I feel like some explanation is long overdue. Where to begin, what to talk about first, what do I even say…
Greetings everyone! It has been a long, long, LONG minute since I’ve said anything about where I’ve been, what I’ve been doing, what’s happening, etc… First and foremost, I know I don’t owe an explanation on what’s been happening. In fact, I’m planning on keeping this post short and sweet, to the point. With that being said; yeah, I’ve been a bit of a ghost and kind of disappeared for a hot minute.
Life is messy and mine has spiraled a lot since 2020. Even now, my life has still been spiraling. From family things to medical things, all the way to planning to move in the near future. Life has been taking me on a wild ride that I haven’t had the time to hop off of to just… be, to just exist for a moment. In this time that I’ve been absent, I’ve been healing, rediscovering things that I love and did love (at one point in my life), and I’ve been been doing a lot of things that are better for me in the long run.
So you’re probably wondering what this means. Well, I’ve been asking that of myself since the last time we had one of these chats. I made a statement a couple months back that I’ve taken a step back from the book community. Which is true to some extent. Reading burnout is something that hit me really hard in the fall of last year. And if I’m being honest, I never fully recovered from that. To make a long story short, I read a book that really messed me up and it kind of shot my motivation to read to smithereens. Yeah, it was that bad. And in case you didn’t know, I’m a critical reader. I’m that person who goes into every book willing to read all the content/trigger warnings and make sure things are actually talked about and mentioned instead of them being covered up, letting people go into a book blind folded. Yeah, doing that is really mentally exhausting and taxing especially if a book overdoes it on the nitty gritty details. That stuff can mess you up real quick even if you take the necessary precautions to protect your mental health. So it’s been a struggle. I’d start a book then ‘dnf’ thirty pages in. It’s been a real struggle since the burnout happen.
Basically, I’ve been prioritizing books that are either buddy reads or I have some obligation to. Otherwise, most of my reading has been webcomics. Which, don’t knock the webcomics until you actually tried webcomics. Webtoons is a beautiful, glorious place of self-published authors. If you haven’t seen my post on ‘webcomics I’m loving right now’ then you should definitely check it out to get some recommendations. Technically, if I really wanted to, I could write a part two and part three to that article because I’ve been reading so many webcomics. So if that interests you, definitely let me know!
Anyway, this has gone a lot longer than I wanted it to be. But I did want to come say, I’m going to be attempting a September TBR and will be posting more details about that sometime in the next few days. This doesn’t mean I’m fully returning to the book community or anything like that. This just means I miss reading and I finally found some motivation to actually read some books, and potentially get some reviews posted for all of you. So I hope you’re excited because I’m a little excited to share what I have on my “TBR attempt” plate. It’s not much because a lot of my stuff has been packed up for house renovations and moving purposes, but I’m still excited!
Thank you all for continuing to support me, to love my content despite not being around as much, and I can’t wait to read some of the really awesome books I have planned! ♥
It feels like almost yesterday when I made a life update, talking about things happening that are impacting my blog. And now I’ve kind of crawled out of the woodwork to bring another life update. So hello, salutations, I’m here to tell you, once again, the things happening and why it seems like my content has… staggered?become long-winded?kind of…stopped? Well, we have some things to talk about. So I hope you can bear with me as I try to talk about these sensitive topics happening in my life.
Just a content/trigger warning in advance, I’ll be talking about the pandemic, injured/ill loved ones, and loss of a loved one to suicide in this post.
So let’s start with the most obvious thing. I disappeared for a very long time. Almost two months? Three? I’ve lost count. Of course I’ve still posted reviews, but to me and I’m sure to all of you, my content seemed to be staggering. I always want to be clear about my intentions when I talk about things and I always want to be as honest, and as transparent as I can be with all of you. So this is me opening up the wounds and showing the things I’ve tried to keep behind closed doors, behind barb fencing, and tucked away so no one could see. I’ve mentioned a few times, but I never went into great details of what was happening. So let’s address what was really happening to me in 2020.
2020 impacted all of us in various ways. Some of those things were good, but for many, they were bad.
For myself, it came swift and torturous of those twelve months. I’ve lost friendships, seen friends being attacked for good intentions, I’ve felt isolated in a community I originally felt safe and loved in, I had someone breach past all my boundaries, I’ve been harassed and attacked by strangers for giving my honest opinion about the things I’ve read, and even had someone go as far as sending me threats on my social media platforms. And these are just the things that have happened to me within the book community.
All of those things combined, I took a break and even went to the extent of putting my social media on lockdown, deleting my Twitter, and plethora of other things to ensure my safety and security.
When everything started in 2020, I had family members, who have jobs in the medical field, get deployed to the front lines of everything happening. So, while I tried pouring my time and energy into all the content I was pouring out on my blog and other social media, in the back of my mind I had a lot of worry and dread seeping in. In the end, I was stretching myself so thin so I wouldn’t feel the claws of anxiety and fear. Which really took a toll on my physical health.
Then the fall of 2020 came and with that, it was like a bottle of whiskey being smash open over a glowing fire. The worst possible news ended up reaching me. A few of my elderly family members had ended up in the hospital due to severe medical hardships. It came down to crossing all my fingers and toes hoping they would pull through and make it through the holidays.
Then in November I received a call from my childhood best friend and if I’m being honest, it felt like a piece of me shattered when I got that phone call. He called to tell me that his older brother was in a coma and had been hospitalized. My friend and his family are like a second home to me. They have always been such wonderful, loving people and have done so much for me that I can’t even begin to explain because the list is so long. Since receiving that phone call, he hasn’t woken up and the news I get has been dwindling. And being honest, I’m terrified for the next piece of news I hear.
Flashing forward to 2021, it feels like I’ve been facing off with the devil and the grim reaper for months now. Honestly, I was really hopeful that 2021 was going to start off on a positive note. Boy, did my system ever get a shock. It’s literally a sequel and I’m still fighting the devil and grim reaper.
