www wednesday // 9-16-20

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?

what are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading one of my BOTM add ons, ONE TO WATCH. This book is about Bea, a plus size fashion blogger, who goes viral in a vitriolic take down of beauty standards on a popular dating show, Main Squeeze. She is then invited to be the titular Main Squeeze of the latest season, after dealing with her own heartbreak.

what are you reading next?

BRINGING DOWN THE DUKE was my Book of the Month pick for September since I opted to go with one of the selected member favorites. I’m really interested in reading this one because I’ve never given historical romance a try, and this one, which is about a woman in 1879 who is accepted to Oxford on the condition that she attract men to the suffragist cause. This is also a series, so I am happy to know if I like it there will be more books by this author.

what did you just finish reading?

I won’t lie: I pretty much ended up skimming this book. I liked it at first and was drawn in by Jamal’s friendship with Q and Autumn’s character, but I ended up not being hugely invested in it. I felt like the story read more like a movie, which for me meant that it felt a bit too overdramatic without a lot of development of each issue. I thought Jamal’s relationship with Autumn was tied up too easily, and didn’t believe that she’d stick around after some of the things he did and how much he lied to her. The friendship especially felt too easily resolved which was likely a result of the short timeline in which the story took place, but that aspect of the book had me feeling a bit let down by the execution of the concept.

Have you read any of these books? What are you reading?

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quarantine book haul

I have been meaning to write this post since kind of mostly coming out of quarantine (even though I still only go into work every other week for social distancing purposes, so I’m still in half-quarantine) and TODAY IS THE DAY. I will be sharing my book haul from my quarantine months, which lasted for me from March-July, and tell you a bit about each book, what made me buy it, if I’ve actually read it, etc.

Willow was very interested in my quarantine books photo shoot and he was so cute I decided to include him in the book haul pics. Notice how he is VERY interested in THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES. It was probably because of the birds.

Willow is a curious boy.

BOOK OF THE MONTH PICKS:

I got 3 BOTM books over quarantine: Beach Read by Emily Henry, The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon, and Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein. I was excited about all because I thought I was in the mood for romance.

BEACH READ is about two rival writers who switch genres due to writer’s block and a bet and go on various dates to help each other write their books. I tried this one, but unfortunately I just couldn’t get into the drama of it, and I hated January (the MC’s) best friend, and I just wasn’t feeling it.

THE BOYFRIEND PROJECT is about a woman who goes viral after a public call out of a three-timing, scamming boyfriend and swears off men and decides to pursue her dream of creating an app instead. I did like this one initially, and probably would enjoy it, but the middle got really slow and the tension between them happened too early for the lack of action.

HEAD OVER HEELS is about a once Olympic-gymnast hopeful who returns to her hometown and accepts a job training another aspiring Olympian when a scandal breaks out. This book is based on the sexual assault scandal that broke out about the Olympic physician a while back, and I thought I could handle it, but honestly, I didn’t want to read about it. The MC is also super depressed for the majority of the book and that was challenging to read as well. I also thought the technical stuff about gymnastics was interesting at first, but eventually, I skimmed the paragraphs long descriptions of Hallie’s floor routine because I had no idea what the author was describing.

Cedar also joined.

BOOKSHOP BUYS

I discovered Bookshop over quarantine and bought a bunch of books from Semicolon Bookstore in Chicago because it is a Black-run business. I bought 6 books from them: Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron, You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson, A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins, If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha, and The Crown Ain’t Worth Much by Hanif Abdurraqib.

CINDERELLA IS DEAD was one of my most anticipated 2020 books, a continuation/retelling of Cinderella 200 years after the original story, and it was AMAZING. I started YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN, another most-anticipated, but I wasn’t in the mood for it at the time so I’m going to come back to it.

Willow wants me to read BOSAS

Booktube videos also convinced me to try THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES even though I wasn’t initially interested in it. I almost reread the whole original HG trilogy, but I got about 1/3 through CATCHING FIRE when I realized it was a bit too similar to the real world for me to want to read. However, I still fully intend to read BOSAS.

I also bought a poetry collection, THE CROWN AIN’T WORTH MUCH, because my partner follows the author on Twitter and got me interested in reading his work. I haven’t read it yet.

