January & February 2020 Wrap-Up: Begone, Cursed Months! (Feat. Pretty Lights)

Happy March, everyone!

These past two months felt overly short and dragged out at the same time. And I’m torn between wanting to re-do them or wanting to stuff them into a burlap sack filled with rocks and hurl them into the nearest lake.

I ended up re-reading a lot of old comfort books, partly because of a two-month reading slump I was still shaking off, and partly because I’ve been in and out of a really bad mental place and trying to do my best to stay afloat.

And kind of jumping from that, here’s a little PSA for anyone with depression and suicidal thoughts: don’t wait until you reach the lowest of the lowest breaking point before calling hotline numbers or checking yourself in. I used to think those were things you only do when you’re in a really fucked-up mindspace, and it took me a while to learn otherwise. Do it before you start playing roulette with yourself. Sure, they’re not one-shot fixes; no one comes to you with a platter of solutions and a magic wand to neatly sprinkle them into your brain. But they do try their best, and they give you a safe place when you’re not in a position to trust yourself. Sometimes that’s enough, sometimes it doesn’t feel like it, but it’s always better than nothing.

Good? Okay, onto more fun things!

I did manage to get to a few new/upcoming releases, so here are some of the highlights:

⚔️= Fantasy; 🚀= Scifi; 🐺= Paranormal; 👻= Horror; 🔍= Mystery; 🌺= Contemporary; 🗝️= Historical; 🌈= LGBTQ+

 

The Best

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The Poet King (The Harp and Ring Sequence 3) by Ilana C. Myer ⚔️🌈:

I adore this series and sometimes I have a hard time explaining why except to say that it just speaks to me. The characters. The aesthetics. The texture of the world and how music shapes it. The Poet King is the end to a saga that started with Last Song Before Night and I loved it. I mean, it’s got some glaring conclusion issues, but I still loved it.

The “Sequence” part makes me wonder if there’s going to be more stories set in the world. It confuses me (and gives me false hope) when authors don’t come right out and say “trilogy” or “duology.”

The Lost Future of Pepperharrow (Watchmaker 2) by Natasha Pulley 🗝️🌈:

I was nervous about this because Watchmaker on Filigree Street was kind of a disappointment, especially after reading Bedlam Stacks, but Pepperharrow shows how much Pulley is growing as a writer. It’s got everything I adore about her stories–the whimsical seeping into the everyday normal, love that’s portrayed by its negative spaces–plus a lot of the issues in the first book addressed.

 

The Great

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Bent Heavens by Daniel Kraus 👻🌺:

The worst and also the best alien abduction story I’ve read in a while. Daniel Kraus has no chill. [Review]

Dragon Age: Tevinter Nights ⚔️:

Tevinter Nights is the first Dragon Age novel since 2014 and the first major romp through Thedas since 2015, and my god, I was stupidly excited. It’s an anthology, and while I’m not the biggest reader of anthologies and definitely not someone who finishes them in one go, make it Dragon Age and I’ll read dozens of them in one month. DA has been my number one game world obsession for the past 10 years. By far. And there’s a running joke–which isn’t really a joke–that when my friends and I play through the series we spend half the time playing the game and the other half combing through pixels trying to catch every bit of information about the world and compiling dossiers. Save the world? Sorry, that’s gotta wait; I have to stare at some statues for the next two hours and cross-reference them with these texts. And sometimes the sleuthing is even more fun than the actual gameplay.

Okay, I’m being told I need to stop before I diverge into full tumblr mode.

But yeah, the stories? *chef’s kiss* They were (mostly) a joy to read through, and I’m back with my tinfoil hat on. The review is going to be horrendously biased and I don’t even care.

 

The Good & Fine

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Dark and Deepest Red by Anna-Marie McLemore 🗝️🌺⚔️:

My first venture into Anna-Marie McLemore and I wasn’t disappointed. Story-wise it’s nothing amazing, but I love McLemore’s style of writing and the way she approaches certain details. I’ll be working my way through her other books this year. [Review]

Untamed Shore by Silvia Moreno-Garcia 🌺:

This was, uh…..fine? Pleasant? More of a quiet experience than a story that I want to shout from the rooftops about. Review to come!

