Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Life Update #2 // Wherein I Admit to Having Fallen off the Face of the Earth

Wait, what do you mean a third of the year is already over? I only have eight months left until 2017? How could this happen? *cue agonized screaming*

Apparently it’s time to write another update. 

Reading News 

These past two months were really good in terms of reading. I had fewer reading slumps in the March/April period than I did in January/February. And as for the number of five star books I read, either I’ve gone soft, or I’ve just had phenomenal luck. To top that off, I managed to get ahead on my Goodreads reading goal. Since I don’t plan to have much time for reading in November, hopefully I’ll be able to maintain that leeway until then. 

So let’s have a look at the stats: 

Number of books read this year


Here's a link, if you'd like to see the list.

Number of books read in the past two months


Number of books read in March


Number of books read in April


Number of new reads


Number of rereads


Not what I was hoping for, I know, but I’m planning to focus more on rereading over the next two months.

Number of audiobooks devoured


Bookish Highlights

Bookish Ratings Breakdown

Five stars


Four stars


Three stars


Two stars


In other reading news, here are my rearranged bookshelves.  

Yes, I do have motor oil on the bottom shelf. Don't judge.

You may notice that there are more books on these shelves than last time. That’s because I bought a bunch and sent for a bunch from home. I still have about 230 books back in Maine, so it will be a while before my entire collection is reunited, but that just means I get to spend more time listening to audiobooks and rearranging my shelves. Of course, I do look forward to the time when all my darlings are with me and I can have more books to look at and say, “I should read/reread that some day.” 

Life News

But now that we’ve talked about some of the positive aspects (Books! Reading! Stats!), it’s time to talk about the harder stuff. I’m not going to lie to you—March and April were difficult for me. I’ve been dealing with some problems that I wasn’t able to deal with when I was younger, and I’ve been reevaluating my views on everything as I clean out my mind and reorganize my head, but it hasn’t been quick or easy or fun. Sometimes it takes most of my mental energy just to get out of bed in the morning and dress myself, let alone make breakfast or write or make coffee or maintain an optimistic point of view or do all the other basic things that I need to be doing. 

That’s not to say there haven’t been positive moments to balance things out. For instance, while it was horrible that my pastor got stabbed (information here and here), he’s going to be okay! As for more mundane stuff, I saw a movie in theaters for the first time since New Year’s Eve. I thought I had lost all my work on my final draft of DRACONIAN when my computer randomly shut down, but then I found I had just labeled the file differently and forgotten about it. The weather has been nicer so I’ve been able to sit outside more, which does wonders for my thought health. I’m going to be moving soon to a quieter, more writerly neighborhood, with more space to live in and more places to walk. It rained yesterday, so that was nice. It's raining right now, too. I love rain. And I’ve been getting into audiobooks, which has allowed me to get more reading done overall. 

Also, I bought combat boots! 

But on the whole, I’m finding I need to operate on energy-saving mode for a while, which brings me to my next update. 

Blogging News

I had to cut back on my number of posts per week for April (which I have decided to do for May as well, partially because of my aforementioned move). I’ve been dealing with physical pain and mental pain and discouragement, and I’m just really tired. I’ve found, with my current level of mental energy, that most days I have to sacrifice something, and usually that ends up being socialization. I’ve cut back on reading blogs and answering comments and talking with people on social media or in person. I’ve had to do this because any sort of interaction, even good interaction, drains me, and lately I just haven’t had the battery power to spare. That being said, I do miss you all, and I am working to get back to a position where I can keep up with friends and blogs and life. I just can’t promise that that will be soon, or even that it will be on the same level as it was before. I’ve had to accept that, from the end of last year to the beginning of this year, I spent too much time and energy pretending I was okay and able to do everything that a normal, functional person can do, and it ended up hurting me and setting me back. 

On a more positive note, I still love blogging, and I do have a lot of plans for future posts and discussions and reviews, so please don’t worry that I’m going to stay fallen off the face of the earth forever. I have started to answer comments as well, a little bit at a time, so don’t worry—I will answer all of your brilliant remarks eventually. 

If you’re curious for more random bits of info, here are my five most popular posts for March/April: 

Writing news

I lost Camp NaNoWriMo. My goal had been to edit roughly 80,000 words, or, in other terms, to finish my (hopefully) final draft of DRACONIAN. For various reasons, mainly discouragement, that did not happen. I ended up editing roughly 60,000 words (and then forgetting to update my final word count on the site), and I hope to finish the rest soon. Surprisingly, I’m not as upset about this as I would have expected myself to be, considering that I don’t like to lose at writing-related stuff. In fact, I’m not upset at all. I made progress, and I’m encouraged by what I did get done, and I think all things considered, I did what I could. I’m too tired to be hard on myself for not living up to my high expectations all the time. I would rather drink coffee than lecture my poor little brain. 

And that’s it for my bi-monthly wrap-up, little coffee beans. Now please excuse me while I slink back to my editing cave. In the meantime, I’d love to know what you’ve been up to over the past two months. What are some fun things you’ve done? What have you been struggling with lately? What books do you hope to read in the coming months?


