Back to the Classics Challenge 2018 (Wrap Up Post)

Phew! It’s been… a while. Back at the beginning of this year, I signed up for the Back to the Classics Challenge, hosted by Karen of Books and Chocolate, and challenged myself to read 12 classics this year! Let’s take a look at how I actually did…

  • A 19th century classic: I had planned to read Great Expectations by Charles Dickens for the 19th century classic catagory. Well, I’ve only got about five hours hours left on the audiobook, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to finish it before the end of the year. I’ll certainly give it a shot though!
  • A 20th century classic: I actually finished The Great Gatsby, which was pretty much guaranteed, as it was scheduled for school. It was… a weird, rather tragic experience. You can check out my Goodreads review by clicking the link above.
  • A classic by a woman author: Frankenstein was another school read, and I finished it earlier this year. Obviously, it’s so ingrained into our culture that we hear way more about people’s interpretations of this classic than about the actual classic itself. I was surprised at how different it was from the stereotypical ‘mad-scientist’ story, and there is definitely much more depth and pathos to this tale than popular culture would have you believe.
  • A classic in translation: I was so excited to reread one of my favorite books for this challenge! I really needed an excuse to read The Mysterious Island again, so this was a great opportunity to revisit the fascinating world of Jules Verne. I enjoyed it just as much as I did when I was a kid planning my own excursions to imaginary uninhabited islands.
  • A children’s classic: I had A Little Princess read to me for school a very long time ago, so I only remembered little bits and pieces of this sweet story. Sometimes it’s nice to come back to something you haven’t read in ages with fresh eyes, and that was definitely my experience here!
  • A classic crime story, fiction or non-fiction: Last year I was really into Dorothy Sayer’s Lord Peter Whimsy mystery stories, and earlier this year I read Strong Poison for this challenge. I definitely meant to continue on with this series, but somewhere along the way those intentions got sidetracked… :/
  • A classic travel or journey narrative, fiction or non-fiction: I was almost going to put down that I hadn’t read something in this category, as my plan to read The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain fell through, but then I remembered that I did read the very humorous and entertaining Three Men In A Boat while on my trip to England. It’s so hard to believe that happened this year! It feels like ages ago.
  • A classic with a single word title: I’d gotten almost half way through Christy and was really enjoying it… before I got sidetracked by other things. I definitely would like to finish it at some point, but I don’t think that will be before the end of the year, as there’s still a lot left.
  • A classic with a color in the title: I’d completely forgotten until now, but I did actually reread The Little White Horse earlier this year! As you might be able to tell, I was doing a lot better on this challenge earlier on in 2018, but as the year has gone on I’ve been swamped by work and procrastination and other books I’m reading, and unfortunately I wasn’t able to read all the books I wanted to.
  • A classic by an author that’s new to you: Until recently I never heard the title of Jane Eyre said aloud, and I always thought that her last name was pronounced  like ‘Eye-ree’ instead of ‘Air’. Oh well. Anyway, this was another classic I went into with some preconceived notions, and which on the whole turned out to be much deeper and more interesting than I expected. The character of Jane Eyre is also extremely well written, to the point that while reading the book I felt like I was reading a real person’s diary instead of a novel.
  • A classic that scares you: Frankenstien could have easily gone in this category, but it wasn’t actually that scary, so for this category I read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which didn’t turn out to be that scary either. Just… weird.
  • Re-read a favorite classic: I got to reread a few favorite classics for this challenge, and this was a golden opportunity to revisit my favorite L. M. Montgomery series, Emily of New Moon! I ended up rereading the whole series because it’s just soooo good! Dean Priest is definitely way creepier than I remembered though… 😅

And… that’s about it! Out of twelve categories, I completed ten, which means I get two entries into the drawing (yes, there’s a drawing for a Book Depository gift card if you complete at least half of the challenge!) Honestly, that’s way more than I thought I’d completed, as I forgot about a bunch of the books I read earlier this year. Still… I wish I could have finished all the books I wanted to. Hopefully I’ll be able to complete them soon, even if it isn’t in time for the challenge.


Hey, thanks for reading my Back to the Classics wrap up post! I know, I know, it’s been a while since I posted on the old blog, or even thought about this challenge for that matter. But I’m trying to get better at finishing what I started (ironic as that may sound when I’ve been unable to finish several of the books I was supposed to read for this challenge!) Anyway, as I’ve said many times, I really want to post more on here, so hopefully I’ll see you again soon! Thanks for sticking around.

🙂


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My (Belated) 2018 Goals

Okay.

I apologize.

