Category Archives: Random Musings

My Greatest Fear

You’d think it’d be something really dramatic. I mean, my greatest fear, my ultimate fear, the one that if I think about too much head on, it induces the closest thing to a panic attack that I’ve ever experienced, is death. Just the idea that I’m not certain, despite my faith, of what happens after and possibility that one day, everything I could know would just go black and that’s the end of that…fucking terrifies me. So that’s my greatest fear, but that’s not the focus of this post. It’s like how, when someone asks you what your favorite book is (ignoring the fact that I can never truly pick one), I’ll usually list off a couple, but I always make the caveat of, “But after Tolkien, because he’s on a totally different level.” Death is a different level as far as fears go.

But my greatest every day fear?

It’s getting in trouble.

Sounds so pathetic, when I write it out like that, yeah? And I didn’t really realize it, not fully. Like, I always knew how much I hated getting in trouble, but I never truly realized that I feared it, quite truly. I’m not even sure where that fear comes from. I mean, I’ve always been that goodie-twoshoes type, right? That stereotypical “good kid” who was a worry wart and cared too much about what everyone else thought and focused more on getting straight A’s than anything else. Growing up, I got grounded a couple of times, but nothing super major; nothing to warrant this kind of true fear I have with getting in trouble. Yet it’s definitely there, from not speaking my true opinion because I don’t want to upset someone or doing (/avoiding) something because I don’t want to get trouble, it’s constantly surrounding me and affecting my decisions/choices.

the sandlot GIF

Hell, even the other day, I said something to my boyfriend and he turned around and asked, “Why are you always so scared I’m going to be mad at you?” And he was right to question that, because he’s never done anything to make me worry and believe that something I choose to do or something I say is going to upset him. Yet I’m always nervous that something will. Same thing with my friends or my family, to the point where I get nervous tightenings in my stomach when I have to tell a friend I can’t make it to an event they want me to be at or I’m running late, because I’m so worried they are going to be upset with me.

Perhaps it’s just not the fear of getting in trouble, but the fear of disappointing others, too. A nice, lovely combo, that.

Where does this fear come from? What’s my source?

I wish I knew. I wish I could tell you, because perhaps if I could figure out how this switched from just your general uncomfortable feeling you get when someone is upset with you to a genuine fear of it happening, perhaps I could do a better job managing it. But I’m truly not sure. And that’s…well, that’s about all I have for this post, honestly. Just some ramblings over another realization I’ve had about myself and how my brain works.

Sorta.

Cheers.

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Thoughts Stained Turns Six!

Though this blog continues to grow and evolve and change and get older, one thing has consistently never changed:

I never remember this anniversary and every year, I want to do a really fun, detailed post, with stats and graphics and highlights of successful posts and challenges and all those really cool, beautiful things I’ve seen other bloggers do on their anniversaries.

And every year, I miss it until the day of, so I’m scrambling to put together anything at all..

(Thank goodness for that WordPress notification.)

So, today, Thoughts Stained With Ink turns six years old!

balloon GIF

I’m pretty jazzed about that. I never knew how much this blog would grow and how important it would become to me over the years. It’s not just a way to connect with people–and I have connected with a ton, from other bloggers who I’ve come to admire and become friends with, to finding the writing group that literally stretches across the globe who mean so much to me and I can’t imagine my life without them. And then there are the readers, who will like my post and let me know they are present; who leave comments and let me know what resonates with them, what thoughts my post inspired or inflicted. That anyone takes the time to read these ramblings is more humbling and awing than anyone knows, I think.

And while those readers and connections mean the world to me, helping this blog surpass any vision I could possibly ever have for it, this blog has always been and always will be, most importantly, my outlet; something personal, for me. This blog, this space, is where I go to vent, to process, to express emotion, to grow, to be vulnerable, to teach. It’s the place where I can be me, be the most candid, the most real version of myself; partly because I’m able to hide behind a keyboard as I write, so there is a safety net built in there, of course. But also because I’ve been welcomed by such a warming, welcoming and wonderful community of bloggers who truly feel like friends and who, through likes and comments and interaction and friendship, make my voice not only feel heard in my tiny little corner of the internet, but also make it feel valued.

That means more than I think I can ever express.

