Posts Categorized: Links and Silliness

Winter 2016-2017 Bingo Wrap-Up

February 28, 2017 Links and Silliness 0

Well, it’s February 28, meaning it’s the last day of Pretty Deadly Reviews’s seasonal Bookish Bingo reading challenge. I’m always sad for a season to end, but tomorrow means we get a new one. BRING ON MORE BINGO.

(Fact: whether you are 10, 20, or 60, bingo will bring out the competitiveness in you. I’ve been in a room full of high-strung college kids trying to win free groceries and assorted goodies at least five separate times. I know this.)

Here’s how I did:

Wintry Bingo 15 Enter Title Here

I got bingo three times over, so I feel pretty good! Remember, my TBR jars choose most of my reading, so it’s entirely random for me. I didn’t exactly make the jar system with the intent to do true-blue Bingo, but it looks like that’s the result.

Green cover: The Lost & Found by Katrina Leno

Alternative format: Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Set abroad: Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson

Sequel: Invaded by Melissa Landers

Own voices: Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson

Romance: One Silver Summer by Rachel Hickman

GR Choice nominee: And I Darken by Kiersten White

Not YA: The Garden of My Imaan by Farhana Zia

Science fiction: Ticker by Lisa Mantchev

Crime: Afterward by Jennifer Mathieu

Blue cover: This Is Our Story by Ashley Elston

LGBT: Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley

Super hyped: The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Unreliable narrator: Enter Title Here by Rahul Kanakia

Cover buy: The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back by Sariah Wilson


Bookish Bingo: Fall 2016 Wrap-Up

December 1, 2016 Links and Silliness 0

FUCK, I LOVE BOOKISH BINGO. I love Bingo in general for letting me indulge my inner old lady, but Bookish Bingo as hosted by Bekka of Pretty Deadly Reviews is obviously the best kind of Bingo.

Here’s how I did for the fall. I’m quite happy with two Bingos, especially since I play Bookish Bingo very literally due to my TBR Jar-controlled reading.


Standalone: If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

Backlist: The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

Multi POV: Perfect Liars by Kimberly Reid

Killers: Vile by Benjamin S. Jeffries

Suspense: Die for You by Amy Fellner Dominy

Revenge: Interference by Kay Honeyman

Horror/Paranormal: Demonosity by Amanda Ashby

Illustrated: The Only Girl in School by Natalie Standiford

American History: Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee

Friendship: How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You by Tara Eglington

Black Cover: Avenged by E.E. Cooper

Fall Release: A Thousand Lives by Julia Scheeres

Creepy Cover: My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier


The Bookish Floridian’s Hurricane Preparedness Kit

September 1, 2016 Links and Silliness 0

As a resident of Northeast Florida for most of my life, I’ve lived through a hurricane or two. Actually ten (1994 Alberto, 1998 Earl, 1999 Floyd, 2004 Charley, 2004 Frances, 2004 Jeanne, 2005 Tammy, 2008 Fay, 2012 Debby, 2012 Isaac), but those are just the storms I can recall affecting my life in some manner. Flooding our house, chasing us out of the house, cancelling school, knocking down our trees, etc. The cruddy stuff!

With Hurricane Hermine bearing down upon us, area schools have decided to close tomorrow and we residents are going through the motions of hurricane prep by filling up our cars with gas, filling up gas cans (generator owners only), and caring more about the Jaguars/Falcons football game than the actual storm. It’s really hard to make us care about a hurricane.

In case you’re wondering what I do to prepare as a bookish Floridian, here’s the basic list:


Duh! Though I often get frightened out of my reading experience by thunder and lighting, the rain itself creates a relaxing background noise to which I can read and wait out the storm. But what if the power goes out?

A clip-on reading light

Problem solved! Pop that light onto your book or even onto your head and you can read even if it’s the middle of the night and you’ve got no power. I’ve got a high-power headlamp that straps onto my head with an elastic headband. That way, my hands are free and I don’t have to crimp my book’s pages with the classic reading light! But what if it runs out of power?

Flashlight and batteries

Also duh! A basic hurricane necessity. I just put a new battery into my headlamp and use the flashlight when I need more light than my tiny strap-on friend can provide. My headlamp is ridiculously powerful and can even flash SOS if necessary, so who knows if it would be necessary for me. But what if you don’t have either?

Then I’m sorry you can’t afford those right now or I’m laughing at how unprepared you were. But I have an alternative!

