I can’t believe it’s already almost March! February was a busy and awesome month full of surprises so I figured it was time to get my butt back on the blog and do an update post. 🙂 I just got my second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine this past Tuesday and I’m so happy and grateful. (Even if it did really knock me on my ass the day after with sore muscles/joints, fatigue, little waves of nausea, and a headache). After that, I was back to my normal self though and I was just thankful to be able to get it, so no regrets. Thanks, Science! ❤
I also started the process towards going to school for graphic design. Michigan has a new program it has rolled out to get people over the age of 25 back in school to get their associate degree by covering their tuition. It’s such a great opportunity and was too good of an offer to pass up, so I’ll be starting classes this summer. I’ve even already got my college ID! One of my co-workers is already taking the exact program at the same college and has had great things to say about it, so I’m really excited. Pluuuus, I’ll get to share in this experience with my BFF Cupcakes & Machetessince she is going back to college as well starting in the spring. 😀 Different schools/classes, but we’re both excited to geek out over school stuff together so that will make it even better all the way around!
Other fun surprises this month came in the form of two new fuzzy and prickly friends. A girl I went to school with before was recently trying to find a home for a good dog in a sad and tough situation so he wouldn’t have to go to a shelter so long story short, my parents opened their home to him and now have a lovable, goofy, clumsy, fluff monster to call their own. ❤ My other new little animal friend came in the form of a lovely little hedgehog at my work. She’s so sweet and cute and the participants at my job just absolutely adore her, as do I. 🙂
It wouldn’t be an update post on THIS blog if I didn’t mention recent reads, hobbies, and baking. I didn’t have as much time for those things as I’d have hoped, buuuut I did bake this delicious Honey-Drizzled Cinnamon Chai Cake:
In reading news, I happily read Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book this month. It was such a treat. Kind of a nice and cozy, comfort read. 🙂 I also started reading Leigh Bardugo’s The Lives of Saints (Grishaverse) and, for a refresher before the Netflix adaptation comes out, I’m re-reading/listening to Shadow and Bone. I just watched the official trailer yesterday and I. Am. PUMPED. ❤
Well, those are my updates for the month! 🙂 I also did some writing and more practice with digital art but not as much as I had planned due to all the other stuff going on. All in all, though, February was a pretty good month. I hope you guys all had a good go of it as well. ❤ Looking forward to catching up on some blog posts I’ve missed but please fill me in on any excitement I have missed in the mean time. What were your highlights of the past few weeks?
What time is it? RECIPE TIME! 😀 I I was so excited to get to spend New Year’s Day baking and boozing with the amazing Cupcakes & Machetes during our very first Virtual Baking Party. I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better way to kick off 2021. ❤ One of the things I’ve always loved so much about our friendship is that it never matters how far apart we are or even how long it’s been since we’ve last been able to actually see eachother, it’s always an amazing time when we get together. Here’s my favorite pic from our Zoom session, of C&M, being the reigning Queen of Silly Faces that she is. 😛
C&M made a delicious-looking Eggnog Bread with an Eggnog Icing and I made a very yummy Honey Beer Bread and (because I happened to have an abundance of cranberries) I made Cranberry Cosmos and Cranberry-Cinnamon jam. We both loved what we ended up making and had a blast along the way. 😀 If you’ve been video-chatting with any of your friends during the pandemic, I wholeheartedly suggest throwing some fun activities into the mix sometime. It was a little tricky at first, but we quickly found our groove and it was fun to drink, bake, and plan our next Buddy Read together. Thank goodness for modern technology. I couldn’t imagine having gone through the pandemic without it, or without C&M for that matter. We may be miles and miles apart and forced to Quarantine away from each other for months on end, but being able to video chat and keep in touch via text and online has been a lifesaver! ❤
Hey, there, all you majestic beasties! ❤ Can you believe November is nearly over? I hope you’re all well and finding ways to keep entertained and happy. 🙂 I’m back at home, my work being one of the places that has closed during our state’s three week partial closure. I’ve tried starting multiple posts while I’ve been off and nothing sticks. I’m in this foggy headspace where focusing on one thing is even harder than normal, which brings us to my first November update…
UPDATE #1: CREATIVE STUFF
With the exception of drawing, I haven’t been able to concentrate on a whole lot. So, that’s pretty much what I’ve been focusing on. Drawing. Especially mythical creatures/beings. It’s actually been a lot of fun. 🙂 (The weird tree lady pictured above is a Dryad I drew, from Greek mythology.) NaNoWriMo, on the other hand, obviously got shot in the foot on take off. I don’t know what I was thinking with that one. Haha Between the pandemic and a very tense election I was pretty much glued to the news during the beginning of the month, so not much writing going on, I’m afraid.
