My (Belated) 2018 Goals

Okay.

I apologize.

In my ‘Best of 2017’ post, I said in the Looking Forward section that I had basically zero plans for 2018. For me, this is always the case. It’s the end of the old year and there’s a whole entire 365 days spread out in front of you and its all so bewildering and you’re like “lol wat i don’t even know like what am I supposed to do with all this time?????” I don’t know if anyone else struggles with this, but I always seem to have what I’m going to call ‘New Years paralysis’, as in for the first couple of weeks of the new year. Basically it feels like I’m just going through the motions and I feel totally bewildered and have absolutely zero plans to accomplish anything at all.

And then BAM! 2018 smacked me in the face with like eight million opportunities and goals and all that stuff, and here I am writing a belated ‘2018 goals’ post so that you, the collective internets, can hold me accountable when I recap all the slacking off I did at the end of the year.

Please enjoy this seemingly impossible (but probably barely adequate) list of goals.


2018 Goals

 


  • Publish Esmeralda’s Story. I’ve talked about this several times before, but I wrote a novelette set in the world of my first book, Behind Her Mask was Death, which features the backstory of one of the main characters. I really love this story, and I wanted to publish it around Christmas time last year, but what with sickness, poor preparation and, lets be honest, a lot of procrastination, that obviously didn’t happen. I’m hoping to publish it very soon, though, and I’ll let you know when that happens!

 

  • Write and revise at least one book. Recently, I haven’t been writing nearly as much as I should be. It started back in the fall when I forced myself to complete a 57,000 word first draft in less than a month, and ended up burning myself out. I am a very slow first drafter normally, and maybe trying to finish this project so quickly just wasn’t the right idea. Anyway, I ended up with a finished first draft, and actually wrote a bunch of the first draft of another book before the burnout caught up with me, and suddenly I looked around and for about two months I’d written absolutely nothing. I’m slowly starting to ease myself back into first drafting for another novel, a prequel to Behind Her Mask was Death that I hope to be at least 50,000 words at completion. I’d like to say that I’ll try to finish it and publish it this year, but we’ll see. I’m not always the best with sticking to the plan.

 

  • Get my driver’s license. Yeah. Yeah, I know. I should have at least started working on this by now. But I’ve been… procrastinating. Up until now I’ve been able to rely on my family to drive me everywhere, but I’d like to maybe get a second job, and sometimes it’s just difficult to get a bunch of different people to soccer practice and work and robotics meeting and whatever, especially when they’re all happening at the same time. So I’m studying up and hopefully I’ll be able to get my temporary license this month and have my full one by the end of the year.

 

  • Read more. Everyone who knows me would probably describe me as a voracious reader. And that’s true… sometimes. Or it used to be, anyway. But I honestly feel that I haven’t been reading nearly as much as I should within the past year or so. It probably has a lot to do with finally getting wi-fi in my room, which while it sounds amazing isn’t necessarily the best thing for your concentration. Sometimes I feel like I’m at my best when the computer is off and I’ve forgotten where I left my phone. But I really do want to read more, and I especially want to read more indie books. As an indie author, it’s probably a good idea to know the market and read other authors’ works, right? Yeah. And guess who had literally only ever read one indie book in her life right up until Christmas 2017? Yeah.

 

  • Make more artistic stuff. I used to sew all the time. I always had a project I was working on; a cute plushy from one fandom or another that it seemed like I needed in my life. Now? Ha. Nothing. But, to be honest, I’m the kind of person that has to have an inspiration or some kind of goal in mind before I start a project, and I just haven’t had any new ideas for plushies in a while. So at least I could be honing my drawing/painting/colored pencil skills, right? Nope. This is yet another area where I need to have inspiration, and the muse does not visit often. But, hopefully, I’ll try to do a few more paintings or drawings this year. (You can follow me on Instagram or Twitter if you’re interested in seeing any of my artistic endeavors.)

 

  • Embrace my emo side. You may think that I am already emo, but this isn’t even my final form. I dyed my hair the other day (say what????),  but I’m not done yet. Dangly chain earrings, my favorite black choker, cross necklace, pencil eyeliner (if I can ever figure out how to apply the stuff) and clothes in varying shades of black are all on hand. In the new year, I plan to embody all the best things about my two style icons: Josh Dun (brightly colored hair, eye-catching earrings and necklaces, smudgy eye makeup) and Dan “black-clothes-are-the-answer-to-everything” Howell (self-explanatory).
Style Icons

My style icons: Josh Dun of Twenty Øne Piløts and British Youtuber Dan Howell (better known as danisnotonfire).

