Saturday, January 31, 2015

Work, work work

Recently, 80 percent of my life has been work. I have my actual job, of course, but I also have been doing a lot of cleaning and rearranging at my house. Yesterday, since I feel like I need more to do, I joined wyzant.com as a tutor. My profile is awaiting approval, so we'll see how it goes, but I've been approved to teach several different subjects.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll have a more interesting update for you!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Tolkien Tag

This tag was created by booktuber Andrea Heckler. I tag any and all Tolkien fans who read this to do it for themselves!


1. How did your Middle Earth journey begin?
    In middle school, my older sister won a copy of The Lord of the Rings from the library. She gave it to me, and I decided to read it. In my honors English class, the honors coordinator for the county visited my school. When she saw my book, she didn't believe that I could really read the whole thing. She ended up telling me she'd get me something (I don't remember what) if I finished it by the time she came in again, and ten-year-old me was like


2. What is your favorite Middle Earth book?
    The Hobbit. It's short and sweet, and it's packed with so much epic adventure.

3. What is your favorite movie?
    I'm going to go with The Return of the King. I love the way everything wraps up at the end.

4. Movies or books?
    Books, obviously. There's so much more information in the books, especially with the ones that haven't been made into movies.

5. Who are your favorite characters?
    Three off the top of my head are Merry, Aragorn, and Legolas.

6. What Middle Earth race would you be?
    I'd probably be a hobbit. I could definitely eat as often as they do, and I'd love staying home and reading all day.

7. Best actor/character casting match?
    Oooh, this is a tough one. I think that Sean Astin as Samwise Gamgee was flawless-- exactly like I pictured him, and the casting of Lee Pace as Thranduil blew me away. He is totally otherworldly.

8. What is your favorite place in Middle Earth?
    Probably Hobbiton or Lothlorien.

9. What is your favorite quote from the books or movies?
    One of the funniest lines is Legolas's description of the riders, mostly because he waits until Aragorn has listened to the ground for several minutes to confess that he's seen them and knows how many there are and what the leader looks like.

Do you love Tolkien? Share your favorite Tolkien story in the comments, and complete the tag yourself!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Writing Wednesday #4

Bruising


They way you sliced was the

Worst part.

A quick slash, and

A heavy hand

To staunch the bleeding.

All you did

Was make the blood pool

Under my skin.

The bruise will only take

Longer

to heal.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I'd Love to Read If I Had a Book Club

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post created by The Broke and the Bookish.



I'd like to have a Books-to-Movies book club, so these are books that are being made into movies this year.

1. In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick

2. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

3. The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge by Michael Punke

4. Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

5. Paper Towns by John Green

6. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

7. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

8. The Martian by Andy Weir

9. The Spook's Apprentice by Joseph Delaney

10. The Moon and the Sun by Vonda McIntyre

Monday, January 26, 2015

Music Monday: Crying Songs

Today's post is the songs that make me cry when I need to write something super sad.



  1. The Parting Glass :: sung by Celtic Woman
  2. No One is Alone :: Into the Woods
  3. Vanilla Twilight :: Owl City
  4. I Will Follow You Into the Dark :: acoustic by Gavin Mikhail
  5. Goodbye Love :: RENT
  6. The Scientist :: Coldplay
  7. Helena :: My Chemical Romance
  8. Death and All His Friends :: Coldplay
  9. Johnny Has Gone For a Soldier :: sung by Erin Ivey
  10. Bleeding Love :: Leona Lewis

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Make Time to Read Day!

Today is "Make Time to Read" Day, so I am making time to read *drumroll*

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater!

I'll check in with you tomorrow to see how far I got. I have to work tomorrow, so I absolutely can't stay up all night reading. Hopefully I can still knock this out. I've never read anything by this author before, so we'll see.

Friday, January 23, 2015

TBR Shame Tag

TBR Shame Tag

This post is a list of all the unread books on my shelves. I'm putting it up so that the shame will motivate me. I tag anyone with unread books who needs to read them.


