January 2020 Wrap-Up

The month of January really felt like a whole freaking year, but that also means that a lot has happened and I got a decent amount of reading done. After the reading slump that was 2019, I am really happy to have found my groove again, because I have missed books. Here’s what I have read recently (and the books being almost color-coordinated is pure coincidence):

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1) This Modern Love The Field Guide to the North American Teenager Fleabag: Scriptures Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy, #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! For the books that I have written reviews for, you can find them by clicking on the titles above.

For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you may have already heard the big news. I have submitted all necessary paperwork for a working holiday visa for Canada. In other words, if my application goes through *fingers crossed* I will be able to go to Canada for an entire year WITH an open work permit, allowing me take any job without a company having to sponsor my stay. It has long been my wish to return to Vancouver, so this would be a dream come true and a possible first step towards a more permanent stay on the long run. Wish me luck!

FAVOURITE THINGS OF THE MONTH

No lie, I am so immensely proud of my Geralt of Rivia drawing! The Witcher was binged by me back in December, but I couldn’t get Henry Cavill out of my head, so I drew this at a later time. I think it’s my best drawing yet. And I really, really wanted to do the rest of the cast, but I am not sure I am even able to do that.

This was my attempt at Yennefer, but it just … doesn’t look like her? I am proud of the drawing, because it looks life-like and cool and it has the kind of eyes that follow you around he room, but it just isn’t … Yennefer. I could not replicate the Geralt magic …

Something else I absolutely loved this past month was Greta Gerwig’s Little Women. My love for this movie knows no bounds and I will talk about that in a little more detail in an upcoming binge-watching post, but just let me tell you, that it’s fantastic. I laughed, giggled, cried, gasped and generally felt pure joy watching some of my favourite actors and actresses get directed by one of my favourite directors. This drawing of Jo is my latest artistic endeavor and the level I am currently at. It’s not as great as the Geralt of Rivia one, but I will keep trying.

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I hope you had a good start into the new year and a survived the first month with not too many quarrels. Here’s to a good month of February!

December 2019 Wrap-Up / The Year in Review

I read a whopping 8 books in December, which was 100% a personal record for the year. I just really, really wanted to reach my adjusted Goodreads goal and with those books I did. Here’s the recent ones I read:

The Dire King (Jackaby, #4) Defy Me (Shatter Me, #5) Find Me The Pisces Animals Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening Noughts & Crosses (Noughts & Crosses #1) P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2)

As per usual, when you click on the covers, you’ll get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! For the books that I have written reviews for, you can find them by clicking on the titles above.

Because I did this last year, I am also going to share my entire year of reading with you. Goodreads is really great at putting together a fun summary to share with everyone and I am going to do that here in parts, but you can find my entire results here.

I didn’t read a massive amount of books in 2019, but I am quite content with it looking back at the year. I was really busy with work and had literal months where I didn’t pick up a single book, so I am glad to have gotten to a total of 26 books! However, I have noticed that I started to gravitate more towards shorter to medium-length books and entirely avoided epic series. There were also quite a couple comic books and novellas featured, if you look at my reading list as a whole.

Finally, my average rating for the books I read was 3.5, which is 0.4 stars lower than in the previous year. Considering that I read 10 books less and actively tried to look at books more critically without giving away high ratings as willy nilly as I have done in the past, I am also not disappointed with this result.

2019 wasn’t the easiest of years for me for a multitude of reasons that I don’t want to get into. I am not going to lie to you though, it did reflect heavily in my blogging habits and the resulting stats. I have been struggling more than usual to deliver steady content and it showed by being the worst year in blogging since 2014 (having started the blog in 2013). I don’t want to whine about it, and even though I strongly believe that stats aren’t everything, it has affected my relationship with the blog a little bit. I am still so very grateful for everyone who stuck around, even when there were sometimes weeks of only trailer posts and nothing else. I don’t really know if I can promise to do better in 2020, but I am not willing to give up just yet.

  • The blog currently has 2,470 WordPress followers, a number that keeps growing slowly but steadily. If I add the people who have followed via mail, we have surpassed 2,500 easily.
  • This is post #1113, so there is really a lot to plow through if you want to do a deep dive into the archives of Life and Other Disasters.
  • I really, really want to give a shout-out to my top commenters, because the interaction is what makes blogging so great and worthwhile. So, huge thank you to Rami, Lois, The Orang-utan Librarian, the Educated Negra, Caro and Marie!!

