Category: Life

Aug 20

Sunday Post #2

Books/Writing, Life 2

sunday post

Linking up with Kimberly over on Caffeinated Book Reviewer today! I obviously fail at doing things on a weekly basis right now (my last Sunday Post was over a month ago…), but here I am again at long last.


This Week:

Life has been nuts. And I mean absolutely NUTS. I totaled up how many hours I was spending at work or commuting to/from work, and it was over 70 a week. No wonder I was feeling exhausted and kept complaining that I needed a clone to get everything done! HOWEVER, on Monday this past week I was abruptly moved to a different position, one that cuts my hours in nearly half! After the initial shock (but I was JUST getting used to all you people!), I am delighted. This works out very well for me as I’m trying to transition out of full-time work and into full-time student/part-time work. Hopefully this also means I can get back into blogging regularly, and that both my reading and writing mojo will return!

sunday post

I did manage to finish a book this week, Silver Stars (Front Lines #2) by Michael Grant. It was really, really good. Really good. Also I had to show off this lovely bookmark a friend made for me!

sunday post

I STILL haven’t read ACOWAR. I am afeared of what is to come. Also that people don’t seem to be nearly as happy with it as they were with ACOMAF. But I am obsessed with my new book sleeve, which (shockingly!) actually fits it! I love the moon fabric. Anyone else geeking out over the eclipse tomorrow?

Next Week:

THE ECLIPSE!! Ahem. I’m way too excited for less than 3 minutes of strangeness.

Down the TBR Hole #21
Hyperbole and a Half – graphic novel review
Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1) – YA review

Those reviews are LONG overdue, I read them both before we moved from Korea! Eeeps. But, life. 😛


Jul 09

Sunday Post #1

Books/Writing, Life 1

Linking up with Kimberly over on Caffeinated Book Reviewer today! Going to give the Sunday Post a whirl for a few weeks and see how it works out for me.


This week we are supposed to FINALLY receive our shipment of stuff from Korea! And by stuff I mean our BED. I am sooooo tired of sleeping on an air mattress. 😛 Also by stuff I mean BOOKS!!! And shelves. I’m so excited to get everything put into it’s new place here. Of course it’s getting packed up again right before Christmas, but I’m choosing to ignore that for now. Hehe.


This Week:

  • I was interviewed by Victoria Grace Howell over on her blog Wanderer’s Pen, for her post “So Your Character’s from South Korea...” – go check it out!
  • Not quite THIS week, but I started a blog for all my gardening and herbalism experiments! Check out The Bent Gardener. 😀

Next Week:

  • Down the TBR Hole #20 – finally getting back on the road with this meme and my ever-growing TBR pile!
  • Review of The Hate U Give (YA #OwnVoices)
  • Review of When Dimple Met Rishi (YA, #OwnVoices)


Anything exciting going on in the book world this week? I feel REALLY out of the loop. Hope you all have a great day!


Jun 05

New Digs

Life, Musings 11

First look at our new place!

This morning is the first time I have had time to truly relax in several weeks. Yes, there have been moments or even an hour here and there, but for the most part my husband and I have just been GOGOGOGOGO with barely time to breathe. We finally have our own place again, and are trying to settle in…the majority (as in, 85%) of our belongings won’t be here until the end of the month, so we are getting by on what was in our suitcases and the furniture we bought back home! Yay, new furniture!! For the first time in…ever? I’m so excited about it. We were so blessed and able to get amazing deals from some family friends who were retiring their furniture store.


I am probably the most excited about the roll-top desk that actually stayed in Virginia, due to difficulty of moving and the fact that we will be – drumroll please – moving back there in about 6 months! Why yes, I just love moving twice in one year, don’t you? 😛 But then we will be back HOME and it will all be worth it.

Tennessee isn’t TOO far from home, anyway, and it’s a lot like home. At least it is in the States. Even if some of the uber-conservative-fanatics I’ve seen have me a bit scared. 😛

Sadly I missed the release party for When Dimple Met Rishi, which was in Nashville only about an hour’s drive away from our new place…which we weren’t yet moved into. My pre-ordered book is still waiting on me there, whenever I get a chance to go explore and find Parnassus Books. Which looks amazing, and is obviously a huge priority but I am totally peopled and traveled out and want to do nothing but sit at home on my couch and vegetate. By which I mean read and drink coffee.

Traveling like a little champ.

