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text 2019-01-23 11:00
Facts About Me: 2019 Goals

I've said it for the last 2 years, but in 2019 I WILL do it! I'm determined to make sure it happens. I WILL get caught up on my Netgalley list, reading *at least* 150 books. I mean it, this time.

I also plan to publish less in 2019, only because it's necessary. I'll be releasing The Bright Side Brigade, A Royal Legacy: Part 1, and A Touch of Danger, for sure. Those books have already been accepted by publishers, and have set dates. I'm hoping to *possibly* slip in A Royal Legacy: Part 2, as well, before the end of 2019, but that will be up to whether I can get it finished in time, or not. If not, I'm hoping to at least finish my rewrites of Faithfully, a story I've been promising to update and publish for 2 years now, since it won a Watty award. I'd love to have that published in 2019, even if it means leaving A Royal Legacy: Part 2 for 2020.

 

~

 

Life Goals

 

I didn't include these, last year, only because I don't share much of my personal life. It's a bad habit I have that, as a writer, keeps me a little bit separate. But, this year, I want to make a few changes, starting with:

 

* Be kinder to myself - by this, I mean that I need to stop putting unrealistic expectations on myself, and stop fretting about the little things that I have no control over. I'm starting this before 2019, by choosing to cut back on how many books I'm publishing. Though I want to put more focus and effort into promoting them, that can be done easily throughout the course of a week/month. It's actually filling my schedule that is the problem. I can't say no to people, and I need to start doing that, by putting myself first.

 

* Give myself a break. This is something I'm not great at doing, but I've been forced into it a few times in 2018, and it did me a world of good. Though I was forced to take time off a lot, sometimes up to a month, due to bad health, I really think I can do better in 2019. Maybe if I took more time off by choice, I wouldn't be ill so often. So, my goal is to reward myself with 1 week off a month. Whether I binge read books that are *not* for review, binge watch the TV, or just spend time with the family for that week, as long as I'm not actually working, I'm sure I'll benefit from it.

 

* Reward myself. Every time I finish a story, I want to give myself the *reward* of some time off. This is a sort of sub-goal to the one above. Only, this time it will be a bit more equal to how much time I *need* to take off. So, if I spend a week or a month writing non-stop, then I'll give myself a week off from all work. If I've been writing for a few days, or I finish a short story, I'll give myself a whole day off to watch a movie or binge watch a TV show. I need to find more balance, if I'm going to stick to the long term goal.

 

* Try something new. Whether it's a new book genre, a new TV show, or a new hobby, I need to try to do more outside of my work. I literally write books for a living, and read books to review. I've left myself little time to do anything else, with my crazy schedule.

 

* Lose weight. This is something I've been trying to do for YEARS. It's not easy, considering that I'm classed as physically disabled, I have a medications that can make me put on weight, health conditions that can make me put on weight, and I'm disabled enough that I can't make my own meals. That makes it very hard to have a health lifestyle, but I try. This year, I want to break the brutal cycle of getting so sick that I lose weight, only to add on more once I'm better. In 2019, I promise to weight myself no more or less than once a month, to monitor progress and make adjustments as necessary. I'd like to lose a total of 10kg in the entire year of 2019, if possible.

 

~

 

Writing Goals

 

* I want to finish 5 books from my WIP list, whether that's stories that have been started or that haven't, it doesn't matter. I just want to have 5 books completed by the end of the year.

 

* I also want to get about 10 books edited for publication. Mostly, this will be the Surviving Vihaan series, as book 1 has been accepted by NineStar Press, and will be released in Summer 2019. I want to make sure the others are up to scratch before I submit them, later.

 

* It sounds a bit silly to say it, but - I want to finish the Surviving Vihaan series. Yes, Book 1 has been accepted by NSP, but I only have the final book in the series to write and I want it finished before book 1 is even released, if possible.

 

* If I can finish Book 6 of Surviving Vihaan: Through His Veins, then I'd love to get a head-start on the follow-up series, Rediscovering Vihaan. This series will take my previously published series; The Belesone Pack, and The Secrets of Avelina Chronicles; and reimagine them as part of the Surviving Vihaan world. This will take major rewrites and may end up resulting in entirely new novels. I may even scrap the old novels, who knows?

* I'd like to re-write at least 1 book from my "re-write" list. There are less than 10 on the list, but I want to have at least one completed by the end of 2019. For this, I'm not counting Faithfully, as I started rewriting that in 2018. This means it will either be: Surrender, Evanders Trilogy, Courage in the Kiss, or the Holiday Collection.

