Why, hello there. It’s been a hot minute, hasn’t it? Well, today I’m coming at you with a couple of TBRs as I make July a super busy month filled with writing for Camp NaNoWriMo, as well as two month long readathons, and moving to a new state! Fun fun!
The Book Junkie Trials
This first readathon is The Book Junkie Trials, created and hosted by Rachael Marie of Rachael Marie Book Junkie. Her announcement video covers all the bases as far as what the reading challenges for every team are, so I’ll let you peruse that, but basically there are four teams: Scribe, Mage, Outlaw, and Bard. You take a quiz to be determined which team you’ll be a part of, and then you can follow the respective leader’s video to learn about each trial and their destinations to The Bookie Grail.
So I am part of the Magi team, and as such, we are following the map that Rachael Marie created from Orcs Cove, down to Ol’ Pirate Cove, through Glimmer, into the Draconic Isle, and finally to the Bookie Grail.
Each stop has a specific goal that each team must achieve in their respective routes to reach the Bookie Grail.
Orc Cove: Some say there are no talking to orcs, but a good political relationship is needed. Learn some orc customs by reading a book that is gruesome, gory, or gritty.
Ol’ Pirate Cove: Shiver me timbers! You’ll be walking the plank if you don’t learn how to sail better. Read a book that takes place, at least in part, at sea.
Glimmer: This isle is alight with gems and crystals, one of the most picturesque spots in the High Queendom. Make sure you fit in with a beautiful or colorful book.
Draconic Isle: Oh my! This island is swarming with wyverns and dragons. Brush up your draconic knowledge with a book that features dragons.
The Bookish Grail: Here you find a lost manuscript, delivered on this forgotten isle by a fallen star. Read the group book: Stardust by Neil Gaiman.
And each team has one ability and one flaw that can either help or hinder them. So the Magi’s ability is time manipulation. We have a three day lead on all other teams (which means we were able to start our first book on June 28th).
As for our weakness: One of our spells went awry, and now they are forced to read a book outside their comfort zone.
So here’s my TBR for this readathon:
Orcs Cove: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (already completed with my time ability)
Ol’ Pirate Cove: Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
Glimmer: Crystal Crowned by Elise Kova
The Draconic Isle: A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan
The Bookish Grail: Stardust by Neil Gaiman
I want to say my flaw book is Sea of Monsters because I don’t read middle grade all the often, if at all (minus the first Percy Jackson a few months ago).
This readathon lasts the whole month, so I’m excited to dive into these books!
This readathon is also taking place for the whole month, and it’s hosted by Holly of Holly Hearts Books. Her announcement video explains in detail everything that is taking place for this readathon, but basically it’s like a build your own character RPG type of thing, and I am here. For. It.
So the more books you read, the higher your rank will become, from lowly peasant all the way up to king or queen.
And the way this works: you get to dress your character.
Crown: A book where a character fights for the throne.
Helmet: A book with a dragon on the cover.
Breastplate: A shiny book.
Shin guards: A thick book.
Boots: A book that has yellowed over time.
Cloak: A book with red on the dust jacket.
But not only do you get to earn your armor, you also get to pick a weapon of your choice!
Sword: A book with something pointy on the cover.
Dual blades: A book with assassins.
Bow & arrows: A book with elves.
Ax: A book with mercenaries.
So, here is my TBR for this readathon:
Crown: The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton
Helmet: A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan
Breastplate: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Shin guards: Stupid Love Comedy by Syusyusyu Sakurai
Boots & weapon: Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Cloak: Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto
This is a very hopeful TBR lol I don’t know how many I’ll actually get to finish, but I hope it’ll be a lot of them over the course of the month!
Let’s chat! ❤
What do you think of these readathons? Are you participating? What’s your most anticipated read? How many books do you have set out to read for July, even if you don’t participate in these readathons? Let me know!
