Misc.

Life Update | What Really Happened in 2020, Blog Changes Happening, & Have I Really Turned Into a Ghost?

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! 💙

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Weekly Check-In | Life, Reading, & Updates

Salutations Chapterlings! I hope you’ve been able to kick June off with a great start! You may have noticed that this blog post is going to be a little bit different compared to what I usually do. I’m going to start doing check-ins or weekly updates to kind of give you an idea of where I’m lurking, hibernating, etc… If you noticed, I haven’t really posted much of anything recently on my blog except for one article. Now, I know some of you don’t like lengthy posts and I apologize, but this is going to be a lengthy post. I’m breaking it down into three sections and hopefully that will make the navigation a little easier. So, without any further delays and my ramblings, let’s get into this update.

LIFE UPDATES

Let’s talk about what’s happening in the world. I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep fighting, to keep educating, to keep standing up against injustice. If you’ve been living under a rock, let me catch you up… There have been many protests happening in the United States, but also globally because the death of George Floyd was the last straw for the black community. Police brutality and racism has been a huge problem in the Untied States for a long time and things need to change, they have to change. I have stated where I stand with everything, I support the black lives matter movement and if that’s a problem, don’t let the door hit you on the way out. I don’t have any space for you, your hatred and racism in my space. With that being said, I’m going to list some links below where you can actually help and start making a difference. As I said, this fight isn’t over and there is always something more that we can do to be better.

➡️ Ways to Help

➡️ Black Owned Book Stores to Support

➡️ Amazing Black Booktubers to Support

➡️ Black Artists to Support

➡️ Black Owned Businesses to Support

➡️ Official George Floyd Memorial Fund

➡️ Official Justice for David McAtee Fund

➡️ Help Rebuild Mpls Scores Sports Bar

➡️ Help Rebuild Minneapolis Native Organization MIGIZI

➡️ Petition: Justice for George Floyd

➡️ Petition: Charge Minneapolis Police

➡️ Petition: Justice for David McAtee

➡️ Petition: Justice for Cameron Green

➡️ More Petitions to Sign

➡️ More Places to Donate

➡️ A Guide to Anti-Racist Resources

I also wanted to take a moment to link some black content creators as well. Some of these content creators I recently discovered and some of them I’ve been following for a good bit now. I can’t express how important it is to support black content creators and give them a voice in the book community. I need this community to stop sleeping on how delightful, creative, and inspiring these wonderful souls are and uplift their voices!

➡️ Starlah from StarlahReads

➡️ Monte from itsmonteprice

➡️ Naya from NayaReadsandSmiles

➡️ Jeese from Bowties & Books

➡️ Mina from Mina Reads

➡️ Chanelle from chanelletime

➡️ India from Life Is A Page Turner

➡️ Jocelynn from JocelynnReads

➡️ Myonna from myonna reads

➡️ Kayla from Books and Blends

➡️ Capri from Capri’sBookIsland

➡️ Neka Marie from Neeks

➡️ Njeri from ONYX Pages

➡️ Marines from mynameismarines

➡️ Bee from Bee But Bookish

➡️ Christina from Christina Marie

➡️ Ness from Vanessa W. or HollowMoonReads

Go check out these creators! They are so talented, so inspiring, and full of passion. Please note, these are just content creators for the book community. If you would like to see a separate list of black gaming and cosplay creators then please let me know and then I can send you some links.

PERSONAL LIFE UPDATES

So let’s just address it right off. For starters, I always like to be open with all of you, as much as I can be anyway. I kind of disappeared for a hot minute for multiple reasons. The easiest way to put things is having a five year long, toxic friendship that was fully consuming my time for the past three-four weeks. I wasn’t reading, I wasn’t happy, I was spending large amount of time dealing with phone calls, and then once the world caught fire, and I started to be very vocal about my views and where I stand, this person really showed their true self and tried to gaslight me for my own opinions and stance. I’m very open about this in reviews, but I want to say it here. I have suffered many experiences with abuse and toxic relationships, because of those experiences, I try immensely hard to keep that out of my space, nor will I allow it to stop me from standing up for what’s right. However, it was a really draining experience and yes, it took me a hot minute to analyze everything to connect what was really going on, but nothing is worse than considering someone a friend for so long and then to find out who they really were in such a horrible way. So, I kind of retreated into myself to allow myself to heal and in a way, wipe the memories of that person and chalk it up as another lesson. After all of that happened, I then ended up burning my whole right leg. So I’ve been laid up and tending to my burn wounds. Don’t ask, it was a moment of chaos and stupidity. But that’s kind of where I’ve been and what’s been happening in my personal life.