 

The Could Be Better, Could Be Worse

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The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood ⚔️:

This wasn’t really up to the hype and expectations, but I do like the protagonist–a lesbian orc fighter/merc who tries her best–and I’m hoping the sequel irons out some of the problems. [Review]

 

 


Life Things

I sprained my neck during a hike a few weeks ago which meant little to no drawing or painting (another reason to chuck February to the bottom-most depths), but it’s mostly healed now and I’m eagerly getting back into it.

Also, we got our first winter snow in January! There’s a lake-that’s-more-of-a-large-pond outside my apartment complex and it’s host to a lights festival during winter–creative light sculptures and light-strewn trees winding all around, everything from Christmas themes to Canadian-centric stuff (lots of beavers and maple leaves).

They look gorgeous on any normal night. But when it snows? It’s like you’re moving through these little pockets of magical worlds. Kind of ethereal. Kind of eerie. And super, super neat.

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Tell me how your winter months went and what you’re looking forward to in spring!

Crawling Out of Cave Hiatus: What I’ve Been Up to, 2020 Blog Goals (Changes are Afoot…)

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Hello friends!!!

I am crawling out of my hibernation cave like a big grumpy bear in need of more sleep and less stress to say, I’M BACK.

*Poses*

*Scattered applause*

Launching and organizing a book promotion took up much of my time for the past two months (I’ll have to write up my experiences with it sometime in the future), and my energy meter was scraping bottom by the time December was over. Combined with some family drama and mental health issues, and well, 2020 wasn’t exactly off to a roaring start.

But I’ve missed everyone in the community and missed writing posts, and I have some plans slowly cooking up that I’m excited to unveil in the (hopefully!) near future.

So here I am! And with a few 2020 blog goals I’ve set for myself:

 

Healthier Relationship with ARCs and Reviews

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You might recall me moaning about being in a reading slump back in October. Well, the Wendigo quest did NOT go well and my slump continued into early January (ending about a week ago, praise the bookish gods). Zero books were read, ARC or otherwise, and…and it was actually somewhat liberating in a way. At least, it gave me some time to think about what I want as a reviewer/blogger and to remind myself that keeping up with the latest books is not the be-all and end-all. Perspective was kind of, sort of gained.

Here’s the thing. I think ARCs are great. It’s great that publishers are willing to work with reviewers to help promote their authors and form a nice little symbiotic relationship (though sometimes this veers close to less-than-mutual territory–but that’s a topic for another day). And there’s always a feeling of gratification that comes with each accepted request. Like a “You’re #1!” sticker slapped onto my forehead telling me, hey, maybe I’m doing something right with all this.

You know what’s not super great? The stress.

The stress of being behind on ARCs. The stress of not enjoying the ARCs I’m reading and oh god does DNFing 4 books in a row make me a terrible reviewer??  I felt guilty about being behind, but didn’t have the energy pick up a different book, and the whole thing started to spiral into a bad cycle. Hence the slump.

And that’s the last thing I want from my blog. I don’t want this to be a space that feeds my brain demons–they’re fat enough already. I want it to be an escape. A place I can feel excited about returning to at the end of the day.

So yes. Healthier relationship with ARCs. The HOW is something I’m still trying to figure out (right now it involves selective requests and reading without taking copious notes), and I’ll definitely have more to say on the subject soon.

 

 

Changes to the Blog and Review Format

*Rubbing hands* There are some changes I’m hoping to roll out in the next few months:

 

1. An overhaul of the blog’s theme

Not the wordpress theme, but rather the foundation(?) of the blog. I guess it’s more accurate to say that I’m going to build the blog’s theme, because right now it doesn’t really have one. At least, not anything cohesive that ties all my posts together.

But there’s an idea that popped into my head a few weeks ago that I just. can’t. stop. thinking about, and I think it’ll be very cool if I can make it work. It’s a little weird and requires some preparation, but I like the challenge and, moreover, I think I can have a lot of fun with it. And that’s the ultimate goal here.

Vague explanations are vague. Stay tuned!

 

2. Mixes of “traditional” long form (word) reviews, and short creative reviews

I love writing reviews. Like…70% of the time. The other 30% is an uncomfortable zone of “What are words?????” and “The only thing I can say about this book is that I have nothing to say about this book.”

