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Some Thoughts on Soulmates

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.

A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave.

A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master…” – Elizabeth Gilbert

As you can tell, I read a lot. I’ve thumbed through the pages of books that have characters in them who claim to be “soulmates” and, to be honest, I hate that fucking word. I do! I think its a horrible, limited way of describing your love for someone. I think people say soulmates because they lack a better term for it. Maybe they’re trying to say “My soul was at peace when I met them” or “Our eyes locked and I saw myself in the depths” or “I have never loved anything this monumentally”

millie

I am so fortunate to have more than one soulmate, and though it sounds hypocritical, I say “soulmate” because I lack the vocabulary to explain how I feel. I never met a romantic soulmate of mine and I doubt I ever will. I had a couple soulmates who happen to be men and we fucked everything up by trying to be more. I miss them, every day. I miss how easy it was to talk to them before we “dated” and now that we’ve been inevitably together and gone separate ways, I know that I can never have them back in the way that I did. I don’t know if that’s selfish but I think it might be. I just wish I still had their friendship without all the strange moments of “What are we?”

I have other soulmates. I have a best friend who appreciates that I was probably supposed to be a mix of Hermione and Luna but someone decided I’d have more fun as a hybrid of Bellatrix Lestrange and Remus Lupin. It’s been great, thanks.  I work with a girl who makes my heart feel calm whenever I see her. I work with girls who challenge me and understand me and push me. They are all my soulmates. The ones who push me radiate violet, and if I believed in the strings of fate, I think heavy, purple cords would connect us. I’ve had soulmates who broke my heart and left me bleeding all kinds of colors. They remind me of small cherry threads that I will have to cut someday to fully heal. I can feel the cracks in my chest that they left as if they were palpable. I have soulmates that I don’t speak to, out of respect for myself. I have soulmates that I have nightmares of running into and wake up with ghosts of tears on my face.

I have never done things halfway – especially love. As someone who is drained by social interaction and needs to pick her accomplices very carefully, I am either 100% invested in you, or not at all. Don’t come into my life with the intention of giving minimal effort; I carry scissors with me at all times and I will cut the ties that bind us before you knew they were there.

I can recognize my soulmates by one thing: I don’t have to dumb myself down for them. That is the only way that I’ve learned to survive in a world that rejects intelligent women: deny, deny, deny that you are one. I don’t mean to sound egotistical, but I am a woman of high intelligence and survival instincts like you wouldn’t believe. I know that to keep myself out of trouble, I stay cute and sweet and then destroy if I am crossed. My soulmates have never made me doubt my worth, have never made me question my intelligence. They’ve made me question my views, my priorities, and my footing – but never the things that come intrinsically to who I am.

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I’ve read so many books where the narrator has said that the person felt like nothing else mattered after meeting this one person, that their lives improved tenfold. I am here to tell you that soulmates are not some shiny package containing the answers to our questions. They are the shakers, the movers, the destroyers of our lives. You will meet them on coffee dates and some of them will only be available for late-night adventures. You’ll find that at least one will hate your taste in music or will be disgusted with how you prepare your tea. They will insert themselves into the marrow of your bones and you will wonder how you were missing such a vital piece all along. I have a soulmate who is three years old and has taught me more about understanding and empathy than anyone else I have known. I had a soulmate die and take half of me with her. They are not here to make things perfect, they are here to show you that life is so much better when it’s messy.

Carry on,

The Book Witch

 

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The Book Witch’s Book Challenge

Hello, friends!

I thought it would be a rad idea to share my 2017 Book Challenge with you. I’m trying to read 60 books this year, which is a low number for me, but with all my other shit going on, it’s been hard to find the time to read. As a way to reach my goal with less anxiety, I wrote my own Book Challenge so that I can check off certain prompts and premises as I go along.

Feel free to add or remove your own in accordance to your interests, I tried to keep things relatively broad; let me know if you check anything off your reading list using this challenge!

