The 20 Questions Book Tag

20 Question Tag Background

In this book tag, I answer twenty questions about my reading habits. I was tagged by Angelica @The Book Cover Girl and Kelly @Another Book in the Wall.

Bluejay Feather

1. How many books are too many books in a book series? 

It depends on the series. I’ve read series where three or four books were too many and series where the first seven books were great before the new books felt excessive. I’m going to say that there is no hard-fast rule but more than seven books is often too many.

2. How do you feel about cliffhangers? 

They’re fine if they seem to be the organic endpoint to a plot, but often they are unnecessary gimmicks that make me role my eyes and take away some of a book’s cohesiveness.

3. Hardback or paperback? 

It depends on whether I have to carry the book around. If I’m traveling, then paperback. If I have enough time to read at home, hardback.

4. Favorite book?

For a long time this was Brandon Sanderson’s Words of Radience, which I’ve reread too many times to remember and own two copies of. Now, I’m not sure because it’s been a while since I reread it and have read a lot of books since.

5. Least favorite book? 

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*Whispers* Nevermore, Maximum Ride book 8. Enough said.

6. Love triangles, yes or no? 

Mostly no, as in 99 times out of 100, but most tropes can work some of the time, even love triangles.

7. The most recent book you just couldn’t finish? 

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Unfortunately, The Ship of the Dead, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard book three. I may go back to this one. It was mostly a matter of not being in the mood and my library loan expiring.

8. A book you’re currently reading? 

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Children of Blood and Bone

9. Last book you recommended to someone?

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If we’re talking books in general then Building Great Sentences: How to Write the Kinds of Sentences You Love to Read. It’s a book about sentence structure that forever changed the way I think about sentences.

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If we’re talking novels then Defy the Stars. Both were recommended to someone in my Camp NaNoWriMo cabin last month.

10. Oldest book you’ve read? (Publication date) 

If the transcripts of plays can count, then Oedipus Rex published in around 450 BCE. If only novels count, then Pride and Prejudice published in 1813.

11. Newest book you’ve read? (Publication date) 

Defy the Worlds, Defy the Stars book two published April 3, 2018.

12. Favorite author? 

Brandon Sanderson

14. A book you dislike that everyone else seems to love?

Okay, so, I’ve already mentioned it and no one talks about this book anymore, but I once had a long conversation with someone who loved Nevermore by James Patterson so much that they carried all the Maximum Ride books, including Nevermore, around with them in a huge stack. (To be clear, I actually enjoyed most of the previous books in the series.)

It was one of the most awkward conversations of my life. Then, due to a twist of fate, we ended up sitting next to each other for several hours.

15. Bookmarks or dog-ears?

Bookmarks all the way.

16. A book you can always reread? 

Probably any book in Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive series so far.

17. Can you read while hearing music? 

No. I often “read” audiobooks so double no.

18. One POV or multiple POV’s? (POV’s = Point of views) 

Whatever works for the story, but I will say that I’ve been reading a lot of books suffering from “too-many-POVs” syndrome as of late and am coming to favor a single narrator.

19. Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days? 

I would prefer one sitting, but I almost never have time for that. Then again, I do have a horrible habit of binge reading whenever I get a book I’m excited about. As in most things, it depends.

20. A book you’ve read because of the cover?

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Okay, so, this book doesn’t look nearly as good online as it does in-person, but IRL the hardcover of this book is downright gorgeous and just so creative with its two layers that I just had to know what was inside.

I tag

Rachael @Bath and Books 

Arwa @one’s peculiar

Bluejay Feather

What are your answers to these questions? Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned? Do you agree or disagree with my answers? 

Please share your thoughts in the comments and follow me on social media!

Twitter | Bloglovin’ | Goodreads

 

 

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The Fantasy Tropes Tag

The Fantasy Tropes Tag

Today we explore books though fantasy tropes in this tag. I was tagged by Kelly @another book in the wall.

Bluejay Feather

“The Lost Princess”

A book/series you lost interest in halfway through

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Maximum Ride

I enjoyed the first three books in this series, but after that I don’t even know what happened because everything got way too wild. The characterization didn’t even seem consistent any more.

I read this in a time where I used to finish everything, so I read up what was then the last book. There is now an additional sequel that I have no interest in reading because the last couple books made me upset and not in a good way.

