Posts Tagged: discussion

[Guest Post]: Coping While Fighting The Stigma (Shattering Stigmas)

October 11, 2017 books, miscellaneous 6



Another guest post today: it’s my absolute pleasure to introduce Jessica Sankiewicz to the blog! She is the author of several YA/NA books and will be addressing the difficulty of coping while fighting the stigma surrounding mental health. Thanks very much to Jess for sharing – make sure to show her some support in the comments!



Shattering Stigmas graphic
Shattering Stigmas is a two-week blogging event focused on mental health in literature and mental health generally – check back for guest posts, reviews and discussions around mental health.

Jessica’s Post

As someone with anxiety and depression, I want nothing more than to be able to talk freely about mental illness. However, in a society that views any sort of MI as either a weakness or a figment of the imagination, that makes openly discussing it difficult. In turn, those of us with a mental illness tend to hide them, suppressing our feelings and making things worse.

I like to believe that someday we’ll have a more open society, willing to talk about these things. But I know it will take some time for that to happen. In the meantime, there are other ways for us to cope with the stigma we face daily.
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[Guest Post]: Shattering Sensitivity – High Sensitivity and Overstimulation (Shattering Stigmas)

October 9, 2017 miscellaneous 5



I’m very pleased to welcome Taylor from Frayed Books to the blog today. Taylor has a strong interest in mental health and is currently pursuing her degree to become a clinical mental health counselor. She is going to tell us about the high sensitivity trait and how to better deal with overstimulation in her post. Thank you for sharing, Taylor!



Shattering Stigmas graphic
Shattering Stigmas is a two-week blogging event focused on mental health in literature and mental health generally – check back for guest posts, reviews and discussions around mental health.

Taylor’s Post

Sensitivity.

You may think you know what this means, or what society defines being sensitive as. One definition defines it as “easily hurt or damaged; especially easily hurt emotionally”. And, while being sensitive does mean this, being highly sensitive means something completely different.
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Books About Twenty-Somethings

July 3, 2017 books, discussion 8

Talk To Me

is a no-nonsense discussion feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to pose a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it! Obviously feel free to write up your own post on the topic and link it in the comments.


Topic

We all know about the omnipresence of Young Adult books. Books about characters in their teens hold a certain appeal, perhaps because we learn a lot about who we are and who we want to be at that stage in life. But where are the books about twenty-somethings? I’m in my early twenties, and I’ve been desperately looking for good books featuring characters my age. Obviously they exist, but I feel like they are few and far between. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m finding it much more difficult to find books about people in their twenties than YA or adult books. I was shortly excited when New Adult emerged as a category, but then I realised New Adult mostly seems to be erotica (nothing wrong with that obviously, but not quite what I had in mind). So where are all the books about people my age? Some of the ‘older’ YA books, like Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, focus on people going off to university, but they are few and far between.
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#writingstruggles

November 8, 2016 writing 4

Welcome to November! Wow, that went fast, didn’t it? Then again a lot of people seem to be comparing 2016 to a dumpster fire, so maybe you’re looking forward to next year already. Either way, November means it’s time for my favorite holiday of the year: National Novel Writing Month! If you’re not familiar with the concept, NaNoWriMo is a challenge to write 50.000 words in one month. You don’t really win anything at the end, other than bragging rights, so all it proves is that writers are masochists. Seriously though, it’s great for inspiration and motivation.

In honor of NaNoWriMo, I figured what would be a better way to cheerlead than talking about all the various struggles writers and by writers I mean mostly me face. I already wrote a sarcastic post on writing struggles, so I decided it was time for a real one. I am nothing if not an optimist.


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The 100: My Thoughts So Far (I AM NOT OKAY)

April 7, 2016 discussion, tv shows 4

TV Show Thursdays on Reviews and Cake

Welcome to TV Show Thursdays, where I discuss TV Shows, review episodes and give my commentary on anything TV Show related!


If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, or you’re following me on twitter, it’s no secret that I LOVE The 100. The plan was to wait until the entirety of Season 3 is out there so I can binge watch, but then I found myself with time and the need for a good show today, so obviously that plan failed. I decided that I am done yelling at people on twitter (for now), so here are my thoughts so far.

SPOILERS UP UNTIL SEASON 3 EPISODE 9. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
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Do You Use Your Blog For Job Applications?

February 24, 2016 discussion 12

Talk To Me

is a no-nonsense discussion feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to pose a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it! Obviously feel free to write up your own post on the topic and link it in the comments.