Even if I don’t do the full emo look every day, at least I can enjoy being v emo inside, and all the issues that go along with that.

*smudges eyeliner and runs off to join the Black Parade*


Okay, back to the goals:

  • Procrastinate less. This is a big one. Basically all my problems are caused by procrastination, and most of them would be solved if I just sat down and did whatever it is that I’m supposed to be doing (right now I am procrastinating math and Latin homework by writing this blog post). Maybe this is an impossible goal, but I hope to do my best to put down distractions and actually accomplish the task.

 

  • Exercise, exercise, exercise. Kinda self explanatory, I guess. Get in shape, and all that. I’ve been doing a daily 10-minute Pilates workout, as I have a lot of back issues and pain and strengthening your core muscles can help alleviate this. I just need to buckle down and stop forgetting to do it or procrastinating my life away. I also want to get outside more and walk around the neighborhood or ride my bike, but the weather hasn’t been super cooperative recently, so…

 

  • Write more blog posts. Sometimes, I honestly just don’t know what to say. Weeks go by without a post. Some compassionate soul out there might be wondering if I’m dead (i’m not i’m just procrastinating again friend). I’m making it my goal this year to have at least one post per week, and hopefully more, unless of course I’m away or on an official hiatus or something. (So if you’re interested in getting sarcastic rants, cool quotes, movie and TV show reviews, and more sent right to your inbox, you can subscribe to this blog by email down below…)

And… that’s about it. Right now, it seems a bit like an impossible mountain, but I’m sure at the end of 2018 we’ll all look back on this list and laugh at how horribly I failed in completing anything.

In all seriousness, the best way to accomplish something is to have a good attitude about it, and then actually buckle down and just get it over with, and hopefully with that attitude, and with a lot of prayer and hard work and anti-procrastination methods, I can actually do something worthwhile this year. 😛


Thank you so much for reading this post! Sorry it’s a bit more sarcastic than normal. I’ve just been reevaluating my time-usage and it has come to my attention that I really do have a procrastination problem, so… yeah. Kind of being sarcastic at myself, if that makes any sense.

Talk to me, friend! What are your hopes and dreams for 2018? And does anyone else have trouble with this sort of ‘New Years paralysis’ I talked about at the beginning? Let’s chat in the comments below!

See you again soon!

🙂

The Best of 2017 (2017 Wrap Up Post)

Introduction:

2017 has finally wound to an end. It’s been a crazy year, but there have also been some pretty awesome moments, and I’ve discovered a few amazing things I’d like to share with you today, including books, movies, music, YouTube shows, and more! Scroll down to check out my ‘best of’ list and recommendations, as well as my end of the year wrap up!

DISCLAIMER: Just so you know, all opinions I express in this post are entirely my own. Nobody has bribed me, sent me free stuff, blackmailed me, kidnapped me, or hacked my blog to get me to say this stuff. I just love all these things, and I love sharing cool stuff with all my friends. I hope you enjoy the list!  😄


Best of 2017


Best Of:

Movies, TV, & YouTube

I have a difficult time making any real decisions, so for some of these categories there are multiple picks.

Best Film(s)

  • There honestly weren’t a ton of really awesome films that I got to see this year, so the selection I have to choose from for this category is relatively small. It’s honestly a bit of a tie between Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Thor: RagnarokWhile I did like Spiderman: Homecoming, I enjoyed Ragnarok a little bit more, maybe because I’ve been looking forward to it for at least a year now. It certainly did not disappoint. And The Last Jedi far exceeded any expectations I’d had for a Star Wars film, so they’re honestly about equal, in my opinion. You can read my review for Thor or read my review for The Last Jedi, if you want to hear my more detailed thoughts about the films.

Best TV Show

  • Maybe this is a little too obvious, but my pick for best TV show of 2017 is Netflix’s Stranger Things. There is so much internet hype about this show, that if you have been anywhere online you can’t help but here about it. And the show certainly lives up to the hype! Thrills, chills, adventure, as well as fabulous acting and writing abound, and I am very excited to see where the show goes next! You can read my full review of both seasons here. Another Netflix original, their new adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events, also gets an honorable mention. It was very well done, and I would love if we got another season, as I would like to see the story continue! You can read my review of that here.

