2019 reading challenge


Every year I do the Goodreads challenge where I set a goal of how many books I plan to read through the year and track my progress. I like Goodreads because you can see what your friends are reading for inspiration or check out the recommendations you get based on books you’ve read in the past.

I always aim to read 50 books in a year and will sometimes read a few more than that. I generally have two to three books going at the same time. I’ll have an audiobook I listen to when I’m walking, a paperback or digital book for commuting, and an oversized or hardback book at my nightstand.

I like to alternate between fiction and non fiction. I’ve been part of book clubs in the past and am currently part of a book club at work which is fun. The great thing about book clubs is it challenges you to read books you wouldn’t have picked up otherwise. Last year I wouldn’t have read How to Change Your Mind  by Michael Pollan or The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Le Guin had it not been for my book club.

I never know that books I’m going to read in a given year. I’ll make some plans but then a new book will come out from an author I enjoy or I’ll pick up something on a whim or recommendation.

I just finished Year of Yes by Shonda Rimes so one down and 49 to go!

What are you reading this year?

Happy new year

Paula Wine

Several months ago I posted that I was going to be shutting down this blog and starting a new one. Well plans have changed a little.

I have launched a new site, which I hope you will check out. www.nycpaula.com is where I will be posting about everything New York. So if you live in NYC, are planning a visit, or are an armchair traveler I hope you’ll check it out. I’m posting about things that are off the beaten path. You’ll find restaurant reviews, museum exhibit recaps, stores and events that you’d only find in NYC.

It wasn’t my original intention to continue with ModSpinster, but as I was building my new site I received some feedback from existing readers and from people who discovered some of my posts through word of mouth. People were interested in reading my past articles on recipes I tried, bullet journaling ideas, etc. Those topics don’t fit in to my new site so I’ve decided to keep ModSpinster going. I’ll be posting everything that is not NYC specific here.

I was touched to hear from people who said they missed reading this blog. As a writer I live in a bit of a bubble where whether I post a blog piece or get an article published I assume that other than myself the only ones who read it are friends and family I have badgered. So thank you for reading. I hope you check out NYC Paula too.

Happy New Year!

Big Changes


Pardon me for not posting in so long. The truth is I’ve been working on some other writing projects and some other areas of my life. I’ve been reflecting a lot on this blog. I launched it three and half years ago and its focus has changed more than once.

This blog has morphed into more of a personal account of my life and in retrospect, it was something that I needed this past year. However, that purpose has been served and since so much of the writing I’m working on for other outlets is personal I’ve decided that I don’t want to focus on that here.

So what does that mean for the blog?

I will be ending Modspinster in the near future. It has been a great experience and who knows I may revive it in the future.

But now for the really exciting news…I will be launching a brand new site and blog in the upcoming weeks. I’ll be posting here to let you know the details as I get closer to releasing it. What I will say is that this new site is going to be very New York centric. I’m excited about this new endeavor. Thank you for following me these past few years and I hope that you’ll continue the journey with me on this new site.  Details coming soon!


February Challenges


Sorry, it has taken me a couple of weeks to post this but it’s been a very busy month. I have enjoyed doing little mini-challenges vs a big full-year project. Here is what I’m working on this month:

1. Workout Schedule: Find a fitness routine that works for my lifestyle which can be tricky. I don’t have a typical routine from week to week as far as my schedule goals so finding the right plan for me can be a challenge.

2. Update Wardrobe: I need new clothes that I feel good in and that reflects my personality and lifestyle.

3. Read 4 Books by Black Authors: Since it is Black History Month I wanted to work on my reading challenge for the year by focusing on books by Black writers.

4. Create a Budget for the Year: I wanted to create a budget and savings goals for this year.

5. Self Care Routine: I wanted to find a way to give myself a little more love and care and make that part of each week.

I’ll be sharing more specifics on these goals in future posts.

Essay in Honeysuckle Mag

Agnes and Paul

Over the past two years I’ve kept my published work separate from this site. I think the main reason I did that is because I wanted to keep this focused on things outside of dating and relationships and a lot of my work touches on that. But since I want to focus on my writing more this year it seems to only make sense to share the links to my work here and let you choose whether to read or not to read.

Here is an essay I wrote about finding my grandmother’s diary and what she reported dating to be like in her 70’s. You can read it on Honeysuckle Magazine.

Mindful Monday: Write Every Day


The past year or so I found it hard to write on a regular schedule. I felt blocked, which was hard since writing is something that I love. So I decided to get into the habit of writing a bit every day this month, but not put rules on what type of writing or how long to spend on it each day.

Sometimes I write blog posts, sometimes I work on essays or assignments from editors, and some days I just journal or work on a pitch letter. Some days I don’t want to write, but I feel it’s better to at least practice than just wait for the muse to strike. It’s better to be prepared for inspiration when it strikes by working on your craft.

If you are thinking about writing and feel stuck here are some books I’d recommend:

The Artist’s Way by Julie Cameron
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Only As Good As Your Word: Writing Lessons from My Favorite Literary Gurus by Susan Shapiro
How to Blog for Profit: Without Losing Your Soul by Ruth Soukup