january rewind \\ more books more stress!

things that happened

  • I had a job interview for a job I really want. I applied to be a materials selector at my library for the children’s books, which would mean I basically spend my days researching and reading books that I then get to decide if my library system buys. I REALLY want this job because, as I’ve been noting, my current job stresses me the fuck out and I’m not sure if I want to stay in librarianship in this capacity. I don’t feel like the interview went well because they changed the location on the day of the interview without telling me so I was even more stressed than a normal interview situation, and I’m worried I sabotaged myself. I haven’t heard back yet so I guess there’s still hope, but I’m not very optimistic even though I know I’d be amazing at it.
  • I went self-hosted!! I’ve been contemplating changing my name and going self-hosted for a while because I want my blog to reflect my personality more and to have more freedom where plug ins and themes are concerned. So, welcome to Cotton Candy Book Witch, your local witchy-bitchy book blog with lots of glitter, books, and magic!
  • I got threatened at work. To be fair, it was only a teen, but it is scary af to hear that someone wants to wait for you after work to beat you up and then have the same person say they’re ready to slap you plus calling you a bitch a few times. This same teen has also called our security officer a bitch, and I just wish we could ban him, but for some reason my boss just decided that talking to him with me and the security officer was enough, which I don’t agree with. If he gets to come back he’s just gonna do the same things over and over and I have to deal with extreme anxiety every time he comes in.
  • One of our most obnoxious teens no longer hates us. Granted, he is still annoying at times, but we got one of our most problematic teens to play Uno with us (us being the head of the department and I) and I think he secretly enjoyed it even though he’d die before admitting that. And he’s been hanging around our desk a bit more so I am extremely pleased. It has only taken 8 months of testing us for him to get to this point…

 

what i read

I actually read quite a few books (aka 7) this month! I am very pleased about this, especially because 5 were backlist books. My favorite book was either FAKE IT TILL YOU BREAK IT or THE KISS QUOTIENT, both of which are romances, but one is fluffy and YA and the other is somewhat fluffy and adult. I’m so glad my first foray into (published) adult romance went well and now I’m excited to read more adult romance books and branch out a little into adult. I also liked both MG graphic novels I read and hope to read more of those as well. The most disappointing fiction book I read was unfortunately KINGDOM OF THE BLAZING PHOENIX, which I am still sad about, but Jade was SO nice and SO deadly boring that I just couldn’t love the story as much as the complex and dark FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS.

 

blogging things

Obviously, the biggest blogging thing that happened this month was going self-hosted and becoming Cotton Candy Book Witch! I wish I could just say I’m happy and excited about it, but I also just have SO MUCH anxiety over it. I’m stressed that there’s no more WordPress follow button and I can’t figure out how to get a button other than the email subscribe because most of my followers read from the WordPress reader, and I’m really worried that my posts won’t show up in the reader even though my hosting company said they “should” because that’s where practically all my traffic comes from. I almost threw in the towel and decided not to migrate the blog, but I didn’t know how else to change the URL and migrate the site, so I decided to do it but I’m just so stressed about people possibly not seeing my posts in the WordPress reader. I’m just worried I made a huge mistake that I can’t take back and that I won’t keep gaining followers and my views will be completely shot.

On another note, I did somehow gain 60 followers this single month?? Idk how that happened but it is pretty great. I will get to my 500 follower goal for 2019 in no time if that keeps up (if I can figure out how to allow people to follow via self-hosted WordPress). Also if you found this via the WordPress reader, please tell me so I can stop panicking and crying??

 

around the blogosphere

People wrote some really great posts this month! Check some of them out here:

  • Kat made a wonderful list of books featuring protagonists who are 20ish and I am so excited to read all of them!
  • Shealea also launched a new blog, Shut Up, Shealea.
  • Camillea posted about 5 mistakes she made while writing her first novel.
  • Briana posted about what book bloggers actually do.
  • Vicky shared some paperback cover changes she’s in love with.

