End of year (and decade) Wrap-Up

Closing the year with lots of foxes, Vixy, my family, art and books.

2019 is coming to an end and to be fair, it doesn’t feel like anything so far. Today is just another day, the last one in the calendar and apparently the last one of the decade (we’re approaching the twenties, what fun crazy parties are there to come?!) but so far, the hype, the excitement is not there for me.

This year and decade have been dissonant and odd. And as much as I used to plan ahead like crazy and overplan and have everything “perfect”, that is one of the lessons learned this decade. Even the best laid plans can go awry and not turn out to be the best. You can plan and plan and plan, I had plan A to Z and still, somehow that wasn’t enough for some of the things that happened this decade.

And you know what? That is actually fine. I still plan and I am known to be that person who you approach when you need something. You need sewing supplies in the office, or different types of glue, or food, or whatever, I’ve got it. I am still very much a planner. But I am also aware I can’t cover everything and plans don’t always go the way you planned.

If the plans I had at the beginning of the decade had worked out I’d be married to a first husband, with kids, a successful research career and potentially a high level job as manager or close to CEO of something. And so far I have none of those things. (Yes, to those gracefully pointing out, I did get married this year, but this was not my first rodeo).

Instead, I on my second marriage, no kids (just Vixy and some chickens), on a job that was as far away from my dream job as I could consider that is turning out to be even better than my dream job, and in a country where I am a stranger, an immigrant and unwanted and at the same time, I am not.

Heck, during this decade, I got married twice, had a divorce (something I never expected to have to do, one of the few things I never planned for), became homeless, had all my money stolen away, fought a massive legal battle to be able to have a life and be my own person, survived mental illness, moved countries and moved so many times in a new country. Went from speaking my native language the most, to barely using it.

And relationships. I broke away from my biological family (and then we agreed to come back). Found a new family (where I fit a little better). Tested old friendships (in a few days I will be seeing a friend I have known since we were 13-14 years old, one of my oldest friendships), made new ones. Some of them broke, some never stuck, some have become a massive blessing and grown my network.

In this decade, I have been scared as I had never been before, but I have also exprienced joy and gratitude like never before. I have grown so much.

Even my looks have changed, and my confidence.

I have no big plans for 2020 or the full decade. I do have little (and big) things I’d like to accomplish, but we shall see how they come to fruition:

  • Complete writing a novel.
  • Publish it
  • Write the WBT comic and illustrate it.
  • Draw more
  • Read more

Things I plan to do this coming year is to draw almost everyday. I used to and then got out of the practice for many reasons, and now want to get back into it.

And I am going to be better at choosing books I spend my money on. I had been on a rampage to support as many authors as possible and I end up not reading them all (for example, Contemporary Romance is something I rarely read and yet I had preordered so many). So my intention is to think better what I purchase. In the end, all my efforts to support authors feel like they’ve been mostly wasted (I know in a way they haven’t) and I would rather do this with more care.

I also went on a rampage of bookboxes, but I am slowly culling that down as some are loosing the shine and spark. It is a tough world and there’s only so many *insert overused item in bookboxes here* you need. I just wish there were ways to customise or tailor it a bit better. And I would love a UK version of what PageHabit did (annotated books by the author, with post it notes).

A thing I won’t stop is the generosity and kindness I have. This has been used against me (I have been considered a threat or “evil” for being nice, or that I have an ulterior motive, or that my kindness is a way to mistreat people) but I still won’t stop. I like helping and being nice to others.

What are you musing on today? (If you are musing at all)

I am now off to finish working for the day, then have some pizza with my husband and watch a film and some documentaries.

YALC 2019 Wrap-up

As many of you know (and for those that don’t) I went to YALC this year. All the times I’ve been at YALC, I’ve done cosplays, so this year was no different. Though I did bring in two new cosplays (Previously I have done Hermione, Death from Book of Life and of course Moon dress).

Friday’s cosplay was as Cat Noir from Miraculous Ladybug (a cartoon for children, you can find it on Netflix, and this is no promo as I don’t even have Netflix but I do like the cartoon).

Saturday was Knit Anele aka Moon dress (because it is iconic and everyone recognises it). This was the costume that gave me the most problems as the corset shifted (yes it is a corset) and I couldn’t sit, so after lunch I took it off (it is designed to be used with or without it, but obviously it is more stunning with it).

And finally, on Sunday I dressed up as Menolly (with blue hair) from Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey. This was a very interesting cosplay because I got a lot of children asking for pictures (also some teenagers and adults), but no one really knew who I was dressed up as(I think the exception would be Steph from GeekyClean). My favourite part was that when I said who I was, there were two very distinct reactions “oh yes, of course” (on the older side of the scale or those that do a lot of SFF and not just YA) or blank faces of “no idea”. One person even asked me to write down the book and author so they could look it up. The dragon(firelizard) has now been baptised as “Pern” in honor of the planet where he comes from. Oh and yes, I wasn’t “holding” him, attached him to my shoulder with the help of Josie Jaffrey and my friends.

