Weekly Review | Tying Up Loose Ends

Hello! Welcome to this week’s Weekly Review. Although I didn’t post that much this week on the blog, I have been up to stuff behind the scenes, which is why I love this blog feature! I don’t have to disappear entirely off the face of the earth just because I didn’t do any polished stand-alone blog posts.

I had a hard time thinking about what I wanted to do this month. Part of that is just life crashing in to remind me the blog is not my life! It’s a tough reminder, but a good one too.

I don’t want to lie, I’m not sure how much you can expect to see of me for the rest of the month. I’m not even really blog hopping right now, which sucks because I love so many of your blogs. It’s just that I have a lot of other stuff on my mind right now that I don’t want to neglect. Hopefully by September, things will be back to a happier normal!

This Week’s Blog Posts

  1. August Goals + TBR ➹

 What I Read

Screen Shot 2018-08-18 at 10.51.31 PM

  1. How I Resist: Activism and Hope for the Next Generation (edited) by Maureen Johnson & Tim Federle |  | I found myself drawn to this book in July and finally finished it yesterday! I quite liked many of the stories, but I had trouble moving from one piece to the next quickly. I read this anthology about 4–5 pieces at a time. As a fairly well informed liberal-minded college graduate who practically lives on the internet, nothing in this book was too new. It was great to see so many different voices with similar arguments but in a variety of personal ways.
  2. Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes || I started this book last week for the #MakeMeRead It Read-A-Thon! I’ve actually annoyed I didn’t finish until Monday, because once I really got into the book it was not hard to keep reading. I just have trouble reading for more than an hour at a time sometimes. I had my reservations, but overall this was a fun read. I actually picked up the sequel right away, as I already had it, and I’m interested in binging that one ASAP!

• • • • • Currently Reading • • • • 

rebelspring.jpg

  1. Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes || Like I mentioned above, I started this one right away after finishing Falling Kingdoms. I feel like if I don’t get straight to this book, I never will, as I wasn’t too blown away by the first book but feel like the series still has potential.

 Blog Housekeeping

As I mentioned in my August Goals + TBR ➹, I have a short list of things I want to finish up by the end of the month. These things are the reason I’ve decided to take it easy with the blog posts (and even blog hopping).

My Blog To-Do List

  1. Create new blog header image (a.k.a. establish “site identity”)
  2. Create original base images for monthly memes & my weekly reviews
  3. Update blog navigation bar
  4. Update static pages
  5. Update social media selfies (my hair is literally past my shoulders now…)

 Novel Progress

I’ve not been working on my novel since vacation. Instead I’ve been getting all the other areas of my life in order! But I’ve been inspired recently by a new YouTube video from my favorite YouTube writer Katytastic, “WRITING CHAT | PLOTTING VS PANTSING,” so I thought I’d share!

I used to be more of a pantser and part of me has begun to wonder, maybe I should give pantsing a shot again? If the trade off is needing to revise more, I think I can handle that. It sounds fun . . .

Miscellaneous

  1. My dad had prostate surgery. Shortly before he went to Israel, we discovered he had prostate cancer. His doctor said it would be okay for him to put off surgery for a few months, so he went for his detail and returned in July to get his affairs in order leading up to the removal surgery. Everything went well, but the surgery took longer than anticipated because . . . I forget what exactly was stuck to what! Anyway he’s gonna take a while to return to normal, so it’s almost like my Mom & I have been home alone again!
  2. I’ve started something of a diet. I’ve been on a health journey this year, starting officially in June, I would say. It’s then I began a steady workout routine. One thing, that has always been my biggest struggle, is my diet. I almost want to say I have a binge eating disorder. I don’t know if that’s actually a thing, but I do know I’ve have a bad relationship to food since I was a child. When/if I see results from my diet, I may do a blog post about it. I kind of feel like I’ve lost weight, but I can’t look at a scale. It’s really triggering.
  3. I’m now all caught up on Sherlock. I first watched Sherlock when there were just the first two seasons available on Netflix. While I adored the first season, I think I only watched s03e01 to find out how before feeling like the show was becoming a bit absurd. You can’t really be multitasking when watching this show! It was fun watching a younger Benedict Cumberbatch after having finally become a real fan from watching Patrick Melrose this summer.
  4. I also watched To All the Boys I Loved Before this week on Netflix and loved it! Finally Netflix puts out a great movie for teens! I was never interested in reading the book, but the movie trailer really intrigued me so I gave the movie a go Friday night. I loved Lara Jean and could really relate to her fears and anxieties about letting people get close to her. And for once, I really liked the jock love interest! He was played so wonderfully. I loved the ending. This cute rom-com truly caught me off guard, and I’m not easily impressed!

