A Fresh Start

A warm hello to my dear readers. I am ashamed to say the blog has been neglected for far too long. 2017 has turned out to be a bit of a busy year for me, and my plans for the blog just seemed to fall through or were pushed to the side, with deadlines and projects looming throughout the year. With the end of 2017 fast approaching though and the guilt-ridden realization that I haven’t posted for months… I decided I needed to sit down, and figure out what I really wanted to do with this little corner of mine.

A lot of my absence has been because of a growing fear of niching myself here on the blog. I would say, my main hangout online is over on Instagram, but with changes that have occurred the last year with the algorithm and what not, I’ve actually been a bit disenchanted with IG, so I’ve found I’ve been taking longer breaks in-between posting, and just have felt a little blah about the whole app if I were to be completely honest. Because of this, my thoughts have been turning towards my blog again. This space is technically the only place that I myself own, and won’t be going anywhere without my permission. It isn’t affected by a wonky algorithm or likes, etc., so why am I not utilizing it more?

I initially started this blog, because the writer in me, decided I needed a place for my little rambles (not limited by a caption or word count). I started out with so many ideas, and excitement, but then I began to fear that like my IG account, I could easily become niched and not be able to address all the varied and diverse passions of mine. I quickly found instead of being able to write and create, creative blocks occurred and a fear of and hesitation to create set in all too quickly. I have been asking myself why for months now.

After a few brainstorming sessions, motivational podcasts and blog posts from some of my favorite bloggers, I’ve decided I need to just crack on. Take this one post at a time, and post about ALL that I love. So there will be positive changes coming to Ramblings Of A Red Headed Snippet. First up, I plan on posting regularly – at least once a week. I also want to concentrate on expanding this blog and making it a bit more interactive with my readers. This will include covering more topics and areas of interest, interviews with some of my favorite bloggers, working with contributors, holding giveaways, recording podcasts, creating a newsletter and revamping a Book Club that was started a couple of years ago on Goodreads. I’ve also thought about stepping outside of my comfort zone and creating a few videos and vlogs – give me courage!

After all is said and done, I’d really like to focus on this blog, not only making it my main platform but also an enjoyable place to visit, filled with motivating and uplifting content.

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24in48 Readathon TBR

This weekend, (in less than 4 hours actually) I'll be participating in the 24in48 readathon. I've never done a lengthy readathon like this, but with an over-zealous summer reading list, and August fast approaching, I thought this would be a great opportunity to make a bit of a dent in that list of mine.

The readathon takes place this weekend, Saturday and Sunday (July 22nd-23rd), and the goal is to read for 24 out of the 48 hours. You can break up the hours in whichever way you'd like over the two days, so commitments don't need to be missed. And there's plenty of time for sleep, a shower and meals. There are some great tips, guidelines and even prizes for the readathon, for more info and/or to sign up visit 24in48.com.

I've been making lists, calculating reading times, and putting together the books I'd like to read. It has been recommended to mix up your reading material so you don't burn out. So I also have a few comics, journals, and even an audiobook I can pop on, if I need to take a bit of a break. I've been meaning to crack open a few new adult coloring books, so an audiobook will be the perfect accompaniment. I also have a plethora of favorite snacks, comfy loungewear, candles and even a jaunt to a favorite cafe planned for tomorrow, to keep me motivated. I'm all about the cozy and comfy vibes!

I decided to put together a TBR for the readathon, since I'm a bit of an organizational freak. And, having a bevy of books to choose from, will help me complete the 24 hour goal. These are the books I chose:

1. Hum If You Don't Know The Words
I'm about half way through this, and can see why this has been raved about. Set in the 1970's, the story is told through the voices of Robin Conrad, a nine-year-old white girl and Beauty Mbali, a Xhosa woman. Both, cross paths unexpectedly during the Soweto Uprising. And their alternating perspectives, weave a story rich with emotion, taking a close look at racism, loss, and the definition of family.

2. The Resurrection of Joan Ashby
This is an ARC I received from Flatiron Books and will be released in September 2017. The book is brilliant so far. And reminiscent of J. D. Salinger, Truman Capote and Joan Didion. I think Cherise Wolas will be an author to watch out for after this debut novel.

3. Slightly Foxed, The Real Reader's Quarterly – Issue No. 54 Summer 2017
This is my favorite literary magazine! I look forward to the new publication (released quarterly) as soon as I've finished an issue. I've been savoring this summer issue, since it's release. And this will be the perfect in between read, when I need a break during the readathon. Slightly Foxed introduces you to books that are no longer new or popular today, but stand the test of time. With a good dose of humor, and lightheartedness each essay is an absolute delightful.

4. Home
Last month I read Marilynne Robinson's novel Gilead for my Real Readers book club and absolutely fell in love with this moving story! Gilead is part of a trilogy, and Home is the second book, which tells the same story in Gilead, but from the perspective of a different character. You can see my mini review for Gilead on my Instagram account. Robinson will forevermore be an author I pick up.

5. The Elegance of the Hedgehog
One that's been on my list since 2010 (according to Goodreads). I've had it recommended to me, several times. I've also been told it is very French, which I love, and discusses, philosophy, culture, Paris and language. I'd also like to see the movie after reading the book.

6. The Dream Keeper's Daughter
Another ARC provided by JKS Communications and Ballantine Books. This one deals with time travel, archeology, lost love and a plantation in 1816 Barbados during an historic slave uprising. I can't wait to get to this one, it sounds fab!

7. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
Another one that's been on my list for ages. I love the Millennium series by Stieg Larsson, but haven't gotten to the third in the series until now. Nordic Noir is one of my favorite genres; dark, thrilling, with lots of twists. Lisbeth Salander is also a favorite literary character; a strong, female protagonist is always fun to read about! Mysteries, crime fiction and thrillers also tend to be my go to, if I'm ever in a slump. So this will be perfect if I need a pick me up during the readathon.

8. The Moonstone
The Moonstone is the book choice for my Real Reader's book club for July. I have about 150 pages left in this classic, and have really enjoyed it thus far. It is considered the very first detective novel. A young heiress inherits a stunning diamond on her 18th birthday. Unaware that the precious gem is known as The Moonstone and has a dark history, after being stolen from a Hindu shrine. When it goes missing, divergent accounts share details, making the recovery of the diamond complex and full of twists and turns.

This may seem like quite a few books, but I wanted to make sure I had a great stack to pull from, for the full 24 hours. I'll be posting updates of my progress on Instagram, Twitter and Litsy (@catebutler). Followed by a wrap-up once the weekend is over.

There's still plenty of time to join, or even just pop in to say hello over the weekend. If you do participate, I'd love to know what you're reading. Just comment below, or let me know where you'll be posting, so I can check it out.

Cate xx

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