Wednesday, June 29, 2016

June Favorites 2016

It is over halfway through the year, and so far it has been the best year for me yet.

Quick Update: I have been having Bible studies basically every morning. I went strawberry picking and helped make jam. I almost finished formatting my novel, and I am about to give it to my brother for him to read (on a completely unrelated note, I have also taken to stress eating and pacing). I dyed 3/4ths of my hair blue (just for fun), and also stained part of my neck, hands, and eyebrows blue for a week or so. I watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens for the 3rd time and still had a heart attack when those words started scrolling across the screen. I lost about a third of the edited part of my novel and had to go through and re-edit it. I died of old age whilst STILL waiting for The Raven King to get to the library. #needatimeturner


I have been a fan of all the books Brandon Mull has written, and this series is no exception. This is the fourth book, and it did not disappoint. I am even more excited for #5 which I guess means that #4 did it's job.

The Impossible Knife of Memory was recommended by a blogger I follow, and I DEVOURED IT. It was very intense and deep whilst maintaining a certain lighthearted aspect that balanced it perfectly. As soon as a certain character was introduced, I knew that I would spend the entire book wanting more sarcastic and witty one-liners from him. 


Not only is this song super relaxing, but it's also a really good worship song. I can't seem to stop listening to it

Guess who's all grown up? Guess who made an appearance on Mako Mermaids? Guess who is successful and still rockin' a tail?

I am very attached to H20: Just Add Water as it basically embodies my childhood, and when I saw Rikki on Mako Mermaids, I kind of died. It was great. Of course, the first thing I did was get my sister and babble about how "Rikki's here!" It was great.

Blog Posts
Because self-promotion and sarcasm.

Everyone must read this, it should be law. 

Beautiful People: Fiona (June 2016) - Further up, further in
Wonderful characters! Inspiration! 

Love Your Book - To the Barricade! 
Every writer, artist, or insert profession here could use this.

Because TRUTH

f r a m e s - Morgan & Heart
All the lovely pictures. 

I literally have been inhaling tea more than anything this month, though I did cheat and have some coffee because WHO CARES ABOUT ALLERGIES? Not this peep. 

I have found that salmon is a delicacy of which I can not get enough of. This year for Father's Day, we had a nice dinner with my grandparents, and we had salmon and an assortment of other delightful foods, but mainly salmon. It was delectable. 

TV Show

I know what you're all thinking, why is the person who watches H20: Just Add Water and When Calls the Heart (just to name a few of the preciouses) watching a TV show that is TV-MA for violence? BECAUSE IT'S AMERICA (and because I have a high tolerance for these things). This show is PRECIOUS. I can't get over how good it is. For a while, I wasn't planning on watching it because of the rating, but then I thought, "You know what? I am an adult  capable of making good decisions smart. If it gets to be too much, I'll just step away and have a Bible study."
The characters are all adorable avocados.

I have been anxiously awaiting the day that I could see Zootopia for a while, and I finally did. It was so fun because I got to see it with some family friends. We were all melting into puddles of laughter the entire way through. I would say that this movie has some of the most...sophisticated  dark mature-ish humor in any Disney movies I've seen in awhile. Not the "oh I never got that as a kid" humor, but more of a "I can relate to that as an older person who has experienced that". 

Basically every character that came one screen, I wanted to hug and squish and squeal because they were all just SO CUTE. Though I'm sorry, I know being called cute is offensive to rabbits. *nods wisely* I have learned much from this film. Though it does conflict with the Hoodwinked lesson that I learned at a very young age (Never trust a bunny).

Despite that fact that some bunnies are shifty, recipe stealing monsters, Judy was adorable and sweet. The best part was, I think everyone in the audience was able to identify with her in some small way, so the entire movie was actually really inspiring and had a great message. 

Mummy, can I have one?


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Sophie - Beautiful People June 2016

Welcome, one and all, to this month's Beautiful People: For Writers. The June theme is childhood. Fun, right? This month I will be focusing on one of my latest novel ideas, and the MC of that; Sophie. 

