Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly Wrap-Up – 8/16/19

Weekly Wrap-Up

What an absolutely crazy week! It’s one of those weeks where you feel like your head is spinning. My job has been insane more so than usual, but that’s not the main thing that’s getting to me right now.

My child, my heart, my life . . . is starting high school in 10 days.

I just . . . I can’t . . . HOW DOES THAT EVEN MAKE SENSE! She was just a little baby not that long ago and now she’s starting high school???? It completely blows my mind.

Plus, as I think I have mentioned here before, she has had a lot of issues with school. She was diagnosed with a learning disability and has been put on a new plan in order to help with that, but I still had to withdraw her from school at the end of last year to deal with her anxiety, depression, and suicidal tendencies. It was terrifying. She is doing better now, finally on some medication that is really helping her cope with life, so she should have more things in place to help her with school. Still, it’s a brand new school and a fresh start, which is a good thing, but is also scary as hell.

I will say that her guidance counselor at this new school is great. We met with her during registration and Ash absolutely loved her. So that’s a good thing. She knows she has at least one ally there. Her best friend is also going to the same school, although we don’t know if they will have any classes together yet.

I will be better after Freshman Orientation, which is next Wednesday. Until then, please excuse this little emotional outburst. She’s a difficult kid sometimes, but I love her more than anything.

The blog is still going strong, although I did bust my mini goal of blogging every day in August – I missed last Sunday. Oh well. Not a big deal. It’s been really busy with reviews and blog tours lately. I’ve been reading so much! Which, I have to say, after fighting through reading slumps for the better part of two years, feels really good. Speaking of reading, let’s take a look at that, shall we?

Reading progress August 9-15:

  • I read chapters 14 through 28 of Altered by Vicki Stiefel, which finishes that book. Be sure to check out the blog tour going on for it (my post is next week).
  • I read pages 43 through 240 of The Art of Taxidermy by Sharon Kernot (I had to keep up with pages as it doesn’t really have chapters), which finishes that book. That review will be coming next week as well.
  • I read chapters 34 through 54 of Pharaoh’s Star by Olivia Hardy Ray, which finishes this one too! This is for another blog tour coming up later this month for me, but it also fit into my Disney-A-Thon prompt for reading something dark and/or mysterious.
  • I read chapters 3 through 6 of Captive by Aimee Carter. This one has slowed down a bit since starting the Disney-A-Thon, but I’ll get back to it soon.
  • I started ISAN by Mary Ting, reading chapters 1 through 15. I’m part of a blog tour for the second book in this series, Helix, so I gotta read the first one first!
  • I started Stain by A.G. Howard for my next prompt in the Disney-A-Thon, which was to read a book with a dreamy cover. This one definitely qualifies! I read the prologue through chapter 15.
  • I also started Winning Westeros by several authors. It’s a collection of essays and is very different from what I usually read. I found it on NetGalley and figured I’d give it a try. I read the foreward through chapter 6.

Just looking at that makes me tired, but also makes me feel pretty accomplished. And, since I said that I would do this, I figured I’d let you in on my secret for keeping up with all this stuff: reading schedules on big post-it notes in my daily planner. Here is one example:

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For each NetGalley review or blog tour, I have a target date of when I want to finish it. For blog tours, of course, the date of my post is assigned. For NetGalley, I try to post my review on the closest Thursday to the release date (since traditionally, my reviews go up on Thursdays, although I’ve posted them other days of the week sometimes too). I try to finish the book two days before I need to post the review, just to give me time to process my thoughts. Then I give myself 10-12 days to get through the book. The post-it has dates and target page numbers for me to get to each day. I do not schedule reading on the weekends, usually keeping the schedule restricted to work days since I can read sometimes at work if it’s not busy. At times, depending on the book, I will get ahead of schedule, or finish the book early – great! More time to spend on books (like Captive, for example) that don’t have a specific deadline.

Yesterday, I had five of these little buggers in my planner. Today I only have three since I finished two books ahead of schedule. Progress!

Is it excessive? Probably. But it works for me and makes me feel productive and organized. I have always loved to-do lists and the ability to cross things off said to-do lists. It settles me. Makes me feel like I’m in control of things when life seems so out of control.

So with that little insight to my psyche, I wish you all a wonderful weekend!

Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly Wrap-Up – 8/2/19

Weekly Wrap-Up

Honestly, how can it be August already!!! It doesn’t seem right!!!

This whole year is flying by and I don’t know how I feel about it. Pretty soon the kids will be going back to school – my kiddo starting high school! It’s crazy!

