Waiting | Week in Review

The second week of February was far better than the first but no less busy. The first week without Apollo was definitely sad, but life has definitely become a lot simpler. Our little dog has definitely been spoiled this week. Apollo was the reason Ty has missed out on a lot over the years, because we couldn’t walk Ty or take him for a car ride without Apollo’s knowledge. We think he’s still a little confused about where his big brother is, but Ty’s always seemed to be a much more independent dog.

On the personal front, I was busy in between my regular work hours. It was the last week of our parade preparations, so we were trying to meet almost every day for an hour at 11:30 a.m. Truthfully, it was the worst possible time, smack dab in the middle of the day between my regular work hours. I kind of stopped showing up because it was too much to handle with other stuff going on in my life this week, namely the dental appointments.

I feel like this week can be defined through the word “waiting.” I’m waiting all the time for phone calls, to receive email feedback, for weeks to end, for work shifts to be over. It’s kind of scary that I’m wishing so much time away. It reminds me of the movie Click (2006) where Adam Sandler’s character loses big chunks of time because he wants to skip all the toiling for his job, but he doesn’t realize he’s missing out on all the special small moments in between that make life meaningful.

I do feel like there’s a lot I want to do that I can get started on right now. I feel like this year so far has been me preparing to do more, and a lot of that journey is being documented on this blog. So I’m thankful for this small space where I can talk about what I love, document my creative journey, and feel cheered on by all you lovely readers. Truly.

  • Job Applications. Monday I applied for six jobs. Two were local city positions (Part-Time Records Clerk & Visitors Services Manager) and four (Recreation Aide, Head Camp Counselor, Community Relations Specialist, Help Desk Supervisor) were the next city over. I don’t think many were full-time jobs. They just definitely would pay more than I currently get paid now. I’ve already been rejected for the two local positions, which really made me want to quit my current job this week because my immediate supervisor said the higher ups do not like to have current employees jumping to new departments, so basically I have no chances to even interview while I work this job that people without college degrees can do. If only I didn’t need the money…I may put in my two weeks’ notice soon, just because I think my chances will be get better for local jobs and I may get something better soon if I just keep applying.
  • Dental Appointments. This month I get kicked off my parents’ health insurance and my mom asked me if I wanted to visit the dentist for one more cleaning. I went Wednesday, and it was already annoying because I had to fill out paperwork for the company that bought the dentist office where we’ve been going for the last 10 years. Then I found out I had four cavities. They’re all in the early stages, so I just needed to get fillings. I always thoughts flossing was just to prevent gingivitis, but all my cavities are where the teeth touch in the back of my mouth, so flossing would have prevented them. Floss, kids!
  • Red Cross Volunteering. Wednesday night we had our monthly staff meeting at work. Our guest speakers were from the Red Cross and they talked about all the volunteer opportunities they offer. The main woman who spoke talked about being fresh out of college and not being able to find work immediately, and I just felt like she was talking directly to me! One of my goals for this weekend is to apply to volunteer and see what I can do.
  • Valentine’s Day. Honestly, I didn’t remember how much candy I used to get for Valentine’s Day at school. How schools can celebrate and promote Valentine’s Day but not Halloween is crazy. I got so much candy this day. Right after finding out I had cavities. Oh, the irony. One of my co-workers surprised us with goodie bags and then the kids added to our supply as they sorted through their loot during snack time. It was so unexpected, I wish I had gotten something for the kids and my co-workers too! I just didn’t think it would be a big deal at all.

I am so happy with my blog content this week. If there’s one regret, it’s that I didn’t finish up my review of The Vanishing Stair, which I read two weeks ago now. But the reason for that is I’m not sure how I want to review it. Sequels are hard to do! There are more questions about what to talk about and part of that I think can be answered by figuring out who is the audience. I’ve not figured that out yet!

But I still managed to publish three posts that I really liked. None of them were really planned ahead of time, which is why I think I’m so happy with them to be honest. I liked that I had time to work on them during the week and then publish them immediately in some cases. I liked that spontaneity! And I liked that I was happy with the end result.

I don’t like to publish posts that I’m unhappy with, which is why this week’s TTT was actually from a couple of weeks ago. I wasn’t happy with it then, but after sitting on it for a little bit, I was able to redraft it this week and not let all the work that went into it at the beginning of the month (compiling images and book summaries) to go to waste. I feel like the theme is an important one, for me especially as I don’t use Goodreads anymore and will need to find a way to track the books on my TBR now.

B L O G  P O S T S

Once again, I didn’t do any reading this week, but I am ready to start King of Scars! I’ve decided I would first read Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2), because a) I want to refresh myself on the world and characters, and b) I only read that book once. I think it will also be good to read this weekend because I don’t want to neglect all my other responsibilities in order to read (as I did when reading The Vanishing Stair), so I’ll make it something to look forward to in between getting chores done, doing job applications, and writing/blogging.

Then next weekend I’ll be ready to read King of Scars!

Next week is my birthday, so it will likely be a week of deep introspection. I want to reflect on my past year, think about what I want to do different, and probably make a list of things I want to do while I’m 26. I don’t want to wait around any longer. There’s a lot that is out of my control, but that doesn’t mean I should just sit around and do nothing. I want to meet new people, have new experiences, and do new things. For one of the first times in my life, I’m approaching my birthday with excitement.