 

book haul highlights

  • Spin the Dawn | Elizabeth Lim – This book was pitched as Project Runway meets Mulan and how can I not want to read a book comped to those things??? Court intrigue & drama & fashion?? ALL THE YES!!!
  • Tell Me How You Really Feel | Amina Mae Safi – I was SO EXCITED to see this book on NetGalley. Just look at all that f/f magic on the cover! And I’m pretty sure they start out hating each other which is my favorite romance trope ever?? So this is going to be AMAZING.
  • Happy Messy Scary Love | Leah Konen – I actually requested this one kind of on a whim but as soon as I heard it had a character who loves horror movies and an online-turned-IRL romance, I knew I HAD to have it. I hope this one ends up being good.
  • Love from A-Z | S. K. Ali – I was very excited to see this one on Edelweiss because the Bustle cover reveal and excerpt convinced me I need to have it. Hopefully it will live up to my extremely high expectations!
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bad netgalley covers (2)

It’s time for a second round of bad covers I’ve found on NetGalley. Prepare yourselves, because some of these are truly terrible.

 

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I guess this one maybe isn’t awful but…I just don’t understand it? It looks so weird to me with the stark white background, and I’m not understanding what material this photo is made of because it looks more like ripped wallpaper, and why is her face ripped?? Plus the tagline is so teeny tiny that I can’t even read it?? There is a lot going on here and I understand none of it.

 

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Why…would you pick that font. And why is there so much light? I think there’s supposed to be another image in the background but why have an image if you’re going to blur it out beyond recognition? Even I could design a better cover than this and I am NOT a designer.

 

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This is probably a personal thing but I simply HATE covers where there are things made to look like a face or head silhouette. Why would you ever need a cave in the shape of a head??

 

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Red sky =/= normal, red skin =/= normal…this cover is an oxymoron. And also very red. Why??

 

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BAha.
BAHAHA.
BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

That’s really all I need to say.

 

 

 

Plot twist: the covers are actually for different books and not the exact same cover. Who’da thunk?

 

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I am SO perplexed by this. WTF? Is that dude a frog?? Also is it just me or does that person-frog *kind of* look like it has blackface? Which is super problematic??

 

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These colors are just…a lot. Looking at this cover makes my eyes bleed. And the shocking thing is this is from Simon & Schuster.

 

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This is another color combo that is just bad. I also just noticed the weird splatters? What is that supposed to be? Ink? Blood? But these colors…should not be together.

 

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Apparently I just hate all the colors on these covers. This looks like vomit. Or another yellow bodily fluid that needs not to be named.

 

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This isn’t *as* bad as the others, but it’s again a weird yellow? Yellow can be a really unattractive color. I’m also confused by all the light bubbles and the weird smudging and attempted vignette effect. It is all too much accompanied by a bad color.

 

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This is not a whale nor is it a lonely thing. Plus why is it ALL in blue? Monochromatic covers = nonono. Boring boring boring.

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weekly wrap up // 1-27-19

Welcome to another weekly wrap up! I almost forgot to do one this week, so yay! Anyway…

 

weekly happenings

I…really need a new job. I have just been so stressed at my current one because patrons at the library are so rude, even the teens, and I just…I’m TIRED af. This week was extra tough because the teens got out of school early because of exams, so they were at the library CONSTANTLY being obnoxious, and it wasn’t even most of our regular kids, who wouldn’t be *as* obnoxious. Working with the teens is the part of the job I like the most, but sometimes it is HARD. I am very glad school will be normal next week.

 

what i read

The title of this section this week should actually be “what I attempted to read” because I didn’t finish either of these books and didn’t get to read much because work was busy (which is a good thing, but still a bit sad because less reading time at the desk). I started with RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE…I REALLY wanted to like this book because it’s queer, but unfortunately, the writing style just didn’t work for me. It was SO SLOW AND BORING it was just not…good. It was weird because it was a lot of internal stuff, which is why it was slow because there wasn’t a ton of action on the outside, but we also didn’t get to know the protagonist that much?? So it was strange.