Hey guys! How’s it going? So I’ve been thinking about how I can be more active in the bookish community, and one way I thought about it a quarterly reading wrap up! I read a lot of webtoons and comics, and I’m slowly picking up the novel reading habit again, but instead of doing monthly wrap ups, I’d do quarterly and talk about the titles I’ve been actively reading or given a chance.
So quarter one was filled with a bunch of webtoons and some bookish goodness, and I’ve liked the majority of what I’ve read. So let’s jump into the webtoons first, shall we? I’ll show my ratings as I go, even though most of these series aren’t done yet for the webtoons.
Dogged by pain and misfortune from the very beginning, Shin-Ae decides she wants nothing to do with people nor anything to do with romance. Although content with her unsocial, boring, loveless existence, her lifestyle is challenged after she ruins an unsuspecting strangers’ clothes.
I Love Yoo by Quimchee is one of my favorite webtoons to date. It’s one I’ve kept up with for a long time and I can’t wait until it picks back up again! (Quimchee is taking a well-deserved break right now.) But there’s been ALL KINDS of drama and one big reveal that will be coming up but was sort of introduced and OOF I NEED TO KNOW WHO SHE IS. And also: new best boy??? I’m 10000% here for it.
Witness what the gods do…after dark. The friendships and the lies, the gossip and the wild parties, and of course, forbidden love. Because it turns out, the gods aren’t so different from us after all, especially when it comes to their problems. Stylish and immersive, this is one of mythology’s greatest stories — The Taking of Persephone — as it’s never been told before.
Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe is my new favorite obsession. Not only is the artwork super different and beautiful (like each character is represented by a different color and it’s lovely), but the story itself is amazing. I love, love, love myths and so the retelling of one of my favorites is just pure perfection. There’s cute moments, frustrating moments, sad moments. It’s a great story and I highly recommend it.
Seven boys. Best friends. Their fates intertwined through the good times together, but also the tough times, as they have gone their separate ways and suffered greatly as a result. When all is almost lost for these boys, one is given a special chance to go back in time and help his friends fix the mistakes that led them down this path. He’ll do anything to save them, but can he? Or is he too late?
Save Me by Big Hit Ent. & LICO is about BTS and, being a BTS fan, how could I say no? I mean, I was saying no at the beginning, but then I couldn’t stop my curiosity and now I’m hooked because it tells the story between their music videos and why certain things happened. It’s super good so far. If you’re a BTS fan and you’re trying to piece together the mystery of their music videos, then this comic might be a good read for you.
Sori is a special young girl – kind, caring and principled well beyond her years. Unfortunately, these are NOT the personality traits generally celebrated in middle school – especially Sori’s, where she’s bullied mercilessly for defending the defenseless until she herself becomes a target. To escape, she transfers to a new school where the same old problems begin to play out all over again – that is until a mysterious trail of letters leads Sori on a magical scavenger hunt through the hidden world that exists right below the surface of her new middle school. The mail trail is the work an anonymous guardian angel, whose mission seems to be to provide a soft landing for Sori at her new school. But who is this person? And why did he choose her? With each letter, secrets are revealed and bonds are formed – as Sori learns about friendship, flora, fauna and finding the good in people in this strange new environment.
Your Letter by Hyeon A Cho is SUCH a great story so far. Seriously, not only is the artwork lovely af, but the story itself is just so pure and something that I didn’t realize I’d been wanting until I read it. Of course I’m hoping for a romance to blossom between the two main characters, but also I love how their friendship started over this one boy. It’s sweet and sentimental, but also has consequences of actions and it’s just… Just read it.
Getting crushed by your crush. Coming out to your parents. Learning that your sister is your biggest dating rival. High school sure does have its share of twists, turns and moments of high drama. To get through it all with your smile and sanity intact, you’re going to need some friends. Really good friends. Friends like Johnny, Mariel, Gaby and Martina who, one way or another, will find a way to get through their teenage years together.
