Beat the Backlist 2019 Challenge

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Hello all! So I’ve participated (and I say this lightly) with Beat the Backlist for the last two years, so I’m going to do it again with 2019!

Beat the Backlist is a challenge hosted by NovelKnight where the goal is to read as many backlisted books of your TBR as you can throughout the year. So for the 2019 challenge, it’s to read any book published prior to 2019, and one that you started to read in 2019 (you can’t have started in 2018 or prior; the goal is to start and finish the year the challenge is being held). You can find more information on her blog which I’ve linked at the beginning of this paragraph or the image above.

Here’s my list of backlist books I hope to get to. I’m going to be very hopeful here when listing these because I don’t know that I’ll actually get to them. Mind you, this isn’t all of the books that are backlist titles that I want to get to, but just some of the ones I hope to read in 2019.

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The Burning Sky / Wolf Children: Ame & Yuki / Winter / The Well of Ascension / The Fifth Season / Strange the Dreamer / Ruin and Rising / Six of Crows / Crooked Kingdom / The Graceling

As you can see, it’s pretty much fantasy and sci-fi across the board (I mean, SFF are my fave genres, so…), which I’m perfectly fine with because I love diving into worlds that aren’t our own and reading about a lot of magical and fantastical things.

I’m also trying to keep this TBR manageable for this challenge because the last two years of reading for me were really tough and not all there, so I want to ease into it with titles I know I’m going to like.

I’ll also be participating in the Hogwarts House Mini Challenge as Hufflepuff!

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I’m excited for 2019 and hope it brings the spark and love of reading back into my life, and I hope this challenge also helps to do that!

Let’s chat!

Are you participating in BTB? What books are you going to read that are backlisted? Let me know in the comments!

Biannual Bibliothon Challenge: Rewrite a Favorite Scene

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Hey guys! I’m the host for today’s challenge, so.. welcome! Today’s challenge is to rewrite a favorite scene from any book you love, whether that be a contemporary, a fantasy, a sci-fi, a self-help book, whatever you want!

Here’s what you’re going to do:

-Pick a favorite scene from any book you love, it can be short, long, whatever.
-Choose part of the scene (or the entire thing) that you’re going to rewrite to include something related to MAGIC in it.
-This kind of magic can be magic like in Harry Potter, or elemental magic like Avatar: The Last Airbender, or even surreal magic like The Night Circus.
-For instance, if you love “A Night of Cake & Puppets” by Laini Taylor much like I do, you know that there’s a kind of magic that happens that’s very lovely. I want you to take it a bit further and change up the magic. Does something catch fire? Does the magic intensify? Does it fizzle out and not work? Does one character accidentally send the other flying away from them when they wanted that person closer?
-it’s up to you to decide how magic can play a part in this scene.

I know this is challenging, but that’s kind of the point of a challenge, isn’t it? If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask, and remember: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE A WHIZ AT WRITING TO DO THIS. I want this to be a fun and creative challenge. I can’t wait to see what you all come up with!

Alright? So here’s my own version of this challenge! I’m choosing A Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor. The scene is where Mik is playing the violin and everyone is entranced by it. Zuzana is watching him over a wall and their eyes meet. I’m going to incorporate magic into this scene, so here we go (scene is between the two horizontal lines):


Violin. The sweet sound of the strings being played with a bow drifts to my ears, pulling me in the direction of a small square. People are gathered around, watching as Mik plays the violin with such ease, such tenderness that no one can pull their eyes away.

At least, that’s what I see from where I’m standing because I can’t really see over the crowd, what with being so short and all.

I ask a couple to help lift me up toward the wall so I can see him over it, but they don’t hear me. They’re mesmerized by him, by the music. I frown. I want to see him, too!

I look over toward the wall and see a couple of trash barrels against the stone surface. With a grin I run over to the barrels and lift myself up, ignoring the smell permeating from the cans as best as I can. It’s just high enough that I can finally see over the wall.

I freeze. My eyes go wide as I stare at Mik playing the violin.

Golden notes are swirling in the air around him.

They reflect in every eye that is watching, they dance and twirl and spin to the sound of the song being played. It’s not exactly a sad song, but it seems more melancholic, one that pulls at your own heartstrings and makes you feel things you didn’t want to feel in that moment.

Mik’s own eyes are closed as he plays the notes, listening only to the sounds that he plays; he sways slightly to the sound.

I can’t look away.

