What’s Going On?

It’s probably just right to give you updates on things that’s been going on in my life. The last time I gave an update was way back in December 2020.

Basically, we’ve been busy surviving the pandemic like everyone else.

I just happened to re-read the other day what I wrote back in 2017, too. I was saying that people called 2016 as the worst year ever. I now think, Nope, we spoke too soon. To be honest, I don’t even remember most of what made it the worst then.

The years starting from 2020 till now are officially the WORST YEARS EVER. I’d like to say “so far” but I really don’t wish for things to get even worse than the worst. We lost so many people to the pandemic. Probably every one of us here knows of someone who succumbed to COVID19. I lost a childhood friend myself last September.

It’s not just COVID19 that is the problem.

Wars hurt people. My own sister-in-law still can’t go home from Lebanon due to bombings, violence, unrest, and the unbelievably high inflation. The ongoing Russia-Ukraine War is devastating and horrible. Anyone who doesn’t think so needs to look deeply into her/himself. Meanwhile, ransomware is a very big threat. Cybersecurity is in jeopardy all over the world…

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Image belongs to me (‘Cause, DUH, that’s me)

I don’t really need to list down everything to remind you of all the depressing things. Just saying we’re all in the same boat, basically. And as they say, it’s okay not to be okay sometimes.

Let’s Get Personal

Let me go back to talking about myself now since this is supposed to be my personal updates.

The past year was not that eventful for me/us until September. Like I said, I lost a childhood friend to COVID. This was the same editor-friend I mentioned before in a post. I wasn’t her closest friend IMG_20201210_032908but due to circumstances, I kind of became one of the point persons when people wanted to know what happened or what plans there were. This is a story that I will write about in the future.

Another news shook the family in November. It’s not anything near devastating, really. That doesn’t make it okay either. To be honest, I already typed it down here. I decided to delete it, however. It’s not something to be proud of and tell everybody about. I’m not posting pictures on social media for my own peace of mind, for now. That will only invite questions that I don’t want to answer over and over, or questions that I will be forced to answer because I’m not a liar.

I’m not in the mood to explain to people. Sure, should anybody asks, I’m not going to deny it. I’m just not going to spread the news around either. Besides, it’s not exactly my own story to tell. I’m simply part of the story, whether I like it or not. It’s an added responsibility for me, by default.

On to Lighter News!

I’d rather talk about recent goings-on in my life that have to do with writing and blogging.

Me at my table

#NaNoPoblao2021. DONE!!! I didn’t finish on time, but I finished. That’s what’s important. The purpose was to blog more and I did. All the posts are listed on the NaNoPoblano 2021 page now. I do need a new challenge to force me to get going. Well, May is a special month so I’ll think of something.

I really wanted to join this year’s A to Z Challenge. I just knew it was something I would not be able to complete. So I’ll content myself with checking out posts whenever I have the chance. I did join the challenges in previous years. I am especially proud of my #AtoZChallenge 2017 entries.

Blog Changes. They may not be noticeable but I’ve been doing some “physical” changes on the blog.

Challenge Box

For one, the CHALLENGE BOX is now easily visible since it is included as a button in the navigation bar. It is not anymore in the BLOG BANK > BLOG LINKS dropdown sub-menu. I wanted to make BLOG BANK the landing page like it was some years back. This version of the WordPress theme won’t let me. I’ll keep trying.

HangoutsHANGOUTS replaced a sidebar section. I decided to make the links to my social media accounts more visible, too. The number zero at the end of every link annoys me, though. I don’t know what that is and I don’t think that I’d like to show it even if I knew what that is. Right now, I am not able to delete the zeroes.

I will continue making changes here or there.

Reading Blogs. I just restarted doing this a little bit more regularly (HOPEFULLY). I’ve been reading posts through the Reader. I am also visiting the blogs/sites of bloggers whom I’ve become pals with through the years. I plan to check on other bloggers who I’ve also connected with somewhat in the past. It makes me sad to know that I’ve lost connection with them. But it’s really hard to catch up when you’re busy and/or your community grows.

A few years ago, I created a spreadsheet where I tried to list every blogger I followed and who followed me. I wanted to repay people for those times they decided to check out my blog, comment and, especially, follow. I wanted to connect by following or following back those that interested me (it didn’t really matter if they followed me or not).

I soon realized that doing that isn’t easy for a slightly OC person. It was tedious! So now, I’ve decided to just wing it and visit everyone whenever I can.

The Veerledom. While it seemed I stopped visiting the blog, I actually kept coming back even before November. I kept/keep referring to and editing my post on theater thespian and ballerina Veerle Casteleyn. I have been updating it due to stuff that I’m finding through research. This is all in relation to the Facebook fan page I made, The Veerledom.

Veerledom cover photo 2

Yes, I’m a fan girl. Don’t tell me you’ve never been a fan of anyone. And even if others question you (no one’s questioned me, by the way), probably asking Why him, Why her, you stay a fan. Because sometimes, being a fan is just something you feel and have to express. I’m pretty sure most of us know the feeling.

I do also like other artists who are more well-known. They don’t really need more fan sites and pages than they already have. Veerle have those, too. I still chose to make her a page because of a very specific reason: We still don’t know much about her.

A lot of the pages dedicated to her say the same things. And a lot of them are simply focused on admiring her looks and/or loving her as the popular character she portrayed on film. That’s not fair to her. So I created a page to show that she is more than a pretty face and more than the character. Also, the page should serve as a resource place for “Veerleans”.

Volunteer Reviewer. I recently got invited as a book reviewer. I got invited because supposedly, the one who emailed me said she liked my reviews. I kind of asked if she’s read any of them. I didn’t expect to be amused by her answer, let’s just put it at that.

The site is very legit so I applied as a reviewer (that’s required even if you got invited). It’s not a job. just something to do because I like it and, well, free books! Don’t want to pass that up. I’m trying to be a good reader again, that’s my main goal.

The thing is I think I messed up my application because they thought I applied as a professional offering services. It was my fault, really. They were following up and I explained my side. But now, I don’t know if I made it clear that I applied as a volunteer reviewer. I am anxiously awaiting their new response.

I’ve been doing several other things but they are not concrete stuff.  I’ll just have to save those updates for another day when I’m ready.

How about you? What have I missed about you?