Misc Monday ~ in which we discuss reading preferences

Let’s talk books today. But not book reviews; let’s go with something more general. Specifically, genre. Do you have a favorite genre? How about a hated genre?

One of the items on my 101 in 1001 Challenge is to read a book in each of six genres (hard sci-fi, western, mystery, biography (non-memior), memoir, and science non-fiction). This is largely because, without any suggestions, reminders, or prompts to do otherwise, I would limit nearly all of my reading to fantasy (including its sub-genres) with the occasional foray into a cozy mystery.

Lately, though, I’ve discovered that I enjoy a well-written memoir. Notable recent memoirs which I have enjoyed include Carrie Fisher’s The Princess Diarist and Wishful Drinking; Neil Patrick Harris’ Choose Your Own Autobiography; Felicia Day’s You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost); and Jenny Lawson’s (aka The Bloggess) Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. It helps that, unlike many biographies, memoirs are written in a more human style. They’re more likely to include humor, and to be something the reader can relate to.

Realizing that I enjoy memoirs has made me wonder what other readings tastes have changed since I was young and developed my default genre preferences. I’ve tried reading “classics” with mixed success, so at least I know that my reading tastes haven’t COMPLETELY changed as I’ve aged. But in the specifics? I tend to think of my sci-fi preferences to be more science-fantasy than hard core science-fiction, but is that still true? And I’ve never read a western. Would I like it? We’ll have to see.

Have you noticed any of your reading preferences which have changed as you grew up? I know that some of my friends and I have discussed how our tolerances (for bad writing, for certain story tropes, etc) have changed, and we now have a hard time reading, much less enjoying, some of our favorite stories from childhood. But is that just that we’ve gotten more discerning as we gained experience, or have our genre preferences changed?

I don’t have any of the answers. But I do know that something is different, in the same way that I now sometimes choose to listen to news radio instead of music (on purpose!!) when I never made that choice as a younger person.

Misc Monday ~ in which Seanan McGuire is awesome

I wasn’t going to post anything today, since yesterday was Father’s Day and so I didn’t make the time in yesterday’s schedule to write a Misc Monday post the day before like I usually do. (Holidays and such will throw wrenches in blog posting schedules. You know.)

And then I visited some of my blogroll this morning, and saw that Chris posted this link to an AMAZING Twitter thread by Seanan McGuire. And I HAD to repost it.

(If you would rather see it directly on Twitter, you can do that here.)

Anyway. Any Tweet thread that include mention of a Moana protest sing-along and German (and Japanese) translations is well worth reading in my book.

Happy Monday!

Misc Monday ~ in which I watch a Disney documentary

So I don’t know about you, but I am a fan of the Disney company. (Those of you who have been following along will already know this. Newer readers might not, as I haven’t talked about it much lately.) And one of the things I love is Disney animation. They do, and have done, some amazing things with animated movies and shorts. I love the classics, and I love the newer movies too. (We were late to the party with watching “Moana,” but I LOVED it.) Some of my favorite movies are Disney animated features.

However, there was a period of time when Disney animation almost died.

Well, maybe that’s me being dramatic, but I just watched “Waking Sleeping Beauty,” and that documentary sure made it sound like animated features were an endangered species for Disney back in the 80’s. Do any of you remember the “Black Cauldron” movie that Disney made back then? I vaguely do, because I loved the books. (Still do.) But at the time, it was too dark, and too ambitious, and from what I can tell it nearly spelled the end of animation at the Walt Disney studios.

In any case, if you’re interested in the history behind the Disney Animation Renaissance, then you should watch this movie. It goes into what happened in the Disney company as a whole, and animation specifically, that led to movies like “The Little Mermaid” and “Beauty and the Beast” being able to breathe new life into the animation department. It goes into the difficult decisions management made (decisions that sometimes don’t sound all that favorable) which either helped or hindered the animators. And it goes into the personalities behind those decisions.

It also mentions things I didn’t know. For instance, I didn’t know that “Beauty and the Beast” was the first animated film to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar (and this was when only 5 movies were nominated per year). And I believe “Beauty” was only the 3rd Best Picture nomination received by a Disney film – the other two being “Mary Poppins” and “Dead Poets Society” (released officially by Touchstone, which I did know was a Disney label).

I also didn’t know that “An American Tail” was made by a former Disney animator who left the company, taking a bunch of his fellow animators with him. I knew there was politics in any company, but it can be rough to hear about the hard times a company you love has gone through in the past. It’s hard to understand why there was a time when people didn’t believe in something that, now, is doing so well. But this documentary does a great job of showing how things happened, and why, and what happened to change them.

If you’re interested in all things Disney (like I am), or in movie history, or in these specific Disney animated films specifically, you owe it to yourself to watch this documentary. They’re enjoyable movies to watch regardless, but knowing the climate in which they were made somehow makes them more powerful, more important.

Misc Monday ~ in which I miss spring

I don’t know about the weather where you are, but it seems we in Northern California have kinda skipped the bulk of spring. Well, our spring, anyway. We got someone else’s spring.

A California spring usually involves sunny-but-not-too-hot days and cool nights. Perfect for evening walks. And very little rain. Some, yes. But our usual spring rain is the shower variety.

This year? This year has been wet and gloomy and not very California-like at all.