When the first week of January hit, despite everything, thing were pretty peaceful until the following week. The following week I received a call that one of my old friends had committed suicide. They were one of those people who always seemed happy or always tried to make the whole room light up, but their pain was that ‘quiet thunder’ kind. Getting that phone call hit like a ton of bricks and I haven’t really talked about it with anyone. In a way, this has become my ‘quiet thunder’. So I’ve been processing through the weight and grief of that loss.
And of more recently, I found out that one of my family members who works in the medical field had a breach of their suit and now has covid, and they’re not doing so good. Actually, it’s been really hard and it’s been a lot of waves of emotions, a lot to process. Actually, it’s been a really hard time processing everything. I’m really hoping they can pull through because they mean a lot to me and I can’t imagine my life without them in it.
So you’re probably asking a lot of questions right now, like… what does this mean for my blog? what about the content I put out? am I leaving the book community? am I turning into a ghost? First, I’m not going anywhere and neither is the book content I’m putting out.
Taking everything that has happened into consideration, I’m just taking a step back from the amount of content I was creating and how often I’m posting. Saying I’m long-winded at this point would be a giant understatement. Right now, I need to rest and do things that make me happy. And yes, reading does make me happy, but I’m also a critical reader and I do really extensive reviews on the books I read. Over time, that can wear a person’s mental state down and right now, I’m rolling critical fails on my sanity checks.
So have I really become a ghost? The short answer, yes. I’ve very much so a ghost right now. In fact, if you listen closely… You hear that little whisping in the air? That’s the sound of my soul escaping my body right now.
It pains me to say this (I mean, it really pains me to say this), but expect maybe one or two posts a week. I’m giving myself the slack that I need right now. And I don’t regret because I need to put myself first right now. I’m hoping one day I can get back to doing 4-5 posts a week, but right now, that’s just not in the cards.
I know this was a super long post and I know it was a lot of heavy topics, but for those who stuck through it till the end… Thank you so, so much. Truly, thank you so much for sticking by me, for loving me, for loving the content I create. It means the world to me and I’m so grateful to have you here. Thank you! 💙
The questions from this post were taken from a beautiful instagram template created by @jessbetweenlines.
Salutations friends and new friends! I hope you’re all staying safe, staying hydrated, and taking the time to pause to enjoy the little things. Today I wanted to do something a little different than my typical bookish posts. Recently, a lot of new readers have come to my little corner in the book community and I wanted to do something that allows you to get to know me better. Typically, I don’t share a lot about myself, my personal life, etc… and unless you pay close attention to some of my reviews, these type of posts are pretty rare. So, I thought I’d give you a little glimpse into my life and a little peek into my thoughts. Okay, enjoy! 💛
🍂 Top Three Books of All Time 🍂
This is an insanely tough question. Mostly due to needing to reread a lot of the books that I love. So, I’m going to tweak this question a little to fit the top three books that mean the most to me thus far in all my reading, with one prediction added in the mix.
This book was such a wonderful read, but this book is so special because Stephen Graham Jones was the first author I ever interviewed. And that may seem a bit silly to have a book feel special in that sense, but for myself, it was one of my proudest moments. It was also a really big learning experience for me because I got to sit down with someone who’s wiser than I am and learn about an important thing they created. It was just an experience I’ll never forget and this book means a whole lot.
This is another book that means so, so much. Wicked As You Wish was my first book blog tour. When I had first applied to the tour, so many had already applied and I wasn’t expecting to get pick, but I did. When I got the chance to talk with Rin and thank her for making me a part of her street team, she talked about how she liked to include big and small content creators. It touched a soft spot in my soul and it was something that impacted me so much that those words made this book even more special to me. Words have always been impactful for me, but Rin really hit the nail on the head.
I’ve talked about this book a few times on my blog, but I feel like I don’t talk about it enough. This is one of those books I wish I had in my childhood. I think it would have made so many things easier and made a difference in my life. However, I can’t recommend it enough because it addresses a topic that’s so important to touch on. This is just one of those book where there’s not enough words to describe how a book touched your soul.
And my prediction book. I have no doubt that this book is going to make me feel seen, finally read a book with an Apache main character who’s written by an Apache author. I just can’t express how high my expectations are for this book and how I have no doubt this book is going to make my heart feel so full.
🍂 Top Three Places I want to Travel to 🍂
I love traveling, but it’s a bit of an Achilles’ heel for me. There are so many places I would love to visit, things to experience in those places, but I get really sick when I travel. So I don’t travel too often or too far away. I think the furthest I’ve ever traveled has been to New Hampshire.
But there’s so many places I want to visit and it’s been a hot minute since I’ve sat down to really look at my travel bucket list. So, I’m just going to list the first three that come to my mind.
➸ Japan – Just in general I would love to go to Japan. I love the culture, I really enjoy learning the history of Japan, and my childhood best friend has been trying (to convince me to get on a plane) for all twenty years of our friendship to fly back with him and his family to Japan when they need to maintain their residency.
➸ Ireland – This is more so for my spouse because my spouse’s family has a deep Irish heritage. Unfortunately, they ended up missing traveling to Ireland with the rest of their family due to preparing for deployment, at the time. So, I’d really love to go with my spouse or as a whole family. I’ve only heard bits and pieces from various family members, but I really want to know more about their heritage and their family history.
➸ Hawaiʻi – I think every one I know has been to Hawaiʻi at least once. I’ve had a lot of family members travel there for gatherings and such. However, my main reason for going there is for two main reasons. My first being a dear friend of mine is often out there studying the flora and fauna of the island, and she has been wanting me to come out, experience the beauty of the island as a whole, and to in a sense, wants to pick my brain. The second reason is a bit of a selfish desire and that’s to learn more of the culture, speak with and learn from true Natives of Hawaiʻi.
🍂 Dream Place to Live 🍂
New Hampshire calls to me and all I want to do is build a house on the side of a mountain, in the middle of the woods, surrounded by nature. Truly, that’s the dream.