The notes dancing around him are mesmerizing and beautiful. I want to hold them, want to see how warm they feel against my chilled skin. I want to be able to dance to those notes, to twirl with their endless spinning, to be able to feel the passion that he’s pouring into those notes.

One brave soul takes steps toward those notes to touch them.

It’s a young woman, older than me, but still young. She’s reaching out slowly, one hand clutched to her chest while the other reaches out to the swirling golden notes around Mik. He pauses in his stance, but keeps playing, and looks at her. She pauses and stares back at him as one of the golden notes touches her hand, resting in her palm. I can hear the soft gasps and moans around the square of the people who are watching her.

Jealous of her.

Mik smiles softly, keeping eye contact with the woman long enough to watch as the golden music note turns to golden dust in her hand. She looks away just as he does and looks down at her hand. The golden dust sticks to her and she stares at it, in awe of how lovely it is.

And slowly, it climbs up her arm. She doesn’t look afraid, though, only mesmerized by it. She doesn’t scream, doesn’t do anything. Then her whole body is covered and she looks like an ethereal being. She closes her eyes and sighs, before she dances to the music. She’s beautiful and lithe, her now golden covered skin glowing in the lights from the houses and lamps around the square.

Others begin to wander closer, and when the golden notes floating around Mik touch them, they become covered, too, and begin to dance.

It’s a beautiful sight.

A puppeteer playing his puppets’ strings.

That’s when Mik opens his eyes and he looks at me. Our eyes meet. And the most beautifully soft smile I have ever seen breaks out onto his face.

And I, too, am pulled in like a puppet on strings.


Okay guys, there you have it! My scene with a little bit of incorporated magic! I hope you enjoyed it, but please tell me what you think in the comments!

How’s your readathon going? Mine is… uh. Yeah, haha.

Have a great rest of the readathon and please link me to your posts so I can read the scenes you rewrite! I’ll be picking winners and announcing them February 1st on the Biannual Bibliothon instagram page, so please stay tuned for that!

Inktober & NaNoWriMo Prep

Hello beautiful people! So it’s the first day of Halloween October and there are two major events going on that I’m going to be participating in, and they are:

Inktober and NaNoWriMo Prep.

In case you don’t know what either of these things are, here’s a little info about them & what I plan on doing:

Inktober

Inktober is a drawing challenge that has four rules:

  1. Make a drawing in ink.
  2. Post it online.
  3. Hashtag it with #inktober and #inktober2017.
  4. Repeat every day of October.

That’s it! I first saw the challenge last year around the time I started my art Instagram and I wanted to participate this year. There’s an official list of prompts for the 31 days, and I’m going to be using that list to draw every day in October and – hopefully – improve my skills more.

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I’ll be using Micron Fine Liner pens for the majority of my work, but I may do some in color? I’m not sure as I’ve always loved drawing in black and white, but we’ll see how I’m feeling for that prompt that day. So if you want to see how the challenge is coming along then please check out my art Instagram linked above!

NaNoWriMo

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National Novel Writing Month is coming up NEXT MONTH (ugh, it hurts to say that) and OMG I NEED TO PREP SO BAD. Like. I’ve never really prepped for this before? I kind of did last year where I had an outline and things were going pretty good UNTIL THEY WEREN’T. URGH. But it’s fine. Everything’s fine.

So what’s NaNoWriMo you ask? It’s a 30 days 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 don’t have a synopsis ready yet as I’m still working out some kinks in the story I want to write this year, but here are three keywords that my story revolves around: fantasy, depression, love.

This is a story that I NEED to tell. It’s a subject matter that’s close to my heart and it’s one in which I feel will not only be challenging for me to write, but also beneficial. I hope that during the month of October I will be able to successfully prep myself by doing the following things:

  • Write an outline of the whole story. I found that I actually like outlining as I’m able to use it as a guideline for my writing so that I don’t stray too far from where I had imagined the story going.
  • Come up with a synopsis. Honestly, this should be the first thing I do because even though I have a concept of the character and the power she’ll have (I was also going to originally make her a male, but I think I’m going to write her as a female… we’ll see), I don’t exactly have a plot figured out. Like, I know the general message I want to get across in the story, but I don’t have a way to get there. I sort of do but I don’t? It’s very hard to explain.
  • Work on small writing prompts to get to know my characters, the world, and what they have to deal with. This is a new thing I’m going to try this year. I usually already know my character as I have a file in my head of who they are in everything (imagine Bruce Almighty when he’s in that building meeting God for the first time and opens the file cabinet), but I think that this will also be very beneficial as I can write back story, side story, develop the world, figure out weapons systems and powers and stuff like that. I have vague concepts but not enough for me to really go on.
  • Participate in little NaNo Prep challenges here and there. I think it’ll be fun to join in with other writers and brainstorm and chat about our novels. Plus it’s a little encouraging to know that others will be doing similar things as I am.

