Wednesday, August 30, 2017

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril XII (#ripxii) SIGN UPS!

Every September 1 through October 31 for the last 11 years Carl from Stainless Steel Droppings has hosted the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril Challenge, affectionately known as the R.I.P. Challenge. Carl has been kind enough to entrust the event to us, Heather and Andi, from now on, and we hope to do him proud. We know all of you readers will!
The purpose of the R.I.P. Challenge is to enjoy books that could be classified as:
Dark Fantasy.
The emphasis is never on the word challenge, instead it is about coming together as a community and embracing the autumnal mood, whether the weather is cooperative where you live or not.

There are two simple goals for the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril VI Challenge:
1. Have fun reading.
2. Share that fun with others.
As we do each and every year, there are multiple levels of participation (Perils) that allow you to be a part of R.I.P. XII without adding the burden of another commitment to your already busy lives. There is even a one book only option for those who feel that this sort of reading is not their cup of tea (or who have many other commitments) but want to participate all the same.
Multiple perils await you. You can participate in just one, or participate in them all.
Peril the First:
Read four books, any length, that you feel fit (our very broad definitions) of R.I.P. literature. It could be Stephen King or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Shirley Jackson or Tananarive Due…or anyone in between.
Peril the Second:
Read two books of any length that you believe fit within the challenge categories.
Peril the Third:
We all want you to participate. This Peril involves reading one book that fits within the R.I.P. definition.
Peril of the Short Story:
We are fans of short stories and our desire for them is perhaps no greater than in autumn. We see Jackson in our future for sure! You can read short stories any time during the challenge. We sometimes like to read short stories over the weekend and post about them around that time. Feel free to do this however you want, but if you review short stories on your site, please link to those reviews on our RIPXII Book Review pages.
Peril on the Screen:
This is for those of us who like to watch suitably scary, eerie, mysterious gothic fare during this time of year. It may be something on the small screen or large. It might be a television show, like Dark Shadows, or your favorite film. If you are so inclined, please post links to any R.I.P.-related viewing you do on our book review pages as well.
Peril of the Group Read:
This year we will read and discuss Slade House by David Mitchell! We plan to post discussion questions on October 1 on our respective blogs, and you can answer them at your leisure, and as you like! If you post on your blog, link up. If you post on Twitter, Insta, etc. use #ripxii.
In addition to, or instead of, these group read options you may want to host your own. That would be welcome too and if you choose to do so please let us know so that we can advertise them for you.
Again, you may participate in one or all of the various Perils. Our one demand: enjoy yourself!
The R.I.P. XII Challenge does not require you to read from a pre-selected list of books, but like many of you we love to get ideas from what others are thinking of reading. If you want to include a pool of potential reads when you sign up, either in the comments or on your own sign up post on your blog (not required for participation), please do!
This challenge is always a joy because of one thing: you! You sharing your passion for books, reading, films, television, etc. helps bring us together and ensures that we all have a great time. Thank each and every one of you who choose to participate on any level. We are honored that you would choose to do so.
Remember that we would love to read any reviews of the books you read or things you watch. Simply visit OR and look for the RIP Review PAGE and leave a link to your post. These challenges are a great way to make new friends by tempting them to come to your site to read your reviews.
Do not let circumstances fool you. Autumn is here in spirit. It is R.I.P. XII time.
And so it begins…


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Weekly Vlog | 8.21.17 to 8.27 | Back to School and an Intense Work Week

It was an unusually busy work week with all of my jobs getting back into the swing of things, and it was Greyson's first week back to school! My big, grown-up second grader.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

"Follow Me Around" Vlogger Recommendations

Follow-me-around vlogs are an addiction of mine. In short, I love knowing about the minutiae of individuals' everyday lives. Maybe you do, too. If you've taken part in Trish's A Day in the Life series, we're on the same page. Follow-me-around vlogs are kind of the same concept. Some vloggers go out of their way to make something special happen, while others legitimately document the good, bad, and boring.

Here are some of my favorite "follow me around" vloggers...