I know, I know, we need the rain. (Actually, we can be done for this year. We’ll need more next year, but it can wait until winter, right? Please?) (Oh, okay, I guess a warm summer thunderstorm could be fun. But that can still wait for another couple months.) But this has been way wetter than usual. I don’t know which ones, but I know we broke records.

And I am so ready for my normal California spring. Last week was almost summer. (I am really not ready for summer.) But it looks like hopefully this week will be something approaching a California spring. One can hope, anyway.

Misc Monday ~ in which we have a winner!

The random number generator has spoken, and the winner of my giveaway is Trix! Yay!

Trix, I will email you as well, but please send me your mailing address by email so that I can send you this fun bunch of goodies.

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And… I just realized I didn’t screen cap the random number picker or anything. I meant to, but I am still fighting off food poisoning from last night, and my brain is moving too slowly to remember everything today. Sorry about that.

I’m also not going to be posting about anything else today, because of said lack of brain. I hope your May is starting out better than mine!

Misc Monday ~ in which it’s still Monday some places

It’s still Monday. Barely.

I wanted to write this post earlier, but I REALY wanted to have the giveaway photo for you, so I kept putting it off. Now, with an hour and a half left to go in Monday, I finally have the photo:


This is what you’re entering a giveaway for. A Spiraldex self-inking stamp, a lined journal, two fountain pens (a JinHao and a Noodler’s Ahab), and some ink samples. I may throw in a few other things, too. If so, though, those will be last-minute additions and won’t be in pictures.

One reminder – I did my best cleaning out these two pens after I tried them and decided they weren’t the weight of pen I prefer, so they should be at least mostly clean. However, I can’t guarantee they are completely clean, so I recommend cleaning them out before use.

To enter the giveaway today, leave me a comment with suggestions for how you conquer procrastination… or, if you’re like me and haven’t learned that yet, some sympathy for the lack of sleep sometimes caused by procrastination would be nice.

Misc Monday ~ in which I link to Bullet Journal sites

I haven’t talked much about Bullet Journals on here, but I have been doing a lot of looking into how other people use their BuJo (common abbreviation for Bullet Journal) in the year-plus since I started mine. Let’s look into some of those other reference sites today, shall we?

  • Bulletjournal.com ~ first we have the official site. This is the best place to begin if you are looking at whether or not a Bullet Journal is right for you. However, this is not a one-stop-shop anymore. Too many people have made Bullet Journalling their own. You can certainly use the BuJo in its original, simple form. But if this looks too austere for you, don’t worry. There are plenty of mods you can make (and plenty of examples of these mods).
  • Boho Berry ~ Kara at Boho Berry is not the first example of a more colorful, creative Bullet Journal that I found, but her journal is one of the ones that inspired me to do more with mine. The link at the top of this bullet is one of her early BuJo posts; she has more here and here.
  • Tiny Ray of Sunshine ~ Kim is another one of the bloggers whose BuJo I first saw as an example of what I could do with mine. Hers adds color to the official plan (not that the official BuJo site says you *can’t* add color) but is otherwise very minimalistic. It’s a refreshing change among some of the elaborate journals out there. (She also has more BuJo posts here.)
  • Wundertastisch ~ Sandra at Wundertastisch is a Bullet Journal blogger I found later on, but she has some good ideas that would be helpful to new BuJo-ers. She also has some free printables which may work well for you if printables are your thing. (I tried using printables, but with a very few exceptions I found that I would print something which appealed to me at the time, and then not use it.)
  • Sublime Reflection ~ I don’t remember when I found this site (and I think I found it via Pinterest, where you can get sucked into a black hole of BuJo ideas) but this particular spread was useful for me in getting my weekly layout ironed out into something I would use successfully.
  • Pretty Prints and Paper ~ I mostly visited this site when I was trying out the daily challenge prompts (handwriting, planning, etc) and didn’t visit much after I decided that the daily challenges were too much structure for me. Still, even if you don’t like the challenges, she has a lot of good examples and links.
  • Time Management Options ~ There are three sites I used primarily when I was deciding on my time management / tracking. I started using a bar with my time tracking at the top of my daily spreads, like the ones shown here (Boho Berry) and here (Passion Themed Life). Sometimes I will still go back to those bars (for one thing, because they’re easy to draw and I – for example – don’t bring my Spiraldex stamp along on vacation) but I found that I wasn’t as good about using the time tracker bar as I was about using the Spiraldex. They both use the same principle, so I have no idea why I like to use more often than the other.

So there’s a bit of linkity to help you with your BuJo set-up, if you use (or want to try) the Bullet Journal method. I love it because of how flexible the system is. (You should be able to get a hint of that from the variety in the links above, and that’s just scratching the surface on BuJo links.)

For today’s contest entry, if you have looked into the BuJo, please let me know which sites (if any) inspired your journal! If you don’t BuJo, then just any comment will be fine.

(Reminder: the give-away will be for a blank notebook, a couple of fountain pens and ink samples, and a self-inking Spiraldex stamp. I meant to have a picture for today’s blog post, but didn’t get it taken over the weekend. I’ll try to take one this week instead. Entries will be accepted for the entire month of April, with the give-away closing on Sunday, 4/30, at 8am Pacific.)