The Four of Them by Mai Hirschfeld_ is a coming of age story about four teens just being teens and dealing with relationships, whether they be romantic, familial, or platonic, school life, emotions, and more. It’s another sweet series that I’m really loving and the artwork is so lovely! And, as the description says, there is drama and I’m really interested to see how the different threads of drama unfold as time goes and how far into their teenaged lives we get to see.
Edith is not your typical heroine. She struggles with her confidence, her morals, and life in general by not only holding herself to high standards, but her men as well. Enter two less-than-perfect men: one who may be the Prince Charming she’s been waiting for to deliver a fairy tale ending, the other a brash reality check who does NOT believe in happily-ever-after. What will Edith do? Will she sacrifice her standards? Or keep searching for that mythical white knight who may or may not exist in the first place? Funny, messy and sexy, Edith’s journey is relatable to anyone who’s ever left their heart on the battlefield of the dating world.
Edith by Swansgarden really surprised me. One day I was just browsing around the site and saw this unique art style and decided to take a peek. Well, not only do I love the art style, but this story is so different from what I’ve been reading because it deals with an older protagonist (like in her 20s or something), and there’s a lot of mental illness, tough decisions, forgiveness – or lack thereof, and more. The story is a little bit mature in theme, but it’s definitely something to check out if you’re interested.
An ancient warrior created a pact to keep the world at peace. After ages, this pact still stands because of the spirit warriors who guard it. Aigon’s dream is to join these warriors, but unknown to everyone, the pact is about to get broken by a group of rebels hiding in plain sight
Spirit Warriors by Yaruno ad L.Bobler follows a group of kids who are looking to become spirit warriors (shocking, I know), and how they each go about finding their spirit and how they train and learn to master the power associated with it. Of course, it doesn’t seem to work out with every student, but it’s very early on in the series and I’m really interested to see what happens. It’s kind of cliche and predictable, but also just really good. If you like fantasy, check this one out!
In school, Tooru is known as “The Prince”. He’s smart, popular, and can have anyone he wants. So why is it that he can’t think of anyone but Yamamoto, the plainest, dullest guy in the entire school?
Plain Boy & Prince by amanduur is the cutest and cheesiest and most glorious thing I’ve read. Seriously, I’ve been giggling and laughing so much and it’s just the cutest thing. It’s a boys’ love story following the Prince of the school who instantly falls for the most dull looking boy, and how the dull looking boy starts to also feel the feels, and just… go read it before I fangirl like crazy, thanks.
“Monsters can’t feel love” they say. Well, I think otherwise. “There’s a person I like… but other than the problem that she’s a girl… I find out she’s a monster!”
Monsters Don’t Blush! by Flowerfully is another super cute story that is a girls’ love story that follows a girl wanting to tell her crush how much she likes her, but she’s often blocked from getting near the girl to let her know how she feels. It’s very early on in this series, but I can’t wait for the next update because, just like the Plain Boy & Prince story, there’s much giggling and cuteness to be had.
This is going to be separated into two parts: Book I’ve read and books I’m currently reading.
Books I’ve Read
Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.
To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.
In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black was a book that hadn’t been on my radar until I saw literally everyone reading it. When I started to read it, I wasn’t all that into it. I felt the writing was super choppy and didn’t really encapsulate everything that was going on in every scene. I didn’t really feel for the characters until the last third of the book. Honestly, the end of the book is what saved this from a two star rating because THAT ENDING THO. Overall it was a good read for the latter part of the book and it definitely made me excited to read the next book.
Everyone says opposites attract. And they must be right, because there’s no logical reason why I’m so drawn to Colin Fitzgerald. I don’t usually go for tattoo-covered, video-gaming, hockey-playing nerd-jocks who think I’m flighty and superficial. His narrow view of me is the first strike against him. It doesn’t help that he’s buddy-buddy with my brother.
And that his best friend has a crush on me.
And that I just moved in with them.
Oh, did I not mention we’re roommates?
