The Picky Pledge Challenge

the picky pledge 2019
Photo by Alexa of Alexa Loves Books and Hannah of So Obsessed With.

Hello lovely people~ I hope you’re doing well. SO, today I have an interesting post to talk about and that is The Picky Pledge Challenge. I was perusing Alexa’s blog over at Alexa Loves Books and stumbled upon her post for this year’s challenge about book buying habits.

First off, what is The Picky Pledge? It’s a challenge that was created by Alexa and Hannah of So Obsessed With to reflect on your book buying habits and to become more intentional with the books that are read, to read more backlist books, to read books already on your shelves, and reduce the amount of review books received.

Honestly? I think it’s a great idea! This past year I didn’t buy too many books, I don’t think, but I can still change my habits and really focus on the books I already own and give them some love, you know? So, I decided I’m going to join in this challenge along with them!

I don’t really have statistics of what I read and bought and such, so I won’t be going over them in this post, but I hope to next year when I do a recap of this challenge.

Speaking of, here are the categories that they set to focus on for this year!

2019 reading challenge
Photo by Alexa of Alexa Loves Books and Hannah of So Obsessed With.

I find these to be very reasonable and fun to do! I also find them to be in line with the Beat the Backlist Challenge that I also am taking part in this year. I’ll keep track of the goals for this specific challenge here on this post (as well as in a separate document on my computer lol), in case you want to see how I’m doing with it!

COVER:
RECOMMENDATION:
HOOK:
ON SALE:
SEQUEAL:
UNIQUE FORMAT:
AUTHOR:
GIFT:
PRE-ORDERED:
3+ YEARS AGO:
HYPED: The Wicked King by Holly Black & Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare | Both bought January 2019
TOPIC:

Let’s Chat!

So what about you? Are you up for the challenge? Be sure to check out Alexa’s and Hannah’s posts and their own goals for the year! Let me know in the comments below what your reading goals are and what some of your buying habits for the new year are.

Happy New Year! | Goals & Stuff

Happy New Year, peeps!

I can’t believe it’s already the new year. 2018 FLEW by, and I bet 2019 is going to go even faster. Oh joy.

But with a new year comes new year’s resolutions and promises that you won’t keep (maybe lol), so here’s my list of goals that I hope to achieve this upcoming year:

Reading & Blog Goals

  • Read one book per week. That’s 52 books for the year, which is entirely doable for me considering I’ve read 50 books in the past. This includes manga and comics, just so we’re clear.
  • Have half of those books be ones that are already on my shelves. Look, I recently did a large unhaul of unread books that had been sitting on my shelf gathering dust because I knew I wasn’t going to read them and I’d rather them go somewhere I know they’ll be well loved, so this year I want to focus on reading at least 25 books that are already currently on my shelves. Doable. Achievable. Awesome.
  • Post twice a week on my blog. I’ve already been doing this as I wanted to start the habit before the new year, but I’m going to try to post on Mondays (reviews) and Thursdays (chats/discussions/fun things). So far it’s been working, so that’s good. So that’ll be 104 posts for the year. Again: doable.

Personal Goals

  • Reach level two Japanese by the end of June. So I’ve been trying to learn Japanese for a while but I really suck at studying, so I’m going to try to make it my mission to study daily and reach level two on the app I use by the end of June. Again: doable. This also includes reviewing and practicing and all that jazz.
  • Lose at least ten pounds by the end of June. I’m not going to set the bar too high for weight loss goals. This one is entirely doable, and I’ve been working on it more this past month that I have in the past. Let’s hope for some good results!
  • Find work that’s more suited to me. This one is one I’ve been working towards, but I don’t know how it’ll go yet, so I’m going to keep this one kind of vague lol, but I do hope to find a job either in my field, teaching abroad, or something entirely different.
  • Finish the first draft of my book by the end of June. I have a lot I want to get done by midyear lol, but I really want to finish just the very rough first draft of the novel I’ve been trying to work on.
  • Work toward a better well-being and state of mind. It’s been a rough couple of years, friends, and I just want to get to a place of joy. This one is ongoing, though, so it’ll be for a lifetime.