❧ ☙ END NOTE ☙ ❧

With the two weeks of August left, I really want to get my blog to-do list done, write, and read. So that may mean I’m not posting as much this month. It is my hope that once I get my to-do list done, it will be easier to post more frequently and on time! Do know that I have some fun stuff planned! I did a lot of brain-storming pre-vacation and I’m still really excited about a lot of my post ideas. They may just not come until September.

At the very least, you can count on Novel Progress resuming this week and maybe a review of How I Resist. And these Weekly Reviews of course! I find them quite fun to write and a reminder that life is happening behind the blog ^_^

Thank you for reading!
Follow my blog via Bloglovin’. Also find me on GoodreadsTwitter, and Instagram.

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August Goals + TBR ➹

I realize we are more than halfway through the month, but going out of town threw a wrench in my plans. What should have been a nice, pleasant trip turned out to be quite stressful and unhappy. I came back home kind of overwhelmed by all the projects I had started and questioning whether it was all worth it.

I guess you could say the blog has been somewhat on hold this month while I figure it all out. I’m still trying to figure it out, but I’m dipping my toes back into it slowly. Even though it is late, I didn’t want to look back on this entire month and wonder what happened.

So I ruminated about what I’d like to get done by the end of August minimally and came up with this list of three things. I also thought about what books are my priority TBR right now as I’m just trying to keep my head above water!

Goals

➴ 1. Develop a more healthy reading-blogging-writing balance

I feel like I have a strange habit of taking on all the things and then struggling because I find one thing more interesting than all the others. Looking back at my monthly notes/goal posts from this past year, the pattern is really clear! My passion jumps between reading, writing, and blogging all the time. This month in the couple weeks I have left, I want to better prioritize.

Unless I find a way for the blog to become a major source of income, I don’t want to be spending all my time on it. Blogging should be for reflection anyway, so I don’t want it to take up all my time. Neither do I want to feel like all I have time to do is read, because that can become just as dangerous as watching YouTube or Netflix all day long.

So when it gets down to it, writing is what I want to focus on more while I still have the luxury of free-time.

2. Look for a Job + Share the Search

In July I realized I really do need to start looking for a full-time job again. It’s something I don’t really like to talk about, because it’s kind of embarrassing. But I know the longer I put it off the worse off I’ll be in terms of future job opportunities and debt repayment. So I want to overcome my job lack of confidence and interview anxiety to apply more widely for job paths I may not have considered before.

I also want to start talking jobs on the blog for anyone who is still in high school and college and doesn’t know what they want to do or anyone who may not be happy with their current employment and might like to consider other options. Job searching seriously sucks, and I hope to make it more fun by blogging about it!

3. End in the month with all my loose ends tied up

I can never fully relax while I know there are things that I’ve left incomplete. Blog-wise, there’s a lot that I still want to finish up and would like to do before the end of the month. This list of things is less for you, my blog readers, and more for my own peace of mind. It does include books, though! I really want to end the month having at minimum finished all the books I’m “currently reading” (Strange the Dreamer, How I Resist, and Rebel Spring).

I also don’t want to start anything that I’m not going to complete this month! If I start something, I want to keep it to myself until I’m sure I’ll follow through with sharing it.

TBR

In July I met my Goodreads Reading Challenge 2018 goal of reading 30 books. At the start of the year, I literally had no idea that I’d be where I am with my blog today. It’s kind of insane. I thought I might’ve peaked in 2015 with my blogging career, and I’m just so happy that I’ve fallen back in love with reading and reviewing books.

