may 23, 2016

Hi everyone!

What I’m Reading
A lot! So let’s get right to it.

  • The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson.

This precious adorable book! I can’t even tell you how much I loved it. DOGS! All the dogs. All the cute animals. I also loved the friendship and family themes of the story, it’s basically the perfect blend of what I want to see and write in YA contemporary. Plus, an adorable romance. I also adore the design of this book (front and back cover). It’s so, so pretty, and I know I’m gonna crack soon and buy my own copy.

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  • Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin

I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay.

 

 

Silly me, I did not realize how accurate that very posed fangirling crying on the bed photo would become. It was 1 in the morning when I finished reading and I was legit ugly crying, but I had been ugly crying for the last 80 pages of the book.

I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’M NOT OKAY.

  • A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess

This is my current read! I’m only on like chapter 3, and You are a rare species of cod is my favorite thing. So much so I’m randomly texting it to people.

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What I’m Doing
I went to B&N hoping they put Stacey Lee’s OUTRUN THE MOON out a couple days early. Ha, no luck.

I ended up getting sick (travel, stress, allergies, boo), so I’ve been in a fog all week. I just got on antibiotics yesterday, so hopefully that kicks this thing. Because of my sickness, I had to miss the brilliant and amazing Maggie Stiefvater at Books of Wonder over the weekend.

I’d been looking forward to Maggie’s signing since it was announced months ago. It was such a shame to miss it. I love, love, love The Raven Cycle beyond words.

But, I’m consoling myself with the memories of 2011, when she was at the Scholastic store (with Meg Cabot and Libba Bray) and I talked to her during a lull in her signing line for like 10 minutes.

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Oh, yeah. That actually happened. 

That was actually such a crazy event because my friend and I got to the store super early. When we reached there, we asked an employee where to go for the This Is Teen event, and they directed us upstairs to some sort of cocktail event, handed us goodie bags with ARCs (including Maggie’s FOREVER!!), and left us alone with publishing officials and bloggers. I remember we had no idea what was going on and were afraid at any moment someone would realize we weren’t bloggers, take our goodie bags away, and kick us out. We grabbed some finger foods, and sat on the floor in the corner, looking at the view of the city, marveling over how we ended up in this fancy room with all these people.

There came a point, as it got closer to the event and I wasn’t seeing more kids our age, I had a feeling we were in the wrong place. I coerced Friend into investigating with me. We left the room, went back the way we came, and ended up back in the Scholastic store’s main floor/store area. Sure enough, there were hordes of actual readers waiting for the event to start. We joined them, replaying everything in our heads and realized the mistake the person had made assuming we were there so early to attend the blogger/publishing mixer.

This is now one of my fondest memories! ❤ And I can’t believe I have a picture with Meg and Libba, but not Maggie. Shame on me!

 

Okay, enough of memory lane. I was sick and missed Maggie. Boooo. Hopefully I don’t have to wait another 5 years for my chance to see her again.

I feel like I’m in a transitional period right now. This last week has been spent feeling sick, and going to see my dad during visiting hours. I have this new experience now, and I’m trying to memorize every detail, notice and remember things. My dad has been a patient for 8 days now.

I have a new understanding of what a psych ward is. But then again, I have a very limited view, confined to a dining room for one and a half hours a day. But even this brief glimpse has stripped me of preconceived notions.

What I’m Thinking About
-I should see an allergy specialist. The last few years I’ve had horrible seasonal allergies that spiral into infections/colds, and it’s no bueno. Should look into allergy shots.

-I saw bits of The View this morning and they were talking about little girls in provocative outfits courtesy of Chris Brown being mad at his daughter’s dance costume. All the women on the show agreed with Chris, because they have husbands who are overprotective of their daughters. They were saying that they can’t see the world as a man does, so they need to respect what their husbands want. Whoopie was the only one that seemed to have a problem with what was being said, but she didn’t really join in.