Thank you for reading!
Follow my blog via Bloglovin’. Also find me on Twitter and Instagram.

Goodbye, Apollo | Week in Review

This past week was incredibly exhausting. My parents have been consulting realtors so we had to do a deep-clean of the house on Monday. The kids at work have seemed more challenging than normal this week. Then my Pixel 2 smartphone decided to quit on me Wednesday afternoon. Because my phone wasn’t due an upgrade until December, I needed purchase a new one without the option of financing it (which means stretching the payments out interest-free).

Luckily I could afford it and not entirely break the bank, but it has affected my economic freedom to a certain degree. I likely won’t be picking up fast food anymore or buying any new clothes/books soon. Also I likely won’t be upgrading my blog, as I had originally been planning this month. At least not for a little while.

Rounding out the week, I had to say goodbye to Apollo, my 12-year-old German Shepherd, who was a very big part of our family. I’m very glad I started and wrote most of this post yesterday before I learned this morning would be his last. It’s been rough. My eyes have been red and puffy all day. Generally I like to put a positive spin on weeks that are challenging, but right now I just want to linger in my despair for a little bit.

  • The Assassination of Giani Versace. Instead of reading, I’ve been watching the second season of Ryan Murphy’s American Crime Story anthology series this week. It’s been one I’ve eagerly anticipated after discovering Cody Fern last fall, where he played Michael Langdon on AHS: Apocalypse. I also remember that this season had been critically acclaimed, so I was excited. I totally understand where the hype came from; Darren Criss was so good in this role as a psychopathic serial killer. But it was also a little underwhelming. Nothing surprised me story-wise after a certain point, so I felt like I was on a steadily rising rollercoaster to nothing.
  • The new (to me) iPhone 8. I touched on this above, but I didn’t really talk about how annoying this entire situation was. This smartphone is a major downgrade from the Pixel 2. The camera can’t compare. It also feels clunkier, less user-friendly, and slower than the Pixel 2. The only positive is that I was able to sync back up with my last iPhone 6, so I now have easy access to my old photos from 2+ years ago. I also think the sound might be slightly better…
  • My six-month evaluation. I’ve never had a job for longer than six months, so this was my first employee evaluation. I wasn’t aware it was coming up, and I’m glad I wasn’t so I wouldn’t be anxious leading up to it. It went fine; I received no bad marks. My main disappointment is I don’t get a raise until after my NEXT evaluation, which is unlikely to happen because I don’t see myself being here for another six months.
  • Job interview. On Friday I had a job interview with my local school district for a clerical assistant position. It was less than 20 minutes long and I feel like I answered all the questions fairly well. However, I’ve left other interviews feeling way more optimistic than I did this one and not gotten the job. So I have no idea how to feel about it. It’s out of my hands.
  • Apollo (2007–2019). My family got Apollo in May 2007 when I was just about to finish up 8th grade. He was my younger brother’s dog. I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with our German Shepherd. I love dogs, but Apollo has always been so difficult. We weren’t allowed to treat him like we did our little dogs. He was very strong, so we had to be careful with him. He was always so serious and a nervous wreck. But he definitely grew on me in his later years and I grew to appreciate him so much. Anyway, his breed is prone to hip dysplasia and Apollo’s been suffering for more than a couple of years with it. It doesn’t help that he broke one of his front legs a few years ago (somehow unbeknownst to us). Friday morning, after a week of him having restless nights, my mom decided it was time we let him go. We always knew we wanted him to be able to walk out of our house for the last time with dignity.

I’m still a little bit in shock that I saw him for the last time this morning. In spite of everything, he was such a happy guy. I honestly thought we might have him at least a month or two more. I may do another post about him, just because there is so much I could say. He’s our last childhood dog. His death marks an end of an era. This house is never going to be the same again without him. In many ways, things will be a lot easier, but there’s going to reminders of his absence at every corner that we pass where he is not blocking our way.

On my monthly log section of my bullet journal, I was able to look at the month and think about the blog content I hoped to produce this month. A part of me wishes I could create an ambitious blog schedule and stick to it each week, but it’s not realistic for me. I can’t promise to read a book each week just so I have a review to share. I can’t promise to do enough Skillshare courses each week to warrant a blog post on them every Tuesday.

I like having the opportunity to be flexible with what I post, but I do want to become more consistent. So my plan going forward will be to spread my blog posts out a little more evenly so that too many days do not go by without a post.

B L O G  P O S T S

Last weekend I finished my reread Truly Devious and started The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson, which came out on January 22, 2019. It was one of those rare moments in time that I absolutely cherish, when I have set aside time to read a book I’ve been anticipating, a book that doesn’t disappoint and, when finished, leaves me sad that it’s over but happy that it happened.

If you haven’t read these books yet, what exactly are you waiting for?!

My next read is likely to be King of Scars, but I’m still in appreciate mode for The Vanishing Stair, so I’m not in a hurry to jump into a new book. I may actually read some non-fiction first…

Next week might prove a little busy. There are two parades this month back-to-back. The first was more casual and happened this weekend. The second is more important because it is a judged competition. If our float places highly, our community center benefits with a monetary donation. So next week we will likely meet a lot outside of our regularly work hours. For me, that means clocking in and out at work THREE times. It’s all been a bit much to be completely honest.

I can’t wait for spring break. Although, that might be busy too…

Thank you for reading!
Follow my blog via Bloglovin’. Also find me on Twitter and Instagram.