As it’s halfway through the month already, I don’t think I’ll read more beyond what I’m currently reading. I do have some books I’m itching to start once I can commit to them. I’m on a contemporary/non-fiction/literary fiction kick right now, and I’m going to see where it takes me!

Disrupt You!  by Jay Samit

In today’s volatile business landscape, adaptability and creativity are more crucial than ever. It is no longer possible-or even desirable-to learn one set of job skills and to work your way up the ladder. At the same time, entrepreneurs with great ideas for new products or technologies that could change the world often struggle to capture the attention of venture capital firms and incubators; finding the funding necessary to launch a start-up can feel impossible. The business leaders of our future must anticipate change to create their own opportunities for personal satisfaction and professional success. In Disrupt You!, Jay Samit, a digital media expert who has launched, grown, and sold start-ups and Fortune 500 companies alike, describes the unique method he has used to invent new markets and expand established businesses.

Samit has been at the helm of businesses in the ecommerce, digital video, social media, mobile communications, and software industries, helping to navigate them through turbulent economic times and guide them through necessary transformation so that they stay ahead of the curve. In Disrupt You!, he reveals how specific strategies that help companies flourish can be applied at an individual level to help anyone can achieve success and lasting prosperity-without needing to raise funds from outside investors.

Incorporating stories from his own experience and anecdotes from other innovators and disruptive businesses-including Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, YouTube, Circ du Soleil, Odor Eaters, Iams, Silly Putty, and many more-Samit shows how personal transformation can reap entrepreneurial and professional rewards. Disrupt You! offers clear and empowering advice for anyone looking to break through; for anyone with a big idea but with no idea how to apply it; and for anyone worried about being made irrelevant in an era of technological transformation. This engaging, perspective-shifting book demystifies the mechanics of disruption for individuals and businesses alike.

For my birthday this February, I treated myself to some non-fiction books of the self-help variety, hoping I might find some inspiration from them on what my next step should be. I wouldn’t say they lit any lightbulbs personally, but they were motivational in the sense that they made me get more productive. I decided to save on of those books, Disrupt You!, for later and have decided that now as I need to switch gears again is a great time for it.


The Promise by Chaim Potok

“A superb mirror of a place, a time, and a group of people who capture our immediate interest and hold it tightly.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer

Young Reuven Malter is unsure of himself and his place in life. An unconventional scholar, he struggles for recognition from his teachers. With his old friend Danny Saunders—who himself had abandoned the legacy as the chosen heir to his father’s rabbinical dynasty for the uncertain life of a healer—Reuvan battles to save a sensitive boy imprisoned by his genius and rage. Painfully, triumphantly, Reuven’s understanding of himself, though the boy change, as he starts to approach the peace he has long sought…

The Chosen by Chaim Potok was one of my first reads of the year (see What I Read This Winter), a book that got me back into reading after a few months of despair and uncertainty. I loved it and immediately looked into what other books the author had written, happy to find that there is a “sequel.” I had to order it on Amazon, but shelved it soon after as I was on a mission to read more popular fiction. I’m in a funny place again where I need to read more books that feed my soul, so I’m hoping this one does not disappoint!


Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

In this seductive, wistful masterpiece, Truman Capote created a woman whose name has entered the American idiom and whose style is a part of the literary landscape. Holly Golightly knows that nothing bad can ever happen to you at Tiffany’s; her poignancy, wit, and naïveté continue to charm.

This volume also includes three of Capote’s best-known stories, “House of Flowers,” “A Diamond Guitar,” and “A Christmas Memory,” which the Saturday Review called “one of the most moving stories in our language.” It is a tale of two innocents–––a small boy and the old woman who is his best friend–––whose sweetness contains a hard, sharp kernel of truth.

Like most young girls, I went through an adoring Audrey Hepburn phase. I first watched Billy Wilder’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1960) in high school. I even gave myself horrible baby bangs à la Holly Golightly my senior year. It was not a good look, considering I never ever wore my hair up back then! Also my hair was all bleached.