  • A nonfiction book
  • A book published in the last year (pretty sure I’ll be checking this off with The Bone Witch or A Court of Wings and Ruin)
  • A book by someone who isn’t an author (I’m like 1/2 way through Anna Kendrick’s autobiography and it’s super funny)
  • A recommendation (I will be getting to Garth Nix’s Abhorsen trilogy…I’m so sorry it took me a year, Megan.
  • An award winning book (I’m looking at you Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe) 
  • A book with a one-word title
  • A book with a number in the title (I’M DOING THIS ONE RIGHT NOW)
  • A book on your TBR (if this prompt seems like it crawled up from a hole of chaos and despair, that’s because it did. Surprise!)
  • a book about / based around mythology (Wanted: Hades & Persephone smut)
  • a book about food
  • a book you bought on a trip (Fun fact: I bought Red Queen on a trip to Carmel and I’m starting a read-along with a Facebook group on February 1st! If anyone needs more incentive to read, let me know and I’d be happy to start a book-club)
  • a book with a pseudonym
  • a book about the ocean
  • a book of poetry
  • a book about best friends
  • a thriller

 

It’s more for when I hit a book slump and need a boost. Checking things off of lists is one way I can always ensure my motivation. I figure when I check all of these off, I can rewrite another list… and another… and another… If you have any suggestions or you plan on using this as a guideline, let me know! I always have recommendations for those of us who need more of an excuse to buy books.

Speaking of buying books… I did a thing. Hint: I bought books.

I jumped on that Coleen Hoover bandwagon and everyone has been telling me to read Truthwitch because it’s similar to ToG; I finished the third book in that series yesterday and my life is in shambles. I got Shade Me because its about synethsia, which I have, and its a thriller. Playlist for the Dead sounds sad as fuck and has a musical premise, which is one of my favorite things ever. 

I heard back about my laptop today, there’s no estimate for when it will be back BUT I don’t have to pay for the replacement parts because of warranties, yay!

Soon, I’ll be able to upload pictures from my big girl camera.

I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Carry on,

The Book Witch

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Day 6 & 7 of 30 Days of Book Reviews

Hey everyone!

I’m going to try something new, a post where I review two separate books – and compare and contrast them. I’m trying this for two different reasons: because I haven’t read them in a while and I don’t remember enough minute details to really get into them and because I like to challenge myself.

So today, I present you with the combined reviews of An Abundance of Katharines and The Forest of Hands and Teeth, two very popular YA books.


Overall (for both of them!): 6/10 

Summary:

(For AAOC)

Katherine V thought boys were gross. Katherine X just wanted to be friends. Katherine XVIII dumped him in an e-mail

K-19 broke his heart

When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.
On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun–but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl.
Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.

(& for FOHAT)

In Mary’s world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded by so much death?

Plot: One is lighthearted and quirky, the other is dark and apocalyptic. I love the unique stories that both of these book are based around. John Green can take a completely mundane situation, like a roadtrip or a breakup, seem like a complete existential adventure. Ryan has the ability to take a grim situation and add more twisted details to make it even more captivating. They’re definitely both easier reads; some parts of FOHAT hurt a bit but the rest of the book is fairly simple. I love John Green’s work but this one was one that settled further down the list of favorites and when I read the second installment of FOHAT, it completely disillusioned me from the first book. I strongly recommend them to people who enjoy YA and love stories or coming-of-age novels. Also, zombies and nerds are totally fucking awesome. The plot of AAOK is interesting, but a little odd. I adore the main character but really? He’s dated nineteen Katharines? Not that its not totally plausible but it’s not exactly an attention  grabber and it’s kind of corny, in a bad way. I love the concept of the zombie-riddled world that Mary lives in and that religion is the focal point behind their society’s structure. We never really find out if it’s set in an earlier time period or if we revert back to old ways in her reality, so have fun with that.

