Saturday, January 1, 2022

BOOK CHAT: 2021 in the Books

Hello Out There & Happy New Year!

It's been a hot minute since I last made an appearance here in my little corner of the internet.  Life has been crazy busy with lots of changes, ranging from the good to the not-so-great.  Throughout all the chaos, I found myself trying to find time to dive back into the books.  Sadly, I did not have much luck.  Let me show you the stats of my WORST reading year EVER.

I am showing that I completed 16 books in some places, and 15 in others.  Either way, I have never read this little before.  And, I could feel it immensely.  For that reason, I give you my goals for 2022:

  • Read every day, even if it is only one page or 10 minutes of audio.
  • Read 50 books for the year.
  • Write (almost) every day.  This could be journaling, blogging, or one of my many other writing projects.
  • Launch my new project.  The only thing I will say about my super secret project is that it has everything to do with the written word, and it will be launching soon.

I am not sure how these new goals will transfer to here on the blog, but I am hoping that these new goals for the year will help me find the balance that I need and have been missing for the last couple of years.  Maybe, just maybe, I will be able to find my inner peace by returning to the words where I have found it in earlier years.  And, maybe, just maybe, I will be able to start sharing here regularly again.  Here's to a great year!

YOUR TURN:  Tell me about your 2021 reading and what your goals for 2022 might be.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Weekly Blotter: There and Back Again

Trying to come back here and write on a regular basis can be hard when you have gotten out of the habit.  There was once a time that I was here every week, sometimes multiple times a week to share the books I have been reading and just to talk stories in general.  In fact, I did it for almost ten years.  Then, life happened and my plate became so full that something had to go.  My life threw me a curveball one right after the other, and writing became an after thought.  Reading did too.  Over the last year, I have really pushed to get back to those things I love:  words in all its forms.  Writing and reading is just an integral part of me and when it is not there, I find that a piece of me is missing.  I am slowly getting back to both, first a little writing for myself and a freelance gig here and there and a habit to move towards audiobooks to get my story fix when the physical books cannot.  I see improvement every week, and I finally feel that hole being filled again.

Today, I am here.  I am hoping to once again resurrect this site, to have some bookish conversations with old and new friends, and to nurture my little corner of the internet with all things I love.  My goal is once again to share something one day a week.  I have other plans up my sleeve.  Plans and dreams that I finally have the courage to pursue, and I hope to share those with you here as well.  In the meantime, I leave you with my life in pictures.  Enjoy!





YOUR TURN:  If you are an old friend, help me catch up with you.  If you are a new friend, tell me how you found me and how I can find you.  

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Weekly Blotter: On My Plate

My goal was to post every week.  I'm at about every other week, but I still consider that progress.  Afterall, before this, I published a post over a year ago.

Since it has been so long since I have truly checked in, I thought I would share what I have been up to.  Here is just a peak into what I've had on my plate lately . . . 

I moved into a new house.  One that is all mine.  Now, I just need to finish painting, unpacking, and finally getting my new office/library together.

I took on a project of renovating an old house.  I did not go into this little project with experience, so I have been learning a LOT along the way.

I have continued to organize activities, events, and education opportunities to discuss suicide prevention and awareness.

I took on the job of presenting webinars with a focus on mental health and self care.

I started freelance writing again.

I discovered Podcasts.  Starting small and playing catch-up on all that I have missed.

I chose to take the biggest leap of my life, and have gone on temporary leave from my full-time job.  Because I believe it is never too late to pursue your dreams.  

After a really rough reading slump, I have finally started reading again.  It's slow, but it is progress. 

And, to help really dive back into the blogging and reading world again, I've decided to participate in RIP XV and FrightFall Readathon.

What about you?  What have you had going on?  What have you been reading?

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Anyone Still Out There?

It has been almost a year and a half since I was last here chatting books.  Life happened.  Not a lot of reading happened.  A lot has changed, and I finally feel like I am able to get lost into books once again.  I am not back to reading where I once was, but I am taking it one day at a time and trying to read again on a regular basis.

I have missed visiting with my book community.  Even though I have visited with some of you a bit over on Instagram, it is just not the same.  Even though I lead an online book club with friends, the conversations are different over there.  I have decided to try to sneak back into my little corner of the internet and revive this little chatter box right here.  I am going to try to start with one weekly post to discuss all things books.  I'm keeping it simple.  And to keep along with that theme of simplicity, I have changed up my design, turned my website a bit minimalist, and gave it a fresh new look.  

I remain on Instagram with my new focus.  I am reviving my Facebook page and have slowly returned to Twitter thanks to the recent Reverse Readathon.  I am also unofficially participating in Bout of Books this week to help ease into the transition.  In the weeks ahead, you will see that my threads are going to be interactive and will likely fall into three different categories:  random chatter, literary topics, and book discussions.  I will no longer review books as I previously did, but rather encourage a conversation about books instead.

Baby steps.  They serve a purpose.  Because I have goals.  And, I hope to share those with you all in the weeks or months ahead.  In the meantime, stay tuned.  Tell me you are still here.  Stop in and say hello.  Tell me what you are currently reading.  Tell me you are surviving gracefully (or not so gracefully) this crazy, chaotic pandemic world we now live in.  I want to hear from YOU.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

BOOK CHAT: Best of 2018

Every year, I share with you the best of the year.  Each year looks a little different, but you can always count on at least my favorite reads of the year.  This year will be no different.  It just happens to be coming at a much later date than usual.  Because . . . life.

I think my favorite book of the year was Dear Martin by Nic Stone.  I listened to it on audiobook towards the beginning of the year, but it has stuck with me all year long.  When I recently went to the bookstore, I saw it sitting on the shelf and I knew that I had to have it for my own personal collection.  It is one that I will likely revisit because it is a quick read that I will extract new things from each time I read it.  If you have not yet read this story, you will want to add it to your list sooner rather than later. 

Other favorites of the year was Ghost Knight by Cornelia Funke, another story I digested in audio format.  I enjoyed it so much that I immediately recommended it to my son and he immediately checked it out from Overdrive to take a listen for himself.  I also enjoyed the Finishing School series by Gail Carriger (i.e., Etiquette & Espionage, Curtsies & Conspiracies, Waistcoats & Weaponry, and Manners & Mutiny).  This was such a fun series to listen to, and I couldn't get through them fast enough.  Lastly, Amy Poehler's Yes Please came into my life at just the right time, and listening to her read it made all the difference in the world.  I didn't always agree with what she had to say, but I did relate to so much of it way too often.  It made me laugh and cringe and even cry, and at the time, it was just what I needed.

As I look back on my favorite reads for the year, I realize that every favorite was actually an audiobook.  Most of my reading in 2018 was actually via audio; 23 of the 44 total books to be exact.  I also discovered that it was my worst year of reading yet (at least of the years that I have been tracking).  I hope that 2019 will see an increase in my reading, no matter what the format may be.  I can definitely use the escape at this point.

I leave you with my top nine pictures from the year as well.  There are not as many books featured this year, but I will admit that most of them were some of my personal favorite pics that captured my year fairly well.  Here's to hoping for more book pics and more travel pics, as I adventure both in and out of the pages!

YOUR TURN:  What were some of your favorite reads of 2018?