It made me angry. How about we stop hyper-sexualizing little girls. How about we stop telling girls they can’t wear leggings, get their ears pierced, or pose with their hands on their hip because they are nothing but objects that distract men, and have no worth as a human being. They are things with a body that has no purpose but to make babies and distract men and boys.

feminist-rant

Stop looking at 2-year-old girls, little girls, teenage girls, young women, ladies as sexual objects. Why aren’t boys and men taught to look at girls and women in different ways, in respectful ways, in ways that value their dignity as people first?

You are a rare species of cod.

What I’m Writing
Classified.

What I’m Watching
Oh my gosh, Jurassic World has been on tv like 3 times in the last week.

In other news, I have watched Jurassic World 3 times in the last week.

I love the way it critiques captivity, plus how beautiful Chris Pratt is. I mean, I have some problems with this film, like how Bryce Dallas Howard’s character is conceived as the frigid business woman who needs to be told to RELAX by her boss, the way POC side characters are all killed off, and how Morgana from Merlin is needlessly and viciously killed off. But the heart wants what it wants. Adorable raptors, my badass baby t-rex of wonders, bickering OTP, adorable little boy with feels = my dreams.

It’s about to start again. I will be watching it again. No shame!

I’m also getting caught up on Orphan Black! I really like this season. I feel like it has finally recaptured that blend of Clone Family Humor and Actual Plot of season one. I also love all the exploration of Beth, since I have so many feels about her. All the little details too, when Sarah and Art are watching the footage and how they have their own feels over Paul and Beth. Tat and the Guy Who Plays Art have beautifully captured their grief.

The only drawback is that disgusting Cheek Maggot Thing. But I’ve mastered the art of looking away at this point.

One other thing, still waiting on the first promo of season 3 of The Royals. I need it.

That’s all from me for now. Be kind to each other,
Mic ❤

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may 18, 2016

Hi everyone!

After yesterday’s difficult and hard post, I wanted to write something lighter and closer to what I normally blog about. But first, thank you so much to all the love you showed me on Twitter. I may not have responded with actual words, but it meant a lot to me.

What I’m Reading
Still Torch. Woe is me. I thought I’d finish yesterday, but then I actually didn’t read at all. Writing the blog post took a lot out of me and I kind of lazy-ed around. Then in the evening my mom and I went for visiting hours before I met up with bestie for the night.

Okay, but Torch! I’m hooked. It took awhile, but I’m in now. The world has gotten bigger, and I love it. The ships are not without pain. And Kauf is giving me Boiling Rock vibes–my ATLA fangirl is showing.

feels atla

What I’m Watching 
OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH

Jane the Virgin.

THAT FINALE.

dead ouat

I am a mess of feels. So like, the first 45 minutes of that episode were the cutest, most amazing, most adorable thing I’d ever seen and then WOOOOSSHHH *shit explodes*

heart palpitations

I LOVE this show SO much. It’s so funny, political, feminist, real, honest, and wonderful. I was really nervous about the season beginning because season 1 was one of the best things I’d ever seen. I flew through it in days. I was so scared season 2 would crash and burn, and for me, it had a few bumps when it came back, but then found its footing.

Ah!! I need season 3! This is going to be SUCH a hiatus.

What I’m Doing 
I mentioned I hung out with my bestie last night. I did indeed! Jess and I have known each other since la kindergarten. But we didn’t really become good friends until… 5th grade? I think? But from then on, she’s been My Person.

I texted her on Friday from Chicago when I was feeling kinda homesick and down about everything that had imploded in my face with Mel, and even though she was at work, she replied to me. When I saw her yesterday she was like, “I knew something was wrong with you, because you hardly ever message.”

I felt so Known in that moment, I can’t even explain it. So we went for frozen yogurt and I just told her about my dad and what was going on. She told me about work and boy woes. Politics. Sexism. NYCC. We looked at pictures from my trip. We planned a trip to Boston.

But the important things: the yogurt! I tried White Peach–much recommend. I also tried snickerdoodle for the first time–too sweet for me. My toppings are usually fruit (berries and/or coconut or mango) and graham cracker crust. Occasionally I’ll add chocolate chips. But I was PMSing, curious about how the 8 layer cookie would go, and Jess had nabbed some, so I went wild. Verdict: it goes well 😉

Side note, Jess’ froyo, below, looks like a monster because this was her FIRST TIME getting froyo (I’ve obviously failed her) and she didn’t realize she’d added too much haha. But she ate it all like a champ.