I suppose it doesn’t matter. Fitzy has made it clear he’s not interested in me, even though the sparks between us are liable to burn our house down. I’m not the kind of girl who chases after a man, though, and I’m not about to start. I’ve got my hands full dealing with a new school, a sleazy professor, and an uncertain future. So if my sexy brooding roomie wises up and realizes what he’s missing?
The Chase by Elle Kennedy was kind of a let down for me because I really loved her Off-Campus series that I read a few years ago. I saw the main protagonist, Summer, was a pretty whiny individual. Yes, she had some mental health issues and dyslexia, which was nice to see in a novel, but her overall character was just… too… whiny. That’s the best way I can put it. And I felt like Fitz was super two dimensional. I wanted to know and see more of his computer/video game side, but alas, we only got brief glimpses of it. I’m more interested in reading the second book in this Briar U duology, but we’ll see how it goes.
The Art of War meets “The Artist’s Way” in this no-nonsense, profoundly inspiring guide to overcoming creative blocks of every kind.
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield is a self-help kind of book that talks about ways to break through to your inner creative and really make the best use of your time with it, but, uh, I didn’t like this book. At all, or much at all.
It boasts a lot about showing you how to break past those blocks and be creative, but the most I got out of it was, “stop procrastinating and just do it.” I actually DNFed it because it was just not for me. This doesn’t mean you might not find value in it – you might! My husband liked it much more than me and said I’d like it, but alas.
Books I’m Currently Reading
A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.
Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness is one of my current reads and I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I have been. Not only did it hook me from the first chapter, but it’s feeding my inner vampire heart because, yes, there are vampires and they’re different from other kinds of vampires I’ve read about, and just yes, please. I’m about 35%-ish through the book right now and am definitely enjoying it, but there are some things that I’ve been questioning as it goes that I’ll talk about in my review when it comes.
I recommend it if you’re looking for an urban fantasy adult read with witches, vampires, mystery, and magic.
Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.
It has been centuries since the fall of the 10 consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Wars were fought for them, and won by them. One such war rages on the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where 10 armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.
Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity.
Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar’s niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan’s motives are less than pure. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson is the first book in the Stormlight Archive and OOH BOY, is it a long book. I’ve been listening to the audiobook for months now (it’s over 45 hours long), but it is SO good. The world building is phenomenal, the characters are awesome, the plot is intricate and complex, and it’s quickly (or not so quickly, given its size lol) become one of my favorite books – and I’m only 71% of the way through it! I am, however, in part four, which is the last part, so the end is coming for this first book and I am not ready for it.
If you’re looking for a high fantasy novel that you can really dive deep into and be stuck in for a while, then I definitely recommend this book. And I especially recommend the audiobook because the voice actors do a very great job with their roles.
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . .
A convict with a thirst for revenge
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager
A runaway with a privileged past
A spy known as the Wraith
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes
Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo is a fan favorite, as I’ve noticed, and I got 40% of the way through before I stopped. Not because I wasn’t enjoying it – I was, for sure! – but I just wasn’t in the mood to read it at the time. I do plan on picking it back up soon, though, so look forward to that review when it comes! What I have read so far, though, is action packed and very dark and it speaks to that darker part of my soul, so it’s very much appreciated.
If you’re looking for a heist book with a lot of unlikely people coming together, definitely pick this up.
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe has neither the look nor the voice of divinity, and is scorned and rejected by her kin. Increasingly isolated, she turns to mortals for companionship, leading her to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft.
When love drives Circe to cast a dark spell, wrathful Zeus banishes her to the remote island of Aiaia. There she learns to harness her occult craft, drawing strength from nature. But she will not always be alone; many are destined to pass through Circe’s place of exile, entwining their fates with hers. The messenger god, Hermes. The craftsman, Daedalus. A ship bearing a golden fleece. And wily Odysseus, on his epic voyage home.
