Monday, November 28, 2016

November Favorites 2016| Stranger Things and Concerts + OMG GILMORE GIRLS

Life Update:
  • I completed NaNoWriMo with quite a few days to spare. 
  • I attended a few writing meeting thingies that made me feel as though I had achieved #officialwriterstatus
  • I went to WinterJam, and IT WAS BASICALLY THE BEST CONCERT EVER. I saw some artists that I have ADORED since I was a wee tadpole. I was expecting it to be much more lowkey (I mean, it was a Christian concert), but it was in the Tacoma Dome (For those of you who do not know, the Tacoma Dome is massive), and there was confetti raining from the sky, balloons drifting through the crowds, and a disco ball painting the audience with stars. It was legit,
  • I killed my housplant. Less than a month, you guys, and it was dead! Clearly no living thing wants to be around me longer than 30 days. I kept the pot though, so that's a fun memory...
  • I'm panicking over Christmas. I was determined to be on top of this FOR ONCE this year, but guess what, I am most definitely not.  
  • I didn't write a Thanksgiving post because clearly I am a grumpy, unthankful wretch. That's the reason for sure. 
  • I woke up at 3:00 in the morning to go Black Friday shopping (for the first time ever), and it was not as hard as I thought it would be, but at the same time...
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  • That's not really a life update.
  • Just thought I'd let you know...
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And I Darken: This was an intense, political, serious book. 
“I think of you like a sister," he said. "Like a brilliant, violent, occasionally terrifying sister that I would follow to the ends of earth, in part because I respected her so much and in part because I feared what she would do to me of I refused. "

She nodded. "I would do awful things.” 
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Lada every day of her life.
My Goodreads review says more, but overall, THIS WAS SO GOOD. Though there is a content warning to those who are cautious of those sorts of things.  

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I stumbled upon Britt Nicole's latest album about a month ago, and I have been obsessing about it ever since. BUT THEN I WENT TO WINTER JAM AND SAW HER PERFORM LIVE. It was so incredible because I had completely forgotten that she was going to be there.
My favorites are: "Heart of Stone", "Through Your Eyes", "Concrete", and "Pave".

I was introduced to Oceans by Oceans about two weeks ago. IT HAS TAKEN OVER MY LIFE. When I listen to it, I feel like I have my life together and the world is right again. It is so peaceful, and also #hipster. 

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She is SAVAGE. I would love to be as 1) Ambitious as an aardvark, 2) RUTHLESS as a raven, and 3) honest as a hippo.
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Even if it doesn't make sense...
Blog Post
Beautiful Books 2016| Do's and Don'ts of How To Share Your Novel + MY PUPPY by An Odd Blog ➛ Because SELF-PROMOTION and also, please see how adorable my puppy is. He is precious to me.

7 Types Of NaNo-ers You'll See This Month by To the Barricade! ➛ Because this is so accurate it hurts. 

How to Win NaNo in 3 Days by PaperFury ➛ Because #WRITINGMASTER. We all bow down at your skills, Cait.

Slytherin Problems + Jon Foreman up a tree by Acoustic Erin ➛ Because I adore these life updates/random little things. They're fun. 

Finding Heart// In Which I Love My First Drafts by To the Barricade ➛ Because THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I NEED TO KEEP IN MIND. I am very critical, and I definitely felt like this was aimed at me.
Conscience: Hey, this sounds familiar.... 
Me: Oh hush.
Conscience: I think I know someone who is too hard on their work.
Me: Do you now?
Conscience: It-
Me: Don't say it.
Conscience: is-
Me: You can be quiet now.
Conscience: YOUUU

i've been thinking too much: positivity by Acoustic Erin ➛ Because....see above conversation. 

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I was very posh this month, and I drank all my tea from a delicate teacup that basically made me the queen of England. #bowtome 

I also drank approximately my weight in apple cider. Though I suppose that doesn't tell you much because you don't know how much I weigh. It could be 20 or 200... 

All the Thanksgiving foods!! So much turkey and pie. Bless this great country of freedom and food. It is days like this that I am proud to be American. #stuffyourface

TV Show
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I am officially obsessed with Stranger Things. I have already adopted all of these children and no one shall hurt them ever. JO MARCH IS ALL GROWN UP AND A FRANTIC MOTHER. Also, I'm pretty sure I called a major plot twist within the first twenty minutes BUT THAT'S OKAY BECAUSE I WILL SELL MY SOUL FOR SEASON 2.

