All the Bookish Updates You’d Ever Want to Know (and Ice Cream)

All the Bookish Updates You’d Ever Want to Know (and Ice Cream)

April flew by a little bit slower than I wanted it to (because I was chomping at the bit to get to send my book off to beta-readers, which I did yesterday, eeee), but I managed to get in some fabulous reading and writing (and ice cream).


I read a total of eight and a half books (sucksinbreath ihavenoideahow butihadfun), and it was quite fun. I’ve been loving passing on favorites to my younger sisters then fangirling over text together.

Just for fun, here’s some stats:

  1. 4 five-star reads, 3 four-stars, and one three-star
  2. 5 out of 8 books were indie (I adore indie)
  3. All of them were epic

Notable reads: Please Return to the Lands of Luxury by Jon Tilton surprised me with its sweet plot and unique worldbuilding. The Herbwitch’s Apprentice by Ireen Chau (one of the books I got for my birthday, actually) was ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE, and mynewfavoritething, and the second book is coming in the mail right now, and it sent me into an epic reading slump with its goodness, and ahhhhh.

(Look at that cutie. 💜)


Besides the title reveal for “If the Stars Awaken” (formerly Awake) and the short story I shared last week, I’ve actually been secretly working on a thing. It’s mostly consisted of learning how to plot a series, plotting said series (at least the first two books), realizing one of my plots was wrong and abandoning it, but starting on the other one and loving it to pieces.

Here’s all I can tell you… I’m writing SCI-FI. (*dances in a happy Wall-E circle* *cringes at how bad I am at worldbuilding*) I’m bouncing between having delusional confidence that I’m just going to write this and have a ton of fun and indulging in self-doubt and perfectionism, but what else is new? 😉

Here’s the sneakest of peeks…


(And Ice Cream)

The temps here are bumping up against 100F, so J and I tried out a local ice cream shop, and y’all, it’s the most adorable thing! I had a really good monster cookie cone. (Because Oreo ice cream is life.)

How was your April?

Before the Tea Is Ready

Before the Tea Is Ready

It was a dark and stormy day, and I had the perfect writing time planned.

Tea, laptop, cozy vibes, new work-in-progress… Yes.

I just had to wait for the water to boil so I could steep my tea.

I probably paced a little. Listened to the kettle, waiting for that sweet whistle of readiness. Wondered what to do in the meantime. Stared at the kettle, making sure it was centered on the burner. Paced some more.

After a few minutes of this, I sat down in my writing space.

What else was I going to do? My brain and my laptop, aka my two most important tools were ready. I had creative energy and time.

So I started writing.

And I wrote an entire chapter before my tea was even ready, and the writing time only improved once it was.

I do love a good peak author moment when the sun slants just right and my hair is in a curly updo and I have cozy blankets and warm feelings and the perfect mug of spiced chai. Some days I need to curate this to fuel my creativity or prepare my emotions.

But other days, I just need to start. 💖

My MBTI in Books

My MBTI in Books

MBTI, aka the personality typing system that some of us (*looks around innocently*) never grew out of obsessing over and still find the best way to describe ourselves. It’s really quite fun. 😉

I’m an INFJ. *awkward finger guns* *disappears*

If you’re unfamiliar, here’s a good explanation of this type…

(I just love how those last two are a contradiction. *glares into the void*)

Before I get into the books that remind me most of these types, here is an obligatory meme dump just because they crack me up.

I knew they forgot something 😭
It’s either a terrified “What’s up?” or the kind that means “Tell me everything so I can heal you–take this snack and blanket–this is a safe space”.
Too true. And if you take it the wrong way, yes sometimes we aren’t paying attention and absolutely repeat your questions back to you…

I love being an INFJ, and every time I go on a meme or research spree, I end up feeling even more understood in all my awkwardness. 😂

But now to the real blog post, books that remind me of being an INFJ. 😉 (Click on the titles to see my reviews.)

Introvert — The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

This book has such a quiet soul, tuned in to observing people and loving them in all their humanity but definitely from afar. It also gives me autumn vibes, which I feel like is the season we introverts thrive most.