READING UPDATES

I’ve actually been doing fantastic at reading. I do have a stack of books that I need to review, but for my June TBR, I’ve already completed two books. Most recently, I finished The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow. It was an absolute fantastic book. I physically read it and listened to it on audio. Both were fantastic and I will die on the hill that is Ellie and Moris! I also finished Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire. I absolutely loved this! A lot of it revolved around Sumi and my heart was just so full from it all. I also started reading Get A Life Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert about a day or two ago and I swear, this book will be the end of me. It’s so good and I’m having a fantastic time reading it. So that’s where my reading has been at.

I also received a few arcs from NetGalley. I will most likely be starting one of them this month just due to the fact that it comes out in July and I like to be an over-achiever with making sure I have things done on time. Now, I would tell you the arcs I received, but why spoil all the fun.

OTHER UPDATES

So this is just a sections about the things I have planned or in the works at the moment. Hopefully you’ll be seeing these things soon, but there are two things that are kind of a secret, at least for right now. Just know that these are coming during the month of July. I’ve said it a few times already, but July is going to be a busy month for me.

What’s happening first? For starters you’re going to see a bit of a change in my Instagram theme. To keep my feed a little more inspired and interesting. I wanted to start this change sooner, but it just didn’t happen the way I wanted it to. So starting in July, I’ll be using a shorter, fuzzy grey background when I take photos. This will last from July to the end of September where I’ll then switch off to a darker theme for the fall/winter season. You’ll also see the sunflower theme making a comeback on this blog. I know, I know. I’ve gotten a few followers asking me when the sunflowers are coming back. Starting in July all the way to the end of September, the sunflowers will return!

Actually, I guess this was the real first change, I am no longer subscribed to Book of the Month. Nor will I be purchasing books from BookOutlet anymore. Both of these companies have really shown where they stand with their customers with how they’re handling the black lives matter movement and just how they’re choosing to respond in general. I just refuse to support companies who refuse to professionally respond to their consumer base, silence black consumers, and who choose racist wording. If you want more details, just look on Instagram or Twitter, you’ll find all you need to know. It’s just one giant mess and the people who were wronged and hurt because of these companies deserve better.

The next thing is obviously reviews. We all know I haven’t posted a review in a hot second, but I promise that’s going to change. I plan on getting photos taken and reviews drafted this weekend. I’m a little behind because all that has happened in my personal life. So I’ll be catching up on those this weekend. Hopefully, I can actually get ahead of some of the reviews.

I’ll also have a book haul for the end of this month. Okay, I know and I’m sorry. I haven’t done a book haul in ages, but it will return this June because I’m planning on placing two big orders this month. There are a few books that I need to get because I really, really want to support these authors in any way I can. They’ll also be purchased from some indie bookstores (the ones near me are still closed, sad day!) that have been recommended to me from some of my lovely friends.


Okay, readers! That wraps everything up for updates, life, and the things that will hopefully be coming soon. I know there’s a lot happening in the world right now and I know it took me a hot minute to feel confident in posting this check-in, but we have to keep lifting up the voices of the black community right now. As I said above, go check out all of the links for the ways to can support, help, and go check out the content creators who I listed above. Trust me, those aren’t all of them. There are so many more black content creators that deserve the spotlight as well. So please continue to support the black community, continue to check in with black content creators and your black friends, and keep lifting their voices up. I hope you liked this little update. Let me know in the comments below your thoughts, if you want to keep seeing these updates, and recommendations, and even tell me some of the things you want to see in the future. Until next time friends, may you all continue to fight for what’s right, uplift the voices who need it the most, stay safe and healthy, I love you. 💕

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