Book Review: A Cemetery for Zooey by Ashe Woodward

Hollow City by Beth Connor

A YA Dystopia Novel published by FriesenPress (09/08/21)

First reviewed through Reedsy Discovery as an ARC

Summary:

“She too was a monument of sorts; the lurking Beast that roamed the cemetery at nights and was enough to keep any of the curious kids from wandering in.” Page 8.

Zooey, as a Beast, has a natural talent for digging graves. She lives at the cemetery, away from human prying eyes, safe though not glamorous work. She’s good at her job but when a slew of monsters need to be buried, Zooey can’t keep up with the digging. She will get swept up in the mystery of why all the monsters are suddenly dropping dead.

Keywords:

Middle Grade, Monsters, Cemetery, Death, Race, Class, Gender, Authentic Self, grave-digging

My Review:

I absolutely loved the idea behind this story and thought the execution was excellent. The main character is a grave-digging Beast. She lives at the cemetery because humans are scared of monsters and Zooey is a monster. Most monsters who live amongst humans cover their monster features with a cosmetic product such that humans don’t even know there are monsters living amongst them. There are different classes of monsters: Beasts, Ghosts, Ghouls, Scales, and Plasmas.

The cover is unusual and immediately grabbed my attention. It’s just as quirky and interesting as the novella itself. The author walked a tight balance of tone, not growing too dark while still telling a fascinating story of the main character’s quick self-discovery amidst a pandemic-esque setting. In this world, only the monsters living amongst the humans are dropping dead and nobody knows why. The yuck factor of the imaginative types of monsters was kept at bay with the lack of gore, which helped keep the tone lighter; however, lurking behind this fun story is a heavy allegory on class, race, and gender.

This book would be an amazing read for younger readers who want a good story and an even greater post-reading conversation. If you liked The Addams Family movies but wanted something with more depth then you’ll enjoy this novella. As an adult reader, much like the way Animal Farm is an allegory, this novella too has a lot to say about contemporary topics like skin whitening, living as your authentic self, accepting others and others who are different, critical race theory, and more. If you just want to read this as a fun story with monsters, you don’t have to read too much into the heavier underlying topics.

The ending, though, drives home the lessons to be learned, reminding me that the target audience is a younger one. Until the ending big speech and moral of the story moment, this story reads as a sophisticated novella. The last chapter was short and abrupt. I wanted just a little bit more about Zooey.

This novel was published by FriesenPress on 09/08/2021 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Book Review: The Apotheon Awakening (The Apotheon Trials Book 1) By Arya White

The Apotheon Awakening (The Apotheon Trials Book 1) By Arya White

A Young Adult Dystopian Novel published by Swift Readers Publishing (01/29/21)

First reviewed through Reedsy Discovery as an ARC

Summary:

“I know and understand these rules far better than I understand the chaos inside my own mind.” (Kindle Edition, 16%).

Debrael can’t wait to get her Powers and live peacefully as a Beastsoother in the outer ring of society. But her Powers just don’t come and the Trial at the end of training looms closer. Without her Power, she will be Banished. The Powerless have no voice and are of no worth to society. Deb will uncover a great secret about the society and the Powers, but will it be enough to pass her Trial?

Keywords:

Dystopian, Power, Faction, Friendship, Suppressed, Control, Secrets, Dictatorship, Betrayal, Caste Society, Worth, Powerless, Survival, Rebellion

My Review:

When I pick up a YA dystopian, I want it to be different. With so many good books out there, it’s difficult to stand out. The Apotheon Awakening was a slight twist of the YA dystopian chosen one trope and I was there for it. I liked the characters, I rooted for the underdog main character Debrael, and I enjoyed the overall writing style in this book.

Debrael is Powerless in a society that places the highest importance on power (and is prejudiced against level and type of power). Without Power, Deb will be cast out of society because the society is built on the ironclad rules and notions that without order and power, the society could and would fall. I loved the character development that took place with Deb over the course of the novel. She wasn’t the only character that grew and changed though. Both Ela and Mosiah also went through transformations of their own.

