Saturday, 30 September 2017

summer fun tag PLUS sunshine blogger tag (the second)


I've been tagged a few times recently not so recently actually because I'm terrible like that, so I'm going to combine two because I'm not sure how much you actually want to read about me??: the Summer Fun Tag, and the Sunshine Blogger Tag [#2]!

Side note: I'M SORRY I TOOK SO LONG, KIND PEOPLE WHO TAGGED ME. You've probably forgotten you ever did such a thing.  

And I know most of you are in autumn and heading for winter, now, but here it's HOT. And it's the first month of spring. So. Summer and sunshine it is!



- The Summer Fun Tag -

This tag was created by Mykaela, and I was tagged by Gray at Writing Is Life (thanks, Gray!)


1. What's a nickname only your family calls you?
Despite being Australian, and knowing several people with very Aussie nicknames, I actually just have a shortened version of my name? and everyone calls me that. I'm actually a bit disappointed that I never got a creative nickname. (Then again, considering the likelihood of it not being flattering, maybe I'm not sorry.)

[Pennites, consider this an invitation xD]


2. What's a weird habit of yours?
Nooo... don't have any weird habits. I'm not weird.

*coughs*

*asks family*

Brother 1: Well, he can't think of any.

Sister 1: Being negative is not a weird habit, Sister 1. It's just... a habit.

Brother 2: Wiggling my ears and "the weird eyeball thing". [I cross my eyes, look left, cross my eyes, look right, repeat. Makes it look like my eyes can point different directions.]

Sister 2: Talking to myself and pulling faces?? That's normal...

Dad: BEING ANNOYING IS NOT A WEIRD HABIT, DAD. THAT'S JUST ME.

Mum: Being negative??? And facetious??? What is this??? Where is familial loyalty when you need it???



3. Do you have any strange phobias?
Not really? I don't particularly like spiders or other creepy-crawlies when they're moving fast and erratically, but that's hardly a phobia. I'm not fond of heights either, but I manage. Nothing I've come across in my [admittedly short] life so far has caused me to completely freeze up out of fear and freak out.


4. What's a song you secretly love to blast and belt out when you're alone?
I am rarely home alone. Or in the car alone. Or alone at all, really. My family tends to travel as a pack. But the last time I was home alone, I blasted as many Owl City songs as I had. (And made myself a mug cake.)

I also love to belt out Stand by Me - it's just a really good song for belting??

5. What's one of your biggest pet peeves?
PUNCTUATION MISTAKES ON SIGNS. Like how do people get paid to produce a professional product that is full of mistakes like that?!? How do you even get "your'e"?? (as one, horrific example I saW a rEAL PICTURE OF.)



Also people who are reading the next book in a series when I want it. Or people who are reading my favourite books and don't appreciate them.


6. What's one of your nervous habits?
Talking. If I'm nervous, I'll say something to fill the silence. I think. But maybe it's actually just like regular conversation but I'm overanalysing it because I'm nervous. Ooh look. I'm babbling just thinking about it.


7. What's a YouTuber that always makes you laugh?
Studio C always made me laugh when I first started watching, but it's a bit hit-and-miss now.

I actually don't watch much on YouTube? because "internet data allowance" and "shaped plan" [go over the limit, our internet goes sLOWER THAN A- A- ... IDK BUT SOMETHING REALLY SLOW. LIKE, REALLY SLOW.] 


8. What was your first stuffed animal, and what was its name?
Technically my first stuffed animal was the calico bear that people wrote their names on when they came to meet me (and to visit my mother, I suppose??) in the maternity ward. It spent the next 10+ years of its life on top of a cupboard, as a Very Special Object, and thus never got a name.

Other than that... I was actually had a special stuffed animal. My first special doll was Pamela.

Her fingers got chewed off. I'm sorry for that now.


9. What's a drink you always order at Starbucks?
What is this thing you call... "Starbucks"??

I don't know if we even have Starbucks here in Australia?? Certainly not in my area. I don't drink coffee anyway, so...



