2019 Reading Challenge: COMPLETE!

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Woo! A few days ago I officially completed my reading challenge for the year! ๐Ÿ˜€ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Well, that’s it for me, but how has YOUR reading challenge been going this year? ๐Ÿ™‚ What was your reading goal? How’s it going? Let’s talk books! โค

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My Blogiversary: 3 Years Ignited

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Three days ago officially marked my little corner of the blogosphere’s third birthday!! I had no idea when I started my humble little blog 1,098 days ago that I would still be calling this bit of cyberspace my little home away from home, but look at that, here we are! ๐Ÿ˜€

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It’s been such a fun and inspiring three years, and such a large part of that is the fantastic community here on WordPress. You guys are the best. โค It’s amazing how you can form such great connections with people you’ve never met face to face, some even living in a completely different hemisphere than the one you live in. The world is crazy and awesome like that sometimes. ๐Ÿ™‚ So, a big shout out to all you amazing people who have shared in this experience with me the past three years. There’s no way I would have stuck around this long without such an outstanding community to share in all the fun with. โค

I originally made this blog as a little hub of creativity. Adulting can make chasing creative pursuits challenging, but I feel like I’m starting to find a good balance now to focus and squeeze in more time for it on a larger scale again. It isn’t much, but I’ve started using my sketchbook again for the first time since the beginning of the year, and I feel like I’ve finally settled down on and committed to a single writing project. As I continue to nurture my creativity again I’d like to start sharing more about that journey here on the blog. I still plan to do reviews and my other random posts, but I think I’d like to make a turn back to focusing on creativity here again, be it mine personally or just the topic in general. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Well, there are officially only six months remaining in 2019, and I don’t know about you, but knowing that has reignited a fire in me to GET. SHIT. DONE. Both creatively, and here on my blog. Looking forward to sharing the journey with all you wonderful people. โค Thanks for making this adventure such a great experience the last three years. ๐Ÿ˜€

Ready to Spring into Spring

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Happy Spring, everybody!! โค Life’s been quite topsy-turvy as of late, but thankfully, things are looking up. ๐Ÿ™‚ I (like many of us, I’m sure) am beyond thrilled that spring is finally upon us. With all the snow and ice and winter vortex business we’ve been dealing with the past few months, warmer days are definitely something to look forward to. Plus, no more of those horrible “winter hands” from all that cold, dry air. You know what I’m talking about. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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So, with spring here, I’m curious what everyone is looking forward to the most? I just bought one of those little pop-up greenhouses today so now I’m even more excited for gardening than I already was. ๐Ÿ˜€ The past couple years I’ve taken to going outside and taking lots of photos of all the flowers and plants. I’m no pro or anything like that, but it’s something I’ve come to enjoy doing, so expect plenty of outdoors pics in the months to come!

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Anyway, even though I’d been too sick/busy/exhausted to do much blogging in the last few weeks, it was never totally far from my mind. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the direction I want to take the blog in and what kind of posts I really wanna focus on. I also definitely want to give the whole look of the blog a major re-haul before July when this little baby blog turns three whole years old!

Anyway, I’m keeping this post short and sweet, but it’s good to be back. Looking forward to catching up with everyone and I hope you’ve all been well. ๐Ÿ™‚ Lemme know what you’ve been up to and what adventures you’re planning for spring!

 

Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year, all you amazing, lovely folks! โค 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! ๐Ÿ˜€ 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!

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I promise you I will be nowhere near this cool or composed.
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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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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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.

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4.) Re-vamp my Blog. Your blog is like your online home and sometimes isn’t it nice to reorganize and redecorate a bit? ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ˜› Changes are coming, what they are exactly remains to be seen. Ooooh, mysterious, no?

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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 . . .ย  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.

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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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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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.

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Well, those are MY big goals for 2019, what about you guys?? ๐Ÿ˜€ 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. โค

 

2018 Wrap-Up

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2018 has been a crazy year full of big and exciting new adventures. Mr. Moth and I went home hunting and moved into our first house together, we both applied for/received promotions at our jobs, and we did a lot of work around the house/yard in our first year of home-ownership. During this time I also worked on my resolutions for 2018 and I’m pleased to report that I didn’t do too shabby. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Concerning my READING GOALS for 2018: I completed my GR reading challenge goal of 50, and I explored reading more poetry like I hoped to do as well. My only reading goal I messed up on was that I still didn’t read all the neglected, unread books already sitting on my shelves. Sigh . . . I suppose that’s the curse of any lover of books, though, isn’t it? We always wanna obtain more books even before we’ve finished all the ones we already have at home.

