Archive for the ‘other’ Category:

Valentine’s Day Surprise

Happy Valentine’s! 

Hey guys! Sorry for the very random and very un-aesthetic post (oops sorry Xan), but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to announce this on Valentine’s Day…

Twirling Pages is getting a new coblogger! 

If you guys don’t know me (and let’s be real, y’all probably don’t because I’ve been MIA for the past year or so)  I’m Nicole Wang–or Nikki Wang–and I blogged at Fiction Freak from 2012 to around 2015, when high school started and I started to read less and less. After trying to restart my own blog several times, I pretty much gave up and fell off the face of the earth for about a year. 

But the book community just kind of never lets you go and I started to miss all the rants about cliffhangers and love interests and discussing everything in 140 character tweets. So about a month ago, I asked Xan if she needed a coblogger and she said yes! Soooo here I am. Y’all will probably see me about once every other week (and hopefully more frequently when summer starts?) so here’s to hoping my posts are as quality as Xan’s are! In the meantime, here are some facts about me:

 

Favorite…
Books: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas, The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis, and sooooo many more. 
Movie: Mr. Nobody 
Food: Sushi/poke bowls 
Reading position: In bed
Color: Silver

Misc.
Age: 16 turning on 17 (March 11!) 
Personality: Extrovert
Hobbies: Talking. A lot. Nonstop. Lots of talking. Sleeping. Eating. The basics. 
On a Friday night you’ll find me: playing Settlers of Catan with friends probably. We’re a bunch of nerds.
You can usually find me: At school working on something for a club or class. I literally haven’t gone home before 5:30 PM this entire school year. Why am I like this. 

See y’all soon! <3 Happy Valentine’s! 

how to find your groove & conquer the blogging slump

blogging-slump

i often go through phases in my life. one time, i was obsessed with graphic design and photoshop; i’d often make fan edits of shows or books or anything, and stay up huddling over my computer. i was once obsessed with anime and fan fiction; you’d find me clutching my phone at 4am, crying over characters that didn’t exist, on plots that didn’t exist canon-ly either. (SIGH.) i do this often (echm monthly favorites are just monthly obsessions that i may or may not get over), and i’ll probably do this forever. but recently i began to question: was blogging just “a phase?” (and i think that is the REAL FEAR)

this blog always felt ~more than~ my other obsessions. it felt like something i could do with a purpose and not just a “waste of time,” as my parents would say. but when every post and all the things i believe i should be doing feel like a chore, i begin to question myself. i don’t want my blog to just be a phase (which, quite possibly, is the worst phrase to describe something you’re passionate about). so i decided to do what i usually do when i feel unsure or confused: blog about it.

i-am-ready-jongsuk

when i usually try to figure something out, i make a how-to blog post about it. (see: how to read when you’re a busy bee, how to cope with a book hangover, etc.) in a way, it’s my version of giving myself an assignment and figuring out how to teach it to myself. so although this post may not work for you, i sincerely hope it works for me. these past few months made me forget why i’m even here. the page views? the “popularity?” the god-forbid FREE BOOKS?! (one should never blog for free stuff, but that rant is for another post.) writing this post is a reminder that i’m blogging for myself. i’m writing because i have words to emit and thoughts to share and things to LET OUT. everything else is just perks. i think we, as creators, need to be reminded of this whenever we feel lost.

step one: find the problem and remember your purpose

are you feeling ~out of it~ because there’s no time to blog/read/do all the things? i usually see this during the autumn months. summer is over and vacations are over; there’s more time spent doing real-life duties and less time on “hobbies” like reading and blogging. if that’s the case, then time is your problem. but when you actually have time on your hands, you’re no longer in the mood or, you know, feelin’ it, then there’s an internal conflict. (ooooooo)

externally, i don’t think there can be much done. try your best to make means with the problem (ex: time) and wait for it to get break (ex: a break). but internally? it can be more complicating. the key to getting out of any funk is to remind yourself why you’re doing this. i think that’s the main reason why we lose track of ourselves. everyone is given 24 hours in a day, and i could be doing ANYTHING in that time. why am i spending it on making this blog post? and why am i NOT spending it on making this blog post?

step two: give yourself space… or throw yourself into the task

the way i see it, this can go in two very different directions. you can either ignore the task at hand, or force yourself to do the thing you need to do. sometimes it’s necessary to take a step back and do ~other things~ and maybe find other interests. if you feel like a weight has lifted off your shoulders, i believe that’s a sign you need to let go of the thing(s) that are holding you down. you can always pick it up again later if you feel the need.