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What I’m Thinking About
PEOPLE ARE INSANE–when it comes to the overhead bins of airplanes. I used to always watch people board the plane as early as possible, and was like, “Why do they want to get on the plane so early? They’re just gonna sit there forever.”

Now I know. It’s so they can steal bins that aren’t theirs.

So my flight to Chicago, I ended up being upgraded to the first row because I hadn’t been assigned a seat. I was one of the first people onto the plane, no one was in my row, and the bins I was supposed to use were full. When the plane landed, people from the back raced to the front to grab their bags in my bin, and it just created a traffic jam as all of us in the front had to go against everyone else to rescue our bags.

Coming home, I was in row 17 and again, reached my row before anyone else and the bins were full. This is ridiculous. Everyone, use your own bins. This has been a public service announcement.

bloody hell i need a cup of tea

What I’m Writing
Blog posts, apparently.

And tweets to Ron Howard to get a WOLF BY WOLF miniseries, haha.

 

Look, all the cool kids are doing it! 🙂

 

That’s all from me for now. Stay healthy, people. Be kind to each other.

may 17, 2016

While I was at BookCon, my dad attempted suicide.

I went back and forth about whether to write a BookCon recap as its own post, but for me, these memories are intertwined forever now and I want to preserve them. I want to write something for me.

What I’m Feeling
I don’t know. I feel weird, like I’m not feeling anything. The house is quiet. I can’t look at the kitchen knives. My mom is nervous and scared. I think she’s holding onto a lot of guilt. I slept on my dad’s side of the bed last night.

And then I’ll think about BookCon, when I was blissfully ignorant of everything at home. I remember actually thinking to myself while roaming the show floor, “This is the happiest I’ve felt in a long time. When someone asks when the last time I was truly happy was, I’ll say today.”

It kills me to know my father was feeling the complete and total opposite of this at the exact same time.

Maybe I’m holding onto a lot of guilt too.

What I’m Reading
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I’m incredibly proud of my haul. Last year, I got a bunch of stuff, but not anything I was really dying to read (I actually didn’t even know there would be ARCs… I was such a newbie). This year, I was focused, planned out what I wanted and what the best way to get them was.

I thought my first book would be BLOOD FOR BLOOD since WOLF BY WOLF is, like, my favorite book ever maybe. I needed its sequel. I expected I’d be reading it on the plane home, probably cry a lot and scare my seat mates.

But then, towards the end of the day, I was sitting at the Downtown Stage when a friend got an alert that Penguin had tweeted out a chance to win A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT. My first instinct was not to run for it, followed by a flood of regret. I was so close to Penguin, I should have just gone and tried. I reminded myself it was coming out in two-ish months and I could wait.

Then, maybe an hour later I was across the show floor with my friends, sitting and resting while they decided which panel to go to. I was satisfied. Done. I’d achieved everything on my list and was happy to just go with the flow for the rest of the evening. That’s when my phone buzzed with another Penguin notification. I skimmed the image of books in the tote they were giving out, glimpsed Torch, and took off running.

Mine, mine, mine. I wanted it. Screw waiting two more months. Elias, Laia, Helene! I needed to know what would happen. I reached the Penguin booth, gasped out the password, but was met with “Awwws” and “You were SO CLOSE.” The winner was actually still there! I’d just been a few seconds too late.

I asked if there was another chance to win Torch. The Penguin staffers told me there would be, so I decided to hang around. It was 4, there were 2 hours left of BookCon, and again, I had what I wanted. It’s not like I’d have been missing something except a panel I wasn’t really interested in anyway.

I watched some other people mosey along to try to claim the tote bag of books, but they were too late. At some point, another girl showed up and sat right in front of me. I saw her refreshing the PenguinTeen page nonstop. I was like, “Oh my gosh. Welp. This is it. She’s blocking my way and she’ll get it.” Thirty seconds after, I was like, “NO. I’ve been waiting here longer, there’s no way she’s gonna get it.”

