2019 Reading Challenge: COMPLETE!

Screenshot_2019-07-10 Recent updates Goodreads

Woo! A few days ago I officially completed my reading challenge for the year! πŸ˜€ And even though I still have six months to go, I plan on sticking pretty much to my original plan. I kept my reading goal low, slashing it in half from last year’s 50 down to an easily attainable 25. The reason I did this was to be able to shift my focus to some of my other goals, the main one being writing. Well, as previously stated, I intend to GET. SHIT. DONE. over the next six months, so I’m ready to pour my all into writing for the rest of the year. Still, I thought it’d be fun to discuss how the reading challenge went. πŸ™‚

1534247108455

I started the year off on a dystopian/post apocalyptic streak with The Road and The Handmaid’s Tale.

1ioghl

From there I ventured off into some lighter whimsical fantasy with Howl’s Moving Castle and a re-read / buddy read of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone with Cupcakes & Machetes.

l-15121-when-someone-says-they-havent-read-harry-potter

I also squeezed in some good non-fiction with Remarkable Books: The World’s Most Beautiful and Historic Works and the morbid but very interesting The Knife Man: Blood, Body Snatching, and the Birth of Modern Surgery. (The latter of which I intend to do a special review of for blogging buddy and podcast extraordinaire, Imperial Rebel Ork for his and his buddy’s Fly on the Wall Podcast.)

giphy

Eventually I found myself in a total Urban Fantasy binge, devouring two novellas and the third full-length novel of The Iron Druid Chronicles as well as the first installment of the Mercy Thompson novels.

hB7500B27
I’m sorry (not really) but I found this one while looking up memes and I couldn’t resist adding it. The struggle is REAL, I tell you!

Along with these titles were several graphic novels of various genres (horror, slice of life style comics, superhero, action, and comedy). I also read River of Teeth recently which was such a great story that I will probably end up reading its sequel sometime soon despite insisting I’ll not be reading much the next few months. πŸ˜‰

disney-book-memes

Well, that’s it for me, but how has YOUR reading challenge been going this year? πŸ™‚ What was your reading goal? How’s it going? Let’s talk books! ❀

Advertisements

Happy New Year!

tumblr_o0904yzkEp1qald0lo1_500

Happy New Year, all you amazing, lovely folks! ❀ I can’t believe 2018 already came and went. My last post served to kind of wrap up the old year before we headed into the new one. I went over how I did working on last year’s resolutions and what some of my favorite things and big milestones were. 2018 was great and all, but I am so excited to venture into 2019! πŸ˜€ With that in mind, let’s talk New Year’s Resolutions, shall we?? Here’s some of the major goals I want to conquer this year:

1.) Skydiving! My biggest fear would probably have to be heights, but my dad has talked about wanting us to go skydiving together since I was a little kid. This has yet to happen because I am a total wuss. My dad has been skydiving before and he loved it, so when I asked him what we should do to celebrate his 60th birthday, of course he would go and pick to jump out of a damn plane! *INTERNAL SCREAMING* Well, my dad is a really great dad and this is a big milestone birthday for him, turning 60 and all, so it’s happening! Full Disclaimer: I make no guarantees that I will not cry like a baby when we go to do this!

catch-you-on-the-flip-side
I promise you I will be nowhere near this cool or composed.
giphy
Yup, I think this is a pretty accurate representation of what I can expect from myself.

2.) Go on some sort of vacation with Mr. Moth! Oddly enough, we have yet to go on a real vacation together despite all the relationship milestones we’ve shared. We’re not quite sure where yet, but we know we want to make it happen this year. πŸ™‚

KpZlexI

3.) Complete my GR Reading Challenge set for . . . dun dun dunnnn . . . 25! That’s right, I’ve drastically lowered my reading goal for the year. My reason? I want more time to further work on other goals like writing and drawing. It’s the age old problem: too many hobbies but never enough time. Sacrifices must be made, yada yada yada.

original

4.) Re-vamp my Blog. Your blog is like your online home and sometimes isn’t it nice to reorganize and redecorate a bit? πŸ™‚ I’m looking to spruce things up a little around here. I’d also like to get a little more structure to my blogging schedule and whatnot, but we’ll see about that. πŸ˜› Changes are coming, what they are exactly remains to be seen. Ooooh, mysterious, no?