if you’ve already taken a break and still feel like you gotta do this thing, then it’s time to throw yourself into the task. brainstorm posts, create deadlines, and do what you need to do. you may feel like you forgot how to blog (me); you may feel like your content is 💩 (me); but just remember: you’re not here to be perfect, you’re here to make progress. if there’s no momentum, MAKE momentum. the key is to make a decision. don’t hang onto something because you feel obligated to, and don’t force yourself into something you don’t want. *repeats vigeroulsy*

step three: be sure of yourself

i think the worst part of The Slump™ (or any slump) is the confusion, the awkward in between. you’re not sure what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, or what to do. you just feel OUT OF IT. once you openly decide to do something, you need to hold yourself accountable. ignoring the problem and leaving it for “later” does nothing. this applies to any slumps, not only blogging ones. whether you decided to stop the thing you’re doing or fling yourself into it, be confident in the choices you made. tell others of your plans to change. ask your friends to remind you. create something.

do you have any tips for when you feel out of it? please let me know in the comments!

what blogging means to me (blogiversary + GIVEAWAY!)

what blogging means to me

this is the first time drafting a REAL blog post in a REALLY long time. i mean, sure, i shared my monthly recaps but those posts don’t require too much brainwork and i don’t count that as reaaaaaaaally blogging(?). but anyway, I’M BAAAAAACK from my summer hiatus. whether you started reading my blog today or two years ago, thank you thank you thank you for magically appearing on this site and taking the time to hear my thoughts and rambles. (has it really been two years already?!)

in all honesty, my blog actually didn’t start on this date – my bookstagram did! but i still consider today as my blogiversary because 1) i started my blog shortly after aka within the next few weeks and, 2) it’s percy jackson‘s birthday and PERCY JACKSON IS MY FAVORITE. *eats blue cake to celebrate* i thought it’d be nice to get a little sentimental and sappy since i’m not usually (as) sentimental or sappy during the other days of the year. so….

what does blogging mean to me?

…having a voice

before blogging, there were only a handful of people i could talk to. the people around me either didn’t care about the things i cared about, couldn’t understand my opinions, or just didn’t get it. but i realize now that there were many times that i simply didn’t feel brave enough to speak my mind. blogging gave me the opportunity to speak up.

…embracing yourself and growing up

i feel like the caterpillar in ALICE IN WONDERLAND when i ask, “whooooo areee youuuu?” a big thing i learned from blogging is to just ~be yourself~. i know i said that’s the WORST advice you could give, but it’s true. i remember when i first started, i’d try to “fit in” in the blogging world but here’s the thing: there are no rules in blogging. you can write whatever you want, or how ever you want. you can write nothing in your posts, or everything in your brain. do what you want and do it for yourself. blogging has allowed me to be more comfortable being ME in both real life and internet realms.

…learning to put yourself out there

as relieving it is to finally share your thoughts to people who care, it’s also scary. people can disagree; people can be irrationally mean; people can be secretly trolls and not actually people at all. or people won’t even know or acknowledge your internet existence – even though you’ve overcome the fears of negativity. which is to say, blogging has taught me to really put yourself out there. comment on other people’s posts, share things you love and promote your own work as well. most of the time, people aren’t intentionally ignoring you; they just didn’t see your post.

…knowing you belong

there is nothing more grateful i am for than the community. i can go on twitter and talk about my day and people won’t judge. people will actually RESPOND and talk about THEIR day as well! isn’t that amazing? knowing that, even as you change and grow, there will always be people there wanting to hear what you have to say. i wouldn’t trade anything for this caring community i’ve found. (and yes, that means you! the person reading this post! did anyone tell you you’re a fantastic person today? because you are and someone out there – echm me – is happy you exist.)

…feeling your hard work has paid off

there is nothing more satisfying than working on a really long post, and clicking publish (or schedule). even if nobody reads it, it is so satisfying to just finish it and put it out onto the world. there is nothing more satisfying than drafting and designing your website, and finally putting it out for everyone to see. (this must be what publishing a book feels like and IT’S GREAT) it’s that magical feeling of putting time, effort, and passion into this… THING and the endgame of something amazing.

i am so grateful for the day i stumbled upon a bookstagram picture on my explore page (before bookstagram was even a thing!); i am so grateful for finding these things called “book blogs”; i’m so grateful for all the friends i’ve made and people met; i’m so grateful for just, everything. THANK YOU. (okay i think that’s enough sappiness for today)

some of my favorite posts i’ve created thus far:

giveaway!!!!!

i’ll be hosting TWOOOOO giveaways in celebration for my blogiversary – one on this post andone on my youtube channel! they contain different prizes but end on the same date: august 31, 2016 at 11:59pm PST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

terms and conditions:

