And Then Life Happened

Currently…

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Loving

I’m currently obsessed with the cover of this journal I repurposed into a planner, because it’s really soft. Also, it’s a nice shade of blue.

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Reading

Since my last post (in January 😖), I’ve read:

  • DUMPLIN’ by Julie Murphy: I loved the voice in this one (and I reviewed it here).
  • LAST SONG BEFORE NIGHT by Ilana C. Myer: I loved the premise, but it felt like it lacked urgency.
  • SOUNDLESS by Richelle Mead: Despite claiming to be based on Chinese folklore – which was the reason I read it to begin with – it felt very generic to me. Like, the Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 10.15.59 AMsetting could’ve been literally anything. So I was disappointed.
  • SIREN’S FURY by Mary Weber: This series so far is quick and fun. I would’ve liked Nym’s internal conflict to be played up a little more in this book, though.
  • THE GUNSLINGER by Stephen King: This is the first Stephen King book I’ve ever read. It won’t be the last. It wasn’t my usual thing, but the world was developed so well, I’m going to keep reading this series. And then kick my inner scaredy cat aside and read his other books.
  • ALL WE HAVE IS NOW by Lisa Schroeder: I liked the writing, but the third person present narrative made it hard to feel attached to any of the characters.
  • MORNING STAR by Pierce Brown: I finished this one a week ago and I still have a lot of feelings. Also: BYE FELICIA.

I’m currently rereading THE EYE OF THE WORLD by Robert Jordan, because I got halfway through the Wheel of Time series before stopping and I’ve decided it’s time to finish it, except it’s been so long that I’ve forgotten basically everything that’s already happened.

Watching

I’ve sort of abandoned the TV shows I was watching (again) to have more time to read and write. But I HAVE been watching the presidential debates, and I also watch John Oliver’s show and The Daily Show religiously. So.

And now I feel sad again.

Listening To

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I’m still obsessed with Ellie Goulding’s latest album. Also, I usually enjoy Spotify’s #ThrowbackThursday playlist. There tend to be some fun things on there.

Thinking About

12783552_10156578040080324_5715194491208978722_oRevisions, as always. I got some feedback from a CP on the first 50 pages of FTA that made me rethink where my story actually starts (spoiler alert: not where I actually started it) so I’ve decided to scrap the 20k I’ve revised so far and start over back at the beginning since the changes I’ve decided to make will actually benefit the story as a whole. I talked the planned changes over with my other CPs, so now I’m ready to go!

Anticipating

I’m supposed to hear back from the University of Washington about grad school in the next week or two, and I’m trying not to freak out. Also, I’m having flashbacks to when I queried SHARDS, because waiting is the actual worst. (I use up all of my patience on my students and my customers, apparently.)

Wishing

The U.S. election cycle didn’t last a million years.

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Making Me Happy

Not working at the store on Saturdays for the past couple months. Is this what having a weekend feels like???

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And Then Life Happened

Currently…

IMG_2183Loving

Boots. Because it’s cold. Too cold. I don’t like it.

Reading

THE SHATTERED COURT by M.J. Scott, which is much heavier on the romance side than I was expecting. It is very much aimed toward adults.

I finished SERPENTINE by Cindy Pon earlier this week. I really liked the setting, which was inspired by Chinese folklore, but I had a hard time getting into other aspects of it. I’ll post an actual review soon.

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I also set my Goodreads Challenge at 100 books again this year, which LOL FOREVER given all of the other things I’m doing (two jobs! getting a MS ready to query this year! trying to go back to school!) but it never hurts to try, I guess.

Watching

I’ve seen the new Star Wars twice, and I love it. LOVE IT. I feel like J.J. Abrams did a great job righting the wrong that was the prequels. My family also marathoned Episodes I-VI over Christmas because my brother got them all on Blu-ray, and we laughed at all of Anakin’s horrible monologues in Attack of the Clones.

I also saw the Sherlock special at the movie theater on Wednesday night, so that was pretty cool. I was fortunate in that I somehow managed to avoid all of the spoilers on Twitter.

Listening To

Ellie Goulding came out with a new album a couple months back and I’ve been listening to it way more than I’ve been listening to Adele’s, tbh.

Thinking About

How many words I’ve actually written, and how exhausting that really is. I’m working on the fourth draft of the MS I’m planning to query later this year. THAT IS SO MANY WORDS. And yet I generally forget about that since I usually only focus on the words one day at a time. They really add up!