🍂 A T.V. Show I’m Obsessed with 🍂
I don’t really watch a lot of t.v. or movies anymore. I used to watch a lot of Friends, Gilmore Girls, Criminal Minds, a lot of anime shows, but if I ever watch t.v. shows, I’m doing reruns for these. Soo not a lot going on there.
However, I do watch Terrace House and a few other shows in Japanese with my childhood best friend. He and I will video call each other and watch the shows together when we both have the time. Sometimes his two brothers will join in and it’ll feel like we’re having our traditional misfit night.
So that’s about it for t.v. shows. I know, not much going on when it comes to t.v. shows.
🍂 Last Three Songs I Listened to 🍂
This is so hard because I listen to music all the time. Seriously, I have no chill when it comes to music. So these are the last three I remember listening to off the top of my head, but I don’t know if they were the last three songs I had listened to.
🍂 Three People I’d Love to have Dinner with, Dead or Alive 🍂
So I’ve thought about this a lot and I’m just going to list actual people because I want to branch away from some of the more bookish answers. Plus, I could make a list that goes on and on if I used bookish characters.
➸ Robin Williams
➸ Elizabeth Taylor
➸ Roseanne Supernault
🍂 Favorite Movie of All Time 🍂
I have so many movies I love with my whole heart. So it’s hard to just think of one to choose. Now and days, it takes a lot for me to really love and enjoy a movie. I think the last film I ended up watching was Joker and absolutely fell in love with it, and the mental health representation in that film.
However, I think my absolute all time favorite is Clue. It holds a lot of memories I’m fond of and it’s a film I hold close to my heart because of the sentimental value I found in it. And just a lot of other personal reason on why this film just means a whole lot, why I watch it so often, and why it’s a film that’ll stay with me forever. Plus, Tim Curry stars in it and no one does it like Tim Curry does.
🍂 Favorite Board Game 🍂
This is another hard question! My spouse and I play a lot of board games and have two book cases filled with various games that we play, play with friends or family. It’s so hard to choose one because each game is so unique and different compared to the others. But I think my most favorite board game has to be Betrayal at House on the Hill. It such a good game, the board continuously changes, and it’s just a fun time especially for spooky season.
🍂 Ultimate Comfort Food 🍂
My one true food love! Nothing else can compared to gooey, cheesy, yummy goodness!
🍂 A Celebrity/Literary Crush of Mine 🍂
Oh jeez, I feel like this is taking skeletons out of the closet or something. Okay, I’m just going to drop this here and go hide.
🍂 Favorite Season 🍂
🍂 Favorite Holiday 🍂
🍂 My Signature Scent 🍂
Oh jeez, this question always makes me feel weird because I’ve always had the weird experience of people smelling me and telling me how nice I smell. So it’s a really awkward and odd question for me. I don’t know if I really have a signature scent though. However, there are some scents I frequently use in my day to day life.
I think the scent everyone finds around me is always vanilla or peppermint (anything mint in general). I have a lot of candles, sprays, air fresh sprays, even when I cook a lot of dessert or make homemade teas, I have a lot of vanilla and mint. Those are probably the most common scents you’ll smell when you’re around me.
However, not many people expect it, but I use a lot of evergreen or pine and lavender scents, as well. These are the scents I tend to break out for evening events, preparing for sleep, or basically any time I’m anxious. These are calming scents for me, while the first two scents make me wake up.
🍂 Describe You Ideal Day 🍂
That gif right there in my perfect day. I love fall days and rainy fall days, but there’s something about a snowy day that makes things wonderous and magical. It’s just something I really love and miss dearly.
🍂 Something I’m Proud of 🍂
This might be the hardest question of this whole thing. I know we’re supposed to look back on the things we’ve accomplished, but I’m having a hard time doing that. Maybe it’s from feeling like I haven’t accomplished many things this year or maybe it’s from looking at things as stepping stones instead of accomplishments.
If I really had to say, I think I would say the time I spent with the Social Distance Book Fest, interviewing Stephen Graham Jones, and I guess if I had to pick something that’s a work in-progress then I’d say finding my safety and voice again. These were all wonderful things that happened to me and if I take a step back, they kind of feel like accomplishments in their own way.
🍂 Five Things I Love About Myself 🍂
Okay, okay… I know I can’t dodge this question, though I wish I could. I find it a lot easier to find the good qualities in others than in myself. To quote Fruits Basket, “Maybe the reason you don’t see it is that it’s stuck to your back. What I mean is, a person’s admiral qualities – they’re just like, say, a pickled plum on a rice ball.” That’s kind of how this feels like. So I’m going to give this the ole’ college try!
➸ I think I’m a good person and care about people a lot – sometimes a little too much and sometimes I wish I could turn the dial down just a little bit.
➸ I’m good with animals. – A trait I’ve had every since I was a kid.
➸ I guess I should say I’m a good singer, but I haven’t sung competitively or with a tutor/choir in a long time.
That’s three! I got three! Okay, I’m going to run and hide now.
🍂 Some Blogs I Love 🍂
Oh I love this! I love spreading my love for other blogs and I hope you all check them out! Okay, I’m going to try and link a few and not turn this into a ‘boost every single blog I love’ kind of post.
Oh boy, this hit a certain kind of way. I’m just going to put horseback riding and reading because those two things have always been an escape for me. I’ve mentioned a few times, but my upbringing wasn’t the easiest or kindest. So, yeah. NEXT!
🍂 My Biggest Pet Peeve 🍂
If we’re talking bookish then it has to be borrowing someone’s books and returning them damaged.
If we’re talking in general then I’d say cutting someone off while they’re trying to talk especially if they’re someone who struggles with letting their voice be heard or even speaking, and they get cut off in mid sentence.
Whew! Those were a lot of questions, but I hope you all got to know me a little better. This is the type of post that’s out of my comfort zone and I just wanted to do something a little different for all the new readers in my little corner of this community. It means so much and I’m really happy to have you here. 💛
Salutations fellow readers! As many of you know, I try to do very detailed book reviews. Even with my manga, graphic novels, poetry, etc… I try to be as detailed and thorough as I possibly can. During the beginning of 2020, I was asked by two friends about my reviewing process, items I use, and how I manage everything.