  • this giveaway is US only BUT the giveaway i’m hosting on youtube is open internationally!!
  • you must be 18 or older OR have your parent’s consent to release a mailing address.
  • you will be disqualified for picking up entires you didn’t do.
  • you may only use one account to enter.
  • if the winner doesn’t respond in 48 hours, i will choose another winner.
  • i am not responsible for anything lost in the mail.

good luck in the giveaway(s) and thank you for sticking around so far!! *hugs*

ten ways to make your day better

ten ways to make your day better

we all have bad days. there are days when you’re frustrated and angry (and maybe for no particular reason), days when you have no motivation to do anything, days when you feel as if you’re on the verge of tipping over. these days exist for all of us. so what do we do? (because screaming and glaring at everyone who looks in your direction doesn’t work) we try to make it better. SO, here are ten ways you could make your day slightly more bearable.

listen to your favorite songs, old or new

whether you’re feeling nostalgic for backstreet boys or ready to jam to hamilton, listen to music. turn it up and sing along to the lyrics you know. throw a spontaneous emergency dance party.

catch up with friends, virtually or in real life

catching up with old friends (or family!) is always refreshing. you get to update your life to people who actually care, as opposed to the people who roll their eyes at your facebook statuses. it’s also nice to know how others are doing with their lives. you can do this by texting, calling, or actually meeting up with the person.

express gratitude

making a list of things/people/places you’re grateful for is really helpful in changing one’s perspective. even the simplest things like “the weather is nice today.” you could also make lists of things that made you happy that day (ex: i got an unexpected package) or your accomplishments (ex: i finished writing a blog post).

pamper yourself (take a bath/long shower/face mask/whatever)

this is so effective because it relaxes your mind and body. sometimes taking a long shower after a long day is exactly what i need. i stop worrying about the things that worry me and begin to relax relax relax.

re-watch your favorite movie(s) or catch up on tv shows

ahhh netflix, the cure for all. it’s wonderfully distracting to sit back and watch a film because you can stop worrying about your own issues and start worrying about the character’s issues. and 9/10 of the time, everything works out fine.

(more…)

18 candles & lessons learned (+ GIVEAWAY!)

18th birthday

the end of my teen years are approaching and i feel… excited? anxious? confused? sad? all of the above? the past year truly sped by too quickly and all of a sudden I’M AN ADULT. i’m not much different today than i was yesterday except now i’m an adult. i’m at that horrible age when you’re not old enough to be considered old, but not young enough to be considered young. AND you’re suddenly expected to know/do adult things like paying bills and figuring out taxes. (okay maybe not YET as it’s been less than 24 hours but.. whatever) birthdays always make me a bit sentimental because it’s a reminder of how far you’ve come and how far you have left. it makes me feel the need to stop time and rewind. (i wish i could freeze the time at seventeen..)

now that i can officially consider myself as a grown up™, i thought it’d be wise to share some of the things i’ve learned throughout the years. here are eighteen pieces of advice i would give my former self, learned from eighteen years of mistakes and good ol’ experience.

1. listen to your parents

during my elementary school days, i’d only listen to my parents out of fear for getting in trouble. but somewhere along the way i came to realize and understand my parents’ rules and reasoning. my parents only mean well. whatever it is may feel awful at the moment, but it’ll probably help in the long run. they’ll always support me and have my back (even when it may not feel like it sometimes). they are wise beyond my years, and always will be. listen to all they have to say. people will come and go from your life; your parents are not one of those people.

2. don’t feel guilty for venturing from the status quo

as a child, i always wanted to be that kid who “fit in” with everyone else. (let’s be real, who wasn’t that kid?) but living a life focusing on ballet made that harder because no, i can’t go to your party because i have ballet and no, we can’t study together because i have ballet. eventually, that lead to me transferring to an online school (to spend more time dancing) which also meant i basically disappeared from my old friend groups. i tried keeping touch and continue being “normal” (and was annoyed at myself when i couldn’t), but then i learned i didn’t need to force myself into the mold i created.

3. be passionate about things

i (still) have this horrible habit of doing things halfway (or in dance-vocabulary “marking”) in life. i’ll kiiiiiinda do something and expect fantastic results. obviously, the world doesn’t work like that. once you find something you’re really enthusiastic about, don’t be afraid to go all out. which may mean researching online, staying up at night doing that thing, setting goals, looking for improvement, obsessing obsessing obsessing.

4. following up on the last advice, it’s okay to be passionate about more than one thing

i’ll admit, i still have trouble juggling my multiple interests. i always hear of prima ballerinas who dedicate their entire heart and soul into the art. ballet is their everything and they don’t have other interests. but me? i love ballet AND books AND aesthetics AND photography AND a lot of other things. it took me a while to realize it’s okay (and probably completely normal) to like more than one thing.