Anticipating

I applied to grad school. I’m hoping to go for a MLIS and also do a school library media endorsement, because while I love teaching, I also love being surrounded by books all day, so being a school librarian feels like the thing that makes the most sense to me at this point in my life. Also, talking to kids about books and seeing them so excited when they talk about them is the actual best, so sign me right up for that.

Anyway, I’m supposed to hear back in mid-March…right around my birthday.

Wishing

More hours in the day so I could actually read all of these books that almost crushed me to death in the earthquake last week. (Kidding. They didn’t even move. BUT WHAT IF THEY HAD.)

Making Me Happy

Hot chocolate. Because, as I’ve already stated, it is cold.

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And Then Life Happened

Currently…

Currently… is a blog meme that crops up throughout the blogosphere where people talk about things they are up to currently.

Loving

That it is finally cold enough at night for me to sleep with my window closed. A lot of my neighbors are college students. College students are loud. I sincerely apologize to any former neighbors who may have been offended by any loudness I helped perpetuate back in the day.

Reading

I’m rereading HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE. I’m also in the middle of FIND ME by Laura van den Berg, which is a so-far quiet post-apocalyptic novel revolving around an epidemic of a disease that makes you forget everything, as well as a twenty-year-old woman who was abandoned at a month old and who wants to find her birth mother.

I also recently finished THE CURE FOR DREAMING by Cat Winters, which I didn’t like as much as IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS but was still really good.

Watching

Still working my way through CSI and Gilmore Girls. I’ve also been watching the new The Daily Show, and it’s actually been pretty solid so far. I went into it accepting that no one could be Jon Stewart, which helped. Trevor Noah has been holding his own so far.

On Netflix, I’ve been watching slightly-less-recent movies: LOVE ACTUALLY, THE PRINCE AND ME, and ONE DAY. THE PRINCE AND ME was fun. I had a lot of feelings about ONE DAY.

Listening To

My favorite band is Bastille, so I’ve pretty much always got them going on repeat.

Thinking About

Trying to balance reading and writing with all of the other things (i.e. WORK) I’ve got going on instead of just spending all my free time napping or watching Netflix.

Anticipating

Ellie Goulding has a new album coming out and I really like the first two songs that have been released from it and I really want the rest of it to come out already.

Wishing

Dude. Time Turner.

Making Me Happy

Sweaters.

And Then Life Happened

Currently…

Currently… is a blog meme that crops up throughout the blogosphere where people talk about things they are up to currently.

Goodbye, summer.
Goodbye, summer.

Loving

Fall! Because football, pumpkin ALL OF THE THINGS (but especially PSLs and pumpkin beer), flannel, sweaters and cardigans, scarves, boots…

Fall is my favorite season, basically.

Reading

Right now, I’m reading RADIANT by Karina Sumner-Smith. I’m about 100 pages in, and it’s been slow so far, but I really love the world building so I’m sticking with it.

I also recently finished NOT QUITE DEAD by Lyla Payne, which is a ghost story set in South Carolina. I don’t normally read ghost stories, but I loved all the history incorporated into this one, and the setting was really well done.

Watching

I’ve been switching back and forth between CSI and Gilmore Girls, which are very much complete opposites. CSI has lots of dead bodies, whereas Gilmore Girls is more light-hearted and is full of all of my favorite things: sarcasm, coffee, pop culture references. They both have great characters, not to mention that both are so, so easy to binge watch. All 15 seasons of CSI are on Hulu (I’m currently in the middle of season 3), and Gilmore Girls is, of course, on Netflix (and I just finished season 2!).

I also watched the movie Beyond the Lights, which was really enjoyable while also highlighting how manufactured the music industry can be sometimes, and how that can take a toll on people. I then followed that up with If I Stay, which I wasn’t emotionally ready for. (Confession: I haven’t read the book yet…) And I tried really, really hard to watch The Best of Me, but gave up halfway through because it was too much like The Notebook except not as good. All of these movies are on Netflix currently.

Listening To

I really love MisterWives and their album Our Own House. They’ve got a couple songs on the playlist at work and I actually legitimately like them, which is a huge win in my book. (I mean, imagine listening to store playlists FOR HOURS AND HOURS ON END MULTIPLE TIMES A WEEK.)

Also, I saw Kelly Clarkson last month, and she was AMAZING. She put on a really good show and also I want to be friends with her now.

Thinking About

Grad school. Basically, I’d always planned to get a master’s degree at some point, and figure that at where I am in my life, now is a good time. So now I’m applying to MLIS programs because that’s a field I’ve always had in the back of my mind as something else besides teaching that I’d love doing.