Epiphany | Week in Review

I’m happy to be back a second week in a row, reviewing life, blog, and books from the past week. It’s been another fairly busy week in the life. There’s not a whole lot to note on a personal level, but I still have thoughts that I am happy to share about my own blogging. I only managed to publish two blog posts this week, but I’ve made progress several projects that will be the topics of future blog posts.

I have some ideas on how to make these Week in Review posts more interesting! I didn’t feel equipped to integrate them today, but hopefully next week I will add a few more sections to that inspire greater dialogue and discussion.

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend! I regret to say I did nothing in particular to celebrate or commemorate the reverend this year, but I did appreciate the extra day off of school (and therefore work) I received. The past weekend, Saturday was pretty much slept away, so I only really had Sunday to do anything significant. But I managed to put a lot of blog-work time in this weekend, and I am really happy with the posts that have been going up!
  • New workout routine. I’ve been needing to start working out regularly again after recovering from my back injury at the beginning of the month. I used to do the elliptical, but with my brother home it’s been hard to share. Pilates was also out of the question while my back was stiff because a lot of the specific moves required some back strength to begin with. So I was lucky when found a high intensity, low impact workout routine on YouTube that I could perform standing up! It made a massive improvement in how I felt just the first three days of doing it. I had some initial leg soreness, but by continuing to force myself to power through it quickly went away.
  • The Vanishing Stair was released! So this is not really a life update, but it was a highlight of my week to come home after work one evening and find I had received the book in the mail! The online images don’t do the cover justice. It’s a gorgeous deep pinkish-red. I can’t wait to read it!
  • I was selected for an extra work event. We had our monthly staff meeting at work last week, where we volunteer for special events outside of the regular schedule. I rarely got anything last so imagine my surprise when I found out I was selected for one that I signed up for! It means I’m going to have a hellishly long Friday next week, so I’m definitely going to need to rest up the night before. I also need to sort out a costume. I need to dress up as Edna Mode from The Incredibles. I should also probably watch The Incredibles
  • The end of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. One of my favorite Netflix shoes finally came to an end with this Friday’s release of Part 2 of Season 4. I binge-watched most of it last night and, I must say, it was kind of disappointing. The episodes were longer but they also dragged on. There were some highlights, but over all I can’t believe the show ended on such an underwhelming note. Especially because the first half of Season 4 was amazing!

I don’t know why I can be so hard on myself about the blog sometimes. A part of me wishes I could blog every day, updating you all on the finer details of each day. Just so that you will know what I’m working on. I think it’s a part of me that wants validation for all the work I do that is still unfinished. But then I remind myself that consistency should be the aim. If I’m doing two blog posts each week, that’s better than if I do five one week and then take a break for a month!

I have a lot of blog posts ideas and drafts half-started. I also have a lot of posts scheduled that I’ve needed to reschedule as each day passes that I’ve not been able to complete them. I think that’s why I can feel like I’m not doing anything, because I’m not seeing blog posts be published as quickly as I have new ideas for more!

I have to remind myself that I am working on multiple posts at the same time each week, not because I’m procrastinating on any one in particular, but because I don’t find it realistic to dedicate all my time to just one project (e.g. writing, Skillshare, job hunting, reading). I feel much happier with my work when I am able to work what I feel like working on. I never feel like I’m slacking on something anymore, by finding ways to work on most things even just a little at a time.

B L O G  P O S T S

U P C O M I N G  P O S T S

These are the blog posts I’m confident will be ready to go this week. There might be another few (of the monthly wrap up/goals variety), but it will all depend on my finishing them in time!

  • T  | The Ten Most Recent Additions to My To-Read List | Top Ten Tuesday
  • W | February BuJo Spread ⁂ ✧.: *: ・
  • R | Thoughts on Man in the High Castle

B L O G  G O A L S

I’ve decided to set myself some blog goals for the week, because I want to start disciplining myself a little better.

  1. Only schedule blog posts that are finished
  2. Create a inventory of posts that can go up on weeks I don’t have time to blog
  3. Blog hop

I’ve set myself all of these goals at one point in the past or another. They feel especially relevant now, so I’m going to make a greater effort to do these things this week. None of these goals are absolutely essential, but I think they will make me happier in the long run.

I finally finished The Man in the High Castle this week! It turned out to be a really fascinating read. It started off really slow while introducing the characters and their life predicaments, and by the end it had me thinking a lot about what everything means. I had hoped I might be able to publish my thoughts on the book last night after I finished it, but I realized I really needed more time to let it set. I also want to do some research on the book, which might help me speak more eloquently about it in my post.

I was still in the reading mood last night, so I decided to pick up Truly, Devious by Maureen Johnson! I’m hoping it will be a quick read. I’m already about 30 pages into the book and Stevie has just arrived at Ellingham. I’m paying better attention to the flashbacks and her research this time around so hopefully I can make some accurate predictions about the revelations of The Vanishing Stair!

It is hard to believe it is finally the last week of January. I feel like it was actually a really long month, which I’m happy about because I hate feeling like time is slipping away at a pace with which I cannot keep up. I will be busy this week trying to tie up a few loose ends on January so can start February off with a bang. I also want to do a lot more posting in February, so I want to do as much as possible now to be successful next month.