I also attempted STAIN, aka my most anticipated read of the year. I think I may just not be in the mood right now, because objectively speaking the writing is excellent, but this book also read as very slow to me and I just wanted to get to the meat of the story. I also was not in the mood to read a 500+ page book, I think.

I am now attempting a reread of the Grisha trilogy so I can finally read RUIN & RISING sans series amnesia. These books are so good; hopefully they can keep me hooked unlike these other books.

 

what I posted

  • I made a list of my writing fears
  • I did the Get to Know Me book tag! I <3 tags!!!
  • I posted for WWW Wednesday
  • I reviewed the amazing and delightful THE KISS QUOTIENT
  • I wrote about my blogging journey and where I hope to take this blog

 

blogging updates

So I am definitely switching to self-hosted and also renaming my blog COTTON CANDY BOOK WITCH!! I am very nervous but also very excited and everyone has been so supportive even if they don’t like the new blog name so thank you all so much <3 <3 AND Kat at Novels and Waffles has been making AMAZING graphics for my new blog, including a header that I am so psyched to use; it is so me! She’s not open for business yet, but she will be officially opening a design shop soon, and trust me, you NEED to check her out. She has been so wonderful to work with and her designs are BEAUTIFUL.

 

 

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blogging reflections: where i’ve been and where i’m going

As you may have gathered from my first weekly wrap-up post last week, I have been thinking A LOT about my blog lately. Contemplating changing my name has made me think a lot about my blogging journey in general and also where I hope to take my blogging career (a term I use very loosely because obviously blogging is more of a hobby for me since I don’t get paid for it and do it because I want to do it) in the future.

So, here is a semi-coherent collection of thoughts about my blogging career so far, and where I hope to take it with a name change:

  • I have tried a lot of blogging platforms. I started out on Blogger, then moved to free WordPress before WordPress started having ads everywhere, tried self-hosted with RFE Hosting, moved back to Blogger, moved to Premium WordPress for this blog, then am now probably going to go back to self-hosted with RFE. I picked RFE Hosting because a couple other bloggers have used it who I follow, it’s a very reasonable price to host and migrate the site, and they always respond right away to any questions I have and are extremely helpful. I will also get all the features of a Business WordPress plan, i. e. adding my own themes and adding plug ins, without having to pay a ridiculous amount of money for it.
  • I’ve changed my blog names A LOT. Probably more than is necessary or sane for most bloggers. Here is a quick rundown of all the names I’ve had: Bibliophilia: A Love Story (my second favorite after my current name), The Bibliotaph, The Middle Grade Reading Project, Bookish Minis, The Cuddly Teapot, and now A Word and a Whisper. I like my name okay, but honestly it doesn’t say anything about me or my blog. I feel like it has no personality, and I chose it on a whim because I needed a name to start a blog, but I feel like it has no essence of who I am or what I want this blog to be.
  • I’ve always blogged about books. I vaguely considered trying to add some lifestyle-esque posts on one of my blogs (I believe it was The Cuddly Teapot) because I was reading a lot of that blog at the time, but as a whole, I know now that I will probably always be a book blogger of some kind. I like to blog about some personal things, but that I feel allows me an outlet and adds somewhat to the brand of the blog.
  • I’ve never taken branding seriously…but I think I should. When I first started blogging, I read a lot of posts about having a brand and a voice, and I never took them seriously because a lot of the book blogs I was reading honestly sounded really similar and I didn’t understand really what branding was. Now, I’d say it is somewhat important to have a “brand” or things people associate with you and your site. That’s one of the reasons I want to change my blog name to Cotton Candy Book Witch, because I feel like it fits me as a person and shows my personality and what I want this blog to be.
  • I just want the blog to reflect me more. I think we all have an image of who we’d want to be if the world were an ideal place, and for me my blog is becoming the place where I get to be who I wish I was. I want to be a pastel, witchy-bitchy bookworm. I am already some of those things, and I want a place to be myself and a blog name that reflects that.
  • I want my blog to be more creative. I’ve talked about wanting to write a lot on here, but until I get to that point, and even when I do, blogging is really my writing outlet and how I get to be creative and show my imagination. I think I want my blog to be a more creative and magical place for myself and my readers. One of the things I’m considering is adding my cats to my blog and having them help me write my book reviews. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I like to write about and what I post about most on social media, and the answer is books, funny/cute things my boyfriend says/does (he is very funny/cute), and my cats. Plus, I’ve been thinking about trying to get back into witchy things since that brought me joy, and this year I’m overall just trying to do things and find things that bring me joy. So writing about witchy things on the blog would be very motivational, making Cotton Candy Book Witch an even more fitting name.
  • I’ve found a place in the community. I think finding a community of blogging friends has really influenced my blogging and my life this time around. When I used to blog, I was too scared to talk to people, but I’ve realized that most bloggers are very sweet and want to talk about books and things, and there is a place for me on bookish social media. Starting to talk about the changes I want to make to my blog with everyone has been so helpful, and people are so supportive even if they like A Word and a Whisper better than Cotton Candy Book Witch, and I’m confident I won’t lose support or friends if I change my name or make major changes to how I blog. So thank you all <3 <3