Best YouTuber/YouTube Series

  • This award goes to The Game Theorists (and Film Theorists) for their exceptional year of theories! I just discovered the Theorist Crew late last year, and they have become my all time favorite YouTubers. While I love MatPat and his hilarious, well researched (if sometimes far fetched) theories about video games, movies and TV shows, I also want to give a shout out to Austin, the creator of The SCIENCE! which is another video game themed show that can be found on the Game Theorists’ channel. His more recent episodes, especially the ones about Halo and Hello Neighbor, are chock full of cool facts, equations, and all around awesome science stuff. If you love video games (or movies) and like far-fetched theories and science-y weirdness, I would highly recommend checking out these two channels.

Best YouTube Red Original

  • I got a free trial of YouTube Red this year, mostly to watch the Game Theorists’ YouTube Red original show. While I highly enjoyed MatPat’s Game Lab, which is a real-life continuation of Game Theory, where they tested stuff from games in real life (such as playing soccer with cars, as shown in Rocket League, or trying to survive Five Nights at Freddie’s IRL) I would have to say that my favorite YouTube Red series was actually Mind Field, which is hosted by Micheal Stevens of Vsauce. Mind Field explores the science of psychology, particularly looking at the reasons why human beings behave the way they do, while also exploring a few other fascinating psychological concepts, such as isolation and its effect on the brain, or how people would respond in real life to the infamous Trolley Problem. While as a Christian I don’t agree with everything Stevens says, Mind Field is still a fascinating exploration of some of the science behind our behavior, and I would highly recommend that you check out the first episode of the show, which is available for free on the Vsauce channel.

Music

Once again, there are multiple categories here, and once again, I am an indecisive bean who had multiple picks for one of them…

Best Song

  • There is literally no contest here. The best song of 2017 is Machine by MisterWives. I was originally introduced to this indie pop/alternative band through Twenty One Pilots. MisterWives opened for them during the Quiet is Violent tour, and during the TØP hiatus I’ve been trying to find new music to listen to, often by looking up bands that have toured with them. I only like a few songs by the band, but Machine is a definite standout. Rebellious, rollicking, with lyrics that offer a candid take on the modern music industry (my personal interpretation of the song), it’s just an awesome piece of music, and you should probably have it somewhere on your  playlist. Give it a listen right here:

 

Best Album(s)

Two albums released in 2017 really stood out to me, one of them from an old favorite, and one from an artist totally new to me.

  • Canadian singer/songwriter Lights’ new album Skin & Earth is by far one of her best albums to date, and I have no hesitation in naming it as one of the best albums of the year. Savage, which is one of my favorite songs off the album, is totally unlike anything Lights has done before. Her vocals and lyrics are always on point, but there is a very raw and real anger coming through in this song that I really love. Savage also features Josh Dun of Twenty One Pilots on drums, which is pretty awesome, as it’s basically a collaboration between two of my favorite artists ever.
  • The second album is After Laughter by alternative rock/pop punk band Paramore. I just discovered the band this year, and I am loving their awesome, kind of retro-style rock music. After Laughter has a good mix of slower, quieter songs, and fast, exciting songs that just make you want to get up and dance. Probably my favorite song off the album is Pool, although Hard Times and Fake Happy are also fantastic.

Books

There were several books I read this year that really got my attention, and they all deserve mentions in this post.

  • The first was Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give. It was a heartbreaking, very real story inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter movement about a girl who witnesses her best friend get shot by a policeman when he wasn’t doing anything wrong. The book has some strong language and innuendo, but the raw, honest story, told through the eyes of a girl who lives with discrimination and fear of police violence every day, more than makes up for any of that. It is a very important book, especially for this moment in time, and I am very glad that I got the chance to read it.
  • Unsanctioned Eyes by Brianna Merritt is an intense thriller that delivers all the feels. Brianna’s writing kept me right at the edge of my seat throughout the entire book, and I can hardly wait for the sequel, which should be arriving sometime next year. The story follows Quinn Rogers, a fearless assassin whose past is starting to catch up with her. The book is fairly dark and violent, but there are Christian themes of redemption, as well as a bit of hilarious humor to lighten the mood, and all in all it was just a fantastic read. (I need to read it again soon!) You can check out my full review over on Goodreads.
  • Finally, Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia more than deserves an honorable mention. This was a bittersweet exploration of fandom, online friendships, and anonymity. I was very excited about this book, and it did not disappoint. You can read my review over on Goodreads if you’re interested in my thoughts.