For me that means getting my February bujo spread done, deciding what to prioritize next month, and getting anything I can done in advance (i.e. blog post images, headers, etc.). I also need to finish up a couple of reads…

Thank you for reading!
Follow my blog via Bloglovin’. Also find me on Twitter and Instagram.

Change and the Unexpected | Week in Review

I, for one, am extremely happy last week is now behind me. It was a very busy and occasionally frantic one complete with family emergencies and job changes. I felt like I had no time to do anything I really wanted to, because I was always exhausted during my free-time or distracted with worry. I wasn’t able to do nearly as much as I hoped to. But, all things considered, I think I kicked this week’s butt.

I managed to post twice this week, posts which I have linked below. I’m also really happy with how work went this week. Continue reading for more about my crazy week and plans for the rest of the month.

  • I got my writing mojo back. Last weekend I had a great writing session that resulted in my getting my writing mojo back. I even wrote a post about it (link below and in the side bar)! I’ve not managed to keep entirely to my daily writing goal, but that is because life has thrown me some major surprises this week.
  • My grandma had a stroke. Tuesday morning I got home after my morning shift to find that my uncle had called us to let us know he had discovered my grandma that morning on the floor in her clothes from the day before with blood on her mouth. My parents and I live about eight hours away and they decided to drop everything and go to her immediately. We eventually found out she had had a major stroke that affected the left side of her body. Her road to recovery will be long, but we are happy she will still be around for a while longer. She’s small, but she’s tough.
  • I was transferred. After our monthly staff meeting this Wednesday, I was asked how I would feel about changing school sites. My boss was hoping I’d be willing to transfer to the main recreation center because they need more counselors who can drive the vans to pick up kids from their school and bring them back where we host our after school program. I decided that would be all right and might be a good professional move as I do hope to become a supervisor while I work there. But I needed to start at the new site immediately, so I didn’t get to say a proper good-bye to the kids I adore. I think I will still be able to visit them occasionally, so I’m not thinking of it as a good-bye rather as a see-you-later!
  • My back finally became less stiff. As you may know, I’ve been struggling with back pain since the start of the new year. This week I felt massive improvement that has freed up some time as I no longer need to do morning stretches. I was even able to use the elliptical this week! I have every intention of continuing to strengthen my back and losing some weight so that I never have to deal with a sprain, or whatever it was, again.

I have not spared much time for the blog at all, despite my initial excitement at the start of the new year, but not for lack of interest. I just have so much going on at the moment. I’ve been back at work for two weeks now and trying to get used to my new routine. Once I start going to bed early, I’m sure I’ll be able to get a lot more of the stuff I’d like to do during the day, including reading, writing, and blogging.

In the immediate future, I see myself working more steadily on job applications. I found out yesterday that the job fair I attended last week will not result in immediate news of job placement. In fact, it may take a full month for them to contact applicants either way. So I can’t really count on that, especially given the government shutdown.

Some of the things you can expect to see me blogging about over the rest of the month will include: the job search, Skillshare classes, The Vanishing Stair, and my February bullet journal spread.

B L O G  P O S T S

This week I decided to pick up a book I found last year at 2nd and Charles, The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick. It is a science fiction novel upon which the popular Amazon Prime original show is based. It takes place in an alternative universe U.S. in which Germany and Japan won WWII. The U.S. was divided in half and exists under fascist control.

In this universe there are these film reels circulating that show people glimpses of alternative universes, some of which show the U.S. winning the war and showing how different life can be. It gives rebels hope for a better world and the Nazis fear of losing their supremacy.

I’m only about 40 pages into the book at the moment and so far the author has only been introducing characters, so I’m excited to see where the story’s plot deviates from the show and vice versa. I’ve already noticed that the characters seem a tad older in the book than they are on the show. At the very least, I hope to get some answers I have after watching the show’s third season over the holidays!

I hope to do a bit more blogging this week. I think that one of my problems this week was that I was not entirely organized. I plan to try approaching each day differently this week in terms of setting my agenda and daily tasks. Maybe it will result in a blog post down the line! All I know is that I need to better prioritize certain tasks and make sure all my needs (rest, hydration, exercise, meals) are more efficiently met so I can make the best use of my free time.

Thank you for reading!
Follow my blog via Bloglovin’. Also find me on Twitter and Instagram.

Hello, 2019 | Week in Review

All things considered, the first week of 2019 has been wonderful for me. Yes, I entered January with severe back pain. But I think it was just as well. It helped jolt me out of my usual complacency and into action. It also made it so I could have the week off to enjoy the last week before school started again. I do wish I could’ve worked, but the silver lining is I had time to work on myself and start the year off on the right foot.

  • New Year’s Eve. I was still suffering from my back pain as I run in the new year, but it was a surprisingly pleasant evening. I stayed in with my parents and brother. We flipped between Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve and the Fox’s New Year’s Eve with Steve Harvey. My dad made buñuelos and we snacked until it was time to clink our champagne glasses to the new year.
  • Keto diet. I started the keto diet again. My friend convinced me to try it last month and the couple of weeks I tried it were not difficult at all, and I was quickly able to see a difference. I don’t feel deprived in any way and am enjoying everything I eat, but the only problem is I do miss carbs. Especially breakfast biscuits, chips, and hashbrowns.
  • Started my bullet journal. I started January out skeptical of how much use I would make of my journal, considering how debilitating my back pain was. Somehow I’ve managed to keep up with it every day so far! It’s actually become something that helps keep my mind more present, if that makes sense. I feel more in control of my day now and less like life is slipping through my fingers. And I feel such satisfaction when I complete a task on my to-do lists! ICYMI: My 2019 Bullet Journal + January Spread
  • Skillshare. I was able to try out this website for another two free months. I tried it out last year but didn’t get too much use out of it. To be fair, what I learned from the classes I did take on SEO and cover letter-writing have stuck with me, so it’s a pretty good resource if you have the money. This year I want to learn about starting a small business and freelancing, so those are the main topics of the classes I have been bookmarking.