For teens that are going through puberty and their own changes, reading a book where the main character is struggling with her development and her place in society is the best kind of comfort. For readers who get a thrill reading teen dystopians like Divergent, this book will satisfy that craving.

While the book is slow to start, the anxiety Deb feels for the Trials and the increasing inevitability of Banishment looming closer upstages most of the action scenes. The plot is formulaic for a YA dystopian and the pacing is slow and measured. I had a good guess as to what would happen in the end but was still pleasantly surprised by the ending. I really enjoyed reading Deb’s story and can’t wait to read the rest of the series and to find out what happens to the Five Rings and the rest of the Powerless.

I really liked the integration of the aspect of magic in this book and the world-building in general. I loved the premise for the dystopic event and how it ties into the genetics and the strength of Powers.

I thought the author did a great job at balancing the element of survival of the fittest with genetic evolution and Powers as well as the subconscious and conscious prejudices towards certain Powers. There are definitely parallels the reader can draw between Powers and human characteristics like IQ in our own society.

This novel was published by Swift Readers Publishing on 01/29/2021 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.5

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Book Review: The Finest Lies by David J. Naiman

The Finest Lies by David J. Naiman

A Young Adult Novel published by Empire Old Line Media (10/14/21)

First reviewed through Reedsy Discovery as an ARC

Summary:

Given the opportunity, Nicole would gladly trade her brother Jay with a robot. When a mysterious mirror man makes her this offer, she accepts immediately. But Jaybot isn’t Jay and mirror man keeps playing games with her.

Keywords:

Teenagers, Young Adult, Siblings, Sibling Relationship, FAmily, Friends, Lies, Past, Confrontation, Bully, Rape, Games

My Review:

This holesome story reminded me of the fun and wacky Willy Wonka combined with the Spirits of A Christmas Carol. If you like a story about personal growth and lessons learned, then you’ll pick up a thing or two reading this story.

There are so many great pearls of wisdom from the author, the Dad of the story, and the characters themselves as they learn and grow. These lessons are also articulated through the story as well. “You either change with somebody or you change without them.” (65%, Kindle Edition). “You can never change what you’ve done, but you can always be a better person.” (95%, Kindle Edition).

I loved the fun use of words and language. Phin, especially, loves to talk in alliterations and elaborate phrasings. Like, “I am the Grand Poobah of Grandiose Pontifications.” (18%, Kindle Edition). The writing is very cheeky, especially the way Jay jokes with Phin and his dad about alternate realities while one is in the library and the way the bots are humorous. The dad even says, “I guess there’s a certain magic to being transported into an alternate reality with high stakes.” (42%, Kindle Edition). while there’s a Nicbot at the table!

Nicole is forced to see some of the times when she was the most horrible and when her perception of events was skewed. She falls through interdimensional holes and into these scenes as view-only. No editing. At first, she doesn’t think about changing the scene. Eventually, she sees that she often jumps to the worst possible conclusions, letting her insecurities get the better of her, and lashing out with the intent to hurt those like she herself was hurt. At the time she saw her actions as necessary, at the moment she did what she had to and had no other choice, but through the re-viewing, with the holes, she gains a new perspective. She can see the disheartening, destructive theme of herself as a freshman. Gradually she sees the errors of her ways and wishes desperately to interact with the past and make better decisions.

Nicole wants a brother to say nothing to upset her and do whatever she wants. Both Nicole and Jay make assumptions about the other because they stopped talking to each other, stopped sharing their lives, stopped being a family. Phin intervenes just in time for Nic and Jay to halt this path and move in the opposite direction, closer to one another. The book itself is divided into Jay’s perspective and Nic’s perspective. I really enjoyed reading each of their stories.