UPDATE #2: HOLIDAYS
I think we all know by now that the holidays are going to be very different this year. Under normal circumstances I’m usually a bit on the Grinchy side, not really one for Christmas music and all the fluff that goes with it. (I’m not as bad as I used to be, but it’s never the part of year I’m really looking forward to.) Well, it’s 2020 and everything is all messed up and crazy, so of course this would be the year that I am PUMPED for Christmas. 😛 Bring on the holiday baking, Christmas movies and music, cozy winter bullshit, and decorations. I would already have the tree up and decorated if it wasn’t for Mr. Moth demanding Thanksgiving be allowed to have its moment. Haha I didn’t make the comic featured below, but when I found it, it immediately reminded me of Mr. Moth and his bizarre love for Thanksgiving. 😀
UPDATE #3: BAKING
I don’t know what it is about being stuck at home, but it really makes me want to bake ALL the things. Recent baking adventures include Snickerdoodle Cupcakes for Mr. Moth’s birthday, peanut butter cookies, pumpkin cookies, and rainbow chip cookies. I also busted out our new waffle maker and made homemade Belgian Waffles. One batch was regular and the other I jazzed up and made Pumpkin-Chai Belgian Waffles. 😀 It’s actually been really nice finding a joy in baking again. I used to bake all the time and then eventually I got sick of it. My favorite things to make this year definitely seem to be cookies. I’m really picky about cookies, so making them at home has been nice because they are super soft and chewy, just like I like ’em! ❤
UPDATE #4: READING
Like I said previously, my level of focus has been practically ZERO lately, so needless to say, not a lot of reading was getting done. Well, thankfully I’m starting to come back around and get some light reading in again. 🙂
I’m not going to lie, I was sooo sad when it hit me that I was reading the FINAL volume of Giant Days. This comic about three college friends and their lives has been such a treat to read. I can’t say I’ve read many other things that made me feel like I, too, along with the characters was saying farewell to my friends at the end. Mr. Moth and I both read this series, and we agree that John Allison does a fantastic job writing female characters. (Really, just characters in general, but if you’ve ever read anything from a male author where the male gaze gets a bit heavy, you know what we’re talking about.)
Written by Clive Barker, The Forbidden tells the story of what would eventually become the 1992 horror film, Candyman. I really enjoyed this short story, though if you’ve seen the film before you’ve read the story, this one feels like the blueprint to the movie which expands upon it in a really great way.
It’s always a treat reading more of Joe Hill’s work. With the recent news of the premature cancellation of AMC’s television adaptation of this title, I decided to go ahead and dive on in. Initially I was going to wait closer to Christmas due to some of the holiday horror vibes of this story, but as I mentioned already, I am feeling festive as fuck and could no longer wait. It’s off to a great start and I’m looking forward to reading more of it and seeing what the characters I came to love in the show get up to in the pages of this novel.
This title and I go way back. I’d gotten to read a smidge of Hack/Slash long ago, enough to have given me a taste of what it was bringing to the table but not enough to sink my teeth into. Well, at 300 pages, this omnibus lays out the whole feast and dessert too. Hack/Slash follows our resident goth drifter Cassie Hack and her pal Vlad, a big, deformed man of few words who has the soul of a kitten (as long as you’re not on his to-kill list) as they hunt Slashers across the country and put them down for good. I like the way they handle their slasher mythology in this series, describing Slashers (your standard Michael, Jason, Freddy sort of fare) as “a type of undead, sort of like a vampire or zombie. They’re so full of anger that they don’t wanna die. They hate love, youth, sex . . . things they miss from life.” I mean, how often do we see the big murderous slashers who go after teenagers spring back up for more mayhem and murder after they’ve been killed? All the time, right? Makes sense to me to throw the supernatural spin on that. The series definitely isn’t for everyone, and I, myself, sometimes roll my eyes due to that “male gaze” thing I mentioned previously, but it has a lot of appeal for horror fans, and thus I do enjoy it. Genre favorites from the big screen and behind-the-scenes even make appearances such as Robert Kirkman and Mr. Good Guy Doll himself, Chucky.