Tristan spent the last month with my sister-in-law’s family, during which time my 13-year-old niece became super attached to him and I felt horrible taking him back. But I missed my little buddy so so so much! And he seems very happy to be home…he went right back to sleeping in our bed and between us. His fur-parents are much pleased to be back with him. 😀

I’m hoping to be back at writing reviews and updates this week. Not holding my breath, because I’m still not quite sure how work is going to go and of course there’s all the organization stuff that absolutely MUST be done. I’m also trying to start a little container garden on my porch but the season is so far gone already that I’m behind!

So, what have I missed? What’s your new favorite release from April and May? What’s coming up this month that I might have overlooked?


Apr 20

Reasons I Missed Home

Life, Musings 2

Spring cherry blossoms in South Korea are beautiful…and so is the road ahead.

Not book-related. Well, mostly not book-related. Just me. On all the reasons why moving home after 2 years abroad is such a huge deal. I’ve had great times in Korea…mostly related to the people I’ve met, not the place. The place has been an experience too, and one I’m very grateful to have had…but I’m a homebody. I miss MY family. I miss MY mountains. I miss MY traditions, MY food…my freedom. I’m going home to the States, but I think these feelings can apply to anyone who loves where they come from and is uprooted.

  • I miss my family. My family is nuts. But I love them, and so I miss them. I miss knowing that no matter what goes wrong, I always have a safe place to sleep. I could call my grandma, many of my aunts or uncles, if something in my life went horribly wrong…and as soon as I could get to them or them to me, I would be loved and cared for. I am so blessed. I know so many people who DON’T have that…one of my life goals is to be that place and that person for as many people as I can.
  • I miss having friends that share my interests. Over here…the Americans I hang out with think all my artsy-fartsy-ness is weird, for the most part. Occasionally I’ll get a “Oh that’s so cool I could never have the patience for that!” comment, but for the most part…I’m just the weird nerd standing in the corner while everyone else gets shit-faced drunk. But I’m also the person they call if they don’t know how to get something done. So…yeah, whatever folks. I love you guys, but I’m tired of feeling like I have to defend the things I like to do. Also, I don’t speak enough Korean to really try to find a group of same-interest folks. In the past 3 months I met a Korean that I quickly became friends with, who I share lots of interests with, and it kills me that I have to leave so soon after meeting her. One of those people that you would have done anything to meet earlier.
  • English. I.e., my native language. And my native language is one of if not the most dominant language in the world. How the HELL do people who speak a very minority language survive? Obviously, most of them learn the language of the country they live in, but…goddamn. My hat is off to all those people. I can barely speak a few phrases in Korean. When I first got here, I would get a headache every time I went out because the sheer NOISE of another language being spoken. Now it’s familiar, even if I don’t understand much of it…but I still nearly cry when I go out and someone speaks to me in English. Watch me go home and just spend 2 days bawling in the street because EVERYONE speaks English.
    • That said, this really has opened my eyes to have immigrants and other non-English speakers must feel when they come to the US or UK (or Australia?). I’ve also realized how awkward it feels to not speak the main language of the country in which you live. I see people all the time who just EXPECT South Koreans to speak English. Um, why? This is their country. They speak Korean. We are not entitled to people knowing how to speak English here (even though many do…many more than would speak Korean if they came to the US). Americans…get over it. Stop expecting the world to bow to you. I love my country just as much if not more than the average citizen, even if I admit to and see the many faults our country and government have…but I respect and admire other countries and cultures as well, and I expect that I will have to bend myself to their country when I visit, not the other way around.
  • Cultural differences. I’m all for experience another culture as much as you can. However…I have a lot of hangups when it comes to food (I’m very picky, heh). Also, the personal space bubble. This is far from being a Korea-only thing, as lots of countries and cultures have a much smaller personal bubble than Americans or maybe even other Western countries…but I get really freaked out when people stand all up on me in line, or on a train, or when in a store. It’s not rude here for people to run into you or even push you out of their way…it’s just how it is. And it drives. me. nuts. For god’s SAKE let me breathe.