This novel was published by Empire Old Line Media on 10/14/2021 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.50

Links for more information:

Goodreads

David J. Naiman’s Website

Book Review: Vanish (Seahaven’s Orphan Mystery Book 1) by Victoria Bastedo

Vanish (Seahaven’s Orphan Mystery Book 1) by Victoria Bastedo

An Inspirational Mystery novel published by Amazon Digital Services (9/8/2021)

Summary:

“If you let Him, He’ll bring adventure into life you weren’t expecting.” (71% Kindle Edition).

Lowtown in 1905 isn’t safe for young men. They are oftentimes snatched. Michael’s father creates a disguise so Michael won’t vanish. As Vanish, over the years, many crimes are attributed to Michael in this disguise, growing the legend. After his father passes, Michael will either have to take up his father’s occupation of fishing or find something else to support himself. The promise of money paid to help solve a kidnapping is too good for Michael to pass up since he doesn’t want to be a fisherman. As Vanish, he has the perfect disguise to sneak around and solve the mystery.

Keywords:

Religious, Inspirational, Mystery, Historical, Young Adult, 1905, Docks, Sea Town, Caste, Kidnapping, Rich, Poor, Family, Crimes

My Review:

I don’t often read inspirational, religious, or Christian fiction. I was unsure how the subgenre would present in this historical fiction mystery novel. Bastedo ties in an element of Christian awakening and finding one’s path to God as a form of Coming-of-Age in this young adult novel. The Coming-to-God revelation could have been fleshed out more in the scene that it occurred but it did tie into the plot nicely and makes a lot more sense in the early 1900’s in a small town near the sea. The people, almost all of them Christians, openly talk about God and his influence in their lives. The characters reference God and the Spirit as a positive influence, giving the book a very wholesome feel. It was nice to read a Christian fiction novel without religious controversy, to have religion be more of a theme and influence, than anything else.

I really liked Michael as both Michael and as Vanish. He is a wholesome young character without a lot of teen angst. He, like many young people, doesn’t know what he wants to do or be when he grows up but is thrust into the world to fend for himself after his father dies. Instead of resigning himself to a life he doesn’t want as a fisherman, he instead takes to wandering the streets in his grief, curious about the world and open to other options.

I enjoyed how the mystery played out. It was simple enough to visualize but complex enough to keep the plot moving. This book was nicely paced overall, seemed realistic for 1905, and played out in an interesting way up through the moderate climax and ending.

Like other Bastedo books, this one features a feel-good message and a happy ending.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services 9/8/2021 and is available on Amazon here.

TLDR Star Rating: 4.00

Links for more information:

Goodreads

FreeValleyPublishing

Victoria Bastedo WordPress

Book Review: The Dogs Who Play Baseball by Thomas Louis Carroll

The Dogs Who Play Baseball by Thomas Louis Carroll

A Humorous Middle-Grade Novel published by Almanor & Loraque Press (08/18/21)

First reviewed through Reedsy Discovery as an ARC

Summary:

“Something about Louie and Sally said baseball. Even without their hats and beat-up gloves, their Louisville Sluggers with marks on the bat for every home run, and the raggedy baseballs, people knew they were baseball kids.” (4% Kindle Edition).

Louie and the neighborhood kids just want to play baseball but after getting kicked out of their own field, they’ll come up with a way to challenge the older kids to win back the rights to the field. Teaching the dogs to play baseball won’t be too hard but it will be difficult to convince everyone that dogs can play against the best of them!

Keywords:

Middle Grade, Humor, Dogs, Animals, Sports, Baseball, Team, Disabled, Wheelchair, Yankees, Bronx, Unbelievable, Yankees Stadium

My Review:

If you love both dogs and baseball, you will get a kick out of this book. It goes from silly can’t-believe-it good-humored fun to serious on-the-edge-of-your-seat baseball action… with dogs of course. As this book goes on it does get more ridiculous (it’s funny how the adults can’t believe how ridiculous everything is). Throughout the hilarity, a love of everything baseball comes through clearly.