July was a pretty good month for the blog. I hit 500 followers, which is still unbelievable to me, and did my first giveaway to celebrate. I also had posts up almost every single day, which is a new record for me. I enjoy babbling on about stuff, and apparently enough people like to listen to me ramble on, so that works for me! I also (at the absolute last minute) signed up for the Disney-A-Thon readathon for August. Why did I do that when I already have a bunch of things coming up this month? Who knows! It sounded like fun and I just went for it. For anyone else who is participating, I am on Team Tangled and my first book for the challenge is An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir.

I have a few other ideas bouncing around my head right now, but nothing that is ready to actually be “a thing” yet.

Sister Act closes this weekend. Three more shows before we leave the convent. This has been an interesting experience, getting to do a show a second time as a different character. There is a whole other learning curve for it and it has been exciting to see new people step into the other roles (especially the one I did previously). I’m going to miss my new sisters, but I’m sure we’ll see each other again. The theater community is pretty tight like that.

Let’s look at numbers.

Reading progress:

  • I read chapters 41 through 59 of Ever Alice by H.J. Ramsay, which finishes that book. You can read my review here.
  • I read chapters 4 through 45 of Perfect Pitch by Alex Hayes, which finishes that book. No review yet, as it is part of a blog tour, but you will see it next week.
  • I read chapters 16 through 58 of You Were Here by Cori McCarthy in pretty much one sitting last Friday afternoon. It was so good, I had to immediately review it, which you can read here.
  • I read chapters 23 through 50 of How the Light Gets In by Katy Upperman, which finishes that book. Another blog tour, which you will see next week.
  • I read and blogged chapters 18 through 21 of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling.
  • I started Altered by Vicki Stiefel, reading the Prologue through Chapter 5. This is for another blog tour later in the month.
  • I made good progress on Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas , reading chapters 11 through 52 last week. That should make my friend Jess very happy. 🙂
  • Yesterday, I read chapters 1 through 10 of An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir to kick off the Disney-A-Thon.

Y’all, I finished four books last week. Just . . . wow. I’m on a roll! After a reading slump that lasted several years, this feels really good.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

 

Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly Wrap-Up – 7/26/19

Weekly Wrap-Up

This week has been a little bit busy for me. Work has been a bit hectic and, at times, confusing, but thankfully several things were straightened out and I feel much less out-of-sorts about it. Also, Sister Act opened last weekend, which was so exciting and a lot of fun. I was a bit worried because our preview night was a bit rough, but the actual performances went great. I get back in the habit again tonight for another weekend of shows and I can’t wait.

Speaking of community theater, I also got to see Hairspray at another theater I have worked with. The cast had a lot of my friends in it, and it was so much fun! I will be forever grateful that I took the plunge five years ago and auditioned. It’s an amazing community to be a part of.

Now let’s talk about blogging, since that’s what I do here. This week, I have had ten posts to Life With No Plot, which is pretty good, but I am also excited to announce that I have started a new blog this past month and finally have it up and running.

Welcome to A Trip Through Eriador!

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This new blog will strictly chronicle me playing Lord of the Rings Online (or LOTRO) and, to many people, it might be a bit boring, especially right now. Currently I am just tracking game stats, but I also want to do some art with screenshots and maybe some storytelling/fanfiction with it. I’m still playing around with some things. I do love that game though, and if you are a fan of Tolkien and video games, you should check it out.

Reading Progress:

  • I reading chapters 34 through 47 of Silken Scales by Alex Hayes, which finishes that one up.
  • I started reading the next book in that series, Perfect Pitch by Alex Hayes, reading chapters 1 to 3.
  • I read chapters 12 through 40 of Ever Alice by H.J. Ramsay.
  • I started How the Light Gets In by Katy Upperman and read chapters 1 through 22.
  • I read chapters 38 through 68 of Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas, which finishes that book. Yay!
  • I read chapters 1 through 10 of Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas – let’s finish this series!
  • I read and blogged chapters 14 through 17 of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling.
  • I read chapters 1 through 15 of You Were Here by Cori McCarthy which, I know, is a book I haven’t mentioned at all on the blog. It’s an old NetGalley approval that I didn’t realize I had. And by old, I mean it came out in 2016. So I figured I should probably jump on that.

