BookTubers?

I’ve found a writer on YouTube who I enjoy watching (SAVY Writes Books) who keeps talking about “booktubers,” and I am fascinated. I want to know what this is, and who these people are, and what kind of things these people are doing (aside from, I assume, writing books).

She’s also making a lot of anti-MLM videos, and I think I stumbled on her because…well, I honestly am not sure if it happened before or after I learned about a particular high-profile breakup (ETA: before, somehow), but I watched a critical video she made on Rachel Hollis (whose conference I attended in January) and was fascinated by the perspective.

Anyway, back to BookTubers. There’s another word that gets thrown around, “AuthorTube.” Is this some facet of YouTube I haven’t discovered? Or another website entirely?

Wikipedia has an article that sheds a little light. Apparently it’s just a subset of content creators on YouTube who do a variety of book-related videos, such as book reviews, bookshelf tours, and book announcements and promotions.

I am intrigued. I wonder if my channel will eventually find a home there?

One of the things I’m learning about my own channel is that I’m not going to be able to rush it into anything. (I wrote that sentence and got distracted, and it doesn’t make any sense.) I won’t be able to make it fit in a box right now. I think with time I’ll find something that will give the channel some focus, but I don’t think I can push that.

And one thing I’ve picked up (and hopefully will hold onto) from watching SAVY’s channel is that vastly different things can go together if a person has passion for it. SAVY’s channel is full of writerly things and anti-MLM videos, which ties back into small businesses and how MLMs are not small businesses (I think is how it was put). My point is, that makes sense and SAVY has passion about those things, but I never would have thought to put them together!

At this point, I would imagine that if I had to put my channel in a box at this moment, I would find a box for it, and then try to keep it in there, and then get tired of it, and give it up. I know consistency is important and so is finding a Niche (stupid word), but I also know giving up is bad. So I’ll keep working on making videos and finding a format that works for me that people enjoy, keep finding things to share, keep improving, those kind of things.

Or I’ll never improve, and I’ll have a channel full of randomness that I can say, “Hey, remember when I spent all of the Pandemic on this silly project and I cut my hair? Yeah, good times.” LOL

I hope you’re having a great day! And if you’re not having a great day, I hope you’re having an okay day. And if you’re not having an okay day, I hope tomorrow is better. Loves!

Keeping the streak alive

Hi!

It’s Saturday. It’s a lovely Saturday where I am, and I’m enjoying being able to see the sun for a change. Usually where I sit, my back is not only to a window, but the window is about eight to ten feet from the neighbor’s window, so even if the sun is shining, it doesn’t reach the alley between our homes.

And the temperature is in a lovely place where the sun is warm on the skin, but the breeze picks up once in a while to soothe you. It’s in my ideal range of 65-70, and I am happy.

I am, however, less happy to wear a mask in this weather. I hate to sweat, and it’s pretty much guaranteed if I wear a mask when it’s this warm that I’ll heat up enough to sweat. Ick. But I’ll do it. Don’t get me wrong. I won’t like it, but I’ll do it.

There’s not a lot going on today. Aside from my usual Saturday chore, I had thought about filming a video (I have everything but the tripod, but I can manage without that), and I would just like to spend some time outside. I’d thought about meditating out there before I’m done here, but the neighbor and his child keep coming outside, so perhaps neither filming nor meditating will happen. I could just go sit, though.

I’m currently watching some Minecraft Twitch streams, and the one I’m most interested is almost over, so perhaps I’ll go out after this is over.

What else? I pre-ordered a new Start Today journal. I almost ordered a planner, too, but then I remembered that A) my favorite type of planner is a Bullet Journal of my own creation, and B) because of A, no other planners really stick with me. And while someday I hope to be in a place where I can just try all the journals to find the one I really love, I’m not in that place right now, and the reason that the Bullet Journal works so well for me is because if I get into a financial situation where I can’t purchase the lovely $20 journals that I prefer, it will work just as well in a composition notebook, a spiral bound notebook, or whatever notebook I have laying around. (And I have a lot of notebooks laying around. That’s another video to come up at some point, once I decide how I want to film it.)

Let’s see…I have a new patron on my Patreon page! I really need to get some early writing up there. I’m doing well at getting regular-ish videos out with their 24-hour early release, but now I need to get some words. In the journal I just finished with, I mentioned I should write. Now that I’ve done the blogging, it’s probably time to fiction. I don’t know what to write, really. The idea that was tickling my brain wasn’t exactly suited to a short story. Then again, maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe I’ll try my hand at writing a serial? That might be one of those things that happens accidentally, though, if I’m honest.