I’ll be honest, this process (and this article) has been a work in process for two years and I’m very excited to finally talk about my process. I didn’t start tweaking and critically reviewing/reading till the end of 2018. So this is an article that feels very personal and feels like one of the goals/achievements I’ve been striving towards. And even then this process has been adapting and changing as I adapt and change. This isn’t a perfect system, I don’t have this fully flushed out, and this is something that’s growing as I grow.
After all this time, I’m finally in a place where I feel confident to share this with all of you. And maybe what works for me, it may also help your own reading and reviewing process. So I hope you enjoy!
🍁 Why I take Reading Notes 🍁
Let me be frank, note taking isn’t for everyone. And if you’ve already tried note taking, but it didn’t work out, that’s completely fine. You’re not alone in feeling like that and you don’t have to push yourself. In fact, when I started being more active in the book community, I didn’t take notes while reading or reviewing either. I think the reason may be from my time spent in elementary school and being taught at such a young age to take notes in our textbooks, reading books, etc… For me, reading has always been an escape and over time it felt like pieces of my love for reading was being chipped away.
So taking the notes that I do now, it’s due to finding a love and enjoyment within note taking, and seeing all that work bloom into something I’m proud of. I got a little off topic, but the point is it took me a long time to get where I’m at now with reading and note taking. As I said, this process has taken me a long time to build and as I built this, there’s been healing, growth, and rediscovery. I’ve grown this into something positive to enhance my reading and fortify my own love for reading.
➳ It helps me keep track of important details such as content/trigger warnings, representation, character names and povs, settings, etc… This is incredibly important especially when you have genres like high fantasy.
➳ Sometimes I get pent up thoughts and energy about scenes, moments, and I need a space that allows me to word vomit, freak out, gush, etc… This spares my friends and family from me babbling like a brook and it’s a more private space for my thoughts, and feelings.
➳ It keeps a physical record of my thoughts and reading process. This becomes very useful for rereads and series. It allows me to see the growth, decline, and development of my feelings which play a large role in the way I write my reviews.
➳ These notes allow me to structure a coherent review. This comes in really handy especially during times when I’m really sick or don’t have a lot of energy (which is usually often), have burnout, my schedule is full, or if I’m traveling.
These are just a few of the reasons why note taking has been so beneficial to my reading especially when it comes to the reviews that I usually write. However, this is just how it makes things more helpful for me and it’s a different experience for everyone.
These are just a few of the items I use. Of course I have bookmarks, but these are the main items I use for all my note taking. The notebook itself can be spiral notebook. I use two different ones for note taking, but I always make sure one flips up and behind.
🍁 How I take Reading Notes 🍁
➳ Kindle Notes & Highlights
I feel like this should explain itself. I think everyone I know either has a Kindle Unlimited or are avid ebook readers. I’ll be honest, this is all a new process for myself because I prefer physical books over digital, but many people in my life have convinced to be more open to it.
For most user, I believe your highlighted quotes and details get uploaded to your GoodReads. However, I have my account separate. I usually use the highlighter to highlight specific passages, quotes, content/trigger warning areas in my ebooks so I don’t lose my place while writing the information down.
➳ Physical Notebook
This is where all the magic happens! I usually write everything down. I have two notebooks that I use while I read. These first notebook is my main notebook where all my notes for physical books are placed. I used this while I read, jot things down as I go along, etc… I usually break it down by the title at the top (with details of buddy read, arc & publishing date, etc…), content/trigger warnings at the next line, followed by setting, then characters and povs, and then comes all the details. The only time the detail section is different is when the book is a bind up or broken down into parts/sections. My second notebook is used for noting when I finished books and when I aim to post a review. Which usually goes hand-in-hand with how a lot of reviews get posted on here and in what order. I tend to add a little comment, as well. Most of the time the comment states whether or not the review needs to be posted sooner rather than later due to a blog tour, release date, or any other reason.
These help with keeping things organized and separate from one another. In the photo at the beginning of this article, you can actually see the second notebook I use for scheduling and organizing posts before they make it onto my blog. It may seem a bit chaotic and at times it can be, but it works for me and how I need to categorize things.
➳ Google Keep
I think this is the most underrated note taking system I have seen so far. I rarely hear anyone talk about the benefits of G. Keep and how useful it is when it comes to audiobooks.
I’m not much of an audiobook listener, but when I do listen to audiobooks, I find it incredibly hard to take notes especially if I’m working with a busy schedule on that day. This is where G. Keep comes in. G. Keep can be used from any mobile device and it’s great for jotting down quick notes. I find this has become a game changer for my audiobook reviews. If I hadn’t started using G. Keep more often, I probably wouldn’t have all the notes I usually do like my physical book reviews or ebooks. Plus, it’s been really helpful with brainstorming and jotting down any quotes that may pop up, that I may want to include in my reviews.
Another thing I don’t often talk about is the set template I have for GoodReads. We all know GoodReads, WordPress, etc… uses coding or html formatting for making our reviews unique. Quite frankly, it can be a bit overwhelming. So in Microsoft Word, I’ve crafted a designated template for how I structure my reviews to make sure everything I want to include gets included in the post. Things such as my content and trigger warnings, and my rating details.
This is a process that can take a bit of time. I find WordPress is easier to draft reviews compared to GoodReads. However, if you don’t mind taking 30 minutes to an hour to creating you own template, I swear it’s worth it. Plus, having that template stored in a place like Microsoft Word or Google Docs will allow you to just copy and paste that template onto a new file to type out that review for whatever specific book you need a review for.
As a side note, if you’re looking to just take notes and you don’t want all the extra bits. A new document, a new page in Microsoft Word, Good Docs, or whatever office system you may use will work just fine. This another great way to take notes especially if you don’t want to invest in notebooks.