68d162b837736dd4997d1654eb018c4e

5.) Focus on my Creativity! Writing and drawing are two things I really want to make a priority this year. I want to get better at avoiding distractions and really push myself to have my first submission-ready novel by the end of 2019. This is going to be one hell of a challenge (and, honestly, it’s one I’ve failed at before . . .Β  a few times) but I’m so excited about the current project I’m working on, so I’m going to do my absolute best this year! I think I’m going to open up a bit more about my writing and the journey as well this year in my blog so I can kind of hold myself accountable more. I also really want to work on getting more into my drawing again. This started in 2018 so I’m hoping to continue to push myself artistically in 2019.

c589454ca9679b6209d12c264774ab8c

6.) Share more recipes! I’ve done it a few times here and there on my blog, but I’d like to share more. Despite all the cussing you might here from my kitchen while I’m cooking, it’s actually something I really enjoy doing. You can expect desserts and vegetarian dishes mostly. πŸ˜‰

anigif_sub-buzz-29120-1536610884-8

7.) Health/Fitness. The usual goals everyone has: drink more water, go to the gym more, etc. I really like going to the gym so as long as I can manage my time/schedule this shouldn’t be a problem.

monster

Well, those are MY big goals for 2019, what about you guys?? πŸ˜€ I’d love to read about them. Trying anything new this year? Tell me all about it! I hope the New Year ends up being amazing for all of us. ❀

 

I’m Baaaack!! (November Wrap-Up)

cad

Hello!! ❀ Wow, it seems November zipped by before I could even blink! I was hoping to get to do this update yesterday but I spent the whole day doing holiday shopping and playing with baby hedgehogs. I’m so glad to be back from my month-long hiatus, though! πŸ™‚ I’ve missed all you marvelous people and I’ve missed blogging. I think that, although November didn’t necessarily go according to plan, it was a good month for me, and I hope it was for each of you as well. ❀

So, first thing’s first, let’s talk NaNoWriMo! So, how did I do, you wonder?? Well . . .

Kirby_64_Game_Over

I didn’t end up making the goal of writing 50,000 words for the month, buuut I did keep at it, even when I knew I was too behind to accomplish the NaNoWriMo challenge successfully. I didn’t give up, and I made progress with the book I’m writing so I’m not completely heart-broken. Instead of the intended 50,000 words in 30 days, I wound up with 36,595. Not quite what I’d been hoping for, but I’m not going to beat myself up about it. How about you guys? πŸ™‚ Did you participate in NaNoWriMo this year? If so, how did you do? I’d love to hear about it!

Even though the goal was to do nothing but write this month, I found myself constantly being pulled in different directions: hanging out with my loved ones, reading, work, playing games and watching movies . . . the list goes on. My willpower was weak, but my month was full of fun and good times so I regret nothing. πŸ˜›

BOOKS/GRAPHIC NOVELS READ IN NOVEMBER:

89717

The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson (I got side-tracked when I started this in October for Halloween but ended up finishing it in November.) 4/5 stars.

13641105

Parasite, by Mira Grant (November’s book club pick for Sci-fi month, courtesy of my real-life BFF and blogging buddy Cupcakes & Machetes. You can read her review of the book here.) πŸ˜‰ I’m hoping to do a review for it myself soon as well. 4/5 stars.

nov3

Strange Candy, by Laurell K. Hamilton (a collection of Paranormal/Urban Fantasy short stories.) 3/5 stars.

nov4

Rat Queens Special: Orc Dave #1, a standalone issue of the Rat Queens comic featuring the character Orc Dave. Definitely an enjoyable little read. 5/5 stars.

nov5

Rat Queens, vol. 2, so glad to finally be reading this series again. (Review for this and the Orc Dave special to come soon!) πŸ˜€ 5/5 stars.

saga

Saga, vol. 9, the latest volume of the series and the last we’ll get for a good while as the series takes a hiatus. As per usual with this series I had ALL THE FEELS! (There’s a review for this one coming soon as well.) 5/5 stars.

A Darker Shade final for Irene

A Darker Shade of Magic, by V.E. Schwab (my first time reading anything by this author and I will definitely be checking out more of her books!) ❀ 4.5/5 stars

Spread, vol. 4 and vol. 5 (Woohoo! Finished the series.) I liked it. Didn’t love it, but I liked it. πŸ™‚ 3/5 stars.

