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Updates from a Deprived Blogger

December 11, 2009

I feel like doing a Raych-style post, but even in my current sleep-deprived state I know that I would fail miserably! So, instead you just get bullets. :)

**I am DETERMINED to do a Sunday Salon this week! Must review books. Debating whether to try to do the thematic posts that I had planned (and then failed to execute-why can’t I write posts in my sleep?!), or just throw in the towel and give them all shortie reviews. I feel like January 1st is breathing down my neck, saying you MUST have all reviews done by then! Or else…um…well, something awful will happen. Anyway, I think I’ll try to do a post about my latest Women Unbound reads (have I mentioned I finished the suffragette level-8 books-just in the month of November?! I am Woman, hear me roar) and the Spice of Life Challenge, which I’ve been good at reading for and pitiful at reviewing for.

**Since I’ve had almost no time to read Friday (weekend=whirlwind trip to TX and since Monday I’ve been hanging out w/ my three-year-old niece 12+ hours a day…and have I mentioned it’s like insanely cold here…so cold that the LIBRARY CLOSED ITSELF without telling me or my niece, who dashed through the three degree farenheit temperature to visit that beloved place only to be rebuffed?!), I’ve switched from reading a rotation of books to just one at a time. It’s fun to change things up a bit!

**I’m like 70 pages from the end of Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill (aka The Book of Negroes, which is a MUCH cooler title, imo). I only started it this morning, but my poor niece had a bit of a fever and was really tired, so we spent much of the day watching movies, which allowed me to read almost 500 pages! It is SO good, it’s managed to exceed all of my super-high expectations! Love it to death.

**Please don’t judge my child-rearing skills based on that last thing. Every other day, the niece and I have done all sorts of fun crafts and games and brain-stimulating things. But um, when she’s too tired to do anything other than read, play Cootie, and watch movies, and all she wants for lunch is plain white rice, I figure it’s a good time for a day off. Plus, Barbie: Swan Lake is educational…right?! It’s based on a ballet! ;) Oh, and her new favourite book is The Very Sleepy Alphabet…it comes highly recommended by both of us. I’ve read it at least twenty times since Saturday, and I haven’t gone insane yet, which is pretty impressive for a picture book. So if you too know a toddler who loves to show off their new alphabet knowledge, you might want to mention it to Santa!

**I’m in ‘frozen blogger in the headlights’ mode, which is what always happens when I skip a few days and feel that I’ll never get back into the routine again. That’s why I’m posting this actually. Must work through block. My google reader isn’t quite as bad as I expected…234 unread posts from almost a week. I’ve been visiting a lot of blogs via commentators on my posts lately rather than via a reader, so that explains that. I’m also fighting a feeling of blogging burnout or, dare I say it?, ennui. I think we all go through phases like that though. :)

**I read my first ‘backwards’ manga on my flight on Saturday: Emma, Volume One by Kaori Mori. I actually have quite a few manga out from the library right now (eek! just realised I have to catch up w/ my Library Loot too! am feeling even more overwhelmed), mainly because I have the next four volumes of Sandman thanks to Absolute Sandman Vol. Two and I need to make sure my international white/poc author ratio stays even. But I’m glad to have an inspiration to try out more Japanese graphic authors-Understanding Comics commented on some fascinating differences between Japanese and American style art that made me super curious. Anyway, I found it hilarious to read it from right to left, although it took me three-quarters of the book to consistently remember in which order I should look at the panels. I’m such a graphic books novice!

**I’m currently stalking my library’s new ILL system, which allows me to track my requests. At the beginning of last month, I asked for Song of Night by Chris Abani-I need it to finish the What’s in a Name? 2 Challenge, which I chose all books by African authors for (and hence, it’s a bit difficult to sub a book last-minute). And yet, it took them OVER TWO WEEKS to submit it, while my other request was submitted the same day. What gives, library? I will throw a hissy fit if it doesn’t arrive in time for me to read it before December 31st. Anyone else know a book by an African author with a ‘time of day’ in the title that isn’t ridiculously obscure?!

**I think I might be joining a billion challenges. I’ve got one huge post, that I’ll probably be publishing later today (must fix a few formatting issues, and add a couple more), and I’ve afraid to see just how many I’ve included! lol But at the same time, I’m super-excited. :D I’ve adopted a new overarching ‘goal’ for my reading next year, which I will discuss more later. But yeah, my challenge book selections definitely reflect that goal!

**I have to go to sleep. I have my fingers crossed my niece will sleep in tomorrow, but just in case, I can’t be too much of a zombie! But I miss you all. And I will catch up with you soon. :D In the meantime, any suggestions for avoiding blogging freak out/disenchantment/etc. would be much appreciated.

51 Comments leave one →
  1. December 11, 2009 3:51 am

    It’s fun to see other people’s reading plans, especially if they revolve around challenges.

  2. December 11, 2009 4:29 am

    Best to you! I do find that just posting anything – even ramblings – is a great cure for breaking thru a blogging block. and often more entertaining?!
    You’re doing fine. :) Enjoy your niece and enjoy your reading time.

