So… it’s been a while since I’ve posted!
I didn’t mean to disappear for so long, but between college decisions, school, and work, life has been C-R-A-Z-Y recently. And I mean crazy to the point where I had my February wrap-up all written and ready to go, but never actually got around to posting it. I debated back and forth with myself as to whether I should make a super-late post or just skip it all together… and ultimately decided just to combine it with my March recap and make one big post, which is what you’re reading right now.
In other words, I’m officially back on WordPress, and I’m here to stay for as long as I can. Things have calmed down at school once again — Spring Break is about to start, and I’m excited to squeeze in as much blogging as I can during my time off!*
Anyways, on to the wrap-up. I thought that I was going to be able to get a lot of stuff done in February, especially considering the fact that I had a week off from school in the middle of the month for President’s Day break (or Ski Week, as it’s affectionately called). Boy, was I wrong. You’ll see a more detailed breakdown of my progress on my goals later in this post, of course, but I can tell you right now that it’s not looking great.**
Make no mistake, the last two months have been pretty great overall. I wouldn’t say they beat out January — I’m starting to pick up a lot more work as I move into the middle of my final semester of high school, and it’s getting to be a bit overwhelming. But I still managed to have fun in between my various commitments. And, most importantly, I’ve been re-discovering my passion for several independent projects that I’ve been neglecting for a while, so I’m really excited to see where those take me in the month ahead!
*Let’s ignore the fact that it seems like I only have time to blog during school breaks… I’m working on getting better at balancing everything, I promise! 🙃
**March, of course, went even worse, as you might already have guessed. But it’s okay! I’m gonna fix alllll that in April, just you wait.
I came into February feeling hopeful about how much I was going to be able to read over Ski Week… and ended up not getting through nearly as many books as I thought I would. (Shocker, I know.) Unfortunately, my boss knew that I had the week off, so he scheduled me for longer and more frequent shifts, which cut into my reading time significantly. That combined with the mountain of homework that I had, my night classes at the local community college, and my family’s impromptu ski trip, made it difficult to set aside time to just relax and read, even though I really wanted to!
Unfortunately, March wasn’t much better. I had a lot of work both inside and outside of school to take care of, and the only way to manage it all was to take a break from reading and blogging for a little bit. So that’s exactly what I did — and, as a result, I didn’t read a single book the entire month. Which I regret, but hey, there’s always April to catch up, right?*
*At least, that’s what I keep telling myself… I know, I know, I’m a sorry excuse for a book blogger. But I’ve got some exciting things planned for April, so stay tuned!
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Links: Amazon | Goodreads
This was my first foray into the world of Brandon Sanderson’s books, and I’m glad I decided to pick it up! I was a bit iffy about the writing style at first — Sanderson is a bit too fond of italicizing things — but that soon changed, and by the end I was loving the story and the characters alike. (M-bot is the best.)
My full review is currently in the works. Keep an eye out for it coming sometime soon!
Most Disappointing Book
Title: The Circle
Author: Dave Eggers
Links: Amazon | Goodreads
I chose to read this book with a few of my friends for an English assignment… and I have regrets. I should have listened to the bad reviews all over the Internet: even though the premise is intriguing, the poor pacing, flat characters, and lack of plot completely ruin the story. 😦
Check out my full review here: Intriguing Social Commentary, but a Disappointing Read
While I didn’t get to go to Barnes & Noble nearly as often as I did in January,* I still couldn’t resist making a few impulse buys over the course of the last two months. On my first trip, I picked up Skyward and A Darker Shade of Magic, both of which I’ve heard AMAZING things about.Skyward definitely lived up to my expectations — as I mentioned above, it was a great read! I haven’t gotten around to A Darker Shade of Magic yet, but with how much hype there’s been about V.E. Schwab lately, it’s definitely at the top of my TBR.
My second trip took place closer to the end of February — The Priory of the Orange Tree and Last of Her Name both came out on the same day, and they were some of my most anticipated 2019 releases, so I couldn’t resist buying them. Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten around to reading them yet, either, but I’m really looking forward to it! Priory is the thickest book I’ve seen in a loooong time, so I’ll need to make sure that I have a bunch of free time before I start it. But I can’t wait — I’ve heard countless good reviews around the blogosphere! And the premise of Last of Her Name continues to intrigue me. I’m a sucker for sci-fi, what can I say. 😀
*My wallet is still suffering from all of my friends having January birthdays, so I had to chill out a little when it came to buying new books for myself! Good thing I still had my gift card from my own birthday…
After successfully relaunching my blog in January and receiving a ton of support from the WordPress community,* I was stoked to carry that momentum forward into the months beyond. I meticulously planned out a schedule that would have had me posting 2-3 times a week, and I spent what felt like hours brainstorming ideas for new content. Everything seemed to be going great, and I loved the post ideas that I had come up with… and then life happened.
