October 2022 Wrap-Up

October was a complete disaster on the blog. Even though I posted my usual two posts per week, I really felt like I was on some sort of hiatus, doing the bare minimum. Somehow, I just didn’t find the time to read anything until the very end of the month (currently, I’m knee-deep into Babel and The Atlas Paradox and loving it!). So, here’s what I ended up finishing:

  • Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells (4 stars)
    This is the third installment in the Murderbot Diaries and while it wasn’t my favorite, the series is still excellent. I hope you won’t mind that I wait to review the books until I finish the series (up to the book it is out right now) and am able to do it in one go.
  • LVOE: Poems, Epigrams & Aphorisms by Atticus (4 stars)
    I first encountered poetry by Atticus while I was in Canada and I still enjoy it. It’s not always as deep as others, but it leaves me with a nice and warm feeling.

Rogue Protocol (The Murderbot Diaries, #3) LVOE: Poems, Epigrams & Aphorisms

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! OR find me on Storygraph, where I have become more active this year. My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above, if there are posts for them.

I had built up quite a comfortable buffer for my reading challenges, which has gone entirely to waste these past two months. I’m still sort of on track with the number of books, but I highly doubt I will reach my (for me, quite ambitious) page count goal. Even with Babel and The Atlas Paradox, it’s a stretch.

Two bars showing my reading progression this year so far until the end of October 2022. I have managed to stay on track for the number of books (45) I want to read and am currently at 84%. I am behind 2556 pages on my page count goal of 15000 pages for the year, which leaves me at 67%.

 

In Other News

October was once again a very busy month. We had presidential elections in my country, loads of my friends and family members had their birthdays and name days (yes, we “celebrate” those too) and in general, I feel like there was just always something going on. I’ve thought about this just recently, but I can’t even recall the last time I was bored. It legit doesn’t happen to me anymore. Once again, I’m sticking to the format of dividing up the month into segments and telling you about them separately.

Writing My Fantasy Novel

I have made ZERO progress. I’m not even sure I opened the document during October, if I’m being completely honest. It’s not that I lost interest in it, I just feel like I’m more in a reading rather than writing mood at the moment. However, having said that, it is NaNoWriMo. I have no intention of rushing through the novel, but maybe it will help me just work on it on a daily basis? That would be nice. But we all know I have the worst track record with sticking to NaNoWriMo …

I Still Have the Same Favorite Poet

Last month, I heavily teased that I fell in love with the writing of a certain poet, who kept his work out of the public eye. Funny story, the person is actually a former boxer now actor and while his Instagram is still private, he has decided to share some of his work on TikTok. Now, I quite enjoyed having his words all to myself (this is an exaggeration, he did share it with several hundred people before as well), but if you are curious and want to check out Kieron Moore’s poetry for yourself, you can do so here.

I Played Foretales

One of my favorite voice actors I share a birthday with (serious shout out to the legend that is Travis Willingham) promoted the latest game he did voice work for and I immediately wanted to check it out. I don’t have a proper gaming set up, I only have my laptop, that’s not really made for a lot of processing work. Regardless, Foretales is a really cool story-driven RPG card game. I enjoy games where my decisions have an impact on the story and certain paths are blocked or opened, depending on what I did prior. I have to admit that I sometimes got stuck on really silly things and was frustrated when I had to redo chapters, but overall, it was a lot of fun. You can find more info on it on Steam here.

My Weightloss Journey Continues

Again, feel free to skip this portion of the wrap-up. I know it’s a difficult topic for many and I get it, put yourself first!

As I keep at my regular cardio workouts and still haven’t gone on a diet – on the contrary, I think I’m eating more now than ever before and I notice it in my budget – I continue to slowly but steadily loose weight. The most important thing to me is that what I do remains something that is sustainable. There’s no use in starving yourself or overworking, just to go back to “normal” and reversing all that progress. I feel like what I’m doing does push me to go out more and definitely exercise and move more than I did previously, but I found the joy in moving and therefore it’s not so much of a chore, but rather something I feel incomplete without.

I’ve upped my workout time and often end up doing 30 to 45 minutes a day, but sometimes, when I just don’t feel like it, I end up only doing something for 10 to 20 minutes and that’s still enough. So, I’ve lost another 3 kg/6.6 lbs since the last wrap-up, which makes me feel confident that I can reach my desired goal by my 30th birthday.

Here’s the latest workout video I’ve been coming back to, especially with Taylor Swift’s release of Midnights:

This Spooky Season offered great Spooky TV!

There were so many great seasonal shows this last month! I loved the latest adaptations of Vampire Academy and Interview with the Vampire. Two very different shows, but both offering me everything I wanted from them. However, there is another adaptation that I feel got completely lost in the sheer amount of content that is being released as of late – The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself! The show is based on the book Half Bad by Sally Green, which I’ve read eons ago and can’t remember in detail, but still recognized in the show. It was fantastically paced, had super interesting character dynamics and would have been a perfect Halloween watch. I don’t see a lot of people talking about it, but I really wish more would watch it. It has some seriously f- up stuff happen it, but I would love to see what they do with another season.

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF OCTOBER 2022

I’ll never know how to express my utter love for everyone who keeps visiting this corner of the interwebs, even when I barely post any new content. I genuinely adore you! Here are the most popular posts of October.