“The Knight in Shining Armor”

A hyped book/series you were swept up by

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Arc of a Scythe (Scythe and Thunderhead)

Okay, this series isn’t that hyped, but it’s hyped enough that I feel like I can mention it. I love this series so much. This book is one of the most thought provoking YA novels I’ve read (though I think the author’s other series, The Unwind Dystology, may have this one beat). The world is just so captivating and the plot twists are so great that I just love this series.

I ultimately liked book two more than book one. For this reason, I featured the image of book two.

Read my review of book one here.

“The Wise Old Wizard”

An author who amazes you with his/her writing

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Laini Taylor

Laini Taylor’s prose is beautiful and poetic. I want to quote her whole books! But, that would be plagiarism, so I can’t do it. 😦

“The Maiden in Distress”

An undervalued character you wished had a bigger storyline

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Flower — Wings of Fire Series

Wings of Fire is a middle grade series told from dragons’ point of views. While I think this was the right choice for the series, I’d love for Flower, one of the dragon’s human “pets”, to have a spin-off novel devoted to her. Her point of view must be so interesting.

“The Magical Sword”

A magical item/ability you wish authors used less

Resurrection

Okay, so this applies more to certain authors who shall not be named than authors in general. In some stories, resurrection can be an effective plot device, but a lot of authors overuse it to the point of ridiculousness: I wonder if that character who has died twenty times will stay dead? Of course not!

“The Mindless Villain”

A phrase you cannot help but roll your eyes at

“S/he released a breath she didn’t know s/he was holding.”

I see this everywhere. I’ve had to put a few books down because it’s so ridiculous.

“The Untamed Dragon”

A magical creature you wish you had as a pet

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Chalklings– The Rithmatist

It would be awesome to have a moving chalk drawing (AKA Chalkling) as a pet. A nice Chalkling though; I don’t want to get eaten by chalk. Thank you very much. I’m not sure having one of these is possible due to the in-universe rules, but I don’t see that there is anything explicitly against it happening either.

“The Chosen One”

A book/series you will always root for

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The Stormlight Archives/ The Cosmere

I’m going to go with The Stormlight Archives or better yet The Cosmere, the massive collection of books The Stormlight Archives series is a part of, because I love them so much. Yes, I have already mentioned a book by this author in this post, but I’m mentioning his books again because why not?

Rules

  1. mention the creator: one’s peculiar.
  2. answer the questions.
  3. tag as many people as you like.
  4. Have fun.

I tag

Sumeet @Aspire to Inspire

Abbie @Boneseasonofglass

Anyone who wants to do this tag should consider themselves tagged too!

Bluejay Feather

Were any of my choices a surprise? Have you read any of these books? How would you answer these questions? 

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

 

My Bookish Identity Tag || I’m a Shadowhunter I guess?

My Bookish identityThis tag explores readers’ possible identities in popular fictional universes.

I was tagged by Kelly @Another Book in the Wall.

Bluejay Feather

What Dystopian/Fantastical World Would You Want to Live In?

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I think I’ve said this before somewhere, but I’ll say it again. I would love to live in the world of Scythe by Neal Shusterman . . . except maybe sometime before book two begins because reasons . . .

Then again, in the fictional future of Scythe there is a good chance that if I’d been born anytime with in 150 years or so of book 2 happening I’d still be alive then. It’s a conundrum.

For more of my thoughts on Scythe see my review.

Who Would Your Partner Be?

I’d never say no to being business partners with someone like Katness Everdeen. Then she could get me out of trouble and save my life if it ever needs saving. Hopefully it won’t. Also, I’d be popular by association.

Who Would Be Your Godly Mother/Father [Percy Jackson]? (Quiz)

I got Athena. Not what I was expecting, but I’m okay with that.

Would You Be a Downworlder or Nephilim [Shadowhunter World]? (Quiz)

I got Shadowhunter. This is hilarious because, LOL, no.

Which Hogwarts House Would You Be In [Harry Potter]?

Ravenclaw

Which Faction Would You Be In [Divergent]? (Quiz)

Erudite apparently. It gets a bad reputation in the series, but I’m going to take this quiz as a result going back to Erudite’s core value: seeking knowledge.

And, an excuse to read all day? Yes, please.

