Update: Life and Books (Oct 2020)


This post is going up on November 1st, and the US presidential election is the 3rd (though apparently there’s going to be a delay for results). So depending on when you see this, I’m either very worried, very upset, or very relieved. Well, moderately relieved, at least. Fingers crossed, everybody.

Now, what did I do in October? I watched (well, mostly listened to, thank you Netflix for the audio description) the final season of The Good Place and a few movies (Hubie Halloween, Being John Malkovich, Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie, ParaNorman, Sleepy Hollow). Overland updated the game so that you can now play in “all dogs” mode, which is fun! Though I still enjoy the game more with some humans for the depth they bring. They also added a bunch of difficulty levels and modifiers, plus some other smaller improvements. So I played that a bit. I also played one partial game that turned out… interesting. I’ll put the tweet thread about that game below (it’s the second tweet). I also played and finished As We Know It, since that one is blind accessible (i.e. I can play without headaches). It was a good visual novel!

I got another comment on the Monster Prom mod I wrote (if I haven’t explained it, they have a modtool so players can put together special endings and whatnot, you just have to write the text, and you can use existing characters or add custom characters and art), and it was so complimentary and was really a bright spot for me this month!

I talk about this a lot on Twitter, but I don’t know if I’ve talked about my bird feeder here? I have three repeat squirrel customers I’m able to recognize who’ve been coming since I got the feeder a year ago. I also have a super adorable cardinal couple that’s been coming around since I got it. Super adorable because they often show up together, or one will be nearby in a tree while the other eats, like they’re looking out for each other. What’s even cuter though is that they have a friend! A smol green friend (like half their size). My best guess is a female painted bunting. She was around last year, then disappeared, but now she’s back! Which would make sense if she’s a painted bunting, because they migrate here in the winter. And I’ll often see her and the female cardinal at the feeder together. The other day I looked over and saw her and the male cardinal at the feeder, and then the female’s head just popped above my window sill lol. So they were all hanging out together, looking out for each other. I never thought I’d be this invested in birds, but I love them.

I think that’s about it. Other than that, same ol’.

Blog/Bookish Updates:

I won the Discussion Challenge (hosted by Shannon and Nicole) giveaway for September! I chose Unleash the Storm by Annette Marie, but I’m too tired to take a photo, so you’re just gonna have to trust me 😛


Books I Received for Review:



Books I Finished:

The Pisces by Melissa BroderThe Paper Magician by Charlie N. HolmbergThe Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha PulleyThe Alpha's Warlock by Eliot GraysonThe Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington IrvingDate Wrecker by Clara Coulson

The Pisces by Melissa Broder – I’d been curious about this one for a while and decided to try it. It was… different. A VERY unlikeable protagonist, but not necessarily unbelievable.

The Paper Magician Series by Charlie N. Homberg – I reread all three books because it’d been a while, and I just felt like it. I was surprised to find I enjoyed Books 2 and 3 more this time! It’s such a cool magic system.

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley – I didn’t dislike this, but I didn’t love it either. I felt kind of distanced from the characters. I think I’ve heard her other books are better though?

The Alpha’s Warlock by Eliot Grayson – A random Hoopla find, and I was skeptical when I started because of the almost immediate sex, but it ended up being really good! A good urban fantasy / paranormal romance.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving – I was entirely unfamiliar with this, having never read it nor seen any movie adaptation. I was surprised and a little disappointed to find there is no actual headless horseman, just a legend and a kind-of prank to scare Ichabod out of town.

Date Wrecker by Clara Coulson – A fun extra novella in the City of Crows series.

I would’ve finished more, but the Libby app said my hold for The Magicians would be ready in “a few days,” so I didn’t start anything else, and then I ended up waiting nearly two weeks. 😩 Don’t lie to me, Libby! It’s like that friend who says they’re five minutes away when they haven’t left the house yet!


In Case You Missed It:

Here are the highlights:

– I wrote a poem about alien abduction with a twist, and some supernatural creature poems for Halloween.
– I reviewed The ABCs of Spellcraft Collection Vol. 1 by Jordan Castillo Price, a fun, sitcom-esque series of stories.
– I reviewed Valkyrie’s Spear by Cynthia Diamond, a fun romance between an angel and valkyrie.


Talk to me!

How are things?
Find any good books, movies, games, etc. lately?


Your Thoughts


18 thoughts on “Update: Life and Books (Oct 2020)

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  1. Greg

    Visual novels are fun and I want to find some good ones. I’ve been venturing into podcasts so I’m somewhat broadening my horizons 🙂

    Your repeat customers at the bird feeder sound awesome. 🙂 Hope you have an amazing week- I think we all have our fingers crossed for Tuesday!!!

    I used to love Sleepy Hollow when I was younger but haven’t read it (or seen any of the adaptations) in ages!

    1. Kristen Burns

      A good visual novel can be so fun! Yay podcasts!!

      Wasn’t a big fan of the original, but the Sleepy Hollow movie adaptation with Johnny Depp was cool!

  2. Angela

    We watched Hubie Halloween and Sleepy Hollow this month, too! It was nice to get into the spirit without having to watch some really creepy or scary movies.

  3. Roberta R.

    I already knew about your games and birds because of Twitter, but it’s always nice to have recaps 🙂. Overland sounds like a fun and different game!

    I’ve never read Sleepy Hollow, and…in regards to your spoiler – what a bummer, indeed.

    I’m sending all the good vibes for your election. This 4-year folly has to end. People have paid enough.

    1. Kristen Burns

      You’re one of the few people who actually sees my tweets lol. The reply Hollow story was such a bummer! Ugh, thank you. I’m so nervous how the election will turn out.

  4. Karen Alderman

    We watched Hubie and it was kind of cute.

    I have everything crossed for tomorrow and honestly, it’s got me stressed enough that I’ve been mostly offline and trying to keep my anxiety down.

    I miss all ym FL backyard critters so much! They really brightened my day. I do have several hummingbirds here but that’s about it. I had a whole wildlife hotel in last yard lol

    Karen @ For What It’s Worth

    1. Kristen Burns

      I can’t say I enjoyed Hubie lol, but I liked the message at least. Idk if it’ll be better to be off social media, or to be on and commiserate with everyone else. Aww hummingbirds are so cool!

  5. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    I am SO happy to be reading this and rejoicing over those election results. I have been completely unable to focus on anything lately—especially this past week (but, yeah, for months now), Maybe now we can all breathe again.

    Congrats on winning the Discussion Challenge! I’m off to go read your poetry now because I’ve been away from blog-hopping for way too long.