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The children are precious, and I love how intense it gets. It swept the nation. At first, I was determined to not like it, but then I actually gave it a try, and it was like I had seen the most beautiful thing.

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  • All of the actors seem to know their characters inside out, and they portrayed them perfectly. 
  • Jo is one of my heroes to this very day, and it was a little strange (heh heh, see what I did there? "Strange"?? nevermind...) to see her chasing after monsters.
  • And all the lights were soooo preeetty. 
  • Jonathan confused me, tbh. One moment, he was all sweet and adorable, and then the next he was Creeper McCreeperton. 
  • But it's all good because I love him anyway. 
Image result for gilmore girls 2016 a year in the life

YOU GUYS DON'T EVEN UNDERSTAND. I have been waiting for these four episodes for my whole life. But it was over far too quickly.

Netflix: In a year you will have four more episodes!
Me: Wow! That's so exciting!
Netflix: it's alMOST HERE!
Me: Only two days away.
Me: Oh wow!
Netflix: Aaand that's it.

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Can we take a moment to appreciate how different both of these movies are? I find my tastes in movies hilariously odd. 

Me Before You: I knew I would like it because, let's be honest, HELLO SAM CLAFLIN. 
I loved everything about this movie. First and foremost, this was the most adorable,"stuff-a-pillow-in-your-mouth-because-you-can't-keep-from-squealing-like-a-newborn-swine" movie. 

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Usually the "love-hate" relationships in romance movies go as follows.

Person1: I hate the world.
Person2: Okay.
Person1: You'll never get me to like you, either.
Person2: That's fine.
Person1: You convinced me. I adore you.

But this was legit "love-hate" that gave me all the happy feels. The ending was unexpected, but I'm not upset for any reason. It was a very innocent movie, and I appreciated it. It was definitely predictable, but it was just a beautiful movie, so I honestly didn't mind. It left me feeling kind of dreamy, and like I could do anything. IT WAS JUST REALLY SWEET, OKAY?

Suicide Squad: Let me be clear. This wasn't a favorite. It was kind of a mixed bag. Maybe I shouldn't have included it, but I figured I would because #myturfmyrules

It was definitely not perfect. It was also not horrible. It was flashy and bright and really weird (but not in the way they were trying for). There were a few moments that I loved. If only they had taken those moments and expanded upon them/ACTUALLY GIVEN THEIR MAIN CHARACTERS JUST THAT -- CHARACTER, then this movie could have been great.

My favorite part of the whole movie was this precious cinnamon roll right here:

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He and Harley were the only two complex characters. I honestly loved him so much. I wish that this movie had focused more heavily on El Diablo. 

The pacing of the movie was off, and it never truly felt like the movie had started. There was no real inciting incident. It felt watered down and jumbled. Each piece of action kept happening right after the next, and there was no time for reaction to it.

The villain wasn't scary. She was flashy and "creepy", but all she really did was belly dance  some magic (literally, she belly-dances instead of waving a wand or something) and POOF, there was a bit of smoke. Yeah...that was it.

I give this movie about 3 stars. It was mostly unimpressive, but there were a few shining moments that gave me hope, only to squash it once again.

What's your favorite movie you've seen this month? What book? (Music, drinks, TV shows. What are ya'll into right now?) Tell me about your month! 


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Just For Fun - Because We Can

A week or so ago, I noticed a decline in comments on a couple of my posts. Then I got to looking at other blogs and their comments. How do they have so many? Even blogs that have just started have upwards of 25 comments.
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My thoughts were as follows:
- Wow, what happened to my comments?
- I wonder if my views are down.
- Pssh, whatevs. I'm sure it's nothing.
- But what if it is something...?
- Stop overreacting, you weirdo.
- I'm sure it's normal to go through ebbs and flows of views.
- *sneaks over to all the blogs I follow*
- Nope, it's just me. They all have tons of comments and views. 
- I'm sure that's normal. I mean, they have been doing this for...
- 3 WEEKS? What? How do you already have 1000 followers?
- This is unfair.
- Why does my blog matter if no-one reads it?

Obviously I was overreacting because YOU BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE READ IT! *waves* Hello. But it really brought up something that I think needs to be addressed. Now I'm not saying that just because I wrote this up, the world will become magically fixed and we will all live in harmony, though that would be the ideal situation...