10. Do you have any weird body skills?
See #2, weird habits, for my siblings' opinions. I can also wiggle my ears.


11. What's your favorite comfort food?
I actually really like bread?? Buns and stuff, I mean. But "comfort food" would seem to imply snacking, something my family doesn't really do.


12. What is a phrase or exclamation you always say?
I realised a while ago that I use "big on" a lot? I'm "big on" chocolate, "not big on" boys who are full of themselves, "big on" notebook collections. It's weird and now whenever I say it I'm self-conscious.


13. What did you use to wear that you would never wear now?
Teeny-tiny dresses.

I'm not saying I was immodest, I'm saying they were made (handmade, some of them - there were some lovely ones with smocking) to fit a five-year-old. I would still wear them now if they fit me. They were so cute. Why do teenage girls not get really cute/sweet dresses??


14. What did you want to be when you were younger?
Career-wise, I don't even know, although I went through a period of planning on running a stable with my best friend (before eventually maturing and realising that I just wanted to be horse-mad but I wasn't actually - nor did I know much about horses anyway).

My mother does tell me I wanted to be married to my brother. When told I couldn't, I wanted to marry my cousin. I got very upset when told neither of them were an option, because "I didn't know any other boys, how was I supposed to get married??"


Calm down, smol me. Seriously, kid. There is plenty of time yet.

Current almost-not-a-teenager me is taking that advice to heart as well, having realised she does not want the responsibilities of marriage just yet. Why choose to be the mother when you can stick with your own.


15. How tall are you?
1.65m, I think? 1.75 DON'T YOU EVEN KNOW YOURSELF UGH


16. What are five ways to win your heart/become a great friend?
1. Books. Share them. Love the ones I love (or say you do and make me believe it). Give me books. Receive books I give you with enthusiasm.
2. Food (none of this carrot-sticks or paleo "dessert" nonsense either). I need either sugar, salt,  or carbs (technically sugar = carbs [but not the other way around], but never mind - bread or pasta, basically). Other foods will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. ("Desserts" containing coconut milk, grated almond, carob, and/or no wheat flour will likely go badly.)
3. Do not suggest we "go to the shops and hang out". This is a sure-fire stress inducer. How does one "hang out"? At the shops?? Is spending of money required? Will we be eating, and thus, will I be required to buy food? (is bringing a sandwich in gladwrap okay)
4. Fangirl with me. Fairly simple.
5. Take the first step. I will not speak to you first (well, I'm working on that, but it's unreliable). Neither will I try to make you a close friend once we're acquainted, being concerned that I might smother you and that you'd rather spend your time with someone else (I'm sure you already have friends, after all). I will reciprocate your friendship to the level you offer it, but that doesn't mean I don't want to be friends.

Ooo-kay. *cough* That's way too deep. Moving ON, people. We now have:



- The Sunshine Blogger Tag -

I was tagged by Lisa at Inkwell; this is actually the second time I've done this tag, but the questions change every time, and these ones look fascinating. :) Thanks, Lisa!


1. Do you have favorite fictional families/siblings and who are they?
Off the top of my head, I can't think of any amazing families or siblings in fiction.

THIS IS OBVIOUSLY NOT GOOD.

...After scanning my shelf, I have selected:
Butler and Juliet, from the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer.
Aiden and Meg, from the On the Run series by Gordon Korman.

The March sisters, from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.
The Carr family, from What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge.
The Woolcot family, from Seven Little Australians by Ethel Turner.

Looking over these lists, there seems a bit of a pattern: contemporary/action books get older brother/younger sister siblings, while classic children's novels get large families. Of course there'd need to be more research into this before any sort of generalisation could be formed; please feel free to give me examples of books that prove/disprove this apparent pattern!


2. If you could reform one villain (book or movie) who would it be?
Loki. Eheheh.


3. If you could work with/be the apprentice of/learn from one historical figure (hero or not) who would it be?
When I saw "apprentice", I thought "HALT". But he's fictional, not historical. Besides, I'd likely die.

Okay. Um. Jesus? Being a disciple of Jesus in the flesh could only help my relationship with him, right?

(And maybe Tolkien, for writing/worldbuilding. I imagine he'd be great at worldbuilding...)


