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New Blog Look!

If you’ve been reading my blog previously, you’re wondering who is Bookish Kat. I changed my blog name from Coffee Doll Chronicles to Bookish Kat. I wanted something simplistic that also incorporates my name so after much thought and consideration, I think it’s safe to say I’m sticking with Bookish Kat. I’ll still be writing about personal growth and covering topics on parenting and inspiration; it won’t all be about books and writing. As you’ll see, I also changed my tagline to “the pen is mightier than the sword.” Visit my previous post where I discuss my reasons for doing so.

I also made some minute changes to my blog such as adding goodreads & instagram widgets so you can follow and chat with me on there as well. As always, thanks for reading.

xo Kat

Thank You for 100+ readers!

I hit the 100 subscriber mark sometime last month and I’m yet to mention my thank yous for following my blog that’s all over the place. It’s been incredibly insane these last few months as I had some visitors but I’m here now. Back on the grind, slipping into my normal routine.

I actually should be blogging more than I really do, and put more effort into the the content I post on here. I’d love to use the excuses of kids, life and work which involves a lot of writing as it is but blogging is something I love to do and I should just do it.

I’d like to do a giveaway on here or maybe my instagram but I have no idea how to go about doing these things or what to even give away. Should I do a book or bookmarks?

Let me know in the comments what kind of giveaways you do on your blog.

xo Kat

Blog Name Changes

This is something I’ve been struggling with all of my blogging life. I’ve always jumped around and changed the name of my blog depending on the content or stage in life. I wouldn’t dare use one of those insane screen names I used as an adolescent. I even changed platforms in the last year. Previously I used Blogger but there’s only so much you can do with that after a while.

I’ve been brainstorming some new and old names for a domain name and I can’t seem to find something that sticks, something that I’m in love with. I highly doubt I’ll be using coffeedollchronicles as a permanent domain name. So, this is my cry for help fellow bloggers and readers. I’ll explain my situation and leave some suggestions for you to help me with.

When I first started blogging, my initial idea was to share my more painful experiences to help other people. Gradually, I started writing about parenting and books. Books has grown to be a wider topic on my blog in the past year and although I do identify as a book blogger, I don’t want to take away the inspiration and personal growth aspect from my blog. So there’s my dilemma. Do I add a bookish title to my blog? How to incorporate everything? I’d prefer using my name in the domain I’m about to purchase. Here are my suggestions so far. Let me know how it sounds to you as a reader and if you have any name suggestions. Thank you 🙂

*My full name is Katrina in case you don’t know because I always  sign off with Kat.

http://www.thekatchronicles.com

http://www.bookishkat.com

http://www.bookjunkiekat.com

Those are the only three I have so far. I appreciate all the help I can get with this.

Thanks for stopping by. XO Kat

Hovering Irritates the Daylights Out of Me

I’ve never really been conscious of this until recently and I think it stems from something in my childhood. I really hate people standing too close behind me or hovering if you will. I’m sure it happens to a lot of other people, just none that I know of personally. It may seem like such a trivial matter so I don’t always talk about it but lately, it’s been getting out of hand. And it’s not just strangers either, it’s anyone, family members etc. I don’t have this issue with my kids standing behind me, however.

Due to it’s mass effect of my life as a writer, because I sit at my computer a lot, I’ve been wanting to write about it and carefully explore why I feel this way. More than just irritating, it’s borderline aggravating and gives me anxiety. My hands start shaking and I feel this intense need to lash out, almost like I’m defending myself from something or someone. I try so hard not be this way, but I can literally tell someone to “fuck off” from just standing behind me.

I’ve been thinking about it recently and I brushed it off as maybe PMS or just lack of sleep, you know general moodiness. But there’s nothing moody about the way hovering triggers something so profound inside of me that I can’t completely comprehend or explain. I dug a little deeper into my past and my reasons for getting anxiety by a person just walking or standing behind me has become so much more clearer, although I’m no expert and maybe I’m wrong. But I think I can pinpoint a few scenarios that gave me anxiety during childhood that may have a connection.