In my ‘Best of 2017’ post, I said in the Looking Forward section that I had basically zero plans for 2018. For me, this is always the case. It’s the end of the old year and there’s a whole entire 365 days spread out in front of you and its all so bewildering and you’re like “lol wat i don’t even know like what am I supposed to do with all this time?????” I don’t know if anyone else struggles with this, but I always seem to have what I’m going to call ‘New Years paralysis’, as in for the first couple of weeks of the new year. Basically it feels like I’m just going through the motions and I feel totally bewildered and have absolutely zero plans to accomplish anything at all.

And then BAM! 2018 smacked me in the face with like eight million opportunities and goals and all that stuff, and here I am writing a belated ‘2018 goals’ post so that you, the collective internets, can hold me accountable when I recap all the slacking off I did at the end of the year.

Please enjoy this seemingly impossible (but probably barely adequate) list of goals.


2018 Goals

 


  • Publish Esmeralda’s Story. I’ve talked about this several times before, but I wrote a novelette set in the world of my first book, Behind Her Mask was Death, which features the backstory of one of the main characters. I really love this story, and I wanted to publish it around Christmas time last year, but what with sickness, poor preparation and, lets be honest, a lot of procrastination, that obviously didn’t happen. I’m hoping to publish it very soon, though, and I’ll let you know when that happens!

 

  • Write and revise at least one book. Recently, I haven’t been writing nearly as much as I should be. It started back in the fall when I forced myself to complete a 57,000 word first draft in less than a month, and ended up burning myself out. I am a very slow first drafter normally, and maybe trying to finish this project so quickly just wasn’t the right idea. Anyway, I ended up with a finished first draft, and actually wrote a bunch of the first draft of another book before the burnout caught up with me, and suddenly I looked around and for about two months I’d written absolutely nothing. I’m slowly starting to ease myself back into first drafting for another novel, a prequel to Behind Her Mask was Death that I hope to be at least 50,000 words at completion. I’d like to say that I’ll try to finish it and publish it this year, but we’ll see. I’m not always the best with sticking to the plan.

 

  • Get my driver’s license. Yeah. Yeah, I know. I should have at least started working on this by now. But I’ve been… procrastinating. Up until now I’ve been able to rely on my family to drive me everywhere, but I’d like to maybe get a second job, and sometimes it’s just difficult to get a bunch of different people to soccer practice and work and robotics meeting and whatever, especially when they’re all happening at the same time. So I’m studying up and hopefully I’ll be able to get my temporary license this month and have my full one by the end of the year.

 

  • Read more. Everyone who knows me would probably describe me as a voracious reader. And that’s true… sometimes. Or it used to be, anyway. But I honestly feel that I haven’t been reading nearly as much as I should within the past year or so. It probably has a lot to do with finally getting wi-fi in my room, which while it sounds amazing isn’t necessarily the best thing for your concentration. Sometimes I feel like I’m at my best when the computer is off and I’ve forgotten where I left my phone. But I really do want to read more, and I especially want to read more indie books. As an indie author, it’s probably a good idea to know the market and read other authors’ works, right? Yeah. And guess who had literally only ever read one indie book in her life right up until Christmas 2017? Yeah.

 

  • Make more artistic stuff. I used to sew all the time. I always had a project I was working on; a cute plushy from one fandom or another that it seemed like I needed in my life. Now? Ha. Nothing. But, to be honest, I’m the kind of person that has to have an inspiration or some kind of goal in mind before I start a project, and I just haven’t had any new ideas for plushies in a while. So at least I could be honing my drawing/painting/colored pencil skills, right? Nope. This is yet another area where I need to have inspiration, and the muse does not visit often. But, hopefully, I’ll try to do a few more paintings or drawings this year. (You can follow me on Instagram or Twitter if you’re interested in seeing any of my artistic endeavors.)

 

  • Embrace my emo side. You may think that I am already emo, but this isn’t even my final form. I dyed my hair the other day (say what????),  but I’m not done yet. Dangly chain earrings, my favorite black choker, cross necklace, pencil eyeliner (if I can ever figure out how to apply the stuff) and clothes in varying shades of black are all on hand. In the new year, I plan to embody all the best things about my two style icons: Josh Dun (brightly colored hair, eye-catching earrings and necklaces, smudgy eye makeup) and Dan “black-clothes-are-the-answer-to-everything” Howell (self-explanatory).
Style Icons

My style icons: Josh Dun of Twenty Øne Piløts and British Youtuber Dan Howell (better known as danisnotonfire).

Even if I don’t do the full emo look every day, at least I can enjoy being v emo inside, and all the issues that go along with that.