4. Have you ever dreamed (when you were asleep, of course) that you were in a book or movie? If so, which ones?
Not that I can recall? But I'm sure I have... I just can't remember. (I think it's a pretty safe bet to say that at some point I would have dreamed I was in the MCU.)


5. What are you favorite kinds of book titles (e.g. one word, a reference, symbolism, with a certain word in them...)?
I've never thought about this?

*scans nearby/recent books*

Ally Carter's Embassy Row trilogy uses lines from nursery rhymes as titles, e.g. the one currently by my foot is See How They Run. (Though the third book is Take the Key and Lock Her Up, which isn't any nursery rhyme I've heard of.) Still, that's a pretty cool idea.

I've just listened to Marissa Meyer's Cinder, and I like how her four-book series takes its titles from the MCs. Mostly because that's how I get my working titles.

The Wrath and the Dawn (Renee Ahdieh) is a nice fantasy title with an Arab feel, and The Night Circus (Erin Morgenstern) just sounds like a historical/fantasy. On the other hand, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Catherynne M Valente) (my fingers are tired now) gives off a pleasant sense of self-awareness that I'm rather fond of.


So overall I don't think I have a defined preference? but this is very interesting and now I'll be analysing my reading choices and their titles.


6. If you could be the "sidekick" of one fictional character, who would it be?
Since you said 'sidekick', I have to go superheroes here.

Um... Marvel doesn't really go for sidekicks much, does it? I mean, I can't think of many. Bucky is/was Cap's sidekick... Kate Bishop would shoot you if you called her Clint Barton's sidekick... I guess the Warriors Three and Lady Sif could be considered Thor's sidekicks, but I suspect they'd do to you what Kate Bishop did, only worse. [Any further suggestions?]

But if we go DC, there's a whollle range of possibilities. E.g. bunch a heap of sidekicks together with a few other kids: now you have the Teen Titans! And I would definitely choose to be Batman's sidekick.

(Sorry, Marvel... I'd rather be in the Marvel [Cinematic??] Universe, but circumstances were unfortunately against me.) 

Because not only is Batman super-cool, but Bat-"I-work-alone"-man has so many sidekicks:

Dick Grayson | Barbara Gordon | Jason Todd | Tim Drake | Stephanie Brown | Cassandra Cain | Damian Wayne

...those are just Robins/Batgirls. And only the ones I can think of off the top of my head. I wouldn't be surprised if there were more of them.

 haha nope you don't

Basically, I'd be in pretty cool company.

Plus, Batman.

(The downside would, of course, be that Batman goes through a lot of sidekicks:)

Again, off the top of my head [and this is just specific incidences/references I know of]:
Dick 'dies' (it was a set-up, and he joined a spy group [which turned out to be controlled by bad guys]).
Barbara gets paralysed from the waist down when the Joker shoots her in the spine (not because she's Batgirl, but to send a message to her father, the Commissioner).
Jason - well, Jason. Jason gets beaten to death with a crowbar (the Joker, obviously). How he gets back from being dead, I have no idea... but he becomes Red Hood and kills bad guys (Batman doesn't associate much with him after that).
Tim fights a million killer robots to save his Batfamily, but dies in the process. (Except he was apparently actually transported to another planet?? maybe molecule by molecule, idk.)
Stephanie is so distressed by this ^ that she stops being Batgirl and starts getting in Batman's way in any way possible.
Cassandra - it isn't Batman's fault at all, but she was raised with violence as her literal only language; she couldn't talk, but she could read body language like an actual language. This was before she was Batman's sidekick, though, and I actually haven't read anything that indicates she stopped hanging out with him. She's actually pretty cool.
Lastly, Damian. Ah, Damian. It's messy [as is what he'd would do to bad guys if it wasn't for Batman's influence]. He's the current Robin, and Batman's son, but he's really Batman's sidekick on an on-again-off-again basis, due to extreme arrogance and despising of rules. He's, like, ten. Loves murder.

Annnyway. I'm sure you're all screaming by now. I'm not a Marvel traitor! I promise! I just... like DC too. Just the comics... it's not that bad, guys...

