Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Tag in which I rant and shove books in your faces screaming READ IT

[I was trying to do something with this and it took the post down?? sorry??? I hope all your comments are still there! *shakes fist at technology*]

I haven't posted for more than a week (shh you didn't hear it from me), but Melissa at Quill Pen Writer tagged me for the Bookish Book Lover Tag (a little while back yes shh) and I had to do it! I haven't talked much about books before, so prepare for a long post with either:
a) way more detail than you care about, or
b) half-answers and evasions. (Never mind rule #2, below.)

Here are the Bookish Book Lover Tag rules:
#1- Use the banner.
#2- Answer the questions.
#3- Use lots of book covers.
#4- Tag your bookish friends!

--{1. What book(s) are you currently reading?}--

None (do you think I'd be blogging if I had a book to read??)

(Um. No offense, you guys.)

--{2. What the last book you finished?}--
The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski.

Loved it but the library doesn't have the next two. x(

--{3. Favourite book you read this year?}--

That's like picking a favourite child. AND THEN TELLING THE WORLD WHO IT IS.


[I've re-read old favourites this year, as well as some amazing new books. I will not hurt the feelings of any of them.]

--{4. What genre have you read most this year?}--
Fantasy[/fairy tales]. I'm tending to write twisted fairy tales at the moment, so it feels most relevant.

--{5. What genre have you read least this year?}--
Of genres I read, or all genres??

Of genres I read - probably contemporary? It's so hard to find a story about 'regular' modern teens without it being full of swearing and immoral stuff. Or maybe steampunk (for the same reasons; I like the idea of the genre, and the aesthetics, but I'm still looking for suitable stories).

--{6. What genre do you want to read more of?}--
Allll of them. I always have a particular love for twisted fairy tales, though.

--{7. How many books have you read this year, and what's your goal?}--
I created a goal of 75 books on Goodreads just today! (Then promptly filled in about 30 that I've read so far.) (That doesn't include January, though - I only started keeping track in my bullet journal in February.)

--{8. What's the last book you bought?}--

This is what my book's cover looks like. #shallowbookwormtears

Emma by Jane Austen. From a giant second-hand book market. The last book I bought new?? *scratches through brain* I don't buy books new. Sadly. I'd love to do that for the authors, but I'm a student. Students are notorious for not having money.

--{9. What book are you saving up to buy next?}--
See question above. If it costs more than five or maybe ten dollars? I wait until I find a copy second-hand for $2. Also, because I buy from op shops, I can't exactly plan ahead for what I'll buy next (it's whatever's there).

--{10. How many books did you check out last library visit?}--
I don't know, but back when my library card had no limit, my family would have up to 120 books total checked out at a time. Maybe 40 or 50 per visit? (Then they went and put LIMITS on the cards. So we got a card each. And still borrow up to 120 books. THEY CANNOT STOP US.)

--{11. What's a book you can't wait to read?}--
Operation Hotel Charlie by D.J. Stutley. (If you've heard of her, tell me and we will be instant friends for life.) (She's Australian, Christian, and writes exciting stories about runaway teens. I have my loyalties.)

--{12. What's a series you'd recommend to everyone?}--
The Ascendance Trilogy by Jennifer A. Neilsen. Read it. READ IT. *shoves books in your face* The MC is snarky and a pickpocket and goodhearted and you can't trust him.

--{13. Who's an author you're hoping writes more?}--
C.S. Lewis. Susan needs that story I've heard he was planning on writing.

*crickets chirping*


It's a valid answer.

--{14. A few books your heart adores?}--
Entwined by Heather Dixon. I love the relationships between the characters.
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. It's so sweet. Also Cinderella finally makes more sense??
Bartlett and the Ice Voyage and other Bartlett books by Odo Hirsch. Just - the writing. It's so funny.

Please note: I will not permit this list to be taken as 'my favourite books' or any such thing. They are a recent few which I picked for their overall lighthearted tone or playful scenes.

And if you ask me tomorrow I'll probably have changed my mind.

--{15. What series' coming conclusion makes you sad?}--

I prefer to read a series that has already been completed. That way I don't have to wait. Because I am an impatient bookworm book dragon and irritable owl, and I want to read all ten books in three days.

--{16. What books are on your wish list?}--
Is that - a list of books I wish to own?

I'm a collector.

Me on my book throne.

Any book I've read (libraries are so good!) and liked, I'll grab a second-hand copy when I see it without thinking twice. (Hence the state of my bookshelf.) I'd like to own the second two books of the Ascendance Trilogy, though - I haven't seen a copy around, yet.

