Unintended Hiatus(y thing)

January. A time for new beginnings, a fresh start, making changes…and, apparently, getting obsessed with something and driving yourself into the weirdest book-slump-thing ever.

Last month, I only ended up reading 4 books (3 Sookie Stackhouse, and I buddy-read Hidden Figures with a friend). I started to do a review of Hidden Figures, but decided against it. Basically, I didn’t love it as much as I wanted to, but ultimately I think it’s an important book and I’m glad it exists.

On the downside…it absolutely destroyed my desire to read non-fiction, which is really bad because I’d also been reading Buzz: A Stimulating History of the Sex Toy…which was an eARC from Net Galley…that I should have read and reviewd around the end of 2017 -_-

To combat my slumpiness (because I couldn’t find the motivation to read anything), I decided to finally watch The Hobbit trilogy, and Oh. My. Gods. I fell in love. Like, I have a problem. I watched the entire trilogy 3 times (you read that right: three timesand watched all 6 bonus discs in the space of about two weeks :/ Oh, and I re-watched LOTR one time (after my first Hobbit watch, I think). I know some people hate the movies, but they might have knocked out all my other favorite movies and won the top spot as my all-time-fave. 

Basically, I watched The Hobbit to get my creative energy up, or whatever, and it kind of worked but also backfired. Because now, my brain refuses to allow me to read and enjoy anything that isn’t Tolkien. I’ve tried, believe me. But it’s not happening. The only issue with that is that I’d intended to not read any other fantasy or series until I finished the last two Southern Vampire Mysteries books.

Oh well. Guess I’m pushing those back again, because apparently it’s time I (finally) read LOTR. I know, I know! I should have read it ages ago, and that’s probably the only book I’m ashamed to have not read yet.

I did read The Hobbit, finally, back in like 2014. But I haven’t read LOTR yet and I feel terrible about that. I think the intricacy and scope of Middle Earth was just too intimidating. But now, something about having watched all these movies and learned so much (because of my own googling of things, as well as things from the actual movies and behind the scenes things), I feel confident and ready. It’s happening. I’m finally going to read these books, yay!

Now I’m just trying to decide if I should count them as 1 book (which I think was always Tolkien’s intention?), or 3 books… I think 1. It just feels right. Plus, while I have some mass markets, I’ll be reading the omnibus on my Kindle, so it just makes life easier.

All of this basically combined to also suck out my will to blog about anything. I wasn’t reading anything, so no reviews were happening. I barely managed to keep up with most of the T5W posts, I didn’t do any TTT, etc. I was completely unmotivated to do anything, really. But, thankfully, that seems to be changing. Something about Januarys just seem to drain me in a weird way. This month, I’m going to try (*fingers crossed*) to do better.

How was your January?

Did you discover anything new-to-you that you fell in love with?

What did you think of the Hobbit movies?


Weekly Wrap Up: Jan. 01-Jan.07

I seriously doubt I’ll stick to weekly wrap ups because A) I don’t have the time, focus, or patience for it, and B) my life (including my reading life) is pretty boring honestly. But, I felt like trying something new, and I wanted to make a blog post.

Reading stuff:

Screenshot (99)

2018 started off strong, and then tapered off dramatically in like two days.

Why? Well, at the end of 2017, I decided to try to finish series I’ve started but never finished. I have quite a few of these (or at least parts of them) sitting on my shelves, and it’s time I finally get through the ones that are complete, or will be soon.

I was excited about re-reading The Southern Vampire Mysteries (aka the Sookie Stackhouse series, aka the books True Blood is based on) because I’d just finished True Blood and I (finally!) had all the books. Yay! (I’d read all but the 13th a few years ago, and have since forgotten basically everything :/ )

But no. I read up to Dead Reckoning, finishing it in the wee hours, and got up later and reached for my copy of Deadlocked (the 12th of 13 books in the series)…and it wasn’t there.

I tore my house apart all day looking for it. No luck finding it, but I did find about 6 billion spiderwebs, 5 missing DVD,s, a few other missing books, and a partridge in a pear tree. (Ok, not the partridge, but everything else.)

Then I checked Overdrive. Huzzah! The entire series is there! But no. The license for just the last two books has expired.

But wait! My library has a physical copy! Nope. That was when the below freezing weather began and husband has been working snow removal, and heck if I’m driving an hour one way across a mountain in the snow and ice just to check out one book.

Finally, I looked on goodreads to see what the edition I’d read previously was (I’m obsessive about getting the right edition shelved, except in rare instances, like back before we had the re-read option). Hardcover. No, that can’t be right! I only owned books 9 and 10 in hardcover!

So, it turns out I never actually bought book 12. *sigh* I have books 1-11 and book 13, as well as the complete stories, but not book 12. That frustration kinda killed my desire to keep reading.

_hidden figures

But all is not lost! I’m starting a buddy read of Hidden Figures with one of my friends, now that we’ve both managed to get a copy.