My WIP Strange Sights is kind of crazy and magically insane, but I love it dearly.

Quick bit of backstory: Sophie...sees things that others don't. She doesn't know what she sees, why she sees it, or how. All she knows is that all her life of growing up in the green hills of Scotland, she has always seen these things, and they have seen her. For the most part, they have kept their distance, until the day she turns 13 and they attack. 

What is their first childhood memory?
Sophie's first memory is of when she was a toddler. She was walking by the waterfront and something that wasn't her mother or father (or human) was holding her hand. That was the first encounter with them.

What was their best and worst childhood experiences?
Sophie's best experience was riding on the back of a unicorn, and her worst was being shut in the closet for hours by kids at her school that called her crazy. She was only 6 years old. 
What was their childhood home like?
Her home was really good. For a couple years, her parents were at their wits end with her because she would come home with tales of creatures she had seen and have terrible nightmares, but soon after, she learned to keep her mouth shut, and everything was perfect. 

What’s something that scared them as child?
There was one of them that would watch her while she slept. She would wake up to it standing over her bed, and she would scream, but of course, when her parents came running, they could never find anything wrong. It hasn't missed a night for years.
Who did they look up to most?
She doesn't really look up to anyone. Her parents don't understand what's going on with her, the kids at school think she's insane, and her grandmother (who used to read her fairytales as if they were fact) passed on Sophie's ninth birthday. 
Favourite and least favourite childhood foods?  
Favorite: Scones and coffee, because that's what her grandmother would have, and so would Sophie. Sophie would always feel very grownup drinking coffee. 
Least Favorite: Her grandmother would also serve haggis.

If they had their childhood again, would they change anything?
When the novel first starts, she would take away all the strange things she saw, and replace them with friends, no more nightmares, and no more hours spent lost in the forests from chasing the creatures. 
What kind of child were they? Curious? Wild? Quiet? Devious?
She was quiet, wild, curious, and bitter at a very young age. 
What was their relationship to their parents and siblings like?
Her parents regarded her as fragile and delusional up until she learned to stay quiet about what she saw, then they were a happy family. She is an only child, and she loves her parents very dearly, but because of what she sees, it makes everything difficult
What did they want to be when they grew up, and what did they actually become?
When she was little, she wanted to be a mermaid, but then she found out what they were really like and began to despise them. Then she wanted to be a professional tap dancer, but after that fizzled out, she settled upon drawing. It calms her and helps her to get all of what she sees out of her mind. When she grows up, she is actually an artist/lawyer (it works, I promise. You'll have to read the book to find out how.) 


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Birthday Vacay! - 2016

The vacation for my sister's birthday was super fun. We went to Victoria BC (in Canada. Where else would Victoria BC be?) in honor of her 17th birthday, which I am still convinced wasn't real. She just turned 15! How did this happen?

We got to the hotel, got settled, and drove around Victoria for dinner. We found a sign for a bookstore, and I begged and pleaded asked nicely if we could go in. Of course, with my luck, we couldn't find it, but we ended up finding the place we would eat at for dinner. We then bought coconut ice cream and blueberries. Once everyone was all ready for bed and tired, that's when I made tea and read until I could barely keep my eyes open.

As soon as I woke up, I made more tea and read. Yes, I know you're supposed to not read on a vacation, but I couldn't help it! Firefight was so good!!
We walked around Chinatown and investigated quite a few small bookstores and shops.

I'm in the purple. 

After walking around and buying a few books because I have no self-control, we found ourselves by a really super healthy restaurant. I expected to not be impressed by birdseed, but then I found that I enjoyed birdseed when it was in a soup/veggie bowl that was positively delicious. I'm healthy now!Quick Note: I do believe that is the first picture of myself that I have ever posted on here! Granted, it's just my back, but still, monumental occasion.

This was a veggie bowl that we had.
There was a delightful chocolate place that I graced with my chocolate knowledge. We bought our chocolate goodies and continued to walk around, enjoying the sights and MORE BOOKSTORES! 
That's right, I found even more bookstores and tried to buy all the books because I have no self control. 
And it had two escalators! Up and down, which I rode more than once. 
Because I am a child. 
Who love escalators. 
A lot. 