Even if you don’t love or completely understand the mechanics of baseball, you will enjoy this warm-hearted book full of great life lessons. Carroll does get into the mechanics and techniques that the kids use to get the dogs to play baseball, but not too in-depth. You will have to suspend your disbelief a little and get creative imagining dogs with bats and baskets attached to their tails. How do they run the bases with those bats attached? How does a dog slide through to home? It did seem a little too easy to get the dogs to play baseball but this just adds to the comedic element of the book.

The fun repeated refrains the author uses, like “You can say that again,” and “There’s no barking in baseball,” made me smile each time they repeated.

I especially liked how the author gave the main character Louie a greater purpose for teaching the dogs to play baseball and to get them to play against real baseball teams and win. One of the minor characters, Louie’s mom Mimi, is in a wheelchair and can’t walk due to a car accident some years ago. It’s neat the author included the normalization of a character with this disability. I learned that there’s a special viewing location at Yankee Stadium for people in wheelchairs. I’ve never thought about accessibility at stadiums before.

I can imagine that this would be a really fun book to read out loud to your kids or to listen to as an audiobook on long drives with the family. If you’re a young reader (or have a kid who is reading middle-grade novels), then they could enjoy reading this one on their own as the target audience. They could really relate to this book if they are also participating in a Little League or have a Labrador, Collie, Bulldog, Whippet, Basset Hound, or a Scotty dog. Chester the Labrador, though, is the star (Most Valuable Dog) of the book.

This novel was published by Almanor & Loraque Press on 08/18/2021 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.25

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Thomas Louis Carroll’s Website

Book Review: The Big Score By Og Maciel

The Big Score By Og Maciel

A Young Adult Action/Adventure Novel published by Og Maciel (10/12/21)

First reviewed through Reedsy Discovery as an ARC

Summary:

Kate won’t let being new in town stop her from trying to fit in as soon as possible. She joins the local underground car emblem stealing contest to prove herself worthy but tensions are high as rivals Torres and Abby are tied with a few more emblems to go to win the race. One big score could determine the King or Queen of the emblems.

Keywords:

Car Emblem, High School, Competition, Stealing, Friendship, Thieves, New in Town, Skateboarding

My Review:

Maciel has a clean and efficient writing style that is easy and fun to read. This particular book proceeds immediately to the main plot and intrigue of the story. The book is on the shorter side, which didn’t leave much room for subplot development or deviation from the main plot. The core idea of this book, a contest where teens steal car emblems was fresh and interesting.

The characters are in high school and they act like they are teenagers, but the length of the story and the simple aspect of the plot, the stereotypically bad guy villain, and lessons learned make it seem like it’s intended for a younger audience. It’s as if this is a book written for middle schoolers wanting to read about kids older than themselves.

Kate is agonizingly outgoing. She is all in for excitement. She participates in a talent contest the day after she arrives in a new town. As an introvert myself, I wish I was more like Kate. To me, she seems fearless.

I love how we get the range of communication types of the teens. Kate has been taught by her software QA mother how to have an open dialogue and communication using communication techniques. While Abby is so blinded by her emotional reaction to something that happened last year that she won’t even talk to the person she’s upset with about it.

The big showdown climax was super exciting and the last chapter “Closing Time” reminded me of the way movies end with some text on the screen saying what happened to the characters after the movie ended. In general, this book, full of action and dialogue between the characters reminded me of a teenage TV drama show or PG movie that is interesting enough to watch as a teenager or adult.

If you enjoy over-the-top teen action movies or books, you will get a kick out of this fast YA read.

This novel was published by Og Maciel on 10/12/2021 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.25

Links for more information:

Og Maciel’s Website

Book Review: Highland Games (Kinloch Series, #1) by Evie Alexander

Highland Games (Kinloch Series, #1) by Evie Alexander

A Comedic Romance Novel published by Emlin Press (10/15/21)

Summary:

“Zoe had never seen such perfection before. He was made by mountains, forged by fire, washed by oceans and blessed by the gods.” (Kindle Edition, 31%).