Does anyone ever truly get used to a place so different from where they were born/raised/lived the majority of their lives? I wonder. I see many people here who have come from the US or the UK and made South Korea their home, and I wonder if I am just a freak or if I just missed the secret to being so happy here. I love experiencing new places and people, but in the end…I don’t belong here. I will miss some people here, very very much. I hope we can stay friends through e-mail and FB and if they ever come visit the US, they will have first dibs on my guest room or couch, whatever I can offer. But in the end, I don’t belong here. This is not my home. These 2 years have been hard. REALLY FREAKING HARD. I’ve struggled in relationships, struggled with my own depression, struggled with feeling like I was doing nothing of value. On the other hand, I have made friends that I know will remain friends no matter how many miles separate us. I have made friends that transcend time and distance, and for them I am eternally grateful – they are what has made my 2 years here worth it. No cultural “experience” can match that.

I’ve learned that making a difference in the quality of people’s lives is probably the single most important thing to me, and knowing that has driven me to make decisions I might not have otherwise had the strength to make. It takes a lot for me to make a decision. I’m not a very decisive person, but I’m hella stubborn and once I’ve made a decision…it pretty much takes hell itself to change my mind. I’m looking forward to the new changes coming, even if they may prove difficult and require some sacrifices.

I’m looking forward to being home.


Apr 15

To be Still

Life 0

See that face? Deceptively innocent. SO MUCH DECEIT.

It’s Saturday morning. I have 2 nights left in this apartment, and all our furniture was removed yesterday except what will be shipped back to the States (i.e., our bed, a card table, and the bookshelves). I’m sitting on a mattress topper on the floor, nursing my coffee and cuddling with my kitty. Said kitty is BESIDE himself with all the upheavals and goings ons. 🙁 Poor baby. I woke up at about 3:30 a.m. to him sitting on my chest CLEARLY preparing to heave up the contents of his stomach. In my sleep-addled state the only thing I could think of to do was roll over, which deposited him onto the floor JUST as he successful evacuated dinner.

ARGH. Cleaning up vomit in the wee hours in the morning is not my favorite. 😛 At least it wasn’t in his chosen place, i.e., ON MY FACE. Traitorous kitty.

So this morning I should be trying to finish up the two projects I am DETERMINED to finish before we officially move out (a knit toy for my goddaughter and a quilt that has been far too long in the UFO pile). I am also refusing to go sign out of the library until I have FINISHED the last book I have checked out from them, which MIGHT already be 30 days overdue. Ahem.

Anyone read Scythe? It’s pretty good. A new twist on the Grim Reaper business, that’s for sure! A little bit slow in the beginning but I’m almost 200 pages in now and OMG things keep happening. Hehe.

I am trying to allow myself to sit and relax, to center and just BE STILL. If I don’t, I know myself – I will go bonkers. My brain is going a million different directions. I need to just breathe. Breathe, breathe, breathe…


Apr 13

Mini Sort-of Hiatus

Books/Writing, Life 3

Hi everyone!! Just a quick note…I’m not completely going on hiatus, but my usual posts are going on hold until I can get moved (hopefully about 2 weeks). I tried but I just don’t have the ability to do it all, I can’t concentrate! I’m still reading in the evenings – have to have SOMETHING to de-stress, but writing posts and reviews has kind of gone out the window. My place is a disaster zone, everything is halfpacked and everywhere and…AAAAAAAHHHH!! That picture up there? Yeah, that’s actually the floor of my spare bedroom right now. 😝

On the bright side, once we actually fly out of Korea, we’ll be on vacation for about 3 weeks and I should have plenty of time to catch up. 🙂 In the meantime, I’m throwing up some reviews on GoodReads now and then, so please go give me a follow if you haven’t already! See you all soon.

The Bent Bookworm @ GoodReads 


Apr 02

Attack of the Zombies

Life 1

Zombie. Don’t lie, it looks VERY zombie.

Because that sounds cooler than what actually happened, and the end result WAS a very zombie-looking foot. 😛

Just in case anyone was wondering where or why I’ve sort of disappeared this week…I was so lucky (i.e., klutzy) last week as to break my ankle. While walking down a hallway and around a corner. No cool story, just…yeah. But, I’ve discovered that breaking bones is extremely painful and reduces my ability to concentrate to about nil.

Also that just wishing it would feel better and getting up and hobbling around usually does not work.

Fantastic thing to happen 3 weeks out from a halfway-round-the-world move. *eyeroll*



Mar 19

Something Else Sunday

Books/Writing, Cats, Gardening/Herbalism/Nature, Life 2

something else sunday

So, I’m changing up my posting schedule a bit. I’d been thinking about it for awhile and then Puput’s post on Figuring Out Your Perfect Blogging Schedule gave me the extra little push I needed.