Honorable Mentions

Here are a few things that didn’t really fit into any of the other categories, but which I thought really deserved to be mentioned in this post.

Secret Midnight Press

  • Secret Midnight Press is an independent publishing company and curiosity brand created by authors Ashley Dun and Jesse Cale, and based in Columbus, Ohio. They publish emotional poetry books, go on book tours with artists like Tessa Violet and GiveMeMotion, and create special seasonal boxes full of books and goodies. I just got Ashley’s book Smoke Signals (burn this) for Christmas (you can check out my review on Goodreads, if you like), and I have tickets to their January show in Columbus, which is also very exciting. They strive to create a safe space for people to express their feelings, and to provide hope to others who are struggling with mental illnesses like depression, or with difficult emotions and circumstances. Above all, they try to stay creative and curious about life. Ashley’s poetry is gorgeous, and I hope to be getting some of their other books soon. I also think that Secret Midnight Press will be a project that I continue to support for years to come, so I thought they deserved a mention on this list
  • Visit the Secret Midnight Press Website.

goodDYEyoung

  • goodDYEyoung is another independent company I’m happy to be able to support. They create vegan, cruelty-free, safe hair dye products in bright , beautiful colors, as well as providing temporary hair color products as well. If you follow me on Twitter, you may know that I dyed a bit of my hair using their purple color. I used it straight on my hair, without any bleach, and while it colored my natural hair pretty well, I’m planning to get some of my hair bleached sometime in January, and dye it again. Their semi-permanent colors are PPD free, meaning no nasty chemicals all over your head, and easily mixable so you can get exactly the shade you want. The dye also had natural conditioning agents, leaving your hair silky-smooth and brightly colored. I would highly recommend you check out goodDYEyoung if you’re thinking about dying your hair!
  • Visit the goodDYEyoung website.

The Bright Eyes Project

  • Created by Aimee Meester, the Bright Eyes Project Podcast is a creepy sci-fi adventure taking you to fantastical spaceships, strange purple planets, the depths of space, and more! Complete with enough aliens, conspiracy, mysterious disappearances  and cliffhangers to drive anyone crazy (*cough, cough* we need the next episode, Aimee *cough, cough*), Bright Eyes is perfect for any sci-fi lover, whether you’re completely new to the fiction podcast format (like me!) or are a long time listener.
  • Check out the Bright Eyes Project.

Personal Highlights

  • I completed the first draft of Book 1 of my super secret sci-fi project, and wrote over 30,000 words of Book 2… and then promptly got stuck. I’m still trying to figure out where to go next. I’m really excited about this project, but I’m just a bit stuck on it right now.
  • I wrote over 30 poems, which is very exciting. I used to hate poetry, but then I took most of a poetry course (I never actually finished it… :/) which made me super excited to try writing my own poems! I write in mostly rhyming verse, but I’ve experimented a lot with free verse as well. I basically have a whole book of poems now, but I don’t know if I will actually publish it. We’ll see!
  • I published my second book this year! The Tangle was released in both paperback and ebook formats on November 4th this year, after being run as a serial novel on Channillo.com. It’s a paranormal suspense novel, which has absolutely nothing to do with my first book, Behind Her Mask was Death (several people have been confused about this) and you can pick up a copy over on Amazon, if you’re interested. 🙂
  • My blog is officially more than a year old! I totally missed my blogaversary, which happened back in April or May, I believe, but I have now been blogging for over a year. I wrote a total of 70 posts this year, and I hope to write even more in 2018!

Looking Forward

I may have mentioned at some point or other that I was planning to release a novellette set in the world of Behind Her Mask was Death this December. Well, obviously, that didn’t actually happen. Unfortunately, I didn’t finish working on the book and getting feedback on it until a couple of days ago, so I will probably publish it sometime in early 2018.

Other than that, I actually don’t have a ton of plans for 2018. I’ll keep working on all my in-progress projects (of which there are a great deal…) and perhaps we’ll see another book at some point, but I don’t know. I’m still struggling with my super secret sci-fi project, so I’m not sure what will happen with that. We’ll just have to wait and see!