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Some of my reading highlights of the year included discovering a new author I really enjoyed in V.E. Schwab. I’ve only read her book A Darker Shade of Magic so far, but I will definitely be checking out more of her work in the future. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d say all in all, my top 2 favorite novels I read this year were Strange the Dreamer and The Great Alone.

Concerning my CREATIVE GOALS for 2018: I had sort of an iffy year in the creative department. I did more writing and drawing like I intended to do, but with everything going on I just never seemed to make it as far as I wanted to with my creative goals this year.

I participated in Inktober and Women’s History Month by producing multiple new ink drawings, as well as experimented with some new watercolor pens during Shark Week to produce a new whale shark illustration.

As for writing, I did more of that and am really excited about my current writing project. I recently shared the currently-private details with my BFF, the lovelyย Cupcakes & Machetes and she shared in this excitement, making me that much more motivated to not be the notorious project hopper that I am and see this one through. I participated in NaNoWriMo and although I didn’t make the full 50,000 word count I’d hoped for that month, I didn’t give up and got some good writing in which I’m pleased about. ๐Ÿ™‚

I did try a new creative thing this year that I hadn’t even been planning on, and that was face painting. Mr. Moth and I both required skull makeup for the Halloween event we attended this year, so I gave it a shot and was totally thrilled with the results.

Concerning my HEALTH/FITNESS GOALS for 2018: This was another set of goals that I worked on but would have liked to have been able to push myself further with. I did make a few gym buddies, I took some different classes at the gym and tried lots of new things there, pushing myself out of my comfort zone quite a bit. Me being my very introverted self, I’ve always preferred working out at home to going to an actual gym, but I think that really changed this year. I wanted to try hitting the trampoline park again and finding new active hobbies like that, but the gym was pretty much my go-to in that department this year. Maybe next year?

All in all, it was a pretty damn good year for me as far as milestones and working on goals. Any growth and development one can make to oneself is always a plus, right? I know I have lots of exciting new things I want to work on in 2019, but we’ll save all that for my upcoming New Year’s Resolution post. ๐Ÿ˜‰

TOP MOVIES I WATCHED IN 2018:

Deadpool 2

Black Panther

Avengers: Infinity War

Fantastic Beasts 2

The Incredibles 2

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TOP SHOWS I WATCHED IN 2018:

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Attack on Titan

American Ninja Warrior (and it’s other counterparts)

Channel Zero (I didn’t really care for this show previously, but this season was much better!)

The Jim Jefferies Show

American Horror Story

Insatiable (this show got a lot of hate for not being PC but it’s a dark comedy. The characters are supposed to be flawed, messed up people with flawed, messed up views. I binge-watched the hell out of this.)

Riverdale (Okay, first of all, WTF is going on with the writing this season, also I can’t pull myself away.)

Anywhoooooo, I hope you guys had a productive year working on your goals and that you made lots of amazing memories in 2018. Here’s to everyone having a fantastic New Year! โค Best of luck to all of you with your New Year’s Resolutions and let’s make 2019 the best it can be! ๐Ÿ˜€

And, just for funsies, here’s a picture of Bailey taking a nap. Something I’m sure we’ve all been ready to participate in after all the recent holiday chaos. ๐Ÿ˜›

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I’m Baaaack!! (November Wrap-Up)

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Hello!! โค 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! ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. โค

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

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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? ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ˜›

BOOKS/GRAPHIC NOVELS READ IN NOVEMBER:

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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.

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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.) ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m hoping to do a review for it myself soon as well. 4/5 stars.

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

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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.

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Rat Queens, vol. 2, so glad to finally be reading this series again. (Review for this and the Orc Dave special to come soon!) ๐Ÿ˜€ 5/5 stars.

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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.

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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!) โค 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ˜›

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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. โค

 

Getting Ready for NaNoWriMo 2018

Hey, everyone! ๐Ÿ˜€ 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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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.

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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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.

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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. โค