I don’t have any New Year’s related blog goals or resolutions, as I know how unpredictable life is and that blogging is not always a priority in my life. Even though it’s not a priority, I love my little corner of the internet that I’ve built and believe it will continue grow with me.

I think I mentioned this already, but I’m still seriously thinking about upgrading my blog so I can have my own domain name (probably something entirely new) and more control over the functionality/design of the blog. I’m making changes really slowly to make sure I don’t jump into anything prematurely just to ditch it!

I’m loving this new sense of freedom to post more outside of books and reading. Thank you to everyone who has stuck around and is still interested in my ramblings. ^_^

B L O G  P O S T S

B L O G  G O A L S

I don’t know if I will complete these tasks this week or why you would want to know about them, but I’m recording them more for my own benefit and records than anything else.

  • Update About page
  • Add Bookshelves page: Read in 2019

Because of my back pain, I was sleeping on our upstairs couch as it offers more support than my ancient mattress. As result I found myself more likely to reach for a book instead of my laptop, which I kept in my bedroom. With my little battery-powered reading light, I found myself waking up in the middle of the night and cracking open a book to read when I couldn’t fall back asleep.

The first book I picked up was The Democratic Surround, a textbook written by Fred Turner that I bought after being assigned a few excerpts in one of my last grad school classes. I remembered a lot of what it was about and have enjoyed picking it up whenever I have a spare moment to learn more about how the U.S. government collaborated with artists and intellectuals on art to combat fascism and, soon after, communism in the 20th century. It feels oddly relevant these days.

Eager to read some fiction, I picked up Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote. It’s been on my TBR for many years now, and I’m so satisfied to have finally finished this novella. I am still debating reading the other stories in the short collection Capote’s works, but right now I feel content enough to return to the other books I started in December.

For my thoughts on these books, keep a look out for a post this Thursday. I’m not sure if I’ll be finished with The Democratic Sound, but I’ll post something regardless.

I can’t promise I’ll keep up with this weekly series on a weekly basis, but I will endeavor to produce them whenever I’ve had a really noteworthy week. I love the headings I’ve created and would like to put them to good use.

This will be a busy week. School will be back in session so I will be back to working regularly Monday–Friday, not just after school but also before school! I also need to finish preparing for a job fair I’m attending this Tuesday with my mom. We’re both looking for full-time jobs now, so it’s been oddly motivating to have someone in the same boat as me!

Thank you for reading!
Follow my blog via Bloglovin’. Also find me on Twitter and Instagram.

Job Applications & NaNoWriMo Prep! | Week in Review

Welcome back to my Week in Review, the weekly feature where I share links to everything that went up on the blog this week, mini life updates, and anything else I found noteworthy during the week. I was super busy and active this week but not so much on the blog.

The first part of the week I was busy doing some lengthy job applications and errands for my current job. I needed to go to the police station to get my picture taken for my I.D. badge that grants me free access to the community center, a perk of my part-time job. I also took a free clerical test downtown so that I could apply for some other city jobs. I’m hoping I might be able to work at my local library!

I’ve also been trying to more active each day. I started taking my little guy Ty on walks every morning during the school week and continued that this week. I also started doing about 20 minutes of Pilates every afternoon before work. I get cardio at work from running around with the kids, but I still want to tone up!

➴ This Week on Betwined Reads . . .

This week I only published three blog posts! I definitely knew there was no way I was going to repeat last week. While I loved having a post up practically every day, I knew I needed to give myself a break from the late night post polishing. I’m still working on finding my happy medium.

TTTpages
Books on My Fall TBR
Weekend Reads
A Quick Blog Update
TBRbooktag
TBR Book Tag

➴ The Job Search

Normally this space would be dedicated to noteworthy blog posts from the week, but I didn’t do too much blog hopping this week. Instead I thought I’d share some of the job positions I applied for, in case anyone is wondering what kinds of jobs a former English major can apply for.

  1. Human Resources Foreign Service Officer (Full-time)
  2. Tourism Coordinator (Full-time)
  3. Shelving Clerk (Part-time)
  4. Community Facility Worker (Part-time)

I’m still applying to part-time jobs because I’d like to work a few more hours right now outside of my current part-time job. I’m hoping to get some office experience that will help me get my foot in the door at those entry-level jobs that require a certain amount of office experience to begin with. Can we all roll our eyes together now?

➴ Novel Progress

I’m bummed I didn’t write a Novel Progress on Wednesday. I ended up coming up with a great idea for it too! I think I will use it this week. It’s about different kinds of writing goals. I’ve not talked about that on Betwined Reads yet, and I’ve been thinking a lot about goals that work best for me right now.

I will also go ahead and announce right here that I will be participating in NaNoWriMo this year, probably with the project I’m working on right now, but I’m not 100% sure yet. I’ve been itching to try my hand at writing a contemporary! Whatever I end up writing, October will be spent preparing for the November writing frenzy.

