End of year (and decade) Wrap-Up

Closing the year with lots of foxes, Vixy, my family, art and books.

2019 is coming to an end and to be fair, it doesn’t feel like anything so far. Today is just another day, the last one in the calendar and apparently the last one of the decade (we’re approaching the twenties, what fun crazy parties are there to come?!) but so far, the hype, the excitement is not there for me.

This year and decade have been dissonant and odd. And as much as I used to plan ahead like crazy and overplan and have everything “perfect”, that is one of the lessons learned this decade. Even the best laid plans can go awry and not turn out to be the best. You can plan and plan and plan, I had plan A to Z and still, somehow that wasn’t enough for some of the things that happened this decade.

And you know what? That is actually fine. I still plan and I am known to be that person who you approach when you need something. You need sewing supplies in the office, or different types of glue, or food, or whatever, I’ve got it. I am still very much a planner. But I am also aware I can’t cover everything and plans don’t always go the way you planned.

If the plans I had at the beginning of the decade had worked out I’d be married to a first husband, with kids, a successful research career and potentially a high level job as manager or close to CEO of something. And so far I have none of those things. (Yes, to those gracefully pointing out, I did get married this year, but this was not my first rodeo).

Instead, I on my second marriage, no kids (just Vixy and some chickens), on a job that was as far away from my dream job as I could consider that is turning out to be even better than my dream job, and in a country where I am a stranger, an immigrant and unwanted and at the same time, I am not.

Heck, during this decade, I got married twice, had a divorce (something I never expected to have to do, one of the few things I never planned for), became homeless, had all my money stolen away, fought a massive legal battle to be able to have a life and be my own person, survived mental illness, moved countries and moved so many times in a new country. Went from speaking my native language the most, to barely using it.

And relationships. I broke away from my biological family (and then we agreed to come back). Found a new family (where I fit a little better). Tested old friendships (in a few days I will be seeing a friend I have known since we were 13-14 years old, one of my oldest friendships), made new ones. Some of them broke, some never stuck, some have become a massive blessing and grown my network.

In this decade, I have been scared as I had never been before, but I have also exprienced joy and gratitude like never before. I have grown so much.

Even my looks have changed, and my confidence.

I have no big plans for 2020 or the full decade. I do have little (and big) things I’d like to accomplish, but we shall see how they come to fruition:

  • Complete writing a novel.
  • Publish it
  • Write the WBT comic and illustrate it.
  • Draw more
  • Read more

Things I plan to do this coming year is to draw almost everyday. I used to and then got out of the practice for many reasons, and now want to get back into it.

And I am going to be better at choosing books I spend my money on. I had been on a rampage to support as many authors as possible and I end up not reading them all (for example, Contemporary Romance is something I rarely read and yet I had preordered so many). So my intention is to think better what I purchase. In the end, all my efforts to support authors feel like they’ve been mostly wasted (I know in a way they haven’t) and I would rather do this with more care.

I also went on a rampage of bookboxes, but I am slowly culling that down as some are loosing the shine and spark. It is a tough world and there’s only so many *insert overused item in bookboxes here* you need. I just wish there were ways to customise or tailor it a bit better. And I would love a UK version of what PageHabit did (annotated books by the author, with post it notes).

A thing I won’t stop is the generosity and kindness I have. This has been used against me (I have been considered a threat or “evil” for being nice, or that I have an ulterior motive, or that my kindness is a way to mistreat people) but I still won’t stop. I like helping and being nice to others.

What are you musing on today? (If you are musing at all)

I am now off to finish working for the day, then have some pizza with my husband and watch a film and some documentaries.

2018 Wrap Up, 2019 is Here!

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Happy New Year you book dragons, fire bugs, whatever you are! 🙂

Cliche but wow, it is 2019 already, can you believe it? Which to me means I will keep wiritng 2018 instead of 2019 for the next few weeks while I adjust, I have a piñata party to finish preparing for, and big things coming for this year.

But before plunging headlong into this New Year, all shiny, I wanted to recap on my 2018 and do a super speedy summary.

I launched my 101 for subscription boxes and it was a good hit (mostof it still works, however I do not subscribe to the same boxes anymore). Also, yes I know that wasn’t in 2018 but wait, there’s a reason.

Someone tagged me in a “how many subscription boxes did you buy this year?” kind of Tweet, and lo and behold, I counted. Want to guess how many I bought this year? (It is a rough number because I may have missed a few special edition boxes).

I bought over 65 subscriptions boxes. 12 Book Box Club, 12 LitJoy Crate, 5 Illumicrate (this includes the Shades of Magic/Vicious special box), about 6-9 Fairyloot boxes, around 6-8 Yume Twins, 12 Stickii Club (plus one advent calendar), 3 or 4 Owlcrates, one Holiday special crate from Spearcraft, one or two Junior boxes from those that do Junior version, 3 or 4 Wildest Dreams boxes… And seriously I have lost count.

