10 Things I’m Thankful For

Hi peeps! So today is Thanksgiving here in the United States, so I wanted to talk about some of the things that I’m thankful for this year. It’s been a year of ups and downs, but I still have plenty to be grateful for.

  1. My husband. He’s always with me through thick and thin, and he’s my biggest supporter. I don’t know what I’d do without him.
  2. My best friend. She’s always got my back and is always willing to have girl time – even with her new baby!
  3. The opportunity to teach overseas. I’ve been working with a recruiter for the past few months to be able to teach English as a second language in South Korea. I don’t have a job lined up yet, but I have all of my documents ready and I’ve been applying to various positions through the recruiter, so I’m hoping that early next year I’ll be able to take this opportunity.
  4. Having experience teaching. I took a class that started in December of last year and completed in April of this year to get my certification to teach English as a second language, and it was a very interesting course. Part of it was needing to get field experience teaching, which I was able to do at a local college in my state with a really great teacher and students. This helped to give me just a glimpse into what the teaching world is like and what I can expect when I do it.
  5. Kpop. Okay, this might sound like a silly one, but I’ve been into kpop since about 2015 when I discovered groups like Big Bang, SNSD, BTS, EXO, Monsta X, etc. This year, however, my love for kpop has grown and is pretty much all I listen to in my spare time (or lo-fi music). There’s been so many people I’ve grown close to as friends because of it, and there’s also been a lot of songs and groups that have just stuck out and my love for them has grown exponentially. I never knew how much I could love a group or their music, and yet, here I am.
  6. Kacchako. If you don’t know what My Hero Academia is, it’s a manga series by Kohei Horikoshi that was also turned into an anime and it’s just SO GOOD. And like anything there are ships that can happen within the series and within the fandom. One of the fandom (unofficial) ones is Kacchako (Bakugou Katsuki x Uraraka Ochako). I don’t really know how it happened, but one day I was just like, “I love them,” and discovered fan fiction that then lead me to tumblr and found the tag for it that then lead me to a discord server where I’ve made a bunch of friends and where I found a lot of happiness the last few months. It actually leads me into my next point:
  7. Writing fan fiction. I have written SO MUCH this year, it’s incredible, and most of it has been fan fiction. I’ve written a bunch of one shots on Kacchako, as well as other ships from the series, and have received a lot of positive feedback which just makes me feel so over the moon. If you’re interested in reading any of them, you can check out my works over on Archive of Our Own (AO3).
  8. BTS concert. I got to see one of my favorite kpop groups perform live in Canada for their Love Yourself concert tour and it was such a great experience. I took a crapton of photos, and my husband and I got to meet some friends we’d made, which was great. Seriously a great experience.
  9. My parents. Though things are still kind of hard, I’m thankful that my parents are able and willing to help my husband and I when it comes to house hunting. Not only did we receive a nice down payment amount from them (which they’d been saving for a long time for just that reason), but they’re willing to help in whatever way they can. Though we didn’t end up finding a house this year, we hope to in the future.
  10. The internet friends I’ve made. Seriously, I’m so grateful for all of the friends I’ve made this year. They’ve mad me smile and laugh, we have discussions about things, we’re there for each other to talk if needed, and they’re all just wonderful.

I’m glad for a lot of things that have happened this year, but these are just a few of the things that I wanted to highlight.

Let’s Chat! ^w^

What are you most thankful for this year? Let me know in the comments!

NaNoWriMo 2018

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Guess who’s participating in NaNoWriMo again this year? Meeeee~

Hey guys, how’s it going? Long time no see. Hope you’re all doing well!

So what’s NaNoWriMo you ask? National Novel Writing Month is a 30 day writing challenge that takes place from November 1-30 where you are challenging yourself to write 50,000 words in 30 days. It’s a super fun (and kind of exhausting) challenge, and if you love to write or you have a story idea that you’ve been dying to tell, then this is probably the challenge for you!

Of course you don’t have to write 50,000 words if you’re unable to or if your story doesn’t need to be that long, but the goal is to reach that word count if you can in 30 days.