Fiction


  1. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  2. The Complete Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen
  3. Four Contemporary French Plays
  4. The Clockwork Cathedral by Heather Blackwood
  5. Above by Leah Bobet
  6. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  7. Angels & Demons by Dan Brown
  8. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
  9. Bulfinch's Age of Fables or Beauties of Mythology
  10. The Arabian Nights
  11. Alice's Adventures Under Ground by Lewis Carroll
  12. Heat Wave by Richard Castle
  13. Conquest: The Chronicles of the Invaders by John Connolly and Jennifer Ridyard
  14. Predator by Patricia Cornwell
  15. Croak by Gina Damico
  16. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
  17. The Magpies by Mark Edwards
  18. Thumbelina, Tiny Runaway Bride by Barbara Ensor
  19. The Minotaur Riddle by V.K. Finnis
  20. Dead Heat by Dick and Felix Francis
  21. There Is No End to This Slope by Richard Fulco
  22. Stardust by Neil Gaiman
  23. Faust
  24. Eon by Alison Goodman
  25. Fateful by Claudia Gray
  26. Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
  27. Just Sally by Frances Dean Hancock
  28. Shadows on the Sea by Joan Hiatt Harlow
  29. The Red Dragon by Thomas Harris
  30. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
  31. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  32. Circle 9 by Anne Heltzel
  33. Houses of Horror by Hans Holzer
  34. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  35. Bag of Bones by Stephen King
  36. Nightmares & Dreamscapes by Stephen King
  37. The Shining by Stephen King
  38. The Green Mile by Stephen King
  39. The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub
  40. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
  41. Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
  42. Rough Passage to London by Robin Lloyd
  43. Faery Tales and Nightmares by Melissa Marr
  44. The Mark of Merlin by Anne McCaffrey
  45. The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley
  46. Dead to You by Lisa McMann
  47. Tippy Toe Murder by Leslie Meier
  48. The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller
  49. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  50. A Cure to Die For by Stephen G. Mitchell
  51. The Sherlockian by Graham Moore
  52. The Lie that Had to Be by Sharon Gibson Palermo
  53. Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult
  54. The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe
  55. I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Prachett
  56. Sixteen and Away from Home by Arleta Richardson
  57. Eighteen and On Her Own by Arleta Richardson
  58. Nineteen and Wedding Bells Ahead by Arleta Richardson
  59. New Faces, New Friends by Arleta Richardson
  60. Stories From the Growing Years by Arleta Richardson
  61. At Home in North Bend by Arleta Richardson
  62. A Vision of Light by Judith Merkle Riley
  63. In Pursuit of the Green Lion by Judith Merkle Riley
  64. The Water Devil by Judith Merkle Riley
  65. Bluefish by Pat Schmatz
  66. Collected Works of Sir Walter Scott
  67. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
  68. Tales From Shakespeare by Charles & Mary Lamb
  69. Sea-Devil by Jessica Sherry
  70. Buried by Linda Joy Singleton
  71. The Silent Room by Walter Sorrells
  72. Death Over Easy by Toby Speed
  73. Drawn Into Darkness by Nancy Springer
  74. Irises by Francisco X. Stork
  75. The Doorbell Rang by Rex Stout
  76. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathon Swift
  77. Wormwood by G.P. Taylor
  78. April's Year by Elizabeth Teicher
  79. The Comet's Curse by Dom Testa
  80. In the Hand of Dante by Nick Tosches
  81. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
  82. The Investigation by Peter Weiss
  83. The Last Days by Scott Westerfeld
  84. Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
  85. The 47 Ronin by Sean Michael Wilson
  86. The Curse of the Wendigo  by Rick Yancey
  87. The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm
 
Non-Fiction
  1. Unsolved Mysteries of History by Paul Aron
  2. An Eye for Glory by Karl A. Bacon
  3. I'm Looking Through You by Jennifer Finney Boylan
  4. An Encyclopedia of Modern American Humor
  5. Myths from Mesopotamia by Stephanie Dalley
  6. Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson by Jeff Gunn
  7. Our Glorious Century by Edmund Harvey Jr.
  8. I Am Potential by Patrick Henry Hughes
  9. Irving Berlin: American Troubadour by Edward Jablonsky
  10. The Life of Andrew Jackson by James Marquis
  11. How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer
  12. Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert K. Massie
  13. The Portable Renaissance, multiple authors
  14. Dickens' Fur Coat and Charlotte's Unanswered Letters by Daniel Poole
  15. Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre
  16. The Elements of Style by Edward Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White
  17. Guide de la France Mysterieuse
  18. A Troublesome Inheritance by Nicholas Wade


tl;dr   I have 105 unread books on my shelves and/or in storage. I am shamed.  

