2021: A Year Of Learning

I’m not going to lie, it’s really weird to talk about my word of the year a few months into the year.  Better late than never, after all.  But here we are, four months into the year, talking about what I want to focus on.

I really hope it goes better than last year, when my plan to embrace creativity fell apart.  After everything that happened last year, it was hard to focus on anything.  I mean, a pandemic, starting school and a lot of changes at work…it’s a wonder I was able to get anything done!

But that was last year!  It’s a new year and there’s plenty of time to get things done.

This year, I just want to learn! 

Being in school really helps with learning.  How could it not?  I feel like, being in school at 34, I have a much better idea of who I am, what I’m interested in, and why I’m there, compared to when I was in college right out of high school.  I want to take all of the things, because there are a lot of classes that sound absolutely cool, so it will be quite the assortment of classes.

And I know that they all fall into graduation requirements, but there are a lot of classes that I’ll probably take because I want to, and not just because I need to.  If I could be in school forever, I would!  I’d be that vampire with a ton of degrees, probably.

On a super random note, I finished an intercultural communications class recently, and I am really glad I took it!  I learned a lot about communication, especially about communicating with people from other cultures.  There are a couple of links I wanted to share, because they were really interesting to look at and go through.

One is a white privilege check.  While I wasn’t surprised that my answers were yes all the way down, I do know that I need to act, and not just think.  On a related note, taking these hidden biases tests were also really informative.  It’s a really good starting point to see how you’re biased, even though you don’t realize how you’re biased.

It is pretty vague, though.  A few months into the year, and I’m still not completely sure what it is I want to learn, and how I’m going to do it.  On the one hand, it’s going to be hard to focus on specific things because I can’t completely pinpoint what it is I want to learn.  I feel like not having some specific things to focus on will mean that I won’t have some starting points.  But I also like that it’s vague, because it leaves it open-ended.  If I find a rabbit-hole I want to go down, I will go down that rabbit-hole.

I don’t want to stress out over it, though.  I want it to be fun, not stressful.  I like learning!  It makes me happy to learn something new, and I get really excited when I learn something new.  So fun and natural, not forced and stressful.

There are a couple of things I specifically wanted to focus on this year:

  1. I plan on reading at least one non-fiction book each month, and so far, I’m doing pretty good with that.  It’s a good starting point, and maybe I’ll actually read more than one non-fiction book a month.  I’m not ruling it out, but one is definitely manageable!  I have a ton of books to choose from too, so picking something new won’t be hard at all!
  2. I also want to learn a new craft.  A few months into the year, and I still haven’t decided what that will be.  I could learn how to embroider, do cross-stitch, draw, paint, sew or knit.  The possibilities are endless, but a new craft would be fun, even if it’s not a permanent part of my life the way crochet is.  It could be, and I won’t know until I try.  I actually have to do, though, instead of thinking about it.

I’m excited about all of the possibilities- whether it’s from a book, from school, or something else entirely, it will be really nice to focus on something I really love.  The last year has really got me thinking about making learning a priority.

That’s all for today!

I’ll see you next time,

Currently Obsessed With: January 2020

I feel like it’s been quite a while since I’ve done one of these!  This is my monthly recap post, and they’re few and far between these days.  But since I’m journaling more, I thought it would be fun to start doing them again.  I ended up writing this post a little bit later than I wanted to but I got distracted by other things.  Better late than never!

Especially because I’m writing everything down in my Currently 2020 workbook.  I can only speak for January, obviously, but it was really fun to write down the good things that happened and the stuff I read, watched and listened to.

I’m not going to lie, drawing isn’t something I typically do.  When I do, I go for things like flowers.  I go for something super basic.  But considering creating is something I want to focus on this year, I felt like a pencil and paper was pretty appropriate.  And while I don’t know why I went for circles, I just know I wanted to draw a bunch of circles!

Inspired By:

1917.  This actually sparked an idea for me in terms of a NaNo project, and the idea of trying to get a message to people in perilous times really speaks to me for some reason.  I haven’t worked out how I’d do it, but it is hovering in the background as an idea.

Journaling.  I just feel like handwriting things now, and I think I’m having as much fun picking out pens as I am making lists and writing how my month went.  I honestly forgot how much I liked and missed journaling, and I really am glad I’m doing it again.  I just want to write all the things, even if it’s the alphabet!