I love books. I love writing. I love writing about books. However, I also have 50 million other interests (I’m not even really joking), as well as a family. I am also getting ready to move from Korea back to the States, which is a logistical nightmare and will undoubtedly eat up more than its fair share of time.

In order to continue to enjoy blogging and not burn out, I’m paring down my posts and narrowing in on focus. And here’s what you can expect!

Mondays: Down the TBR Hole
Tuesdays: Bookish or discussion post
Wednesday: Writing Up Wednesday
Friday: book review

If I feel inspired or have extra time, I may add additional posts, but for now this is what works best for me. You might notice, if you’re paying close attention, that Something Else Sundays are not on that list. I created this series because I still wanted to talk about my other interests. And lately…I just feel like they don’t belong here anymore. So I’ve created multiple instagram accounts and a little side blog for my garden/nature pursuits. You can find me in these various places:

Fiber arts Instagram: BentNeedles
Gardening Instagram: BentGardener
Adventure/Exploring Instagram: BentAdventurer

Now these things may bleed over now and then and I may still do personal updates every so often, but trying to come up with stuff every week was just exhausting. Especially when a lot of weeks, it seems like all I do is work and read if I’m lucky to have time! Oh, and…

Don’t worry, Sir Tristan will still be putting in appearances now and then as well. 😉 I hope this new schedule and the freedom from pressure I feel like it will bring me results in a blog that’s more fun for my readers, with less “extra” stuff that really isn’t in your interests!

Last week on the  blog:

This week:

  • Down the TBR Hole #17
  • Crown of Midnight (YA review)
  • Writing Up Wednesday #8: Motivation
  • Walking the Nile (nonfiction review)


Mar 12

Something Else Sunday #28

Books/Writing, Life 1

Well, it’s another Sunday and here we are. I actually read books this week! Not entirely in the way I anticipated…I ended up with a DNF because I’d been reading an ARC of the book for a MONTH and then it was released and my ebook expired. Whoops. It was a beautifully written book but it was just so darn SLOW. Like, “Oh look at the pretty…oooo shiny…ooooo…yawn.” Nothing ever seemed to happen. But I liked the writing, I really did! So I haven’t posted a rating yet because I feel like it would be unfair. Anyway. I actually wrote reviews this week, so that’s a big win. 😀

BIG NEWS: We have our tickets for moving back to the States!!!! And our several hotel reservations. And the beginnings of plans with friends. And I sent someone an e-mail that said “See you in a few weeks” and it was REAL. I’m so freaking excited. So many changes. So many things.

With all THAT going on, it’s been a bit of a struggle to concentrate on reading and writing. Especially writing. My poor novel has been SO neglected it’s shameful and I’m really doubting I will make my goal of finishing it by the end of this year. Hoping to sit down and revamp my goals a bit this week. I was really inspired by NovelKnight’s Writer’s Bucket List post this week (which I somehow, inexplicably, cannot find to link)…I think I may need to make my own.

I didn’t much this week other than work and read…and worry about all the crap we have to get done in order to move. But I did write blog posts! Even TWO book reviews. So proud of myself. 😉

Last week:

This week:

That’s all for this week! Hope you’re all getting some warmer weather and getting ready for spring. 🙂


Mar 05

Something Else Sunday #27

Life 0

something else sunday

Hi everyone! This week…well, this week sucked. It seemed like nothing went as planned and I was having a super emotional and homesick week and I didn’t read much of anything. Well, I did read some during the 24-hour surprise shift that got thrown at me, but it wasn’t very good reading time, I couldn’t relax! Regardless, I didn’t get any reviews posted and didn’t finish The Bone Witch…boo.

My orchid died.

From this just a couple of months ago…

To this startling discovery one afternoon…

To this less than 2 days later.

First one leaf fell off and then within 36 hours the entire thing was lifeless. It was horrifying. After all kinds of YouTubing and Googling I believe it was hit with some kind of bacterial brown rot, which apparently this type of orchid is particularly susceptible to. I’m so sad. I get attached to plants too. Yes, I’m weird, so sue me. 😛 This was my only plant here, so I guess this means I just get to have a completely clean slate once we move. Trying to make myself feel better and it’s not working. 😛

I have hopes for this week. High hopes! Work promises to continue being stupid, but what job doesn’t? 😛

Last week on the blog:

This week on the blog:

  • Down the TBR Hole #15
  • Writing Up Wednesday #7: Freebie
  • Black Beauty (classic review)
  • The Bone Witch (YA review)