Tag: musings


Sunday Salon: On a Tuesday

Posted 27 December, 2016 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in blogging, musings

sunday salon books

Hello dear Readers, all four of you left out there. We’re reaching the end of the year which is always a time for reflection and plans. It’s a time to look back and see what we’ve done poorly and try to figure out how to be better in the coming year. While I can’t say that 2016 as a whole has been terrible for me, the past few months have been trying. This year my reading and blogging have both taken a serious hit. Some of this is because of working more, which is going well for the most part, some of this is because my anxiety and depression have been threatening to overwhelm me the past few months and I’m a little at a loss of what to do about that.

When I say I’m at a loss, I mean I’m at a loss of easy things to do about my depression and anxiety. Ignoring them and hoping they go away hasn’t been overly successful. It’s time to start (re)cultivating healthy habits and figuring out what’s going to work to make me a better person. I see two clear things I can do in front of me. One is a return to mental health self-care instead of ignoring my feelings and hoping they go away. I’m going to have to face some issues that I’ve had pent up for some time and work through them instead of continuing to let them fester. The second is a return to my running. I’m setting a goal to run the Disney marathon in January of 2018. A year is more than enough time to train for a marathon, especially since I’m not setting any time goal for myself. I just want to finish.

I’m hoping that through these two things, more plans and positive changes will make themselves apparent and I can work on strengthening my marriage, being a better mother, and perhaps figuring out what it is I want to do when I grow up and how to get there.

But what was good?

2016 wasn’t a complete wash for me. Good things happened and good things continue to happen. I’ve been at my current job for about eighteen months now, and I have to say my coworkers are fucking phenomenal people. It’s not much of a stretch to say that more or less, most of us are pretty much family to each other, and I’ll tell you ladies and gentleman – that ain’t nothing. Every time I start to feel frustrated or bored with the work, I remember what exceptional and meaningful relationships I’ve forged over the past year and a half. I am ridiculously grateful for that.

Speaking of relationships. 2016 allowed me to go to BEA and meet with some of the truly exceptional men and women that make up this community. While The Socratic Salon has lapsed and the five of us have moved on and gotten busy elsewhere, getting to meet Catherine, Marisa, Shannon (again), and many others was one of the highlights of my year. As always, I can’t not mention the beautiful and talented Monika and Jennifer, our chatting has been sporadic lately, but it’s so good to have friendships you can just pick up where you left off.

Since we’re on the topic of bloggers and blogging I think it’s time for me to make a decision on what to do around here. My reading has been low this year, I hope to address that in another post, and my writing has fallen off as well. I’m not going to set any hard fast rules for what’s going to happen here, but I do think that a certain element of my self care is going to be writing more, sometimes even when I don’t feel like it. I don’t know if that means reviews, or talking about my running (boring, I know), or what – but I have decided to renew the domain and host (largely due to the pep talk I got from Catherine)

Aside: As I was writing this I just found out Carrie Fisher died. Seriously 2016, what the fuck?

Anyway. Life is fleeting and this is all there is. Let’s look forward and decide to be better together. Shall we? 

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Posted 30 May, 2016 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in memes, musings

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Well, I went to Savannah on Friday with the husband for an impromptu holiday weekend for Memorial Day and some work detox. The problem is that Tropical Storm Bonnie came crashing into the east coast and it was a generally crappy time to be walking around in the outside. I say ‘problem’ but it was really not a problem for me, because it allowed me the weekend in the hotel room with Joe Hill’s newest novel, The Fireman. I finished up In a Dark, Dark Wood and meant to transition into another dead tree novel – but the husband was ready to turn the light off so I picked up my trusty Kindle instead.

The Fireman is a 768 page post apocalyptic chunkster. Naturally this means, I am loving it. I’m about halfway through and finding everything about it amazing.

Like I said, the weather in Savannah was crappy, but it didn’t stop me from eating all the things. I’m debating on whether or not to write a post about that. I need to write a review for In a Dark, Dark Wood – it’s the first BEA book that I’ve read that has been released – so that’s something to do.

I was thinking about joining Bryan in the 99 Days of Summer Blogging – but just in the next few weeks I have some pretty significant time commitments at work through trial week and being sent to GPSTC for training for another week, I’m just not sure that I can write anything worth reading every day for 99 days. I have a desire to revive the blog, but not to just hit the publish button just to publish. If I can get back to three times a week, I’ll feel okay.