Booktube (specifically Monica Kim) convinced me to branch out of my comfort zone to try IF I HAD YOUR FACE, which is set in Seoul and follows I believe 4 very different women and deconstructs Korean beauty standards. I have not read this yet.

Willow is still very determined to open BOSAS

Finally, I simply HAD to buy the THREE DARK CROWNS series after I at long last read my eARC from an embarrassing amount of years ago. I love this series so much and love all the characters except Mirabella, who is dry as unbuttered toast. I have managed to read the first three in the series, and am so scared for my faves in the finale, FIVE DARK FATES.

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revisiting: things I want to do

A few weeks ago, I included a past post discussing things I want to do in the future in a list of posts to read to get to know me. I wrote this post when I was in a very dark emotional place, and since I’ve improved in my mental health so drastically over the past few months, I was really interested to read it and see which things I’ve done or have taken steps to do. So today, I am going to revisit that post and check on my progress and take stock of what I’m doing to reach those goals:

  • Get a job I’m passionate about.  I am definitely working toward this. Things at the library have been a lot better for me lately, and I think they will continue to improve with my confidence. I’m also taking steps to get more publishing experience so hopefully someday I can get a part time or remote job in the publishing industry.
  • Marry my bae. Not yet, but eventually.
  • Move to a bigger place. We are in the last year of living at our current place and have started looking at two bedroom places, which will be much easier to afford now that I’m making slightly more and my partner is going to have a full time job soon.
  • Work on my grimoire more. I have not done this and I don’t know why?
  • Get a new car. I did this! I got a new car in December and I love it!
  • Learn ukulele. I have not done this, despite my mother kindly gifting me a ukulele.
  • Write a book. Lol. I have definitely not done this nor taken any steps to do so.
  • Write poetry. Lol. See above.
  • Rescue all the cats. Can’t really do this until I have a big house to store all the kitties.
  • Reach 1,000 blog followers. I am definitely getting there! I’m now at over 650 followers, which is the most I’ve ever had on a book blog, and I’m really proud of myself and grateful for the friendships I’ve made!
  • Change my name and pronouns. I DID THIS. I am now out at work and am looking into changing my name legally.
  • Experiment with YouTube. I have done this a bit. It hasn’t gone anywhere so far, but who knows.
  • Feel more okay than not. VERY happy to report I have done this! I feel so much better than when I first drafted this post, and have made progress in leaps and bounds. I am really thankful that I have such good health insurance and work with professionals who were able to get me the help I needed. This was my ultimate goal, and I am so happy that I feel so much better.
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weekly rewind // 9-11-12

Hello, and welcome to the first Friday edition of the Weekly Rewind! I talked about doing a rewind on a day other than Sunday in a recent post about upcoming content plans, so we are giving that a try this week. This week’s rewind is basically going to be a rewind for September so far since I didn’t do one last week on September 4th.

weekly happenings

  • We got a target reopen date at the library. Originally, the library where I work had a reopen date of August, but because Covid cases were still high, they postponed it. We just got an email last week about the new date being October 8th potentially, and honestly, I’m really hoping they rethink that. As much as I know our patrons need library services, especially computer use, I’m just not comfortable working with people in person and I don’t want to risk exposure to Covid to help someone get on a computer even if it’s for an important reason. We will have social distancing measures in place of course, but I just have a lot of concerns, mainly not dying of Covid, and I’m really anxious about reopening.
  • My new work schedule was announced. Previously, the library had only been open Monday-Friday, but now they’re adding bi-weekly Saturdays, which unfortunately falls on my week. My main concern about this is that when we are open to computer appointments that I am not going to be able to adequately help everyone if I am the only librarian scheduled to work.
  • Basically, I’m really stressed about work. I’m trying to repeat positive thoughts about it to myself, and honestly the new schedule will be fine if we don’t reopen, but I’m really stressed about reopening because I DON’T WANT TO DIE. Even if we screen every patron before entering, they could still be asymptomatic and I also don’t want to end up in a situation like I’ve heard lots of librarians have faced where a physical altercation happens because patrons don’t want to adhere to social distancing guidelines. I did not sign up for this job to be physically assaulted.

