06 Nov 2016

#indiatakesnyc: the first month

I’ve made the journey from South Carolina to New York City about a month ago– the last time I’ve updated this blog! Ever since I’ve changed the name from IndiaHillWrites to BooksandBigHair, I’ve been meaning to give this blog a revamp and jumpstart things with series about living in New York. Of course, it was easier said than done because I’ve been super busy literally since I stepped into Manhattan. Not an exaggeration haha. But, maybe it’s is a good thing, because I’ve been here for a month and I have more of a grasp of what I want to say.

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I also want to note that since I’ve changed the name of my blog to BooksandBigHair, to match my bookstagram and BookTube Channel, I’m going to try hard to stay true to the focus of the blog [writing, reading, lifestyle– and occasionally hair :)], so I’m going to break everything down in those categories.

Okay, let’s jump right into it!

Writing: So, I haven’t done a lot of writing in NY besides the writing that I do at my job. I do a fair amount, which is great, but as far as blogging, writing articles, and working on novels, that has taken a MAJOR backseat this month which is something I was actually stressed out about at first.

Speaking of novel writing, after a few weeks of playing with the idea, I’ve decided not to do NaNoWriMo this year. I was definitely sad about it, especially since I won last year, but with adjusting to a new city, new job, and new place, it just seemed like something that was going to automatically stress me out, especially now that I know how stressful it can be. I’m actually dedicating an entire blog post on why I’m not participating this year, so look forward to that! The good news is, I’m actually expecting a major change with all three things – more blogging, freelance work, and working on my novels, so be on the lookout for that as well 🙂

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Reading: This is the most reading slump-y I’ve been ALL year. I’ve been reading slump-y three times this year: Once at the beginning of the year, once after Madcap Retreats, and now, since right before I moved to new york. I’ve been trying to read Empire of Storms since the week before I left for NY, and I tried reading it for about 2 weeks when I got here before I realized my reading slump was too strong for me to finish at the moment. So I started reading Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina by Misty Copeland and that was the perfect thing for me. I absolutely ADORED that book. I don’t know if it’s because I had to make a big move to New York just like she did, or because it seemed like the perfect Cinderella story in real life (humble beginnings, rough childhood, and everything changed for the better), but I could not put that book down! Although I am not a ballerina, I’m so inspired by the advances Misty has made for the African-American community as a ballerina and period. I’ve definitely been stalking her website to figure out when I can see her perform live.

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Lifestyle: New York. What can I even say about this place. It’s extremely fast-paced, not very clean, expensive, and there’s tons of walking involved. On the flip side, it’s extremely easy and cheap to get around, there’s always something to do here, and the people are un-stereotypically nice. In just this month alone, I was able to see one of my all-time favorite vocalists, JoJo, for free, have tea time in SoHo, visit a wax museum and experience a Ghostbusters Virtual Reality Experience, attend a Natural Hair Brunch, attend a rooftop happy hour or two (or three), and stumble upon a parade or an outdoor bookstore. Some moments, like when I walked upon a bookstore on the sidewalk and talked to the bookseller for 10 minutes about being Christian, I think, ‘living here isn’t so bad’. And then other times, when I’m pressed up against someone on a crowded subway or see a rat run under someones car, I crave the South.

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I still crave the easygoingness and comfort of the South and I can’t wait to go back. but there’s a lot to appreciate about New York and I haven’t even uncovered the half of it. It’s nice to actually feel like going somewhere and having a ton of great options to do so. I also got to talk to Sarah Jessica Parker, so that was amazing.

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Hair: I’m more of a twist-out girl, but wash-and-go’s and afro puffs have been my best friend while living here. I simply can’t devote 2.5 hours of my time to twisting my hair. I’m always exhausted and my hair is really the last thing on my mind these days.  I’m honestly looking forward to getting box braids, or getting a blowout when it gets a little colder. I’ve been doing wash-and-go’s once a week, and when that starts to not look as good, I’ve been wearing afro puffs.

