2017 · books · favorites · melanie kristy

Stories in November 2017

I started so many novels in November, and I barely finished any. That doesn’t fare well with my Goodreads challenge, but this is the last year I’m doing the challenge for now anyone so overall I don’t think that matters. I’ve liked the books I started, too! I just couldn’t get my head in the reading game. Actually, I just checked my Goodreads challenge and even though I read 3 books in November, I’m 1 ahead for the year! That means I only need to finish 3 in December, which I think I can probably do.

I set my goal to 52 books this year. One a week. Last year I was only a few books shy of my 75 book goal. We will talk about book goals at a different time, though. Right now we are just talking about November stories.

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Goodbye, Things by Fumio Sasaki

I started off November reading this book. I’ve been enjoying reading about minimalist and decluttering but let me tell you, this book isn’t the book to read. The writing was mediocre and it was quick to fly through. What I really didn’t like about this book, however, was that the author made broad generalizations, used quotes a “proof” of her methodology while pulling them completely out of context, and did little research in this area. I cannot even remember the bad examples she used, aside from claiming that minimalism will make you thin. She says that no minimalists are overweight. There’s no research in that aside from her “observations” of minimalists she’s encountered. I stopped reading at that point and flipped through, skimming to see if anything else was worthwhile in the book and decided there was no anything of substance. I gave it 2 starts on Goodreads.

tower of dawn
Tower of Dawn
by Sarah J. Maas
When Tower of Dawn first came out I was disappointed to learn it was sort of a companion novel in the way that it takes place at the same time Empire of Storms does. I put it down in my disappointment by the lack of Aelin and Rowan, and didn’t return to it for a few months. That being said, the novel is excellent. I love Chaol, and I’m happy his story is going in the direction is does in Tower of Dawn. I think this novel is necessary to read as part of the Throne of Glass series, I just don’t like that it takes place with different characters at the same time as Empire of Storms. 5 stars regardless.

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They Both Die At The End
by Adam Silvera
If you read my November favorites you’ll see I marked this novel as my favorite for November. It’s about two guys, Mateo and Rufus who learn they’re going to die within 24 hours, and they don’t know how. From this comes a beautiful connection, and one last. This is a book about life, and how you should spend it.

2017 · magic · melanie kristy · Uncategorized · writing

Did I Fail NaNoWriMo? / What Happens Next?

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November is over. There is no more National Novel Writing Month. We are on to holidays and shopping and drinking hot chocolate and driving around looking for Christmas lights (at least, I am), and moving on from our awesome or disastrous attempts at writing 50,000 words of a novel in November.

So tell me. How did you do?

 

I wrote 3,000 words in the first week and then stopped because life got in the way.

I’m here to tell you, though, that just because you didn’t “win” NaNoWriMo, doesn’t mean you failed. That art of writing is not a win/ lose situation. There’s no competition for great art. So maybe you didn’t get enough words. Maybe you gave up half way through. Maybe you couldn’t get past the first 3,000 words. It doesn’t matter, it’s all great.

Just because you didn’t win doesn’t mean you didn’t accomplish something, and that’s what is more important. If you’re a writer or want to be a writer or used to be a writer and you participated in NaNoWriMo even for half a day this year, you accomplished something great. You accomplished something that most people will not do in this life time. You imagined a plot, you thought up characters, you dug into the dusty areas of your mind and committed to writing something. So be proud of yourself for that.

What happens next?

Well… you keep writing. You revisit what progress you’ve made so far. You give yourself more goals, and maybe think about figuring out what kinds of goals are realistic to you, and you keep on going.

For years and years I’ve passively thought about finishing a novel. It’s been a very long time since I’ve written something to completion. All those goals were so passive, that I never even visited my novels or started fresh. I wanted to make certain seasons “the one where I write a book”. And then I’d put that idea back on the shelf and move along with my life.

First off, it’s okay to not write a novel. It’s okay to not publish anything. It’s okay to only ever write for yourself or your friend or your lover.

But if that’s not enough for you, I suggest you do something different.