I didn’t plan on reading much this month, but with the frigid early winter that has hit my home state, I was feeling the cozy-stay-in-and-read vibe and I just went with it. Michigan got ripped off when it came to autumn this year so I’m rebelling in the only way I know how: isolation under blankets with good books and comics. πŸ˜›

hamster-gif

Looking forward to catching up on everyone’s blogs, but it might take me a bit, so feel free to tell me about or link me to any of your posts if you wanna share some of your own recent updates/news. ❀

 

Getting Ready for NaNoWriMo 2018

Hey, everyone! πŸ˜€ I’ve really been enjoying getting to post a lot more again this month, but I wanted to give you guys a heads up that I’ll be taking the month of November off from blogging to focus on participating in National Novel Writing Month (aka: NaNoWriMo), or “Nano Rhino” as I like to call it. πŸ˜‰

6221451182_cbfa19d0a6_b

Taking part in the challenge to write 50,000 words in one month is always difficult, but it’s also a lot of fun. It takes a lot of time and effort, so I’m heeding the advice of The Shameful Narcissist, and avoiding distractions throughout the month that could hinder my word count goals throughout November. Sadly, this means no blogging for the month, but I think it’ll be the only way I’ll reach that goal and complete the challenge successfully this year. Things are always so busy, so I’m going to have to devote any free time I can get to working on my writing. Plus, it’ll really help me reach my goal of having my first draft for my book DONE before the start of the new year. It’ll be a lot of work, but I’m hopeful I can bust my ass and get it finished.

BogusOptimisticGermanpinscher-small

I’ll still be posting more throughout the rest of October, and I’ll miss all you fabulous people in November, but things will return to normal again come December. πŸ™‚ I’d love to see this first draft finished by the end of December. It’s been a while since I’ve completed a first draft for a book I’ve written. I went through a notorious project hopping spree (something I’ve always been terrible about) but I’m feeling really committed to this current project I’m working on. I want to see it finished and I’m going to do whatever it takes to make that happen.

Im-Ready-Lets-Do-This-Reaction-Gif

Are you planning on participating in NaNoWriMo this year? Got any big projects you’re working on that you’re excited about? Let’s talk about it! I love the creative process, no matter what form it takes, so I always enjoy reading about what you guys are creating and working on. ❀

 

First Week of October

Woo! We’re officially one week into the bestest month around: OCTOBER! πŸ˜€ If you’re like me, October is basically a month-long celebration of Halloween and just fall in general. After seeing the lovely weekly update post Cupcakes & Machetes put together to sum up her adventures throughout each week of the month, I decided to be a copycat and join in on that fun. So here we have my first of four weekly updates for the month of October:

The first thing I decided to do once October hit was to bust out the sharpies and ink pens and finally participate in Inktober. (If you don’t know already, this is a month-long art challenge held each year where artists produce a new ink drawing each day of the month.) Anyone can participate and it’s a good way to brush up on your ink/art skills. πŸ™‚ I know I have a very busy month ahead of me, so I’m going to do as many as I can each week, but I’m not putting pressure on myself to get all 31 done. I’m doing this strictly for fun and practice. πŸ™‚ Here are my new ink drawings I was able to get done this week:

day 1

day 2.1
This one is based off some cool vintage Halloween art I found.

day 3.3 (2)day 4.1 (2)

Other Halloween/Fall-related activities this week included:

Making delicious apple cider slushies.

Getting gifted (and trying) some delicious types of apples I’d never had before.

Watching a couple horror movies. I started off slow, only watching The Witch and Hell Fest, but it’s a start, and the month is still young! πŸ™‚

Mr. Moth and I worked on putting together our costumes for a big, upcoming event we’re attending for Halloween. (More details on that at a later time!) πŸ˜‰

I worked more on decorating my room at work for Halloween. One of my bulletin boards is decked out in The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and the other is a big tree I made with fall leaves filled with skeleton owls I had my group work on for Arts & Crafts day. πŸ™‚ It turned out really cute.

I finally finished reading (and will soon be posting a review for) the book Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues, by Diana Rowland.

Aaaand that about sums up my first week of October. What spooky and fall type fun have you been up to so far this month? πŸ™‚

30 Day Video Game Challenge: Post 2

ssdsds

I had a lot of fun last week, answering the first seven questions from Luna’s 30 Day Video Game Challenge over @ Gamers United GG. She came up with so many great prompts, so here we are for another batch of answers from yours truly. πŸ˜‰

Day 8: What’s your favorite video game pet?

Lamarr from Half-Life. Lamarr may be a headcrab, but ya know, I always found her adorable. Maybe because she was rendered harmless and is so obnoxious and troublesome all the time, I don’t know, but I’m giving this one up to Lamarr. ❀

Day 9: What is your favorite childhood video game title?

I would probably have to say the original Sonic the Hedgehog games I played on the Sega Genesis. I have several games I absolutely LOVED as a kid, though, so it’s hard to pick just one. Another game I was all about but haven’t really gotten to talk about yet would be Banjo Kazooie for the N64. SUCH a fun game, and with so many cool and different levels. I had a ton of fun with that one.

