Zena The Catalina

While other macaws were born into warm and happy homes, Zena was born in a cold fireplace. The people that were supposed to care for her brood had no experience, her mother attacked her leaving one foot with no toes, and malnutrition made her look like a newborn when she was actually older with only a mohawk of feathers on her head. These people took her to a bird shop where the owners rescued her and helped give her the attention and care she needed. Zena would be her name and she would not give up her fight for life so easily. It took time but she was able to conquer so much like learning to perch with no toes, growing her feathers, and recovering from the effects of malnoutrition. One day, a family that had come in almost every day and knew this warrior decided it was time to take her home. 

Zena is turning eleven this year, she has a whole flock of birds, a blue and gold boyfriend,  and a loving family that is giving her the life she deserves.  Don’t let her nubby foot deceive you either, she rules the perch and is not afraid to smack the other birds or people. Who knew that a bird with no toes on her foot could climb down her perch and walk so quickly?

I hope y’all enjoyed learning about Zena! Every week, I will share the story of one of the members of my animal family. My animals are everything to me and I can’t wait for y’all to get to know all of them ❤️

You can find more content like this on my Patreon as well, click here!

🌻Caitlin🌻

A Curious Update

How can so many changes occur of the course of a month? Journeys, breakdowns, and discoveries helped shape my creative course during the month of June! After seeing how many of y’all loved my personal musings about my battle with anxiety , I have decided to shake things up. Gone is the cookie cutter blog and I am going back to my roots by sharing my personal thoughts and struggles.

I also want to announce that I have a Facebook Page and a Patreon!

If you want to support me on Patreon you will gain access to some incredible writing content, photos of my animals, and you can even receive monthly postcards or packages from me!

Click here to go to my Patreon

Click here to go to my FaceBook Page

Can’t wait to share my writing with y’all!

🌻Caitlin🌻

I Am Not Okay

I am not okay, I finally  realized this after trying to deal with my mental health for the past 3-4 months. At first, I thought it was just stress from all of the issues happening in my personal life. I kept thinking it was going to get better, that I have to be strong for the ones I care about. It never got better, anxiety crept back in and depression swept me away. I was numb, tired, and all of the projects I had been working on simply fell apart. My writing suffered, my loved ones had to watch me fall apart, and I kept fighting my monsters alone.

Going to the doctor was something I feared but I knew seeking help was necessary if I wanted to regain my spark. Not going to lie, I cried at least four different times while telling my doctor what has been happening and she calmed me down before telling me it was going to be okay. The medication I was on is apparently notorious for failing to work in the long run. All I had to do was take the first dose of my new medication and it felt like  I could breathe. The feelings that had consumed me have been calmed and I could actually go to sleep without worrying about everything. I can’t wait to finally regain my spark, to be able to enjoy the world again, and finish my novel. It does get better, you just have to accept that you can’t fight this alone and to always monitor how effective your medicine is.

I guess I wrote this because so at least one person can learn that it is okay to not be okay. Medicine can fail, things change, and it is important to realize when you need help.  Also, I needed to explain why I dropped off the face of the Earth on here! I will keep you updated as I adjust to this new medication and hopefully I will be sharing some amazing content with y’all!

I hope y’all have an amazingly literary day,

Caitlin ❤️

P.S. If any of y’all are going through a tough spot in your life and need someone to talk to, just let me know so we can connect. You are not alone

Guess Who is Back

Why, hello world!

It has been quite some time since I last posted on my lovely blog and I do apologize. Life has a way of pulling you in so many different directions! Thankfully, everything has settled back down and I can finally start posting on here again.

Before I announce some of the amazing content that is going to coming your way, I just wanted to share 10 amazing things I did during my brief break!

  1. I finally went to Ireland and embraced the emerald isle!
  2. I traveled to New York!
  3. I finally managed to visit the amazing Bookcon!
  4. I lost 20 pounds! *Happy Dance*
  5. I finally started to take better care of myself mentally and physically.
  6. I mended a friendship with one of my writing friends
  7. I rediscovered my love for writing
  8. I got bit by the travel bug and now want to go on more adventures (probably because of my successful adventures earlier this year)
  9. My creativity has finally come back to me and I am no longer wanting to be a couch potato!
  10. I finally ditched my self doubt and embraced my fearlessness!