Anyway (and in case you didn’t know), the movie is based on Truman Capote’s short story. It not supposed to be anything like it, but I still find myself wanting to read the source material. The specific book I have includes three short stories in addition to “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” which I think will be a fun read as I don’t read a lot of short fiction.

I read the first 50 pages or so of Capote’s non-fiction masterpiece, In Cold Blood, so I know he’s a brilliant writer. The only reason I didn’t finish that book is at the time I wasn’t in the mood for something quite so chilling . . .

✄ —– End Note ——–

In case you missed it, my July Notes ➴ in which I summarized my successes and failures of last month went up on the blog last week shortly after I returned from my trip. The first thing on my agenda is to start tying up those loose ends this weekend with regards to the books I’m reading and the blog stuff I want to complete. Maybe I’ll share my to-do list on Sunday . . .

What are your goals for the month?

Thank you for reading!
Follow my blog via Bloglovin’. Also find me on GoodreadsTwitter, and Instagram.

July Notes ➴

July is the month I feel like I finally became a true blogger.  I’ve never been prouder of the blog posts I’ve made and how successfully I’ve balanced being both a blogger and a blog reader. Additionally, I started up two new weekly series: Novel Progress (in which I share my writing updates + topic discussions) and Weekly Reviews (in which I summarize the week’s blog posts and reading progress).

That being said, I did feel like I was edging towards burn out. Exiting July I came away with ideas for how to make things a little easier on myself, but I’ll save those ideas for my August Goals + TBR ➹ post, which should go up tomorrow!

Revisiting My Goals

This month all my goals had to do with my blog. I’ve started to take my blog more seriously not just as place to share my bookish thought but also a portfolio of my writing and individuality. I have wanted to treat my blog a little bit as a job to see how I like it.

Here are the goals I set for June:

  1. DEDICATE M/W/F TO WRITING BLOG POSTS
  2. DEVELOP A UNIQUE BLOG THEME
  3. CONDENSE MY BOOK REVIEWS

One of the best things I’ve done for myself is decide to dedicate specific days to blogging. I didn’t stick strictly to M/W/F, but for the most part I think I kept the spirit behind this schedule alive. I didn’t want to feel like my blog was taking over my life, so if I felt like I did a lot of blog work one day I didn’t do that again the next day. I’d like to increase my productivity on these blog days so that’s something I’ll be working on next month.

So this month I wanted to create a unique blog theme for Betwined Reads. By that, I meant blog imagery, meaning reusable blog headers, featured images, and blog logo. Basically, I wanted to work on my blog identity, the stuff that people remember when they think about the blog. I feel like I got a good foundation started. I have some color schemes I like a lot and my use of special characters has become something of staple. Also after writing my blogger aesthetics post, I have an idea of the stuff I can focus on in my future designs.

As for my final goal, I feel like I did find a book review style that I like. However, I’m not really sure I condensed them. Instead I feel like I just broke them up a bit more attractively so they’re less intimidating on the surface level. I think I’m satisfied for now, but I will keep an eye out for cool ideas on how to make them both useful to readers and satisfying on a personal level.

June’s Blog Posts

||      BOOK REVIEWS     ||

||      BLOG TAGS     ||

||      NOVEL PROGRESS     ||

||      MISCELLANEOUS     ||

What I Read

In July I only managed to read three books. I’m not someone who reads a lot during the week, and this month I took a lot of time in between reading books to work on other things. I would like to make reading a better part of my day next month. All the books I read this month had me thinking a lot in between reads, so I don’t feel too bad about how seemingly little I read.

  1. Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter | ★★★★½
  2. Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko | ★★★★
  3. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene | ★★★½

My favorite read was definitely Vassa in the Night, but that was a reread! So I guess I’ll go with Ceremony. I walked away from that book each time thinking about Tayo and his pain. I also felt it was a very spiritual in a way that anyone from any culture could appreciate. My least favorite was probably Summer of My German Soldier, even though it was a perfectly fine read. My biggest critique is that it didn’t resolve everything that goes down in the book in a way I found personally too satisfying.