So, it’s Monday! What are you reading? Turned into a little Sunday Salon as well. Let’s call it the best of both worlds. What are you reading, Reader?

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Sunday Salon: Local Election

Posted 22 May, 2016 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in blogging, memes, musings

sunday salon books

Time // 12:26 P.M. EDT

Feeling //  Exhausted. So exhausted. The local Judge’s election is on Tuesday and the mudslinging has been epic. All of my non-work friends (and my husband) are exceedingly bored with me because at this point the election is all consuming and leading me to be extra snippy and just generally boring. Just keep swimming, April.

just keep swimming

Reading //  Just finished the upcoming Blake Crouch novel. Review forthcoming. Also working on the new George Saunders Lincoln in the Bardo, it’s very Faulkner-eqsue. Read: Fabulous. There are so many books from BEA waiting for me, this keeps me excited. I’m hoping to get some regular reviews going here again.

Living //  With the windows open! I feel like I need to start running again – partially because the stress of this election has me off the charts. I know that the endorphins from running would definitely help me more than stalking election sites on Facebook, but… effort.

Blogging // Yes, I saw all the BEA brou-ha-ha on Twitter this past week. I agree with most bloggers that it’s rather dated and boring. Let me be clear on my position. The sentiment that I largely agree with is this:

Publishers owe me nothing. In return, I owe publishers nothing. I have no problem with book bloggers that are able to monetize their blogs, as long as they are upfront about the monetization. That doesn’t necessarily make their opinions on books more or less valid than mine. Please stop telling me that I don’t know my worth. I know my worth. The thing is that the worth of me writing book reviews (or writing in general) is less than what I’m willing to accept to give this up as a hobby. Taking money for my blog turns this into a job. I have a job that I love, I don’t need another one – therefore – it’s not worth it to me to seek out paying opportunities to review. If this means that publishers don’t send me ARCs or I can’t attend BEA because I’m not actually a part of the industry – that’s okay. I guess what I’m trying to say to authors, bloggers, and Twitterers who try to say that if I’m not charging for my reviews I’m just another cog in the machine, is this:

election

There’s so much more going on in my head, Reader but, you guessed it! It’s mostly regarding this local election that bores everyone but those involved. Someone send me an easy way to Zen.

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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BEA16: Hopes and Dreams

Posted 9 May, 2016 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in blogging, books and publishing, Reading, Topics

BEA16 Hopes and Dreams

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks. I’ve been consistently sick for about three weeks and because of that pretty consistently hopped up on cough syrup while at home.

Work has been an unholy nightmare of the best kind. There’s a contested judge’s election that is turning into nasty politics, inter-office drama, and the usual suspects. We finished up jury trials in April and don’t have jury trials again until mid-June. I’ll admit that I’m feeling a little antsy and would like some intellectual stimulation to break things up. After trials in June I won’t have jury trials until September. I’m going to need some good reading.

BEA is near. I’ve finally started looking into where I need to be when to get the most out of it. More or less I have to admit that really what I’m most excited about is getting to hang out with Catherine (Gilmore Guide to Books) and Shannon (River City Reading). There do look to be some interesting titles being dropped and I’m hoping to find some titles that will amaze and excite me so maybe I can start reviewing a few books here and there again.

Okay, Reader. What have you been up to? Roll call for those of us going to BEA! 

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Sunday Salon: Night Post

Posted 31 January, 2016 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in memes, musings

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Time // 8:38 PM EDT

Feeling // Injured. I tore the shit out of something in my knee last night. Probably something to do with three inch heels at The Girl’s ‘Winter Ball’. It was a fundraiser for the school — the new school, not the beastly place she was in. (Yep, gonna keep on linking that until half the world has seen it…) I also seem to be brewing a headache.

Planning // BEA is coming up. Deciding what to do about that. I should be able to spare three days in May, depending on whether or not it falls during a trial calendar.

Reading // Bats of the Republic. Guys, it’s not only a compelling story told in a new way, it’s a beautiful looking book. I love the way Tournament of Books introduces me to books that I wouldn’t have otherwise have picked up.