Characters: Okay, so here’s the thing. I’m not in love with the plot of AAOK but I adore the main character, Quentin. While I love the plot of FOHAT, the main character is extremely hard for me to like. She’s not a very strong woman, and it’s easy to forgive her for that given her circumstances but also, I don’t want to forgive her because she is impossible to be involved with. Another neat contrast is that AAOK has a very interesting romantic background and then there’s a heart breaking love triangle in FOHAT. Love triangles, are again, my shit.

Ending: I found both the endings to be pretty satisfying! A little sad, but they weren’t cliffhangers of doom, either. Again, not in my top ten, but still good reads!

I mean, who can avoid sweet nerds like Quentin who say marveolous statements like

‘Books are the ultimate Dumpees: put them down and they’ll wait for you forever; pay attention to them and they always love you back.’

or a book that has this in it:

Suddenly, all I can think about are all the things I don’t know about him. All the things I never had time to learn. I don’t know if his feet are ticklish or how long his toes are. I don’t know what nightmares he had as a child. I don’t know which stars are his favorites, what shapes he sees in the clouds. I don’t know what he is truly afraid of or what memories he holds closest.
And I don’t have enough time now, never enough time. I want to be in the moment with him, feel his body against mine and think of nothing else, but my mind explodes with grief for all that I am missing. All that I will miss. All that I have wasted.

Carry on,

The Book Witch

 

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the gamer & the librarian || a glimpse into the crystal ball

“These two, especially if the Sun-Moon relationship between them is strong and positive, can exist almost in a world of their own, held together by a communication of the senses surpassing anything an Air or Fire sign could imagine. Few human experiences of sharing are more comforting than the physical demonstration of love between a Bull and a Fish, without questioning their mutual need, only desiring to answer it” – Linda Goodman; Linda Goodman’s Love Signs 

This post could otherwise be titled “the healer & the writer”, “the protector & the dreamer” or “the realist & the mystic”

 

I wanted to write a post about my dream home… and then I wanted to write a post about birth charts… and then I wanted to write a post about marriage… so in a fit of genius and a bit of “fuck that”, I decided to throw them all in a cauldron and to write a post that focuses on how I want my marriage to be in 5 years.  After pondering on that topic for a couple minutes, I thought that it was a great way to immortalize how I feel as 2016 comes to a close. I also believe that this is a topic that all couples should explore, to mesh some goals and figure out a timeline for certain life aspects they’d like to have worked out. Side-note: I intend on sharing this with Jason later, after it’s published. We already have a five-year plan posted in our bedroom as a reminder of our goals but this is going to be much more specific to my actual visualization of our future.

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If you’re familiar with birth charts like I am, you’re probably looking at this and going “Holy shit (some of you might be a bit more eloquent than I), a lot of your planets are in similar signs.” Yes, we have elemental compatibility in all of our planets except our Jupiters. Some of our Houses are in disharmony but we have a solid amount of positive squares, trines, and sextiles to balance it out. If you have no clue what the fuck is going on, let me tell you a thing: don’t worry about it, just know that the quote above applies to Jason and I – that’s all you need to take away from this.

Jason and I have been together almost five years, so by the time this post is chronologically saavy – these goals would have been ten years in the making. Five years is a lot of time for growth and change; there’s so much room for improvement or deterioration. I hope this post gives a little insight as to what a lot of long-term relationships are like – there is always work to be done. Even couples who have rock-solid foundations and who appear completely unshakeale are constantly at work with their significant other.

So here you go – How I Want My Marriage to be in Five Years

Supportive 

I can not put enough emphasis on this one and I put it as first as a reason. I have learned that relationships will not thrive if you do not support your significant other. I’m not talking about an apathetic “sure, babe. that’s neat” – I’m talking about a “YES THATS MY BEST FRIEND YOU GO BEST FRIEND” kind of support. Like, a strong enough support that it gives you confidence in yourself. In a stroke of good luck, I found a human who is so immesely supportive of my goals and interests that I fell in love with him more because of it. He’s all “You wanna open an etsy to do tarot readings and birth charts? Yeah, when are you gonna start?” and “You wanna start doing photography? Can I help you research cameras?” I want to nurture this aspect of my realtionship until people are absolutely disgusted by how supportive we are. Having a supportive partner is like having this mutipurpose magic wand that can be a ladder on the good days, a safety net on the bad days, and a mega phone on the in between days. It’s a blessing and I encourage everyone in a relationship to support the fuck out of each other and for my single readers to seek for someone who will be your support, no matter how obscure you think your goals are.

