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Stream of Consicousness

I haven’t posted in… well, at this point I can’t even remember how long. I meant to write this post awhile back, but I lost track. I haven’t posted since my review of The Undead Pool. I don’t think I have ever taken such a long break from blogging, book review, and Goodreads. I even took a break from reading. (I read only a handful books, didn’t review them, reread the Dresden file series, and the new book Skin Game… okay I get that for most people that’s still a lot, but not for me!)

First a lot of things have been going on. I got diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes this pregnancy and it made my life HARD. More emotional than physical difficulty. I lost 30 lbs just by eating what I want and now I can’t do that? But in the past few months I have gotten used to it. It also has kept my weight gain down, to a total gain of only 10 lbs (and I’m at 36 weeks!).

Of course, now being in the last month of pregnancy, I am anxious about the prospect of having a baby and becoming a mother. I am anxious about how it will change my relationship with the husband. Plus all the preparations of having a baby! We have to put her furniture together, put the nursery together, wash her clothes, etc.

Physically, I am tired a lot more. I take usually one nap a day, sometimes two. It’s one thing to just zone out and read. But writing reviews take a lot more energy than I have now.

Mostly, my anxiety about how our future is going to look is holding me back from writing. I have to get a job to pay my student loan bills. Baby will take up most of my time. So, how will I have time to write? I don’t know. I am feeling unmotivated and stuck. I am questioning myself. Is all this writing stuff just temporary thought? Am I fickle? So many questions, not enough answers.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will try to write (brief) reviews for the NetGalley and Edelweiss books that I read and are on backlog. (As long as baby doesn’t come too early!). A lot of fantasy books, some in other categories. I am taking a lot less responsibility as far as “book reviews” go (maybe 4 a month), and will try to go back to just writing for pleasure. Taking away the obligation might make it easier to just write for fun.

Sorry for this stream of consciousness post. I wanted to catch you guys up, but not sure how to frame what I wanted to say. So here it is–straight out of my head to the blog.

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Why aren’t you posting?

The world might be vicious and treacherous and deadly, but it couldn’t kill laughter. Laughter, like love, has power to survive the worst things life has to offer. And to do it with style. 

Blood Rites By Jim Butcher

I’m a slacker. I know. Not only have I not been posting, but I have not been reading. I barely have the energy to pick up books and read a page. But there are reasons for my absence. Here is why:

1) I FINALLY FINISHED MY THESIS! I turned it in and defended it! Last Thursday! My whole body feels the lightening of the stress. It was as if I had weights dangling off of me, and they turned into birds and flew away. I’M DONE!!

2) My adviser and I had a talk. I decided NOT to continue on with comprehensive exams and dissertation. Meaning, No Dr. Kwon. It was a hard and easy decision at the same time. Hard because I felt like a quitter. By not finishing it, was I saying, “I know I’m not smart enough, so I quit.” Am I failure? But my adviser told me “You are brilliant, but I don’t think you want to do this.” And he was right. I was not motivated to finish. Research was NOT a direction I wanted to go. And hearing someone who is 10 times smarter than me say that I’m smart was a huge ego boost. In the end I realized, I wasn’t quitting, but I was starting something new.

3) Travels, visits, holidays. This is just a busy time of year. Just went to Chicago, sister coming for thanksgiving, and in a few weeks going home for the holidays. There is no break. It’s cleaning, packing, unpacking, cleaning, and the circle goes on.

4) I got off my depression meds. Completely. Bye bye Welbutrin XL! I went cold turkey, too. It has been nearly two weeks, so far I am still sane. No breakdowns, no tears, and no suicidal thoughts. Life is good! I have had no negative triggers lately, so there has been no tests. We’ll see what happens when I run into negative triggers.

5) The husband and I decided we needed more space. We are moving sometime in April of next year. So we are sorting through stuff, getting rid of things, etc. etc. He has been doing most of the work. He’s such a trooper. ❤

There is one major life change I have not mentioned yet. However, it will take a long post just to talk about this one item, so I’ll post about that later. As if finishing your master’s, getting off of depression meds and moving isn’t enough of a life change 😛

As for plans, I hope over the next few weeks I can settle down and read more and review more. I have huge backlog for NetGalley and Edelweiss. They will be a priority for reviews, so my regular reads may or may not get reviews. Sorry for that! But I hope to get back to my creative writing, also.

For a long time, life froze me from moving forward. I was stuck. Now after all that hard work and a few laughs later–I’m finally moving to Act 2!