(please note, the above pictures came from Google/Goodreads)

 So those are my answers to the Bookish Book Lover Tag , and I tag:

And here are the questions for the Bookish Book Lover Tag, for you to copy and paste! :)

1) What book(s) are you currently reading?
2) What the last book you finished?
3) Favourite book you read this year?
4) What genre have you read most this year?
5) What genre have you read least this year?
6) What genre do you want to read more of?
7) How many books have you read this year, and what's your goal?
8) What's the last book you bought?
9) What book are you saving up to buy next?
10) How many books did you check out last library visit?
11) What's a book you can't wait to read?
12) What's a series you'd recommend to everyone?
13) Who's an author you're hoping writes more?
14) A few books your heart adores?
15) What series' coming conclusion makes you sad?
16) What books are on your wish list?

In case you haven't heard enough about my reading habits, Elena at A Homeschooled Nerd's Tale tagged me for the A-Z Book Tag! So here I go again!

[do I hear groaning??]
[fine, feel free to leave now. I won't judge.]

*silently marks your name in a little notebook*

--{Author You've Read The Most From}--
Uhhh... *checks Goodreads*

Michael Morpurgo (He wrote War Horse, and if you haven't read it you need to. And then watch the movie (which has Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch).

Gordon Korman (On the Run series - prob. middle grade - and several 39 Clues books)

John Flanagan (Ranger's Apprentice. Australian author.)

--{Best Sequel Ever}--
I DON'T KNOW. *stomps feet* Why are book tags so much harder to answer than other ones??

Actually. I do know. The Lord of the Rings. *pretends not to have just had a mini-tantrum. on question 2.*

--{Currently Reading}--
None. (See Q1 of the previous tag.)

--{Drink of Choice While Reading}--

*breathes heavily*

--{E-reader or Physical Book}--

This one, I've already answered in my Sunshine Blogger tag: I like to hold them in my hands. I think I absorb the story better than with e-books, too. But I have started using my Kindle app to read free e-books that I wouldn't otherwise have read (i.e. they do not have hard copies in my library).

--{Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Dated in High School}--
I have literally zero experience in dating - first- or second-hand. (nor do I have experience with 'high school', because I'm assuming this question is talking about actual school). Neither am I dazzlingly beautiful or good at speaking. So I probably would have dated someone nice (because sleazy boys = I like to imagine slapping them in the face), but who was also awkward like me. ;P

I don't know who. (Gilbert Blythe is probably the nicest boy coming to mind?? Mr Darcy, of course, would be waaay out of my league. I don't have enough... class. Neither can I dance.)

--{Glad You Gave This Book A Chance}--
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine.

I'd better explain. Once upon a time my family was visiting some second cousins, and the girls put Ella Enchanted on (the movie). I was not at all happy with it. For a start, it mixed technology/modern things (such as the music and the travelator) into a fairy-tale world; secondly, the stepsisters were cringy; thirdly, the way all the girls squealed over Prince Char was also cringy.

Several weeks later, in the library, I saw a book on display and a few neurons sparked. Wasn't that the book which the [same-name] movie was based off? I don't know why I borrowed it, considering my opinion of the movie, but I'm very glad I did. It's nothing like the movie (not a comedy, to start with). And it sparked my love of fairy tale retellings.

[Maybe I should mention: I recently rewatched the movie. If I considered it a separate idea from the book, I enjoyed it. (Char is actually pretty cute.) I guess as a kid I just couldn't handle characters behaving cringily.]

--{Hidden Gem Book}--
Is this not the same as the last question?

I don't understand the difference, but if it means I can rave about another book, fine.

Leave it to Psmith by P. G. Wodehouse.

The first ten pages were, to put it bluntly, boring. I didn't know why I should care about these characters. Then things got intriguing - characters ran around switching identities, and falling in love with the wrong people, and at least four different parties were trying to make off with the diamond necklace (for various reasons).

--{Important Moment In Your Reading Life}--
Um... Reading LOTR for the first time at seventeen?

I don't know??

--{Just Finished}--
The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski, and At First Sight by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I enjoyed them both enormously. (The Winner's Curse was recommended in a post by another blogger (sorry I can't remember!), as was Jennifer Lynn Barnes' The Fixer.)

--{Kind of Book You Won't Read}--
I need to avoid all trashy romances. And vampire stories. Zombies are a no, and I've never tried horror (and see no need to). I cannn 'read over' some swearing, but bad swears are a no as well.

--{Longest Book You've Read}--
(Apparently I missed this when I first published the post??)

Without checking page numbers, something Jane Austen, Jules Verne, or the Bible.

