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
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.
It's time for me to share the most interesting and useful posts I came across online during the last three months. Check it out!
First, in animals in need, the tweet pictured below has been making the rounds:
The next image shares websites of many different groups that help people in need of financial support for their sick/injured pets.
For my second best of 2019 list, I've decided to broaden things a bit. Instead of just sharing the new movies and TV shows I enjoyed most this year, I'm going to share all sorts of different content from this year (besides YA novels) that I recommend! Please enjoy, and have a happy Christmas if you celebrate!
1) Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia. This five-star MG fantasy novel takes the Rick Riordan formula and adapts it using a combination of West African mythology and black American folklore to astonishing effect. I've never read anything that better depicts the incredible power of stories or the harrowing echoes of history. This is one of those books where I, as a writer, cannot understand how a human mind formed it, and I think everyone should read it.
2) Captain Marvel (PG-13). Going into this, I was thrilled to have a female-led film from Marvel at last but also worried that Carol Danvers would prove to be too much of a tough, stereotypical Strong Female Character for me. Luckily, that was not the case! Though Carol is physically strong, a part of the Armed Forces, and a tomboy type, she also has a lot of personality--plenty of sass and wit to hook me in. Though Wanda Maximoff will probably always be my top Marvel girl, Carol Danvers has a solid place in the lineup. This movie also expresses an important and relevant political message, and there's a cat! Every movie should have a cat.
3) Spider-Man: Far From Home (PG-13). This movie raises some questions about Tony Stark's wisdom (or lack thereof), but it's also such a delightful story for the YA crowd that I can't leave it off this list. It captures that high school/teen spirit perfectly and provides some fun twists, as well as Marvel's usual top-notch characterization. The villain has the most fantastic flamboyant vibe, there's a stunning CGI sequence in the middle, and the Spideychelle ship sets sail in adorable fashion. All in all, this is a great movie to push the MCU past the Infinity Saga and into a new phase.
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
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
It's time for me to share all the coolest stuff I saw on the internet this last quarter!
First of all, I wanted to share this fantastic language-related video where bilingual people take on Google Translate:
In the writing world, this Tumblr post gives some great advice for white people drawing/writing characters of color. This Tumblr post looks at fictional animal design, while this one looks at the causes of war. This one offers an interesting cheat sheet for how plot, character, and setting interact.
Hey friends! It's been a good long while since I shared my recommendations for who to follow on social media. Way back when this blog was just beginning, I thought that the best way to do that was to list everyone I was following. But you know what? All anyone would have to do if they wanted to see that is look at who I'm following on my profiles. (And you can do that if you'd like to!)
So instead, I'm going to share a handful of recommendations from each social media platform I'm on: the people I most enjoy following and why. This was hard to narrow down on some platforms, so if I follow you and I didn't list you here, please feel free to promote yourself in the comments! I have a lot of people I'm friendly with online--after all, social media is most of my chronically ill social life. For now, check these people out!
Recently, I decided for the sake of time to cut my Facebook use way back. These days, other social media platforms are more popular, interesting, and helpful. So on Facebook right now, I pretty much just follow people I know IRL and local news. I do have one recommendation from the platform, though:
Whatever social media platform you're on, I recommend following SparkNotes (they're pretty much on every platform) for hilarious and clever content about classic English literature. This famous purveyor of literature study guides does a fantastic job at making social media fun!
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
Today I thought I'd try out adding a third post to my quarterly roundups: a speedlinking-type roundup of cool, interesting, useful, etc. stuff that I saw online across the last three months! In this case, I'll be sharing stuff that I've found since the speedlinking post I did in February. If it goes well, I'll continue this series quarterly. So check it out!
In the books world, here's a website that will tell you what book was the NYT bestseller the year that you were born! And if you're a Harry Potter fan, this quiz will tell you which Defense Against the Dark Arts professor you are. (I got the coolest one, Remus Lupin!) I also came across this cool Twitter thread by a librarian about what she's learned while doing her job. And some huge book deal news has just been announced: Suzanne Collins will be releasing a Hunger Games prequel that takes place 64 years before Katniss's story. It comes out in May 2020!
