It's time for my February "taking stock" update! You can review January's update here.
Reading: Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves
Writing: blog posts and diary entries
Editing: #OCDStory, at page 175
Watching: That Chapter and other channels on YouTube
Playing: Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
Earworming: "Blinding Lights" by the Weeknd, thanks to me reviewing last month's post
Following: most recently on Twitter, Maddie Williams
Wearing: a grey long-sleeved dress with pockets and black cat cameo earrings
Eating: a new 45-day diet via Viome with more protein in it
Smelling: pumpkin seeds
Hearing: cat snores
Today, we're looking through my diaries for the events of my life that occurred on February 1st throughout the years. I don't think I've done the first of any month before, so that's kinda cool! For anyone interested, the previous installment (September 7) can be found here.
February 1st, 2000, Five Years Old
I drew a picture of my doll "Carm" outside a little house.
No February 1st entry in 2001, 2002, or 2003.
February 1st, 2004, Nine Years Old
My youngest brother threw up. I worked on making valentines for my friends.
February 1st, 2005, Ten Years Old
I had a fight with one of my friends--no details written about it.
February 1st, 2006, Eleven Years Old
I was somehow "off schedule" and not interested in writing much. However, I'd gotten some beta reader critiques on #DragonStory and an invitation to my best friend's birthday party that I put in my journal.
I don't recall having much trouble with time management in my life before now. (Keep in mind that my chronic illnesses have wiped a lot of my memory, so that's worth taking with a bit of salt.) However, since descending into severe chronic illness and then a little ways out again, I've been struggling. It's kind of funny because my chronic fatigue means I'm much more limited by my energy than by time, unlike most people, but of course, any change in life means adjustments to how you manage time.
When I became extremely ill in 2016, I was so low on energy that I couldn't do much with my time besides sleep, watch Netflix, and scroll through social media. (I also did read books and do a little writing, both in a lower amount than before.) By the time I started improving, I was almost running out of movies/TV to watch, which is not a common complaint. I was also very thoroughly entrenched in social media. I've always loved it, after all, ever since I first illicitly joined Facebook in high school. I love being able to interact with others through writing, which comes more naturally to me than in-person interactions, and I love learning from and enjoying content from people all over the world. Social media is perfect for someone like me, and with my disabilities, it's become most of my social life as well. It's proven to be pretty effective at keeping me from feeling lonely or isolated.
However, as my illnesses have improved, making it possible for me to spend more time on editing and writing and the like, social media in particular has become an issue. Most people aren't active on six different social media websites--with two profiles on one of them and three on another. I've been loathe to let go of my beloved social media, with how much I enjoy it, but time management, like life with chronic illness, is all about prioritizing. Social media is a priority for me, and a pretty low-energy one at that. But keeping up with my reading is an even higher priority, and I've been struggling there (well, struggling for me). Church, writing, and editing are also higher priorities for me than social media.
As of this week, it's been a year since I opened my online freelance editing business Kira B. Edits. It's been an interesting and enjoyable experience, and today, I wanted to talk about what I've learned.
Editing is something I've long enjoyed, just like writing. I went into college vaguely thinking I might become an editor for my day job, although my main dream has always been marriage, kids, and a career as a novelist. (I wasn't sure anyone could really succeed as an editor outside of NYC, though, which did not seem likely to suit me.)
While at Adams State University (the college I attended my freshman year), I was hired as the head copy editor of the school paper. I enjoyed that job a lot more than I'd expected to. I like being able to work fairly independently and on my own schedule, and I love the feeling of fixing up written text so that the words and ideas flow. I was definitely a beginner in terms of style rules (and comma rules), but I felt the job suited me.
When I transferred to BYU-Idaho, I decided to try going freelance as both a copy editor and copy writer on Fiverr. At the time, I was not aware that you were supposed to register yourself as a business when doing that sort of thing, but I didn't make taxable income anyway. In fact, I was quite underpaid, and that combined with the stress of copy writing led me to quit that job after a summer.
All right! It's time for my monthly update, given through a series of "-ing" verbs. Here's what's up in my life this January. (You can review December here.)
