Death of a Family Member

I missed the event I was planning on attending this last Thursday because we were at the visitation of a beloved family member who passed away this last Sunday due to Covid. To tell you Covid is scary is just yelling out into a loud screaming wind. These last few weeks were hell for us along with the nurses and doctors working on my 50 year old father-in-law’s case. The fear, confusion, and sadness are things that I wish no one had to experience in all of this.

This was my father-in-law, Patrick Michaels. He was unconditional love. He was an amazing grandpa, father, brother, cousin, and so many other titles that he always ended up rocking. We loved him dearly and he loved us so much that he fought for his kids and grandkids harder than many of the nurses had seen anyone fight up until his very last breath. Seeing him fight a battle that could not be won was just so devastating. I will honor him and love him forever, but wish that we could have done it while making many more memories.

I am blogging this to honor what a hero you were and always have been. You have raised some amazing children who you live on in. You have created a legacy. I don’t know how many ways you have saved your two sons and daughter spiritually, but I do know that it was enough to build them into the amazing people they are today. Just know that each of your grandkids and their kids will always have a piece of you. You will live on forever in all of our souls and even the ones after. Your love is a love that will stretch generations to come. And your heart is one we will miss the most.

Therapy Leaves Me Broken Every Time

Therapy doesn’t work like I thought it would. I don’t leave a session crestfallen, but broken, memories on the surface of my mind. But sometimes you need to rebreak something to heal it right. Sometimes the hardest part of healing is rewiring your brain to love yourself.

In the Ravenous Dark by A.M. Strickland

So I messed up and regrettably had to miss this event that I was looking forward to. I had thought that California time was two hours ahead from my time and then found out instead that they are two hours behind. So instead of the event being at 5pm my time, like I had thought, the event was going to be at 9pm my time. Normally, I would have attended anyway and wanted to, but I have to wake up very early this next morning for an entire day long bachelorette party in another state. Knowing that book events get me hyped up, I knew that I would not have been able to fall asleep until hours later.

Instead, I had tried to have discussion/ questionnaire time with my husband about this book because I was sad that I couldn’t discuss it with anyone else because this has turned into one of my favorite books I have read. It had almost everything I could have wanted in a book thanks to the amazing worldbuilding and complexity. Upon trying to discuss it though, I realized that it is too complex of a book to try to explain and discuss the book it in detail with someone who had not read it and doesn’t normally read. So that was very frustrating.

I have decided to post down below my Goodreads review I had done for this book. I am hoping that this coming Tuesday I will get to go to my other event because I desperately need a to attend a book event for my soul.

Warning: There are spoilers below about the book.

I loved In the Ravenous Dark by A.M. Strickland. I felt like it gave me just about everything I needed in a book. It gave me a dark world that was trying to survive, an awesome magick system, some decent vivid scenes of theatric gore, a complex plot, awesome dynamics, a main character that was different and intriguing, and pansexual representation!!!! It also gave representation to other members of the lgbtq+ community which I appreciated fully!

The beginning started with a great opening. In the opening the author was able to show the readers some interesting world building, beliefs that circulated in the book, and the different stances that the characters took on things compared to society.

The world building was great! I enjoyed the magick system tied into it and how they both came together or in some areas were not able to come together. I loved how the dead were forced guardians that drained the lifeforce of the bloodmages. I loved how the author had Rovan’s weaving tie into her magick. I loved the way this world wasn’t bothered by anyone of different sexual orientation as long as it didn’t get in the way of the royal line and that all of them were not scared to just be who they were. And I loved that there was a whole other dead world. The veil to protect against the blight was cool also, especially with how it tied into the plot.

I loved the main character. I loved how unique she was. It was so refreshing reading something with someone who acted the way she did. I also loved just about all the characters, although my favorite was Japha. I loved how flawless I felt they all were woven in their flaws, and I appreciated how they were not ashamed of who they were.

The relationships were such a joyride. I could not get enough of the dynamic between Rovan and her ghost Ivrilos. I also loved Rovan and Japha’s relationship and then how they all came together at the end as a family with once again all different dynamics since so much had changed since the beginning. It left my imaginations running wild in delight at all the possibilities and I cannot express enough how much I appreciated the poly relationship and representation.

The LGBTQ+ representation in this book was heartwarming. All the gender diverse characters all felt natural and not forced at all. It made the world feel more real, made the royal scenes and dynamic of the family more complex and interesting like they normally are in real life. And once again I cannot stress enough how much I loved that they had no fear of being who they were. They accepted themselves, which I feel is very important to young readers to understand and have role models for.

The plotting I thought was complex and terrific. I did not know what to expect and was led into twists and turns layered in hints that I wasn’t able to catch until after the reveals.

The imagery was so satisfying, especially at the end. I loved the vividness of the heart getting pulled out and when Rovan sat on the throne and the walls were melting.

The tension was amazing and kept the pages turning.

Let’s not forget to include how cool adding the dark page in was.

The ending was very satisfying to my heart. I loved the new dynamic between all the characters. I felt like all the loose plot threads got tied up into beautiful bows. I loved how I found if I took a step back it was all a story inside a story. I’m happy that after 400 years Ivrilos got his revenge and happy ending.