Have any thoughts on which books I should read first?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Throwback Thursday!

Today, I'm pretty swamped, so I'm doing a throwback! Today's throwback is the story of how I got into Harry Potter. 

When Harry Potter came out, I was seven, and my older sister was in middle school. Her birthday is in summer, so she got the first book for her birthday. 

My mom told me not to read the book because I was "too young" and it would "give me nightmares", but I was too curious about the book to stay away from it, so I secretly read it anyway, and it was amazing. 

The end. Sorry I'm a deadbeat blogger. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Writing Wednesday #3

Today, I'm going to post a list of the writing projects I am currently working on (novels). It's pretty terrible, because I cannot write as quickly as I come up with ideas. I have published one novel, though, so it's not impossible. The others are coming-- it's just a matter of how long it takes me.

Written novels in the editing phase
Waterlilies
Conventional

Novels in the writing phase
Cross My Hart
Twelve 
Thumbelina
Hair
Something Essential
Rebellious
Glasgow
In the Garden



What are you writing? Does anyone do the same thing with having a ton of projects? Share in the comments!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Books From Middle School

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post created by The Broke and the Bookish.



This week is a freebie, so I decided to share ten books I really loved when I was in middle school!


1. A Series of Unfortunate Events series by Lemony Snicket
2. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
3. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
4. The Giver by Lois Lowry
5. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
6. The Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer
7. How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found by Sara Nickerson
8. The Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld
9. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
10. The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau






Monday, January 19, 2015

Music Monday: The Four

Today, I'm sharing the playlist for another project of mine. It's a novel (hopefully a series-- too early to tell for sure) based on the idea of the four horsemen of the apocalypse: War, Famine, Pestilence, and Death. This is a pretty long playlist, but just go for it.

1. Not Over You :: Gavin DeGraw
2. Still Three Shy :: The Pink Spiders
3. Say Something :: A Great Big World
4. For Whom the Bell Tolls :: Metallica
5. Shake It Out :: Florence + The Machine
6. There's A Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven't Thought Of It Yet :: Panic! At the Disco
7. Seven Nation Army :: The White Stripes
8. Death And All His Friends :: Coldplay
9. Time To Dance :: Panic! At the Disco
10. Forget And Not Slow Down :: Relient K
11. Sabotage :: Beastie Boys
12. Illness as a Metaphor :: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson Soundtrack
13. Ho Hey :: The Lumineers
14. Vanilla Twilight :: Owl City
15. Gone, Gone, Gone :: Phillip Phillips
16. Red Hands :: Walk Off the Earth
17. She's Always a Woman :: Billy Joel
18. Of All The Gin Joints In All The World :: Fall Out Boy
19. Get Busy Living Or Get Busy Dying :: Fall Out Boy
20. I Am a Heart :: Hey Ocean!
21. Young At Heart :: Frank Sinatra
22. A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square :: Bobby Darin
23. For the Longest Time :: cover by MC6 A Cappella
24. The Longest Time :: Billy Joel   (yes, two versions of the same song)
25. First Day Of My Life :: Bright Eyes
26. If I Had A Heart :: Fever Ray
27. When Water Comes to Life :: Cloud Cult
28. Happy Lessons :: The Vespers
29. Helena :: My Chemical Romance
30. Movin' On :: Good Charlotte

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Whoops, almost forgot to post!

I have been out shopping all day for my bridal shower gift for a friend, so I completely forgot about posting! Anyway, I will now give you an update. I finished Eleanor & Park, as you know because I already posted my review. Now I'm getting ready to start The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. I have never read any of her books, but I have heard good things and I follow her tumblr, so I have high hopes for this one.

Friday, January 16, 2015

REVIEW: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Released: February 26, 2013
Source: Library
Page Count: 336






Description: Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love—and just how hard it pulled you under.