Time ticked by. Oh where, oh where was my tweet.

Finally, the girl was packing up her stuff and gonna leave. Yes! Then a PenguinTeen staffer came over and said not so covertly to her co-worker that they’d be tweeting out the thing, so be ready. The girl stopped putting her stuff away. No! 

That was when I noticed another girl hovering. More no!

We all got ready. We all shouted “Nightbringer!”

We all looked around anxiously.

A tie breaker of Rock, Paper, Scissors was suggested.

I died a little inside.

An idea popped into my head. I suggested we share it.

We shared it!

And thus, this is how BLOOD FOR BLOOD did not become the book I read first from BookCon. I’m reading Torch so I can send it along to Healy and Lauren.

But, you know, it’s really good so I’m not complaining. Torch is slowly consuming me, and I keep imagining it as a big epic movie. Seriously, someone get on this!

I recall all of this with what I know now about my dad, and feel like none of this matters. That it’s insignificant. Sometimes I’ll think about it now, and it’s like I wasn’t really there for any of it. The Michella at BookCon feels so far away from the Michella At Home Writing This Right Now. BookCon!Michella is like an AU.

What I’m Thinking About
My dad has had depression as long as I can remember. My dad has hated therapy as long as I can remember. My dad is now in a psychiatric ward, and seems open to therapy.

My dad reached a point where he felt so bad he went to the kitchen, looked at our knife set, and thought, “This is a good idea.” Or, “They’ll be better off without me.” Or, “I don’t want to live.”

I don’t know what he was thinking. I don’t know if he was even aware of what he was doing. I think the not knowing scares and puzzles me most.

I want to know if this was purely a side effect of the wrong meds, or it’s something more.

I can’t look at the kitchen knives.

My mom broke down in front of me yesterday. They bought those fancy knives together, she said, their first set as a married couple. She was horrified with what they were used for.

My mom said she cleaned up all the blood with her friend. But we found some yesterday, on a paper sitting on the coffee table. It was the first thing I saw that said, “This is real.”

Seeing the bandage on my dad’s wrist earlier that day didn’t resonate as much. I don’t know why. Maybe because I saw the bandage in a sterile, controlled setting, and the dried blood was in my constant reality, my safe space, my home.

I haven’t been able to ask her which knife it was.

I don’t know if I want to know.

But I also don’t want to touch any of them.

My mom doesn’t know if we should keep them, or throw them away. But if we do, then the new knives will always be The Knives After Dad’s Suicide Attempt. Which is worse?

What I’m Doing
I just got back from Chicago yesterday. While my trip had a lot of good, it also had a lot of not so good.

Leading up to my trip, my dad was not doing well. He wasn’t sleeping. He was anxious. He was down. I did not want to leave, but I knew I had to. On the way to the airport, he had some sort of mini breakdown, and my mom maintains that he passed out briefly. I don’t know. I just won’t forget the sound he made deep in his chest.

When I landed in Chicago, I had an easy commute to my hotel and was excited to meet Mel finally. But things with Mel didn’t go well; her anxiety was too bad, and she left early, missed the convention, and wasn’t available to take me out on Sunday. I cried a lot on Friday. I went through a range of emotions: anger, guilt, confusion, sympathy, uselessness, sadness.

Mel and I have talked every day since NaNo 2013. I haven’t heard from her since Friday. I feel this sense of loss. Every once and awhile I’ll feel like I should be talking to someone, and then I’ll remember why. I don’t know if I should be the one to say something first, but I don’t want to be. But I also thought if I could talk to anyone about mental illness, it would be her, and now she’s not around.

But then I’m glad she skipped the convention. I was in line at 6:30 with my friend Brittany, and the line was nuts. At 8 we were moved into the queue hall and packed tightly close together so no one would be able to cut the line. The sheer amount of people all around us would have been too much for her.