There is danger for a solitary woman in this world, and Circe’s independence draws the wrath of men and gods alike. To protect what she holds dear, Circe must decide whether she belongs with the deities she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.
Circe by Madeline Miller is a story that takes place in the world of the gods, and though I’m still fairly early on (only 5% of the way through) it’s really good so far. I was bored at work one day and decided to look this title up and read a sample because I’d been hearing good things about it, and boy, am I hooked. The writing style is different, but full of a life of its own. It’s got cruelty (as the gods are very cruel), loss, humanity, and that’s just within the first early section of the book.
If you’re looking for a myth retelling – or a unique myth story – check this one out!
Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.
She never expects to fall in love with beautiful Prince Po.
She never expects to learn the truth behind her Grace—or the terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.
Graceling by Kristin Cashore is a fantasy story that I’ve been interested in reading for a long time, but had never picked it up until I watched Hannah from A Clockwork Reader on YouTube recommend the book to someone who might be looking for a romance in fantasy. And, well, if you know me, you know I love both of those things, so of course I picked this up (luckily my husband owns the books so it was easy enough to get).
I’ve only read the first chapter, but I already have SO many questions! It’s already off to a fast start with many characters and abilities that I can’t wait to learn more about.
If you’re looking for a YA fantasy with romance, check out this companion series! I hear not every book focuses on the romance, so you might find a book that fits your tastes more.
AND THAT’S IT! Wow, I’ve actually been reading a lot more than I thought I was lol I’m also glad that I’ve enjoyed most of the books I’ve read so far this year. I actually find it interesting that when I’m reading lately I’ve got a more critical eye and I’m finding more faults in things than I was when I first started blogging. It’s crazy, but I’m liking that I’m being more honest with myself about my thoughts on books.
What have you been reading lately? What was your favorite and least favorite book from the first quarter of the year? What would you recommend to me? Let me know!
It’s that time of year again friends when I say I’m going to do the thing and then fail horribly!
BUT NO MORE!
I’m determined this year to write the hell out of my novel for Camp and I’m going to DO IT, DAMMIT. No more excuses. No more games. I’m going to write this novel if it’s the last thing I do!
Okay, now that I got that out of the way, let’s talk writing and such!
First of all, what is Camp NaNoWriMo? Camp NaNoWriMo takes place every April and July and is a more relaxed (or stressful) version of NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo (or National Novel Writing Month) takes place every November where the goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days, but Camp NaNo allows you to set your own word count goal on their website, so if you just want to write a short 5,000 word story, go for it! If you want to be ambitious and hit 100,000 words, go for it! It’s a fun, community type of event that focuses on writing and creativity.
What am I writing this year?
The same thing I began working on last year but didn’t get farther than just over 1,600 words. Its working title is called “Dark & Burning” and I really like my concept of elemental magic, mental illness, love, friendship, family, and the balances between light and dark.
Here’s the synopsis:
Mahlia is unknown. She blends in with the crowd as much as possible and tries to just go through her day to day life without bothering anyone. But she has a secret that she can’t make known unless she wants to forfeit not only this life that she’s made, but also her freedom. If she keeps this secret any longer, though, it may just consume her – body and soul.
Vex is the third prince in line for the throne, and as such he gets away with pretty much whatever he can. As he was forced to choose between priesthood and the military, he decides to join the royal army alongside his second eldest brother. Fire courses through his veins just as it does through his second brother and his mother, but his magic is stronger, different, and one that could ignite a change he hadn’t expected.
In a world where elemental magic is abundant, the threat of war is upon the country of Arkin from their neighbors across the sea – Nyrrin, who craves their lands and their very prosperous resources. But these once comrades of Arkin come with weapons unlike that which Arkin has ever seen, and it could change the outcome of the war for the worse for Arkin.
The synopsis will probably change as time goes on and I write more of the story, but for now that’s what I’ve got.