Shutterbean!  I love her blog so, so much, and her blog is a big reason why I started journaling again.  I’ve been using her food journal for months, which has been interesting but helpful, and I love seeing the photos she shares from her own life.

What I Watched:

On Netflix, I watched V Wars, which was really cool.  It ended up being on in the background while I did other stuff so at some point, I might re-watch it.  A virus turns people into vampires, and two friends find themselves on opposing sides, and that definitely caught my interest.

I also re-watched old episodes/watched new episodes of the Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved the t.v. show with Melissa Joan Hart back in the day, but I also love how different/dark this version is.

I’ve been re-watching the Blacklist, and for the first time ever, I’m actually watching Dr Who live.  I stopped watching somewhere during the Peter Capaldi years (when it disappeared off Netflix) , so I have some seasons I need to catch up on.  I’m determined to catch up one day.  Maybe soon, I’ll go back and re-watch from the beginning.

Movie-wise, I saw 1917, which was really good, and Dolittle, which was pretty enjoyable.  I have to say, Robert Downey Jr is a pretty solid choice to be Dolittle.


Well, quite a lot.  This is 99% a book blog.  But Navigating The Stars and Stay Sexy And Don’t Get Murdered stand out as audio books, which I don’t do nearly enough.  And Zero Repeat Forever made the list because it was my book club read.

Thinking About:

Going to therapy!  I used to go years and years ago, and stopped.  Part of me feels like I don’t have anything to talk about but there are a few things I want to work on and process.

Also, blanket storage.  I have a ton of crocheted blankets, with 3 in progress, plus a couple more I want to work.  I’m not at a point where I need storage, but it’s something I’m going to have to do at some point.

Listening To:

The My Favorite Murder backlog.  I have gone back to the first episode and listening to old episodes when I need something different to listen to.  I’ve done a couple of audio books, plus I have one going right now, so it’s on the back burner temporarily, but it always makes me feel better!  Now that I’m not on the Saturday schedule- I don’t mind working Saturdays but I’m also glad my Saturday shifts are done- I should be able to get a little more listening time in, whether it’s a book or podcasts.

As far as music goes, I haven’t been listening to a lot.  But there are two songs I’ve been listening to a lot: Wicked Game by Emika, and Burn It Down by Fitz And The Tantrums.  I haven’t been in a music mood lately, and if I do listen to music, it’s on for a couple of minutes before I switch to something else.

Dream Life:

Here’s the thing with dreams: I know I dream.  I remember dreaming.  I know they’re really vivid.  I just can’t remember my dreams for the life of me.

Well, for the most part.  I remember the occasional dream, and I’ve taken to keeping my phone next to me in case I wake up, remember a dream, and can type it in my dream notes.

The only dream I remember having is this one: the dream where Blockbuster was still open.

That’s it.  That’s the dream.  It’s the only detail I remember.  I wish I could add more detail but I honest-to-goodness can’t.  Maybe this month, I’ll have some dreams I can share.  There’s one that super-weird but I’m going to be terrible and not tell you now, because I want to save it for the next recap, just in case it’s my only one.


Therapists!  I need to find someone who takes my insurance, and I know there’s one place I can go, but I’m curious to see what else is out there.  I suppose I could have done this in the Thinking About section, but I think I’m going to leave it here.

Craft supply storage!  I wanted to organize my pens and notebooks a little more, so I spent some time researching rolling carts.  I have since gone to Michael’s and purchased a couple of carts, and getting that semi-organized will be really nice!

Eating + Drinking:

Tea And Water.  Mostly because I had a cold for about a week or two, and coffee tasted terrible.  That’s how I knew I was sick…because normally coffee is not terrible.  Smoothies too, because I’ve really wanted to eat fruit, and berries looked good, but because I am weird, I can only have berries in smoothies.

And soup.  Again, I was sick for a bit, so soup sounded good.  Plus, I had some leftover, frozen turkey from Thanksgiving I wanted to use up, and turkey soup was really comforting.

Grateful For:

A new year!  I don’t know why, but this year, I’ve felt a need for a fresh start and setting goals/intentions/resolutions for the year.  I just feel so excited about what I want to do for this year.

Time to write.  I’ve been journaling and blogging- mostly at the library because I really want to work it in somehow.  Saturday morning is my usual writing time, and it took some time to figure out when else I could write, but I’m glad I took the time to write on different days and times, instead of just not writing.  It’s kind of nice, when traffic is really terrible, to stop at the library and write until traffic dies down.