I think that’s it for my goals. They’re all attainable, all doable, and I think that’s the best part of this whole thing.

Let’s chat!

What are some of your goals for this year? What are some of the things you achieved last year, but still want to continue into this year? Let me know in the comments!

Unhauling Books & Being Okay With It

Hi peeps, so today I wanted to talk about something I recently did, which was unhaul books (duh, obviously judging by the title), but I also want to talk about being okay with unhauling books. I know a lot of us can get attached to the aesthetics or the potential for a story or whatever reason we might have of keeping those books, but let’s be real: are you actually going to take the time to read it in the future? Or are you just being stubborn?

So, I’ve unhauled a lot of books in the last two years. Last summer I brought five reusable shopping bags full to the brim with books that I knew I wasn’t going to read and brought them to my local library (to the surprise of the librarians at seeing just how many I had brought lol). And I’ve just recently unhauled another 44 books from my shelves that I’m going to donate again. Forty-four. Crazy!

This included signed books I’d gotten from book boxes, and ones that I knew I wasn’t going to get around to reading anytime soon in the near future – or ones that I just lost interest in completely.

It also included books on my shelves that I’ve had for YEARS. Like. College days. (I graduated from college four years ago now, so it was even sooner than that.) It included both young adult and adult books, fantasy, sci-fi, contemporary, and fiction.

And you know what?

It felt good.

I have been staring at my shelves for a while now just overwhelmed with not only the amount of unread books I had (at the time, including audio and e-books, it was around 260+, but this also includes long manga series), but with just how cluttered my shelves were getting. I asked my husband for another tall bookshelf for Christmas so I can better display my books and use up less space (I’m using three small bookcases and one large one).

And to be honest, when I looked at some of these books, I didn’t even remember having some of them. I tried reading premises and seeing if I was at all interested, but I found myself not interested anymore.

And you know what? That’s okay.

I know a lot of us like to “hoard” books for many reasons. Some of you lovely people out there are extremely fast readers and can keep up with the amount of books that you get, while some of you are slower but still love to collect.

And there’s nothing wrong with this! I want to make it perfectly clear that I am NOT bashing anyone for having an excess amount of books or for not unhauling some or anything. If it makes you happy and comfortable, you keep doing it!

What I am saying is: if you’ve been thinking about unhauling but you’re wary for one reason or another, just do it! *insert Shia Labeuof meme here*

It honestly feels amazing.

Not only do I have more shelf space (CRAZY), but I have more peace of mind of not feeling so pressured to read all of these books I set myself to read once upon a time.

I kept books that I’ve read and loved, that I know I’ll read, or ones that have sincere sentimental value to me (one book I’ve kept since middle school and read in 9th grade and still love even though I haven’t read it since then).

Sometimes doing these kinds of things can really be helpful mentally. If you’ve been feeling like you’re overwhelmed by your shelves, take a good look at them and really ask yourself if all of those books you have are really going to be read or if you’re just keeping them for later (even when you know you probably won’t read them). Maybe it’ll help you.

Let’s chat!

Have you unhauled any books recently? How did you feel about it? Does the thought of getting rid of any of your books hurt you to your core? Let me know!

Fan Fiction Galore & Why You Should Read Some

So, as I briefly mentioned in my last post, I’ve been reading – and writing! – a lot of fan fiction lately. Like. A lot, a lot. I’ve kind of slowed down, though, but I still find fan fiction to be a very interesting genre.

What’s fan fiction?

Simply that! It’s a work of fiction based on characters or a setting from a published book that fans write their own story on, either with those characters or in that setting.

It’s all non-canon and really just fun bits of story for the fans to enjoy and divulge theirselves in when the story is over.

What kind of fan fiction is out there?

Well, there are various websites dedicated to fan fiction, such as:

And many more, I’m sure. But what kinds of stories of fan fiction can you find out there?

Pretty much if there’s a fandom for something, there’s bound to be fan fiction for it, such as:

  • Book/manga/comic fandoms: Harry Potter, the Mortal Instruments, My Hero Academia, etc.
  • Video games: Final Fantasy, League of Legends, etc.
  • Movies/TV: Arrow, Supernatural, etc.
  • Celebrities/Real People: BTS, EXO, etc.

