I Love Blogging.

I recently switched my domain provider for the blog over to GoDaddy and somehow during that switch my blog unexpectedly disappeared. I immediately called tech support, but then discovered I had to call my old domain provider and then tons of other stuff happened too, so long-story-short: the dude who helped me at GoDaddy on Friday morning is my hero because Call Me Crazy is back! WOO!

During all of this craziness I realized...

I love blogging.
I love being able to share my thoughts; whether they're about my love for books or art or even my adventures of growing up, with others from around the globe. I love the open discussions that are created and all the different passions for life that can be shared.

I don't want to keep feeling that blogging is something I need to feel guilty about or something that I need to be ashamed of. There's all this bad stigma that's around blogging, but I guess everything has something 'bad' connected to it while the 'good' stuff is so easily left to be ignored.

I don't want to stop blogging. I don't care if others don't always understand it. I do and I love it.


One of the many thoughts I had while trying to fix the 'no blog' problem was, oh man, I want to blog about this. Not only did I want to blog about what was happening, but about this huge realization I was having: I love blogging. As simple as it may sound or as obvious as it should have been to me, it felt like my eyes were opening to something I never really considered a hobby or had accepted as something that I could proudly love and put time into without feeling guilty. It honestly shocked me how upset I got at the idea of not having my own safe place to express myself.

I started blogging when I was sixteen-almost seventeen.
I'll be twenty-one in March.
That's a long time! That's a big part of my teen years, a huge part of me growing and exploring the person I wanted to (still want to) become.
Sure, I blogged mostly about books and (up until recently) not my personal life, but my voice and writing has changed so much. Just as a whole, who I am is vastly different from the teen girl who started Tales of A Teenage Bookaholic back in March of 2010.

Sixteen year old me a few months before I started blogging. 

When I was planning the new, worst-case-scenario blog I was thinking about how much better it would be than this one. About how it was going to have posts three times a week, funny videos, a cool design and a name that I actually liked. (Completely forgetting about the fact that I 'd still have the same amount of homework and the same time consuming responsibilities as I do now.) But then the next morning, after a somewhat good night's sleep, I realized that this is my space, my blog. I put a lot of work into her (you know something means a lot to you when it earns themselves a pronoun.) I want to work on her, have her grow as I hope to and take her on this adventure with me.


I have this bad habit of wanting to fix things.
Recently, it was pointed out to me that I am always saying I want to 'fix' something about myself. I constantly think something is horribly wrong with me that it needs 'fixing'. I've been thinking about how I really do use the word 'fix' frequently when talking about myself and how it's become this negative word for me.

I'm constantly wanting to throw something (not usually a literal thing) away if it doesn't work or I just talk about wanting to change everything about something in order to somehow make it 'better'. I thought this only applied to the thoughts I have about myself, but reflecting on previous plans for this blog, I realized it occurs here too.


I don't want to fix anymore, I want to improve. I want to accept  and I want to grow from the past.

So here's to taking out the word fix and replacing it with improve.
Here's to accepting the past for what it was and taking what you learned with you while you go onto new, brighter things.

Here's to appreciating the things that got you to where you are now and learning, as cheesy as this old saying may sound, to grow from where you are planted. 


Some fun first posts:



An Update & An Awesome Amazon Deal!

Super Quick Update:
My blog is back! It literally just disappeared for two days, I was absolutely freaking out (and that's putting it lightly!) After tons of calls to different tech supports and finally finding the right person to help at GoDaddy the blog is back up- yes!!

I've been getting some questions about changes in the website address:
There has been NO changes. 
No worries. Same address as before and the super old .blogspot address just redirects to the new-fancy .com one. 

I'll probably talk about the craziness of momentarily losing my blog and how it's already made me appreciate it more in a later post because this post is all about The Truth About Faking!


Until Sunday, January 27th The Truth About Faking by Leigh T. Moore boxed set is only 99cents on Amazon! Seriously, two ebooks for under a dollar?! That's awesome!

After you read the teasers, you won't be able to resist! 


You can click here to check out The Truth About Faking boxed set on Amazon!





Me. You. & Tattoos.

I'm constantly told to just 'be myself' and not worry about what others think. Yet, somehow I'm still expected to consider other people's thoughts, beliefs or morals when I make a decision that only affects me. Why must I tiptoe around things that I want all because of the possibility of a future someone not approving.

I have one tattoo.
I want another.
Well technically I want three more, but it would come together as one.

I get comments about the writing on my arm not too often, but when someone does find it necessary to voice their unwanted opinion I'm prepared for it. I've heard it all before and knew before I even got my tattoo that there would be comments. I waited years before I got my tattoo. I wanted to be absolutely certain that those words were what I wanted to carry with me for the rest of my life. I wanted to be prepared for criticism and be confident in my decision.

I was twenty when I got my tattoo. Almost a year ago. I thought about everything. I researched the tattoo parlor, the side affects, aging, placement and just everything that could go wrong. I worry about everything. I don't like people touching me. So for me to put myself out there and handle this all by myself in a responsible way, makes me love my tattoo that much more. The path I took to get to it is just as important to me as the tattoo itself.

One of the things that really makes me mad is when people (I say people, yet keep thinking of this one person in mind) assume that my tattoo was a mistake, that I regret it. Or that I got it for any other reason than simply because I wanted it. I got this ink on my skin for me. As a reminder to myself. I didn't get it to 'offend' people, to draw attention to myself or to piss anyone off. It has nothing to do with you.

I hate how my decisions seem to always be clouded by what others expect out of me. Whether those others are family or even people I don't know yet. It's always this big 'what if'. 'What if you can't get a job?'  or 'What if you can't get a husband because of it?'I hate each and every question they through my way.

