#ReadYourTomesAthon Announcement

Hi everyone!

So it looks like 2020 is the year of readathons, for me, anyways. There have been a myriad of them happening in years past, but I never managed to participate in many. This year, however, I’ve decided to change that. So, here I am, to announce my intent to participate in another readathon. I cannot say this will be the last announcement of the sort, however, the one in question this time is the #ReadYourTomesAthon by Vanessa, who blogs at The Wolf & Books.

Personally, I am ecstatic that this particular readathon has been created, because now I have legitimate motivation to read the massive books that have been on my TBR for a while now. Currently, the TBR I have for it is:

1. Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger

2. Peace and Turmoil (The Dark Shores Book 1) by Elliot Brooks

3. The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

4. Jade City by Fonda Lee

5. The Inheritance Trilogy (bind up version from Amazon) by N.K. Jemison

6. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemison

7. The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy: Book 1) by S.A. Chakraborty

8. The Savior’s Champion by Jenna Moreci

9. The Devil’s Thief by Lisa Maxwell

Looking up at that list, I feel confident that I will manage to pick up each of those titles, considering that I own all of them. However, I am participating in another readathon, and do have other books outside of these that I’d like to read, so it’s all about managing my time and seeing what I can handle alongside life.

If you haven’t heard of this readathon, and you are a reader who loves tomes, then you should definitely check it out!

Until next time,

T.J.

Year of the Asian Reading Challenge 2020 Announcement of Intention to Participate

Hi everyone!

This year, I’ve decided to sign up for the Year of the Asian Reading Challenge 2020. I hadn’t planned on participating originally, but after a glance at the tentative TBR I’ve set for myself this year, I honestly have no excuse not to.

With that being said, my Goodreads goal for 2020 had been previously set to 25 books, but given this and other reading challenges I foresee myself signing up for, that *may* change. Only time will tell, honestly.

Either way, in regards to the YARC, I am aiming for the Indian cobra, which is the second level, and requires 11 to 20 books by Asian authors to be read.

Green and blue award badge with a Indian Cobra in the center, and with two gold stars above the award.

Anyways, that’s about all I have for now. Has anyone else heard of this, and thought about joining? If you haven’t, then consider checking it out at The Quiet Pond book blog!

Until next time,

T.J.

New Year, Same Blog (Basically)

Hi all!

It’s been a minute, hasn’t it?

Yes, I did intentionally quit writing for a while. Last year weighed me down like a ton of bricks, and blogging was the last thing on my mind.

Going forward with this year though, I plan to take it easy on myself, but I do still want to continue blogging. From the start, this has been a writing blog, with a variety of other topics mixed in, and I plan for that to remain the same this year. However, more emphasis may be placed on certain topics over others, depending on where my interest lies during any given week.

With that in mind, expect 1-2 posts at max each week, for now, unless otherwise stated. I’ve got a lot of topics I’d like to discuss, but it’s more a matter of sitting myself down to write them.

Anyways, I hope the rest of everyone else’s 2019 was great, and I wish y’all a wonderful new year, too!

Sincerely,

T.J.

My 1st DNF and 1 Star Book of The Year

Well, it finally happened. I read a book I could not finish, as well as another that received a 1 star rating. A quick perusal of my Goodreads page will lead anyone towards the correct conclusion that I generally rate books between 4-5 stars, because I rarely subject myself to a book I think I might never enjoy. However, I went in blind, reading both of the aforementioned books without researching, and this was the result.

One of the books, The Art of Being Normal, has been on my TBR for ages, so it’s a miracle I never did seek out any non-spoiler reviews where I might have gleaned even a hint of whether I’d enjoy it or not. If I had though, I would have realized it wasn’t a book for me, because it was a non- OwnVoices hot mess, to put it frankly. However, I was fooled by the beautiful rainbow cover, and so here we are. As for the other, The Keeper of The Mist, I picked it up at random from the library, and the synopsis immediately grabbed my attention, so my hopes were high. However, xenophobia was rife in it, and therefore no longer something I wished to consume.

This is not to say, however, that I am not pleased with the outcome. Despite the terrible ratings I gave, I am thankful to have read these books, because one – they were both published roughly 3-4 years ago, and after knowing the majority of their contents, it is easy to see that publishing in YA is transitioning to something somewhat better, even if it’s at a snail’s pace in certain aspects, and two – I will now advocate even more strongly for OwnVoice novels of all sorts, including my own future ones. There are moments in life that shape us, and I believe reading these books was another one for me.

Sugar Is Not Fly…

I never thought I would seek out veganism as a choice, nor did I foresee myself yearning to go on a whole foods, plant based diet at least 90-95% of the time, but here we are. After a chain of events on July 29th, 2019, this is where I’m at in my vegan journey.

