What a time to be alive, am I right? I mean, who could have ever predicted this?
Spoiler alert but March was so not my month. For the most part I kept it together. Mostly. Then I was officially stood down from my job and suddenly shit got real. And my parents moved interstate earlier than planed. All that bottled up anxiety and stress revolving the current situation just broke. [Side note: I’m now scheduling my breakdowns – nothing makes you feel better than a good cry.] Suffice to say, I had a very lousy reading and blogging month.
But that’s okay. We can’t win them all, right?
Basically my month [and pretty much everyone’s for that matter] can be summed up in one word: COVID19. Like I said – it’s impacting all of us. Not only has it cost a lot of us our jobs and livelihoods but we’ve now entered a new reality of social distancing. And it’s a lot.
So I’m making the choice to focus on the positives instead. At least, as much as possible. The good news is that we’re all facing this virus together. We’re on the same team. That’s pretty huge. For once, humankind isn’t separated by war or rivalry. So, let’s look at this experience as a chance to come together to make a difference. That way, when we come out of this – and we will – we’ll be a kinder, more understanding, resilient community. #spreadlovenotfear.
Anyway, I don’t want to sound preachy or political – just needed to get that off my chest. I’ve just seen a lot of negativity going around which won’t help the situation. At all.
But, in terms of my month, it’s been pretty full on. The assistant manager was on leave at work so I picked up the majority of her hours – which, in hindsight, I am so grateful for now I’ve been stood down.
Other than work, I celebrated the anniversary of my mum and step-dad’s wedding. As with most things in life, it didn’t exactly go according to plan. A kind of last hurrah before their move north, we had planed a family holiday to the Great Ocean Road. I had booked an appointment at the spa and was looking forward to a a much needed spell of calm. That all changed when, on the first night of our stay, Australia formally entered Stage One of it’s COVID19 Shut Down. Over night, the resort facilities, except for the accommodation, were shut down. With the pool, the gym, trampoline park, cafes and restaurants closed we found ourselves stuck in our suites, all dressed up with nowhere to go. We made the best of a stressful situation by playing Cards Against Humanity and watching Netflix. But suffice to say, I didn’t get the holiday I needed.
With all this in mind, I wasn’t exactly my usual self and I found that not only did I barely read, but I couldn’t tap into my creative mind. My writing voice just disappeared and everything became a struggle. For the moment, that struggle seems to have subsided and I’ve been writing daily – WHOO HOO! Touch wood my new momentum will carry me into April.
Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas | ★★★★★ | I am pretty much deceased. Crescent City is probably the best book I’ll read all year. And it’s only march. Sarah J. Maas has officially out done herself with this one – sprawling, dark and gritty, Crescent City is a complex novel of epic proportions.
Virgin River by Robyn Carr | ★★★½☆ | So I still haven’t separated myself enough from Virgin River to write a proper review. Virgin River has this wholesome vibe with feisty characters but the conflicts felt too simplistic. I think I only enjoyed the book because I’m obsessed with the show. As a novel, it just doesn’t hold up. I openly cringed at certain lines and the characters weren’t as developed as their Netflix counterparts.
HavenFall by Sara Holland |★★★☆☆ | I’m going to chalk this one up to my Crescent City hangover. The trudge was real, okay? Havenfall had an intriguing premise with a strong setup but the story itself fell flat. The plot felt juvenile and lack luster. I did appreciate the LGBT rep and idea though.
Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie |☆☆☆☆☆| Clearly it’s been a ruff month – I only finished three books. I think that’s a new low. At the time of drafting, I’m 50% into Bone Crier’s Moon. It’s definitely interesting with a solid, eerie plot and creepy magic system. I just haven’t been 100% hooked. It could be just my current mental state.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott |☆☆☆☆☆|I finally got my hands on the gorgeous film-tie-in-edition of Little Woman and it’s exactly the wholesome content I need at this point. The March sisters feel so real – they just leap off the page. I’m only 7.26% in [lol] but I’m predicting a five star rating.
So there you have it – my “lousy smarch” reading month. All jokes aside, I’ve learnt this month that it’s okay to not be okay. I promise you – it’s not all doom and gloom, there are positives to be found in this shared experience.
Keeping that in mind, I’m taking April one day at a time. #bringontheselfcare. I’m not going to be rigid in my monthly TBR or plans. If I read just one book this month I’ll considering it an achievement. First up, I want to finish Bone Crier’s Moon and Little Women. I’ve also set my sights on To Kill A Kingdom because I feel like I need a Little Mermaid retelling right about now. As for the rest, I’ll be playing it purely by mood.
And just a quick reminder: this is a very stressful and unsettling time for all of us. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed or anxious. Practice social distancing and stay safe but don’t forget to look after your mental health! Mental heath is just as important, especially now. Keep smiling, stay positive – we’re all in this together and we’ll get through it. If you need a friend you are always welcome to reach out to me. Stay safe everyone. #spreadlovenotfear