☙ ❧ END NOTE ❧ ☙

Sorry this post is coming late! I was out of town last weekend and didn’t prepare much in advance, as I explain in yesterday’s A Quick Update | August 9th. Tomorrow morning I will publish my August Goals + TBR ➹, where I’ll talk about some of my goals for the month and the books I plan to read.

I feel like this year is winding up pretty quickly and I’m excited to see where I take the blog by the end of the year. Fall is my favorite time of year, so I’m getting really excited for what fun opportunities and reads that life will have in store.

Thank you for reading!
Follow my blog via Bloglovin’. Also find me on GoodreadsTwitter, and Instagram.

A Quick Update | August 9th

aquickupdate

Hello! I kind of disappeared last week without saying anything or even finishing up blog posts I wanted to go live this weekend. I’d like to chalk it up to blog burn-out, but really it was just that I didn’t get a lot done last week. I was tired all the time (probably because I was working out about twice a day) and watching a lot of YouTube in between naps.

I’ve discovered a lot of new YouTube channels over the past couple of weeks. Shane Dawson has been a favorite of mine since the end of the last year when he started doing more personal, heart-felt videos. More recently through him, I’ve discovered James Charles and Jeffree Star. So there’s been a lot of binge-watching these creators old videos! And I don’t even really wear makeup so let’s just let that speak to their personalities, creativity, and work ethic, which are all reasons I’ve been enjoying and feeling inspired by their videos.

It’s kind of embarrassing how I let myself get derailed from the blog so quickly. That’s actually why I think I was getting a little burned out. I’m on a never-ending quest to strike the right balance between blogging about life and actually living my life. Consider it a theme of Betwined Reads!

So before I left for my trip to the Rio Grande Valley, I had three posts mostly written. The only reason I did not publish them is because I hadn’t created featured images for them. I just don’t like posts to go up without any visuals. I wanted to try something new for this month, but never gave myself the time to work on them.

I’m not sure if it’s worth posting them now. Does anyone want to see super late July Notes ➴ and August Goals + TBR ➹ posts? They’d require some revision at this point…

      Immediate Plans   ➵ 

I was going to go into this in my August Goals + TBR ➹, but since it’s not up yet I figure I’ll announce it here and now: I am seriously going to kick up the job search this month. I feel like this year has been me trying to feel like myself again, without the crutch of school to give me a stronger sense of self-worth or identity. It’s time for me to join the world of the living and working.

I’m not saying the blog is going to take a back seat, but I don’t want to stretch myself thin with everything I want/need to do. That being said, I’m not sure I want to be publishing a lot of blog posts each week. I’m not someone who can start a post and publish it all in the same day. Generally, I like to sit on a blog post for a day or two to make sure I’m happy sending it out into the world like a little fragile little sail boat going into the unknown.

I feel like sometimes I do a lot more work than I need to for things that should be straight forward and simple, so my goal for today (8/9) and this weekend is to make sure everything I do moving forward on this blog I can do with pleasure and pride. I have a lot more free time than the average person, but with so much that I want to do it can still feel like I don’t have enough!

❧ ☙ Final Note ☙ ❧

I don’t want to commit to a schedule in this post, because I’ve not given my posts a serious thought yet. I wanted to do a quick little update just so you know I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth! I think things will be back to normal (or a new normal) by the start of next week! I just need a few days to reflect and establish a new schedule/work flow.

Thank you for reading!
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Novel Progress #2: Introducing My Novel

In case you missed it, last week I announced that I would return to weekly writing-themed posts! I didn’t know quite where I would want to start after last week’s post, but I decided it might be a good idea to give you all a sense of what my novel is about. I also realized it might be nice if it had name so I could stop calling it “my novel.” So the public working title for my novel is Come, Beasties.

Despite my eagerness to blog my writing journey, I do worry about idea theft. So I’m wary of sharing explicit details. But I also don’t want to keep you completely in the dark, so while I may not go into great description of the novel’s details (i.e. plot points, real character names) all at once. Instead I will share details in bits and pieces as they become relevant over the course of these posts so that you get the gist of what I’m writing and how it’s going.