As I’ve mentioned, this has been a process that’s been growing at the same pace I grow. So it’s only natural that I mention the recent addition to my note taking, organizing, etc…
Notion has been taking the book community by storm and I’ve jumped on the bandwagon as well. I haven’t heard about this anywhere outside of the book community so far. So far, Notion seems to be an all encompassing site that has elements of Google Docs, Google Keep, elements similar to WordPress, and so much more! As I’ve been exploring, I’ve been having a fun time tinkering with the different templates and I’m finding this is taking my organization to a new level. I now have a bookish calendar to keep track of scheduled posts, I’ve crafted a bookish schedule, and this has even been allowing me to prep for arcs. This has been such a fantastic source for note taking too!
If you haven’t checked out Notion yet, definitely give it a chance! I feel like I’ve leveled up in some way and I’ve really been having a great time with it. Truly, there’s so much you can do on this site and I think so many people in the book community are going to benefit from using it.
I hope you all enjoyed this deeper look into how I take my reading notes! This isn’t a perfect system, it keeps growing and building every day, but this has been working for me so far. I think my biggest recommendation out of all of this is to just experiment and see what works for you. Not everyone is going to like note taking and some may need a more creative way to take their notes. It truly is a process of experimentation and the best way to do that it to play around with a plethora of things. You have to choose what’s comfortable for you. I truly hope I was able to help some of you, you give you an idea of my own process. And please, don’t hesitate to share your own note taking tips or some of the ways that help you when you write your own reviews. Until next time, happy reading and reviewing! I love you! 🧡
Happy fall Chapterlings! The weather has gotten cooler (at least here), the fall/spooky season theme is thriving, and my spooky season tbr is gigantic, per usual. With the fall season being here, it’s time for another yearly and seasonal fall recommendations post.
These aren’t set in any particular order, but I hope you end up loving these picks!
This book takes place during the days leading up to Dia De Los Muertos, where we follow Yadriel who is trying to find out what happened to his cousin, Miguel and help the spirit of Julian Diaz. Filled with heart-warming relationships, found family, and traditions and acceptance. This is one book you’ll want to place on your tbr this fall!
In a world that’s divided by light and darkness, this on-going story follows horned-like beast named Teacher and a young girl, Shiva who live on the outside. Where their only goal is to stay safe and look after one another. But they face many challenges ahead from those who want to tear the unlikely pair apart. Filled with darkish elements, an unlikely bound, and a prophecy unfulfilled, this manga is sure to make your spooky tbr even more interesting!
Are you missing the Renaissance Festival like I am? Then look no further! Dive back into the world of the Renaissance Festival and the small town of Willow Creek, following Stacy, the best friend of Emily from the first book, Well Met. This is the perfect fall read for those who love Ren. Fest, but can’t attend this year due to Covid. With close friendships, the need for change, and a romance you won’t forget, this is sure to give you all the soft vibes and the Renaissance Festival from the comfort of home!
Where Dreams Descend is such an atmospheric read! For the lovers of Phantom of the Opera and Moulin Rouge, you’re sure to fall in love with this fantasy read! I was completely smitten and can’t help recommending this for your fall reading.
Hauntingly chilling and atmospheric, The Only Good Indians is the perfect book for lovers of slow burn horror/thriller reads. It’s been a while since a book gave me goosebumps up my spine. This is not only a great book for the spooky season, but also a good book to consider picking up for the month of November for Native American Heritage Month. I want to encourage you to seek out reviews from Indigenous creators to learn their thoughts on this book and what they really appreciated about this book.
This is a bit of a bonus book for fall. Every year I recommend picking this book up. This is one of my all time favorite books to read during the spooky season and it’s one of my favorite movies to watch, as well. This is a fast-paced, eerie read set on Halloween night. You’ll learn about the meaning of Halloween as a group of kids race to save their friend, Pipkin.
Okay, friends! Those are all my fall recommendations for right now! I’m sure there’s more than I listed, but I hope you still enjoyed this list despite it being on the smaller side. Do you have some fall recommendations? Come tell me about them in the comments below! Until next time, I hope you’re ready for spooky season, a gentle reminder to stay hydrated, and as always, I love you! 🧡
I’m not really sure how to start this off and it’s not much of a life update. This is really just me sharing my thoughts and where I’ve kind of been recently. I’m going to try to keep this brief because I’m the type of person who, if it’s not good news, then I don’t want to make a big deal about it or spend too much time on it. But I feel like I need to talk about these things because it impacts the content that I’m creating and putting out. Plus, I’ve been a ghost and haven’t really talked much about my thought process.
The simple answer to leaving book Twitter: my mental health, my time and energy.
So starting with book Twitter, there have been multiple things leading up to me leaving book Twitter. To give you an actual timeline, this is something I’ve been considering since the start of 2020. Since then, I’ve had conversations with really close friends (multiple times, even up to this point), I’ve had those conversations and it’s given myself a lot to think about, to consider. Ultimately, no matter how much I was curating my space, it seemed like the negativity was finding a way into my feed. Which some negativity is fine, but when it’s so constant and almost every single day, it can really wear a person down. And it reached a point where all my energy was being drained away and I was at a point where I’ve been longing to reclaim where my energy was being divided and put into.
There’s also the matter of the person who came into my personal spaces on all my social media and made me feel incredibly unsafe. After what happened with my Instagram account, I was having a lot of nervously charged energy every time I logged onto Twitter (which happened anyhow). Without going into details, I was feeling very unsafe and uncomfortable. So ultimately, after talking with two very trusted and very close people, I made the decision to do right by myself and my mental health, and remove myself from book Twitter all together. And that’s that.
I’ve recently been asked if I’ll be returning to social media. More in the sense of showing my face in videos, sharing photos of myself on IG stories, meet the blogger/reader posts, etc… The simple answer is not right now. I was originally planning on fully returning to social media this September, but I just don’t see that happening at this time. And that’s perfectly okay because I should only return if I feel comfortable and feel safe again in my spaces.
