Misc.

How I Take Reading Notes

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.


🍁 Items I Frequently Use for Note Taking 🍁

➳ Colored page markers

➳ Colorful sticky notes

➳ Pastel highlighters

➳ 100 Sheet sketch book (or anything that’s styled like this)

➳ Precision micro-line pens

➳ Zebra Ballpoint pens

➳ Transparent sticky notes

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.

➳ Templates

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.

➳ Notion

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! 🧑

|GoodReads|Instagram|YouTube|Wishlist|Kofi

Misc.

Fall Book Recommendations 2020

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!


🍁 Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas 🍁

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!


🍁 The Girl from the Other Side: Siuil A Run by NAGABE 🍁

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!


🍁Well Played (Well Met, #2) by Jen DeLuca 🍁

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 (Kingdom of Cards #1) by Janella Angeles 🍁

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.


🍁 The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones 🍁

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.


🍁 The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury 🍁

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! 🧑

|GoodReads|Instagram|YouTube|Wishlist|Kofi

Misc.

Life Update | Leaving Book Twitter & Other Things

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! πŸ’œ

|GoodReads|Instagram|YouTube|Wishlist|

Misc.

OMG She’s Indigenous | July Pick

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!

And if you haven’t followed Michelle yet, find her on Twitter, IG, and YouTube!


Our July pick is:

πŸ”₯ Fire Song by Adam Garnet Jones

πŸ”₯ Dates & Breakdown:

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! 🧑

|GoodReads|Instagram|Twitter|YouTube|Wishlist|

Misc. · Tags

The Real Neat Blog Award II

🌸 The Real Neat Blog Award I

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 some self 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 books that you have read in the last 12 months.

πŸ“– Soul of the Sword (Shadow of the Fox #2) by Julie Kagawa

πŸ“– Leo Loves Aries (Signs of Love, #1) by Anyta Sunday

πŸ“– The Adventure Zone: Murder on the Rockport Limited! by Clint McElroy

πŸ“– Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children #2) by Seanan McGuire

πŸ“– Where Dreams Descend (Kingdom of Cards #1) by Janella Angeles

🌸 Would you rather be an oak tree or a butterfly?

🌸 What book have you reread more than any other, or if you do not reread then why is that?

πŸ“– The Next Always (InnBoonsBoro Trilogy #1) by Nora Roberts

πŸ“– The Last Boyfriend (InnBoonsBoro Trilogy #2) by Nora Roberts

πŸ“– The Perfect Hope (InnBoonsBoro Trilogy #3) by Nora Roberts

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:

🌸 Kayla from Books and Blends

🌸 Ren from A Bookish Balance

🌸 Lauren from Lala’s Book Reviews

🌸 Robin from Paperbacks and Planners

🌸 Destiny from Howling Libraries

🌸 Marie from Drizzle & Hurricane Books

🌸 Sue from BeautyBookCorner

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! πŸ’•

|GoodReads|Instagram|Twitter|YouTube|Wishlist|

Misc.

A Few Things I’m Enjoying in Self-Isolation

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!

🌸 Miracle Forest ASMR videos 🌸

You can also find more of my favorite ASMR rooms and more of Miracle Forest on my Favorite ASMR Playlist!

🌸 The Forest 🌸

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.

🌸 Spirithoods Faux Fur Galaxy Tiger Throw 🌸

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!

🌸 Cluttergirl Designs

🌸 EnchantedExtrasbyBri

🌸 CreatedbyRae


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! πŸ’•

|GoodReads|Instagram|Twitter|YouTube|Wishlist|

Misc.

1 Year Blogiversary Q&A Part Two: Heavy Topics, Mental Health, and Unpopular Opinions

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! πŸ’•

|GoodReads|Instagram|Twitter|YouTube|Wishlist|

Misc.

1 Year Blogiversary Q&A Part One: Bookish Questions, Getting Personal and Nerdy

Salutations friends! I can’t believe my blog has officially hit one year old! This wouldn’t be possible without all of you! For believing in me, wanting all of this to succeed, and for loving me the way that I am. You all have made this all possible, inspire me each and every day to create content, and I love you all!

And apparently you all are very, very curious about the person behind the screen! A while ago I put out ways for you to tell me the questions you wanted to ask, literally ask anything, and I was shocked with the amount of messages. So many questions that I actually divided these into two parts. Most of these questions were able to be categorized as something book related and nerdy or something personal and heavy.