Thanks so much for reading my end of the year recommendations and wrap up! I hope you’ll check out a couple of the things on this list, and that your 2017 was a blessed and lovely year. See you in 2018!

🙂

November Monthly Wrap Up

December is upon us, bringing with it more cold, snow, holiday stress, and, most importantly, Christmas! And, it also means that it’s time for another monthly wrap up post here on my blog. Let’s jump in, shall we?

November Monthly Wrap Up


Highlights:

  • The Tangle was published earlier this month, and me and some of my author friends put together an awesome blog tour! I even got to be on my friend Hannah Heath’s YouTube channel for an awesome author interview! You can find the complete list of blog tour stops here.
  • I finally got out of my reading slump! I’ve haven’t been reading anything besides school books for a long time now, but I finally picked up a few things from the library including the Erased Manga series that was recommended by Hannah Heath, although the first book in that hasn’t actually come in at the library yet, so… Can’t actually read the series yet. 😐

Posts from November 2017:


Looking Forward:

Obviously, Christmas is coming up fast (Yay advent season!) and then it will be 2018! I’m working on a novelette set in the world of Behind Her Mask was Death, which I would like to publish on Kindle in late December. Other than that, I don’t have a lot planned. We’ll just have to see what happens!


Thanks for reading my November wrap up! Did you have a good Thanksgiving? Are you excited about Christmas? (I know I am!) Let’s chat in the comments!

🙂

Who We Are (A Guest Post By Julia Vanlandingham)

Who We Are

Hey everyone! My best friend Julia wrote an amazing essay which I posted on here a few months back, and… she’s done it again! I hope you enjoy this awesome guest essay. 🙂


Who are you? It’s an easy question, right? So simple: Who are you? My answer to this question most of the time sounds something like this, “I’m Julia, I’m 17 years old. I have four sisters and one brother. I also have one brother-in-law, one sister-in-law, and one baby niece. I LOVE mathematics, but I don’t like writing. I’m not that good at writing, because I have a very mathematical brain.” That may describe some aspects of me (some incorrectly, but we’ll get to that later), but does this answer really say who I am? I think not. This description say my name, my age, and my profession (or projected profession). This describes how others perceive me on my surface, but not really truly who I am.

The things we are passionate about, the activities and people we love, the experiences we have had: these are the things that shape us. However, what does that really mean? It means that as we grow older we change. The friends we have and the environment we live in will shape how we talk and act. The activities we participate in will either spark our interest in a certain field or scorch it. The people we love will change us in many ways. Whether it be that you pick your clothes up off the floor for them, or you mow the lawn everyday for them, it is a deviation from your normal behavior. So, people and events shape us, but is that what defines our identity? Are we simply the sum of all our actions?

Oftentimes we describe who we are based on what we do or what other people have told us we are. As an example, my whole life I have been told I was a bad writer. Now, let’s get something straight, at one point in time I was very bad at writing, but I worked hard and I have changed that. So, I always thought of myself as a bad writer. I thought that was one of the things that defined who I was. The longer I was told this, the more and more it was engrained in my mind that was me: Julia, the mathematician who can’t write.

I think that, in this case, the sum of all the parts is so much less than the whole. So, what is missing, what makes us a whole and not simply a sum of actions? Well, the answer is simple, but also so very hard to see at times: God. The missing factor is the Lord. This is what makes us who we are really, this is what defines us. First and foremost we are a child of the King. So, as I describe myself the biggest and most important part of who I am is not that I am a mathematician or that I have a big family, or that I once was not good a writing. It is that I have been saved by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. I have lived, died and been risen with him, and that is what makes me who I am.

So, we are not simply defined as what we do or who we know, there is so much more to each and every one of us. Oftentimes we do not take the time to get to know people deeply, to really get to know who they are. This leads us to see them as the sum of their actions. Often this can lead to misconceptions about people, and sometimes it can hurt that person deeply for a long time. When someone is told repeatedly that a certain characteristic defines them, they will eventually begin to believe it. They will start to tell themselves the same thing, and they may believe that is who they are. Once someone has told themselves that this thing defines them for long enough, it is hard to go back. It leaves a scar. One that most people can’t even see. One that maybe the person can’t even see themselves. It takes a long time and much help to see that this doesn’t define them.

So, whatever it is that you have been told defines you. Whatever you have told yourself defines you. Whatever you think you are bad at and that you just can not do that thing and it is going to hold you back. Forget it. That is not you. Do not let anyone else tell you who you are. Strive everyday to live your identity in Christ, the only thing that can never be taken from you.