We found a place called DavidsTea that was positively enchanting! It's kind of like Teavana, but better. Sorry Teavana. We were able to get some tea and sit in the cushy comfy couchy area they provided. In fact, I have been recently informed by a reliable source also known as my mother that DavidsTea just opened a shop in the mall near my home. Celebration! Jovial merriment! 
We went back to the hotel, swam in the pool, and then went to bed. It was a good day.

We were on a time crunch, trying to eat breakfast and get ready as fast as we could because we had a reservation and, dangit, we were going to be on time! What was this oh so important, like changing reservation for? For ziplining! 
I've been ziplining before, in Arkansas, but it was just one mile long zipline that was so fun! But before that, I was Little Evangeline in Victoria BC, standing on a ziplining platform and shaking with fear. Little Me chickened out. Now, years later, I returned with a vengeance. It was so fun! It was all hardcore ziplining, and on one of the ziplines, it felt like flying. 
After ziplining, we went back to the hotel and had a pretty lazy evening. Luckily, my mother and I were able to gather everyone up to take a walk around the park nearby. We took the walk around around sunset, and it was just lovely. 

We went back to the super healthy restaurant from before and had a breakfast of granola, almond milk, tea, and a green smoothie. 
We watched a couple movies on the drive back. The weather was beautiful and warm, and it was the perfect end to a vacation. 


Friday, June 17, 2016

Finding Dory aka FINALLY

Today is a day that will go down in history.

I can't be the only one freaking out about this. In fact, I know that I am not the only one freaking out about this. Despite the fact that Finding Nemo came out when I was almost 2, I still grew up watching it, rewatching, and then rewatching again. It was the movie.

When it was announced that they were making a second movie, Finding Dory, and releasing it 13 years later, I didn't know quite what to think. I was pretty sure that it was going to be another sequel that wasn't as good as the original, and it was just a money-grab. At first I avoided trailers/sneak peeks/clips like the plague. I boarded all of my windows and doors, and sat in the corner, shivering with fear that I would be infected.

Then I began to see the light -- figuratively and literally. Who knew that when your windows aren't boarded, it lets in light? Show of hands. #themoreyouknow
Now I am ecstatic for Finding Dory because, let's face it, it's going to be good. Just watch this trailer. Watch it. Right now.

There. Now wasn't that good? 

I can't believe it took 13 years!! Then again, it is taking 14 years for an Incredibles sequel. Now that movie was my jam. 


Monday, June 13, 2016

Totally Should've Book Tag

*bursts in with a crash* *throws confetti* *victory screech*

I was tagged! By none other than the beautiful butterfly from Golden Scribblings aka Monica. *waves* Thank you, Monica!

I've actually been eyeing this tag for a week or so and was considering falling back into my ol' pirating days, but alas, I was saved from a life of crime.  And I'm a sucker for bookish tags, so why would I resist doing yet another?

Where: This blog.
When: Right now.
Why: Because I want to (and because someone tagged me. Bless their hearts.)
How: Just like this.

Totally should've had a sequel  

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. It was a good book, but it wasn't a good LAST book. It left me wanting to know more, and not in a good way. There was a certain character very dear to my heart that just kind of...drifted away into the sunset (literally), and that was that. I need more. 

Totally should've had a spinoff series  
The Harry Potter books. A million times. I don't care what the spinoff series is about: Dumbledore's years going to Hogwarts, a Marauders spinoff, Harry Potter: The Next Generation. I don't care, I just want my HP spinoff series. 

An author who totally should write more books  
Shannon Messenger, hands down. Coincidentally, I'm waiting on edge for the fifth book in a series of hers to be released. Write faster!

Someone who totally should've ended up with someone else
So, my feelings are complicated on this one. The first thing that comes to mind is (for those of you who have not read Fablehaven, but plan to, cover your ears, you innocent little darlings) 

Gavin and Kendra. I was rooting for them. Hardcore. Gavin was a stuttering sweetheart who was protective of Kendra, but then it turns out that he's actually a dragon. What?! Plot twist. Don't get me wrong, I love Bracken. He is wonderful, but I just really liked Gavin. 

