Slacker

Yep. That’s me. My blog is probably going to slow down at least on the original content for a bit. I just have no motivation to write this week so far. Plus, I have a lot going on with ARCs that need to be read, getting estimates for work on the house, trying to keep cooking healthy every day, doctor’s appointments, work, life in general. Add to that, there are 4 freaking feral cats that live under our deck outside and they howl at the moon like they’re in heat for hours at night.

Did I mention I’m a super light sleeper? It’s hell. So now I have dreams of cat repellent or running them away with a broom. I love animals, don’t get me wrong, but these cats keep waking me up. I know they’re being fed because they are bigger than my cats so I refuse to feed them considering how much they stick around our house anyway. So yeah, losing sleep because cats in the night makes me grumpy. 😦

I still plan to do Thursdays and Friday posts for now and if inspiration strikes, I’ll write whatever that content may be but if I disappear for a while, all of that above is why. I should pick it back up in March though. I just need to get caught up with life so the blog has to take a backseat.

Lastly, just because, if you have not seen Black Panther yet, you should! Shuri is my spirit animal and Okoye is my spirit warrior. Its a little bit more grittier than previous Marvel films but nevertheless its absolutely stunning. Also, the jokes aren’t forced, they just blend right into the commentary which is aweeeesome! I’m probably going to see it again either this week or next week but I just want to say, highly recommend and if you want to talk about theories with me, I’m totally down.

Have a good Tuesday everyone!

Year One

So I was going to post about something else today that was on my mind but I got one of those notifications that say, “Hey! You’ve been blogging for a whole year! Congrats!” and I figured I should probably share that with you all dear readers.

I know when a lot of people hit awesome milestones, they like to share what they learned and offer advice and all that. I’ll keep it pretty simple and tell you what seems to work for me.

When I first started blogging a year ago, I blogged everyday. About halfway into the year, I realized that everyday blogging is completely unrealistic for me. Blogging is a hobby. I do it for fun. The minute it started to feel like my job, I started hating it. Just like a regular job, you need days off to stay sane and between writing my own content and making sure I check blogs from my regulars, it just became too much. So, I say to you, find a rhythm that works best for you. If you don’t post every single day, don’t sweat it. The people who love your content will be happy to see a post from you whenever you get one out there. Trust me. Those are the people you write for; the ones that keep you motivated. If blogging is your job, well, I’m jealous. 😛

The second most important thing I learned is write whatever the hell you want. Seriously. Don’t worry about what people are going to think or say. They’re going to think and say whatever they want anyway so you might as well get it out of your system. You’ll feel great about sharing your thoughts, ideas, art, what have you, and even if you have a negative Nancy, you can handle it. It’s your blog. Do not let other people dictate how your write and certainly not what you write. You need an audience, sure, but your audience comes from various backgrounds, shapes, colors and creeds. Some will relate and some won’t. Doesn’t matter because you are writing for you and that’s ALL that matters. If someone doesn’t like your blog, they don’t have to look at it and feel free to tell those people that. If someone loves your blog, make sure you let them know how much you appreciate them whether that be just in the form of a comment or visiting their blog and getting to know them better.

Lastly, and it’s the best one yet, have fun! I don’t know about you but I’ve been super creative this last year content wise. I’ve talked about all kinds of stuff! Food, books, TV shows, emotions, I even shared some poetry from high school. I’ve made some really close friends around the world who I just know will be my forever friends and I thank this blog so much for that. So, to all of you who have been following Reactionary Tales sometime in the last year, thank you. I hope to continue bringing you creative, original stuff. I appreciate you all on this sunshiney, snowy (at least where I am) Monday morning and I hope you all are having the best start of the week even if the team you were rooting for lost the Superbowl last night. 😉 (For the record, I know nothing about sports so that last bit was for fun)

😀

Can’t Get Out of My Head

You know, I think I sort of understand where reading slumps come from now. Over the weekend, in order to fulfill my January obligation for the #UltimateReadingChallenge I picked up an old favorite I haven’t read in a few years. I did not expect to read it in half a day nor did I expect to cry my eyes out the whole time I was reading it either. Now I’m at the point where I should be moving on to a new book but I can’t get this one out of my head long enough! And then you start comparing what you just read to what you’re currently trying to read and it’s just so hard.