Ebook reader(s), charged and full of books

YOU CAN’T STOP THE READING HURRICANE, ACTUAL HURRICANE. Obviously, make sure they’re fully charged beforehand. Then you can still read even if you have no light by which to read print books and you can use them to light up an area in a pinch. But what if you can’t subsist solely on words?

Drinks and snacks

Gather some nonperishable goods to keep yourself hydrated and fed. Water bottles, sweet tea for my particular family because we’ll drink it at any temperature, foods that don’t require a microwave or anything to prep, sweets,… If your fridge loses power and it won’t go bad, it’s game.


Because the namesake animals of The YA Kitten don’t like hurricanes either. Our four indoor cats chill with us and our one outdoor cat is safely barricaded in the garage with everything he needs. In a pinch, we can move him inside and keep him away from the other cats.


Tips for ALA Attendees with Exhibits-Only Passes

July 3, 2016 Links and Silliness 0

From June 24th–the day of my last post–to June 27th, I was at ALA Annual 2016 in Orlando, Florida with my best friend, who happens to be a teacher. I basically pushed her into going with me. We both had a blast, but I’ve needed almost the entire week since I got home to detox! My anxiety + a 20,000 attendee-strong conference = ded. I survived by the grace of being able to keep my professional persona intact and bottle up my anxiety. All that anxiety and exhaustion hit like a bullet train at the end of the day, but that’s how it goes in the working world too.

Anyway, I went into the conference with a lot of questions about how things worked. I heard it was much calmer than the chaos that was BEA, but all the ALA tips I saw were intended for the conference’s main attendees: the librarians. Anyone with an Exhibits Only pass like me was practically going in blind!

In hopes of helping out other people who will be attending ALA in the future, whether they’re going the annual or midwinter meeting, here are a few things I wish I’d known beforehand.

There are galley drops like at BEA, but they’re typically not scheduled or publicly announced. You’ll get most titles by simply asking someone working the booth for a copy.

You see most of the publicity surrounding what’s going on reserved for the in-booth signings. About 60% of my haul came from making requests rather than going to signings or checking the booths hourly for drops. You can figure out what they have by checking for which ARCs they have on their display shelves. You’ll see hardcovers and paperbacks alongside them, but those are there to be promoted to the librarians. Focus on the ARCs to figure out what the publisher has available.

Seriously, you won’t know what books are being put out in stacks on the floors or tables until you see because they simply don’t announce it the way they would at BEA. It’s rather exciting and motivates you to check back in the booth every hour or two.

In case you’re nervous about asking someone, the worst you’ll get is a “no.” They may not be polite about it–my best friend said she got a rather rude “no” once at a booth I can’t recall–but they can’t have you kicked out for asking. Just try to take it in stride and move on. As someone with anxiety who hates hearing “no,” I do understand how difficult that can be. Still, do your best!

You do have to purchase a copy of a book for some signings.

Not the ARC signings, obviously. For finished copies of books (paperbacks and hardcovers). Even then, I went to four signings at four different publisher booths where finished copies were being signed, but only one of them required I purchase the book. I happily paid because it was Perfect Liars by Kimberly Reid, published by Lee & Low Books. I’d planned to purchase the book at some point anyway because I want to support diverse books (Lee & Low in particular is a publisher that specializes in diverse books) and I’ve been looking forward to it for ages.

Anyway, bring your credit or debit card or some cash. Even if it turns out none of the books you pick up over the course of the conference require a purchase, it’s better to be prepared than miss out on something you’re excited for.

In addition, the books are typically sold at special convention prices: $5 for a paperback, $10 for a hardcover. Off the top of my head, I can recall Lee & Low Books, Candlewick Press, Hachette, and possibly Abrams selling books, but there were TONS more that I either didn’t notice or flat-out forgot about.

Lines for signings are still a bit ridiculous, but they’re not BEA-ridiculous.

Some lines will come with special conditions (i.e. Stephanie Garber was signing ARCs of Caraval, but it was a librarian and educator-exclusive signing). Other lines start 30-45 minutes prior to the signing proper, as I saw was the case for Morgan Matson’s signing of The Unexpected Everything. Compared to how lines would start hours in advance for certain BEA titles (*coughcough HEIR OF FIRE cough*), this is nothing. For the most part, lines for signings are calm affairs and really do start just before the signing.

This does not apply to the last exhibit hall day, however. That is when the lines are scary as publishers try to clear out their booths of display copies and host giveaways at certain times. Though we’d been told the line for the Penguin Random House giveaway didn’t start until 12:00–JUST THE LINE–my best friend and I wandered by to check at 11:45 and found the line had already started. It was about 50 people deep?