Once the show floor opened, we took off for Penguin’s First in Line event. It was euphoric. Waiting in line for hours was totally worth it for GEMINA, THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR, and AND I DARKEN (the three I most wanted). It set the day off on the right tone. From there I went to the EVERLAND signing, then to Little, Brown to see if they had extra SEVEN DAYS OF YOU from BEA, and they did! I helped Brittany score an ARC of NEVERNIGHT. I got A SHADOW BRIGHT & BURNING. I met up with the Pitch Wars group. We grabbed a few more galleys and then went to see Leigh Bardugo and Marissa Meyer’s Truth or Dare and then got ice cream with Morgan Matson. I coerced all of them into reading WOLF BY WOLF.

It was a fast-paced, busy, exhausting day. In my heart of hearts, I know Mel would not have been able to do it, but I still wish she had been able to experience it.

After dinner in Chinatown with my Pitch Wars crew, I went back to my room and called my mom.

She told me Dad was in the ER. She told me he was fine.

I knew she was lying. I didn’t push it.

What I’m Feeling
I understand why my mom lied to me. I understand she wanted me to have a good trip, especially after what had happened with Mel the day before. I understand wanting to tell me in person. I understand she was in a hard situation. I understand she was sad, angry, confused, scared, everything.

But now I think about BookCon, and what a great day it was, and then I think about what I was missing here and I feel like, Something has been tainted. I can’t just think about BookCon as I have all weekend. How can it still be the last time I was really, really happy?

I wonder if she’d just told me on Saturday, if I wouldn’t feel like I have to reorganize and reprocess everything. If I’d known on Saturday, BookCon wouldn’t have had a chance to be gold plated in my memories. The high of Bookcon and horror of my dad’s suicide attempt would have been encoded together. But I’m not blaming her, or upset with her. I’m just trying to figure out how to navigate this new normal.

I’m angry. I’m angry at my dad’s doctor for changing his meds, not following up, telling him to stop the meds, giving him a medication that’s a stimulant and doesn’t help with anxiety, not turning his case over to a psychiatrist, not paying enough attention.

I’m angry I left my mom alone to handle all this.

I’m thankful she had a friend with her.

I’m angry I wasn’t here.

I’m scared treatment won’t work. I’m scared I’ll never be able to look at knives with the same indifference as before. I’m scared I’ll never be able to cook with them. I’m scared treatment will work, my dad will come home, and relapse.

I think about BookCon a year from now, back home in New York. I won’t have to travel. I wonder about where we, my family, will be one May from now.

I hope we’re better, stronger, healthier.

I hope I can look at knives.

I hope my dad is still here.  Not just here, but truly living. Happy.

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may 10, 2016

Hello!

What I’m Reading
Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson! I think I first found out about this book last year from my friend Alwyn, and it immediately piqued my interest. I ended up ordering it online after it came out in a mini book haul since the opening sample pages hooked me. That was last September or October… I know! For shame! I’m so bad.

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It sat on my shelf, and around the time I bought it, I actually just started a class called Genocide. So I’m sitting in class and one of the first topics was genocide in the Americas, and we talked all about the colonial era genocide and mass atrocities committed against Native Americans. Our lesson focused a little more on the east coast (because of our location) and Northern California (because an officially recognized genocide took place there), while ghosting over the Plains Indians.

I was fascinated by all this buried history that happened right here. When it came time to pick a term paper topic, I knew right away I wanted to research more about the Native Americans. I wasn’t sure how to narrow the topic, but once I realized the Gold Rush coincided with the dates of our class, everything kind of snowballed from  there.

(These aren’t even the books I ended up using for most of my research, ha. Side note: I really recommend Murder State: California’s Native American Genocide, 1846-1873 by Brendan Lindsay.)

I really wanted to read Walk on Earth before I wrote my paper, but that just didn’t work out. I saw it getting shortlisted for awards, and would be like, “I need to read this. I need to read this. MAN, I need to read this.” Well a full semester later, I am finally reading it!

I’m almost done too, and I’m really enjoying it. It’s a journey book–Leah does a lot of traveling, and for a good portion of the beginning, she does it alone. It’s a survival book. I thought this book would center more on California and Leah actually in the Gold Rush, but it’s not about that (at least not yet–book 2, maybe?).

