Saturday, October 17, 2015

Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon - October 2015

UPDATE: Readathon Over

I read a total of 7 books and walked over 18,000 steps. I met new friends online and won a prize (!!!). I loved having a day to myself where I did nothing but read what I wanted to read. Thank you to all who helped make this readathon what it was!

  • Little Fish by Ramsey Beyer (272 pages)
  • Through the Woods by Emily Carroll (208 pages)
  • milk and honey by Rupi Kaur (194 pages)
  • After the Kiss by Terra Elan McVoy (400 pages)
  • Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson (120 pages)
  • Ariel by Sylvia Plath (256 pages)
  • Drama by Raina Telgemeir (240 pages)
Total pages read: 1690 (WHAT?!)

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
Probably halfway through the readathon (so hours 10-12). Not sure if that's because I was tired or because the book I was reading was kind of dragging for me.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
Of the books I read this year, I really enjoyed Through the Woods, milk and honey, and Drama. They were fast reads that kept me entertained. I loved milk and honey so much that I'll be buying a copy to own.

Other books that I think might be good readathon books: Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (had plans to read this during the readathon but didn't make it to it. Reading it today and loving it.), any of the Georgia Nicolson books by Louise Rennison, Love & Misadventure by Lang Leav (another one that I need to buy for my personal library), This One Summer by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki. This list could go on and on.  

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
Not that I can think of. The facilitators did an amazing job!

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
The camaraderie of the other participants, the fun challenges to do during reading breaks, and knowing that there is a large group of people out there that is just as much of a book nerd as you. 

5. How many books did you read?

6. What were the names of the books you read?

  • Little Fish by Ramsey Beyer 
  • Through the Woods by Emily Carroll 
  • milk and honey by Rupi Kaur 
  • After the Kiss by Terra Elan McVoy 
  • Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson 
  • Ariel by Sylvia Plath 
  • Drama by Raina Telgemeir 

7. Which book did you enjoy most?
milk and honey by Rupi Kaur

8. Which did you enjoy least?
Ariel by Sylvia Plath (I feel so sad saying that)

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
I was not a cheerleader but THANK YOU TO ALL WHO WERE CHEERLEADERS!

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
I'd love to participate again if I have time. I'd probably participate by reading again with some breaks in cheerleading.


Still reading book 4 but a little over halfway through it. I did take a break to eat and surf the internet but I'm now back into the swing of things. I did want to do the mid-event survey, so here we go:

1. What are you reading right now?
After the Kiss by Terra Elan McVoy

2. How many books have you read so far?
Finished three and halfway through the fourth.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
Ariel by Sylvia Plath or Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. I wanted to get to I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson but I doubt I'd be able to finish it today. We'll see...

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
I did have an errand to do this morning, which took about two hours. And then I would find myself interrupting myself. I rolled with the punches and then got back into the groove. It's helped to see so many others reading and sharing their readathon days.

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
How much I've been able to read! And that I have eaten as badly as I thought I would. I still have that ice-cream in the freezer though...


I've finished three books so far!

Little Fish by Ramsey Beyer (272 pages)
Through the Woods by Emily Carroll (208 pages)
milk and honey by Rupi Kaur (194 pages)

I LOVED milk and honey. I'll definitely be buying a personal copy because the one I read I borrowed from the library. I also really enjoyed Through the Woods for a fun, creepy read and Little Fish was oddly nostalgic and kind of relatable for me.

I've also participated in two mini challenges. The Cover Escape challenge and the Halloween Read challenge. I participated in both of those on Twitter. I'm hoping to participate in a few others but I'm about to get back to reading with After the Kiss by Terra Elan McVoy. 

I'm late to the introductory post because I started reading as soon as I woke up (7 AM on a SATURDAY! You know I'm invested when...) and then had to run an errand which took up about two hours of my reading time. Thankfully I have an audiobook in my car so I kind of got some reading time in when I was driving around. 

So, here is my introduction to this year's Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon!

