Thick, Sexy Journals!

I’ve been sitting on this for almost a week. Not hiding it, just a little unsure what to do with it. If you follow my IG account, you’ve already seen them.

I got my journal proofs and I love them!

I want to make these available soon, but I’m weighing the options on how to go about it. Also, if I’m really going to do “the journal thing,” I want to see if there’s a better manufacturing option. If not, I’ll stick with KDP to print them for as long as they allow “low content books.”

Thanks to get rich quick low content book “hacks” on these social sites, there are some angry people with very strong opinions about using KDP to print journals. A lot of platforms don’t allow it at all anymore.

My previous experience peeking into the journal manufacturing world led me to cheaply made 80-page journals or highly custom journals that cost $30 each to produce and required minimum orders of no less than 250. The barrier to entry seemed so far out of my grasp.

With KDP, I’ve been able to create nice thick hardcover journals in a much more accessible way. These are not your average low content books.

There’s still some planning to do on my end before I can feel confident putting these out. In the meantime, here are some pictures:

I’d love to know what you think about using KDP to print journals, alternative manufacturing options, and overcoming barriers to entry to create good products.

Until next time…


On Names

I’ve been struggling with names for the past couple of days.

How it started: Christmas Eve I was on Google doing Googley things and somehow found myself in the middle of an article about the transliteration of “Yeshua” and how it changed from Hebrew to Greek to Latin to Swedish (I think) to English and became “Jesus” when a more literal Hebrew-to-English translation of “Yeshua” should be “Joshua.”

So, here I am—on Christmas Day—watching movies with my brother and falling down a spiral of “Dear Josh” jokes and telling him I hope his future wife has a sense of humor because my future niece(s) and/or nephew(s) will be taught by their auntie that the Son of God’s name is Joshua and not Jesus and we start our prayers with “Dear Josh” because He’s kind of like our heavenly brother and we don’t need to call Him by His full name.

Today, I’m sitting in the bathroom—where I tend to dig out my most intelligent (or rebellious) thoughts—and I say out loud to myself, “we shouldn’t even be translating names!” I understand translating the Bible into languages more people can understand, but names are names and don’t need translation.

Like, my name is “Christine” no matter what language you speak.

And then this thought spun me around to a memory of middle school when we would have Asian foreign exchange students come hang out with us for part of the school year, and instead of us being taught their actual names, they were given ridiculous English names like “Cutie” and “Sweety” (though some had less ridiculous English names like “Mary”).

Imagine being eleven, going to a new country, and instead of people calling you by your name, you get stuck with “Strawberry” or “Purple” for your entire stay because it’s easier for the locals to pronounce. Now, we’re not talking about nicknames or shortening a name (Christine > Chris, Michael > Mike, etc.), we’re talking about completely different names here.

It’s stupid. And I’m angry about it.

A person’s name should not be translated into something that isn’t their name just to make it easier for someone else to say.

Calling me “Christina” because it’s easier for you or because you like the way it sounds better (yes, I have actually been told that as an adult by an adult) is a sure-fire way to make me hate you just a little.

So, I swing back to the Yeshua/Jesus/Joshua thing and I’m sitting there like, “Yeshua” doesn’t need to be “Joshua” either. Yeshua is Yeshua. Period.

Now, full disclosure, I was one of those people who thought Christians who called Jesus “Yeshua” were being pretentious and annoying, but I get it now and I’m a little piffed it took me this long.

So, no, we will not be calling the Son of God “Josh”, nor will we be calling Him “Jesus”. His name is Yeshua. My name is Christine.

The point is, call people by their actual name (the one they give you) and not some version of their name that makes more sense to you.

Always a New Project and Taking Some Time

I always find a way to add stuff to my plate instead of focusing on one thing at a time like I probably should. I tend to find projects that will distract me from the real things I need to be doing. This time, however, the project found me!

My employer/coworker decided during one of our recent conversations that she wanted to start a podcast. So, we’re starting a podcast (lol). She and I have really interesting conversations during our workdays, and she wanted to invite others to be part of our talks. My cousin, who is also her friend and one of our clients, was the first person we thought of to be the third co-host. While the conversations are always good (and sometimes educational), my lovely cohosts use what I like to call “rough language,” so after recording the first couple of episodes, I’ve decided not to share it on my NINE & TWO platforms.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know I started yet another project.

Something more…

In adding this new adventure to my plate, I realize that I’m in charge of too many things right now and not focusing on the one major thing I need to be doing—finding a stable (ha!) job.

I quit my full-time job at the end of December because I was burnt out and wasn’t making enough money for the amount of stress I was under. I took a few months to breathe and have been working part-time since May. I love my current p/t job, but working like this isn’t allowing me the financial freedom I desire. I hate checking my bank account just to go on a date with the man.

So, I need to refocus.

If you’ve been here for a while, you know I’m no stranger to taking a break from this space when needed. And while I love coming here every week, it’s just one more thing I have to do.

I’m frustrated. I threw out all my little lemon plants, my palm that never recovered from the harsh apartment balcony, and my avocado plant that caught pests I couldn’t seem to get rid of and lost patience to deal with (probably from a neighbor and the wind because I’ve never had issues with anything other than fungus gnats on my plants).

I’ve kept the plants that require the least amount of maintenance (and will not be propagating anymore trimmings for now). I’m still working on book 2. I will eventually figure out merch stuff. Priority #1, though, is getting myself into a better state of work/money/life.

All of the demanding-but-not-providing things—blog, YouTube, Instagram—have to be taken off the stove for now. There are no more available burners.

I’ll be back eventually because you know I love it here. Until then…

Happy reading… writing… living.