As Novel Progress will be dedicated to NaNoWriMo prep, each Wednesday I will share resources and advice for anyone thinking about joining in November.

Tentative Schedule

  • Oct. 3: Announcement + Plans
  • Oct. 10: Deciding What to Write
  • Oct. 17: A Writing Bullet Journal + Organization Tips
  • Oct. 24: NaNoWriMo Survival Kit
  • Oct. 31: Making Time to Write

☙ ❧ END NOTE ❧ ☙

I’m hoping to have a very productive Sunday! Saturday took it easy, taking care of household chores in between working on my novel. Today I want to finish up some blog posts ahead time and do some much needed reading. I have about five posts currently that I’d like to share this week, so I need to get a few of them drafted today so that I’m ready for anything else that might pop up during the week.

Thank you for reading!
Follow my blog via Bloglovin’. Also find me on GoodreadsTwitter, and Instagram.

Preparing for October | Week in Review

Welcome back to my Week in Review, the weekly feature where I share links to everything that went up on the blog this week,  mini life updates, and anything else I found noteworthy during the week. Since I’ve been blog hopping quite regularly each day, I decided I wanted to start sharing some of the great blog posts I come across each week!

I need to learn how to keep better track of blog posts over the week, though. I feel like I’ve most definitely forgotten about some posts I would’ve loved to share :,(

Usually Septembers are not all that memorable for me, but I think this one will go down in the books! I don’t know how I’ve managed to blog so much. I’m also already planning so much content for next month. October is the month I traditionally spend on NaNoWriMo preparation, but since I’m also participating in  Blogoween  next month there’s a lot I need to do before October 1st!

➴ This Week on Betwined Reads . . .

This week I published six blog posts! I’m still in awe of how I was able to accomplish it. I know if kept me busy practically every day, but now it somehow it feels like nothing. I look at these posts and wonder how I found the time to write them!

TTTpages
Hidden Gems
novelp
Developing a Writing Routine
howiresistfeat
How I Resist | Anthology Review
Weekend Reads
Strange the Dreamer & Understanding Comics
The Sunshine Blogger Award (Take 2 & 3)
Blogoween (Level 1) Announcement!

➴ Blog Hopping

  • Briana opened up her 2018 book blogger survey to help get a sense of what the community considers “normal.”
  • I’ve been looking into bullet journaling and discovered this really inspiring little blog post from Olivia earlier this year.
  • Last week Clo introduced a new book blogger event called Blogoween and this week shared some more details for participants!
  • This week there were two posts that made me think about our international book bloggers. Clo got a conversation started about the consequences of the pre-dominance of the English language in publishing. Marie shared some answers about common questions international book bloggers receive about why it is so difficult to get books overseas.

➴ Novel Progress

Not really a writing update, but I updated my static Novel Progress page to list all the writing updates I’ve ever written on this blog. The most recent ones are actually linked, so feel free to marathon them if you’re ever feeling bored and/or have too much time on your hands!

Writing-wise, I had some writing sprints with my writing buddy on Saturday. I decided to start writing in a Google doc, so she could access what I write whenever she wants. I figure it will keep me accountable. Plus, it’s a backup of my work!

My short-time goal is to write 10 single-spaced pages by next weekend. I started a new prologue this weekend and I’m liking it so far, even if it does not read too plausibly yet. It’s an alternative universe fantasy, but grounded in world I want to feel real. I may need to read up on anthropology in the 1930s!

☙ ❧ END NOTE ❧ ☙

I’m gearing up Sunday for another busy week, but also trying to take time for myself to read and write without distraction. I feel like I’ve been blogging 24/7, whether it means working on blog posts, responding to comments, and reading other people blogs. I love it, but I don’t want it to take over my life. I may need to take a little time off this week to set some time frames for when I’ll be on WordPress!

Thank you for reading!
Follow my blog via Bloglovin’. Also find me on GoodreadsTwitter, and Instagram.

Feels Like a Renaissance | Week in Review

Welcome back to my Week in Review, the weekly feature where I share went down on the blog this week and what’s been going on behind-the-scenes. It’s been a surprisingly great week where creativity has been soaring. I go through ups and downs when it comes to blogging and how much time and work I want to put into it. Right now, I’m loving it again!

I’ve also finally started blog hopping again, which has reminded me how good it can feel to get involved in bookish discussions and share in the celebrations of other bloggers’ personal and blogging accomplishments!

I’m also feeling more comfortable in my new job. I’ve made a really good friend in one of my co-workers. I also just feel more confident interacting with the kids. My job can be so much fun, because it’s literally playing games with kids. Yes, I’m often playing peace-keeper and disciplinarian, but I think of it as a benefit that I’m able to hone these leadership skills in such a safe and supportive environment.

➴ This Week on Betwined Reads . . .

This week I was extremely productive, and no one is more surprised than I am! I managed to prepare three blog posts this week. Thursday’s post “Happy National Read-a-Book Day” was actually developed completely on the fly, I had no idea the day was coming up. It’s great know I can whip up a blog post idea one morning and have it up in the afternoon. Not that I want to do it all the time!

novelp
How I Plotted Troubling a Star
TheGreatAmericanRead
Happy National Read-a-Book Day!
Weekend Reads
The Weekend Experiment

➴ Blog Housekeeping

This week I came up with some featured images I can use for Novel Progress and Weekend Reads. I don’t see myself using them long-term, but they work for now as I continue to work on my design skills. The thing about creating my own images is that it takes a lot of time to accomplish very little.