--{Major Book Hangover}--
Does this mean a book I finished and couldn't get over? Off the top of my head, I can't think of any particular situation; here's a few... almost-hangovers??

After reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, I didn't want to read anything else for a while (I wanted to read The Hunger Games, but I'd just read it - if that makes sense??)

When I finished the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer, I had to take a while to absorb that ending (and muse over various time-travel paradoxes).

When I finished the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R.Tolkien, I had to take a break and get my strength back. ;)

--{Number of Bookcases You Own}--

Neither do I keep my books on the floor.

I have a build-in wardrobe, and this is one shelf:

You may not be able to tell, but there are three distinct rows. Not including the stacks on top. My mother says I have too many books; I say I don't have enough bookshelf.

(In case you were wondering [which I'm sure you were not], my books take up as much room as my clothes. Which are on the shelf below.)

[Okay, so that doesn't include the clothes that hang up, so I guess they don't really, but it sounds better the other way.]

--{One Book You've Read Many Times}--
Lots of 'em. Let's say... Ella Enchanted, Pride and Prejudice, Operation Foxtrot Five.

--{Preferred Place To Read}--
On my bed. Or lying across a sofa.

Or some terribly uncomfortable reading position.

--{Quote That Inspires You, Gives You All The Feels, etc.}--

*changes to Pinterest tab*

*realises I don't pin quotes because there are too many I love*

Have a dragon quote instead. (I'm not really one for touchy-feely quotes, okay?)

--{Reading Regret}--

I regret becoming one of those crazy fangirls.

...haha nope.

C.S.Lewis, Tolkien, Arthur Conan Doyle and Jane Austen are to blame. Mostly. For the original push to the dark side.

--{Series You Started And Need to Finish}--
Percy Jackson (is that even the series name??)

--{Three of Your All Time Favorite Books}--


--{Unapologetic Fangirl for}--
The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen. I'VE HEARD THERE COULD BE A MOVIE. (they'd probably wreck it, though...) #conflicted

--{Very Excited For This Release}--
Operation Hotel Charlie (see Q11 of the previous tag).

--{Worst Book Habit}--
What do you want me to say?? That I eat/drink while I read? Bend the pages' corners to mark my spot? Underline/mark pages? BEND THE SPINE BACK??


(My worst book habit is probably not stopping a book once I've started reading.)

--{X Marks The Spot! Start at the top of your shelf, and pick the 27th Book}--
Unbridled Dreams by Stephanie Grace Whitson - it was a gift from a friend.

--{Your Last Book Purchase}--
Emma (see Q8 of the previous tag).

--{ZZZ Snatcher-Last Book You Stayed Up Late to Read}--
Entwined, by Heather Dixon. I loved the relationships between the characters (even if I couldn't tell you all Azalea's younger sisters' names). I especially loved the romance sub-plots (all three) (and NOT A SINGLE LOVE TRIANGLE BETWEEN THEM).

Here are the questions again:

Author You've Read The Most From
Best Sequel Ever
Currently Reading
Drink of Choice While Reading
E-reader or Physical Book
Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Dated in High School
Glad You Gave This Book A Chance
Hidden Gem Book
Important Moment In Your Reading Life
Just Finished
Kind of Book You Won't Read
Longest Book You've Read
Major Book Hangover
Number of Bookcases You Own
One Book You've Read Many Times
Preferred Place To Read
Quote That Inspires You, Gives You All The Feels, etc.
Reading Regret
Series You Started And Need to Finish
Three of Your All Time Favorite Books
Unapologetic Fangirl for
Very Excited For This Release
Worst Book Habit
X Marks The Spot! Start at the top of your shelf, and pick the 27th Book
Your Last Book Purchase
ZZZ Snatcher-Last Book You Stayed Up Late to Read

So there you have it - way more detail about my reading life than you ever wanted to know.

Did I mention a book you love? A book on your TBR? A book you (*gasp*) hate? Do I have some of the same books as you on my 'bookshelf'? Rant about all the books in the comments!!

Sunday, 21 May 2017

ideas from Pinterest - for character couples!

I collect story ideas on Pinterest.
(Most come from Tumblr originally, I think. But Pinterest is deep enough into the weirdness of the internet for me.)

Today I'm sharing some ideas for ways for your fictional couple to meet (or just cute scenes for after they've met). I want to read these, okay? SOMEONE WRITE THESE FOR ME THEY ARE SO CUTE. [OR HEARTBREAKING, THAT WORKS TOO.]

(Some of these are in their original form; some I've rephrased or twisted the idea to suit.)