 

 

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oh look I read an adult book // the kiss quotient

Title: The Kiss Quotient
Author: Helen Hoang
Pages: 304
Date published: June 5, 2018

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice — with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan — from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

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I did the thing! I read an adult book! And it’s a backlist book! And it was fluffy! And a romance! And I really liked it! Who even am I anymore? I’m reading books outside of my comfort zone and am inspired to read and write things that are not YA? Oh wait, the writing is another post topic. Let’s get back on track here.

THE KISS QUOTIENT is not my first foray into adult romance, but it is the one I’ve liked the most, other than a couple manuscripts I read as an editorial intern with Entangled. I’m slightly torn because there were some writing craft things that bothered me but also I just enjoyed it so much and was so entertained?? So this book is still four stars for me if I was the type of person who did book ratings, which I am not. Okay, onward with the review…

One of the main selling points on this book is the diversity elements, and I think both characters were handled really well. I can’t speak to the actual rep for Autism because I am not autistic, but I can say that Stella was written really differently than any other autistic character I’ve read. In most other books I’ve read with an autistic character, the story was all about them being autistic, and it became the only part of their personality, but in this book, Stella was definitely a full person who just struggled (sometimes) with autism. I thought the book did a really great job of explaining how Stella’s autism effected her without making her entire personality about autism. It also showed her having a full range of living experiences outside of her autism, even though it was still a part of her and something she dealt with, in a full way. I personally learned a lot about Stella’s form of autism through this book, and I think people would read this and be reminded that autism is different based on the individual person and doesn’t mean just one thing for everyone.

I also really loved Michael and his family. I thought Hoang crafted a really compelling backstory for Michael and that she made his escorting not necessarily “make sense” but seem more sympathetic to readers who might otherwise write him off for doing sex work, which I appreciated. One of the writing things that bugged me a bit was that what happened with his father and finding out who his father was happened so late in the book. Realistically, that would be in someone’s mind all the time, so revealing it later on like that just didn’t make emotional or logical sense to me, and I personally don’t really like it when you’re with a particular character in a story for a while and then find out something in a “twist” way later on even though they logically would’ve been thinking about it the whole time. I think this is probably just a nitpicky, “me” thing, and it definitely didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story.

On the Michael note, I adored his whole family. Their dynamics were so entertaining, especially the girls who were not twins, and his relationship with his mom was so sweet. Every single scene with Michael’s family just warmed my heart. I always like it when book characters have close relationships with their families (probably since I’ve read so many abusive and absent parent YA books), and Michael’s family was just delightful.

