Things I Love Thursday: the Birthday Wishlist Edition

My birthday is more than a month away, but I’m one of those people that celebrate all month. I get pumped for a day all to me. Last year we went south to the Maryland Renaissance Fair. I’m not so sure what we will do this year, probably dinner somewhere at Destiny, USA (Formerly the Carousel Mall of Syracuse) since we’re so close.

I thought that I would make a pre-shopping list to share the things I’m dying to get my hands on.

Books

The day after my birthday, two authors that I love dearly are dropping new novels.

Leigh Bardugo is the author of the Grisha series and this sequel to Six of Crows is set in that very same fantastic universe. Something happened to one of my favorite characters at the end of Six of Crows so I’m excited to finally pick back up where it left off.

Laini Taylor wrote Daughter of Smoke and Bone, a book I loved so much that I ordered a second copy for my best friend. If I understand correctly, this book is set in the same universe, after the war between the great awful thing and the characters from that series. Confused as I am, I still really want this book.

Charm Beads

I think we all know that I have an obsession with these things. But I haven’t bought myself any of them yet! Now that I’m working at Hot Topic, I can wear my charm bracelet without ruining it and I need to add some cool beads to it.

What can I say? I wear my geek on my sleeve. Or, my wrist, rather.

Fan Art

Specifically, Charlie Bowater’s interpretation of characters from A Court of Mist and Fury. I’m currently rereading it because it has hit the top of my favorites list in an obsessive way. Mix that with Bowater’s devastatingly beautiful art and I’m sold.

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These would have to hang in the area I choose to use for art and writing. Hopefully, it would inspire me to reach for Bowater and Maas’s levels of awesome.

Even Superheroes were Teenagers

While browsing instagram, the social media site boasted a photo of one of my fave authors in the new stories feature. I kind of fell into a rabbit hole after clicking the profile link and found out something that I may or may not have already known:

Leigh Bardugo is working on a Wonder Woman young adult novel.

WW

Are you kidding me? I am a a screaming mess of excitement rolling on the floor right now. At least I am on the inside. I’m sure my husband might think differently of me if I did do that.

Or he might not. He’s seen a lot from me.

How cool is it that the author of the Grishaverse is working onĀ  my homegirl’s teen years? Bardugo has a well grounded foundation in fantasy, having created a russian steampunk fantasy world for her novels. This leads me to believe that perhaps her novel will be set in Thymescira, Diana’s Amazonian home island.

Upon further research I found out that Bardugo isn’t the only one penning a superhero YA novel. The list gets even better, including Superman, Batman, and Catwoman. And the author line up? Just as kick ass.

Matt De La Pena is working on Superman while Marie Lu, author of The Young Elites (which we listened to on tape), will be working on the young Bat. I don’t know much about Pena, but I already know Lu might have what it takes.

Finally, another favorite of mine is heading Catwoman. I’m not the biggest fan of the illustrious jewel thief, but for Sarah J. Maas, a girl might be tempted to get to know her. Maas is the author of the wildly popular Throne of Glass series as well as my all time faves, A Court of Thorns and Roses as well as A Court of Mist and Fury.

These book are slated to be released sometime in 2017, Bardugo’s listed as August.

Lit Cube! My Review

I really wish that I could afford to keep some monthly subscription boxes coming every month. Sadly, the budget says no when I’m not working. With work starting up soon, I’m considering some boxes that I’d like to get for that time.

With a bit of extra cash, I decided that I NEEDED this month’s Dragon Anniversary LitCube. I have been waiting and waiting for this box to arrive. I must have bought it when it was first announced. Also, the company did announce that there was a small issue with one of the box items and customs. I totally understood.

But it is here now!

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AAAAAND, I opened it up to the adorably bug-eyed dragon. How cute?! I took him out of the plastic packaging to get a better shot and found that he was incredibly soft. I might just take him on my impending road trip as a cuddle buddy. What should I name him/her?

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Digging deeper I immediately saw this dope journal. If you know me, you know I have an avid obsession with journals. This one is made to be written in and colored, featuring a coloring book page every so often. I plan on using this as a travel sketchbook. I was in the market for one and this fits the bill for all of my doodling needs.

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Sorry for the shitty, low light, iphone 4 photos

Also, there’s travel sized colored pencils! Oh yeah, this is totally going everywhere with me!

Beyond that was a brand spankin’ new book. Slayers, by C.J. Hill is about Tori, a young socialite and dragon slayer. While I’m totally judging a book by it’s cheesey cover, I’m willing to give this one a chance. I freaking love dragons.

No Shame At All.

I see a lot of the leather bracelets with Harry Potter or Hunger Games charms. I love the leather bracelet idea, but not the charms on it. Add dragons instead and I am SOLD. I wore it out and about today just because I could. I definitely want to take it on my roadtrip and wear it everywhere. I just need to snip off the silly adjustment chain.

I have baby wrists.