--{Arranged marriage between older siblings [fantasy]}--
"Our siblings are in an arranged marriage and so we see each other at awkward social gatherings between our two kingdoms."

--{Museum argument + security guard [contemporary]}--
"We're researching the same art piece at a museum for a school paper and we get into so many arguments about the symbolism that the security guard has to escort us out."

--{Flower theft + cemetery [contemporary]}--
"Sometimes I steal flowers from your garden on my way to the cemetery, but today you've caught me and have demanded to come with me to make sure the 'girl is pretty enough to warrant flower theft' and I'm trying to figure out how to break it to you that we're on our way to a graveyard."

--{How do you even handle that much caffeine [contemporary]}--
"I work at a coffee shop and you've ordered eight cups of coffee in the last two hours and I'm mildly concerned."

--{Why are you so close help [any genre]}--
"You have no idea what personal space is and it's really distracting when your face is two inches away from mine, what if I turn my head and accidentally kiss you??"
[not actually a method of getting your couple to meet, but SO (awkwardly) CUTE I'm dying help]

--{Not a car thief, I promise [contemporary]}--
"I wasn't trying to steal your car I'm just really tired and on the wrong street and tried to unlock the wrong car and I'm so sorry for waking you up (but hey at least the alarm works)."

--{Awkward party [prob. contemporary]}--
"My friend dragged me to a party and then abandoned me but you came up to me and we started talking and somehow I started talking about how I didn't want to be here while you start smirking when my friend comes back and introduces you to me as the host of the party and I blush really hard because I've been ranting about how boring it was for 10 minutes."

--{Arguing and their faces get close [any genre]}--
"We were shouting at each other but the louder we got the closer our faces got together and are you looking at my lips??"
[I am such a soft touch for any versions of this one. *squees*]

--{Opposing lawyers [contemporary]}--
"We representing two people who are suing each other and each time we four meet the accusations get more and more absurd. Maybe you and I should just team up against our clients."

--{Cosplaying respective halves of a popular ship, oops [contemporary]}--
"We're both cosplayers and we somehow always manage to meet each other at cons dressed as a popular ship and people want photos of us in compromising positions and oops now we're kissing."

--{Another arranged marriage [fantasy]}--
"We agreed to an arranged marriage to save our kingdoms, but I think we're falling in love for real now."
[idk I love playing with the arranged marriage tropes? have another one...]

--{Can we swap? [fantasy]}--
"We're both about to enter into separate arranged marriages but we're madly in love and I think our respective future spouses are too, so...?"

--{Assassin vs. assassin [prob. dystopian?]}--
"I'm the world's second best assassin and you're the world's best assassin and my new target and I have a professional reputation to maintain but you're really cute."
[adapted this a lot. it wasn't for couples but hey that's how I read it. too much WinterWidow, maybe.]

--{Excuse me I was robbing this jewellery store first?! [could be any genre]}--
"I broke into this jewellery store and you came in while I was stuffing things into my bag hey I can explain - wait a minute you're not a guard what are you doing here??"

So that's how I spend my spare time. Hope something here sparks your imagination! I expect in the future I'll do a few more posts of 'things I've collected from Pinterest'. (hey, I've already put in the time and effort, I may as well use it??)

Which of these was your favourite? Do you have a suggestion for a way my next fictional couple should meet? What's your favourite couple in your stories, and how did they meet? was it cute or awkward?

Friday, 12 May 2017

Sunshine Blogger

Micaiah @ Notebooks and Novels tagged me for the Sunshine Blogger Tag: thank you, Micaiah! (This is my first time actually getting tagged by name, so that's awesome! :D )

Here are the rules:

...Answer 11 questions from your nominee
...Tag 11 bloggers
...Ask them 11 new questions

So, because I'm terrible at introductions, let's jump straight in, shall we?

--{ What is your favorite type of post to write?}--

Ooh. I've only been blogging for - *counts on fingers* *gives up and looks at calendar* two months? Two months. And I don't know... mostly I've written waffle-posts?

I like writing posts about things that I can't normally talk about because #nonwriters. Like crazy history things or a cute way for your characters to meet (haven't written that one no you never saw it okay?) or how hard it is to come up with names (no haven't done that yet either) ...Maybe ask me again in a few months when I've written more posts??

--{ When did you start writing?}--

Writing stories? And because I wanted to, not because I had to for school? Maybe twelve, I think. (These stories were all rubbish.) I was thirteen when I started my first 'novel' - I'm still working on it, although it's barely recognizable. (It was full of cliches and the MC was perfect and could do no wrong. I still have trouble with her. 😞)

--{ What is one piece of advice you'd like to give to new bloggers?

