Summer Goals ˁ̡̡̡∗★ ̫★ˀ̡̡̡

Hiya!

I didn’t mean to go another whole week without posting again, but it’s taken me a while to decide what I wanted to post next. I decided the most logical place to start is with a summer goals for myself and this blog. But before I get into it, I want to first thank you all for your best wishes on my job search. My interview this week went great, and I got some good feedback. Unfortunately I think the job went to someone who they knew.

I wasn’t 100% sure I wanted to set summer goals for myself, but I feel like without a steady structure I won’t get as much done as I’d like. When I first started this post, I only envisioned stating my summer goals, but by the end I realized it might be a good time to think about what I want to accomplish long-term as well. So I’ve listed some of my wildest goals to achieve by the end of the year as well.

➴ Summer Goals

READING

This summer I want to read at least 20 books in order to be all caught up with my Goodreads Reading Challenge by September. On Thursday I’ll be posting my TBR and participation in the 20 Books of Summer challenge so stay tuned for that (& see the blog post from Rattle the Stars that inspired me ^_^)! My own post is already written, I just need to put on some finishing touches.

➴ BLOGGING

This may be ambitious, but I’m feeling really tempted to jump back into blogging in a major way by committing to posting at least every other day without fail as long as I have ideas. Right now I feel like I have a lot of ideas for things I’d both like to share and also think others would really benefit from. Some weeks I may be really busy or feel like I got nothing. I’m hoping to get through those weeks by planning ahead and actively updating a Google doc of ideas so I don’t forget them.

WRITING

I recently said that I’ve not been in the best of writing moods lately and while I still don’t want to commit to writing a novel this summer, I’m thinking about setting myself a more modest goal of writing an interactive short story. I have some past drafts of ideas that I may be interested in developing further, or I may start completely from scratch. We’ll see how that goes! I think it will also be fun to update you all on this process!

➴ Year End Goals

  1. Have a job I really like
  2. Have successfully completed NaNoWriMo for the first time since November 2014
  3. Have a modestly successful Etsy shop
  4. Have 500 blog followers between WordPress and Bloglovin’

End Note

I think it’s great to have goals for yourself throughout your life in order to continue to grow, even if you’re done with school and happy with your life. I encourage you to think of some seasonal goals and long-term goals in order to access how you might best go about achieving them. At the end of the summer/year I want to evaluate how successful I was at attaining these goals and decide what my next moves will be.

Do you enjoy setting goals? Why or why not?

What are your wildest of creative goals? How are you working on achieving them? 

Thank you for reading!
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May ’17 TBR // Agenda

Welcome back to Betwined Reads,

April was an incredibly busy month and, fortunately for me, things will be looking up very soon as the end of the semester is in clear sight. I will likely be unable to post anything new next week, but I wanted to make sure to do this post as I want it to become routine as these are my favorite blog posts to read!

The following includes an update on my Goodreads Reading Challenge, my May ’17 TBR, and my blog goals for the month.

Lori’s Goodreads Reading Challenge

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May ’17 TBR

In April I read a grand total of three books, which I briefly summarize in my April ’17 Wrap Up, and this month I hope not only to match that goal but exceed it to finally catch up on my Goodreads Reading Challenge. However, realistically speaking I’m only certain at this point of four books that I definitely know I will aim to read this month. Two books will help me tie up loose ends from this semester, one is a reread, and one is a new May release.

Hobbies by Steven M. Gelber | I was required to read a PDF chapter from this book about constructing a collector’s market for my ATEC class and I was so fascinated by the professor’s elaboration upon Gelber’s work that I decided to actually buy the book! The first five chapters, including the introduction, seem like they will really well inform the critical theory research paper I am writing for this particular class so I will likely get into this book very quickly this weekend. However, I already know I will be excited to finish the rest once the semester is over so this may be one of the first books I complete this month.

Identity is the New Money by David Birch | This may be one of the last books I finish this month as the main reason I feel motivated to complete it is that it is so short and I want to relieve my buyer’s remorse. It’s not related to my research focus right now in the slightest, but I still see a value to reading it as I am getting more interested in issues surrounding immaterial labor.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas | I was able to pick up this book at the library on Wednesday! I have no business leisure reading until I finish all my papers, but since this is a book I’ve already read once before I’m hoping it doesn’t too badly distract me from my studies if I read a little here and there. I have no designs to try and finish it really quickly. I just know I want to be able to start the next book as soon as possible once the semester is complete!

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas | This is the last book I’m confident I want to complete this month. I’m not sure how long it will take me, since if memory serves correct it took me about two weeks last May to finish ACOMAF. Nevertheless, I’m pumped. This book will be my reward to myself after everything school-related is out of the way.