Hopefully, since the days are supposed to warm back up a bit this week, I’ll be able to finish it, get to the library and check out Deadlocked, and get back on track. (Bonus Timon! 😛 )



Life stuff:

You really don’t want to hear about it. Basically, this is me right now:

Blog stuff:

I’m working on figuring out a new schedule because some of the weekly meme things I used to participate in don’t seem to be active anymore.

I’m also reading an ARC I should have read last year (my surgery, the kittens, and NaNo really threw off my reading and reviewing, eek) and will hopefully have finished and reviewed around the middle of the month. 

I’ve gone through my files and deleted pretty much all my (ugly) original featured image things. I’m planning to take some pictures, maybe doodle some, and play around a bit more with GIMP. Hopefully, I’ll have new ones that look better on posts by mid-February.

That’s a project I’ve been meaning to work on for almost a year, and it’s really not something I’m looking forward to because I have a lot of ideas, I’m not particularly talented, I’m a little lazy, and I tend to lose interest in projects like that halfway through. (There’s a reason I have a few scrapbooks and the like with only a few pages finished. *sigh*)

Lastly, I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do for my 2017 wrap up -_- That should be up in a few days.

On the agenda for today:

Hopefully knocking out a chunk of Hidden Figures, not freezing to death (it’s actually not that cold, it’s only like 0-ish outside and between 50-60 degrees inside), and getting started with those featured images. And getting pictures I’ve been meaning to take since Christmas, of my holiday book haul, because I’m sick of looking at my tree and meant to take it down on the 1st, but keep putting it off because I want it for those pictures.

How’s your 2018 going so far?

Have you finished any books?

What are you reading now?

I was going to do T5W, but…

I decided not to.

Actually, I totally forgot to post until like 10PM, and then decided not to because I’d been on the fence about this week’s topic anyway. (The topic this week was “Top 5 books of 2017,” and I couldn’t narrow it down to less than 7, even by excluding books published before this year :/ )

I’m probably going to do a year-end wrap-up sometime between the 31st and 3rd, and that post will have at least those 7 books from this year, plus other faves. I might even do a few mini-lists, like faves published & read in 2017, fave backlist books read in 2017, etc.

Personally, I kinda hate being asked about favorite books from a year before that year is over, because there’s still time for more favorites to slip in, you know? I still have 11 days (and a few hours) of reading time left this year. I could read 1 more book, or several, I could find books I hate, I could find new books I love. Anything could happen.

(I’m not complaining about this topic, by the way. I think it’s a great topic and there are some really nice lists people have come up with. It’s just not a topic I was excited about because it kinda stressed me out 😛 )



T5W: Bookish Things I’m a Grinch About

T5W is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, now hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. You can check out the goodreads group to learn more.


December 6th – Bookish Things You’re a Grinch About
— Since being a grinch is a funny thing, try not to make this serious topics that make you angry (like lack of diversity or abusive relationships in fiction, etc) as this is supposed to be more of a petty bookish things you hate. This can be stuff about covers, dumb tropes, etc. Have fun with it. 

I could probably come up with a list of 50 things I’m a Grinch about, honestly. Narrowing it down to just 5 took some thinking, and I might be cheating with one of these.

In no particular order…

Changes to the design of books in a series– This is the one I’m probably cheating with, but oh well. What I mean by this is a change in the cover style, or change in the height of the books, or moving around the publisher logo on the spine, etc. Basically, anything that makes the books in a series not look like they match.

Cover Models– Uuuugggghhhh. Ok, so this actually isn’t always bad. In fact, I’ve seen a few really spectacular covers with actual people models. But I’m talking about the ones that are super generic, or don’t really have anything to do with the book. Think about bookish cover tropes, like the girls in formal wear that all start to blur together after a while. Also, the original Vampire Academy book covers.

The “I’m not/She’s not like other girls” trope– Please, can this trope just die forever now? This one, I think, is borderline between being a petty thing I’m annoyed by and a serious thing, depending on the usage. But in either case, I’m so, so tired of it.

No indication of series reading order– Why?! Why can’t publishers number books in a series?! This makes me irrationally angry and I honestly just don’t get it. Even if it’s not on the spine or cover, at least give us a page at the front with the reading order, please!

Loads of POVs– Ok, I’ve come across I think 2 instances of this not frustrating me (Six of Crows duology because Leigh Bardugo is a goddess, and 27 Hours wasn’t too difficult to follow, either). It took me, literally, about 18 months to read A Game of Thrones, and most of the reason was because of the number of POVs it had. I can usually handle 2, but I honestly just don’t like most multiple POV stories. It’s just not for me.

What are some bookish things you’re a Grinch about?


T5W: Author Idols

T5W is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, now hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. You can check out the goodreads group to learn more.


November 29th: Authors You’d Want to Write Like
–In honor of NaNo wrapping up, discuss some authors you’d like to write like. Whether its their writing style, what genre they write in, or how many books they manage to churn out a year!

Holy wow. It’s been over a month since I did a T5W 😮 I can’t remember why my last was October 18th, but November…I really wanted to do all of them, but I just didn’t have it in me, with NaNo and all that. (Update on NaNo, etc. coming tomorrow, whoo!)