As for today I will be teasing what the story is about and who I envision as the target audience.

What Kind of Story Is It?

It is a YA fantasy set in an alternative universe with magic and monsters where industrialization is still fairly new. My protagonist (M) is about 12 years old and lives in a troubled colony of a powerful country and becomes a pawn in a larger game for magic wielders who want independence and power for themselves.

At this point I think there will be multiple perspectives beyond the young female protagonist. There are a couple of slightly older characters (male and female) whose lives become intwined with the protagonist. I’m writing this book as a standalone, but I imagine there will be series or spin-off potential given the complexity of world I’m creating.

Two authors who I consider primary influences in the type of writer I want to be are Philip Pullman and Leigh Bardugo. I feel like my writing style right now is more Pullman-like, but I love Leigh Bardugo’s plotting and inventiveness.

Who Is the Target Audience?

I would like this to be a book for young people and adults. I’d like it to something children as young as 8–10 can read but that adults would also find an fulfilling read. I’d like it the book to appeal to both boys and girls. I want it to be dark and have heavy themes, but I would ideally want this to be the kind of book that people could read and appreciate differently as they age. I realize that is a tall order!

❧ ☙ END NOTE ☙ ❧

Next week in Novel Progress #3, I’d like to share an actual update about where I am in the writing process right now, as I’ve been working fairly steadily at plotting for the past couple of weeks and imagine I will be able to make the transition from plotting to writing very soon after I receive some feedback from my writing buddy on my plot summary, which I anticipate I will end at about six pages single-spaced!

Next up on Betwined Reads, you can expect my first anthology review for How I Resist, an inspiration anthology geared towards a YA audience about activism. Additionally, this weekend I plan to share my July Notes ➴ and August Goals + TBR ➹!

Thank you for reading!
Follow my blog via Bloglovin’. Also find me on GoodreadsTwitter, and Instagram.

❝ ♘ ☭ Special Characters ➶⟡☾ | Betwined Tech

It’s been a little while since I did a Betwined Tech post (see my app review of Hogwarts Mystery), and I’ve had this topic in mind for a while! If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you may have noticed I’m a big fan of using symbols/icons in my blog headers. I love the scissors () and arrows (   )! I also really love old school smilies (^_^).

I started this post earlier this summer as a quick reference for whenever I might want to “copy/paste” a special character(s) into a blog post. There are a few websites online that compile them for our convenience (like Copy Paste Character), but to be honest there are only a few I think are really cute and potentially useful. So scoured a few sources and made some categories I think could be helpful to book bloggers.

One thing that really peeves me is that depending on your browser/device, some of these special characters may convert to the colorful, cartoonish emoji versions made famous by Apple. I omitted any that did so on my MacBook Pro (where I draft posts) and Google Chrome browser, but I imagine that once I see this post on my Pixel 2 (Android smartphone), there will be some icons that convert into emojis!

It’s a really good reminder for bloggers/website developers that what you create and see on your screen may not be what others will see! Same for people who are reliant on emojis, they vary in subtle ways from device to device.

At any rate, here are some of the special characters I can see myself wanting to use in the future!

Technical / Occasionally Practical 

 ❞  ❜ ® © ™ ¶   ≠  ≥   ¿ ⸮  ⸘    

Currency 

₳ ฿ ₿ ¢ ₡ ¢ ₢ ₵ ₫ € £ £ ₤ ₣ ƒ ₲ ₭ Ł ₥ ₦ ₽ ₱$ $ ₮ ℳ ₶ ₩ ₩ ¥ ¥ ₴ ₸ ¤ ₰ ៛ ₪ ₯ ₠ ₧ ﷼ 円 元 圓 ㍐ 원 ৳ ₹ ₨ ৲ ௹

Suits of Cards 

♠ ♤ ♥ ♡ ♣ ♧ ♦ ♢

Chess Pieces 

          

