Saturday, December 21, 2019

Why I've Been Gone So Long

                         white and red ceramic mug on books

I haven't posted since the fifth of November: Guy Fawkes Day, for those of you who know or care about British Holidays. Stay tuned for my Boxing Day Post! (Joke. Probably.)

Why have I been gone so long? I'm so glad you asked, because I have some fantastic excuses!

As I write said excuses, I am watching The Knight Before Christmas with Vanessa Hughens on Netflix. Here's a preview if you're interested, and I'll put a mini review at the end of this post.

Excuse Number One November was NaNoWriMo, the month in which I wrote 50,191 very rough words on two different story projects. So I was a little bit busy, and by the time I got done writing 2,000ish words a day, I had No Desire to blog, even though I had a whole string of fun seasonal posts planned. I'll just have to condense some of that content here. When I'm done making excuses.

Excuse Number Two I started a new job! After a good year and a half at Carefree Kitchens, I was offered the position of Development Associate at Freedom Alliance, a nonprofit organization that ministers to post-combat veterans and their families, healing the wounds of war. And can I just say, it's an honor.  I went from a job that paid the bills to some of the most meaningful work I've ever done. But it's been an exhausting emotional adjustment learning a new job and building relationships with new people. I hate change. I hate it so much. Even when it's obviously a really, really great change. I started the second day of December, and until today, I haven't had the leftover bandwidth to write anything. But as you can see, it's getting better.

Excuse Number Three I'm in a play! I've mentioned this before, but as show dates approach, more and more of my time and energy has gone into rehearsals and such. If you're interested in seeing me play a country wench in a love triangle in William Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost sometime between January 16th and January 19th, you can get tickets here. Early bird pricing holds through the day after Christmas! *Shameless Plug*


                       coffee cup near orange vegetable on brown wooden surface

I was going to do a post where I complained about how I can't enjoy Pumpkin Spice Lattes without being called Basic (which I really hate). I was going to do a little rant about how horrible it is that humans can't seem to just let each other enjoy the little, simple, and silly things in life without putting down each other's tastes. Why is it so fun to be a hater? Let me know what you think in the comments.

I was going to combine my Pumpkin Spice Rant with my thoughts on the Appropriate Time to Begin Listening to Christmas Music debate, but then my thoughts and theories on that developed so far beyond the Pumpkin Spice Rant realm, that I decided to do a whole separate post on that and just scrap the Pumpkin Spice thing altogether. Stay Tuned.

MOVING ON for now to the Christmas books I've read so far this season:

           10 Blind Dates   Chasing Christmas Eve (Heartbreaker Bay, #4)   Greenglass House (Greenglass House #1) 

                           One Day in December    Entwined

10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston
Four Stars
When Sophie goes through a breakup just before Christmas, her big Italian family gathers around her and conspires to lift her spirits. They wrap her up in closeness and love and get her to agree to ten blind dates. I thought this book was adorable, funny, warm, and sweet. It's not crazy-deep, but it's exactly the light, aggressively Christmas thing I want this time of year.

Chasing Christmas Eve by Jill Shalvis
Two Stars
This is a novel about a runaway author and a rich California guy. For a book with Christmas in the title, this was the least Christmas-y Christmas book I've ever read. It happens to be a romance set around Christmas time. That's it. There are zero Christmas vibes. Zero. I could have forgiven that if the romance had been any good, but it really wasn't. I gave it two stars instead of one because I liked a few parts, and there was a cute dog.

Greenglass House by Kate Milford
Four Stars
I really liked this book. It's a middle-grade novel about adoption from the child's perspective, ghosts, role-playing games, smuggling, mystery, and magic. The whole aesthetic was unique and fascinating. This was a high four stars for me. I couldn't quite give it five, but it's right up there. I love a good children's book at Christmas time!

One Day in December by Josie Silver
Four Stars
Another Christmas romance novel, but this one had so much more depth and emotion and raw life to it. It's a star-crossed love story spanning ten years and a host of good, bad, and grey relational choices. Some parts made me laugh, some made me cry. It's heartfelt all around, thought-provoking, and troubling in places. Takeaway: love in real life can be as ugly as it is beautiful.

Entwined by Heather Dixon
Five Stars
A familial love-filled, mildly-allegorical retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. I read this for the first time four years ago, and reread it again this November. It spans one year of enforced castle mourning from Christmas to Christmas and the exploits of twelve girls, who only want to dance, and have no idea what sort of magic they're getting mixed up in, as well as a sad father who'll do anything to keep them safe. Highly Recommend.

And the ones I'm currently reading:

              Frostheart   My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories

Because I haven't completed these yet, I can't give them ratings, but I can tell you that all three are perfectly lovely so far.

Let it Snow: Three Holiday Romances by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle
Three novellas about three pairs of high school kids whose story threads weave together, or so I hear. It just got a Netflix adaptation, which I'm excited to watch the minute I'm done reading.

Frostheart by Jamie Littler
I've barely started this, but it's been getting just a ton of love in the bookish community, and the illustrations are adorable. It's about a little orphan boy with a big heart and a magical ability that frightens his snowy, little village. Also snow leviathans and a stoic yeti. Yes, please.

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins
I'm about halfway through this collection of short stories that cover everything from Christmas to Yule to New Years. I've been impressed with the depth of each tale and the quality of the themes being discussed. So far, highly recommend.

Alright, that's *nearly* all for now, although I did promise to give a little review of The Knight Before Christmas.
                      Image result for the knight before christmas
I'm going to judge this on the Christmas movie scale, not the movie movie scale, because on the movie movie scale it was like a two and a half out of five stars, but on the Christmas movie scale it was a four and a half. Cute. Made me smile and laugh. All the Christmas vibes. Includes accidental time travel and a knight trying to learn how to talk to Alexa. Golden.

What are your favorite Christmas books and movies? Are you a Hallmark person? Have any holiday pet peeves? Leave a comment below, and thanks for reading!


  1. Wait so that means your play has already finished! I need a blog dissecting the experience!