Or... were you screaming "WE DON'T NEED TO KNOW THIS GET ON WITH THE ACTUAL STUFF OR I'M LEAVING"?

That works too. Next question!

[Hang on. I could be Sherlock Holmes' sidekick! I mean, Watson got married and left... there's a vacancy there! Even though Watson would also deny being a sidekick!]

[Sorry, yes. We were moving on.]


7. If you were a superhero, what would be your power?
OH HAHA LOOK.

More superhero stuff.

IT ISN'T MY FAULT. I'M JUST ANSWERING THE QUESTIONS, OKAY??

I think this maybe might mean 'what power would most suit your personality', but I'm going to ignore that anyway. I've created a few superhero characters, and I'm going to pick one of the powers I gave them.

It actually started as a fantasy ability from a different story - an ability held by Rumpelstiltskin. Straw to gold? Fine. Stone to carbon dioxide? Can do. Person to marble? Doable.

Changing it to a superpower put a bit more chemistry into it: the character [haha yep I've switched back to the character] has to know the chemical structure of the state she wants to turn it into. Wood to stone? Fine - the molecular structure she chooses will define the type of stone. Stone to wood? She'd have to be touching wood and 'copy' the molecular structure, because wood is an organic compound and therefore seriously complicated. Marble statue to person? Are you kidding do you know how complex the human body is at a molecular level?!? But she can make things vanish into thin air (i.e. turn them into carbon dioxide or nitrogen or a combination of regular air gases), which is probably what she uses it for most - it's a great defense.

Anyway. Not sure as to her 'kryptonite' yet... but it sounds like a great superpower to have. ;P


8. If you entered a fictional world, what is the worst thing that could happen to you?
Die.

Obviously.

Actually, being forced/manipulated to cause another person's death would be way worse. Or not saving someone I was responsible for. 


9. What kinds of book covers don't you like?
Ones that look like contemporary YA romances. Know what I mean? I can't really describe it, but there's this... fluffy angsty sort of look about them??

Ones with people whose heads are cut off.
...by the edge of the cover, I feel I need to specify. Not actually cut off.

Also ones that dON'T MATCH THE REST OF THE BOOKS IN THE SERIES.



10. Which fictional character would you want as your sidekick?
Considering the depth of my answer to #6, a Robin is a pretty good choice. (Except when they keep dying.) Probably Tim.

But, you know, I reckon Hawkeye would make a great sidekick. xD

No, wait. Bucky.

I DON'T KNOW.


11. What fictional character would you want as your arch-nemesis?
Someone really lame...

i.e. NOT Moriarty, Loki, Artemis Fowl, and all the rest of those mentally/morally unstable geniuses. (Genii??)

But now I think about it, this is an interesting question. We think of "arch-nemesis" as "worst enemy", but it actually isn't. "Nemesis" means "the inescapable agent of someone's or something's downfall" [according to my helpful Professor Google]. And "arch-" is "from Greek 'arkhos' meaning 'most important'". So I guess arch-nemesis means approximately "person who will inescapably do most of the causing of your downfall". They don't even have to hate you, I'm pretty sure?

So I think I'd want someone morally good causing my inescapable downfall. (I don't know... is that possible? I just don't want my legacy to be "Overthrown by villain; evil wins again".) And smart (it would be embarrassing if they bumbled their way into causing my downfall ;P). But I'm having trouble thinking of a specific character, because I need to know where I'm [down]falling from. Am I a genius? Am I a superhero? Supervillain? Am I... me? I don't have enough data to answer this question. ;P


And those are my answers to the questions! 

 

*everyone breaths a sigh of relief*



I don't know where the rules to this tag are (I think I lost them) but I believe they are:

- Answer 11 questions,
- Tag 11 bloggers, and
- Ask them 11 questions.

(Just as a side note, why is it that many tags seem so taken with Eleven?)


...

...(Fair point.)

Anyway, now I've found/made up the rules, I'm going to ignore them! Again! Because I DO WHAT I WANT. Still, I'd like to see Mary Katherine answer Lisa's marvelous questions for the Sunshine Blogger tag, so I'm not going to ask new ones. And you know I never tag 11 people. Because Maths.

