The Weekly Update: 12/11/16


Even though I like to complain about my arguing neighbors, noisy construction, and electronic woes a lot, I try to keep my blog a fairly positive, happy place, but *sigh* I don’t feel very positive right now.

I’ve been resting my wrist. Some days I haven’t even done anything other than eat, shower, and read. The bad news is, not only does my right wrist still hurt, the left one, and my forearms, hurt now too. The good news is, with all the rest, arnica cream, and epsom salt, it seems to be maybe a little better than it was at first and usually only hurts when I’m doing certain things. I did more research, and I think that it might be an RSI (repetitive strain injury) in my extensor carpi radialis longus and brevis muscles. But whatever it is, the treatment is going to be rest, which could take months for a healthy body and even more for me since I already have a chronic illness and related health problems and take a lot longer to heal. But this is a problem because 1) it’s not just computer work but everyday things causing pain (even reading requires holding something and changing pages), and 2) everything I do for fun, and more importantly the only type of work I’m able to do, is computer-based. I can’t just do NOTHING for months, which means I might have a continuous battle ahead of trying to balance resting with living and keeping the pain to a minimum. But as I said last time, I guess we’ll see.

I know it may seem like I’m being overdramatic about some wrist and arm pain (trust me, it’s not like this is the first injury or RSI or ache or pain I’ve ever had), but it’s really upsetting because it just seems like every time I’ve tried to move forward in the past five or so years since my health problems started, it’s blown up in my face or some new problem has popped up to push me back. This time I was working on something that had the potential to help me make more money and not have to leave this apartment in a few months, but that plan is definitely out of the question for now, possibly forever. I know I’m not the only person with problems and that things could be worse, but that still doesn’t make it any less tough.

And the incompetent plumbers and maintenance here where I live are only exhausting me more with the problems they created. But my shower actually worked normally today for the first time in over a week, so fingers crossed that it will continue to work because I really don’t have the energy for people coming in to work on pipes and whatnot.

Back on topic though, I’m trying to fix my computer area to be more ergonomic, I’m still using epsom salt and arnica cream, and I might try a tennis elbow brace. In the meantime, if you have any work-from-home job ideas that don’t require a ton of wrist movement, I’d love to hear them. Or if you just wanna offer moral support and virtual hugs, that’s appreciated too <3 I’ll still be here blogging, so don’t worry, this isn’t a hiatus announcement or anything (and please don’t tell me I should take a break, I need this blog now more than ever, and I have plenty of posts scheduled ahead).

Anyway, I’m not used to getting so personal on my blog, so that’s enough of that for one day, I’d say. And now back to your regularly scheduled blog post…

Blog/Bookish Updates:

I won a giveaway! Thank you to The Fox’s Hideaway and Tor Teen for my copy of The Rains 😀 I’ve been interested in this one since I first saw it, so yay!

The Rains

And The Palace Job and Bird Box both went on sale, so I bought those ebooks since I’ve wanted to read both for a while now and needed the pick-me-up that new books always give 😛

Since I don’t know when Cover Characteristics will officially be back, I wanted to let anyone who’s interested know that I’ll be posting covers featuring snow globes on 12/12 and my favorites covers from books I read this year on 12/19. If anyone wants to join in on those topics, go ahead and come visit so that I can check out yours too!

Books I Received for Review:

Shade Chaser by Clara Coulson | reading, books

Books I Finished:

Scrudge & Barley, Inc. by John Inman | reading, books
Whispers of Old Winds by George Seaton | reading, books
Shade Chaser by Clara Coulson | reading, books
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi | reading, books

Scrudge & Barley was so touching, despite the silly cover, and a wonderful A Christmas Carol retelling. Whispers of Old Winds was not bad but kinda strange and not quite for me. Shade Chaser I’d been waiting for all year since it was supposed to come out in February, so I snatched it from NetGalley and read it immediately and loved it! Shatter Me was ok. I didn’t dislike it, but I didn’t feel connected to it either. But since it’s so popular, I’m continuing the series to give it a chance.

Song of the Week:

No song this week.


In Case You Missed It:

– I shared book covers featuring snow.
– I reviewed The Three Sisters by Sonia Halbach, a fun, unique YA Christmas fantasy.
– I got festive with a Christmas book tag!
– I reviewed Scrudge & Barley, Inc. by John Inman, a fun but touching M/M retelling of A Christmas Carol.

The Sunday Post Link-Up:

Once again, I’m linking up to The Sunday Post at Caffeinated Book Reviewer 🙂


Talk to me!

Did you find any good books or music last week?
Have you done any Christmas reading?
Have you read The Rains?


