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. πŸ’–

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 πŸ˜‰
  • 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 πŸ’–
  • 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. πŸ˜‰

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

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. πŸ˜‰

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

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. πŸ™

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. πŸ™ˆ

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. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜ 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. πŸ˜πŸ’™ 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… πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ’™

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. πŸ₯΄ 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. πŸ™ŒπŸ˜

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. πŸ’™ 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. πŸ˜‰ 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. πŸ˜‚πŸ‘€) If you have any questions about a movie/content, I’m happy to share my thoughts. πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ’š 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. πŸ’š

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. πŸ˜‰

Christmas is here. πŸ’š

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. πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ˜‰ Basically the whole NaNoWriMo experience just for these 5,000 new words. πŸ˜‚πŸ«£

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. πŸ˜‰ *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… πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰). Not to mention mental health, family events, a very cool computer game, and the cat who adopted us. πŸ˜‰

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

Obsessed with Yes

Obsessed with Yes

“Want to join my cover reveal team?”

Ahhhh, she seems like an amazing human, and I want to support her, and I’ll see the cover before anyone else.

“Yes!”

“Do you do beta-reading?”

I love helping out newer authors, and it’s so rewarding to encourage and critique at such a critical stage.

“Yes!”

“I’m having a [sale, party, social media team, Instagram challenge, blog tag, etc.] and I thought of you, would you like to join?”

Aw, they thought of me. I absolutely love getting to interact with so many other bookish people… This could help grow my audience too.

“Yes! Thanks for the invite!”

*notices they need help with something*

“I am available, and yes, I am going to help you.”

I’m obsessed with saying “yes” to things. Mostly because I love my indie authors and my bookish humans, and I want to support everyone in every way possible.πŸ‘πŸ‘ Also, a tiny bit because I miscalculate my schedule and am a mess at boundaries and feel guilty saying “no”.

I’ve been reallocating my energy lately. Taking a good long look at what I actually *want* and can do with the time I have. Leaving space to pour into people, in big ways and small, but also taking time to read, to write, to work, to be human Kate.

I’m learning to give an honest answer immediately or eat humble-pie and apologize when I can’t follow through on something I previously agreed to.

It’s been nice. 🧑

(P.S. — Don’t ever feel guilty for asking me to do something/something I’ve done for you in the past. I love working with you, and it’s on me to honestly evaluate what I can do.)

My Cozy Fall Decorations

My Cozy Fall Decorations

Fall is my absolute favorite season, and since I missed out on a lot of it last year due to Covid, I’m extra excited to celebrate this year. 🧑

J and I pulled out our tote of fall decorations, many leftover from our wedding, some old items I’ve owned forever, and got to work decorating our apartment.

One of my favorite things is our little welcome sign paired with the “H” pumpkin my sister just gave us. It’s like we’re a little family and it’s so cute. ☺️

We keep our blanket basket out year-round, but I had to add one of the largest pumpkins on top for maximum cozy vibes.

I’m obsessed with this tea tray we set up on the chair we never use unless there’s company. Aren’t the sweater pumpkins from my wedding adorable? 🧑

My absolute favorite decoration is the bread bowl full of pumpkins, large and small, twig and sweater, with my hedgehog figurine nestled happily in them.

J filled in this empty spot next to the (dusty) candle with his boutonniere from the wedding, and it’s officially the perfect touch. πŸ˜‰

And speaking of perfect, his letter board sarcasm is unmatched. πŸ˜‚

The mixture of memories, small pumpkin figurines that used to live atop my desk years ago, sweater pumpkins from our dating years and wedding, and now fresh pie pumpkins I’ll definitely be baking into something scrumptious…

I feel so at home in our little apartment, and decorating for a new season always brings such joy. 🧑

Happy Five Fall Favorites!! (Intro and Everything)

Happy Five Fall Favorites!! (Intro and Everything)

Hello everyone, and happy Five Fall Favorites! Before we get started, I just wanted to say I’m so happy you’re here, and I know our fabulous bloggers have some really good book recs to share with you. πŸ˜‰ Have fun browsing and don’t forget to check out the giveaway and daily FREE ebooks!

I also wanted to be clear that anything I link out to is not an across-the-board endorsement from me. πŸ˜‰ Each blogger is responsible for their own recommendations.