But if you like these questions, steal the tag! And I'll come over and read your answers. :)
-------

Sorry for putting you through that! Whose sidekick would you like to be? Who would you want for a sidekick if you were a superhero? Did I go on about superheroes for way too long? Can you wiggle your ears? Would you like to be Halt's apprentice? [Ranger's Apprentice series, if you don't know.] Talk to me about families in contemporary fiction! Tell me all the things!!

Monday, 25 September 2017

Coding tricks for bloggers


Hiii!

DIDJA MISS ME DIDJA MISS ME DIDJA MISS M-

*slaps self*

So I spent the last two weeks on a work placement, which was awesome! but also took from 8:30-5. And I KNOW that's fairly regular hours for a job (I DON'T WANT TO ADULT, SURPRISE!!), but I also had a ~2-hour round drive. So. That + my assessment = minimal blogging time.

(Hint: do not leave assessments until the date they're due when that date coincides the last day of a two-week work placement which means you'll be out from 7:30am until 6pm.)

(If you needed that advice.)

But now I'm back! Or not. To be honest, I'll be just as sporadic as ever.

...annnyway. Let's leave the uncomfortable confessions there, shall we??

Today, I've written [discovered that I had actually had a draft already for] a post on coding! Specifically, writing code that will help you when blogging. So enjoy!



[Note: this post is actually rather ironic considering recent events. I wrote the draft of this post, giving tips from my experience in coding, and then I discovered that I'd messed up something, somewhere in my blog's code, which made the sidebar refuse to behave. BUT I FIXED IT. (With your awesome help.) So I'm definitely qualified to be teaching this subject 'cause debugging code is way harder than writing it.] 

*pretends to be super-qualified*

a few coding tricks for bloggers


A great way to personalise your blog, and to smarten it up from the Blogger templates (which are sometimes a bit tacky), is to play around with the coding.

And since we're talking about coding tricks, Autumn (at Autumn Reads and Writes) wrote an amazing post about how to change how links look in your blog! [I confess it was not a recent post. I'm a slacker, okay?? But it's still a good resource!] And when you hover over the links, they look like this! or this!! or this!!! GO AND READ HER POST IT'S GREAT OKAY?? (+ I'm not going to just copy it out here, so you have to go read what she said.)

So that's one trick. You can actually make it look like this, too, which is an effect I figured out while messing with it. Baaasically go to Autumn's post, read her instructions, and then instead of putting in:
      a:hover {
          letter-spacing: .5em;
      }

- put in:
      a:hover {
         color: normal;
         border-left: #bd836b 2px;
         border-right: #bd836b 2px;
      }

This will... make more sense when you've read Autumn's post. Unless you already know HTML/CSS, in which case you'll probably be beyond this post.

And... that's links!

*awkward cough*



Now, for my second trick... have you ever wanted to do
this?

It's pretty cool to be able to make little title-things without having to save/upload images of text. Not that I've actually used this yet. Never mind. I will one day. 

Okey-dokey. I'm just going to assume you want to know how to do this? and tell you. I'm also going to assume you haven't used HTML at all, or very little. If you have, you'll be able to skip these first few steps.

Note: Autumn's special features on the links are done within Blogger's Template function - that way, they apply to all links on your blog. Right now, I'm going to be doing coding (HTML/CSS) within the post I'm currently writing on Blogger; my coding will only apply to the specific thing I apply it to.


So, start by writing your text! In Blogger. The regular way. And centre it. Like so:
Pretty text!

Now. On the very left of Blogger's Write Post toolbar - the one that has such helpful things like italics, font size, and strike-through - you'll see two grey buttons: Compose and HTML. Click HTML.

"AAH WHAT JUST HAPPENED THIS IS UGLYYY."

Yes, HTML is not the nicest thing to look at. BUT IT'S FUNCTIONAL. So.

