Great Endings (formerly 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 four of us together in one post – which is one of our favorite parts of co-blogging! Great Endings will include our book hauls, past posts, challenge updates, and more. (And hopefully, this is the last name change!)
Lyn: I’ve been a bit quiet this month. December is always such a stressful month, even though I enjoy this time of the year. I love the weather and the decorations and the glittery sparkly paper and ribbons. I’m a bit worn out on the entire “War on Christmas thing,” and the whole red cup debate actually just made me laugh at the sheer silliness. I visited Oklahoma to see a wonderful friend dance in her yearly Christmas performance, and traveled to see my mother for actual Christmas. I am very fortunate and very spoiled. I received so many wonderful things and I was able to spend some real quality time with my family. It was great. I even have a new PS4 to play the new Kingdom Hearts next year, and in the meantime, I am keeping entertained with the KH HD remixes for PS3. At the moment, I have discovered Rune Factory Frontier, since I adore Harvest Moon, and I am enjoying taking a video game break.
I also found out that my mom really wants to adopt Loki, but she can’t. That is my baby. I love my kitties equally, but Loki and I have a wonderful bond. I’ll help her find a kitty, but Loki is dear to my heart. He picked me out. I went into Petsmart for food one Saturday, and Loki was in his carrier, after an adoption event. When he saw me, he was reaching, crying for me to come pet him. Ever since then, that cat has been by my side, non-stop.
I visited a doctor for my ongoing headaches and migraines, and I was diagnosed with chronic migraines due to unknown swelling in my brain. I’m on a new medication that is currently draining me of motivation and energy, but I want to get this under control so that I can feel like I can enjoy life again. I have already completed an MRI, and I am now following up with an MRV and a hearing test in January, so there is a reason why I suddenly just disappeared from the world.
Lastly, say hi to Maryam! With everything turning so crazy, and life tipping back and forth for all of us, we brought on a new blogger, and she is so wonderful!
Maryam: HUULLO. This is my first monthly wrap up on Great Imaginations, and I had to look at the previous wrap ups to see how things are done HEHEHE. BUT ANYWAY, December has been quite hectic for me, even though I didn’t celebrate Christmas. But I do love sending out gifts, and I spent the whole month sending gifts to random bookish people HAHA. And yes, I started co-blogging here, and that is quite a feat for me, and I had fun deciding which posts should go on my own blog and Great Imaginations. I still haven’t gotten used to the idea that I’M HERE, because it seems surreal. Like, these people want me?! HAHA, but yes, lately, I’ve been adding in “Co-blogger at Great Imaginations” everywhere, just to remind myself. Other than that, work has been pretty chill, for now. But come 2016 and it’ll be super busy as well, but I’m really really excited because MY BEST FRIEND WILL BE WORKING ALONGSIDE ME. And like, you know, one of the #bffgoals one should do is work together HEHEHE.
I faced some challenges in December too, being at home. My parents abhor reading, so imagine when Christmas came, and suddenly I was receiving tons of books in the mail. I was horrrrified and delighted at the same time. Horrified because disobedience has no tolerance in my house, and I was scared. BUT delighted at the same time, because there were these people out there who cared enough to give me Christmas presents. Lucky for my boyfriend’s very quick thinking, he actually told me to tell my parents that those were HIS books, and that our friends got the addresses mixed up, which is pretty funny because anyone who really knew Daniel would know that HE DOESN’T READ. AT ALL. I’m still sad about that one book my mother managed to throw away, because I wasn’t at home, but I’ve made my peace with it. And I have new safe places for those books, so hooray!
January will also be my 3rd anniversary with the boyfriend, and I am craaazy stressing out, because I have not yet decided what I should do for him. He’s a gamer, so if you guys have ANY ideas, let me know! HAHAH and it will also be the month in which I finally apply to the school that I’ve always wanted to go. I’m really hoping that I’m not too late to apply, because sometimes your certificates become redundant as years passed by. SO, PLEASE WISH ME LUCK, BECAUSE I REALLY WANT TO GO INTO THAT INFOCOMM SECURITY TECH COURSE. I mean, it teaches you IT stuffs, encoding, hacking, coding up websites. OMG. Anyway, yeah HEHE I hope all of you have a VERY awesome 2016 okay?
