NaNo, I love(d) you, but it’s not you, it’s (mostly) me

October 12, 2002. Dialup internet was the norm where I lived, and I shared that precious internet time with my brother. One of us regularly stayed at our grandparents’ house down the street so we could both be on the internet at the same time. What a world that was.

This particular day was a Saturday. I had spent the rest of the day at the library and hanging out with my church youth group, playing HORSE and Duck Hunt. I was tired of the person I was, or rather, I was still in that long and arduous process of discovering myself.

I got home from church, hopped online, and started reading some Diaryland blogs. And there it was: someone mentioned writing a novel in a month. Next month, in fact. I could do that! Right?

I clicked that link and signed up immediately, sealing my fate as the name you’re reading now. If I could finish writing a book, I reasoned, I could call myself a real writer.


Life as a Pokemon Go PVP casual

The Silph Road, the original home of digging into game mechanics and grassroots Pokemon Go PVP tournaments, announced back in May that they were shutting down operations entirely in August. Some parts of the Silph network were already down when it was announced. I’ve made so many friends through Silph tournaments, both online and in person, that it’s hard to dismiss Silph and PVP as a small part of my life.

I’ve competed in every single Silph meta. When the pandemic started, Pokemon Go lifted the requirement to be ultra friends in order to battle remotely, so I started doing more remote tournaments.

Something weird happened. I started getting better.


New York City, fourteen years later

The last time I visited New York City was in 2009. I was a fresh-faced new graduate interviewing for a job that turned out to be a scam during the worst of the Great Recession. Smartphones weren’t mainstream yet. I was comparing hot dog and dollar slice stands for the one that was fifty cents cheaper. I pinched every penny during this short trip and still worried about going broke because I had no income for the foreseeable future.

Fourteen years later, everything has changed. The student loans that got me through college are gone. I finally have a stable job where the primary dislikes fall under corporate crap I won’t escape by working elsewhere. I own a freaking home. (This last one boggles my mind sometimes, but I come back to reality whenever I hear a weird and potentially expensive noise.) And I returned to the city this summer, not for a job prospect but for vacation and Go Fest.

Seeing a place through new eyes is its own experience, especially when more money can go toward it.


Twitter is dying and I don’t know what to do

Spring 2009. I’ve seen LiveJournal posts from friends full of updates from a site called This has been going on for about a year, short micro-updates with things like “Bananas foster day in the dining hall” and “Hour 3 of all-nighter. Two pages in. Not sure what I’m doing.” The inanity of the updates made me dismiss the site as stupid. Why would you want to tweet (another silly term, I thought) something in 140 characters? It could be its own LJ post.

May 2009. I’m experiencing those blissful days between turning in my last final exam and graduating into the worst job market with no idea what kind of jobs to apply to, much less what to do with my entire life. I ditch the idea of grad school. I can apply for math Ph.D. programs in the fall if I change my mind.

What better thing to do in a fit of boredom than to sign up for Twitter and figure out what the big deal is?

So I do exactly that, using the same username you know. I have no idea how my life and the world will change in the coming years.


What I’m reading, late 2022 to now

Wow, I haven’t done a book review post in almost a year. One day I’ll be as consistent about these as I was six or seven years ago, when I was actually reading more.

The truth is, I’m having a hard time concentrating on fiction, especially because I’m horrendous at listening to fiction audiobooks. Part of that is due to the way technology and the world of constant notifications is wiring our brains. It has become impossible for my brain to concentrate on a series and remember everything that happened in the previous books, and I suspect the only way to fix this is a complete brain rewiring.

Another piece of the puzzle is the number of commitments I’m juggling now. Yes, I’m working only one job now, and I work remotely. But I’m also active in the Pokemon Go battling community and trying to revise a book and running Wikiwrimo and, shockingly, having a social life. Try to tell 2017 me this while she’s struggling to pay all her bills.

With all that and all the regular responsibilities that come with being an adult, sitting down to read a book feels like a lot, especially as my social calendar fills up. And if the book doesn’t grab my attention on page one, or if I’m waiting to hear from someone, or if my brain is all over the place like it often is now, my brain concentrates on everything else except the book in my hand, which makes reading feel like a chore.

I’ve been reaching my book goals over the past couple of years thanks to my book club, a couple of marathon sessions and the power of audiobooks. The problem with audiobooks is that I find myself incapable of listening to fiction that I haven’t read yet. If I could listen to fiction, I’d be set, and my to-read list would be a little shorter. But I haven’t been able to harness this power, so I find myself listening to nonfiction books on a wide variety of topics, and those areā€¦ a mixed bag, let’s say.

To give you an idea, when I started writing this post, I had read six books this year. It’s April. Three of those are fiction, and two of those were for my book club. (I missed January’s session because it was the weekend following my sterilization.) The other three were audiobooks, and I still haven’t chosen another audiobook to read because I’ve been traveling to Pokemon regionals and haven’t been out and about alone too much.

I checked out several graphic novels in the hopes that lighter reading with more pictures would help me get back in the groove. I talked about momentum in my post about Pokemon regionals, and while this is unrelated, getting that momentum back is what I need to get back into reading, or writing, or anything else.

So let’s get started. I’m not going to review everything I read in the past year, just the highlights.