A Mini Update: [insert a bewildered expression because it’s already October]

Hello friends. I actually like doing these mini-updates. One, because I can practice being concise and not ramble forever (though if there’s anything I’m pessimistic about, it is these lofty goals of me being concise), and two, it feels somewhat productive writing these. And I love indulging all of you about my wonderfully boring life!

In December, I’ll find out whether my life will drastically change forever… or not at all.

So, I am going to apply to study next year. Which is a big, crazy step for me because I have spent the last year and a half working. I mean, the higher cognitive processing I’ve done as of late with my brain involve reading, writing my reviews, and trying to figure out how some of my friends are getting married, having babies, and buying their first homes. (STOP. GROWING. UP.)

It’s exciting, I suppose. But I am also very scared. Scared because the application process is daunting, especially for the program I really, really, really, really, really, really, REALLY REALLY want to get into. And it’s tough. Out of the hundreds that get in, only 30 people or so get shortlisted and interviewed. (INTERVIEWED.) And then of those 30, the list is culled and only 11 are offered a place in the program.

So my chances are slim, I have no illusions about that. (Okay, maybe I do have a few.) Still, it’s one of my dreams and I’m going to try. (I’m actually really hoping.) Because if you don’t try, nothing will happen.

And if I don’t get in, I’ll keep trying until I do. And then cry about how gargantuan my student loan will be.

Are there any big changes coming your way next year? How are you feeling? *sends you love and support regardless*


My nature as an introvert involves going through these high, crazy extroversion phases (“Hey I haven’t seen this person in awhile txt txt txt okay I now have like six lunch dates hahahaha!”) followed by these weeks of withdrawal from everyone and/or anything that talks.

What I have learned is that my introversion, though spent cooped up in the peaceful seclusion of my room, extends to blogging. I have fallen weeks behind on everyone’s blogs and reading people’s posts and commenting feels like running a marathon. (I’ve actually never run a marathon before but I’ve run an 8.4km race; does that count for anything?)

So that’s me now. I’m sorry to all my blogging friends who have been blogging wonderful posts and I haven’t read/commented. I am there with you and support you in spirit.

Are you an introvert? Do you go through these phases too? Extroverts! Do you guys go through something similar?

It’s Spring in the Southern Hemisphere!

Answers to questions that people have actually asked me:

Yes, it is October in the Southern Hemisphere when it is October for you.
Yes, when you celebrate Christmas, I also celebrate Christmas; yes, December 25th!
Yes, that does mean I’ve never experienced a Winter Christmas; my Christmases are beaches, sun, and filled with pohutukawa.

I’m sick of winter and the cold. Bring on the spring weather and summer! I would say that I love the beach, but the truth is I hardly go to the beach. Work curtails the opportunity to have fun by 73%. (Probably a real statistic.)

What do you like to do in Spring/Summer? If it’s Autumn/Winter for you, what are you guys looking forward to? 

I can’t believe I forgot this because this was the whole reason why I wrote this post —

I’m still trying to figure out my identity when it comes to illustration, so bear with me and the inconsistency.

So, I drew book covers. I thought the idea was pretty cool.

And then late at night at one in the morning when the world becomes a hell lot scarier and you become a hell lot more introspective and you are trying to draw the cover for a book, you begin to think: “gee, this is actually very tedious and I’m not challenging my artistic ability at all when I am drawing these book covers over the actual book covers.”

I had a mini-existential crisis. Sorry bookish Twitter friends, and also thank you for slapping me out of it with your kindness and empathy.

As evidenced by most recent book review, Nirvana, I’m going to follow the sort of illustrations I usually do for my tags. I think that is more my style. I’d like to approach these illustrations by exploring the themes and symbols through drawing and objects. I suppose we’ll see where that goes. So expect some experimentation! If you see something weird in my blog, it is probably me going crazy.

My goal for next month:

Write a blimmin’ Let’s Talk About discussion post. I have started three discussions, but I just lose inspiration halfway.

Do any of these interest you?

  • Why I Need Diversity – A personal account of why diversity matters to me.
  • Do Problematic Characters Make Bad Books? – Why are we too quick to renounce books with problematic characters? And should we?
  • Dystopia/Utopia: Why the Pair are Important Genres – Enough said.

Help? Any? None? I need your honesty.

These mini-updates should not be a thing, but I think they are a thing.