Eating: grapes and jicama
Wearing: a dark green long-sleeved dress with pockets
Reading: Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Writing: blog posts and diary entries
Editing: #OCDStory, at page 153, and some
Listening: to my latest jam, "Blinding Lights" by The
Watching: the last few episodes of The Clone Wars
Bookmarking: most recently, some resources for my
job with Scribbr
Playing: not June's Journey anymore, because I
decided it was a (delightful) timesuck
Wanting: my dinner
Wishing: my body wasn't so invested in its sleep time
Deciding: what changes to make to #OCDStory
Admiring: how adorable my cat is
Enjoying: my life
Hoping: to accomplish my 2020 resolutions
Welcome to 2020! Today marks not only the beginning of a new year but also the beginning of a new decade. I started this blog in mid-2012, which doesn't quite bring us to a decade ago, but there's still a lot of content here to explore if you'd like to review. A good place to start is with my past resolutions!
New Year's Resolutions
January Humor and New Year's Resolutions
Top Ten Tuesday: New Year's Resolutions
New Year's Resolutions 2017
New Year's Resolutions 2018
New Year's Resolutions 2019
For me, this decade was largely marked by illness, with 2010 being the year that I first started seeking help for my developing fibromyalgia. According to my journals, I started showing possible signs of interstitial cystitis as early as 2013, with chronic fatigue syndrome and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome possibly making their appearances around 2015. In mid-2016, I became ill enough that I could no longer perform substantial gainful activity, which continues today, although I saw a great deal of improvement after visiting Mayo Clinic in 2017. It's been an adventure, that's for sure!
âââNow we've got the Roaring 20s ahead of us.
I've decided to start doing these "taking stock" updates on a more regular basis. I think they'll be more meaningful when there's more context. (Besides, they help me get my blog queue filled up. 😉) So here's the update for December as told through a variety of "-ing" verbs.
Eating: out at Twister's Burgers and Burritos for a
Wearing: a long sleeve dark green dress and
Smelling: hints of chocolate and peppermint
Reading: Suggested Reading by Dave Connis
Writing: blog posts and diary entries
Editing: #OCDStory, at page 105
Listening: to The Nutcracker as played by the
Bonn Classical Philharmonic
Earworming: "All I Want For Christmas Is You" by Mariah Carey
Watching: The Mandalorian, a handful of CW shows, and The Clone Wars
Bookmarking: most recently, a couple of potential jobs
Playing: June's Journey and other game apps
Looking: forward to Christmas
Thanksgiving is coming up on Thursday, so today I'm sharing my yearly gratitude list!
Like last year, I'm thankful for my friends, my family, and my cats.
Coming in on the heels of last week's more in-depth update, today I'm sharing another Taking Stock of My Life update, where I answer a variety of -ing questions!
Eating: a bit of chocolate!
Drinking: my usual water
Wearing: a navy "Current Mood [Low Battery]" t-shirt and
Smelling: not a whole lot, since I have a cold
Reading: Six Goodbyes We Never Said by Candace
Writing: blog posts and diary entries
Editing: #OCDStory, at page 79
Listening: to some of Taylor Swift's latest work
Earworming: "Kill This Love" by Blackpink
Watching: a Star Trek movie that's overdue at the library 😬
Bookmarking: nothing new recently
Playing: the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets video game with my brother
Wanting: to not have a cold anymore
Wishing: for a better world
Today, I have a few updates to share, so I'm going to devote a post to them!
First, an update to My Writing Career So Far. When I wrote that post, I was planning to stop writing #SnowQueenStory, as I didn't feel like I was in the right frame of mind for the story, and start editing #ProphecyStory instead--once I finished the latest edit of #OCDStory. I had a lot of edit ideas for #ProphecyStory that had been building up over the years, and they were haunting me every time I tried to read an epic fantasy novel.
I'm still plodding along in my #OCDStory edit. I'm doing a close line edit, because the prose at the beginning is better than the prose in the rest of the book. It's actually pretty normal to be slow on this kind of edit, which makes me feel less frustrated, LOL! There are a few other things I'm adjusting to. So It'll be a while yet, but I am making progress towards being able to hand the story over to my next beta reader.
However, I realized this week that #ProphecyStory won't ever be what the market needs, no matter how many edits I pile onto it. Like all my past work, though it has plenty of heart, it's too tropey and unoriginal. The premise also relies on big-level conflict that I'm not really suited to--I'm trying nowadays to follow the advice of this Tumblr post because it's really good advice that I haven't been able to get out of my head.