Now, inside your HTML view, the text you just wrote will look like this:

<div style="text-align: center;">Pretty text!</div>

<div>...</div> just sort of wraps stuff into a block that can be manipulated. Whenever you tell Blogger to centre something, it puts a div around it, so it can apply style="text-align: center;". "Style" is a way to put CSS (the coding language that does all the colour, borders, everything pretty!) into your HTML without having to link to a specific CSS document.

But now you want to put a <span>...</span> into your code. (At least, that's how I do it. It's not the only way, I'm sure.) So coding-wise, my example looks like this:

<div style="text-align: center;">
<span style="color: lime; font-family: 'Aclonica', 'Open Sans Condensed', 'Times New Roman'; font-size: 40px;">this?</span></div>

[Note: I don't know that 'Aclonica' is a font that will work by itself or not in a web browser? So I've put
<link href="https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Aclonica" rel="stylesheet"></link>
at the very top of the page when in the HTML view. This ensures that the browser people use to view the post will know what font to use. Note also that I have two back-up fonts - 'Open Sans Condensed' and 'Times New Roman' - in case this doesn't work. Because sometimes code does bizarre stuff and I have no idea why.]

So let's break that down:
  • The div, as I explained, is to make the section into a kind of block. (If anyone reading has a better way of explaining it, please chip in!
  • The style="..." is to insert CSS into that particular div. 
    • text-align: center; is CSS. It centres the div. (shocking, I know.)
  • The span tag is to, I don't know, mark a specific spot? It's like a div, but tends to mark part of a line of text or something, instead of blocking out a whole paragraph or whatever. (I never said I was an expert, okay?? I have a working knowledge.)
  • Again, we have style, but this time inside the span.
  • Now within that there are a few CSS elements:
    • color: lime; -- this colours the text. You should probably use a six-digit colour code (e.g. #f97285) instead - that's more reliable, as it can be hard to guess what colour names are supported by the browsers! Google 'color picker'.
    • font-family: 'Aclonica', 'Open Sans Condensed', 'Times New Roman'; -- this is the font. 'Aclonica' is (I hope) the one that's actually being used; the other two are back-ups. I already went into this a bit [above].
    • font-size: 40px; -- this is to make the text huge. Play around with it; it's really easy to just switch another number in.

Mostly it should work right if you make sure to keep the punctuation marks right? So this:
<div style="text-align: center;">
<span style="color: lime; font-family: 'Aclonica', 'Open Sans Condensed', Times New Roman'; font-size: 40px;">And now you can do this!</span>
</div> 
should turn out like this:

And now you can
do this!

I don't know. Is this clear? Ask me any questions if it wasn't!

And (for if you're familiar with HTML and CSS): it seems like you can put CSS within your post as a "style" section (not just inline)? I didn't know that, but when I was trying to put in the CSS (for the links at the start of this post) to demonstrate what Autumn did with the links, I put a <style></style> section into the very top of my post and apparently putting CSS in there works fine?? (If it doesn't show up right, please tell me!)

And finally, I should mention that I was trying to figure out how to put code in this post so it looked like code (instead of doing what it's, you know, supposed to do??) and I ended up using hilite.me.  Then, of course, once I'd done that, I realised that if I write code while not in the HTML view, it showed up how I wanted it to just fine. So (due to editing and stuff) half the time my code is in fancy colours/boxes... and half the time it's not.



So this post has been a leeettle bit jumpy and what-is-plot-y. What are you saying of course that's not how I write. Or how I live my life. Nope. I hope it wasn't too confusing, and maybe helps you a bit! Even if it just gets you interested in exploring what you can do for your blog with CSS.


Have you ever used HTML and CSS for your blog? What tips/tricks do you recommend? Are you going to try any of these? Did I make any mistakes?? (answer: yes. It was written in too many late-night sessions. Obv. there will be mistakes.)

Friday, 8 September 2017

A few exciting things from around the blogosphere || [I'm not procrastinating, you're procrastinating]

I'm supposed to be working on my tertiary studies right now. Or updating/rewriting my resume because MY LIBRARY HAS A POSITION OPEN for one week only. (The last two times I [obviously] didn't get the job, but I just have to keep trying... the head librarian wants me there, so eventually it's got to happen! xD)

And instead I'm wandering the writerly circles of the blogosphere.