on the blog

Here’s what I’ve posted so far in September:

what i’ve read

I’ve actually been doing super well on my proposed TBR this month so far? My initial goal was to read 4-5 September releases and I’m already on my fourth one! So far I have read:

  1. Who I Was With Her – Nita Tyndall
  2. Charming as a Verb – Ben Philippe
  3. Horrid – Katrina Leno

My least favorite so far is WHO I WAS WITH HER, which wasn’t a bad book but hit me the wrong way, and my favorite is CHARMING AS A VERB, which I will definitely be recommending to everyone I know.

currently reading

I’m currently reading Anna-Marie McLemore and Tehlor Kay Mejia’s book MISS METEOR. I’m a little nervous about it because honestly I haven’t liked any of Anna-Marie McLemore’s books that I’ve tried even though they totally SOUND like Mel books. However, I am hopeful that this book may work for me with their styles combined.

good readance 2020 check in

Since I’m participating in Shealea’s Good Readance 2020 challenge this month, I wanted to include a brief update post on what I’ve done for that challenge. So far, I’ve accomplished 3 of my Good Readance goals, including wittling my tbr from 400 to 200, getting rid of unnecessary shelves on GR, making a professional GR for children’s books, and unhauling my physical book collection.

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sapphic saturdays reading possibilities!

Today is a very exciting day because I am going to be telling you about a few of the books I want to dive into for a really cool event called Sapphic Saturdays, a 24-hour readathon on September 12-13 dedicated to consuming sapphic content! If you haven’t already, you should definitely check out Arin and Brittany’s new blog for the event, on which you will find a plethora of EXCELLENT book recommendations. They also have an Instagram.

Without further ado, let’s get on to my TBR!

Now, I am most certainly not going to get to 6 books, or probably even 1 whole one, if I’m honest, because I SUCK at 24-hour readathons. HOWEVER there are just so many amazing sapphic books on my TBR that I want to read so you are getting a long, overly ambitious and impossible TBR.

  • You Should See Me in a a Crown – I am so embarrassed I haven’t read this one yet because I bought it in June and accidentally got approved for the eARC after publication AND it is easily my most anticipated book of the whole year. Sapphics doing their best? Prom court rivals to lovers? Musician MC? WE STAN!!
  • The Midnight Lie – Honestly, it’s the Midnight Lie Bot on Twitter that’s convinced me to move this up on my TBR because every quote makes me go *le gasp*. So obviously I have to read it. I still don’t entirely understand what the actual plot is, but I know it’s sapphic and sapphic twitter is in love with it and that’s really all the recommendation I need.
  • Watch Over Me – I have a wee confession to make: I HATED Nina LaCour’s last sapphic book, WE ARE OKAY. I know, I need to have my bookish sapphic card revoked. So, I am a little apprehensive about this one but the cover is so pretty and the synopsis says flowersfogwaves and it’s ghostie and I’m just gonna try it okay?
  • The Scapegracers – I saw this one on NetGalley quite a few months ago and almost requested it but hadn’t heard of the publisher so was unsure. However, this is another one that sapphic book twitter has convinced me to try because it has lesbian social outcast witches and there is honestly nothing better than sapphic witches.
  • The Dark Tide – Really all I needed to know about this book was that it is sapphic and described as a “dark fairy-tale.” Also, I love an ocean-y island-setting book.
  • Girl, Serpent, Thorn – For some reason, this has become one of those books where I keep waiting for perfect reading conditions to read it. I am really pumped about this book, which is inspired by Persian mythology, plus I really liked the author’s first book, a sapphic retelling of Snow White. I am really excited to read this one AND it has an extremely reasonable page count even though it’s fantasy which makes my short-book-loving heart very happy.

I can still think of two more books I could easily add to this potential TBR, but for now I think I am going to try to stick with these to choose from. I am very excited about this event and so happy I actually get a weekend so I can participate before I go back to working on Saturdays.

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5 reasons to read Charming as a Verb

Title: Charming as a Verb
Author: Ben Philippe
Pages: 336
Date published: October 13, 2020

Henri “Halti” Haltiwanger can charm just about anyone. He is a star debater and popular student at the prestigious FATE academy, the dutiful first-generation Haitian son, and the trusted dog walker for his wealthy New York City neighbors. But his easy smiles mask a burning ambition to attend his dream college, Columbia University.