  1. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (Book Review)
    (originally posted in December 2020)
    No surprise there, right?
  2. Should YOU Read “The Atlas Six”? (What I learned from my reread!)
    (originally posted March 2022)
    This actually makes a lot of sense, if you think about it being the release month for the sequel. I’m glad people find this post helpful!
  3. Something Different: Duskwood (Game Review)
    (originally posted June 2020)
    No clue what sparked the resurgence of this post.
  4. Are Chris Evans and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted July 2021)
    Yeah, why not? He’s always interesting I suppose.
  5. It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover (Book Review)
    (originally posted October 2016)
    So, clearly I read this book way before it become a TikTok sensation and when I, myself, was still much younger. It’s the only Hoover book I’ve ever read and while I apparently enjoyed it back then, I’m not sure, I would still like it as much now? It’s wild to me that a post from 6 years ago is getting that much traffic.

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

This is only a fraction of all the great content that my fellow bloggers put out into the blogosphere in October. Still, I hope you’ll give them a visit and share the love!

MY OTHER POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS


I hope you had a wonderful spooky season and are now enjoying your November! Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? Any particular reading plans or otherwise? Let’s chat!

September 2022 Wrap-Up

So, I’ve made no secret out of the fact that I was very busy in September and things (on the blog and elsewhere) didn’t exactly always go according to “plan”. I did, however, start reading the Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells and I love them. Their short format was ideal for my schedule and even though I didn’t get super far, I’m happy to be in the middle of the third book by now. I’ll write a whole post on them, once I’ve finished reading the books that are out so far!

  • All Systems Red by Martha Wells (5 stars)
  • Artificial Condition by Martha Wells (5 stars)

 

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! OR find me on Storygraph, where I have become more active this year. My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above, if there are posts for them.

Now, with me only having read novellas all of September, and not many at that either, my reading challenges have suffered a little. I’m still ahead in terms of the total book goal I set for myself, just because I’ve accrued a nice buffer in previous months. The page count goal though? Not looking great …

A graph showing that I have read 36 out of my 45 book reading goal and 9503 pages out of 15000 pages. This means I am two books ahead of schedule but 1839 pages behind on my page goal.

 

In Other News

As I’ve now mentioned a lot, I was booked and busy in September. A lot of it had to do with work, because I’ve had quite a lot of hours scheduled and will continue to work a bit more than usual until the end of the year. That in itself is a bit tiring, but I made some other lifestyle changes and they just really took up a lot of my time in addition to that. I quite enjoyed the format of last month’s wrap-up (where I definitely had more to talk about, check it out here, if you missed it), so I’m going to stick to it.

If you don’t want to read about my weight loss journey, you should probably skip this portion of the wrap-up. I get it, put yourself first!

Lifestyle Changes

With working from home and just not having taken the best care of myself, I’ve gained quite a lot of weight over the past year. Every body looks different and needs different things, but I just didn’t feel comfortable in mine anymore. As I’ve mentioned last month, I got a Fitbit and that was the start of my weight loss journey.

I wanted to make sure that whatever changes I made, they would be sustainable and that I wouldn’t be miserable. I really found joy in movement again and could still (mostly) eat whatever I wanted, as long as it was in moderation. I’ve definitely become the boring friend who talks about calories and workouts and how many steps I got in too much, but this takes up so much of my time that I think it makes sense that it occupies so much of my mind.

In my mind, I’m kind of still stuck pre-pandemic at being 27 years old, but in reality I will turn 30 in less than a year. I’m now working out six times a week for about 30 minutes each and have lost 2 kg/4.4 pounds in a month, which doesn’t seem like an unhealthy or rapid weight loss. I’ve decided I will make sure I’m the hottest and most comfortable I’ve ever been once I turn 30. It’s a ridiculous goal, but mostly I just want to keep having fun with this journey, because right now, it IS fun.

This is one of the videos that got me started, as it is very beginner friendly and I personally just also really like Harry Styles’ music:

Writing My Fantasy Novel

I think I’ve been dreaming more about writing this book than actually sitting down and writing it. Still, I’m going to keep including my WIP in the monthly-wrap ups for accountability. I’ve worked so hard on the outline, there’s no way I’m just going to let it disappear in a drawer somewhere, never to be seen again. I’m currently at 1,131 words, which isn’t great, but it’s something.

This is legit the slowest I’ve ever written anything and somehow I don’t feel like I’ve really found the right voice for it yet, which is why this is taking so long. BUT I’m not giving up. It’s just hard to find the time and mental capacity to sit down and write after work and work outs.

Nick Miller from New Girl sitting in front of his laptop and saying "I got nothing" as he attempts to write his novel.

I Found a New Favorite Poet

I don’t know if you’ve ever fallen in love with someone you don’t know through their writing, but it has happened to me. I got so obsessed with some of the poems, I transcribes them into one of my gazillion notebooks, just to have them with me whenever I want to revisit them. You cannot imagine how much I would love to share some of this person’s writing with you, but I can’t. Some of you I might have confided in with his identity, but I don’t feel comfortable sharing it on here, because I’m really not entirely certain how he feels about his poetry getting out, despite him being in the public eye quite a bit.

He’s brilliant, vulnerable, poignant and relatable, but he doesn’t wish to share his stuff with the broad public right now. He might secretly be working on a poetry collection that I’m pretty sure will eventually get published AND WHEN THAT DAY COMES – YOU WON’T HEAR ME SHUT UP ABOUT IT!

I really wish I knew how to write poetry, but that’s a skill that has always escaped me.

