Saturday, December 16, 2017

Reading Women Challenge


This one has some interesting categories. Acc

This one has some interesting categories. According to the rules, you may complete as many of the categories as you can. Click here to see more.

Here is What I Am Reading for this One:

3 Ways Writing Can Relieve Stress


People are always looking for new ways to relieve stress. Yet, after all this time, there is still one method that works better than anything and that is writing. 
You might’ve heard that writing can help relieve stress but you’re unsure of how writing exactly helps. Look no further! I will be sharing with you three ways in which writing relieves stress. 

Form of Meditation
What is something that every high achiever has in common whether they’re a writer or businessman or woman? They each meditate.
Writing can be a form of meditation. When you meditate you want to block out the noise around you and be fully conscious of what you’re doing. By meditating, you open an inner stillness inside yourself. 

You can gain inner stillness from writing. Because when you write, you have to block out the noise around you and focus entirely on the piece. Your breathing will slow and it’s just going to be you with the words your writing (or typing) 🙂
When you get deep into your article, you realize that your creative impulses are taking overYou’ll be in a state of zen, not even remembering why you were stressed out. 

Get Your Thoughts On Paper
Each day we generate around 60,000 thoughts. Some of those thoughts can be stressful. To quell that stress, keep a journal for yourself. 
Each morning or night or both if you’d prefer, write what you’re thinking in a journal. By doing this practice each morning you will develop it into a habit. You will be able to get your thoughts on paper instead of keeping them in your head. 
The great thing about writing your thoughts each day is you can go back and see what you were thinking in certain situations and how most of the time, what you were stressing over never came true! 
You can start with a few sentences and then move onto a paragraph each day. 
You can release all the emotions that have been inside of you. 
Sometimes we can get really stressed out and getting your thoughts out instead of keeping them in may be just what you need. 

Take Your Mind Away
When you’re stressed about something, the best thing you can do is get your mind off whatever you’re stressing about. When you write, you can’t focus on writing and being stressed at the same time, it’s impossible. 
By writing, you’re taking your mind away from your stress. Even if it’s only for an hour, I can guarantee that you will feel better. You’ll have accomplished something and been in a meditative state. 
Sometimes we need to take our mind away to gain a fresh perspective on our life. 
We can turn small problems into big problems with the power of our thoughts and free time. When you choose to write, the new perspective you gain will allow you to see that you shouldn’t be stressing in the first place
When you write, you’re choosing to relieve stress. And when you relieve stress, you’re living a better and more fulfilling life.

I never really thought of it this way, but I do agree with what is suggested. There are still many thought I want to get down on paper that I haven't done yet. 

Last night I rewrote portions of the last chapter and the epilogue of my memoir. I was up late doing so, which has been atypical of me lately. Most of the time in winter, I get tired so easily after about being up for around 12 hours or so. But I guess the activity yesterday at our Christmas party at work made me a little more energetic. 

Once again, I want to take a break from my memoir and continue on my dairy novel set in the 1980s. I have some ideas for that one that I have not gotten down and need to!  I'm trying to get up to a moment that has already been alluded to in what I have written so far.  

Or I want to try something new just for a while. I keep trying with the idea of a fairy tale retelling (Side note: I'm sad that the fairy tale retelling reading challenge I did this year won't be happening next year. I've really gotten into reading these kinds of stories).

Friday, December 15, 2017

2018 Audiobook Challenge

Once again, I will be doing this one. I try to listen to one or two audiobooks each month. I made it to 30 this year and will be trying for that level again next year.

2018 Audiobook Challenge


  • Newbie (I’ll give it a try) 1-5
  • Weekend Warrior (I’m getting the hang of this) 5-10
  • Stenographer (can listen while multi-tasking) 10-15
  • Socially Awkward (Don’t talk to me) 15-20
  • Binge Listener (Why read when someone can do it for you) 20-30
  • My Precious (I had my earbuds surgically implanted) 30+
  • Marathoner (Look Ma No Hands) 50+
Here is what I am listening to:


This is the fourth annual reading challenge presented by Book Riot.

