That’s My Plan

“It’s too intimidating,” Lincoln said. “The future.”

“So you’re done with the future?”

“I’m tightening my focus. I can handle the near future. Tonight, for example, I’m going to read for pleasure. Tomorrow I’m going to have a beer with lunch. On Saturday I’m going to play D&D. And Sunday, I might go see a movie. That’s my plan.”

“That isn’t a plan,” Eve said.

“It is. It’s my plan. And I feel really good about it.”

“Those aren’t things you plan. You don’t plan to read or to have a beer with lunch. Those are things you do when you have a moment between planned events. Those are incidentals.”

Not for me, that’s my plan.”

– Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

When I read this, I had to pause a moment. I always felt I had to think about the Big Picture and making plans for it, feeling stressed because I don’t have a strategy or even a direction. People asking about my job, where I’m going to live, if I am in a relationship. Their making me feel like a failure because I don’t have a life-long career, leave my belongings at my parents’ house while I travel rather than having my own home, and never even having been in love instead of being married with children.

I’m a bit like Lincoln. Interested in various things, taking various university courses, going to this city and that, working anywhere because you have to rather than somewhere you want to… And no idea whatsoever what I want to do with the rest of my life despite the fact I’m thirty and everyone thinks I should be living the whole “white picket fence” scenario. Do I want a career, a husband, and maybe kids? Sure. Someday. But the school, career, meet-date-marriage path isn’t the one I was on; I was en route the school, travel, who-the-heck-knows-what’ll-happen-when path. Despite reaching MY #lifegoal (moving to Ireland *yAy!*) I felt unfulfilled and floundering because it wasn’t what everyone told me I should want. And then came Lincoln…

He was floundering, but only because everyone kept pushing him to DO before he even knew what he wanted. He paused, took time to think about what he needed to be happy, and then when it came his way he grabbed it. Everything from getting a haircut and buying a coat he admired to getting an apartment and finding a job, he didn’t worry. He just waited until the time was right for him.

I didn’t realize that perhaps the little things I do are also a plan. That staying in to read a book instead of going shopping with friends, writing a book instead of going to a party, taking going-no-where jobs in order to have travel money rather than focusing on a career, waiting for Mr Perfect instead dating a bunch of Mr Right Nows, all of it –big or small– is okay. I can plan as much or as little as I want, because every decision, every choice, is me making a move toward what I want for my life. It doesn’t have to be monumental, making a plan needn’t have be-all-end-all proportions, whatever I do just has to be what I want for me.

Later Eve says: “What if, instead of thinking about solving your whole life, you just think about adding additional good things. One at a time. Just let your pile of good things grow.”

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New Year Resolution

I am a terrible human being.

All right, I’m just a terrible blogger. I used to post practically every day when I first began this blog eight years ago when I was in college, but then life happened. I let everything else going on interfere with something I used to really enjoy doing, thinking it took time I didn’t have… but if you love something you make time.

I could blame my lack of writing on the fact I’ve travelled to seven different countries during the past four years… but my ereader and laptop were usually right there along with me. I could have kept up my blogging if I really wanted to as it wasn’t like I wasn’t reading books after all. I just rather spent time meeting new people, going to new places, and just reading to relax.

I know this isn’t the first time I’ve said I will post more and then didn’t. Aside from the fact I’d rather actually read than merely write about reading, it was kind of like my blog no longer fit who I was or how my life was going. It felt awkward and time consuming trying to be the blogger I used to be. What I have only just realized is that my blog can evolve with me and doesn’t have to be exactly as before. In fact, maybe it’s better if it isn’t the same, as book blogging has come a long way since then.

So here is my plan. I am creating a schedule for all the things I want to do; everything from bookblogging and bookstagramming to dance classes and language lessons to writing and editing to my boring day job. If I have a schedule I can see it will be far easier to stick to my goals rather than winging it every morning and deciding to just stay in bed all day.