And I’m also grateful Mysterious Galaxy is staying open!  I was sad to hear that they lost their lease, but they have since found new owners and a new location, so I’ll be able to go to book club and the really cool author events they have!

The Good Things:

I’m actually going to share this page, and while it’s pretty simple, I also really like it!  Mostly because I really want to write down this quote from The Bone Houses that I really liked somewhere.  I wanted to fill the page with something cool.  Making note of quotes from the books I read…I don’t usually do that, but there’s been a few that I liked enough to write down.

As for good things that happened, I feel like it’s pretty self-explanatory but there are the things I wanted to remember for the beginning of the year.

Some of it, I already talked about, like journaling, a fresh start, and Mysterious Galaxy staying open.  Getting organized- I’ve made a good start with looking at storage options, but now it’s time to actually do it.

But I mostly just want to talk about the book signing for Chosen by Kiersten White!  She’s also fun to see, and I love going to her book signings.  I’ve never seen Buffy, even though I always meant to after going to the signing for Slayer last year.  Thankfully, you don’t need to have watched Buffy in order to read the book, which is nice.  I can say I’m going to watch it someday as much as I want, but who knows?  Maybe it’s something I’ll actually get around to doing this year.  Don’t quote me on that, because I told myself I was going to watch it all before this signing, and I never did so…yeah.  Following through is not always my strong suit.

I honestly think that’s all for this recap.  I’ll see everyone soon, and for now, enjoy the sunset!

2013 End Of The Year Bookish Survey

2013 End Of Year Survey

This survey is an annual survey hosted by Jamie over at The Perpetual Page-Turner, and it seems like a good way to wrap up my 2013 reading!  I have a couple other posts coming up next week taking care of a few other year-end things, but this one seemed like a good way to start the 2013 year-end stuff. As a warning…it’s going to be a long one!

2013 Survey Best In Books

1.  Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)

Best YA Contemporary: That Time I Joined The Circus by J.J. Howard

Best YA Paranormal: With All My Soul by Rachel Vincent

Best New Adult: Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker

Best Adult Historical Fiction: The Trial Of Dr. Kate by Michael Glasscock

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

The Sea Of Tranquility by Katja Millay.  I just didn’t care about either character until the end of the book and by then, it was too late. Sadly, I think I over-hyped this book.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013? 

I think I’m going to have to with Allegiant for this one.  I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading it, and there were tears, but I was surprised by some of the things we learned.

 4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?

I don’t recommend a lot of books, but after finishing Between Shades Of Gray, I’m going to be recommending that one a lot!

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

The Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger.  It was so fun to listen to, and I couldn’t help but giggle the entire time I was listening to it.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

I’m going to go with K.A. Tucker!  I’m really loving her 10 Tiny Breaths series.  I also want to read her Casual Enchantment series.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

I have to go with Mouse Guard, which is a graphic novel by David Peterson.  I don’t normally read graphic novels, but I’m really glad I read this one.  It’s really hard to not like medieval mice with swords.

 8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

Unbroken by Rachel Caine.  I read it in a day, and I couldn’t for a better ending to her Outcast Season series.

9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I don’t re-read a lot, but I think I’m going to be reading Hex Hall again.  It was a fun read, and I can’t wait to finish the series!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

That Time I Joined The Circus Cover

11. Most memorable character in 2013? 

Eliza Miller from A World Away.  A lot of it is because of Jessica Lawshe’s narration in the audio book, but I loved seeing an Amish girl explore the non-Amish world and how she found family.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

Lovely, Dark And Deep by Amy McNamara.  Every word felt carefully chosen and well-thought out.  There was also something very poetic and lyrical about it.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013? 

This is a good one!  I don’t think I can pick just one.  This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales is my first pick, because I love Elise, and her story.  And Between Shades Of Gray, which I’ve mentioned a few times.  But it’s mind-boggling that I didn’t really know the details of the events that inspired the book!

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read? 

Between Shades Of Gray by Ruta Sepetys.  I am kicking myself for taking so long to read it!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?

Funniest, from Timeless by Gail Carriger:

“I suppose that saves us from having to determine what to do with a butler who goes around killing people.  It certainly reflects badly upon our domestic staff.  Still, I shall miss him.  There was a man who knew how to brew a good cup of tea.”