There is only one person who seems immune to Henri’s charms: his “intense” classmate and neighbor Corinne Troy. When she uncovers Henri’s less-than-honest dog-walking scheme, she blackmails him into helping her change her image at school. Henri agrees, seeing a potential upside for himself.

Soon what started as a mutual hustle turns into something more surprising than either of them ever bargained for. . . .

I want to start out by saying that I absolutely and completely unexpectedly loved this book. It was not super high on my TBR list for most of the year, but something about it eventually really intrigued me and pushed me to read it and I’m so thrilled I did because it’s definitely one of my favorites for the year. Today, I want to gush about it and tell you 5 reasons you should pick it up:

  1. Henri’s voice. I love a good “voicey” novel and this for sure qualifies. Ben Philippe’s writing from Henri’s perspective is absolutely killer, full of wit, honesty, and of course, plenty of charm. Henri is such a unique character and I loved learning about him throughout the book, especially the discussion of what he calls the “Haltiwanger Hunger” that drives his every decision and where his need to be charming comes from. There are so many layers to this ultimately very soft boi and I loved reading from his perspective.
  2. The dogs. Okay, so maybe this shouldn’t be a full reason, but honestly, even the dogs in this book had so much personality. As far as mild scams go, walking dogs is a pretty cute one, and reading about how Henri interacts with and loves all his dog clients is adorable. Ben Philippe honestly could not have picked a cuter hustle for Henri.
  3. The family relationships. Family is a huge part of this book. Henri’s dad is the primary reason he has the goal of getting into Columbia in the first place. I also adored reading about his mom, who is super proud of herself because she recently quit her old job to be a firefighter. They are all so hardworking and reading about their relationships with Henri and with each other made his character so much bigger. I was also fascinated by the discussion of diaspora that came up in regards to Henri’s family, who are from Haiti, and how he related to that term and the way his family represented it. I also loved all of their relationships with Lionel, Henri’s uncle/cousin, who his father kicked out because he didn’t want him to negatively influence Henri, but who they all go to for advice anyway.
  4. CORINNE. I absolutely LOVED Corinne, the love interest. She reminded me so much of myself in high school because she is so blunt and outspoken and doesn’t know how to get along with her peers at the beginning. I loved watching her come out of her shell and to see how turned on Henri was by her strong personality. He’s often baffled by her, but in a really good way, and I loved seeing him start to notice her and wonder how he hadn’t before.
  5. The New York setting. There are plenty of books set in NYC, but this one made me realize that a lot of them show the more touristy version of NYC. This book read as such an authentic representation of NYC, and it was clear to me that the author had spent time there. This wasn’t a watered down or sensationalized version of NYC like it is often portrayed. It does show the high life of NYC because Henri goes to a fancy private school, but it doesn’t over glamorize or romanticize it. Everything about the setting was extremely detailed and made me see a different side of the city than I usually get in YA.

These reasons are only the tip of the iceberg in telling you why I adored this book so much. Again, I am really happy I gave this book a chance because it brought me so much joy while reading and was really unique. This is the first book I’ve read by Ben Philippe, but I’m definitely interested in going back and reading his first book now because I can’t wait to get more of his writing. Thanks for reading, and I truly hope I’ve convinced you to give this amazing, fun, unique book a try!

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who i was with her review // sad sapphics

Title: Who I Was With Her
Author: Nita Tyndall
Pages: 352
Date published: September 15, 2020

There are two things that Corinne Parker knows to be true: that she is in love with Maggie Bailey, the captain of the rival high school’s cross-country team and her secret girlfriend of a year, and that she isn’t ready for anyone to know she’s bisexual.

But then Maggie dies, and Corinne quickly learns that the only thing worse than losing Maggie is being left heartbroken over a relationship no one knows existed. And to make things even more complicated, the only person she can turn to is Elissa — Maggie’s ex and the single person who understands how Corinne is feeling.

As Corinne struggles to make sense of her grief and what she truly wants out of life, she begins to have feelings for the last person she should fall for. But to move forward after losing Maggie, Corinne will have to learn to be honest with the people in her life…starting with herself.

