Here are the interesting and useful links I have to share this quarter! Some other important ones went into this post.
In bookish news, the American Library Association has released its list of the most challenged books of 2019. A lot of them have to do with LGBT+ representation, which is unsurprising, as banned books often include important content related to marginalized groups. This is one big reason why we say no to book banning! The CCBP also recently released an analysis of marginalized representation in children's literature (which includes YA lit) from 2019.
That makes for a solid segue into social justice, where this Tumblr post discusses how to critically examine the portrayal of police in the media. On a related note, this Twitter thread lists the most dangerous jobs in the United States. This Tumblr post talks about some of the issues with the current U.S. justice system, as does this one, and this one explores defunding the police, as does this Twitter thread. Also take a look at these stats:
Okay! It's finally time for my June update. My May update is linked here.
(Re)reading: Open Minds (Mindjack #1) by Susan Kaye Quinn
Writing: #SnowQueenStory, on page 63
Editing: my blog archives, at January 2015
Working: most recently, on a cardiology-related Scribbr essay
Watching: bits and pieces of Star Trek: Discovery
Playing: let's just assume I'm always playing Hogwarts Mystery unless I say otherwise
Earworming: "Girls Like You" by Maroon 5
Bookmarking: some websites about crystal meanings
Following: most recently on Tumblr, dindjarindaily
Wearing: this t-shirt in light blue with a black skirt and these earrings in silver
Eating: more Chips Ahoy
Smelling: kitty litter that needs to be cleaned
Hearing: distant traffic outside
Now that we're in May (how wild), it's time for a life update! You can review April's update here.
Reading: Reverie by Ryan La Sala
Writing: #SnowQueenStory, on page 54
Editing: my blog archives, at October 2014
Working: most recently on a book description
Watching: The Half of It on Netflix
Playing: Hogwarts Mystery on a brand new save file because I decided to delete my Facebook
Earworming: the main theme from Us
Bookmarking: some websites about flower language
Following: most recently on Twitter, Joanna No Banana
Wearing: a navy tank top dress and black shrug with white pearl earrings
Eating: too many Chips Ahoy
Smelling: almond sugar lip balm
Hearing: my youngest brother thundering around
Back in 2013, I wrote a post sharing my favorite quotations. Since then, my interest in quotes has declined a bit--context is quite important, and it often gets lost amidst these pithy phrases! Nevertheless, I've written a handful of other posts about good quotes since then, and today, I'd like to add a few more to the list, drawn from my Goodreads and my Pinterest. Because words are beautiful!
Everything you can imagine is real. -- Pablo Picasso
Life is made up of marble and mud. -- Nathaniel Hawthorne
The most beautiful stories always start with wreckage. -- Jack London
Nothing great in the world was ever accomplished without passion. -- Georg Wilheim
Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality. --
Edgar Allan Poe
The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is
always more mystery. -- Anais Nin
If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable
explanation is that we were made for another world. -- C.S. Lewis
The absence of violence is not love. -- from Still Life With Tornado by A.S. King
Things are rough right now, and it is time for another life update! (Check out March's here.)
(Re)reading: Persuasion by Jane Austen (thanks to the library being closed, there are a lot of
rereads going on right now!)
Writing: blog posts and diary entries
Editing: my blog archives for formatting and consistency (at September 2013), because I
finished the #OCDStory edit!
Working: most recently on a personal statement from Scribbr
Watching: random shows to see if something grabs me
Playing: lots of Hogwarts Mystery
Earworming: Victorious's take on "Don't You (Forget About Me)", for some reason
Bookmarking: NetGalley, most recently
Following: mostly recently on Twitter, Am I the Buttface?, which shares posts from that Reddit
Getting: cool birthday gifts like these earrings
Wearing: this Baby Yoda shirt and black sweatpants
Eating: too much sugar because I am seriously stressed out
Smelling: nothing in particular
Hearing: keyboard sounds and a fan
It's time for our Spring 2020 roundup of interesting and useful posts that I found online during the last three months! Check out the links below.
Starting with this quarter in interesting diversions: This Tumblr post presents a chart of different sun gods worshiped in different time zones. This one proposes a super cool way to propose marriage! This New Scientist article talks about a tiny new moon the Earth recently (temporarily) gained.
Onto the important current issue of coronavirus: This Scientific American article presents a reasonable look at preparing to flatten the curve that is still helpful today. This University of Washington website shares coronavirus projections for different U.S. states. This Twitter thread talks about the unknown loss of possibility we will experience, while this thread from fellow chronically ill person and YA author Natasha Ngan gives advice on coping with being stuck at home for an extended period.
Meanwhile, this chart compares the death tolls of different pandemics across history (the coronavirus numbers have since risen to at least 88k):
Hey, friends! Hope you're all doing well despite the ongoing pandemic. I've been dealing with a lot of lower respiratory symptoms this week, including breathlessness, which culminated in me going to a clinic and finding out I was having my first ever asthma attack! I don't even usually have allergies, but apparently my lungs are mad right now. That was a fun time.
Now for today's post: I share fanart in themed posts on this blog every so often, I reblog it on my Tumblr all the time, and I've also talked about my Art & Words Pinterest board in the past. Visual art is amazing to me! But I have yet to write a post introducing you to my favorite artists. I thought today would be a good time to remedy that.
Some of these artists primarily create fanart; some primarily create original works. There are photos, paintings, papercraft, and more! I hope through this you find some great visual artists to support. Art is such an essential part of human life: it educates, it enriches, it evokes, it inspires, it distracts! We need it most in difficult times like these.
Paola Pieretti has developed a style for her commissioned character portraits that really speaks to me, though I can't explain why. I just know that she's at the top of my list for artists I might commission once I have a published book to promote. I don't have any single favorite, but here are a few pieces that show off her abilities:
Welcome to March! Here's the update. (You can review February here.)
(Re)reading: The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater
Writing: blog posts and diary entries
Editing: #OCDStory, at page 213
Working: on a few scattered freelance projects
Watching: Hoarders episodes on YouTube
Playing: more Choices and Hogwarts Mystery
Bookmarking: the Ch21Con Discord!
Following: YA author Margaret Owen on Twitter
Getting: I was just gifted a framed picture of the Christus statue
Wearing: a navy blue tank top dress with a long-sleeved black shrug and blue goldstone
studs with dropping stars in back
Eating: pumpkin seeds again
Smelling: nothing in particular
Hearing: Zoey the cat eating cat food and Hogwarts Mystery background music
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!
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