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Bipolar Days

“‘Cause you’re hot then you’re cold
You’re yes then you’re no
You’re in then you’re out
You’re up then you’re down
You’re wrong when it’s right
It’s black and it’s white
We fight, we break up
We kiss, we make up”

“Hot N Cold” by Katy Perry

Those lyrics epitomize how I’ve been feeling lately. One moment I’m excited about being done with the thesis, the next stressing out about it. One moment I’m nervous on getting the house clean for the husband’s homecoming, and the next picking out a cute homecoming dress.

All these mood swings have kept me busy along with the real things that have kept me busy. So I’m behind on my reviews. Tomorrow I’ll write up my review for Biting Bad, and then my review for the ARC of Heart of Venom.

Hopefully, I’ll have a chance to read City of Bones before my husband comes home so that I can drag him to the movie theatres to go watch it. Don’t worry husband, I won’t force you to watch it if it is filled with teen angst (well, too much teen angst). And I probably won’t review it as the book as been out for awhile. But if I get a chance to go see the movie, maybe I’ll do a compare and contrast? We’ll see.

I still have to review a few more ARCs, and of course prepare for my thesis presentation, my trip to LA, and my trip home. A lot to do! Expect me to be dead when I finally reach the beach around the end of Sept. Or at least behaving like the dead and sleeping on the beach. At least the mood swings will be over with!

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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90 Days Not So Much

“I couldn’t get back up. Both of my legs were damaged. No strength, but they didn’t stop me. I crawled towards my prey, using my arms as leverage. Anything to sate my hunger. Even flesh that was raw, alive, and clothed.”

WIP

To work on my latest project, about the single mother stuck in an apocalypse, I decided to read and use the book “The 90-Day Novel: Unlock the story within” by Alan Watt. It is a good book, with a lot of great material. But I think I am going to stop using it, at least for the current project. Here’s why:

1) The background work on the project had progressed quite a bit before I started the book. The book really works for any untouched project. A blank slate, or a story that is just building. I had character sheets, plot outlines, and even planned for future books for Maya and Jessie (the main characters).

2) In order for the book to work, you have to work on it straight 90 days, no breaks. If I missed a day or two, it would be one thing, but I have been using the book in for four months and only got to day 12. I should have finished my book by now, and I haven’t even started writing content yet!

3) I’m wondering if his style and my style are in sync. I like that he has some structure to it (outlining the storyline into 3 acts), but some of it is more “new agey” and less technique. I need technique help more than ideas help.

I’m willing to go back to the book for my next project, but for this one, I think I’m going to go with my old method, and just start writing. So…. I finally get to start REALLY writing the first chapter! Yay!!

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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30 things to do before 30

But nothing in life was set in stone and nothing in life is promised us. Not happiness, not joy, not love. Everything was variable and mutable and inconstant.

Death’s Rival by Faith Hunter

Right after I got engaged (end of 2007), I made a list of things I wanted to do before 30. I found a draft of the list on my computer the other day. So I present to you an updated version. I have less than 2 months to finish the list! Let’s see how far I got:

1. Marry the love of your life–When I made this list, this was my number one priority. Because of my husband and our struggles with love and family, I had this fear we would never make it. I wasn’t sure if marrying him was the right decision. Thankfully, it was the best decision I ever made.

Completed: 4/4/2009 or 5/24/2009

2. Help a complete stranger for no other reason than to commit a random act of kindness–I can’t think of a specific incident. So I hope I have done this. Now I feel like if I do it, it won’t be random because it will be to complete this list 😛 So I’ll consider it completed.

Completed: At some point.

3.  Develop and routine a self-care routine–I have a routine for self care, but it is not routine, as in regular, yet. My goal is to do it for a straight 2 weeks, and then I will count it completed.

Incomplete

4. Step out of your comfort zone–I have always taken chances. But stepping out of my real comfort zone was going from a regular civilian to becoming an Army Wife (still a civilian, but you know what I mean). It had moved me to Texas, a state I probably wouldn’t have considered otherwise. I have gone from a staunch democrat to a staunch democrat who can see other people viewpoints (Let’s not expect miracles). And, I learned to deal with my husband being gone all the time. Believe me, this was definitely me jumping out of my comfort zone.

Completed: 4/5/2009

5. Choose a signature haircut, lip shade and/or perfume–Victoria’s Secret Amber Romance. It is awesome. Not sure when I got it, pretty sure it was around wedding time

Completed: Early 2009

6. Love and accept your body–Ongoing process. I remember the day I realized I was hot. It was right after I got pictures from my first boudoir shoot when the husband was deployed last time. I looked like a model for sexy lingerie. In fact, I looked better than some real life plus size models. I was impressed. The husband even more so 😉

Completed: November, 2010

8. Scream out loud, restrained, to let out some steam–I always had trouble with expressing anger. It almost always turned into some form of depression. I have yelled in frustration after a lot of anger being held in. But I never screamed,  unrestrained. Screaming into a pillow or into the open sky, I want to do that. 