BKXBLA

Day 10: What childhood video game would you recommend and why?

I’m going to try to suggest one of the ones I haven’t babbled on about yet in either of these posts. When I was a kid, I really enjoyed playing *SOME* of the Disney games that I played on the Sega Genesis. Specifically The Lion King and Aladdin. They were just so much fun, and I loved the Disney movies that inspired them, aaaand that animation in the game was SO. DAMN. SMOOTH. Look at this shit!

4Er3.gif

Day 11: Which video game has the best memories?

Mario Kart 64, without a doubt. From childhood to adulthood, I have so many fond memories of this game. From racing against my family and friends like Cupcakes & Machetes, to playing it tournament-style at parties with friends and strangers alike. This game is my jam. One of my favorite memories of it was destroying this one guy a few years back in one of the party tournaments who insisted girls couldn’t play video games. The same guy also got destroyed by Cupcakes & Machetes and I in doubles air hockey after making more sexist boasts.

4434fbc4ec648efc9e6bf9709f68102a

Day 12: What is the hardest game you have played? Why was it hard?

Hmm . . . probably Super Meat Boy? Although . . . The Binding of Isaac comes to mind as well. Both games involve a whole lot of dying, sooo . . .

super_meat_death

Day 13: Do you have a favorite video game villain?

Because I am eternally twelve and thus poop is funny to me, I’m gonna have to say The Great Mighty Poo from Conker’s Bad Fur Day. Because it’s a villain made of poop. Yes, they went there. They even gave him corn kernels for teeth. This guy sticks out to me because of the utter ridiculousness of it, and what a complete WTF moment it was when I first encountered him.

Great_Mighty_Poo

Day 14: You jump down Mario’s Warp Pipe, where do you end up?

Peach’s Castle, just like how you start the game in Super Mario 64. I’d love to visit that place. I didn’t think of it at the time when I answered Luna’s Day 2 question about what video game world you would live in if you could, but it’s definitely a place I’d love to visit. The castle itself is awesome, but then with all the worlds you can visit from there by hopping through paintings. There would never be a dull moment, that’s for sure.

giphy.gif

 

New Year’s Resolutions: 2018

Daaaaaaaamn, guys. I seriously can’t get over the fact that tomorrow is the final day of the year. It feels like 2017 went by in the blink of an eye. A lot of things happened and a lot of changes were made, all for the better. πŸ™‚ I feel like this was a fantastic and much-needed year for patching up what was once the fast-sinking vessel that is my mental health. I’m happy to report that I accomplished a lot of important goals I’d set for myself this past year, and that I’m not only much happier, but also much stronger, because of it.

victory screech

I had a lot of things I wanted to work on in an attempt at bettering myself and I conquered the goals set before me. Honestly, it’s probably been my best year ever as far as slaying New Year’s Resolutions goes and it feels pretty damn good. I plan on riding that high right into 2018 by continuing to try and better myself. That’s kind of the thing about life, isn’t it? We’re always pushing ourselves, learning new things, and taking new chances.

calvin and hobbes

So, that said, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of what exactly my goals are for the new year! I’ve got several themes for my various goals concerning different aspects of my life. Things like reading, fitness, writing, etc. (Knowing me, I’ll probably come up with several additional goals throughout the year, but as of right now, here’s what I intend to work on in 2018:)

Reading Goals of 2018:

  • Finally read the neglected books that have been sitting on my bookshelves, untouched.
  • Venture into reading more poetry.
  • Read 50 books/graphic novels (Last year’s goal was 45, so I upped it by 5.)

hq

Creative Goals of 2018:

  • Bust my ass to get my writing project ready to start submitting by the end of 2018.
  • Start utilizing art tutorials and online courses to learn snazzy new art skills.
  • Experiment with watercolors.
  • Draw! Draw! Draw! Write! Write! Write!

tumblr_inline_mw7vyeXoC81qaagol

Fitness Goals of 2018:

  • Do more cardio, kickboxing, and dance.
  • Drink more water.
  • Find more fun and active hobbies like going to the trampoline park.

t-rex-jumps-on-trampoline.gif

So, that just about covers my personal goals for the new year. πŸ™‚ How about you? Are you planning on making any new year’s resolutions? Did you complete any this past year? I’d love to hear about them! πŸ˜€

Since I don’t know if I’ll have time to hop on tomorrow, let me just wish you all a very Happy New Year! Here’s to what will hopefully be a fantastic 2018! ❀

happy-new-year-sparkling-glitter-gold-animated-gif.gif