If you have a favorite of anything you can probably find a fanfic or two written about the characters from that series somewhere, which also means you can most likely find your favorite ships that may not be canon in those other forms of media.

There’s the soft, fluffy kind of writing that gives you all the warm fuzzies and makes you want to snuggle your dog close to you, and then there’s the hard smut that makes you heated and want to take a cool shower. But don’t be fooled: not all writing is well done, just like a book would be. Some stories have no plot, some just have horrible grammar, and others are just a mess and why do they exist?

But when you do find those gems? Oof, be prepared for the rabbit hole you’re about to fall into.

But doesn’t it take away from the original at all?

Not at all! There have been instances that I’ve heard of where the fanfic is better than the original, but that’s not always the case at all. It’s really just a fun and engaging way to keep the hype of the fandom thriving, to reach out to a community of likeminded people, and to just have fun.

The whole reason I got into one of my favorite anime/manga pairings, Bakugo Katsuki x Uraraka Ochako (aka Kacchako) from My Hero Academia, was because of fan fiction. I just happened to be scrolling through the tag on tumblr one day and saw someone post the next chapter to their story there. I’d never read fan fiction before that day, and boy was I sad I hadn’t done since then because WOW was it good! The writing was very atmospheric, very well done, and just had you wanting to read the next chapter and the next chapter without stopping.

That fanfic is “Two Black Dots” by Tharros. I highly recommend it if you’re looking to either get into the pairing or just as a way to see what fan fiction is like.

Through this work, I found many others like it that were written well, had a fun and engaging story, and brought me closer to the community as a whole. That’s how I found a bunch of friends that I’ve made in recent months, and even why I started to write my own fan fiction!

Here’s a few more recommendations of Kacchako fanfics:

I could link some dirty stuff, but I’m not going to. You’ll have to find that on your own lol

Writing fan fiction is…

Fun. It’s so fun! Seriously, I get to take these two characters (or more or less), whom I love, and have them engage with one another in a situation that I’ve cooked up in my head and that’s just so incredibly amazing to me. It’s like I’m writing my own personal stories, but just borrowing the characters and setting/world from someone else.

Of course I would never claim these characters to be my own. Their not, and I don’t want that kind of responsibility for such a huge series right now, haha!

But I’ve found something in writing fan fiction that I hadn’t expected to: happiness.

I had forgotten the joy of writing and how bringing a smile and happiness to other people could really just make me feel fulfilled. That’s why I mostly write fluff pieces that involve cute romances, flustered bad boys, and brave sweet girls. Seriously, it’s great.

Here’s a few of my favorites that I’ve personally written:

  • Show Me More – (ongoing series) In this pop idol AU, Bakugou Katsuki is still hellbent on becoming the number one hero and proving to himself and Japan just what kind of hero he can be. That is, until one day when he saves Uravity, a pop idol sensation that he really likes (but would never admit publicly) from a drunk man at his favorite ramen shop that everything begins to change. But will his goals be so affected from this chance encounter that he loses sight of what he’s craved most in the world since his childhood?

    As for Uraraka Ochako, living lift as an idol was something she had been doing for years now – and she loved it. She was finally able to provide for her family and make so many people happy with her music. But the longer she’s in the spotlight, the more she longs for a quiet life outside of it. She just wants to live a life where she isn’t constantly being hounded by paparazzi or having to please everyone around her. So when she meets a grumpy-faced young man at a ramen shop she snuck off to without anyone knowing, she could have never guessed how much her life would change as result.

  • Puppy LoveBakugou gets hit by a quirk that can turn the person hit with it into any animal or object the person who hit them with it desires. Well, they turned him into a Pomeranian and he is NOT having it. Plus, someone has to take care of him until the quirk’s effects wear off in about a week, but who’s going to take care of him? Certainly not any of his friends. But then Uraraka offers and he figures it’s better than the alternative. But while in this form he realizes a few things about the brunette that he hadn’t been willing to admit before.
  • I’m HereA group of villains attacks the facilities in which Melissa Shield works, causing a lot of destruction in the process of their endeavors, including injuring Melissa. One particular streak of green lightning comes in to save them all, but can he? And what can Melissa do to try to help, if at all?

