Tag Archives: #amreading

Therapy from a season of reading

Feels like I haven’t been keeping up with things lately.

This blog, for one. Has it really been a half year since I posted last? And a year before that?

Crafting in general. I get an idea to try a new craft, buy all of the supplies I need for a project, and put them somewhere safe for when I’m ready to get around to it.

Homeschooling hasn’t been a choice, but I’m not doing all the extras we used to do, just the basic lessons.

I haven’t written anything for my novel since January. (Though the good news is that the full first draft is done and now I’m on edits. No wonder I’m avoiding it.)

In fact, it has felt a bit like my life is on pause. Or maybe fast-forward. Like I can’t accomplish anything, or I’m accomplishing the same thing over and over again and a year has gone by in the blink. Like I’m diminished to just getting work done and dealing with medical issues and that’s all I have the energy to really do well.

It seems that life comes in seasons.

Periods of time where you go through a particular arc of learning, being, trying, or resting — and that this is my waiting season.  Or, maybe more accurately, my reading season.

Lately, when I have a bit of downtime, I’ve found myself reaching for a book, or graphic novel. In the past few years, I’ve read around 180 books each year (friend me on Goodreads if you’d like to see what I’m enjoying). I’ve also been posting regularly to a book review blog with a couple of friends. (Feel free to check it out at infinitedistractions.com.)

But the thing is, it’s okay to be in a season of waiting. And when you’re waiting, books are great company.

Though I read mostly fiction, the characters struggling through those stories are bringing me lessons at their own pace. I just finished a book that bludgeoned me with lessons about how you have to choose to live, and it’s not worth dwelling on regrets, and that we’re each full of a multitude of possibilities — the only mistake is not to try any of them.

The past few years have felt a bit like a limbo, but I can feel myself at the edge… almost ready to push through. I looked at the cross stitch I haven’t touched in over a year and thought about it. I opened my WIP doc for the novel I’m editing and thought about it. I pulled out my Kumihimo gear this morning, and thought about it.

Being at the edge like this, almost ready to jump but not quite, is a comfortable place to be. I’m not sure how long I’ll stay here.

Who knows what my next season will bring?

Happy living!

Photo of books by Suzy Hazelwood from StockSnap

NaNo 2019 Day 20 — Flaming Apple part II

It’s about that time again! Time for what? Time for another ‘flaming apple’ highlights reel! Only this time, I actually searched for images of flaming apples and didn’t get anything exciting, so let’s just say the lights in the book are a metaphor for the flame of my story, which, though dimmed, hasn’t gone out! Continue reading NaNo 2019 Day 20 — Flaming Apple part II

NaNo 2019 Day 19 — Building the story

I mentioned in another post that the attempt to write a novel has changed the way I look at books. Although that’s not quite right — it’s not just books. It’s changed how I understand all stories.

Continue reading NaNo 2019 Day 19 — Building the story

Distractions: Book Review of Strange the Dreamer

My second Infinite Distractions post is up!

This time I’ve posted my spoiler-free review of Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. Give it a read to find out why I almost didn’t read the book, and why I think you should read it now. You’ll also learn what book is in my metaphorical freezer, and what wings I’d choose when the wingsmith comes to town:

Spoiler-Free Book Review: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Happy reading!

A five-star post.

I’ve recently embarked upon a new project with a few friends where we post reviews and discuss all things bookish. We’re calling it Infinite Distractions. You can find our blog at infinitedistractions.com, on Instagram at infinite.distractions, or on Twitter @letusdistract.

Check out my first post! It’s about how much credence I think star ratings deserve.

This post deserves 5 stars; or does it?

Happy reading!

Image of stars in a jar by Suzy Hazelwood on Stocksnap

Hints and tips for attending BookCon — 2018 recap

A friend and I attended BookCon (held in New York in early June) for the first time this year, and we learned a lot. Going in, we had no idea what to expect, so I’ve created a list that may help other first timers. Hope these hints and tips help you plan for your next trip to BookCon:

Do:  Ask politely. If you’re not sure where to go, what a line is for, or whether a booth is giving something away for free, just walk up to someone and ask. I was handed so many cool books, and met lots of nice people, just by asking what was going on.

Don’t: Be a jerk about it. There were some attendees who were so persistent that they ended up annoying the poor booth workers. If someone says no, whether because you’re too late for a giveaway, because something isn’t free, or because you need to go get in a line, politely take the no and walk away. Don’t make their lives hard.

Do: Leave room in your luggage. I literally couldn’t believe the amount of free stuff, including tons of book ARCs, that I took home.

Don’t: Get angry. So you weren’t fast enough to get in the line. Or the plinko game didn’t give you the book you wanted. Remember that, if that one book is important enough to you, you’re going to read it anyway, whether someone hands it to you for free, or you buy it, or you borrow it from the library. It’s just a book.

Do: Ask to trade. If you see someone with a book you wanted and a skeptical look on their face, offer to trade. You might not be the only one whose wheel spin didn’t give them the exact book they were wishing for.

Don’t:  Decide you’re entitled. Everyone is there for the same reason. Pushing in line, cutting, trying to force a trade, or shoving someone else down to the floor (yes, we actually saw a girl with a huge gash across her leg because she had been pushed down) to get to the book you wanted is never okay. You know better than that.

Do: Make friends in line. Again, everyone is there for the same reason, and you might be surprised how much you have in common with the people in line near you!

Don’t: Miss out on the panels. We met some people who were so focused on the free books (which, let’s be honest, they’re probably not even going to read all of them) that they forget there’s more to BookCon. Namely, the amazing panels, almost all free to attend with your BookCon ticket. It was so exciting to hear some of my favorite authors talk about the interesting worlds they’d created with their stories, or about where they get ideas.

Do: Plan ahead. Someone I met in line told me about an amazing spreadsheet, created by @DailyJulianne and posted on Twitter, that gave me insight into everything happening at every hour of the day. Using her lovingly crafted spreadsheet (which she provides for free to the public) saved me SO MUCH time. If you check out her spreadsheet next May to plan for BookCon 2019, be sure to buy her a coffee through the link on her tweet. It’s so worth it.

Don’t: Forget to have fun. On the flip side of planning, be sure to give yourself the time and grace to just explore. If you’re so focused on which line to get to at which time, or busy comparing how much free stuff you got to how much someone else got, you may miss out on the experience.

Happy Reading!