Six years is not a small number in the blogging community, I believe, but I have no plans on stopping any time soon. I’m not sure how this blog will continue to evolve and change. I know I have goals to try and learn more about how to work with layouts and graphics with WordPress. I love how beautiful some of the blogs I follow are and I wouldn’t mind amping Thoughts Stained up to that level (and fully admit I’m jealous of those blogs and bloggers who have those capabilities). I’ve also imagined trying to go ahead and create my author brand through this blog, but I’m not sure how I want to do that, quite yet. But with how excited I am about some of these projects I’m working on, I’m hoping I’ll have need of that brand and marketing sooner rather than later. 🙂

Though uncertain what the future will truly look like for this blog, this blog definitely isn’t going anywhere. My blogging output has reached the level where it feels like I’ve taken on an additional job, considering I also run two other blogs: my book review blog, Erlebnisse, and my short story collaborative blog, Muse in Pocket, Pen in Hand, both which I love and will continue to be passionate about. But Thoughts Stained will always be my “main blog,” my first passion, and it will always be important to me, even if I don’t always have the time I want to truly dedicate to it and reach the vision I’d love to achieve.

Doesn’t mean I can’t try to reach it, though.

So thank you for the past six years, fam. It’s been a true honor to be a part of such a warm community. I hope to continue to grow my presence here and continue interacting with all of you, while also finding new bloggers to connect with and support!

I will leave you with links to some of my favorite posts from the past year, so I have some semblance of having my act together:

On Writing:

On Life:

And More:

Thanks again and here’s to another half a dozen years!

Cheers.


Drive, and the Perception and Comparison Surrounding It

I’m not 100% sure where this post is going to go, only that I know I want to write it; mostly to get my own thoughts down and just…respond, really. So apologies in advance if this post doesn’t make a lick of sense.

I spent the afternoon the other day with my Mom, eating lunch before going to my apartment’s pool and swimming for a couple of hours. It was a positively lovely afternoon and I’m itching to do that again with her. While we were catching up, I can’t remember exactly what we were talking about (I believe it was working out or something to that affect) and eventually, she made an offhanded comment, saying, “You must be a pain to live with.”

Not menacing, not harmful or even mean. She was laughing as she said it and I wasn’t hurt at all. I’m still not. Basically, that comment was referencing the fact that, I am so goal driven and so To-Do list oriented that, if I want to accomplish something, I usually do it. Especially in the last two years or so, when I started actively seeking out steps and making progress on all the goals I created over the aspects in my life I wanted to achieve something in: health, working out, eating better, blogging, writing, reading, learning Spanish, budgeting money, etc. I mean, sure, I have lazy days or weeks when I don’t accomplish as much as I wanted to or even fall flat on my face in “failure,” but I’ve developed a routine and a system to where, usually, I’m able to achieve what I’d like to.

My Mom’s comment was basically saying how it must be difficult for others to be around me because of this mentality and drive, because it’s not common.

Usa Network Burton Guster GIF by Psych

I mean, this is a lot more common of how someone might spent their time when they aren’t at work, instead of trying to fit in the latest workout or writing session. And you know what? Either one is totally okay.

So it was both an observation and a compliment twisted into one comment.

Yet it was also eye opening for me?

You see, I’m pretty transparent on this blog. Through posts like my Quest for Discovery Series, where I write about my weekly goal progress, to most of the posts in my “Random Musing” category, I talk about these successes, sure, but more often than not, I talk about the struggle: the guilt trip I cause myself when I don’t achieve what I want, the desire to be lazy mashed with the desire to keep up this insane drive, the stress when life gets in the way and suddenly the best laid plans are just another line in the slipped up chapter. I have a very intense drive and strong willpower, sure. But it does take work to maintain and I’m not perfect at doing so.

Yet, to others, to strangers, even to the people closest to me, it may seem like I’m perfect. Or I have my shit together. Or that I’m always doing things or achieving things that they don’t.

It’s both true and it isn’t.

And thus, the complications.

Usa Network Thumbs Up GIF by Psych

Because when aren’t there complications?

I pondered over this comment for a while, after my Mom left. To the point where I asked my boyfriend, who I probably spent the most time with regularly, how my drive makes him feel. Proud, for sure, but also a little guilty, because he doesn’t always chase after the goals he wants, yet here I am doing so daily. Which, in turn, didn’t make me feel great. Yet I don’t want him to feel like he has suddenly start doing all these extra activities he’s not interested in doing simply to “keep up” with me, just like I know he doesn’t want me to stop chasing my dreams and goals just so he doesn’t feel guilty for not sharing the same drive each day. Because I don’t want to stop the way I live. Honestly, I can’t. I won’t achieve what I want to if I don’t put in this work. It’s too important to me to give up on it, especially since I’m not always going to have that consistency I strive for and other people might see, thanks to what I share on social media or how they perceive my life (transparency aside, even).

