May 2018 Monthly Wrap-Up
Jeez, can you believe that we’re half-way through the year already? I start every wrap-up with seemingly reflecting on how fast life is passing, but it’s really going by too quick. In some aspects, that’s a good thing I suppose, though it also somewhat sucks as things tend to get a bit hectic around here. The blog lacked this month, and for that I apologise, though let’s see what’s been happening.
So my last monthly wrap-up was somewhat incredibly chaotic as I ended up in hospital at the end of April, which somewhat threw everything for a loop. I wish I could say that May got off to a better start, but I can’t. May began with weeks of bed rest, blood tests, and more-than-regular appointments with a variety of different health-care professionals. My mother flew to South Africa – where I’m originally from and where I was in the hospital – just before my collapse which caused me to be admitted, so she was with me and we were planning on bringing me back to the UK which is where my immediate family moved to. Due to my hospital admission, however, nobody wanted to give me clearance to fly, which caused a lot of stress as we had to get back to my family, yet no health-care professional wanted to be held accountable in the case that something did happen whilst we were up in the air. We eventually got clearance, and, despite having to have continuous medical assistance, we made it back to the UK well and truly exhausted. However, I’m happy to say that things have somewhat settled down now that I’ve gotten back into the routine of things. I know a lot of this is rather cryptic, and that’s due to the fact that I don’t feel comfortable yet sharing what exactly I’m going through, but it’s not something that goes away in a few weeks. In that sense; I’m not allowed to leave my house or go out and do things, because something may happen. I’m working on it, but it’s not like the flu, as it were. One day maybe I’ll share it or at least give out some more information, but not right now. But, anyway, I am sick of the blood tests. I had to have more done yesterday and ended up nearly collapsing and had to be put in a wheelchair, etc. Usually, they used baby needles on me, but the nurse used an adult one and now my arm is bumped and bruised too.
I think I mentioned that I’ve started to go into freelance writing recently and that’s been going really well as I’ve been picked up by a few clients, had a few commissioned pieces, and I actually belong to an agency now. I’m just starting out and obviously still getting my footing and all, but I think this is helping me make that whole ‘where do I want to go in life’ decision a bit more easily. As I stated in a previous post, I’m a media production graduate with a love of writing, so I’m thinking maybe entertainment journalism or something is the way forward. At least for now. Did I mention that I’m absolutely loving Far Cry 5? I was also able to get my hands on a copy of Detroit: Become Human as soon as it was released, and I am shattered. Shattered.
And now, for the biggest news of all, I got to meet my new puppy earlier this month! We were actually able to go up and see the litter the week that we got back, and they were only three weeks old, so they were incredibly tiny. My Mom and I have been talking at length for months about getting me a therapy dog, and, after conducting some research, we found that beagles are supposedly some of the best therapy dogs you can have. Therefore, we’d been looking into breeders and got an email saying that a litter had been born a day before my hospital admission. As soon as we could, we made a date to go and choose my little pup, and now we have! I’ve already posted photos of him, but here they are again. We’re picking him up in just over 2 weeks, and he’s going to be a little rascal. I have a lot of experience with puppies and dogs (and any animal in general, really) but they’re always a challenge at first. I can’t wait though! He’s my entire heart. His name is Arlo and you can expect to see him a lot more on the blog in the upcoming months.
Due to the hectic start that the month had and getting more involved in starting my freelance writing ‘career’ and choosing Arlo and generally dealing with life, I haven’t been able to write/post all that many reviews. I know that the blog has been lacking in reviews this past month and I’ve definitely been kicking myself for it, but hopefully, things will get back on track soon enough. Sometimes there are elements of life that do take priority and it’s not always at the top of my mind to schedule a review to be posted, but I try my best when I have the energy to do so. I was still able to get a few posted, though, so feel free to check them out if you missed any.