Fulfilling 

I also have this aspect of my wants already in play, hallelujah – praise whoever. Fullfilling relationships, in my definition, are ones that make you feel whole. This person and this life you live with them fills in your puzzle pieces. You found pieces of yourself that you didn’t know you were missing and now all these beautiful parts of you are coming to life because of your relationship. Before Jason, I didn’t think I would ever enjoy little things like spending Saturdays in bed – Pause, for the record, I’ve always been extemely introverted but I’ve always been a very nervous introvert and therefore, lazy afternoons were nightmares come to life – or cooking or just being myself. My relatioship has made me, much more me-ish. Once I started dating Jay, I was always finding myself saying things like “Ah yes, there’s that missing piece of my soul”. Again, another quality that I hope to nourish and keep alive for many, many years.

Engaging 

Oh boy, I’ve got a love/hate relationship with this one. I deeply, truly find my fiance’s intelligence to be an aspect of him that I pop a lady boner for on a daily basis… however, I do NOT pop lady boners for his stuborness and unyeilding nature. I love the fact that we can have intellectual discussions, but some topics are super off limits for us because I’m a sensitive little shit. (Fun fact: Us Slytherins are actually 20% dark humor, 30% intolerance for stupidity, and 50% too many feels) I’d love to turn this around into something that we can both be happy with – a place where we can talk about subjects like rape, I don’t automatically assume that he’s going to make me cry, and he doesn’t feel guilty for bringing it up in the first place. I don’t mean its bad to be sensitive about rape (please, for the love of all things J.K Rowling, be sensitive about rape) but I can and will shut down, instead of staying rational. I love that Jason and I are both well-versed in certain topics but we both have aspects of communication that we need to work on.

Peaceful 

There is nothing that I enjoy more than peace and quiet; I am the sleepiest, most avoidant person I know and peace is so important to my people.  In terms of relationships, by “peaceful” I mean that we our lives are less chaotic, we have a schedule, we get to spend time together, and there’s no outside sources of conflict. I have a very large, very mixed family who doesn’t always respect personal space and Jason has family members who I want to strangle. I wish I could put that more eloquently but my patience is already so thin. I think this will really start to take place when I’m done with school, we have a permanent place to live, and we both have careers. Naturally, those are time-dependent factors, so I find my current sense of peace in staying super far away from Facebook and reminding Jason that he’s a dude, and dudes don’t really have to mediate between in-laws so just don’t piss anyone off.

Private 

Very simple — I require 48 pugs, an espresso machine, and a house far away from human beings. I currently don’t put relationhsip stuff out on social media and if I do, it’s for the sake of positivity or to give what little advicfe I have . Keep your shit off of the internet, and you won’t regret it in 3 years.

 

Anyway, thank you all for reading, liking, and commenting! Nothing is better than being able to pursue a passion such as writing and getting positive feedback, or any constructive feedback. It’s terrifying trying to put yourself out there to explore something you enjoy and I really appreciate all of the encouragement and love.

 

Happy holidays &  best wishes,

The Book Witch

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new moons & fresh starts

Happy New Moon in Capricorn, everyone! I love earth signs; I actually collect Virgos. I strongly subscribe to the theory that people can be affected by the phases of the moon. Not everyone, mind you, but I know myself and several others turn into spontaneous disoriented messes when the moon is full. In addition to that lovely bit of extraterrestrial meddling, Mercury is in hella retrograde and I hate it. Last time when Mercury pulled this shit I was like “Oh, this isn’t too bad” while everyone else was running around me, chased by the flames of Hell. Now it’s my turn to be in a literal nightmare, apparently. My skin is broken out, my grandpa yelled at the mailman (which resulted in me having to go down to the Post Office and apologize on his behalf), my main job has experienced one of the busiest weeks since our last hot mess in August… the list goes on. I’m hoping when the New Year rolls around, it will get a bit calmer. Mercury is supposed to go back to normal on January 8th, which feels like its ten years away. Hear me out, I know a lot of people use Mercury in Retrograde as a scapegoat to be a dick – but I’m not like that, I promise. I’m more like “I’m going to need more naps than I normally do during the next three weeks”.