I ended up rating this book 3 stars on GR immediately after reading, but the more I think about this book, the more annoyed I get about it, so that rating may change. I didn’t know much about this book going into it so I didn’t really have any expectations about what story to expect, but it still felt like a huge letdown because the book introduced so many complex issues but never managed to flesh any of them out fully. This book deals with a lot, including a first time sapphic relationship, coming out, alcoholism, grief, college, strained family relationships, and more, but none of these reached their full potential for me.

Let’s start with the coming out issue, because that’s the biggest problem I had with this story. Maggie is Corrine’s first girlfriend, and throughout the book she struggles to come to terms with her bisexuality first within herself and then continues to be terrified to come out because of what people will think of her. The book continually mentions Corrine’s terror at the thought of people finding out about her and Maggie, but never really delves into why she was so scared. Whenever pressed by other characters, she simply says “I don’t know” or trails off or changes the subject. We are told that the community she lives in is small and Southern, but personally I didn’t get a real sense of terror that wasn’t just manufactured for the sake of this plotline.

I was also really annoyed by the storyline that emerged about Maggie having pressured Corrine to come out. This made no sense to me because Maggie didn’t seem to be out to many people either, including her parents, so I was confused as to why she was pressuring Corrine to do something she knew she wasn’t ready for when she hadn’t even told everyone in her life. The timeline also made it feel off, because Corrine takes a while to realize she’s bisexual, and it felt weirdly paced to have Maggie start pressuring her to come out to everyone right after. I know the author is queer so I feel really bad saying this, but this felt unnatural to the story and I think it would’ve made more sense for Maggie to be supportive, especially because this part isn’t revealed until about 50% of the way through. That part of the plot felt like something a straight editor wanted put in to make it more understandable to straight people about why Corrine wasn’t out. Not every queer story needs to be about coming out, especially when it’s coming from pressure from other people.

I honestly did not really see the chemistry between Maggie and Corrine either. They’re both runners, but Corrine makes it clear all along that she’s not nearly as passionate about running as Maggie and is basically continuing to reassure her father and keep Maggie’s memory alive. The title of the book may be called WHO I WAS WITH HER, but I’m not really sure who Corrine was with Maggie that was so different from her before or after, because she continued pursuing something she had no passion for or interest in. She was still unsure of herself and very scared of other people’s opinions and unsure of what she wanted to do.

That uncertainty was also the only memorable or notable thing about Maggie’s personality or character, in my opinion. The whole book talks about how she doesn’t know if she wants to run in college, she doesn’t know what she wants to do other than possibly chemistry or science, which is not explored or show, she doesn’t know, doesn’t know, doesn’t know. I get that the message of the book is that it’s okay not to plan your whole life out and figure out what you want to do, but no other options other than going to college or staying are explored, and we don’t know Corrine outside of running, which she doesn’t even like. Corrine’s doubts and uncertainty might be realistic, but it was not interesting to read about and took away a lot of passion that the book had the potential for.

The family relationships were another thing I wanted more resolution and information on that were not truly resolved. Corrine’s mom is an alcoholic, which is delved into a little bit, but when the book ends, Corrine still feels that she needs to take care of her mother and be around for her and the conversation with her father about her mom’s alcoholism is very short and glossed over. Corrine’s relationship with both parents is strained throughout the whole story, and it ended up feeling like a loose end by the time the book ended. The whole ending felt very abrupt because there was not a lot of interaction shown with the characters to make it feel like each issue was resolved, and everything seemed to happen too quickly and neatly.

I do think this book was a very accurate, honest portrayal of grief. Corrine is complex in how she feels and deals with her grief, much more than other parts of her character. Having gone through grief over the death of a friend, I could really relate to some of the messier parts of Corrine’s grieving process, and liked how the author portrayed her struggle of centering her own grief over other people’s and how other people perceived her more selfish ways of dealing with her grief. The way the book was written also captured Corrine’s grief well, as it was perfectly melancholy with hints of lyricism and poeticness that worked well to express Corrine’s emotions.

All this said, I will admit I managed to read this book in a short night and morning. I did like that it had very short chapters, which made a story about such big issues and heavy emotions more manageable. I kept reading because there were a lot of aspects of Corrine’s experience with grief that I related to, and readers who have lost someone will likely feel similarly. It’s also good for anyone looking for affirming bi rep, despite the issues I had with the coming out storyline. This is one I would recommend to fans of Jandy Nelson and Nina LaCour for the writing style and subject matter.