We gave up and went to the Scholastic booth instead, where things were much more manageable and we were more likely to see our efforts rewarded.

Related: the exhibit hall’s last day comes with giveaways of booth display copies. Ask about their rules and when they start!

Each booth will have its own rules as well, which they’ll explain before the giveaway. Scholastic’s: 1 title per person, though they could get back in line as many times as they wanted if they wanted more. Penguin Random House’s: maximum of 3 titles from the Penguin side and 3 from the RH side, so you could leave with up to 6 books from the booth.

If you’ve only been to BEA before, ALA is much, much calmer.

Between the conference’s focus on librarians over general publishing professionals, the laid back manner in which books are distributed, and the lack of an autographing area, you’re likely to be much more comfortable at ALA than BEA. You’ll see some overlaps in behavior, but it’s not a whole lot.

No matter what, your body is going to despise you by the end.

I don’t know if this is the case for all ALA conferences, but there was no BEA-esque baggage check here where I could take a small bag for a fee and fill it with books over the course of the day. Nope, gotta carry all those books yourself. You’ll get plenty of tote bags to carry books in if you go looking for them, but I still recommend bringing two reliable, comfortable totes with you. Any bags with wheels require special approval and I saw most used for medical reasons.

Between all the walking and the weight of the books, our arms and legs were screaming at the end of each day. Was the pain worth it?


Just remember: this is a professional conference intended solely for librarians. If you’re there as a blogger or educator or anyone else with an Exhibits Only pass, your presence is a privilege, not a right. Don’t abuse your privilege and screw things up for everyone else.

Got any other questions you want to ask? I’m open to adding more to this post as well as answering questions in the comments!

If I do a haul post, you’ll likely see it later this week.


How to Fail at Book Blogging

June 21, 2016 Links and Silliness 0

A Few Ideas:

1) Never actually post about books. Just call your site a book blog and post about other stuff. For instance, shitty Donald Trump memes.

2) Pick fights to raise your profile, especially if it’s about mundane stuff. For instance, one popular blogger is a dog person. You’re a cat person. Start tweeting at them in hopes of rectifying their very wrong opinion.

3) Set up your site so music or a video will autoplay when someone visits. Everyone loves to be surprised by music or a Top Ten Twitch.TV Fails when they’re visiting someone’s blog!

4) Ignore all my contradictions throughout this post.

5) Somehow got books for review? Sweet! But wow, now you have a lot of them. Clear out your house by selling those books–especially the ARCs–on eBay and advertise that fact freely on social media. Whether you’ve read them or not, money is nice.

9) Misnumber your list posts and make each item almost unrelated to the supposed topic of the post.

6) Let your pet* review stuff instead by placing them on the keyboard and letting them run wild. Whatever babble they produce during their walk goes live as a review for something.

*I advise using smaller pets such as cats and toy dogs for this trick because your greyhound will probably destroy your computer.

My black cat Shadow sits atop my bookshelf with glowing green eyes.

That book is fucked, let me tell you. Shadow is gonna roast it.

7) ???

8) Profit.

Alternate Idea:

Be me and kinda forget that you have a blog and it needs updating with review and blogger memes and stuff. I swear I’ll get back on a schedule again soon!


Bookish Bingo Wrap-Up: Spring 2016 Edition

June 8, 2016 Links and Silliness 0

Well, Pretty Deadly’s latest round of Bookish Bingo ended May 31st. Alas, I once again failed at getting Bingo. Now that I’m letting my TBR Jar choose my books, it’s even more challenging, but it hasn’t gotten any less fun! You should totally join in if you haven’t already.

Here’s how my card turned out this round:

Spring Bingo 12 Wildflower

Second Chance: Traitor Angels

Non-Binary MC: Symptoms of Being Human

Under 200 Pages: Against Football

Set Over 200 Years Ago: The Passion of Dolssa

March/April/May Release: Guile

Criminals: Trust Me

Metallic Lettering: Rebel of the Sands

Book Toward Another Challenge: The Possibility of Now

Rec’d by more than one friend: The Darkest Corners

Flower on Cover: Wildflower

Non-Fiction: A Mother’s Reckoning

Standalone: The Girl Who Fell


If you took part too, how did your round go?


A Journey Through Hell; or Getting My Name Legally Changed in Florida

May 25, 2016 Links and Silliness 0

Yeah, I know, yet another non-bookish post, but I live to entertain and help other people.