5. keep an open mind for new ideas, people, and places

there’s a quote by bill nye that says, “everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.” i think this is so relevant and true because there is always more to learn, more to see, more to do.

6. don’t walk on unpaved roads (mud, grass, etc) with open-toed shoes

you may or may not know this story, but i once went to mississippi and got attacked by fire ants which eventually led me to go to the hospital. the reason? (aside from my utter stupidity and bad luck) i stepped on a fire ant hill with my open-toed sandals. now i’m overly sensitive to bug bites (before i was merely sensitive but not i’m overly sensitive) and i often have nightmares that include fire ants. lesson learned.

7. “be yourself” is the most misleading advice you will hear as a teen

this phrase is the absolute worst and it only took me three years to figure out what a scam it is. at twelve years old, how on earth was i supposed to “be myself” when i hardly knew who that was? i think people actually mean “create yourself.” before you can even become yourself, you need to make yourself.

8. being inspired by others doesn’t make you a copy-cat

after i realized i had to create myself, i took to copying some of my role models because i wanted to be just like them. i started to feel guilty because i thought i was no longer alexandra and now role-model-wannabe. BUT that’s not true because there’s NO WAY you can actually ~be~ someone else. by being inspired by other’s ideas, quirks, and personalities, you’re creating your own version of them which ultimately means you’re creating yourself. *gasp*

9. fake it till you become it (aka my life motto)

this rookie article will always be one of my favorites because it speaks to me on such a strong level. it’s basically saying if you fake something hard enough, it will become real. lemme explain: if you pretend to be (for example) confident long enough, the confidence will become second nature and you won’t be faking it anymore. ~MAGIC~

10. look at things from multiple perspectives

i always witness people get into disagreements simply because they didn’t look at it from two sides of the story. let me repeat myself: THERE ARE TWO (or more) SIDES TO A STORY. consider everything before jumping to conclusions or else it will lead to misunderstandings and bad blood.

11. life is hardly ever as simple as black and white; most of it is gray

when you’re a kid, things can be easily labeled into boxes of “good” and “bad.” but with more layers added, i’ve learned that it’s never that simple. following the thought on perspective, the “bad” could be thinking they’re doing good. so who’s right here? it’s safe to assume everyone is gray.

12. when in doubt, bring a book

*still has regrets for every appointment/wait/whatever and i forgot my book*

13. know who to dedicate time, love, and effort to

there will be people you meet who (sorry not sorry) are simply not worth your time. this is not to say these are bad people (like i said earlier, most of the time people are gray), but they probably have different priorities and mindsets and you just don’t click. instead, spend more time on people who will recipricate your efforts and appreciate your simple existence.

14. you don’t need fancy things or a lot of friends/followers to be happy

people often think fortune and famous/popularity are the keys to euphoria. but over the years, i’ve come to learn that it’s the small things that hold more meaning. money doesn’t buy you happiness, and neither does a big follower count. although both are nice to have, there are also other things in life that hold value.

15. be nice to your siblings

(and not because my sister is terrifying otherwise.) i used to ALWAYS argue with my sister. when she moved away to college, her missing presence made me realize how grateful i am to have a sister, a person who’s been with you through it all, a person who knows you like no other, a person you can confide in and trust. be nice to them.

16. the progress is just as important as the endgame

when rehearsing for a competition or performance, the purpose is for a stunning show. but what happens when months of hard work fall flat in the two minutes on stage? does it mean it was all for nothing? this awful question helped me come to terms about the true purpose of rehearsals and reaching goals. it’s the progression and improvement that matters more than the ultimate end.

17. be patient

progress is not something that could be easily seen right off the bat. continue doing that thing, be patient, and everything will work out.

18. there are so many things in this world waiting to be discovered, waiting to be pursued

sometimes life feels so small. “i can only be insert-future-profession-here or else i’m NOTHING,” is a thought that circles my mind sometimes but note to self: the future is not set in stone. as cheezy as it sounds, you can be anything and there are SO many possibilites out there.

giveaway!!

heartless arc giveaway

because i love gift giving and celebrating (and also because i received an extra copy – thank you, macmillan!!) i’m giving away an ARC of HEARTLESS, by marissa meyer and a tee of your choice from the twirlings! i might add some other goodies/books/whatnots if i feel like it, but those are the ~main~ prizes. *throws confetti* before you get too excited…

here are the terms and conditions:

  • this giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY
  • it will run from june 10, 2016 to june 24, 2016 at 11:59 PST.
  • you must be 18 or older OR have your parent’s consent to release a mailing address.
  • you will be disqualified for picking up entires you didn’t do.
  • you may only use one account to enter.
  • if the winner doesn’t respond in 48 hours, i will choose another winner.
  • i am not responsible for anything lost in the mail.
a Rafflecopter giveaway