2018 · new things

New Things! 34 before 34

I’ve tried this before and I’ll try this again. I’ve been inspired by past posts that Sarah Von Bargan of Yes and Yes and Xandra of Heroine Training have made. It’s a birthday list of new things to be accomplished/ experienced before your next birthday. The best part is there’s no pressure to finish these things. You can carry them over if you want. But the intention is put out there, and I like that.

So here’s my list. My birthday is in November, so I feel like I should have made this list a couple months ago, but I still think I can do a lot of these things before then.

  1. Complete draft one of currently novel – I suppose this isn’t a new new thing, as I’ve completed novels before, but it’s been a long time, and I feel like this is a BIG novel. Maybe the novel. We shall see.
  2. Read a Jane Austen novel – this was part of my summer plans, and it didn’t happen. Maybe this upcoming summer!
  3. Get paid for my writing. Blogging, freelancing, whatever! We’ll see!
  4. Take a barre class
  5. Visit Canada
  6. Start a bullet journal (and keep up with it)
  7. try Miracle berries
  8. go to a trampoline park
  9. hike a mountain – I have my eyes set on Mount Greylock in the Berkshires of MA, also home to the Ilvermorny – the American School for Witchcraft and Wizardry
  10. take a pole dancing class
  11. celebrate seasons changing – by hosting a party or taking part in other festive celebrations
  12. see (and hopefully photograph) snowy owls
  13. attempt at Whole 30
  14. make pickles
  15. try different trendy lattes. Charcoal, Turmeric, Beet, Unicorn, Matcha
  16. eat at Blackie’s Bulldog Tavern 
  17. Marie Kondo some of my life
  18. bake or cook something with flowers
  19. visit a free little library
  20. make goat cheese
  21. go to a roller derby bout
  22. do a planned out Random Act of Kindness activity, maybe participate in The Birthday Project
  23. participate in guerrilla gardening
  24. go letterboxing
  25. get a picture of my aura taken
  26. start a YouTube channel
  27. finish watching Doctor Who
  28. Implement a daily morning and night routine
  29. Document my life through Leap Second
  30. blog at least three days a week, consistently, for the whole year – this isn’t really a “new thing” so much as it’s an experience in consistency that I’d like to follow through on
  31.  Pick one type of food/ dish each month to master – can be variations on the same dish or a different type of dish (for example January: smoothie bowls)
  32. Participate in a one month spending fast
  33. grow herbs and then eat them/ cook with them
  34. lose 75 pounds
Uncategorized

Goodbye 2017

What a fucking year.

The word for 2017 was Magic. I used this word when I needed to calm myself, and when I needed to remind myself of anything. I won free lularoe leggings for a year, and I won an essential oil diffuser. Winning, for me, is magic. I’ve learned more about magic, taken a class by Gala Darling and started slowly incorporating magic and energy into my life. It’s not perfect and I’m nowhere near where I want to be, but it’s a thing.

I climbed the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown, MA, which is something I had wanted to do for years.

2017 was the year of halo top. It was the year of essential oils, zucchini noodles and Sarah J Maas novels. And YouTube. A lot of YouTube.

I lost one of my favorite people.

I watched two of my friends get married (not to each other). I celebrated birthdays with two different toddlers. I met a beautiful baby girl during her first day on earth.

I nursed heartache that still plagues me, went on some odd dates, and met a guy who I spent sixish weeks dating. I still think about him sometimes. Not in a way where I want to date him, but just because he is a sweet, unique guy.

I joined weight watchers, left it for low carb/ keto then joined weight watchers again. I’m down 30 pounds from where I was a year ago, but I had been down as much as 43 and I’ve learned a few things about weight. For me, five- ten pounds isn’t much to lose or gain. I’ve learned that I just need to do something and stick with it. I need to keep at it and eventually I’ll get though here.

I saw Hanson live a few times. I met Maggie Stiefvater. I completed my Goodreads challenge of 53 books.