25 thoughts on “A Mini Update: [insert a bewildered expression because it’s already October]

  1. OH MY GOSH. WE TALKED ABOUT THIS PROGRAM. Or at least I think we did. I remember you telling me about a lot of graduate programs over there and the competition. But don’t stress, Chooi! I know you got this. sending good vibes, luck, support, and all good stuff along your way

    The only big thing that’s happening to me this year is the pharmacy school stuff. I don’t know if I get in yet (and I won’t until next year) but yeah. I rather not think about it to be honest. It’s too nerve-wracking and it’s all in the hands of the admissions committee now. Since I’ve done all I can do.

    Oh gosh. Even though I’m still fairly young (19, but I’ll be turning 20 in a couple months) I totally know what you mean about adulting and growing up (in as sense). My cousin who is a couple of years older than me and a few of my upperclassmen friends have all recently become engaged, which is quite scary (but in a good way; I’ve very happy for them). I can’t imagine being in their shoes in a couple of years. (Or maybe like a decade, I plan to get married when I’m at least 30, LOL.)

    And winter is actually my favorite season. I love the cold weather, occasional snow (I live in the south so we don’t get a ton of snow compared to the northern states), and winter festivities. I don’t usually do anything particularly special during the season changes… but Halloween, Thanksgiving, and all those Autumn-y holidays are definitely fun things to experience over here.

    And argh, my internet has been so wonky today. I’m trying to go to your Nirvana book review to see what you mean by the graphics… but maybe I’ll do that tomorrow (or I guess later today, it’s actually 2 am over here; I was going to log off and go to sleep but then saw this post). But actually, I did have moments where I was worried you were working on these beautiful illustrations late at night. We all continuously are amazed by your artwork, Chooi, but do what you feel suits you and makes you comfortable! And I love your original pieces such as the Nostalgic Book Review Tag, so I feel like those illustrations alone will be just perfect.

    Oh and these personal updates are the best, I really enjoy reading about what’s going on with everyone’s lives. And I look forward to the upcoming discussion posts. I really need to post my second Summer Says post, maybe October will be the month I’ll release one. ;)

    But yeah, I should sleep. Have a good weekend, Chooi!

    • And last time you were like I shouldn’t feel bad about writing a long comment… but now I seriously feel bad when it competes with the length of your post. Sigh. I’ll be more pithy next time, I promise. >.<

  2. YES! Hahaha I love you for remembering! Yes, it’s nuttts. I read more about it and it’s a bit harder than I thought. But thank you – I need the support. ;_; The upcoming months are going to be stressful, one way or another!

    Wow, that wait though! But good, good, perspective is important in such times, right? But I have my fingers crossed for you! c: Now it’s my turn to send you love, luck, and support! ♥

    Right? It’s crazy! I had a friend who got married immediately after high school. I get these intense mixed feelings of joy and ‘whatwhatwhatirememberwhenyouwere12yearsold!!’ It makes me a little scared sometimes tbh, haha. I have these like, ideas too! But I want the stars to align first.

    I like winter too! But I think I like it the most when summer is nearly over – and vice versa haha. I really loved this year’s winter (nice and cold!) but I’m over it now – I want to wear dresses and tshirts again. *u*

    We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in NZ. :c And unfortunately Halloween isn’t as big as it used to be (it’s mostly just a theme for parties but otherwise it’s very low-key)!

    Aw thanks Summer. ;_; You are so wonderful! ♥ That really means a lot, especially since that image of me is unfortunately not too far from the truth! But really, thank you. n_n I love drawing, but it’s really nice and validating when people like them too. c: And oh gosh, please don’t lose sleep over my blog!! I hope you slept well, at least!

