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Today I am so pleased to welcome Nikki Woolfolk to Joyfully Jay. Nikki has come to talk to us as part of the Coastal Magic Convention Blog Tour. Please join me in giving Nikki a big welcome!

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The Beauty of Hope: From a Reader to a Reader

I’ve been pursuing academic milestones during the last few years. With the amount of school work assigned I thought my days of consuming new stories was over in lieu of non-fiction textbooks. It had been a long while since I really allowed myself to read fiction back-to-back, but internship and volunteer work in the city gave me a short commute to change it.

During my upbringing oral storytelling is common and to go without it is to miss a part of my culture. Audiobooks are a logical extension into my book reading and for the last year I have been catching up on my fiction reading list. My library’s catalog is available on certain apps and when I cannot find an author I simply request their books and backlist to the librarian in charge of purchasing fiction.

There’s a joy in hearing and reading new stories, but of course there’s a comfort in re-reading your favorites and recommending your favorites to others. My rediscovery of storytelling opened me up to new recommendations from colleagues and strangers. Not only did I discover new to me authors but I see in real time how reviewing and recommending authors to other readers is beneficial in so many ways.

Nikki Woolfolk Coastal badgeIn general I love HEA endings of any genre stories I read because life is hard and I wanna finish a book with a renewed hope. I realized this about myself and began sharing my book discoveries with my husband, Nerd as many that follow me on Facebook know him. This revived joy has spilled into something sweetly intimate that I’ll share with you but only if you promise not to laugh.

In the evening, about 20 minutes before we turn out the lights for the night I read romances to my husband.

At the moment we have been reading the charming and often funny “One Last Stop” from Casey McQuiston and what makes us laugh is not only the characters antics, but that he and I will drool or swoon over two different things in the same scene. One of the descriptions of the love interest, Jane, had me swooning. My husband was swooning too, but his was over the description of the sandwich said character mentions.

He’s never read romances before and it’s been a joy introducing him to stories that he enjoys and expand his mind in terms of genres. Sharing your stories or ones that you feel tied to is intimate and shows vulnerability.

When my husband and I decided to start this experiment we pursued it like we did when we learned how to social dance- we learned for the first time together. We took this same approach to a new to us book. We talked in general about book criteria that we were open to and which ones were deal breakers. The hope was to introduce ourselves to new authors and that the story, topic, setting, characters, and such would move us to converse.

I admit that this reading to my lover at night is new to me. I didn’t know what to expect or if we would enjoy whatever story we decided to read.

New worlds, different perspectives, and humorous stories will always get my attention and to share that with those close to us builds intimacy. To share stories between strangers brings empathy and connects us just a smidge more than what we imagined.

I’d love to know who you are reading right now and what author is giving you life. Before you share I’d like to leave you with a quote from a great scientist and author who reminds us of our worth.

In Carl Sagan’s only fiction novel, CONTACT, it states, “You’re an interesting species. You’re capable of such beautiful dreams, and such horrible nightmares. You feel so alone, only you are not. …In all our searching, the only thing we’ve found that makes the emptiness bearable, is each other.”

So go on, which story are your reading that captures your heart, mind, and imagination?

Coastal Magic Convention is a casual reader weekend in Daytona Beach and takes place February 23-26, 2023. You can check out the website at http://CoastalMagicConvention.com if you want to learn a little more about the event. And if you are interested in signing up and joining us a the beach, you can register here


Mx. Nikki Woolfolk (They/Them) is a professional chocolatier, published author of short and long fiction, a public speaker, and a fixture within certain fandom and convention-based communities.

Proud Blerd and self-proclaimed Kween of the Side-Eye, award-winning author Nikki Woolfolk sculpts decadent desserts and fantastical fiction with equal skill and flair.

Their goal is to bridge the gap between joie de vivre, of fandom and geeky things, and the prestige and know-how of culinary community.

When they are not playing a never-ending game of “what if” in a writing space that’s part DieselPunk, part Willy Wonka, they’re drawing on their former STEM career and collection of quirky experiences to work up new recipes in their kitchen (tasting encouraged), designing their Goth-inspired garden (tasting decidedly DISCOURAGED), and mashing up real and fictional worlds on social media (virtual kitchen table is always open). Join their cogged-and-geared world at NikkiWoolfolk.com.

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