I hope you enjoyed this amazing guest post! What are some ways we could learn to shape our identities in Christ? Let’s chat in the comments!

See you again soon. 🙂

The Writer’s Tag

Welp. I was supposed to do this post yesterday, but, obviously, I completely forgot, so I’m going to do it today! I was tagged a couple days ago by Susannah @ Tea with Tumness for the Writer’s Tag (not to be confused with the Writer’s Book Tag, which I was also tagged for on the same day…) So, without further ado, let’s jump into the questions, shall we?


Writer's Tag


1. What was the first story you remember writing?

When I was very, very little, I would tear out enormous sheets of sketch paper and tape them together into ‘books’. These ‘books’ were usually Super Mario of Legend of Zelda fanfiction, filled with lots of colorful (badly drawn) pictures and poorly-spelled stories. These are the very first stories I remember writing, and I still have them… somewhere.

2. Where do you gain your inspiration? 

Often when I read a new exciting book or watch a cool movie, I’ll feel really inspired to create something new. I also enjoy listening to music and making aesthetic playlists that help inspire new aspects of a story.

3. Who/What exactly encouraged you to become a writer?

When I was in elementary school my mom read me a book called The School Story by Andrew Clements, which is about a girl who publishes a book when she’s only twelve. I was super inspired by the story, and it encouraged me to try writing my own books in the hope that one day I would be published too!

4. If you had a choice between past or present tense to use, which one would you pick?

I’ve experimented a fair amount with present tense, and while I like it and enjoy writing in it, I still think I prefer past tense, at least to some extent. Present tense seems  to give the story a more modern or fast-paced feel, which is good for some stories, but past tense gives the story a slightly slower, more familiar feel, and also make it way easier to write with multiple points of view.

5. Do you have some type of “kryptonite” weakness?

I spend far too much time browsing Twitter or Instagram or doing literally anything other than writing. I honestly tend to procrastinate way too much. I also can’t write when there are people around.

6. On the flip side, do you have a type of “superman” strength?

I write best in the evenings, or during thunderstorms. The weather seems to have something to do with my moods, at least when it comes to writing.

7. Are there any guilty pleasures of yours?

I love watching YouTube videos! Recently, I’ve been watching a lot of a very science-oriented channel called Vsauce, where they talk about everything from physics to the concept of infinity to whether or not cereal can be considered a soup, all in a super engaging way. Among my other favorite channels are The Game Theorists, The Film Theorists, React, and Rosanna Pansino.

8. Is there a genre of media/entertainment you’ve not seen but want to try out one day?

I am very interested in modern (freestyle/free verse) poetry, but I haven’t really read much of it except a few pieces here and there online. I’ve asked my family to get me a copy of Smoke Signals by Ashley Dun for Christmas, which looks to be a very good collection of beautiful poetry, and I can’t wait to give it a read!

9. And finally, what is your favorite writing snack?

I don’t really have a go-to writing snack, or usually eat while writing, but I did munch on some tasty corn chips while writing this post, so I guess those will have to do. 😉

10. So, would you do more Q&A’s like this?

Yes! I love doing Q&A’s, be they interviews on other people’s blogs, tags like these, or Paper Fury’s Beautiful People Meme!


Now, it’s time to tag some bloggers! I tag…


I hope you enjoyed this post! I promise, this should be the last tag I’m doing for at least a little while… unless I get tagged again. 😛

See you again soon!

The Writer’s Book Tag

Hey, everyone. I’ve never been tagged by anyone before, but over the last two days I was actually tagged twice by two different people for two separate blog tags! Confusing? Yes. Awesome? Of course! I’ll be doing the first tag, the Writer’s Book Tag, today, and then the second tag on Thursday. Thank you so much to Jenn @ The Book Nook for tagging me! Here goes…


writertaglogo1


First Draft

A book or series that you’ve never read before.

I have several books on my shelf by authors that I like, but which I haven’t yet found time to read. Most notably, Guardians of the West by David Eddings, has been sitting there for several months now, unopened. I love-love-loved Eddings’ Belgariad series (it is yet another entry on the ever growing list of books and series that I need to reread but don’t have time to reread), but I haven’t yet found time to crack open this first book of the Malloreon.


Second Draft

A book or series you didn’t like as much the second time you read it.

