What’s in my Notebooks?

Like any reader/ writer/ blogger/ person in general probably, I have an abundance of notebooks. Some are fuller than others, some are completely blank, some have writing from years and years ago that I know I’ll never finish but I have some I continuously use… and two I should really use more.

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Blogging:

I have a couple different blogging notebooks for different things.

Yellow= book recommendations to me, some TBRs, tag answers, some job interview stuff from when I was still job searching because this notebook was always within my reach during that time.

Purple= This is the one I’m using to plan out my new blogging series. I have a list of general topics and then the research, lists, more details about the posts.

Black= My more recent blogging notebook. It’s a lot easier to carry and there’s a pocket in the front. I normally use this one now, but I’m still working through some stuff in the yellow one.

Watercolor= This includes all of my notes on how I felt about books (generally ARCs) that I plan on reviewing, and notes on books I know it’s going to take a while before I can get to the sequels so I can look back on them. To be honest I don’t generally use this notebook because I don’t really like writing book reviews but when I do I will write them right away. This is for when I’m not by my computer/ when I’m in non-wifi zones.

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Journals:

I have two different journals. Both of which I really should use more. I don’t particularly like writing in them but I love looking back. I’ve tried doing the question a day journals and the really structured ones I fail at. And freeform ones I don’t have motivation to write in them.

The Harry Potter journal I got at the London Studio Tour and that is the one I just write whatever in. It’s filled with rants from my last year of college but I haven’t written in it since January…. Whoops. And that post is saying I’m going to attempt to write in it more often.

The 52 weeks one is the one I used until March! I was pretty on track with all of the lists for the first couple months and then just stopped. I don’t even know why. I just forgot one week and then never started up again.

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Coding:

This one is all of the notes I’m taking as I’m learning how to code so that I don’t forget it all or can look back when I need to know how to do something specific. I have different tabs for different kinds of coding. I’m actually surprised at how neatly everything is written. I learned that the hard way when I took a coding class in college. My notes are generally messy. But that is not really a good thing when it comes to coding so even when I add things in I make sure it looks good.

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Writing:

This is the current notebook I’m using for writing. I have some ideas from way back when written in here but I’m trying to get back into writing so this is my ideas and outlines. Then I write books on my laptop because I hate copying over handwriting. Right now I’m brainstorming characters and plots because I kind of want to do NaNoWriMo but I also have barely written in five years.

What do you put in your notebooks? Do you have a lot of them or just a couple?

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Liebster Award x2

I was nominated by Paige for the Liebster Award! I think I was nominated once before and forgot about it so I drafted this post as soon as I was tagged so I wouldn’t forget! Then I was tagged by Jenn as well, so there will be two sets of questions answered and one asked.

The Liebster Award is an award presented to bloggers by other fellow bloggers, with the pure intention of supporting each other! As part of being nominated, you must answer the eleven questions given by the blogger who kindly nominated you. Then in turn nominate eleven more bloggers and leave eleven new questions for them to answer.

Paige’s Questions:

  1. Do you prefer paperbacks, hardbacks or e-books?
    Generally I prefer paperbacks, but I buy most of my books secondhand so I’m not too picky. E-books hurt my eyes after a while so I try not to read them too much.
  2. Why and when did you start blogging?
    I have this whole thing here. But I wanted to keep my family updated when I was traveling in Europe and then during my internship I found the book community.  October 3rd, 2014 was my first post.
  3. Who’s your favourite fictional villain?
    The ones I can’t say because of spoilers.
  4. What was the last book you read, and what did you think of it?
    Final Girls by Riley Sager and it had a slow beginning but that ending was just plot twist after plot twist. It was a ride, a wild and unpredictable ride.
  5. Who inspires you the most?
    In blogging and (currently non-existent but hoping to change that) writing probably #CroneBloggers because we cheer each other on and help each other out and it’s such a supportive group. For people I don’t really interact with: Molli Reads and Kalyn Nicholson
  6. If you could spend one day as a character in any book, what book would you choose?
    After like ten minutes of thinking… I think When Dimple Met Rishi because how cool would it be to be learning about app coding at summer camp. They had so many opportunities with that.
  7. What’s your favourite cereal?
    Cheerios and fresh fruit.
  8. What’s a book genre that you never read?
    Romance. It’s so unrealistic that they always end up together.
  9. Tell us something interesting about yourself.
    My grammar is unfiltered on Twitter and when I’m speaking, which is ironic because one of my jobs is editing things.
  10. If you could be best friends with any fictional character, who would it be?
    Elend!! From Mistborn! We could just sit and read all day!
  11. What’s a piece of advice you would give to any new bloggers?
    Do what you want, blog what you want and you’ll attract the followers you want. And interact with people.