I want to stop beating myself by trying to write something I don’t want to write. So I’m gonna experiment with different, less wordy formats. Which means bullet points! Subsections! And art! Because sometimes I can’t dig up 300 words about a book to save my life, but I can think of a dozen ideas for fanart. Which is weird, but hey.

 


 

If there are any posts you wrote in the last two months that you’re super proud of and want to share, please LINK THEM in the comments and I shall do my best to check them out. And I’m not just saying that to be nice. My inbox is in shambles and my reader feed isn’t much better, so please. Help a girl out. 😛

Wishing everyone a belated happy holidays and a happy 2020! Looking forward to another year of geeking out over fictional worlds with you all~

 

Update (I’m Back!) and Discworld Month 6 (Better Late than Never…?)

Happy Holidays, everyone! I’m back from my unannounced hiatus! Incidentally, I’m a broken record.

November and December are generally not great months for me (one of the million things they don’t tell you as a kid is how the holidays can go from the Most Wonderful Time of the Year to Time of Dread as you grow older), and this time was no exception. And then some. Bad mental health stuff and hospitals, basically.

I’m probably turning into one of those characters in SFF series who spend half of their screen/page time waking up in hospital beds and being like, “Hey doc, nice to see you again” and “We should really stop meeting like this.” Well, minus a cool sword and a world to save.

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As for Discworld, we’re now six months into the Discworld Readathon started by me and Nicole (the Bookworm Drinketh).

This month’s book is (was?) Wyrd Sisters and if this is the first time you’re hearing about it, you have two whole days to get to it. Pfft that’s totally feasible, right? :DD

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Arbitrary deadlines aside, if you want to join now then go for it. Leave me a comment, enjoy Sir Terry’s brilliant imagination, and post your review whenever.

And a thousand apologies to Nicole and the other participating bloggers for the radio silence. I’ll definitely try to get to the book by the end of next week.

I also have a backlog of posts I need to publish, a collab project that I’m super excited to unveil (hopefully sometime in January), and need to figure out how I’m supposed to write reviews for books I read over a month ago. So look out for those!

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Do tell me how your month has been, what interesting books you’ve picked up, etc, etc. Happy reading!

Discworld Readathon Month 5 – Sourcery

Hey all! So some not-great things came up and my blogging/reading has suffered as a result (which is why it’s taking me forever to get to comments). More about that in my wrap-up, but in the meantime, let’s get to Discworld!

We’re now 5 months into the Discworld Readathon that Nicole and I started up and it honestly feels like we’ve been doing this for years.

For those who don’t know, our goal is to read one Discworld book per month (chronologically, despite how much we may want to skip around. And I really want to skip to the next Death book now) and post a review on the last Monday of said month.

This month we’ll be tackling SOURCERY! Just leave a comment below if you’d like to join in!

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I have a love-hate relationship with these covers

We’ll be posting the reviews on November 26th (give or take). Happy Reading!

Discworld Readathon: Month 2 | Another Mini Update

Hey, guys! First of all, just a quick update on why I haven’t been posting lately: the past several weeks have been rather grim for me mental-health wise and I’ve pretty much dropped every ball I’ve been holding. So I’m both behind on writing reviews and have a backlog of reviews to post (which is a new and weird situation to be in).

But I find myself really missing doing blog stuff, so I’ll be slowly getting back into things in the next week. Be ready to get replies to month-old comments that you don’t remember the context of!

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Second of all, August is the second month of the Discworld Readathon that Nicole (from The Bookworm Drinketh) and I are hosting. We’re tackling the second book in the Discworld series, THE LIGHT FANTASTIC, and reviews are to be posted on the 27TH.

If you’d like to join (or drop out), just tell me in the comments and we’ll add you to our list! Nicole and I will put up a post listing all the participants in the middle of August.

July Plans – Sci-Fi, Gerblins, and Discworld

One day–one day–I will do a monthly TBR post right at the start of said month and angels will weep in joy (and flood the world and usher in a post-apocalypse). But alas, today is not that day.