Intuitive — The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

This book is such a beautiful feast of metaphors, journeys through thought, and adjusting the way we all look at the world, that it seemed to fit this category perfectly. ❤

Feeling — The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

I included this one entirely because of the main character Rainie. He’s always got a gut feeling and works his best to understand and follow it. It also helps that I adore this series. 😉

Judging — Annie’s Life in Lists by Kristin Mahoney

This book is literally written in lists, a.k.a. the most orderly story ever, so there’s that. 😉

There you go! Thanks for reading this zany peek into my personality. 😉

Does your personality type share any of these categories? And have you read any of these books or are you currently adding them to your TBR? 😉

I’ve Been Thinking About Medication in Fiction

I’ve Been Thinking About Medication in Fiction

I love a good dystopian or sci-fi book. I gobble up stories of people quietly pushing to change the world, holding on to their humanity, and looking for beauty in the broken.

Recently, a common aspect of these stories was put into another light for me, as I went down a journey of diagnoses, a million questions, and a few different kinds of meds.

In The Giver, pills remove emotions. In Matched, and its sequels, pills calm, nourish, and ultimately control (though more in an addiction metaphor). In an episode of Doctor Who, a young girl goes off her meds to hear the universe and save the day.

Some of my favorite fiction can end up coming off really anti-medication. Which is great for a story, but not so good for my brain when I’m already feeling like a messy science project. 🙄

Am I suppressing a part of myself? Removing emotions or problems or discomfort that should exist in my life? Managing the emotional pain that makes me a creative person?

I know the answer to these questions is no–I’m actually better able to express and care for myself because of my medication–and I’m grateful every day for how it has literally saved my life.

But sometimes the tropes do get to me. 😉

So as I continue to write stories, many of them sci-fi/dystopian, I hope to be more thoughtful in my portrayals of this area of life.

Let It Fade

Let It Fade

For the longest time, I’ve had a really, really good memory. I remember details from twenty years ago as if they happened yesterday. I could describe the layout of every house I’ve ever lived in (and there’s been quite a few). I seldom re-read books because I can look at the spine and recall the entire basic plot.

As life has gotten exponentially busier, my responsibilities and relationships grown, my access to and use of the internet quadrupled, my spending less time just observing and actually participating, and my age just a little bit higher…

I feel things sliding by me. What was the name of that movie? I can’t remember the exact month and date when that happened. I’m sorry, I can’t answer that question, I don’t think I remember the exact details. Wait, that event is already next week?

It felt a little bit frightening, especially early on when we first moved back to the city from a very small town where something interesting happened once a week and you could talk all angles of it to death. 😉

Was I still the same person? Was I appreciating life as much as I could, or was I just skating through it, grabbing pieces here and there? Who was I, if not a holder of stories, collector of memory, observer of life?

I didn’t really grow up with cameras so a cellphone was actually a huge step for me. I found it a little bit insane how easily it was to document everything, to make sure I remember it had happened, and to look back through years with just a scroll of the screen.

But somewhere in there, I started consciously choosing not to take a picture or post. Maybe to not even tell the story to anyone later. To let things happen naturally, sit in my heart, then fade.

Some moments are so unique and precious in this world, I know they are just for me. And the fragility of them, like a spring flower or a crunchy leaf, makes them that much more beautiful. 💖

My Nostalgic Book Haul

My Nostalgic Book Haul

Recently my family was going through their books, and I got texted pictures of some they were planning to donate/give away. Looking through them brought back such beautiful memories, and I chose my favorites to keep and share with my own family someday. The oldest book here is one I first experienced almost 20 years ago and the newest are some I read in ebook or from the library and couldn’t pass up the chance to own.