Incomplete

9. Stop slouching–I stand up straighter than I used to, but it’s not perfect. I will consider this incomplete.

Incomplete

10. Create a wardrobe you can be proud of–I think I always knew how to dress better. But when I was under my parent’s thumb, I could never dress as I wanted. Clothes were always expensive, and plus size clothes used to be ugly. However, clothes have vastly improved, I have money now, and I dress how I want. Slowly collecting clothes over time, I found ways to look sexy, pulled together, and cute all at the same time. I think I have a pretty good collection of clothes, shoes, purses, and accessories.

Completed: Sometime within the last year

11. Know your correct bra size–I used to think I was 44 DDD…. Around my 26th birthday I went to my first bra store that sold extended sizes, and got measured at 38K (38H UK). I looked less sloppy and skinnier. I loved my new look. Plus, now all my bras are REALLY pretty.

Completed: September, 2009

12. Get back to my favorite hobby: reading–As you all know, I came back to this full force. School, life, depression distracted me from my loves. But when the 7th Harry Potter book came out, I realized I wanted to go back to reading more and regularly. It took me awhile, but in 2010, I went back to reading full fledged. I think in 2011, I read 350 books. Last year was only 155, but you know, now I reread a lot. So I still get about 350 books read every year 😉

Completed: Every day for the rest of my life!

13. Take risks at work or have at least one career change–Well I am at the cusp of that. I am finishing my thesis, will find a new job, and then outside of family and work, will concentrate on my writing career. This is my dream right now; my goal. I want this to happen. I want to be able to write 3 books a year, and get as many things published. I am putting this under complete. The decision is already made, and steps are being taken for it to come true.

Completed: Some time in 2012

14. Bake a cake from scratch that is edible and aesthetically pleasing–I am a pretty decent cook. Everyone says so. The husband is eager to come back home so he can finally eat my cooking. But I am not a very good baker. I burn things in the oven, get the ingredients wrong, and I am terrible at decorating. But maybe I’ll try something for the husband’s homecoming.

Incomplete

15. Cook a four course meal that is also aesthetically pleasing–again, I’m a good cook. But I can never make it look presentable, like for guests. Garnishing and saucing are some of the skills I I need to work on. Again, maybe this is something I can work on when my husband gets home.

Incomplete

16. Bungee Jump or sky dive–I have been wanting to this FOREVER! But I am always afraid with being obese that I would hurt myself. LOL I doubt it’ll happen before my birthday, but there it is.

Incomplete

17. Help a friend find love–Epic fail on this one. Playing matchmaker is never really a good thing, but I really hoped to at least meet someone and go to a friend and say “OMG, I met someone for you!” 

Incomplete

18. Visit all continents (Antarctica is excused)–This was really in a lifetime, but even then I only got Europe, Asia, and of course N. America. No Australia or South America. 

Incomplete

19. Deal with your issues–Funny thing is, when I originally made this list, I had no idea I had depression. I would have found myself to be mentally stable. But since then, I discovered a lot of my issues that was holding me back. I admitted I had depression and anxiety. I finally relented a few years ago and starting take medication. My life was saved. So I more than dealt with my issues.

Completed: July 2010 (the month I started taking Welbutrin)

20. Learn to feel pride in your work–I am not there yet. I may not hate myself all the time, but I still struggle with looking at my work and feeling pride. I still see everything that is wrong. Frustrating, but maybe with the thesis defended in August, I will get past this.

Incomplete

22. Get something published–This was originally in reference to a respected professional I/O psychology journal. Now, it’s related to me publishing out in the real world. Since I upkeep a blog and write regular reviews, I will consider this done. I know, I’m really stretching this one.

Completed: May 15, 2012 (The day I started this blog)

23. Become self-aware–This kind of goes hand in hand with number 19, but in this case I mean realizing my strengths and weaknesses. Being aware of my sexuality and what I like. Being aware of what kinds of pain I can or cannot tolerate. I think I became more self-aware when I moved to Central Texas.

Completed: Sometime in 2011

24. Own a flattering suit or blazer–I need to get one, especially since I’m defending soon. 

Incomplete

25. Develop positive relationships with good people–When I made this list, I was starting to realize that I may not surround myself with positive people. People who would enrich my life. I didn’t know how bad it was until later, but it was there. Now, I refuse to surround myself with poisonous people. I have had even loved ones judge me for it, but I stand my ground. If you are poisonous to me, I don’t want you in my life.