Which, I guess, brings me to the conclusion of all these jumbled thoughts. Perception and comparison aren’t always your friend. It all depends how you use them. For someone to look at me and be like, “Wow, her drive is incredible. I wish I had that. What can I learn from her in order to create my own version of that success?” That’s a good use of it, I think. Potentially. Saying, “Wow, her drive is incredible. I must be a shit human being because I don’t share the same drive naturally and I don’t want to change to mimic it,” is not okay, productive or healthy. Because someone who is super driven, like me, isn’t any better than someone who doesn’t overload themselves with extra work, lots of goals and too many commitments (like me), who instead goes to work or school and then comes home and watches TV until they get up and do it over again. That isn’t lazy. It’s a lifestyle choice. Both lifestyles have value. Both lifestyles are important to those who live them and they should be able to live the one they want without feeling lesser when they compare themselves to how others live. Comparison can be motivational and inspiring, but it can also be toxic and a waste of time. Don’t fall into the trap of the latter.

Perception is the same kind of demon. Someone could totally look at me, a girl who has develop skills so that I usually hit my writing goal for the day (so I can write a first draft of a novel in two-three months) and runs on average four times a week; look at me and be like, “Whoa, she totally has her shit together and I can’t believe that comes naturally to her.” They look and don’t realize the work that it has taken for me to reach this point. How I’ve battled for 20+ years before I finally formed habits and found tricks that clicked for me. They don’t realize that, while I may look successful, in that light, I’m over here, finding myself lesser, because I see authors posting about writing 2,000 a day and that’s considered their off day (which, to me, is a peak performance). Or scrolling through Instagram and seeing posts of strong women achieving their weight loss goals and still staring at the scale, wondering why I haven’t dropped a pound in months. Despite what others see, I still find ways to see myself as lesser, jealous of what others can accomplish and wondering what I’m doing wrong.

Hard stop, here.

Usa Network Television GIF by Psych

Because honestly, you should never be ashamed about eating. Especially when eating involves nachos.

I think, what I’m trying to get at with this mammoth of a post, is that every journey is different and every vision of success, of happiness, of life, is different. As it should be. Comparison and perception are not always our friends and just because someone seems to have their shit together, doesn’t mean they always do or that it’s easy to do. Or just because someone seems like their life is chaotic, doesn’t necessarily mean that’s a bad thing; not to them, at any rate. Just because you aren’t where someone else is, doesn’t mean where you are has any less value. And just because you want to be where someone else is, doesn’t mean you can’t get there one day, in your own time, in your own way.

For me, my happiness is tied directly to how consistently driven I stay (and with how forgiving I am towards myself when my drive falters). On the whole, I’m happier when my goals are met and I have lofty ones. I’m busy, I’m (over)committed and I have a lot of areas I focus on. And that’s exactly how I want it. That’s okay. Just like how it’s okay if I decided I want to take a step back and let go of that drive, relax a little more. Or if I wanted to step it up a notch and become even more focused. What’s important is that I’m happy with how I’m living my life, aware of how others might perceive that and how it effects them, empathetic and nonjudgmental towards others and their choices, and constantly wiling to evolve, adapt and learn through all of it.

Cheers.


Mastering That Mental Game

Related imageI’ve been thinking a lot of fitness, lately. About the journey I’ve undergone in the past–what this November will mark–two years. I’m really proud of what I’ve accomplished and where I’ve come from, the habits that I’ve built (and almost always follow) and everything I’ve learned since I decided I wanted to take my health into my own hands. There is still one aspect that I could really, really work on, though.

My mental fitness.

I don’t have too much of a problem sticking with my routine and maintaining this lifestyle. I actually enjoy it. I mean, everyone has their days when they want to be lazy or don’t want to do anything. That’s just human. But usually, I get up in the morning and, even if I’m not truly feeling it, I put in the effort and hit the trail, I complete that strength training exercise, I drink that extra glass of water, I log my food, I resist eating when I’m not hungry and I stick to my calorie goal. But, like I said, I’m human. So I also have days when I choose to sleep in or play video games instead of running. Or I eat that bowl of cereal at midnight, just because I want to. Or I buy that ice cream, I don’t log my food on the weekends, I get those doughnuts before DnD on Sunday mornings. Both of those realities are totally fine.