    I enjoy writing them! and YESS I’ve been waiting forever for the next Summer Says. I CAN’T WAIT, SUMMER! :D ♥

    And it’s really okay oh my gosh, I love long comments, trust me. <3

  3. YOU WILL BE FINE MISS CWTV! You’ve done all that you can so now just have faith in yourself! When you’re shortlisted, I will be there with practice interview questions :D And if they don’t choose you, I’m sure a lovely program in Sydney will take you… and then we can hang out all the time :D :D :D

    But seriously, you’ll be fine. *sends support and hugs and love and teddy bears and sunshine and rainbows and unicorns* I have no changes next year, sadly. It’s just endless research for me… but I did recently get a new job at uni. We have a psychology peer mentoring program for the first years and now I’m one of the coordinators for the program. Which is super exciting because I’m way too introverted and passive to be a proper leader, but this coordinating role kind of gives me some leadership skills. Plus it pays super well and it’s mostly just work that I can do from behind a computer. And I get to kind of boss around the third year mentors :D

    I’ve been feeling really introverted lately too :( I stayed at home this Monday, Thursday and today… and it’s Labour Day long weekend this week. So I’m going to be home 5 days in a row haha. I’m also going through periods of not wanting to post or comment on anything. So recently I’ve been scheduling heaps of posts and not doing anything for days… I’m also in the most anti-social mood IRL right now as well. My friend and I made plans to have dinner this weekend… but she invited another friend without asking me and now it feels like so much more effort. Like I know we’re all friends but I CAN’T DEAL WITH AN EXTRA PERSON!

    Okay I’m turning into Summer with her long comments. But I think you should only do your cover artworks if you enjoy it. As long as it makes you happy then you should do it but don’t do it for us! I appreciate it and I always think they’re beautiful but I can handle looking at just the original cover.

    Also, Spring is my favourite season so I’m super happy that it’s finally here! But this weekend is going to be really hot for us (mid to high 30s).

    Okay, wrapping up here. I would love to see any of the discussion topics! But I’m particularly interested in diversity and problematic characters! Love youuuuuu and stop freaking out!

    • To be honest Jenna… I haven’t applied yet. :'( I’m getting all my papers ready and slowly answering the questions that they asked. :’c YES YES YES PLEASE I might take you up on the interview question thing. I have no friends in Psychology! I feel like I’m setting precedent in my social circle (if I get it lol). HAHA I’ve considered going to Aus! But $$$$$$. :'(

      Awwww thank youuu. :'( <3 <3 <3 AHHH congrats on your job! That's sounds sooo awesome though; I can envision you doing it: BOSSING THE KIDS AROUND. Hehehehhe. Tbh I'd love to do something like that! I like that sort of guidance stuff. *u*

      I FEEL THIS. I'm forcing myself to comment because idk I feel bad if I don't. But yesss. Except I can't skip work and I have to talk to people all the time because of the nature of my work. T_T I know what you mean though! It's like, if I see you during my introverted phase, I CHOSE YOU AND ONLY YOU! D:

      Hahaha trust me, I love long comments. <3 Well, I'm going to experiment. c: Thank you for your support. ;__; I hope I'll figure it out – I know I will, eventually!

      GEEEZ that's crazy! It's nice and sunny here, but it's like, 10 – 16 degrees. I remember when I went to Aus for the first time it was around November and it was just super dry and hot. ;_; I kept drinking sooo much water, I think I went through 5 bottles in 3 hours. D:

      I LOVE YOU TOO AND THANK YOU I might just do just that. :3

      • It’ll all be fine! Take your time with the application process! I feel like if you rush it and leave something out, they might just not consider you/follow up because they have so many other applicants.

        How much is the clinical masters program in NZ? I think it’s about $25k-27k a year here (not sure about international) but a few of them are commonwealth-supported so the students don’t need to pay it back until they start working and their income is over a certain tax threshold.

        Yeah I have no idea what’s wrong with Sydney weather. It was like max 16-20 for the past week but the next 5 days are like 30s… and then returning to low 20s on Thursday. I’m just going to be hiding indoors all summer because I can’t stand the heat.

  4. Omg, what you wrote about being an introvert, I have never read a more accurate description of what I go through… I completely know what you mean about withdrawing, and then coming back to catch up on everything and replying to stuff feeling like running a marathon. I even find it difficult replying to text messages sometimes, and it sounds really lame but it actually feels like a big achievement when I’ve done it.

    Also all of those discussion posts sound great, especially the diversity one! Look forward to reading them :)

    Good luck with your program application!

    • Yesss someone who understands me! I think I overwhelm myself to the point where I just force myself back into my shell. D:

      I do too! I reply 3 days later and feel super bad about it, but I just can’t bring myself to txt earlier. :(

      Hahaha if I can bring myself to write them… I hope you will enjoy them when the time comes!