Since July 8th, I’ve been a dietary vegan. While I’ve researched a fair bit, I still have copious amounts of research still to do. Even so, I’ve managed to eat well enough, for the most part. I’ve even been active, which was something that occurred before I became vegan, but it is much easier now, I will say. Overall, I’ve done well, and the results I’ve felt and seen are enough for me to continue with this lifestyle for the unforeseeable future.

With that being said, a few nights ago, I consumed some homemade vegan cake, which did have vegan “butter”, sugar, and dark vegan chocolate. I had a small amount, but that mattered little to my body, which took that as an invitation to subject me to a number of symptoms afterward which had me rethink added sugar, and processed foods overall as being a part of my diet.

Before I began eating a plant based diet, I could not fathom leaving added sugar out of my diet, or carbs, for that matter. Pasta, as much as chocolate, ranch, bread, or even cheese, have been parts of my eating habits for as long as I can remember. However, if this year has proven anything to me, it’s that I can do more than I thought, and I should never say never.

This Meatless Monday, and Every One After

There are a number of labels or adjectives that one could use to describe me. This month I’m adding a new descriptor – vegan.

Last month, I began the process of transitioning from the omnivore I’ve been since I took up eating “real” food, to becoming a person who not only shirks meat, but also honey, eggs, dairy, and any other product that includes any animal’s unwilling contribution to it. If the person I was last year knew what I’ve done, they would be appalled. This older version of myself though is happier, healthier, and grateful that I’ve made the leap.

While I cannot say I am fully vegan yet, I’m getting there. As someone who grew up in Texas, where meat and dairy is consumed in large quantities, going cold turkey was NOT an option. I managed to do it for about two days, before I almost quit, which is not where I wanted to find myself a few months or years later. So, I resumed a mostly vegan diet, until I reach a time where I am able to have transitioned out all that is not vegan.

At the point of writing this, I’ve not eaten meat in over two weeks, and whole eggs in about a week. I gave up honey a while ago, due to the sugar content. However, dairy is probably the one that has taken the longest. I will say, even though I had some yesterday by accident, as a restaurant I ate at did not heed my request that milk not be added into my Thai tea, I prefer non-dairy alternatives to actual dairy, now. Despite the set backs I’ve had though, I’m making great progress towards leaving a less painful footprint on the earth as a whole.

With all of that being said, this past month has given me a break from the blog, as well as some time to think. The journey into, as well as the sustainment of the lifestyle, veganism will not be without its hard ships, mishaps, or fantastic moments. That is why, I’ve decided to begin chronicling those on this blog under the category title: Barely Vegan. Posts will be on “Meatless Mondays”, and discuss a variety of topics related to veganism as I experience and learn more. I look forward to sharing more on this topic. I hope whoever reads about it will enjoy it too!

Some Rather Than None

In a surprising turn of events, I wrote words.

No, really, I did. My spreadsheet even says so. I promise.

By the time this posts, I’ll be working towards my overall monthly goal of finishing with at least 40K under my belt, which will be relatively easy considering I’m closer to 36K at this point than not. This is a non NaNo month, in which I spread myself out over a variety of projects, so I am quite pleased with my work, even if my drive fizzled out towards the end due to life and its inconsistencies, coupled with my inability to focus after these unexpected events transpired. Still, I wrote words that mattered and which helped me grow. That is progress I can get behind.

Now that May is all but over, as I look forward to next month, believe it or not, I am aiming for the whole 50K, if not more. With a new spreadsheet in tow, I will be tracking my progress once again, because it seemed that method helped me to best stay on track, even if I did deviate for a bit. In preparation for the July NaNo, and each one after, I want to keep the work load steady, so that writing that much becomes as easy as breathing. Otherwise, finishing all that I want to may never happen.

On a semi related note, I actually read 5 books this month, as well as one graphic novel. April was the worst reading month I’ve had in years, so to read that much after the previous month, was a breath of relief. In terms of overall enjoyment – I loved each book that I chose. Two thirds of them were new releases, with the other two being books I’ve had on my TBR pile for a while. Not a single one disappointed, thankfully.

While I do not plan to set a definitive TBR for next month, I will say that I’d like to read at least 5 queer books, if not more. Massive monthly TBR piles, like I tried to set for each month at the beginning of the year, will not do it for me. At least, not while I’m juggling all that I am. Even so, I’m sure I will enjoy the next month, and whatever reads it brings.

So that’s my May in a nutshell, with writing and reading – two actions which are intrinsically linked. If you do either, do you have any goals for next month? Are you setting a definitive TBR for Pride Month, or winging it?

Either way, I hope that if you’re reading this, that you’re having a great day!

T.J.