Okay. All done! I wish I could have had this pre-scheduled for release at 7:42 am like I’ve been doing, but at this point, I’m just glad to keep up my streak. There may be a lot more posts like this – rambly bits without purpose just to keep a streak alive.

And there may be a lot less posts like this. I don’t want to commit to a schedule because Life gets in my way from time to time, and ultimately, my blog isn’t needed to be regular for anyone. It just needs to be there for me.

Loves!

Sunday, just keepin’ the streak alive!

I don’t want to be misleading – I’m actually writing this on Sunday. This whole “scheduling posts” thing is apparently something I’m getting used to.

WordPress just told me I’m on a 13 day streak – 14, as of Sunday, when this post will appear. And I have four more posts scheduled after that to finish off the A to Z posts.

So, what’s going on here lately?

Well, I believe I have successfully acquired a replacement for the dead laptop. I believe I mentioned it here, but if not, earlier this month (maybe back in March – time is weird lately) my beloved laptop went toes up and refused to restart. It’s been acting weird for ages, so I’d been backing things up as best I could in anticipation.

My laptop is used for three main things:

Banking

I used to keep all my bill-paying, register-keeping, budget-less financial affairs on paper, but thankfully over the last 20 years or so, I hauled everything onto the computer. I had this really great Excel spreadsheet at one point that was a check register on steroids, and I really wish that particular thing hadn’t died, but it did. Eventually, I made the switch to Quicken, and it’s not perfect, and I don’t completely understand it, but it’s working out.

I had started making weekly backups of my Quicken data once I realized things were going south, and thankfully, it made the jump over to my backup computer nearly seamlessly.

Same goes for my passwords. I make complicated passwords with the help of Keepass, which, thankfully, also made the merge to the backup computer rather well. Thank goodness for that bit of luck on both counts!

Publishing

I haven’t done it in a while, but my laptop is the home for all the programs I need to publish books. While I can write my heart out on my Chromebook, I need to format with Word, which does not exist here.

My issue is going to be finding the Microsoft Office CDs. I know they exist in my house somewhere, and I have a general idea where they might be, but I have a feeling I’m going to need to clean an awful lot before I can locate them.

I am very, very lucky that by some cosmic stroke of luck, I work in a position that requires they provide Adobe products for me to do my job. So I also will have occasional access the the software needed to format print publications, as the need arises.

Minecraft

I game. I’m a gamer. I’m not a full-time gamer, and I’m not very good at it, but I do love me some Minecraft, and my poor, old laptop had served me well in that regard. I also play a variety of games on Steam, and I just realized my progress on one of the idle clicker games will be completely reset. Darn it, I only had three more achievements before I’d earned all 100.

Well, at any rate. The new machine should perform a little better in regards to games, and publishing, for that matter.

What else is going on over here?

Moving

Well, last week I only made it out for one walk, and in May there’s a Summer movement challenge to walk 165 miles between May 1 and November 2, 2020. I was aware of this challenge last year, but I didn’t really make an effort to accomplish it. Then there was a mini-challenge in February to walk 30 miles, and I managed that one. In fact, that challenge was critically motivating. When you “win” these challenges by logging in your miles on the website, they send you a prize of some sort. I learned from friends that the more miles you log above and beyond the minimum goal set by the challenge, the better prize you win.

So I’m really looking forward to the 165-mile challenge this summer. I’ll be also trying to do a C25K program on my own, since the in-person one was cancelled. They offered a partial refund, and I took them up on it since I don’t know when I’ll be able to reschedule it. If I can start running, that will make it easier to get more miles on the challenge.

Reading

I’m reading a couple books, lately. First, I picked up a paperback copy of The Gaslighting of the Millennial Generation (affiliate link) by Caitlin Fisher (her blog). I consider myself a Xennial, as firmly planted between Gen X and Millennial as I am, so it doesn’t strictly apply to me, but I’m sure there are things to be learned from it.

The second book I tried to get in paperback, but it wasn’t shipping so I got the ebook for Unorthodox (affiliate link), by Deborah Feldman (her website). I saw the Netflix show of the same name that was based on her book, and I loved it.