      Thanks, Jessica! <3 I need the luck, I think haha

      • I’m so glad somebody else understands the texting thing! I think my friends just think I’m being lazy or a bit flaky, but like you said, sometimes you just can’t, and you can’t even explain the reason! Good luck with the posts! Xx

  5. Aw, don’t worry, I’m sure everything will be okay no matter what, I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you at all times! ♥ it’s so stressing, seeing everything and everyone change besides you. I mean, that’s part of growing up, sure, but WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME about all the nostalgia and STRESSING OUT this causes, haha.

    I would love to read all of these discussion topics, especially the one about diversity, and even more, I think, about problematic characters. I’ve read nothing like that before and I’d love to hear your opinion on this!! :D

    • Aw thanks sooo much Marie. <3 Hopefully I'll have some good news eventually!!

      Oh my gosh Marie, you get me!! My friend told me the other day she wanted to buy her first house with her boyfriend of 5 years and I was just NO. STOP GROWING UP. IT'S SCARY. I think it makes you think of your own progress and where your own life is at and it's just so… BLEUGH.

      Ahhh thank you!! I have so many opinions about the problematic characters one but I'm struggling putting thoughts to words. :c

  6. Good luck with your application. I understand how scary it is but no matter the outcome you are doing the right thing! I am increasingly realising as I get older the only way life progresses is by a person making the decision to do something. You are taking control of life and that’s exciting! Good luck.

    Also I am so with you – people growing up is terrifying! I went to a school friend’s wedding in April and one of my other closest friends just moved in with her boyfriend. Meanwhile I have another friend whose job just sent her on a business trip to Paris. I conversely, just moved back in with my mum and am currently unemployed. Life.

    The moving back home thing is my big change. I graduated in July and I have no idea what I am going to do now. I veer between excited and terrified about a hundred times a day.

    I would be really interested in your diversity discussion post :)

    • Thank you Lydia! Thank you. ;_; I feel a bit better. Just have to persevere and keep going, even though it’s scary right? Hahaha, I think I have learned that too – because I haven’t done much except work and nothing really has happened! Thank you again; it’s time to pursue my dreams instead of doing nothing but dream. :)

      Right? It’s crazy! People need to stooppppp. It’s scary, how fast life is flying us by. Oh don’t worry haha if it makes you feel any better, I still live with my parents. With the housing crisis in my city, it’s unrealistic (and frankly extremely impractical) to rent. :|

      Are you going to job-hunt or do you have other plans? If the former, just keep at it. It can get super demoralizing, but don’t give up!! Just go for things, even if it doesn’t sound like you. But I really know the feeling. Change is scary but awesome, but things will work out for you. :)

      Heh thanks! That seems like the popular one so I’ll get on that soon! c:

      • I totally agree. I think that now is the best time to go after what you want in life, before all the major responsibilities set in.

        I live in a little village and I swear every time I leave the house someone asks me what I am planning to do with my life.I can’t get away from it!

        It does comfort me to hear that someone else is living at home. It’s so frustrating, everywhere being so expensive. The situation is the same where I live.

        I am job hunting at the moment. If all else fails all the shops are starting to hire for Christmas soon, so I’m sure I’ll get something eventually. I am just really determined not to waitress any more, but those are the only sort of jobs I ever seem to get!

        It seems like a lot of us book bloggers are in a similar sort of place at the moment, which is kind of nice. We understand each other!

        • YESS that’s true! Esp before we become responsible for other people, haha.

          Oh gosh, I live in a big(ish) city so I had a lot of people asking me that after I graduated too. It was a pain! Haha I’m sorry I asked you that; I think the memory of what it felt like is blurry to me now.

          Ahhh yes I completely empathize. It’s frustrating! I feel like I am missing a part of my life by not flatting and whatnot, but in my volunteering work I see a lot of housing/flatting issues which makes me a bit apprehensive. In any case, I love my parents and am close to them, so I can’t complain living with them! (I almost don’t really want to leave, hahahah…)

          Omg I actually really relate to that. It’s like your first job curse, sort of thing. My first job was administration, and it was only type of jobs I was getting interviews for! Everyone else didn’t want me. It’s such a pain.

          I agree! Thank you Lydia. :) I feel like it’s often a thing that’s not discussed enough because it’s a source of shame or something silly like that. It’s nice to talk to people about it without judgement. c:

          • We will move out eventually. Hopefully to nicer places than if we had done it too soon!