Fly With Stella is all about...well, Stella...a New York-based flight attendant. I have learned a lot of really random and interesting things from her channel: crash pads, being on call as a flight attendant, dead-heading, and other ins and outs of the airline industry. She's so sweet and fun, and I love her upbeat personality.

Less Junk, More Journey is a family of three--Nathan, Marissa, and Hensley--who live in their RV and travel full-time. This is the newest-to-me channel in this list, but I find the concept fascinating, the destinations exhilarating, and the couple is quite charming and down to earth.

Coffee and Cashmere is Felicia, an Australian vlogger living in New York. I found her channel completley by accident (the "suggested video" rabbit hole is real), and I was instanty charmed. She's also done quite a few travel and moving vlogs, for which I have a HUGE weakness.

Jenna from Jenna Rose is probably the first vlogger I watched with any regularity. She's an Etsy sticker shop owner, and her business is booming. I love that she vlogs honestly without too much processed excitement. Just life.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Think Different, Blog Different

I've finally taken some time to think about what's been missing for me when it comes to blogging, how I can refresh and revamp the content here, and what will make me happy to blog again.

First, the setbacks:

  • No interest in writing book reviews (most of the time)
  • Reading is not always consistent 
  • Blogging is less immediate than other platforms: Twitter, Insta, etc. 
  • Doing a lot of things besides bookishness (teaching, Etsy, cross stitch)
  • Annoying that my Internet life is spread out everyyyywhere
  • Want to feel more challenged/creative
  • Want the process of content creation to feel less formal
  • Don't always have time to sit down and write a post
What IS floating my boat right now? 
  • Watching creative, wide-ranging content like vlogs (follow-me-around, slice o'life videos)
  • Productivity tools
  • Tools that curate and synthesize pieces of the Internets
So what does that mean for this blog? 
  • A mix of content (I know this is fine with y'all...but I'm not always good at it)
  • Tools that bring things together here: Storify, YouTube vids, plug-ins)
  • A loose schedule: weekly vlogs, something bookish, something NOT bookish (most likely related to teaching, technology, crafting, etc.)
For the first time in ages, I'm EXCITED to blog. When it comes to changing things up, Bout of Books 20 is a good example. My old format, one post of updates here that I would edit every day throughout the event, did not appeal at all. My natural inclination is to post about the event on a variety of platforms: photos on Instagram, quick, on-the-fly updates on Twitter (along with discussion with other participants). The downside (for me personally) of doing the old one-blog-post-updated format is that it's conventional and I've been doing that for a very long time, and it doesn't pull things together in an interesting way that I'll remember. 

I chose Storify to pull all the platforms together. I can easily add text, images, pull posts from Instagram, Twitter, and all over the web. And an additional plus is that Storify has updated their platform since the last time I used it. It's super easy to embed, update, and re-order the elements of a story. 

I'm not breaking any major ground here, but it does feel great to re-evaluate at a deeper level. To really sit, think, and brainstorm. To figure out exactly what's been wrong and attempt to fix it. We'll see just how it goes! 

Have you had any ideas for refreshing your own blog experience? I'd love to know what you have in mind!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Weekly Vlog #1 | Slice O'Life

Sometimes it's easier to talk to a camera than write blog posts, so here we go with this thing...

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Bout of Books 20 and Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows GIVEAWAY!

Bout of Books
I really need a push to focus and read, so I'm doing Bout of Books 20.  Follow me on Twitter or Instagram for more updates throughout the week.

TBR you ask? Here's my best guess:

  • Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal
  • Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
  • Felicity by Mary Oliver (re-read)
  • Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead
  • Bobcat and Other Stories by Rebecca Lee
  • Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott
  • Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
  • The Duchess War by Courtney Milan

I'm also running a giveaway. I won a copy of EROTIC STORIES FOR PUNJABI WINDOWS during 24in48 Readathon, and the publisher sent me two copies, so after Bout of Books, I'll be passing the extra along to one of you!

CLICK HERE: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy readathonning!

Images by Freepik