Zoe suddenly inherits a cabin in the woods near a small town in the Scottish Highlands when her great-Uncle dies. Without hesitation, Zoe leaves behind her safe life as an accountant in London as soon as her lease is up. Her childhood summer with her Great Uncle was the greatest, happiest time of her life. But the cabin isn’t the same as it was back then. It’s in less habitable shape than she remembered, with no electricity, water, and no toilet. Not to be deterred, Zoe won’t let anything or anyone get in her way of fixing it up. Rory thought the cabin would be his and his plans to fix it up before the end of the year come to a halt when he finds a surprise city woman claiming it as her own. What can he do to get her to leave?

Keywords:

British Humor, Comedy, Romance, Scotland, Castle, Earl, Sex Scenes, Steamy, Renovation, Cabin, Family, Enemies-to-Lovers, happy Ending, Dual POV

My Review:

I love books where the heroine is out of place, new, and facing a big project when she unintentionally meets the love interest in a surprising meet-cute. The odds are stacked against her succeeding and problems seem to crop up right and left (along with the handsome hunk). Highland Games really delivers exceptionally on some tried and true rom-com tropes such as Fantasy Location, Monetary Leaps of Faith, Kindly Townspeople, Shirtless Hero, Almost Losing it All, and the Central Project is a Metaphor for Their Love. This book reminded me of the Netflix movie rom-com Falling Inn Love. It’s a steamy feel-good casual beach read.

The romantic element is what makes this book so good, especially the slow buildup of the enemies-to-lovers romance that makes the eventual romance so very satisfying. After at least half the book waiting in suspense for the first kiss, the first touch, you will be rewarded with quite a few steamy sex scenes. These scenes were well written and held my attention throughout (I’m known to skim through sex scenes).

The author has the romance beat structure down solid and the pacing is excellent. Every scene was satisfying from beginning to end. The climax felt real and well integrated into the plot of the story and the ending was very satisfying.

I loved all the characters. They were all so well written. The main characters, Zoe and Rory, seemed like such amazing people, but still relatable as humans. I couldn’t get enough of both Rory’s POV and Zoe’s POV and I really enjoyed the switching POV between Rory and Zoe as they each told their side of the story. The way Zoe describes Rory, especially at first, is hilarious.

Both Zoe and Rory have a purpose outside of the slowly building romance. They each also had their own backstory that made them very compelling. I really liked how both main characters were completely independent people and didn’t need the other to complete themselves, which made their love even more compelling.

This novel was published by Emlin Press on 10/15/2021 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 5.00

Author Bio:

Evie Alexander is the author of sexy romantic comedies with a very British sense of humor. She takes a method-approach to her work, believing her capacity to repeatedly fail at life and love is what has given her such a rich supply of material for her writing.

Her interests include reading, eating, saving the world, and fantasizing about people who only exist between the pages of her books. She lives in the West Country with her family.

Links for more information:

Book Review: Sex & Sours (The Cocktail Series Book 2) by Dani McLean

Sex & Sours (The Cocktail Series Book 2) by Dani McLean

A Romance Novel published by Set the Mood Publishing (10/05/21)

First reviewed through Reedsy Discovery

Summary:

“I learned three important lessons in that time; learn the recipe but always cook from the heart; always say f*** you with a smile, and there was nothing more impressive than someone with a kind soul.” (Kindle Edition 19%).

Tiff has been the head bartender for years. She basically runs the place. That is, until owner Henry hands over the keys and the reigns to his older brother Sam. Sam has a lot to prove after losing control of his own business back in New York. When it comes to making decisions, Sam is in total control, but he’ll have to get Tiff on board and she is definitely not a yes-person! Will their bickering be the end of the bar or will they be able to work together to save what they both love?