A friend suggested that I read another book by the same author to help tide me over from this high. Such a good idea right?? But when you’ve read every book an author has ever written, how do you even choose?? So now, not only do I have one of her books stuck in my head but I’m so indecisive that I can’t choose a different one. Usually when this happens, I turn to Netflix and end up getting into a show I can binge for a while. But then the same thing occurs again once the show is over! It’s truly a never ending cycle.

Another thing I like to do when I feel a slump coming on is turn to a completely different genre. For example, from contemporary to fantasy. Usually, a good fantasy book is able to perk me right out of it. I actually read and finished a fantasy I had left open for many weeks before I binge read this contemporary and had every intention of leading right into said book but I remembered my challenge and how there is not a lot of January left so I took a detour. Well that detour caused an accident figuratively speaking, lol.

That’s pretty much all I have for today. Clearly, I just can’t be original enough to think more originally like I usually do on Mondays. Hopefully this new book I’ve so far read the prologue of, jump starts my brain out of the previous book fog it’s lost in.

Happy Monday!

Speech

I literally  had a whole post written up for today. Truly, I did. And then I took a minute (more like ten) to watch a speech because my coworker insisted that I do. I don’t watch award shows very much. Really the only one I make a point to watch every year are the Grammys cause I love music and I love watching people come together over music. Last night, the Golden Globes aired on TV and it got a huge amount of hype. I mean it does every year when you have a ton of actors, actresses and directors coming together to celebrate each other and their accomplishments. This year, all the glamorous people wore black. The color black was to symbolize that time is up in regards to people getting away with sexual harassment and abuse in Hollywood and recognizing those who have been strong to come out and tell their “MeToo” stories. The highlight of the night however, besides historical award wins was Oprah Winfrey’s speech when she accepted the Cecil D. Demille Award. I just watched it and let me tell you, I was as moved as everyone in the audience. I mean not only is she eloquent with her words but the conviction in her tone, you can just tell she made a giant impact on everyone in that audience and everyone who watched it secondary like I just did. So, instead of the long post I initially wrote up for today, I’m sharing her speech instead and highly encourage you to watch all 9 minutes and 40 seconds of it because I promise you, it will surely be one you remember:

New Year; New Adventures

Happy New Year Friends!

I know I’ve been a slacker in my blogging duties lately. Turned out one of our broadband wires was cut which was why our internet was acting up. We pay for 50 Mbps up and 10 Mbps down and we were only getting 15 up which is a problem since we’re gamers and serious Netflix bingers in this house. The tech repaired the line and the internet has been working fine for the most part with a few hiccups here and there. I haven’t been in the mood to actually blog though. Not much inspiration when you’re off for 10 days straight at home I realized, lol.

Anyway, it’s 2018! We rung in the new year with Thai food, sushi rolls and 2 episodes of Ozark. A few days ago though we bought a new TV. My husband is in 4K HDR heaven so of course we also upgraded our Netflix plan as well. Nothing like bringing in the New Year by spending a lot of money eh?

I’m not really in the habit of making new years resolutions; more like new years goals. So far, this is what’s on my 2018 docket:

  • Set a lower Goodreads challenge. Mine was set to 100 for 2017 and only made it to 71. I’m going to set it to 70 this year and see what happens. I’m already, sort of in the middle of 3 books so that’s a good sign right?
  • Get all the flooring in our house replaced. I’ve pretty much demanded that I want new carpet and hardwood throughout the house and my husband has agreed since he got an expensive TV.
  • Move this blog to a new server. I’ve used Bluehost this whole year and they have not impressed me. I’m looking to change servers. Possibly to WordPress.com itself to make it easier for you all to see my full posts in the Reader. I’m still thinking about it. I have another month before my plan expires so we’ll see.
  • Exercise 3 times a week. I found a neat yoga video on YouTube that I believe I can get behind especially coming from not really exercising at all. I also want to start walking at least once a week once the weather is double my age.
  • Lastly, I want to have another awesome movie going year. Already have plans to see Fifty Shades Freed and Black Panther in February and Infinity War in May.
  • Oh and one more thing, I want to listen to an audiobook all the way through for the first time by the end of 2018. I’m very anti audiobook but I believe I can make this happen at least once. I already have my sights set on one.