I Watched All the Gen Z Content

We’ve established earlier on that time stops for no one and I’m approaching 30 fast. I’m a millennial through and through, but somehow I still got entranced by Gen Z content. In terms of movies, I thought Do Revenge was formidable and so much fun (even if the last quarter of the movie was a bit rushed) and I also completely got sucked in the world of Heartbreak High. Netflix’ hold on me was strong this past month! Please, give me more!!

the cast of Heartbreak High sitting on rocks by the ocean
credit: Netflix

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF SEPTEMBER 2022

Since I wasn’t very active this month, views definitely dropped by quite a lot. Here are the top visited posts of September though:

  1. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (Book Review)
    (originally posted in December 2020)
    I still have no clue why this one is so popular. I’ve tried searching for it on google, but didn’t actually find anything.
  2. Should YOU Read “The Atlas Six”? (What I learned from my reread!)
    (originally posted March 2022)
    The sequel releases this month and I CANNOT WAIT!
  3. Are Chris Evans and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted July 2021)
    Interest for him comes and goes in waves.
  4. Are Pedro Pascal and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted December 2021)
    I imagine it might have something to do with The Last of Us trailer release.
  5. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (Book Review)
    (originally posted December 2021)
    More people watched the movie so they might have wanted to know what the book was about? I definitely didn’t promote it anymore.

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

I’m terribly sorry, but I’ve not gotten any better at blog-hopping. If you have a post you would like me to check out, make sure to link it in the comments!

MY OTHER POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS


I hope you’ll have a productive yet chill October! I’m really looking forward to the spooky season, despite not having a costume yet …

August 2022 Wrap-Up

I started August really motivated to blog, which, in hindsight, is not reflected at all in the content I provided. I don’t know what exactly happened, but I got busy? First things first though, let’s check out the books I read during August. I thought I wouldn’t have anything to show in this section, but there’s actually a lot – including some new favorites! I indulged in some poetry and audiobooks though, which is very unlike myself.

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! OR find me on Storygraph, where I have become more active this year. My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above, if there are posts for them.

I have no idea why this is so shocking to me, but I’m actually doing really well on my reading challenge still. I know I just showed how many books I read this past month, which was a sum that was actually a lot for me in general, but I always feel like I’m behind somehow. In reality, I’m ahead by 4-5 books (depending on whether you look at Goodreads or Storygraph for the info), but unfortunately, I’m behind several hundred pages on my page goal. Still, it could be worse. I just need to not read poetry and short stories.

A graph showing 76% (34 books out of 45 books) read. Brilliant! You are ahead by 4 books!

A graph showing 61% (34 books), 9,201 pages out of 15,000 pages read.  785 pages more until you're caught up! You've got this!

 

In Other News

As stated in the intro of this post, I was actually really motivated to get creative this month, but somehow I didn’t end up doing much on the blog. Still, that doesn’t mean I wasn’t a busy, busy gal! Here are some of my monthly highlights from August!

My birthday!

I “celebrated” my 29th birthday at the beginning of August. I’m not trying to say it in a weird way just to be weird, but I didn’t throw a party or anything like that. Instead, I took some time off work, had my parents visit with my grandmother – who saw my apartment for the first time since I moved in last October, donated to a local charity and relaxed. Creating a fuzz around a number isn’t my thing, but I guess I’m going to have to do something when I turn 30 next year. We’ll see …

I DMed my first DnD game!

I never thought that being a Dungeon Master (or Game Master, if you prefer that term) would be easy, but dang it was hard! I coerced my cousins into playing with me and I made miniatures for their characters as well as other NPCs and enemies, created maps (that were slightly off scale), tried to remember everyone’s powers, abilities and stats and did my best to explain rules that I didn’t always fully understand myself. It wasn’t necessarily chaotic, but there was 100% room for improvement. So, while I’m glad I did it, please, someone else be the Game Master next time, okay?

various miniature Dungeons and Dragons character made out of paper

I got a Fitbit!

Promise, this is not going to turn into a commercial and I’m pretty sure I gave away so many rights to my data when I signed up, but I’m super happy to have a Fitbit now. It’s a fitness bracelet that monitors and tracks various health and exercise data and I feel like that was a push I needed to get more active again. Working from home has taken its toll and while I was grateful for the safety measures that were implemented at my work, I feel so much better when I have a reason to get out of the house. Let’s see how long my fascination with it will last. The first 1.5 weeks have been great so far!

I finished the Outline for my Fantasy WIP!

THIS is something I’m super proud of! I’ve really put in the time and effort, despite being a very impatient person, to create an outline I can work with. Of course, there will be some fine tuning of certain elements as I go along, but I now have somewhat of a “character bible”, an explanation for my society, government, geographical make-up, magical system and religion of my world AND a super solid plot structure. I’m about to dive into the actual writing process and I hope to make progress with it at a steady pace as well.

I’m not yet ready to talk details, but here’s my main character (which I shared last month too) as a reminder:

A girl with pointy ears, light blue skin, almost white hair with faint traces of pink in a lilac dress looking off into the distance, holding a book tight to her chest.
The main character vibes are strong with her.

Because this is already much longer than usual, I will forgo sharing the most popular posts of the month (you’ve heard about all of them before) as well as my favorites of the month (The Sandman) and posts from around the blogosphere. I hope you understand and vow to bring those back again next month, when I’ve hopefully had more time to blog hop and dive into what everyone else was up to!

MY OTHER POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS


I hope you all will have a great start into the month of September! I, for one, can’t wait to be able to wear layers more often again.