So I'm left now with just #OCDStory, the first part of #SnowQueenStory, and a hoard of ideas.
It's been a while since I've done this, so I thought I'd give it another whirl. Today, I'm going to share the last ten photos I took!
In all honesty, I don't take very many pictures nowadays because I mostly just spend time on the computer and read--and I'm not very good at setting up cool #bookstagram photos. When I do take a picture, I usually post it on Instagram, so these will be drawn from that feed as well as from theKira B. Edits editing tips that I post sometimes on Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr. (I always add a pic of Spartacus to those. â¤) Check them out!
I really enjoy going through my old journals when I write posts like this one, and so today I thought it would be fun for me to look specifically at the history of my writing "career" so far. Calling it a career is a bit strong, given that I've yet to be published and earn money from my books, but I've put in a lot of work--and I certainly intend to make it a career. Everybody has to start somewhere, and I'm still in the beginning phases of my career right now.
I've talked before about the very beginning here, where I discuss how my love for words and stories led me to do a writing project in the first grade where I discovered my passion. From then on, I was a writer. I began with journals (which were rather inconsistent until the fifth/sixth grades), short stories, and poetry. Some of this work was published, and you can see my credits in my achievement list posts. However, as time passed, I was drawn towards something bigger. I am and always have been a voracious reader, and even from the beginning, I wanted to write real, full-length books like the ones I loved. I wanted to see my writing on the library shelves.
It's time for a new "on this day in my history," where I paraphrase my diary entries from across the years on this day, September 7. It provides a bit of a glimpse into my life--and after all, this is what diaries are for. 😉 The last installment, for January 26, can be found here, Let's see what I've been up to on September 7! The first entry I have for this day is from 2007.
September 7, 2007, Thirteen Years Old
Before school, one of my friends had fun winding me up by talking about how attractive she found my crush's legs. (She liked to cause drama.) In social studies, we did some busy work with posters, and we got a new seating chart. A guy who kept getting in trouble for talking was put next to me, which I didn't think was the smartest idea, since the two of us got along well. (It wasn't going to get him to stop talking.) In my forever-terrible GATE class, I couldn't participate in a caffeine-related experiment because of my religious beliefs. The teacher then pressured me to perform a song I was writing, which made me want to stop writing the song entirely. I worried some about seating in orchestra and which of us was the best cellist. I actually enjoyed Ultimate Frisbee in P.E. We talked about the metric system in science class, and the New Zealander exchange student made fun of us for being confused. I had a hard time with a math test..
It has now been a lucky seven years since I started this blog! And those seven years have been quite a ride. Per the usual, I'm celebrating by rounding up my best posts this year for you to go back and review. Thanks for all your support, and let me know if there's anything new you'd like to hear about! I'll be back next week with a post about why it's good that I haven't been published yet.
About My Life
Adventures in Family History 8/18/18
What's In My Memory Box 8/25/18
Changing My Future Path 10/20/18
Librarians Are Boss: What I Learned in Grad School 1/12/19
My Most and Least Favorite Classes 1/19/19
25 Lessons From 25 Years 4/3/19 *Author's Favorite of the Year*
On Living With Roommates 4/20/19
Welcome back, friends! It's time for an update on my life as told through a collection of "-ing" verbs.
Eating: lots and lots of red grapes
Wearing: a tie-dye blue and white dress
Smelling: baby carrots
Reading: podcast transcripts and Once and Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy
Writing: #SnowQueenStory, very very slowly
Editing: nothing at the moment; Kira B. Edits is open to new
Making: myself tired staying up too late
Listening: to podcasts
Earworming: the opening theme for the Accused podcast
Watching: nothing in particular right now, just Netflix and YouTube
things here and there
Bookmarking: a bunch of podcasts to check out
Playing: different phone games, here and there
Wanting: to be less of a night owl by nature
Wishing: I had more energy during the day
I reorganize my bookshelf by color again! Apologies for the watermark; I was not aware that Filmora's free version requires it.
Music: "Delicate" by Taylor Swift
Links mentioned in video:
My name is Kira Brighton, and I am a carboholic.