These are my 2018 plans so far. I have a few other plans but I will share them with you in the months to come.

How did you ring in the new year? Were you able to stay awake til midnight? Eat some delicious food? Do you have a new years resolution or do you mainly goals like I do? Let me know in the comments below!

Hello World

Hi!

This post, which will be short, is brought to you from my cellphone. I know some of us can write posts mobiley but I’m not good at it yet especially when there’s pictures involved. Anyway, for the last couple of days, I’ve had some internet issues. You see, we pay for a high speed in our area. In order for our ISP to get us this high speed is by running two lines to our house. In technical terms, that means we have 2 broadband lines instead of just 1. One of our lines was out. This means our normal speed wasn’t acheiveable because we’re only running on one line instead of our bonded pair. On top of that, our internet was regularly disconnecting. I could be in the middle of Netflix or just something simple like browsing the web and I’d get page errors.

I hate calling service providers sometimes because they try to walk you through all these steps you’ve already tried before giving in and sending a tech. I get that cause I’m sure it’s cheaper that way. I kept it short and said, “hey, I pay for this speed and I haven’t been getting it. This is a problem.” The customer rep was funny because he suggested that sometimes it’s electromagnetic waves from Christmas lights could interfere. I’ve never heard anything like that before and there was also the fact that nobody in my street has Christmas lights (they’re all old). He sent a tech for today though. Took 3 hours but there’s definitely a problem with our outside wires that needs to be fixed.

Anyway, this is my way if updating you all. I hope you all had a nice holiday and an upcoming happy new year! I still hope to make an endangered post tomorrow so we’ll see. If there are any typos, I apologise. Autocorrect is the devil.

Year in Review

There are exactly 13 days left in 2017. I feel like this year swept by me so quickly. While I was driving into work, I sort of did a recap of all the things I’ve experience this year and thought I’d share a little bit with you today.

Let’s take it back to January shall we? In late January, I made the decisions to leave the pet world behind and pursue a completely different career path. That was pretty rough let me tell you because I love working with animals but the stress and work politics definitely took their toll and stressed me out almost to the point that it was unhealthy. An opportunity presented itself and I was definitely very afraid to take it. I had to get advice from so many different people and ultimately decided to go. We’re now at the end of December and I’m still at this job and very grateful and happy that I made the right decision. I’ve learned a lot and experienced even more.

Fast forward to April when my husband and I bought our first dining table set for our new house. Which btw, we bought our first late September of 2016 and have been living in it for more than a year so huzzah to that! Went from a one bedroom apt to a three bedroom house. It’s a wonderful feeling. We also attended my closest friend’s wedding in April as well. Unfortunately the marriage didn’t last long and they’re getting a divorce now but the wedding was still a momentous occasion considering marriage equality laws have only just been passed. Also, my best friend came to visit me and see our house for the first time in April and I got to briefly teach her how to drive manual which was soooo fun!

In May, which is my birth month, I got to touch a and sit in a Tesla which was soooooo cool! I also got to get a crash course in honeybee keeping. Then June came along and I got another crash course in picking cherries; all things I’ve never done before. By the end of June however, I got to meet one of my FAVORITE authors. I made a spontaneous decision to drag my husband and drive 4 hours to Cincinnati to meet Darynda Jones and have her sign all of my books. Definitely one of the best experiences of 2017 let me tell you! I also got to meet J.R. Ward and her bodyguard as well as a wonderful up and coming indie author, Melanie Jayne. Oh, I also got my passport renewed in June so I’m ready to travel the world! I also can’t forget, in June, I went to my first ever Pride parade which was a beautiful experience, I also got to tour a submarine in downtown Cleveland which was REALLY cool and I really need to make a post about that one day.

In July, I participated in a surprise birthday party for my grandma for her 75th birthday. I got to see my grandma cry for the first time ever and she NEVER cries! My husband and I also got to witness our old car save a squirrels life and then we sold that car and got a new one. I went to a lavender festival with one of my friends and I still have the lavender bunch I picked (I dried it out for weeks) sitting on our dining table. Then, in September, I went to visit my 9 month pregnant friend for the first time since her and husband moved into that apt years ago and feel a baby hiccup in the womb. Such an alien feeling still! The following week, I got to see Ed Sheeran in concert for the first time ever and I love him even more than I did before!