February 2022 Wrap-Up

Despite February having been a lot and me choosing to repress some stuff that is happening in reality (I know, it’s a kind of privilege), it was actually a pretty decent reading month for me. I got to everything I had set my eyes on and even a little more. So, at least in that department, I genuinely can’t complain much right now, even if most of the books wer only mediocre. Here’s what I read:

Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Prosper's Demon by K.J. Parker

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! OR find me on Storygraph, where I’m more active this year. My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above if there are posts for them.

As I’ve now said a lot, I’m using Storygraph really regularly now and it’s growing on me. I’m also low-key crushing my reading challenges and it’s making me happy. For a while there, I thought I had aimed too high with 15K words for this year, but it’s looking good. I’m now reading The Ten Thousand Doors of January (about 6% into the story) and even though it had mixed reviews, I’m enjoying it. I’m not even going to attempt to start a new reading experiment in March, I will try to alternate those.

I think it’s fairly understandable to say that I’m on edge right now. The Ukrainian border is closer to where I live than the other side of my own (very tiny) country. Geographically, this is probably one of the closest wars I have had to witness and I feel like I live in a 24/7 news cycle. At the same time, I’m confused and angered by some of the rhetoric used in media and by politicians alike, especially when it comes to refugees in comparison to coverage about previous countries that needed aid. I wish I could share some good resources here, but the ones I trust are all in German so … please, just be aware that there’s a lot of misinformation going around and be careful. Take care of yourselves!

Other than that, there’s things going on in my private life I want to talk about even less, BUT the weather is getting better. Yes, this is what it has come to. I’m talking about the weather … I can really feel it lift my spirits though and I’m hoping to get out more. I miss having places to go to, especially since I’ve been working from home in my one room apartment since mid-November now. So, this is honestly a good sign!

It also sort of started me imagining going on vacation for the first time in forever this year. I refuse to go on a plane or anywhere that is difficult to reach, but maybe a Berlin visit is due! I miss my second (or third or fourth) home. If I go, I want to go by train, because it’s such a nice deceleration to life and without the stress of how much luggage you can take in a carry on for a flight and such. I’m not sure when I’ll go, but I’m making all the plans for 2022.

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF FEBRUARY 2022

When I’m on other platforms and judging by my stats page, blogging has changed a lot over the years. I feel like it’s more of a second platform for many, next to video or image content on socials. Still, I’m dedicating this year to showing how valuable and kind of long term blogging as a medium is by sharing my top performing posts each month. (Hint: they are rarely ever the new ones!)

  1. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (Book Review)
    (originally posted in December 2020)
    Do I know why this is the most popular book review I’ve ever written? Heck no. I wish I did, but I’m glad it’s doing so well and finding an audience. Even if I wasn’t 100% convinced by the book …
  2. Something Different: Duskwood (Game)
    (originally posted June 2020)
    This game, I wish more people would play it so that I could talk about it with them. And also, that they’ll finally release the final chapter.
  3. Are Sebastian Stan and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted August 2021)
    Look, with Pam & Tommy releasing, I just think a lot of people are rediscovering Sebastian Stan.
  4. Are Chris Evans and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted July 2021)
    Interest for Chris always remains in waves.
  5. Are Tom Hiddleston and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted June 2021)
    He almost got beat by Pedro Pascal for 5th place. It as SO close. But the reading experiments are just a huge draw to the blog.

MY FAVORITES OF THE MONTH

Speaking of reading experiments, while I love doing them, I love publishing them even more! There’s just something so very satisfying about getting all the necessary reading done, comparing tastes and trying to find common ground with strangers based on nothing other than books. One of my favorite parts is also trying to find the thing that connects all the books, to dive into the psyche of the celebs a little and see what draws them to the material. It’s such a joy! I know I posted the latest installment with Lupita Nyong’o at an inopportune time, but I hope it doesn’t flop.

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

I love this community, so please share that love by also checking out the posts of fellow bloggers!

MY OTHER POSTS

VARIOUS TAGS AND POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

WRITING LIFE

TRAILER POSTS


Hope February was kind to you and that March will treat you well! Let’s chat in the comments!

Writing Life: Valentine’s Day Write Tag!

As promised, I’m trying to add more writing content to the blog again. The Valentine’s Day Write Tag is a creation of yours truly to help you get to know your characters better. I have previously done this for my WIP Arcadia (you can check that out here) and decided it would be fun to revive it with Valentine’s coming up in a couple days. It’s all easy enough, but let’s revise the “rules”!

RULES

  • If you were tagged, thank the person who tagged you!
  • Please always link back to the original post! (I want to see all your lovely answers, people!)
  • Provide a short description of your WIP/story!
    I’ll be doing this tag for BUB (I talked about it here)! It’s a flatshare romance set in Vancouver, where bookseller Raeleen has to deal with a new flatmate, assistant director Nick, while her best friend is abroad and she just got dumped.
  • Don’t use just one character for all answers if possible!

MY QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

If there is a couple in your WIP, what are their plans for Valentine’s Day? And if there is no couple in your WIP, is there someone your main character would like to spend Valentine’s Day with?

Since BUB (Break Up Buddy) is essentially a friends to lovers arc, I’d think that Raeleen and Nick would go out and do some ridiculously cliché Valentine’s activities together – as friends. They’d have a good time and maybe even have some really intimate moments, but mostly they’d just have a good laugh at pretending to be a couple for a day. Which they can do very convincingly … a bit too well for it not to be true, one might say.