I’ve been working thirteen hour days, three times a week. What can I say, I’m kind of a hustler. Just kidding, I’m tired all the time and my feet hurt. Half of me is like “Yeah, you’re an independent woman! You work that grind!” and the other half is like “Please stop romanticizing this lifestyle, I forgot what my face looks like without dark cirlces”  I decided to decompress today by taking a lovely stroll through the aisles of Michael’s and setting aside some time for a DIY project.  I have been meaning to make my Aunt a sign as a thank-you for her latest work on my very difficult hair.

I meant to find some wooden plaques that were more on the pale side, so that I could paint over them, but I ended up with these rustic boards instead.

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I definitely prefer the stained coloring more than the bleached variety and these are made for hanging.

tonya board finish.jpgNot a super complex project, just some hot glue and paint! I played with several mediums on the first board to get the kind of text I wanted and ended up with a stencil, a marker, and some glitter. At the end, I was pretty stoked with how it turned out. I love my aunt – she’s an inspiration, a daily reminder to hustle and be myself.

Okay, so I’ve always wanted to do a “What’s in my bag?” post on a blog. I am obsessed with “Whats in my bag?” and I would 100% buy a book that’s just pictures of random junk people carry around. I think it’s like my addiction to personality quizzes and psychoanalyzing everyone I meet – what better way to learn about someone than to look through their shit? My purse is a tangible summary of my personality – dark and edgy on the outside, full of nerd and feelings on the inside.

Without further ado, the contents of my bag…

whats in my bag.jpgFor the record – Yes, my family does hate me. No one wants to carry or lift my purse. I tote around far too many books for someone my size, in all honesty.

I also have my two little zipper bags, which no one understands, but they have the purpose of keeping my shit protected! I put chargers, my headphones, (I’m one of those people who don’t function very well if we can’t work or walk around with music playing; I’m really cranky before Blink-182 and coffee in the mornings), my very cute magnetic bookmarks, and a picture of my grandparents in the Slytherin (I made that!) bag; the Pisces bag gets my Bellatrix planner and the two little “Goals” and “Inspiration” notebooks. The other notebooks get to fend for themselves.

I always carry around at least two books and a Kindle – right now my current read is This Savage Song and my writing project is the 52 Lists of Happiness. 

Other than that, I have some bobby pins, Bath and Body Works spray, crystals, hand lotion, lip-gloss and tarot cards. You know, the essentials.

Please, please share your WIMB with me. I hope that doesn’t come off as creepy. I am just super fascinated by people’s everyday items.

The 30 Days of Book Reviews starts in two days! Check back in on the 1st of January for my review of Carry On! 

Happy New Year

The Book Witch

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a letter, in lieu of a list

As 2016 comes to a close, I thought a good way to wrap things up would be to write a letter to 16-year old me – the Chandler who existed five years ago. I don’t do resolutions so this seemed like a cathartic, reflective way to end the year.

To myself, at 16 –

The first thing I would like to say to you is that I’m sorry. I failed you in a lot of different ways in your upcoming five years of growth. I encouraged you to hang out with people that bled you dry, I allowed you to be a doormat for everyone to use. I let you stop writing, drawing, reading. You distanced yourself from the people who would one day carry pieces of your soul and I said “Okay, go ahead”. I let you, with with your head full of dreams and a heart overflowing with trust,  give everything I had to someone and then forget who I am. It will take five years for you to come back to yourself. I’m so sorry.