Your Thoughts


36 thoughts on “The Weekly Update: 12/11/16

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  1. Greg

    Yay for the giveaway! The Rains looks like a lot of fun- it looks familiar too, is that a dystopia? I think I’ve seen it around- maybe? And Bird Box looks freaky- that’s another one I was going to read lol and never got to. Argh. Shatter Me has a pretty sweet cover (that whole series does).

    So the wrist thing sucks. I can see why that would piss you off/ get you down, especially since you had something going on. The nice thing about blogging is you have a ready audience to vent to and everyone in this little community (not so little actually) is pretty supportive, so you got a support network. I hear ya about blogging, I’d miss it if I didn’t do it and I talk to some people online more than some RL friends. So yeah…

    Lol about the incompetent plumbers… 😀

    1. Kristen Burns

      It’s a zombie book, or something like that, but close enough lol. You probably have seen out around. But yeah I’ve wanted to read Bird Box but it was always too expensive, so yay sales! And I love the Shatter Me covers.

      Thanks, and yeah that’s what I was thinking. This whole community always seems so supportive, and I could use a bit of that right now.

      You wouldn’t be smiling if you had to shower with water practically dribbling out of the shower head for a week lol.

      1. Greg

        Seriously?? The water pressure’s that f’ed up? Man no wonder you’re pissed… I’m sorry for laughing but what kinda plumbers they got around there ROFL?

        Nice sale though. I just picked up Blackout by Tim Curran for $3.99 at Amazon- it looks pretty freaky.

        1. Kristen Burns

          I took off the shower head to see if maybe it was clogged since that seemed to help the sink faucet, but even without the shower head there wasn’t much water coming out. So I think it might’ve been more a problem of just not enough water period. Seriously incompetent people piss me off lol. Like, they CAUSED this problem because everything worked fine before they “worked on” the plumbing!

          Blackout does sound freaky. Love the cover!

  2. Di @ Book Reviews by Di

    Hi Kristen. Sorry I’ve been pretty MIA lately but I’m back online and visiting blogs this week!

    I’m sorry to read about your issues with your arms/wrists. I hope that it’s more easily resolved than you think at the moment. Lots of virtual hugs and moral support from my corner of the blogosphere coming your way.

    I’ve seen so many things both good and bad about Shatter Me. I need to try it for myself but just not sure when I will get to it.

    I really hope you have a better week filled with hot showers and no pain. Again, more virtual hugs!

    1. Kristen Burns

      No worries about being busy lately!

      I’ve heard so much about Shatter Me too and it sounded like it could be something I’d like. Figured the end of the year was a good time, not too many review copy deadlines.

      Thank you for the support and hugs! <3

  3. chucklesthescot

    There’s nothing funny about this kind of pain, that’s for sure. The only real ‘cure’ sometimes is total rest but in the real world, how can you avoid using your wrists? It’s impossible, I agree with you. And I’m struggling to think of a work from home job that doesn’t require using your hands. If I think of anything I’ll give you a shout. All I can suggest is trying all kinds of herbal remedies and essential oils and things for pain management. Not much help I know but I’m coming up blank for the moment. I’m sending you some healing hugs for now and hoping you can find a way though this. *hugs*

    1. Kristen Burns

      Exactly, I’ve had similar injuries, just on different body parts, so I know how nearly impossible it is to cure them unless you just completely rest, and even then they come right back if you use them too much again. But it really is impossible to rest your wrists and arms! Making food, carrying groceries, opening water bottles, reading books… I did get a couple essential oils to try, but I’m not sure they’re going to help something like this. Thank you for the hugs and kind words though! <3

  4. Prabhleen

    I LOVE RECAPS <3 So sorry to know about your wrist 🙁 And construction is the worst 🙁 WHY CANNOT PEOPLE LEAVE US TO LIVE IN A NOISE FREE ENVIRONMENT? XD

  5. Samantha

    I am so sorry about your wrist/arm! I wish I had suggestions for work from home jobs. If I did, I would totally do them myself. I have some chronic health problems (thyroid issues) and OCD and have always wanted to work from home but sadly I have never found a way to do so and be able to pay my bills. But, I am sending lots of virtual hugs and moral support!

    1. Kristen Burns

      The problem now is that I have ideas, but they all hurt my wrists -_- But working from home is definitely difficult, which is unfortunate for those of us who need it. Thank you!!!

  6. Lola

    *hugs* I am so sorry to hear your wrist is still hurting and your other one hurts now as well. And injuries like that are so frustrating as you have to give it rest and it can be hard to do that. And something like a wrist you use for almost everything, I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to not use it. I didn’t realize you had a chronic illness. Health problems are really though to deal with.