Having ink in my skin does not make me less than those who don't.
It does not mean I can't do as good of a job as those who don't.

I hate that having tattoos affects job possibilities. I hate that I have to worry about what I do with my own body because I'm afraid I won't be able to support myself unless I can appear to be 'clean' of tattoos while I work.
I hate that my future must somehow include a man because somehow being just me isn't enough. I hate that some people think a man must being doing me a favor to be with me because I have tattoos. I hate that people honestly think I'd want to even marry someone who judges people based on appearances and has different values than I do.
I guess I just hate having to worry about how my decisions (the ones that have absolutely no affect on those around me) will come across to people. And it's more than just tattoos.

How can I be me when I have to be so conscious of how others perceive me?






The Lowdown: Splintered by A.G. Howard

Ever want to know just the quick, simple details of a book? The Lowdown is just that: just the gist, just an overview. Let me know in the comments if you'd like to join in on The Lowdown fun! If so, I'll create a linky for next week's Lowdown!


Title and Author: 
Splintered by A.G. Howard

Series:
Splintered: Book 1

Mini Summary:
(from book)
"A descendant of the inspiration for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, sixteen-year-old Alyssa Gardner gears she is mentally ill like her mother until she finds that Wonderland is real and, if she passes a series of tests to fix Alice's mistakes, she may save her family from their curse."

Splintered (Splintered, #1)Genre:
Fantasy/Paranormal/Retelling

Pages:
371

Point of View:
First person (Alyssa)

Setting:
Texas, England and Wonderland

3 Words/ Phrases to Describe the Book:
Epic. Unique. Vivid.

Main Character:
Alyssa

Personality:
Courageous
Artistic
Determined

Top Supporting Characters:
Jeb
Morpheus

Antagonists:
Possibly 'Wonderland' as a whole could appear as the antagonist since that's where Alyssa's family curse originates. There's also a lot of surprising twists about the possible antagonist(s) that I seriously didn't see coming at all. So I guess super short answer: you'll have to read it to find out!

The Lowdown:
Splintered captured me from page one and kept me hooked until the very end. I loved Alyssa's determination to rescue her family from the curse that makes them go mad and how she'd literally stop at nothing to save her loved ones. A.G. Howard's world building was incredible. This Wonderland is definitely a darker and more twisted version than we're all familiar with. The young Alice that went there years prior remembered things a lot differently than what actually was Wonderland. I loved the unique take on a classic children's story and how flawlessly it blended into this new, amped up version. Splintered was filled with unexpected twists and turns that made if close to impossible to put the book down. I can't wait until I read book two, Unhinged.


Check out Splintered on Amazon and Goodreads.





Review: Enders (Starters 2) by Lissa Price

13412377Received for review.
Publisher: Delacorte Books/ Random House
Published: January 7, 2014
Series: Starters Book 2
Amazon - Goodreads





With the Prime Destinations body bank destroyed, Callie no longer has to rent herself out to creepy Enders. But Enders can still get inside her mind and make her do things she doesn't want to do. Like hurt someone she loves. Having the chip removed could save Callie's life - but it could also silence the voice in her head that might belong to her father. Callie has flashes of her ex-renter Helena's memories, too ...and the Old Man is back, filling her with fear. Who is real and who is masquerading in a teen body? This is the thrilling sequel to Starters.










I picked this book up right after I finished Starters and was quickly drawn back into Callie's story. Although her world has changed tremendously since the start of book one, Callie still has problems to resolve. It was awesome seeing her really step up in the leadership role and keep her word to her previous body renter.

There's some new characters introduced in this book, but it still keeps up with some of our favorites from Starters too. I really liked one particular addition (I really don't want to give anything away) he/she was pretty unique and brought something new to Callie's world.

Some of the questions that were left unanswered in Starters were answered, but sometimes I didn't feel like some of the answer necessarily made sense. I didn't always feel the reason behind why a character would act a certain way or do something that seemed so out of character.

For me, Enders didn't leave a huge impact, but it was still really entertaining. Price's writing flowed easily and kept me reading. I wanted to find out what happened with the characters and how the other Starters were doing after Prime Destinations downfall. I really enjoyed the new settings and villains introduced into Callie's world. It definitely amped up the plot quite a bit!

Awesome Quote:
"I hope I'm more than that. Than this." ... "That I am what I think, what I believe. What I feel."




Although I didn't love the second book as much as I liked Starters, I still found Enders to be an entertaining and creative story. It was interesting to see how Callie coped with the aftereffects of renting herself out to Enders. I loved watching the characters uncover some pretty shocking secrets and create their own community. Enders was a nice addition to the Starters series.







*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Review: Portrait of a Spore (Starters 1.5) by Lissa Price

Received for review.
Publisher: Delacorte / Random House
Published: September 17, 2013
Series: Starters #1.5
Amazon - Goodreads

Portrait of a Spore is a super short story that at the end of the Starters paperback edition. It's written in two point of views: a Spore and Callie's mother, Barbara Woodland. I thought it was a bit weird for the spore to have its own thoughts and found that part of the story a bit boring. However, I did enjoy getting to know Callie's mother a bit. Like Callie, she's strong, loving and protective.

The short story takes place the day that the spores hit. We're able to see what Callie and her mom did the day of the spore attack. Although in Starters we were able to see a glimpse of what happen in Callie's point of view, but it was really interesting to see it through Barbara's eyes. I loved that I was able to feel her regret for leaving her children behind and the realness of her wanting the vaccination even though that might not have been the 'moral' thing to do.

Portrait of a Spore is a good addition between books one and two in the Starters series. Even though I thought the whole Spore being self aware and having an inner dialog was a bit weird, I thought Callie's mom point of view was really awesome.  It was interesting to see the Spore Wars and even Callie through Barbara Woodland's eyes.






*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.