I’ve also been asked if I would be sharing why I went into a social media lock down. The short answer is no, I will not talk about what happened. Same with my original plan to come back to social media in September, I was planning on telling my friends about it and voicing what happened to me. After some events that have happened over the course of the three months of my lock down, I no longer feel comfortable talking about it or even feel safe sharing that information anymore. I’ve also been struggling with finding my voice in the community and trying to be vocal with certain things. With all of that being said, I won’t be talking about it, I won’t respond to messages asking about it, I’m washing my hands clean of it and any essence of it.
And finally some announcements that have to be made. The first announcement having to do with Black Sun. I think in two of my recent posts I had a recent announcement stating I had exciting news to share about it. The news I had to share about that book in no longer happening, but my review for Black Sun should be coming by the end of this month or sometime during the first week of October. So that will still be happening and I’m actually really excited to be reading it.
The second announcement is a bit of a painful one and I don’t want to spend anymore time thinking about it than I already have. I will no longer be a part of OMG She’s Indigenous. For my mental health and security, I won’t be part of it anymore. I will not be answering questions about why I stepped down or anything. I hope those boundaries can be respected.
Moving forward, you’ll still find me on Instagram, GoodReads, and this blog. I tend to spend time on those the most. So those are the places you’ll be able to find me if you want to connect, chat about books, or just say ‘hello’. I’ll be spending time getting back to the things I enjoy and devoting more time to relearn things I’m passionate about.
I know this was kind of long, but I hope I got my point across. If you read this whole thing and stuck around to the very end, thank you for your love and support. I’m hoping that when I return I’ll be stronger, happier, and having a new found love for the things that bring me happiness. Again, thank you so, so much for the continued love and support! 💜
Da’anzho (pronounced dah-ahn-zho)! If you didn’t know, Michelle from Thor Wants Another Letter and I have come together to bring you, OMG She’s Indigenous, where we read or watch Indigenous literature or films then discuss it in a live show. And I’m so happy to finally be announcing our July Pick! A side note: we’ll be discussing the book as well as the movie! You can get the movie HERE!
If you’re not following us on the OMG She’s Indigenous social media, check out our Twitter and IG!
July 18th: Chapters 1 – 4 July 19th: Chapters 5 – 8 July 20th: Chapters 9 – 12 July 21st: Chapters 13 – 16 July 22nd: Chapters 17 – 20 July 23rd: Chapters 21 – 24 July 24th: Chapters 25 – 29
Content/Trigger Warnings: Loss of a loved one, suicide, grief, depression, cheating, homophobia, drugs/drug dealing, violence/gun violence, underage drinking, mentions of rape/pedophilia
Liveshow: July 26th, 2020 | 7 p.m. CST/8 p.m. EST
And that’s our July pick! Don’t forget to watch the movie as well! We’ll be discussing both book and movie in our live show. You’ll hear us discuss the things we loved, the things that weren’t as good, and most importantly, talking about the Indigenous representation. If you have followed the OMG She’s Indigenous social media or Michelle’s social media, make sure you go change that right now. Of course, if you’re here on this blog then you’re already following me, but if you’re new here, check out my links below if you want connect with me. Until next time (or at least until the live show), stay safe, remember to hydrate, I love you! 🧡
It’s no surprise that Emer from A Little Haze Book Blog has nominated me for this award! This is the second time I’ve been nominated by Emer and if you haven’t seen her blog yet, definitely check it out! She has some great articles and she’s such a caring friend.
🌸 The Origins of the Real Neat Blog Award 🌸
Before I answer the questions I did a little googling to try and find the origins of this award and the earliest reference I can find to it goes all the way back to 2014 and to a blog called Dear Kitty, Some Blog.
The award came about as a way to highlight bloggers that need more attention because of their awesome content on their blogs and the first logo ever created for the award is this one that I found on the same Dear Kitty, Some Blog page:
🌸 The Rules 🌸
🌸 Display the Award Logo.
🌸 Thank the blogger who nominated you and post a link to their blog.
🌸 Answer the questions of the one who nominated you.
🌸 Nominate some bloggers.
🌸 Ask them seven questions.
🌸 Questions from Emer 🌸
🌸 Time for someself love. What is your favourite thing about yourself?
I could say a few things, but I think the biggest thing that I love about myself would be my empathy and sympathy. I don’t often talk about, but if you’ve been following me or this blog for a while then you probably picked up on a few things. My life hasn’t been an easy one and I learn just how cruel life can be at a very young age, younger than I should have been to learn about these things. If a friend were to come to me with a problem or they’re distress, or perhaps something traumatic happened to them, I would have a very deep understanding. Nothing really surprises me anymore because I have so much terrible experience, but those experiences have allowed me to help friends and understand what they’re going through on a much deeper level. It’s those experiences that have crafted me into being loyal to my friends, making them my ride or die, and defending them if they need it. I often don’t acknowledge the level of my sympathy and empathy, but it deserves the credit where it’s due.
🌸 It’s late. You’ve had a crazy long day and you are super hungry. What is your go to quick meal?
🌸 List the best five booksthat you have read in the last 12 months.
I reread these three books whenever I miss my family, my hometown, and when I just need to be reminded of a sense of love and community.
🌸 If you were a kitchen appliance which one would you be? I am a kettle for sure, always getting boiled up about something…
I’m probably the favorite mug that someone always uses. I know that sounds weird or even bad, but hear me out. Coming home to your favorite mug filled with your favorite drink, always there when you need it, comforting you when the stress is too much… I am the favorite mug in your cupboard or sitting on your mug rack.
🌸 Would you rather win an Oscar (award for acting) or a Grammy (award for music)?
Oh jeez, this is hard. Music would be the obvious one, but the problem with that is it’s something that would expected of me. I already have a binder full of awards for being a singer. Honestly, I would love to win an award for acting. I’ve only done drama a few times which strangely enough I was always playing a dragon, but I would love to win an award for acting.