Now to the part about the books! This is my haul:

From left to right:

  • Brought 23 books. All except Lauren James’ book got signed (I mean puppy needed her, good priorities there).
  • Bought 17 books. Some for the wedding favours pile. The new edition of After the Fire (to complete my collection), and some early copies of books plus books that caught my eye. I behaved much better this year and didn’t go on a crazy buying spree.
  • 7 Books that were free or swapped. I did bring about 10 for the book swap so this didn’t go too bad (and only one of those was from the book swap directly). Some publishers did a “buy a book get one free” so some of those are in this pile.
  • And I won 10 books/proofs. Wilder Girls, Chinglish and Kingdom of Souls were high priority and I was so pleased to win them. Sanctuary was “fated”. The first person who drew won, so I went next thinkign that the odds of me winning the other prize were too small (they were), and yet still won.

I won’t talk about every single book here as I will review them at some point. But I tried to only enter those I would read (or a friend was eagerly wanting) and I also didn’t go too crazy on freebies and ended up with a small stack of them rather than a crazy amount.

I have read most of the samplers and started my list of “preorders” that are to come next (for those that follow the preorder spreadsheet, I had paused it on the buildup to YALC so I wouldn’t shoot myself in the foot and buy doubles, but it will continue in the next few weeks).

As per usual, things could be better, but they were better than last year (I am being positive and small improvements are better than no improvement). The biggest issue is lack of suitable chairs to sit for those of us who struggle sitting on the floor (I have been working wiht my physio to help me cope with this better but by Sunday I really really would’ve loved having a chair as I was struggling). And it isn’t a thing that is particularly hard to fix either.

I was also super glad to make new friends, and put faces to names and to have the chance to chat with people (I kinda want to tag everyone but I am also afraid I’d forget someone and I just don’t want to forget anyone!). You know who you are since we talked.

For me this YALC was better and easier because I made myself enjoy it more and go less into a rush and manic hype. And it was about friendships old and new. Community was interesting to see.

My biggest wish would be that people in general are more polite and considerate of others. There was a lot of madly crushing people despite asking not to. (And becauseof this I made an extra effort to not push on people and to not be too close to them in the queues, giving them space to be).

I finish with that YALC sign picture and our squad which keeps growing!

The Gamer Tag

I just discovered this over on A Reading Brit and had to do it. Gaming is a huge part of me (as is reading) so this was a perfect tag to try out.


Aloy fights off a Corruptor, drawn by me

1. What is your all-time favourite video game?

I don’t like favourite questions. I can’t pick one. My favourite video game for “it is a work of art” is defnitely Child of Light. My favourite “I spent my childhood on this” is Jazz Jack Rabbit 2, Duke Nukem 2 and Where in the World is Carmen SanDiego? (yes, I have aged myself, haven’t I? I played all of them on Windows PCs…). My favourite “comfort game (think comfort blanket but game)” is Bioshock series and Alice Madness Returns.

2. What is your current favourite video game?

Still difficult to choose. “I am too tired to do anything but don’t want to sleep yet” is Let’s Go Eevee. Mindless open world wandering is Skyrim and Dragon Age. I love Dishonored series and adore Prey (the Bethesda new one, not the old one). I also love Fire Emblem series as a comfort game.

3. What is your favourite video game genre?

Semi open world first person shooters (?). Think Fallout 3, New Vegas, 4 and 76 (but not Multiplayer I suck at multiplayer) Or Bioshock series, or Horizon Zero Dawn, or Prey or anything Bethesda brings out.
Strategy RPG (Fire Emblem only, Final Fantasy drives me nuts somehow despite being initially very similar). and a little of JRPG (Child of Light)

4. How long have you been playing video games?

Very young. My dad was computer crazy (at a time you could build a PC from a weekly magazine…) and he would let us play games. I remember playing Chip’s Challenge. And Mine sweeper and Pinball…

5. What’s the first game you ever played?

Apparently I replied early to this question. Probably Chip’s, or Carmen San Diego.

6. What game have you clocked the most hours into?

Bioshock series and Fallout series.

7. What’s your longest gaming session?

Not sure. I used to game longer during a difficult time in my life, most of the day. But now I play less and divide hours more.

8. Who is your favourite game developer?

Bethesda, specifically Arkane. And I loved Ken Levine and American McGee as game masterminds

9. Who is your favourite hero character from a game?

Aloy from Horizon Zero Dawn. She’s such a personality. I also have a soft spot for Link who keeps getting called Zelda 😛

10. Who is your favourite villain?

The Typhon. (Prey)

11. Who is your most hated character of any game?

I am not entirely sure. I really hated Fontaine from Bioshock series. But do you mean playable character or Ai character? Those are harder to choose which one I hate… I love/hate any Assasin’s Creed main character (but the first two were the worst) because they would easily fall down and commit suicide or break cover with a tiny movement from the controller. It drove me mad.