Flowers 

✥ ✤ ✻ ✼ ✽ ✾ ❀ ✿ ❁ ❈ ❉ ❊ ❋ ⚘ ⁕ ꙮ

Lunar / Weather 

★ ☆ ✪ ✫ ✯ ✶ ✵ ✹ ☾   ❆ 

Letter Keys 

 ⓐ  ⓑ  ⓒ  ⓓ  ⓔ  ⓕ  ⓖ  ⓗ  ⓘ  ⓙ  ⓚ  ⓛ  ⓜ  ⓝ  ⓞ ⓟ Ⓟ  ⓠ  ⓡ  ⓢ  ⓣ      ⓦ    ⓨ  

Number Keys 

         ⓾          ⑩          

Arrows / Pointers 

 ☛  ⤷    ☟                                                                                                                                                               ↡                                                           

Di 

     

Bullet-Point Worthy

❖ ⟡ ◦   ●         ⦿  

⟡ Checks and Exes 

         ☓  

⟡ Miscellaneous 

 ☏  ✁           ❢ ⁂ ツノ人 ♥ ♡o ✿   · ᵕ ˘ ¯ ◡‿ ω 彡 ~ ^ ς 

⟡ Kaomoji (a.k.a Picture Faces¯\_(ツ)_/¯) 

(^ω^) (´∀`) (-‿‿-) ☆*:.。.o(≧▽≦)o.。.:*☆ (o^▽^o) (⌒▽⌒)☆ <( ̄︶ ̄)> 。.:☆*:・'(⌒―⌒))) ヽ(・∀・)ノ (´。• ω •。`) ( ̄ω ̄) `;:゛;`;・(゜ε゜ ) (o・ω・o) (@^-^) ヽ(*・ω・)ノ (o_ _)ノ彡☆ (^人^) (o´▽`o) (´▽`) 。゚( ゚^∀^゚)゚。 (´ω`) (☆▽☆) (≧◡≦) (o´∀`o) (´• ω •`) (^▽^) (⌒ω⌒) ∑d(゚∀゚d) ╰(▔∀▔)╯ (─‿‿─) (^‿^) ヽ(o^―^o)ノ (✯◡✯) (◕‿◕) (≧ω≦) (((o(゚▽゚)o))) (⌒‿⌒) \(≧▽≦)/ ⌒(o^▽^o)ノ ☆ ~(‘▽^人) (゚▽゚) (✧∀✧) (✧ω✧) ヽ(⌒▽⌒)ノ (´。• ᵕ •。`) ( ´ ▽ ` ) ( ̄▽ ̄) ╰(´︶`)╯ ヽ(>∀<☆)ノ o(≧▽≦)o (☆ω☆) (っ˘ω˘ς ) \( ̄▽ ̄)/ (¯︶¯) \(^▽^)/

(For more kaomoji, see this GitHub thread.)

Isn’t weird how a simple combination of lines and shapes can evoke a smile? 

 ☙ ❧ END NOTE ❧ ☙

I realize this is a completely random post, but since I was doing it for myself I decided why not turn it into a blog post that others may benefit from as well! I may update this post from time to time, so be sure to bookmark it if you see any symbols or icons that you like. Also, be sure to share this post if you liked it.

For more information about these OG emojis (what I’m just call special characters), check out videos on the history from Computerfile on YouTube (“Characters, Symbols, and the Unicode Miracle” and “Emoji and the Levitating Businessman“). Also, see this WIRED article for more on how emoji became so universal (“The Wired Guide to Emoji“).

Are there any cool ones I’m missing?

Have any fun facts to share about the history of these characters?

Thank you for reading!
Follow my blog via Bloglovin’. Also find me on GoodreadsTwitter, and Instagram.

  1. Featured image, base image: Photo by Alex Knight on Unsplash

Weekly Review | A Big Thank You

Welcome to my inaugural Weekly Review. Since I’ve begun to post more regularly this month, I figure it’s about time I start doing some sort of weekly update post that makes it easy for anyone who’s interested to keep up with the goings on here at Betwined Reads!

This past week has been really productive all around! While I didn’t read that much, I completed some blog posts that have been well overdue, read, and even did some blog hopping this weekend.

