march rewind \\ ummm, what just happened?

Okay, wow, March has been…A Month. For everyone who thought 2019 was bad…so sorry, 2020 is taking the cake for sure. I hope everyone is managing to stay healthy and mostly sane, and if you’re isolating/social distancing that you’re getting in a lot of reading time at least (well, more than I am, anyway).

Okay…let’s get to the wrap up.

 

what happened

  • Um hello coronavirus?? This is probably the wildest thing I’ve ever experienced. There is no toilet paper left at the grocery store across the street from me. I’ve been teleworking even though I’m a public librarian. Boyfriend is home also because his university is closed the rest of the semester and is teaching online. My state isn’t on lockdown yet, but for all I know by the time this post publishes it could be.
  • The library was closed. At first we just cancelled all public programming and reduced available computers, but a day later they decided to close us for two weeks. Then it became clear we couldn’t open back up to the public, and that timeline has been extended to “indefinitely.” However, I am EXTREMELY lucky and still being paid.
  • I got a really cool side gig. Apparently I’m better at blogging than I thought I am, because I applied to what was originally a freelance position with an organization that works with companies on gender issues as a content creator, and I was hired. My first assignment is to write about gender bias and AI, which I’m super pumped for.
  • I got Animal Crossing!!! I wasn’t sure if I was going to get it or not before it came out, but everyone on book twitter was gushing about it so I splurged and got it, and honestly, I love picking all the weeds on my island. I feel weird playing it at night though because the island is in real time so it’s dark and I feel like I should be asleep, not catching butterflies, lol. And now I’m super in debt to an excitable raccoon, woohoo.

giphy

 

what i read

38464995._SY475_

I only read one book this month, WHEN WE WERE MAGIC, but it was sooooo sapphic and amazing!!! I definitely recommend this one and am debating doing a week-long feature about it even though it’s already out.

I really haven’t felt like reading the past few weeks. I’ve started a few things but lose interest halfway through and can’t focus. I think I’m just really stressed about everything going on and the changes in my daily routine and I just can’t concentrate on reading. Nothing is really appealing to me at the moment and I’m not in the mood to sit down and read for long stretches of time even though I am able to since I’m not at work. It’s very frustrating and I wish I could un-slump so I could knock out some books on my TBR list while I have the time.

 

blogging life

I ended up taking a hiatus this month because I was feeling bad and insecure about my blog. Talking to a couple prospective jobs about my blogging experience did make me feel a little more confident about it because people seem really impressed by my writing, but honestly, I kind of don’t know why I’m coming back to it other than I feel lost without it. I want to be involved with book influencing, but don’t know how to do that other than blogging because I don’t like any other platform as much and this is what I’m good at and have liked doing the most in the past.

 

favorites

  • Animal Crossing! Let me pick all the pears and pull all the weeds, please!
  • Conan Gray’s new album. I discovered Conan Gray on Spotify somewhat recently and really liked his EP and singles, especially Maniac, and his new album is just so. Good.
  • The Overcoats’ new album. I LOVED the first album by this lady duo called Overcoats and they came out with new music a couple weeks ago and it is so amazning I just [heart eyes]

 

Continue Reading

reevaluating my 2020 goals

If you’ve followed me for long enough, you know that I LOVE setting goals for myself in my monthly goals posts. When 2020 started, I was super pumped to write out my yearly goals and make some changes in my life but also be reasonable about what I wanted to do throughout the year to improve myself. I have a habit of making lofty goals without knowing what I’ll have to do for them to actually achieve them.

A lot has been happening these past couple months in the world and in my life and I’ve been feeling like I need to revisit the goals I made at the beginning of the year and see which ones are still working for me and which ones I am no longer interested in working towards. So, today’s post will focus on evaluating how I’m doing on my initial 2020 goals so far and making changes to ones that are not working out. Without further ado, let’s get started:

 

blogging

  • Feature more new books. I still really want to do this, but I’m doing really badly at it so far because I’m still reading super slowly. Keep? Yes.
  • Start doing week-long features of books. I’ve done two of these so far and really enjoyed it and definitely want to keep doing it. Keep? Yes.
  • Review more. Lol. Making this goal and attempting to review made me realize I do not like writing traditional reviews, so this is not a great goal for me. Keep? No.