  1. :/ It's too bad that you've had a couple rough weeks, but hang in there and take care of yourself! It's okay if it will be a while before you return. On another note, though, YOU HAVE SO MANY BOOKS and even more? o.O That is so many, my friend. I hope you read many more good ones while you're spending time healing.

    1. Thank you for being so understanding. :) I do have a lot of books. It's a bit of a space problem, really. But I always want to buy more. :P And aww, thank you!

      Thanks for commenting! :)

  2. Who turned out the lights? I really need to watch that episode again, it was pretty masterfully done. (Love your boots, by the way.)

    I'm quite surprised that you organized your books that way, I personally can't stand it when I have my books in a vertical pile instead of a horizontal one (if that makes any sense) because if you want a book from the bottom of the stack then you have to yank it out, and it's so hard to put back in. The problems of a bookworm. *sighs* Also, The Scorpio Races and The Raven Boys were awesome. How did you like Miss Peregrine (just noticed the series on your bookshelf there)?

    Congrats on doing so much work for Draconian! Even if you didn't win Nano that's still a huge accomplishment.

    1. Aaaand I've also tagged you for something, if you're interested :

    2. Such a great episode. *nods* I'd have to say it's one of my favorites, both parts. (Aww, thank you! I love them too. :P)

      Yeah, that is the downside to vertical book stacking. I did that somewhat for space, and somewhat for aesthetic because I had gotten a bit bored with conventional book arrangement. I switch it up often, and I make sure I put books on the bottom only when I don't intend to reread them soon. But I actually don't mind carefully unstacking one by one just to get the one off the bottom, because I like handling my books. :P

      I really like the first one, but I have yet to read the next two. I hope to tackle them this month. :)

      Thank you! :) I'm happy to be making any sort of progress. And thank you for the tag! :)

      Thanks for commenting! :)

  3. I'm sorry you've had a difficult couple of months, but I'm glad you had some positive things to balance that out! And I love your combat boots.

    And I definitely get you with the there's-only-eight-months-left-in-the-year crisis. Sometimes I still think it's February.

    1. Thank you--I love them too! :) And thank you for being understanding. :)

      My brain has so much trouble with time. *shakes head* But it's good to know I'm not the only one.

      Thanks for commenting! :)

  4. Aww, I totally understand about feeling drained and just needing time to cope and manage. *sends you coffee cake* I mean, I MISS YOU AND YOUR BLOG A LOT. But I understand! Take care of yourself! And I hope things look up soon? I had a really pitiful April (emotionally) myself, but I read a gargantuan amount of excellent books and that REALLY helped, thank goodness.
    Sadness about NaNo but at least 60K is a good thing, right?!?
    I'm trying to tell myself I need new boots for Christmas even though...I really don't. But it would be so fuuuuuuun. *pines longingly* Instead I'll just write all my characters into combat boots and live vicariously through them. 😂

    1. *accepts coffee cake* *eats all of it* AWW, THANK YOU. THAT MEANS SO MUCH TO ME. Things are starting to look up, so that's good. :) Reading lots of good books does wonders. *nods*
      'Tis indeed.
      THANK YOU. I like them. *nods*
      THEY ARE. *struts around in awesome combat boots*
      Get the new boots. I dare you. :D
      Thanks for commenting! :)

  5. Glad to hear your pastor is doing well!

    Hang in there! I mean, you've got combat boots and coffee, so those are two of the most important things to have if you're going to conquer dragons or the world, right?

    1. Thank you. :)

      You are absolutely correct. *gives you coffee beans* With combat boots and coffee I shall conquer all the the dragons. All of them.

      Thanks for commenting! :)

  6. The past two months have been rough on me too. *hugs* My grandfather passed away in March, financial troubles have been bombarding me, and I got in a car accident. Not fun. I'm glad to hear you're doing better. Edit edit edit. You can do it!

    1. *hugs you too* Oh, I'm so sorry your grandfather passed away. I'm sure that was really difficult. *gives you more hugs* And financial troubles are no fun. The same with car accidents. Take care of yourself--it's hard to bounce back from that sort of thing, so give yourself time.

      Thank you for your encouragement. :)

      Thanks for commenting! :)

  7. Maggie Stiefvater is awesome. It's objectively true. I love all her books. Your bookshelves look great! :)

    I'm sorry to hear that the last few months have been so rough on you, but it's good to hear that you are slowly sorting through everything. Take all the time you need (even if I do miss your posts) to take care of yourself.

    Sending coffee and good editing thoughts your way :)

    1. She is, she really is. I've read four of her books so far, and they were all perfection. I'm assuming this will be the case for the ones I haven't read yet. Aww, thank you! :)

      Thank you for being so understanding. :)

      Thanks for commenting! :)

  8. We do miss you! But I do hope you get better soon. I'm sorry you've been feeling bad, especially mentally because that's more difficult to deal with than physical pain. It's very hard and most people don't understand it. Praying for you.

    Yes, even social media is draining. I get that so much.

    In minuscule news, combat boots are so much fun! I recently got a pair too.

    1. Awww. Thank you. :) And thank you for saying that, because sometimes I worry that people won't understand, and it's nice to see someone else say it so I don't end up convincing myself I'm just being a wuss.


      They are! Congrats on getting your boots! :) Together we shall rule the world.

      Thanks for commenting! :)