gratitude challenge

Good morning, void. I hope this rainy Wednesday morning finds you somewhere comfortable and dry. How is your September so far? In my last post, I mentioned that my August was not so great and I was hoping for a better September. I still am.

I am a stresser. I am also a very anxious person and that anxiety is made worse with stress. It’s even worse when there are a lot of things out of my control, like now. But I woke up this morning with an idea: I want to go an entire day without complaining, even to myself. As I went about my morning, I challenged myself to last through the weekend, and then a full seven days. So that’s where I am at. I’m going to go an entire week without complaining.

The hope is that I spend time redirecting my thoughts from complaining to gratitude, focusing more on what I can do to make my day better and less on the elements in my life that are out of my control. I have learned through therapy that gratitude is a powerful tool to have and so I want to spend a week actively dedicating myself to practicing gratitude. I invite you to join me!

During this next week, I’ll check back in with updates about my progress. I’ll also try to update on my September reading. My progress is very slow going this month, and while I know it can be attributed to stress, I am frustrated with myself which causes a whole cycle of non-action. Let me know in the comments below if you are joining me on this journey these next seven days! Until then, be kind to yourselves! You deserve it.

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a catch up

Hey, y’all. Happy Sunday! I hope August has been treating you kind. Me, not so much but we are getting there! This month has flew by so fast and I hope September is less of a whirlwind. My younger brother and I just came back from our public library and we both found so many exciting reads! I personally love and adore my local library, it is the most convenient and wonderful place. I live in a metropolitan area with an abundance of public libraries that are placed in each neighborhood. My library happens to be a five minute drive which is really nice.

I have slowly and surely been inching my way out of my reading slump. The book that really helped was The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Hutchinson. I have written before about how much I absolutely adore his novels and this one is no different. I’m planning on doing a full in-depth author profile on him and my favorite novels from him, but for now, just know that I rated this one 5 stars as well, and that you should read it if you haven’t. Seriously.

I picked up six books from the library today. A few of them were on my Goodreads TBR, so I was excited to grab them. A couple were novels written by authors I have enjoyed in the past so I wanted to give them a read. Let’s get into it.

I picked up Giant Days by Non Pratt, which is the novelization of the graphic novels by the same name. I adore Giant Days. I’m probably the reason my library has all of the volumes, they are just so good! Really readable and relatable and so I’m excited to read a novel version of them. I hope that all of the things I loved about the graphic novels which transfer over.

Next I picked up All Out: The No Longer Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout The Ages edited by Saundra Mitchell. This book has been on my to-read shelf for so long and I am so excited to get to read it. It features stories by so many authors that I love so I am ecstatic.

Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson is another book that has been on my to-read shelf for a long while so I am very happy that I ran into it. It seems like it will be a lot of fun.

I also picked up Jesse Andrews’ The Haters. I have previously read Me and Earl by him which I have an interesting relationship with. I really loved the book and the writing and it was very surprising and fresh for me so I’m giving this book a shot as well.

I also grabbed The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli. I’m just working through everything that she has written and this one is next on the list. I was surprised to see it at the library because all of her books are usually checked out with a mile long wait list.

Lastly, I picked up Price of Duty by Todd Strasser. I’m not sure why I picked up this book. Something about it caught by eye as I was leaving the library and I turned back around to go and grab it. It is about the effect war has on people and I am really interested in what this book has to say.

And that is it for now. School has started back up for me, as well as work, so I am going to be incredibly busy until term is over but I am super excited to make time for reading anyway. As always, you can follow along with my progress here because I mostly always update my Goodreads in real time.

I hope that as summer is waning down, you are being excessively kind and patient with yourself and the people around you. We’ll talk soon.

6/30/18

I can’t imagine looking you in the face

and saying, I have never loved this man.

I know the lines on your face,

the height of your breath,

the way your mouth moves.

You could never be a stranger to me,

will always feel like coming to some

type of home— vacant, dusty, forgotten.

this is the way of time.

I can’t believe I loved you enough to let you go

but this ghost has flesh now

and we have all come so far into ourselves

it’s hard to remember a time we weren’t.

So, that’s life. We have our sea legs now

and listen to our mother when she says

we will love again.

I will love again.

April TBR

The last time you heard from me, void, I was 22. I am now 23, which somehow how doesn’t feel all that different from 22. I guess the year will tell. I am ready to start tackling my giant TBR. Here are the books that I will read/finish reading in the first 10 days of April. Let’s get into it.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo 

  • This book is kind of a cheat because I am mostly done with it and I am determined to finish it today. So far, I love it. I’ve got less than 150 pages.

Cast No Shadow by Nick Tapalansky and Anissa Espinose 

  • This is a graphic novel and a ghost love story, which I am always about.

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

  • I have been wanting to read this book since before it came out and I am so geeked to finally get into it.

Renegades by Marissa Meyer 

  • If you’ve been around, you know that I have the entire Cinder series on my TBR but I just haven’t got around to it. I am hoping this duology will be a lot less daunting to dive into. I’m really excited to read it.

A Prince Without a Kingdom by Timothee de Fombelle, translated by Sarah Ardizzone

  • Mystery? War? Secret prince? Beautiful writing? Sign me up.

This is what I am diving into the first week of April. Also! April is National Poetry Month so just like last year, I will be posting more of my own poetry to share with you guys. So, you might see more of those posts than actual singular reviews but I will do a wrap up of everything I read this month.

Finally, as we move into spring, I hope you are being exceptionally kind to yourselves, even when it is hard. Let’s welcome the sun together, void.