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF 2019

(click on the title of the post to read the full thing!)

Kiss, Marry, Kill – Marvel Edition: It was a big year for Marvel, so I am not surprised that it was a draw in terms of blog posts. The fact that this one was more about the actors than the characters didn’t really seem to deter anyone either.

The Rook: Book vs. TV Show: It makes me so happy to know that these book to screen comparison posts do so well, because I know that a lot of us bloggers struggle with the performance of review posts. The fact that this is one of my favourite shows of the year is just an added bonus!

Kiss, Marry, Kill: TV Edition: Y’all really like to know who I would kiss, marry or kill it seems? All I can say about that is that I really, really struggle with the last part with every single edition of this post I did. And … I think this was the 5th installment already?

What I’ve Been Binge-Watching #3: I’ve started this series either late in 2018 or early 2019 and toyed around with the format, making little adjustments here and there for a while. I am glad it resonates with people, although I have no idea why this one in particular did well.

Random Movie Recommendations: Karen Gillan Edition: Yay for all of you being as big Karen Gillan enthusiasts as I am! That’s probably the reason this post was interesting to some people out there.

MY 2019 RANKINGS

Last but not least, here are all the links for my 2019 rankings for movies, books and TV shows in case you missed them the past couple of days!

I hope you had a great start into the year 2020 so far! Is there something you really liked on the blog in 2019 and want to see more of in the new year? Let’s chat!

November 2019 Wrap-Up

Sooo, I started November super strong on the blog, but it unfortunately fizzled out fast. It’s not that I don’t care about blogging anymore, but reading isn’t really a priority and I haven’t been watching/bingeing as much content as I used to. I’ve spent more time drawing writing and dealing with life stuff aka adulting, that it simply didn’t remain a priority.

The books I did get around to weren’t really worth reviewing on their own either. On the one hand, I listened to another audiobook (read here why that’s usually not my thing) by James Acaster called Perfect Sound Whatever. It was about him going through a break up and coping by getting obsessed with one particular year of music. It’s not that the book was bad overall, but since it was about music and I was listening to an audiobook, I had hoped for samples of the songs he mentioned, which obviously didn’t happen (I know that’s not feasible, but I wasn’t going to look up every song and stopping the audiobook every couple of minutes either).

And on the other hand, I read a comic I had supported during their Kickstarter campaign called Our Super Canadian Adventure. It’s perfect if you like short stories, cute drawing styles and cats! (Also, if you love Toronto and the Canadian East coast as that’s mainly where it took place.)

Perfect Sound Whatever  Our Super Canadian Adventure: An Our Super Adventure Travelogue

As per usual, when you click on the covers, you’ll get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy!

I have moved back to Vienna and am living with my parents again. It’s an adjustment to say the least, as I’ve been living very independently in Berlin for the past 14 months. Anyway, I have plans that I am still not really willing to get into just yet, but they’ll likely take me out of the country soon-ish again.

Moving has been much more taxing than I thought. I own so many things and I don’t know where they come from or what to do with them. Some I use regularly, others have sentimental value, but a lot of the past couple weeks involved throwing stuff away and donating everything that could possibly bring others joy even if it doesn’t spark that feeling in me anymore.

I have not managed to make a YouTube reaction video, BUT I have made a lot of Charmed fandom videos. It’s crazy to think that some of them have reached 7.5K views (like this one), but I legit haven’t posted anything that surpassed 1K views easily and now I am not surprised people switched to YouTube from blogging from time to time.

I am no editing genius, but others are really, really good at that stuff. A thing I am pretty good at though, is drawing! It’s been incredible to get so much positive feedback on my drawings. Here are the most successful of the past month as I promised I would share them on here again as well.

Image   Image

My next step will be venturing out into the territory of some other shows. The writer’s room of Legacies has already expressed interest in me drawing their characters and I am more than happy to oblige. It’s kind of crazy how much I am into the CW shows.

Lastly, I also claimed to try and work on a new WIP for NaNoWriMo, which ended up being a lie. I wrote 1K words and then changed my mind and went back to working on the #witchyWIP, because I am just THAT much into witches right now. I am at about 12K words for that now, which also isn’t the amount you need to “win”, but I am still proud of getting back into writing again. I even went to a local meet-up and writing in a group always motivates me so much!