I find it strange that while I am not religious, learning about religions is positively fascinating and captivating for me. I have gone through the same fascination with other religions and mythologies (which, I would argue, should probably still be considered religions because I’m certain the people living with those gods considered it a religion as we define it now – we only call them myths because we believe them to now be false, something I’m certain is going to happen with Catholic and Hebrew mythologies someday), including but not limited to the Amish, Greek, Roman, and Japanese mythologies (I wrote a research paper lining up the similarities in high school), Mennonites, Witnesses, and the Mormon church.

Writing?

So I’m reading more. And, fantastically, I actually want to write again! Now, here’s a thing: writing is an art that should be practiced, just like the piano, flute, painting, pottery, photography, etc. One gets better the more practice one gets. And I also believe that it’s a thing that should be done regardless of whether one feels “inspired to write.” It’s not something that should only be done when one is in the mood, but rather a routine that is done regularly.

This doesn’t mean that Life doesn’t sometime get in the way. This doesn’t mean that sometimes you simply do not have time, or the ability, to write. It does mean (for me) that “writer’s block” is an excuse I use not to write, not an actual thing keeping me from writing. I’m going to own that. I haven’t written since January because I didn’t want to, not because something (an emotion like depression, an event like working from home, an illness like shingles) made it so I couldn’t.

The flu, though – the flu absofuckinglutely kept me from writing. I slept and took meds and slept again. The shingles just made me itch. That does not mean that shingles wouldn’t keep someone else from writing – shingles can be just as debilitating as influenza for some people. It just wasn’t for me. It was annoying. And painful. And on my fucking neck. Anyway!

My point is, I haven’t been writing because I didn’t want to write, and now I want to write again, and I’m very grateful for that. And I do want to work hard on turning it into a habit that happens whether I’m “in the mood” or not, like I mentioned above. Wish me luck!

The End

That’s all I have for today. I’m looking forward to writing a short story to get up on Patreon, then up for sale. I’m looking forward to writing some to put here, in case folks would like to read things here. I’m looking forward to filming and tracking my 165-mile Challenge progress here and on YouTube.

Oh! Monday I’m going to try to move my channel to a Brand Account and change the name to “growing up walls,” like the blog. I like the blog name, I like that as a channel name, and I have the Instagram and Twitter accounts on hold for when I’m ready for that. I’m still a baby channel, so I think the impact will be minimal.

That’s really it now! Loves!

January tried to kill me (and it failed)

I started my 2020 off with two bottles of very nice $6 wine. It’s a sweet white, and I love it. Not very high alcohol content, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy two bottles. But very nice. I enjoyed myself.

I suppose you could also look at that as the end of my 2019, also, since I finished both bottles before midnight hit. That’s probably actually a better way to think of it, to be perfectly frank. Ending my year with celebration, instead of starting my year on a bender? Yes. Yes, very nice.

On the 3rd I celebrated my Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, Universe, and Everything birthday. If you’ve read the book, you now know how old I am. I didn’t do much to celebrate, honestly. I think I got my favorite pizza from the local pizza shop, delivered to me by someone who gets paid for such things. It was delicious.

On the 7th I flew to Ft. Myers, Florida for a personal development conference. I saw the sunset over some water (might have been a bay, might have been the Gulf, I am uncertain about this detail), danced (and I don’t dance!), cried, laughed, met some wonderful women, made some new friends, and generally had a lovely time. It was an intense trip, though. The three days of the conference I didn’t get a lot of sleep (early days that ended late), and then we had a super early flight back home the day after that took us through four airports (Ft. Myers, Atlanta, Chicago Midway, then Philly).

On the 14th I went back to work for nearly four hours before I went home. I had a cough, I had a fever, and I felt like poo. The next morning, I felt worse. The morning after that I was still pretty out of commission. It wasn’t until that afternoon that I thought to myself, “Self, perhaps you should search the Internet for the symptoms of the flu?” So I did.

After a bazillion phone calls, I found someplace my insurance would pay for me to go find out if I had the flu, and after a giant swab got shoved up my nose and a ten minute test, yep. I had the flu. I got my prescription, and went home to be miserable.

On the 20th, I was cleared to go back to work! It was perfect timing, because there was a lot of work to get caught up on. I still had a cough, but no more fever, and I was just about finished with my Flu meds. That afternoon there was a rash starting on the back of my neck, but I figured it was hives or something. Just a reaction to all the DayQuil and Mucinex DM I’d been taking. (I’d been taking as much as I was allowed per the directions on the containers, because man, that cough!)