Who is the most likely to shamelessly go out for dinner on Valentine’s Day alone?

Jemma, Raeleen’s best friend, is an incredibly bold and independent person. She generally cringes at anything overtly romantic, so she would just treat this day like any other one.

One of your characters requests a song on the radio for their crush! Which song and for which character would they pick it?

Okay, once they’re actually together, I could see Nick doing that for Raeleen. They often have the radio on in the bookshop she’s working at and Nick would do it as a bit of a joke, but then pick an actually really sweet song. Maybe this one:

Is there a character who would organize an Anti-Valentine’s Day party?

I’m sure that someone would be up for Galentine’s Day instead, but I can’t think of any character who would go full out ANTI Valentine’s.

What romantic gesture would swoon your main character?

Raeleen loves words and books and someone noticing the smaller things. She would, however, absolute hate a grand gesture. The one thing that could totally win her over though would be an annotated copy of her favorite book with the time to discuss the material.

Which character would buy a bunch of red roses and hand them out to strangers on the street, just to make their day?

Alrighty, so … there’s this one character in the book – Prosper Reed – who’s this very handsome, young and charming bestselling author. I could see him do that as part of a publicity stunt, but also because he likes to do nice things for people.

What are your main character’s favorite Valentine’s movies? (Note: Valentine’s movies don’t have to be romantic!)

Raeleen is always hoping they play You’ve Got Mail at one of the local indie theaters for Valentine’s. There’s plenty of great movies on Netflix, but she can do that any day of the week. And with a potential love interest who works in film, it’s only natural they both enjoy the actual vibes of a good old cinema.

Who is ready for the February 15th, just to get all the chocolate on sale?

The question should rather be – who isn’t ready for all the chocolate on sale? Sam, Nick’s brother, might be the only one who’s more into sourpatch kids and gummy worms than chocolate, but the entire cast probably has a sweet tooth.

Is there a character who never spends Valentine’s Day alone aka always has some sort of situationship going on?

Hunter, Raeleen’s ex-boyfriend, usually goes from one relationship to another. If he doesn’t have a date, that would be highly confusing for him.

Bonus: Create a Valentine’s Day aesthetic for one or several of your characters!

The List of Questions (so it’s easier to copy and paste)

  • If there is a couple in your WIP, what are their plans for Valentine’s Day? And if there is no couple in your WIP, is there someone your main character would like to spend Valentine’s Day with?
  • Who is the most likely to shamelessly go out for dinner on Valentine’s Day alone?
  • One of your characters requests a song on the radio for their crush! Which song and for which character would they pick it?
  • Is there a character who would organize an Anti-Valentine’s Day party?
  • What romantic gesture would swoon your main character?
  • Which character would buy a bunch of red roses and hand them out to strangers on the street, just to make their day?
  • What are your main character’s favorite Valentine’s movies? (Note: Valentine’s movies don’t have to be romantic!)
  • Who is ready for the February 15th, just to get all the chocolate on sale?
  • Is there a character who never spends Valentine’s Day alone aka always has some sort of situationship going on?
  • Bonus: Create a Valentine’s Day aesthetic for one or several of your characters!

THE LINK UP!

I will add links to posts here, if anyone decides to participate!

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=a8b40ada7693d64e5923


I hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know in the comments what you thought and whether you’re going to participate yourself!

January 2022 Wrap-Up

January has finally come to an end. This month felt like a year in itself somehow, but I don’t want to complain too much. I actually had a really good reading month, with most of all the books ending up in the 4-5 star region and me getting done with most of the personal reading I wanted to take time for at the beginning of this year. I have A LOT of reading experiments planned, so I just wanted to make sure I got some stories in that I chose myself, before I embarked on journey’s chosen by other people for me. Anyway, let’s take a look at what I read:

  • The Roughest Draft by Emily Wibberley/Austin Siegemund-Broka (4 stars)
  • Seven Days in June by Tia Williams (5 stars)
  • Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson (4 stars)
  • Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (4 stars)
    I might still write a review for this one, but mostly I’m just so torn. I always knew I was going to like this series, even though it’s much darker than I anticipated, and I really, really do like it. I adore how short the books are but how the world(s) still pull you in. I’d love to read more in the series, but they’re SO freaking expensive! The prices are ridiculous … I got lucky with the first one being on sale.

The Roughest Draft Seven Days in June Open Water Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1)

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! OR find me on Storygraph, where I’m more active this year. My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above if there are posts for them.

With me trying to regularly update Storygraph, I thought I’d also share my reading challenges (which maybe aren’t as exciting or thrilling as those of others) and my progress throughout the year. Generally, I’m doing a good job with the number of books, but I’m kind of behind in terms of pages. Possibly, maybe I shot a little too high for that one? I’m currently reading Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson and if I don’t procrastinate on it much longer, it should actually help me catch up on the pages goal.

In terms of life updates, I’m afraid there isn’t much I can offer. I don’t leave the house that much, the weather is super dreary and I’ve been working from home in my one-room-apartment since mid-November. It’s not exactly a party over here, but I hope that things will change for the better in spring. I miss being a regular at certain coffeeshops or bars and just having places to go to. For my own sanity, I plan to get an annual pass for the zoo though to visit this bird I like (it’s a Southern ground hornbill, if you want to look it up), which makes sense, since I live like 20 minutes away from the place and it’s an easy and affordable trip.