Also, not shown here because I nommed, there was a package of Fatman’s Beef Jerky in Original flavor. I freaking love beef jerky! Whoooooooooooooooooooooooo!

All in all, I was really impressed with this box. I’d totally get another one given I was in love with the theme. Everything in this box really jives with things I would have purchased myself, but didn’t think of or find. That’s what I want out of a subscription box. The cost per item was kind of on par with what I paid for the box, but I’m cool with that.

Things I Love Thursday: YA Authors!

There was a time in my life where I avoided YA like the plague. I was too old for that now. I needed to read books with older protagonists because I couldn’t connect with the younger protag anymore.

I was an ass.

In the past few years the variety and quantity of YA books has soared through the roof. And now I’m devouring them like dark chocolate peanut M&Ms (because I love those, too). I can’t tell you which book it was that pulled me back into the YA genre, but it might be by one of these authors.

Beetle

Laini Taylor

I stumbled upon Taylor while perusing a stack of books in a game shop. Hubs was taking his sweet time going through each game and felt bad so he offered to buy me a book. I picked up the paperback copy of Daughter of Smoke and Bone like iron drawn to a magnet.

It didn’t take long for me to fall headfirst into her bizarre world of angels and chimera and humans. I fell in love with blue haired Karou and her spunky best friend Zuzanna. The trilogy takes place all over the human world and between another world as well, taking me on a fantastical trip to places I could only dream of.

Leigh Bardugo

Tsarpunk.

A word that was probably coined by Bardugo herself is more than fitting for the world that she’s created. It’s a fantasy Russia, surrounded by witch hunter filled Scandinavian-like country and evil scientist filled Asian-like country. In her first trilogy she weaves the story of Alina Starkov, reluctant hero and accidental Saint of Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, as well as Rise and Ruin.

I read the first book a year or more ago and, as much as I loved it, didn’t have the funds for the follow up books so I promptly forgot about it. Then, I stumbled across the sequel in the discount bargain. I shared an outcry at it being discount, but quickly snatched it up. More recently, hubs purchased Six of Crows for me. Its as beautiful on the outside as it is on the inside.

Maggie Stiefvater

It wasn’t her werewolf romance series that caught me, although that is more my style. No, for Stiefvater it was an interview I watched on Youtube. Bardugo and Taylor were there as well, but listening to Stiefvater talk made me want to read what she was putting out.

The Raven Boys immediately drew me in. Its a story of outcasts, dead kings, and baby ravens. The next book, Dream Thieves, is about anger, drag racing, and a hit man. Stiefvater writes like I wish I could.

Holly Black

My love for Holly Black began YEARS ago. It started with Valiant, an urban rewrite of Beauty and the Beast that fucking hooked me. Valiant will always be one of my favorite books, but The Darkest Part of the Forest is now a close second.

It follows Hazel, a human girl living in a town surrounded by Fae. In a world that renders the townsfolk helpless, Hazel refuses to remain helpless. Reckless and wild, she is set on a path to become a hero when the sleeping horned boy in the glass casket suddenly comes up missing. But, Hazel isn’t so sure she is the hero that she thinks she is anymore.

Maybe I’m just a sucker for books with girls that have swords.

Tamora Pierce

This woman right here was the beginning of everything for me. Trickster’s Choice was the very fist book of hers that I read, which meant a lot of back pedaling when I found more. Many of her books are set in the fantastic world of Tortall. But, it isn’t all fantasy. It’s political intrigue, stuggling with race issues, the aftermath of war, and any number of deep cutting themes.

ForeverĀ  a favorite of mine, I constantly return to the Immortals series. Daine starts out as an orphaned thirteen year old struggling to figure out who she is and what to do with herself. There she runs into the fabulous mage, Numair. As the books progress, and Daine ages, the two struggle with their feelings for one another. Perhaps this is why I like older men.

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Geek Girls x Bloggers Comic Swap

So Pepi of Depepi, a Geek Anthropology Blog, had a really cool idea to involve some of the girls on our facebook group in a comic swap. Of course, I’m a big comic reader so I eagerly hopped in. I really enjoy participating in most online swaps. It feels really nice to get to know someone across the world and treat them to something, even a little something. Getting something is nice, too, of course. Since I was stateside, I was paired with Kayla Cox of Epicfied.

We chatted a little over facebook, but that was hardly a way to get to know someone. In hindsight I probably should have stalked her blog. A bit creepy, but I would have known what to have given her. Instead, I gave her a comic that I held very dear myself. I even butchered her name on the package (I felt awful).

But I’ll let her talk about that, here.

Kayla straight up asked me what was in my reading list that I didn’t have and I gave her three titles I’d put off buying. Once she mailed it out I check my PO box religiously, I was so excited. That meant drudging across a bar parking lot in pj’s and knock off uggs at nine in the morning. It was so worth it.

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I squealed when I opened the package to find Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson, waiting inside. It was a comic that I carried around half of Powell’s Books before I found something that had been nigh impossible to find (Rat Queens 2, duh). It hurt to put it down, but budget is a bitch.