Though I did not love this book, I do hope it finds its way into the hands of bi and sapphic readers who need it.

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Good Readance 2020 sign up

Today I am announcing my intent to participate in Shealea’s event, Good Readance 2020, aka Spring cleaning in September for your books. I am very excited about this event, because I have been wanting to attend to all sorts of bookish related organizing and need to get my bookish sh*t together.

Throughout the month of September, I hope to accomplish the following goals:

unhauling

I have posted on Twitter a lot lately that I really want to unhaul most of my books. I have two shelves currently, one of read books and one of unread books. The unread books shelf has three full shelves and I want to really try to pare that down. I have books and ARCs from years ago that I know I’m never going to read, but I’ve been afraid to get rid of for various reasons. It is now time.

I also want to cull my books read shelf. Ideally, this shelf would only be reserved for collections and absolute favorites. If I have the book as an ebook, I will also consider getting rid of the physical copy. If I could halve my read books shelf, that would be fantastic. This may seem extreme, but as the time for my partner and I to move approaches, I am getting increasingly concerned about transporting so many books and it’s just not practical. Also, I want my shelves to start reflecting my bookish interests now, not from when I was a kid.

goodreads

There are multiple things on GR I want to do. Here is a list:

  • Remove tags by year. I have tried keeping track of books by tagging by year, but in addition to already being able to search that way without year by year shelves, I also grouped everything by “YA-year” which doesn’t include a lot of what I read now.
  • Update my ratings. I have always rated books really harshly, so I do want to go back on past reads and update my ratings
  • Make a professional GR account? I do want to keep track of the children’s books and picture books I read/want to read, but I don’t want that to be intermixed with my personal reading because I likely won’t review those on this blog. Having 2 separate accounts will make finding the books I want easier and not mess up my stats for the GR challenge since I don’t count my picture books.
  • Delete my eARCs shelves. These are also by year, but honestly that has proven not to be helpful. I think I’d rather have one shelf for NetGalley and one shelf for Edelweiss, or just one eARCs shelf.
  • Remove titles I’m no longer interested in. I would LOVE to cull my TBR to 100-200 books. It’s currently at 398, after a lot of previous deleting of titles. If I haven’t read the book 4 years later, it is probably not going to get read.

cataloguing

  • Create catalog/database of eARCs. My eARC situation is always out of control, and I want to do a better job at keeping up with them. I find I don’t actually use my eARC shelves on GR, so I want to try to come up with an updatable spreadsheet and/or bullet journal spread for my eARCs.

eARCs

Like I just said, my eARC situation is out of control. I have books from 2014 that I haven’t read. I have been hanging on to the ecopies for a long time because I always *think* I’m going to read them, but obviously I never am. Plus, if these books are available from the library or to buy, I don’t really need to hang on to them. I want to delete all eARCs from before 2019 on my Kindle, and keep a rule not to keep eARCs past a full year after their release date. If I really want to read the books after they’re released, I can buy it or check it out. I also want to delete eARCs from my Kindle that I can’t remember the author or title. Unfortunately, there are a few of these.

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reconnecting with witchcraft

In my goals post for September, I wrote briefly about feeling disconnected from witchcraft since the start of the pandemic, and today I want to talk a little more about that and how I’m planning to try reconnecting to witchcraft in the upcoming month.

Before the pandemic, I did something witchy almost every day. I browsed witchblrs a lot, and also drew a daily tarot card to tell me what to expect for the day and carried a crystal or two for protection and positivity. Since the pandemic started, I have really lost touch with what I love about witchcraft and have lost a lot of the magic I had been putting into my life with these small daily rituals. I’m back at work now, but since the library is doing sidewalk service things are very different and my past daily rituals feel somewhat pointless.

I had also been interested in researching more about deities, specifically Hellenic deities, prior to the pandemic. I am still very much finding what my religious beliefs might be, but I have always felt a strong connection to stories of the Greek gods, and they play an important role in the witchcraft practice for many pagans. When everything happened, my research kind of lost steam, and now I’m finding it hard to know if I can even still call myself a witch, which makes me very sad, because I’ve felt connected to witchcraft for a long time.