What isn’t is my mental response to the latter.

You see, I beat myself up way too often when I “slip up”. When I don’t follow my routine as well as I do during the week during the weekends, usually because I’m hanging out with people who don’t follow the same lifestyle–and I have no desire to have a lifestyle that means I don’t order the food I want when I go out to eat or my boyfriend and I do date nights (which usually includes ice cream). I like being able to eat what I want to eat. I want to do so without feeling like a failure. Or I’d like to have a lazy day without thinking the entire time about how I should have got up and gone running instead.

judy hopps disney GIF

I’d really love to stop comparing myself to others and their progress and feel like I’m failing because of how my body looks, since it “doesn’t look as good as theirs”; judging that I’m not doing well because I still have curves and love handles that stick out, despite the fact that I’m starting to form an outline in my abs, I’ve shaved a minute off my starting mile time and I’ve lost 30 pounds. I’d love to stop looking at the scale and getting pissed that I can’t get under 175, even though I know I’m gaining muscle and still losing fat, even if the scale doesn’t reflect that. I’d love to stop feeling like a whale one day, even though the day before, I couldn’t believe I was actually feeling what it felt like to love your body.

I have my physical fitness down pat, a routine that I love and that works for me, with enough variety to help it stay fresh and mix it up. I know now how to eat well and stay full, yet also indulge and enjoy myself. I can log my food and my runs and I hold myself accountable.

Now, I’d love to learn how to master that mental game.

Any tips that you have would be super appreciated!

Cheers.


Dreaming Amongst Reality

I’ve always called myself a dreamer.

That’s what I’ve always felt, and believed myself, to be. Yet I’ve hit a couple of occurrences lately where I’ve found that to be less true and that I am, in fact, can be more of a realist.

Example time.

So, you know when you have those bad days at work and then you immediately go searching for another job, even when you have no (real) intention to quit (maybe)? My boyfriend had one of those days and sent me a job that he was super excited about, working with robots. Something I could totally see him doing and being happy doing. But the job was in Boston and we live in Kansas.

Before I tell you how this bit ends, let me paint a parallel for you.

The other day, there was a posting for an Editorial Assistant position, working with science fiction and fantasy publications (my dream job, basically, aside from writing full-time). I sent it to my boyfriend, freaking out and quite possibly considering applying, before I thought to look at the location. It’s in London. We still live in Kansas.

Now, here is how my boyfriend responded: with empathy and excitement, he told me to apply. He knew how much that job would mean to me and knew how badly I wanted to work in a position like that. It was so sweet and I felt supported.

Here is how I responded to him: freaking about about the fact that it was in Boston, we have no money saved up to move halfway across the country, would he want me to move there with him, would he expect us to do long distance, where would I work, what would I do, money money money, panic panic panic.

I didn’t ask, at the time, but I doubt he felt supported by me in that moment.

I didn’t realize how crushing my respond had been until we had a reverse situation and I saw how he responded. Even later, after we talked about it and we knew it really wasn’t realistically possible for us to just hop over to London if I actually landed that job, he didn’t crush it right away. Instead, he supported my enthusiasm and made the personal decision that, if there was actually headway on that position, we’d discuss our options on how to make it a reality or if the price of making it a reality was too high for us to pay and I’d have to decline it. Me, on the other hand, went straight to freaking out about all the impossible logistics we’d have to overcome, instead of encouraging him to chase this opportunity that got him excited.

Though he tells me not to, I still feel ridiculously horrible about this.

It’s happened a couple other times, too, where instead of being supportive and looking for solutions to work around a problem that is preventing an opportunity, I point out all the possible roadblocks and immediately panic. I’ve noticed that this “realist first” kind of thinking usually only happens when money is involved. Money could be considered, easily, the bane of my existence. It stresses me out almost more than anything else and yet I have strong budgeting skills and a (un)healthy frugal way of spending.

I don’t like this approach.