What happened to doing things just for the sake of doing them? 

All of my life, I have been told that I can make a difference in this world. All of my actions should direct me towards a future of reaching thousands with my words of wisdom. At least that was what I thought...

Recently I've been running into this problem more than ever before. A short while ago, when I was editing my novel (which is the source of all my mental issues), I started down a dangerous thought process. I started to think "what does my novel matter anyway? No one's going to read it. Why am I writing it? Should I even keep going?" 

Excuse me, I just need to go back in time and hit Past Me over the head with a brick. 

  • I was deciding I was going to fail before I even started. Who says that my work won't become the next Harry Potter? Who says that no one is going to read my books? They might become as famous as Lord of the Rings! Or I could fail and crash and burn, my literary career dying a horrible and fiery death.
  • What does it matter if no one reads my work? I love writing, so why shouldn't I do it? 
  • If it makes me happy, what does it matter whose life it changes?

This seems to be a popular theme in our society. We all get so caught up in trying to be the best person we can be and to make an impact on the world. We've been fed stories of people with great destinies doing amazing things with every moment, and now we strive to be those heroes. 

I definately believe that it is great to want to use every moment of your time wisely, furthering your life and blessing others around you, but SERIOUSLY, what happened to doing something for no other great reason than because you love it? 

That's the whole reason why I started this blog. I was just a wee little lass who loved writing about her day and who didn't care if others read it or not. It's so easy to get caught up in views, likes, all the people who see your work, and who you can reach with it, but I want to take a step back. I want to start doing things, not because that's where my talent lies or because it can help others (though you should help others as much as possible), but because I simply want to do it. Because it's fun. 

You know what? Even though all my stick figures look worse than caveman drawings, and I don't actually know what all the letters on the drawing pencils mean, I'm going to draw the best gosh-darn flower I can. For no reason. 

What do you do "just for fun"? And do you agree with me? Do you like drawing? Why did you start your blog (if you have one)? (tons of questions to choose from here. Look at me being all accommodating...)

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child || My Thoughts + BEWARE OF SPOILERS



There was a lot wrong with this book, but there were also things that I enjoyed. I don't even know where to start. 

The Good
SCORPIUS. PRECIOUS HUMAN. Every interaction between him and Rose was my favorite thing in this universe (no, of course I'm not exaggerating. Don't be ridiculous). 
I want to see more of Scorpius!! He was adorably kind, smart, and hilarious. He had a very well-rounded personality. Sure, he had a lot of problems, but he didn't let it all get the better of him. One of my favorite parts of his character was when he pounced on Albus and said, "Listen up, you self-centered idiot, you're being a rubbish friend and human being." That was a moment when I truly got to see a raw glimpse of how much he had lived through and become a better person for it. 

There were some lines here and there that made me grin because for a second, Ron, Harry, and Hermione were exactly how they should be. Then they would open their mouth again, which brings us to the bad. 

The Bad
FROM PAGE 1 THE CHARACTERS WERE NOT RIGHT. It was as though someone had read the Cliffnotes version of the original series and picked out the most annoying parts of the original trio to focus on. Harry was not at all the snarky dork we love and remember, but he was a darker version (which in moderation, would have been positively brilliant, but it was all his character was) that was prone to angry outbursts at every moment. 

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If his character had some lighter moments, it would have added gravity to the darker emotions he felt, but him being constantly upset, concerned, and angry cheapened it. 

Hermione was bossy and hardly loving towards Ron. She lost all of her character development. Ron was the comic relief, but it came at odd times and was never actually funny. He had a few good lines, but then they were erased as soon as he cracked his next lame joke at an awkward moment. 

A lot of the book was centered on growing up an orphan. 

  • Harry faced it constantly and even challenged Dumbledore on why he subjected Harry to years of abuse and torment. 
  • Delphi wanted more than anything to be loved and know her father. 
  • Even Scorpius felt abandoned and alone from the rumors. 
Honestly, all of this would have been brilliant, in moderation!!! But the theme of the book was forced upon us so strongly, I wasn't able to actually feel true sorrow for the characters. It was reminding us at every turn to pity them, so much so, that it pitied them for us, leaving us with nothing to do but watch emotionlessly. 