Whoa, that list is full of some amazing things! I know there aren’t too many details but, that is because I will be creating travel blog posts and more amazing content so you can learn about how I traveled with my anxiety and embraced my fearless self! I apologize again for my absence but I am so excited to share all of my amazing adventures, book reviews, tips, and writing adventures with y’all!

 

To close this short and sweet post, I am going t share this quote by Alan Alda. I hope that all of my new content helps you along your own creative journey and I can’t wait to share my life with y’all!

 

Have a wonderfully literary day!

Caitlin


” Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative place where no one else has ever been.”
Alan Alda

Curious Reads for February

February has arrived and I am determined to make a dent in my book mountain that has taken over my office. I have decided to also create a unique reading challenge as well so, you can say I have some ambitious reading goals! As I conquer my list I will be posting all of the book reviews on my lovely little blog so y’all can follow me while I embark on this literary journey! With that out of the way lets see my Curious Reads for February!

I just started a nifty reading challenge that is mentioned a lot in this post! Click here to learn more!

This post contains affiliate links. My full disclosure statement can be read here.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

The first book on my list is for the challenge I am beginning! I plan on conquering this world book challenge where you read books set in various countries. This first country on this list is Afghanistan and the book I have chosen to read is A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini!

I read his other book, The Kite Runner, a few years back and really enjoyed it so I decided to pick this lovely novel up!

Here is a blurb from its Goodreads page:A_Thousand_Splendid_Suns

 Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them—in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul—they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation.

If you are also interested in picking this novel up, here is its Amazon page 

Misery by Stephen King

The next book on my list is one that I started to read at the end of January but I hope to finish it during February and it is Misery by Stephen King.

I became obsessed with this author after reading The Shining and IT so it is no surprise that I want to scare myself and read Misery. Fun Fact: I have never seen the movie! I can’t wait to finish reading this book and see how everything unfolds!

Here is a blurb from its Goodreads page:misery

Paul Sheldon. He’s a bestselling novelist who has finally met his biggest fan. Her name is Annie Wilkes and she is more than a rabid reader – she is Paul’s nurse, tending his shattered body after an automobile accident. But she is also his captor, keeping him prisoner in her isolated house.

If you are also interested in picking this novel up, here is its Amazon page

Dubliners by James Joyce

The third book I plan on reading this month is Dubliners by James Joyce. This book is not counting towards my  Adventurous Reading challenge. I wanted to read this novel before I head to Ireland next month.

James Joyce is a well-known Irish writer and I heard this book is a must read before you visit Dublin! It is a compilation of short stories and will be a quick read.

Here is its Goodreads blurb:Dubliners

 This work of art reflects life in Ireland at the turn of the last century, and by rejecting euphemism, reveals to the Irish their unromantic reality. Each of the 15 stories offers glimpses into the lives of ordinary Dubliners, and collectively they paint a portrait of a nation.

If you are also interested in picking this novel up, here is its Amazon page

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

Another book I plan on reading, or in this case listening , is The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin. I knew I had to read this book the moment I heard about it. The whole novel sounds like a realistic magical journey that will probably make me cry by the end. I chose this book as my monthly selection on Audible so I can wait to binge listen to this novel. For some reason I find listening to audio books to be extremely relaxing. I can honestly say that I accomplish more while I am listening to some awesome audio books.

Here’s its Goodreads blurb:The Immortalists

It’s 1969 in New York City’s Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes.

Their prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in ’80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11, hoping to control fate; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.

If you are also interested in picking this novel up, here is its Amazon page

A Company of Liars by Karen Maitland

A Company of Liars by Karen Maitland. I am reading this lovely book in eBook format because I bought it on sale via iBooks. This book has a similar plot format as The Canterbury Tales, nine strangers have been brought together and they each have their own unique tale to share during the age of the plague. I have been wanting to read this book for a while and I can’t wait to finally get to it!

Here is its Goodreads Blurb:Company-of-Liars-cover-large

The year is 1348. The Black Plague grips the country. In a world ruled by faith and fear, nine desperate strangers, brought together by chance, attempt to outrun the certain death that is running inexorably toward them.
Each member of this motley company has a story to tell. From Camelot, the relic-seller who will become the group’s leader, to Cygnus, the one-armed storyteller . . . from the strange, silent child called Narigorm to a painter and his pregnant wife, each has a secret. None is what they seem. And one among them conceals the darkest secret of all–propelling these liars to a destiny they never saw coming.