In the writing world, here's a Tumblr guide to female characters and male characters to avoid in your work. This post also offers some helpful advice about "writing what you know," while this one acts as a solid mythology reference. Finally, this language-related post is pretty awesome:
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
Hello, readers! It's that time of year again: today I'm participating in the Ch1Con & Ch21Con 2019 Blog Tour, an annual tour in preparation for this year’s conferences, which brings original content from the Chapter One Events team to a number of fantastic, writing-related blogs.
Chapter One Events is a nonprofit organization that brings writing information and publishing opportunities to young writers, culminating in the Chapter One Young Writers Conference (Ch1Con, ages 11-20) and Chapter Twenty-One Conference (Ch21Con, ages 21-29) each year. The two conferences bring tweens, teens, and young adults together to hear from accomplished authors their own age, participate in professional workshops, and celebrate the influence young writers have on the world. With an atmosphere that combines the professional aspects of writing conferences with the awesomeness of hanging out with fellow young book nerds, Ch1Con and Ch21Con are truly can’t-miss events!
The Chapter One Events team is composed of a mix of middle school, high school, college, and twenty-something writers who work together to create a unique, inclusive experience for young attendees. One of these team members is here today to talk about a subject important to me right now: rekindling your passion for writing. Everyone, please say hello to Katie Sherwood!
It's time for this year's speedlinking post, where I share a bunch of cool stuff I found on the Internet for you to check out! Here we go.
Here are some awesome things that various libraries let you check out! And here are some more great ideas that librarians have come up with. Similarly, here are some fantastic ideas from various schools.
I recently got into podcasts, though I mostly read the transcripts, since I have a much better comprehension level with text. This list from Buzzfeed about spooky podcasts, and the comments on the list, started me out. I had them Halloween feels! I'm also looking into these true crime podcast recommendations.
Turning now to social justice, this article talks about bias in the healthcare industry, especially against women. For those who want to know more, I highly recommend the book Doing Harm by Maya Dusenbery. This comic talks about the problem with women being the "managers" of household tasks and always taking on the "mental load." Meanwhile, these comics look at the ridiculous behavior expectations for women in the workplace. This article talks about how stereotyping women as "complicated" causes problems.
Author Laurie Halse Anderson is well-known for her phenomenal novel Speak, a YA contemporary about sexual assault. In this article, she discusses her experiences with teenage boys who don't understand the concept of consent. It is so important that we educate everyone about sex, consent, boundaries, and respect for others!
This post talks about racial bias in the news media, and this one looks at how racial "colorblindness" doesn't help things.
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.
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.
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. 😬
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
It's been quite a week for me. I spent most of it working (probably over-enthusiastically) on the big project for what will likely be my final class. I finished on Thursday. It's a guide to Internet resources for teens regarding mental health, and you can check it out here! (I learned a ton doing it.)
Then, yesterday, a new story for the chronic illness annals: I went to the dentist. I've been having trouble with bleeding gums and such, which I suspect is the result of my very restricted diet (which just keeps getting worse because my digestive system keeps deciding it's bothered by new things), so the hygienist was examining my gums. Suddenly she said, "Can I look at your throat?"
As she looked, pressing my tongue down with the little mirror tool, her expression went very serious and a little alarmed. "You've got pus spots on your tonsils," she said. "I think you have strep."
I was just as surprised as her. My throat had been hurting for about a week, and I was a bit more tired and headachy than usual, but it hadn't been enough to warrant concern for me. The pain was mild, at least for me, and of course I'm accustomed to feeling sick. The dentist looked and confirmed the spots, and I went to urgent care. I didn't really think it would turn out to be strep, but the doctor there tested and confirmed it. I have strep, and I didn't know it until the dental hygienist looked at my throat.
I had strep a lot when I was younger. I remember having a hard time with the pain even the one time I got strep after my fibro first developed. I suppose after everything I've been through with interstitial cystitis since then (it's an honestly torturous condition), my entire definition of pain has shifted. My tolerance has gone up enough that I perceive pain on a different scale. It happened with the fibro, and I suppose it happened with the IC, too.
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