Other than that, it’s been quiet on my end? There’s been some inner turmoil with a lot of family stuff, new tasks at work and my visa for Canada running out in less than a week, but there’s so very little to do about it. I’ve just had way too much time to think all on my own and it has led to some unpleasant spirals, but some things just aren’t meant to be. I believe that Sunday (which is the day my entry letter for Canada expires) will be tough. Never once would I have thought that I’d have to mourn possibilities forever lost going into the third year of this global “situation”, yet here we are. It’s strange, because it’s fine, while it’s not fine at all. But, this too shall pass … I gotta believe that’s true, because otherwise, what’s the point? My ever optimistic side has not let me down yet and I trust that I am where I’m supposed to be when I’m supposed to be.

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF JANUARY 2022

I feel like blogging is sometimes this very ambiguous thing, especially with a lot of people moving to other (often flashier) platforms. So, in an attempt to be more transparent, I want to show you which posts had the most clicks, because it’s fascinating to me. Blogging is a medium that lasts much longer, which is proven by the following most popular January posts:

  1. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (Book Review)
    (originally posted in December 2020)
    This review just gets more and more views with each month. I don’t know where it was shared or how it is ranked high up on search engines, but people are looking at it every single day … (and I didn’t even like the book)
  2. Are Sebastian Stan and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted August 2021)
    As I’ve said many times, these compatibility tests are popular! The guys do switch around in the ranking, but they’re always in the top tier.
  3. All My 2022 Goals!
    This is the ONLY new post! I wrote it at the beginning of the year and am glad people were interested in my plans!
  4. Something Different: Duskwood (Game)
    (originally posted June 2020)
    This online chat-based game is the best! I don’t see nearly enough people talking about it, even though it only has one more chapter until the end.
  5. Are Chris Evans and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted July 2021)
    I’m not going to repeat what I said above.

MY FAVORITES OF THE MONTH

Not a lot of people will agree with me on this … in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if I got trolled hard for this choice, but my favorite thing of January 2022 is the release of How I Met Your Father. Was I burned by the final season of HIMYM like everyone else? Absolutely! Do I have some slight trust issues? Yep. But I still love this new show. I appreciate the references to the OG material, but I don’t constantly compare them and I love the cast and characters and I do find it funny. People constantly say it’s overacted (which HIMYM was too – 100%, you cannot convince me otherwise) and that the jokes don’t land, but they do with me. I snort-laughed at something every single episode. So .. let me have this, alright?

Also, if anyone knows where to find Sophie’s necklace, hit me up! I’m still looking for it!

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

Not all posts might have been in January, but I still want to highlight the good work of other people! This is a community after all, so please do give them a visit if a topic sparks your interest.

MY OTHER POSTS

VARIOUS TAGS AND POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

WRITING LIFE

TRAILER POSTS


I hope you had a great January! What did you think of my wrap-up? Here’s to hoping February will be kind to all of us!

Writing Life: What Are My Plans?

In my post about my 2022 goals, I mentioned that I wanted to do more about writing on the blog again. I haven’t quite figured out a monthly feature yet, but I’ve decided to revive the “Writing Life” category. This will likely be just about random topics/updates on my progress as I work my way through projects this year instead of a really structured post. I hope you enjoy it regardless! Today, I want to talk about what I want to accomplish this year in writing specifically!

IT HAS BEEN SO LONG!?

I haven’t actively written anything (other than my secret fan fics that I will not ever share with you) for months. I’ve started a writing accountability thread on Twitter (check it out here), but knew that I had zero motivation to work on any of my unfinished scripts. I had all these ideas for stories and I want to see them come to live eventually, but couldn’t muster up the creative energy to write a single word. It was disheartening to be completely honest. I’ve always loved creating and writing, but there was just nothing in me. Whenever I opened a document, there was just this blank page and me disliking every word I tried to put on it.
So, instead, I thought I’d switch it up! I finally returned to the one and only project I ever finished Break Up Buddy! (or BUB, as I’ll call it moving forward) If you’ve followed me for a while, you may remember me talking about it before. However, I should warn you, that I archived a lot of posts from the blog and the BUB content isn’t really available on here anymore.

WHAT IS BUB?

To sum it up, it’s a contemporary flatmate romance, but I’m going to change so much! Reading my words from back then was cringey, there’s no other way to put it. I’m very proud of having written a full story with beginning, middle and end for NaNoWriMo 2014, but the quality was abysmal. I was “only” 21 back then and experienced so much since that just has me shaking my head at what I came up with. Still, there’s a general structure there than I can and want to work with!

I don’t want to go into details about the story, because despite some previous posts I’ve written, I’ve gotten more protective of my story and don’t want to reveal too much. I hope the above aesthetic gives off some vibes you can let your imagination run wild with though.

Here are some of the major changes I’m facing:

  • I’ve written the story in first person present tense and … I don’t think it works for me at all. I don’t enjoy writing in present tense in general and I’ve just learned from some friends that a lot of people actually struggle with reading first person POVs. So, the POV isn’t set in stone yet, but the present tense definitely has to go …
  • I’m changing the entire setting! BUB used to take place in Portland, Oregon, but is now moving to Vancouver, Canada. This isn’t just because I know my way around Vancouver about a million times better than Portland, but also because my male lead works in film and Vancouver is a prime location for that.
  • A lot of the scenarios I imagined were super over the top. Let’s face it, I just didn’t know better. This was how I imagined things to work or pan out based on Hallmark movies I had watched, but I’ve learned to appreciate some subtlety and depth in the past seven or so years and I mostly want to make this story less of a cliché.