I know it was a lot of work for my mom to take these pictures then sort out what I wanted, so I’m very grateful she reached out. 💖

Here are the ones I chose…

  • The Elements of Style by Strunk and White, a smart, amusing, and helpful grammar guide
  • Daddy Long-Legs by Jean Webster, a newer copy and one I didn’t have in paperback (shocker, I know)
  • Word of Mouse by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein, an adorable newer find
  • The Cats in the Doll Shop by Yona Zeldis McDonough, one of the sweetest WW2 books I’ve read from the library
  • Writer to Writer: From Think to Ink by Gail Carson Levine, a very inspiring book that helped fuel my love for writing
  • Cherokee Run by Barbara Smucker, my first introduction to non-resistance but I’m conflicted about the land-grab history and will be looking at it more critically 😉
  • Structuring Your Novel by K.M. Weiland, aka a book my parents bought for the family but mostly to help me with my writing (it made Kiera possible!)
  • Twinepathy by C.B. Cook, one of the greatest superhero books of all time and a favorite indie
  • At the Foot of Windy Low by May Justus, a book my oldest sister read aloud to me before I could even read 💖
  • The Beautiful Culpeppers by Marion Upington, the most adorably unique book ever (a paper doll family?!)
  • Finding the Core of Your Story by Jordan Smith, another helpful writing book my parents bought

They also found my long-lost copy of The Book Thief which is going on the TBR for this year. 😉

I’m enjoying the memories as I find shelf and closet space for them all. 😉

Do you have a favorite nostalgic read?

2023, Bookish Goals for Me

2023, Bookish Goals for Me

Welcome, 2023! Make yourself comfortable and stay awhile. 😉

As in past years, I’ve decided to share a few of my hopeful bookish goals for this year. 😉

1. Publish my A Very Bookish Easter novella

My entry to this anthology is coming along well, and I can’t wait for you all to read the finished product. 🤩 I think it’s gonna give you allll the cozy feels. 😁

2. Commission character art

This was actually something I attempted last year, but it didn’t end up working out, and I’m really excited to give it another shot. I have some gorgeous art of Kiera and of characters from the Arrows and Archers series planned. 😍

3. Dive back into dormant projects

This includes but is not limited to… promised sequels, “Awake” draft bazillion and seven or something, and a middle-grade WWII homefront novel. I am hoping to ease back into regular writing routines, and the big dream is to publish at least one new project this year. 🙏

4. Sell books in person?

It’s been a few years now since I’ve had the opportunity to sell my books at an in-person event, but I’m really hoping/praying/scheming to get something together this year. 🙈

5. Read 35 books

I barely made my goal last year, but I am planning to read a lot, so I’ve started my challenge at a nice, moderate 35 books. 😂😁 I’m hoping a high percentage of them are new indie releases. 🤞

There you go! Those are my bookish goals for this shiny new year. 😁💙 In the personal sphere, I’m also planning to continue working on my mental health and to move on from my current day job to something that fits my needs better. Also, more baking, but that’s a given… 😉

What are your hopeful goals for 2023?

Shalom and Goodbye to 2022

Shalom and Goodbye to 2022

If I had to choose three words to describe this year, they would be “sorting”, “softness”, and “new” memories. 💙

Year one of marriage has been great! We’ve had so much fun getting settled in our little house, bringing his dog Nugget into the mix, and becoming pros at grocery shopping and communication (almost). Also, hospitality makes us feel like really cool adults. 😎 My favorite new memories have been us sitting on the porch watching it rain and our very bookish vacation this summer.

My mental health journey has been a ride. Oh boy. 🥴 Lots of coping with comfort shows, a cute computer game, and amazing naps, lol. I feel like I lost a lot of time this year to survival mode, but I’m so grateful to be six months into treatment and feeling way better. And just this month I got answers and a plan for 3+ years of “mysterious” physical illness. 🙌😍

It’s been an amazing author year in ways I could have never expected when I dove back in! It’s been encouraging and fun to find you all stuck around, and growing my bookish Instagram community has been great too. 💙 I released the special second edition of Kiera, a literal dream come true, published Enjoy the Poodle Skirt in adorable tiny paperback form, and wrote Operation Robin and most of a novella. I’ve also been gaining confidence (and a low-key obsession) with cover design. 😎

So much more reading happened this year! And a huge percentage of it was indie, which makes me ridiculously happy. 😉 From debuts to short stories to years-in-the-making comebacks, I’ve been delighted to support my authors and discover new fictional worlds. I’ve also gotten to experience a couple buddy reads which is always quite fun. Check out my Goodreads “Year in Books” to see what I enjoyed.