Number one. During tests or exams, we’d have these instructors walking up and down the classroom, HOVERING over students’ shoulders, reading what they were writing. I mean come on, most of us think we’re writing crap and wouldn’t even read over our work before handing it in. Having someone hovering over your shoulder, judging and making faces while you’re writing a test that may affect your entire academic future is nerve wrecking. I think this is one of the instances where innocently, a teacher hovering put some sort of fear into me, and perhaps that’s why I’m always so embarrassed to let people read my fiction writing.

Exposure. Having someone looking over my shoulder makes me feel exposed, it really does. People are entering my personal space and from behind me where I can’t see their reactions in real time, leaves me with a feeling of vulnerability and mistrust. Perhaps, my experiences in life makes me mistrusting as well as the lack of privacy I had during childhood and teenage years. I know what you’re thinking, children don’t need privacy. Oh but they do in way. Thoughts and feelings should be private and not scrutinized. Children shouldn’t be dictated not to feel or think a certain way. I had very little control of these kind of things and for a long time I had to suppress who I really am.

It’s a far connection to feeling traumatized by someone hovering behind me but trust me, it’s there. And I’m not sure it’ll ever be different.

Leave me a line in the comments…what absolutely triggers you off?

xo Kat

My Writing Story

This week I’ve been really hitting the book tags on my blog so I thought today, I’d share a little of my writing journey and how I came to the realization that I wanted to be a novelist.

I’ve seen a lot of videos titled, how to know if you’re a writer but I’ve never clicked on them. It’s because deep inside myself, I feel it. Writing has been a strength for me, to express things that I couldn’t communicate. When I was younger, I had many trust issues concerning peers and I’ve never reached to that point where I feel fully able to confide in someone. I am now thankful for those lonely periods where I experienced a lot of pain, rejection. It’s what gave me my voice.

Here’s how it all started.

I’ve been writing my thoughts and feelings in journals for as long as I can imagine. The way I express myself isn’t very direct to a reader. There are parables, emphasis and much elaboration in how I feel. As I got older I lent bits of fiction to my feelings. At this point I didn’t think I could write a story,  I didn’t even know I was carving something out of nothing.

Like many readers and writers, I too lived within my imagination as a coping mechanism when my will to smile faded. I was a child who felt so deeply, and hurt so easily and I was disconnected from everyone around me. I felt misunderstood, and I still do.

From an early age, I’d look at a lot of movies. Sometimes I believe they thwarted the reality of love and relationships for me, but nevertheless, I became so engrossed with those movies, based mostly on love and also my books that stories began to take fruition in my mind.

I used to dream that one day I’d write a story like that and see it on a screen so I had this unrealistic dream of becoming a screenwriter. This is entirely different from being a novelist. Being a novelist is more of a struggle to me as I do better with dialogue and conversations.

During my teenage years, I started outlining stories… I even wrote a full story in a notebook in my last year of high school which I let one friend read, and she actually enjoyed it. If being a writer wasn’t such a world away from where I was at, I would’ve continued with my stories there.

After I left high school, I wrote books of poetry. I went through heartache, more rejection, I was emotionally disconnected from my family. I felt unsupported and pressured into studying things I didn’t want to study. Nevertheless I did it, because I had to follow norms, I eventually had to pay bills. I couldn’t just survive on a silly childhood dream.

There was a period of just work and university, I barely found time to read, the one thing that helped me throughout my life. I hadn’t even turned on the TV in two years. It was a horrible period in my life but the stories never left me. The worlds I’d build a decade before, the characters I’d molded, the lives they lived…it never left me.

Fast forward some years, where I’d now migrated, gotten married to a man who I believe could be my only true friend, and a kid later, I was better grounded in my life but still trying to figure out what I want to do personally with my life. I was searching for that part of myself that I never found. Did it mean going back to college? Did it mean settling again to do something I didn’t want to do?

It was through my daughter’s physical therapist that I learned about the world of self-publishing and it took me two years to even sit down in front of my computer and write. It’s been a year since I’ve started writing and outlining my story ideas, and it’s brought me self-fulfillment if anything. It’s my hobby, it’s my stress reliever. Do I wish I could do it as a career? Of course but the most important thing for me is, to read the very stories that took birth in my own head.