There’s also an adorable sassy horse called Peony (and  love that Leah’s horse has such a feminine name while she’s pretending to be a guy) and complex Mrs. Joyner who I’m very intrigued by. I love all the subtle ways Leah notices how life is different for her now that she’s a boy. I super love that she deals with how to hide her period, and I love the mix of kind and shitty people Leah meets while traveling. “Henry’s a poet” cracked me up haha.

I’m really happy I’m finally reading this! I think I’m having a better reading experience because of what I learned last semester and the independent research I did. And it’s also giving me flashbacks to Stacey Lee’s Under a Painted Sky, so now I really wanna reread it!

What I’m Doing
My last final was today! I’m so HAPPY.

I’m looking forward to BookCon and my trip to Chicago. I leave Friday, so I guess now I’ll be focused on checking the weather and packing and narrowing down plans with my friend Mel, who I’m so excited to finally meet in person. I’ve also evaluated my BookCon schedule too many times, but I think I have something close to a final product. It’s so hard since most things are at the same time. Figuring out what to prioritize is tough, but I’ve been thinking about it long enough that I kind of know what I want to get out of BookCon (and I don’t just mean physically, I do mean emotionally too haha). I had a great time last year, so I’m excited for my second experience.

Things are a little stressful at home, though. My dad is in the middle of trying new antidepressants and he doesn’t think they’re working, so he’s not sleeping and anxious and generally all over the place. I hope he’s able to feel better soon.

Mother’s Day was this passed weekend. My mom and I went to see The Jungle Book. Not gonna lie, I basically sobbed through the entire movie.

Main theme started? Cried.
Something remotely cute happened? Cried.
Something remotely sad and feelsy happened? Cried.
A remotely beautiful shot? Cried.

i need a moment hook ouat

Something happens to me with Disney movies! I just can’t control myself. It’s like a pungent overwhelming sense of nostalgia, maybe? I don’t know. But on the whole, Jungle Book was a good film! It was beautifully done, if a tad episodic. Lupita and Idris have the best voices. Oh my goshhhhh. Ha, look at me, Idris and Lupita like we’re such good friends.   Anyway, my favorite though was Bageerha, just like he was in the Disney animation. I don’t really know why. It’s probably a combination of loving cats, the color black, and Bagheera’s total exasperation with everyone (and his good kitty heart). But, oh man, Wolf Mommy was precious. AND HER BABY CUBS. Okay, so, long ramble short, I saw Jungle Book and it was good!

What I’m Thinking About
-I still need to vacuum.

-I really hope I don’t get lost in Chicago.

-People seriously freak out before exams. I always feel like the odd one in a classroom right before an exam sitting there calmly, while everyone around me is asking each other questions and generally panicking. I mean, with the exam in five minutes, it’s either you know it or you don’t at this point. And besides, it’s just words on a page. I don’t know, it’s something I started noticing in high school, and I’ve never gotten used to it. I try to tune everyone out as much as I can, and try not to let what they’re saying influence my own ideas.

What I’m Writing
Ugh, I’m the worst. Progress is not my friend. But now that exams are done, I’m gonna get right back to work.

What I’m Watching
I just started The Man in the High Castle today. I haven’t finished the first episode yet, but it’s intriguing. One of my favorite books in the entire universe x999999999999 is Wolf by Wolf, so if this show can somehow conjure a tiny fraction of the amount of love I have for that book, I will be satisfied.

Other than that I continue with my Pokemon rewatch. I just watched the episode in Cerulean City with Misty’s sisters and I wish their femininity wasn’t presented as ditzy and blah. I mean, I like that they showed their love for Misty in the end, but I would have wanted to see them be awesome synchronized swimmers and also epic gym masters. Not awesome synchronized swimmers who seemed to have no interest in Pokemon. How can you be gym masters and lose your last 3 matches in a row? Meh.

What I’m Listening To
Arctic Monkeys FOREVER.

may 4, 2016

Hi everyone!

