5 Things That Motivate Me When Things Aren’t Great

I hoped to start 2021 with a post about big plans for the year. The stressors of 2020 felt like water under the bridge, and I was sure things would be better. Then January actually happened, and my 2020 stress levels were back in spades. The good news is I had all year to figure out how to make progress even when I’m stressed out of my gourd, so here are some of my favorite tips. I hope they help you, too!

#1 Writing Space Ambience – One thing I learned in 2020 is that having a cozy, welcoming writing space makes all the difference when I’m stressed out but I need to focus. Sometimes just turning on my fairy lights and glitter lamp, putting a candle on the warmer, and turning on some soft music is enough to bring me out from under the storm clouds long enough to get some work done. Wherever you do your writing, anything you can do to cozy it up can help!

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Book Review: Knight in Paper armor by Nicholas Conley

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

I was intrigued by the blurb of Knight in Paper Armor, which promised a dystopian thriller with unusual characters battling familiar humanitarian issues and a villain that sounds shockingly believable in the modern landscape of corporate greed over human welfare. On that promise, this book delivered in spades. The story and setting were imaginative and compelling, and the two main characters were unique and well rendered. It’s so unusual to read about a Jewish protagonist outside of historical fiction, and even more unusual in speculative fiction, so that added many interesting layers to the story. It was fascinating to learn as the author shared details from his own cultural background, explored the lasting cultural trauma of the Holocaust, and also examined shared themes and parallels between the treatment of Jewish Americans and Latinx immigrants.

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Indie Book Review: The Ruin of Delicate Things by Beverly Lee

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

I have a love/hate relationship with scary stories. I love the “right ones,” but I’m terribly picky about what fits the bill for me. I prefer a good ghost story with a bit of psychological thrill as opposed to slash and gore. I like the creatures of dark fantasy, but evil faeries or elves alone aren’t enough to chill my bones. When Beverly Lee first revealed the cover for this book last spring, I knew I was going to save it to read during October. I started it a few days into the month, planning to read slowly and savor it until Halloween by sticking to two chapters a day. Right from the start I had trouble limiting myself, and before long two chapters a day became three, and then four, until finally I inhaled the last 100 pages between yesterday and today–and I’m a really slow reader, so anything that has me reading into the double or triple digits in one day has to be an engrossing book.

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