Topic

Everyone who runs a blog, no matter how big or small, knows that a lot of work, time and discipline goes into it. Depending on your blogging style and your niche, you’ll have to at least think about the following points to varying degrees:

  • content production: how often do you post what, how polished does it need to be and when do you have the time to actually write it?
  • social media presence and marketing: do I need to get pinterest even though I’m more comfortable on twitter? Does it make sense to create a facebook page for my blog? Will people actually follow me? Whether we play the social media game or not you win or you die; there is no middle ground, most bloggers have thought about this at one point or another and a lot of bloggers spend huge chunks of time devoted to their social media presence.
  • platform: should I go self-hosted or use an existing platform? If I go self-hosted, how much do I have to pay? Should I learn some code myself, or should I dish out for a customized theme? Do I need to know Photoshop to make a blog banner? Can I just use a free theme?
  • networking: how much time do I have to reply to comments and comment back? Can I approach bloggers who have a bigger following than I do without making a fool of myself, or will they think I’m a total dork?

These are just a few of the points that can face you when you run a blog. Of course it is always your decision how much time you put into your blog, but creating and maintaining a blog consistently takes a lot of discipline and creativity. It can, however contain personal information, informal writing, or controversial opinions, which is why I’m interested: do you put your blog on your CV if you have one, and if you don’t, would you put it on your CV if you had a blog?
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Speed Typing Test Review (How Fast Can YOU Type?)

December 29, 2015 discussion, fun, miscellaneous, writing 15

Help. There are so many more productive things I could be doing. But Kristen asked me whether I’ve ever done any typing tests in the comments of my speed reading test review, so you know what I’m doing for the next hour. I’m much more confident about my speed typing abilities than my speed reading abilities, but we’ll see how it goes. Please no one link me to anything that looks like a test, survey or buzzfeed quiz in the comments after this though, because I will have to forward my university expulsion letter and a bucket full of my tears to you.

typingtest.com

If you know me, you’ll know I did my research and totally didn’t pick out the very first test that came up when I Googled “typing test”. This test prides itself on being able to tell your “true” typing speed in 60 seconds (I wonder what a false typing speed would be) and is preset to give you a text from Aesop’s fables, but you can choose different texts to copy. I chose Space Cowboys, because that sounded a lot more fun.

I got 64 words/minute with 1 error, so 63 words per minute. I wasn’t sure if quotation marks and such counted as errors and the fact that the test always colored the next word I had to type blue distracted me a little even though it was supposed to be helpful (my brain is weird and confused but loveable, like Kirk from Gilmore Girls). The test says between 60 and 80 words per minute is fast, but the next level is “pro”, so you know I had to try it again. I left it on Aesop’s fables this time and got 77 words/minute with 2 errors, so still fast, but 5 missing to be a pro. I, um, got competitive with myself then. I chose Baseball Rules and typed 85 words with one mistyped word, so an adjusted speed of 84 words per minute, which officially makes me a PRO. YES, MY LIFE GOALS ARE COMPLETED.

You know I had to use this gif.



I also switched to German once and got a science-y text on musk deer (WTF) and typed 68 words/minute with 51 mistyped words and an adjusted speed of 0 words per minute. Um. I don’t quite know what happened there.
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Speed Reading Test Review (How Fast Can YOU Read?)

December 22, 2015 books, miscellaneous 15

I used to think I’m a fast reader.

In class, I was always among the first to finish a text. I read constantly at home, so it made sense that I’d be a speedy reader, right? Then, a couple of years ago, I was rudely awakened when I read the same text as someone else and they finished before I was done with the first quarter. A little later, I stumbled upon the Staples Speed Reading Test, and it confirmed my deepest fears: I’m a slow reader. DUN DUN DUN. I’d excuse myself by saying that English isn’t my mother tongue, but I read more in English than in German these days, so …I can’t.

For no particular reason at all, I decided to write a review of some of the speed reading tests my quick Google search yielded. It’s 1 am. I should probably go to bed.

The Staples Reading Test

ereader test
Source: Staples eReader Department

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Do You Review A Lot of Books You Didn’t Like On Your Blog?

December 17, 2015 books, discussion 26

Talk To Me

is a no-nonsense discussion feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to pose a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it! Obviously feel free to write up your own post on the topic and link it in the comments.