Anywhooo, that’s it for my November updates. Now it’s time to play catch-up and see what you fine and fancy folk have been up to. Happy (early) Thanksgiving to those of you who celebrate it. And Happy Monday (ugh) to the rest of you! 😛
Okay, so I’m a little late to the party on this Tag, but in all fairness what even IS time in 2020?? I sure as hell don’t know! 😛 I saw this wonderful post from Lair of Books and decided that I, too, wished to join in on the fun. Better stylishly late than never, right? 😉
1.) Best book you’ve read so far this year?
Probably the same book I’m about to give as the answer for the following question, too. 😛
2.) Best sequel you’ve read so far this year?
Crooked Kingdom, by Leigh Bardugo. Loved this book. Great characters, great twists and turns, and great worldbuilding.
3.) New release you haven’t read yet, but want to?
Even though I’m still not finished reading Dread Nation (not the book’s fault, but mine) I went ahead and bought the book’s sequel Deathless Divide, by Justina Ireland that was released earlier this year. Definitely looking forward to reading more of Dread Nation and then diving into this one.
4.) Most anticipated release for the second half of the year?
I didn’t have anything that instantly sprang to mind (mostly due to my own lack of research of new releases) but upon a little digging I discovered that we can, in fact, have SOME nice things in 2020. As it turns out, the fifth (and apparently final) volume of Monstress is coming out in October! 😀
5.) Biggest disappointment?
Boneshaker, by Cherie Priest, and I will explain why in the next question because it really does apply to both.
6.) Biggest surprise?
Probably how much I was disappointed by Boneshaker (pictured above). Zombie Steampunk shenanigans should have been my jam, but I just could not get into the characters, especially the main 2 characters. I was so sick of reading how “smart” the son was when he pretty much gave me zero evidence of that himself. And the mom just felt so flat. Like, we knew who she was married to, we know she wants to find her son, but other than that, there isn’t much I can say about her, unfortunately. And as much as I adore worldbuilding, I think they went a bit too heavy with setting the atmosphere compared to the actual plot and character development. I really had high hopes for this one but it just was not my cup of tea, sadly. 😥
7.) Favorite new author (Debut or new to you)?
Ilona Andrews. New to me, and such a treat. 🙂 Looking forward to checking out more of her books, especially in the Innkeeper Chronicles series.
8.) Newest fictional crush?
Ya know, I hate to be boring on this answer, but I don’t have one from the books I read. Unless you want to count Henry Cavill’s portayal of Geralt in The Witcher. I mean, it started as a book series (that I have yet to read) but who can deny how pretty this dude is wielding a sword, kicking all sorts of monster ass and brooding all over the place??
Though, by that logic, I could make a similar argument for Charlize Theron in The Old Guard, based off a graphic novel series I *also* have yet to read. Fierce. Badass. Warrior. QUEEN. ❤
9.) Newest favorite character?
Zoya Nazyalensky. She may not be a new character to me since I read the original Grisha Trilogy back in the day, but it was new to me just how much I enjoyed her character in Leigh Bardugo’s King of Scars. Really good character development.
10.) Book that made you cry?
A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness. SO. MANY. FEELINGS. This book is so dark and beautifully done. Grief is such an ugly and complicated emotion and this book captures it perfectly.
11.) Book that made you happy?
Giant Days is always such a feel-good and fun slice-of-life style comic. Sometimes there are sad parts, but overall it’s a comfort read for sure. ❤
12.) Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)?
I don’t know . . . I really couldn’t pick one right now, sorry! D:
13.) What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
Definitely sooner than before the end of the year, but I need to finish my buddy read with Cupcakes & Machetes for Gideon the Ninth! Enjoying it so far, just have a lot going on right now and an attention span in tatters.