All right, all that housekeeping out of the way… PARTY TIME!

Fall is my favorite season. Something about the melancholy lighting, cooler temperatures, earthy foods, and cozy, cozy sweaters just bring my creativity and bookishness alive, and I’m never happier than when this happens. 🧑

Today we’re all sharing our top 5 books that have inspired us, feel like home, and make us who we are today.

Go meet your new bookish friends!

Katja 🍁 // Abigail πŸ“š // Kelsey β˜•οΈ // Lillian (her book is FREE today!)πŸ‚

Sarah🧣// Bella πŸ₯§ // Jana β˜•οΈ // Ryana Lynn🧣// Mac πŸ“š

Sophia Ellen 🍁 // Heaven πŸ“š // Hannah πŸ₯§ // Mikayla πŸ‚

And I’m Kate! Your main host, home base for the giveaway and #details. πŸ˜‰

Borrowing my husband’s hardcover copy of The Book Thief 🧑

My Top 5 Favorite Books That Make Me Me

1. The Shield Ring by Rosemary Sutcliff

I’ve mentioned this book a couple times here on my blog, but it’s always one I come back to. The copy I grew up on was so worn it didn’t even have a dust jacket anymore, but eleven-year-old me was obsessed with the medieval setting, loyal characters, hope in a hopeless place, and platonic but absolutely shippable main characters. πŸ˜‰ It pretty much became a core part of my personality (and teenage crushes, oops) and is the reason I still adore writing medieval stories. 🧑 (Read my review.)

2. Evangelists in Chains by Elizabeth Wagler

If you’ve been here a while, you might recognize this one too. *smile sheepishly at my predictability* This book was incredibly inspiring to me as a teen. The strong Christian love shown in the Moravian Anabaptist community, their strength and trust in God as they were asked to go completely against their nonviolent convictions, and the way God used their trials to spread the Gospel. 🧑 I *believe* this is based on true events, but whether or not it is, it’s still definitely worth the read.

3. Red Rain by Rachel Newhouse

This book (the first edition, that is) was one of the first ever indie books I experienced, and I’ve been in love with the genre and the creativity it allows ever since. I’m so excited to see the series rebooted and continued this year, and I can’t wait to read more about these compelling characters and their complicated world. πŸ‘πŸ‘

4. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I experienced the movie first and fell completely and utterly in love with the setting, characters, message, and ultimately just the bookish vibes. 🧑 I bought the book without knowing much about it, and when I read a (censored for language) it just brought all the tears, sank into my soul, and both broke me and inspired me. (Yes, I have made it part of my personality. Yes, I adore Max. πŸ₯Ί) Truly one of the most beautiful books ever, and the writing style showed me how there really are no limits to creativity. (Read my review.)

5. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

I wasn’t lucky enough to grow up with this book, but I decided to try it as an adult when I heard all my Goodreads friends raving about it. I could not have enjoyed it more. πŸ‘πŸ‘ The brilliant puns and puzzles, the wonderful, dear characters, and hopeful themes just wrapped me up and felt like home. 🧑

I also rarely relate to fictional characters, but I felt a kinship with Reynie, and I loved watching his growth. I also got to buddy read the rest of the series with Mikayla and then buddy watch the show too, so I like to think it’s been a big, important part of our friendship. 🧑 (Read my review.)

Grand Prize giveaway!

The Five Fall Favorites giveaway includes…

  1. Decorative fall items (pumpkins, gnomes, and blanket scarf)
  2. A fall mug (there will be tea!)
  3. Annie’s Life in Lists by Kristin Mahoney
  4. Hedgehog journal
  5. Kiera by Kate Willis (hardcover)
  6. Brothers and Betrayal by Sarah Holman (paperback)
  7. Should We Tell Her? by Lillian Keith (paperback)
  8. The Road to Bremen by Kelsey Bryant (paperback)
  9. Anthology including a story by Abigail Harris (paperback)

Most books are contributions by participating authors. Ships to contiguous US only. Winner will have 48 hours to respond after being contacted.

ENTER HERE!

Today’s FREE ebook is…

Grab on Amazon!

Happy Five Fall Favorites! We’re going to have so much fun. 😁🧑

The Remarkable Blogger Tag

The Remarkable Blogger Tag

Thanks so much for tagging me, E.G. Bella! I love these questions.