[I am a new blogger??]

The obvious piece of advice is that blogging is all about the community - make friends. Be a friend. "A man who has friends must himself be friendly" (Proverbs 18:24) and all that.

Assuming these new bloggers know that, though, I'd say: before you start making friends with everyone, and leaving your URL everywhere so they can find you, make sure your blog looks neat. Not tacky; not amateurish. (Yes, you can always go back and fiddle with the code to your heart's content, but you only have one chance to make a first impression.) I have no idea if there are guidelines as to what looks good and what looks like - well - a Blogger blog?! - but you can judge by eye. Does it look professional? And by that I don't mean stiff, unfriendly professional; I just mean neat! (Neat like we can trust you as a writer?) (...??... What are you trying to say, Jem?)

--{ Do you prefer Microsoft Word or Google Docs?}--

Microsoft Word. I've never actually used Google Docs.

--{ What member of the Fellowship of the Ring can you relate to the most?}--

Gimli: hates running. grumpy and aggressive.

Legolas: facial expressions.

Aragorn: '200% done' facial expressions.

Frodo: tired.

Sam: PO-TAY-TERS and would hit sleazy guys with a saucepan.

Merry: sassy lines and leads Pippin into trouble.

Pippin: gets into trouble and hadn't realised the non-glorified consequences of war (same for Merry).

[Hobbits in general: eat a lot, enjoy home comforts and parties, all that stuff. Also short, cute, curly hair, barefoot, and live in adorable homes. #lifegoals ]

Gandalf: is gone most of the time you need him. harried by the responsibility of looking after all these crazy hobbits/people/etc who insist on running rings around him. also messy hair.

Boromir: human. actually human. tries, fails, and is sorry.

[You were probably not looking for a five-minute lecture.] [Be grateful I didn't bring the PowerPoint slides.]

--{ How are you pursuing your dreams right now? }--

RIGHT now? I am pursuing my dreams by ignoring them.

*reads over last sentence*

That wasn't the right answer, was it... Let me elaborate.

I am pursuing my dreams of working in the library by ignoring my imminent assessment in my tertiary studies in that area. And I'm pursuing my dreams of finishing a novel by ignoring that too because I'm "working on my assessment".

*reads over that again*

Still not working, is it?


--{ What is the hardest part of being a writer?}--


The end.

Seriously, I don't know. I'm only on first drafts - never done serious book edits, never worried about publication. I do know, from a few short story competitions, that rejection is hard - especially when you loved your story with all your heart and thought it was perfect.

Apart from that, the hardest part is writing. I mean, it's solitary, and you end up all hunched, and you get grumpy from your characters being grumpy or misbehaving, and you spend so many hours working just to find a plot hole that renders all those words useless.

Don't give up, guys. Your story will be worth it.

*thanks self for the pep talk*

--{ What is your favorite hot drink? }--

I once had a caramel hot chocolate. *dies from deliciousness*

*comes back to finish post*

*and see if I can scrounge some more caramel hot chocolate somewhere*

I suppose I should mention here: I'm one of those almost not-a-real-writer writers. I don't drink coffee. Yes, you read that right. I write without caffeine. How do I manage? Well, it's quite tricky, actually. The human body was not made to function as a writer without caffeine.

(But I've heard the stuff's addictive? don't want that? and the only coffee I've ever tried was a mockuccino [how do you even spell that] I think? and while the caramel flavour was great, the coffee flavour was "I think someone burnt something??")

(As an example: my sister made chocolate truffle ball things. They have coffee neatly balanced with cocoa and sugar and biscuit, and they are so. good. But today I got to the middle of mine and the last bit was a big lump of pure coffee and it got stuck in my tooth and I nearly died. I have decided that when I die, I don't want it to be by coffee. And I have now warned my sister about putting coffee death in her chocolate balls.)

--{ How do you come up with your story ideas? }--

I do not actively "come up with" story ideas. They come to me. If they didn't I would be relieved and not write and enjoy the calmness of ordinary life.

Unfortunately characters keep knocking on my brain and insisting I need to know their story; the only way to do that is to write it, and I'll know how it ends when I get there. (AKA I don't plot.) These characters typically do not even have the decency to come with names. So I spend hours trying to find one that suits them, and they are invariably fussy about what suits them.

Bulking up my story's plot, on the other hand, is hard. And requires work. Which usually consists of me spending a day sitting staring at the paper, then ignoring the story until an amazing plot thread/twist/complication pops into my head, at which point I 'write through' it (a page or so, explaining to myself how it will work and talking through the problems/holes).

