Sweet Magnolias was one of my early pandemic fixations. It was a show I picked up on a whim and was pleasantly surprised by, considering Netflix did like no promotion for the first season. It takes place in Serenity, South Carolina and follows three lifelong best friends as their families and lives are transitioning again, and not by choice. Season 2 is premiering in a little less than 2 weeks on February 4th. I wanted to share my predictions before I watch the new trailer and the press starts. There are 10 episodes so these are my 10 thoughts on what we might see. Are you planning on watching?
Annie was the other passenger in the car, but she wasn’t badly hurt.
Dana Sue reconnects with her ex-husband but they don’t get back together.
Helen and Erik go on an actual date and Helen gets some
Erik and Helen have an very tense conversation about kids.
Noreen and the baby leave Serenity for good.
Maddie and Cal get engaged
CeCe breaks up with Ty.
Kyle and Ty bond over hating Annie’s new love interest (my money is on Jackson).
Mary Vaughn is Isaac’s mom, but we do not find out who his father is this season.
Trotter gets the screen time he deserves, including a double date with him, Ashley, Cal, and Maddie.
So for the past few months we have been interviewing people to fill a new position at my work. Sort of to fill my old position, but also to develop a pathway for those we serve. They are going to be working pretty closely with me, but not for me. So I was intimately involved in the interview and selection process. It was a really odd experience. I had only ever been the one looking for a job before.
In the first round of interviews, I was really turned off by a lot of our candidates who were really charming in their interview, but some of their answers and the way they were approaching the job was not hitting home. The first candidate we offered the position, I was really sure they weren’t right for the job but everyone else was. They ended up turning us down, because they were in fact just say what they thought we wanted to hear.
Anyway in the second round, I trusted my questions and my instinct a little more. The person I ranked highest is the one we ended up offering the position to. They just accepted! We did it! We were successful in filling the position. Because I was really helpful in the hiring process they are actually also having me become a larger part of onboarding. I am really excited about the new ways that the organization I work for is letting me grow.
Have you ever onboarded someone, whose position wasn’t totally formed yet?
This year was a weird reading year. There were not a lot of bad books, but there weren’t a lot of stand outs either. In 179 books, most were three or four stars. I found that while I read a lot outside of my comfort zone, I found that there were fewer standouts. I found that I read a lot of epics and tried to keep things a little quicker and lighter, especially considering the year I had. I am including a breakdown of feeling and genre below from Storygraph. What was your favorite book of the year?
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón – This was a beautiful and haunting historical fiction. For lovers of books and tragedy.
You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey by Lacey Lamar and Amber Ruffin – I felt guilty about laughing, but it is a must read if you live in the United States. Witty and important.
Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian – A character study of one of my childhood favorites. It gives a great understanding of the Arthurian legend while still being new.
White Ivy by Susie Yang – Dark, gothic, and shocking. If you aren’t sure you are into to thrillers this was so gripping and I have recommended it to everyone I know.
The Red Threads of Fate by Neon Yang – The Tensorate series is so high concept, but I loved the grounding of this book in love and grief. The whole series is excellent, but this was my favorite so far.
The Princess Search by Melanie Cellier – Ugly Duckling retelling meets romance and politics. I loved that this was a story about processing trauma that wasn’t focused on forgiveness.
Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi – Sisterhood. Insurance fraud. Food-filled pages. You will cry but it is worth it.
The Will of the Empress by Tamora Pierce – This is the start to the third series following our young mages from the Winding Circle. I was so impressed by how authentically they grew up, their relationships when coming back together, the uniqueness of their magic, and how sex positive it was.
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas – A perfect coming of age story plus ghosts. It’s a super fast-paced story about love, death, and community.
The Emerald Sea by Richelle Mead – This is conclusion to the Glittering Court series. It was a great story of survival. There were a lot of safe choices that the author could have made, but they didn’t. I also deeply loved the relationship.
Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust – This dark, new fairytale was such a beautiful read. It was magical and traumatic.
Anna K by Jenny Lee – This modern day Anna Karenina has stuck with me for most of the year as a favorite. I was amazed at how authentically they modernized it, while still being true to the tragedy of the worlds then and now.
Thorn by Intisar Khanani – I think Goose Girl retellings are slowly taking over the favorite slot. I absolutely loved the world. Alyrra was my favorite protagonist of the year. Her sense of justice, kindness, and quick thinking made her so engaging.
Eva Evergreen, Semi Magical Witch by Julia Abe – Purest little hearts. A perfect mix of Klaus, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Kiki’s Delivery Service (three already existing favorites). I cannot recommend this book enough.
The School Between Winter and Fairylandby Heather Fawcett – I do have a full review of this book, but it was such a refreshing take on both the chosen one and magic school tropes. A great adventure of prophecy and family.