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
Dallas, Texas

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
milk and honey by Rupi Kaur 
Ariel by Sylvia Plath 
I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
I work full-time as a library assistant at a public library and in my last year of grad school for my MLS. I LOVE reading and all things books. My first and ever-constant passion is writing, though. I used to run a book blog with one of my friends (I Eat Words). I love to travel and eat all things chocolate. I'm friendly and love to meet people so say hi!

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
I think I participated in a readathon last year and this year I've picked a lot more books that are doable for within a 24-hour stretch. Verse novels, collections of poetry, graphic novels, etc. Also have a novel in there that I'm hoping to finish as well.

This is my reading stack for today: 

Here's hoping I can get through all of them!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Dewey's Readathon

I'll be taking a break from school and work this Saturday to participate in Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon. It's the only day I have off this week (yay, library life!) and I have been turning down invites for fun social things to do on that day but I have no regrets because I'm looking forward to having a whole day where I do nothing but read and maybe participate in a few challenges.

This is my current book goal:

If you'd like to join in the readathon, you can sign up here. I'll be tweeting throughout the day about my progress through the books I'm reading or how badly I want to take a nap or cheering on other readathon participants. If you'll be joining the crazy, tweet me or leave a comment! I'd love to see what others are reading.

Now to get an assignment done before Saturday so I'm not stewing in grad student guilt all day Saturday.

Saturday, October 3, 2015


How is it October already?! Yesterday was July and sticky with the heat of Texas' summer. And now it's October and Texas is in one of its rare moods where it actually feels like fall: crisp with a bite to it.

Fall is my favorite season. I love the holidays and the colors, I love the symbolism of new beginnings, I love the weather when it actually feels like fall, and I like that I can pull out my hoodies and drink pumpkin spice lattes. Summer is lovely but fall is beautiful. It's a little ridiculous how a season can put me in such a good mood but it does.

October is shaping up to be a crazy busy month, though.

On top of an endless amount of grad school work, I'm also working 3 weekends this month. That's on top of my usual work shift. When I'm not working I have plans with friends that I'm excited about but I'm not sure when I'll get to sleep in my near future. I can't wait to take advantage of all the spooky Halloween fun we have planned, though.

How I'll be celebrating this month:

Denton Ghost Tour
The Addams Family musical
Japanese horror-themed haunted house

Aaannnnd I'm participating in a daily photo challenge on Instagram. (Follow me!)

There's no real point to this post except I love fall and I'm feeling happy and whole and loved. I'm hoping that for all of you, too!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Probably Too Much Honesty

I've been terrified of blank pages and clean slates lately. There have been so many changes going on in my personal life that I'm seeking consistency and sure bets everywhere else: at work, in my writing, in the entertainment I put in front of me. But there aren't any sure bets, in anything. Usually, I'd love that. I resist monotony and most things that are deemed too "traditional". I especially resist settling in any form of the word.


(And this is a soft but, but still a whisper can be really loud when you're purposely trying to ignore it.)

When you had a certain level of "knowing" how things are, of a pretense of how things are going to be, it can be terrifying and jarring to be rocketed into the unknown. Within the last month I have moved out of an apartment with three best friends, a place that we all thought we'd be living in for at least two years. That change was big and it happened because of a really (good) big life decision on one of my friend's behalf. I've ended a relationship that changed directions in a matter of days and has me still reeling because who, emotions, me? I've not been able to write even a sentence in my WIP that I like. I have no idea where I'll be even a year from now.

Everything is up in the air. Everything. And the Type-A planner in me is wanting to spiral out of control because there is no possible way I can control everything.

I know that right now I have endless opportunities ahead of me.

And before this summer started, I was looking forward to endless opportunities. I was making my way through this year just to get to the next step: graduation. After that: who knew?

Now, though, I'm drowning in so many maybes, doubts, what-ifs, groundless hopes.