On my last post I hinted of reducing the number, and this is why! I have bought so many boxes, have not caught up with reading all the book in them and decided I want to catch up and also bulk less. So I am sticking with LitJoy, Illumicrate and Book Box Club, with a top up of Owlcrate and some Fairyloot boxes, and maybe a few special ones, but definitely going to try to be more picky about it.

What else did I do in 2018?

Preorders! Loads and loads of preorders! I preordered over 150 books during 2018 (some where 2019 books, but I only decided to start counting properly per year in the last week, so yeah some overlap there). Which meant I bought 4 new bookcases and I have now run out of places where I can put bookshelves (oh dear!)

And the blog has kept mostly to a post every other day (with some contributions from Bea, just to make it more interesting).

And finally, my goodreads goal was 100 and I read 145.

So, let’s jump to 2019!

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My goals are relatively simple:

  • Keep blogging, reviewing books.
  • Goodreads challenge of 120 books for the year.
  • Keep preordering and supporting authors, but be selective.*
  • Try to love my body more, as I tackle body dysmorphia (which didn’t affect me as a teenager but has it’s claws on me as an adult)
  • Do a monthly giveaway on Twitter (which I have done for at least half of 2018)
  • Loose 1-2 stones to help my joints deal better with HMS (Hyper Mobile Syndrome)
  • Write the stories I start then stop then start again and never properly finish because I am tryng to adapt them to please everybody. I am going to write for one reader only, or at least just one in mind.

*I am compiling a spreadsheet of all my 2019 preorders, which you can view here if you’d like to check it out. I made it for my own record keeping but people were interested so I decided to share because sharing is caring!

That’s all from me today. Hope you had a good 2018 (or as good as it could be) and here’s to a 2019 that’s a little bit better than 2018 (hopefully).

Moon’s 1st third of 2018 Round-up

Let’s do a fun sum up of this quarter of the year (can anyone believe it is already May?!). It has been an interesting start of the year for sure.

  • Our Whatsapp Book Box Club group got more hype and we’re doing a lot of fun things. You can check out more of the shenanigans on this post. But trust me, that we have enjoyed meeting other bookish people. First rule about our club is you need to have purchased at least one Book Box Club and attended a Clubhouse meeting.

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  • I have had successful buddy reads of several books thanks to this. And thanks to the buddy reads that sparked me out of reading funks, so I have been reading more.
  • I have preordered several books, trying to support authors and publishers alike (54 preorders placed by 29th of April).

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  • Blog and twitter have grown a lot and I am glad, I even have one surprise coming up my sleeve about the blog, which I am sure some of you will be quite excited to hear about!
  • I moved jobs, changing from one industry to another quite drastically but full of opportunities. Coworkers at my previous job were very kind and gifted me a few things including a Porg (squishie!) and some books.

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  • I had a small holiday and visited a water-mill (and bought a lot of flour because I love baking and fresh flour is amazing). It was a moment of being in the middle of nowhere and enjoying just being without actually having to be doing anything. This is hard for me, but it was very relaxing. And we fell in love with a wood burning stove.

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  • I have had the very first fitting for my “Knit” dress. If you’re unsure what I am talking about, you can check my Meet The Character post about her. When I designed Knit’s dress, I had always envisioned making the dress become a reality, and yes it may not be exactly as I first drew it, but it is already looking amazing and I am all excited about fabrics and looks (it may be hard to imagine but trust me, it will be grand).

  • On the not as great news, my bookmark shop has been on “holiday” for a while due to all the changes and stress happening this quarter. Hopefully it will be reopened soon once I have a few more designs up and ready.
  • And I have been diagnosed with several little things that add up to the fact that I am “disabled”. It has been hard, working with this but I may post more on this at some point.
  • It was also a good time because I met Loish who is one of the artists I admire, and that was wonderful too! (Please excuse the over tired face, it was late and I was extremely tired but really happy, it was also too hot in the room so we were all just melting away).

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All in all, it has been a wonderful first quarter of the year, with a lot of things coming up, a lot of fresh changes. The new job is promising and we shall see what this next 4 months bring in.

How has your 2018 been so far?

 

Moon Writes: astronomy under our nails

black hole that makes me miss you
then it bursts into a supernova,
deception and frustration,
seeking to move on to outer space

star dust of memories left behind
randomly fall on my eyelashes,
that’s why you see me cry,
just a speck on my eye,

nothing more, nothing less,
i don’t miss you,
i don’t need you any more,
don’t you see?

galaxies swirl around my head,
opportunities galore
and i don’t know what to say
how can i choose the way?

inside this combustible heart,
each beat births a star,
wondering if your comet behaviour
will finally make you collide with me

which of us is the moon?
you orbit around me,
as soon as you go too far
gravity pulls you back

but your erratic ways
are making turmoil with my tide
waves of emotion that
create storms deep inside

in this (not so) empty space,
two planets attracted to each other,
can’t resist the pull,
but we still try to fight

darling, moon, star,
comet, planet, sun,
surrender to
the laws of life,

crash against my atmosphere,
feel the burn in your skin
we’re turning into a
universe made up of you and i.