I do think it’s important to be realistic about things. Just because I want to write full-time doesn’t mean I can simply quit my day job and start doing that and be okay. I have bills to pay and a part of my soul to reclaim still from student loans (only nine more years…) But I also think it is so, so, so important to chase after those dreams and opportunities, even if the realistic choice would be to do the opposite. Sure, if he got the job in Boston, we’d have a lot to consider and a lot to work through. But together, we could have done it. It was feasible and not as impossible as my realistic, overthinking brain first panicked it out to be.

I guess I’m just realizing that I’m not just the hardcore dreamer I’ve always thought I was. I’m more realistic than I ever considered myself to be. A little bit of both, if you will. And that’s not a bad thing. Honestly, that’s probably a good thing. But, like so many other aspects of my life, it requires a certain balance to get it right.

*sigh*

Balancing is not easy, friends. It’s something I think I’ll always navigate through, never perfect, never master. But realizing that need for improvement is a pretty good first step.

Cheers.


Why So Serious?

Yesterday, I wrote a post talking about my promise to talk my book blog, Erlebnisse, more seriously. Thanks to some exciting connections with publishers like Orbit and Titan, plus a slow increase of traffic on my blog, I wanted to get more involved over there, publishing more content and keeping my reviews flowing regularly. I made that decision perhaps a week ago, maybe two, even though I “announced” those intentions yesterday. It’s one I’m going to stick to. I’m really excited about it and I’m excited to push myself and that blog in the coming months and see how it goes!

But it’s also got me pretty stressed out.

Already.

I mentioned briefly that I made a review calendar for the ARCs I’ve received, especially after receiving so many from Orbit this past weekend. I didn’t want them to all get lost in the shuffle. After I made that calendar, I realized that one book was published today, with two books being published next Tuesday and then another on the 22nd (before we get into the June releases). Ideally, my intention is to always publish my review of an ARC on the day it’s published, because that’s when everyone is talking about the book the most and it should help the author get the most traffic.

I don’t think I’m going to make any of those publication dates for this first round of my most recent ARCs.

One of them–the book published today–is simply unfortunate timing, as I got the book in the mail on Friday and I almost never have time to read on the weekends, so the earliest I could have started it was Sunday night. But I am already in the middle of another book I got from the library that’s due in a couple days and I can’t renew it because of holds. So I knew I was going to miss this one.

With the two being published next Tuesday, I think I can make one of those, if I read one after finishing my  current book this week. The other, I’m definitely going to miss. By a lot, I fear. It’s the second book in a trilogy of which I haven’t read the first book. But not only that, it’s only recommended that you read the author’s other trilogy, so you avoid spoilers by reading this series, even if it isn’t a direct sequel trilogy. I haven’t actually ever read any of this author’s work, but I’ve always meant to. By receiving this ARC, I thought it was a great opportunity to kick my butt in gear and finally read an author I’ve always been curious to read. And I will, writing reviews for each of those books, including the ARC copy.

It just might not be the most timely.

Which irritates me, because that’s something I’d really like to do: be timely on my ARC reviews, posting them as close to the publication date as possible. Yet I’m getting so stressed about it already–especially as I look at my stack of books at the library, all of which that I want to read, too, with due dates that are all approaching–that I’m forcing myself to take a step back and one, breathe. Two, just because I’m becoming a more serious book blogger doesn’t mean I want to turn one of my greatest pleasures–reading–into work. Don’t get me wrong: writing reviews takes work and staying on top of ARCs so I don’t go five months before I read that book and post the review is important. But at the same time, I read because it helps me escape and because I love to read. If that means that I don’t post an ARC review in line with my timeline standards because I chose to read the latest regency romance? That’s okay. Or because a book I’ve been waiting months for finally came in at the library? Also okay. Or because I found a new series that I absolutely love and just binge-read?

That’s okay.

It’s just about balance. Sure, ARCs that I receive for free are usually going to come first, but I’m not always going to be able to hit every deadline I make for myself (as evident above). Especially since I’m now working with two publishers, instead of one, so now I have more books to juggle. I’m still new at this, so of course it’s going to be a little wobbly, at the beginning. But I never want to lose the joy of reading because I’m so stressed out about deadlines and posting schedules. I’m going to try and stay on top of things, of course, but I’m also giving myself permission to just relax and enjoy this experience, too.

Cheers.


It’s Time To Get Serious

You may or may not be aware of this, but I also write book reviews over at Erlebnisse. I started it roughly a year ago (you can read the intro post here) and it’s still a baby blog. Doesn’t get a ton of traffic, has gone through a couple different edits and trials as I figured out exactly what I wanted to do, with the design and the content; you know, things that usually happen within a year of starting a blog.

