from my adventures up north and compile a nice little post once I’m settled back in.

I should probably do another fan art post soonish, but I’ve already…yeah, I’ve kinda dumped a bunch of stuff on you guys since I returned from the dead about a week ago (if you’re curious, look for 6/4/19 [Aurora Rising review], my Dark Phoenix review, and 6/11/19 [Defy the Fates review].)

 

Again, sorry, guys. See you soon!

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👋

Posted in Animals, Random, Vacations

Florida: The Sequel

Though it’s…a little over a week late now, here’s my chronicle of my latest Florida vacation. It was a shorter trip than usually (President’s Day weekend), but there definitely wasn’t any shortage of things to do! I hope you enjoy my pictures!

DAY ONE: 

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Our flight was about three hours long, and we landed in Florida a little later at night. We didn’t do a whole lot, save for have some delicious pizza (from Cappy’s) and pie (from Goody-Goody). But I did once again reunite with some old *ahem*…acquaintances, the demonic doll and the vampiric lamp.

DAY 2:

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In the morning, I spent some time feeding the neighbor’s cows some Spanish moss and oranges. Some of them even let me pet their noses 😭 I’ve missed these guys.

Later that day, we had lunch in Tampa and went to the Tampa Art Museum.

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Also, the only glimpse you’ll get of my sudden Lenny Busker hair, brought on by the humidity. 

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Our first stop was the Robert Indiana exhibit. I’d never heard of him before, and I immensely enjoyed viewing his art and exploring the meaning behind it.

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We also saw a plethora of classical Greek art. I especially enjoyed the statue of Athena and the vase with the sphinx on it.

 

DAY 3:

Our last full day in Florida was the always fun (and pretty much mandatory, considering the climate we’re in) beach day. This time, we went to Coquina Beach on Anna Maria Island.

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I didn’t get as many pictures, but it was most certainly a beautiful day. (I was too busy a. frolicking in the ocean b. trying to evade the throngs of loud tourists and c. evade the seagulls, which were frequently dive-bombing said tourists every time they saw somebody break out the sandwiches.)

 

DAY 3: 

Our last day in Florida was less eventful from the previous two days, consisting mostly of packing and eating Cuban food (*starts salivating*). But, I did get to visit my friends one last time.

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My bovine friends, that is. 😉

 

Overall, a relatively quiet trip to Florida, but a fun one nonetheless. I’m sorry about how late this post came, and I hope you enjoyed reading it. 🙂

Posted in Random

Rating Bizarre Stock Photos

The other day, my friend and I were talking about the weirdness of stock photos. I’d seen a couple of pretty strange ones before, but I had no idea of the enormity of the amount of weird stock photos out there. So I went on a little spiral, if you will, and googled stock photos. What I found turned out to be the stuff of nightmares. Or maybe more like fever dreams.

Anyway, I decided to find the weirdest photos possible and rate them.

 

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Simultaneously relatable and unnverving in some intangible way. 6/10 because I can kind of feel his confusion and outrage, but it’s also making me kind of uneasy

 

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UNLIMITED POWER. 9/10 because his facial expression is rather disconcerting

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This is the most assertive picture I’ve ever come across. The sheer amount of emotion and fervor rolls off of it in waves. *AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH* 10/10

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Ma’am…ma’am? Ma’am? Everything okay over there? Ma’am? 8/10

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This is the single best thing that the internet has to offer. An elegant force in motion. (Or, alternatively, “makin’ my way downtown…”) 100/10

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Corn D E T E C T E D. 9/10 a beautiful vision of the future

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This poor man is clearly in denial. Either he’s grieving his hair loss or he’s just hallucinating. 7/10 somebody’s gotta tell him eventually

 

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“Don’t you just hate that feeling when you’re eating a banana, and it just goes directly through your skull?”–anonymous

7/10 looks pretty painful, I hate that feeling too

 

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Now this is just disconcerting. His expression is a bit too smug, like he knows that you’ve spent an hour sitting on the toilet and he’s off to tell all of his friends about it. 3/10 get away from me please

 

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This right here is the definition of my 5th grade biology class.  5/10 because I don’t want to imagine how slimy that chicken is

 

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Now this is life goals. 8/10 because it’s kind of boring otherwise

 

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You can go anywhere with the power of imagination. 8/10 because I’m kind of worried that he doesn’t have any other clothes on other than that ridiculous hat

 

Well, I hope you *enjoyed* that disturbing glimpse of how my mind works. I promise that I’ve got some relatively normal posts coming up for you guys soon. Enjoy the rest of your day, and let’s hope that #2 doesn’t come creeping into your room at 3 A.M.