the whenever write-up

The Whenever Write-Up: BEA 2016 and Lots of the Things

Posted 1 June, 2016 in Weekly Write-Ups / 1 Comment

The Whenever Write-Up is where I talk about what’s gone on in my life, both on the blog and off.

So it’s been a looot of weeks since I’ve written a weekly write-up. And even longer since I actually wrote them weekly. To make more sense, I now introduce the “whenever” write-up. 😛

(I actually just checked and it’s been 3 months, which isn’t quite as bad as I thought…)

Jump to:

It’s My Life

Well, hello! Hi! Hey you!

Yes, it’s been awhile. You know what they say about life getting in the way – and I’m pretty sure I have two lives right now. A lot’s gone on.

Those chronic illnesses I was diagnosed with last year are both still flaring, alternating between kind of bad days and bad days. So that’s super fun. But the symptoms are definitely better than, say, a year ago. Plus, I’ve gotten pretty boss at managing them – learning my safe foods and what triggers the symptoms, etc. So that helps, too.

And the best part of dealing with them? I’ve gotten the medical expenses under control. Between finally getting the diagnosis figured, growing my business’s monthly income, and finding alternative (albeit less effective…) solutions to the really expensive meds, I was able to focus a bit more on paying back bills since the new ones coming in weren’t nearly as bad.

In the past few weeks, I finally got my savings back up to where they were before all this started. You can’t imagine the sigh of relief that exploded out of me when I realized that. And I loooove the feeling of earning it through my own business that finally feels like a real business. I don’t know when the turning point happened, but it happened. I feel legit…sometimes. And watching every payment come in still excites me.

To make all that happen, I’ve been majorly focused on my other blog, since it more directly benefits my biz. But I was still reading (although a lot less) and making comments in my Kindle for reviews, and coming up with blog topics, and missing Book Bumblings.

Lately though, I’ve been feeling more inspired. I’m pretty sure it’s because of BEA (Book Expo America). Since the conference in early May, I’ve gone from reading 2-3 books per month back to 1-2 books per week, have been reviewing up a storm in Trello, and a little bit more in love with books again. 🙂

So speaking of BEA…

BEA & BloggerCon 2016

For the second year in a row, I went to Book Expo America. It was in Chicago this time, and since my boyfriend wanted to take a vacation in early May anyway (to celebrate the end of tax season) and Chicago was on our “places to go” list, he was my travel buddy. So exciting!

But for the first year, I had to travel. I’m…not great with travel.

Or crowds. Or socializing, most of the time.

Recipe for success.

And it turns out both of these chronic illnesses are exacerbated by stress and anxiety. I’ve noticed over the past few months that I must have a lot more stress and anxiety than I realized while traveling. Ho, boy, it’s rampant.

So I was pretty sick most of my time in Chicago. It wasn’t fun – I only spent a few hours per day outside the hotel room and I had to talk boyfriend out of taking me to the hospital more than once.

In silver lining news, the time zone and author signing schedule aligned with all my favorite shows in the TBS daytime lineup, I got a lot of reading done, and the hotel room was pretty cozy with a nice view.

IMG_7358

And it wasn’t all bad. I went to the majority of BloggerCon on Wednesday, and although I only went for an hour or two on Thursday and Friday, I got a fair amount of the books I went there with my heart set on.

BloggerCon

I liked the conference a lot this year. Instead of all being presentations, there were panels for each session. I kind of missed full-on educational presentations a little bit, but the more casual stuff was cool too.

blogger con pass

The really cool part was in the afternoon. There were sort of roundtable discussions on different topics, and bloggers could join one of the three discussion blocks. I “co-hosted” a table about monetizing and “business-izing” book blogs. It was fun to brainstorm ideas with people, explain what I’ve done here, and give personal advice!

Expo floor

The final book haul:

bea 2016 book haul

My time on the expo floor was limited, but not too shabby. The top 3 books I wanted (Dare to Love, One with You, and Forever with You), I got, and got signed!

And while there were a bunch of books I ended up staying in bed for, and a bunch of others that I tried and failed to line up early enough for, those 3 books make it okay.

Oh, and I saw Kenny Loggins perform Footloose live. That makes pretty much anything in my whole life okay!

On the Blog(s)

Bookish posts:

Bloggish posts:

Links I Lurve

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So, how’ve you been?

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