The Garden Gazette is a feature here at Great Imaginations. Instead of doing weekly Stacking the Shelves posts, we’re going to be doing a monthly wrap-up on the last Saturday of every month. This will open up the weekends for more posts from us, and is also another way to bring the three of us together in one post – which is one of our favorite parts of co-blogging! The Garden Gazette will include our book hauls, past posts, challenge updates, and more.
Kara: July was a hell of a month. Financially, I am paying for two properties still because my lease is not up until August 10th, so I have to make a mortgage payment AND rent and it’s brutal and we almost went broke. It will be the same in August because it’s our catch-up month. Thankfully September SHOULD be starting fresh.
We adopted our neighbor’s cat, and so now we have two kitties and that has been HELLACIOUS. They started out hating each other, and just in the last couple of days have things calmed down and they are able to chill outside on the patio together. Not that it wasn’t funny watching Hammy block the cat door so Jaxon couldn’t go outside. They would be assholes to each other, and it was totally amusing except for when they were fighting. There was a lot of that too. It’s MUCH better now. Once they are close enough to each other to snap a picture, I will Instagram one for you guys.
My birthday came and went, and it was utterly not special this year due to financials, but Dan made me a lovely creme brulee crepe cake, and I did get a house this year so I am not complaining much. 🙂
Pixie: Summer is always hectic for me. But I’ve also been moody lately and tbh I’ve hardly picked up books the last few weeks. I think it’s the weather. I love warm weather, don’t get me wrong, but I hate HOT. And it’s certainly hot. Yuck.
Seems all the kitties aren’t having a good time at the moment, either. :/ My Bella is sick with something, we haven’t even been able to figure it out. There is some kind of skin condition/rash that is bugging the ever-living crap out of her…itching to the point where she is using her teeth and yanking large patches of fur out. She now has bald spots in various places, mostly near her tail and on one of her sides. The vet gave her an allergy shot along with an antibiotic shot this past Wednesday afternoon, thinking it was either allergies or a possible mild bacterial infection (so he gave her both shots to be on safe side, I guess, and I can see the point in that). While it seemed to kick in and work for a bit, her behavior has seemed to start back up Friday afternoon. Looks like I’ll be calling the vet again Monday morning. I have no idea. And nope, nothing has changed in her routines or foods… trust me, ever since she was a tiny baby she’s had very bad stress levels and anxiety. With a cat like this, you have to be extremely careful with any changes (or even a long, or what seems like a long to her, absence). O_o
Okay, despite all that… I do have some good news to share. I’m going back to school soon! Most people wouldn’t be excited about that, but I’m not most people. I always loved school. I still love just learning, going through random searches or reading books and really studying FOR FUN. Haha. Now I’m going to finally go on back to school and get a degree that I want to get, just because I feel like getting it. I’m stoked! I don’t know when I’ll start exactly, and I’ll be doing everything online/through distance learning since my schedule won’t allow me to go to an actual campus, but my registration should be complete for winter sign-up at least (December-January), if not before. 😀
Lyn: July is always such a rough month. I hate the heat, I hate the insects, I hate the sun, I hate my allergies, and I hate that the grass and the plants turn brown and gross. I hate everything about the summer. So this month wasn’t the greatest for me. However, what WAS good made up for the crappier parts of the month.
Both of the cats have an ear infection, and while Kili’s was pretty mild, Loki’s ear infection is horrible. He wobbles around and his ear drips all over the place. My cats hate the summertime as well.
Work is just okay. I think the traffic and the heat are getting to everyone. My supervisor is on maternity leave, and my team slowly discovered that no one else is going to support us or help us, and now the company wants to be cheap and not replace the idiot that left. I have to stay in my position until October, and after that, who knows what I might try out?
There are some good things! I hate to be such a wet blanket. We started Story Sprites, which came from a good 3 to 4 months of brainstorming, and I have started to show more interest in blogging as of late. I feel that the blog is growing and changing, and it is a good thing!
I also have a new obsession: Kingsmen. Specifically, Galahad. Yum.