I found myself struggling to find enough time to post on Bookstagram and Twitter, and it was even harder to maintain my blogging schedule. Instead of posting around 8-9 times per month like I had planned on, I only posted 5 times:
- The 5 Most Nerve-Wracking Things About Starting a New Writing Project
- January 2019: Birthdays, Fresh Starts, and Free Time? (I Forgot What it Felt Like)
- 3 Fantastical Books With Real-World Settings: Where in the World Book Tag
- Intriguing Social Commentary, but a Disappointing Read: The Circle by Dave Eggers
- Writerly Beginnings I: Re-reading Some of My Earliest (and Cringiest?) Stories
Even though I wish I had been able to stick more closely to my schedule, I’m still really proud of the posts I managed to upload! I spent a lot of time on all of them, and I’m pretty happy with how they turned out. Hopefully I’ll be able to maintain a more consistent posting schedule once things calm down at school again, but for now I’m just going to try to post whenever I can (which is what I’ve been doing anyways, haha).
*Which I can’t thank you guys enough for. Y’all are awesome, and I wouldn’t be blogging if it wasn’t for you. ❤
The 5 Most Nerve-Wracking Things About Starting a New Writing Project | Published February 3, 2019.
I’ve been trying to dedicate more time to writing recently, but getting started again has been a lot more difficult than I thought it was going to be. This post was inspired by my own doubts that I was having at the beginning of February, when I was trying to get myself motivated enough to rework an old project. Luckily, making this post was just the boost that I needed — everyone was super supportive in the comments, and it really helped me get over my writer’s block!
Intriguing Social Commentary, but a Disappointing Read: The Circle by Dave Eggers | Published February 17, 2019.
I know book reviews tend to be less exciting and less popular than book tags or other types of posts, but I’m too happy with how this one came out to not make it my favorite post of the month. The Circle earned my first bad rating on this blog, clocking in at a whopping 2 stars, and I was slightly nervous about how my less-than-positive review would be received. But I put a lot of thought into everything that I wrote, and I think I made some pretty good points, so I highly recommend checking out my review if you haven’t already!
From the BlogospherE
I didn’t get as much time to blog hop this month as I was hoping, but I still noticed a few posts by my fellow bloggers that I thought were especially interesting:
- Sophie @ Sophie’s Corner talked about her reading habits, classifying them as “good” or “bad” as she went in a way that was muchhhh too relatable.
- Clo @ Book Dragons wrote an extremely useful post about book blogging memes for those who are just getting started with their blogs — which I could have really used back when I first started Scribbles & Stories!
- Simone @ Simone and Her Books talked about what it’s like to have an unpopular bookish opinion, and how you should handle it when you’re writing book reviews.
- Charvi @ Not Just Fiction wrote out the hilarious thoughts that she has when a book character dies… and forced me to remember the embarrassing moment when a character’s death literally made me scream into a pillow (I felt really stupid when he later ended up coming back to life).
- Xandra @ Starry Sky Books kicked off an amazing new series about her reading habits when she was younger by listing some of the books she refused to read as a kid!
Like I’ve said way too many times already, the last two months have been insanely hectic, even more so than January was. Even with the temporary respite that Ski Week provided, I still found myself struggling to balance my schoolwork, my blog, my job, and everything else that I have going on. There were definitely a couple highlights, though:
February 15: I got promoted to shift lead at the ice cream store where I work! I was already completing most of the shift lead responsibilities anyways, so it’s nice to finally have the title to match — and the raise is nice too, of course. Now I can impulse-buy even more books! 😀
February 21: My family took advantage of the one day that I had off from work (and all of the rain California has been getting lately) to squeeze in a quick ski trip. There was an insane amount of powder, and we had a blast, even though it was freezing.
March 14: I presented my work from my summer internship at the Synopsys Science Fair, and it was awesome to have the chance to talk with people about my project again! I even won a prize, but I don’t know what it is yet… I’ll have to wait till the awards ceremony in April to find out.