  1. A book published posthumously
  2. A book of true crime
  3. A classic of genre fiction (i.e. mystery, sci fi/fantasy, romance)
  4. A comic written and illustrated by the same person
  5. A book set in or about one of the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, or South Africa)
  6. A book about nature
  7. A western
  8. A comic written or illustrated by a person of color
  9. A book of colonial or postcolonial literature
  10. A romance novel by or about a person of color
  11. A children’s classic published before 1980
  12. A celebrity memoir
  13. An Oprah Book Club selection
  14. A book of social science
  15. A one-sitting book
  16. The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series
  17. A sci fi novel with a female protagonist by a female author
  18. A comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC, or Image
  19. A book of genre fiction in translation
  20. A book with a cover you hate
  21. A mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author
  22. An essay anthology
  23. A book with a female protagonist over the age of 60
  24. An assigned book you hated (or never finished)

Thursday, December 14, 2017

30th Anniversary of Prozac

I felt a need to mention that this year marks 30 years since Prozac (fluoxetine) was approved by the FDA as an antidepressant of the SSRI class, since I've been on the medication for over two years now and have been writing about it. Not sure I'll ever be as good as Wurtzel was at writing  on such a thing, since his is what made me want to tell my story. I felt I was stealing her thunder by trying to write about the same subject, but everyone I know convinced me otherwise. It will be two year next February since I began my story, and I don't know how much longer I need to work on it.   Those who have been reading my blog regularly will already know all that. 
I was told when my psychiatrist first prescribed Prozac to me that he prescribes it the most fall antidepressants, since's it been round the longest. Though I seem to see few other clients at Behavioral Health on Prozac. Some think it's it's out of date, but my boss says that isn't true.It all depends what works for each person as each medication works different for different people. 

I feel I have been less depressed from Prozac, but I still get depressed. It only decreases the depression, it's not a cure! 

The image above comes from this site,
celebrating things that turned 30 in 2017.


Prozac Nation


The 2018 Reading Challenge @ Modern Mrs. Darcy

Doing this one for the second time.

reading challenge 2018

My books for this one:

  1. Classic You've Been Meaning to Read:
  2. Recommended By Someone With Great Taste:
  3. In Translation:
  4. Nominated for an Award in 2018:
  5. Book of Poetry, a Play or an Essay Collection:
  6. Book You Can Read in a Day:
  7. More Than 500 Pages:
  8. By a Favorite Author:
  9. Recommended by a Librarian or an Indie Bookseller:
  10. Banned Book:
  11. Memoir, Autobiography or Book of Creative Nonfiction:
  12. By an Author of a Different Race, Ethnicity or Religion Than Your Own:

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Let's Play Ivyclad Bingo! (2018 Reading Challenge)

Found this one just now. There are 16 squares and I will fill as many as I get to.

  1. Superhero
  2. Debut Author
  3. Contemporary
  4. Over 500 Pages
  5. Norse Mythology
  6. Robots
  7. Historical
  8. Wolves
  9. Black Cover
  10. Set in Space
  11. Dragons
  12. Magic
  13. Star-Crossed Lovers
  14. Witches
  15. Not Set in the USA
  16. Manga

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Family Tree Reading Challenge

Here's a new one, very similar to the  Birth Year Challenge. Click on the link to see more and sign up.

Family Tree Reading Challenge
Host: Becky's Book Reviews (sign up)
January - December 2018
# of books: minimum 3,

Love reading? Love family? Love researching family history? Want a family-friendly reading challenge?  

Goal: To read a book from the birth year of your selected family members. You do not have to mention them by name, unless you want. But do please list the years you'll be reading. You may include yourself in your 'family tree.' 

Minimum of three books (and three family members). You can read more, of course. 

Sign up by leaving a comment.

What books count towards the reading challenge?
  • Fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • Board books
  • Picture Books
  • Early Readers
  • Early Chapter Books
  • Chapter Books
  • Graphic Novels 
  • Middle Grade Books
  • Young Adult Books
  • Adult Books
  • Poetry
  • Short Stories
  • Plays
I will try to read at least five books each from the following years:



Sunday, December 10, 2017

2018 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

Another I have been doing for the last few years.  I'll be reading as many of these as I can next year. Click here to sign up.

Hello everyone & welcome to the Sign Up Page for the 2018 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge!

I am thrilled to be hosting this challenge again at Passages to the Past! Sign Ups are open and ready for all that would like to join the challenge.