Sue me, but I’m going to have to say the Harry Potter books on this one. I was obsessed with them the first time through, but later rereadings haven’t been kind to this series. I own all the books, including the companion Hogwarts Library set, but I haven’t touched them in a couple of years.


Final Draft

A book or series that you’ve liked for a really long time.

There are a ton of books that I’ve loved since I was little, but I don’t think any of them have made such a big impact on me as The School Story by Andrew Clements. It tells the story of a twelve year old girl who publishes her own book, and it really inspired me to become a writer myself, and dream big even at a young age.


Killing Off Your Characters

A book or series that made you cry.

This is a bit difficult, because I don’t usually physically cry about books, and I can’t clearly remember any times that I actually have. One book that did make me really sad, though, was Fairest by Marissa Meyer. It tells the story of the villain of her Lunar Chronicles series from the perspective of said villain, and the story and writing were honestly super heart wrenching and very, very sad.


Plot Holes

A book or series that disappointed you.

I really, really, really wanted to like Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, but it was so dark and problematic and very immoral, and all the fantastic, spellbinding writing in the world couldn’t rescue it for me.

I was also very disappointed by the end of A Series of Unfortunate EventsAfter building up and sustaining and exciting mystery over thirteen books, the ending fell flat and failed to explain much of anything.


Writer’s Block

A book or series you never finished.

Once again, two series come to mind. I started reading Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, just to see what all the hype was about. The first book was not at all impressive, with poorly constructed dialogue and undeveloped writing skills, and although the second book was more interesting, I dropped it after I heard that the later books contained R-rated content. Not worth my time, especially if I can’t even finish reading the story because of the content.

I also never finished The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. The first book, Eragon, was okay, but I had to force myself to finish the massive second book, Eldest, because it was so boring, and the third book was even worse, so I dropped it after about five chapters worth of overly flowery description and unexciting action.


Feedback

A book or series you’d recommend to anyone and everyone.

There are literally so many answers I could put here, but I’ll try to narrow it down to just a few…

First of all, I always recommend the Evenmere Chronicles to everyone. It’s not very well known, but the writing and characters are amazing and it’s a very fresh take on a genre (epic fantasy) that seems to have been done to death in recent years.

I also never hesitate to recommend any and all of N. D. Wilson’s books. His novels are, of course, fantastic (I own well-loved copies of all of them, except Leepike Ridgehis first book, which for some reason I never seem to have gotten hold of), and his two non-fiction books, Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl and Death by Living are also amazing takes on the Christian faith. 10/10 would recommend everything N. D. Wilson.


That’s it for my answers! Today, I’ll be tagging three awesome bloggers to join in the fun:


Thanks for reading today! I hope you enjoyed all my answers, and that you check out a couple of those books I recommended back there *wink, wink, nudge, nudge*. Also don’t forget to check out Katie @ The Act Diary, who created this tag.

See you again soon!

🙂

The Tangle Blog Tour: Recap

Last week was super exciting, because it was the week of The Tangle Blog Tour! I did several awesome interviews with some of my favorite bloggers, and more. Check it all out below:

Blog Tour Day 1: Indie Author Interview with Kyle Robert Shultz

Blog Tour Day 2: Book Review by S. M. Metzler

Blog Tour Day 3: Video Interview with Hannah Heath

Blog Tour Day 4: Interview with Brianna Merritt


Extras:

Check out Hannah Heath’s awesome review of The Tangle over on Constant Collectible

My favorite bookstagrammer, theshybooks, posted an awesome picture of her copy of The Tangle


I hope you enjoy all this awesome content! I was so excited to partner with these other bloggers and authors to help promote The Tangle. It’s been a ton of fun.

See you again soon!

🙂


 

October Monthly Wrap Up

And suddenly, it’s November (which means a whole lot of pain and tears for many of my writerly friends out there in the interwebs, but oh well). The leaves are falling (finally), its getting colder outside, and it’s time for yet another monthly wrap up post!