 

 

 

are you there spring? it’s me

I know I said see you next week in my post just yesterday, but here I am already, back again like a stuffy nose. In the movies, they always make being snowed in in the middle of a storm some big exciting, and usually romantic, adventure. Instead it’s Wednesday, I haven’t left my house in days, my car is surrounded in an inch of thick ice so and won’t open so I cannot leave, and I am running solely on coffee because I refuse to eat another chicken patty. The first day or so was nice. I got a lot of work done and was generally productive. Now I am pretty sure I am going crazy. The house is clean. My homework is done. My lessons are planned. I am so bored.

Being trapped in my house has gave me some reading time, which is really nice. I finished two books this week Wolfsong by TJ Klune and Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. I rated them both five stars because they are both extremely fantastic, although in very different ways.

Wolfsong was just, crazy good. I could not sleep until I finished this book. I could not eat, could not hold a conversation because I just needed to know what was going to happen. It was beautifully written, heart wrenching at times and hilarious at others. There were times where I just wanted to wrap Ox up and ensure that nothing bad ever happened to him ever again. So, I understood Joe’s desire to protect him even if I didn’t agree with how it all went down. Man. This was just a powerful book. It also featured one of my favorite tropes- found family. I cannot believe I have to wait until July to read the next one. Do yourself a favor and read this book!

Turtles All the Way Down is not your typical John Green novel. You can really see his growth as a writer in this book. It follows Aza, a girl who suffers from sometimes debilitating anxiety. The sections dealing with her anxiety are written really well. While Aza and I experience different types of intrusive thoughts, our spirals mirror each other and it was incredibly powerful to read about. This book was written beautifully. I had to stop every few pages just to highlight another sentence or two. (Sidenote: one of my favorite things about the kindle is that it groups all of your highlights together in a nifty little book automatically, which you can read at anytime.) I also liked how the romantic relationship was portrayed realistically and it did not overpower the main narrative.

I have downloaded a bunch of books to my kindle, so hopefully this craziness will continue to be somewhat fruitful. My goodreads is here, if you want to follow along.

Here’s hoping for some sunshine.

happy snow (ice storm?) day

I said last year that February felt like a placeholder month. That doesn’t quite appear to be true this year. This February has been so extremely busy and fast paced. (Thankfully. January took forever.) I haven’t had time, or the inclination honestly, to pick up a new book and read. I have been rereading all month. It’s a comfort thing and an energy thing and an interest thing. At the end of a long day, what’s more relaxing than reading something you’ve already read and loved? There’s no stress involved in that.

Back in December, I read the All For the Game series by Nora Sakavic and it changed my whole life. It has been extremely difficult to leave these characters for a moment and go read something else. So, I haven’t. I have been rereading, I have been lurking the fandom via tumblr and ao3, I have been writing and obsessing about these characters. It is such an intense world, everything else has been paling in comparison.

That does not mean my already massive TBR hasn’t been growing. It has. It now has 127 books on it. Made worse by the fact that I have not been reading and only adding. I need to go to the library and start knocking some of these books off. I have slowly but surely began obsessively organizing my life and time again though which means I will have time for reading and posting.

The trick to not getting overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious is to just… not make time for it in your day. I’m pretty sure that’s how it works, right? I will leave you with this: I hope the rest of this month is kind to you, void. I hope you get enough sleep or enough caffeine to fake it, or both. I hope that thing that is really stressing you becomes smaller, or you become bigger. I hope you remember to be mindful. I hope some good things happen to you and most importantly: I hope you are kind to yourself.

See you next week.

It’s flu season (tea, please)

Happy Friday, void. I hope this week has been treating you well. I am writing from my couch, where I have been all day because I have the freaking flu. I genuinely hate being sick. One reason is because I hate not feeling in control of my body. Another reason (and probably the biggest) is that being sick is a lonely business. I hate who I am when I am sick. I turn into this whiny, need person who cries in the car when she has to get her own orange juice. I can’t help it. I don’t know why I am the way that I am. Also, while you’re busy being sick everyone else in your life is busy with life and being able to breathe through their nose. It just feels incredibly disconnected, especially when it hurts to look at screens for any period of time.

Getting sick is just par for the course, though. If you didn’t know, I am a kinder teacher which means that I am essentially surrounded by germs at all times of the day. Hopefully I am able to kick this flu soon because I already have so much homework to do.

That’s right! My college classes have started up again as well. If you’re thinking this is the worst possible time to get sick, well you would be correct. I really like all of my classes thus far. I am taking a couple education classes, a mythos class, and a history/literature class. I am only taking one class on campus, the rest are online. I designed it this way so that I could work more! It’s also really convenient because I have a crap load of classroom observations to do, so my schedule is a lot more open.

Reading this week has been blah because I’ve been busy, sick, and busy being sick. My waning mental health hasn’t helped either. I did manage to get to three books, though!

First up, I read Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy. I gave it three stars. It was okay. It’s the first of a series but I have no intent to finish reading them. I really loved some parts of this book and really hated others. I really only finished because it was such a short read.

Next I read Love Her Wild by Atticus which I gave 2 stars to and eventually DNF’d it. It didn’t really seem to have any sustenance or new ideas to it whatsoever ever. It was like scrolling through someone’s quote blog.

I finished up this week with A Royal Affair by John Wiltshire. I gave it two stars. It’s part of a duology which I will not finish. Ohhhh boy, this book. This is another one that I thought was just okay. This book has such potential, I was really excited to read it. When I finished I just felt blah about it. It felt slow sometimes and rushed others. I really hated the ending. I think the romance could have been flushed out better. I wish there was more than one female character. I wish characters had motivations that really felt genuine. This book left a lot to be desired.

As for next week, I don’t have any concrete reading plans! Will I finally (FINALLY) get to Release by Patrick Ness? Will I go to the library and tackle my growing TBR? What will be the next book to make me cry? Will I even survive the weekend? Who knows!

As always, thank you for listening, void. See ya next week. xx