To check out the rest of my works, you can check them out here!

Overall, I can’t believe I never gave fan fiction the chance until several months ago when I just happened upon that one link on tumblr. Since then, I’ve been supporting my friends by reading their works, writing my own, and just having a lot of fun with it.

Let’s Chat! ^w^

If you haven’t checked out any fan fiction before, what’s stopping you? You should really try a few and see how you like it. It’s fun to see what people can come up with outside of what the author originally did in their work. Let me know in the comments about your thoughts on the topic!

10 Things I’m Thankful For

Hi peeps! So today is Thanksgiving here in the United States, so I wanted to talk about some of the things that I’m thankful for this year. It’s been a year of ups and downs, but I still have plenty to be grateful for.

  1. My husband. He’s always with me through thick and thin, and he’s my biggest supporter. I don’t know what I’d do without him.
  2. My best friend. She’s always got my back and is always willing to have girl time – even with her new baby!
  3. The opportunity to teach overseas. I’ve been working with a recruiter for the past few months to be able to teach English as a second language in South Korea. I don’t have a job lined up yet, but I have all of my documents ready and I’ve been applying to various positions through the recruiter, so I’m hoping that early next year I’ll be able to take this opportunity.
  4. Having experience teaching. I took a class that started in December of last year and completed in April of this year to get my certification to teach English as a second language, and it was a very interesting course. Part of it was needing to get field experience teaching, which I was able to do at a local college in my state with a really great teacher and students. This helped to give me just a glimpse into what the teaching world is like and what I can expect when I do it.
  5. Kpop. Okay, this might sound like a silly one, but I’ve been into kpop since about 2015 when I discovered groups like Big Bang, SNSD, BTS, EXO, Monsta X, etc. This year, however, my love for kpop has grown and is pretty much all I listen to in my spare time (or lo-fi music). There’s been so many people I’ve grown close to as friends because of it, and there’s also been a lot of songs and groups that have just stuck out and my love for them has grown exponentially. I never knew how much I could love a group or their music, and yet, here I am.
  6. Kacchako. If you don’t know what My Hero Academia is, it’s a manga series by Kohei Horikoshi that was also turned into an anime and it’s just SO GOOD. And like anything there are ships that can happen within the series and within the fandom. One of the fandom (unofficial) ones is Kacchako (Bakugou Katsuki x Uraraka Ochako). I don’t really know how it happened, but one day I was just like, “I love them,” and discovered fan fiction that then lead me to tumblr and found the tag for it that then lead me to a discord server where I’ve made a bunch of friends and where I found a lot of happiness the last few months. It actually leads me into my next point:
  7. Writing fan fiction. I have written SO MUCH this year, it’s incredible, and most of it has been fan fiction. I’ve written a bunch of one shots on Kacchako, as well as other ships from the series, and have received a lot of positive feedback which just makes me feel so over the moon. If you’re interested in reading any of them, you can check out my works over on Archive of Our Own (AO3).
  8. BTS concert. I got to see one of my favorite kpop groups perform live in Canada for their Love Yourself concert tour and it was such a great experience. I took a crapton of photos, and my husband and I got to meet some friends we’d made, which was great. Seriously a great experience.
  9. My parents. Though things are still kind of hard, I’m thankful that my parents are able and willing to help my husband and I when it comes to house hunting. Not only did we receive a nice down payment amount from them (which they’d been saving for a long time for just that reason), but they’re willing to help in whatever way they can. Though we didn’t end up finding a house this year, we hope to in the future.
  10. The internet friends I’ve made. Seriously, I’m so grateful for all of the friends I’ve made this year. They’ve mad me smile and laugh, we have discussions about things, we’re there for each other to talk if needed, and they’re all just wonderful.

I’m glad for a lot of things that have happened this year, but these are just a few of the things that I wanted to highlight.

Let’s Chat! ^w^

What are you most thankful for this year? Let me know in the comments!