That’s . . . a lot of things! I think my brain is trying to make up for those two years worth of reading slumps, apparently all in one go! According to GoodReads, I have six books that I am currently reading, and it’s not just that I have it listed that way – I am actively reading all six books. For any that I get for review, either from blog tours or NetGalley, I actually create reading schedules so I can make sure that I’m staying on track. Is it a bit excessive? Um, maybe? But it works for me somehow. I like schedules, I like to-do lists, I like being able to check something off as I do it. Makes me feel productive.

Have a wonderful weekend, beautiful people!

Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly-Wrap Up – 7/19/19

Weekly Wrap-Up

What a week this has been! Let’s see, on top of being super busy at work, it’s also been the last week of rehearsals (lovingly referred to as “tech week”)before the opening of my community theater production of Sister Act. Opening night is tonight, people! I’m also playing Mother Superior, which is exciting and fun, but also nerve wracking because it’s a pretty big part. Our cast and crew is really wonderful and hard-working – theater people are awesome! Now we just got to work through the jitters.

Also, today is my mom’s birthday! Cheers!

My blog did hit 500 followers, which is also very exciting! For anyone who has missed it, I am having a giveaway to celebrate. You can find out the details on this post. Today is the last day to enter – I will be picking a winner sometime tomorrow.

Reading progress for the week:

  • I started Silken Scales by Alex Hayes, the first book in the Chameleon Effect series. So far, I’ve read from the prologue through chapter 33 (some chapters are really short, so this isn’t THAT impressive).
  • I made really good progress on Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas, reading chapters 19 through 37. I’m definitely over halfway through it!
  • I made less progress than I would like on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling. only reading and blogging chapters 10 through 13. I’m blaming tech week.
  • I started Ever Alice by H.J. Ramsey which is my next book to review for NetGalley. I read chapters 1 through 11.

My goal for this weekend is to try and get some rest, as the show is really wiping me out. I’m also planning on spending some time with my aunt and uncle who are in town and maybe, just maybe, working on my other blog project which I haven’t really talked much about here. I’ll give more details once I actually figure them out.

Have a lovely weekend!

Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly Wrap-Up – 7/5/19

Weekly Wrap-Up

This week has been so weird, you guys. So. Weird. For one thing, we Americans had a holiday yesterday, so I worked for three days, had a day off, went back to work today, and then will be off this weekend. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind a day off work . . . but it also completely throws off my schedule. My brain thinks that it’s Monday right now.

It also means that I have a break from rehearsals for Sister Act, which is nice. I love the show, but we open in two weeks and it’s starting to get really intense. Having a chance to rest is nice. Plus I get to see my family for a bit.

Speaking of shows, I am really super excited for tomorrow, because my whole family is piling into my van and going to see Dear Evan Hansen down in Greenville! I’m so excited! My husband and I were lucky enough to be able to see it on Broadway, but this time we are taking our two kiddos and my mom to see it as well. We would have tried to go somewhere a bit closer, but all the performing arts centers around here had a rush on season tickets this past season because of Hamilton, so seats to all the other shows were either limited or super expensive. It’s fine though. Greenville isn’t too far away and it’s still worth it!

Let’s move on to reading progress, which has been going pretty well, I think.

  • I read chapters 35 to 37 of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling, finally finishing that book! I combined the last chapters into one big Chapter-A-Long post, just because I wanted to get through it and move on. Speaking of moving on . . .
  • I read and posted chapters 1 to 4 of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling. I will probably get Chapter 5 up today sometime, depending on my schedule.
  • I read chapters 1 to 9 of It’s Our Time by Diane Krauss. This is a NetGalley book and I am really enjoying it so far!
  • I read chapters 1 – 20 of Lock Every Door by Riley Sager and it is so good! This is for a blog tour and I am so glad I signed up because I think this is one I may not have picked up otherwise. I love when that happens!
  • I read chapters 1 to 4 of Stranger Rituals by Kali Rose Schmidt. Another blog tour book and another one that I am enjoying, although I’m a bit behind in my reading schedule right now. I’ll get caught up today hopefully.
  • I read chapters 1 to 7 of Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas. I really want to pick up the pace on this one, but other shiny things keep getting in the way!

I am exhausted just looking at that. That’s a lot of things! I guess I’ve beaten the reading slump for good right now!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly Wrap-Up – 6/7/19

Weekly Wrap-Up

What a week this has been! It has both seemed to fly by super fast and also drag on. So bizarre. Part of it is because work has been a bit crazy. I think I mentioned before that I’ve been covering for a co-worker who has been out due to recovering from surgery. I’m also trying to plan for being gone for vacation, which is not next week, but the week after. I don’t know if my co-worker will be back by then, so there is a whole lot to prepare for before I leave. That doesn’t include what I have to do at home to get ready or packing.