12. What gaming systems do you own?

PC (custom). PS4, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS Lite, DS and 3DS, Switch, Wii (old one). I also play on my phone.

13. What was your first game system?

Not counting PC. The first I played was Atari, then Nintendo 64. First owned was Nintendo DS Lite. (I always had friends/neighbours who had a console and we would play at theirs, until I got older).

14. What’s your favourite gaming system and why?

I love PC as it usually has all games I want and I can just plug a controller or play with keyboard-mouse, and enjoy PS4 a lot (it is my main gaming console at the moment). Recently the Switch has been winning me over with how portable and versatile it is.

15. Do you prefer to play male characters or female characters?

If given the choice I usually choose female. But if the game has a male character only I don’t mind. For example, Dishonored only lets you play Corvo (male), but Dishonored 2 let’s you play him or Emily (female). I have played both, and prefer Emily mostly because she has new powers that differ over Corvo’s.

16. Do you follow walkthroughs, or do you play through on your own?

I try to play on my own, but if I have spent ages trying to figure something out and I just can’t crack it, then I will look that part up. I like walkthroughs mostly for the “trophies” part (I am a sucker for trophies/achievements, I will replay games until I get as many as I can without being too frustrated by it).

17. Have you ever been to a gaming convention?

No. I would love to attend E3 but it is too far.

18. What game are you most excited to come out in the future?

CONTROL.

19. What’s your best memory of a video game?

One of my favourite things is that I went off videogames for a little bit and my little sister found American McGee’s Alice (the first Alice game he did) and she convinced me to play. I was SO bad at it. But she would coach me through it. And when Alice Madness Returns came out I was in the US so I bought it for her. In my head it was her game. I moved away and ended up playing it and beating it before her, which was a shock to me, but a fun memory because it felt like beating the master.

20. What’s your worst memory of a video game?

I do not want to remember those. But funny worst are the glitches that happen in some games 😛

21. Which video game character do you see yourself as, or if you had to be represented by a video game character, who would it be?

I would probably be a female Morgan (Prey). I would love to say I am an Aloy (Horizon Zero Dawn), but I am more Elisabeth Sobeck (don’t google if you intend to play this game, it is a spoiler to find out who she is) than Aloy.


I tag Justine, Asha, Lauren and Lilly-Beth plus anybody else that wants to do this!

2018 Wrap Up, 2019 is Here!

IMG_20181225_214809_083.jpg

Happy New Year you book dragons, fire bugs, whatever you are! 🙂

Cliche but wow, it is 2019 already, can you believe it? Which to me means I will keep wiritng 2018 instead of 2019 for the next few weeks while I adjust, I have a piñata party to finish preparing for, and big things coming for this year.

But before plunging headlong into this New Year, all shiny, I wanted to recap on my 2018 and do a super speedy summary.

I launched my 101 for subscription boxes and it was a good hit (mostof it still works, however I do not subscribe to the same boxes anymore). Also, yes I know that wasn’t in 2018 but wait, there’s a reason.

Someone tagged me in a “how many subscription boxes did you buy this year?” kind of Tweet, and lo and behold, I counted. Want to guess how many I bought this year? (It is a rough number because I may have missed a few special edition boxes).

I bought over 65 subscriptions boxes. 12 Book Box Club, 12 LitJoy Crate, 5 Illumicrate (this includes the Shades of Magic/Vicious special box), about 6-9 Fairyloot boxes, around 6-8 Yume Twins, 12 Stickii Club (plus one advent calendar), 3 or 4 Owlcrates, one Holiday special crate from Spearcraft, one or two Junior boxes from those that do Junior version, 3 or 4 Wildest Dreams boxes… And seriously I have lost count.

On my last post I hinted of reducing the number, and this is why! I have bought so many boxes, have not caught up with reading all the book in them and decided I want to catch up and also bulk less. So I am sticking with LitJoy, Illumicrate and Book Box Club, with a top up of Owlcrate and some Fairyloot boxes, and maybe a few special ones, but definitely going to try to be more picky about it.

What else did I do in 2018?

Preorders! Loads and loads of preorders! I preordered over 150 books during 2018 (some where 2019 books, but I only decided to start counting properly per year in the last week, so yeah some overlap there). Which meant I bought 4 new bookcases and I have now run out of places where I can put bookshelves (oh dear!)

And the blog has kept mostly to a post every other day (with some contributions from Bea, just to make it more interesting).

And finally, my goodreads goal was 100 and I read 145.

So, let’s jump to 2019!

IMG_20181215_133510_669

My goals are relatively simple:

  • Keep blogging, reviewing books.
  • Goodreads challenge of 120 books for the year.
  • Keep preordering and supporting authors, but be selective.*
  • Try to love my body more, as I tackle body dysmorphia (which didn’t affect me as a teenager but has it’s claws on me as an adult)
  • Do a monthly giveaway on Twitter (which I have done for at least half of 2018)
  • Loose 1-2 stones to help my joints deal better with HMS (Hyper Mobile Syndrome)
  • Write the stories I start then stop then start again and never properly finish because I am tryng to adapt them to please everybody. I am going to write for one reader only, or at least just one in mind.