The only things I did not care for in the book was how Rovan seemed to care for and love Bethea at the beginning and I felt they had such a strong relationship, but then Bethea was forgotten about for a big chunk of the book. I would have thought it was just in Rovan’s character, except that Rovan kept thinking about her mom. Her mom and Bethea were both brought into the palace at the same time, so I didn’t understand how she could think about one person but not the other. But by the end it didn’t bother me too much since Bethea ended up getting a happy ending. The other thing was that after the dark page, I felt like things were rushed and the pacing was incredibly different than a large part of the beginning of the book almost like the author was running out of space and time. Making it a duology might have fixed that issue, but with how the author tied up the ending, it didn’t bother me too much at all.

I loved this book, and even with the few issues I had with it, I thought the author made up for those issues. The prose were fantastic, I was excited to go from page to page with all the tension, and the plotting was complex enough to keep my interest. I needed this book to take a break from the tropes I have been reading lately. I will be picking up the other book A.M. Strickland has out and cannot wait to read it.

Be a Better Ghost

I have a secret if you want it.

It may sound nice to have a soul that is filled with vanity. To love yourself the most of all.

Sounds like a happy existence.

Maybe.

But there are no awards for these selfish hearts in the afterlife.

Just emptiness.

Be a better ghost.

Not Talent, No.

Pieces of her writing and and words shove me through the page until I am there and have to blink away the vision, shocked that words could grab me so. Not talent, no. But the ability to craft a reader to a writer’s soul.

I actually wrote this about an author whose book I am currently reading. I am not done reading the book yet, but I hope the ending is as beautiful and as grasping as her writing. Let’s give a shoutout to the artists who inspire other artists and keep the magickal flow of passion dancing in us all.

Book I am reading: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Sorrows of Failure in the River of Dreams

Lost in my River of Dreams,

warring against the current that propels me in directions I don’t want to go,

I drown in sorrows of failure, but have glorious breath when my face rises.

I hope to reach a time where air is a given

and dreams become the land where I can walk.

May we all reach that land where we can live out our dreams and not be lost in the river forever. Keep fighting, keep rising for breath, and keep against the current that tries to pull you under.

Be a “Dope” If It Means Following your Passion

Most times a “dope”

Who sticks to his “dopey” things

Will make everyone out to be “dopes” in the end.

Examples:

*Gamers grow to make world-known games

*Someone who can’t communicate grows to help millions of kids learn to connect

*The class clown becomes a famous comedian

Then there is you. Stick to your passions and follow your dreams.

(Thought after the sad poem, I would write something funny / inspiring thanks to a #vss prompt this morning. The message : Don’t Judge. Not even yourself. Keep being you and keep following your passions because they may be the clearest road to your dreams <3)

Courage Gained by You

To the man who gave so many hope when there was none and who put a fight in their veins. What a devastating loss but so much was gained by you and your courage. Today is your day to be remembered. Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day

I Play Ventriloquist

I play the ventriloquist.

Begging you for help.

But I don’t let you see

the words forming from my mouth.

I need you to step in,

when I’m sinking in to do’s.

House work, school work, three children.

Way too much to do.

Sports take all evening.

E-learning takes all day.

Let’s not forget meal prepping

and bathing not too late.

Myself is losing focus.

Forgetting who I am.

No time for self reflection.

No time for where I stand.

This is for the parents out there struggling. I feel you. We normally live a very busy life with three daughters and we have a very busy schedule. Lately along with the rest of the world, our lives have gotten way more stressful and chaotic as we fight to do the right things while trying not to take away from the children. I choose to live a very full life with them and right now with them all so young it is very easy to lose who I am. I am so very thankful and lucky to have a husband who battles time along with me to help save my self identity. He helps me make time and pushes me to follow my dreams so that after parenthood I will not have lost myself. I know that not everyone has that. So if you do not have that person, you need to be that person. As hard as it is to find time for yourself and for your goals, you need to keep on fighting. You are YOUR savior. I choose to conquer one small goal at a time each day no matter how small. You can do the same. You can do that and be in this battle right along with me and countless others to save our true selves who we have pushed away. We are all in this Battle for Self Identity together all fighting our own obstacles. We can have the role of parent and take on the smaller battles until we have time to tackle the bigger ones when we can focus more on ourselves. You can do both. You can be a parent and fight not losing yourself. Just work on not letting your true self slip away behind all the chores, sports, cooking, cleaning, and mile long lists. We are in this together. Be true to yourself, forgive yourself, and know that you are YOUR savior. Give yourself time.

To Be Read Stack Update for December 2020

Most of these are in the order I plan to read them, but there are two other ones that are in their box set on the shelf that also belong to this stack. I am working hard between E-Learning for a Kindergartener and a 2nd Grader, entertaining and giving the necessary love and attention to our two year old, taking the girls to their three sports throughout the week, all the holiday family things we do, and the work I make sure I put in everyday to my career to decrease the pile, but of course the urge and need for more books always comes calling. Hahaha. I’ve already ran out of room on our shelves, made more room, and now am about to run out again, and personally I can’t wait until I do. Maybe I can convince the husband to buy me another shelf. 😀