The second thing that I’d like to tell you is that you get resorted into Slytherin. I know, but are you surprised? Remember all the times where you thought “I’m such an oddly selective Hufflepuff, there must be more out there like me!” There are, they’re called Slytherins. The Sorting Hat did say that you’ll meet your true friends here, and he was (hopefully) right. Be yourself, don’t ever be ashamed to be quiet or have a dislike of crowds. Don’t ever feel like you have to trust everyone because it’s in your nature – you are allowed to turn toxic people away.

The third thing we need to talk about is that you don’t marry your first love. Before you get upset, let me tell you: it’s okay. I know it feels like you built a life around this person and then someone took a sledgehammer to all the walls, but that’s okay. You see, in a couple years you’ll end up with a man who you never expected to end up with. You are supposed to marry this person on September 9th, 2017. I’m not going to tell you who it is because you need some more time to learn and to grow. You’re going to get hurt really, really badly and it’s going to be like the world has stopped for a couple months. Trust me, you will continue to hurt some people, too. You, my most empathetic darling, are not without flaws. Here comes the silver lining, the liquid gold they use to fill the cracks – he’s wonderful. You already know him – he’s been so kind to you before. He comes with some problems, he’s had a difficult life, but he’s going to be your best friend. Some days, he’s going to break your heart, it will be good and ugly, and he’s going to propose in the most heart-achingly beautiful way. You will drive five hours to adopt a dog and name her after Mimi, because she is so perfect and you will never have to be alone as long as she’s around.

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The last thing I want to tell you is that you will lose Mimi, your grandma. You will lose your soul-mate, your partner in crime. She will tell you for years that the two of you will open a bakery and then she’ll leave with an unknown condition and one last shuddering breath. Please be kind to her, when she’s gone you will have lost a parent. I know everything is about your friends right now, but who is a better friend to you than her? Bring Sammy over to the house more often, let her hang out with you and Mimi. Get your license and drive them to Dairy Queen. The loss of the person who introduced you to astrology and sewing will completely destroy you. Memories that you don’t want to revisit will haunt you at night and they’ll give you medication for the grief. Do you want to know a secret? I know the cure. Never, ever stop writing. You’re going to be a senior in high school with an English teacher who tells you that you’re one of the best she’s seen. She’s going to invite you back to read poetry that you wrote at midnight during a panic attack. You’re going to go to college (we’ll save that discussion for another day) and have four teachers bring tears to your eyes when they tell you that you should pursue writing. Hang out with Dad and Heather; have them read your work and give you feedback. Tell them that you love them and you’re grateful to be in their lives. Never stop carrying around a book. Bring colored pencils over to share with Jackson. Offer to babysit. You’re going to get over your fear of children when the world brings you Amelia, your niece, and you’ll wonder why no one has ever understood you more than a tiny girl with bright blue eyes.

I know that they say having an old soul is overrated, but its going to help you more than you know. Embrace forgiveness, but never forget. Practice compassion, but stand your ground. Understand now that you are the epitome of change and adaption. You will need to create in order to stop the overwhelming tide of life. Don’t drink and drive, do Mimi’s dishes, and give her a hug every single night.

Carry on, little one

The Book Witch (you, only more badass)

 

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you could rattle the stars

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Hello, my darlings.

I’m really excited to tell you about some upcoming projects that I’ll be working on. Remember when I was like “I’m a jack of all trades!” – I’m fairly certain that in about 40 years I’ll be that little old lady who lives in a cabin, has purple hair, rescues every dog I see, and people will say things like “Oh, you need an embroidered towel but all you have to trade is a vintage necklace made from parrot bones? Come, I’ll take you to… Granny Book Witch!” I’ll have a million varieties of loose leaf tea and invite people over for baked goods and a breath of solitude.