*I am compiling a spreadsheet of all my 2019 preorders, which you can view here if you’d like to check it out. I made it for my own record keeping but people were interested so I decided to share because sharing is caring!

That’s all from me today. Hope you had a good 2018 (or as good as it could be) and here’s to a 2019 that’s a little bit better than 2018 (hopefully).

YALC 2018 Wrap up

IMG-20180729-WA0037

YALC (Young Adult Literature Convention) was a treat. I am still (a week later) very happy and full of books!

I’ll do a quick wrap up (or attempt to) as the pictures will speak for themselves (so many books).

  • I brought back 108 books. Some I had taken with me to get signed (about 30 of them which still means I managed to acquire 78 books during 3 days).
  • Several authors remember me, I also seem to be quite good at being found.
  • I shocked publishers with my Waterstones receipt (it had to be unfolded for a few times, and had SO many books!)
  • There were a lot of goodies, and I was very happy with all the posts. (Someone suggested an artists alley and I have to say I’d love that!)
  • Our book squad is the very best and I love them all to pieces. There were a lot of times when they managed to get books signed for me, or reminded me of something or simple saved me in some way. I can’t thank you all lovely ladies enough.
  • I said “Oh, sorry, I am dead” while laying spread out on my back on the floor to Jason Momoa (it was Sunday and I was exhausted, hypermobility was NOT happy with me).
  • I also managed to walk in between Jason and his bodyguard and be completely oblivious to that (everyone later went like “but like didn’t you notice?! you did it!”).
  • Managed to meet so many lovely people, thanks to all you lovelies that stopped me and introduced yourselves!
  • Queue strangers to friends is the best of the best. Specially after you keep meeting the same people on different queues.
  • Talking of queueing, I still don’t get the British and their love for queues. Several times I asked “what are you queueing for” and the reply was “I don’t know”.
  • Suitcases and totebags for the win!
  • The moon dress (which is actually Knit Anele’s dress) got a lot of compliments, but also, it was SO comfortable (same with the boots, custom made and I loved them, like walking on clouds).

Have a look at all the books (bought, ARCs/proofs won, free books, signed books)

Last but not least, a big shout out to the Book Box Club girls. It is through their idea of having a Clubhouse to chat about the book, that I met my best friend. But not only that, from it our book squad was born.

I had always dreamed of having a group of friends that understood me, that were there in the thick and the thin, that had my back (and for whom I could be there when they needed me), and it was just a dream.

Kate and Libby, through Book Box Club, made that dream become reality and I have no words to say how grateful I am for this, for the box, for the books, for the friendships, for our squad. Each lady in the picture below is worth infinity times their weight in gold.

20180729_164105.jpg

#BeeBrave tag

I am starting this tag with a little prompt from LitJoy Crate (mostly they did a challenge and I turned it into a tag for a blog).

This is about being brave and what has taken a lot of courage for you to do/accomplish/whatever it is. And it is about loving books and being bookish. And there is no too little a thing to be considered being brave.

The rules are simple:

  • Answer the prompts as best as you can.
  • Tag a few friends/bloggers.
  • Congratulate yourself and celebrate your achievements, you are brave 🙂

20180504_073738

Introduce yourself.

Hi everyone, I am Moon. I am a book box addict, massive reader, engineer, artist, crazy person. I live in the UK, have curly hair… I am not sure what else to say about myself?

Tell us one to three things you’ve done that took courage.

First thing that took courage was to move to the UK. I packed all my life into two big suitcases and a smaller one (this last one was full of books), and left my family and friends for this new country. It was hard and it took a while to make friends. Specially since I am shy, but it was also a different culture (kissing everyone on the cheek isn’t exactly normal here).

A second thing that took a lot of courage was leaving a very abusive relationship and becoming instantly homeless, pwithout money and unemployed. It was super scary, and very difficult to do. But somehow and thanks to friends I survived and found a new family. (I didn’t have my family’s support).

Last but not least, it is still taking me courage to come to terms with the fact that I have hypermobility on top a few other things, so I am wrestling with this part at the moment.

IMG-20180513-WA0011

 

Do you like bees? Why?

I do, and I am not afraid of them (wasps is another story!). I even wanted to have a bee hive in our garden but got a definite no from my boyfriend. Shame 😦

You are Brave, thanks for sharing! Tag some brave people 😉

I tag Nikki, Maja, Helen, and Beth.

 

 

 

Moon’s 1st third of 2018 Round-up

Let’s do a fun sum up of this quarter of the year (can anyone believe it is already May?!). It has been an interesting start of the year for sure.