THINGS I LIKED THIS MONTH

Honestly, it’s mostly been interacting with more people in the online community again. I plan on trying to visit some more of your blogs this upcoming month again (no promises, but I shall try!!!), because I’ve missed this. I just need to try and not get so distracted. To spur me on a little bit, I’d love it if you posted the link to your favourite post from the last month in the comments (either your own or of another blogger) and I will promise to check them out!

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I hope you had a great month and will have a lovely December! And if you celebrate them, I already hope you’ll have great holidays!

Your WIP in Gifs Tag! (NaNoWriMo 2019 Edition)

For those of you who have followed my blog for a while, you’ve probably seen this tag before! I have previously done it for my project Arcadia (check out the post here) and for my #witchyWIP (which you can check out here) and both times, I just had a ton of fun. Now, I didn’t want to do an official NaNoWriMo announcement, because I don’t know how seriously I am taking it this year, but I figured everything that helps get me motivated is a good thing.

Disclaimer for those who don’t know what NaNoWriMo is: It stands for National Novel Writing Month and is a yearly event that takes place during the month of November. Writers all over the world attempt to write a novel with at least 50K words during the time constraint of that one month. I’ve done it previously, but only succeeded once.

Since you are not supposed to TALK about what your WIP is about, I am not going to for now. I might do a short summary at the end, but will mostly just let you guess?? Let’s do this!

THE RULES

💛 Thank the person who tagged you (no one tagged me this time, but still, thanks Michelle for creating this kind of post!)
💛 Credit the creator of this tag (Michelle!) and link back to this post so she can find out aaaall about your WIPs!
💛 Try to limit the amount of gifs you use per question – I’d say maybe stick to five or less but I’m not the boss of you

THE QUESTIONS

Sum up your WIP in 4 gifs!

(Keep in mind, this is just a regular old Contemporary YA. I wasn’t trying to hint at any sort of scifi connection or so …)

Time to introduce your main characters!

Karoline

Little bean thinks she can do anything!

Lena

There’s some stuff to unpack there. Who is she jealous of? Does it make her literally sick? Stay tuned!

Jack

Maybe that’s not so much Jack, as Karoline’s thoughts about Jack, but whatever.

Marcia

You don’t want to mess with that lady.

How would your main character react in a crisis?

I feel like Karoline would have a hard time asking for help. She’d just try to brave it on her own.

If you were to meet your main characters, how would you react?

This story has some … memoir-esque qualities …

And if you were to meet your antagonist?

It would be civil, but I don’t think we’ll ever be on the same page.

Is there any romance in your WIP? How would you sum it up in gifs?

Actually, despite Karoline crushing on one or two people, there isn’t really a romance. It’s super tame and just not about that.

How do other characters feel about this ship?

How do you want people to react to reading your WIP?

This is the evolution of how I hope everyone will feel about Karoline.

WHAT IS IT ACTUALLY ABOUT?

As much fun as it was to look up those gifs and pick them for this post, I could understand how you might not feel the connection to any of it, since I have told you literally nothing besides it being Contemporary YA so far. Let’s start with a little blurb maybe?

Karoline is ready to see the world! (Or at least she thinks she is.) After mountains of paperwork and considerable support from her friends and family, she is finally about to embark on her exchange semester in the US. But when she arrives, nothing is like she imagined it would be. Yes, every day in High School feels like she jumped right into one of the TV shows that have shaped her youth, but somehow she just can’t seem to make it work with her host family. Will Karoline manage and have to grow up in a foreign country with no support system from back home around?

I am still working on that pitch … but it’s basically what it’s about. This is very heavily influenced by my own experiences, but I threw in more than enough fiction to not make it awkward with real life people. At least I hope so … no one better try to find themselves in this story.

So far, I am not on target for the official NaNoWriMo goal at all, but it’s okay. I will write at my own pace. What do you think about my untitled exchange semester story? Are you interested? Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? Let’s chat!

October 2019 Wrap-Up

It’s been a month! (You can interpret that any which way you want.) I am not even trying to compare my Goodreads goal to my actual reading status, but I am proud to say that I have read two books last month.