Jenn’s Questions:

  1.  What is your go-to self care? Something you do, wear, etc.
    My main thing when I have a bad day is to take a shower and wash my hair, for some reason that is really relaxing to me and then put on leggings and a baggy sweatshirt and drink coffee or tea.
  2.  What was the first book that made a difference to you and why?
    The first one that comes to mind is The Giver because it was the first ambiguous ending I read. It showed me that books can be open to interpretation. Also there was such solid world building.
  3.  What is your favourite time of year?
    Fall! It’s so comfy-cozy and it’s eternal coffee weather. Plus the color scheme is perfection. If I could find somewhere it was eternally fall I’d move in a heartbeat. Even if it was just the temperatures and not the changing leaves for eternity (but that would be so awesome)
  4.  Where is your favourite place to read?
    Currently the futon in my sister’s room since she doesn’t live here anymore but normally the reading chair in my room. They both have lots of blankets and pillows with a reading lamp right where my head goes.
  5.  Which book would you buy as a gift for someone right now?
    There are different books I’d buy different people and reasons. I’d buy Big Magic for someone who’s struggling creatively. Mistborn for someone trying to get into fantasy. Misery for someone who likes horror. Reading With Patrick for my friends just starting to teach this year. The list goes on and on, it’s not fair to make me pick just one!
  6.  What do you find the hardest thing about blogging?
    Coming up with ideas! I’ve been doing really good with this right now but I tend to run out and then it’s really hard to beat the blogging slump again.
  7.  What is the most fun aspect you find about blogging?
    Talking to everyone on twitter!! They get me out of my comfort zone with genres I wouldn’t normally read and give me hidden gems in genres I do read.
  8.  If you could offer year-ago you any advice, what would it be?
    “Actually post maybe?” I was in the world’s worst everything slump. I didn’t want to do job applications so I put them off and blogging and reading was my reward for doing them so then that didn’t get done. It was the worst and I hope I’m never in that mindset again because most people in my life could tell I was off and eternally overthinking things because I had too much time on my hands.
  9.  Why did you start blogging?
    I answered that one up there 🙂
  10.  What is your dream holiday?
    Scotland/ Ireland I really want to go back to Ireland, it was one of my favorite countries I visited in Europe and then I didn’t get to Scotland. But I want to go up to the lake the Loch Ness Monster is supposedly in. (definitely there).
  11.  What would be your ideal bookish gift?
    I really want a pillow with a bookish saying on it, not a quote from a book like so many have. Or bookish necklaces. I don’t generally look for bookish gifts because I know I probably won’t get them. I love seeing the props and stuff on bookstagram though!

My questions:

  1. Do you have any weird blogging habits?
  2. What is a book you really wanted to read this year and haven’t yet?
  3. Who is your favorite blogger? (besides me… obviously.)
  4. Where do you write your posts?
  5. What inspirational book would you recommend to anyone?
  6. What do you read blogs on? Phone, tablet, computer, combination?
  7. How did you come across the book blogging world?
  8. What do you do when you’re not blogging/ reading? Jobs/ school/ other hobbies?
  9. What is your favorite ship that isn’t cannon?
  10. If you could move anywhere, where would it be?
  11. Most binge-able TV show?

I tag:

  1. AJ @ Read All The Things
  2. Tina @ As Told By Tina
  3. Ashley @ Falling Down The Book Hole
  4. Zoe @ Abooktasia
  5. Kaeley @ Spoilers May Apply
  6. Jacquelyn @ YA Bookmark
  7. Courtney @ Curly Book Owl
  8. Regina @ Bookish In Bed
  9. Laura @ Boats Against The Current
  10. Holly @ Nut Free Nerd
  11. Anyone else who is inspired by this post

How I Get My Motivation for Life

Recently I’ve been posting a lot more. And tweeting. And blog hopping. I’ve been looking into videos and courses about SEO and asking more questions at work. I’ve been upping my work game and my blogging game.

To begin with I don’t force myself to blog. I never have, if I have a set schedule I will get stressed and just nothing will get posted. Instead I started telling myself I should have a blog post up. It just feels like a routine now. I really like just sitting at my computer listening to music or watching Netflix and typing out my thoughts. The more I blog the more I want to blog.