This has been a crazy rant by a sleep-deprived writer. Now, the weather.

--{ Which do you prefer, ebooks or paperbacks? }--

I only got Kindle (on my laptop) a month ago.


I mean, ebooks are typically cheaper, but I don't tend to buy many new books anyway (I am a devoted library member).

And hard copies of books are so much better and asdasdlfkj how can you even ask that??

--{ What is one book that has made you cry? }--

The first book I ever remember crying over was Seven Little Australians. Probably you haven't read it. It's about a family of seven kids who have a stern dad and a sweet step-mother and those kids are just horrors - without meaning to be bad. It's a classic Australian kids' book, anyway.

Despite this book, I TRUSTED authors when I was young. (My mum pre-read our books, which maybe had something to do with my trust.) I might have gotten anxious, but deep down I knew the characters couldn't die.


(I read more books with characters dying, now, but I just get bitter instead of crying?? like that makes sense??)

So those are my answers to Micaiah's Sunshine Blogger tag. Now before I get onto the rest of the rules, a little maths.

(No, seriously, bear with me.)

If I tag eleven people, assuming they complete the tag in exactly one week, next week there will be eleven people tagging eleven more people. Each. So:

Week 0: Me. Tag 11 people. Total 1.
Week 1: 11 people, tag 121 people. Total 12.
Week 2: 121 people, tag 1331 people. Total 133.
Week 3: 1331 people, tag 14641 people. Total 1464 (plus the 14641 people who will be doing this next week).

If the maths was unclear, sorry. But what I'm trying to say is: I'm going to break the rules, giving maths as my excuse. Do you think we know 1464(+14641!) people among us?? I know this doesn't take into account people being tagged twice, but I don't want to be a bother by tagging people who've done this plenty of times already. (If you are always open to being tagged, comment and tell me, and I'll keep you in mind!)

Anyway. I am going to break the rules and tag three people. Only do it if it's convenient, of course. (if inconvenient do it all the same)

(As far as I can see you haven't done this tag recently? Not that it would really matter, because the questions change every time, but I don't want to be a bother.) (did I already say that in this post?) (help I'm trying to be cool but my real personality is bleeding through) *takes a few days off from blogging to get my cool online persona back*

And here are my questions:

[Hang on, is there supposed to be a theme? like sunshiny stuff or something? because it doesn't say and I've thought up some random questions that I'd love to see you answer but really have nothing to do with sunshine??]

--{1. Is there a story that you've always wanted to write, but haven't yet?}--
--{2. What tv show/movie have you binge-watched the worst?}--
--{3. You know those innocent little mistakes we make that are so. embarrassing. they keep you up at night. five years later. Those. Tell me about one of them? (I promise I won't tell.) (I might put it in a story though?)}--
--{4. What's your biggest NOTP?}--
--{5. Would you rather be attacked by one horse-sized duck or a hundred duck-sized horses? (seriously I want to know)}--
--{6. Is there a song you've been listening to on repeat?}--
--{7. Who is the first person that pops into your head when you think "weird"?}--
--{8. What's your biggest pet peeve?}--
--{9. Oxford comma or no?}--
--{10. If you could pick a name for yourself, what would it be?}--
--{11. Why did you start a blog?}--

I hope you have fun with these! - and everyone else, I'd love to read your answers to ANY of the questions, in the comments!

Thursday, 4 May 2017

The Writer Stag

I've picked up a Writer's Tag from Elena at A Homeschooled Nerd's Tale. She left who she tagged fairly open, and I came under the Blogger who doesn't have a TV category, so I've considered myself tagged. (because I was too impatient to wait until someone tagged me by name?? besides, I figured this would be a fairly easy post idea, while telling you guys a bit about me as a writer. win-win!)

So! It didn't come with rules, but I'll do my best. ;)

(Credit to the creator of this tag... whoever that was. I have no idea where it came from originally, because the blog trail's pretty unclear. As far back as I can track it, this tag came into the blogosphere from Paper Fury, who got it off Instagram?)

(And apparently on another blog #thewriterstag was read as 'The Writer Stag' and that is a thing now, if you'd care to check [it's in the comments]. I think it should be a thing. I'm naming this post after it because it should be a thing.)

Thanks for the tag, Elena! (even though it wasn't for me specifically xD)

I think the Writer Stag should become as much of a writerly legend as, I don't know, plot bunnies?

--{ What Genres, Styles, and Topics Do You Write About? }--

I write mixed-up fairytales, some fairytales of my own but without any fairies and I have no idea what to call that??, and some contemporary runaway stories. And some short stories which could be anything.

