Although I can’t bring myself to write any book reviews today, I feel compelled to type up a quick update. I genuinely think that this post is way overdue as my vacation (or more appropriately, midyear break) started more than a week ago. My parents picked me up from my college dorm last May 31st. I’ve been significantly a lot less stressed since then!
So what kind of updates am I actually supposed to write about? I haven’t totally thought much of it, to be perfectly honest. I’m just randomly spouting out stuff as my thoughts come (read: I’m absolutely winging this).
That’s right. Since my freshman year in the University of the Philippines Diliman, I’ve taken summer/midyear classes. Meaning, this is legitimately my first two-month vacation in three years! Okay, hold on, one exclamation point isn’t going to adequately express how thrilled I am. Let me try that again. This is legitimately my first two-month vacation in three years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Which brings us to the obvious question: what are my plans for the next two months?
Well, I’ve already accomplished one feat – having at least one out-of-town trip with my family, but what else do I want to do? I won’t lie. I’ve thought about this for quite some time, and I’m proud to share that I’ve finally figured out a number of personal and blogging goals I want to achieve within this break. I decided to include those goals in my post so that I can eventually look back and keep track of my progress. Oh and to pressure myself into actually doing them. I’ve separated them into the following lists:
1. Host my first legitimate blog giveaway. (This is actually in progress! But more on that later.)
2. Work on That Bookshelf Bitch’s new layout and rebranding.
3. Write at least three “Shealea writes” blog posts.
4. Get back on track review-wise. (I just rewrote my list of “read but not yet reviewed” books and found out that I’m twenty-six book reviews behind! Say it isn’t so.)
5. Finish writing my (incredibly overdue) post regarding blogging tips.
6. Finish the #Commenting365 challenge. My count is currently 172 of 366.
1. Play as much Pokemon as my heart desires.
2. Watch all the episodes I’ve missed in the following series:
– Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD (last episode watched: S03E11)
– Once Upon A Time (last episode watched: S05E11)
– The Big Bang Theory (last episode watched: S09E18)
– Suits (last episode watched: S05E10)
– The Flash (last episode watched: S02E14)
– Arrow (last episode watched: S04E10)
– Game of Thrones (last episode watched: S05E05)
– Friends (last episode watched: S03E04)
3. Start and finish a series I’ve never watched (choices: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Avatar: Legend of Korra).
4. Deal with a few personal issues.
5. Have at least one baking session with my little sister.
Yep, yep. I can’t believe it either. I still remember how insanely excited I was when I reached my first two weeks. I made such a huge fuss over 763 views, 253 visitors, 66 likes and 42 comments. It’s surreal to think that I now have nearly 10,000 visits and more than 700 wonderful followers to boot! I’ll save the rest of my overjoyed, ridiculously sentimental babble for the 17th (read: my actual monthsary).
Anyway. To celebrate this momentous blogging milestone, I’ll be conducting a huge giveaway! (And yes, I am aware that I mentioned this in my list earlier.) I haven’t completely finalized the details yet, but as of now, I am incredibly excited about the current lineup!
I’m pretty sure I’ve already tweeted this a few days ago, but I’m more than happy to say it again: It warms my heart to know that a number of authors are so willing to help out with my blog! Seriously, I can’t thank them enough! The book community definitely has some of the kindest, loveliest people I’ve ever come across.
Okay, so I’ve introduced an open forum in my 500 followers post last March, and I haven’t answered any of the questions yet. So let’s get to it!
Question: Favorite genre of books? — asked by Iridescence @ light up the shining night stars
My favorite genres are fantasy and science fiction! To be a tad more specific, I am fond of contemporary fantasy, legend-retelling fantasy (I am generally almost always up for fairytale retellings, to be honest!) and paranormal romance. When it comes to science fiction, I am quite selective. I’m rarely invested in stories that deal with alien invasions, alien conspiracies, and alternate history. My sci-fi preferences are apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic, parallel worlds, and science fantasy (sci-fi/fantasy). A lot of people have gotten tired of dystopian science fiction whereas I honestly love it and can’t get enough! However, I’m interested in exploring the cyberpunk and biopunk subgenres more. Oh and zombie fiction!