 

reading

  • Enjoy reading again. I feel like actually making this a goal has made me weirdly feel more pressured by reading which is in turn not helping me enjoy reading again. Keep? No.
  • Read more queer books. I am doing okay at this but still feel like I need to read more queer books. I also started my own readathon for queer books that I feel like I’m failing at and really should’ve thought through more. But, keep? Yes.
  • Read more children’s books. I am doing super well with this, but want to start reading more MG books. I read tons of picture books every month because I have to for storytime planning, but don’t read a lot of MG for older kids or chapter books. Keep? Yes.
  • Participate in ARCApocalypse 2020. I really wanted to participate in Destiny’s reading challenge dedicated to knocking ARCs off your list and set a goal of knocking out 30 ARCs even though my reading goal for the year was only 25 books. So maybe this goal was a little lofty. Keep? No.
  • Read what I’m in the mood for and when I’m in the mood. I have not been doing a good job of this because I feel like I’m a bad reader if I’m not reading or if I take an extended break from reading. Having any goal relating to how I read really stresses me out and makes me feel pressure and makes me enjoy reading less. Keep? No.
  • Read all/most of my most anticipated releases. I haven’t been reading a lot of new stuff so I’m not doing that well on this goal as of yet, but I still have hope for myself. So, keep? Yes.

 

personal goals

  • Make the apartment feel more like home. I mean since I’m stuck here a lot now I guess this has been accomplished.
  • Continue being positive. I feel like I’m doing okay with this and want to keep it as a reminder to myself. Keep? Yes.
  • Come out at work. I have done this.
  • Be neater and more organized. This has not been done yet, but there’s still time? But, keep? No.
  • Find self-care things I enjoy other than reading. I don’t know how to achieve this goal, so Keep? TBD.

 

career

  • Get more confident in my job. Am working on this
  • Read more children’s books. See above
  • Do more professional development activities. Am doing super well at this.
  • Be more positive while at work. Am failing at this, because I don’t think this job is for me and I’m frustrated that I’m stuck there.

 

financial

  • Keep track of my spending. Am doing this more. keep? Yes.
  • Find a good budgeting method. Am working on this. Keep? yes.
  • Save more money. Am not doing well at this but will start. Keep? yes.

 

health

  • Start getting steps again. Achieved.
  • Drink more water. Mostly achieving.
  • Drink less caffeine. Keep? No.
  • Take better care of myself via appointments. Am doing well at this.
  • Eat out less. lol, that is about to be imposed upon me.

 

Looking at this list, I got exhausted just writing down all these goals, to be honest. I think a problem I have that I need to reign in is that I make too many goals and don’t think about what the most essential ones I want to accomplish that will genuinely improve my life are or how exactly I’ll measure or accomplish them. Being in isolation is honestly making me take a look at how I spend my time and making me rethink what I genuinely want to put effort into.

I think a good step for me would be to prioritize my goals based on importance and also think about whether each goal is something I want to be doing or something I feel like I SHOULD be doing. The BULLET JOURNAL METHOD book has a really useful exercise that I think would work for this and help me pare down my goals to what I actually want to achieve. For someone who likes setting goals, I really need to get better at setting them and figuring out how to measure them.

New activity while in quarantine: prioritize goals. Woohoo!

Continue Reading

what i’ve done while isolated so far

Writing has always been a useful outlet for me, so I’ve decided to try and use it more during the COVID-19 outbreak both to keep a record of what has been going on for the future and also to help keep myself sane. Originally, the library system where I work was just going to be closed to the public, but now we’re closed even to staff and I’ve been at home for the past few days. Today, I’ll be sharing some of what I’ve done while out of work so far:

 