These are the books that I will 100% get to by the end of this month, either because I have to or because I really, really want to. I’m on a bit of a sci-fi kick lately and that seems to be carrying into July, as there are 3 on this list! (Fantasy purist teenage-me would be flabbergasted)

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Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers:
Currently reading through this one and I’m pleasantly surprised. It’s like a cross of Mass Effect and a cozy soap opera, and I can see why people call the series “hopepunk.” It’s my first experience with a Chambers’ novel and it sure as hell won’t be the last.

And the Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness (Illustrated by Rovina Cai):
Moby Dick but flipped upside-down, with whales hunting a mythical man. I just finished it the other day and it’s weird but it works. And I just adore Ness’ stories in general. If the guy announces one day that he wants to write an Austen-esque anthropomorphic animal erotica, I’ll just nod and say, “When can I preorder?”

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Redemption’s Blade by Adrian Tchaikovsky:
A high fantasy novel that I know very little about (the blurb is rather vague), but I liked Tchaikovsky’s previous books and I’ve heard good things about this one from Susy, so I’m looking forward to diving into it.

Empire of Silence (The Sun Eater 1) by Christopher Ruocchio:
I’ve been craving a large, sprawling scifi epic and this looks to hit all the marks. It’s been compared to The Name of the Wind and from what little I’ve seen, the prose is just my kind of flowery.

Temper by Nicky Drayden:
Drayden’s debut Prey of Gods was a fun blend of sci-fi and fantasy, and Temper looks to continue that trend, albeit in a slightly darker direction. It features twin brothers, jealousy, and a whole lot of demons. Very exciting.

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Dragon Age: Hard in Hightown by Varric Tethras

The Adventure Zone: Here there Be Gerblins

It probably says a lot about me that my two most anticipated reads of this month are a 72-page video game tie-in novelette and a comic book adaptation of a D&D podcast. Dragon Age and The Adventure Zone are two of my favourite things in the world and it is fairly ridiculous how excited I am for these books.

DISCWORD READ-A-THON

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For those who have missed the original announcement post, Nicole and I are launching our Discworld Readathon this month, starting with The Colour of Magic! Each month we’ll read through one book in the Discworld series and post our reviews on the last Monday. You can join in for any month and stop at any time.

It’s my first official foray into the Discworld universe and I’m very excited to get to know all the characters whom I’ve heard so many great things about.

If you haven’t yet signed up for July and would like to join in, leave a comment below and we’ll add you to our list!

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What are you most looking forward to reading this month?

June 2018 Wrap-Up

So today is supposed to be a Diversity Spotlight Thursday post day (say that five times), but it’s been a stupefyingly busy week, what with Canada Day weekend and work stuff, which led to me completely losing track of time.

Confession time: I write the majority of my posts the day before they’re to be published, sometimes just hours before (*cough* like this one). So if I just happen to forget that tomorrow is a Wednesday and not a Monday or a Tuesday, then my entire weekly “schedule” is going to be out of wack–which is exactly what happened. This past week I was living in my own universe where I had my own days of the week and 5 PM was a perfectly fine bedtime, so things have been just a tad discombobulating.

So don’t do what I do, kids. Plan your week. It’ll save you heaps of future agony.

Right, enough of my mess of a brain. Onto today’s post! June was a slumpy month but I did somehow manage to knock off 9 books:

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June-1
Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe by Preston Norton: (9.0/10)
A speculative-contemporary YA that came out of nowhere and blew me away. Heartwarming and hilarious, it’s a story about overcoming grief and finding your footing in a confusing, often-times hostile, world. I called it a “love letter to life and humanity” in my review and I can’t reiterate that enough. Review here.

The Book of M by Peng Shepherd: (8.5/10)
A post-apocalyptic fantasy story that sketches out a world where people are losing their shadows, and with the loss of their shadows, they also lose their memories. It’s poignant, magical, and the worldbuilding is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in a post-apocalypse story. I’ll never look at my shadow the same way ever again. Review here.

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse: (7.0/10)
A fun urban fantasy also set in a post-apocalyptic world, but with worldbuilding that revolves around Native American lore. I loved the main character but had issues with the villain and the plotting. Review here.

June-2
Annex by Rich Larson:
This book was not at all what I was expecting, but it turned out to be pretty enjoyable in the end. Think Independence Day but featuring children and trans rep. Review to come.