Question: How to correctly pronounce your name? — asked by Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books
/Sheh-lei-yuh/. My name is basically pronounced how it’s spelled, except the first ‘a’ is silent. I don’t know why either.
Question: What is THE book you’d advise ALL of the world to read? — asked by Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books
Honestly, the first book to come to mind is The Iron King by Julie Kagawa because it’s the first book of The Iron Fey series, which is my all-time favorite. However, I’d have to go with Stephen Chbosky’s Perks of Being a Wallflower for several reasons: (1) it is also one of my favorite books, (2) it is of a genre that can be appreciated by almost anyone, (3) I particularly appreciated the fact that the recipient of sexual abuse was male as most books dealing with this sensitive theme use female characters, (4) the book’s underlying message is powerful and deserves to be shared to everyone, and finally, (5) I sincerely believe that to some level, every one of us can relate to the novel’s main character, Charlie.
Question: What’s your biggest dream? — asked by Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books
I’ve always believed that as people change, so do their dreams. True enough, throughout my nineteen years of existence, I’ve had plenty of ambitions. When I was in preschool, I wanted to become a dentist (and a mah jong player, but that’s an embarrassing story for another day). When I was in grade school, my dream was to become a teacher which shifted to an author and then, a journalist. When I was in high school, I wanted to become so many things: an entrepreneur, a lawyer, a writer, a best-selling author. Somewhere in between those things, I wanted to become a model or a flight attendant. Eventually, I decided to pursue a career in marketing or advertising. Somehow, however, I ended up in chemical engineering. And for a certain while, becoming an engineer became my new dream.
Honestly, right now, I still don’t know what I truly want to become in the future. I still don’t know what I want to do for the rest of my life. Recently, I’ve come to realize that it’s perfectly fine for me not to know. I’m a person still undergoing change – still learning what I like, still figuring out what my passions are, still finding myself, still building the person I want to become, still dreaming. As I change, so do my dreams. And in the midst of all these dreams and ambitions, one personal goal has remained constant: my desire to find fulfillment in who I am and what I do.
And I guess that’s exactly what my biggest dream is: to feel fulfilled.
Question: How did you get 500 followers on your blog? — asked by numerous people
I swear, I will eventually work on those blogging tips I promised! For now, just do you and enjoy whatever that comes with it.
Question: What book would you like to direct a movie for? Bonus: What’s your fancast for this movie? — asked by Yarravy @ Hiraeth For The Pages
What a terribly difficult question to ask! For the past hour, I’ve been torn between Marie Lu’s Legend and Julie Kagawa’s The Iron King. I’d love to finally see Legend on the big screen, but Kagawa’s series involves so much imagination and the fantasy elements are, in my opinion, utterly brilliant. With that said, if I were given a chance to direct a movie, I’d have to go with The Iron King because the magical realm Kagawa has crafted deserves to be shared visually to the world (and this has to happen within my lifetime, okay).
Regarding the fan cast, I’d probably avoid using actors and actresses who are extremely established in the industry. I mean, when I watched X-men: Apocalypse, I didn’t fully enjoy the movie mainly because I couldn’t, for the life and love of me, separate the actress playing Jean Grey from her Sansa Stark character! It was extremely frustrating on my part. And I don’t think this sort of thing happens to just me. I think that once an actor/actress is linked to a monumental role (think of Wolverine, Hermione Granger and Katniss Everdeen!), when that actor/actress tries another role, there exists a tendency for people to compare the characters. And that may affect how they perceive the entire film. I want The Iron King to be fresh and as untainted as possible, so if I were the director, I’d probably scour the world for fresh, undiscovered talent.
Question: Do you write privately? — asked by Archivist Isidor
Yes, I do! I have plenty of stuff that I don’t publish on any social media platform. Sometimes I write for the sake of writing and not for the intention of sharing. Sometimes I write and eventually decide against posting my work publicly.
That’s pretty much everything. Hopefully, I’ll be able to blog more frequently now that I’m on vacation. Fingers crossed, I guess. Oh and keep your eyes open for my first giveaway on June 17, 2016! I hope you’ll look forward to it as much as I currently do.