The next day, the rash was spreading more. There was a spot on my neck, and I scratched it before I realized that it had been a blister. Huh. That was weird. But I went to work. At work, someone noticed. “Don’t itch it,” they warned me. “Oh, it doesn’t itch. It hurts,” I replied.

“Oh,” they said, ominously.

“No,” I replied. “You think?” How we were able to communicate without words that she thought I had shingles of all things, just after getting over the flu?

But sure enough. The 22nd I went to the same clinic that diagnosed me with the flu, and the first thing out of the Nurse Practitioner’s mouth when I showed her the rash, was, “Oh, my God! I’m pregnant!”

Yep. I got shingles and I exposed a pregnant woman in an attempt to get diagnosed. She shuffled me off to another location (“I was just thinking I needed to tell my boss. I really need to tell him!” Uh, yeah…I think you do) where I was formally diagnosed and prescribed yet another week’s worth of medication (anti-viral, this time) for my new illness.

It’s now the 30th. Thankfully my shingles was just annoying, not as truly debilitatingly painful as it is for some people. I still have some healing to do, but I am now over the flu, I am over the shingles, and January did not actually manage to kill me!

However.

I am in the first month of my 1 million word year challenge, and I am devestatingly behind. I should be at 81,967, and I am 59,780 words behind at 22,187. First, I was behind because I was going to be in Florida. I wrote some words there, but not many. Then I fell further behind because I got the flu. Makes sense. All I did was sleep for five days, essentially. And then I fell further behind because A) shingles, but then also, B) lack of motivation.

I have fallen off the wagon, my friends. Writing so many words in the year is hard anyway, but to have fallen so far behind, it feels hopeless.

Of course, it isn’t hopeless. Not really. I expected to fall behind like this at some point, due to things like the things that actually happened. I didn’t expect them to all happen in sequence like that, of course, but they did. I have fallen down.

But I’m also trying to pull myself back up. I am giving myself a little bit more time to get back to 100%. Right now I’m telling people I feel good, I’m almost better, but the truth is, at the end of the day, I’m still wiped. Work is taking everything out of me. Even though work is taking everything out of me, making dinner and dealing with the cats is taking even more.

It’s a struggle.

January tried to kill me.

But it failed.

CRAFT, sleep, lack of caffeine, and other things flying through my head at a million miles an hour

Header photo

How much of that blog title will make it into the site URL, I wonder?

I need to craft something. Usually I get this urge in December after writing hard during November, but it’s here now. I want to cross stitch or embroider (I don’t know how to do that, by the way), or maybe figure out perler beads.

Painting would even do it at this point.

I’ve not been drinking caffeine lately, and I feel amazing. Here’s what happened:

I gave up caffeine. I went to bed at 9pm every night, woke at 6-ish. Felt pretty good.

But then I was doing laundry and the mini-fridge was stocked with Mtn Dew, so I grabbed one. And we had a bunch at home, so I had another. I brought one for lunch, I had one to wake up on the weekend, and I was feeling tired, and groggy, and so darn sleepy in the afternoon.

So I connected the dots (again – this is not the first time, but it is the first time it feels easy) and decided I liked feeling good in the mornings and I liked not yawning away my afternoons and I like how I feel when I’m not drinking the soda (specifically Mtn Dew, but any caffeinated soda will do).

So I stopped. Again

Maybe for good? It’s hard to tell with me.

I worry that I only write because I think it’ll be some big money windfall and that’s never going to happen, so why am I doing this again? I posted something on Twitter about it yesterday.

Ali clearly wasn’t talking about me in her thread, but OMG – what if that’s why I write? What if the only reason I keep trying to write is because I have it in my head that with hard work and constant publication, I too can get some of that giant cash wad? What if I don’t actually like it?

I have had this argument with myself about other things that I don’t think I have conviction with. It’s a thing.

I haven’t been writing lately, I’ve been playing a lot of Minecraft – Skyblock on Wabbit – and having a whole lot of fun there, so I’m going to ride it as long as it lasts. At some point I’ll get tired of it and move on to something else.

Like crafting. I need to f*ing craft something.

Header cow photo from freestocks.org by Pexels via Canva