March 28: My college decisions came out slowly over the course of the whole month, but the 28th was the day I heard from the last of the schools I applied to (one of which was my dream school). I got rejected from one of my top choices and waitlisted at the other, but I also got accepted to a lot of other really good schools, so I’m not disappointed at all!
- I’ve continued my multivariable calculus class, and it’s kicking my butt. We’ve already taken two tests, and while I’ve done okay on both of them, I don’t feel at all confident about my grasp of the material. Hopefully I’ll be able to get in a lot more study time before the final, because if not, I’m screwed.
- I spent a few hours over break going through the notes that I’ve been keeping for an old novel project, and I started feeling really excited about the idea again! I think I’ve found the book that I want to write this year, and I’ve already started working on the plot outline, so I’m really excited to see where it takes me.
- I made plans to visit a bunch of my top colleges over Spring Break. Hopefully being there in person will help me make my decision, because right now I have no clue what school I’m leaning towards.
- My sister and I decided to revive one of our old projects from 2015 and write a book together as a sort of “throwaway” project so that we can both get back into the groove with writing. The idea that we had for the premise is a little bit wacky, but it should be an entertaining way to practice writing, at least.
Article of the Month
In keeping with the tradition that January’s wrap-up kicked off, I wanted to share another interesting astrophysics article that I stumbled across in mid-Feburary. Called “A Different Kind of Theory of Everything,” the article discusses the current roadblocks that scientists are facing as they search for a way to unite the worlds of quantum mechanics and classical gravity, as well as what the next steps going forward might be. It’s not necessarily conclusive (as in, it doesn’t really give any concrete answers — though nothing in science ever really does), but I still thought it was a great read!
Find the article here: https://www.newyorker.com/science/elements/a-different-kind-of-theory-of-everything.
February Goals Recap
- Read at least 5 books. ❌ As I said earlier, I’m still having trouble finding time to read in between all of my other commitments, so I only got through two out of the five books that I wanted to read.
- Choose a writing project to pursue for the year and get a big chunk of planning done. ✔️ I’m really liking the old project that I’ve been revisiting, and I’ve started putting together more detailed notes for it. I’m excited to see what it’ll develop into as I continue working on it.
- Write at least one short story. ❌✔️ I brainstormed an idea for a short story and wrote a detailed outline, but I only got only about halfway through the first rough draft before the end of the month. At least I made some progress, though!
- Catch up on blog posts. ❌ So… I was supposed to be keeping myself to a strict posting schedule this month, but I definitely failed at doing that. I’m starting to figure out my post-writing routine, though (I need at least one full day to write/revise a post before I make it, I’ve realized!), so I’m hoping to get back on track soon.
- Finish learning Python. ❌ I didn’t even log into the course this month. 😦
- Get more sleep (at least 6 hours a night). ❌✔️ I slept pretty well over break, but the rest of the month was much less successful.
As always, there are a lot of really interesting books coming out this month that I’m excited for! I haven’t had the chance to read any of these yet, but I’ve heard amazing things about them all over WordPress, especially The Devouring Gray and The Princess and the Fangirl. I can’t wait to get my hands on them — their premises are really intriguing. I especially love the concept behind Sky Without Stars. A Les Mis retelling, but made sci-fi? Sign me up!
April 7: The awards ceremony for the science fair that I presented at March is being held on this day, and I’m really excited to see what my project won! There’s a lot of different awards given out at the fair, so mine could be pretty much anything… I’ll have to wait and see.
April 8-12: I have a week off from school for Spring Break, and I couldn’t be happier! I’m going to try to spend a lot of time working on my WIP, getting back into blogging (for real this time), and catching up on homework. I’ll also be visiting several of my top-choice schools towards the end of the week, which I’m looking forward to!
April 27: I’m participating in a coding challenge sponsored by Lockheed Martin along with some of my friends from school. If we win, we might be able to compete at a national level!
- Read at least 3 books. Maybe if I lower my standards even further, I’ll be able to actually achieve my reading goal? That’s the hope, at least.
- Finish the planning and outlining for my WIP. I’ve been tossing around the idea of joining the ongoing session of Camp NaNoWriMo, but I want to make sure that I have a solid outline first!
- Actually start getting more sleep. No, but seriously. I need this.
- Finish writing that short story that I started in February. I’m really not liking how the first draft is turning out, so I’ll probably scrap it and start over, but I want to have it finished by the end of April.
- Pick a college. I have absolutely no clue where I want to go to college, but I need to decide by the end of this month!