I also really appreciated how important consent was in the book. Michael really cared about making sure Stella was comfortable any time they did ANYTHING, even kissing, and took great care with her emotions. He also got so incensed when finding out that other men had sex with her when she was visibly in a bad place, which made my heart soar and melt. All the sexual stuff was actually handled really well, and I wasn’t actually as uncomfortable with it as I usually am while reading anything sexy, probably because it was handled with such sensitivity and consent was a huge part of every sex scene.

Plus I shipped them?? So?? Much??? I loved that Michael knew right away that Stella was basically his dream woman, and took the time to get to know her and be sensitive to her needs, even when he didn’t know she was autistic. One thing I will comment on is I found the changes in their relationship often abrupt, like they suddenly decided sex wouldn’t be a part of it, then kissing wouldn’t but he immediately kisses her again, then they suddenly decide it’s a practice relationship and not practice sex. I would’ve just liked some more consistency or flow in terms of the changes in their relationship status.

Obviously I have a lot of Thoughts about THE KISS QUOTIENT, but I guess I will end this review here before it gets too long and is basically a five page essay about how much I loved it. I am very happy that my first venture into adult romance in 2019 was a success, and I am also very excited that Helen Hoang is coming out with another book this year, THE BRIDE TEST, which I will definitely read immediately and may even possibly preorder, because that is how much I liked THE KISS QUOTIENT.

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www wednesday \\ 1-23-19

It’s my first WWW Wednesday of 2019! Yay, 2019! Yay, WWW Wednesday! You go, 2019; you go, WWW Wednesday. I haven’t done one of these in a long time so I am looking forward to doing this one 🙂

WWW Wednesday is a book blog meme hosted by Taking On A World of Words where book bloggers answer these questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What are you reading next?
  • What did you just finish reading?

 

just finished

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As some of you may know, I am an avid bullet journaler, so I was very excited when my mom spontaneously gifted me a copy of this book, which is about the use of the bullet journal by the creator of the whole huge movement. I was skeptical about it at first because I am a seasoned bullet journaler and worried that there wouldn’t be enough in it that was new for me, but I was pleasantly surprised. There were a lot of helpful things about goal-setting, and the book itself was more about how to utilize the method for your personal lifestyle and about mindfulness and living “intentionally,” which I found interesting. I bookmarked a bunch of pages with new bullet journaling tips, and found the whole thing a very pleasing reading experience. The physical book itself is also ridiculously pleasing; it’s the perfect size, it’s smooth, all the bujo pages inside are so neat and meticulous; this book is definitely worth it all in all whether you’re a seasoned bujo-er like myself or new to the craft!

 

currently reading

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I just started this one and am only about 3% into it as of the writing of this post, but I am very excited to be reading Casey McQuinston’s RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE, which is a political romcom about a First Son and the Prince of Wales. I can tell this one will probably be a bit slow already, but I’m really hoping that I still like it. I think the problem is that it’s SO MUCH in Alex’s head right now and not a bunch happening on the outside, so I hope that changes because otherwise it could be a loooooooong 400+ pages. I’m excited about it thought because ROMCOM and POLITICS and most importantly QUEER and also NEW ADULT!! Even if I don’t like it I’ll probably still end up screaming about it because of that combo.

 

reading next

I can’t decide between these two books. I got an ARC of STAIN but ended up deciding to wait until I got it in a book box this month, but the box hasn’t shipped yet and I just really want to read this because I LOVE A. G. Howard even though I wasn’t a fan of her last book, ROSEBLOOD. I also checked out THE PROPOSAL from the library and am looking forward to reading another adult romance after enjoying THE KISS QUOTIENT so much, and by another beloved author.

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the get to know me book tag

I love tags and haven’t done one in a while, so I am stealing this tag made by Rachel that I saw on Aurora Libralis.