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I actually got a ton of new products in the mail thanks to Jane Carter Solutions that I can’t WAIT to try out. I also got a goodie bag of Bumble and Bumble Products from the TravelLoveGrow Brunch featuring natural hair bloggers Rene Daniella and HeyGorJess. This brunch was the first networking/natural hair thing I’ve done since living in New York, and I’m honestly so glad I went! The food was amazing (hello, bottomless mimosas!), the conversation was incredible, and it made me so excited to travel the world. I’m inspired by those women and their ability to do what they love for a living!

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All-in-all, this month was jam-packed with so many things: good, bad, happy, stressful, busy, relaxing, fun, tiring, inspiring, etc. etc. etc. On top of everything else, this is also the month that I turned 25 (!!!), so expect another post about that! I can see why people say New York is a hard place to live, but I can also see why someone wouldn’t want to leave. I actually don’t know how I feel about the city yet! But stay tuned as I figure it out. Also, if you want me to talk about something more specifically, please feel free to leave it in the comments!

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Instagram

  • I’m hosting my FIRST 24-Hour readathon this Saturday! I thought this would be a fun way to catch up on our TBR (To Be Read) piles. The theme for this read-a-thon is Book Besties, so @thebookarcher and I will be doing our reading together! Will you join us? Even if you have to work, go to school, or sleep (because let’s face it, I’m definitely going to need a few hours to recharge) as long as you make reading the priority in your free time, you can definitely do it! I’d love if you tagged your bookish besties or shared this post to spread the word! The link to my video all about it is in my bio! 📚#booksandbighairathon
  • This was such a fun interview to do!! I’m talking about how reading builds empathy, what motivates me, why I chose to be a 3-name author, and so much more! Link in bio. Thanks @rachelmichellewrites for having me on your site! 🧡
  • Happy August!! So July was weird lol 🥴 I felt tested in one of my worst traits - indecision. I had to make a LOT of split second, important decisions and say some hard No’s. But, I’m looking ahead and I think they prepared me for a really great August. ✨ What are you looking forward to this month? P.S. I’m sharing my BookTube and Author Journey (thus far) on the newest video on my channel!! I talk about all of the decisions I’ve made (& jobs I’ve left) to make room for writing and reading books. Link in bio!! ❤️
  • Due to unforeseen circumstances, unfortunately I will not be able to attend Heck YA! book fest at @mainstreetbooksdavidson today. This is incredibly hard to announce, as I have been looking forward to connecting with so many authors and readers at this amazing festival! I feel disappointed, but I hope that there will be more opportunities to connect with readers in the Davidson area in the future. If so, you will be the first to know. Thank you so much for understanding. Again, this was incredibly difficult to announce. If you are attending Heck YA! Book Fest today, have a great time for me — as amazing as this bookstore is, it won’t be hard to do at all. 💙💙💙
  • Had a fun day of meetings and phone calls wearing my new piece of jewelry gifted to me by the @novelingshop! Can you tell I like gold? Lol 🤔😂✨ it says NOVELIST and I think it’s the perfect bookish accessory — I’ll be wearing it a lot! Also, the curls are back and doing their own thing. 🌀🌀🌀
  • I had the pleasure of writing one of the most honest things I’ve ever written for @popreader’s Her Story: Ladies In Literature series. The heroine I chose to write about was Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables. This book was life changing — for the first time, I saw a heroine who was equal parts introverted and sensitive + fiery with a sharp tongue 😂 Also, like me, Anne has an almost childlike wonderment and optimism that makes reading her story so easy, especially in stressful times. I feel like this essay is an introduction to who I am and what I want to accomplish with my writing. The link is the the first one in my bio! ❤️❤️
  • I’m so honored to announce that I will be the luncheon speaker for the North Carolina School Library Media Association Conference. What a blessing! I can’t wait to connect, create, and curate with all of you who will be there. 🥰📚 #ncslma
  • I’m in the latest issue of @lakenormancurrents talking about time management!! Which is so funny bc I’m easily distracted 😂 I’m talking about the techniques and materials I use to stay focused when it counts. I mention the @forest_app, my @simplified planner, and my @cultivatewhatmatters Powersheets, and my favorite pens ever - the @pilotpenusa Precise V5 pens. This was such a fun interview! You can read it at the link in my bio or if you’re local to Charlotte/Lake Norman area, you can pick up a copy in most grocery stores! 💙