  • Made a lot of lists. Bullet journaling has been a really helpful creative and practical outlet for me in recent years, and I’ve continued that trend while out of work. I’ve been making a lot of lists, including recipes to cook from a cookbook I checked out from the library before we closed, books to read, books I currently have on loan, things to do other than stress eat, and even a list of lists, because I am Twilight Sparkle (My Little Pony, anyone??) These lists are really helping me with my anxiety.
  • Teleworking. I won’t talk too much about this here because I think I may do a separate post of what I’ve been doing as a public librarian to telework, but I’m technically supposed to be working from home during this time.
  • Stress eating. Omfg, I’ve gained 3-4 pounds back over the past week because I’ve been eating so much. I had been doing so well with healthy eating for a couple months so this feels like a major setback and I know I need to get it together and eat better, but cooking is so comforting so it’s hard to give up.
  • Bought the Sims 4 on sale. The Sims 4 was on sale for $5 and the magic sims 4 game was on sale for $15 so I bought both because I figured now is a good time to get into the Sims.
  • Had a lot of plague nightmares. I keep having nightmares and especially plague nightmares. I also have had dreams about writing a YA plague book. Clearly I am stressed.
  • Started the Throne of Glass series. I figured since I may not be going back to work any time soon if the mayor of the city where I work is smart that now would be a good time to binge read a couple series I’ve missed out on. I’m starting with THRONE OF GLASS and then maybe moving on to the Shadowhunters books because there are a million of them.
  • Rewatching My Little Pony. I loved MLP in college and still do, so I decided to rewatch it and then continue on to the seasons I haven’t seen yet. It’s so adorable and comforting and just the thing I need right now.
  • Being on Twitter too much. I saw an author I follow say he takes 3 hours off social media a day and I feel like this would be a really good thing for me to do because I’ve been on Twitter WAY too much for my own sanity considering every tweet is about COVID-19 and being isolated and quarantined and toilet paper running out. On the one hand I do feel better connecting with my friends on Twitter, but on the other seeing EVERYONE post about the virus is stressful.

 

I think that pretty much covers everything I’ve been doing over the past few days. I’m supposed to go back to work March 30th, but if things escalate like the news keeps saying it will based on other countries like Italy, I’ll be shocked if the library opens back up and think it would be super irresponsible to staff and patrons if it did. I’m really stressed about the prospect of having to go back to work in the middle of a pandemic but I’m hoping the city will do the right thing and have everybody stay home because I would not be comfortable going back in.

 

is anybody else working from home? what have you been doing while isolated to stay sane?

Continue Reading

long ass fantasy books to get you through quarantine

If you’re stuck at home due to either WFH, quarantine, or self-isolation and want to avoid increasing your panic by participating on social media, one excellent option is to turn to books. If you find yourself wanting to escape to another world entirely through your reading, you may want to consider picking up a long fantasy book to hold your attention for the 2+ weeks of isolation. So, today I’ve complied a list of chonky fantasy books that will definitely sustain you during a period of quarantine or self-isolation due to COVID-19:

 

44778083

house of earth and blood – sarah j. maas

pgs. 803

I am not ashamed to admit that I checked this book out almost immediately after we got it *just in case* I am allowed to take leave from work at some point because honestly, that is probably the only way I’ll have time to read this chonky ass book. Sarah J. Maas’ CRESCENT CITY series is about murder, demons, a half-fae half-human girl, and an underground market/city, and I will forever call it CRESCENT CITY even though its real title is HOUSE OF EARTH AND BLOOD because CRESCENT CITY is a better and more interesting title and that’s how it was initially pitched.

 

17699853

chain of gold – cassandra clare

pgs. 624

I have not read any Cassie Clare books other than CITY OF BONES, but I know everyone loves the Shadowhunters world and this is a chonker, so obviously it had to go on the list. I think this new series is a continuation of the CLOCKWORK ANGEL, etc. series?? It’s Shadowhunters in Edwardian London.

 

40024139

serpent & dove – shelby mahurin

pgs. 513

Slightly less chonky BUT it’s about WITCHES and a HOLY WAR so obviously I am here for it because I must read all the witchy books. I’m embarrassed I still haven’t read my eARC of it yet. Also apparently it has at least 1 sexy scene.

 

43575115._SY475_

the starless sea – erin morgenstern

pgs. 498

So I guess this book is slightly less chonky, but for me personally anything that’s 400+ pages counts as a “long book.” I never read Erin Morgenstern’s first book, THE NIGHT CIRCUS, but I know a lot of people liked it, so…anyway. This book is about a mysterious book and doors into other worlds, so that sounds right up any book lover’s alley.