Unforgettably sad, from Out Of Breath by Rebecca Donovan:

“I was so tired of fighting. Tired of hurting. Tired of the guilt that never released me, and the regrets that could not be changed. I didn’t want this life. They’re were only so many times I could hear that I should never have been born, before I wished it to be true.”

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

Here’s how I did this: I went to my 2013 shelf on goodreads, and sorted by page number!  Actually, this is one of those times when I’m glad I make yearly shelves on goodreads, because it was a lot easier than looking for the 2013 books on my read shelf.

Shortest: Broken Beauty, which is a novella that clocked in at 78 pages.

Longest: I’m pretty sure The Rise And The Fall Of The Third Reich by William Shirer is the longest book I read this year.  I’m not sure what the page count is, but it was 57 hours, so whatever the page equivalent of that is…

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

I had a major WTF moment when I read Allegiant!

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

Family: Charli and Alex in Saving Wishes.  Alex seems like an awesome relative.

Romantic: Ana and Sam in Asunder by Jodi Meadows.  They’re adorable together.

Friendship: All of the different friendships in the last couple Morganville Vampire books.  Because they are there for their friends.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

I’m going with the obvious (to me) choices of Rachel Caine and Maria Snyder.  Because they are two of my favorites!

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else.

I have to go with Mouse Guard again!  It’s not even funny how adorable this book is, and I love that there mice who have their own little community and have guards.

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

I think YA paranormal and YA contemporary are pretty close.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

This is going to be a hard one but I’m going to have to go with Lord Maccon from the Parasol Protectorate.  It’s the first time I’ve liked werewolves on their own, and it’s because of him…

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

I don’t really pay attention to whether books are debuts or not, but I really liked The Darwin Elevator by Jason Hough.  Mostly because it’s the only debut I’m aware of…but also because it’s pretty awesome.

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

Shadow And Bone by Leigh Bardugo.  There is no doubt about this one!  It’s so vivid and interesting and different, and it’s the first one that came to mind.

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?

I read a lot of books that were fun to read, but Beauty Queens by Libba Bray is right up there.  I couldn’t stop laughing!

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?

I could do a whole post on books that made cry!  However, I am going to have to go with Out Of Breath by Rebecca Donovan, because I cried almost the entire time I was reading it!

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

This is a good one!  I’m going to go with A World Away by Nancy Grossman.  It’s such a great book, and I loved Eliza’s story.

2013 SurveyBook Blogging

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2013? 

I know I’ve followed a few new blogs, but one of my favorites is Book Riot.  They don’t post a lot of reviews, and they lean more towards interesting book-ish news, but it’s always fun to see what they’re posting.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2013? 

My review for Beauty Queens is my favorite.  Mostly because I felt the urge to say Sparkle Ponies throughout the entire review.  And because I kept hearing the characters every single time I talked about a different character.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

I don’t really do discussion posts, but I’ve had some interesting conversations in the comments!

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?

I know I’ve read a few interesting ones…but I don’t tend to keep of them.  However, I did like this one post on Book Riot about what it means to be well-read.

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

This year was the first year I went to book signings!  I went to books signings for The Darwin Elevator and The Plague Forge, which was awesome, and I also went to an Abbi Glines/Colleen Hoover/Jamie McGuire book signing, which was just as awesome.

6. Best moment of book blogging/your book life in 2013?

When I bought my own domain!  I’ve been thinking about it for a while, and I finally did it!

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

My most popular post is a top ten tuesday post!  I wrote Top Ten Books For People Who Like The Iron Fey back in 2012, and it’s a post a lot of people search for.  I think it might be time to do a follow-up!

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Interestingly enough, there isn’t any particular post that I’m wishing more people would pay attention to.

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

I love the Book Riot podcast.  I look forward to listening to it every week, and it has a lot of bookish news that I wouldn’t hear about otherwise.

2013 Survey Looking Ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?

I have so many to pick from!  My Number One pick is The Book Thief, because I’ve heard so many good things that I want to know why people love it so much!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?

I’m looking forward to look of books next year, and the non-debut books I’m looking forward to reading just happen to be in this post.

3. 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

A Death-Struck Year by Makiia Lucier.  It’s set during the Spanish Infleunza epidemic, and I can’t wait to read it!

4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?

I really excited about Sweet Reckoning by Wendy Higgins, because I have no clue how things are going to turn out.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?

I really want to participate more in the book blogging community.  I feel like we’re a pretty awesome group of people, and I really want to comment more.