Here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to spend December thinking about the novel I started. I’m going to figure out where I really want to go with it – I realized that PLOT is my main issue with this current work, mainly that it doesn’t have one – and I’m going to figure out how to get there. And then I’m going to make 2018 the year I write and complete a novel. I’m telling you all now. I’m not going to table this idea. I am going to make it happen. I’m going to be responsible for birthing an entire YA novel.

And that’s what happens next. For me, at least.

Tell me what’s next for you. Tell me how you did. And we can figure out where to go from here.

xo
Melanie
melanie kristy · story

Beginnings of a Fangirl (in the late 90’s and early 2000’s)


I’ve been a fangirl before that was a word. I’ve been a fangirl for almost twenty years, long before the internet made fans accessible to each other, before there was a community to find online the way there is now. Before Tumblr and Instagram and Twitter. I say that and it makes me feel old.

I stood in long lines outside Filenes to get concert tickets when they went on sale. I wore a blue wig just to feel like I stood out in a crowd of thousands. I wrote letters that I never sent. I pasted posters from Bop magazine on my bedroom door. I scoffed at anyone who called me obsessed, dismissed people who refused to understand. At night I dreamed up scenarios where real people turned into characters in my mind.

I was a fangirl during the days of dial-up internet and AOL chats. I made e-mail newsletters in crazy fonts and colors before there were e-mail spam issues.


I wrote fanfiction for friends and strangers, emailed chapters of stories as I completed them. I met some of my best friends that way. We didn’t have website where we could upload images we created and make own our merchandise, and there weren’t fan sites that sold pretty things. No Etsy or Redbubble. We used Geocities to make fan pages with terrible flashy graphics instead.

The first form of “social media” and online expression that I immersed myself in was OpenDiary. After that there was Xanga, Myspace and Livejournal. All were online worlds where I could connect with people I didn’t know who loved the same things I loved. In these worlds I could open my heart up in an anonymous way, like writing in a journal that others would see. I could know that someone out there read what I read and felt that, too.


Being a fangirl in the early 2000’s meant you didn’t have a cell phone to text people, and you had to rely on long-distance phone calls to hear someones’ voice. We took pictures with regular cameras, selfies with digital cameras (before “selfie” was a word). Before digital cameras we had to wait for them to be developed and hope they came out okay. We recorded television appearances on VHS because we didn’t know if we could ever see those recordings, hear the silly stupid words said again.

Now there is a lot of community online. You can find community for any sort of thing you can fangirling over). You can immerse yourself and meet new people and relate. And I’m glad about this. I know lots of people scoff at everyone being too connected and addicted to their phones, but they discount the experiences of these people. They discount the connections made long distance with friends you’d never have met another way. I have a few very dear friends that I still talk to, and I met them because we connected over the Internet. We dreamed about Hanson. We wanted to write like Francesca Lia Block. When I was in high school I still felt disconnected. No one else had liked Francesca Lia Block, no one knew who she was. Everyone made fun of me for loving three blonde boys who, at one point, could have been mistaken for girls (who cares about their gender, anyway?). I’m glad we can get together and post in a group on Facebook, use hashtags and share fanart in ways that used to be more difficult.

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A couple years ago I read the book Fangirl  by Rainbow Rowell and it was the first time I read a book with a main character so much like me. I couldn’t believe it. All those years fangirling over books and music and falling in love with songs and boys – both fictional and real – and writing endless stories and finally I had found a character that I could relate to so much.

So being a fangirl has changed a lot over the years. In a way, I think it’s a lot cooler now, but maybe it just feels more cool to me. There’s more access to community, shops that make candles based on character and story scents, artists that sell fanart in the form of prints and clothing among other things, subscription boxes to fill your fandom needs and so much more.

xo.

Melanie Kristy

health · melanie kristy · story

Self Love & Importance & The Journey



I have done so many diets. I have read more diet/ nutrition books than you could count. I have intended on starting fasts, detoxes, and flushes. I’ve joined Weight Watchers / was a member of Weight Watchers at least once a year since I was seventeen.

I am so damn tired of it all.

I’m a body positive person. I’ve spent my life struggling with my body and my mind, the scale and my health stats. All of this. I don’t think to be fat means you are unhealthy. You can be healthy and overweight. You can be thin and unhealthy. You can be a normal weight and unhealthy. I’ve seen it, but that was never me.

