Hello! It seems like a good time to post an update on my life as told through "-ing" verbs.
Eating: almond butter and pretzel crisps
Drinking: ye old water
Wearing: a black sheath dress
Smelling: my current favorite perfume, Secrets to Keep
All right, everyone! Today I have a post from Marie Miguel about using online therapy to help treat mental health conditions like OCD.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of online mental health resources with BetterHelp.com. With an interest in and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition that can affect anyone of any age, race, gender, and culture. In other words, it can happen to anyone at any time or any place. But what is it exactly? Basically what it sounds like! If you have OCD, you have certain obsessions or compulsions. There are various types and different severities of OCD, which means each person with OCD has their own set of symptoms.
If you have persistent distressing impulses, thoughts, or images that you cannot control, you may be suffering from OCD. In many cases, the obsessions are irrational, figments of your imagination, but you cannot convince yourself of this even if you logically know it to be true. For example, you may obsess about being contaminated if you go out in public, or you may think something bad will happen if you do not line up your shoes in order of color. Logically, you know this doesn't make sense, but there's enough doubt that your brain is able to continue obsessing about it.
Hello, friends, and welcome to another installment in my "on this day in my history" series, where I summarize all my past diary entries for a certain date of the year. The last installment (May 12) can be found here. Now it's time to see what's happened on January 26 throughout my life!
January 26, 2005, Ten Years Old
I enjoyed dance at school, but I hated orchestra, which was "1 hour of loneliness" and "no use."
No January 26 entry in 2006.
January 26, 2007, Twelve Years Old
I found school to be pretty boring today. I was critical about my art project, felt like social studies had been too much work, and had to convince two feuding friends to continue with our small strings ensemble.
First of all, big news: you can now order my editing services at Kira B. Edits, which opened for business on the 14th! If you've got any text that really needs a good professional look-over, send it my way.
So in the past I've talked about my most and least favorite teachers, but I've never talked about the classes I liked and hated most. Since I've now left the educational system for the foreseeable future, I figured it's a good time to do that!
In elementary school, things were pretty simple. We kind of had classes, but mostly it was all a long block with the same teacher talking about lots of different subjects--from English (my favorite) to math (definitely not my favorite). But we also had "specials," usually one a day, that focused on arts and sports. Library was my favorite special, of course, because I love books. The one thing I didn't like was having a limit on how many I could check out! I also was never a fan of being told what to read, but generally, the teachers gave "gentle suggestions" rather than orders. (And I ignored them.) P.E. was my least favorite special., because even then, years before I developed fibromyalgia, I did not do well trying to accomplish physical tasks.
Though I chose to quit my MLIS after five classes, I learned quite a lot during my time in grad school. For example, I learned:
Most of all, I learned to appreciate libraries and librarians more than ever before. Though I've always loved libraries, and I've always known that libraries are for more than books, I never really understood the true purpose and scope of the library as an institution. And I never respected librarians the way that I do now.
All righty, friends! It is time for our quarterly humor roundup, in which I share the 25 funniest posts I saw on the Internet during the last three months, as well as the single funniest video. Check them out!
It's now 2019, which means it's time for new year's resolutions! First, we'll review last year's resolutions, and then I'll list my new ones for this year.
2018 Resolution Review
1) Transcribe my old diaries.
I don't even remember making this resolution! I think I did make some progress in my transcription, and I got to the end of my freshman year of college... but 2013 is still a good ways away from 2018. 😬
2) Finish editing The Prophecy Keeper and start editing Coca.
Once again, I got through a lot of THE PROPHECY KEEPER, but I didn't finish editing it before I decided to switch over to CUCUY (previously called COCA), which I've been working on ever since. I'm so close to being done with this edit finally, agh!
Now that 2018 is almost over, it's time for our first batch of 2019 reads! Here are the YA and MG books releasing in Winter 2019 (January through March) that I'm the most excited about.
1) Stain by A.G. Howard is a YA fantasy retelling of "The Princess and the Pea," a fairytale by my boy Hans Christian Andersen that was clearly influenced by his chronic pain. I don't know how much of a role that'll play in this retelling, but I'm interested nonetheless. This book releases on January 15.
2) A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer is a YA fantasy retelling of the classic "Beauty and the Beast" story--one of my favorites, personally--featuring a girl with cerebral palsy. It releases on January 29.
3) King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo continues Bardugo's adventures in the YA fantasy world of the Grisha, now following the roguish prince-turned-pirate from The Grisha series and the confident but recently grief-stricken magic worker from the Six of Crows duology. I'm ready to hear more from both of them, coming January 29!
4) Spectacle by Jodie Lynn Zdrok is a YA historical fantasy about a newspaper columnist in 1887 Paris who gets caught up in a serial killer investigation when she starts having visions about his murders. It releases on February 12.
Continuing from Wednesday with my best of 2018 lists, today I'm sharing my picks for the best YA books released this year! As always, please note that I haven't read all the YA releases from this year and that this list is a matter of personal opinion. So don't feel bad if your favorite book isn't on here--but definitely give these reads a try!