Topic

Bloggers, I have a question for you! Recently, I realized I mainly review books, movies and TV shows that I liked, so there’s a much higher percentage of favorable reviews on my blog. Naturally, I was wondering if you do the same, or if I should make more of an effort to share negative reviews as well.
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How Often Should I Post?

December 8, 2015 discussion, miscellaneous 8

Talk To Me

is a no-nonsense discussion feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to pose a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it! Obviously feel free to write up your own post on the topic and link it in the comments.


Topic

There’s a lot of blogging advice out there when you look for it, and I usually ignore most of it, but this has me stumped. How often should I post? To be honest, I usually just do as I please, which means that sometimes there are 7 posts a week (okay, admittedly not that often) and sometimes there aren’t any for three weeks. I think it’s important not to get stressed about it when it’s a hobby, because it should be fun, but I do get itchy when I haven’t posted something in a while. I agree with most advice out there that it’s important to be somewhat consistent, but that still leaves the question of frequency.
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Why I Read Young Adult

November 17, 2015 books, discussion 20

See? See! I’m not only telling you why I DON’T do stuff. Today you can get another unwanted and unasked for insight into how my brain works. Aren’t you excited? I know I am.



I’m 22, and I love reading Young Adult. I’m pretty confident that’s not going to change anytime soon. It’s not the only thing I read, but I think it’s safe to say the majority of books I read are classified as YA. I know a lot of people already outlined their reasons for reading Young Adult as an adult, but I’ll contribute to the discussion, because I feel like it, and because some people still view YA as lesser.
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Why I Don’t Go To The Library

November 10, 2015 books, discussion, fun, miscellaneous 19

This is sort of a companion post to Why I Don’t Review ARCs. I know it sounds like I’m just trying to be contrary, but I promise it’s more than just a leftover pseudo-rebellious streak from my teenage years. I think.

Let me start this off by saying I love libraries. I think libraries are one of humanity’s greatest inventions, and I spent about 90% of my childhood in one. For a couple of years, we had a library right next to our school, so it was basically get up -> go to school -> go to the library -> read -> go to bed, rinse and repeat. Then the library moved ten minutes away, and I had to walk up a hill to get there. Pretty sure that’s the most continuous exercise I ever got, which is saying something because it was a pretty short walk. I should look into gyms again.

So why haven’t I owned a library card in years and years? Well, my dear reader, much like Voldemort’s soul, the reason comes to you in seven parts. (If you’re asking what the eighth one is, it’s probably you.)

1. I’m lazy.

This should come as no surprise to you. I mean I’d have to actually leave my house and who wants that. Then I’d have to haul approximately fifteen books all the way to the library to return them and another fifteen from the library home. Why so many? BECAUSE BOOKS ARE SHINY AND I NEED OPTIONS. Like, seriously, they’re free no matter how many I take, so why limit myself?



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Why I Don’t Review ARCs

November 5, 2015 books, discussion, miscellaneous 25

Quick confession: part of the reason I started this blog was because I read that book bloggers receive ARCs, and I thought that was so cool. Now I quickly grew out of this, because I love blogging, and I realized I couldn’t care less about ARCs, but still hear a lot about ARCs, so I thought I’d address the subject.

Here’s why I don’t read ARCs:

1. I live in Germany, but I read books written in English. There are more than enough book bloggers in English-speaking countries, so it doesn’t make sense for publishers to send me ARCs.
2. This could easily be remedied by requesting ebooks, but I prefer print books, so that’s not an option for me.
3. I’m the moodiest mood reader in the history of moods. If I had a list of ARCs to read, it would just feel like work instead of fun.
4. I, um, kind of like book shopping. Would I like for books I’m genuinely interested in to randomly appear at my doorstep? Certainly, but I really don’t mind ordering them myself either. It can be costly, but money spent on books is never a waste of money in my head so that’s fine.
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Survey Results + Discussion!

September 3, 2015 discussion, fun, miscellaneous 19

GUYS. This is it! The post you’ve all been waiting for with bated breath, the post that’s gonna change it all, the post that… yeah, okay, I’ll stop. NO I WON’T I’M EXCITED. For my first blogoversary, I asked you to take a survey about this blog, and 15 of you participated – muchas gracias! I thought you might like to see a selection of the results, so I’m sharing them with you. To make this a little more interesting, I’ve taken it upon me to create some charts.

How often do you comment on my blog?

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Gendered Books

July 31, 2015 books, discussion 20

Talk To Me

is a no-nonsense discussion feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to pose a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it! Obviously feel free to write up your own post on the topic and link it in the comments.