Totally should've ended differently
The Blood of Olympus. 
The Book Thief. Once again, for those of you who don't know how it ended, cover your ears. 

I was crying. And yes, I cry over books kind of often (I'm not crying, you're crying. Whatever.), but this book was heart wrenching. It doesn't help that the movie was also so good and all innocent feeling until BOOM darkness and explosions and death. 
I would have the ending be: And the war ended, and Liesel and Rudy stayed friends until they were old enough to get married, have a million children, and live happily ever after. The End.

 Totally should've had a movie franchise
Fablehaven needs to have a movie franchise. I want to see Fablehaven come alive on screen. If it did ever become a movie franchise, the world would be a better place. I would pay all my money to see it.

Totally should've had a TV show
This needs to be redeemed. 
Totally Should've Had Only One POV
I don't really read a whole lot of books with a changing POV, but I will say that I would have liked to have more Percy POV in the Blood of Olympus. I know, I know, I'm going to be the old lady ranting about books that came out 50 years ago. I have accepted this fact. 

Totally Should've Had a Cover Change

Seriously though, this cover makes it look like something that I would never read. It looks like a really cliche "tween" book about a lost princess or something. 

Totally should've stopped at book one
I know that so many people love this series with a passion, which is why I'm kind of hesitant to share this one choice, but #hatersgonnahate.

I like this book, I really do. There was even a point where I loved it. I bought it for goodness sake, but Insurgent wasn't as good, and Allegiant was the worst. Though I will say, I applaud Veronica Roth for that ending. Bravo. 

Totally Should've Stopped Reading
I don't have a lot of books that I wanted to stop reading. Hmm, I'll get back to you.

Totally Shouldn't Have Prejudged
I judged TFIOS so hard when my sister was reading it. When everyone saw the movie, and you had to get a picture of you crying in front of the poster or you weren't a true teen (#neverforget), I was in the background hissing at all the trailers and advertising. I was convinced that it would be just another silly YA book about an unrealistic romance and protagonist. And I was right, but I was also wrong. It was a good book. Yes, I ended up reading it, but I wasn't happy about it until I had finished the entire book. 
I have to admit that it was a good book, just maybe not as good as everyone was saying. 

Thank you again for tagging me, Monica! This was awesome. :)

What are some books that you prejudged? Do you cry easily when reading?

Thursday, June 9, 2016

A 10-Step Program to Becoming a Writer

I saw something the other day that said, "Do you want to become a writer? A 10-step guide to becoming a writer." That struck me as funny. For some reason, I'm over here struggling to come up with good, original content that is public-worthy, when I could just get a 10-step program to writing the next best-seller! Why didn't I think of a 10-step program?

So here is my 10-step program for those who want to become a writer overnight*.

*This is a dramatization and sarcasm may also be involved. 

#1 Start talking to yourself.
This one is so important to becoming a writer. You can talk to yourself, the wall, or the characters inside your head. Whatever feels most natural.

#2 Start observing people.
When you're having a conversation, listen for the dialogue patterns, mannerisms of speech, and quirks. Make sure it gets to the point that you can't have a good conversation without thinking about the subject as if you were a character.

#3 Find something you can eat (or drink) while you write AND OBSESS
I don't mean just find something you like, say cheetos, and eat them during writing. That's only a small part of it. For most of the day you should be thinking about that food or drink in the back of your mind. Make sure that when you sit down and write, you can't do it without said item. When the power goes out, you should have a meltdown because you can't get to the food or drink item.

#4 Find your genre.

Find your prefered genre, whether that be fantasy, sci-fi, historical fiction, or whatever your niche is, and begin to hold on to that genre like it's your favorite stuffed animal. When you write in another genre, make sure you're really confused and wishing that you had that stuffed animal back.