If you are also interested in picking this novel up, here is  its Amazon page

 The Bear and The Nightingale by Katherine Adren

This is another book that is from my Adventurous Reading Challenge! I am happy that more books focused on Russian folklore are being published and I have been dying to read The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden.

Here is its Goodreads blurb:Bear

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind–she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed–this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.

If you are also interested in picking this novel up, here is  its Amazon page

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Sample

A hermit that disappears and travels to Antarctica? That sounds like an interesting tale to me! Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Sample is also on the reading challenge’s list, that means that I am already crossing off three books from my adventurous reading challenge this month!

Here is its Goodreads blurb:Bern

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle – and people in general – has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence – creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world.

If you are also interested in picking this novel up, here is  its Amazon page

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire is the fourth book I plan on reading for my adventurous challenge is set in Holland/ the Netherlands! This dark Cinderella tale is one that I have heard about from one of my friends and I have been wanting to pick it up! Now that I have a copy, I can finally read this book and cross another country off my challenge’s list!

Here is its Goodreads Burb:Stepsister

We have all heard the story of Cinderella, the beautiful child cast out to slave among the ashes. But what of her stepsisters, the homely pair exiled into ignominy by the fame of their lovely sibling? What fate befell those untouched by beauty … and what curses accompanied Cinderella’s looks?

Set against the backdrop of seventeenth-century Holland, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister tells the story of Iris, an unlikely heroine who finds herself swept from the lowly streets of Haarlem to a strange world of wealth, artifice, and ambition. Iris’s path quickly becomes intertwined with that of Clara, the mysterious and unnaturally beautiful girl destined to become her sister. While Clara retreats to the cinders of the family hearth, Iris seeks out the shadowy secrets of her new household — and the treacherous truth of her former life.

If you are also interested in picking this novel up, here is  its Amazon page

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

The final book I chose for my Curious Reads for February is The Wonder by Emma Donoghue! This book is set in Ireland and is also listed in my reading challenge! I have been curious about this book for a while and I have finally decided to pick this little gem up and read it!

Here is its Goodreads blurb:thewonder

In the latest masterpiece by Emma Donoghue, bestselling author of Room, an English nurse brought to a small Irish village to observe what appears to be a miracle-a girl said to have survived without food for months-soon finds herself fighting to save the child’s life.

Tourists flock to the cabin of eleven-year-old Anna O’Donnell, who believes herself to be living off manna from heaven, and a journalist is sent to cover the sensation. Lib Wright, a veteran of Florence Nightingale’s Crimean campaign, is hired to keep watch over the girl.

Written with all the propulsive tension that made Room a huge bestseller, THE WONDER works beautifully on many levels–a tale of two strangers who transform each other’s lives, a powerful psychological thriller, and a story of love pitted against evil.

If you are also interested in picking this novel up, here is  its Amazon page

That concludes my list of Curious Reads for the month of February! As always, there will be books that will be read along with the ones present on this list. I will keep you updated with reviews throughout the month as well, so keep an eye out for that! If you are interested in my little Adventurous Reading Challenge click here!

I hope y’all have a wonderfully literary day,

~Caitlin

Resolutions, Goals, and Dreaming of 2018

The end of 2017 is approaching and now is the time to set resolutions and goals for the upcoming year. Surprisingly, 2017 has been incredible to me. I have written more than ever and I have completely turned my mental and physical health around. I am determined to continue making progress in 2018 and I hope that all of you do the same! I discuss my 2017 more in my post here~

2017

Now that my year in review is out of the way it is now time to plan for 2018. I am an optimist so I can’t help but have a ton of resolutions, goals, and dreams for the upcoming year. Setting resolutions is one thing but keeping up with them is a battle and I determined to actually stick to them while crushing my goals for 2018! I am not to going to lie, picking  resolutions for the next year was actually kind of difficult. I had to sit down and really think about what I planned to accomplish next year and how these resolutions will help me meet my goals and hopefully achieve my dreams.