Alright, so there you have it! These are the two challenges that I’ll be facing in October. I’ll try to do weekly wrap ups of Inktober to show the art I created for that week, as well as discuss what I’ve been doing for NaNoWriMo as well.

Let’s Chat! ^w^

If you’re participating in either of these challenges please let me know! I’d love to be able to go on this journey with you and see just what October has in store for us. Are you interested in either of the challenges? Let me know how you’re prepping for NaNo.

Love-a-thon Mini-Challenge #8: On the Road (Trip!)

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Hello lovely people and welcome to Love-a-thon 2017, hosted by these lovely ladies: Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books, Cee @ The Novel Hermit, Kristin @ Super Space Chick, and Mel @ The Daily Prophecy.

Well, it’s the last mini-challenge for the Love-a-thon and I’ve gotta say, I’m sad to see it come to a close. But it was so fun participating in this event again! I’ll have my wrap up post tomorrow, but for the last mini-challenge, it’s a road trip!

The objective is to bring along three to four people – characters, fellow bloggers/grammers/etc, or authors – along with you on a roadtrip. You pick the destination and then talk about what you’d do on this road trip, such as discussion topics, who’s driving, who’s in charge of the music, who made the lunches, etc. So here we go!

I’d take some of my fellow blogger friends along with me because I think it would be really fun to be on a road trip together! They are:

Okay, now that I’ve got my road trip buddies, where will we be going? Well, we’d have to get Cait over from the other side of the world, but once that’s settled, I think we’ll road trip to Walt Disney World! (Because if you don’t know me, Hi, I’m Rayna, and I love all things Disney.)

Destination: Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL

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Photo taken by me

Who would be driving? Honestly, I don’t trust anyone to drive, so I’d be the driver. I mean, I’m fine when other people are driving, I would just prefer to be the one in control.

Person in charge of music: Sarah because she always makes cool book trailers and I think she’d know just what we’d need to listen to at the right times.

Person in charge of lunches: Cait, because I know she’d also bring the cake so, duh. Obviously.

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Topics of Discussion: I’d leave Austine to come up with some fun topics and such, but I’m sure we’d talk about recent books we’ve read, why we’re excited to go to Disney, what we plan to do there, if we should make a few sight seeing pit stops along the way, our current favorite TV shows, and more. Lots of room for discussion and it would be super fun, too!

I think this would be a really fun road trip. Too bad none of us live near each other, but oh well, that’s what makes it fun! xD

And that’s it for the mini-challenges! Thanks for joining me these last two days and I’ll see you tomorrow with the wrap up!

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Who would you take with you on a road trip? Would you be able to relinquish control over anything, or do you have to be the one to decide? What kind of music would you listen to? What about lunches?

Love-a-thon Mini-Challenge #7: Let Me Sing You a Love Song

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Hello lovely people and welcome to Love-a-thon 2017, hosted by these lovely ladies: Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books, Cee @ The Novel Hermit, Kristin @ Super Space Chick, and Mel @ The Daily Prophecy.

Welcome to the second to last mini-challenge of this event! I’m having a lot of fun doing these challenges, as I hope you are, too, and I’m sad that there’s only two left. But for this challenge you bring in your musical talents and dedicate a love song (or two or three or ten) to your favorite characters and tell us why.

Okay, here are three of my favorite characters and the love songs I’d dedicate to them:

Aeduan from Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

I would dedicate My Immortal by Evanescence to Aeduan. This is more of a tragic love song than a romantic one, but I think it really fits who he is as a character. Plus this song is just beautiful and I love it and him so it works.

Rhysand from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

I mean… do I really even need to explain this one? I’m pretty sure I’m one among many who would want to dedicate this song to Rhys, let’s be real.

Okay, those are the only characters I could come up with for love songs. I was seriously having a hard time and my mind decided to forget every long song I’ve ever heard. Oh well, at least I got two!

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Who would you dedicate a love song to? Would it be a sad song or a happy one?