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Friday Fun! (August: First Anniversary! Beaches! Ok, ok, and also orientations and tooth extractions)

August 31, 2013 2 comments
Image of the ocean with a seagull walking along the edge on the beach.

A seagull at Revere Beach.

Hello my lovely readers!

August is always a bit of a tough month for me, because it’s when the students arrive back at my university.  I wind up teaching a lot of orientation classes and also just flat-out am much busier doing one-on-one orientations to the library.  While I truly enjoy teaching, I’m also an introvert and, thus, interactions with people drain me of energy, so I come home and collapse in exhaustion at the end of these days.  A friend who also works in academia joked that everyone in academia runs around for the month of August yelling, “The students are coming! The students are coming!” in a Paul Revere voice. Very true.

I also, unfortunately, had to have a medical procedure this month.  My dentist deemed it necessary for my wisdom teeth to come out as soon as possible, so I managed to find the one slow week at work and booked the appointment to get them ripped out.  I only had three wisdom teeth, the fourth never developed (yay for being 25% more evolved woooo).  They were all fully erupted, though (fully came in, not impacted).  The procedure, thus, was quick and simple, although it still was bloody and painful, and I had to convalesce for a few days.  The worst part, by far, was having to eat soft foods for a minimum of 3 days.  I work out a lot and am a hungry panda and frankly I just like crunching things.  I was very happy to be back to eating!  My partner took great care of me, and I laid around watching old movies and playing Harvest Moon while I was recuperating.

This month wasn’t all difficulty and stress, though.  It was also mine and my boyfriend’s first anniversary!  We went away for an evening to an inn in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.  Our room had a two-person hot tub and was truly divine.  Plus, the inn had 5 star dining, and my partner called ahead and told them I’m vegetarian, so the chef prepared a full 4 courses of vegetarian options for me, which was the first time I ever got to actually have 5 star food.  He’s so thoughtful.  🙂  It was so wonderful to get to actually get away to celebrate our first anniversary.  I’m glad we were able to get out of the city, even for one night, but I’m even more grateful to have found my partner. 😀

We also finally got a chance to go to the beach.  We went to America’s first public beach, Revere.  We took the motorcycle there, and stripping out of motorcycle gear down to a bikini underneath was hilariously awesome.  I was really impressed at how nice Revere Beach is!! It has a lovely boardwalk and plenty of room for how popular it is.  Everyone was nice and polite, and it was wonderfully relaxing.  We’re going to have to plan more 2up beach trips in the future 🙂

As for the blog, I managed to mostly catch up in book reviews.  I now am only one review behind! Woohoo!

As for my writerly pursuits, I’ve figured out a method to work more writing into my day, and I’m really glad to be back in the saddle.  It helps, of course, that my partner and I are now living together.  It’s so much easier to plan for things when you’re taking care of one house instead of two.

How was everyone else’s Augusts?  What was your biggest stress and your best relaxer?

*waves*

Friday Fun! (Where the Hell Has This Weekly Meme Been Anyway?)

March 30, 2013 2 comments

Hello my lovely readers!

So, I knew I hadn’t written a Friday Fun post in a while, but was floored to see it hadn’t happened since November 16, 2012.

o_O

I know we all hate it when bloggers talk about their crazy busy lives, even though it’s true, because, hello, we all have busy lives!  Suffice to say, what I thought was a busy phase is actually the new stasis of my life.  I’m proud of the fact that I’m still managing to find time to blog, because I do love book blogging.  But I want to continue to touch base with you all periodically.  Weekly is just too overwhelming though.  So I’ve decided to move Friday Fun to just occurring on the last Friday (or Saturday) of every month.  Treating it more like a special event instead of a weekly meme will help me keep up and enjoy it.  I hope you all enjoy the new change!

On a similar note, I am still closed to review requests, and I don’t expect that to be changing anytime soon.  I still periodically request ARCs, if I’m highly interested, but that is a rare occurrence.  I also, you may have noticed, switched my reading from about 50% things I felt I “should” be reading (for ARCs, to better myself, etc….) down to about 10%.  This means 90% of my reading is for funsies, because frankly I need that stress relief in my life.  Reading “should’s” worked great when I was in a life limbo and needing to fill the time with actual things to do that made me feel like I was accomplishing something.  But now when I read, I want it to be for fun.  I need it to be a stress reliever.  Something that helps give me a few moments of internally-focused peace in my day.   So any changes you’ve noticed in the books being reviewed here reflect that choice I made at the beginning of 2013.

As for my non-blog life!  The holidays happened.  I taught my first library orientation by myself for the incoming class of one of the schools affiliated with my library.  I created my first library tutorials.  I finished my first archival finding aid.  Those have been the big-hitters in work life.  In regular, non-librarian Amanda life I went on vacation with my boyfriend to an off-the-grid cabin!  We snowshoed and built fires in wood stoves and generally thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  I went home to visit my dad in Vermont and learned how to make the perfect grilled cheese.  I got an iPhone.  I became addicted to Instagram and taking photos in general.  I survived Blizzard Nemo and got my first real snowday in *years*.  I learned how to play the Call of Cthulhu tabletop game.  Finally, I just last week joined my gym’s 60 day fitness competition, and I am loving how much it has reinvigorated my passion for fitness.  And I’m still trying to figure out how to be a part-time indie author in amongst all of this.

How was everyone’s March?  Ours came in like a lion and out like a lamb, just like the old saying goes. 🙂

Friday Fun! (Relaxation and Final Week of Blog Tour Updates)

August 31, 2012 3 comments

Hello my lovely readers!

I had the best weekend last weekend. It included bicycle rides, farm stands, picnics, and listening to a record player. Super relaxing. 🙂  Which is a good thing because this week was orientation for another school (think of them as like departments) at my university.  Busy busy!  I found ways to relax though.  I of course got in my gym time.  I don’t always manage to do spin classes because of how the timing works with my schedule, but I was able to this week.  I was really pleased to see that my leg strength has drastically improved.  My level ten of difficulty used to be gear twelve. Now it’s gear eighteen. Yay!  I also started playing a new videogame this week.  I picked up Donkey Kong Country Returns for my wii.  It’s super fun!  Very old school side-scroller but still integrates the wii motion controllers in well.  I do die a lot in it, but I’ve never been a great videogamer. I just enjoy it.

This was the final week of the Waiting For Daybreak blog tour!  I’ll be posting my author’s wrap-up with thoughts on the tour as a whole a bit later today, but I didn’t want the last week of blogs to miss their weekly wrap-up spotlight.  So let’s get to it!

Just a Lil’ Lost posted a review where she states, “McNeil brings a fresh voice with this zombie apocalypse-type story. She has written a character that is refreshing and different from others I have read.”

Obsessions of  a Library Gurl (who, full disclosure, is my friend but who was able to use her librarian talents to offer a fair, even-handed review), also posted a review stating, “It was an easy read and one I was able to quickly get into.”

Obsessions of  a LibraryGurl also interviewed me. Check that out to hear what I think about zombies as an analogy for rape.

Reflections of a Book Addict posted a review where he states, “In all, it is an awesome read that really gets you in tune with Frieda’s struggle with the undead.”

Reflections of a Book Addict also interviewed me.  Check that out to find out more about my own pets.  Also, comment on the interview post to be entered in the final giveaway of the tour!

And that’s it!  Hard to believe the final week of the tour is over.  Many thank you’s to everyone who helped make the last week varied and exciting!

Also, happy weekends to my blog followers. 🙂