Here are the Reading Challenge details:

Each month, a new post dedicated to the HF Challenge will be created. To participate, you only have to follow the rules:

  • Everyone can participate! If you don't have a blog you can post a link to your review if it's posted on Goodreads, Facebook, or Amazon, or you can add your book title and thoughts in the comment section if you wish.
  • Add the link(s) of your review(s) including your name and book title to the Mister Linky we’ll be adding to our monthly post (please use the direct URL that will guide us directly to your review)
  • Any sub-genre of historical fiction is accepted (Historical Romance, Historical Mystery, Historical Fantasy, Young Adult, History/Non-Fiction, etc.)
During the following 12 months you can choose one of the different reading levels:

20th Century Reader - 2 books
Victorian Reader - 5 books
Renaissance Reader - 10 books
Medieval - 15 books
Ancient History - 25 books
Prehistoric - 50+ books

My books for this one:

Saturday, December 9, 2017


Doing this one again. Will try to get at least five books set in European countries. Click the link to see more.

The European Reading Challenge
January 1, 2018 to January 31, 2019

THE GIST: The idea is to read books by European authors or books set in European countries (no matter where the author comes from). The books can be anything – novels, short stories, memoirs, travel guides, cookbooks, biography, poetry, or any other genre. You can participate at different levels, but each book must be by a different author and set in a different country – it's supposed to be a tour. (See note about the UK, below)

WHAT COUNTS AS "EUROPE"?: We stick with the same list of 50 sovereign states that fall (at least partially) within the geographic territory of the continent of Europe and/or enjoy membership in international European organizations such as the Council of Europe. This list includes the obvious (the UK, France, Germany, and Italy), the really huge Russia, the tiny Vatican City, and the mixed bag of Baltic, Balkan, and former Soviet states.

THE LIST: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Vatican City.

NOTE: Even after Brexit, the United Kingdom is still one country, in Europe, that includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. So one book from any one of these four counts as your one book for the United Kingdom. I'm not going to be a stickler about it because challenges should be about fun not about rules. However, when it comes to winning the Jet Setter prize, only one book from one of the UK countries will count.


FIVE STAR (DELUXE ENTOURAGE): Read at least five books by different European authors or books set in different European countries.

FOUR STAR (HONEYMOONER): Read four qualifying books.

THREE STAR (BUSINESS TRAVELER): Read three qualifying books.

TWO STAR (ADVENTURER): Read two qualifying books.

ONE STAR (PENSIONE WEEKENDER): Read just one qualifying book.

My Books for this one:

Birth Year Reading Challenge 2018

This will be my first time doing this one. I plan to read at least five books from my birth year, 1971. Click the link to sign up and see more details.

Special thanks to Steven Depolo for permission to use his photo!


What books were published the year you were born? This challenge encourages you to find out, and then read some of them. You might even draw some conclusions about what was going on in the literary world that year.

Wikipedia and have lists of books by year published. Literary prize lists are a great source, and searching “best books of ______” will also give you interesting results. (Feel free to comment and suggest other sources!)

Here is what I am reading:

Back to the Classics 2018

Click here to see more info and to sign up for this one.

It's back! Once again, I'm hosting the Back to the Classics Challenge.  I hope to encourage bloggers to discover and enjoy classic books they might not have tried, or just never got around to reading. And at the end, one lucky winner will receive a $30 (US) prize from or The Book Depository!

Here's how it works:

The challenge will be exactly the same as last year, 12 classic books, but with slightly different categories. You do not have to read all 12 books to participate in this challenge!

  • Complete six categories, and you get one entry in the drawing
  • Complete nine categories, and you get two entries in the drawing
  • Complete all twelve categories, and you get three entries in the drawing

And here are the categories for the 2018 Back to the Classics Challenge:

1.  A 19th century classic - any book published between 1800 and 1899.

2.  A 20th century classic - any book published between 1900 and 1968. Just like last year, all books MUST have been published at least 50 years ago to qualify. The only exception is books written at least 50 years ago, but published later, such as posthumous publications.

3.  A classic by a woman author

4.  A classic in translation.  Any book originally written published in a language other than your native language. Feel free to read the book in your language or the original language. (You can also read books in translation for any of the other categories). Modern translations are acceptable as long as the original work fits the guidelines for publications as explained in the challenge rules.

5. A children's classic. Indulge your inner child and read that classic that you somehow missed years ago. Short stories are fine, but it must be a complete volume. Picture books don't count!