 

~

 

Reading Goals

 

* I want to read at least 10 Agatha Christie paperbacks. I have them all, so it's about time I actually sat down and read them in order. I'm thinking that I'll read 5 Miss Marple and 5 Hercule Poirot, to keep it even.

 

* I also want to read at least 150 Netgalley books, though I'd love to double that number. I have so many books approved on there, some of which I wasn't aware were series books, that I plan to read the entire series in order, even if I was only approved for book 3 or 9. I'm a series reader and I can't abide reading them out of order, even if it does mean doubling my TBR list.

* I plan to cut back on my Divine review list, only so that I can get more Netgalley books off my list. I'm getting better at saving my money for books I really want to read, so the ones that I don't have time to read (if it's going to compromise my "time off" goals) will be added to a buy list, instead. Because of that, I'll keep this list to 50.

 

* I'm never really bothered about how many books I get off my TBR list - despite how large it is - because I need to focus on my review/Netgalley books. However, inevitably, some of the series I'll be reading/reviewing will have books I don't *need* to review, so they'll be placed on my TBR list. Plus, it would be awesome to get some of my Kobo/Amazon purchases finally read. So, I'll keep this number to 50, though I smashed through that number last year.

 

~

 

Keep your fingers crossed for me!

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review 2019-01-23 04:38
The Lost Coast - Amy Rose Capetta

I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher (Candlewick Press) in exchange for an honest review. 

 

I had such high hopes for this book, but it ultimately did not live up to my expectations. 

 

Let’s start with what I did like. 

 

I liked the diversity. There was a lot of sexual (lesbian, ace, etc.) and racial diversity. One of the girls was Filipino which I was super happy about since I’m Filipino. I love seeing Filipino representation.  

 

I also liked the aesthetic of the book. The descriptions perfectly captured that foggy, mystical, Northern California vibe. 

 

 

Now on to what I didn’t love. 

 

There were a lot of point of view changes throughout the book which really made it difficult to understand especially in the beginning. Each POV would last for only a few pages so it ended up being a bit jarring and all over the place. 

 

As for the storyline, it wasn’t exciting. It felt kind of blah to me until the end which is when things finally got interesting. 

 

I also wished the book focused more on June and Hawthorn. They were my two favorite characters and I wanted to explore more of their backstory. 

 

Overall, this book had some good moments (Queer POC witches for the win!), but didn’t reach its full potential. 

 

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review 2019-01-23 04:21
The Poet X
The Poet X - Rosa Elizabeth Acevedo Marin

This was a beautiful book. I bought it for my daughter for Christmas, but then listened to the audiobook from the library because I wanted to hear the author read it (and I didn't want to swipe my daughter's Christmas present before she had a chance to read it. Really, I swear.) I got to work early the other day and was glad nobody was around to see me crying towards the end — this is tough to listen to at times as a Mom, and yes, I know I have no business reading YA books but I do anyway. And, when it's perfect like this one, I completely forget I'm a Mom, and I am yelling in my car, "STOP! Don't do that, you're gonna regret that," and I realize I am yelling at the Mom and I am sixteen all over again.

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review 2019-01-23 03:54
Ms. Harris' Overview of The Graveyard Book
The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book is a spooky book that may reach out to boys in your classroom. This could be a book you read to your class during Halloween or the Day of the Dead. The Graveyard Book is about a young boy who becomes adopted by ghost. He goes through a LIVING experience to find out who he really is and why he is here. This book is placed at a 5.1 reading level but may be suggested for audiences who are not traumatized by ghost stories. An activity to get your students engaged in is to write the next book or the next chapter of the book. This will allow your students to recall what decisions where made and what was important in the book. If the students would want to dress up as characters around Halloween (make sure principal approves first) and share their stories during reading time. 

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review 2019-01-22 23:15
Ms. Harris' Overview on The Giving Tree
The Giving Tree - Shel Silverstein

 The Giving Tree is a book about a young boy and his life with a giving tree. This book would be great for students to learn about sharing and being thoughtful of others. The Giving Tree is placed at a 2.6 reading level (2nd grade, 6th month). A spectacular activity for this book would to have the students participate as the giving tree. The teachers could use this activity for as long as they would like by rewarding the students when they see them sharing and/or being considerate. The teacher could tell the students that they are being the giving tree and allow the students to read the book in front of the class to promote literacy and being generous. 

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