 

13206900._SY475_

winter – marissa meyer

pgs. 827

Honestly, the sole reason I never finished the Lunar Chronicles series was because this book was so enormous and I never had time for it. However, if you are looking to get super invested in a series for two weeks of isolation, definitely check out this sci-fi space-y fairytale retelling series, featuring characters like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Rapunzel, among others.

 

40275288._SY475_

priory of the orange tree – samantha shannon

pgs. 848

I haven’t read any of Samantha Shannon’s books yet but I know people were super pumped for PRIORY when it came out. I don’t know much about it but I think it has dragons? It is also even longer than the Sarah J. Maas book which is A Feat.

 

35068705

the poppy war – r. f. kuang

pgs. 644

This is an adult historical fantasy about a shaman I think? It is Asian-inspired and lots of bloggers I know LOVE this book. I also follow the author on twitter and she posts a lot about silly stuff her boyfriend does and CAN RELATE to that brand.

 

35965482._SX318_

middlegame – seanan mcguire

pgs. 528

I wasn’t interested in this when it first came out because I hadn’t yet read any of the Wayward Children series but now that I have—WANT TO READ!!! This book is about a set of twins, Roger and Dodger, who are mysterious and “something more than human.” AM INTRIGUED. Kind of fantasy/sci-fi-y

Continue Reading

the library & COVID-19

Wow. Wowowow. Things are really…a lot right now. When I went on hiatus, I was really doubting myself and my blogging and writing abilities, and then, suddenly, talk about the coronavirus, or COVID-19, was everywhere, and now it seems we are living in a YA plague novel, only my boyfriend doesn’t smell like sandalwood. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know I have struggled with mental health issues in the past, and this has definitely been an anxiety producing time for me and I can feel the panic building throughout the day as more and more news comes out about the coronavirus, even though I know in my head I’m not high risk and would be fine if I got it.

I have been throwing around a few ideas of posts about COVID-19 and reading for the past few days and wondering if it would be insensitive to write about it, but I realized that writing really helps me process things, so you may be seeing a few COVID-19-related posts soon from me.

The first of these is this post, where I’m going to tell you how my library system where I work is dealing with the coronavirus and my thoughts on that.

So without further ado, here is what has been going down at the library recently in regards to the pandemic situation:

  • All programs are cancelled until March 31. The governor of my state has banned large gatherings and events, and thus, the CEO of the library decided to suspend all public programming, which has the potential to draw large crowds.
  • Kids are out of school until March 27. All schools in the state have also shut down. This is a major concern for public libraries because there may be large numbers of kids coming in, which can create health and behavior concerns. It may get challenging to monitor so many kids. Kids may turn to the library because they may have parents who can’t work from home and don’t allow them to stay home when they’re not there. My biggest worry is what we’ll do about unattended children, which we define as children under 8 who come in without a parent or guardian who is at least 13.
  • We’ve put away all toys and community items like coloring supplies. This makes me feel a little better because at least I don’t have to touch lots of legos that people are touching. However, not having things for kids to do while their parents work on a computer or for older kids who come in may lead to more behavior problems because they don’t have enough to occupy their time while they’re in the library.
  • Half our computers are disabled. This is to comply with social distancing standards. I’m hoping patrons won’t complain, and that if they do, we will close or have reduced hours.
  • We’ve been sent lots of cleaning supplies. We should have this many cleaning supplies available all the time, in my opinion. As one of my coworkers stated, the coronavirus situation is definitely making people realize how nasty they are. But it’s also a good reminder that we need to be doing things like wiping down our phones and computer keyboards regularly, not just during a health crisis.
  • Non-public facing staff are being encouraged to work from home. Oh, how I wish I was non-public facing so I didn’t have to expose myself to the public. Being a public librarian is one of those jobs that you really can’t do from home no matter what, because our job is helping THE PUBLIC. I really feel for all the other people working in customer service right now who don’t have the option of staying home.

 

Those are all the things the library has done so far to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. There are 12 cases in my state so far, but hopefully that number will stay low if we overreact now instead of later when things get worse. I’m really not sure what my days are going to look like now without programming and fewer computers, and honestly it freaks me out a bit. However, I’m hopeful that there will be some chill days ahead and that if things escalate, the library will make the right choice and close to the public so as not to put the staff at risk.