The Moment That Made Me Mad
It was when Harry and the rest of them stayed to watch Lily and James be killed by Voldemort. It was when I read the line "No, please, don't take him. Don't take my son. I will do anything.". 

This is Lily Potter. 
This is LILY "take no tomfoolery from James" POTTER. She wouldn't beg. She stood and fought for her son. She didn't beg. That made me so upset because it took away from the sacrifice she made. She would never beg.

In the end, there was a lot that felt off to me. I am glad that I read it, but I definately can see why others dislike it so. I am going to accept it as something that exists, but nothing official because 

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Beautiful Books 2016| Do's and Don'ts of How to Share Your Novel + PICTURES OF MY PUPPY

We are well into NaNoWriMo, and I feel like I'm doing pretty well.

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Nah, I'm fine. I've been able to do lots of artistic things! Like procrastinating water-coloring, putting up lots of pretty lights, and photography! There has been small amounts of writing that is mostly frantic scribbling but we'll pretend like it's gold. 

Overall, how is your mental state, and how is your novel going?

It's good. I'm stressed, but when am I not? I'm pressed for time, but when am I not? I'm feeling good about all I'm accomplishing in a short amount of time, but when am I not? 
What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?
"Sprig Jackson was staring out the window again."
Who’s your current favorite character in your novel?
Okay, what makes you think I can pick favorites? Because Tyler I can't Tyler pick Tyler favorites.
What do you love about your novel so far?
I love watching my crazy, shabby little novel being turned into a shining piece of art that I can be proud of. Because yeah, I'm proud of it. It may still kind of suck, but I am proud.

Have you made any hilarious typos or other mistakes?

Well, I made this hilarious mistake where I FORGOT TO GIVE THEM CURRENCY OR A WAY OF PAYING FOR THINGS LIKE FOOD. Yeah, real hilarious...

What is your favorite to write: beginning, middle, or end -- and why?

My favorite is the end. Because there's a huge battle usually that includes bloodshed and heartbreak and DEATH, so that's super fun to write. Also, in the end there's the matter of the last line. I love writing the last line for two reasons.
  • It isn't a close to the story so much as a different beginning. Because when the story ends, that's when the readers can begin to imagine what happens next.
  • just kidding
  • I love writing
  • "The End" in my book translates to "I am free"
  • until editing begins

What are your writing habits? (Is there a specific snack you eat? Do you listen to music? What time of day do you write best? Feel free to show us a picture of your writing space!)
Writing Habits: I usually sit down with my tea, open up my laptop, set up my music, aaand then get distracted by Pinterest. After I shake myself out of the trance, I write until my eyes hurt and then take a reading break. 

Specific Snack: I actually can't eat while writing! I get really distracted by food, so writing + distraction = no writing. Though I need many beverages to keep me hydrated. 

Music Habits: I mostly listen to a soundtrack station on Pandora, though I can listen to music with some lyrics as long as it's quiet and laid back. I get distracted if I can rock out to it (i.e. Fall Out Boy, Imagine Dragons, etc.)

Time of Day: Night time. I think it is the most inspirational time of day. I'm usually the only one up...

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My Work Space: I try to keep my work-space as organized as possible because I HATE to work in clutter, but sometimes the papers, books, and notebooks gather up around me. Lucky for you, I cleaned it up so you could see it in it's full glory. And please ignore the fake snow up from last December. My sister and I were very lazy, so we decided to make it a permanent decoration. 

Isn't it pretty?? Also, don't you just love my TARDIS mug?
Why yes that is a sleeping puppy in the left corner...
Here are some more pictures of my puppy (because who doesn't want to see the cutest puppy ever?)

LOOK AT THAT FACE (I took the pic right after he yawned. That's why his tongue is sticking out) 
Here he is holding my hand...
And here he is trying to pull away...

How private are you about your novel while you’re writing? 
(My DOs and DON'Ts of How to Share Your Novel With Others aka my answer to the question, just in a round-a-bout way)
  • DO: Share milestones in your novel. Such as "I hit ___ words today!" or "Oh man, I worked out a major plot hole."
  • DON'T: Share updates every few minutes. Your family doesn't care what the last word you wrote was. Your neighbors don't want to know which character is your favorite. 
  • DO: Let your family know that you are indeed okay, and that the tears are because of a fictional death (which you orchestrated).
  • DON'T: Crawl out of your room sobbing and refuse to answer anyone when they ask what is wrong.
  • DO: Promise that they will all eventually read your novel.
  • DON'T: Give them the first draft.