The plan for my bookblog is to write weekly posts, but I may start with once a month plus whatever I can. I would like to ease myself back into the way of things rather than expecting so much of myself that I get overwhelmed and give up.

So here’s hoping you’ll see at least twelve book reviews for the year 2018. Wish me luck!

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Tea for Two

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If there is one thing that is stereotypically British, it is drinking tea. Perhaps a holdover from the regency era in which ‘taking tea’ was all the rage or perhaps it’s just a local custom, but either way it is true. The British drink tea. All. The. Time.

I had never been fond of tea myself, but everywhere I went I was offered tea. I cannot stand Earl Grey and Red Rose or other frequently proffered flavours, so that is still problematic when on a visit. Yet I can now partake in tea as I quite enjoy chai and mint and other such flavours.

It got to be that every time I travelled to a new town I would find a quant little shop in which to have afternoon tea. I cannot say I cared for my experience in Greenwich, but I  had a lovely time in Bath and Cardiff, very much enjoying my scones with clotted cream and jam. You cannot live in the United Kingdom and never take afternoon tea or you haven’t fully experienced what it is to be British!

IMG_20170715_225531_306When I returned home I could not find clotted cream for the life of me, but that did not mean I couldn’t have a proper tea. As a welcome home and going away party all in one, I threw myself a tea party that was entirely London themed. I invited a few of my girls over and we followed the Ascot dress code with skirts and fascinators.  It was a lovely afternoon!

I guess the weather wanted to make it an even more authentic experience as it eventually started raining! Thankfully our treats were mostly gone and we quickly moved our event indoors to watch British movies. Of course I had taken the possibility of inclement weather into consideration and had readied the living room as a back-up location should the back garden get rained out. Inside, the decor could not be complete without some British-themed books and movies and other tchotchke on display.

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My friend Marie had brought with her a book we both own, and of course we had to do a wee photoshoot  with it to later share with the author of the novel… and that book was none other than Jacuelyn Middleton’s “London Belongs to Me”.

I won’t say too much about it, as my review will be posting tomorrow. It is definitely worth the read and the sequel “London Can You Wait?” will be hitting the shelves next month!

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Book Review: How to Say I Love You Out Loud by Karole Cozzo

How_to_Say_I_Love_You_Out_Loud_for_sitejpgSynopsis: When Jordyn’s brother joins her at her school she’s determined not to let anyone know they’re related. He is different, autistic, and Jordyn craves a bit of normal in her life. But by trying to keep her secret, Jordyn ends up pushing away her closest friends and her crush… and no matter how hard she tries, Jordyn can’t forget the kiss they shared over the summer.

Continue reading “Book Review: How to Say I Love You Out Loud by Karole Cozzo”

Guest Post: Sunrise Author Services Launch Tour

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Hello and welcome to the official launch blog tour of Sunrise Author Services, a company by authors for authors!

Sunrise Author Services is a little project Marie Landry and Jessica Tate have been planning for well over a year. They both wanted to take their personal experiences as authors, designers, and assistants and help other indie authors or aspiring indie authors in their journey to success. The two of them put their abilities together and created this company.

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Let’s take a moment and discuss more about SAS, what we do and offer, and anything else you may be curious about.

What services does SAS provide for authors?
SAS currently offers premade covers, teaser graphics, and personal assistant services.

Will you be offering any other services in the future?
Yes! We’re going over the possibility of adding more services down the line, but as of right now we’re focusing on the covers, graphics, and PA services to start.

What makes SAS stand out from the rest?
We’re indie authors and we know the value of good promotion. When you choose SAS, we will do everything we can to promote your book on our blog, newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And our help doesn’t stop after the services are finished. We’re also more than happy to share future sales and other promotions. All you have to do is send us a message with a link and we’ll do the rest.

Will you ever offer any discounts?
Of course! We will periodically be offering discounts (% off or $X off) on our services. Keep reading and you’ll find one you can use right now!