October Wrap Up


Highlights:

  • The Goodreads Giveaway for The Tangle ended, and two lucky winners have been drawn! Over 1,200 people entered the giveaway, which is crazy awesome! Thanks so much to everyone who entered. ❤️
  • I recorded a video interview with my amazing author friend Hannah Heath! We had a ton of fun and got to talk about writing, The Tangle, and lots of other fun stuff. That video will be coming out on the 8th of November as part of The Tangle Blog Tour, so why not pop over to Hannah’s Youtube channel and subscribe so you don’t miss it?
  • I did a couple new pieces of Clique art this month for #FanArtFriday! Both are rather fancy  watercolor paintings, which I think turned out pretty well, but you can be the judge of that… I posted them both on my Instagram, and you can see them below as well. 👀
photo 2 (1)

“Dreamer” A watercolor painting of Tyler Joseph, the lead singer/pianist/ukulele player of Twenty One Pilots.

photo 1 (1)

“Believer” A watercolor painting of Josh Dun, the drummer of Twenty One Pilots.


Posts from October 2017:


Looking Forward:

November is going to be awesome. The Tangle is coming out on the 4th (you can still preorder the Kindle Edition on Amazon, if you like) and I’m having a special blog tour for the book from the 6th to the 9th! You can see the whole lineup for the tour here. I am super excited about this book, and I can’t wait for it to come out!

It’s also NaNoWriMo. I’m not directly participating this year (I had my own self-induced writing sprint back in July or August —30,000 words in 30 days— and it completely burned me out), but I’m going to try to write a poem every day during November, as I’m working on a poetry collection and I only have a few poems in it so far! We’ll see how that turns out…


Thanks for reading my October wrap up! Did you have a good Halloween? Are you excited about Thanksgiving and Christmas? Let’s chat in the comments!

🙂


 

The Tangle Blog Tour: Official Announcement

I’ve been talking for a bit about setting up a blog tour for The Tangle, and finally everything’s in place! Everything’s been scheduled, and I can finally let you know the official dates of the tour, and all the blogs it will be stopping at. Mark your calendars, or follow me on social media, where I’ll be providing links to all the awesome content during the tour!


The Tangle Blog Tour: Official Schedule 

Tour Dates: 6th – 9th of November, 2017

November 6th: Interview with Kyle Robert Shultz

November 7th: Book Review by S. M. Metzler

November 8th: Book Review and YouTube Interview with Hannah Heath

November 9th: Book Review by Brianna Merritt


I’m super excited about this blog tour, and I can’t wait to share this book with you! The Tangle comes out November 4th, but you can still pre-order the Kindle Edition on Amazon, and enter for a chance to win a signed paperback copy on Goodreads.

Thanks for reading this post! I’ll see you again soon.

🙂

September Monthly Wrap Up

Hello, everyone! Apparently, it’s the last day of September (What? No. This must be a lie! Where in the world did the month go???), which means it’s about time for another monthly wrap up post! Here goes…


Highlights:

  • My brother released his first album of electronic music! It’s called Junction 232, and you can find it on iTunes, Amazon, or wherever you get your MP3s!
  • My next book, The Tangle, has an official release date! It will be published in Kindle and paperback editions on November 4th. Preorder the book on Kindle or enter the paperback giveaway on Goodreads
  • I did some new art stuff! I did a Clique art drawing for Fan Art Friday on Twitter, which you can find here (Clique art is just another name for Twenty One Pilots fan art). It actually turned out pretty cool and I got to draw a bunch of neat patterns for the background and stuff, which was really fun! I also did a small pencil sketch of the members of Twenty One Pilots as well, which actually kind of turned out sort of looking like them??? I guess? 😂
  • My proof copy of The Tangle came and it looks really nice! I wrestled so much with the formatting for this book, so it’s great to see that the physical copy actually looks good.

Posts from September 2017:


Looking Forward:

I promise I will try to be better about doing blog posts! I’ve actually been in a bit of a depressive writing slump recently, and haven’t been motivated to write anything, so… yeah. Still working my way out of that one. 😓 But I did do a bit of work on my current WIP the other day, which is a good sign, so hopefully many more posts will be forthcoming!

So,  I’m thinking of maybe starting a YouTube channel? It wouldn’t be super fancy. I might do a few covers of my favorite songs for fun, and maybe some art stuff, and probably some vlog-ish things just talking about stuff, IDK. We’ll see.

I am working behind the scenes to organize a blog tour for The Tangle! I am super excited about this and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. No definite dates yet, but I’ll let everyone know as soon as it’s all figured out.


Thanks so much for reading my September wrap up! Did anything awesome happen to you during September? Would anyone actually be interested if I started a YouTube channel??? Let me know in the comments. 😛


September Monthly Wrap Up