Goodbye, Merely Merline

Merely Merline was my first attempt to combine all of my interests under one umbrella. I didn’t want to be a book blog, but I also didn’t think I could be considered a lifestyle blog because my interests varied. When I started this blog, it was an opportunity for me to share pieces of myself with the world and connect with other people. I’ve done that in ways that didn’t necessarily include this blog, but I think blogging helped me expand and discover other things.

The domain for this blog is set to expire next month, which means that will be the end of merelymerline. I’m sad about letting the domain expire; however, I think it’s best. I’m in my final semester of grad school and I have some ideas that I would like to explore. It just felt right to let go of something that I’m not actively using. However, this doesn’t mean I’m disappearing from blogging. While I will no longer blog under this domain, I will remain in the blogosphere through my book blog, merline reads.

Thank you for following this blog and taking the time to read whatever nonsense I had to share. I appreciate it. If you’re into books, follow my blog (@merlinereads). If not, I would still love to connect with you on social media. I am not deleting this blog because it is something I’m proud of. And because it’s something I’m proud of, I thought it deserved a proper farewell.

Thanks for reading!

– Merline

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Hello From the Other Side

Hello From the Other Side

In my very-best-but-not-even-remotely-close Adele voice: Hello. It has been a while since I blogged. It’s been so long I don’t even recognize my WordPress draft. WordPress looks different. I am on the other side of my second semester of graduate school. Only 3 semesters left. Yes, I am counting. Graduate school has been tough. I miss working. I miss sick and vacation days. I miss benefits and a steady income. This semester was different from my first and I can’t quite articulate how. I had difficulty adjusting back to school after Christmas break. I couldn’t find the balance between school and staying aware of what is happening in our country. Somehow, I survived and didn’t fail. Every time I received a grade back from an assignment I was sure I muddled my way through, I was shocked. Did I actually get an A on this? Did I actually survive 6 group presentations gracefully? I hope my focus during summer session is different because I expect summer to go by quickly. I start practicum in two weeks and I need to start preparing for a conference I’m presenting at.

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Bestie’s Birthday

Bestie’s Birthday

Happy Monday!

My draft is filled with posts about culture and living under authoritarian regime so I thought I would switch things up and balance it out with goodness. This past weekend I celebrated my best friend’s birthday. Not to boast or anything, but she is quite an amazing best friend. I could not imagine doing life without her. She is kind, caring, warm, supportive, and loves unconditionally. She’s inspiring and challenges me to be a better version of myself daily. Her friendship means the world to me and her encouragement inspired me to be my authentic self and to start this blog. Since I am getting emotional writing this, I will stop here, but I hope everyone at some point experiences that kind of friendship.

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Spring 2017…

Spring 2017…

Earlier this week I read a post by Naturally Fashionable that inspired me. In the post she wrote about choosing a guide word for 2017. Thirteen days into 2017 feels a little late to write this, but I loved the idea so much I figured I could choose a guide word for spring 2017. Spring semester began this week and after reading the syllabi for all my classes, I’ll need a guide word, prayers, and anything else you can offer. I am confident group projects will lead to my demise. I am also confident the trauma of group projects will be passed down to my future offspring through epigenetics. I’m exaggerating, of course (not about the epigenetics part).

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I hope all of you are doing well. I hoped to reflect on 2016 and wish all of you a Happy New Year sooner, but never quite found the time or the motivation without my computer handy. If you’ve endured any hardships and challenges in 2016, I hope 2017 is filled with many blessings, good health, hope, and all your dreams come true. I hope it’s as bright and colorful as the peacock above. May you begin to live your best life now. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I do believe in goal-setting and being intentional so…what do you hope to be intentional about this year?

*The peacock above appeared as I was touring Kingsley Plantation in Jacksonville a few days ago. I squealed in excitement. There were three of them.

Diversity bookshelf

Diversity bookshelf

This year I read non-fiction and memoirs written by POC, but I’m usually a fiction girl. My goal going into the new year and beyond is to intentionally support fictional stories that represent people who look like me. The books listed below are fiction or Young Adult fiction written by writers of color or have POC main characters. If you know of any YA fiction or want to make recommendations, let me know in the comments or on Twitter.

On to the working list (will be updated frequently):

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