What do I do to inquire about a service?
We have two forms: one for the covers and graphics (for Marie) and one for the personal assistant services (for Jessica). Fill out the form for the service you’re interested in and we will contact you within 72 hours via email to go over the details. For the rest of March you can receive 5% off your service of choice with the coupon code GRANDOPENING. Just add it at the bottom of the form and we’ll take that off your total.

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Want to save more? Sign up for our author newsletter to get a special coupon code just for subscribers.

Are you a blogger? Sign up for our blogger newsletter and we’ll give you first dibs on ARC and promo opportunities.

Keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest news and special offers.

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Who’s up for a giveaway?
Two lucky winners will receive $5 off any service of their choice.
This discount can be used at any time in the future
(but not with any other discount).
Enter to win by going to our website sunriseauthorservices

 

Learning Life Lessons from Fiction

In college one of my school assignments was a group project to create an online magazine. I had forgotten all about it until I was checking a friend’s bookshelf for something to borrow and saw a copy of  Kody Keplinger’s debut novel. One of my “articles” had been inspired by the book, as I’d just read it that year (book review here). It took me a bit to gain access to the site as no one could remember the password, but I was finally able to and saw that people were still leaving us comments!  Some people thought my article helpful, some wondered if it would really work, and others said it would turn you into a clone. I’ve posted my article below… What do y’all think? 

Continue reading “Learning Life Lessons from Fiction”

Pop goes Bookstagram

screen-shot-2017-02-17-at-7-32-22-pm(photo credit to Marie Landry aka sweetmarie_83)

Have any of you been on instagram and seen all the fabulous posts by bookstagrammers? These people take photos of various books in various settings and various placements with the end result of appearing like the pix were taken by professional photographers.

Booklover that I am, the idea appealed. Naturally I thought to take part in some book-themed photo challenges to join this fabulous community, but given my travelling I didn’t have much by the way of stuff to put in my pictures. Once I got home there was a lot of knickknacks about, but I still couldn’t quite get the aesthetic others are capable of. I just didn’t have the knack for it (just ask my friend Marie who saw proof I’m singularly bad at it) and am all the more impressed by those who do.

If you have been checking out some of the same accounts I have, then you’ve noticed all the Funko Pops. They are these vinyl figurines of book/movie characters that look absolutely adorable and make those of us without them drool. In my envy I thought that if I had some Funkos myself then my photos would vastly improve… though this may have been an attempt at justifying the purchase of what is essentially a “plastic toy” any logical adult would know better than to fork over hard-earned cash to buy.

The top of my wish list has the Winchester brothers from Supernatural as I’m absolutely obsessed with the show. Other fans who just discovered Funko Pops will know my pain of trying to find Sam, Dean, and a trench-coated Castiel with or without wings. I lucked out in locating a website that sells the wee dollies and managed to snag a Dean and Charlie, but the other two have eluded me.

I went to the mall with Marie not long ago and we searched all the stores potentially selling the bobbley things. With HMV closing, that was our first stop hoping for a killer sale price on anything, and I came away with Lorelei and Rory from Gilmore Girls. A stop at our second store got me a fabulous sale on Cher and Dionne from Clueless (both for the price of one!), and a third shop had Audrey Hepburn looking fantastic in her Breakfast at Tiffanies attire. Somehow I left that day with five Funkos and I’m awaiting two in the mail.

Unboxed and on display among my books now I think… why? Why did I spend so much money on something that will just collect dust? I still do plan to use them in any instagram photos I can, but I can’t help but wonder if it was worth the price. I love my wee Funko Pops, and even have Audrey beside me on the desk, but are they really just toys I’ll soon tire of and wish I saved my money for something else—like more books?

What do you think about this fad, will it last? Do you have any Funko Pops yourself? Which ones and where do you keep them? Do you think them completely worth having or do you regret wasting your money?

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