Earlier this summer I read Big Magic. I don’t read non-fiction that much, but this cover has been calling out to me since it came out and I finally sat down to read it. I still can’t get over the fact I had the library copy so I couldn’t write in it. But it talks about creative processes and ideas coming and going, about taking a leap into creativity and just doing what you love.

Going off of this: Girl Boss. I’ve been semi-binging this and I’m going to be so sad when I get to the end of the season. Even though what Sophia does is different than what I do she’s amazing at it. It’s inspirational and she just goes after what she wants unapologetically.

The more I post and tweet the more comments and likes and interaction I got from all of you. Honestly I don’t care about follower count (until I want a specific ARC because that apparently helps). But I love having conversations in the comments! I try to respond as fast as I can and I feel like I know you all. I would like to think people would notice if I stopped posting.

I’ve seen the types of things other people do, things I someday can do. The more I delve into the world of SEO and coding and the internet the more I want to learn. My school didn’t teach any of this. We didn’t have any classes about SEO in the English department, I didn’t know it existed until I graduated. Quite honestly, I’ve found it’s fun to manipulate google, creating something out of nothing that anyone can see at the click of a link. The more I learn the more I want to learn.

To be fair, this comes and goes. I’m not 100% motivated all the time, I wake up in the morning and want to just fall right back to sleep (stupid internal alarm waking me up on days off) Some days I literally just lay around scrolling through Twitter and watching Netflix, saying I’m going to do something soon.

** In the photo up top the pile is my non-fiction/ inspiration TBR that I own. **

 

Why Yes, I am Doing another Readathon #TackleTBR

This is a readathon I participated in last year, so when I got the email I knew I’d do it again. I procrastinated on doing my TBR because I have no clue what I’m going to want to read. I have a couple books I’m in the middle of and once I finish those I just have a pile. So I’m going to aim for pages like I did with #BoutofBooks.

My goal is 2100 pages, which is 150 pages a day.

I don’t know how well this is going to work because the first week I have a bunch of half days working and the other week I have full days (like 12+ hrs) and then days off in between. We shall see. Hopefully I do better than this. I wanted to do 3000 pages but that seemed like I was pushing it way too much.

Possible Books I’ll be Reading:
Warcross- Marie Lu
Vicious- V. E. Schwab
Defy The Stars- Claudia Gray
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking- Susan Cain
Red Dragon- Thomas Harris

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This is essentially my TBR for the month, minus the books I’m currently reading. I am also hoping to be able to join in the twitter chat and then I’ll be posting a wrap-up the Monday after it’s done. I tried doing daily recaps on twitter for a previous readathon and I really didn’t like it. Sometimes I would start reading at 11:30 pm and have to set a timer for midnight so I’d get an accurate count. So… that probably won’t happen. I will post when I finish books though!

Will you be participating? Have you read any of these/ what did you think?

Top Five Books I’ve Finished in a Day

I like finishing books in a day. It makes me so relaxed, and who doesn’t love to just sit and read all day? Sometimes when I read a book in a day I look back and don’t remember anything, or I had just been pushing through to finish it to get onto the next one, or it was a readathon etc. So many reasons I didn’t like it. While my list was originally longer, there were a lot I wouldn’t recommend to people, or I don’t remember enough to give elaborate details about. So I narrowed it down to five.

With Their Eyes: September Eleventh The View From A High School At Ground Zero- Annie Thoms
As a collection of interviews I was expecting something… different. This was not what I was expecting, but it took heartbreaking moments from a variety of people and put them into a collection of monologues. It shows you there’s no way you know how you’ll react when something happens to you.

A Monster Calls- Patrick Ness
This one is hard to talk about without spoiling much, but I read this one in one sitting. The photos are gorgeous, the story pulls at the heartstrings and it is amazing. If you haven’t read it yet, do it. It’s a super quick read.

The Girl on the Train- Paula Hawkins
This novel was read in a day since I was up north and that’s pretty much all I do. However, I really wanted to know what happened and I was so invested in the characters and storyline. The narrator is the general drunken unreliable narrator. This one is really similar to Gone Girl and they sometimes blend together in my mind. So a reread may be in order.