            I know what you mean about not talking about it. My Facebook timeline is full of people getting jobs and showing off their new homes or the places they are travelling to. There is too much pressure for everything to be going perfectly! When I’m being sensible I can tell myself that it’s really only a few people doing so well (and showing off about it). Those of us who have no idea what they are doing just don’t post so many selfies about it!

            • Oh gosh, me too! And then I feel a sense of insecurity… makes me question what I am doing with my own life. :I

              Hahah that’s very true! I think there was some research into how Facebook can affect someone’s self esteem for that very reason! People only ever post things that are remarkably good or incredibly sad, they don’t really talk about the mundane stuff. So people see the extremities of both and internalize it! I think that happens to me, and yes! I have those sensible days but some days… bleh. D:

  7. You know how work swallows you up entirely it’s become your entire life. Good thing there’s Twitter (where you chat with Chelsea about this post) I got to check in to your post! :D

    Regarding your application, I say take the leap! Sometimes, the opportunity is always there but our motivation isn’t so grab the chance while you have both (says someone who’s afraid of taking risks lol) Whatever happens, you won’t loose anything.. at least on how I look at it based on your post. Besides, I’m with these people who commented on your post. YOU’LL GET IN! I’ve been meaning to take a graduate course too when work pretty much consumes me. I want to apply for a program in Japan but like the school where you want to go to, I don’t have a fat chance so that’s a plan for next time. But yeah, I give you all my support on this, CW!


    • RIGHT? That very statement is why I felt so upset when I started working. It was just really difficult coming to terms with the fact that I couldn’t really have much of a life outside work? Sigh, haha.

      Thanks Trisha! Things have happened lately that have steeled my resolve to apply. :) Don’t worry I completely relate! I’m scared of taking risks too, but it’s a now-or-never sort of thing right now haha!

      Oh gosh I hope I don’t disappoint you guys. I really want to get in, but, I guess we’ll see. All in the hands of the panel!

      Aw, well I hope you follow your dreams, whatever they are, eventually Trisha! <3 No reasons why we can't, so take every opportunity and make it happen. c:

      THANK YOU SWEETHEART I really appreciate it. I dooooo. <3

  8. Best of luck on getting into the program! I have no doubt you’ll do amahzing in the application process :D And I’ll spiritually be there cheering you on!!
    I think a post about diversity would be nice… it’s become more and more vocal in the bookish community, and in my honest opinion we could never have enough discussions about it and its place in YA books. :)
    As for your drawings, I love seeing artists experiment! And rest assured that just “copying book covers” is worth it. As an artist myself, I grew tremendously from just practicing different drawings and sketches over and over again as reference until I built my own style. Whatever you draw, I’m pretty sure it’ll be awesome so I’ll be looking forward to them!

    • AWWW thanks so much Aila! You’re a sweetie. <3

      You're right, and I love that! I think the lack of diversity in my childhood was a source of a lot of confusion and pain, so it is pleasing to see that people are more vocal and conscious of it now, so that people that were my age won't be as confused as I was! I'll be sure to write it once I get over my suuuuper bad writing slump (took me too long to reply to this comment too — sorry!)

      Me too! I remember when I first got my tablet, I couldn't draw a straight line. Now it's much better. ^_^ I think my style is more cartoonish stuff that's very object-y. Probably because of all the time I spent on Neopets LOL so that's sort of a part of me now, I guess. Awww thanks again Aila! Do you share your art on the interwebs? Am I able to see something of yours? :D (I love fangirling over people's works!)

  9. .<). I'm wishing you the best of luck in your applications! There are some TESOL and librarian programs/courses I've been eyeing but I need to pluck up the bravery to gradually dive in and swim through that word swamp.

    I'd love to read any of your discussion posts! I've come close to writing posts about diversity – especially after reading some recent articles on twitter – but I haven't drafted anything yet lol. Though I've weaved in a few thoughts into reviews. If you write a post about needing diversity, I shall write one too <3.

  10. Ah, I really know what you mean. Sometimes starting is the hardest (particularly so for me), but once you get a momentum going, it does get easier!

    Haha I’ve started mine but it’s extremely rambly and wordy. Mostly full of personal anecdotes! I need to take a step back and stop telling so many stories though, haha. Yes please Glaiza! I’d be really interested to read what you write about diversity (like, REALLY REALLY INTERESTED). <3

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