December 18, 2018

Life of a Migraineur: Fanotlettinme Be Mice Elf

I am overwhelmingly thankful of all the support from dear family, friends and fellows-in-chronic-pain in response to my most revealing blogmoir post: Life of a Migraineur: What's Free. I continue to receive such motivating comments since it has been read and shared on social media. A big thanks to my Chickadee, who takes the time to share my testimony and screenshot every reply since I'm not personally on FaceBook. Again, it is nice to know people empathize with my struggle to migraine relief. So as promised, I am keeping y'all updated. Grab your holiday beverage of choice (eggnog with shot of Bailey's for me) and settle in for another long post.

A mere nine hours after I published Life of a Migraineur: What's Free, claiming good health and not wanting to jinx myself, I was hit with a very bad migraine episode. I remember talking about a TV show (A Million Little Things) then feeling a stab of pain. It was quick. So I shifted in my seat away from the ceiling lights and kept up the conversation. Until someone said I was turning pale and my eyes were dull. Was I bored? No. Was I thinking about something else? No. It was symptoms of getting sick with a migraine. I immediately got up, took my meds and drove home. Willing myself to not throw up before I got there. I made it.

This migraine turned into the kind where I sleep on the cold bathroom tiled floor until the bouts of vomiting stop. Until I get enough strength to climb into bed with a cold aromatherapy compress and freezer pack. Until the Tramadol finally stays down and begins to take effect. Hours passed. Then days. I couldn't track the time of day because blackout window treatments did what they do: block all light and sound.

It started Thursday evening. I didn't come to until I heard water running in the main bathroom. Did I leave a faucet on? No, Chickadee was washing her hands. I sat up and called her name, asked what time it was: Saturday afternoon. She let herself in when I wasn't answering my phone or iMessages. I found my phone buried under the comforter. Judging from missed notifications, I was out of it for almost 40 hours. The amount of time worked weekly in a full-time job. Think about that. Time is lost in the life of a migraineur. 

Obviously the free miracle drug is not fully in my system yet. It never promised to completely eliminate my migraines. I just didn't think I would get a severe one so soon after the first dose. On the bright side, that was the only severe migraine I had since the first injection about 2 1/2 weeks ago! I got another migraine last night but it didn't last nearly as long. I was also prepared for it because of the unusual weather. It may not feel or seem like any improvement but numbers don't lie. 'Tis the season for results!
Yet I now understand why I got a burst of energy after taking the first injection. Because ever since, I have been exhausted. Oh, I'm TIRED tired. Like no energy, out of breath too easily, naps turn into full night's sleep type of exhaustion. And the minor body soreness I experienced? Well, now I feel heavy like I am 500 pounds dragging around dead weight. This leads to no longer being as active or productive. I haven't danced in my living room or gone to hustle class. I haven't started water aerobics as planned. It takes longer to read through a book that would normally be a page-turner. I'm even too tired to walk from bedroom to kitchen for a snack. Wayment—that one's a good problem to have. And I did help decorate my Christmas tree!

I don't have the energy or physical strength to do much. All of my focus goes into one task at a time. As I am typing this, the television and music are off because the noise is too distracting. I already got sidetracked into watching the candle flame flicker across the room for a good two minutes. Seriously just watching the lit three wicks. I can't sing lyrics AND type too. Following what's happening on a TV show AND writing this post at the same time just ain't possible. It's too much. I fear that my brain can no longer split into multiple tasks. Have I become simple-minded? Is this dumbing-down a side effect? What exactly is not letting me be myself?

December 16, 2018

Series Sunday: Harry Potter Special

(Harry Potter #1-7) 

Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Read an installment of a series.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the title, author and series name.
My Series Sunday pick is Harry Potter Special 20th Anniversary Edition Box Set by J.K. Rowling. Yes, I am 20 years late to the Harry Potter bandwagon. The wizardry finally got me! Thanks to Amazon's Black Friday deal, I scored the special edition box set of books #1-7 for only $35 (originally $100)!

Of course I heard of the series, but read nary a page nor seen a minute of the movies. Though I admire how fans Potterheads stan for the series a whole two decades later. Potterheads are like the literary version of the BeyHive. So I ordered the complete bestselling series on a shopping whim and cannot wait to start in the new year. It looks quite nice under my Christmas tree with its redesigned illustrations.
My plans are to buddy read with my 9-year-old niece. We will read a book followed by watching the corresponding movie in the series, then post vlog (YouTube) and blog reviews here. Stay tuned for our journey through Harry Potter fantasy land as we read over 4,000+ pages together!

Author: J.K. Rowling
Illustrator: Brian Selznick
Published: August 2018
Pages: 4,320
Edition: Box Set
Rating: TBD


December 14, 2018

First Lines Friday

First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Grab your current read(s).
  • Share the first line(s).
  • Include the title and author.