Something Unique About Me

I have curly hair, and how curly it gets depends exactly on how I treat it on wash day. In some ways, I never know what I’m going to get, but lately I’ve got a routine down that makes it verrrrry big and I feel like a super cool sheep/Riversong/tough fictional character.

The Questions

If you could live in any type of home, anywhere in the world, where would you go and what house would you choose? (Like a treehouse in New York or something!).

Oh, wow. So I do wish to be a rather strange, homebody of an author living in the English countryside, but I’d also take a small house up in PNW since it has pretty similar weather. πŸ˜‰

What is your biggest pet peeve?

Right now, it’s people using theology as an excuse to hurt other people. πŸ‘€

What would you tell the you that started your blog if you could go back to that day?

Lol, I’d tell her her posting schedule is too intense (five posts a week, really?!), but also that was pretty fun, so I think I’d just let her do what she was doing. πŸ˜‰

Is there one song out there that you think everybody should listen to? 

Yessssss. The Rain Keeps Falling by Andrew Peterson is such a beautiful picture of communing with God. ❀

If there were no limits in life for a day, what would you do first and last?

Ohhh. MWAHAHAHA. I would finish all my writing projects and publish them, climb a rolling library ladder, and eat anything I wanted. πŸ˜πŸ‘

Have you set yourself any challenges for the year?

In a way no, but also, yes? It’s a challenge that’s slowly developed into goals, but I’m challenging myself to get my mental health in hand and also be patient with myself. We’ve got a lot of years to undo and redo. πŸ˜‰

How many blog posts have you written so far?

I’m at 778 published! Wowza. Here’s to even more!

Does your blog have a niche or no?

It does somewhat, but quite less than when I first started it. I’m enjoying the flexibility right now, but I am glad I have central goals in mind.

Do you have any advice for helping a blogger get out of a writer’s rut?

Allow yourself a hiatus, think about and do other things, and fill your creative tank back up. Also, I recommend having some “easy” posts on hand, whether that’s a photo dump, blog tag, or review repost, just so you can keep up a consistent schedule but give yourself a break. πŸ˜‰


If you would like to be tagged, consider yourself tagged! πŸ˜‰

An Absolutely Unnecessary Notebook Tour

An Absolutely Unnecessary Notebook Tour

I live in notebooks, and I mean notebooks plural because I’m never content using just one. πŸ˜‚ They’re simply too useful and cute to resist. Here is my current collection (minus one or two I can’t find which is mildly concerning)…

I’m sensing a color scheme… 😁

Notebook HQ! My very happy little notebook that is used for everything from to-do lists to design brainstorms to entire plots for the next two Arrows and Archers books (shhhh). I really love the size of it, and spiral-bound is always perfect for laying out nice and flat.

As you can see, this one is just a *bit* well-loved. It’s also miscellaneous, but it includes entire chapters of stories and some highly important notes for the fantasy novel I should be editing. I’m a huge fan of polka dots too, so I’ll be sad when this one is full soon.

And my adorable book sleeve came and truly does fit (some) notebooks?!!! πŸ‘πŸ‘

My most recent addition to the notebook family, and one I’m very much in love with. I couldn’t find my notebook stash in the chaos of moving until very recently, and I was in desperate need of something. J bought me this one from the back-to-school section, and it was an added bonus that it’s so cute. πŸ˜‰ I wanted a spiral-bound one so it can lay flat for notes on my novel manuscript, but so far I’ve just planned a blog party in it (oops).

And last but not least, the two empty lovelies! I’ve had the pink one for a few years now, and I absolutely love the foil words on the front. I bought it along with the pink polka dot one (and another currently stored/missing) so my color scheme theory definitely holds up. The sky blue and daisies one is such a gorgeous cover texture and it’s hardbound, which absolutely deserves something amazing written inside. (I’m not sure what yet.) My dad actually bought it for me at the prompting of my sisters because they knew it’s my colors. 😍

I also have dark brown with foil feathers notebook somewhere around here in this mess of creativity… πŸ˜…

I absolutely love how my notebooks foster a level of creativity and brainstorming that just cannot be matched. Plus, people keep making more and more cute ones, so if a month from now I have 20, don’t judge. πŸ˜›

Which notebook is your favorite?