Topic

I went to the bookstore yesterday. Now usually this would be a celebratory experience. And it still was (yay, new books!), but while I was there I found something that irked me. Irked me quite a lot that is. So naturally I had to share it with you.

Standing before the English section (because obviously I can’t be bothered to read books in my first language, that would be ridiculous), I saw a book that sparked my interest. It was called “End of Time” and – thinking it might somehow be related to Doctor Who – I pulled it out to take a closer look. It turned out not to be Doctor Who related at all, but a German/English mixed-language book for English learners. Which is an awesome concept. EXCEPT. Right there on the cover it said “Boy Zone”. Apparently it was mainly targeted at teenage boys. I remember similar marketing concepts from my childhood, books mainly targeted at girls that were mostly about first love and growing up.

My Opinion

Now I know a lot of products are randomly and unnecessarily gendered. But given the role books have played in my life, gendering books just seems like a bit of a personal insult to me. I understand that marketing theory can’t stress the role of defining target groups enough, but for fuck’s sake people. I don’t believe in binary genders, and I’m of the opinion that gender is mainly socially constructed (of which this is a prime example really), but let’s just for a moment neglect that debate. Why the fuck is scifi only for boys? Why is there a “chick lit” genre? Why the hell can’t we all just accept that stories are stories and can be enjoyed by all genders alike? Yes, I’m aware that you can just buy the book anyway, but I’m operating under the assumption that a lot of people wouldn’t, especially teenagers who tend to be more insecure of their identity and self-worth and would often be sujected to bullying.

In the case of this book, there is a clear label on the cover defining it as a book for boys, but often the label is in our minds. If you show someone The Princess Diaries and Maze Runner, there’s no doubt which one would be considered more of a girl’s and which one would be considered more of a boy’s book. It’s just absurd to me that we’d limit good stories this way. It’s like saying Harry Potter can only be enjoyed by children or YA literature holds no worth for people who are older than the target group. A great story is a great story and a shitty story is a shitty story. C.S. Lewis said “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” Similarly, a story that can only be enjoyed by one gender is not a good story. It also doesn’t exist, because the problem doesn’t lie with the story, it lies with society’s understanding of for whom it is acceptable to read it.

I know that this is a well-known and frequently discussed problem, but evidently it’s still a problem. It extends far beyond books – I’m often perplexed when I watch a movie and someone comments it’s a movie for men rather than women, because there’s action in it or it doesn’t primarily focus on romance. A lot of the time the thought never even occured to me. I feel inadequate when I’m more interested in a game night than watching Sex and the City. And I’m not saying I don’t enjoy things targeted at women. I absolutely do. I just don’t exclusively enjoy them, and I think that is true for everyone. “Educating” people that it’s more acceptable for one gender than another to like certain kinds of stories or do certain kinds of things makes me incredibly sad, because a lot of people will miss out on great books and experiences or feel ashamed that they’re enjoying them. It also simply just pissed me off, and writing is my tool to deal with my emotions, so there ya go.

Your Turn!

What’s your take on this? Do you think it’s okay to gender products in the interest of marketing and sales, or do you think it’s unnecessary? Have you come across gendered books before?

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Legitimate Reasons Not to Write

June 9, 2015 books, discussion, fun, miscellaneous 28

No Time

You would be writing if you could. Really. It’s just… there’s no time. In between work, education, your family, and your social obligations there just aren’t enough hours in the day. But don’t worry. If you had the time, you’d already have written at least three bestsellers. You’re going to have time someday. And the world better prepare for when you’re a millionaire.

No Muse

You specifically took this time to write. You cleared your schedule, cleaned your home and organized your stationery. There are even some motivational quotes pinned to the side of your desktop. Unfortunately for your future writing career, you’re just not feeling it today. The blinking cursor on a backdrop of white, blank page might as well be your best friend with how much time you’ve been spending together. Ah well, maybe some other day. There’s no need to torture yourself with putting down words you know aren’t going to be up to your standard anyway. You’ll just make up for it when your muse returns.

Bad Environment

Your fingers would already be flying across the keyboard; it’s just… your writing space sucks. Your office is too dark, the coffee shop is too loud and the library is too quiet. Besides, the laptop is cramping your style anyway. You could see yourself with a notepad, somewhere on the windswept cliffs of Cornwall, writing poetry. Or maybe on a summer meadow, leaning against the trunk of a tree as you come up with the outline for your next seven books. This just won’t do.