Ultimately, I’d like all my graphics to be completely original and have similar elements (e.g. color scheme, art style) across the board that connect them visually to me and my blog. Right now, I feel like I’m trying to figure out what I like.

I’d like to start sharing resources and tips on simple graphic design tools once I get better at this. I expect Mondays will eventually alternate as a day for Lifestyle and How To-style posts.

My aim is also to ultimately be able to knock out a few blog posts during the weekend before they’re scheduled to go up (or earlier), just so I have more free time for reading, writing, and spontaneity during the week before work. I think it will become easier once less time needs to be dedicated to creating graphics.

➴ Novel Progress

Last week I talked about how I plotted my current WIP (How I Plotted Troubling a Star | Novel Progress). This week I will be talking about how I’m developing a writing routine. So that’s been one of my priorities this weekend. The hardest thing about writing is sitting down and sticking with your story in face of so many distractions. I think it’s easier when you know you’re not alone, so my hope is this week’s post will inspire others to dedicate the time required to finish their WIPs.

☙ ❧ END NOTE ❧ ☙

I have four posts planned for this week (Tuesday–Friday) that I’ve been working on this weekend so that they may go up earlier than last week’s posts. I want to see if there’s a difference in views and engagement depending on when the posts go live, as I have blog readers who live all over the world (Hi!).

However, this might turn out to be a tough week. My mom will be having a major foot operation on Monday (funnily enough, my dad’s birthday), so I don’t know yet how that will affect my productivity. She’ll need to stay off her feet and, unfortunately, my mom tends to be one of those people who doesn’t like to be miserable alone. So I’m sure there will be some tension in the house this week. :S

Thank you for reading!
Follow my blog via Bloglovin’. Also find me on GoodreadsTwitter, and Instagram.

New Month, (Slightly) New Blog | Week in Review

Happy September! Welcome to my Week in Review, formerly called Weekly Review. Since the blog is currently undergoing some subtle changes, I decided I wanted to rename this weekly feature this month to more accurately reflect what they have become: a summary of my week. Let’s get started.

The last week of August was terrific, until I got a sinus infection.

I started my new part-time job on Tuesday. I’m a part of an eight-person team that manages the after school program hosted at a local elementary school. I was very nervous at first, but the kids have been great for the most part and I feel like I’ve been welcomed with open arms. I will be working from 2:30–6:30 on school days, so I have weekends and my mornings off. That may change, but for now it’s working out really well.

Friday I developed a nasty sinus infection, which has made my weekend slightly miserable. I hope to have surgery this year to open up my nasal passages. It’s a surgery both my parents have had done to help with their breathing, and thus far I’ve tried to manage it on my own. However, I keep getting sinus infections (literally the only reason I get sick) and think it’s finally time to get it over with.

This Week’s Blog Posts

Once again, I only posted once this week. This time it was a brand-spanking-new Novel Progress installment (A New WIP | Novel Progress). I truly missed writing these and was really happy to be able to announce my new novel project. Although I’ve been very slowly working on a version of Come, Beasties since 2017, I really felt that I might lose passion for the project if I didn’t set it aside for a little bit.

 What I Read

I’m still reading Rebel Spring! I truly think I would have been able to finish this book this weekend if my sinuses weren’t so aggravated. I find myself wanting to read it to find out what is going to happen next. And I am excited to finish up the book and finally move on to something else.

I’m planning on moving my “What I Read” updates to a separate weekly blog post as early as next Friday. I’ll be including more than just details about what I read but also my weekend TBRs, short reviews for my immediate reads, and maybe some blog posts/articles I found particularly noteworthy. I’m still trying to figure out the format, but I think it will be a fun post that will free up some space in my Week in Review posts.

 Blog Housekeeping

I was hoping to get a lot done this week. But in between my new job and my latest bout of sinus trouble, I didn’t get much more done beyond some errands, much needed room cleaning, and my workouts. Honestly, I don’t even feel all that bad about it.

I’m playing around with a new blog schedule for this fall that’d encourage me to experiment a bit more on the blog and post a little more regularly. It looks like a lot, but I expect that I won’t post every single day each week. Some weeks there may just be the minimal Week in Review, Novel Progress, and Weekend Reads posts.

Blog Schedule for Fall 2018

 Novel Progress

This Wednesday I finally posted a new writing update (A New WIP | Novel Progress) in which I talked about how I started a new project called Troubling a Star, for which I hope to complete the first draft by November 1, 2018, so I can participate in NaNoWriMo with an entirely new project. It’s ambitious, but I know it’s possible if I remain motivated!

Right now I’ve been plotting Troubling a Star. I decided what kind of story I wanted it to be, so from there I’ve been meticulous about cause-and-effect, because my favorite books are really well plotted in the sense that the characters are actively making decisions and having to react to the consequences of their actions. My tendency when I pants a novel is to write really passive protagonists, so my novel planning also consists of a lot of plot-work.

❧ ☙ END NOTE ☙ ❧

As it is the start of a new month, you may be wondering where my monthly Notes and Goals + TBR are. I’ve been debating whether or not I want to continue these features, specifically the Goals + TBR. I love setting goals, but I feel like they become a constraint when things in my life change rapidly. As I am still looking for a full-time job while working part-time, I feel like I need to keep things simple.