2018 REsolutions

My 2018 Resolutions help make me continue my journey to becoming healthier and also try to keep me from becoming a hermit. I also decided to actually try to go on more adventures and make some amazing memories in 2018. I am positive that I can stick to my resolutions and crush my goals!

2018 Goals

Goals, goals, goals! I can’t wait to crush my goals and achieve my dreams. I decided to buckle down and work hard to achieve my dreams of publishing, traveling, and living a more creative life.

2018 Goals-3

Dreams are a lot harder to reach but I am determined to achieve at least one of my dreams in 2018!

Publishing a novel has been my dream for as long as I can remember. After crushing my 2017 word count goals, I am more determined than ever to publish one if not both of my novels by the end of 2018. It is quite the mouthful but I can handle it and I can’t wait to finally share my literary worlds with everyone.
Ireland is one of the places that I have always wanted to visit. My family’s ancestors are from there and I am in love with the mythology and fairy tales that are woven into the rich history of the country. I want to visit Ireland so I can appreciate where I came from and also visit one of the towns that I am writing about in my novel.
I have been wanting to see the Grand Canyon and since I live in Texas, the drive would be excruciatingly long. Going on an epic road trip has always been on my bucket list so I want to finally cross it off by going on a journey to the Grand Canyon.

I hope ya’ll enjoyed learning more about me and that you also decide to make 2018 your year. Chase those dreams, make those important lifestyle changes, and crush all of the obstacles that stand in your way. 2018 is the year for the dreamers and I can’t wait to see what the year has in store.

Have a wonderfully literary day and I will see all of you in the new year!

~Caitlin~

Holiday Reflection

The holiday season is full of love, celebration, and reflection.  I can’t help but realize just how blessed I am. I am surrounded by friends and family that support my writing career and mental health journey. If someone had told me six months ago that I would be in this amazing place in my life, I would have called them a liar.  I am honestly happy that I have let go of my toxic and negative past and have embraced the bright future in front of me. My best friend from childhood reconnected with me recently as well and for this first time in a long time I am actually happy with how my year has turned out.

So many wonderful things have happened over this past year including:

  1. I graduated college!
  2. I started medication that helped me manage my anxiety!
  3. I have written a good chunk of my pirate novel!
  4. I  started to take better care of myself!

It may not seem like a lot, but I feel like I have conquered so much this past year. If 2018 is anything like 2017 then I can honestly say I am ready for the new year. Sure, there were a lot of times where I honestly doubted myself. It can be hard to fight the feeling of doubt but I did and now I am ending this year on a positive note. When it comes to the holiday season, you can use this time to ignore your doubt and look around. You are surrounded by the people that love and care about you  and that can be the boost you need to break through that wall of doubt. If you are alone this holiday season just know that I am here for you. I am supportive of whatever your dreams and goals are and you are more than welcome to connect through comments below so we can have our own little literary tribe.

My Bookmas Tree
My Bookmas Tree

I am going to wrap this up now so I can get back to my little Christmas celebration! hope ya’ll have the happiest of holidays and keep an eye out for more posts in the future!

Enjoy this picture of my Bookmas Tree~

Have a wonderfully literary day!

~Caitlin

Curious Reviews: The Shining by Stephen King

Hello World!

Welcome to the first book review to be posted on my lovely blog! I hope you enjoy it and if you want to learn more about the book click here and it will take you to its Goodreads Page!

Shiningcover

I recently developed an obsession with listening to podcasts, so I decided to finally listen to an audiobook and chose to listen to The Shining by Stephen King! It took me a little over fifteen hours to listen to this novel and it was worth every second. I loved Wendy and her resolve as she faced a husband that had a rapidly deteriorating mental state and a son that was being attacked by the undead residents of the Overlook hotel. Jack is such a wonderfully complex character and watching him unravel while learning bits of his background makes you want to listen to the whole novel in one setting. I am not going to lie, my favorite character was Hallorann, the cook that comes to the rescue. His wit and bravery really added an awesome level to this complex novel and helped sprinkle some humor into this thriller.