We have to fly on a plane. I hate planes.

Otherwise, it’s been a pretty good week, just busy. I’ve also started rehearsals for Sister Act this week, so not only have my days been hectic, I’ve been gone every evening. I don’t have rehearsal tonight, so I can go home and rest up a bit. Early bedtime for me! Such an exciting life I lead!

Let’s take a look at reading progress:

  • I’ve been doing much better with my posts on Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling. I’ve read chapters 25 to 29 this week, although I didn’t write up a post for 29 yet. I meant to yesterday, just ran out of time, so if I get going this afternoon/evening, I might post two of them today to make up for missing it yesterday. My goal is to finish this one before I leave for vacation, which works out perfectly for one chapter each day. Let’s see if I can do it!
  • Good progress made on Kushiel’s Avatar by Jacqueline Carey. I read chapters 38 to 46 and boy, did it take a dark turn! I wasn’t necessarily expecting that. I think I’m about halfway through the book now.
  • I read chapters 28 to 30 of Where I End and You Begin by Preston Norton, finishing that book. I really, really enjoyed it, and you can see my review for it here.

That’s not as much as I’ve done in the past, but I’m making good progress and quite frankly, it’s hard to focus on just reading right now with all the other stuff I have going on. Lucky for us, books are always there to come back to. 🙂

You’ll probably see me again later today for more Harry Potter goodness. Otherwise, have a wonderful weekend!

Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly (and Monthly) Wrap-Up – 5/31/19

Weekly Wrap-Up

I can’t believe that May is practically over! This year is going by so fast, and while May has been crazy and hectic, it has also been pretty damn productive. I actually feel slightly optimistic for the first time in a while, which is insane.

Starting off, I was finally able to get back to the doctor and get back on some meds to help manage my chronic pain. I’ve been unable to go for almost a year, and from what I can tell, things are starting to work. It’s only been a week, but I have seen some improvements to my pain levels, and also my ability to sleep through the night. That right there makes all the difference in the world.

As I have mentioned in the past, I had to pull my daughter out of school and finish 8th grade homeschooling her. She is also finally on some medication that is helping her anxiety and severe depression. We finished taking our end of year exams last weekend, so homeschooling is done for this year. We are hoping she can return to public school next year so she can start high school with her friends, so keep your fingers crossed for us.

My last announcement is that I will be going back to the theater! As some of you know, over the past five years, I have discovered my love for community theater and have performed in several shows. Because of my health and my daughter’s issues, I have had to take a break from it, but this summer I will be in a local production of Sister Act! It’s a fun show, one I’ve done before, and although I won’t say since they haven’t officially posted the cast list, I have a pretty big part. I’m super excited! It’s going to be a blast!

So now, let’s talk about the blog. This month, I’ve done 37 posts. That’s pretty good! I know I took a little bit of time off around the middle, so I’m happy with that number. Those 37 posts include:

  • 2 Added to GoodReads lists
  • 3 Blog Tours
  • 1 Cover Reveal
  • 2 Book Reviews (outside of blog tours)
  • 12 Chapter-A-Longs
  • 1 Announcement
  • 3 Nostalgic Reads
  • 3 Teaser Tuesdays
  • 1 Top Ten Tuesday
  • 5 Wrap-Ups (including this one)
  • 4 WWW Wednesdays

And I *might* have two more posts this afternoon – another Chapter of Harry Potter and a book tag post that I just saw last night. We’ll see how it goes. I love this blog so much and really appreciate all the other wonderful bloggers I get to interact with. You guys bring me such joy!

Let’s take a quick look at the reading progress for this week, shall we?

  • I did really good with Chapter-A-Longs this week, y’all! I read and posted Chapters 19 to 24 in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire! And I might get to posting another one this afternoon! My goal is to finish Goblet of Fire before I leave for vacation later in June and then start Order of the Phoenix when I get back.
  • I read chapters 6 through 27 of Where I End and You Begin by Preston Norton and it has been really, really good. I can’t wait to share this review with you!
  • I read chapters 27 through 37 of Kushiel’s Avatar by Jacqueline Carey, and should get to more of it this weekend. I’m coming up on the end of my ARCs in preparation of being gone for vacation, so I will have more time to devote to this going forward.

Only three books, but honestly, I’m okay with that right now. It’s letting me focus a bit more and really, I need to do that to get through Kushiel’s Avatar. And then, it will be time to finish the Throne of Glass series.

Have a wonderful weekend!