Keywords:

Steamy, Sex, Romance, Cocktails, Drinking, Best Friends, Dual POV, Overworked, Relationship, Acceptance, Owner, Head Bartender, Boundaries, Communication, Boss/Employee Relationship

My Review:

All throughout the first book Love & Rum, I was entranced by Tiff. She is one of those larger-than-life people that makes me yearn for my own best friend just like her. She is one of a kind, honest, true to herself, beautiful, and talented. She also has her own set of unique flaws and backstories. As an introvert, I’m in love with Tiff and her charm. I don’t want to just have a best friend like her, I also want to be her. I want to be confident in who I am, hardworking, and clever. I can also relate to Tiff and her problems, some of them growing out of her flaws and some of the outcomes of her reactions to the situations she’s thrust into. She can be a hothead, speaking her mind, even when she knows there will be blowback and I love her for this.

I absolutely love how the author is able to show bisexuality through Tiff, her relationships, and her thoughts about those relationships. As someone much closer to the heterosexual end of the spectrum, the way the author cleverly wrote about Tiff and her romantic relationships really helped me empathize. I will never truly understand or be able to sympathize because my own experience will also be lacking. Through powerfully written characters like Tiff, I can put myself in her shoes and begin to appreciate the difficulties, triumphs, stresses, and prejudices a bi person may face. That’s why characters like Tiff and books like Sex & Sours are so important.

Sam has his own distinctive personality (and POV chapters) but is sometimes overshadowed by the force of nature that is Tiff. He has his own set of flaws and is a fully fleshed-out lead interest which I very much appreciated.

The world of The Cocktail Series continues with the characters Jackson and Audrey from book one but doesn’t much advance their story as this second book is all about Tiff and Sam and their journey.

The style of this book two in the series is true to the tone set in book one Love & Rum. This romantic comedy will appeal to most romance readers who enjoy dual POV, lots of steamy sex scenes, and a happy ending.

I can’t wait to read the next novel by this author and/or in this series. Not only did I feel like I learned something, but it was also a very enjoyable book to read.

This novel was published by Set theMood Publishing on 10/05/2021 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 5.00

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Dani McLean’s Website

Book Review: Miss Cast and the Headhamster (Miss Cast! Book 1) by LJ Pickles

 

Miss Cast and the Headhamster (Miss Cast! Book 1) by LJ Pickles

A Middle-Grade Fantasy Novel Independently published (05/25/21)

First reviewed through Reedsy Discovery as an ARC

Summary:

“I didn’t need a crystal ball to know that having a witch as a teacher could spell trouble for my innocent classmates” (Page 27).

There’s something odd about Gareth’s new schoolteacher but none of the other children seem to notice. Miss Cast must be a witch! Maybe Gareth can use this knowledge to his advantage unless Miss Cast accidentally or on purpose does something that can’t be reversed. Like, turn all the children into frogs!

Keywords:

Middle Grade, Humor, Sword & Sorcery, Fantasy, Witches, Class, Learning, Frogs, Magic, Spell, Revenge, Lessons, Transformation

My Review:

The tone of this middle-grade children’s book is light and humorous. The writing style reminds me of Roald Dahl or the Wayside School children’s books by Louis Sachar. Even after twenty years, I remember the delightfully funny humor of Dahl and Sachar, even if I’ve forgotten the books themselves. Miss Cast and the Headhamster will definitely leave an impression on the reader. Even the title is amusing if you look closely.

The very first chapter ends with some very exciting action and you won’t want to put the book down. The pacing kept me hooked, even though the beginning half was dialogue-heavy. Miss Cast talks a lot! She doesn’t know much about teaching, schools, or kids. She’s a witch in disguise but Gareth can’t be spelled. The way she talks will catch you off guard. Miss Cast says the funniest things in the funniest of ways. She doesn’t talk much like an adult – more like she’s a grown-up child – which is rather hilarious when you picture her as a pointy chinned, green-skinned, and warty witch with a bat in her hair and a wand up her sleeve.

If this was a book you were reading to your class or your own kid, you would be just as amused as your young one. Adult readers will be fascinated by the way the adults in the book continuously insult children as if it’s normal, calling them “squashed face” and “know-it-all” as if this story was written by a kid. The children in the book don’t seem to notice these insults. Gareth is much too preoccupied and obsessed with having been cheated by Brian in the egg-and-spoon race. He brings it up again and again!