I'm trying to maneuver my way into a semblance of what my life was like before May but I think I'm learning that I need to give myself time. Life is crazy and strange and terrifying and heartbreaking and beautiful. It's impossible for me to have the answers when what I'm best at is asking questions.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Things I Plan On Doing When I Finish Grad School:

  • read all of the books I own. All. Of. Them. I own way too many that I haven't read.
  • binge watch a TV show on Netflix. Breaking Bad? House of Cards? Orange is the New Black? Drop Dead Diva? The world of Netflix will be my oyster. 
  • plot out and write my book without feeling guilty about papers or assignments I should be working on.
  • hold a party to celebrate because I'LL BE FINISHED. 
  • go on a mother-daughter trip. Boston, San Fransisco, Hawaii, somewhere else? 
  • sleep. So much sleep. 

Monday, March 16, 2015


I've always been fat, had fat, however you want to say it. Weight has been an issue for me ever since a boy on the playground made pig noises at me in the fourth grade. I spent years perfecting ways to hide my body--the rolls, the curves, and then the stretch marks. I wore baggy jeans. I wore hoodies and formless, too large T-shirts. My issues with my weight led to, or maybe exacerbated, my self-esteem in other parts of my life: I couldn't be beautiful because I was fat. I was fat so therefore I was lazy. Being fat made me not worthy.

There were a lot of floral patterns in the '90s.
If I could tell High School Me one thing, it would be: you are beautiful. Period. You aren't lazy, you are ambitious and hardworking and you will prove yourself and others wrong about what a girl, fat or not, can do. You are more than worthy. You have fat. Fat is part of your existence, and it will always be a part of who you are, but it does not mean that you are less than. There will be days, weeks, months that you will continue to struggle with who you are and how you look, but you will have friends that will lift you up and have your back. You have family that loves you no matter the size of your jeans or the dreams that you chase.

And one day, you will step on the scale after months and months of hard work and be at a number that you never thought possible.

That's where I'm at today.

I've reached a milestone in my weight loss journey and I'm proud of myself and thrilled to be where I am. I still have a long way to go before I reach my "goal weight", but I'm a little over halfway there.

I still am plus size and and have rolls, curves, and stretch marks. I still have fat. But I'm not lazy. I'm beautiful and have self-worth, which is worth more than what I thought the boys in high school would give me.

Be proud. Be happy. And continue to kick ass. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Lot of Thoughts Written on Digital Paper

My friends and I have a shared Google Doc where we update each other on our lives, worries, and plans. It has now been two years since we started writing in it and I found myself reading through it the other day. Seeing how much we have changed and grew over the years has me feeling not so... stuck. I'll probably wake up tomorrow or the next day with that same stuck, wanting to get out feeling but right now I'm proud of us because none of us are where we were two years ago. That isn't something huge, of course, because changes are bound to happen over the years but I like being able to "see" the changes even if it is in the different worries, the different plans, the different writing styles in a shared Google document.

But (there's almost always a but), there is still a lot I want to do. And this year I'm going to be 1) making those things happen or 2) getting myself ready for those things to happen in the future.

I’m going to spend this year getting healthy, finishing grad school, and having a fun time. I want to go out and meet people. By this time next year I want to have wider and deeper experiences. I want to be smarter and more confident. I want to always choose my own well-being first but never to the detriment of others around me. I don’t want my life to be a series of “what ifs” and “if onlys”. I want to build up experiences, creating a mountain out of my life. I want to be wanted and worth knowing.

I’m more than the gazes that take me in and the hands that pull me closer.

I am flawed, but I'm also beautiful. I am opinionated, independent, strong, ambitious, open-minded, intelligent, loyal, and a calculated risk-taker. I am passionate about life and little things that bring me incalculable joy. I love books, writing, new notebooks, ballpoint pens, traveling, maps, street photography, architecture, libraries, roadside attractions, carnivals, new episodes of my favorite TV shows, movies that make me laugh or cry or shock me, doodling names of the people in my life, making To Do lists, fresh coffee in the morning, finding that sweet spot when writing word sprints, strawberry rhubarb pie, impressing my mom, dancing to music alone in my room, finding the perfect gift for someone, watching someone open a perfect gift, hanging out with my friends, that scared/nervous jolt of a feeling when you’re about to do something out of your comfort zone. I am a soul in a body and I want to treat both of them well. They both need love and respect and I’m the only that can give it to them.