 

How are your jobs handling the coronavirus? How is everyone holding up? Tell me in the comments.

Continue Reading

*hiatus announcement*

I mentioned in my February wrap up that I might take a hiatus, and the time has now come. I am just very tired and stressed and want to focus on other things for a few weeks. But I will be back. The current plan is to come back to blogging at the end of March. But I just need a break to think about things.

Continue Reading

march goals

Lol. Lololol. I feel like I totally failed at my February goals so this is going to be a…fun post. February became weirdly busy after the 18 years that was January and everything is kind of a blur, to be honest.

However, let us recap what my February goals were and see how terribly I probably did.

 

february goals

  • Read more than 3 books.      XX      um. This did not occur. Nope.
  • Read 2 books for Here & Queerathon.         !!      Oh hey, I actually did this so maybe I didn’t do as terribly on my goals as I thought? 2/3 books I read in February were queer (WE SET THE DARK ON FIRE and THE DEVOURING GRAY aka devouring bis).
  • Experiment with/learn more about booktube and bookstagram.     !!    omfg, I did this too. I started a new bookstagram under a different username. I also did try to make a couple of videos but hate how my mouth looks and don’t have cute backgrounds to film in front of so they will never see the light of day.

 

march goals

  • Stick to a budget. One of my goals for the year is to improve my financial well-being and find a budgeting method (and budget in general) that works for me. This month I’ll finish paying off my car insurance payment, which was my biggest worry for the past couple of months, so I feel like now is a good time to actually choose and stick to a budget. Plus, our rent is going up (*saddest sad face*) so I need to be more careful about spending.
  • Read at least 1 of my Book of the Month books. I am once again behind with Book of the Month. I have two books I need to read and don’t want to get too behind when the March box comes. I’m also debating trying the YA BOTM box at some point because it seems like they often pick books that aren’t on my TBR list that end up sounding good. But I am poor.
  • Do at least one fun thing every weekend. In the interest of getting a life outside of work, I want to push myself to either go out and do something or just do something fun at home that enriches and makes my life happier. I have been super bad about doing things outside of work and spend most of my time outside of work stressing about work, and I would like to lessen that practice.
  • Walk for 20 minutes/day at least 4x/week. I really want to get back in the practice of getting 8,000+ steps consistently and moving more in general so I want to be more consistent about reaching this goal every week.
  • Read at least 15 minutes/day at least 5x/week. I really want to get into the habit of reading more regularly and not in occasional bursts. I know 15 minutes is a low goal and honestly I probably read more than that when I do read, but I don’t read as frequently during the week as I want to.
  • Clean/organize for at least 5 minutes 4x/week. One of my goals for the year is to become more organized and neat, but I haven’t taken any steps so far to achieve that goal. I think doing a little bit of cleaning/organizing a few times a week will help me do this and not feel overwhelmed by the amount of stuff everywhere.

 

How did you do with your February goals? What are your March goals?

Continue Reading

the sunday post // 3-1-20

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news about the past week, reading recaps, hauls, and more.

 

weekly happenings

  • Just to reiterate, I moved my bookstagram. It is now here and not officially associated with my blog. I just felt like my old insta that is connected to this blog was too much of a mess and I couldn’t find an on-brand aesthetic, so I just decided to make a whole new one.
  • I was in charge at work and didn’t die. Usually when my manager is away, the circulation supervisor is in charge, but this time she decided to try something different and leave the full time librarians in charge. Because my coworker was out with the flu most of the week, that left me in charge. I think I did okay, but I don’t think I’m ready to be a manager of a whole library anytime soon.
  • I bought new clothes. They are not here yet but I am very excited for them. I’ve been feeling for a while like I desperately need new clothes and to find my own style because I was more stylish as a teen than I am now and I find I feel better about myself when I put effort into my appearance.

 

last week’s posts

  • I discussed 6 ways to bring witchcraft into your daily life
  • I ranted about why Very Nice sucked
  • I posted my monthly wrap up

 

next week’s posts

  • march goals
  • march tbr

 

currently reading

 

book haul

  • surrender your sons – adam sass
  • the gilded ones – namina forna
  • something to talk about – meryl wilsner
Continue Reading