If you were here yesterday, you saw a post about how to legally change your name in Florida. Outlining the process through its requirements is one thing; explaining the human experience of it is another.

Now how did my personal experience with the name-change procedure go? WHOO BOY, DO I HAVE A STORY.

Early June 2015: Fresh from BEA, where I’d mentioned my plans to friends and bought a keychain with “Paige” on it, I started doing my research, filled out and printed Forms 12.982(a) and 12.982(b), and arranged to get fingerprinted.

Mid-June 2015, part 1: I head to the sheriff’s office to get fingerprinted and find out that parking in the area is absolutely terrible. Also, the courthouse is right next door, so I won’t lose either building easily.

Mid-June 2015, part 2: I need a public notary to sign my forms and a family friend who works with my dad as a secretary happens to be one, so I meet my dad for lunch and the family friend signs the papers for me. I discover she’s a homophobe who would refuse to perform a wedding for a same-sex couple.

After lunch and the form-signing I’m so confident in I don’t check over it, I head back to the county courthouse and attempt to turn in my paperwork. I get lost in the place for about 20 minutes and have to ask for help. The office directs me to Family Court Services for a final check of my paperwork and the latter tells me that I’m missing Forms 12,900(h) and DH-427 as well as the envelopes. OH, AND THE NOTARY DIDN’T SIGN THE PAPERWORK EVERYWHERE SHE WAS SUPPOSED TO.

An angry-looking white cat breathes heavily.

I return home as a grumpasaurus rex.

Late June 2015, part 2: Repeatedly visiting my dad for lunch will make both of us sick of Waffle House very quickly, so I ask him to take the paperwork back up there and get the secretary to sign them again but make sure to sign all the blanks it says she needs to this time.


lol, she screws up again. I become certain she and my dad are trying to sabotage my efforts.

July 2015: I try yet again with the paperwork and she does sign everywhere she’s supposed to this time. Hurrah! She made copies of all the forms and I take my full set of paperwork to the local clerk of court office (which is much closer than the county courthouse) to file them. NOPE, CAN’T DO IT. The paperwork has to be the original copies, not photocopies, and she threw out the original copy.

A deeply unhappy-looking cat swishes its tail back and forth.

Once again, I’m certain of a conspiracy. That or the family friend needs her public notary license revoked.

Late July 2015, part 1: This time, I make sure I have the original copy on me and take everything to the clerk of court office again. RE-DENIED. This time, it’s because I filled in the Final Judgment form by hand when it was supposed to be typed.

To top it all off, I locked myself out of my car. Good thing I didn’t lock my purse in there too (one pocket hid the spare key I used in emergencies) or I REALLY would have been up the creek without a paddle. Or a boat.

Late July 2015, part 2: OKAY, FOR REAL THIS TIME. A few days after my previous attempt, I take my fully corrected paperwork back to the clerk of court office again to file them. The attendant initially doesn’t believe they’re the originals because she can’t feel the indents of the pen in the paper, but I assured her they were the originals. I just don’t press hard on my pens.


A cat happily grins with an open mouth.

Later that day, I get a call to schedule my name-change hearing at the county courthouse.

Early August 2015: My name-change hearing! I make it to the courthouse a second time and the security guys still remember me from two months ago. Once again, I manage to get lost but eventually get directions to where I need to be. The hearing was little more than sitting in a woman’s office, answering her questions to confirm I’m not changing it to avoid criminal charges and such, and letting a tape recorder make an audio copy of our presentation. Then I go home and gleefully order a personalized necklace that says Paige as a celebratory gift to myself.

Mid-August 2015: I get my Final Judgment of Name Change forms in the mail and they’re signed/stamped! I’m officially Paige, not Ashleigh!

Oh, Paige of almost a year ago, you don’t even know yet.

Late August 2015: My dad forwards me an email from Florida Health saying that because I wasn’t born in Florida (I was born in Georgia and my family moved when I was 4), the Report of Legal Change of Name means nothing to them and they won’t forward it to Georgia for me. It’s my job to do that myself.


An angry ginger cat with its ears laid back against its head hisses. It's not a happy kitty.

tl;dr don’t change your first name in Florida unless you really fucking want to because it’s expensive and stupid and it only gets harder if you weren’t born in Florida. The process for changing your surname for marriage is way fucking easier.

So did you learn anything from my walk through the Floridian legal process? You know it has to be special considering the never-ending adventures of Florida Man.