Summer Update

So things this summer will be a lot different than last summer, it turns out. I’m not interning or officially working in anything publishing related, but if you’re interested in my other dabblings about, here’s what’s up.

  • As you’ve seen the past couple of weeks, I’m still reading and reviewing as many galleys and self-published books as possible. Mostly, I’m working through YA Bound Book Tours and NetGalley, but I’m certainly interested in working independently, too. If you have galley copies, manuscripts, or recently published books and you are interested in feedback or a published review, contact me.
  • I’m taking classes, as always. I’m finally in the last year of my undergrad, which is exciting, but also means that I have to go through the job/college application processes all over again. Yay.
  • I’ve started a sister blog, The Kipling Project. It’s still about books, obviously, that’s pretty much the only thing I know. I recently stumbled upon a host of vintage books, and I’m documenting my research and restoration of them. It’s pretty cool ~if I do say so myself~
  • I’ve done a bit of a redesign on the site, and I’m looking at updating it again at the end of the summer, so if you have any thoughts or suggestions for that, sling them at me!

All in all, I want to really increase my online presence while I have the chance this summer. It’s already been going well the few weeks I’ve been working on it, so thanks for helping me out and sticking around!

XX. Shelby Jo

P.S. I only read one book in May and, yes, I’m ashamed. It was Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. It was fantastic and I loved it, but, man, it aged me.

To the Kids Who Try Too Hard

(OR:  Please Agree with Me on the Internet so I Feel Like Less of a Freak of Nature, Thanks.)

In highschool, there was a light at the end of the over-achiever tunnel. I thought I would work like crazy for four years, get into the perfect college – rolling in well-deserved scholarship money – and be set for life.

I did everything right. I took five AP tests in one year. I stayed up all night reading the Communist Manifesto when I could have easily made up the answers in my workbook. I agonized over every essay and every assignment.

I didn’t get into that college. Right now, I’m working two jobs while taking 15 credit hours. My first summer during college I had two internships, worked part-time, and took classes online. I pulled my first all-nighter in 9th grade, and now I do it almost once a week. The light is gone and the tunnel has turned so many times, I don’t know if I’m heading in the right direction any more.

People like me try so hard because we want a lot. We want crazy intangible things (like making an impact on society), and maybe frivolous things too (like a collection of Tolkien swords, pleasepleaseplease). We have high standards for everything, mostly ourselves, and that’s okay.

But never forget to be kind to yourself. When you’re only getting three hours of sleep a night, there isn’t anything else you can do.

You do the absolute best you can and – at the end of your day, week, year, and life – you have to be satisfied with the results of your efforts, regardless of the reward. You tried everything possible and, yeah, you probably did deserve better on that stupid gen-ed essay, but you have to disassociate yourself with whatever comes out in the end. You are your art, your effort, and your lovely, over-achieving heart, not the results.

It’s a hard thing to remember. I cried the first time I got a ‘B’ in a class, and it still stresses me out (plenty of ‘B’s’ later). You will never stop working towards your goals. You can’t. But you are whole without them; you have always been whole.

Work hard, kid, but never think less of yourself because you’re still working.

XX. Shelby Jo

Happy Holidays!

I couldn’t get myself together enough for a real post today (which clearly has nothing to do with the fact that I’ve seen The Force Awakens three times), and this Friday is Christmas, so this is the last you will be hearing from me for a little while!

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season, regardless of what you celebrate or whether you celebrate anything at all. Spend time with the people you love, and let them know you love them.

xx. Shelby Jo


Update on all things Shelbs! Some mildly exciting things may be happening soon!

  1. SCAD’s 18th annual Savannah Film Festival will be coming around October 24th-31st, and I am volunteering! I’m just doing grunt work this year, ushering and working concessions, but hopefully it will lead to some adventures this year and more involved roles in years to come! SO, to celebrate and include you all in that experience, I will be  blogging everyday for the 8 days that the festival will be in Savannah! I am not working and/or attending every single day, so I’m not quite sure what posts on off days will entail, but maybe photo blogs or something along those lines.
  2. I am officially a staff writer for the SCAD online newspaper, SCAD District! I’ll be sharing some of my more interesting contributions here as well (including reviews from Film Fest!), but take a peek at the website every once in a while and be on the look out for my byline!
  3. I have officially survived my first college midterm week yayyyyyyyy congratulation meeeeee

I can’t wait to share #savff with you, and I hope it’s at least somewhat as exciting as I envision!

xx. Shelby Jo