So if you’re reading this, welcome to part one of this two parted Q&A! I hope I don’t disappoint with my answers! Just sit back, relax, and let’s answer some of your questions!

Have you learned anything new about yourself?

The short answer is yes. The more specific response is I need a thorough schedule to do everything that I do. I balance my personal life and the things I do for my blog, for Bookstagram, etc… I keep them separate, but I realized I have to stay on a constant schedule otherwise my whole momentum gets thrown off. I’ve learned that there are many people who appreciate the content I create and I have made some truly wonderful friends that I never thought I would have made.

What are your favorite bookish posts that you’ve written?

One of my most favorite posts is my review of Sadie. It was one of the hardest reviews I ever wrote, I get very emotional and personal in that review. I’m extremely proud of that post. My second favorite would be my Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco Blog Tour and Review. Talking back and forth with Rin, I left our conversation with a very deep appreciation for her and the other authors who recognize the smaller bloggers and content creators. It truly was a wonderful experience and I’m glad that I got to be a part of her street team for Wicked As You Wish.

Do you review every book you read or just arcs?

I usually review every book that I read. I take extensive notes. If I have multiple copies of a book, I will use one for my own library and then the others for taking notes, annotating, and discussions. The only time I don’t review a book is a ‘dnf’ book. It’s rare when I ‘dnf’ a book, but it does happen.

What are some of the things that you accomplished because of your blog or being in the book community in general?

I feel like I have come a lot farther compared to when I first started out in the book community. I have been a part of the book community for a long time. I believe 2014 was the year I dipped my toes into getting involved, but I think I truly started feeling accomplished as I started to branch out and develop my skills. I became more of a critical reviewer, I found an aesthetic that makes me happy (which I have a new background that I’ll be testing out on my IG soon), and I really started to carve a space for myself, that’s something I’ve never done before because I never knew how to make a place for myself to exist (that last bit will tie into a on part two of this Q&A). There’s many things I accomplished because of books and I’m very grateful to be where I am right now.

I know your birthday is coming up in May, what are three books you’re hoping to get or do you have a wishlist?

I think I know who this is, May is still a ways off, and yes, I have a wishlist which you can find HERE, but please don’t feel obligated to get me anything. I am very blessed with the books that I have right now and with tbr carts that are overflowing, I shouldn’t be getting more, for now. If I absolutely had to pick three books to receive for my birthday, it would be the ones below.


Overall most anticipated 2020 book release?

In no specific order so you too can check them out too! You can also check out some of my posts that hint to authors I’m supporting and check out my anticipated 2020 shelf!

Do you have a favorite tea?

I drink a lot of Harney & Sons tea, but I also drink a lot of the Yogi Tea as well.

You mention that you game a lot, what are your top five favorite games?

Okay, okay! You’re now a very precious bean and I will protect you at all cost! I love talking shop about games and that’s one of the hardest questions to answer. So all my favorite games will be shown below!

How do you find inspiration to write your articles?

Everywhere and from everyone. Sometimes I get asked a lot to do specific articles like my Sekaiichi Hatsukoi series review. Sometimes I end up with something right on the dot and then I’ll write it down so I don’t forget. Other times it’s usually a lot of coffee.

I read your ‘About Me’ section. You do LARPING?! Can you tell us about your character?!

My main character is an elf mage named Malliumpkin. I play a few side characters with my group, as well. Usually those side characters are healers or temporary encounters. We have even done a few side quests where I have been random creatures such a fauns, spirits, and animal shapeshifters or shamans. Most of my gear was crafted by a dear friend. Other pieces I invested in myself. And that’s all you need to know! Aside from the fact that the next event we do will be our 100th LARPing quest. If you’re looking to get started, I highly recommend checking this article out!

How do you manage to read and blog on top of everything else?

I have a giant calendar hanging on my wall where I write down all my buddy reads, my readathons, when blog posts need to go up, etc… I also use Google Calendar to communicate to my spouse important information like appointments, personal events, etc… With those two tools at my disposal, I can keep track of where my time and energy is being spent. Did I mention I write down the times for all of things? I include the time with everything I do. My days are usually planned to the very last minute before I need sleep. That’s usually how I stay on top of managing my life and then everything with reading and blogging.

What are some books you could put in anyone’s hands right now?

How do you take notes and do thorough reviews?

