A new blog: I’ve moved!

In my last post (nearly a year ago, forgive me) I mentioned that MCM would be abandoned in favor of a new blog. I also said that I would introduce my virtual niche once it was properly up and running, and I have to apologize. It’s been up for a while—not for too long, but long enough. You can check it out here, if you like. Some things to note:

  • This was not my first choice blog title or URL. Unfortunately, my go-to—and any variations of it—are taken, mostly by inactive blogs. (I shake my fists in rage.) If you’re curious, I will tell you that I derived it from Fringe.
  • As you will see, I am not blogging only about books. I am a heavy K-drama addict, and I love foreign films. Expect me to talk about these things a lot.
  • If you are at all familiar with MCM, I’d say you know my reading preferences fairly well. However: I’ve developed an aversion to most YA, and I am gravitating toward different books. I’m currently reading The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo and will review it.
  • Blog goals are to post 1 – 2 times a week, unless A Thing happens and wrecks havoc on my schedule
  • There are no specific weeks or days that I dedicate to books or TV & film. It’s probable that I’ll post three weeks straight about a TV show and then publish a bookish post on the fourth week. Because I go with the flow of what currently interests me, I find it difficult to remedy this.
  • If you have any suggestions, questions, or comments, feel free to drop a comment at my new blog, send it through tumblr, or email me at theairtwit(at)gmail(dot)com

I also want to say that if you have attempted to contact me through the email provided on this blog, I am very sorry! I have not signed in on a computer since perhaps last year, and I disconnected the account from my phone. Also note that I’m currently following under 10 blogs—that goes for both my NEW BLOGLOVIN’ and WP BLOG! I abandoned MCM, but I won’t leave you guys behind. I’ll be adding more blogs to my feed shortly!

How NetGalley Ruined My Life

I know I’ve been a poor blogger and a bad blogging-friend this summer, for I’ve been all but absent (basically). I’m sorry, I really am! But it’s NetGalley’s fault.

Okay, that’s mean–and untrue. It’s not NetGalley’s fault but my own, and my life wasn’t ruined but my summer certainly was. You see, what makes NetGalley so addicting is the idea of all these books just waiting for requests from bloggers, and I can’t resist that. Literary temptation is always my downfall, and my binge on galley requests from months before almost tanked me.

Words of advice: If you don’t have to do it and you don’t enjoy it, don’t do it.

What I used to look upon as an exciting privilege turned into a nightmare. It destroyed a hobby that, in the past, provided relaxation and escape without fail. I entered summer with the prospect that, because school couldn’t interfere, I could and would enjoy all the books at my disposal. How wrong I was. You see, all these books I’d requested jumped up and tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Hello.” There was some eyebrow-wiggling, a groan, a gasp, a sigh. Lots of groaning. Groans of regret. Sighs of disappointment.

I was approved! But I wanted rejection! Oh no.

If you take a fun activity and turn it into a job, if you feel like it’s work, then something is wrong. And something was wrong. Speed-reading through this and that NetGalley-approved book became my summer chore, and when I wasn’t trying and failing to churn out a review on non-NetGalley books, I wasn’t reading. I couldn’t read because every book I picked up reminded me of the x number of galleys left–but then it got worse. Enter: Early Reviewers.

Over at LibraryThing–a website that I still cannot navigate without perplexing question marks sprouting around my head–runs a neat giveaway. Each month an ARC stash goes up for Early Review members. Similar to GoodReads’ First Reads, if you win an Early Review book, you should review that book lest you mar your chances for future wins. I won two books, read one, reviewed zero.