    Maybe you could consider using a book rest when reading? I once got a bookrest and use it sometimes when reading heavy books.

    And just because others might have it worse, doesn’t mean your pain isn’t bad or worth complaining about. So please don’t feel the need to apologize about complaining, everyone has the right to complain. Although I do get wanting to keep your blog a positive place, but sometimes you just need to mention what you’re going through even if it isn’t positive.
    I wouldn’t know how I would deal if I couldn’t use my wrist as that means no work and no blogging anymore. And I feel like I am not fit for a normal job if I was even able to get one, so I am so grateful for being able to do work at home behind my computer. I can’t imagine how much it must suck to have a pain like that and all you can do is wait and rest.

    I hope your shower continues to work, maintenance and plumber work is the last thing you need when you’re already feeling bad. I know some authors use dictation to write their books, which could help with some computer work, but I can’t really think of any work at home job where you don’t need your wrist. Maybe something where you only have to talk, but I am not sure what kind of jobs offer that where you can work from home.

    Yay for winning the giveaway and getting two books you wanted for a discount! I saw Shade Chaser on netgalley, but wasn’t sure if it was a book for me and I already got two books from netgalley this week. I do like the cover for it though. I DNF’d Shatter Me, I couldn’t stand the writing style. Glad to hear you enjoyed it a bit more than I did. I hope I have time to catch up and read the reviews on your blog I haven’t read yet and comment. I hope you’ll have a good week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you <3 Yeah, I'm suddenly noticing just how many things I use my arms and wrists for -_- And don't worry, you didn't miss it or anything, I've just never mentioned my illness on my blog before.

      I read mostly ebooks so I don't think a bookrest would help :-/

      I know, I hate that I feel like I have to apologize about complaining. You're right, but I guess I've just had so many less than stellar experiences trying to talk to people about it in the past.

      I would definitely NOT recommend Shade Chaser for you. It's Book 2 in a series, the series has got a lot of gore, and Shade Chaser had some really intense torture that even I was thankful the author skipped over the descriptions of it because it was so bad. But yes I also love the cover lol. You have a good week too!

  7. Lampshade Reader

    Congrats on your win! I haven’t read that one.

    So sorry about your woes, so I’m sending you tons of virtual hugs! I would be pretty pissed without satisfactory showers. How frustrating.

    I did a bunch of Christmas reading last month, but it’s slowed down some. I have ARCs for next month to start reading. So big *sigh*. ~Aleen

  8. Kei @ The Lovely Pages Reviews

    Ugh loud and arguing neighbors are a thing apparently, I have a couple next door that constantly fights – every day like clockwork – and the sad part is that I’ve gotten used to it by now and I don’t even notice it anymore.

    So sorry for your wrist 🙁

    Shatter Me is one of those books with raving reviews that I’m not really interesting in? But the cover is totally shelf worthy!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Ugh your neighbors sound even worse lol.

      Thank you <3

      Shatter Me is one of the very few popular hyped books that I actually was interested in reading. And I agree about the cover!

  9. sjhigbee

    Oh Kristen, I’m so very sorry! I didn’t realise you were struggling with your wrists and arms – I think the arnica is an excellent suggestion. I’ve got some more – so here goes… Firstly, do you have a wrist rest? I think it’s essential if you type as much as you must. I’ve also got a mouse-mat with a wrist rest and again, I’ll highly recommend it. The other piece of equipment I’ll recommend is a proper gaming keyboard – I’ve got a Quickfire without the extra number keypad at the side, which makes it cheaper – but while it isn’t as cheap as many, it is worth it – there are rubber pads under the keys which help cushion them. I type upwards of 300,000 words a year and 3 years ago I was starting to experience significant pain in my finger and wrist joints and my son bought me this keyboard. Within a week the pain disappeared and it hasn’t returned, while the keyboard is a joy to use. The other recommendation – try to cut your sugar intake right down. I come from a family with joint pain as we get older and even in my 20s and 30s used to get sore knees. Now I’ve given up chocolate and sweets I’m nudging 60 and don’t suffer so much as a twinge and my chronic back injury which kept me more inactive than I liked for a decade now only periodically flares up to the extent that I haven’t been to the physio in over a year. Those are all strategies you can adopt when your wrists and arms ease up, I’m aware of that… In the meantime, sending hugs your way and hope that you recover sooner rather than later. Having all that construction noise and no water can’t be helping either! I really, really hope this coming week is a BETTER one!x

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you! I do not have any of those things lol, so I will definitely look into getting them asap. I already don’t eat much sugar though, so not sure that would help, but thank you for all the tips and kind words!