How has your year in reading been so far? 🙂 Let’s talk books! ❤
Whoops! Meant to do this post at the end of July but better late than never, right? 😉 After doing one of these photo-based monthly wrap-up posts for June, I thought it would be fun to carry on and make this a regular sort of installment here on my blog. 🙂 I hope everyone had a fun and safe July. Obviously with the coronavirus still running rampant this year’s 4th of July festivities were MUCH more low key, but Mr. Moth and I still had a great time.
BAKING: I made these S’mores cookies on the 4th of July. They were quite good, and I’m not even a S’mores person normally. 🙂 Another fun part of the 4th of July is that my very own little corner of the blogosphere celebrated it’s 4th Blog Birthday. Woo! 😀
OUTDOORS: It’s been far too hot for me to want to do much of anything outside this month, so I mostly just admired and watered our plants and then scuttled back inside.
We also recently had the pleasant surprise of discovering baby pumpkins! Can’t wait to have homegrown pumpkins this Halloween! That will certainly be a first. 🙂
BOOKS: In reading news, I’ve mostly been on a DC Comics binge this month. I recently joined the DC Universe streaming service and now that I have quite the catalog of DC titles at my fingertips I’m taking full advantage of it. 🙂 As for actual novels, I finished the third novel of the Innkeeper Chronicles and also fed my Leigh Bardugo addiction by finally reading King of Scars. Now that I’ve read all of the books in the “Grishaverse” that are currently out my wait begins for the follow-up to KoS. Luckily I still have her Wonder Woman novel and Ninth House to keep me going until then. 😛
DRAWING: Aside from my Weird and Wild Animal Drawings, I did find time to do some other drawings. 🙂 Near the end of the month I decided it was time to push myself out of my comfort zone and start drawing more dynamic poses. Then I kind of lurched to a halt on the drawing front. I’ll be back at it soon, though! I’ve had a lot of house and research projects keeping me busy.
ANCESTRY SEARCH: One of the research projects I started in July was that of my very own lineage. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and what better time than while my place of work is still shut down? I’ve been able to trace 3 of my grandparents’ family histories back pretty damn far and there have been some really fascinating results that I want to do a lot more research on.
How was your July? Any exciting plans for August?? What with the pandemic and all I can’t say I have a lot planned for August, but one thing I look forward to are the Friday night video chats with my BFF Cupcakes & Machetes as well as our current buddy read as we take on Gideon the Ninth together. 😀 Not super far yet, but really enjoying the book already. Well, that’s it for now. Hope you guys are all staying safe and well. Have an amazing August! ❤ ❤ ❤
I can’t even keep track of what day it is anymore, so some of the books in this haul may have been bought in May, and some in June, maybe all were in June, I don’t even know. lol Seriously, today was like the second time I’ve filled my gas tank since wayyyy back in mid-March if that puts it into perspective how little I’ve left the house via car to go anywhere the past few months. Needless to say, these books were purchased via my kindle. Can you tell we take social distancing serious af in this house? 😉
I’m about a quarter of the way through this book and I’m really enjoying it. I love the narration of the main character, plus any book that can combine historical fiction and zombies as well as this one does is a win for me. I’m already planning to buy the sequel to this book and I haven’t even finished this one, if that tells you anything. 🙂
As is often the case with good books, this one came per suggestion from none other than Cupcakes & Machetes. Check out her review for more info on this lovely little mashup of fantasy and science fiction. I read and really enjoyed this first installment of The Innkeeper Chronicles and have since moved on to the second book. Space werewolves and vampires, living inns for the supernatural that have a symbiotic relationships with their innkeepers, and other fun little surprises kept me entertained from the start. Luckily, also thanks to C&M, I got the first 3 books in a nice little kindle bundle sale. 🙂
This series is a charming read and I was glad to have it on hand for a much-needed distraction after the sudden loss of a beloved family pet. 😥 I’m almost halfway through this second installment. The books definitely make for a quick and fun read.
“They killed my mother. They took our magic. They tried to bury us. Now we rise.” I’ve read really good reviews for this book, and it was a GR Readers Choice Awards winner for 2018, so I’m really looking forward to checking it out.