#5 Make impossible deadlines.
I don't mean I have to write 2,000 words before lunch. I'm talking about the super realistic, I have to finish this novel by the end of the week or I am a failure. That point usually hits when you've met the halfway mark. And if you don't meet that deadline? Well of course you become a little puddle of emotion and broken dreams.

#6 Choose a character(s) that you torture.
This step is pretty flexible. You can choose any number of characters to torture. In fact, the more the better. Somehow, this character ends up an orphan, a war veteran with PTSD, an amputee, and then they get in a car accident or their best friend dies. You have to make sure to feel kind of bad, but also excited about what you're putting these characters through.

#7 Pinterest
This is a crucial step. You must spend at least 3 hours a day cruising through Pinterest for "inspiration" when you were supposed to be writing. It also helps if a family member comes in and asks what you're doing. The obligatory response is I'm just trying to get inspired. Then you should spend another half an hour on there for good measure.

#8 Become a music addict.
By this step, you should be itching to come up with at least ten playlists of music specifically tailored to each character, environment, and plot point. The more playlists you have, the better.

#9 Overplan
Before you've even written the first draft, you should be thinking about editing and all the other things you're going to have to do to get this novel ready to publish. Start side planning a couple other novels (we'll visit these in step 10). You should be scheduling the next couple months so that you get your novel finished (with impossible standards that will never actually be realized, of course).

At this point, you should have planned your novel to the very last detail, and you should have created multiple Pinterest boards, made playlists, and acquired your food or drink that you love. You are ready to write. Just one small problem... You have used all of your inspiration on this prep and now want to write the other novels that you side planned in step 9.

There it is. My 10-Step program for all of those who wish to become bestselling authors (or just writers in general).

What do you think? Did I miss a step?


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Winter: My Thoughts

This post will be divided into two parts. One part will be general fangirling and discussion (will contain spoilers from bk 1-3), and then the second half will be my thoughts on Winter (for those who have not yet read Winter, you can just skip that part). 

I would like to start out by saying this series is one of the best books to have happened to me this year. It's fluffy and happy, while keeping the stakes high and threat looming at all times. Everything about these books is just so SHIPPABLE. The characters are darling, and even more darling together. I just have so many feelings about this series. I have yet to read Stars Above, but I will soonI am number 28 on the hold list. Why must the library torture me so? Clearly everyone else doesn't want it as badly as I do, so they should deliver it into my clutches.
Some things I love about the series: 
I get quite impatient with stories that claim to be "a fresh take on the classic fairy tales", but end up being the very same fairytale. There is nothing fresh about only changing the name and era, but the Lunar Chronicles does not disappoint! It takes it's responsibility as a new fairytale quite seriously. In fact, I can't call it a fairytale because it is so different! It does take some cues from the story, but it also is it's own strong, independent series who don't need no fairytale. And the characters themselves are no exception.

Cinder - Darling, you are perfect.
Cinder is a tough mechanic who isn't afraid to get her hands dirty and do what it takes. She is also ready to don a ballgown and look stunning as she steals the heart of the dashing prince/emperor. I love that she is a cyborg Cinderella, because who wouldn't love that? Her character development is subtle, but still manages to be so believably drastic. She is awesome.

Scarlet - Dearest, never change.
Scarlet is fierce. She is a bold, perfect little redhead who is loyal to a fault. She goes after her grandmother with every ounce of strength she has, willing to die for her family. When Wolf shows up, she is hesitant to trust him, then she does, then she doesn't, then she does again (it's a rollercoaster). She wears a red hoodie and carries a gun. She is sweet and deadly, sarcastic and sincere. She is very quick witted and resourceful, and she doesn't give up easily. Scarlet, you rock.

Cress - Precious cinnamon roll, you are adorable.
Cress is wonderful. She is a sweet, innocent hacker who is quite starstruck by a certain rapscallion. I feel like she encompasses most of us who are reading this series: Stalks attractive men on the internet, never rarely leaves her home, and is more than happy to be stranded in the desert with said rapscallion. I've heard talk of Cress being annoying because of her "infatuation" with Thorne, and I will admit, at times I was wondering when she would let go of her fantasy, but then I thought about it, and I realized that he was basically what gave her a distraction from her restricted life. She had barely any interaction with people, so it would be no shock for her to latch onto an idea of someone. She starts out quite naive, though she is learning how to find her bravery and "inner warrior".