What roll does writing play in your life?

xo Kat

Where do you get your blog content?

Where do I get my blog content?

I get my blog content the same way I get ideas for writing stories…through everyday life. Something or someone might spark a conversation in my head that I have with myself and voila! Things come to me while reading, cleaning, shopping etc. I’m pretty sure all of our minds work this way.

It’s how to stay inspired and passionate about what you write that’s tough. I’ve been hoarding blog ideas since 2014 when I first started blogging and although I have quite a few topics to explore, I often don’t feel inspired every time I sit in front of my computer.

Firstly, you need to know what you want to write about, what you want your blog to be about. You need to do some soul searching and find out what you’re passionate about. I’m a mom, and I love reading and writing. Slowly my blog is becoming a book blog, but it’s something I am passionate about and something I can talk about for days. So most of my content is based around parenting, lifestyle and books.

If you’re a personal blogger just writing about your journey, you can write like you’re writing in a journal, documenting your days and your experiences.

Once you’ve figured out your main idea for your blog, you want to brainstorm ideas and write them all down. I promise you that you won’t use all of it but you’re setting a foundation if you want to do this daily or weekly.

Plan out your topics, select a few you’d like to elaborate on and just write then publish! Voila!

Getting all of your ideas from your blog doesn’t always come off the top of your head. It depends on what you’re writing about, you may want to use images, and you may have to do some research. The best way to keep track of all your ideas is to write them all down. As for getting images, you don’t have to have the best camera. I myself use free images from pixabay.com and they work just fine.

Happy Blogging!

xo Coffee Doll

Reading As A Writer

One of the most basic things to know about writers are, they were first readers. Readers possess the ability to use their imagination to carve out what an author is conveying in his or her book. It’s truly a great relationship to be in when you delve into a good story, and your whole world revolves around it. It gives us a place to be, an escape…somewhere to belong.

I’ve always been a good reader, although my choices aren’t always literary. It sometimes borders on senseless entertainment but hey! reading is reading, right? It’s not too far into a book that I start appreciating a story unless it’s really not my cup of tea, then I won’t even finish it.

Lately I’ve been having trouble concentrating on the story alone as I’m picking up on writer things. I really have no other words for it at this moment, I’m in between sleep and a cup of coffee so bear with me. I’m noticing the use of words, new words and phrases, unique expressions by the author, the descriptive scenes in some books and the lesser descriptive scenes in other books. I try not to use it as a stencil for my own writing but it does broaden my perspective as in the creative world, you’re always learning and developing. There really is no end.

I find myself highlighting expressions I’ve never seen before or the writing style of the author instead of dreamy or deep quotes. I really learn from each piece of writing and it helps me enhance my own writing, I hope.

As a writer, you’ll also find things wrong with material that you’re reading. Not every published work is brilliant or to your tastes and you’ll feel the need to make a comment. Just remember to be constructive in your criticism 🙂

xo

 

My Strange Addiction to Paper

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After I learned that this was an actual thing, I can be a little open about it. I’d often think that there was something wrong with me. Something childish that I never grew out of or just something completely ridiculous and it does still seem so, but it’s an actual thing and other people enjoy it as well.

So ever since I was a child, I would enjoy flipping through books, like all of the pages and smelling them. This is pretty normal, right? Everyone does it from time to time, especially avid readers like myself. Well here’s where it got confusing for me. I love to just sit and flip pages, each and every one of them until I reach to the end of the book and then flip them all the way back to the beginning. And while I’m watching TV or studying I keep doing this over and over and over, flipping back and forth.

I especially enjoy the feel of the paper against my fingers and the sound it makes, as well as the sound of the page turning. I can’t explain it, but I love it. I couldn’t make a connection whether it was therapeutic or relaxing to me until recently. I do this a lot in private and when my husband or anyone walks in, I quickly shut the book or pretend I was reading it, because I feel stupid about flipping pages for no reason.

A few months ago I was looking for a video on calming sounds on Youtube, I just love the sound of rain falling and thunder so I was looking. I then came across a video with a woman flipping pages of a telephone book or a magazine. It was labelled ASMR Page Turning. My curiosity of course got the better of me because it was still a strange thing to me at that time so I scrolled down to the comments and it was mind blowing how many people found this relaxing. It was amazing to me that people enjoyed different kinds of paper sounds whether it be thick, or newspaper etc.

