Afternoon Tea with SJ

Good afternoon, and thank you for joining me in this tea time. For those of you who don’t know, I’m your host SJ, the bibliomaniac. I have just started a new monthly series where I sit down with a tea set and gracefully communicate with you my month. (I’ve seen others doing this, and it looked so much fun that I couldn’t resist!)

So to begin with, imagine yourself sitting in a greenhouse overflowing with English house plants.

From the translucent glass around you, the timid afternoon sun glitters in. Refracting vibrant hues, the glass dome is crisscrossed by occasional climbing ivies. We are seated in white wicker chairs completed by plushy hand-sewed cushions. And the tea set is Victorian fine china, with Japanese style sweets! (Sorry, I can’t carry English cakes. Or North American cakes, for that matter.)

Are you fully seated? Can you see yourself there?

Excellent! *sips tea*

To begin with, let me share a little overview of February:

It’s said in a Japanese proverb that January passed by before knocking an arrow, and February flees from us. In my case, this was absolutely true.


I read eight books this month, which is quite less than what I’m aiming for a month! *inhales, exhales, sips tea* For my academics, I’m trying to complete the list of 120 classical books by June. Plus, books that I can’t resist reading. Yes, it’s sort of like a death wish, but I really couldn’t restrain myself. *bites off a section of matcha macaroons* So hopefully next month, I can give you a more upbeat update on this.

February Books:

  1. Dear Ally, How Do You Write a Book?
  2. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
  3. Self-Reliance, and Other Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson
  4. The Republic by Plato
  5. The Magician King by Lev Grossman
  6. Demian by Hermann Hesse
  7. The Early History of Rome by Livy
  8. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Oh, and my sister and I fell for 100 Days of Sunlight!

Overall, I really liked Dear Ally, The Republic, Demian, and The Old Man and the Sea. 

It was funny since I didn’t really expect Dear Ally to be this useful. Written by Ally Carter, the author of Embassy Row series (or the Gallagher Girls), it incorporated first-hand experiences and advice for traditional publishing. I’m thinking I’ll try to read books on writing, and maybe start a new series on it!


Good News: I finished all of my financial aid processes, and got accepted into Patrick Henry College with scholarships! (Waiting for the rest of the colleges’ decision release, praying fervently.)

I’m also reviewing calculus and just found out about the existence of tau! (The Tau Manifesto v. The Pi Manifesto)

Oh, and a fun (?) interview for UPenn! Quite sure I botched it, though.

Not-so Good News: I’m really behind on my research project I’m doing at Science World and didn’t take it into account how much physics calculations I had to do…

I also need to find a job soon, since I really don’t have enough for college life (and I’m also trying to buy a viola, too…)

And I did probably fail Kanji Test Level 2 (but hey, I tried!) Plus, Level 1 is the hardest. Level 2 is like the second hardest. It must count for something.

So overall, it’s been a progressive month.


Before we start, a tea refill of teas I usually drink: English Breakfast (for early morning writing sprints, knocks you awake), Earl Grey (soft royal scent, also good for mornings), or Sayama green tea (one of the most expensive brands I carry).

Sayama green tea? Good choice!

Okay, now I’m ready to talk about this.

Initially, I was planning to finally finish working on part three of my main WIP, Juliet the 1100th. The wordcount goal was 150K.

I wrote up to 138K.

Which, by the way, isn’t terrible. I only have 12K more to go. And if I push through the next few weeks, I should be able to work it out. Possibly even start a new WIP!

So that’s where I’m at for February.

Thank you for joining me for tea, and hope you have a pleasant afternoon!

One thought on “Afternoon Tea with SJ

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