Oh jeez… My process is very chaotic and all over the place, if I’m being honest. I use a sketch book to take notes for my reviews, I use sticky notes to make side notes inside my books, then I have colored tabs to indicate important information, and then I have pastel highlighters for going back through and narrowing down the information sections. It’s a really chaotic mess and usually when I’m like that my spouse will have to bring me snacks and drinks because I will go at it for hours with annotating, drafting, narrowing things down, etc… It’s just wild and I come out looking like a wildling every time.

A mythical creature you would want to turn into?

Do you have any best friends?

I’m pretty sure I know who sent this and yes I do, I love each and every one very dearly!

Do you have any pets?

Yes I do! I have three cats and a corgi! If you follow my IG then you will occasionally see them pop up in my feed and they even have their own dedicated story header!

Is there anything you want right now?

I feel like this another one of my friends asking for birthday purposes. So please read the question above asking about my birthday and wishlist. If it’s not, I could really go for some sushi and some starfruit right about now!

What color are your eyes?

Many people think my eyes are brown, but they’re actually hazel. My eyes can turn all the way to the brightest shade of topaz all the way to a dark, dark brown, almost black.

How long have you been gaming and reading?

I have been reading and gaming since I was a kid. Six years old is how far I can remember being really focused on reading and gaming. Years later and I’m still focused on gaming and reading!

What would you tell someone who wants to start their own book blog?

I would tell you to just start. My biggest fear was just getting started and I think it helps to hear from someone who was really nervous about starting their bookstagram, starting this blog, and just being more involved in the book community than what they were. It took me a while to work up the courage to start, but once I started, I couldn’t stop and I found some of the most amazing people who I now get to call friends. This community is very welcoming and if you’re looking for someplace to carve out your own space, the book community is a lovely place to start.

What are the top three songs you’re listening to right now?

🌸 The Midnight – Sunset

🌸 PENTAGON – Shine

🌸 Skrux – Devotion


Okay, friends! Those are all the personal questions that were book related, very nerdy, and just stole every part of my heart! If you have any other question, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below. I do like to be as open as I can be with all of you, so don’t hesitate. Part Two of this Q&A should be happening shortly after this article is posted and this article is going to be much heavier, more personal, and so many hard topics are going to be talked about in that article. So I hope you’re still able to join for Part Two! Until next time, thank you for all you love and support, I truly appreciate you! πŸ’•

|GoodReads|Instagram|Twitter|YouTube|Wishlist|

Misc.

Small Bookish Businesses to Support during Self-Isolation

Before I start, I just want to say a gentle reminder; your feelings are valid and I see you, I hope you’re staying safe, you’re eating well, drinking lots of water, and of course, I love you!

Salutations Chapterlings! Usually I’m not super active on the weekends, but I felt very compelled to get these articles up. If you’ve been following my blog, then you know I made a similar post for Authors to Support during Self-Isolation. On that article I talk about seasoned and debut authors who need support during these difficult times, which include links to not only preorder the books, but also to help support your local book stores . I also mention the book fest I’m helping out with and providing links so you can join in on the bookish magic happening on April 25th. With all of that being said, I’ve gotten so many messages and such an overwhelming amount of support that I thought it was only practically to share the small businesses I’m supporting during self-isolation.

Many, many small businesses are being hit hard. Some to the point of having to close their stores entirely. This ranges from small restaurants all the way to small book stores, even small businesses run from home. I have heard from family friends how hard their small shops struggling, I have been watching some of my favorite shops continue to push out products despite all the challenges they are facing. I say this all the time, I love supporting small businesses and they’re some of my favorite places to go to when I want very specific gifts for friends and family. So let me introduce you to some of the shops I have been supporting for a while now, but shops that I have really come to love and appreciate.


🌸 Candles by Wick and Jane 🌸

Her candles have amazing throw and she has some of the best scents! She’s also total sweetheart!


🌸 Bookmarks by JemlinCreations 🌸

She brings all your fictional characters to life with her art! I was one of her reps and she is just a true treasure! Check out Cluttergirl Designs and EnchantedExtras for Jemlin’s book sleeves!


🌸 Booksleeves by ACOBAF 🌸

Alex and her family team up some amazing artists to bring stunning booksleeves to your doorstep! She also does mugs!


🌸 Book Bands and Sleeves by CreatedbyRae 🌸

Rae is absolutely the sweetest and has the most adorable kitties! She is a kind soul and has amazing pieces!


🌸 Nerdy and Bookish Mugs by CreativeLeighCrafts 🌸

She does all sorts of mugs, enamel pins, and decals! She is a super sweet soul and she is my go to shop for nerdy mug gifts!