Anticipating

I’m getting SO CLOSE to the end of my FtA rewrite! Which is good, because I’m so ready for revisions. (Refer me back to this post when I’m complaining about revisions a few weeks from now.)

Wishing

There were more hours in the day so I could conquer my giant library pile.

Making Me Happy

Finally finding the motivation to update this thing after more than a month…

And Then Life Happened

Currently… [May 2015 Edition]

Loving

These pens because they’re super fun – black infused with a little color, for when you feel like being professional with a little twist. (See also: my life in general.) Also, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s #booksarentdangerous project, which will donate a book to an underfunded school or library for each picture posted to the hashtag with a book that changed your life or you just recommend.IMG_1535

Reading

I just started Courtney Summers’s ALL THE RAGE, which I’ve been looking forward to reading. Earlier this week I finished Charlotte Brontë’s VILLETTE, which took me FOREVER to get through. I thought it was an interesting character study, but I didn’t love it as much as JANE EYRE.

Watching

I am only now discovering the sheer awesome that is America’s Next Top Model. The first eleven or twelve cycles are on Amazon Instant Video, and there are three additional cycles on Hulu Plus, so I’ve been binge watching those.

Listening To

I ride the bus, which means I get to spend a lot of extra time commuting. Unfortunately, reading isn’t an option because of motion sickness, so I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts lately. My favorites are First Draft with Sarah Enni, This American Life, Stuff You Missed in History Class, and Slate’s Political Gabfest.

IMG_1526Thinking About

How the right book at the right time could change someone’s life. I was talking to a friend about this on Tuesday, and brought up LOOKING FOR ALASKA. For both of us, it helped us see certain things more clearly, even though we both read it as adults and it’s a book written for teenagers. And it was the same thing for SPEAK, the other book I tweeted – I read it when I was 22, but it did so much to help me realize the power that words have.

Anticipating

Baby Bro is graduating from high school next month, so I’m going home for a long weekend!

Wishing

The rest of FtA would just write itself, since I realized I have no idea how it’s going to end. #pantserprobz

Making Me Happy

This video of a baby pig frolicking!

And Then Life Happened

Full Speed Ahead

I’ve given up on trying to keep a regular blogging schedule. Which is fine, because my focus doesn’t need to be on blogging, anyway, right?

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I’ve been busy! Which is good, because that’s how I like it. This week was spring break, which I didn’t get to enjoy very much of it since I spent most of it either working at my other job or applying for teaching jobs. I’ve been trying to stay up here, but after almost three years of subbing, I also have to acknowledge that I didn’t go to school for five years so I could sub forever, so now I’m trying to leave. I don’t regret sticking around so long at all, since I definitely needed more teaching experience before getting my own classroom, but I’m ready for the change now.

I also joined a writing group! Which is exactly what someone who is getting ready to probably move needs to do, but it’s a new Young Adult and Children’s group, so OF COURSE I had to join. I’m thinking I’m going to workshop AUL since I’m having a hard time with the beginning and because I’m doing dual POV, male POV, and both of my MCs are POC, all things that are new to me. (Challenge yourself, Past Me said. It’ll be fun, she said.) Also, I’m having a hard time with the beginning since I keep going back and forth between first and third person. Writing is hard.

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I finally finished revising what I had of FtA, so now I’m writing completely new stuff, because I love drafting SO MUCH that I’m going to draft two stories at the same time, I guess.

I did go home for Easter, though, so it’s only been MOSTLY work. We went to brunch. I watched Lifetime movies with my mom. I went to Costco on Saturday and it didn’t look like a scene from a post-apocalyptic novel. I high-fived Baby Bro, who got directed admitted into a computer science program that apparently direct admits less than 5% of the freshman trying to get into it (which I think is an excellent consolation for not getting into his dream school.)

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And Then Life Happened

May 2014 Recap

Soundtrack

What I Read

  • Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson (*****)
  • A Breath of Frost by Alyxandra Harvey (****)
  • My Life After Now by Jessica Verdi (*****)
  • Gypsy by Trisha Leigh (****)
  • Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas (**** 1/2)
  • Stolen Away by Alyxandra Harvey (***)
  • How to Love by Katie Cotugno (*****)
  • A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller (**** 1/2)
  • Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross (**** 1/2)
  • Something Real by Heather Demetrios (*****)

Average Rating: 4.45/5 Stars

Reviews

Writing

Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 8.25.40 AMPhotos

The people who put up with me, taking Little Dude for a walk (everything was SO INTERESTING) and an Obligatory Mount Rainier Picture.
The people who put up with me, taking Little Dude for a walk (everything was SO INTERESTING) and an Obligatory Mount Rainier Picture.