Blog Goals

It’s been a while since I tried to plan ahead for the blog, but I have a few blog posts that have been sitting on the back burner for over a month now and want to motivate myself to complete and finally share them with you, including a tag and writing update. Additionally, I’d like to write a few posts concerning my studies, including a post summarizing this semester, a post wrapping up my experience at UT Dallas as a whole, and a post about my plans for future studies.

End Note

This weekend I will begin moving out of my apartment and this coming Monday two of may final papers are due, so I will not likely be that active on the blog beyond responding to your lovely comments whenever I can. By next Saturday all my loose ends should be tied up nicely and I look forward to rededicating my efforts to reading, writing, and this blog.

In case you missed them, I had a few posts go up earlier this week, including:

April ’17 Wrap Up

A Very Fantastical Book Birthday to…

My YA Book Blogger Survey

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

My YA Book Blogger Survey | Research

Hello!

This semester for my Capstone project, I have been working on a survey to measure what reasons people have for reading YA and blogging about YA separately to see what correlations I can find to explain the prevalence of the activity in the digital age when we are faced with so many other forms of entertainment online.

To make sure I surveyed people who I know both reading YA and blog about YA, I’ve spent the past few weeks compiling a list of YA book bloggers for whom I can find an email address listed somewhere on their blog. My search was very haphazard and random, which I believed would benefit the generalizability of my results. I would often start at YA book blogs that I already followed and browsed the comments sections to pick up new leads and discover other bloggers.

In case you are wondering, the factors that I used to determine whether a YA book blogger could be compiled in my list include:

  1. If the blogger declared themselves in their sidebar bio, About page, or Review Policy page as a YA enthusiast.
  2. If the most recent books I saw reviewed on the blog largely included popular YA titles.
  3. If the blogger has posted recently.

It has been a really cool experience to sift through so many diverse blogs on personal level because I consider myself a part of this community as a lover and defender of YA literature and what it means for literacy. I’ve also discovered so many great blogs that have inspired me to be a better blogger and community member.

End Note

If you are reading this post because you followed the link provided in the email invitation to participate in my survey, thank you for your interest! I hope you will consider taking time to participate in my graduate research. If you are reading this blog post simply because you already follow my blog, I hope you found it interesting! If you’d like to hear more about my research journey I’d love to talk more on this topic, and possibly the findings, here over the summer.

If you consider yourself a YA book blogger and would like to take part in this research and be entered into a raffle for one of five $10 Amazon gift cards, please email me at my school email loricanales@utdallas.edu!

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

A Very Fantastical Book Birthday to…

Hiya!

Welcome back to the blog! I’m still busy at work on my end-of-the-semester projects, but I wanted to make sure to wish Sarah J. Maas and her latest book a happy book birthday! Today, May 2, 2017, the third installment in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series debuts. I was so excited to learn last week that Amazon would ship me this book on its release date, meaning I could get reading straight away!

However, I am hoping to hold out until this semester is officially over until I start reading this tome, primarily because it would prevent me from being productive. But also because it would mean I wouldn’t have a chance to reread A Court of Mist and Fury (#2) which I’d really like to do before I read this one.

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

Released: May 2, 2017
Pages:
696 pages (hardcover)
Genre(s):
New adult / Romance / Fantasy / Fairytale Retelling
Age Group:
 14+ (Likely to be graphic)

Summary

Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

End Note

It’s very likely this will be one of the first books I read this month. I’m hoping to have the patience so I can indeed reread the ACOMAF first. Later this week, I plan to work on my May ’17 TBR so stay tuned for that. My summer begins in about two weeks and I’m so pumped to read more and have the free time to write and blog as well.

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

April ’17 Wrap Up

Hiya!

I’m back to Betwined Reads today with my reading wrap up for April. Last week marked the end of all of my classes so now all I need to do is finish up some grading and my three papers due at the end of next week. Then I’ll be able to be more active online! Although I should be working on my assignments, I wanted to come on here and wrap up the month properly since I’ve finally had some reading progress to share.

This month I read three books, two of which were for class and one that I started mid-March during spring break. Looking back, I didn’t rate any of these books particularly high, although I did enjoy reading all of them to some degree.

Feed by M.T. Anderson | Feed is a young adult novel written in 2001 about a future in which people have technology put into their heads at an early age so that they can have a running feed in their heads at all times. The book was a very quick read (I think I finished it in one sitting of about 3-4 hours), and it was an interesting read in light of ongoing topics of the class in which it was assigned. However, it felt dated as social media wasn’t really a thing in this world.  ★★ 

Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner | The final installment of the Starbound trilogy was a little disappointing for me. Perhaps, it suffers because I now read Kaufman’s latest (superior) work in The Illuminae Files. My biggest critique is the book seems disjointed. Unlike the previous two, this one only allows us a short time with the two main protagonists before all the old characters return. The first book set up a really exciting world conflict and in this book it just fizzled so fast for me.  ★★★