Do you need a cheer squad or do you work alone (like, ahem, Batman)?
I am my own cheer squad. In a way. My "motivational" speeches usually go like this:
"What is wrong with you? Stop procrastinating and start writing. I don't care if you think it's awful. Maybe it is. It probably is, but you're going to keep going because I said so." 

What keeps you writing even when it’s hard?
Well, writing has only been difficult for me when I am not writing. I get frustrated and feel as though I am going nowhere in life. Then I have a meltdown. I know that writing is my purpose in life. I have known that since I was a wee lass, and I honestly am so happy that I love what I do so much. Whenever I get frustrated while I'm writing, I know that it's going to pass or it's because of something I need to fix in my story. Whatever the problem is, I'm going to work hard to fix it. 

Also, I remember those moments where I get so caught up in the story that I write for hours without even realizing it. I'm kind of in a daze of creativity, and I know exactly what I want to say (which rarely happens). But then when I come out of that moment, it's like, 3:00 in the morning...two days later.
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Me in those moments...
What are your top 3 pieces of writing advice?
Keep going. 
No matter how much you want to stop, the most important thing is to keep going. Even if it is truly the worst thing ever, you will still be writing, which is better than not writing, right? Right???

Stay calm.
If you freak out, then your entire life is going to become stressed, which then you won't find writing fun anymore because you'll associate it with being upset and anxious all the time, and if you don't like writing anymore, you might not like reading. 

And if you don't like reading then you might drop out of school in Grade 3! And if you drop out of school, then you might never get the education to become president of the world. And if you don't become president, then the world won't be a better place. And if the world isn't a better place, more orphans in Bulgaria will be starving.

You freaking out = More starvation for orphans. That is science, my friends. 

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So stay calm.
Be in love with whatever you're writing. 
As long as you love what you are writing, and as long as it brings you joy, it can't be bad. (Technically it can, but for the sake of this feel-good quip, we are going to ignore the basic laws of the literary world, okay? Good talk.) You'll want to write more if you love it, which means you'll finish faster. Then you can boast to all your friends about how you finished first and do that really fun victory dance that you practiced for hours every weekend for a month JUST so you could have this glorious moment. Just me? Okay.

How is your NaNo going? And for you non-NaNo-ers out there: How is your sanity? probably better than mine, tbh. Do you have a pet? Because if you do I would love to meet them and then "borrow" them because their probs adorable, kay? 


Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Birthday Mega-Post| THE BEST BOOKS EVER + Other Assorted Necessities (such as chocolate)

*promises not to post anything that's not NaNo related* *fails step one*

I am a grownup. Just kidding, I'm like...6. This month was my birthday, and I know I say this every year but IT WAS THE BEST EVER!!!

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Every year I am always surprised at how many people remember and want to show me that they care about me. My love language is gifts (so if you want to show how much you love me...chocolate is always appreciated), and boy, did I get some pretty cool gifts.

My birthday was kind of spread into a birthday MONTH (which I was more than okay with), so here we go.
October 1st:
My mother took me to Fremont, Washington to start off my birthday month. We went to Theo Chocolate Factory, a bookstore, and Starbucks to watercolor. 

Just in case you have never been to the Theo Chocolate Factory, let me take a moment to explain a thing.THEY HAVE A WALL OF SAMPLES. There is an entire wall that has rows upon row of sample boxes for you to gorge yourself on. I am pretty sure that they use that wall of samples to lure children into their store for a Willy Wonka elimination kind of deal. The winner gets the store, right? I will gladly participate. 
I've been in that factory, and they quite literally have vats of chocolate, so Willy Wonka might be the mastermind behind this whole operation. After his previous business was sued for the endangerment of children and midgets, he moved on. What many people don't know is that his full name is Willy Theo Wonka. #truestorybro

Ophelia's Bookstore. I can't even describe it in a way that does it justice. It is every bookdragon's dream. The isles are narrow, piles of books line the floor, and it's all so compact. 