And those are all the questions Emer had in store for me! Dang, some of them were hard! Once again, if you haven’t checked pout Emer’s blog, go give her some love. She is a wonderful, caring friend who puts out great content.
Next up I am going to tag some blogs to receive this award:
It’s okay if tags and awards aren’t your thing. No one should feel obligated to do this tag unless they want to.
🌸 My Seven Questions 🌸
🌸 What’s one book that you can relate to the most and why?
🌸 Aside from reading, what’s you’re favorite activity to do in self-isolation?
🌸 You just inherited a house, you have one room left to remodel into the dream library. Describe what your dream library looks like and what the crown jewel of this library is.
🌸 Besides being a collector of books, what are some of the other things you collect?
🌸 Real talk, what’s one topic that you’ve been wanting to discuss on your blog, but haven’t and why?
🌸 What are the top five books you’re planning to buy from your local bookstore this year?
🌸 Feel good time! What are five songs that have been keeping your spirits high?
Okay, friends! I think that covers everything thing! I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about me. I hope the ones who’ve been tagged end up participating, but if not, check out their blogs anyway. They all offer some amazing content and it never hurts to follow more diverse bloggers. Until next time, may your tbr be large, you continue to stay safe and healthy, I love you! 💕
Salutations fellow readers! It’s hard to imagine that we’re almost half-way through the month of April and being in self-isolation. I haven’t talked about it much, but we did have a huge scare here and thankfully, everything is fine now. However, at the time I can honestly say that my mental health took a nose-dive. It was terrifying and as careful as my spouse and I are, the reality was a force that shook my core. We’re all fine now and we’re both in better mental states, but those two and a half weeks were scary. Otherwise, we’re doing exercising when we can, eating lots of salads and possibly have a fridge full of ice cream, and we have been power watching Star Trek together. I dance around in the kitchen listening to The Midnight and my spouse deep dives into playing The Forest. It’s a win, win for the both of us. But I wanted to talk about some of the things that have been keeping me happy, sane, and just some things that have really helped bring my mental health back from the wild trip it nearly went on. I also want to say that there is one item on this list that was a gift and I am in no means telling anyone to go and purchase this item. This item is something my spouse had purchased for me because my mental health declined so rapidly and they hated watching me unravel and being unable to do anything about it. So I just wanted to make you aware of that before you come across it. Anyway, I think I jabbered long enough. So lets’ get into the little things I’m enjoying during isolation!
I mentioned this up top about my spouse, but I’d be lying if I said it was just my spouse. My spouse, one of my dear friends, and I have been playing The Forest. It’s a survivalist game and it’s pretty intense. Regardless, we’ve been having a lot of fun, we just started a new game, and we finally established a base. If you’re a gamer, like myself, and you enjoy survivalist games then you definitely want to check this out. The atmosphere is amazing, the overall story makes you crave knowledge, and the battling can be really intense. I do caution those who have anxiety when playing this game because it really heightens the anxiety and yes, I have stepped away from this game a few times due to my anxiety spiraling. But I truly enjoy the game and I think many will. If you haven’t heard of this game yet.
Remember when I told you about that gift my spouse got me? Yeah, this is the gift. I have been a huge supporter of SpiritHoods for a long time and I have a few specific pieces of their’s that I use as part of my LARPing costumes. I have even been supporting the non-profits that they donate to for longer than I’ve know SpiritHoods. If you want to know more about them then I will refer you to the About SpiritHoods page. And that’s where I leave that! But I am truly grateful for my spouse and them recognizing when I was in turmoil because I didn’t even know it until they had said something. So this is just a really special gift and I’ve kind of been a burrito inside this blanket since it arrived.
🌸 Obviously Books 🌸
My reading has had weird fluxes as of recently, but I’m reading a lot more than I anticipated. And since we’re in April, I have to admit that I have a lot going on in April reading wise. Firstly, I have a buddy read starting this week. Secondly, I am participating in the Stay Home Reading Rush that’s taking place from April 16th-19th. So we’ll see how well that goes! I’ve also been vlogging…A LOT. I’m very surprised with how big a desire there is to vlog and read right now. It’s insane and I’m genuinely shocked that I want to. So it’s an interesting time for me right now. With how busy I am in my personal life, the desire to read and vlog is just at a high right now. I’m also reading an arc of Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles and I am loving it so far! So if you have NetGalley, I believe this is a free read and you should go snag it!
🌸 One special corgi🌸
For those who don’t know, I have a corgi and he is the goodest bean. He’s also been a really great comfort and has been my reading, blogging, and napping buddy. He’s actually snuggled up with me right now as I type this post. He’s just the best and he deserved his own mention!
🌸 Book Sleeves 🌸
I always say how much I love supporting small businesses. Well, I have been and my recent obsession has been book sleeves. I get my book sleeves from three small businesses and so I’m going to list them here in case you need a new book sleeve too!
Okay, friends! Those are just a few of the things I’ve been enjoying in isolation recently. I’m sure there’s more, but these are the only ones I can think of at the moment. I hope you all enjoyed this list! I know I had a lot of fun putting this all together and sharing it with all of you. Please feel free to tell me in the comments below some of the things you’re loving in isolation right now! Until next time, I hope you’re staying happy, healthy, drinking lots of water, I love you! 💕
Salutations Chapterlings! Welcome to Part Two of this Q&A! If you haven’t read Part One yet then please make sure you do so. This article is going to be a lot heavier and addressing a lot more personal questions. I will be answering these questions as best as I can without going into too great of details. These are a lot more personal and as much as I like to be open with all of you, I have my limits and boundaries. Now, without any further delays, let’s get into the questions!
Have you had any negative experiences in the book or blogging community?
We’re hitting hard right from the start, huh? The answer is yes. Normally I don’t like to dwell on negative things because it’s really bad for my mental health and I don’t want to keep a space for that kind of negativity. I got into pretty decent detail in my Life Update post, if you haven’t seen that then I recommend checking that out. In short, I was basically being harassed and bullied because I received an arc of a certain 2020 release. These people felt that it was unfair for a small book reviewer/content creator to receive such a highly sought after arc and they made that very clear by making me feel unsafe on all my social media platforms. I took a step back after that.