 

Name your favorite color and a book you own in that color

I used to say my favorite color was purple, but recently, it has become pink, and I now need to own everything that is that particular shade of cotton candy pink that goes by “millenial pink.” I find pink so charming and plus it’s the color of my hair so…yeah, it’s probably my favorite color. As for a book I own in that color, I’d go with either REBEL BELLES, which is actually my favorite shade of pink, or THE BELLES (I’m sensing a theme with titles and belles…)

 

Describe yourself in three book characters

  • Meggie from INKHEART
  • Jane Sinner from NICE TRY, JANE SINNER
  • Emmy from THE BRIGHTSIDERS (did I pick her just because of her flaming bisexuality and love of music? Yes, yes I did.)

 

Hyped books–yes or no. If yes–what’s the most hyped book you’ve read? If no–what’s the most hyped book you’ve decided not to read?

Recently, the most hyped book I’ve read is THE CRUEL PRINCE. I used to avoid hyped books, but then realized I was mostly avoiding them because I wanted to be cool and not mainstream, which was silly, so now I usually give in to the hype when it comes to books because often, hyped books end up being really good! Unfortunately, that was not the case with THE CRUEL PRINCE for me, since I found it slow and disappointing and boring, but I’ve had good luck with other hyped books like WARCROSS and GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE.

 

Recommend a book for each season

❄️ Winter–The Hazel Wood
🌸 Spring–The Belles
☀️ Summer–Nantucket Blue (Lelia Howland)
🍁 Fall–Forest of a Thousand Lanterns

 

Name a book that wrecked you emotionally

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FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS absolutely crushed my soul. I was rooting for Xifeng to become Empress but also the way she felt she had to do it completely crushed me? Watching her downward spiral was suspenseful, tension-filled, and heartbreaking. This book absolutely destroyed me and I had the biggest book hangover afterward and I do not regret a single thing.

 

Name one book you would recommend with tea and cookies

TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE is definitely a tea and cookies book! Specifically the third book in the trilogy, ALWAYS AND FOREVER, LARA JEAN, because she spends the whole book trying to make the perfect chocolate chip cookie.

 

What is your guilty pleasure book?

I don’t believe in having guilty pleasures when it comes to reading because I don’t think anyone should be ashamed of what they read. Plus, most of what I read (YA) would be what most people would consider a guilty pleasure, and I feel no guilt about loving YA!

 

Favorite dessert and a book that reminds you of it

This was a really hard question but as soon as I thought of LAVA CAKEEEEE I knew I’d found my perfect dessert. Any time a restaurant has lava cake on the menu, you better believe I will be ordering it. The book that reminds me of lava cake is CARAVAL because the writing is so beautiful and luscious like the filling in a lava cake!

 

Are you a procrastinator? What books are you procrastinating on reading?

I am not usually a procrastinator and like to get things done as soon as they’re assigned, but when it comes to my most anticipated books or books in general, I can procrastinate for a long darn time. I have been procrastinating on reading A REAPER AT THE GATES since its release even though I love the EMBER books, probably because I can’t decide if I should reread TORCH since I’ve forgotten half of it due to dreadful series amnesia. I’ve also been meaning to read ILLUMINAE forever, and have started two or three times but never finished. I also keep meaning to read THE RAVEN BOYS, and have started that a couple times as well but seem to get distracted every time I try to read it.

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a compilation of my writing fears

So, lately, a weird thing has happening that has been very uncharacteristic of me for the past few years: I have a million writing ideas. I’ve been wanting to write more for quite a few years, but one of the (many) reasons it’s been hard to motivate myself is that I feel like I’ve been lacking in ideas. But, suddenly, I am inspired by literally everything and have a bunch of WIP ideas that I really want to start.