As of the time of writing this post, I’ve actually written a decent amount since my first attempt at this storyline. I’ve been slowly working on bits and pieces, scenes and chapters as they’ve come to me, so right now I have 15,423 words written. That’s, uh, way more than I thought??? When did I write this much???
Of course I’m going to use this number towards my 50,000 word goal for Camp. Why should I knock my own progress just because I started before the event itself? I’m not going to do that, but I’m also not going to stop myself just because I might reach that goal, you know?
There’s a bit of stats that go into Camp and NaNo every year, so let’s break it down:
To reach my 50k goal I’ll need to write 1,667 words per day during the month.
Since I’ve written 15,423 words, to reach the 50k goal I only need 34,577 words.
BUT because I’m allowing my novel to flow for however long it needs to be to be told until I’m satisfied, I’m still aiming to reach 50k NEW words written for the month. So that means that if I write anything more between now and next week, then I’m still aiming to write 50k new words, even if my word count total is above 20k… you get it?
Let’s break it down more into goals because why not? I’m just using this as a guideline than an obligation to stick to:
By the end of week one, Sunday April 7th, I want to have 12,000 new words total.
By the end of week two, Sunday April 14th, I want to have 24,000 new words total.
By the end of week three, Sunday April 21st, I want to have 36,000 new words total.
By the end of week four, Sunday April 28th, I want to have 48,000 new words total.
By the end of the month I want to have 50,000 new words total.
And to incentivize myself, I’m going to award myself small prizes for achieving said goals each week! Whether that be a treat-yo-self day, watching an episode or two of Critical Role campaign one, watching a movie, whatever, I want to give myself rewards for reaching my milestones.
The Survival Kit
Alright, well, since I’ve turned much into a “mood” reader and writer the last couple of years, I’m making a conscious decision to push that aside in order to pursue my dreams, SO, with that, let’s talk about some of the essential things I’ll want to use during Camp:
Music – I’m under the firm belief that every writer needs music, whether it be pop ballads, sensual R&B, lo-fi, grunge, classical, nature sounds, whatever, I think music really helps to get into the right headspace and focus. So me, personally, I’ll listen to a lot of lo-fi playlists or fantasy music playlists that I can easily tune out to just have as background noise while I write.
My very vague synopsis, character listings, and major plot points documents – I seriously wouldn’t get very far without these because, yes, I forget my own characters’ names. Whoops. I also have these as a way to remind myself of the general direction I want things to go in, but they are by no means an obligation to the story at hand. I’m a writer that likes to have the characters and world lead, even with some guidelines.
Food – Okay, you know this one’s a given. I can’t write if I don’t have the energy or brain power. Food is good, and not junk food! I mean like means and veggies and stuff.
The support of fellow writers, my husband, and friends and family – Now, I’m not usually a person super big on community. I prefer to be alone in many things and in many ways, but this year I’m trying to change it up and involve people in my creative process and my creative endeavors. For example, I had an in depth discussion with my husband when we went out to dinner one night about my story and what I want to write for it, and he’s practically demanding that I write it! He’s seriously excited to read it, and not just because I’m his wife lol
The USB drive to hold all of my work – ALWAYS HAVE A BACKUP. NO exceptions. If you’re going to write and work on something important, you better have a backup somewhere in case your computer decides to not turn on again one day. You never know, and then you’ll be out that hard work.
An alternative option to this is to write in Google Drive’s documents option where it autosaves your work. You’ll just have to remember your Google password and such if you’re bouncing from computer to computer.
Forest app – This app is very cute and cool because you can grow a tree as much as you want for as long as you’re productive. It’ll yell at you to stop looking at it, but will also give you little bits of motivation. You can set your time for how long you want to be productive and not look at your phone and stuff, which is cool.
That’s it! I’m excited to start Camp next month (next week!), but I’m also excited to just have this passion back for writing again. I seriously missed it.
Are you participating in Camp NaNoWriMo? What’s genre are you writing? Care to share a synopsis or general idea of what your story’s about? Let me know!