➽  A Light Amongst Shadows by Kelly York and Rowan Altwood: (7.5/10)
A historical paranormal story set in an all-boy’s school where the teachers harbour secrets and spirits of dead students walk the halls at night. It’s wonderfully atmospheric and creepy and the romance between the two main characters was rather quite sweet.

➽  Curved Horizon by Taylor Brooke: (8.0/10)
Sequel to Brooke’s Fortitude Smashed, Curved Horizon is a F/F scifi that’s got some of best portrayals of mental illness I’ve read in a romance novel. It’s angsty, it’s sweet, and while the scifi aspect gets pushed back in favour of character interactions, I can’t complain because the latter is done so well.

June-3

➽  Daughter of Mystery by Heather Rose Jones: (8.0/10)
A F/F historical fantasy story filled with court intrigue, mysteries, and complex worldbuilding. It’s like a Jane Austen story but more queer and fantastical–highly enjoyable stuff.

➽  Death of a Clone by Alex Thomson: (6.5/10)
An Agatha Christie-esque whodunit set in space featuring clones. It’s nothing mindblowing and is somewhat lacking in the worldbuilding and character department, but it’s not a half-bad mystery and I quite liked the narrative voice. Review here.


➽  The Wonderling by Mira Bartok: (5.0/10)
A middle-grade book about a young humanoid fox who escapes an orphanage to discover the world beyond. The illustrations are lovely but I found the main character very passive and two-dimensional. Also, there are scenes of young animals getting beaten by the headmistress of the orphanage, which was distressing even to me, so I’m not sure how appropriate it is for children.
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TOP 5 WEDNESDAY

Books You Want to Read Before the End of the Year
LGBTQ+ Books (Sans Cis M/M Relationships)
Summer Reads

DIVERSITY SPOTLIGHT THURSDAY

Royalty 👑
Pirates ☠️
Historical Fiction

INTERVIEWS

Interview with K.D. Edwards, Author of The Last Sun, Plus an Infomercial

TAGS/AWARDS

The Mystery Blogger Award

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Discworld Readathon 🐢🧙‍♀️✨

A reminder that Nicole and I are starting our Discworld Readathon THIS MONTH with The Colour of Magic! For those who are joining in, reviews are to be posted on July 23rd. For those who wish to join in, leave a comment below and we’ll add you to our list! (And by “we” I mean Nicole, because as I’ve heartily explained above, I shouldn’t be trusted with keeping track of anything more taxing than which socks I’ll be wearing the next morning.)

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Happy reading! And feel free to tell me how your month went!

The Mystery Blogger Award (Part 1)

The Mystery Blogger Award

I’ve been procrastinating on these tags and have accumulated multiples of the same one, so I’ll be splitting this into two parts! For Part 1, I was tagged by two wonderful people–Justine from Milkz Bookshelf and Gerry from the UK Booknook. Justine is a relatively new blogger (only two months old), but she’s already been kicking ass and taking names. And Gerry’s posts are my kind of weird, hilarious, and passionate. Both are incredibly supportive and amazing, so go drop by and say hello!

RULES:

1. Put the award logo on your blog.
2. Thank whoever nominated you and include a link to their blog.
3. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link to their blog as well. (Maggie @okoto enigmas blog)
4. Tell your readers three things about yourself.
5. Nominate 10-20 people.
6. Notify your nominees.
7. Ask your nominees any five questions of your choice, specifying one weird/funny question.
8. Share a link to your best post(s).

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3 Things About Myself

1. I used to play tennis competitively, from middle school to undergrad, up until my mental health issues got dialed up to 11. Nowadays I just play for fun, and while I do sometimes miss the thrill of competing, I definitely don’t miss the crippling anxiety that comes with it. I adore the sport, though, both the playing and the watching, so if any of you are tennis fans, for the love God, come talk to me.

2. I have trypophobia, which is defined as the “fear of irregular patterns or clusters of small holes or bumps.” I used to freak out whenever my mom added fresh strawberries to my cereal, because the milk would cover up the seed dimples and create these hellish white clusters.