There's a SPIRAL STAIRCASE to the lower level (where the bunnies are), and a loft that is YA books exclusively. There's also a couch somewhere in there. 
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Pets: There's at least 3 cats, two rabbits, and sometimes hamsters. 
October 5th:
I woke up earlier than any human ever should. 7:15.
We met some family friends to go to one of the Luke's Diner pop-ups in Seattle.  We stood in line, playing games of "I-Spy" and "20 Questions" to pass the time. 

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After Luke's, we spontaneously went to the Theo Chocolate factory and Ophelia's Bookstore. We have a problem. 

That evening, my lovely sister decided that all of my clothes were hideous and drug me to her workplace to buy clothes. 
Please note that she works at a clothing store. She would not be dragging me to, say, a fishing store for a new wardrobe. We would never make that mistake again.

October 9th:

One of my closest friends took me to the Rick Riordan event in Seattle. For those of you who do not know, Rick Riordan is my favorite author, and he has been since I was the wee age of 9. 
It was so incredible getting to see him speak and answer questions. I learned quite a few new things that I didn't know about him, and I GOT SOME MERCH!!

A t-shirt and the book!
LOOK AT IT. LOOK AT THE BOOK. Now I am a complete disgrace because I haven't read it yet, and it's been a month since I got it, BUT I'VE BEEN SO BUSY, also the library keeps giving me more books, so that's a problem. They're like, "Here, we got some new books! Please read them, please. For us." What am I supposed to do? Turn them down? Let's not be ridiculous. 

October 19th:
For my actual birthday, some family friends came over and we had a pancake breakfast and watched my favorite movie. 


This is a journal that they made for me.
Guys. It's a dragon. Guys, are you seeing this?

Then we decided that it would be fun to go get ourselves lost among corn and mud. I found out just how bad I am with directions. If I was the one leading the excursion, we would have been in there all night. As it was, it took us roughly 3 hours for the whole thing. 

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This is what we braved.
October 28-30:
The Ape Caves: I have never felt more like an explorer. The Ape Caves on Mt. St. Helens are intense. I don't have any pictures because IT WAS SO DARK I COULDN'T EVEN SEE MY HAND MOVING IN FRONT OF MY FACE. It was cold, dark, and there was no guide or anyone with us to ensure our safety. If one of us broke our leg in the mile and a half long stretch that we were in there for, we would have died. It was slippery, scary, and the light from our headlamps was weak. 

There was this one stretch where the rope had broken. The 6 foot high rock wall that was slick with water and who knows what else was pretty scary to climb up. 

I'm not gonna lie, I was shaking as I started climbing up it. If I fell, I WOULD HAVE HIT MY HEAD AND DIED. #truth

Breakfast: The next morning, we went out to eat at this super-healthy place that had gluten-free, vegan waffles. They tasted like apple fritters. Sounds too good to be true?

Look at this beauty.
Powell's Bookstore: My family knows me very well. I could have stayed in Powell's all day, but we had other places to be. My TBR list was also longer than Rapunzel's hair, so we had to evacuate the premises before my parents took drastic measures to drag me away from the books.
I bought these three books. ALSO GOT A NEW STORE MAP.

The Rest of the Day: We went to Steven Smith Tea-smithing for refreshments, then drove to Pittock Mansion where we walked around. I "glided" down the staircases, pinkies high because #fancy.
We spontaneously stopped at this INCREDIBLE church. It felt (and looked) as though I was stepping straight into Hogwarts. After Hogwarts the church, we went to a chocolate place that sold sipping chocolate. (For those of you who do not know what sipping chocolate is, it is basically melted chocolate...that you drink.)

Then we crashed back at the family friend's house for the evening, playing Pictionary and other games. I have discovered that I AM AN ARTIST. Even though most of my drawings looked like misshapen abstract art, I was able to get my team to winning. 
Just kidding, they won despite having me on their team.

My mother promised me three chocolate bars for my birthday. So far, I have collected on 2 of them. I think I might just go collect on the 3rd. 


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Beautiful Books 2016: Introduce Your Novel || DANGER ZONE + Pirates

I know that I am a little late with this one, but whatevs. #rebel

We are in the midst of NaNoWriMo, but my book apparently still needs a proper introduction (pshh, no it's not because of procrastination. That would be very rude of me).

What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
Goodness, this novel was a strange idea at first. I first had the idea in 2012 after watching an episode of OUAT where Captain Hook was first introduced. I immediately went up to my room, my mind teeming with an idea of a character that I wanted to write about.