  • Our Whatsapp Book Box Club group got more hype and we’re doing a lot of fun things. You can check out more of the shenanigans on this post. But trust me, that we have enjoyed meeting other bookish people. First rule about our club is you need to have purchased at least one Book Box Club and attended a Clubhouse meeting.

20180421_181729.jpg

  • I have had successful buddy reads of several books thanks to this. And thanks to the buddy reads that sparked me out of reading funks, so I have been reading more.
  • I have preordered several books, trying to support authors and publishers alike (54 preorders placed by 29th of April).

20180429_195811

  • Blog and twitter have grown a lot and I am glad, I even have one surprise coming up my sleeve about the blog, which I am sure some of you will be quite excited to hear about!
  • I moved jobs, changing from one industry to another quite drastically but full of opportunities. Coworkers at my previous job were very kind and gifted me a few things including a Porg (squishie!) and some books.

20180413_123601

  • I had a small holiday and visited a water-mill (and bought a lot of flour because I love baking and fresh flour is amazing). It was a moment of being in the middle of nowhere and enjoying just being without actually having to be doing anything. This is hard for me, but it was very relaxing. And we fell in love with a wood burning stove.

20180415_130449

  • I have had the very first fitting for my “Knit” dress. If you’re unsure what I am talking about, you can check my Meet The Character post about her. When I designed Knit’s dress, I had always envisioned making the dress become a reality, and yes it may not be exactly as I first drew it, but it is already looking amazing and I am all excited about fabrics and looks (it may be hard to imagine but trust me, it will be grand).

  • On the not as great news, my bookmark shop has been on “holiday” for a while due to all the changes and stress happening this quarter. Hopefully it will be reopened soon once I have a few more designs up and ready.
  • And I have been diagnosed with several little things that add up to the fact that I am “disabled”. It has been hard, working with this but I may post more on this at some point.
  • It was also a good time because I met Loish who is one of the artists I admire, and that was wonderful too! (Please excuse the over tired face, it was late and I was extremely tired but really happy, it was also too hot in the room so we were all just melting away).

20180420_2021210.jpg

All in all, it has been a wonderful first quarter of the year, with a lot of things coming up, a lot of fresh changes. The new job is promising and we shall see what this next 4 months bring in.

How has your 2018 been so far?

 

Hocus Pocus Tag

So I was tagged by Nikki, my bookish partner in crime, so here we go.

The Rules

There are no rules. It’s YOUR blog. But it would be nice if you linked back to Never Not Reading (tag creator), and maybe the person who tagged you too. Share the love, folks. (Feel free to use the GIFs used by Never Not Reading, the graphics made by Flavia the Bibliophile if you would like, both, or make and use your own visuals!)

IMG_20170124_141543

Questions

1. THE SANDERSON SISTERS: A GREAT TRILOGY

This is such a hard choice. I love Mistborn, and then there’s ADSOM, and Crystal Singer…

2. WINIFRED SANDERSON: A BOOK WITH A TRULY AWFUL FEMALE VILLAIN

Awful as in person I am guessing… Dolores Umbridge is an awful villain (sorry it is the first one that comes to mind even if it isn’t the only one and I’ll probably remember a lot of them once I have published this because yeah… that’s my brain for you).

3. SARAH SANDERSON: A BOOK THAT UNCANNILY ATTRACTS CHILDREN

Like Harry Potter? Or say one of Roal Dahl’s. Fairytales are definitely attractive to children…

4. MARY SANDERSON: A BOOK THAT IS JUST PLAIN SILLY

I recently read The Princess and the Pony and it is silly in a good way so this would be it I guess.

5. MAX: A BOOK THAT IS TRYING REALLY HARD TO BE COOL BUT DOESN’T ALWAYS SUCCEED

I think that would be SJM books. Specially the most recent ones since apparently it is trying much too hard. (Guess who isn’t a fan here…)

6. DANI: A BOOK THAT ISN’T AFRAID TO TELL IT HOW IT IS

After The Fire by Will Hill. And Dear Martin by Nic Stone.

7. BINX: A BOOK SERIES THAT JUST WON’T DIE

Anything by Cassandra Clare or SJM.

8. ICE: A BOOK WITH A CHARACTER AS DUMB AS A ROCK

Terry Pratchet books? 😛 But they are amazing because of that… It’s hard to pick just one from the Discworld series.

9. THE BLACK FLAME/CANDLE: A SERIES YOU WISH YOU COULD RESURRECT

The Dreamhunter Duology by Elizabeth Knox. I loved the books and it is such a shame that almost no one has ever heard of them.

10. HEADLESS BILLY BUTCHERSON: A BOOK THAT ISN’T AS BAD AS IT’S MADE OUT TO BE

This one is tricky, not entirely sure since I usually don’t like bad books but who knows…

11. WINIFRED SANDERSON’S SPELL BOOK: A BOOK WITH A MIND OF IT’S OWN

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I mean with AIDAN, I had to pick this.(And I had to steal this from Nikki because yeah)

12. GARRY MARSHALL: A BOOK WITH A CAMEO

Oh gosh, this one is making life hard. I like the Virals since they have Tempe in them.