🌸 Bookmarks, Bookmark Holders, and Giant Wine Glasses by CreativeChaotics 🌸

I get so much from Heather! I get my K-Pop bookmarks from her, my giant wine glasses, and due to my obsession with her’s and Jemlin’s bookmarks, I have a lot of her bookmark holders! She is a hard working lady with a sweet soul who has had some rough patches and I love to send everyone her way because she truly deserves lots of love!


🌸 Booksleeves by Book Gizmo 🌸

If this is any indication, I buy A LOT of book sleeves and Book Gizmo is one of the many shops where I get said book sleeves from!


🌸 Bookish Mugs and Merch by Enchanted Fandom 🌸

Another amazing shop where I get all my bookish mugs and presents for friends and family! Jess is absolutely amazing and she even does a drinking vessel subscription so you can get unique mugs each month!


Okay, friends! Those are all the shops that I have and will continue to support through these difficult times! Please check some of these shops out and support them if you can. I can’t even begin to express how important it is to make sure you support small businesses during this time. Now is the time where we need to spread love more than ever and in any way we can. So please check these ladies out, show your support on their social media, or even send them a kind message. Every small business owner needs a little kindness sprinkled in their life right now. Please let me know down in the comments below some of your favorite small businesses or small shops you’ll be supporting during self-isolation. Until next time, remember to love yourself today, take that nap, drink some water, I love you! πŸ’•

|GoodReads|Instagram|Twitter|YouTube|Wishlist|

Misc.

Authors to Support during Self-Isolation

Before I start, I just want to say a gentle reminder; your feelings are valid and I see you, I hope you’re staying safe, you’re eating well, drinking lots of water, and of course, I love you!

Salutations Chapterlings! I’m going to do a post that’s a little different compared to what I usually do. If you haven’t heard, I’m currently helping out with the Social Distance Book Fest and we’re putting together amazing panels with authors who have been affected by everything going on in the world, authors who just want to get involved or help out, and some wonderful people in the book community who are helping bring everything together. Bethany from Beautifully Bookish Bethany, the founder and creator of this event, has an official video out stating all the details of the event. It’s going to be amazing, if you haven’t checked the event out yet then please check it out and join us on April 25th!

Okay, I got off topic a little bit, but it ties in with the point of this article. With all the authors and small businesses being affected by everything happening, I wanted to take the time to show some of the authors you can support during these challenging times. There are many authors (debut and more seasoned) that are releasing books in the coming months. So I figured I would show some of the authors that you can support in the months to come. And depending on how much you loved this list, I might end up showing you some of the small businesses I’m supporting right now, as well. Now without any further delays, lets jump into the books!


🌸 A Phoenix First Must Burn by Patrice Caldwell 🌸


🌸 Harley in the Sky by Akemi Dawn Bowman 🌸


🌸 Tigers, Not Daughters by Samantha Mabry 🌸


🌸 Night of the Dragon (Shadow of the Fox #3) by Julie Kagawa 🌸


🌸 You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle 🌸


🌸 The Lucky Ones by Liz Lawson 🌸


🌸 A Breath Too Late by Rocky Callen 🌸


🌸 Don’t Call the Wolf by Aleksandra Ross 🌸


🌸 Lobizona (Wolves of No World) by Romina Garber 🌸


🌸 Every Missing Piece by Melanie Conklin 🌸


🌸 Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust 🌸


🌸 I Kissed Alice by Anna Birch 🌸


🌸 The Gilded Ones (Deathless #1) by Namina Forna 🌸


🌸 Where Dreams Descend (Kingdom of Cards #1) Janella Angeles 🌸


🌸 Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas 🌸


🌸 Forest of Souls (Shamanborn, #1) by Lori M. Lee 🌸


Okay, friends! I know that was a super long list and I’m so grateful that you checked out all of these amazing books! In case you didn’t notice, each book has a link that allows you to not only support the authors, but support your local books stores as well. I love supporting small businesses whenever I can and this is a great way to spread the love during these hard times. There are even more books coming out this year that aren’t even listed. So don’t forget about those books, those authors, or your local book stores when you’re shopping during self-isolation. Feel free to tell me some of the upcoming releases that you have pre-ordered in the comments below. Until next time, remember to treat yourself kindly, drink plenty of water, eat some yummy fruit, and as always, I love you! πŸ’•

|GoodReads|Instagram|Twitter|YouTube|Wishlist|