Watching // Broadchurch, finished the first season and the first few episodes of the second season. I love how it’s revealing the differences between the British and American justice systems. Makes me think I should read more about it. The Children Act was good for that, but I’d like to learn more.

Okay, enough for now, Readers. How was your week?

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Sunday Salon: #boutofbooks Edition: On a Monday

Posted 17 August, 2015 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in blogging, memes

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Time // 7:14 PM EDT

Motivation // Hahahaha. So. I totally couldn’t rev myself up to write a post yesterday, so here we are now. I totally forgot about #boutofbooks starting. Though I’d like to think that I’m going to read this:

IMG_0010I’ll probably end up reading this:

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A crate full of case files.

I’m not bitching. I’m enjoying the work and it’s good to be doing something useful, but I’m about to start feeling overwhelmed.

Because // We found a house. The inspection didn’t turn up anything too concerning, so we should be closing sometime next month. It’s closer to my work so maybe I’ll have more energy for all sorts of things… like reading, blogging,… family. Who knows.

It’s pretty much taking everything I have not to make a list of things I need to do here for my own edification. How was your week Reader? Plans for #boutofbooks?

April

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Sunday Salon – Gouda Edition!

Posted 14 June, 2015 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in memes

Time // 11:17 AM EDT

Making // Gouda! I’m back in the swing of cheesemaking and started a new batch of gouda. I’m changing it up by attempting a pepper spiced gouda along with a regular wheel of gouda. Here are some pictures on the development!

GoudaThe next steps will be to dry out the rind of the gouda after the brining (2 – 3 days at room temperature) and eventually to wax it. I need to remember to label which one is the pepper gouda (obviously shown left in the last picture).

Receiving // The Book Riot Quarterly Seven. Quite frankly it was incredibly disappointing. I love The Word Exchange and I’ve been meaning to read Smarter than You Think (which I first saw paired by Shannon at River City Reading) – but other than that it was a pretty chart of fiction genres, which I will probably frame because it’s (entirely coincidentally) done by the people who we also have framed cheese and wine charts by. As far as the Cocoon Grid It. WTF? The future of me and the Book Riot Quarterly is uncertain.

Though, amusingly, The Girl used the Cocoon Grid It as a trap for her super-hero action figures. I guess that’s something.

Welcoming // Monika and my long time IRL friend Heather to the blogging community! Check out Heather Bee’s Book Buzz!

What about you, Reader? Tell me about your week!

April

 

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Exquisite Inscriptions: Christopher Farnsworth Edition

Posted 10 June, 2015 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in writers

farnsworth inscription header

So, I started this ‘series’ last April with my Chuck Palahniuk signed books. Today finally, I want to move on to the next post in this series and those are my signed copies of ‘The President’s Vampire’ trilogy (still a trilogy, as far as I know…) by Christopher Farnsworth.

Now my story here is different. I wrote to Mr. Farnsworth on Goodreads long before I started blogging. I had run across a copy of ‘strange but true’ tales that had story about a Portuguese sailor who had been tried and convicted of vampirism, who was then granted clemency by President Andrew Johnson, which is more or less the premise of Farnsworth’s trilogy. I can’t say what possessed me to do such a thing, because I don’t make it a habit of writing strange authors to ask about their inspiration, but I was in law school at the time so it’s very possible I was procrastinating.

Anyway. Farnsworth replied to me promptly and was extremely nice, when I asked him if he had any opportunities like Chuck P. or Anne Rice where you could order signed copies of his books from bookstores he had been to he offered to sign my copies and mail them back to me. He wouldn’t even accept return postage from me! So I sent him Blood Oath, he sent it back to me with a signature and a t-shirt. When the other two books were published I asked him again if I could send him my books and he gladly accepted, even though by that time he was a vampire writing superstar.

If you haven’t read the Nathaniel Cade novels, you’re missing out on some great fun. Think a new twist on the vampire genre, combined with some awesome classic monster movies. If you don’t have these three books in your beach bag this summer, you’re missing out.

But the inscriptions!! Here they are!

Farnsworth inscription collage

Inscriptions from Christopher Farnsworth on his Nathaniel Cade trilogy.

What about you, Reader? Do you have any fun inscribed books? Do you collect rare books? Share with the group! Thanks again Mr. Farnsworth!

April

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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