Well hello! I hope you’re doing well and happy spring!
So, I had a realization at the time I began writing this that I currently have books for different times of the day/scenario I’m in:
A book for daytime reading
A book for before bed reading
An audiobook for driving
This makes me feel like I’ve reached a new level of nerd lol
Anyway, I find it interesting because my reading habits aren’t what they were a few years ago when I first started blogging and really getting into the reading scene. Now I read mostly webtoons, like Your Letter and Lore Olympus, but I’ve been trying very hard to get back into novels again.
I know part of the reason I’ve been struggling is because I’ve been overwhelming myself very easily with wanting to do all the things, but not having enough time or energy to do them, so I just… don’t. So, I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort recently to just pick something up that sucks me in and go with it.
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson has been one of those books for me for months now. Yes, months. I don’t know if you know this, but the audiobook is over 45 hours long, and I really only listen to it on my 25-30 minute drives to and from work. And then sometimes I don’t even listen to it at all for a few weeks so I can listen to some music instead.
The story didn’t hook me right away because I had tried to start it a couple of years ago, but failed, so when I started anew? Oh yeah, I was hooked, and now I’m at the beginning climax of this installment of the series and I AM HERE FOR IT. The characters and world building are fantastic, and the voice actors who read the books do a phenomenal job acting out all the parts and such.
So since I’ve been having such great luck with the audiobook, especially lately, I then realized I am in one HELLUVA mood for romance. And I’m not talking that cheesy stuff (but, I mean, I also won’t say no to it if it grabs my attention lol), I’m talking about a slow burn or steamy or just passionate type of romance read. And that’s where Graceling comes in.
I recently watched a video by Hannah of A Clockwork Reader on YouTube about five underrated series she thinks others should definitely get more hyped about, and in it she mentioned the Graceling Realm trilogy by Kristin Cashore and talked about how the first book in particular has a much heavier focus on the relationship and romance aspect than the others.
And I happened to remember my husband owned a copy.
So of course I made him dig it out of boxes for me and I started it and it’s already got me hooked. I wanted to start really winding down more when it’s time for bed and not be on the computer or have my phone in my face, so I decided to make it my before bedtime read.
Besides, studies have shown that reading before bed can be very beneficial to your health, such as reducing stress, higher creativity levels, and more brain power. So if you’re not on the read before bed train, hop on! You might find yourself in a much better mood the next day as a result of it.
And then I have my daytime reading. I’ve discovered a way to read at work without having a physical book behind the counter because sometimes it’s so incredibly slow that I don’t have a customer for a half hour or more at a time, so instead of just sitting there and browsing news articles I don’t care about, I open a book through Amazon on the Kindle Cloud Reader app on their website.
To access it, simply go to your latest digital purchases, click on the book you want to read, and then click the green “Read Now” button. If you’re on a computer, it’ll take you to the Cloud Reader for easy reading. Just be careful using your left and right arrow buttons because I’ve noticed that that messes with the page formats, so you’ll have to actually click the next button on the screen to go to the next page.
I decided the day before publishing this, in fact, that I was going to sample A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness because I had continued to keep seeing it pop up all over the place, and so I decided to give it a try. Well, as of the time I’m writing this, I’m only one chapter two and hooked. Of course I’m going to continue to read it once I’m home after work, but still, I have options to read when I’m at my job.
So though my reading habits have changed a lot over the last few years, I’m doing my best to not give up and to keep going back to the stories I love, the stories I want to read and live, and the stories that my heart desires. And what better way to do that than to find different ways to incorporate those stories into different facets of my life?
What books do you like to read before bedtime? Are you a nighttime reader? If not, do you read when you wake up during breakfast? Do you listen to audibooks on your commute to work? Or do you just read whenever you want and not have designated books for certain times and scenarios during the day? Tell me all the things!