I know right. Such a surprise.


BUT I FOUND OUT SOME INTERESTING THINGS. Which I thought I'd share with you, because I haven't seen anyone talking about them in the blogs I follow... so you might not hear about these things either. So I'm telling you, just to make sure.

Firstly, Project Canvas has a blog. I was pleased to see that, because I hadn't heard any updates from Project Canvas for a while and I was hoping it hadn't died a slow and lingering death. It's true that there's only one post, a 'welcome!' one from a month ago, but by following the blog I can keep myself in the loop.

If you don't know about Project Canvas, the basic idea is that
"A group of teen and young adult writers from around the globe have come together to write a book of advice and inspiration for fellow writers.

I said (several months ago) that I could probably help with some editing, but I actually don't know how the book's progressing... its projected publication date is in 2018, but I haven't had to edit anything, so it's possible they didn't need my help.

I don't know! Maybe you've all submitted articles? and you're keeping a close eye on the whole project? and I know at least five of my followers are already following the blog. BUT THIS IS JUST IN CASE YOU HAVEN'T HEARD.

Just as a note, Hannah is part of the Project Canvas team! And so are Abigayle and Aimee - I don't know them well, but I've seen them around the blogosphere, so some of you would know them.

_ _ _ _ _

Jennifer A. Nielsen is running a competition for her new book (Feb 2018), The Traitor's Game. (She says the book will appeal to fans of The False Prince - so, naturally, I'm in!)

The competition is different to the usual sort seen on the blogosphere, too: She posts a photo of where she is, and we guess in the comments (she edits out the answers, though, so no sneaky copying there! ;). Correct state is 1 point; city is 4 points. There will be 10 photos, and the person with the most points at the end wins. The prize is a galley of The Traitor's Game.
 
The first photo is here!
- but I'm not sure how much longer it's open (or if I'm such a slack poster that it's already shut...)

(To be honest, I'd do this even if there was no prize. It makes me feel like Sherlock Holmes. Mwahaha.)

(Although the fact that I'm not from the USA might put me at a disadvantage, as I have no idea about American tourist spots/heritage buildings/anything else like that which might be put in a photograph...)

_ _ _ _ _

And... there was something else I was going to say... ??

OOOH YES.

Catherine Meek, one of the [main?] people behind Project Canvas, is joining with Aimee to create a kind of blogging link-up thing! Except this one will really tickle the fancy of any of you who like snail mail...
#thefriendlyneighborhoodjournal

One blogger will get the Friendly Neighborhood Journal in the post, put some poetry/art/encouraging words/something nice etc into the pages, and then post it to the next address (which Catherine and Aimee provide). And when it arrives, the process will be repeated.



These guys are sending an actual. physical. notebook. ACROSS THE USA. (+ possibly the world? at least, I'm in Australia.) Imagine the love + faith + encouragement that could come from that! Imagine a book, slightly travel-worn, slim, but heavy with the words of friends and strangers, overflowing with kind and uplifting words. Imagine receiving it in the mail.

I'm in love with the idea.

There is the problem with providing a physical address. Seriously, I don't want anyone on the internet to be able to find me!? But I'm hoping it can be sorted out - Catherine suggested, in response to another blogger's concerns, that they could sandwich a blogger between two people s/he knows, so sharing the address wouldn't be a problem. I think that would work for me??

So basically I want to see ALL YOUR NAMES in this Friendly Neighborhood Journal when it arrives in my mailbox.  ;D

_ _ _ _ _

Are you familiar with Project Canvas? (Did you submit an article?) Have you read The False Prince? (and if not, what are you doing with your life???) Do you love snail mail? Might you, maybe, be signing up for #thefriendlyneighborhoodjournal ?? 

And how do you keep up with what's happening in the blogosphere? because it's a bit hit-and-miss for me. (Same as for what books are being released.)

Note: I may not be around much for the next two weeks. I'm doing work experience at... *fanfare* the library. (*cue surprise all round*) Plus I should probably study. Probably. So I'll see how things go. I'll definitely still reply to your lovely comments, though!