3. I don’t like drinking tea. I’m pretty sure this makes me some of a heathen in the blogging community (“burn her!”). I like the idea of it–the smell, the varieties, the…aesthetic. But once it enters my mouth region, all my happy feelings decay into a train of “UGH” and “BLERGH” and “THIS IS JUST WARM LEAFY WATER.” Though if you end up inviting me to your place and serving me tea, I will drink it up with a polite–and definitely-not-pained–smile like a good Canadian. And quietly plot your demise.

Justine’s Questions:

1. How did you into book blogging?

Oh boy, it’s a real rollercoaster of a story, so brace yourselves.

*Ahem*

One day I was ranting about a book to my friend and they said (probably in an attempt to extract themselves from my crazed lecture), “You should just start a book blog.” And I was like, “You know what? Yeah! I should totally do that.” And 15 minutes later my blog was born.

*crickets*

The end!

2. What genre of music do you listen to the most?

Rock and alt-rock, probably! Early teen me was obsessed with Linkin Park, Rise Against, Damien Rice, and punk-rock Demi Lovato. And that kind of carried into adulthood. Some of my other favourites today are Poets of the Fall and Breaking Benjamin.

3. If you could never read a book genre again what would it be?

*Deep breath* Canadian. Historical. Fiction *Shudders* *Curls up into a ball and weeps softly*.

Listen, I love this country and we have some incredible authors–from legends like Margaret Atwood to more up-and-coming ones, especially in speculative fiction. But Canadian history (sans First Nations history) is about as exciting as watching the Windows 10 update screen for 4 hours. And there are only so many stories about 19th century immigrants starting potato-and-wheat farms and surviving famines I can take before I start fantasizing about ramming my head through the nearest wall. Grade 11 AP English was decidedly not a fun time.

4. What’s your favorite scent?

The scent of a forest after a fresh fall of rain. Very few things make me happier than hiking through a damp stretch of woods.

5.  What came first, the chicken or the egg?

I want to be a smartass and say chickens obviously came after because eggs of all kinds existed before chickens were a thing….but my scientist brain is yelling at me to give a proper answer. I would still say eggs because the evolution of chickens from whatever pre-chicken species existed in the past couldn’t have occurred without sexual reproduction and the formation of zygotes.

Gerry’s Questions:

1. If you had to name a cocktail after your personality what would you call it? Bonus points if you know what ingredients it would have.

“Night Owl” Yes, it’s less personality and more lifestyle, but shush, because I know the exact ingredients for this one: kahlua, espresso, and irish cream served on the rocks with dark chocolate shavings.

2. You’ve woken up and had the sudden realization that you’ve grown a pair of wings. What do they look like? Do they suit you?

They start out as little baby bird wings that are all stubby and sickly-looking and spectacularly useless. I stare glumly at the mirror every morning, cursing myself for ever having dreamed about having wings, and do my very best to resist punching every smirking asshole who asks me, “Hey, can I see your wings?” (In this alt-reality, winged humans are considered rare, but not outside the realm of possibility.)

Then one morning I wake up tussling with an unexpected bedmate in the form of a pair of 14-feet wings that just happen to be attached to my back. Hallelujah, it’s the world’s quickest growth spurt! (Too bad the same couldn’t be said for my height). The wings are eagle-esque in terms of shape and they’re a mix of black and auburn with the occasional streak of grey.

So the good news is that that’s a definite improvement on ugly duckling wings. The bad news? Turns out owning a pair of new untested wings is kind of like being a pubescent boy popping inappropriate boners everywhere. I get hit with a gentle breeze? Out they go! I’m getting nervous during a presentation? Whoosh! Overnight I’ve become a walking, breathing hazard and all of this is just making me more depressed than ever.

Then yet another morning (I really need to stop sleeping) I wake to find a tiny sparrow sitting on my chest, sighing and mumbling, “Beggars can’t be choosers.” And it yells, in a hysterically squeaky voice, “Fate has chosen thee for a higher calling! And because fate is a bitch with a cruel sense of humour, it’s chosen me to be your illustrious guide. So quit moping around feeling sorry for yourself and get your shit together because we’re gonna to need to clean up this fucking mess of a world.”

“…What the what?”

And so that’s how I get saddled with a disconcertingly adorable and foul-mouthed mentor who whips me into a barely-competent, highly-reluctant superhero whose badass superhero getup consists of a bargain deal faux-leather jacket (because apparently being a superhero isn’t what you’d call a stable career), jeans with copious grass stains (from weeks of practice landings), and a pair of aviator goggles that looks to be circa 1920. Oh, and a bike helmet. ‘Cause safety and all that.