Why do you put content warnings at the beginning of your reviews?
That’s just a personal preference of mine and I have done since my first experience of reading a book that had no content or trigger warnings. It really messed up my mental health and it took two and a half weeks to feel okay again. When someone reads my review, I want them to know what this book involves and some of the things that will most likely be discussed in my review. The best example I have of this is my review for Sadie.
I’ve noticed when you talk about mental health in your reviews, it comes from a place of knowing. Do you have mental health struggles or just have a wide knowledge of it?
I knew someone was going to ask this question. *Warning, I will be talking about various mental health topics like depression, eating disorders, suicide, etc… Please be aware of that when reading my answer to this question.*
Yes. I actually have mental health struggles. I have quiet a few actually. I guess the best place to start with all of this is I grew up around people who struggled with mental health, severely. As I got older, I developed a lot of mental health challenges. I developed bulimia nervosa at the age of eight because I was constantly surrounded by those who hated my body. So I started to hate my body too. I developed severe anxiety at the age of eight, as well. This was due to a toxic and abusive home life. When I hit my early preteens, I battled depression, self-harm, and attempted suicide. By this time, I also had a drug addiction and an alcohol problem due to trying to find a way to cope with everything happening in my life (those things being people dying all around me and severe abuse). After all of this, I ended up in the hospital from losing weight too fast and my lowest weight being 96 lbs and dropping. Eventually, I was sent to a mental health facility where I learned I have Bipolar Disorder I and PTSD which explained a lot of the things that were happening.
After all of that, I finally started living better to help manage my mental struggles (like my severe anxiety) and to better handle them. Even now, I still have disordered eating, I still have to take medication to manage the Bipolar, and I’m still trying to understand my PTSD to the fullest. And I’m thankful to have a partner who understands the importance of mental health. So when I talk about mental health in my reviews, it comes from a deep knowledge, of having experiencing it, living with it, and experiencing so many things at a young age that no one that young should have to go through. So understand, I take that content very seriously especially when I review a book and if I find that material is doing more harm than good, I will address it in my reviews.
Do you have any recommendations for coping with mental health while reading?
It all depends on the person, in all honesty. Something that may be triggering for me may be entirely different for someone else. For myself, I will have an asmr video or an instrumental video playing on my phone or television when I start reading a book. However, if I feel content is becoming too triggering then I will step away from the book. I won’t force myself to read past that. When I step away, sometimes it’s a few hours and sometimes it’s days. Ultimately, I do what’s best for me and if my mental state is responding really negatively to the content I’m reading, I will ‘dnf’ that book. The best example I have is my review of Things We Lost in the Fire. I will also list one of my favorite asmr rooms as well.
You’re not feminist enough to review books
Originally I wasn’t going to post this comment because it truly is a negative comment and I don’t like inviting that into my space. However, I saw an opportunity with this comment that was just too important to ignore. So this is all I have to say about this.
Misogyny is just as bad as misandry.
If you’re bisexual, how can you be married?
Would you be surprised if I told you that I get this question all the time and on Pride I get bombarded with this question, consistently? Yes, I am married, but that doesn’t change my sexual orientation. The way I always explain it, if I were to get a divorce today or tomorrow, that wouldn’t stop me from being attracted to men, women, or non-binary people. It’s just a part of who I am, it will never change no matter where I go in life, and I will always be very open about that.
What was the hardest part of coming out as bisexual?
I think the hardest part was dealing with the backlash that came from having my relationships with the girls I dated out in the open. It was extremely hard while is school and even harder on those I dated. There were many things that were hard with coming out, but that was the toughest to really go through and watching my partners having to suffer was the worst of it.
How do you respond to negativity or negative comments?
My approach is usually to ignore and delete. I say it all the time, I don’t like negativity in the spaces that bring me joy. I think it’s fine for people to have different opinions and have constructive conversation. However, when things start to turn into heated arguing, saying nasty things to one another, etc… I tend to erase that stuff immediately. If this somehow finds it’s way into my messages, I will report that person and delete the message. I don’t like negativity in my spaces.
How do you cope with your anxiety?
I think this ties in with a previous question, but it varies for everyone. For myself, I listen to a lot of asmr to help keep me calm and relaxed during reading. When I’m at home or out in public and I start to get anxious, I have to do something with my hands. So I usually keep things on me that allows me to keep my hands busy. At home it might be video games or using a stress ball. Out in public I might have a fidget spinner or rubik’s cube. I also tend to keep items with soft textures near by as they help calm my anxiety. If I’m lucky, one of my pets may be nearby and I may go pet them for a while. If you do like asmr, I will leave another link for another favorite asmr video.
Do you have an unpopular opinions?
Yes. Yes I do and it’s a lot.
🌸 Women can play football, backyard or otherwise.
🌸 Mountains are better than beaches. Take a trip to New Hampshire sometime, you’ll thank me later!
🌸 ASMR is amazing and I don’t care what you say!
🌸 Personally, I think Night is better than Day.
🌸 Although I like tea, very much, coffee is better.
🌸 ACOFAS wasn’t terrible and a nice pace changer. I WILL FIGHT YOU ON THIS.
🌸 I will always choose Andriod over Iphones. Stop trying to convince me they’re better, I will list so many reasons why they’re not.
Okay, I really had to stop myself there before I just spent a really long time doing that list. Just know that I have many unpopular opinions, those are the ones that I could think of on the fly. Alright, those are all the personal questions. There are actually a few I didn’t answer because they were just far too personal and I really didn’t feel comfortable answering them. Regardless, I hope you enjoyed Part One and Part Two of this wild Q&A! It truly means the world that you would stick around to read both parts. I truly appreciate all the love and support that each and every one of you give to me. I hope you know how grateful I am and that I hope I can continue to show how much it means to me by the content I put out. Until next time, stay safe, thank you for the love and support, I love you! 💕