Anyway… This topic was actually so hard because I really had to think about it. I like a lot of authors, but deciding on 5 I’d truly want to write like was a challenge (mostly just to narrow it down to only 5).

No pictures this week because I’m lazy and tired and honestly couldn’t decide which book to use for 3 out of 5 :/

In no particular order…

J.K. Rowling– Someday, I might make a list for T5W that doesn’t have J.K. on it, but this isn’t that week.

Victoria (V.E.) Schwab– Oh my gods, yes. I kinda live for her books at this point. (Ok, shameful confession time: I have the Shade of Magic trilogy and three of her other books, but I’ve still only read SoM :/ )

Leigh Bardugo– Another author I just about worship and live for her books. I freaking love her characters and the Grishaverse. I want to write a villain that makes someone think, “This character is such a garbage can, but I love them anyway” with serious heart eyes going on.

Douglas Adams– I love his humor, and wish I could write funny and entertaining things the way he did.

M.L. Rio– Hell freaking yes, oh my gosh. Have you guys read If We Were Villains? I’m so in love and can’t wait to read it again ❤ (I reviewed the audiobook earlier this year.)

Honestly, this list could go on and on and on and on an– But I literally just glanced at my shelves and wrote the first 5 I saw and would actually want to write like. I think if I thought about it for about 30 seconds, I could easily come up with another 10. I just really love so many books and authors, and I admire so many who have inspired me in one way or another. I wouldn’t be a writer if it weren’t for them.

Who are some authors you’d like to write like?


Failure (aka: an update with kittens)

Ok, ok, “Failure” might be a tiny bit of a dramatic title. But it’s how I’m feeling right now :/

We’ve just over a week left to get in our 50k words for NaNoWriMo and…I’m not doing so great. I’m at about 30k, so about 2-3 days behind schedule. I had a really awful week (Pumbaa isn’t with us anymore and I really don’t want to talk about it, and I’m still basically a wreck) and have been drowning my sorrows in baking shows on Netflix and actual baking at home. (I made matcha meringue kisses for the first time, which were a huge hit, then shortbread cookies, which were also great and my first attempt at making them.)

I’ve also been kind of sick. I think it’s just my allergies, but ugh. They’ve been so bad this year and I feel like garbage.

The big question is: Can I catch up and still make it to 50k by the end of the month?

I really don’t know. I have been writing every day, though, even if it’s only a few hundred words. If I get to take my kid to stay with gran for a few days, I can probably do it. I’ll lose one day of writing by making that drive, but I’ll gain peace and quiet, or at least a better chance of having it when I need it.

But, even if I don’t manage to catch up, if I manage to get really close, and write every day this month, and have a really clear idea of most of the last part of my story, I’ll call it a win anyway. I’ve already broken all my previous NaNo records (word count, days I’ve updated my word count, etc.), and I really think I will finish this novel. I just might not finish until a few days into December. That’s only sad because it means I won’t get the Scrivener discount 😦

Thankfully, I have some encouraging NaNo buddies, writer friends on twitter, and my husband, all cheering me on and keeping my motivation from totally dying.

On an unrelated to writing note, we’ve managed to get another kitten inside. (Possibly 2, since my last update?) Our vet is working with us on cost because we’re trying to save strays, but I think Mary will be the last one. There were 2 or 3 more kittens out there, but I haven’t seen them for a least a week, so I’m really hoping they have homes and are warm and safe.

Cashmere (so named because he’s very soft, cuddly, and calm), the one we found shortly after Robert, is in good health except needing worm meds (which he hates, but has been surprisingly good about taking without much fuss), and now we have Mary. Kid named her after Mary Shelley and I was very proud ❤ Mary will hopefully be in to see the vet later this week.

Both of them almost immediately made themselves at home, which was surprising. At the vet, husband said they kept talking about how docile Cashmere was, and how he didn’t really try to fight them or get away until the very last thing they did during his check up. Mary isn’t quite as chill as Cashmere, but she’s pretty laid back, and they’re both very snuggly purr machines.





If you’re doing NaNo, I believe in you!! You’ve got this, and you’re so close to the end! Don’t lose faith in yourself, because you’re doing a great job!


Quick update

We’re almost halfway through NaNoWriMo, whooo!

I struggled a lot all week, but I kept writing and I have officially surpassed my previous record of total words written for a NaNo project 😮 I’m less than 3k from 25k, yay!

On the downside of all this, I’ve read part of one graphic novel this month, and that’s it :/ I’d planned to try to read 4-5 books this month, but I don’t think that’s happening.

I’ve also epically failed at posting the way I’d wanted to, bleh. I never even made a wrap-up post for October.

I am, however, now watching New Girl, thanks to a recommendation on twitter. I just can’t focus enough to read, but I can make it through an episode or two of New Girl, then switch back to writing for a while, lather/rinse/repeat.

And that’s pretty much it. NaNoWriMo ate my soul, I’m drinking way too much coffee and tea, what even is sleep, and I just cry a lot out of frustration and panic. Yup, it’s a glamorous life 😛