Look out evildoers, because I’m here to crash-land all over your ass.

(Fun fact: I was very much obsessed with the Maximum Ride series as a teen and even more obsessed with the idea of having wings.)

(And shout out to Gerry for giving me mini story prompts as questions. :P)

3. If you didn’t have to sleep what would you do instead?

Read, draw, catch up on TV shows, fly out into the night with my newfound wings to punch all the nazis dispense vigilante justice and rescue all the puppies, play video games. You know, the usual stuff.

4. You have to chuck three books you hate into the volcano to appease the god/goddess of bad books. What three go in?

Atlas Shrugged. It’s coldly devoid of any humanity so maybe it can help cool the volcano down a bit.

The North Water. I have no idea how this won the Man Booker prize. Is torture porn considered a form of highbrow literature? …Don’t answer that.

Fifty Shades of Grey. Though I don’t hate the book so much as I passionately dislike the author.

5. You’ve fallen down the rabbit hole and have entered Wonderland. Where the first place you head to? Why?

I know I said I didn’t like tea, but the Hatter’s tea party is probably one I shouldn’t miss. Weird stories and riddles are my jam. Plus, I want to pet the dormouse.

My Best Post(s)

Hands-down, my “Of Wit Bonds, Mental Health, and the Power of Stories: How FitzChivalry Farseer Saved My Life” post. I find it a struggle to allow myself to be proud of my creative work, but I poured every morsel of myself into this essay and writing it was a therapeutic, near-transcendent experience. So yeah, I’m proud…and content.  And it’s funny because I wrote it when my blog still very new so it didn’t get much traction here. But I cross-posted it to r/fantasy and r/robinhobb and the responses I got left me sobbing.

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I tag:

– Aurora @ Aurora Libralis
– Avery @ Red Rocket Panda
– Consu @ Paper-Eyed Girl
– Elissa @ Elissa Reads
– Nicole @ The Bookworm Drinketh
– Susy @ Susy’s Cozy World

My questions (and yup, some of these aren’t technically questions):

  1. Tell me one thing you’re really good at! (Aside from being an awesome blogger)
  2. Name one favourite and one least favourite plot trope.
  3. A character that you initially hated but eventually grew to love?
  4. What’s one place in the world you would love to visit?
  5. If you could form an adventuring party with any three people (real, fictional, etc) who would you pick? Free cookies if you can name your classes and alignments.

Join Our Discworld Read-a-thon!

discworld turtle

Last Wednesday in my Books On My TBR I’m Most Intimidated By” post, I expressed my reluctance at reading through Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series–because 41 books is rather daunting, no matter how short or light they are–and the lovely Nicole from The Bookworm Drinketh suggested that we set up a readathon and gather other bloggers who might also be interested. And since I’m terrible with solo commitments, that sounded like the PERFECT thing.

So here’s how this is going to work:

– We will read through one book per month, and every last Monday of each month we will all post our reviews/thoughts/rants on that book. We’ll also include the blog links of all the other participants so that we can all share and comment.

– At the start of each month, Nicole and I will make a post introducing the book we’ll be reading that month and do a headcount of everyone who’s interested (Nicole will contact you afterwards and give you the master list of all the participants). You’re in no way required to join in for every month, but if you do sign up, we ask that you commit to it or let us know immediately if you change your mind.

The Colour of Magic
We will start on July with THE COLOUR OF MAGIC, and the  review post date will be July 23rd. 

 

 

 

 

If you’d like to join us for July, comment below or just contact through Goodreads, Twitter, email, or my contact page. 

So spread the word! I think this will be a fun experience whether you’re new to Discworld or just want to chance to reread some of your favourites in the series and share your thoughts on them.

Book Blogger Insider Tag

Book-Blogger-Insider-Tag-banner

I was tagged by Ashley from Ashley in Wonderland for this, so thank you, Ashley! Her blog is wonderful (and so pretty to look at), so be sure to check out it out!

RULES:

Answer the questions below
Credit the creator: Jamie @ ALittleSliceofJamie
Tag at least 5 people
Have fun!