My Review: I did enjoy this book, but it was hard to get into for me. The beginning was slow, and I felt like I wasn't getting enough information fast enough. I hadn't read any of Rainbow Rowell's writing before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. If I decide to read another one, I think I will be a little better prepared.
The characters seemed a little like caricatures of people instead of real people to me. Maybe it's just the style, but it got to me every once in a while. The general storyline was good, but some of the subplots felt unnecessary to me, especially as they went unresolved at the end, or were resolved kind of haphazardly.
It was a good book, and I'd suggest it to other people I know, but it just wasn't my style. It was set in the 80s, yes, but it was still too contemporary-romance for me.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Thursday Thoughts

Sorry that I don't have anything really interesting today. I am entirely drained. I pulled a muscle in my back whilst shoveling, I had a presentation at work yesterday, I've had three panic attacks this week (not a huge number generally, but I had gotten it down to one a week max for a while, so it sucks to go back), I miss my friends, and I missed a deadline to turn in hours for work because my wifi was out, so my paycheck is going to be pathetic (though I guess my next paycheck will be quite nice).

BUT

In positive news, I have gotten through quite a bit more of Eleanor & Park! I passed the 50-page mark, and couldn't justify quitting, so I will have that finished hopefully tonight or tomorrow. I also get to see my nephews tonight, and I *might* be getting a new car soon! Right now I'm driving my dad's old truck, so a new car that is just mine would be lovely. I haven't been able to afford one, but it's going to happen sometime this winter or spring.

First, though, I have to push myself through work today. The girls deserve my best, so I am going to get some coffee, gather supplies, and listen to my "get pumped" playlist. Maybe I'll share that one next Tuesday, haha. It is very effective.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Writing Wednesday #2

Hey, all! I'm back for take two of Writing Wednesday. It's an adjustment, to be sure. A good one, though, I think.

I still haven't done any editing (whoops) but I DID get some writing done on Twelve. I renamed several of the characters because their names just didn't feel right, and I gave my heroine a medical condition that she didn't have before. It's opened up a lot of different possibilities for the plot and subplots, so I am very excited! It's also opened up a lot of opportunity to make my readers sad and/or angry, but my writing tends toward the melancholy on occasion, so it's nothing anyone will be too surprised about.

I have a ceremony for a troop today, so this is all I have time for, but hopefully by this time next week, I'll have gotten some editing done!


Monday, January 12, 2015

Music Monday :: Waterlilies

Okay, so as stated in my resolutions, I am trying to post EVERY DAY, even if it's something small. So, as I was brainstorming, I decided to fire up some good-old-fashioned memes. In that spirit, welcome to Music Monday! It's going to replace my Playlist feature.


Today, I'm going to share the playlist I used while writing my book, Waterlilies. The book is written, but it's still in editing. I'll let you know when it's finished, but for now, please enjoy the music and get a sense of the feel of the novel.


1. What the Water Gave Me :: Florence + the Machine
2. Ho Hey :: The Lumineers
3. Happy Lessons :: The Vespers
4. Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier :: sung by Erin Ivey
5. He's a Pirate :: Klaus Badelt for the  Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack
6. Stubborn Love :: The Lumineers
7. Grown Ocean :: Fleet Foxes
8. Float :: Flogging Molly
9. "No" He Said :: The Vespers
10. Mako :: Ramin Djawadi for the Pacific Rim soundtrack
11. Dear Sir :: The Vespers
12. The Heart of the Sea :: Flogging Molly
13. When Water Comes to Life :: Cloud Cult
14. If I Had a Heart :: Fever Ray
15. Dead Sea :: The Lumineers

Sunday, January 11, 2015

BTM Review: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

I read this book so long ago that it's hard to remember everything, but it came on tv yesterday, so here is my short review.

The movie was really good. It was different in a thousand small ways, and it was almost like a retelling of the story, but the key components were all there. I was never a superfan, so the little changes didn't bother me. Most of the changes made sense from a cinematic viewpoint. (e.g. the timeline is compressed so the same actor could play Ender throughout, and the kids don't sleep nude because you can't film that.)

Of course, you miss a lot of Ender's thoughts, as it moves basically like a space action movie, but it's dramatic and interesting, and not a waste of time.