"The forest had claws and teeth."

~ Final Girls by Riley Sager


December 13, 2018

Lit to Movie Review: If Beale Street Could Talk

"I hope that nobody has ever had to look at anybody they love through glass." ~ pg. 12

If Beale Street Could Talk is a black lit classic written by James Baldwin in 1974. Here we are 40+ odd years later and the American justice system is still flawed with an overflow of wrong convictions. Like a blues song whose lyrics get stuck in your head, this short novel is sad but filled with harsh truths.

Fonny is a talented young artist unjustly arrested and locked up. His girlfriend, Tish, and her close-knit family are determined to free him no matter how much it costs. Freedom is priceless, especially when a newborn baby enters the picture. It is a beautiful story of young love, perseverance, and the strength of a black family.

"It was a strange weight, a presence coming into me - into a me I had not known was there." ~ pg. 57

One thing I have to admit though, where did the title come from? Which character lived on Beale Street? To my recollection, I don't remember it ever being mentioned in the book. Let's hope the movie will tie it all together. Check back here to see my rating of the movie, which hits theaters tomorrow!

*Update I am extremely baffled. Why can I not find local showtimes for the movie?! Apparently it is playing in "select" theaters...the closest being 245 miles away. 😐

Title: If Beale Street Could Talk
Author: James Baldwin
Director: Barry Jenkins
Cast: KiKi Layne (Tish); Stephan James (Fonny)
Published: 1974
Pages: 128
Movie Time: 1 Hour, 59 Min
Edition: eBook
Book Rating: 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤
Movie Rating: TBD


December 12, 2018


Look at this book cover! Look at that beautiful toned black skin! This is what first drew me to download Harlem, a short story by Eric Jerome Dickey. Although it was previously published in an anthology in 2006, it is now available as an eBook for only $0.99.

"If you were religious, you could call them a recurring set of visions. So I called them nightmares." ~ 10%

A black man is not expected to live to see 25 years old. Self-dubbed "Harlem" is already 23 and counting down his days. He gets sent to an asylum after getting off a murder charge due to insanity plea. To him, this feels worse than regular prison or even death. The only thing getting him through is a beautiful nurse named Daphane.

Harlem convinces Daphane to help him escape. He can free her from an abusive marriage and he, in turn, can be freed from the asylum. What unfolds next is a surprising spill of deadly secrets.

This super quick read can be read in a jaw-dropping few minutes. EJD can deliver in a 30-page or 400-page book, okurrrr!

Title: Harlem
Author: Eric Jerome Dickey
Published: November 2018
Pages: 32
Edition: eBook
Rating: 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤



"Besides, my grandmother used to say, 'a new broom sweeps well.'" ~46%

Every year I search for a holiday novella featuring characters of color. This year's treasure is Unexpected by D.L. White. I didn't just like it...I LOVED it! The perfect short story about finding love where you least expect it.

For some, the holidays bring about sad memories and is a reminder of personal tragedy. But when Saidah lets her hair down and agrees to attend a holiday dinner with friends, she is thrown for a loop. Her ex is there acting like the biggest arsehole ever, ruining the tone of Christmas. Saidah escapes and is accompanied by an unexpected guest. The story brings happy holiday vibes from that point on.

Gift yourself by downloading this holiday short eBook. Enjoy reading with a cup of hot cocoa, tea or coffee with a shot of Bailey's. 'Tis the season for good romance!

Title: Unexpected
Author: D.L. White
Published: November 2017
Pages: 68
Edition: eBook
Rating: 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤


The Guy Who Died Twice

"Whatever was going on in this house of wealth and privilege, it had clearly been taking its toll on the residents. A wife who appeared to be exhausted. A husband who'd started the day claiming to be a corpse, and ended the day being one." ~ 11%

A man walks into the police headquarters and tries to convince the squad that's he is dead. Of course they explain to him that he is very much alive and breathing, then send him on his way. But a few hours later, the man turns up actually dead. No, this is not a corny joke. It is the strangest case that Detective D.D. Warren has ever confronted. This is the short story of The Guy Who Died Twice.

Even though this new release is part of the Detective D.D. Warren series, it can be read as a standalone short story. It will make a great introduction to the main character and her crime scene analyst husband for those unfamiliar. Lisa Gardner is one of those consistent authors; you can count on great storytelling.

Happy Early Pub Day & Happy Holidays, Lisa Gardner! The Guy Who Died Twice will be available Tuesday, January 8, 2019.

Disclaimer: This book was received directly from the publisher for review purposes only. In no way does it influence my review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Title: The Guy Who Died Twice
Author: Lisa Gardner
Published: January 2019
Pages: 72
Edition: Galley
Rating: 🖤 🖤 🖤