6.  A classic crime story, fiction or non-fiction. This can be a true crime story, mystery, detective novel, spy novel, etc., as long as a crime is an integral part of the story and it was published at least 50 years ago. Examples include The 39 Steps, Strangers on a Train, In Cold Blood, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, etc.  The Haycraft-Queen Cornerstones list is an excellent source for suggestions. 

7. A classic travel or journey narrative, fiction or non-fiction. A journey should be a major plot point, i.e., The Hobbit, Unbeaten Tracks in Japan, Kon-Tiki, Travels with Charley, etc.

8. A classic with a single-word title. No articles please! Proper names are fine -- Emma, Germinal, Middlemarch, Kidnapped, etc.).

9. A classic with a color in the title. The Woman in White; Anne of Green Gables; The Red and the Black, and so on.

10. A classic by an author that's new to you. Choose an author you've never read before.

11. A classic that scares you. Is there a classic you've been putting off forever? A really long book which intimidates you because of its sheer length? Now's the time to read it, and hopefully you'll be pleasantly surprised!

12. Re-read a favorite classic. Like me, you probably have a lot of favorites -- choose one and read it again, then tell us why you love it so much. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

What’s In A Name 2018

I love doing this one. Click here to sign up and see more details.

What's In A Name 2018 logo

The challenge runs from January to December. During this time you choose a book to read from each of the following categories. (Examples of books you could choose are in brackets – translations and other languages most definitely count!):
  • The word ‘the’ used twice (The Secret By The Lake; The End Of The Day, The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time)
  • A fruit or vegetable (The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society; The Particular Sadness Of Lemon Cake)
  • A shape (The Ninth Circle, The Square Root Of Summer, Circle Of Friends)
  • A title that begins with Z – can be after ‘The’ or ‘A’ (Zen In The Art Of Writing; The Zookeeper’s Wife, Zelda)
  • A nationality (Anna And The French Kiss; How To Be A Kosovan Bride; Norwegian Wood)
  • A season (White Truffles In Winter; The Spring Of Kasper Meier; The Summer Queen; Before I Fall; The Autumn Throne)

Wednesday, December 6, 2017


Now this looks like a good reading topic to try. It might be a lot of work to find books by indie presses, but I'm going to try, and will go for the first level. Sign up here.

As Told By Tina

The #LetsReadIndie 2018 Challenge 

The challenge is just to read as many Indie authors as you’d like. If you just want to read 1 indie book in 2018, GO FOR IT! I also encourage you to please leave reviews for the books you do read, as you know indie authors gain more exposure the more reviews their books have! This is just an encouragement not a requirement. 

when does the challenge begin? 

The challenge begins on January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018. 

What is considered an indie book for this challenge? 

Of course, I’m considering the typical self-published author towards the challenge. I am also counting books published by small indie publishers towards the challenge. You can find a list of some of the indie publishers here

The Guidelines for #LetsReadIndie 2018 Challenge 

  • The challenge begins on January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018 
  • All books must be indie to count towards this challenge. If you need help finding what is considered an indie book, you can check out the goodreads list here
  • You do not have to leave a review for any of the books you read but it is definitely encouraged. Indie authors need reviews to reach more readers so if you really love the book, please leave a review. It’ll make the author’s day! 
  • Choose your level! (You can go up a level and you may lower the level if you feel like you may not be able to complete the challenge).
    The levels are as follow: 
    Level 1 – 1-10
    Level 2 – 11-20
    Level 3 – 21-30
    Level 4 – 31-40
    Level 5 – 41-50
    Level 6 – 51 + 
  • It does not matter the genre as long as its indie. And picture books count as well!
  • You can totally set a TBR if you want to or a goodreads shelf. It’s not mandatory but if you’d like to go for it and tag me so I can see your TBR! If you find that you did make a TBR and a book no longer interests you, you are more then welcome to take the title off your TBR and add new ones. I ENCOURAGE IT. 
  • Books can be in any format! (Audio, physical, ARCs, eBooks all count!).
  • You are absolutely encourage to crossover any books you may read for #LetsReadIndie for another challenge! 
  • You don’t need a blog to sign up! You can sign up via twitter, tumblr, instagram, goodreads, a blog. If you do sign up via twitter, tumblr or instagram use the hashtag #LetsReadIndie so I can keep up with your reading!
  • To sign up you can link up a sign up post down below, and like I mentioned you can link up an instagram, tumblr, goodreads too!

My Books for this one: