Hello… I’m back :D
I think there’s some kind of weird, accidental tradition I have to disappear around the time I have my blogiversary Q&A, because last year I posted part 2 of my Q&A like 2 months after my actual blogiversary day. But sorry for disappearing on everyone for a bit—I just have zero motivation (and time) to post.
I’m not going to make this a long intro, as I’ve already done the sappiness in part 1 of this Q&A and this is a lengthy post, but thank you all again for being always so patient and supportive of me! It means the world.
BOOKS / MEDIA
what’s your reader origin story?
I’ve loved reading from the moment I learned how to do it, which was when I was around four. Some of my childhood favorite books were Junie B Jones, Cam Jansen, and the Rainbow Magic Fairy books!! The Percy Jackson series was the first one where I was truly obsessed with the books—essentially, I guess, it got me into “fandom.” I read my first YA when I was like… 10? Which was WAY too early for some of the ones I read (like Divergent).
a book that showed you how much you enjoy reading
Not to have Graceling brainrot on my blog but… I’ve been struggling to read full prose books recently but I flew through Winterkeep, the fourth book of the Graceling series! It’s 500 pages long and I just devoured it in two days. I’m always just so immersed in the Graceling world and its characters, and I LOVE Kristin Cashore’s writing. Also, it reminded me of when I first started reading more YA with Graceling!!
do you have any recent fictional crushes? (books/movies/series)
I don’t think I get any fictional crushes often! I tend to get attached to specific characters but I wouldn’t necessarily call it a crush.
is there anything that frustrates you about YA?
Hm, I’m not quite sure what this question is asking? I guess sometimes it frustrates me when authors don’t seem like they’re writing actual teenage characters or writing for actual teens. But I feel like any other thing that might frustrate me is something that can be applied to any age category or is just my own personal opinion that I don’t think is an actual issue with the genre itself.
will you ever stop setting your Goodreads goal as 100 books and then cram like 15 books in the last second of the year?!
:( So mean :( But THIS YEAR I plan to be more on top of my Goodreads challenge okay!! Ignoring the fact that I’m already 3 books behind!!
what are the books that mean the most to you?
- Percy Jackson, for being the first series I truly “obsessed” over
- Simon Vs & Aristotle and Dante, for being the first books to kickstart my questioning process
- Starfish, for its Asian American representation that resonated with me in a way I’ll never forget
- Girls of Paper and Fire, for being the first book I read with sapphic Southeast Asian representation
- A Wish in the Dark, for being the first book I’ve ever felt represented in as a Thai
- Darius the Great is Not Okay, for its depression and diaspora representation
any tv shows you watched lately?
Honestly, I’m kind of bad at watching shows! Some I’ve watched in the last few months are Haikyuu!!, Criminal Minds, and a bit of Chihayafuru, so… not that many shows. I just started Jujutsu Kaisen this weekend though!
what’s the best advice you ever received about blogging?
Anything along the lines of “be yourself” or “be meaningful.” Finding satisfaction in the content I post is what’s most important to me now, and it allows me to not obsess over stats in an unhealthy way. And also, genuinity truly is important and shines through not only what you write but also how you interact with people—and being intentional with what I say and do is valuable no matter where I’m applying that mindset!
how has your blog changed in the past four years?
I think the biggest things I’d say have changed are appearance and my blogging voice! My blog used to be SO ugly and I’m ashamed that I put it out into the world looking like that and thinking it was a work of art. I was also trying too hard to be funny when I first started out (I still try now but… just not as hard), and I feel much more comfortable in my own voice now!
how do you edit your Instagram photos?
I actually edit on the default photos iphone app for the most part! I have specific numbers memorized and adjust all but four of the settings, though some adjustments are minuscule. I won’t say exactly what I change, but I do turn up warmth and turn down contrast a lot! I also use a bit of a b&w filter.
Sometimes I’ll use the app Snapseed, which is really helpful for adjusting settings in a specific area of the photo! I think the last time I tried to use it, though, it had updated and the feature I mainly used (Brush) was slightly different :(
what was the most challenging thing you had to face?
A constant battle is dealing with the underappreciation and lack of support from the wider online book community, but it gets numbing after a while of no change—it doesn’t feel like that big of a deal anymore, though it is. But an always challenging thing to face is knowing that I love blogging and want to continue it, but going through phases of burnout and feeling no motivation to actually blog. (Like right now.)
has blogging helped you in real life? if yes, how?
Probably not much, if we’re talking about abilities and skills? I guess it’s helped with writing and content creation/promotion in general, but those aren’t really a part of my life that’s not online. But I feel like it’s helped me solidify what I want to study/where I want to work in the future. Publishing is full of so many flaws, but I really do think I can see myself working in the industry! Or at least doing something related to writing and/or content and/or books.
what was your favorite review you wrote?