Is it all right if I scream? Reading should not feel stressful, but for this summer, it did. If anything, at least I can say that I have made it through the bulk of my NetGalley stack. Only two galleys remain, which gives me some peace of mind. Then, of course, there is a physical to-review stack of giveaway-wins that I feel obligated to review…  at some point…

to-review stack

The good news is that my hate for reading is dissolving. I’m no longer picking up a book only to sit it down after trudging through ten pages. I am actively reading The Ask & The Answer as well as Peter Pan–both of which I find easy to engage in, what with a surprise at every page-turn that Ness throws and the magic J.M. Barrie gives. So long as my to-review stack is reviewed, the pressure to schedule (gross) books and reviews–the pressure I felt from NetGalley books–is non-existent. With only two galleys left, my new direction as a reader and blogger is to steer clear of that ‘organized constraint.’ I want to put the fun back in reading. I want the freedom to read what I want when I want, which–as a mood-reader–is important.

And after three months of fret and fuss, I’m finally getting there.

I haven’t got a coffee cup left.

Hello friends, readers, and lingering lurkers. I know my activity has proved scarce as of late yet again. School and its side-effects (a busy schedule and exhaustion… Or: “Go away, Life; I’m through with you” syndrome) is responsible for this offense. Again. Like always. Fortunately, however, I do go on break in two weeks, even if that break means only one class-free week before spring quarter starts. Until then, I’m afraid I have to extend my hiatus of sorts out a little further. I will start preparing for finals tomorrow, (possibly) followed by NNAAP/NACES exam preparation. (There is also the matter of my NAR application, which I’m late on. If you don’t know what that is, it simply means that I am successful in setting myself up for new stress.) Nearly complete in taking the NAC course, few things have made themselves discernible with a pinch of confusion glazing my sight, but one thing I do know: the route I’ve slowly been walking down has split apart.

For what might as well be the thousandth time, switching over into an English major sounds friendlier than what I’m currently doing with my life. Although jobs and qualifications of an RN and that of an NAC are different, I don’t feel like this is something my heart no longer wishes to pursue.  Otherwise, from this point forward, it will be Brain combating against My Utter Lack of Enthusiasm. Like the rest of my classmates who chose the same facility for our clinicals, I was handed a job application. It’s something I’m considering with much debate for now. I feel that taking this NAC course will be pointless otherwise, yet it means passing the exams for certification — something I find more of an annoyance but also slightly nerve-wracking. (Performing in front of judges is not an event I enjoy. What is that blocking recall on all that I have studied? Ha, oh look, it’s a memory blank! Thank you, Panic.)

ecard failure

Whether or not I decide to carry on with certification, there is also the matter of switching majors. It is likely that when I return fall quarter, I may not begin my trek through science pre-reqs like I’d planned. Regardless, it’s a back-and-forth issue I’m eternally locked in. The only way out is to try. In all honestly, I fear my advisor. Last we spoke, she thought judging all of my past English courses in comparison to my dire lack of science was reason enough to deem me unfit for the RN program. I’ve neatly avoided her since.

In other news (and by that I mean book & reading & blogging):

  • YA lit, with brute force, is strangling me. I’m not done with it yet, and I don’t think I ever will be done, but I’m craving classic literature as of late. Just recently, I picked up my copy of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. As such, I’d like to review said case. After I’m finished with and have reviewed Showtime (which was given to me for review), my eyes are locked on the likes of Persuasion and Jane Eyre — even Frankenstein. Classic invasion.
  • I will review The Gathering Storm! After finals, though, and I will say that I look forward to reading the next books in the Katerina trilogy.
  • Carrie from The Mad Reviewer nominated me for both the Very Inspiring and Liebster Blog awards. Thank you! I will be compiling my own nominee list and will ideally write posts over break.
  • I’m re-reading Harry Potter! Finally. As some may know, I never finished the last book, but that’s going to change this year.
  • In light of my absence here, I have been over at Tumblr updating nie zu viele more often. Hoorah.
  • The Booker has easily become my new favorite bookish blog. I suggest everyone check it out, because I love her abundance of book recommendations.
  • Book giveaways: I’m considering doing one soon, perhaps next month. I’m still deciding on which book(s) and how to go about the giveaway, but keep an eye out!
  • I am most definitely forgetting things I wanted to say, but that aside…
  • Nick Harkaway’s Angelmaker looks like a great deal of fun, even if I haven’t a clue when I’ll have time to read it.