  3. December 11, 2009 5:15 am

    ‘Tis the season for blogger ennui . . . but I think the blogging community is a no judgment/high forgiveness zone. Just look around: you aren’t the only one doing bullet points these days!

    • December 13, 2009 3:08 pm

      Very true-it’s funny how few posts there are in my Google Reader compared to previous months! :)

  4. December 11, 2009 6:27 am

    Whew! It tired me out just reading your blog post! You have been busy.

  5. December 11, 2009 6:40 am

    Loved the Sleepy Alphabet book! Being an aunt who gets to share wonderful books with her nieces & nephews is one of the great joys in my life, glad you’re getting some good auntie-time in. Stay warm!

  6. December 11, 2009 7:17 am

    Hopefully your library didn’t close permanantly??

    It seems like everyone’s having blogger boredom right now, or taking breaks or quitting altogether…

    • December 13, 2009 3:10 pm

      Nope-they just closed because they were afraid of being snowed in. Which is fine, but an announcement would have been helpful! :)

  7. December 11, 2009 7:20 am

    So I think all book bloggers are multi-taskers extraordinaire and perfectionists as well! Your life sounds as busy and varied as mine. Remember, you do not have to do it all. Tomorrow will come, the books will still be there (and so will the computer). Take a moment, inhale…exhale…. :-) Ahhhh, that feels good. Your readers/followers love anything you post about and there’s no rush. Now, if I can just take my own advice!

  8. December 11, 2009 7:31 am

    Few things more frustrating than going to the library during its opening hours and finding they have closed it! Although if it’s as cold as you say I probably would have stayed home tucked under a blanket and had soup. (In fact I know I would – here in Louisiana we are all reeling from the fact that the temperature is APPROACHING FREEZING at night, which makes me far less inclined to go do things in the evenings.)

    • December 13, 2009 3:14 pm

      I HAD to go out, because I had to get berry flavoured toothpaste, because my niece hates mint-flavoured. Otherwise, there’s no way I would have. :) Fortunately, there’s a Walgreens right near the library!

  9. December 11, 2009 8:20 am

    Oh, Eva, I feel you on the blogging burnout/ennui. I’ve been in the worst reading rut lately, and have been totally uninspired and at loose ends when it comes to writing up a review of my latest read. Whenever I open up the Word document, I just get SO sleepy and go find something else to do. Sigh. I know that it will pass and I just have to ride it out, but I hate feeling so out of sync with books and blogs!

    • December 13, 2009 3:14 pm

      I’m glad I’m not the only one! I think I’ve passed through it now though. I hope yours passes soon as well. :)

  10. December 11, 2009 8:23 am

    As giddy, giddy happy as I was to see a post from you, it made a little sad. Okay, a lot sad. STOP pressuring yourself, Eva! You know what, you don’t even have to write mini-reviews for all your reads. Who cares if they were for challenges…you still READ them, so they count! And if you can’t quite bring yourself to not say a word about them, just write a couple sentences about each and call it good. And if you don’t feel like posting at all for a few days, don’t. In fact, don’t do anything that you just don’t feel like doing. Don’t let blogging become a chore, sweetie…because the last thing I want to see if you quitting! Actually the last thing I want to see is it making you unhappy and you sticking with it anyway. So don’t let it make you unhappy, don’t let it burn you out, don’t feel obligated by it at all. Just do what you enjoy!!!!

    And btw, sounds like your child-rearing skills are just fine! Gray was a bit under the weather earlier this week…he spent the day wrapped up on the couch with a book and the VCR remote. Just exactly what he needed. And it sounds like it was just what you guys needed, too!

    Seriously, Eva, give yourself a break, okay? Blogging is supposed to be fun, so give up the “shoulds”!

    • December 13, 2009 3:15 pm

      You’re so right Debi! But it’s not making me unhappy-I was just exhausted when I wrote this post. :D All weekend, I’ve had a break from watching the niece, and now I’m back to my normal self.

  11. December 11, 2009 9:52 am

    It sounds like you are doing the right thing! Just read. So what if you don’t review every book. Why do you blog? Look at it that way.

    Also on the child rearing? I’ve worked with children. The child sees you read. Nothing wrong with letting them watch movies now and then. Especially if they are feeling under the weather. Children need to learn to be bored. I am a firm believer in that.

    • December 13, 2009 3:16 pm

      Good points on the children thing! And I love reviewing all the books I read for myself, so that I have a record of them. :) But you’re totally right: I should let go a little!

  12. December 11, 2009 10:27 am

    I can always find something to say, but finding something to say that others want to hear? That’s my challenge. Blogger block is one of those things where you just have to give in to it and then it usually resolves itself.

  13. December 11, 2009 11:05 am

    I’m going through finals right now so my last post was probably from last Tuesday. I feel a little lost but I don’t mind. I’ll probably start back posting reviews next week.