*smudges eyeliner and runs off to join the Black Parade*


Okay, back to the goals:

  • Procrastinate less. This is a big one. Basically all my problems are caused by procrastination, and most of them would be solved if I just sat down and did whatever it is that I’m supposed to be doing (right now I am procrastinating math and Latin homework by writing this blog post). Maybe this is an impossible goal, but I hope to do my best to put down distractions and actually accomplish the task.

 

  • Exercise, exercise, exercise. Kinda self explanatory, I guess. Get in shape, and all that. I’ve been doing a daily 10-minute Pilates workout, as I have a lot of back issues and pain and strengthening your core muscles can help alleviate this. I just need to buckle down and stop forgetting to do it or procrastinating my life away. I also want to get outside more and walk around the neighborhood or ride my bike, but the weather hasn’t been super cooperative recently, so…

 

  • Write more blog posts. Sometimes, I honestly just don’t know what to say. Weeks go by without a post. Some compassionate soul out there might be wondering if I’m dead (i’m not i’m just procrastinating again friend). I’m making it my goal this year to have at least one post per week, and hopefully more, unless of course I’m away or on an official hiatus or something. (So if you’re interested in getting sarcastic rants, cool quotes, movie and TV show reviews, and more sent right to your inbox, you can subscribe to this blog by email down below…)

And… that’s about it. Right now, it seems a bit like an impossible mountain, but I’m sure at the end of 2018 we’ll all look back on this list and laugh at how horribly I failed in completing anything.

In all seriousness, the best way to accomplish something is to have a good attitude about it, and then actually buckle down and just get it over with, and hopefully with that attitude, and with a lot of prayer and hard work and anti-procrastination methods, I can actually do something worthwhile this year. 😛


Thank you so much for reading this post! Sorry it’s a bit more sarcastic than normal. I’ve just been reevaluating my time-usage and it has come to my attention that I really do have a procrastination problem, so… yeah. Kind of being sarcastic at myself, if that makes any sense.

Talk to me, friend! What are your hopes and dreams for 2018? And does anyone else have trouble with this sort of ‘New Years paralysis’ I talked about at the beginning? Let’s chat in the comments below!

See you again soon!

🙂

Back to the Classics Challenge 2018

2018 is just a few weeks away, and I’m excited to say that I’m going to be joining the 2018 Back to the Classics Reading Challenge! You can find all the guidelines, and join the challenge yourself, over on Books and Chocolate. Here are some of the classics I’m planning to read next year (although, knowing me, this list will probably change!) All links go to the book’s Goodreads page.

  • A 19th century classic: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. I’m always up for another Dickens book! Hoping I’ll be able to find this one on audio, though.
  • A 20th century classic: The Great Gatsby by F. Scot Fitzgerald. This is on my school list for next year, and of course it’s also a really famous classic.
  • A classic by a woman author: Frankenstein by Mary Shelly.  I’m supposed to read this for school next year, and I’m very interested to see what the original story is really like.
  • A classic in translation: The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne (English translation; originally written in French). I’ve been wanting to give this a reread (it’s probably my favorite Verne novels), and I have a nice audiobook version. The real problem will be making time to read it!
  • A children’s classic: A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I read this once, a very, very long time ago, and I think it’s probably about time to read it again.
  • A classic crime story, fiction or non-fiction: Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers. I’ve been reading the Lord Peter Whimsy mysteries recently, and a lot of people seem to think that this is one of the best books in the series. I believe we have an audiobook version, so I’ll probably listen to that.
  • A classic travel or journey narrative, fiction or non-fiction:  The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain. I hadn’t even heard of this book before this challenge, but it looks to be very humorous and fun, so I hope I shall enjoy it.
  • A classic with a single word title: Christy by Catherine Marshall. Another book that’s on my school list for next year. It looks quite interesting.
  • A classic with a color in the title: The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge. It’s been a while since I read this, and as it’s an old favorite of mine I should probably get around to actually reading it again… 😛
  • A classic by an author that’s new to you: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. My mom just got the new audiobook version, and really enjoyed it, so I think I’ll be checking it out as well.
  • A classic that scares you: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. I’ve heard that a lot of weirdness goes on in this book, so I suppose I’m rather nervous to actually read it…
  • Re-read a favorite classic: Emily of New Moon by L. M. Montgomery. The Emily series is my favorite L. M. Montgomery series, but I’ve only read the books once! So, I’ll be endeavoring to read them all again for this challenge, or at least read the first book.

I’m super excited to join this challenge! I haven’t been reading as much as I should recently, so hopefully this will get me off to a good start in the new year. Anyway, thanks so much for reading this post! You can follow me over on Goodreads for updates as I read some of these books. Will you be joining the challenge? Don’t forget to check it out over on Books and Chocolate!

See you again soon.

🙂


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