I had a really great, quiet Christmas. I love quiet holidays. A quiet holiday means hot coffee and sweatpants, which are two main components essential to my sanity. I drove down to Pilot Hill, California on the 23rd – a two & a half hour drive from where I live – to see my family. My mom’s (adopted mom, my other mother) sister lives in this area that could come straight from a Tolkien novel. There had been weather warnings all week about a storm coming through Donner Pass (the highway that California & Nevada residents use to visit one another) but I am the most stubborn person ever and nothing was going to stop me from seeing my family. it took three chain control stops and my makeup practically melting off from stress (I hate driving; I have terrible road rage and whenever my car catches on ice, I die a little inside), but I made it.

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It was a breath-taking drive, both ways. I am so in love with snow and all things winter. I would live in a town of year-round frozen delights if my fiance wasn’t Mr. Heatmiser. Hot weather is unnatural and it makes me cranky. 

I was trapped in bumper to bumper traffic for four hours on the way home, but it was fine. I didn’t kill anyone, I just screamed until my voice went away. My dad and Uncle Jim did me a serious solid and put new tires on my run-down SUV so it had a little more prowess on the black ice (in comparison to how it normally behaves). It was such a kind, generous gesture… I’m really bad when it comes to automobiles and Jason’s been telling me that I need new tires for months – but my extent of mechanical knowledge is limited to the facts that I use my steering wheel to turn, I push on the pedals when I want to go or not go, and blinkers are very, very important.

If it wasn’t snowing, it was raining. It was one of the best Christmas Eve’s that I’ve ever had.

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I had a really great Christmas Eve with my in-laws & my Papa, as well. It was all-in-all a very calm and relaxed weekend. I usually end up going to family parties and hating myself for a few hours on Christmas. I am not an individual who does well with large groups. Big surprise there, huh? But this year was different and I’m considerably less frazzled than I normally am after the holidays.

I’m very, very happy because my family knows me so well, and all their gifts are going to really help me improve as a person. My mother ordered me a camera that’s supposed to be here in late January and I intend on signing up for all the classes that I can possibly squeeze into. Come springtime, prepare yourselves for my book-blogger game to be upped. My sister gave me a candle making kit – so I plan on making bookish candles. I plan on making a Malfoy, Donia (Wicked Lovely), and Simon/Baz (Carry On) candles as soon as I figure out where to buy my scents. I also really want to make custom labels – if anyone has suggestions for software that I should use, please give me a little insight. My mom-in-law gave me a calligraphy kit – I fucking love calligraphy – and I’m stoked to get started on that. Maybe I’ll design my candle labels by hand… because I am a never ending storm of crafting and books. I also received a beginner’s embroidery kit and if I can, I’m going to be taking classes on that, too. My mom made me a beautiful, custom apron that makes me inspired to make shit whenever I look at it.

So, I did! Make shit, I mean.

I went to Target last night – a terrible financially decision, really – in search of a serving tray. I love serving trays and vintage jewelry boxes almost as I love refurbishing them. I found this drab dude on sale – $10 for a world of DIY potential.

stage 1.JPGI took him home, lined the inside with some mermaid fabric, and wrote a quote with a stencil and a fabric marker.

stage-2It took all of 30 minutes to complete & then I filled it up with all kinds of happy things.

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This little project turned out really cute and I’m happy that I stretched my creative wings instead of leaving it and worrying about messing up. Sometimes, you just gotta take that leap.

I also ended up finding a copy of Fangirl, my biography, and it’s a collector’s addition. It matches my new recipe box from my dad and mom!

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I’m goinng to set a schedule of posting every Tuesday and Thursday from here on out AND throughout the whole month of January, I’ll be doing a book review every day. That’s right, thirty book reviews. I’ve read way more than thirty books in my life so that’s not the issue, the issue is articulating how I feel about each novel without sounding repetitive. I’m going to be breaking each book down into specific aspects and giving them an individual rating. One of my 2017 goals is to be way more involved in my Goodreads community & I think that starting here will be a great way to do that.

If you have any advice for beginner DSLR photographers, I’d love to hear what you have to say. I’d love to hear what anyone has to say, I love my readers! You’re the most attractive and intelligent readers in the world.

Stay tuned for more, best wishes

The Book Witch

 

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