I’m determined this year to reach that goal (and beyond) because last year I did terribly (only over 500 words, ouch), and they weren’t even good words. BUT THIS YEAR (since I’m writing this on the 3rd of November) I already have over 6k words of content for my story. I’ll admit that most of those words were written over the last couple of months when I had the inspiration to write them, but eh, who cares? They’re still part of my story and they still count toward my end goal, so that’s all that matters.

What’s my story about?

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.

It’s a fantasy story full of elemental magic, inner and outer demons, discovering yourself, saving those you love, and the power that darkness and fear can hold and just how one simple thing can change it.

I don’t want to share too much about it as I have a lot of ideas and I want to write them all out to see what path comes into fruition and which one doesn’t. I have high hopes for this novel, though, because it deals with a lot of real emotions and themes that I have dealt with myself (depression and anxiety), so I want to take my time but also rush through it to get it all out, you know?

What are some of my goals for the month?

Here’s what I’m aiming for and hoping to make happen:

Word Count Goals

  • By 11:59PM November 3rd: Have 5k words written – COMPLETE
  • By 11:59PM November 10th: Have 15k words written
  • By 11:59PM November 17th: Have 30k words written
  • By 11:59PM November 24th: Have 45k words written
  • By 11:59PM November 30th: Have 50k words written

I’m giving myself full week stretches to reach these goals. I think they’re realistic to my writing style, and they’re in line with the actual NaNoWriMo word count goals.

Other Goals

  • Reach one major plot point by each word count goal above.
  • Flesh out the need and cause of the war more.
  • Determine what is actually going to happen at the end or toward the end, and how will it play out after that.

I think that having these simple goals in mind will help me to successfully write my novel this month.

Anyway, I’m excited about this novel. I’ve already got good response from my husband (who isn’t just hyping me because he’s my husband but because he’s genuinely interested in my story) and some friends and acquaintances from snippets I’ve shown. I finally found a character that can handle the darkness I want to write about, and with elements (literally) that I love.

Let’s Chat! ^w^

Are you participating in NaNo this year? What genre is your story? Do you have any goals that you want to reach this month that doesn’t involve the word count? Let me know in the comments below!

The Lightning Thief Book Review

thelightningthiefTitle: The Lightning Thief
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publish Date: May 5, 2009
Genre: Young Reader – Fantasy/Adventure, Mythology
Pages: 396
Format: Kindle Books

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse-Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him.

Alright, this is my first time reading this book – ever. I’ve always heard good things about this series and I gotta say – I have to agree! This first book in this series was so fun and a super fast read for me. I immediately bought the second book on my kindle so I can keep reading the series.

So we have Percy, a troubled boy who has been bouncing around from school to school for years, and this time he thinks he may have a chance to stay – until one day on a field trip he’s attacked by his math teacher who’s actually a Fury from the Underworld. He’s unsure if what actually happens after that was real, but after several events that take place he does, in fact, learn that he is a demigod.

I found Percy to be a very typical kid, but also he’s willing to do whatever it takes to prove his innocence and gets his mom back. I found that he accepted a lot of the circumstances surrounding him pretty easily, which I think wasn’t entirely realistic, but at the same time how would I react if I were thrown into that situation? I did, however, enjoy the group dynamic between him, Annabeth, and Grover. I think that the three of them work really well together.

I wanted to know more about the other characters, to take a look into their past and really get to know them, but I also know that since it was from Percy’s point of view that he may not actually be interested in that sort of thing, but I also have the feeling more will be introduced in later books.

I also knew who the traitor was as soon as the gift was given and I’m like, “It’s going to be ____.” I was right, which is fine, but I think getting to that point was what really drew me into the story.

There were so many different gods and goddesses, creatures and mythical beings, and I loved how they were incorporated into the story. Sometimes I felt like it was kind of mushed together, like almost too many were introduced, but it also makes sense if they’re traveling across the country; of course they’d see as many as they did.

I felt like there was a decent amount of action and that as the story progressed Percy learned a lot about himself and some bits of his family’s history. I think that was really well done in terms of introducing that kind of thing to the reader.

Overall, I felt like it was a very fast-pace book, which sometimes felt like things were rushed, but also a kid wouldn’t always dwell on some of the things that I feel older teens or adults might dwell on, which was good. Sometimes the plot was pretty predictable, but I didn’t find myself annoyed by that like I would in other books I’ve read; rather, I found myself wanting to know how Percy was going to figure it out himself. I found the characters to really represent the traits of their god/dess parent in different ways, and I found that the plot was really driven forward constantly the whole time.