Kara: Hi everyone! So glad I can say officially how happy I am that we found Maryam! She coded our new blog design, and also she’s really enthusiastic and great at discussion posts which was EXACTLY the kind of blogger I was looking for. Plus, I think she brings a really upbeat new kind of voice to the blog which I believe we sorely needed. I am VERY thrilled to have her with us and I am looking forward to bonding more with her. We are planning some readalongs this year because we are participating in a couple of the same challenges, so that should be fun! More group reviews, and I know you guys like those!
As for me, it’s been a pretty low-key month. I adopted Lily, which I am sure you all know about by now, and we have been getting used to having a 4th animal around. I don’t think I posted a picture last month, and I am too lazy to go back and check, so here’s a new one anyway!
We are currently painting the living room and getting ready to finally move our stuff in there so I can turn the front room into the music/reading room as planned. I ordered a new sectional, and the new carpet is on special order but we’ll have that at some point in January too. So hopefully by the end of next month I should have finished photos for you so you can see what it looks like!
Pixie: The holidays are always crazy busy for me anyway, but it’s been a bit stressful lately and I’m suffering in health. I need to relax. I start school in a couple of weeks and I’m glad for that at least. And I seem to be picking up reading more again too. It’s been comforting. I’m going into the new year with no pressure though. Another year with no heavy focus on a bunch of challenges. And hopefully with the coming months, all the stress and life worries will start diminishing (colleges, growing kids getting ready to go off to do their adult things, etc… I cry nearly every night and it’s just no good on my emotions. haha.). I’ve been feeling very out of touch with everything and everyone, but I’m going to try so hard to make things better through the next few months. 🙁
Okay, moving on: good news… School. Learning new things. Yay! Reading again–slowly, but reading some, and I got a new playstation with the Deadpool game so yah! I’m also thinking it’ll be really good for me to start working on some of these partially finished manuscripts so they can be done by the end of this new year. I need to quit procrastinating (but I don’t do resolutions!).
Book Review: Six of Crows by Lyn
Book Review: The Golden Compass by Kara
Mini Book Reviews: The Prince & The Guard and Four: A Divergent Story by Maryam
Book Review: Saltwater Vampires by Kara
Book Review: Between Us and the Moon by Maryam
Book Review + Giveaway: Warren The 13th and the All-Seeing Eye by Kara
Book Review: In Real Life by Maryam
Book Review: The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Kara
Book Review: I Am Malala by Pixie
Epic Recs Review: The 5th Wave by Pixie
DNF Book Review: Godhunter by Maryam
Features and Discussions:
Tag: The NaNoWriMo Tag by Lyn
Cover Reveal: Blood Passage by Kara
Discussion: When a Simple Reading Rut Turns into a Reading Sinkhole by Pixie
Discussion: Five Tips to Help You Decide Which Book to Read Next by Maryam
Discussion: The Lunar Chronicles by Lyn
Giveaway: Christmas Eve with Once Upon a Story by Kara
Discussion: Five Steps to Make Your Christmas Faaaabulous! by Maryam
Again, it was a slow month in books. I’m not allowed to buy anything right now, and really, I don’t want to. I have a couple of books I want on pre-order, but for now I am reading the mountains of books I already have. I’ve even signed up for the RockMyTBR reading challenge in 2016 so I can get a lot of those read. Starting next month I will be using Great Endings to update you on my challenge progress, and I am so excited to be participating in some reading challenges to motivate myself to get going and read more!
Lyn did get me an awesome signed copy of Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo at the launch party she went to in Dallas, and I downloaded a few e-ARCs, but that’s it.
The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight
IT’S THE CHRISTMAS MONTH, and like I said, I got TONS of books. Some I purchased, some I received and some I borrowed from the library. (btw, I shall never include my eARCs because there are just TOOOO MANY.)
Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher
Parrot in the Oven by Victor Martinez, Steve Scott (Illustrator)
Our Tragic Universe by Scarlett Thomas
Chandra’s Wars by Allan Stratton
Dreamfire by Kit Alloway
Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason
Libyrinth by Pearl North
Infinite Sky by C.J. Flood
Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John
Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley
The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy by Rainn Wilson
Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix
I bought myself a pretty cool coloring book (they’re awesome for some down-time) and Lyn sent me a SIGNED Laini Taylor Daughter of Smoke & Bone for Christmas! Wheeee! Sorry for not having a picture, but it’s still super awesome and thank you soo so so much, Lyn!
See you in 2016!