Blogging has become one of my biggest priorities at this time of my life, so I just want to say a big THANK YOU to anyone who has decided to follow and who leaves comments! I love expressing myself through my blog and you all make it worth it. While my life and priorities may change sooner or later, I’m really excited to continue to share my bookish thoughts and lifestyle on Betwined Reads!

This Month’s Blog Posts (So Far)

  1. July Goals + TBR ➹
  2. Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter | ★★★★½
  3. The Follow Up to Blog Hopping in June
  4. The Unique Blogger Award | Blog Tag
  5. #MakeMeRead It Read-A-Thon 2018 Poll | Vote!  There’s still time to vote!
  6. Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko | ★★★★
  7. Some of My Favorite (Book) Bloggers
  8. Novel Progress #1: A Fresh Start
  9. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene | ★★★½
  10. Blogger Aesthetics | Blog Tag

 Currently Reading

  1. How I Resist: Activism and Hope for the Next Generation (edited) by Maureen Johnson |  | This was originally going to be one of my first reads of August, but I found it was just calling to me. Since it is essentially an anthology, it has been really easy to read a few pieces here and there and then put it down. I’ve loved some pieces and others . . . not so much. Stay tuned for the review this Thursday (8/2)!
  2. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor|| I actually haven’t started this book but it is still on my immediate agenda and I may start it as early as tonight! It’s just such a large tome and I’m a little intimidated.

 Blog Housekeeping

  • I started a new weekly feature on this blog called Novel Progress. Here’s a link to the first post and you can expect more each Wednesday.
  • I updated my Book Reviews (A-Z) page with all the book reviews listed on this blog. I also have included titles that I hope to read this year, so you can check that out if you would like a previous of the reviews to come!

 Novel Progress

I decided to include this section on these weekly posts just in case I have something major happen story-wise that I neglect to talk about on Wednesdays. This morning I Skyped with my writing buddy and we did a lot of writing together.

I’ve set a new mini-deadline of Wednesday, August 1, 2018 to complete the plot summary-outline that I’ve been working out. I have had a lot of the big plot points of this story worked out for weeks, but things move around and change as I develop characters and their relationships. I’ll talk more about this process in a few weeks!

Miscellaneous

  1. I moved my furniture! One thing I doubt I’ve mentioned before here on this blog, but I love moving my furniture around. I won’t try to explain why, but the main reason this time is I almost kept hitting my head on my desk, which was beside my bed. Now it’s facing the window, which is nice for taking bookish pictures. It also makes me feel more awake if I’m stuck at my desk for a while.
  2. My dad returned from Israel this Friday! We spent all week getting the house together for him, cleaning and stockpiling his favorite foods that he can’t get in Israel. He’s lost a lot of weight, which is really good for his health. I think going to work overseas has been one of the best things to ever happen for him, and I can’t wait for him to go back! ^_^
  3. I started looking for jobs again! With my dad back I’ve really had the itch to move out of my parents’ house finally and start making money. The thing is I hate looking and applying for jobs. It’s really hard not knowing exactly what I want to do or more accurately what-I-want-to-do-and-can-make-money-from-doing. I was thinking I may start doing regular job search updates on the blog in case anyone is interested or in my same predicament.
  4. I’ve increased my work out routine. I’ve gradually been working on my fitness this year with modest success. I can’t weigh myself (as I find it really bad for my mental health), but I’ve noticed a difference in the mirror, in how I feel, and in how clothes fit. At this point, I’m working out at least once a day for an hour on the elliptical and doing about 30 minutes of weight-lifting in our garage each evening. I feel myself becoming stronger and I love it!

❧ ☙ END NOTE ☙ ❧

I hope you liked this post! I’ll welcome any feedback about anything you might like me to add or any recommendations of weekly updates that you love. Next week I will be on vacation, so next week’s Weekly Review may be a little late but hopefully not! I plan to get a lot of my blog posts done ahead of time this week so I’m able to relax and focus on blog hopping and comments while I’m away!

I have random little blog post in the works for tomorrow that some of you may find an useful resource, so I hope to see you then!

Thank you for reading!
Follow my blog via Bloglovin’. Also find me on GoodreadsTwitter, and Instagram.