I seriously had a great time reading this book and I’m very excited to start the next one soon. I give this first book 4/5 stars.

Leah On the Offbeat Review

leahontheoffbeatTitle: Leah On the Offbeat
Author: Becky Albertalli
Publisher: HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray
Genre: Young Adult – Contemporary
Pages: 343
Format: Hardcover

Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.

Well, let me tell you: this is the first actual novel I’ve read TO COMPLETION in… months. Many months. I still can’t believe it. It took me around probably six to eight hours to read the thing. And I really enjoyed it!

It was great jumping back into the world of Creekwood and it was great getting a story from Leah’s perspective, while also still seeing Simon and Blue (even though they weren’t the main focus). I loved her voice and how she really talks like a young adult – swearing, sarcasm, tumblr posts. She was such a fun character that really cared not only for her body as a plus sized young woman, but also as a bisexual person. Though she was only out to her mom (which is still awesome that her mom accepted her regardless), it only really start to make things difficult as time progressed in the story.

I found that the romance aspect of the book was done well, though sometimes it did feel like a little hiccup here and there with how it went. I overall thought that it was fairly realistic as to how it turned out, but I kind of wish I got a better feel for the love interest. I understand the strain on the friendship, but it still felt to me like I was missing some of the love interest’s personality.

I also didn’t really get a feel for just how tight knit the friendship between Leah, Anna, and Morgan were, despite it supposedly being so strong in the beginning. Although, if it were my friend, I would be very pissed about the comment that was made, too, but I don’t know if I would continue to be mad even after an apology. I don’t know, that felt rocky at best and I don’t really know how the friendships would have lasted after the end of the book.

Other than that, I felt like it was a fun, light hearted story, with dashes of drama inside. I like how Leah was both proud of her body, but also self conscious, because that really does show the two sides of the coin (as a plus sized woman, myself, I can speak to this very feeling). I think that the book overall was a great read, though I feel like I am missing out on a few threads that weren’t completely tied at the end (I don’t want to ask them here for fear of spoilers).

If you’re looking for a fast-paced, light-hearted story about a teen girl who’s trying to come to terms with her emotions as well as figure out who she is as a person, and the relationships she has around her, then definitely pick up this book! I hope that you’ll like Leah as much as I did.

I rated this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Camp NaNoWriMo 2018

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Hey guys, I’m participating in Camp NaNoWriMo again this year! I have an idea I was trying to work on last year for NaNoWriMo in November, I think, but I’m deciding to revisit it because I never got farther than about 500 words into the first chapter.

What is NaNoWriMo?

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. 

On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.

What is Camp NaNoWriMo?

Camp NaNoWriMo is a virtual writer’s retreat, designed for maximum flexibility and creativity. We have Camp sessions in both April and July, and we welcome word-count goals between 30 and 1,000,000. In addition, writers can tackle any project they’d like, including new novel drafts, revision, poetry, scripts, and short stories.

With that being said, here are some of the basics of what my story is going to be about this time:

Word Count Goal: 10,000 words

I hope to reach 10,000 words by the end of the month. Of course, I know my story is going to be much more than 10k words, but I am out of practice with writing, so I want to give myself an easier pace and an easier time with really focusing on the story and not rushing just to reach the 50k goal.

This means I only have to write 333-334 words per day every day this month to reach that goal. Considering I can very easily write 1,000 words in a half hour if I’m on a roll and really excited for the chapter I’m writing? Yeah, it’ll be easy. I hope.

Rough 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.

I know this doesn’t give a lot of information, but I’m still working on it haha!

I also have a Pinterest Board that shows the kind of feel and aesthetic I’m going for with this story.

So there you have it! I hope I’m successful this time around because I really want to get back into writing and creating again. I want to work on an outline before the start of the month, so I hope I’ll be able to get that done before the first (not that I’ll be able to work on it because I’ll be busy and gone all day since it’s Easter and have plans already).

Let’s Chat! ^w^

Are you participating in Camp NaNo this month? Even if you’re not, do you have any writing projects you’re working on? Are you trying to write more character-driven stories, or more plot-driven? Tell me all about what you’re writing!