I tend to write in third person POV, and always past tense (short stories, once again, don't necessarily follow this). Now I think about it, as a beginning 'writer' I used first person, and made my stories a little too autobiographical. (Or not. It was what I wished my life was like, but the main character was definitely me.) But that's probably why I tend not to use first person POV extensively: it reminds me of my cringe-worthy attempts as a pre-teen.

Topics? um... a few themes that seem to develop by themselves are identity, family, and betrayal, if that's what 'topics' meant? Adventure with a touch of romance??

--{ How Long Have You Been Writing? }--

Almost forever, but that probably isn't what you meant: I was homeschooled, and started fairly young. I wrote. Schoolwork. And the textbooks we used, well, the writing prompts were frankly horrible. (At least, I believed so then and still do now.)

I hated writing. Fiction (and newspaper articles) especially.

I don't remember when or why I changed to being a writer. But the first novel idea which I still have (albeit in drastically modified form) is from when I was thirteen, half a decade ago. I have a few short stories from before that. (They're dreadful.)

--{ Why Do You Write? }--

Why do you ask such a hard questions??

I don't know why! I just have characters pop into my head, and I have to write them a story because I want to know what happens to them.

Oh, wait, that's right. I write because I want to read the story. Huh.

--{ When is the Best Time to Write? }--

Late at night. Probably 8 to 10:30? The problem is, of course, that my parents want me to be in bed then (and they're completely right, I should be). Also, I procrastinate my writing until late, and then it's really easy to miss it. So instead, I try to write in the morning - not first thing, but after breakfast and the jobs are over. Not that it ever works. I am a Master Procrastinator.

--{ What Parts of Writing Do You Love? What Parts Do You Hate? }--

Character journalling for the first question; first drafts for both questions.

--{ How Do You Overcome Writer's Block? }--

I have a dozen story ideas, several of which are half-finished first drafts, so I really don't have any excuse not to write. If I get 'blocked', I can switch to another WIP. (No wonder none of them are finished...)

That said, I don't really get blocked - it's always procrastination, not the dreaded 'block'. What I really need is not to switch WIPs, but to sit down and force myself to write. Maybe go on Pinterest? (hahaha because that will totally help me beat procrastination, right??)

--{ Are You Working on Something at the Moment? }--


Well, yes. I should be. I haven't touched Three Sisters since a few days before Camp ended, when I reached my goal of 15k. But I'd like to get another 20k - at least - before the end of June. Three Sisters is nowhere near finished, but I hope that it might one day be [my first ever draft to be] finished.

--{ What Are Your Writing Goals This Year? }--

Finishing just the first draft of Three Sisters would be a monumental achievement for me; I'd also like to rewrite it to get a second draft. Because it's currently in NaNo condition. *winces*

I tag - um... *looks sideways at followers list* Faith's already done it... Gray has too... How about:

Audrey at Audrey Caylin
Andrea at a surge of thunder
Micaiah at Notebooks and Novels 

Just if you guys want to, of course. (As far as I can see you haven't done this tag yet? I stalked your blogs to check ;) )

What about you? How would you answer the question 'Why do you write?' When do you write? What's your current WIP and your goals? Comment! Tell me all the things!

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

April: mostly Camp NaNo, right?

Here's my slightly late recap for April. (but maybe that's a good thing, that it's late? because I know on the 30th of April my Blogger feed exploded and I still haven't gotten to you all yet, sorry!)

Obviously, April was Camp NaNo month. I survived. Just.

As you can see from the graph, I started off fine. Life rapidly caught up. I had trouble writing; not that I never had time, or that I was 'blocked', but I'd sit down and I simply didn't want to write.

The situation seemed dire. (Actually it was quite bad.) But I discovered myWriteClub (which I may have mentioned?) and managed to get a good 8 days or so of 1.2-1.8k.

 Three Sisters is nowhere near finished, though! The graph will tell you that my goal was 'only' 15k; I'm not slamming myself, I'm just accepting that although this is a great achievement for me, my story is obviously going to take more than 15,000 words. (Haven't even got the girl + guy to meet yet! ....that's my Cinderella thread; the whole story is not a romance. Imagine if I was writing a romance and, 15k into the story, they hadn't met yet??)

Maybe I'll do some snippets or something of Three Sisters sometime. Not now, though... there is no way I'm letting my NaNo writing out. Even to you guys. I didn't have a plan (still don't know how I'm meant to wrap up all my characters' problems??), and my characters are still developing and changing as I write. (I barely recognise the characters on the first page, to be honest.) But sometime I'll tell you more about the sisters; Billie (who feels responsible for her sisters' safety) and Elsie (who lost her happily-ever-after) and Josie (impulsive Josie, whose sister stood in front of a Beast for her and now she can't shake the guilt). 