I think it’s fun that Miss Cast, being over three hundred years old, is the witch in all the fairy tales – the wicked witch in Snow White and the wicked witch in Hansel and Gretel and the wicked witch in Ariel to name all the stories Miss Cast told during class.

My favorite parts were the turns of phrases like “brain of a hashed brown.” (Page 53) sprinkled throughout the book which really gave the book a whimsical and imaginative quality.

I loved the cute illustrations here and there throughout the book.

This novel was Independently published on 05/25/2021 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75

Links for more information:

Goodreads

2021 Q3 Spending and Goals Progress

After moving in June I’m finally building up a new list of local cat-sitting clients. I’m settling in at my dance studio. I’m applying to all the usability studies possible. I’m no longer saving much money – but I’m still investing every month. I finished two challenges in September – reading and reviewing books as well as celebrating the National Day Calendar through Instagram.

2021 Goals Progress Update:

Goals for 2021

Q3 progress

Notes and Q4

Take floorwork advanced series

Not on the calendar for 2021

Keep checking the schedule

12 chin-ups

8 chin-ups

5 pull-ups

Started doing 3x2x1 sets 3 times per day and varying types of pullups

Look into different types of training. Get advice from a professional?

1 handed pullup

Take that Dad!

Tried once and just swung in a circle – will research technique

Freestanding Handstand

Took 1 handstand (arm balancing) class at Ascendance

Schedule 1 handstand focused class

 Donut making class  Only online  Continue to check back for classes
 Mochi making class  Didn’t see any  I could try this via an online tutorial…

Handspring Ayesha

Took 2-hour workshop with Divine – learned good techniques

Schedule my 1-1 private as handspring, pullup technique, etc for 60 minutes

1000 lifetime ebike miles

390 miles in 2020

63 miles in Q1, 133 miles in Q2, 64.2 miles in Q3

July – 2.6

August – 39.8

September – 21.8

Bike at least 4 times this quarter (winter is coming!)

Take 500-lifetime pole classes

April – 463

May – 469

June – 475

July – 480

August – 483

September – 490

October – 4

November – 4

December – 4

Learn to walk in pole heels

I own a pair. 

Take 2 classes in Q4 – Ascendance offers basic heels fundamentals

Floor Limbo?

Saw this at the Pokemon party

Research technique and bodily ability requirements

Take goat/bunny yoga class

No classes on schedule yet – table until the spring/summer

Still interested and will keep checking

Pole Expo/Convention

No local in-person events yet

 Possible Divine retreat summer 2022 (figure out budgeting)

Corgi Con 2022

Postponed until 2022

Sad but the scheduling seems to conflict with other events

Build up $10k in my emergency fund

$7900

Automatic savings of $250/month – need 8 more months unless having an influx of extra cash.

Make $5000 side hustle funds

~$3428 so far

I can asily make $500 in December for holiday animal sitting. Reduce goal to more manageable $4000 for the year?

Career development – MDR training, RAPS2022

Watched some online webinars

RAPS 2022 is in Arizona 9/10 – 9/13 – in the budget? Value add?

In other news…

Painted Pokemon specific rocks

Put together R2-D2 and an At-At Lego model

Said goodbye to this cutie we boarded over the summer!

Went to downtown Seattle for Pokemon Go Fest

Harvested some giant cucumbers from the garden

Made it to the last level I’ll probably ever attain in Pokemon Go

Bought a second-hand stage pole for home practice (yay virtual classes and conditioning)

Crashed a cake tasting (I was invited) like I’ve always wanted to

Harvested multiple handfuls of tomatoes (there’s still green ones on the vine today)

I’ve been taking Lyra classes with my new studio Ascendance and I absolutely love them!

Joined in the fun at a Pokemon picnic party


What are your goals and how are you meeting them?