Sunday, 31 December 2017

2017 in Review


(The Caveman in a cave outside Budapest!)

End of Year Wrap Up

So for the last two months, my urge to blog has somewhat fizzled out. However despite my new found reluctance, I love my blog very much and have no intention of giving it up. 

Through Whisperingwords I have met some really incredible people - generally other bloggers who inspire me to try new things, or push me to achieve my own goals - but honestly its just lovely talking to others who share my love of books. 

Therefore while many of you are probably wondering if I fell of the face of the earth - fear not - I will be returning with plenty of new posts next year. 

:)

For 2017 it was my goal to read 100 books. I’m actually on 109 (soon to be 110) and I hit my goodreads goal back in October. Strangely though I don't feel so celebratory of this fact. While I don't regret the books I read, I often felt I was forcing myself to read to achieve this goal - which in turn led to my lack of inspiration for blogging. It also meant that other important things - like my own writing - got neglected. As you can probably tell - I’m not so great at prioritising! 

Yet this is why for 2018 my Goodreads goal is…. 1. 

Of course that doesn't mean I will only read one book, I’d be very surprised if I read less than fifty. Of course I’ll still keep track of my reading, but by not setting a goal, I already feel that I’ve freed up so much time!

I also enjoy reading non-fiction, especially anything about lifestyle and being the best you that you can be. I travel lots and lots, and I want expand my blog to include these things. While I’ll still post book reviews, let’s face it, writing constant book reviews is becoming pretty repetitive for me, so I can only imagine how dull it must be for all of you. 

2018 I’ll be mixing things up!
Travel Posts. Motivational Posts. Writing Posts. 

… but still some book reviews of course.

:)

(Old Ruins in Autumn)

2017 highlights

I TRAVELED IN AND AROUND 10 COUNTRIES! 

  1. China
  2. Hong-Kong
  3. Indonesia
  4. Japan (Still my favourite place!)
  5. Australia
  6. Canada
  7. England & Scotland
  8. Poland
  9. Hungary - Budapest
  10. Prague

I READ 110 BOOKS! 

*Most of the these were part of a series so I’ve left links to the review of the first books* 

  1. Fire & Flood Duology by Victoria Scott. (Dystopian YA - better, I thought, than the hunger games!)
  2. Red Winter Trilogy by Annette Marie. (Awesome Fantasy set in Japan!)
  3. The Dream Snatcher Trilogy by Abi Elphinstone. (An Epic Middle Grade Adventure)
  4. Frogkisser! By Garth Nix (Standalone MG/YA Fairytale)
  5. The Winners Curse Trilogy! By Marie Rutkoski (YA Romantic Fantasy/Dystopian?)
  6. Six of Crows Duology by Leigh Bardugo. (Epic Fantasy Heist - wish I’d read this sooner!)
  7. A Court of Wing’s and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas. (Epic Fanasty - you either love it or you hate it!)
  8. Hunted by Meagan Spooner (Beauty and the Beast Retelling - beautifully old school writing!)
  9. The Wendy Darling Trilogy by Colleen Oakes (Breathtakingly Dark Peter Pan retelling!)
  10. A Dragon with a Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis (Loved this cheery Middle Grade Fantasy so so much!)

(Stumbling into a blizzard in Zakopane!)

MY MUM GOT MARRIED!

On December 23rd, my mum and lovely new step-dad finally tied the knot after 17 years of being together! Incidentally it was also the first time the whole family has been together for 25 years, and I know it meant so much to my grandma to have everyone she loved in one place.

I DRAFTED ONE BOOK AND OUTLINED TWO MORE.

I’m actually very behind on my writing, but I drafted a MG fantasy and am now knee deep in edits, plus I have two more YA fantasy novels all outlined and ready to go. Could 2018 be the year I get an agent…? Fingers crossed!

I WENT SKYDIVING IN VANCOUVER

My biggest thrill of the year and definitely something I would do again!

MY MOST POPULAR POST WAS: Writing Hacks & Tricks

:) 

(My grandma on xmas-day. Looking good for 88!)

Sadly however, the year was not all sunshine and joy. There were dark blots during some months and I feel they too deserve mentioning. 

Unexpected Tragedy 

In March 2017, my boyfriend’s younger brother (let’s call him X) was shot outside his home in North-Vancouver. After days fighting for his life, he miraculously pulled through, but has since lost all use of his legs. He has just turned 23. 

He is the strongest, most amazing person I know.

Rush onto December 2017. Nine months on and X is still wheel-chair bound, however he has made two paralympic teams, plays regular wheel-chair sports, and has signed up for just about every clinical trial available to man. He jokes and laughs, terrifies us all by coming down the stairs in his wheel-chair - but most importantly - he has fully committed himself to achieving what the doctors say, is the impossible task of walking again.

If anyone can do it, he can! And I’m looking forward to the day when he proves those doctors wrong!

MY DOG GOT HIT BY CAR

… and luckily suffered only a broken leg. Still at 11.30pm at night, it was terrifying experience that I never wish to repeat. And while I in no way blame the driver (my dog slipped between a broken slat in a park fence - there was no way the driver would have seen him coming) it would have been nice if the driver hadn't just driven off.

However you will be pleased to know my puppy-dog has since made a full recovery! Although if there is ever a petition going to create some kind of 999 number for animals, please let me know and I will sign right up!

MY GRANDMA HAS DEMENTIA

I mentioned that in October my grandmother moved into a care-home - and while I’m pleased to report she totally loves it and has become an utter social butterfly (We now have to be fitted into her diary to see her) - she does have some days better than others. 

While mostly she can laugh about it, its hard on those days when she forgets what year it is, or who is (or isn't) still alive. But I’m always so very proud of her for soldiering on. Having lived all over the world herself, she is the ultimate inspiration behind my own travels, and if I ever reach 88, I hope I can be just as brave and awesome as she is. 

With that in mind I just want to send a collective group hug out to anyone else who has a friend or relative going through the same thing. As my grandma says, “you have to live for the good moments by pressing on through the bad. Good times will come again.”

And on that note, I will end this post here. 

Best wishes to all of you! I’ll see you again in the New Year!

XxX

4 comments:

  1. Oh my word Sarah. Seems like quite a hectic year with lots of good and bad things happening. I hope 2018 is a much better year all-round!

    I look forward to more awesome posts from you! So glad you're keeping blogging :)

    Amy @ A Magical World Of Words

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  2. Thanks for stopping by Amy :) All the best for the new year! Can't wait to see what posts you'll come up with!

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  3. Happy New Year Sarah! Your 2017 seemed filled with lots of the good but also the bad and I hope 2018 will be better! I'm happy to see you around the blogosphere again though and will definitely keep track of your lovely blog this year too. Books, travel, writing, motivational, I'm here for it all :)

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    1. Happy New Year Lindsey :) I hope 2018 will be a good one for you too - can't wait to see what blog posts you have in store for this year too :)

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