Every Heart a Doorway- Seanan McGuire
I love this book. This was such a cute but dark fairy tale world turned mystery. It was such a unique concept and I need more like this. I really wish this was longer. I read the sequel and it was not as good but I still can’t wait until the next one.

Asking For It- Louise O’Neill
This author. I have read both of her books and they are amazing. Both are completely different but hit on such hard topics. I don’t know how I managed to read this in a day because normally the heavy reads take me longer to get through. It has all of the different viewpoints represented. Also she has another novel coming out in March that I’m so excited for!

What are your favorite books? Are you a reader that goes through books in a day?

The Border: earc review

Author: Steve Schafer
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pub Date: Sept 5, 2017

In Two Sentences:
When narcos crash one of the quinceneras, murdering almost everyone, Pato and his friends are the only ones left. With a bounty on their heads they must escape from Mexico into the United States.

My thoughts:
Where to start…. I really enjoyed the authenticity of the journey through the desert. The author’s note at the end made it perfectly clear Schafer did a lot of research into the crossing and the life there and everything. I loved one scene at the end that I can’t say much more about without getting into spoilers. But it’s there.

But… that was about it. If you go on Goodreads there are amazing reviews. I just didn’t see it.

While I was reading I felt such a strong disconnect from the characters. I found myself not caring if they lived or died, if they got hurt, when they ran out of water etc. I think it might have been rooted in the beginning where they kept doing stupid things and I just started yelling at them like I would the characters in a horror movie. Also, things don’t happen to him. They happen to literally everyone else except him.

I almost DNF-d this book during this one scene I had to put my tablet down. I couldn’t even begin to fathom what happened. Like what did I just read? It’s not a spoiler, it’s just gross. If you want to know, ask.

And the instalove. The whole book takes place over five days. He falls in love with this girl within the first couple days. And they’re planning their future together. I get it’s the whole hope in the middle of a horrible situation but it just didn’t do it for me. They didn’t even really know each other before. Plus she’s the little sister of the person that’s Pato’s age so the entire time I was wondering about the age difference. You’re told she’s about fifteen but I didn’t notice how old they were. It had the potential to get weird.

And then there was the premise in itself. Running from the narcos? Can you get anymore stereotypical Mexican coming to the US?? There are a million other reasons! Wanting to go to college in the US, wanting to get out of the desert, just general teenage angst.

This book hits on what could have been a great concept and way to persuade people to change their way of thinking about illegal immigrants and instead it does exactly the opposite. It takes every stereotype and puts it in this book.

If I hadn’t spent six hours in a car this weekend with almost nothing else to do I probably wouldn’t have finished it.

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I was provided an advance e-arc of this book by Sourcebooks Fire and Netgalley in consideration for a review. This in no way changed how I thought about this book.

August Wrap-Up

Wow. August went by so slowly. Or was that just me? I feel like I’ve been stuck in this month forever.

Reading wise I went through bouts of reading a ton and then taking a week to finish another book… and it repeated. While writing this on August 31st, I am in the middle of three books. One is a readalong, one is an e-arc and the other is a thriller. Honestly, I keep trying to get into my earc and I’m just not connecting with the characters. Obviously there will be a review up soon as it’s publication date is September 5th.

In the blogging world I got on a more consistent schedule. I’m posting regularly Tuesday/ Thursday and every once in a while on Saturdays. I was going to start up a regular series in September but I really want to get it right so I’m working on that which also means I’m working on my blog pretty much every night now, which is such a weird contrast from the once a month I used to do but I’m loving it.

I did #MakeMeRead and #BoutofBooks readathons. I tried to participate in the Wonder Week readathon as well, but couldn’t get into any of the books on my shelf. I did not finish a single book so there will be no wrap-up. That was where the majority of my reading came in. I used the other weeks to get things done and just relax-read. I also joined a book club and #CroneBloggers for some of us past our teen years. I have met so many wonderful people this month! And I look forward to all the books and conversations I’m going to have with them!

I got to see some people I don’t see much of anymore, both family and friends. We had our family reunion at the end of the month so my sister and her boyfriend were home so it was a full house. I did a day trip to one of the lakeside cities for their summer festival, which was really nice, we listened to music and drank wine. I did another day trip to Madison where we walked around State Street and went to the zoo.

Books Read:
Big Little Lies- Liane Moriarty
You- Caroline Kepnes
With Their Eyes- Annie Thomas
Mistborn- Brandon Sanderson
Matilda- Ronald Dahl

The Hate U Give– Angie Thomas