Putting this out there right now, I’m fairly certain this one is gonna make me cry. I saw the ending (yes, just the ending) of the film and I was bawling my eyes out, so I can only imagine what the book is going to do to me.
A fantasy book set in Nigeria that is supposed to be a breath of fresh air with very unique worldbuilding. Sounds good to me! 🙂
. . . . .
So, how about you guys? Find any good books lately? What are you reading that really strikes your fancy? Who else misses how easy it used to be to go to your local bookstore and just shop around and browse all those glorious books in person??
Hi, guys! ❤ I hope everyone is staying safe and doing well in their own little corner of the world. 🙂 I just thought I’d pop in and share a few of the drawings I’ve been working on over the past several weeks. Some days inspiration comes effortlessly, and other days I really have to fight for it. Some days I draw something because an art buddy creates something and it ignites my own creative fuel to want to make something too. Other days I do it to distract myself and clear my head. Sometimes a random bit of inspiration hits and I just do it for fun. What’s been getting your creativity flowing these days?
The sketchbook I started at the beginning of 2019 is getting pretty damn full which is always satisfying. I’m actually hoping soon enough to branch back out into digital art. It’s something I used to do years ago, but for some reason I am finding it very intimidating to dive back into. Though, considering that many of my brush pens are on the brink of death, I may be forced back into it sooner than later. 😛
What creative activities have you guys been immersing yourselves into lately? Do you feel like you’ve been bursting with inspiration recently, or fighting a creative drought? The past couple days I feel like I’ve been the latter. I’ve tried working on things but can’t concentrate on it for long. I think my head just isn’t in it right now. I know it will pass, and I know the reason for it, so I’m just trying to be patient and wait it out. Thankfully, that reading slump I mentioned in my last post has passed so I’ve been occupying part of my time with good books to keep me company. ❤
Oh, I gave the ol’ blog a bit of a makeover the other day. What do you guys think? I have no idea what I’m doing with that kind of thing, so I hope it looks okay. I might fiddle around with it more at some point, but for now it’ll do! 🙂
Anyone else feel like they’ve lost their grasp of time lately? It’s been just over two months since my other half and I last had regular Monday through Friday schedules, and almost just as long since my last blog post as well. Quarantine has my brain all over the place, even more than usual these days. I can’t tell you how many times this month I’ve still thought we were in April. lol
I’d like to say I’ve been using my time wisely and kicking the shit out of my new year’s resolutions, but this is NOT the 2020 I signed up for, so that’s a big NOPE for me. 😉 What I have mostly been doing is just been binge-watching shows and movies with my fiance and kitty, and doing things that make me happy and keep me focused on one thing at a time instead of a thousand things and worries all at once. Gotta keep that mental health in check! ❤
I used to bake all the time and eventually got kind of sick of it a while back. (I was always the person who was in charge of baking for every single event, be it in my personal, work, or school life and baking big batches of stuff time and time again just kind of got old after a while.) Well, with all this free time on my hands, I’ve been on quite the Quarantine Baking Spree. Some recipes made include:
Pumpkin Toffee Bread
Peanut Butter Cookies
Rainbow Chip Cake Cookies with Whipped Frosting
Strawberry Cake Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
Dark Chocolate Oreo Mousse
Banana Cream Mousse
As for creative things, it’s been touch and go. I have been drawing a fair amount, which has been nice. I’ve been posting the art over on my Instagram account which I use far more regularly. I really like Instagram for more frequent use, but I do miss the wonderful community and friends I’ve found here on WP. Like Imperial Rebel Ork has pointed out before, I think the blogosphere allows us to get more connected and have more of an actual dialogue with one another. 🙂
I’ve also been trying to learn new tricks and techniques to get back into digital art. I got a fancy new art tablet for my birthday back in January and there is sooo much to learn but I am really loving all the options and artistic freedom it allows. Hopefully in the near future I can start actually making pieces with it once I feel I’ve learned how to best utilize it.
Writing has been a real “when it rains it pours” kind of situation. Some days I’m really productive, and others I’m like “What the hell am I even doing??” My attention span has been all over the place during this so my reading has been a lot less frequent as well. I’ve started reading multiple books (interesting ones, too) and then my brain goes “Nah, bitch, not today!” and they return to the TBR pile from whence they came.