    If you learn how to write posts in your sleep, please teach me! ;) Just take your time getting back to blogging. Congratulations on reading eight books for the Unbound challenge. You are doing great! Take care of yourself and your niece.

    • December 13, 2009 3:16 pm

      Thanks Vasilly! I miss you all when I get out of blogging for a few days-that’s probably my real problem. :)

  14. December 11, 2009 12:08 pm

    Wow – you sound mega busy, looking after children can be very hectic.

    Sorry to hear that the library was shut. I would hate that.

    • December 13, 2009 3:17 pm

      Yep-we went on Friday instead, and I called just to make sure that they’d be open! lol

  15. December 11, 2009 12:34 pm

    I think we are all feeling a bit of the blogger blahs right now. I am barely churning out posts and feeling quite glad that I can stick in some new challenge posts to fill things out!
    Today is my only day of the week with the kid in school (stupid flu season!) so I have 35 more minutes to myself in which I am going to start a new book!

    • December 13, 2009 3:17 pm

      It’s so exhausting when kids are home! lol I love them, that’s why I want to be a teacher, but I’m thinking I’ll get my fill of them as a teacher and maybe skip the motherhood thing. ;)

  16. December 11, 2009 12:59 pm

    It’s great to see you bullets, Eva!! You have had quite a handful, but I hope you continue to have a wonderful time and read lots of good stuff. You’ll get back in the swing, I know it. :D

  17. December 11, 2009 1:52 pm

    To me, one of the minuses of looking after my nieces is not being able to read. Because even though they may be playing by themselves, they want you to LOOK AT THEM while they do it! LOL

    And I love the white rice story!

    • December 13, 2009 3:18 pm

      lol; my niece is used to me reading while she watches movies! She’ll accuse me of not watching the movie, but since I’ve seen them all a billion times (she’s a re-watcher), I can always tell her what just happened. ;)

  18. December 11, 2009 2:11 pm

    HA! I would love to see you do me-style, especially sleep-deprived. But ditto what everyone else said about the ennui. Most of the time blogging is rull fun, but sometimes it is a TASK and I’m always afraid that if I take a break I’ll never come back, or that I’ll return and no one will be here. My strategy is to write nonsense and hope no one notices until I’m feeling clever again.

    • December 13, 2009 3:18 pm

      I have the same fears as you! I take a break when I need to, but I’m worried if I take one because I feel like it I’ll just stop blogging, lol.

  19. December 11, 2009 2:27 pm

    I kind of discovered the challenge thing late in the game last year, especially since I didn’t start to blog until June. But this year I think I’m up to four plus one that carries over and at least two more that are sorely tempting me. I think I’ll put together a spreadsheet to see how many books can crossover and to make sure I haven’t gone completely nuts!

  20. December 11, 2009 4:20 pm

    Ooh, sounds like you’re doing a lot of really great reading! It does not surprise me that you are already done with the Women Unbound Challenge at all. I am actually impressed with myself for having read two books for it already. I think it’s better to start early before one forgets, right?

    • December 13, 2009 3:19 pm

      Awesome Aarti! It’s such an easy challenge to read books for, you know?!

  21. December 11, 2009 7:37 pm

    It’s a busy time of year, blogging has to give way a bit. I’ve been posting once a week or so for the last couple of months, I don’t think you have anything to worry about! That said, I am looking forward to your challenge post – always inspiring :) Hope you will be doing the Science Book Challenge again.

    • December 13, 2009 3:19 pm

      Thanks so much! Definitely doing the Science Book Challenge again. :D

  22. December 12, 2009 3:10 am

    You’re such an inspiration – 8 women unbound books in one month! Whew. That’s a lot.

    • December 13, 2009 3:19 pm

      Aww-thanks! They were all different ‘styles’ of books, which was neat.

  23. December 12, 2009 4:52 am

    I’m almost positive I won’t get all of my reviews finished by the end of the year. But I’ve got an incredible amount of time off this winter so I’m planning to get all cozy and serve my blog readers some leftover 2009 reviews.

  24. December 12, 2009 9:36 am

    Lol, plain white rice was the only thing my eldest son used to eat when he was little. But now he eats more than my husband! (And he’s just turning 9.)

    I also love title The Book of Negroes more, as it is more depictive of the story. So happy you are loving it!

    • December 13, 2009 3:20 pm

      That’s so funny! Usually, when I’m w/ my niece she eats a veggie and fruit with every meal. But she’s becoming a pickier eater the older she gets!

  25. December 12, 2009 1:56 pm

    This season is SO busy – don’t make a list of “shoulda, woulda, coulda’s” … just do what you can (what you want to, I mean!).

    LOL at the movie for your niece and reading time. She wasn’t feeling well and sounds like she was more than content to have quiet “down” time; glad you got some quiet time, too.

    • December 13, 2009 3:20 pm

      Thanks for the advice Dawn! It’s so true; I just have to keep it in mind. :D

  26. December 16, 2009 2:39 pm

    I hope you enjoy the time with your niece.

    Did I understand correctly that it’s 3 degrees in TX?! I didn’t think it got that cold!

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