But recently, I decided to take it a little bit more seriously.

I love reading. It’s one of the truest escape I have and one of my oldest hobbies. I didn’t start getting into book reviews until recently and I’m pretty quirky about them. I usually only read other reviews if it’s a book I’ve already read, instead of using them to judge whether or not I want to read a book (I find I let reviews actually influence my opinion a little too much, so I like to use them as a way to compare or cement opinions rather than help shape them, as they are usually used). I didn’t start writing them until I finished The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks and I had such a traumatic experience with that ending, I had to write a review, if only to get those emotions off my chest.

I found that I really enjoyed it and decided to dedicate a blog to doing just that.

I always cross-post my reviews to my Goodreads, as well as my personal Twitter account, where I’ll tag the author, if the review is positive. Because of that, sometimes, I’ve gotten retweets from authors or mentions, thanking me for the review (which is always such a great feeling). Sometimes, because of that, stats will skyrocket for a day or two, before going back to my usual zero to three views per day. Though I honestly wouldn’t mind a little heavier traffic, I just enjoy talking about these books that I love and if I get to make a writer’s day in the process or help bring attention to a book that a reader might otherwise not known about, then my job here is done.

Over the course of the past year, a couple of really cool things happen because of my book review blog, two of them which is pretty recent:

  1. I started reading and reviewing books from Jabberwocky Literary Agency, because I was looking to query them and I wanted to be familiar with the work they represented. While I never queried their agency (yet), I did connect with author G.S. Denning, went to WorldCon (thanks to Denning’s invitation) and met agents Lisa Rodgers and Sam Morgan, who both sent me books afterwards from Jabberwocky to review (almost all of which I’ve loved).
  2. Titan Books put out a call for more reviewers and I filled out the form, which got me in contact with Publicist Polly Grice and now, I’m regularly getting contacted about receiving ARCS from them.
  3. Because I thought the connection with Titan was so cool, I reached out to Orbit, one of my other favorite publishers, and asked if there was a list I could join. After talking with Associate Publicity Director Ellen Wright and Marketing and Publicity Associate Paula Crespo, I got added to their list and just received five (!!) books to review over May and June.

The fact that any of this has happened as floored me, first of all. Not to mention how many authors (and idols) I’ve gotten to have conversations with. Working with Titan for a couple of months now, I’ve found some really fantastic books (including Time Shards by Dana Fredsti and David Fitzgerald) I otherwise would never have found. The fact that either of these major publishing houses would be willing to send me books to review for free is both incredible and humbling.

But it also means I need to get to work.

It’s time to take book blogging a bit more seriously, because I want those publishers–or anyone who sends me their book to review–to know how much I appreciate that opportunity. So I revamped Erlebnisse’s look once again and this time, I love it (including a contact page and a new “Tages, Memes and Feature” page I’m pretty proud of). I made a folder in my email for any book review related communications and made a review calendar on my phone of when I’d like to have reviews posted by for each ARC that I get. I am going to start doing “Month in Review” posts, including trying to take some cute pictures** of the books I’ve received, as well as continuing to try and get more involved in the book review community, including reading other reviews and following other blogs, participating in tags/memes/events and just generally trying to post more.

Don’t get my wrong: my reviews will still be quirky, they will still review the experience of reading a book and be filled with potentially too-personal stories, vulgar emotional vomits and desperation for the sequel. Me taking this more seriously doesn’t mean that the nature of my content is going to change at all. I simply want to increase the consistency and the dedication to Erlebnisse, which, at times, hasn’t always been there.

I’d love it if you checked out Erlebnisse and joined me on that journey, especially if you have any opinions, tips or tricks; whether about the layout/design, different features you think I should try out or just general advice on how to be an awesome book review blogger!

Thanks, as always, for joining me on my adventures, friends. May your reading be uninterrupted and your time allowing for just one more chapter.

Cheers.

**I do have to give a shout out to my boyfriend, who, as I was squeeing about my latest book mail and about all the books I’m so excited to read–and then proceeded to tell him about my plan detailed above–he immediately offered to help build me a little book backdrop, after we move, so I could take some really cute and artsy photos of the books I review, to help make this new vision a reality.

That meant more to me than he can ever realize.