Describe what your novel is about!
"Sprig Jackson could not be more ordinary. She lives in an ordinary house with her ordinary family. But when she stumbles upon something in her attic that boasts of adventure beyond her wildest dreams, she finds that she is far from ordinary. But can she find the courage to face the darkness that lurks just beyond?"
I'm pretty sure that is the most cliche synopsis ever, but I don't know how else to word it.

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I need this.
What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!

It's Alice in Wonderland meets Lord of the Rings.

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Introduce us to each of your characters!
Image result for eliza taylor the 100Sprig Jackson is fascinated with the world she had stumbled upon. She is more than happy to stay forever. 

She is always planning and plotting two steps ahead of everyone else, though she likes to pretend that she is spontaneous. 

She has always felt as though there was something she was missing, and she thinks she might find it in Alairia. Because where better to find it than a magical world full of sarcastic pirates and castles?

The one thing she wants more than anything is to be brave and live a life worth remembering. 

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Tyler is a boy with a secret. He has worked his whole life to undo who he is, and yet, it is never enough. He uses sarcasm and jokes as a defense. 

He is fiercely protective of his friends, and puts others before himself, but he forgets that others are not always that way and has been hurt many times by his innocence. 

The one thing he wants more than anything is to belong, yet he can't find anywhere that he feels safe.

Image result for astrid bergès-frisbeySyrena has been trapped her whole life by a grandfather who cares too much, but forgets to show it. Because of her mother's tragic death, she has been shut away for fear that she might get hurt, too.

She sneaks away to spend her days in the woods among the fireflies and forests. She swims at midnight and sleeps outside, trying to reclaim what shreds of her mother she can.

The one thing she wants more than anything is to go live the adventures she has dreamed of for so long. She wants to be free of her grandfather's stifling ways.
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Ignore the ribbon. That plays no part.

Griffen is a boy who never grew up, not really. He stole a ship and sailed away from his father. He is looking for the next moment to distract him.

His life's work since he was a teenager with a boat has been to take in kids trying to get away from their home or kids without a home and give them a place to belong. 

He sails the sea as a kind pirate with a crew of children who terrorize the ocean. He is afraid of change.

The one thing he wants more than anything is to be loved for who he is. 

How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)
I curl up in a ball and cry. I usually get together all my notes that I've scribbled down, check the Pinterest board for anything that I want to remember, and compile a rough outline. My outlines usually look like this:
  • They go to do the thing.
  • The thing happens, but...
  • PLOT TWIST: Someone died and the world is ending (oh no!!)
  • Someone saves the day. Singing, dancing, happy.
  • The end. 
Then I get all the tea I can make (usually about 4 or 5 cups of different tea) and sit down to write. I occasionally take game breaks with my fam (but never Pinterest breaks. I learned my lesson). I also try to get super excited for my novel because what better way to write it than to be screaming at the screen in joy as you write words that probably don't make sense to 87.3% of the general public.

What are you most looking forward to about this novel?
I'm excited to see how it has changed from the first draft to the fourth draft because DANG have I re-written everything. 

List 3 things about your novel’s setting.

  • It is separated into three main countries. Alairia, Myrian, & the Island. (The Island is quite mysterious and no one goes there because if you do you will DIE for reasons).
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  • It doesn't really have seasons or consistent weather. One moment it's sunny and warm, and the next it is pouring rain while the leaves fall. 
  • It is not as beautiful as it seems. Not even close.

What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?
Her goal is to get back to her family, but her true goal is to find a place where she can be courageous. 
Things that stand in her way: the prophecy, her grandfather, the world. 

How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
She knows how to kill someone (and has). She finds her courage and God. She finds that her family is nothing like it seemed (her mother alone has an entire book -- a prequel-- written on her). She finds her sense of humor. She learns how to survive in a world beyond explanation and how she no longer knows how to survive in a world where everything is already explained.

What are your book’s themes? 

Since I am a Christian, there is a very present theme of Christ and some analogies that (I hope) aren't too IN YOUR FACE. Because that is not ideal in any way...
Overcoming fear, accepting people for who they are, you get the gist. 

How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?
I want them to think. Whether it is "this book changed me", "that's a good point", or "what not to do when writing a book", I want them to think.

How's NaNo going for you? What is a book that made you think? (what do you look for in a book, because I could probably use the advice)