I’m tagging:

  1. Maja (Bookish Addicted)
  2.  Helen (Watching Sparks)
  3. Beth (BooksNest)

Though feel free to steal if you want to have a go!

2018 “Goals”

Hi everyone,

Not late to the party because you know me, but I finally decided to post my goals for the year.  As a caveat, I don’t usually have goals for the year except my reading challenge (2017 was 100 books and I barely made it, woops), so this is a bit new to me.

1. Reading Challenge of 85 books. As I mentioned above, I struggled to read a 100 so I decided to make this goal a little smaller. I am also aware that last year I had a lot of new things going on that meant I had less time to read. Did you set yourself a number of books to read per year?

My boyfriend says that I read books for myself, him and all the street.

IMAGE HERE

2. Eat more vegetarian/vegan (not become either, but just do more veg). It’s not too hard since we don’t do much red meat, just chicken and fish, but we need the vegetables. At the moment we are doing relatively well. Last week was mostly vegetarian and even though this week will have meat there are more vegetables in the menu. Go me!

(I have to say I love my slow cooker and adapting recipes for it.)

3. Try to create a bookmark design per month minimum. This one is going a little not so well. I have two designs in the works but they haven’t come out yet. Hopefully I can finish at least one before the end of January. (And of course, we need a colouring bookmark for Valentine’s in February, right?)

4. Collaborate with more book boxes ( is on the dream list, one can dream). Last year I collaborated with Book Box Club and Leafer Box. This year I am already doing well as I have another collaboration with Book Box Club for this month’s box. Fingers crossed other boxes will notice me, right?

5. Go back to drawing and/or writing almost daily. Already failing epically on this one. I haven’t drawn daily or written daily, but I do try, oh well.

6. Write my novel ( didn’t go too well last time). The thing is I have the story plot done and I have a very old (over 10 years) version of it but I want to clear all those plot holes and all the issues and write it “properly”. I also have a few other novels completed but most of them are not in English so they need translation/editing.

 Those are all my loose goals for the year. Did you make any?

2017 Wrap-up: Let’s end the year well

Hi everyone!

This is a general wrap-up for the year, even if this blog isn’t yet a year old. But I wanted to thank everyone of you that reads it, those of you that leave comments, and the ones that nominate me for awards and tags. Also, to Nikki and Steve who spot the times I forget to add the pictures in time and remind me to add them.

Let’s see what this year has brought around.

I found my bookish partner in crime, Nikki. And we have had some fun adventures like:

  • Going to YALC
  • Perfecting a Sunday Roast and Yorkshire puddings.
  • Visiting The Making of Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour (such a mouthful).
  • Putting up Christmas decorations.
  • Day of the Dead and bookish event by Gollancz.
  • New Year’s Eve

20171215_172810

I have to say, we’re friends thanks to Book Box Club, since we met through there and I am so glad about it. Which brings me to the next one.

I collaborated for three book boxes. Two for Book Box Club (one of them is the January box) and one for Leafer Box. This collaborations then brought me to do some interesting things.

I opened my blog, and I started contacting publishers about ARCs and reviewing books, I joined bookbridgr and I started my bookmark shop. I am not a super popular big blogger but I do enjoy blogging and the friendships I have made. I hope you enjoy reading my posts.

And of course, I have managed to make a 101 post on book boxes, I have had several giveaways on my Twitter (which is also a new thing) (the last one runs out today!)

Made friends with more bookstagrammers (it only took me two years to actually get into the community and not just be in the sidelines with an account that no one saw).

I also managed to snag a delightful Book Advent Calendar, which they launched this year. It still needs a lot of work, but it was a delight to unwrap a book every day after work. (Admire my “book tree” making abilities which are zilch).

20171226_110812.jpg
All books came as part of the book advent calendar and are more or less in order, top first days, bottom last few days.

And not only that but this Christmas was the best I have had in about 6 years. It had a few books, a lot of fox themed gifts, too much food, and good company. And it was good. (Also, I have a puppy now which is also a bonus, and a new job that I had been wanting for the last few years).

20171226_225523.jpg
Christmas Haul. Left: books I bought myself, Middle: gifts, Rgiht: Book Boxes

2017 has been a good year. Much better than previous ones. A few secret things that will probably be revealed next year are also making me quite happy.

So I just want to thank everyone that reads me, my reviews, my artwork adventures. To those that have bought bookmarks and cheered me on. The ones that have entered my giveaways. All of you friendly people that have made me smile. You all know who you are (if you think you are of them or no you couldn’t be, it is actually probably you).

Thanks for making 2017 a much better year than previous ones.

Here’s to a wonderful 2018 for all of us (now I know bad things happened this year, they did to me too, very much, but I am being positive as much as I can).