Today I am doing something different (it’s Valentine’s let’s be a little romantic, right?). Since I left Deviantart (see tomorrow’s post), I have a set of poems I had there that I still love and want to share so they will be popping randomly on here.

This is my favourite one that I wrote and it has a lot fo romance and a few interpretations for it.

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Oh look, look, the lovely Helen (my ‘how to win giveaways for books you already own’ understudy, a.k.a. Moon’s understudy) from Watching Sparks Reviews has surprised me and tagged for a blogger award! She’s such a dear, thank you so much!
PS. I think she got confused, I am Moon not Sunny, but don’t tell her, I like awards and being nominated and she’s so sweet… (so go check out her blog, it’s full of books). Plus I am very surprised my little blog got this award but thanks lovely, seriously…

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The Rules:

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to bloggers who are creative, positive, and inspiring. Once nominated, the blogger is required to write a post in which they:

  1. Thank the person(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post.

 

Helen’s Questions:

  1. Favourite book when you growing up?
    As a child I really loved “If you Give a Mouse a Cookie”, mine came with the mouse in overalls and it was so cute. But I also loved having mum read books to us and I read a lot so there were several books in my life. As a teenager I got hooked into Madeleine L’Engle’s books and also Anne McCaffrey’s so both have amazing books I loved. And one of my most favourite is The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley.
  2. Which 3 fictional characters are you most like?
    Hermione (Harry Potter Series), Meg Murray (The Time Quintet by Madeleine L’Engle) and probably Aerin (The Hero and The Crown). All of them are curious, brainy and stubborn, but I also have some of their weaknesses and ideas.
  3. Who would you fancast as your favourite characters?
    I don’t usually fancast characters, so this is hard to answer, I don’t know…
  4. Which book is underhyped, and that you want everyone to read?
    Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer, any book already mentioned above, and After The Fire by Will Hill.
  5. Which book is overhyped, and is really not as good as everyone says?
    SJM books, I tried, I really really tried, but I kept shouting at the books because of the plot and how it was happening, just no. The writing is light easy read but I was too annoyed at everything else I didn’t enjoy them.
  6. What/who inspired you to start blogging?
    I have been writing on and off since I was like 10 years old (I tried to make a murder mystery but didn’t go too well, very predictable, I still have it though). And during my teenage years I had a potter fiction account, a splinder (they were kinda like blogs) with short stories, tried livejournal (didn’t stick to it very well), and finally decided to jump again into blogging this year. I had been musing about the idea for a while, so it’s not something I haven’t done before. Oh and all of those sites and things mentioned before I found on my own.
  7. How long have you been blogging?
    Here, just a few months. Before this I did a private 750words.com and before that I had my splinder for a few years, livejournal for a few months… It’s hard to pick up the trail of all that blogging time…
  8. How many books are on your tbr?
    No idea, I bought two new bookcases a few months back because I had piles of books on the floor, and I made those bookcases my TBR, so, two bookcases worth of books (to be fair, the lowest shelf has cooking books on one of them… doesn’t count for TBR but still).
  9. Do you like to listen to music whilst reading? And if so, do you pick certain artists/songs to match the book?
    Not really, or rather not on purpose. I can read with music in the background it doesn’t bother me, but I don’t decide to have music while I read, I don’t need it.
  10. Which book(s) do you wish you had written?
    Probably all the ones mentioned above. And I am writing a couple, my head is full of ideas and plans and plots. Full of stories. So those too, just wish they were already written by me.
  11. What book did you most recently finish, what are you reading now, and what do you think you’ll pick to read next?
    Warcross was the most recent one I finished, I am reading All The Crooked Saints and I am still unsure what I will pick next, I am undecided between Shadowblack, Dear Martin, A Shiver of Snow and Sky… but then any book could suddenly spark interest for me out of the blue.

I’m Nominating:

Off the top of my head most of the ones I wanted to nominate have already been nominated so to avoid repeats, I nominate you all, but also specifically I nominate:

  1. Nikki (Books and Lemon Squash)
  2. Maja (Bookish Addict)
  3. The girls (Book Box Club)
  4. Marcelina (Lollipop Books)
  5. Briony (Miss Briony)

The next few are twitter people I think deserve a Sunshine award:

  1. Zara (The Story Of Zara)
  2. Sarah (SK Vetter Writes)

My 11 Questions:

  1. Which character would you want to be your best friend? Why?
  2. Who/what inspires you to create/write?
  3. Do you read one book at a time or multitasking?
  4. What book do you think I should read and why?
  5. Which character do you love to hate? Or if you don’t hate one, who is your favourite villain?
  6. Do you cover buy? Why?
  7. If you could move to a bookish world/place, which one would you choose? Why?
  8. Trope/cliche you love?
  9. Trope/cliche you hate?
  10. What is your favourite part about blogging?
  11. Who inspires you the most in your life?

Thanks for the tag Helen, and hopefully you all want to answer the questions, I’d love to read the answers to them.