I didn't like the ending, but I won't spoil it for you.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

mini-update

I'm still reading Eleanor & Park. I'm kind of slogging through it like four feet of snow. So far, I can't get into it, but I haven't hit the 50-page mark yet (my DNF mark), so I am still trying.

Normally, Saturday should be "Stacking the Shelves" day, but I haven't gotten any new books in a long time. I didn't even get any books for Christmas. My mom has decided to stop supporting my book-buying habit.

Have a good weekend!


Friday, January 9, 2015

Nanowrimo: Editing Your Novel

Welcome to January 2015, folks! For me, January means Nanowrimo editing.

I take December off because heck, I just wrote for a solid month, and I deserve it. Also holidays.

Here are some tips for editing in January.


1. Reread before you edit.
    This is SO IMPORTANT. If, like me, you have taken a break before editing, then you need to re-familiarize yourself. You can't edit something you're unfamiliar with.

2. Yes, the whole thing. 
    I MEAN IT. The whole idea of Nanowrimo is that you write without editing, without going back. Because of this, it's easy to forget certain key things that happen in your novel. You cannot edit what you are not familiar with.

3. Start with the main plot.
    The big things have to be in order. Look over your plot, and if something doesn't make sense, move it around or cut it out.

4. Move on to subplots.
    After you've edited your main plot, some of your subplots may need to be moved around or deleted. They may just no longer be relevant once the main plot has been changed. If you like a subplot for the story, but it no longer works, you could try adjusting it for different characters.

5. THEN fix any spelling or grammar mistakes. 
    If you start with this, then you'll get caught up in the minutiae, making it harder to see the big picture with the plot.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

TBR Update

  1. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell- library
  2. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater- library
  3. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater- library
  4. Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld- mine
  5. The Eternal Ones by Stephanie Miller- mine
  6. Angels & Demons by Dan Brown- mine
  7. Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss- mine
  8. Stardust by Neil Gaiman- mine
  9. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams- mine

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Writing Wednesday #1

I've decided to start doing "Writing Wednesday", where I will post an update of what I'm working on, writing-wise.

So far, I have not written anything in 2015, which I plan on changing very soon. In November, I participated in Nanowrimo, and wrote the first draft of a book I'm calling "Conventional." Here are my broad plans for 2015.

1). Edit my draft of Conventional

2). Edit my draft of Waterlilies (Nanowrimo 2013-- never got around to finishing the edit)

3). Work on Twelve, a fairytale retelling

4). Work on outlines for Project: Misery (not the working title-- I just know it's going to make me miserable because it's a huge undertaking)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: 2015 Resolutions

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post created by The Broke and the Bookish.



I've skipped a lot of days of blogging, and I have skipped a lot of Tuesdays. 
I took a Holiday Hiatus. But it's the epiphany, the last day of Christmas, so hiatus: over. So here are my blogging resolutions for the new year.

1. My Goodreads resolution 
    I am doing the Goodreads Challenge again this year. I challenged myself to 100 books.

2. Review more books
    My reviewing has fallen by the wayside a little. I am hoping to review many more books this year.

3. No more ebooks
    I have tried, but it takes me forever to read them, and it gives me headaches. I'm not going to keep reading ebooks just because people want me to or out of some misplaced sense of pride.

4. Read more classics and adult books
    I've been reading a lot of YA lately, but I have some classics on my TBR.

5. Try to post every day again
    I'm sure I'll miss a few days, but I am going to do my best. I've been slacking for too long.

6. Give better warning when I'm going to go on hiatus
    I'll make a post if it happens again. 

7. Stop overextending myself
    I took on too many reviews, and I shouldn't have. I think I'll take a break from that for a while. It was too much. I'll be getting more hours through work, anyway, so I'll be busier.

8. Edit Conventional, my nanowrimo novel
    I wrote it in November, but it badly needs editing. If/when I self-publish it, I'll post about it.

9. Finish writing Twelve, a fairytale retelling
    I took a break from writing it to work on other projects, but I'm feeling inspired. 

10. Only read what I want
      I read quite a few books last year just to review because I thought I should. This year, I resolve only to read books that I want to read.