C is for Corona Princess Diaries #AtoZChallenge

Living queen emoji Meg Cabot has decided to bless us with Corona Princess Diaries. That’s right: completely free updates of The Princess Diaries in which Meg Cabot shows us how Princess Mia is handling the global pandemic.

If you have never read The Princess Diaries before, this is an excellent introduction, though it does spoil the (obvious) ending of the book series and also has mild spoilers for the Middle School Princess series. You can read this to get a sense of Cabot’s writing style and humor and why I love her with my whole heart. (Also, of course, you can get a sense of just how different the book series is from the movies.)

Here’s an excerpt from Day 3, which made me laugh out loud:

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B is for Bejeweled #AtoZChallenge

For this year’s A to Z Challenge, I have decided that I’m going to focus on my survival/coping strategies while practicing social distancing. What are the things that make it bearable? What helps alleviate my stress and fear–or at least what distracts me from both?

Right, so I almost talked about baking because I have made more cookies in the past three weeks than I probably had in the previous six months. So, sure, baking is definitely a soothing activity.

But I have been playing Bejeweled almost every night.

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A is for Attitude #AtoZChallenge

So, last night I decided to sign up for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. I almost (but didn’t) signed up for the Slice of Life Challenge and then *waves hands* all of this happened, and I kind of regretted the choice. A global pandemic was (is) happening, and I had not committed to blogging during that time, which meant I was not blogging about it. Obviously, that could not stand, so here I am, blogging from A to Z.

atoz2020

When I signed up for the challenge, I said that my theme would be either gratitude or, you know, something related to living through the pandemic, so after giving it some thought, I have decided that I’m going to focus on my survival/coping strategies while practicing social distancing. What are the things that make it bearable? What helps alleviate my stress and fear–or at least what distracts me from both?

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A Perfunctory Catch Up Post

Welp, a lot has happened since my last non-book update, hasn’t it? For one thing, the world has changed irrevocably and, as they say, turned completely upside down, but I’ll get to that. Here’s a brief update on what’s happened since that last post:

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We’re Going to Need More Books #IMWAYR

My last post about prepping for courses to start in mid-February is like a time capsule into another world. Live theater? Flights? I mean, one of those things is still happening but the other most certainly isn’t–at least not where I live. Although I am course-prepping again because our school switched to remote instruction a week and a half ago, so I guess some things don’t change.

I am going to ease back into blogging by doing a reading update because I have a lot to say but am not quite sure where to start. So I’m going to start where I always start: books. I mean, I have two stacks of library books that will go back to the library…someday? I’m not even sure when because all of our local libraries are closed. On the plus side, I definitely checked out some books I have been meaning to read–a couple of them graphic novels–so I am going to make those my priority after I finish the book I’m currently reading (and that I assigned to my children’s literature class): Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly.

hello universe by Erin Entrada Kelly

Over the past month, I read the following:

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Plays and Marie Kondo

School starts today, and I am about 75% ready. More importantly, though, I’m requiring one of my classes to blog every week, so I figured I better get back into it myself post haste.

Here’s what happened since my last update:

1. I won the lottery to see the touring production of Frozen, which means I got to see it for $29 (once the fees were added in). My seat was to the side of the stage so some of the action was cut off, but for $25, I have so few complaints. It was a lot of fun, and it was interesting to see how they changed the production to make it work on stage (rearranging scenes, adding scenes, more songs, different ways of getting the characters in the same room, etc.). The biggest change was that they made Elsa and Anna’s dad less terrible than he is in the movie, though he’s still not great. Oh, and Elsa’s motivations and fears are just a little bit clearer.

The best part was probably the young woman behind me who LOST HER MIND when “Let It Go” started. The gasp of joy she let out when those first few notes started was just such a highlight. (It also helped me forgive her for singing along with the other songs prior to that–just a little.)

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More abandoned books! #IMWAYR

(I don’t know why I am feeling the exclamation point for post titles so far this year, but I’m going to leave it.)

The title, btw, is only a little misleading. I mean, I did *finish* a book, after all.

SadieSadie by Courtney Summers

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I listened to the audio, and I love a full-cast audio, so this really delivered. Rebecca Soler (narrator of The Lunar Chronicles) narrates all of Sadie’s parts, and she is the actual best so that was A+++.

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My first reading update of the new year! #IMWAYR

Welp, I said I wasn’t participating in any reading challenges, and then here comes Audible with their three  audiobooks in three months challenge, complete with a $20 gift card if you complete it.

Audible Challenge 2020

And if you thought your girl wasn’t going to read and WIN MONEY for doing so, then you don’t know me at all. Not to mention I have (a) plenty of audiobook credits to spare and (b) a 20-minute commute Monday-Thursday while I teach the winter session. So. Here we are.

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#AMonthofFaves Jólabókaflóð

Today’s Month of Faves topic is actually favorite books read this year. However, I’m still reading, and one of the two books I’m currently finishing could make that list. So instead, today I’m going to talk about how we celebrated Jólabókaflóð (Yule Book Flood) that I mentioned in my #AMonthofFaves This Is How I Holiday Away From Home post. This can either be categorized as a part two of that post OR as fitting the day/weekend in the life post that I missed because I was grading non-stop.

amonthoffaves19

Here was the plan for Jólabókaflóð.

Everyone (me, my best friend Fernie, her husband, and the four kids–“kids” even though three of them are grown) are all going to put our names in a hat, draw a name, and then go to the used bookstore and pick a book for that person. Then, we’re going to make hot cocoa and sit around and read on actual Christmas Eve.

Here’s what we actually did based on ideas we all contributed as we tried to work out logistics. As a reminder, there were seven of us in total participating.

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#AMonthofFaves Challenges and Goals

amonthoffaves19

THU. | Dec. 26 – #AMonthofFaves Challenges and Goals – Reading challenges, personal goals, resolutions – how did you do? Which was your favorite book read (and / or least favorite) for each challenge – or from all of them. Did you make New Years Resolutions? Did you get to all of them? Are you making any for next year … next month … next season?

My personal goals for 2019 were:

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