I’ve never discussed my little habit with anyone before as I think I’ll still get some weird stares. Only people who share the same love of page turning will totally get this. Let me know what sounds relax you!

Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is a tingly experience characterized by a static-like or tingling sensation on the skin that typically begins on the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine, precipitating relaxation. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)

xo Coffee Doll

Image: Pixabay.com

Ashamed of Being Yourself

This morning I was remembering an incident where I was insulted for listening to Turkish music. Some years back, a classmate of mine was going through my iPod and he came across Arabic and Turkish music so he joked about it. Lo and behold some girl who gave me a lot of attitude(for no reason) and never spoke to me,chimed in on how I should be relocated to another university because I think I’m better than everyone. What the f*&^? Seriously??? And this is the same attitude that surrounded me most of my life and I had to hide who I really was so people wouldn’t pick on me.

It’s supposed to be normal to be interested in different things or be passionate about different things from the majority of people around you. Some of us are comfortable in our box and some of us see the universe as our box. Everyone is just a different flavor in a melting pot. At least that’s how I see it.

For as long as I can remember I have been bashed for something or the other, my taste in music, the clothes I wore, the way I think etc. I honestly felt like something was wrong with me. I was like a square trying to fit into a circle. I was always alone among friends and family. I wished I did a crash course on how to deal with mean people, maybe I would’ve handled things better.

Eventually I became ashamed of expressing myself and the things that I was interested in. The sad thing about hiding who you are, you will never get full satisfaction.You will never be contented with yourself. As long as you are deceiving your heart, life will always be unbearable.

As time passes, you should learn to appreciate your differences. It makes you, you! It makes you stand out and that is a good thing. We are all born original, we shouldn’t turn into copying machines. The important thing is to always stay true to yourself. You will be surprised to know a change in the people you surround yourself with will make room for others who are accepting of you and who you are. In the end, people will judge you anyway so be happy and do what makes you happy. Never be ashamed of who you are because you don’t fit in with a bunch of closed minds.

xo Kat

Wearing the Victim Card

Everybody has played the victim card at least once in life to manipulate a situation for their own benefit, and I say once lightly because I’m pretty sure it’s more than that. Then there are those that wear it. It must get exhausting always playing that card, wouldn’t it? Shouldn’t it?

I’m not ignoring the fact that some people are actually victims, of abuse etc etc. Let me just put that disclaimer out there firstly.

Self-victimization is often fabricated for attention or manipulating other people and situations. I have recently seen people playing this role like they’re getting payed for it because they don’t want to accept being wrong. It’s difficult for them to apologize because they feel like someone else will have a sort of upper hand on them, instead they play victim and shift the blame to someone else. This is their sneaky little way of thinking they’re “winning” something.

Victims look for sympathy and attention from others when they aren’t enough for themselves. They can’t or won’t improve their situation, they bring a lot of negativity into their space and they also take advantage of people who show care and concern. I have actually dealt with being a convenient shoulder to lean on for a few people with this kind of behavior. I genuinely cared and then year after year after year, I realized these people could not be helped. It was like going in circles, no ending for it. I strongly believe people let this victim role consume them because they refuse to take responsibility for their own actions and choices in life. They get a sort of fulfillment from an outsider who will confirm what they want to hear.

Having this type of mentality, makes a person stubborn and negative. They will tell you over and over about the negative things they think and feel, but disregard anything you tell them in order to change their opinion or better their situation. From experience, I’ve seen people exaggerate a situation, putting me into a panic that something bad was going to happen to them, getting me all worked up and worried and then nothing. Maybe something will turn out good, maybe something will turn out bad but victims hold on to negative outcomes and it’s not nice to put people who really care through that.

Playing victim is a state of mind. We may feel sympathetic towards people who put themselves down or are always in a negative mood but we have to be conscious of what is real and what is a lie. Several individuals took me for this ride and exhausted me with it. What happens when you show concern, people take advantage of it and that’s all you are to them. Convenience.

xo Kat