To be healthy you need to love yourself. And loving yourself includes loving the body you are in right now. It includes giving yourself a huge hug and settling into self-care routines. It doesn’t matter if you want to change your body or not. You need to love it, and to appreciate it. It’s the only one you’ve got. If you have legs, they are what carries you. If you are seeing, your eyes are what give you light. If you have hair, it’s because you choose to. And if you don’t have these things, there are other aspects of your body that are there for you all the time. Your heart. Your skin. Your veins.

You cannot be healthy and be full of self-hate. You can’t try to scare yourself into good health. You can’t read books and gain knowledge and hope that changes your actions.  You can’t watch YouTube videos and buy workout machines and hope that it will bring you help or a pants size.

Everything about you starts from within. It starts with you and it starts with loving you.

This blog is about loving yourself. It’s about owning self-love, and learning how to be kind to yourself. And right now, it’s also about my journey into health. This journey includes changing my lifestyle. It might be in a way that you’re uncomfortable or unfamiliar with. But that’s on me. This is my journey, too. I finally feel like I’m at a spot in my life where I love myself enough to allow myself to change.

For years I have been frozen, yo-yoing back and forth. I’ve talked to myself in negative ways. I’ve been at a place where I have cried because I couldn’t figure it out. I couldn’t figure out what to do. I couldn’t figure out how to proceed. And usually, this is when I give up.

I’m not going to give up anymore. I’m trying things, and if they don’t work I’ll try something else.

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I have blood work that points to numbers I don’t like. I have clothes I don’t find flattering. I have aches where I don’t want aches. I want to feel strong and in control. There’s someone inside me wanting to come out. And I know sometimes that’s a trope, a misconception, that people are pissed off when another person thinks or implies that about a fat person. I know this, but this is how I feel. Part of me is buried, and I want her to come out. Maybe, really part of her is emerging right now and I am working on shaping her. It doesn’t matter, things are changing and that’s what I want you to know.

So this blog that’s about me and you and what I love and self-love is also about me and my journey and my health. It’s about me seeking to be who I am, who is buried inside me. It’s about me carving out my future. And by doing this I am helping you to figure out how to do this for yourself. I hope that makes sense. I hope I’m not speaking in huge sweeping promises, cheesy verses to pull you in.

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Basically, I have to start with me. And that’s what I’m doing. So please, don’t be turned off by body positive posts next to posts about my journey into health.

The importance in life is making it everything we want it to be. The importance is finding you and letting that version shine – if that’s what you want. The importance is connecting and feeling loved and loving yourself. The importance is knowing you are important. You are magical. You are loved. And bringing all of these concepts to life.

xo.

Melanie

melanie kristy · musings · Uncategorized

March & The Individuality of Moments


Clearly my aim to write every day in March just didn’t happen.
I’m sitting here thinking about how it’s almost APRIL. Spring is here (Though the weather doesn’t quite know it yet), and we are all alive and the air is crisp and the clouds want to rain. I’m listening to Mayer Hawthorne in attempts to be familiar with some music that I will hear at the Hop Jam Festival in May.

I am trying to rediscover blogs. I deleted a bunch from my dusty old Feedly feed, and I’ve been intentional about opening the website and clicking through to actually read things. I’m looking for soul food in the form of words, aching for thoughts to seep right into me. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt words just come out of me. A long time. To the point where The Daily Grind, aka LIFE, just took over and I was left with all this time passing. It gets to a point, if you’re a creative soul, where you wake up and wonder: where did all the time go? What did I do with my waking hours? And, for me, if the answer consists solely of work and eat some food and attempt to be healthy, maybe see some friends, watch YouTube and Netflix  well then … I’m doing something wrong.


What is it that I’m doing wrong? I guess I mean, what could I be doing better, wiser, other? These late night feelings that something is missing, the anxiety over not doing enough or being enough aren’t new feelings. For three and a half years those feelings were clouded over with looming grad school papers and group projects. Then I started seeing someone, and who the hell needs to be doing something creatively when your heart is so bursting with love? That was my other. I didn’t need more.