I love sugar, love it, and when I had to go on a low-carb elimination diet for two weeks in spring of 2017 to figure out my IBS, I was miserable. Yes, thank you, I would like to never ever do that again, please. Sugar is a lot of what gets me through my days--because it's not easy, living in a body with lots of pain and little energy. Sugar makes me happy, in a way that few things do.
As such, it makes sense that, after I was diagnosed with IC and multiple food sensitivities and had to permanently start a very limited diet, I defaulted to carbs, carbs, and more carbs. Not only do carbs make me happy, but they are easy to find in prepared form--even when the list of ingredients that you can't eat is a mile wide. Seeing as I have no energy to spare and absolutely despise cooking (I have no idea how anyone can enjoy it), of course my diet focused at first on the easiest things I could still have: baked potatoes with cheese, pasta with cheese, and vanilla wafers.
I've given a fair amount of college-related advice in the past, but today, I've decided to go into detail about living with roommates (and/or suitemates). This is a uniquely difficult part of living away from home for the first time, because you're accustomed to the way your family does things. It takes a real adjustment to live with people who were raised differently. (All the more so if you didn't share a room at home.) Some of the biggest issues I had in college were related to roommates. So I thought I'd give you a peek into the experience.
I was raised in a family where cleanliness is not a terribly high priority. The guys in our family tend to be very messy and rather unaware of the fact that other people have to live in the same house. The girls are a bit more self-aware and better at cleaning up obvious messes, but even we aren't the sort to scrub walls and polish silverware. I do pretty good at keeping my own space clean, but due to my fibromyalgia, post-9th grade, I didn't do many household chores.
My family's also not the sort to have "family time"--we do better one on one. We don't have guests or visitors very often, due to my youngest brother's autism and the fact that the rest of us are introverts. I spend most of my free time alone in my room, and after elementary school, being the only daughter, I didn't share my room with anyone. Thanks to the fibromyalgia, I had to go to bed early so I could make it to school, and my family was pretty respectful of that.
That was my personal experience in living with others prior to having roommates. When I went to college, I discovered that other people had very different experiences, and this affected not only their actions, but their expectations for the people they lived with. Thus my number one rule for having roommates is to be respectful of different people's experiences. They might not know how to do things the way you do. I certainly had to have a few things explained to me--and it's always weird trying to figure out a new shower, haha.
It's been a little over a year since I last listed, for a Top Ten Tuesday, the ten books that had been on my Goodreads TBR the longest. So I figured it was time for an update! The first seven of these books are carried over from last year, but this time, I'm listing fifteen books total, which means there will be eight books I haven't listed before.
1) After the End by Amy Plum. This is a YA sci-fi dystopian about a girl who grew up believing that the rest of the world had been destroyed by nuclear bombardment--only to find out it's not true. I added on to Goodreads in February 2014, after joining Goodreads in November 2013.
2) Blood and Salt by Kim Liggert. This one is a YA horror novel where Romeo and Juliet meets Children of the Corn. I added it on Goodreads in April 2014.
3) The Tempest by William Shakespeare. This is, of course, a classic play in which a magician on an isolated island uses his gifts to manipulate people.
4) SYLO by D.J. MacHale. This YA sci-fi is about a secret branch of the government that takes over an island. It's written by the author of the Pendragon series, and I added it on Goodreads in May 2014.
5) The Cage by Megan Shepherd. This is another YA sci-fi, about a human zoo created for aliens.
Hey everyone! Since it was my 25th birthday yesterday, I figured today I'd share twenty-five of the most important lessons I've learned from my life so far.
1) It's okay to not be okay. This is the top thing that I would want to tell my younger self. I spent so much of my life so far feeling guilty about my own emotions, but it's okay to not be happy. It's okay to struggle.
2) Don't be afraid of "wasted time"--you're always learning something. When I was at my sickest, I was distraught at the thought that I wasn't learning or growing or developing as a person. But afterwards I realized that I'd actually matured quite a bit, even though all I "did" was sit in bed and watch TV. You don't have to always be accomplishing things in order to learn.
3) The world is both a horrible and a beautiful place. That's what comes of imperfection. It's important to see the beautiful, but ignoring the horrible is not the way to live either. Some people will try to do that anyway. You cannot force them to recognize reality.
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