I regret the deficient number of book-related posts, I hate to say it, but I will see you all by the end of winter (she says, disappointed, and cries)!

Some news, a thank you, and an apology for last week!

My WordPress activity this last week was nearly stagnant while I did pass time navigating GoodReads now and then — I’m sure some GoodReads pals noticed. I fell behind in comments and other bloggers’ posts, and I already feel lost within the community after a week-long partial absence. These eyes of mine finally checked my WP Reader on Sunday, as I had not been updated on any blog since last Monday. In the meantime, I am mostly up-to-date with everyone’s comments (as well as posts), although I am aware of other comments that need replies. I will get to them!

I am sorry for the lag in response time on my part, as well as for the temporary post-halt. I appreciate every comment and love to respond, but my pace is on the slower side at the moment. A bit of sad news rained down, which explains some of my lack of activity.

I found out that my dear old cat, Andy, was put down on Monday (8/27) — news that I did not hear until the following day. He was old (over 20 years), but he was not — to my knowledge — in any kind of major distress or unbearable pain. Not only was it was my hope that he would have the privilege to live out the rest of a natural life, but that the person taking care of him would in fact take care of him. Instead, it seems the cost of keeping an old cat played lead role in deciding to go through with euthanizing him. What’s done is done, but there’s still a twinge of sadness (and a grudge…). Andy had always remained within a select circle of family members, so his loss is strongly felt. He was a wonderfully friendly cat with the sweetest temperament, and I miss him terribly.

To add, a close relative of mine is very ill. I dedicate a large part of my every day helping this person out, which does take a toll on both my personal life and hence my blogging activities (naturally). While I love this person, it’s impossible not to feel my energy drain to a new low by afternoon on most days. (But of course: as a night owl, I’m wide-eyed and awake at midnight, no matter how little sleep I get!) With this and fall classes about start, I expect my availability and free time will further decrease. Still, I would like to keep midnight coffee monster an active blog! There’s no way to tell if I can keep up with weekly book meme posts each week, but I do have reviews planned and will be updating soon about R.I.P. VII.

(And I must admit that I sacrificed blogging opportunities so that I could finish Legend of Korra last week. It was worth it, even if Aang’s show wins my favor. Where are my fellow ATLA fans? I know you’re out there.)

Books I will definitely review include: A Monster Calls, The Merchant at the Alchemist’s Gate, and The Hobbit. (I’m combining week 2 and 3 questions for The Hobbit group read — it will be posted no later than Wednesday/Thursday.) I am unsure if I will review Northanger Abbey yet, but I am busy adoring every page of it. I should also receive a copy of Y: A Novel by Marjorie Celona, which I will review as well in spirit of GoodReads First Reads!

Y: A Novel by Marjorie Celona

“Y. The wishbone, fork in the road, empty wine glass. The question we ask over and over. Why? My life begins at the Y…” so opens the story of Shannon, a newborn left at the doors of the local YMCA. Bounced between foster homes, Shannon endures neglect and abuse before she finally finds stability with Miranda, a single mother with a daughter of her own. But as Shannon grows, so do her questions. Who is her true family? Why would her parents abandon Shannon on the day she was born?

The answers lie in the heartrending tale of her mother, a headstrong young woman with a flawed and desperate fate, trapped in a tragic series of events that will destroy her family and test the limits of her compassion and sacrifice.

It’s a dose of literary fiction from what I can gather, which I don’t read too often but usually enjoy. Likewise, I hope to enjoy Celona’s novel!

That’s it from me for now. Thank you to all who continue to follow this blog — I appreciate every comment, every like, and every subscriber.

Enjoy your week, and happy reading!