So I happened to be perusing Twitter one day some time in December and saw that Leigh was going on a book tour for King of Scars. Well, authors don’t always come to my state, so I was like, “There’s no way she’s going to come here.”
And then I looked on her website and, lo and behold, there was a tour stop date listed for not only my state, but also for my favorite independent bookstore. Of course I had to go! I’d be stupid not to. (Plus it was my half day at work, so I didn’t have to rush around to get out to the Boston area on time).
So I drove to Alewife, which is a parking garage in the city, and took the train in (which I love doing; I’m such a tourist). Mind you, the polar vortex was coming in that night, so I knew it was going to be cold, but wasn’t expecting what came once I left the store. Anyway, I’m enjoying my trip in, and I get there about quarter after 5PM, which was when people could line up to get in.
I saw a few cosplays as I made my way around toward the end of the line… which was wrapped around the block and down the street a bit. Fun stuff.
It might not look like a long line, but trust me, in 10 degree Fahrenheit weather standing outside for over a half hour? It was long enough.
So once I finally got into the store, the way they had the lines sectioned was by group: group one had green wristbands and were guaranteed seats downstairs where the Q&A and signing would be, the blue wristbands would be in the standing section of the downstairs, and then orange bands would be in a line upstairs, but still hear all of the event going on and such.
I got a blue wristband, which meant I got to stand in the back for when the event took place. Whoop whoop!
So when I finally get into the store and grab my book, there were SO many people! It was crazy! The photo doesn’t really do justice to show how many people were in there, but it was a lot.
There were stations set up around the store where you could find out which Grisha Order you fall into, as well as pins that correspond to the orders (and a Darkling one). I took the little quiz on the card and discovered I’m Etheralki! (I was secretly hoping for Corporalki, but I’ll take this one, too.) My heart says I’d be an inferni, but I’d probably be more useful as a tidemaker, who knows? I also took one of each pin because, well, why not?
If you want to take the fun little quiz yourself, here’s the card! I posted the questions below it.
Mostly A’s: Corporalki, the Order of the Living and the Dead. Mostly B’s: Etherealki, the Order of Summoners. Mostly C’s: Materialki, the Order of Fabrikators.
The next two stations included a polaroid that you could take against a King of Scars backdrop, and then have it taped into the passport you could get at the station after that! I thought it was really nifty, and you can use the passport at other Leigh Bardugo events and get the stamp that corresponds to that event! Pretty exciting, not gonna lie.
So then I go downstairs and I’m waiting for the event to start, and, well, let me just show you where I was and how quickly it filled up:
Yeah… I was at the very back by the employee door. It was fine, though, because Leigh actually walked out from behind me through that door, and all of us in that area were awestruck and I said hello, and she said hello back, and I was super fangirling internally at that point. XD It was great.
So then the Q&A starts and it was so much fun! The staff did a great job of maintaining the crowd and having the event run smoothly, and Leigh was so funny! She’s got a great personality, and even when she speaks it’s like she’s telling a story. We laughed, we gasped, we made sure that no spoilers were given (one almost was for Crooked Kingdom, but Leigh asked if there were still people that haven’t read it ((aka me and a few others)), so she refrained from saying anything too spoilerly, thank god).
It was a really fun time. I ended up getting King of Scars signed and personalized, as well as Leigh’s other new release, The Severed Moon: A Year-Long Journal of Magic, which is a journal that consists of prompts and quotes for 365 days to spark your creativity in writing, and I also got my passport signed.
And even though I didn’t get these signed, I also bought the paperbacks of the Shadow and Bone trilogy in the new covers because I think they’re gorgeous and I’ve been debating with myself for months on whether or not I should get them, soooooo, here were are.
All-in-all, it was a very fun event and I had a really great time. I plan on finishing Six of Crows soon, then Crooked Kingdom, and then jump into King of Scars.
Have you been to a book signing recently? How was your experience? Are you excited to read King of Scars? Which Grisha Order do you belong in based on the quiz? Let me know all of the things!