Love,

Moon

2017 Wrap-Up: Books to make you think

The year is ending (much too quickly for my tastes, but oh well), so I have been looking back at this year and the books I’ve read. And this year has been full of books that have made me think a lot, so I will post a quick recommendation of some of them.

20170804_165958.jpg

After The Fire, by Will Hill. This is a brutal book, but in a good way.  It is inspired by the Waco Siege and follows Moonbeam as she recovers from a fire in her “commune”. It is chilling and touches on a lot of interesting topics, and thankfully Will does not shy away from writing about bad things, yet it is not horridly done but with good taste.

20171123_133318

Dear Martin by Nic Stone. I read this before THUG and despite how short it is, it was good. Another brutal book on the reality of being black and racism in America.

20170928_075721

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer. Grief is a very interesting thing and one we all experience in our lives. Brigid does a masterful writing in touching different ways grief comes through and how it affects our lives. Have some tissues at hand.

20170918_190904

If this is a Woman by Sarah Helm. This is not a book that was published this year, but once again, another brutal read about how women where treated at the concentration camp of Ravensbruck. It also gives you an insight into WWII that is rare to get.

I would also recommend all books reviewed on here, as they have been amazing reads.

 

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Oh look, look, the lovely Helen (my ‘how to win giveaways for books you already own’ understudy, a.k.a. Moon’s understudy) from Watching Sparks Reviews has surprised me and tagged for a blogger award! She’s such a dear, thank you so much!
PS. I think she got confused, I am Moon not Sunny, but don’t tell her, I like awards and being nominated and she’s so sweet… (so go check out her blog, it’s full of books). Plus I am very surprised my little blog got this award but thanks lovely, seriously…

sunshine-blogger-award

The Rules:

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to bloggers who are creative, positive, and inspiring. Once nominated, the blogger is required to write a post in which they:

  1. Thank the person(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post.

 

Helen’s Questions:

  1. Favourite book when you growing up?
    As a child I really loved “If you Give a Mouse a Cookie”, mine came with the mouse in overalls and it was so cute. But I also loved having mum read books to us and I read a lot so there were several books in my life. As a teenager I got hooked into Madeleine L’Engle’s books and also Anne McCaffrey’s so both have amazing books I loved. And one of my most favourite is The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley.
  2. Which 3 fictional characters are you most like?
    Hermione (Harry Potter Series), Meg Murray (The Time Quintet by Madeleine L’Engle) and probably Aerin (The Hero and The Crown). All of them are curious, brainy and stubborn, but I also have some of their weaknesses and ideas.
  3. Who would you fancast as your favourite characters?
    I don’t usually fancast characters, so this is hard to answer, I don’t know…
  4. Which book is underhyped, and that you want everyone to read?
    Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer, any book already mentioned above, and After The Fire by Will Hill.
  5. Which book is overhyped, and is really not as good as everyone says?
    SJM books, I tried, I really really tried, but I kept shouting at the books because of the plot and how it was happening, just no. The writing is light easy read but I was too annoyed at everything else I didn’t enjoy them.
  6. What/who inspired you to start blogging?
    I have been writing on and off since I was like 10 years old (I tried to make a murder mystery but didn’t go too well, very predictable, I still have it though). And during my teenage years I had a potter fiction account, a splinder (they were kinda like blogs) with short stories, tried livejournal (didn’t stick to it very well), and finally decided to jump again into blogging this year. I had been musing about the idea for a while, so it’s not something I haven’t done before. Oh and all of those sites and things mentioned before I found on my own.
  7. How long have you been blogging?
    Here, just a few months. Before this I did a private 750words.com and before that I had my splinder for a few years, livejournal for a few months… It’s hard to pick up the trail of all that blogging time…
  8. How many books are on your tbr?
    No idea, I bought two new bookcases a few months back because I had piles of books on the floor, and I made those bookcases my TBR, so, two bookcases worth of books (to be fair, the lowest shelf has cooking books on one of them… doesn’t count for TBR but still).
  9. Do you like to listen to music whilst reading? And if so, do you pick certain artists/songs to match the book?
    Not really, or rather not on purpose. I can read with music in the background it doesn’t bother me, but I don’t decide to have music while I read, I don’t need it.
  10. Which book(s) do you wish you had written?
    Probably all the ones mentioned above. And I am writing a couple, my head is full of ideas and plans and plots. Full of stories. So those too, just wish they were already written by me.
  11. What book did you most recently finish, what are you reading now, and what do you think you’ll pick to read next?
    Warcross was the most recent one I finished, I am reading All The Crooked Saints and I am still unsure what I will pick next, I am undecided between Shadowblack, Dear Martin, A Shiver of Snow and Sky… but then any book could suddenly spark interest for me out of the blue.

