Leaving Okinawa, Part 3: Top 8 Things I’m Looking Forward To

Five days until I leave Okinawa, say 元気で (when you won’t see someone for a long time, saying genki de is like saying “all the best”), and close the chapter on this adventure. But when there is an ending, there will be a beginning. So while I will miss Okinawa, I’m looking forward to the next chapter, new beginnings and new adventures.

Every thing must have a beginning . . . and that beginning must be linked to something that went before.

~Mary Shelley

If you haven’t followed along, catch up on Part 1 and Part 2.

Continue reading “Leaving Okinawa, Part 3: Top 8 Things I’m Looking Forward To”

Leaving Okinawa, Part 2: Top 8 Things I Will Miss

Now that I’m a week away from departing Okinawa, my home for the last two years, I’m reflecting on my time here and my experiences and adventures. (Missed Part 1? Catch up here.) I’ve been thinking about all the things I will miss about Okinawa and there are so many things I will miss. And so here are my top 8 things I will miss.

Continue reading “Leaving Okinawa, Part 2: Top 8 Things I Will Miss”

Why Chris Evans Should Go On A Date With Me

If you haven’t paid attention, Chris Evans has a new movie out, The Gray Man. This, of course, means lots of interviews to promote the movie, which also stars Ryan Gosling and Regé-Jean Page (hello Duke!), as well as Ana de Armas, Billy Bob Thorton, and Julia Butters. In a recent interview with Shondaland, Evans gave a refreshingly honest answer to Interviewer Mariel Turner’s question about what he’s laser-focused on in real life.

Evans answer: “finding a partner.”

I have the same goal. And so I’m entering my name. Yes, I think Chris Evans and I should go on a date.

Continue reading “Why Chris Evans Should Go On A Date With Me”

Leaving Okinawa, Part 1

All good things must come to an end. And just like that, my time in Okinawa is drawing to a close.

One of my friends asked me the other day if I had given up my blog. I realized, I hadn’t written anything since April! And here we are three weeks into July. How is it nearly August?! So much has happened in the last 3 months.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me back up and tell you how I got to this point.

Continue reading “Leaving Okinawa, Part 1”

Countdown 2: Top 5 Fantasy Subgenre Reads

Two weeks to go! The countdown to Wyrd & Wonder* 2022 continues. Wyrd & Wonder starts May 1, and I’m getting ready by posting some of my favorite Top 5s. This week, I’m sharing my Top 5 Fantasy Sub-Genre Reads

*Not sure what Wyrd & Wonder is? Check out this post first.

Fantasy is itself a subgenre that falls under the broad category of Speculative Fiction. Speculative Fiction is a broad literary genre encompassing any fiction with supernatural, fantastical, or futuristic elements and encompasses literature ranging from hard science fiction to epic fantasy to ghost stories to horror to folk and fairy tales to slipstream to magical realism to modern myth-making and more.

So maybe in that sense, Spec Fiction is a super-genre and Fantasy is a genre with a ridiculous number of subgenres. There really is no one definition of Spec Fic just as there’s no one singular list of Fantasy sub-genres. Some put science fiction under fantasy, some have science fiction as adjacent to fantasy.

Regardless, Fantasy has a lot of bandwidth to cover a wide swath of literature. And I’ve picked out my Top 5 Reads from various subgenres. You may agree or disagree on the category and that’s okay. Because in the end, who cares as long as we’re reading.

Continue reading “Countdown 2: Top 5 Fantasy Subgenre Reads”

Countdown 3: Top 5 Forest Fantasy Reads

Three weeks and the countdown to Wyrd & Wonder* 2022 continues! Wyrd & Wonder starts May 1, and I’m getting ready by posting some of my favorite Top 5s fantasy reads. This week, I’m sharing my Top 5 Forest Fantasy Reads.

*Not sure what Wyrd & Wonder is? Check out this post first.

The traditional fifth anniversary gift is wood, and so Wyrd and Wonder is all about forest fantasy this year. (Hence the tree wolf.) This list celebrates all things forest-y, which covers a lot of ground from woodland settings to forest creatures, from a focus on trees to important wooden artifacts. But I’ve chosen to stay away from the most obvious answers, LOTR (Old Man Willow, Treebeard and the Ents, Trollshaws, and Mirkwood just to name a few as trees and forests play multiple roles in Middle Earth) and HP (Whomping Willow and the Forbidden Forest). And so here are 5 of my fave forest fantasy reads.

Continue reading “Countdown 3: Top 5 Forest Fantasy Reads”

Countdown 4: Top 5 Stand Alone Fantasy Reads

FOUR weeks to go! The countdown to Wyrd & Wonder* 2022 continues. Wyrd & Wonder starts May 1, and I’m getting ready by posting some of my favorite Top 5s fantasy reads. This week, I’m sharing my Top 5 Stand Alone Fantasy Reads.

*Not sure what Wyrd & Wonder is? Check out this post first.

Fantasy, more often than not, seems to give rise to series. It seems like every fantasy book I’ve picked up lately is at least a duology. While I love a good series and the ability to take a deep dive into a world, sometimes it’s also nice to have a stand alone book and not get to the cliffhanger at the end and realize there’s another book. (Why hello Skyhunter.) It’s especially distressing when I discover a series, realize it isn’t complete, and then have to anxiously await the next installment. Typically, it takes one to two years for the next book to be published (unless the author is a writing machine like J.D. Robb). But in some cases, it takes decades for the next book to drop. (I’m looking at you Pat Rothfuss!)

So it’s awesome to pick up a book, enjoy it, and not have to worry about when the sequel will be published. And despite the numerous fantasy series I have read and loved, I have found some wonderful stand alone fantasy books, no waiting required. So in no particular order, I present . . .

Continue reading “Countdown 4: Top 5 Stand Alone Fantasy Reads”

Pairing Puzzles With Books

As I completed my latest puzzle today, the mushroom images made me think of a book about fungi on my TBR bookcase. When I went to put the puzzle in one of puzzle cases (basically a bookcase that I’ve converted for puzzles), I looked at some of my other puzzles and started thinking about which puzzles could go with which books. I’ve seen Instagrammers pair puzzles and beverages and bookstagramers have paired books with all sorts of things from dresses to food to other books. So I thought hey, why not pair puzzles with books. (Seriously, this was pretty much my exact thought process.) And voilá! I came up with a whole list of puzzle and book pairings.

It makes me so happy when two hobbies collide in such a delightful way. Booknerds & Puzzlers unite!

Continue reading “Pairing Puzzles With Books”