- Reader Review: The Loneliest Girl In The Universe – Lauren James
- Reader Review: Queen Of Corona – Ro Esterhazy
- Reader Review: Always And Forever, Lara Jean – Jenny Han
- Reader Review: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before Series – Jenny Han
- Reader Review: Discontents: The Disappearance Of A Young Radical – James Wallace Birch
- Reader Review: The Cruel Prince – Holly Black
Likewise, with the reviews, my month has been hectic with settling in and getting back into the swing of things in the UK, so I haven’t always been prioritising reading. Also, in moving back to England, I was once again able to be reunited with my beloved PS4 and a bunch of new games, so I’ve also been distracted in kicking ass on Far Cry 5 and trying to save androids on Detroit: Become Human. Hey, I love video games too, man. Also journalism path I’m interested in going into. The past week or so, however, I’ve been trying to get back into reading at a more regular pace as I missed it and I have a stack of new books that just keeps building up, so I was able to get through a few reads.
- Queen of Corona – Ro Esterhazy: ★★★★
- Augustown – Kei Miller: ★★★★
- Let Me Lie – Claire Mackintosh: ★★★★
- Discontents: The Disappearance Of A Young Radical – James Wallace Birch: ★★★
- Piecing Me Together – Renée Watson: ★★★★
- Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman: ★★★
- Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng: ★★★★
- Conversations With Friends – Sally Rooney: ★★★
Because I didn’t read all that many books this month – or not as many as I’m used to reading – this is somewhat of a confusing decision as there wasn’t really one book that stood out to me amongst the others. However, in saying that, I was able to get to read ‘Piecing Me Together’ by Renée Watson. I had never heard of the book before my Mom picked it up for me and, despite not being able to relate to most of the protagonist’s struggles, I think the book is emotive, powerful, and definitely worth a read in the current state of our society. Therefore, it’s got to be the one I choose this month, and there will be a review up for it (eventually.)
I was able to focus on getting all the questions to this month’s ‘Book Blogger Hop’ answered in my usual lengthy and rambling way, so I once again apologise for how confusing and incoherent the answers must be. Some days I did forget about the weekly meme and had to somewhat rush my answers, but I didn’t miss any (or at least I don’t recall missing any) so I’m happy with that. I also got a few author interviews out and hosted a couple giveaways, which is always fun!
- Author Interview & Giveaway: Candace Wondrak
- Book Blogger Hop: May 4th | Can Books Better You?
- The Unique Blogger Award
- Book Blogger Hop: May 11th | Picking Favourites
- Book Blogger Hop: May 18th | Adaptation Regrets
- Book Blogger Hop: May 25th | The First Book [& A Puppy!]
- Author Interview & Giveaway: James Wallace Birch
This month I actually did post a blog post which was more revolved around my opinion and my outlook on the act of writing in itself. I was somewhat hesitant to post it, as I didn’t know if my opinion or my views would be well-received and I wasn’t quite sure if it would fit with the ‘style’ (which is non-existent) of this blog, but I went ahead and published it anyway. If you’re a writer in any shape or form and you’re looking for inspiration, motivation, words of reassurance, or just generally are interested in my outlook on the stereotypical cliches that writers (of all kinds) face, then feel free to check out my rambling post on why you should write for yourself.
Well, that’s what’s been up with me and what’s been up with the blog. I’m hoping that June holds more reviews and more good books because there are a lot I’m excited to finally get my hands on. If anything, you can expect there to be a lot of upcoming puppy photos – though he may keep me busy and distracted for most of the time!
I’m actually also thinking of broadening this blog to include posts regarding video games, film, and television as those are all industries I’m interested in, and it my blog after all. It can be mixed media. Let’s just see where the time takes us – could be in three months, could only happen in two years. We don’t know.
What’s been up with you? Any exciting news, fun new reads, or generally details you’d like to share? Feel free to leave a comment and let me know!
Thanks for reading this monthly wrap up and, like always, I’ll write you later.