As I’ve mentioned above, I have a thread on Twitter that I’m trying to update regularly with some of my progress. For now, it’s mostly outlining and planing the major changes. But for the first time in a long time, I’m excited to write again. I’ve missed this feeling!

CONCLUSION

Having something you actually want to work with and don’t dread doing is great. My plan for this year is simple, I want to get a majorly updated draft of BUB done. It still doesn’t have to be perfect, but it needs a lot of work and I know I can do better, so I want to invest my time and focus in this one thing.

Yes, every writing post does have an obligatory Nick Miller reference. If you knew more about BUB, this would actually make so much more sense!

Previous Topics: (that I might no longer agree with 100%)


How are you doing with your writing this year? Do you have things you’re trying to focus on?

All My 2022 Goals! (New ideas, plans and needing YOUR input!)

It has happened, I’ve given in! I’ve made resolutions for the year 2022, which are neither quantifiable nor necessarily something one can track, but I’ve still made them. I’m someone who very much decides things on a whim, so setting goals for an entire year is super off-brand for me. Nonetheless, there’s a couple things I’d at least like to work towards in 2022 and seeing all my friends and fellow bloggers post their amazing resolutions and goals, I figured I should join in as well. Seen as I don’t like to put undue pressure on myself though, I’m going to try and see this more as a list of intentions than things I *have* to accomplish.

READING

I’ve set my reading goal for 2022 to 45 books on Goodreads as well as Storygraph. I know that the latter offers a lot of different challenges to participate in, but I don’t want to make this too hard for myself. The goal I chose is lower than the number of books I read in 2021, but still something I consider challenging with my work and life schedule otherwise. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to spruce it up a little.

Read more diversely! 

This is genuinely always a goal of mine, but with the reading experiments and the restraints that came with that in the second half of 2021, I have to admit that everything was a bit … white. In the books I’ve chosen for myself, I’ve noticed more authors of color, but I still want to up that number (only 12 out of the 50 books I read were written by non-white people).

It’s not just that though! I’d also like to have a wider variety of characters in terms of sexuality, body image, mental health, disability, etc. in my future books. I’ve never shied away from reading LGBT+ content, but last year seemed a bit bland in that department as well.

Read more books in German!

German, for those of you who don’t know, is my primary language. I don’t particularly enjoy reading in that language, but I feel like I may be prejudiced from my time at school? I want to give this a try and chose nothing too overwhelming. I’m aiming to read 1-3 books max. 

BLOGGING

As I’ve mentioned in my “Year in Review” post (which you can check out here), I have a very solid and consistent blogging schedule. I usually have about 3-5 posts up per week, but I can see that changing a little bit in 2022. No worries, the Sunday Trailer posts will keep coming. They’ve been a staple for years now, but there’s likely going to be a shift otherwise.

Which regular features will change?

Well, I won’t be doing Thursday Movie Picks anymore, because while I enjoyed myself this past year, I’m just not that much of a movie person. I feel way more at home with my TV shows, but even in that department, I’ve watched a lot less in 2021 and have no idea where I’m going. I just don’t think I have the appropriate amount of movies in my personal watchlist that would justify continuing with it. There was a point where I just constantly reused films.

Also, I am a little unclear on the whole Marvel Wednesday posts. Granted, they took a break on several occasions anyway, but while I’m aware of the planned Marvel releases for 2022, I don’t know if Disney+ will stick to Wednesdays for their shows (I did prefer Fridays, if I’m being honest) or when exactly they’ll air anyway. And there’s just not enough new movies or content to talk about weekly. So, let me know in the comments if you’d like me to continue with my episode and movie recaps! I’m sure I can fit it in, it’s just a matter of interest, which has waned considerably with each release since WandaVision.

What’s planned? What is new?

Seen as the reader compatibility series/the celeb book club is so well received, I already have two more posts planned. However, I also want to broaden and develop that feature, because I feel it fits the “Life and Other Disasters” brand so well. Initially, I wanted to read the favorite book of each actor from a show or something like that, but logistically, that didn’t pan out. I just don’t have the pull to get the information from the cast directly and the internet only provides so much. I do hope to grow the feature regardless and have some more ideas. If there’s an actor/actress/musician/youtuber/celeb you’d like to compare reading tastes with, let me know and I’ll see if I can add them to my list!

I also need another weekly or at least monthly feature I can participate in, but I haven’t found the right fit for me yet. I might go with something TV and movie related again, but I was actually thinking of maybe looking for a writerly link up! Back in the day, I used to participate in some tags for writers and even created my own. The thing is, potentially, I might have to create something for myself. This is still open as of now, but would any of you writers be interested in a monthly tag to help explore your WIP and characters? If there’s something like that out there, feel free to point me in the right direction ,but otherwise I’m really considering creating one of my own.

WRITING

Writing, as in doing anything for my works in progress, my personal novel-projects, in 2021 was … uhm … how can I put this? Non-existent?
I actually outlined something for NaNoWriMo, but then didn’t follow through and hated every word I ever wrote. I do miss the rush of creating my own characters, dialogue and worlds and I really, really, really want to make a conscious effort to just write in 2022. It doesn’t have to be anything quantifiable as in a certain number of words, it doesn’t have to be writing every day, just something. Anything. A chapter maybe!