The problem is, I’ve been letting myself get bogged down in all the numerous fears I have about writing and have been procrastinating HEAVILY on getting started with a writing process. I am hoping that sharing some of my writing fears will help get them out of my brain and, hopefully people will have advice on how to overcome them. Without further ado, here are my many fears about trying to write:

  • What if I can’t write anymore? I haven’t written for over a year, since last year’s NaNoWriMo failure. What if I sit down and try to write and…no words come out? Like, not even bad words? Just…no words? What if all my words are gone and I can’t make any come out? What if the reason I haven’t written is that I just…can’t anymore?
  • What if I stop halfway through again? I’ve gotten stuck at the halfway points of both novels I started over the past few years. I get stuck in exactly the same spot, tell myself I’ll take a short break, and end up shelving the half-novel I’ve written and feeling bad about myself for failing.
  • What if I fail again? What if I’m cursed only to write half-novels? What if I start something, then end up shelving it again? What if I’m incapable of finishing a novel at all? I’ll feel like a failure, and not want to write for another entire over a year.
  • What if my ideas are bad? I don’t think my ideas are bad and I’m excited about them, but what if they’re actually terrible and nobody wants to read it?
  • What if I do finish? I think I might also be afraid of what happens when I do finish a novel, if that ever happens. Then I would have a lot of work ahead of me, aka revising, aka something I’ve never had to do before because I’ve never finished anything, and I have no idea where to start.
  • What if I can’t get into a writing schedule? I feel like I need a “schedule” since most writers seem to talk about having one? But I also have a full-time job and am really tired and stressed a lot of the time. I don’t think I would be able to schedule in long writing sessions. I know in theory they could be short, and don’t have to follow a certain rule, but for some reason I’m worried I wouldn’t be a “real” writer if I didn’t have a schedule of times where I would write A LOT all the time.
  • How do I motivate myself to sit down and write? This is currently my biggest problem. I just can’t motivate myself to get over my fears and anxiety enough to actually sit down and do the thing I really want to do, aka write. I just think up lots of ideas and procrastinate on starting them.

 

Do you deal with any of these writing fears? How do you try to overcome them?

 

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weekly wrap-up // 1-20-19

This weekly wrap-up is a new feature I’m trying because I love wrap-ups and seem to get more views on the weekends, so we’ll see how this goes. Plus I’m having a bit of a blogging crisis that I need advice on.

 

weekly happenings

This was a really stressful week for me. I am having conflict with my boyfriend’s parents that is really stressing me out and it came to a head this week and really stressed us both out. I also had a really stressful job interview (they changed the location on the day of without telling me) and I’m really worried because I don’t think I did my best but I still desperately want this job because how cool would it be to research books for a huge library system to buy all day!!?? I don’t know when I’ll hear and I have another interview lined up and I’m just really worried about the whole job situation because I need to get out of this job and find something I’ll enjoy until we probably move again when my boyfriend gets a job when he gets his master’s.

 

what i read this week

I read two delightful romances this week, both of which will count for the YARC2019 challenge, so I’m off to a pretty good start with that. I adored FAKE IT TILL YOU BREAK IT and will be pushing this book onto everyone until it comes out in June. It had all my favorite romance tropes and was just so cute and delightful. I also loved THE KISS QUOTIENT, which was a big surprise for me because it’s a) an adult book and b) an adult romance. I’ll be posting my review of it next week, so watch out for that!

 

what i posted

  • I posted about 2 middle grade graphic novels I read
  • I gushed over FAKE IT TILL YOU BREAK IT in a new feature, Save the Date, for books that I want to talk about but aren’t out for a while
  • I made another new feature, “in the mood for,” ft. monthly releases
  • I announced my intentions to participate in the Year of the Asian Challenge!

 

blogging crisis, you say??

I’ve been having a blogging crisis for a while now, mainly about two things: changing hosting from WordPress and changing my name. I’m debating changing my hosting back to RFE, which I’ve used before and is cheaper than WordPress business, which I want but is expensive, but would allow me more freedom and the ability to install plugins and themes, including plugins that could allow my blog to show up on Google search (anyone know how to fix this on self-hosted WordPress??) But I’m also a little poor right now.