Fast forward to October when my husband and I got to finally take a vacation for the first time in about 2 years. We went to Florida with my best friend and her husband, stayed in a fancy suite and went to amusement parks such as Islands of Adventure and Busch Gardens. We also got to play in the ocean and horseback ride (!!!!!!!) which seriously? I need to do more often let me tell you. Finally, last month, November, I got to meet Patty in person which is my first time meeting a blogger in person and we had a grand time!

Speaking of the blog, I have to point out that I started Reactionary Tales in February of this year and it has been nothing but amazing. Some of you (you know who you are), I’m so grateful for knowing because I know we’ll be friends forever. For everyone else, I just appreciate anyone who takes time out of their day to read and comment on my posts. You’ve made this blogging experience very enjoyable and I look forward to continuing in 2018 as well as experience everything yet to come!

How was your 2017? Did you have any first time experiences? Are you looking forward to 2018? Let me know in the comments below!

(P.S. if you’re wondering how I remembered all of that, I didn’t. I went through my Google Photos which tell me the story of my year 😉 )

Road… Annoyances?

I was having a conversation with my husband while driving home from work Last Friday and I felt like it would make a good blog post and maybe spark a little conversation among ourselves. As you all know by now, I have a long drive to and from work. I work Mon-Fri, 8am-4:30pm and it takes me 45 minutes one way to get to and from work. As you can imagine, that means encountering many types of drivers; from the really slow or granny drivers to the speed racers. I know saying granny drivers is a little mean but that’s how slow drivers have always been referenced to me even from my own grandmother so I do apologize if that offends anyone but that’s the term I’m using. My drive consists of driving through 3 Ohio counties (fun fact: there are 88 of them). How people drive is usually determined by the weather. During the cold or rainy days, people are a little more cautious (obnoxious) in their driving. On sunny days people are a lot more speedy (also obnoxious) in their driving.

As I’ve mentioned before as well, I drive standard or stick shift or manual depending on who you ask. That means I have 3 pedals to work with instead of 2 which would make it an automatic car. Have you ever heard the phrase “road rage”? If you haven’t, let me explain it to you. Road rage is when people get annoyed with your driving and start doing obnoxious things like ride your bumper, honk at you or even go as far as yell out the window at you if they get the opportunity to pass you by. Usually this happens because a person is driving too slow or don’t use a turn signal when turning or ride their brakes; those sorts of things.

I have this ritual of having to be on the phone with people while I’m driving long distances. Since my husband gets home before I do, he’s usually my talk person on the drive. I don’t know when I started doing this but I just like having someone on the phone with me in case something happens or I get pulled over and a cop isn’t very nice (has to be said; I’m black). Luckily though, I’m a pretty safe driver and it’s overall nice to just have someone to talk to instead of the drone of NPR or silence (because I hate commercials so the radio is not an option). On Friday I was behind some silly drivers. One couldn’t decide if he wanted to use his turn signal or not and when he finally made up his mind he was going to turn he didn’t use it. Another literally took 5 minutes to turn a corner and another was a bumper rider. Instead of “raging” which usually involves a lot of cursing, I made thoughtful observations such as, “hmm, I don’t think he knows what he’s doing. Maybe his turn signal is broken. Hey! I’m going the speed limit!” and “I wonder if he’s lost….”. What was funny is I didn’t even realize what I was saying til my husband burst out laughing. I was like, “what’s so funny?” He was like, “you sound like you’re narrating a book!” and continued to giggle.

Apparently I have road annoyances instead of road rage (his words not mine), haha. I confess though that there are times where the rage lets loose and I want to make my car fly over everyone but most times it seems I find it all more amusing than anything else. So yeah, random story I wanted to share with you all. Are you a regular road driver? Do you think you have road rage or road annoyances? Let me know in the comments below!

Thankful

Good morning my friends and Happy Wednesday! It is the day before Thanksgiving in America and I just wanted to do a bit of a dedication type of post to things I’m thankful for this year and to give you a little bit of an idea of how Thanksgivings usually go for me, except this year will be different.