There’s one story in particular that’s haunting me and that I’d really like to get on the page, but I have to start from scratch, because I’m not happy with the way the first chapters are now. It’s annoying how hindering it can be when you have written several thousand words and you can’t bring yourself to toss them, even though you know it’s necessary, ultimately putting you in a stalemate with yourself. I did create some nice aesthetics though …

    


Do you have some goals or intentions for 2022? What did you think of mine? I DO NEED YOUR INPUT! Let’s chat!

October 2021 Wrap-Up

Welcome to this little wrap-up, which we’re going to do a little different. I see no point in starting it off with what I’ve been reading, because it was literally just one book and it’s part of the reading experiment, so there won’t be a separate review anyway. I know I said I’d post a new reading experiment in October, but there was just no way I could have finished it on time, so I stopped trying at some point. My hopes are still up for November, but I make no promises at this point. However, to make the wait a little bit more fun, I’m telling you who the reading experiment is with this time around – Pedro Pascal! I think you’re going to enjoy that post! (or at least I hope so)

As bad as a reading month as October was for me, I really got a lot done in terms of moving to my new flat! I have all my furniture, pretty much all my books, clothes, toiletries, kitchen gadgets, drawing and writing gear – so, in less words, I’m all settled in! I’ve been living at the new place pretty much the entire month already, just staying at my parents to grab more boxes etc. on the weekends. I was really fortunate to not have to move *everything* all at once, but the vastly diminished commute to work meant that I just didn’t schedule in as much reading time as I used to. I have to find my groove again.

So, what else is new? I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo again this year! I know many of you are well aware that I only finished NaNo once before and often stopped doing it somewhere midway through it. I don’t think participation is a must and that there really can be circumstances that prevent you from fully being able to commit. Having said that, in case you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, it’s a yearly event where writers try to write an entire 50K word-novel in the span of the month. It’s not about perfection or a brilliant first draft, but rather to have a rough draft ready to work with by the end of it all. I spent quite a lot of time plotting and creating a character arc, which means this is legit the most prepared I’ve ever been. I won’t talk about the plot or any details, but if you are interested, I will do weekly updates? Either way, feel free to add me as a writing buddy on the site, if you want to be able to keep track or send messages! You can find my profile here.

MY FAVORITE THINGS

My favorite thing all month, and the show I was looking forward to the most, remained The Big Leap! Every single week, I cannot wait to watch what happens next. All the relationships and the story move so fast, but I can’t get enough of them and I’d really like to see more still. I hope it will be available somewhere to binge and attract a bigger audience once the season is out in full.

Gabby from the Big Leap
Gabby is my favorite character! She is amazing!

MY OTHER POSTS

Usually, I’d preface this section of the post with a little look at what was going on elsewhere in the blogosphere, but just like reading, I haven’t had much time to go blog-hopping. Feel free to link to your favorite posts (of yourself or someone else) in the comments and I’ll happily take a look. Here’s to hoping I’ll get around to more in Novemeber, although I have to say I’m proud I kept up a blogging schedule of a minimum of three posts per week.

PREVIOUSLY ON WHAT IF …

BOOKISH CONTENT

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

THURSDAY MOVIE PICKS (HALLOWEEN EDITION)

TRAILER POSTS


I hope you had a great time at Halloween and that November will be a fun and busy and kind to you! Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo as well? Let’s talk!

January 2021 Wrap-Up

January was A MONTH for me. I refuse to go into detail, but it literally got worse than 2020, which, frankly, I thought was hard to accomplish. Unfortunately, most of February and possibly March will be tainted with struggle as well. I only have my fingers crossed for the summer, because there is a limit to my patience, but it is what it is for now. I just genuinely hope you all had a better time.

I also dragged myself through only two books, so, I didn’t read that much, but that’s for now not a real worry:

Don't Tell a Soul    My Year Abroad

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above if there are posts for them.

I don’t really know what to tell you about the month, because the highs were high and the lows were low. I am so very grateful to have friends and family who keep checking in with me, because sometimes things just aren’t easy and even if we all know we can’t actually do anything about it, venting helps. I am not going to unload here as well, but know that everyone who comes and visits this blog and gives me something to do and distract myself with has my utmost gratitude. 

After a long, long pause from writing, I have finally returned to that world again too. I want to keep the WIP close to my heart, but I have jotted down more than 7K words and will be rewriting the ones I have before continuing on. It’s like I am creating a very detailed outline for what I want the readers to know, just to take it all apart and write into something that isn’t just a plain info dump.

MY FAVOURITE THINGS

WandaVision. I have waited so long. I have anticipated that show for what feels like eternity, because Wanda Maximoff has always been one of my favourite characters and she’s finally getting the attention she deserves. I adore that even non-Marvel fans are checking out the show and letting themselves get dragged into the madness. Below you will find the list of reviews I have written for the series so far and I will continue to post weekly, spoiler-filled posts as the remaining episodes release.

A little stylized Wanda drawing I made!

Duskwood finally released the new episode!! I have talked about the mobile game before (check it out here) and it’s still one of my favourite things. I feel like this episode wasn’t as intricate as the previous one, but it once again left on a massive cruel cliffhanger. Here’s to hoping it won’t take another two months until we get new content.

MY OTHER POSTS

WANDAVISION REVIEWS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

THURSDAY MOVIE PICKS

VARIOUS TAGS AND POSTS

TRAILER POSTS


Hope you had a better January than I did! On we venture into the rest of 2021!