I’m Nominating:

Off the top of my head most of the ones I wanted to nominate have already been nominated so to avoid repeats, I nominate you all, but also specifically I nominate:

  1. Nikki (Books and Lemon Squash)
  2. Maja (Bookish Addict)
  3. The girls (Book Box Club)
  4. Marcelina (Lollipop Books)
  5. Briony (Miss Briony)

The next few are twitter people I think deserve a Sunshine award:

  1. Zara (The Story Of Zara)
  2. Sarah (SK Vetter Writes)

My 11 Questions:

  1. Which character would you want to be your best friend? Why?
  2. Who/what inspires you to create/write?
  3. Do you read one book at a time or multitasking?
  4. What book do you think I should read and why?
  5. Which character do you love to hate? Or if you don’t hate one, who is your favourite villain?
  6. Do you cover buy? Why?
  7. If you could move to a bookish world/place, which one would you choose? Why?
  8. Trope/cliche you love?
  9. Trope/cliche you hate?
  10. What is your favourite part about blogging?
  11. Who inspires you the most in your life?

Thanks for the tag Helen, and hopefully you all want to answer the questions, I’d love to read the answers to them.

Moon’s September Round-up

This is my first round-up but it is not the kind to summarise what I posted, but rather what didn’t make it into a post of their own but is still worth mentioning.

Thank you gift

Someone posted on Facebook about her mug being broken (a mug that had a Sarah J. Maas quote, exclusive to FairyLoot) and I said she could have mine. Thankfully for all her fans I am not a fan. I asked if she could pay shipping but gave the mug away for free. I am a weirdo that likes sending care packages to people so I ended up adding another exclusive Feyre mug and a book and I can’t remember what else. The box took a detour to Canada and finally arrived.

I did this without expecting anything in return so it was a lovely surprise to get this lovely gift. (Also, those Chocolade Kanjers are awesome).

Ninja Book Box giveaway

I don’t usually win things, but somehow I managed to win a set of bookmarks from Ninja Book Box. They are gorgeous.

20170829_175014

Booklepuff giveaway

Since I became so lucky I also won a small instagram giveaway done by Booklepuff.

20170928_133225.jpg

Twitter giveaways

I ended opening a Twitter account to join #BooksBindUs (it’s Maja’s fault, entirely) and ended up winning a copy of Warcross from one of the giveaways. The funny bit is I also got that in a book box and then Marie Lu asked to donate to Puerto Rico and she was sending signed books to donators so I also got one of those. I wonder if the universe is trying to tell me something about Warcross… (it helps I am a gamer and a programmer/engineer).

I also started my own giveaway for a copy of After The Fire by Will Hill (what else would I giveaway, right?). I loved doing this so will probably do more giveaways soon enough.

Book Buddle

Book sleeves are awesome, but I had been quite unlucky in snagging the prints from the shops I wanted and always missed out. So I decided to find all possible ones, see prices and shipping and choose one. Book Buddle had a fox print I wanted so I asked if she (Jules) could make me one in the right size, and ended up being unable to choose between two fabrics and ordering 3 book sleeves.

20170913_133936

Of course, they are so gorgeous and perfect (those moons glow in the dark) that I checked if she could make a ‘book’ sleeve for Petunia. [Caveat: Petunia is my Wacom Bamboo Fun tablet I use for digital artwork, she is a bit petulant so the name came from that and she gives me heart attacks by deciding not to work, or the drivers aren’t right even if they actually are.] The sleeve for Petunia is also delightful and it has a little button to stop her from trying to escape. I cannot recommend Book Buddle enough.

20170927_213958

Other things to note

Merake Candles resupply, because Heather makes some of the best candles I know about.

20170914_184216

I managed to find a fox mug that was a cuteness overload and I had to buy it.

20170907_232112

I also got my hair dyed by Nikki and a different day she helped me learn how to make Yorkshire puddings and a good gravy. Being non British I am slowly mastering the art of a Sunday Roast. I can carve a chicken easily and my veggies are to die for, same as good roast potatoes, but I still forget to make gravy and had never made Yorkies. This was a huge success.

20170916_192049

Clipboard have been a part of my drawing life for quite long. I used to have a very battered very decorated one that had been with me since 2004-2005 but it got lost in one of my many moves. Finally I decided to find a replacement and decorate it. It has been loads of fun, experimenting around and I found out temporary tattoos work well on wood… who knew?

20170907_163722

Last but not least, if you have been following me before this blog was born, you will know who Knit Anele is (if you haven’t, just keep an eye out for the next edition of Meet the Character).

Anyway, when I created her, I always intended to make her superhero dress something in real life to be worn by myself. This had been put in the back burner for ages until this month when I got in contact with a dressmaker (I tried several but only one worked out). It was a lot of fun and we have chosen fabrics so I am very excited about this.

20170919_205738

Subscription Box Tally

So this month I got:

  • Book Box Club
  • FairyLoot
  • LeaferBox x2 in one box
  • Page Habit YA
  • Page Habit Fantasy
  • Spearcraft
  • LitCube
  • YumeTwins

I think this is all for the month of September. I am looking forward to October starting and the lovely things to come.

How was your month?