Hi, chums! I know, I know. I suddenly vanished for two months. But hey, I’m back. And I’m here to share some updates, and my plans and expectations for the year 2020.
About the Blogger
Basically, 2020 started with my life revolving around my job, myself, our pets and music. There’s really nothing new except that I am now in this hard transition phase from being a teen to being an adult, focusing on a job instead of studying and can be often seen listening to music instead of reading books.
I started a new job. This is actually my first job ever since I graduated from college. It is tiring – especially physically and mentally. I have to wake up super early (and by “super early”, I mean around-three-thirty-kind-of-early) every morning and commute for around 2 and a half hours to and from work. But I’m glad and thankful for where I am now. My job involves lots of analyzing, reading and writing and I am surrounded by intelligent, nice, and hardworking people.
Since I couldn’t read, binge watch TV series, movies and K-Dramas due to my schedule (and lack of focus, really), I spend a huge portion of my time listening to music instead. That, or fangirling over BTS 😉. I’m in a huge K-Pop mood these past few months. I haven’t been in this kind of mood for years. Since obviously, I have been more focused on reading and blogging since I started college. (A huge part of my high school life was spent fangirling over K-Pop girl groups, watching dance practices and dancing to their songs in our classroom.) I became interested with BTS after watching RM deliver his speech in front of the UN assembly back in 2018. As a K-Pop fan since around 2012, I had been listening to their I Need U, Danger, Blood Sweat and Tears, Mic Drop and some of their other bops but had never been actually interested with the artists behind those – as I used to only stan girl groups, not until 2018. I became interested with Namjoon first, then eventually became interested with the whole band. BTS became special to me not just because of the members’ personalities, their talents and skills, but because of the fact that their music talks about things that are very close to me and relevant to my life: depression, self-acceptance, self-love, dreaming and passion.
I started writing lyrics. I don’t even know if I can call these as song lyrics (LMAO). Anyway, it’s therapeutic (and that’s all that matters, srsly). I found a new outlet to share my thoughts and feelings to. Now, this is something I thought I’d never do. I see music as another form of poetry. Though I love reading poetry, and despite my attempts, I’ve never been serious in writing them as I find it hard for whatever reason. But I have recently discovered some amazing song writers (stares admiringly at Kim Namjoon and Min Yoongi) and they inspire me to use lyric writing as a way to express myself. I have been writing for my blog for years. I have been writing about books, authors, and other bookish stuffs but not so much about myself. And writing lyrics is providing me that opportunity. I started writing stories when I was around 14 years old, and then turned into blogging when I was 17. Now, I am 20 and am writing what for me can be hopefully considered as song lyrics (lmao). I have been writing about a lot of different stuffs for years: fictional characters I created, fictional characters others have created, other people, but now I am writing for and about myself.
About the Blog
Did you know? Afire Pages turned 3 years old last year but I did not celebrate it. I contacted some authors and publishers for my yearly giveaway party and planned stuffs but because I was in the midst of finding a job and hosting and organizing different blog tours at that time, I was not able to finalize anything. That anniversary is special for me and this blog. It’s another milestone. I’m glad and proud of what I have been doing for the past years. I am sad that I wasn’t able to celebrate it with you, but I’m still thankful and grateful to each and everyone who have been a part of my three-year-long journey. ❤
I ended 2019 with some plans for my year-ender post/s that were never made come true (classic Karina). This is my very first post for 2020 and I’m hoping that the next won’t come too far away in the future.
I want Afire Pages to feel more like me and mine again. I started this blog in 2016 for me and the books that I read. Though this remains as a very tiny space in the internet, I’ve become aware that other people visits and reads what I have to say. For the past 2 years, I’ve been reviewing books for publishers and authors and partnering with them for a lot of other things. But recently, I’d been feeling like I was blogging for others and not for me anymore. And I want this little corner of mine to feel more personal again.
I am planning to revamp later this year and change the way I run things. The messy, full of typos, with inconsistent blog layout and design Afire Pages of last year is still me. But that represents the teenager Karina of 2016 to 2019 and not the 20 year-old Karina of 2020. As I transition from being a teen to being an adult (which is so effing hard and scary), I want Afire Pages to do the same. Just like the messy, passionate, curious and moody teenager Karina, it’s time for Afire Pages to be more serious, consistent and put-together.
I also want to be more like myself in this little corner of mine on the internet. I’ve always been honest with who I am. But I feel like there are sides of me that have always been hidden – not just here but also in real life. I want to feel more comfortable expressing what I think and what I feel without thinking whether if I still fit onto the mold people make or assume for me to fit in. I believe I do not fit in any mold. But my teenage years taught me to shrink myself too little and let others dictate who I am and who I should be, and I am breaking out of that. I am breaking out of those chains created partly by others and partly by me. As I leave my teenage years behind, I am also leaving all the chains that have been holding me back for years.
I’m setting my goals lower. I am only planning to read around 25 books this year and planning to host only a few blog tours. I want to host lots of blog tours and help connect many diverse titles with #OwnVoices reviewers but given the reality that I currently have, that would be impossible.
Content-wise, I am planning to make another Biblionomics project later this year. I also had the pleasure of interviewing Randy Ribay, author of Patron Saints of Nothing and am planning to publish that before this month ends. My review of Mooncakes, Behind the Windows, I Owe You One, My Favorite Half-Night Stand, and The Cruel Prince will also be posted within the next month or so.
Sadly, I’m expecting for me to have less time to read and blog but that I’ll still be available on Twitter and Instagram whenever I have time.
I feel like reading more classic and philosophical books this year, so I might also start writing and posting about them and go beyond just blogging about MG, YA and NA. I am also expecting that I wouldn’t be as updated as I used to be when it comes to new releases that I should be adding to my tbr and debut authors that I should be on the look out for. So, I will most likely heavily rely on The Pond Book News XD (Can we just say thank God altogether for the existence of TQP and all the people behind it because we must?).
I am expecting that as a newbie in this world of adulting, life will be extra challenging but it will also be more fun and exciting. As I am now earning, I think I will be able to buy more books. But the catch (of course, there is always a catch) is that I will have lesser time to actually read them. 🙃