On days that the weather has been kind, we’ve gone walking, but it’s mostly been snowing and raining or just too cold, so there hasn’t been as much of that as we would have liked. I think one of the major things I miss doing is going to the gym. Hitting the treadmill with my earbuds in and listening to music or an audiobook was something I really enjoyed doing before or after work. I’m not cool enough to pretend I haven’t put my gym shoes on and done laps in my dining room/kitchen while listening to an audiobook. 😛
Mr. Moth returns to work tomorrow, so I’m guessing that will bring some normalcy back into our routine, but I’m also anxious about him going back too. Michigan is one of the states that has been hit really hard with COVID-19, and one of the parts of Michigan that has been a hot spot for the virus is the place we call home. I know good people who have lost their life to the virus, and it breaks my heart thinking about them and their families. Luckily most of the people I know who have gotten it have since fully recovered. ❤ A lot of the major people in my life that I care about are essential workers and have been working through the whole thing and I’m so glad that they’re okay. I hope you guys and your loved ones are doing well, too. ❤ I’m looking forward to catching up on some of the blog posts I’ve been missing. Please feel free to link me some exciting posts of yours I may have missed in the comments! I can’t say for sure how frequently I’ll be posting, but I’ll try not to make it another 2 months of radio silence between posts. 😉
Hey, guys! ❤ I just wanted to pop in to check and see how my blogging buddies are doing during these strange and scary times. It’s been a while. February I was sick with the flu, then with a wicked sinus infection, and then had a work injury to my hand, so I failed at doing my once-a-month-minimum blog post, but I wasn’t beating myself up about it. I figured March HAD to be a better month, right? Right?? Oh, boy, what a sweet, sweet summer child I was . . . 😦
I hope you guys are all doing well, staying healthy, and staying sane while in Quarantine. For those of you who are still working during all of this, I genuinely hope your patients, customers, etc. are treating you kindly and that your place of employment is doing their best to keep you safe and well. ❤
My last day of work was March 13th. I work at a day program for adults with special needs so we tend to follow the guidelines of the schools. Our return-to-work date has been pushed back three times and I would honestly be surprised if it doesn’t get pushed back again. My work is doing the best they can to take care of us though which I am beyond thankful for. ❤ I’ve only left the house once in the past 2 weeks. My fiance Mr. Moth is here with me, and we’ve got our kitty Bailey here with us. They’re both amazing Quarantine Buddies. 🙂
TV SHOWS: Shameless / The Masked Singer / Lego Masters / The Daily Show
MOVIES: The Pit / Spencer Confidential / Us / Get Out / A Quiet Place / Spider-Man: Far From Home
BOOKS: The Exorcist / The Lost City of Z / Tank Girl Armadillo!: A Novel / Nevernight / The Indifferent Stars Above (I’m hopping a lot between books right now.) 😛
ART: I’ve worked a bit on a Quarantine Art Challenge, done some really interesting research for my writing, and some mapping (also for my writing project)
We’re doing okay in the Moth Household, and I hope you guys are all doing okay, too. How are things in your neck of the woods? Who are your Quarantine Buddies? What have you been up to during all of this? What’s keeping you sane?
A world where people can live free of disease and sickness sounds pretty tempting, right? Well, what if the cure for these ailments came in the small and tidy little package of genetically engineered tapeworm implants? Not quite as tempting, is it? Well, in the world of the Parasitology novels, the general public was not so easily swayed by their squeamishness, and these tapeworms caught on pretty quickly and on a mass scale. Then, in standard science fiction tradition, the shit hits the fan.
People with these cure-all implants have begun losing control. The tapeworms are taking over their hosts, and they are hungry little buggers. Like, zombie-horde-levels of hungry.
This book is a solid sequel to Mira Grant’s Parasite. The characters are up against tough odds with enemies on all sides. Not everyone with the implants are reduced to mindless hunger machines that just want to eat people, and not all humans are good and trustworthy. There were a lot of interesting moments in this book, and I greatly look forward to reading the third installment in the future.