I don’t have a lot of reviews I’m incredibly proud of writing, to be honest. But I am pretty happy with my review of The Burning God!! The Poppy War series just offers so much to discuss, and I feel like I picked out the important parts to highlight in my review. I also have a LOT of feelings about the book and I think I managed to articulate them well!
what is one of your most memorable memories of blogging?
Getting ARCs for the first time—the ones I got were An Enchantment of Ravens, Starfish, and The Nowhere Girls! It was a really big moment for me, both because I thought it was the Ultimate Book Blogger Success (not true), and also because the concept of being sent early copies of books by publishers was very wild to me and my little pea brain back then.
I’ve GOT to hear more about these American Girl doll bloggers lmao
No you don’t… escape now while you can…
Honestly, I don’t really know what there is to say about them? They wrote blog posts about their American Girl dolls, with the occasional life/writing/God content. I’ve blocked out most of my memories of them, but I know some made stopmotion videos with the dolls? I’d say it was creative but unfortunately I don’t think any creation of homophobes is cool so :p
But yeah, I have no idea why I was interested in their content/being friends with them. (To be fair, I didn’t know they were homophobic until it was too late! Kind of sad because at the time I was following them, I was starting to figure out I wasn’t straight.) They were also… very into God and kind of pushing it on to non-Christians like me, so that was fun!!
what are some places you’d like to travel to?
Not to sound like Every Person Out There, but… I really wish I could travel the whole world and see every country!! But for specifics: I’ve already been, but I want to visit Thailand and Japan again! (And in Thailand, I want to visit places other than Bangkok, Pak Chong, Pattaya, and Phuket, which I’ve been to.) I also want to travel to China, Peru, and Southeast Asian countries.
where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Maybe part of this is a bit of an idealistic hope, but I think I’ll be living in an apartment with someone I love (not necessarily romantically), perhaps in the city. Hopefully I’ll be doing a job I at least semi-enjoy that has something to do with words! I’ll have a (hypoallergenic) dog!!!!, I’ll still be reading and writing as always, and I’ll be fluent in many languages.
do you have a favorite word/words?
I’m not sure if I have any favorite words, but some I like are: hiraeth (this is both pretty and also very resonant with any diaspora people, I think), liminal, tenderness, and reverence!
what are your favorite subjects in school?
I love English because I love analyzing literature! And I enjoy both creative and academic writing (when it comes to stories I like reading), as well as editing, so it’s… really the perfect class for me. I’d say my top favorite is band, because vibing and playing music all class is the best thing ever, but I unfortunately had to drop the class this year.
I’m shy and want to be friends with you but I don’t have any social media so how do we chat?
You can email me! Check out my contact page.
how do you manage your time / manage to read, review, and study?
I DON’T! I am struggling very much!
In seriousness, though: Prioritizing is really important (for me, studying first, blogging last). I also use Notion to plan out my week and delegate tasks to different days, making sure the work is spread out. I like to have certain set routines too, to help with fatigue! For example: I’m a night reader, and I also blog/study Thai more at night as well, so I try to get my schoolwork done before 10-ish to allow myself time to do that other stuff before sleeping.
Also, something that helps me stay on task is using my phone camera to film a time lapse of myself doing schoolwork, writing, reading, etc! It keeps me off my phone and somehow forces me to focus more, so I get my work done quicker.
(Also, the anon person who sent this question had a little note that was very kind!! Don’t be shy to talk to me, I really am not scary <33)
what are your pronouns? I feel like they’re she/they – but I’m confused on what that means? is they supposed to mean that you’re trans, or bi?
My pronouns are she/her! Though I will quietly say that they pronouns are… welcome too :)
Pronouns aren’t indicative of any gender, so using they pronouns doesn’t necessarily mean that you are trans—it depends on each person. But being bisexual is not a gender so it has even less of a connection to any pronouns I use!
is your real name may??
It is not! It’s an alias, but like I said in my previous post, I wouldn’t mind going by my real name. I’m just holding back right now because of paranoia about irls finding my blog!
(If anyone’s wondering about the reasoning behind May as a name—there is absolutely none. I literally just thought it sounded nice…)
something you’ve been proud of recently?
I’ve been feeling surprisingly good about my writing lately…? That rarely happens, so I’m allowing myself to climb out of my humble, modest shell for this one (1) moment. I’m still hit with the same thoughts of what sounds wrong and what I can edit when I read my work, but recently there’s been more hope sown in—the recognition that there’s something at least somewhat decent at its core.
Here’s a bit of a prose piece I worked on last month!
what tv shows have you been watching (and would recommend to me)? what are your tips for burnout because I am STRUGGLING. sending love to you all—happy late Valentine’s!
also no biggie but if you’d like to leave any feedback on my blog, you can fill out my survey here!! I really appreciate it <3