Travel. I filled my wanderlust. I went to Vermont, Oklahoma, Tennessee, New York and South Carolina.

My book club has continued to thrive. I’ve reconnected with old friends and strengthened bonds with others. I’ve become increasingly more unfiltered about different topics with some people.

In the middle of the summer I was hired for my dream position – YA librarian. It’s been a rollercoaster of working in reference and trying to figure out what being a YA Librarian in my current library means to me. I’m still working on it. We are working on what we have to offer teens. In a way I feel like I haven’t quite started yet.

Ive gone to tons of trivia nights and won lots of those nights.

I’ve learned how to make a little extra money with surveys and different online apps. I’ve struggled with having my finances be extra tight, and I’ve struggled with spending all the money when it’s not tight. I’m still trying to figure out what money means to me, and how I can take back control of it. It is an ongoing process but I feel like I keep getting closer.

Last night I set up my bullet journal for a new adventure in 2018. Today I joined the YMCA. I’ve decided on some things I want to do next year. I’m so ambitious, and I want to follow through with all my thoughts.

I’m grateful for so many things. In 2017 I’ve tried to make a habit of making gratitude lists, and I’m going to continue that habit in 2018. I watched a video where someone was saying that one year they wrote down one specific good thing about their day, every day for a year. I love that so much that I’m doing to adopt it.

See you in 2018, everyone.

It’s only minutes away.

2017 · books

Gift Guide For Your Bookish Friends

It’s that time of year again! Everyone is scrambling to find the perfect gift, or maybe they’re just scrambling to get a gift. Maybe you just want something for yourself. Never fear, I have a few suggestions!

A bookish subscription box – There are hundreds of you to choose from. I’m a personal fan of Owlcrate, but it’s also the only subscription box I’ve had. I also want to try Unicorn Crate and Fairyloot

cards against muggles

Cards Against Muggles – A for-you-to-download Harry Potter themed version of Cards Against Humanity.

Anything from Out of Print Clothing. T-shirts, jewelry, pencil cases and sweatshirts galore, all inspired by awesome literature.

Candles inspired by your favorites. I love A Court of Candles first because the name is inspired by the A Court of Thorns and Roses series (I think!) and second because the designs are gorgeous. Both of these images are from the A Court of Candles site, because I don’t have any of my own yet!

Bookish Tea. There are lots of shops to choose from. First Edition Tea Co. is the first I’ve tried!

noveldestinations2

Novel Destinations: Second Edition: A Travel Guide to Literary Landmarks From Jane Austen’s Bath to Ernest Hemingway’s Key West – This literary guide takes you around the world to different places that exist in real life, but you may be familiar with them because of novels.

Even though I’d like one of all of these, I’m also trying to be mindful of my possessions and pare down what I down a bit. So I’d have to say the best gifts are experiences. Buy you girl tickets to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, take your guy friend on a tour of Shakespeare’s house, plan a trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Make memories, take pictures and enjoy yourself. I find having experiences, especially with people you love, are so much better than buying something that’ll sit on a shelf. (And yes, I realize all these experiences are very BIG. Instead you can use the Novel Destinations book you bought to find something more local and explore!).

What would you like for the holidays?

xo.
Melanie

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.

goodbye things
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.

they both die at the end.jpg
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.

Uncategorized

Hello December!

What are your dreams, hopes and wishes for this month?

I’m working on feeling organized. I’ve got heaps of little gifts to get in order and I’ve been slowly decluttering my things.

I have three more books to read for this year in order to finish my Goodreads goal. It’s really doable for me, I just need to decide WHAT to read!

Tea every day! I was going through my loose leaf tea and I’ve got so much I’ve decided to drink at least a cup of day (and document it on instagram because why not).

Taking time to reflect on this year and make goals and set intentions for 2018. I can’t believe we are almost there.

Also! This is my favorite time of year, and I want to be sure to be in the present moment and to enjoy it.

Xo

Melanie

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