Both, Dear Evan Hansen and Pan’s Labyrinth, are books that have been written AFTER they’ve become successful as another medium (in this case, musical and film). I tend to like to do read this kind of stuff, just like I am one of the few people who really enjoys book-to-movie adaptations, especially when I am a bit familiar with the casting and may have already seen a trailer. The only thing I am bad at is reading these books if I know too much about the story already. Then it can quickly become boring, even more so if it’s a faithful adaptation. I had a lot of fun with the books last month though and they both rated somewhere in the 4-star-area.

Dear Evan Hansen     Pan's Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun

As per usual, when you click on the covers, you’ll get re-directed to Goodreads and when you click on the titles, you’ll get to my reviews!

I am currently, at this very moment, not working anymore. I had my last day of work late October and it coincided with a movie premiere my company hosted and it was a really nice farewell. I say that like I haven’t been to the office twice since then again, but now it’s just for lunch dates with former colleagues and to individually say goodbye to everyone. I don’t think it has really sunk in that I am no longer going to work there, it just feels like I am finally on a vacation (which I deserved, let’s be real). After 14 months, it will be so strange to go back to Vienna, stay in my childhood bedroom for a bit, but I have plans! I don’t want to jinx it, but something is in the works and if that works … it will be big!

Another thing we’ve been talking on here for a while, which I was simply too busy for is me doing reaction videos on YouTube. I’ve made a channel, I shot a video but … due to copyright claims I cannot upload it. I want you to know that I freaking TRIED! My original video was 31 minutes and I edited it down to 14 minutes but still had copyright claims. I figured if I cut any more, the video wouldn’t make any sense. So, I am going to try it with different episodes of the same show, but if that doesn’t pan out, I am going to try a new show altogether. If you have anything you’d like me to react to, just let me know!

THINGS I LIKED THIS MONTH

If you didn’t see it coming that my absolute favourite thing of the month was Charmed (once again), then I am not sure you know me at all. I put so much fangirl energy into this show, it’s becoming a little ridiculous, but I have to say that they are doing an AMAZING job with season 2. It’s almost as if they have a whole new set of showrunners (which they do and I have already talked about before … ).

I made two fan edits (and I am really no good at that at all), the latest one you can check out here;

What I am pretty happy to have gotten back into is my art though. I have been back using watercolours and also did some practice with regular pencils, all for my favourite Charmed ship – Hacy. I don’t know what has me so obsessed, but I’ve been known to channel all my energy in TV stuff if I don’t have anything else going on.

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I hope you had a good month! Sorry that I couldn’t post any Halloween pictures, but I didn’t think my costume through very well. Turns out it was too cold to run around in a Scoops Ahoy uniform …

September 2019 Wrap-Up

I wish I had all the exciting stuff to share with you in this monthly wrap-up, but the truth of things is that I was just really busy with work. Don’t get me wrong, my work is cool and exciting, but it also takes up a lot of time and energy, so there’s just no reading or watching updates that are worth of sharing I feel like. Instead, I thought I’d give you the tiniest glimpse into my work life this time around? Hope that’s okay …

We had some super fun events for the new Shaun the Sheep movie – Farmageddon, where I got to meet one of the actual model makers of the Shaun the Sheep figures and then helped him teach little kids and blogger mums how to make their own clay Shauns and Lu-Las (his new alien friend). The kids really seemed to like the movie (what a relief!) and then there’s also a couple of awesome sci-fi references to discover for the adults.

Then there was this whole premiere marathon for a beautiful but sad German romance movie. I traveled from Berlin to Cologne to Munich and back in the span of only a few days, but I think it went fairly well too! The actual movie release is only this upcoming week, but since the film is based on a popular book series (the Danny trilogy by Jessica Koch) here’s to hoping that the bookish community will enjoy it.

So, I hope that gives you an idea of why I have been so consistently absent on the blog. This is, however, my last month at my current workplace and new adventures await after that. We will see what that will exactly look like, but I have a feeling there might be a little break in store for me. I adore all the support and encouragement from everyone around me though and am sure I will find something great soon! I am a workaholic after all …

THINGS I LIKED THIS MONTH

Someone who shares my ambitious mindset (to the absolute extreme) is Payton from Netflix’ new show The Politician. I didn’t expect to love that show at all, but it won me over so quickly. I have been told that it is very on brand for me to like it though, and I am not sure what that says about me exactly, but I am so looking forward to all the seasons of this, which I am sure it will get.