I've decided to do something a little different for my TV/movie review this year, and instead of reviewing all of the new TV and movies I saw in 2018, I'm going to just share the ones that I recommend. So here they are! My list of the best movies and TV of 2018. As with my best YA lists of each year (and even more so here), please note that I have not seen all of the movies and TV released in 2018!
Here we go.
Christmas is coming up pretty soon, so it's a good time to talk about shopping for gifts! And since I'm a book person myself, of course this post is all about the book lovers, especially YA fans. If you've got a book lover on your gift list, there are a lot of options for what to buy. Below are some recommendations, including a long list of stores and shops you can turn to.
Obviously, the most important thing you can get for a book lover is a book! If you ask, they can probably give you a list of which ones they want. If you're familiar with their tastes and with what they already own, you can also look at recommendation lists online, such as the one I'll be sharing next week. (You can find more of my recommendations on my "on my blog," "best YA of the year," and "recommended" Goodreads shelves.)
Your Local Bookstore
Once you know what to buy, you should turn first to your local bookstore. Local bookstores are struggling nowadays, and, as community centers that offer writers a lot of support, they deserve your support!
Book Depository or Barnes & Noble
If, like me, you don't have a local bookstore, or if your bookstore doesn't have the book you're looking for, Book Depository is the ideal next choice. It's an online bookstore that has a wide selection of books as well as free shipping! If you can't find the book you want to buy there, I'd turn next to Barnes & Noble online. Is Amazon also a choice? Yes. Is it the most ethical and economically friendly choice? Nooooo. 😬
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is one of my favorite classics, which is true for many people. In fact, in October it was voted America's favorite book. As such, I thought it might be appropriate for me to talk today about why it's one of my favorites.
The first thing we need to recognize is that To Kill a Mockingbird is not a novel about a black man. Nor is it fully a novel about racism. Many black critics and social justice activists point out that it falls into the "white savior trope" of focusing on a "good" white person and their fight against racism instead of focusing on the actual black people. That in itself isn't necessarily a bad thing, since there's a place for many different stories in the world--but very nearly all the stories we have about racism are like that. Certainly, the popular ones are, and not recognizing that would be wrong. The stories of black people need to be heard, much more than another story about a white person, and their stories need to be told by black people themselves. When white people constantly envelop racism in self-soothing narratives about white saviors, it's unhelpful and disempowering to others, and acting like To Kill a Mockingbird is the book about racism only worsens things.
(For some of these important diverse, own voices stories, at least in the YA sector, I recommend checking out Rich in Color.)
I've always considered myself pretty knowledgeable when it comes to mental illness. Psychology, after all, is one of my main interests. However, my big project for my final class, a LibGuide for teens about mental health, taught me a lot I didn't know. Categorizations have changed a lot over time, and there were many conditions I came across that I hadn't heard of before. In fact, the amount of work I expected the project to take ended up at least tripled because I had to keep revising my organizational structure. Not only were there many changes in the official DSM structure in 2013, but there are a number of conditions that cross categories.
More than anything, the project made me consider how arbitrary human categories and labels can be, at least when it comes to health. It's something I've experienced in my own life, and it's something I could see in this project. It makes sense, of course. The mind and the body existed long before we gave them names, and the lines we like to draw, the boxes we create, don't exist in nature.
Language means a lot to me, as a writer and a person. The names and labels we use grant us power over the world and ourselves. They make it easier to understand our lives. I think it's important that we have that. Yet language (and science) is imperfect, and it's important to recognize that there are areas where the lines start to blur and our categorizations fail. Just because things, or people, don't exactly fit into established parameters doesn't mean they don't exist.
Hey everybody! Happy late Thanksgiving! Christmas season is upon us, but first, I wanted to share the things that I'm most grateful for this year.
I'm thankful for all the progress I've made in
my mental and physical health.
I'm thankful for the decision I made to
become an editor.
I'm thankful for all the work I've been able to
accomplish on CUCUY.
I'm thankful for my friends, my family, and
I'm thankful for the challenges I haven't had to face and for the strength I've been given to get
through the ones I do.
I'm thankful for stories and the way they bind us together. I'm especially thankful for YA lit! And
I'm thankful for the beauty in the universe and in our souls.
I'm thankful for art and artists.
I'm thankful for God's plan for each of us.
I'm thankful for modern technology, especially the Internet and social media.
I'm thankful for modern science, especially medications like antidepressants and gabapentin.
Also, bladder instillations.
I'm thankful for the opportunities and resources I have.
Okay, well, some kind of weirdness is going on with my bout of strep. I guess the antibiotics aren't working? IDK, though. I'm planning to call urgent care again on Monday and see what's up. In the meantime, here's an update on my life, as told through a series of "-ing" verbs!
Eating: a waffle with maple syrup and scrambled eggs, courtesy of my mom
Drinking: water with Miralax (yay IBS)
Wearing: a teal half-sleeve dress
Smelling: nothing in particular
Reading: Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
Writing: this blog post, and not a whole lot else
Listening: to my brother's cat yowling at anyone who walks by
Earworming: (not a verb? too bad, it is now) "Havana" by Camilla Cabello
Watching: Star Trek: Voyager, among other shows
I'm an unpublished novelist, primarily of YA fantasy, and a freelance editor. I love psychology, cats, social justice, and love! I'm also a huge fangirl. More than anything, stories are my life.
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