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1. Where do you typically write your blog posts?

I’m an idiot and it’s 2 in the morning so the first answer that popped into my head was, “Uh…Wordpress? Duh.” *Smacks head* Right. So the locations at which I write my blog posts are my desktop and my bed. A lot of the structural, academical type of writing happens at the desktop and a lot of the creative work happens in bed. (*waggles eyebrows*)

2. How long does it take you to write a book review?

The shortest one so far took me about an hour. Usually it takes two days. One day for the rough draft and another for the final version. This current one I’m writing is turning out to be a record-breaker because I’ve been at it for nearly two weeks. It’s going to be the first perfect score given on this blog and I’m really desperate to do the book justice.

3. When did you start your book blog?

January 14th, 2018. The decision honestly came out of nowhere. I’d been rambling about a book to my friend–pretty much giving an impromptu review–and she was like, “Why don’t you just start a blog?” And I was like, “Huh, yeah, I should.” And that was that.

4. What’s the worst thing about having a book blog in your opinion?

The stress of trying to aim for a consistent schedule. Also, having all these drafts for future blog posts but feeling anxious about publishing them. Okay, I guess this one’s not so much the worst thing about having a book blog, but one of the not-so-great things about having a brain and, well, being human.

5. What is the best thing about having a book blog in your opinion?

All these new, awesome bookish nerds I get to interact with! It consistently boggles my mind that there are people out there who not only want to read my ramblings but leave kind comments in the process. You guys are all amazing.

6. What blog post have you had the most fun writing so far?

Uh, “fun” might not be the right word, but my favourite post I’ve written so far is my gushing love letter to Robin Hobb and her characters. It was a very personal post and something I’d been meaning to write for nearly a year, and I’m very satisfied with how it turned out. I posted it when my blog was still just a hatchling so it didn’t get a lot of traction here, but I did cross-post it to reddit, and the responses there were just mindbogglingly amazing.

7. What is your favourite type of blog post to write?

Lists are always fun and easy and a surefire way to encourage other bloggers to engage in a discussion. But, and this might be a weird thing to say, I love writing emotional pieces. So discussion and opinion posts (or even reviews) that relate back to me in a personal way, that other people can then also relate to, are the most fulfilling ones for me to write.

8. When do you typically write?

My brain thinks that 1 AM is the prime time for doing all the reading, writing, and gaming, so I tend to be the most productive around then. My best ideas also seem to come to me during that time, prompting me to drag out my tablet in the middle of falling asleep and tap out a wall of sleepy, semi-coherent thoughts. Thanks a bunch, brain.

9. How do you write your book reviews? With a cup of coffee or tea? With Netflix? Cuddled up with your fur baby?

dog

This but skinnier because I’ve been squashing it so much.

 

With music and a lot of pacing. Sometimes with a snack, but never with tea (*whispers* I really hate tea. This probably makes me a heathen in the book blogging sphere). I also have a giant dog plush that takes up half the bed, so when I’m writing at night I sometimes cuddle up with that.

10. When do you write your book reviews? Right after finishing the book? Two weeks after finishing the book?

I usually do a rough draft of a review while I’m reading the book–writing notes as I read is something that’s been embedded in me since senior high English and undergrad. This is where I collect all the visceral, in-the-moment reactions, and they usually end up being the structural bones of the final review. After I finish the book, I expand on these thoughts. These are usually choppy fragments: my opinion on the setting, the plot, the characters, and moments I loved or hated. Then I let it percolate for a couple of hours up to a day (sometimes several days) and stitch them together into something half-way coherent. Then I do editing (er, sometimes). *Takes breath*

If all this sounds professional and organized, don’t be fooled! As with any of my writing projects, I’m usually buried under a mountain of sticky notes while I furiously stab the backspace button and mutter expletives at the screen.

11. How often do you post?

Right now I’m trying to aim for 4 posts per week. I’m a little afraid that going for more will end up burning me out, so I’m trying to moderate myself.

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I TAG:
Amy @ A Court of Crowns and Quills
Aurora @ Aurora Librialis
Consu @ Paper-Eyed Girl
Kristyn @ Bibliophile Empress
Vera @ Unfiltered Tales