So I’ll be looking for different ways to blog about the things that matter to me in a way that fits best into my changing daily routine. I’ll share more on this soon!

Thank you for reading!
Follow my blog via Bloglovin’. Also find me on GoodreadsTwitter, and Instagram.

Weekly Review | I Got A Part-Time Job!

Hello! Welcome to this week’s Weekly Review. What an exciting week it has been! On Monday I officially resumed the job search. I began saving job listings and applying for positions high and low. While I know I must continue to seek a full-time job, I knew that it made just as much sense to also apply for something that I could theoretically start doing right away.

My mom, ever eager to get me out of the house, sent me a screenshot of city jobs where we live. I applied for positions as a police dispatcher and a recreation leader at the community center and quickly (as in the next day) received a call for an interview for the recreation job!

I managed to keep a cool head about it, not willing to get my hopes up as I have in the past. I didn’t have high hopes about my odds as I don’t have a lot of direct experience working with children, but the interview went really well! I left happy that at the very least I had gotten some practice interviewing and made mental notes of things I would improve upon for next time.

To my complete surprise and delight, I got the call that I’d gotten the job Thursday and quickly went back in to fill out a background check and complete a drug test. I believe I will start training as soon as Monday!

Unlike last year after I settled into my part-time retail job, I do not intend to rest on my laurels. I need a full-time job if I ever hope to move out of my parents’ house and take care of my student debt. But this job should be really fun and something that makes it easier to get my next job.

This Week’s Blog Posts

IAmAnEnglishMajorLookingForWork

I only posted once this week, a long blog post (I Am An English Major Looking for Work) in which I tell the story of my job-seeking journey up to this point. It felt really good to open up about my insecurities. It’s embarrassing to be 25 and still never have had a proper full-time job, and I have felt a lot of shame when it comes to talking about it in my real life.

I think it was important to share what I want and that I don’t know what I’m doing. As long as it was my secret shame, I think it was going to continue being difficult putting myself out there to apply for jobs. I feel like I’ve told the universe what I want with confidence and hopefully it will soon provide given that I don’t give up trying.

 What I Read

rebelspring.jpg

I didn’t read very much this week, but that I read at all is feat worth celebrating! I’ve not been feeling reading so much lately, probably because of all the other stuff I’ve got going on. Hopefully I’ll break this funk soon, and reading will become the joy and comfort it was for me earlier this year.

I started Rebel Spring immediately after finishing Falling Kingdoms, but I only really read the first two chapters. So I basically had to start from the beginning when I picked it up again this week.

I can’t really say if I’m enjoying this story very much. I’m not significantly attached to any of the characters and am easily exasperated with all the melodrama, but it’s proving a fun and fast read. It’s actually making me really want to read the Lunar Chronicles again, I think because of the rotating perspectives and similar writing? I don’t know!

 Blog Housekeeping

Last week I shared a short to-do list of things I wanted to complete in the immediate future. I made a little progress there this week.

  1. I renamed my About page.
  2. I deleted my Resolutions of 2018 page because I don’t find it very relevant anymore.
  3. I added the category of Bookshelves to encompass all my future bookish posts and contain all my book-related static pages in the drop down menu, including: Book Reviews A–Z, Read in 2017, and Read in 2018.

Blog design-wise, I also began doing some research on how to use my drawing tablet to create my blog logo and new featured images. I also did some preliminary sketches of what I’d like to create, but I’m not sure how long it will take me to bring my visions to life. I feel like right now I will need to keep it simple. Then hopefully with time, I’ll be able to complete what I have in mind.

This week my main goal is to take a good new picture for my social media. I feel like I need to go somewhere where there’s good natural lighting, but I never go anywhere. I may have to force myself to go eat out at the nearest Panera Bread! Maybe I’ll take the MacBook Pro and write . . .

 Novel Progress

I actually have something to share about writing this week! I finally Skyped with my writing buddy again after about two weeks. She recently completed her most recent draft of her novel and was expressing her desire to plot her next book (she’s more naturally a pantser). I told her how I did it and that she could look at my most recent outlines.

I had meant to send her my final, completed one, but I was really stuck again and not sure what to do. I decided maybe she could help me figure out what the plot needs so I also sent her my specific questions so she could also know what kind of feedback I want. If this works, I’m going to be so annoyed I didn’t ask for her help sooner!

I’m still waiting on her feedback, but I started a new outline that includes more plot details. I also started a Scrivener project where I hope to start adding scenes that come to mind, even if they ultimately don’t fit into the main draft. I just want to start writing without any reserve and feel like Scrivener is the tool because I will be able to easily view and rearrange scenes when/if they become permanent.

❧ ☙ END NOTE ☙ ❧

There’s just one week of August left and there’s so much I hope to accomplish in that time. We’ll see how it goes, considering I may begin work training as early as Monday. I don’t know my hours yet, but I think the weekday shifts will be any combination of morning (6–9:30 a.m.) and afternoon (2:30–6 p.m.) shifts.

I’m really excited! It’s going to be great to be working with children during fall. It’s my favorite time of year. I think it’s going to be like being a teacher without all the boring lessons and all the fun activities instead. ^_^

Thank you for reading!
Follow my blog via Bloglovin’. Also find me on GoodreadsTwitter, and Instagram.