Shiny New Ideas

You’re well into your new book. You’ve already written five chapters and the genius twist you’re planning to implement in chapter 14 fills you with a sense of evil joy pride. But… there’s this other idea you had, and it was even better than this one. You should really write it down before you forget everything. In fact, was the old one even that good? Maybe you should try to write a couple of chapters of the new book first, see how it feels… Of course you’ll return and finish this one though, no question about it. If you had run with another idea every time something shinier came along, you’d never have completed an enti- oh, right.

NaNoWriMo Limits Your Creativity

You decided to finally participate in NaNoWriMo, because you’re sure it will give you that extra surge of motivation you need to finish your book. Less than 2000 words a day – piece of cake, right? Definitely doable – after all, you’ve written more than that on several occasions. It should take you what, an hour a day? Please, you can write for an hour in your sleep. The first week goes well. You miss a couple of days during the second week, but there’s still plenty of time to make up for it, right? By the middle of the third week you’re 15 000 words behind and finishing your book in the next one and a half weeks doesn’t seem very likely. You’re not sure where you went wrong. You’ve been thinking about writing so much, surely there should be something to show for it?? It’s okay, you’ll just put in some extra time during the weekend. You spend the entire weekend catching up on Game of Thrones, because otherwise people would spoil all the new episodes. You give up by the beginning of week 4, because this was a stupid idea to begin with. Writing is a creative endeavor. Creativity can’t be contained to a schedule.

You Have to Do More Research

See, the thing is you don’t want to just write a book. You want to write a good book. What if you mention those windswept Cornwall cliffs you’ve been imagining as your perfect writing space and then find out that you’ve been wrong all your life and there’s no wind in Cornwall? What if you set your murder mystery in Brussels and refer to it as the capital of Germany before you realize it’s actually in Belgium? You don’t want go making a fool of yourself, so you should do some more research. Yes, you’ve already spent weeks researching that one scene, but… there is no such thing as thorough enough. Definitely spend some more time Googling, and don’t let anyone tell you you’re procrastinating. They’ll all be jealous of the believable atmosphere in your book once it’s published. Which it will be. Soon.

I’m pretty sure I’m guilty of absolutely everything on this list. Hell, I didn’t even start NaNoWriMo to begin with. What are YOUR best writing excuses?

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The 100 Season 2 Finale: Clarke Became Death (Again)

March 12, 2015 reviews, tv shows 5

TV Show Thursdays on Reviews and Cake

Welcome to TV Show Thursdays, where I discuss TV Shows, review episodes and give my commentary on anything TV Show related!


Today’s TV Show Thursday comes to you in an episode discussion of the latest The 100 episode, because what else could possibly be more important? I love that there’s such a disproportionate amount of book bloggers watching this show. I have no clue why that’s the case, but I APPROVE.

DON’T READ ON IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED SEASON 2 EPISODE 16 YET.
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Talk to Me: How many blogs do you really follow?

February 20, 2015 discussion 8

Talk To Me

is a no-nonsense discussion feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to pose a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it! Obviously feel free to write up your own post on the topic and link it in the comments.


Topic

Let’s start the weekend off with a discussion! Today’s topic is about how many people you can realistically follow and the time you decide that you want to follow them and where. When I look at other people’s twitter profiles and see they’re following thousands of people, I often find myself wondering how many people they ACTUALLY follow (as in: read their blog posts and maybe interact in some way). I’m pretty sure no one’s able to actually keep up with a twitter or bloglovin’ feed that encompasses 2000 people, but I do wonder: how many people can you actually, realistically follow closely?

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Talk to Me: Blogging Communities

February 9, 2015 books, discussion, movies 10

Talk To Me

is a no-nonsense discussion feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to pose a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it! Obviously feel free to write up your own post on the topic and link it in the comments.


Topic

Today’s post is about different blogging communities! Okay, so if you follow this blog or have stumbled upon it before, you might have noticed that, while I mostly post about books, I also post about movies and random stuff I like. If I’ve posted about something that is not book related several times in a row, I wonder whether I can still say I’m a book blogger. It doesn’t really make much of a difference, but since I feel most at home in the book blogging community, it’s worth consideration to me. I think I do consider myself a book blogger, but who says you only have to be one thing? Which brings me to my actual question: What kinds of blogging communities are there? And do most people just keep to one of them, or are they part of different communities?

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