I Hate the Internet by Jarett Kobeck | I read this book for my the historical perspectives class I assisted with this spring and it was a really acerbic take on San Francisco and the tech scene from which major Internet companies arise. It provides some great historical background of exploited creators responsible for major intellectual properties we still see on the big and small screen today. My biggest critique of this book is that the author exaggerated and was unfairly reductive at times, which forced me to pull back a lot. There were laugh-out-loud moments, but just as often there were jokes fell flat. ★★★

End Note

This week will be spent primarily working on finishing up the semester strong. I have about a day’s worth of grading to complete for the three classes I assisted with this semester. But I’m nearly done with two of the three papers I have to write, primarily because those two papers have been somewhat scaffolded by the professor.

Tomorrow I’m hoping to receive Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval on a research study I’ve been working on all semester! It involves an online survey of YA book bloggers, so some of you reading this may receive an email soon inviting you to participate. I’ll have a formal blog post explaining the survey soon on this blog, so if you’re interested stay tuned!

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

April ’17 TBR // Agenda

I’ve been in somewhat of a reading slump regarding recreational reading. This semester has been my busiest of grad school yet and it’s shown in my progress on my Goodreads Reading Challenge. I’m determined to turned things around in April, starting with a TBR.

There are four books I need to read in April for my own classes and the classes I assist with, and for the most part I’m excited about all of them! I want to end the semester strong by completing all of these books so I can fully enjoy the class discussion about them. I also have some other things on my agenda for this month…

Lori’s Goodreads Reading Challenge

Currently Reading

Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner | I tried to start this book during spring break and it’s been slow goings due to all the other stuff I’ve had to do. I do want to finish it this month!

Identity is the New Money by David Birch | I started this short book last week for one of the classes I TA for. It’s a very easy read, I just need to put my mind to finishing it.

TBR

Feed by M.T. Anderson

I Hate the Internet: A Useful Novel Against Men, Money, and the Filth of Instagram by Jarett Kobek

My Life as a Night Elf Priest: And Anthropological Account of World of Warcraft by Bonnie A. Nardi

Against the Romance of Community by Miranda Joseph

Agenda

Final Papers. I have three final papers to complete this month because they are due at the beginning of May. All of them involve the YA book blogging community in some way, so you may find me talking about some of them on my blog this month *hint hint* *wink wink* ^_^

Camp NaNoWriMo. If you saw my last post this week, you’ll know I’m planning on participating in Camp NaNoWriMo! I’m writing 20K words of my new novel, so I’m excited squeeze in some on the weekends.

Duolingo. At the beginning of March I started using Duolingo to learn German. I took four years of French in high school and Spanish may have been more practical since I live in the U.S., but I’ve found myself encountering more German writers and thinkers in the past year than I have in the past so I want to have at least a cursory understanding of German. I stopped using it after spring break, so my goal for April is to start using it again more regularly. It only requires like 20 minutes per day and I can do it very easily from bed when I’m browsing Instagram so hopefully this isn’t too hard to accomplish!

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

 

Blogger Recognition Award

Hello, friends.

I was tagged by the lovely Mel from The Bookish Wanderer for the Blogger Recognition Award.

Rules

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Write a post to show your award.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

How My Blog Started

I’ve first started book blogging on WordPress.com in January 2015 as a New Year’s resolution. That blog was called Books o’ the Wisp and it was a place for me to record my reading progress and rediscover my love of reading. Those first few months were the happiest and the most exciting time of my life, so this year I’m trying to reclaim that joy and passion by starting from scratch with this new book blog Betwined Reads.

Two Pieces of Advice

  1. Be inspired by others, but don’t copy them outright. There are so many book or writing blogs out there and the thing the thing that will set you apart is what you do differently. If a blog uses a lot of GIFs, don’t feel like you need to or no one will like or read your blog. If you see a lot of other blogs writing about a book you have no interest in, don’t feel like you need to read it if it takes time away from the books you truly want to read. People will follow you blog if they like what you write and can see a glimpse of your personality shine through.
  2. Be a good blogger and a good commenter. If you want people to read and comment on your blog you should read and comment on others’ too. You should also try to respond to those who are kind enough to comment on your blog, especially when it’s a new blog and you’re just starting out. Also try to find your fellow new bloggers who you can grow with. These are the people most likely to become your closest blogging friends.

I Tag…

I can’t be bothered to check if any of these blogs have done this tag or how old it is, but I figure it’s the thought that counts! If you’ve already done it but it’s been a while, maybe it’d be nice to do it again.

  • Blaise @ The Book Boulevard
  • Elle @ The Nishume Chronicles

Well, that’s all I’ve got for today! Hope you have a good day and see you Friday! Don’t forget to follow if you haven’t, I post every Monday, Wednesday and Friday :p Until then,

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