After all of my adult responsibilities had been fulfilled, I curled up in hubs game room (complete with a bean bag chair and a blanket) with Nimona. I don’t know what I expected when I read the synopsis, but this wasn’t it. And that isn’t a bad thing at all. Nimona herself is a wild teenager with out of any world powers and a villainous role model that she decides she just has to work for.

The art work is simple, yet really fun, kind of like Adventure Time. With a limited color scheme she sets up a world that is a conglomeration of science and fantasy, villainy and heroism. Stevenson also has a collection of webcomics on her own site, Gingerhaze!

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Thing I Love Thursday!

It has been a bit of a struggle lately with my depression weighing me down every moment that I’m alone. I’ve gained enough weight that I can no longer fit into a lot of my clothes and even some of the new clothes are tighter than I expected. I was working out, but I lost all motivation. Then, my husband is going back to school this fall and I said I would, too, but I cannot seem to make up my mind on what I want to do. What if we move somewhere for his job and I cannot find one in my field?

I really don’t want to think about any of it.

I want to think about what I do have. I want to think about what makes me happy right here and now. Gala Darling is all about self love and gratitude. She started Things I Love Thursdays as a way to stay grateful, to fight back the darkness of depression. So, I’m going to follow suit.

Sunshine!

While my husband turns into a lobster in any kind of sunlight, I relish in it. I love to throw open all of the blinds and open windows on sunny days. He can retreat to his windowless gaming room, anyway. On Easter we spent a large amount of time sitting on my parents’ front porch in the sunshine, jokingly throwing things at one another.

Sunshine is such a healing thing for me.

My Cats

Luna is still having issues getting along with our fat cat, Hex. She’s such a tiny bully and he’s become a big pushover. Still, it is incredibly sweet when I have both of them sleeping beside me on the couch or when we’re playing with the makeshift whack-a-mole contraption my hubs made for them (basically cardboard with holes cut out and we poke a straw through that they love to attack).

Winning their love has been incredibly rewarding. Hex follows me around the house like a dog. Luna is slowly coming out of her self induced exile. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she learns to love Hex, too.

Squishables

I have two squishables of my own and I bought one for my husband because he often steals one of mine. They are round stuffed animals made to look like almost anything. I have one of the large Cerberus squishables that acts as a back rest on my couch and a small Hippogriff that I sleep with at night.

Yes, I’m 26 and I still sleep with stuffed animals. You can blame my husband for that. He started it with a penguin pillow pet. There’s something comforting about hugging something soft while falling asleep. Sometimes, I put it aside and hug hubs.

Sometimes.

Books

I have been a lover of books since I could begin to pick out the words. I read anything and everything I could get my hands on when I was younger. I grew to have a more defined taste as I got older, but I’ll still branch out here and there to remind myself that all stories are worth while.

Story is something that I hold dear. It allows us to leave the troublesome world we’re stuck in and adventure across so many other worlds, mundane and fantastical. It teaches us lessons. It shows us love and perseverance. Story does so much for us.

These are a few things that I love in life, things that I’m grateful for. I want to keep doing this as a regular thing. I know that I need a little more gratitude for the things that are already in my life.

Binge Reading The Sad Away

Depression

Sometimes I think that I forget about the things that make me really happy. Depression can do that. It can make you obsess over the things that drive you crazy, that make you so sad that you just don’t do anything.

Fuck that.

I don’t take depression lying down. I’ve dealt with it for all of my teenage years and into my twenties. So many people I know have, as well. It seems odd to see the person that doesn’t struggle with it. But, having dealt with it for so long, I’ve come to realize that I can combat it on my own and with the help of those who love me.

Yesterday was particularly hard for me. I wanted nothing to do with myself. So, I did a couple of things. First, I shaved my legs. That smooth feeling made me feel a bit prettier. It made me feel like I was doing something. Next, I told my husband after screaming at the ripping trash bag for five minutes. He helped with the trash and with the dishes I dragged out of the fridge. Next, I bought myself good coffee. Dunkin Donuts is the best around here. I’m a little obsessed after going so long without it in Cali.

Finally, I went to the library. They didn’t have exactly what I was looking for, but that was cool. It’s a freaking library. They have everything else. I picked up a new book by Neil Gaiman because he’s the freaking boss and will be a decent substitute for Charles De Lint (find his work, trust me). I also grabbed a new Holly Black book because she’s awesome, too. The Lunar Chronicles, by Marissa Meyer seemed to cropping up everywhere so I decided to give Cinder a chance.

Needless to say, I read Cinder in the space of yesterday afternoon. I wasn’t impressed, but it was really different from anything else I’d read and I do have a soft spot for fairy tale retellings. But it helped rekindle my obsession with story and reading. The hope is that with enough reading, I’ll find the gumption to return to the book I wrote in 2012 and finally finish revising it.

That would make me really happy.

Until then, I have The Ocean at the End of the Lane and The Darkest Part of the Forest left to read.

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