Books!, Calendar Girls, Conventions, Diverse December, Manga, NaNoWriMo, NetGalley, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Signal Boost, Video Games

The Road So Far (3)

Hey all, Dani here.

I’m on my third year of doing this annual post! You can check out my posts for 2016 and 2017 here. Today also happens to my Mousai Books’ Blogaversary. I posted my first blog post on this day back in 2016, which feels so long ago even though it was only three years. Anyway, the title of this post continues to be a reference to Supernatural, which is a show I still enjoy, but don’t follow with the same level of obsessiveness that I used to. Whenever they would do a mid-season or end of season recap of the events that came before the screen filled with the words “the road so far,” so I think it is fitting to use that phrase myself when looking back on the last year of life and this blog.

So 2018 may have been a crap year on the national/global/political sides of things, but again, I’m not going to really get into politics on here. Trolls are not fun to deal with. However, I can say that for me 2018 was a pretty good year overall.

Okay, so I didn’t exactly get much writing accomplished. I actually failed NaNoWriMo for the first time. It was my 13th time participating and my only loss. I just found that I didn’t want to try and force the words out. And though I’m frustrated by that failure, I can’t be mad about it, because I know the words will come out eventually.

This blog boomed far more than I could have dreamed of when I started it. By June I had grown up to 400 followers, which at the time was an amazing feat. Actually, by December 2018 I had reached 500 followers, and I’m still so overwhelming ecstatic about that. I even held a giveaway for that milestone achievement.

The year started off a bit rough on the blog, though. My change in job title at work led to a new work schedule and trying to get used to a new life schedule. It left me tired quite often and I didn’t maintain the blog schedule I would have liked to. Of course, this did lead to me starting up my weekly What I’m Reading post series, just so I could guarantee that I was posting something on a regular basis. And I’ve gotten pretty used to having this post in my schedule, so I’m keeping it around, but will be giving it an update here in a couple weeks. I also started doing a regular Manga Monday review post, which is another post series I plan to continue.

I finally started to hit my stride with figuring out a blogging schedule partway through the year, and I hope to continue with that, and improve even more in the coming year. My book reading managed to stay at a pretty impressive level, especially since I didn’t have as much time to read at work as I did in the year previous. All told I read 146 books in 2018, which I’m pretty proud of. I was able to review quite a few ARCs, and I even was part of a blog tour, and I hope to do more blog tours in 2019.

Let’s see, what else went on last year? Well in April my fiance and I celebrated one year of being together, so we got a hotel room out of town and had a lovely couple of days going to nerd stores and nerd bars. In December we celebrated one year of being engaged (and that included a trip to Barnes & Noble as a present to ourselves).

Oh, in August, my fiance and I went with a friend to Gen Con, but this time we went for all four days, which was so much fun…though we spent so much money on board games and other nerd things. It was worth it though. We had a blast.

We also went to the Ohio Renaissance Festival again. Though we tried to see some more of the shows, I still don’t think we’ve seen them all. The full-armored joust is definitely one of our favorites. We did two days in one weekend, and then went back a few weeks later with my mom. It was her first time there and she really enjoyed it. So, in 2019 we actually plan on getting season passes. This will probably mean getting more costumes put together, which I’m okay with because it is so much fun to go walk around there in costume.

Umm…what else happened in 2018? I mean, I started playing a little bit more video games, specifically Skyrim on PS4. It’s not something I play obsessively, but I’m having a pretty good time with it. I even managed to finish one quest line that my fiance never did, so I had to do a lot of it without any help. I’ve made my character about as close to a D&D cleric as I can manage. I run around with a mace and shield and have been putting ranks into restoration/healing magic. I’m not really much of a sneaky assassin type character…or at least my cleric character isn’t. I might try more of a roguish assassin later though.

Wow, how have I gotten this far without talking about readathons? I did all three sessions of Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon, because not only did they do their usual April and October sessions, but they also did a Reverse Summer Readathon in June. I still haven’t managed to match or beat the time I read 9 books in 24 hours, so I guess I’ll just have to keep trying. I also did the Summer Biannual Bibliothon, a couple sessions of the Manga Madness Readathon, and the Short-a-thon.

A few months I dedicated to certain reading themes. In March I aimed for more Middle Grade. In June I celebrated GLBT Book Month, and in December I participate in Diverse December. These months help me to diversify my reading a bit, and I hope to continue reading as diversely as I can in future.

Oh, and Calendar Girls came back starting in August, so I jumped onto that bandwagon. It has been such a wonderful time. I have discovered so many books, and have had such a great time talking to my fellow participants. I look forward to seeing how our group grows as we keep selecting fun and interesting themes, and having awesome bookish conversations.

In December my fiance and I went with our Gen Con buddy to Columbus, and we finally got to try Kingmakers Game Lounge. There is one in Columbus, Ohio, and one in Indianapolis, Indiana, and I can definitely recommend it. They have a pretty impressive array of board games, and for a fee of like $5, you can stay there while they are open and play game after game. And if you don’t understand rules or anything, the employees will explain it all to you. We had such a good time, and will definitely have to do it again sometime.

One of the final things that happened in the year was my fiance and I getting a hotel room in the Hocking Hills region so we could go see some of his elderly family for Christmas. The weather was actually pretty decent, so we got to walk around town a bit, and then we spent some rather nice alone time in the hotel pool swimming around, and we relaxed in our room marathoning Doctor Who. It was a very nice time, and I would definitely do it again.

Well, I think that is about all for today. Thank you all for joining me on this wonderful nerdy and bookish journey. I can’t wait to see where everything goes next. I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.

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