So, for today’s post, I want to share some of my ideas and suggestions I’ve gotten from others on ways to reconnect to witchcraft while the pandemic is still happening:

  • Cleanse my tarot and oracle decks. Whenever I planned activities for a sabbat, I always used to promise myself to do a full cleanse of my various tarot decks. I have learned that when the deck is giving odd or hostile readings, it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with the deck, but with my energy when I use the deck and I have honestly found that to be true. My energy lately is definitely off, so I want to treat my decks with care and give them my full attention and reconnect with them.
  • Start a new grimoire. I’ve been struggling with what kind of notebook to use for a grimoire for a while, and also my cats destroyed one of them, so that probably indicates that was not for me. I have saved so many tips and witchcraft posts that I want to add information from into my notebooks, so I really need to get around to choosing a new grimoire.
  • Weekly oracle card draw. Someone suggested using oracle cards, which are different from tarot cards, as a way to ask “what should I pay attention to.” Since oracle decks are more “general” in nature than tarot decks at times, I think using my Spirit Cats oracle deck for a weekly card drawing makes sense.
  • Research correspondences for items I already own. When I first became a witch, I felt overwhelmed by all the spells and spell jars that had loads of ingredients I didn’t have easily available. However, even “common” herbs that you use in the kitchen can be used in spells based on their corresponding meaning. I also want to research color correspondences more because it’s easy to find an item or colored paper to use in spells as well.
  • Do more home-related magic. I’ve also gotten the suggestion of putting protective wards around the home as an easy witchy thing to incorporate into your life (along with, of course, locking doors and drawing blinds). When I first started getting into witchcraft, I was fascinated by cottage or kitchen witches because their magic revolves around home and food, which are easy and subtle ways to use magic in your every day life.
  • Add witchy events to my planner. I always manage to forget when sabbats and other events from the Wheel of the Year are taking place and never know when astrological events like Mercury retrograde are happening or when the moon is in what phase, so I think using my Happy Planner to mark those events would be helpful.
  • Learn about sigils. I’ve always been fascinated by sigils, which are kind of like written spells based on a word or phrase that is then taken apart and recreated into a special sign. Sigils are really useful because you can use them easily and on the go even if you don’t have something to write with by just tracing the shape.

Writing this list has actually been super helpful since now I have a good handle on a bunch of things I can do this month to reach my goal of reconnecting with my practice. I think the main thing I want to impress upon myself is that witchcraft is adaptable, and it is what you make of it no matter what is going on in the world. After writing this post, I’m really looking forward to getting back into witchcraft and hope I’ll find my witchy way again.

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september goals

Another month, another goals post. Let’s start by recapping my August goals:

august goals

  • Read 5 novels. XX I read 4 books, but I liked them all so I count this as a win.
  • Read 2 Book of the Month books. XX I think I’m actually kind of falling out of love with BOTM. I’ve only read a couple of the books I’ve bought from it, and am in the middle of 3 others I’m debating DNFing because they’re just not for me.
  • Participate in ARC August. X! I read ARCs, but completely forgot about participating in ARC August.
  • Don’t spend money on anything non-essential. X! This was another month where I overspent but can’t remember what I spent money on so did not do.
  • Eat out less. XX lolololol let’s not even talk about this
  • Drink more water. XX ….or this…
  • Stay up past 10 at least one night. !!!! YAY! This one I did do, and honestly, it really improved my overall mood and schedule. Will definitely do again.

september goals

  • Read 4-5 September releases. Looking at my Goodreads TBR list was a BAD idea because I am so behind on eARCs, as per usual, but this year seems extra bad. I haven’t been reading as much because of pandemic feelings, but I am v ashamed of myself. However, I hope to get back on track by making a TBR, putting it in my planner, and sticking with it.
  • Drink less Diet Coke. I have made this goal so many times and not succeeded, so we will see how this goes.
  • Try to reconnect with witchcraft. I have felt very disconnected from witchcraft since the pandemic started and haven’t really been practicing or researching at all.
  • Celebrate Mabon. Mabon is an autumnal celebration in mid-September for witches and pagans, and since I actually have it off, I want to use the day to work on my grimoire for once, watch witchy shows and movies, and generally reconnect with my practice.
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