So here’s a list of things I’m thankful for:

  • My husband – He has to be first obviously cause I love his face to death and he’s always amazing even when I’m mad at him 😉
  • My animals – Milliardo, Isabel, and Turtle for just being their cute selves
  • My friends – My people; the ones I talk to on a regular basis who enjoy my conversations and company. I adore you all
  • Book authors – for continually writing books and keeping me entertained
  • Netflix – for the ability to lose a day by binge watching shows
  • My house – cause it’s a warm, fun, safe place to be that’s full of love
  • My car – cause it runs and I rely on it pretty heavily
  • My job – because it pays me
  • The internet – because it’s just plain awesome
  • My cellphone – because it takes good pictures and is good at reminding me of things

I left off my family because I’m going to go into them in my Thanksgiving dinner story. So, every year, my grandma or one of my aunts, sometimes my mom, would host Thanksgiving for the family. It’s always been that way for as long as I can remember. They would do all the cooking and all I had to do was show up and eat. I do not exaggerate when I talk about the love affair I have with food. I’m known as a bottomless pit around this time because it’s standard for me to eat two, full plates of food and dessert. Not to mention all the leftovers I take home because I love Thanksgiving leftovers. Once all the food is cooked, we come around the table and hold hands. Each person says what they’re thankful for and the food gets blessed. I’m not religious but I respect my family so I go along with it every year. It’s always a good time cause it’s one of the only times I’m around so much of my family at once.

This year is going to be a bit different. My grandma is getting older and she’s not trying to host these big holiday dinners anymore. Everyone wanted us to host at our house but my house is off limits til we upgrade a few things (and because we just don’t want a large group of people in our house; also I’m lazy and don’t want to cook all that food). My grandma loves us (we’re her favorite grandkids) and she absolutely wants to spend Thanksgiving with us even if it’s just the 3 of us. So her and I made a menu and she invited about 4 other grandkids but no one seems interested. That’s fine, more food for me. So this year is different because I’m actually cooking stuff. Collard greens and apple pie to be specific. We also bought a half ham. It’s already cooked so I can’t take credit for just heating that up. I’m a little excited and if my food is a hit, I’ll contemplate hosting Thanksgiving next year. I’ll share pictures next week. 🙂

Lastly, before this post gets any longer, I’m excited for later today because I’m meeting Mrs. Patty over at Moohnshine’s Corner today! Yep, that’s right, blogger meet up! She’s in my neck of the woods this week and I can’t wait for my work day to be over.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who’s celebrating this year! I hope you all have a wonderful day with your families and to those outside the US, have a happy Wednesday and Thursday!

(P.S. No endangered post tomorrow. It will resume next week.)

Book Challenge Update

Since I’ve just finished the second half of the #BookCouplesChallenge on Twitter, I wanted today’s post to be about the books that I shared from Day 11 to day 20 (today).

Here is the meme again so you can see each days category:

Here are my picks:

Day 11: Forbidden – Sascha and Lucas in Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh

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Day 12: Friends to Lovers – Summer and Joe in Seeing Red by Jill Shalvis

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Day 13: Geeks – Hierax and Indigo in Hierax by Ruby Lionsdrake (also fits day 16 for interracial cause Indigo is black and Hierax is white)

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Day 14: High School Sweethearts – Lissa and Christian in Frostbite by Richelle Mead

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Day 15: Historical – Gillian and Brodick in Ransom by Julie Garwood

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Day 16: Interracial –  Summer and Takashi in Ice Blue by Anne Stuart (plus, Hierax above)

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Day 17: LGBT – I didn’t know one so I borrowed one of my Twitter’s friend’s answers for mine – Pike and Zack in Off Base by Annabeth Albert

Day 18: Long Distance – Jaime and Claire in Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

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Day 19: New Chance – Meredith and Matt in Paradise by Judith McNaught

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Lastly, the one I’m posting today:

Day 20: One With Disability – Maris and Parker in Envy by Sandra Brown

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That’s it for the second third of this challenge. I’m really proud of myself for sticking it out this long cause I usually suck at challenges. 10 more days to go! Happy Monday everyone!