I am especially obsessed with the intro to the show. Can’t even remember the last time that happened, because themes have gotten so boring for a lot of shows these days.

I have also finally battled my inner die hard Charmed fan and started watching the first season of the reboot. I have some choice words to say about it, like they put 3 seasons of plot into 20 episodes alone and that was rushed and unnecessary. Also, they are trying to be so desperately current that I doubt this show will age well, but in the end it all lead to me really enjoying it regardless. I guess I am really too much into witchy content not to appreciate it. Mostly you can thank Rupert Evans and the fact that the show features a 28-year-old virgin like it’s no big deal for my change of heart.

MY POSTS

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I hope you had a good September and are looking forward to October/Halloween! I have already sorted my costume and usually I am never that early with anything. If you want to chat about last month, just let me know!

August 2019 Wrap-Up

This post is so long overdue, but I’ve just been super busy and haven’t really been able to do much blogging in the past weeks (which you probably noticed due to the lack of activity on my part). However, I do think that August went a lot better overall. I started strong, but then it just sort of fizzled out again. I am now on one of those very long train rides again and hopefully, if the wifi doesn’t crap out on me, I will be able to do this post … hence, if you’re reading this, all went well.

In August, I read a lot more than in previous months. At least, that’s what it felt like, even if page counts would probably tell you otherwise. First of all, I tried audiobooks for the first time in my blogging career. It could have gone considerably better, but now I know what I am talking about when I say that they aren’t for me.

I also read a lovely novella by Taylor Jenkins Reid, who only just about everyone in the community seems to adore. That felt like a really good palette cleanser and I thought I had gotten back my reading spirits, but alas, life through me another curve ball. Time really wasn’t an easy commodity to come by, so I went for an easy route – comics! Seen as Disney introduced a whole lot of their upcoming content, among them the Eternals, I felt it was my duty to read up on them. There’s some really cool content there, but I also am intrigued by the fact that some characters seem to be gender swapped and that the ages have also been changed quite a bit. The casting is high quality for sure, so I cannot wait to see which story they are going to with.

These are the volumes I have read (so not the Neil Gaiman ones) and you can check them out on Goodreads by clicking on the covers:

Eternals: To Slay A God: v. 1 (Eternals (2008-2009))   Eternals: Manifest Destiny

What else is new? I’ve been working a lot, so I didn’t really put in the necessary time to go looking for a new job. I still want to say thank you to all of you who keep inquiring and sending me job advertisements that reminded them of me. It’s much appreciated and I so very much love the gesture, even if I don’t end up applying for all of them. I wish there was more to tell, but I am not sure where to start?

When I am not at work, I’ve been trying really hard to get out of the house and just DO stuff more often. Sometimes I am successful at that and I have had a great time at several movie premieres and open air concerts and such in the last couple of weeks, but in the end they are never so much about meeting anyone new. That’s still something I don’t really know how to do exactly.

THINGS I LIKED THIS MONTH

I suppose at some point I had to stop talking about The Rook, so I reluctantly did. Instead, I switched to bombarding everyone with tweets about Four Weddings and a Funeral (the TV show), because it is really, really lovely. Mindy Kaling hits home with me about 80% of the time and I enjoy the content she creates for us and she was heavily involved in the making of this show. It’s super sweet, heart-warming but also heart-breaking. It’s square in the old-school RomCom genre but with far more diversity. I just loved it so, so very much, even if it was heavily predictable at times, because it was so reminiscent of all the things I used to love but that don’t get produced the same way these days anymore. It’s proof that you can still make these silly romances but keep them up to date. And for real, the most unrealistic part about the show isn’t that everyone meets their ideal love interest, but rather that these people seem to work and live in different countries on a whim without having to go through mountains of paperwork, visa and work regulations …

Also, if you are a Duffy – hit me up! I’d like 100% date someone like him and I am not really a Maya at all, so no heart breaking from me. Words I have spoken: “That stupid dork is like my ideal guy”

MY POSTS

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How was your month? Was summer as busy for you as it was for me? Let’s chat a little bit!