On another note, I told myself I wouldn’t switch hosting until I decided if I wanted to change my name and therefore my domain. I like my name, I guess, but it doesn’t say anything to me about what my blog is or who I am. I’ve been debating changing it to Cotton Candy Book Witch for a while, even though I’m not posting about witchy things anymore because I’m not interested in them anymore. But I feel like it gives readers a better idea of what my brand is and my interests are. But I feel weirdly super anxious about changing my name even though I’ve thought about it a lot because it feels so permanent. I used to change blog names whenever I had the notion to but it was a pain and nothing felt permanent. I don’t know why this is causing me so much anxiety. I do really like the name but would love to hear others’ thoughts on or experiences with changing your blog name.

 

 

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YARC Announcement Post!

It is probably no secret by now that I love reading challenges, and I just couldn’t resist one supporting diverse books, so I am very pleased to announce that I will be participating in the Year of the Asian Reading Challenge, hosted by the lovely Lily, Vicky, Shealea, and CW (who made the lovely graphics you will see as part of this post)!

The goal of this challenge is to read as many books by Asian authors as possible.

My goal is to reach Tarsier level, which is between 1-10 books! If you want to know how cute a Tarsier is, CW’s graphic featuring one is below:

tarsier

^look how cute he is!!

Here are some of the books I hope to read for this challenge:

Symptoms of a Heartbreak | Sona Charaipotra – This book sounds like it will be filled with a lot of disasters and romance. It’s about Saira, a med student, who falls in love with a patient. I can feel the tears and tension coming already.

  • The Kiss Quotient | Helen Hoang – I’m actually reading this one right now and I’m so shocked by how much I’m enjoying it because it’s NOT YA!! It’s about Stella, an autistic woman, and her quest to learn about romantic relationships with Michael, an escort. I was worried that sex stuff would make me uncomfortable like it usually does in books for any age range, but it’s actually being handled super well so far and consent is so important in this book, which I appreciate.
  • Fake it Till You Break It | Jenn P. Nguyen – We all know I just read and loved this book, but just for a quick rundown, it’s about two teens who’ve been pushed together by their moms their whole lives and they decide to fake date to stop their moms from shipping them, but of course realize they don’t actually hate each other.
  • Somewhere Only We Know | Maurene Goo – I LOVED Maurene Goo’s second book, I BELIEVE IN A THING CALLED LOVE, and still have such high hopes for this book even though I didn’t love her last one, THE WAY YOU MAKE ME FEEL. Plus, this book is about a K-Pop star and romance and have I mentioned how much I ADORE celeb teen romances???

 

We Hunt the Flame | Hafsah Faizal – I would read anything Hafsah writes (even though I didn’t love her space debut) because I loved her blog, Icey Books, so so much. Plus, I am very in the mood for either fluffy books or fantasies lately, so I need this diverse fantasy in my life, like, yesterday.

  • Descendant of the Crane | Joan He – Everyone has been raving about this book, which convinced me to request an eARC of it and I was approved, YAY!! This book has tyrants and soothsayers and forbidden magic, so how could it possibly NOT be good? My expectations for this book are RIDICULOUSLY high.
  • Blood Heir | Amelie Wen Zhao – Can I just say how thrilled I was that the publisher approved my request for an ARC of this book even though they were apparently low on ARCs?? SO thrilled. I mean, with a first line of the summary including FUGITIVE PRINCESSES and the power to CONTROL BLOOD, how could this NOT be on my TBR??
  • The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali | Sabina Khan – I am very excited for this book to the point where I had a dream about it. Yet somehow I have not preordered? What is wrong with me?? Anyway, TL&LORA is about a queer Muslim girl struggling to live up to her parents’ expectations and how she’s sent to Bangladesh when she’s caught kissing her girlfriend.

 

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