Stephen King really does have quite the talent for crafting beautifully deep characters that you want to root for. Even though I knew what was going to happen to poor Jack, I couldn’t help but hope that he can overcome the hotel’s hold and escape with his family. Watching Danny face the monsters that lurked the shadows of the Overlook while trying to learn how to control his shine without the help of his companion, Tony, was horrifying and intriguing at the same time. Even the monsters and demons that live in the hotel were all extremely detailed, from the old caretaker to the mobsters that resided in the presidential suite, monsters from different eras were present and ready to tear Danny apart for his gift and it was amazing to see all the work that went into creating this colorful cast of characters.

The plot was full of twists and turns while also not being too complex. The way that King sprinkles in flashbacks really did help paint a beautiful picture while making me want to read on to figure out why the characters were acting a certain way. Overall, this novel is absolutely fantastic and I am going to pick up Doctor Sleep so I can follow Danny on another amazing adventure.

Below I will list my top three favorite things about this novel and three things I thought could be better along with my rating of this novel!

AM 2.png

That is all for my very first book review! I kept it as spoiler free as I could and I hope y’all enjoyed it.

I hope y’all have a wonderfully literary day!

~Caitlin

Time to Celebrate!

Hello World!

Today is a day to celebrate! I finally bought my domain name and changed it from My Magical Writing Adventure to The Curious Novelist.  I decided to change my blog’s name because, honestly,  it is a lot shorter than my original name and it flows really well. I also took this opportunity to give my blog a bit of a face lift and I am in love with its new appearance!

Another thing to celebrate is that my dad and I adopted two puppies yesterday from the shelter. The story behind these fur babies is that the local animal shelter found an abandoned box of puppies left in an alley last week. After being held by the shelter for five days and being cleared by a vet, the puppies were available of adoption yesterday.

Rosie and Jolly Mon
Rosie on the left and Jolly Mon on the right

My father adopted the boy and named him after his favorite Jimmy Buffett song, Jolly Mon. I fell in love with a little girl puppy with black markings and named her Rosie. That name is important to me because one of the best characters I have ever created was a pirate named Rose. Rose was a part of this beautiful writing project that I had with another person that had to be cancelled after I cut that person out of my life. All that work and love I put in Rose and her fantastic world had to be thrown away and it honestly broke my heart. In the novel, Rose was a fearless pirate captain that had a sense of adventure and never backed down. When I saw this little brave puppy run around and explore the world I knew that the name Rosie fit her like a glove.

That is all for this little life update! I am off to write now and I hope you enjoyed my little update!

Have a wonderfully literary day!

~Caitlin~

Cuties
Jolly and Rosie are such cuties!

A Few of My Favorite Genres

Hello World! 

Today I am going to be sharing some of my favorite literary genres! The genres that have made my top 3 are all genres that I love to both read and write. I know my intro is a tad short but I am a little too excited to write this post!

Let’s dive in and explore my favorite genres! 

1. Fantasy

This one is my absolute favorite genre because of how flexible it is. Authors can really go wild with their world building and showcase the coolest stuff. Magic, dragons, and badass journeys are just a few of my favorite  things about this genre. Fantasy can also be combined with other genres as well and that is where things can get really interesting~

Favorite things about this genre:

  • Epic world building~
  • Use of magic~
  • Being able to see just how wild an author’s imagination can be~

2. Thriller

I love a good page turner! Books in this category can throw curveballs at you and keep you up at night while you play different scenarios in your head as you try to figure out what’s next. Unreliable narrators rule  this genre and some of these books can  scare the daylights out of you. 

Favorite things about this genre:

  • The way authors manipulate the point of view and unreliability of the narrative~ 
  • Twists are hidden throughout the novel~
  • Can easily keep you up at night~

3. Classics

Without  classical novels, epics, and plays the literary world would not be what it is today. I love reading  Austen, Fitzgerald, and Shakespeare. Knowing that storytellers like Homer helped lay the foundation of literature  is fascinating and I absolutely adore this genre~

My favorite things about this genre:

  • The wordplay authors used in order to work in some rather interesting jokes~(Looking at you Shakespeare!)
  • No matter how many times I read them, I am still enchanted~
  • Being able to see how society was back then by studying these works is really cool~

Those are my top 3 favorite literary genres! I hope you guys enjoyed my little post! What are your favorite genres?
Have a wonderfully literary day!

~Caitlin~