My husband and I really bonded over movies while we were dating, and the fun has continued into our marriage. Thanks to him, I’ve seen a TON of really good movies this year, so I had trouble choosing my top 5. (That’s why there are six. 😂👀) If you have any questions about a movie/content, I’m happy to share my thoughts. 😉

I got to bake a lot more this season, and my favorite repeat recipe has got to be these cookies. So delicious and light. 🤤 I had to buy a new computer early this year, and collecting stickers on it makes my nerd heart so happy. 😍 As does my growing Funko Pop family and the book sleeve collection I accidentally started. 😊

It’s been quite a year, and I’m really, really grateful for it. 💚 I’ll be back next week (next year! :O ) with my nebulous goals for 2023.

Thank you for being part of my 2022!

I Feel Christmas

I Feel Christmas

Christmas has come to our cozy little home. 💚

The stockings I bought when we were still just dating now hang by rental-friendly hooks and are framed by twinkling Christmas lights.

Ornaments old (this one from pre-y2k) and new sparkle from our small Christmas tree.

The little touches are scattered throughout our house, a sleigh full of pinecones and a jolly hedgehog here, a nativity ornament hanging there, and my tiny Christmas trees for the squirrel shakers and my Funko Pops.

Cheerful packages have been showing up at our door (except one at the post office), and we decorated them together with cute and humorous messages.

Cozy beanies and happy selfies after an evening out with family made the season come even more alive.

Soon I’ll be feeling the joyful reality of Advent and adding Chanukah candles in the mix. I hope to make my first-ever gingerbread and some other goodies I’m sure will test my skills and my family’s tastebuds. 😉

Christmas is here. 💚

A Little Bit of Progress // NaNoRebel Week One

A Little Bit of Progress // NaNoRebel Week One

Last week I shared my (hopeful, rough, overly optimistic, creative, CRAZY) plans for NaNoWriMo, and with the first week in the bag, I thought I’d give a small update. 😉

Goal One: Novella Wrap-Up

I’ve actually written quite a lot this month and nearly doubled my wordcount, but the novella is still coming more slowly than I want it to. I’m having the ups and downs of “this is horrible” “this is amazing” “what even are words” on a small scale, and I even had an internet scare (everything was saved, phew!) and did some late-night writing in my email drafts. 😉 Basically the whole NaNoWriMo experience just for these 5,000 new words. 😂🫣

I planned to wrap it up by the 7th, but I’m going to need more time, and since I’m a Rebel, that’s really okay. 😉 *insert Rebel Alliance flag* *gives self a nerdy space nickname*

Goal Two: Organize My Novel Notes

Transferring the scribblies on my manuscript to more clear, useful notes in my notebook was something I thought would take forever (since the manuscript is a literal minefield of red ink), but I got it done in a day or two. ❤ Y’all, it’s sooo satisfying, and I feel ready to take on this next draft.

Goal Three: Fantasy Novel Edits

*stares longingly* Gotta knock out Goal One first… 😉

Miscellaneous Happenings

I am (as usual) absolutely loving a good cup of tea. It pushes me into the cozy, focused space writing needs, and I also feel infinitely British (which is also important).

I invented myself a lapdesk! I prefer writing on the couch but also don’t want to overheat my computer, so I took a wooden food tray and flipped it upside down over my lap, and voila! #socool

I got distracted by making mock-up covers for NaNo projects (and they’re actually available for sale if you want one 😉). Not to mention mental health, family events, a very cool computer game, and the cat who adopted us. 😉

This month may not look exactly as I planned, but I’ve accomplished some good things, and I’m excited to continue my projects. 😉 And I seriously can’t wait for you all to meet my adorable characters. 🤩