                                                       Winter Thoughts                                                    

Basically the entire book.
I loved this book. There was so much happening, but it didn't feel over crowded. About 7/8 of the way through the novel, I was wondering how everything was going to be resolved because things looked quite bleak for our heroes. A+ storytelling. I am quite satisfied with the conclusion, and it wrapped things up nicely, though it was left open to some degree. It wasn't like, "And then they got into their minivan and had 2.5 children and a white picket fence until they were 89." Ta-da!! Story complete.
I am so glad that it wasn't like that, because to be honest, that's one thing that really disappointed me about the Hunger Games. I'm glad to know that Katniss is happy and is living well, but it wrapped everything up in a bow and gave it to us too easily (in my opinion). But Winter did no such thing, which I am very grateful for.
My best books of 2015

Winter was quite an emotional rollercoaster. I went from horrified, to squealing at all the adorable characters, to gasping as Cress was FREAKING STABBED. After the end of that chapter, I had to go help with dinner, and then it was time to eat dinner, and then we had a bonfire, and THEN I was finally able to finish Winter. I was kind of slowly dying throughout the entire dinner.

Usually when books have more than one romantic plot-line, I can't stand it (exception: The Heroes of Olympus. That series is golden), but with the entire Lunar Chronicles, I was fangirling and being a typical silly teenage girl. I felt like Cress when she first met Thorne.

I would just like to mention all of the character development that was spectacular! I mean, Cress alone...

And then Cinder, and Scarlet, AND WOLF. Wolf, precious. He is so intimidating on the outside, but I feel like if he saw a butterfly, he would just sort of...wander after it.

Winter is adorable and must be protected at all costs. I wish that I could just wrap her in bubble wrap so she can never get hurt again, but at least her guard is there for her. Speaking of Jacin: grumpy people who care so much about one person are my favorite thing ever.

This book was amazing, and I want to buy the series, which means that it was truly wonderful. Only the most magical of books make their way to my shelf. Though I am perplexed, what do I do now?

Winter was fabulous. Go read it. 


Friday, June 3, 2016

My Goals for Summer 2016

Summer is just around the corner, long days, clear nights, and bonfires already beginning to show their face.
The world is so big, and summer holds a certain magic that can't be matched. People get the idea that they can do anything during the summer, and I am one of those people. I have a lot of plans and ideas that come with the sunny days warm nights, and goodness knows I'm going to try to do them all.

Go Camping
Camping, I hear, is popular with the kids these days. I've loved camping for as long as I can remember. One of the best feelings in the world is waking up to sunlight encasing your tent, birds chirping as your alarm. Mornings seem so magical when I camp, and the days are even better, wading through rivers, jumping into lakes, and swinging from rope swings. On clear nights, the stars shine brighter than anything in the world.


Go Stargazing
One of my favorite sights in the world is the sky filled with stars, like "millions of fireflies stuck in that blue-ish black-ish thing". I want to go to the lake and lay on the dock with blankets and hot cocoa, stargazing.  

Eat lots of Watermelon
This one is kind of self-explanatory for any self-respecting watermelon lover. Watermelon is a staple in my summer diet, and I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Visit Aquarium 
I'm kind mesmerized by aquariums, like a baby staring at a ceiling fan. I haven't been to one in years. I hope this summer that changes. Fish are so varied and their scales are beautiful shimmering in the murky blue. Why wouldn't I want to sit there staring for hours?

Go to the Beach
As much as possible. Spontaneous beach trips are one of my favorite things.

See Every Part of the World I Can
I'm still a teenager that has no money, so I can't very well travel to Europe on my own, cliff jumping, skydiving, and exploring caves to my heart's content, but I can try to see every corner of the world around me. I know there are beautiful places near my city that I haven't been, so I might as well see them.