Completed: End of 2009/Beginning of 2010

29. Swim in an ocean–I haven’t swum in the ocean in so long… It’s hard, and you can’t get far, but it’s doable. Don’t think this will get done either.

Incomplete

30. Make yourself a 40 things to do before 40 list–Cause you know, at least this way I’d have 10 years to finish the list! 

Incomplete

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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I’m back!

“Shall I atone for old sins or make some new ones?”

A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin

I am back from my vacation! Okay, I have been back for 5 days, but I have been recovering 😉 It turns out being in 4 different time zones in less than 3 weeks is hard on a person. The trip was amazing for the most part. At times emotionally exhausting. But it was what I needed to get myself focused again.

I am back to writing, thesising. I am trying to get myself back on a workout schedule and healthy eating, but that has been hard with all the recuperating. I’ve been sleeping a lot, ha ha. But it’s all a matter of getting into the swing of things.

As far as my reading goes, I finished A Dance With Dragons. It had slow moments, but I enjoyed it. 4 out of 5 stars. And now, I am with everyone waiting for book 6, that won’t be out till around 2015. I read the whole Charlie Madigan series, and they impressed me. I was disappointed to find out the publishers didn’t renew the series. I think they are losing out on a good value here! Overall I gave the series 4 out of 5 stars.

I read The Secret Keeper, written by Kate Morton. It was a chick lit, set in England both in present time, and during WW2. Most of the book moved slowly, but I loved the ending. 3 out of 5 stars.

I also read two erotic fiction books. The latest Shadowlands, This is Who I Am, was about Sam, a dominant and a sadist, and Linda, a woman who was kidnapped by slavers, who doesn’t want to admit that she is a masochist and a submissive. I thought Sam and Linda were both great leads, but the plot left a lot to be desired. I particularly found the family dramas unbelievable. Plus, I am not into S&M. I also read the first book in the Wicked Lovers series, Wicked Ties. I heard a lot of good things about Jack, but I found him immature and controlling. I think the Shadowlands heroes have ruined all other erotic fiction heroes for me.

I didn’t write formal reviews for these books as most of them were read while I was out of town. But if anyone wants a formal review for any of these books, let me know, and I’ll write up a full review! I have a couple of posts planned, so expect a few more posts from me before the month is out. I know I keep disappearing for weeks at a time, but I would rather write a few good posts than a lot of mediocre ones. Hope you can forgive me! 😉

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The Great Reread of The Great Gatsby

“Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead,”

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

This isn’t a review of a “Great American Classic”, but rather comparing my thoughts from when I was a teenager to now.

I still love the story. It is a story about a person observing the wealth, craze, and vapid selfishness of his peers. The fancy lifestyle fascinated me now as it did 10-15 years ago. Nick Carraway is still the innocent but sweet character who is in over his head with New York’s wealthy. He’s probably closest to being my first book boyfriend. He’s my favorite character in the book for two reasons. One, he’s honorable, even when he didn’t have to be. He doesn’t care much for what others thing. He’s the narrator of the story and appears somewhat neutral, but in reality, he’s not a neutral narrator. He is our moral compass.

That brings me to my next point: I love the “I’m watching” narration. It’s first person objective POV, officially. Nick’s role is detached from the main story. However, that is not completely true either  Nick Carraway may be objective to the actual events that happen, but his opinion is still inserted throughout. It’s debated whether a first POV can be truly detached, but either way, it’s a form of narration that appeals to me, especially when it comes to eventual stories I want to tell.

One of the major changes this time around was that I noticed how empty all the rich people were. When I was younger, I thought Daisy, Tom, and the gang were selfish and corrupt people. This time, I noticed that they weren’t bad, but rather they were “nothing”. Machines of society, they moved through the motions. Instead of hating them, I pitied them. At 15, I believed Daisy loved Gatsby but was stuck in bad choices. I now think she never loved anyone, not even herself. It’s sad; I pity them.

And speaking of pity, Instead of finding Gatsby romantic this time, I found him pathetic. He believed till the last minute that Daisy loved him and would run away with him. He searched for someone to love him since he never loved himself. Maybe it’s me finding my own happy ending–love isn’t about changing everything you are for someone else. I don’t think Gatsby loved Daisy, but he did believe he loved her.

When I was a child, I saw the book through an innocent’s eyes: a romantic tragedy, full of pretty people and pretty things. Now as a happily married woman, I saw a tragic story about people who are searching for love but never find it. They never knew what LOVE is.

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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