But now I’ve graduated with a Master degree in Library and Information Science (I AM YOUR MASTER), and that relationship is no longer. So what am I left with? The empty nights where I’m watching YouTube, growing increasingly bored with the content and aching for something more.


More. More. More. And this is where blogging comes in. This is where I ask myself: What did you do with the girl who used to spin stories and love fiction characters and take walks that inspired entire word-created lives?

I’ll tell you now, I don’t know that answer.


In the past month I’ve watched life be sucked away. I’ve attended wakes, looked at bodies whose souls have left them, spend time in Church at a funeral service and cried a whole fucking lot. In this past month I’ve also seen Beauty and the Beast twice, booked plane tickets to Memphis, seen my friends more than usual, and bought an essential oil diffuser. I can’t seem to find my essential oils, though. I also pulled my back, ate tons of chocolate and started doing desk yoga in attempts to feel less stiff. I bought an aloe plant and started re-growing spring onions from the white ends that I cut off when making dinner. Life is in everything around us. It’s in these little details. It’s hard to imagine all this has happened (and so much more. Snow days. 70 degree weather. Many macarons consumed) just in one month. And yet at the same time I feel like March should be just beginning.


It’s all a blur. And if we (I) don’t stop to document and reflect and smell aloe plants and taste lip scrub then it’ll stay a blur. Something we (I) don’t remember for the individuality of moments.

melanie kristy · musings · weight loss

State Of The Writer


It’s been a long winter. Technically, it’s still winter for twenty more days and even though it’s supposed to be back in the 30’s this weekend I’m still declaring winter over. That probably means I’ll be grumbly and cranky when I have to wear a winter jacket this weekend (it’s also possible that I’ll be cranky because I’m cold because I won’t be wearing said jacket, who knows!).

I wanted to take a moment to kind of address who I am and where I am and what I’m doing. Vague enough for you, right?

My favorite band has a full blown weekend festival every May, and they do this thing called “State of the Band” where they talk about what they want to do and what their plans are. I’m in the middle of settling into my plans to travel to Tulsa in May for this weekend, so that term is on my mind.

So here are a couple things:

I was seeing someone for almost all of last year. In the summer it got weird/ complicated/ not great, and in September it ended. For months after that I felt awkward and swollen and lost. I don’t handle heartbreak well at all. It tends to shake me up and spit me out into tiny pieces like my heart is made of paper and heartbreak makes me into recycled pulp. I am better now. Stronger. Moving on. I am single and wanting to be single.

There has been other heartbreak recently, but it’s more personal and I’ll leave that out.

Since last April I’ve worked full time at a library, and I’ve had lots of different responsibilities during my time there. I love it a lot. I’ve learned so much and met a lot of great people.

I keep having these moments where I think something to the effect of: I’m not sure what I’m doing with myself or my life. I think about how I feel unfulfilled in aspects of my life, I’m uninspired and unsure. Every time I have these moments, everything comes back to writing. And so that’s why I’m here. I have a goal to write intentionally for all of March, and to post here every single day. I want this to be the kick off to something, even if it’s just the growth of this lovely little neglected blog.

Last summer I started selling Perfectly Posh products. If you don’t already know, I’m a huge fan of bath and body products. Lush Cosmetics is one of my favorite stores. While I still love Lush with all my heart, Posh has wedged its way into my heart and I’ve found a lot of products that I love. I really like Posh’s products and their ethics. I’d love for you to check out their catalog.

In January I signed up for Weight Watchers, for the 110th time. I will post a lot about health and weight in here. I am a very body-positive person, and I struggle with putting the concepts of “weight loss” and “body positivity” together in the same space. The thing is, everyone is different. There’s nothing wrong with my body how it is, and there is nothing wrong with your body. In fact, I’m willing to bet you are beautiful. That being said, I personally am not happy where I am. I haven’t ever actually been happy. I love my body and I want it to be able to move and stay active. I want it to be able to protect me and remain healthy for me, and because of that I’ve joined Weight Watchers again for me. For my body. There’s nothing wrong with me for doing so, and there’s nothing wrong with you for not taking any sort of “diet” path.

I love you all, and I’m hoping to meet more bloggers and readers to please comment if you’re reading this. Comment if you’re blogging.

Spread joy.

x.
Melanie