  10. La La in the Library

    Before I got my Kindle tablet I was having trouble sitting in a position to type on my laptop for as many hours as was necessary to compete my work, so my son bought me the Dragon voice system. It was around $40.00. You speak into the microphone headset and it types what you say. I never got around to setting mine up before I received my Kindle, but my boss has one he uses sometimes (he likes to pace while he is thinking, ha ha) and he likes it. You might it be able to use it for work, but you could certainly use it for blogging. I hope you start feeling better. Have a wonderful week. 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you for the suggestion! That could be helpful for blogging and for writing if I ever get around to actually doing that lol. Thanks, same to you 🙂

  11. Barb (boxermommyreads)

    I’m so sorry to hear about all the pain you’re in. That sounds so debilitating! I wish I had some suggestions, but I do know that my husband has carpel tunnel from work and he has been getting some support from wearing one of those wrist thingies (I know, so technical). Me and the puppy dogs are sending virtual hugs and good thoughts your way. Glad to see at least your shower is cooperating. We are supposed to get some single digit temps this week and I’m really dreading those. Sometimes when it’s that cold all that warms me up is a shower, so I can’t imagine not being able to rely on one!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you for the virtual hugs! And I completely agree, when it gets cold (well, what I consider cold), I don’t have heat and sometimes the shower is all that warms me up. But it just sucks when you’re shower isn’t working right period!

  12. S. J. Pajonas

    Oh no, I’m sorry to hear that things are not getting better with your wrists and hands! Have you considered switching to Dragon? That may help. And Dragon 13 is about $80 on Amazon. You could ask for it for Christmas. Using Dragon has really helped my RSI in my hands and wrists. A LOT. I highly recommend it.

    I hope you feel better soon!

    1. Kristen Burns

      A few people have suggested it, but I’ve used it some in the past and I’m not sure it’d really work for me. Definitely a possibility though if this is something I’ll always be struggling with.


  13. Ashley G.

    I’m sorry you’re not doing well. This sounds so hard! Doing nothing more or less or a prolonged period of time sounds hard and depressing. :/ I hope you get better sooner than you expect! And I hope you’re able to find work that you can do during this time. *offers cake*

    1. Kristen Burns

      Seriously, we all joke about wanting to just read books all day, but it’s not all is cracked up to be. I’m kind of tired of reading so much -_- But thank you! *eats cake*

  14. Bookworm Brandee

    I’m sending you positive, healing vibes and virtual hugs, Kristen. I’m sorry you’re dealing with your wrists on top of everything else and I understand how that could get you down. Do what you need to do for you though. I wish you luck!!
    I was excited to see Shatter Me in your updates on Goodreads – and here. I adore the series but I know there are many people on both sides of the fence for it. I’m also eager to see your thoughts on Shade Chaser since it caught my eye. 😉
    I hope you’re having a good week!

  15. Jessica

    I don’t know any work from home job that doesn’t require wrist movement. I do some paid to click sites, but you still have to move your wrist to click. Although there is where you can get paid in not only gift cards and paypal. And you can just let videos run in the background.
    I finished reading Blue Moon of the Anita Blake series. Now I’m reading Obsidian Butterfly which the ninth book of the series.
    I haven’t read any Christmas books.

  16. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    Now I feel bad it’s taken me forever to have a chance to comment on things because you definitely sound like you need a pick me up and a holiday. It sucks that you can’t use your wrists much at the moment since rest is the only cure. When it comes to computers there is very little you can do other than rest and restrict movement. Good wrist support for your keyboard will help. Also, if you can afford it get a mouse which is designed to help with RSI. EIther a vertical mouse or one with the trackball on top so your wrist is moving a lot and you can keep it a lot more still. It may not be much but i may help you get some work done on the computer without further injuring yourself which is always good. At least that way you’ll feel a little less stir crazy at home.

    On to the books. I see you’ve read Shatter Me, it’s been on my TBR for a while since everyone seems to have read it. It sucks you felt a bit disconnected from it but I’ll still check it out if I can find it at my library. I mean, there has to be a reason people keep talking about it, right?

    1. Kristen Burns

      Don’t worry, I appreciate your comments whenever you leave them 🙂 I am planning to buy wrist rests and I’ll look into those mouses you mentioned.

      I just finished the Shatter Me series this week, and it did get better. And while it wasn’t my favorite or anything, I enjoyed it and can understand why people keep talking about it.