This is how I'm starting the year:

Happy, loved, excited, and determined. Mission: make 2015 as memorable and life-changing as 2014.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014: A summary

I’m prone to nostalgia. I’ll find myself nostalgic about a moment while I’m in the moment. I collect and share stories as if they were the only reliable form of trade. I capture events on film because I want the memory to last longer than my mind will retain it. Looking back on 2014, I’m surprised by the places I’ve visited, the people I’ve met, the goals I have (and haven’t) accomplished. For me, 2014 has been a year of change and growth and one that I’ll find myself looking back on fondly--both now and years from now.

I have finished three semesters of my graduate program. I traveled to four countries. I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone with online dating. I have lived through the worst date known to (wo)mankind. I have lost and then gained weight. I've felt beautiful and worldly, but also ugly and unsophisticated. I started working full-time in a career that I continue to work hard for. I have read amazing books, attended my first Comic Con, met a celebrity crush (and hugged him). I completed my first and second 5K. I’ve laughed, cried, cheered in triumph and wallowed in self-doubt. I’m now closer to 30 than 20 and I have a lot to accomplish before I’m ready to say “Good job, Britney. Now let’s go home.”

New Year's Eve in Denton.
One of my closest friends during high school got married in March
-- another reminder that time is flying by way too fast.

One of my favorite people (Hilary)
came to visit from Portland in March!
Visited family in Arkansas in April for little cousin's birthday.

Because I’m a listmaker and an oversharer, I wanted to go through some of my favorites of 2014. Books, TV shows, memories. There’s a lot so bare with me.


Surprisingly, my favorite reads of this year have all been adult fiction. Looking through my Goodreads list, I realized that I didn’t read as much young adult literature as I usually do. I don’t regret the things I have read. Instead, I feel that I’ve opened myself up to books I hadn’t in the last few years, which I’m thankful for because these five books will stay with me for a long time.

  1. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  2. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
  3. The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
  4. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
  5. Room by Emma Donoghue


So much television, so little time. I watch too much TV and this year I have somehow found time to watch even more of it while working and attending school and having a social life. You know, if I spent as much time exercising as I do watching TV, I’d probably be at least 30 pounds lighter. But then I’d be sad and skinnier instead of happy from all my fandom love. My top favorites for this year:

  1. The 100
  2. The Walking Dead
  3. Roswell
  4. Vikings
  5. Jane the Virgin
  6. Game of Thrones
  7. Finding Carter
  8. Pretty Little Liars

Even I am judging myself on my choices.  But not enough to change my viewing habits. If you haven’t watched The 100, GO WATCH IT NOW. I’m addicted and caught up on 1.5 seasons within, like, a week. It has strong, badass, smart female characters, amazing plot, and explores science/science fiction and humanity in these amazing twists and turns. Also, it has this guy:

Places I’ve visited:

The Netherlands (Amsterdam)
Germany (Mainz, Stuttgart, Ludwigsburg, Wiesbaden, Rudesheim, and St Goarhausen)
Czech Republic (Karlovy Vary and Prague)
France (Strasbourg, Paris, and Versailles)
Tulsa Comic Con
Austin for Texas Teen Book Festival, which I didn’t go to because WORST HANGOVER IN THE WORLD

Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Mainz, Wiesbaden, Rudesheim
and St Goarhausen (Germany) with my mom and family friends in May.
Worked and met some great people in Stuttgart, Germany at
the International School of Stuttgart in May.
Visited Ludwigsburg, Germany
and Strasbourg, France as well.
After a long and crazy trip including at least 2 or 3 trains and a few buses,
we finally got to Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, where we helped
create the library for the Carlsbad International School.
We ended our trip in Prague!
Went to Paris with my sister and saw a study abroad friend!
Moved into TARDIS House with 3 of my best friends
and we got this adorable kitten, Pepper!
Met Norman Reedus, Scott Wilson, and Tom Felton
at Tulsa Comic Con with Amy and Heather!
Halloween Party!
Ugly Christmas Sweater Party