We had two weeks of school holidays - which doesn't really affect me directly anymore! - but it meant we spent a lot of time catching up with family. 

Also, I did that local comic-con volunteer thing. It was awesome. There was a ten-year-old kid who was a super ninth Doctor with his leather jacket, and every time I saw him I wanted to tell him how pleased I was someone remembered Nine, but I didn't want to be a creepy stranger-lady. ;) Of course, I hadn't had any previous experience with comic-cons, and apparently the point is to walk up to a random stranger who'd dressed like a character you love, and ask for a photo with them? Is this conclusion I drew correct?? (Forgot a camera, though, so... Nine/Eleven/Batman/Galadriel/etc escaped.)

Fairest, Marissa Meyer. Did not enjoy. I like happy endings. Sorry, all you fans. I'll still give Cinder a chance, though.
The New Recruit, Jill Williamson. GoTeenWriters author + free on Kindle? Obviously I'm reading that.
By Darkness Hid, Jill Williamson. Now I have to find the rest of the series!
The Iron Queen [+ series], Julie Kagawa. Read at your own discretion; these books go full 'fey' (Oberon/Mab/Puck), which was a bit too much for me; also there seemed to be a compulsory pre-battle sleeping-together-for-the-first-time scene for both of the couples, which mostly 'faded out', but it's pretty obvious what happened. Morally, I do not recommend these (also contain a few explosive swears with no warning); story-wise, meh - in my opinion they aren't worth the risk.
Scythe, Neal Shusterman. Okay. So I enjoyed reading this book, but when my mum read it, her opinion was 'sick' and 'not helpful'. That made me think a bit more. It's true that this book is... morally ambiguous. It doesn't say killing is wrong. Right at the start, Faraday took the kitchen knife to carve their neighbour up with (that's when my mum started saying it was sick, which that bit completely is). There were several spots I thought the author could put in a redemptive bit, about the whole situation showing how much we need God or something, but he didn't. I suppose the rest of the series could be where that comes in, but on its own, Scythe doesn't have that. 
The False Prince, Jennifer A. Nielsen. I love these books. Although by the third one, it gets to the point where everything goes catastrophically wrong and I just squint at Sage and mutter, 'How is this part of your plan because I know it is and you can't trick me.'
Rogue, Mark Walden. Book 6 or something? of the H.I.V.E. series - about a school for training kid villains. Which sounds worse than it is, because the main characters spend all their time stopping villains (??). Contains violence, but cartoonish violence.
The Desolation of Smaug. A rewatch, but I wanted to see Thranduil and Legolas and Bard and of course more Bilbo. And more Thorin and Fili and Kili and Bofur and all of them. *squees* *and doesn't watch Battle of the Three Armies because nooo* *nopity nope*
Muppets Most Wanted. Only watched because my cousins were; I FORGOT TOM HIDDLESTON MAKES A 10-SECOND GUEST APPEARANCE. That was the best bit of the whole movie.
Doctor Who (season 5): Time of the Angels, Flesh and Stone. Rewatch, but the angels were still totally creepy. ...I actually just wanted to see River again.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Rewatch. Because Bucky. (And Natasha. But not together, sadly.)
Thor. Loki had the potential to be a good guy. :'( Also Thor is sweet as always (once he loses his arrogance).

At Last, The King and Ghost of a King by Grey Havens. I have been listening to these on repeat.
He's a Pirate theme, violin cover, by Taylor Davis. Great for writing. 

Agents of Shield (season 2). Borrowed it from the library and I'm trying to watch it while I write this post, which is most of the reason it's late. :P
Doctor Who (season 8). I want to give Twelve a chance, even if it's just for Clara's sake. I miss Eleven, though; he was my first Doctor.

A Time to Speak and A Time to Rise by Nadine Brandes. I've read A Time to Die, and it was pretty good! Now I just have to get my hands on the other two. :)

The only real thing I have planned for May is to continue with Three Sisters. (Maybe this will be the story I finish??)

So that's April. I'm late - as usual - to the wrap-up party, but now you're here, welcome! Talk to me in the comments! About literally anything! *side-eyes Captain Literally* Almost literally anything! Not actually 'literally anything'. That would include some freaky stuff. But definitely Studio C, if you want to talk about that (I've still been binge-watching). ;)

What cool things did you do in April? How did you go with Camp, if you did that? I'd love to hear!