I also attended two book signings. One was for Ernest Cline. It was one of the worst I have attended. Let me back it up: Cline was a sweetheart, and his presentation about his life and his inspiration for his book were touching and very fascinating. I adored him, and I give the author a 5 star rating for presentation and gratitude. However, the venue was horrible. The staffing was horrible. The food was just meh, and there was NO organization. The questions went on too long, and one of the issues was the staff member, who acted as the host, tried to talk about himself and ate away at the author’s time with the audience. As a result, the venue said that there wasn’t enough time for everyone’s books to be signed, and it was just first come, first serve. Here is the part that just killed me: They just flat out told people to JUST LINE UP ON THIS WALL IF YOU WANT YOUR BOOKS SIGNED. The opposite wall from my own seat. So the line was formed by the time I was able to gather my things and for my sister to pay the bill. It was horrible. I was already pretty unhappy with the whole event from the start, since we arrived 30 minutes ahead of schedule, like the tickets stated, and they were JUST CLEANING OUT THE THEATER when we showed up.
By line up time, I was in the middle of a meltdown. There were too many people, I had been knocked down while trying to let people in and out of their seats, I was unhappy with the crappy food and the overall atmosphere felt rushed, unhappy and overall just not positive. While we were trying to decide what to do, the announcer kept saying we only had an hour, and to hurry, because not everyone was going to get their turn.
Then the breakdown happened. I couldn’t handle it. I was disappointed. I had bought extra books and a ticket for this event, and now, because the staffing couldn’t get everything together, it was the paying people who had to pay the price. I finally told my sister that I had to leave, because the anxiety and the anger were just taking me down.
We returned the books, and I came home to tell the venue I was not happy. It turns out that they did get everyone through the line, even though the announcer kept yelling that we had an hour and not everyone was going to get a turn. I was offered a signed book, but I wanted to MEET THE AUTHOR. I can get a signed book online. My Twitter was not a happy place, and I swore off author signings.
Then I found out that Laini Taylor was going to be within miles of me at a local library. A library that had hosted wonderful events in the past. I immediately put together my Daughter of Smoke and Bone charm necklace together, to hell with sleep!
The event was 1,000% better than my previous one. The author was so sweet, and the venue was smaller and more intimate. Laini signed all of my books, and I have all but one of her novels. I was the first in her line, and I sat as close to her as possible. I did okay until I took my picture with her, and then I started crying.
It is just like Laini to lift my spirits, right when I needed it the most.
Miss Mable’s School For Girls by Lyn
Epic Recs: I am the Messenger by Lyn
Epic Recs: Poison Study by Pixie
The Stellow Project by Kara
Ready Player One by Lyn
The Fixer by Pixie
The Fold by Kara
A History of Glitter and Blood by Lyn
Challenger Deep by Pixie
Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Lyn
Those Who Wish Me Dead by Kara
Bright Lights, Dark Nights by Lyn
Group Review: Silver in the Blood by Lyn with Jessie from Ageless Pages
Forgotten Fridays: Peaches by Great Imaginations
Features and Discussions
Challenge: Story Sprites
Discussion: It’s That Time Again by Kara
Tag: The Bookshelf Tag by Lyn
Discussion: Our Mental Health and Reading Habits by Pixie
Discussion: So Someone Didn’t Like the Book You Love by Lyn
Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
Thanks to Harlequin MIRA, Little, Brown, and Harper.
Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Almost Anywhere: Road Trip Ruminations on Love, Nature, National Parks,
and Nonsense by Krista Schlyer
Finding Fortune by Delia Ray
Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales
Pixie did not have a haul for July. (WHHHAAATTT?)
I’m on a book ban. Sad.
So what about e-galleys? I’m trying to avoid them for just a little bit longer until I catch up on reading the few I have at the moment. So I didn’t receive any of those during July either, that I know of anyway as I’m making this post (haven’t checked NG/EW in a couple of weeks & I never get their emails for some reason).
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Visual History by Andrew Farago
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash by Edward Humes
Storm Kings: America’s First Tornado Chasers by Lee Sandlin
The Everafter by Amy Huntley
Saga Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
Falls the Shadow by Stefanie Gaither
The Rose and the Beast by Francesca Lia Block
Paperweight by Meg Haston
Made for You by Melissa Marr
The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
Hunter by Mercedes Lackey
A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston
Created by Peiri Ann
The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow
Lucky Linus by Gene Gant
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
Thank you, NetGalley and partner publishers!
My Swordhand is Singing by Marcus Sedgwick
The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth
Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan
The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson
Half a King by Joe Abercrombie
See you in August!