What I’m Watching
Recently, I started re-watching Pokemon on Netflix. I was obsessed with this show as a kid, and I’ve been curious about how it’ll hold up what is probably like 10 years later. I have to say, the world-building in the first few episodes is blowing my mind. It’s really well done, and feels so effortless. I hardly remember anything so the story feels brand new to me in lots of ways. I’m looking forward to getting to my favorite episode which I remember in pieces–there’s a shipwreck and then Lapris (sp?) appears!

I also really want to rewatch ATLA and Peaky Blinders, so I’m gonna try to fit those in soon. They’re just perfect shows.

What I’m Reading
I pre-ordered The Rose and The Dagger by Renée Ahdieh, and I just started it today! I’m halfway through and loving it. It’s also just the most beautifully designed book ever, maybe.

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I don’t read a lot of nonfiction or writing books, but I was in Strand yesterday and picked up this book called Steal Like an Artist. I was flipping through it, curious, and then it totally grabbed me. I loved the flow and the quotes from famous artists, and it was making me excited to get back to writing, so I decided to get it. It’s about creativity in general, not just writing, so I really liked that.

p.s. still recovering from my Raven Cycle book hangover, which I probably will be forever.

What I’m Doing
It’s FINALS WEEK! This semester I have an in class final (ethics), a take home final (literary theory), and two finals scheduled during the exam period (biopsychology and art history: illuminated manuscripts). So I’m in a permanent fog right now, and looking towards freedom with much longing.

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But in between all the school stuff, I went to Books of Wonder yesterday to see 4 fabulous YA authors. The panel was one of my favorites and the best event I’ve attended in awhile. I’m convinced Susane Colasanti was an inspirational speaker in a past life. Judy Sheehan is the cutest ever (‘All the Hamilton!’). Anna Breslaw is really bad at pitching books/tv shows and the coolest person ever. Jennifer E Smith is as sweet as all her love stories.

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I’m so glad I went to this event–I really loved Anna’s SCARLETT EPSTEIN HATES IT HERE, but now I’m so excited to read I WOKE UP DEAD AT THE MALL and the CITY LOVE series. I’m really looking forward to Jennifer’s next book too–she talked about it briefly and I bet it’ll be great.

But in news not related to school or books, I went to see an old family friend sing opera at her school over the weekend. Tomorrow I’ll be at another school play to support a friend’s little sister. So this has been the week of School Recitals!

But next week will be Chicago Fun Times and BookCon!! I’m SO excited.

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What I’m Thinking About
-So the Tony Awards. I’m so happy for Hamilton–all those nominations are VERY well deserved, but I’m super happy School of Rock got nominated for a bunch of stuff. I loved THIS show. The music was great, the depth added to the characters was perfect, and it was just so much fun. I was nervous about it since I love the movie and wasn’t sure if it would work on Broadway, but everyone involved in the production did a great job.

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-The GOP is a mess.

-I need to watch the Mother’s Day Jane the Virgin episode.

-Captain Swan better be engaged before season 5 ends.

-I should vacuum.

-I’m so happy I have a Pusheen calendar.

-The Man Book Club thing just reinforces the idea that stories about women are for women, and stories about men/written by men are universal. This line of thinking is troubling, damaging, and disgusting. Women are half of the population, their stories are just as important as male stories.

The Buzz Books sampler has chapter 1 of A SHADOW BRIGHT AND BURNING and it was so good omg I need this book.

What I’m Writing
I didn’t do a lot of drafting in April (understatement–I did like NONE), mostly because I gave myself permission to focus on school. I had a lot of papers and projects due at the same time as the semester ended, and then I got SICK right in the middle of April and was dying slowly on my 21st birthday. So by allowing myself not to write, I didn’t feel guilty for my lack of progress and it generally made things a whole lot less stressful. But now that I’m basically almost done, I got back into the swing of things and wrote 3k yesterday in #FantasyWIP. It felt so good to be back and I was surprised by the amount of progress I made. I can’t wait to write more and finish this baby!

What I’m Listening To
It’s basically been non-stop Hamilton since the album came out, but I’m listening to a lot of Florence and the Machine, too. I’m so excited to see her in June! It feels SO close. Also squeezed in some Killers today. They’re always perfect.