What Would Be Your Daemon [Northern Lights]? (Quiz)

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An Arctic hare. It would be awesome having an Arctic hare follow me everywhere. Unless I had to clean up after it. Then it would be not so awesome. . . I don’t think people in the Northern Lights series (which I know as The Golden Compass) had to do that? I just read the prequel a few weeks ago, so I should really know this.

Bluejay Feather

Want to be tagged? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll add your name to a list of people I’ve tagged in this post!

Did you take these quizzes? What were your results? Any surprises? 

Share your thoughts in the comments!

 

The Writer’s Tag || Why I write, The Best Writing Time, and 2018 Resolutions

The Writer's Tag

I wasn’t officially tagged for this, but I did tell Marie @drizzle and hurricane books I might do this, so let’s just pretend. Shall we?

Bluejay Feather

What genres, styles, and topics do you write about?

I tend to write science fiction and fantasy in almost all sub-genres, leaning a little more towards science fiction.

How long have you been writing?

This depends on how you define “writing.” If we’re referring to writing in my free time as opposed to for other obligations, then around 5 years, possibly a little longer.

Why do you write?

Because I love it.

When is the best time to write?

When I have no other obligations. Just kidding . . . kind of. The only time I tend to have available to write is right before I go to bed after everything else I need to do for the day is finished, but, to be honest with myself, I’m a morning person.

What parts of writing do you love and hate?

I love it when the words flow and everything I’ve researched and outlined clicks together into a coherent whole.

I hate getting started on a day when I’m mentally exhausted and the early stages of the editing process when I’m overwhelmed by all a pieces flaws and can’t see any way to fix them.

How do you overcome writer’s block?

In several ways. It depends on what I think is causing the writer’s block.

My most common solution is to take a break from writing to brainstorm a chapter-by-chapter outline of the next few chapters that need writing.

Are you working on something at the moment?

Sort of. I’m beginning to edit the novel length piece I wrote last summer, but it’s slow going.

What are your writing goals this year?

As the year ends in a few days, this will refer to my writing resolutions for 2018.

  • To receive at least three rejections for something writing related.
  • To finally get to a point where I have edited a novel length draft enough that I feel it is ready for beta readers.

I’m expecting a lot of writing non-related things to happen in 2018, so I’m not setting many goals.

Bluejay Feather

If you write, what are your answers to some of these questions? If not, what surprised you? What are some of your 2018 resolutions, especially book related ones? 

Share your thoughts in the comments below, and Merry Christmas if you celebrate, hope you had a nice day if you don’t!

Beautiful Books November 2017 || Starting Strong, Names That Aren’t Names, and Advice

Beautiful Books

Beautiful books is a meme hosted by Cait @paper fury and Sky @further up and further in in which writers discuss their current writing projects.

This month I’m discussing my science fiction project tentatively titled Pigs Play Pork.

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Disclaimer: Everything mentioned here is subject to change.

Bluejay Feather

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

My mental state is all right. My novel on the other hand. . . Well, it’s not much more edited than it was at the beginning of the month, but at least I’m forming a revision plan.

This is honestly not too surprising. I opted to focus on getting back into blogging over revisions this month. Hoping to not have to choose between the two next month when I should have more free time.

What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?

Okay, this line is even more subject to change than the rest of this, but as of right now it is:

“You play the pork,” Suzie says.

Who’s your current favourite character in your novel?

I never have gotten around to naming most of my characters, so that means I need to stick with the rather limited pool of characters that actually have names. Therefore, my choice is my main character, Lyle.

What do you love about your novel so far?

I love that I get to write from the perspective of someone who’s experience is radically different from my own and imagine what life would be like from this perspective.

Have you made any hilarious typos or other mistakes?

Most certainly, but it would take me forever to find something specific, so I’ll be general here. I use placeholder words for the characters I haven’t named yet. Sometimes I forget to put square brackets around these words and they can end up looking like they’re part of a sentence.

What is your favourite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why?

The beginning, without a doubt. When I sit down to write a novel length work, the idea I’ve picked is that one I’ve had for ages and can’t stop thinking about. The ability to start writing about what I’ve been thinking about for ages is wonderful.

That said, when it comes to writing shorter works, starting is the hardest part. Once I’ve started, the words flow easier.

What are your writing habits? Is there a specific snack you eat? Do you listen to music? What time of day do you write best? Feel free to show us a picture of your writing space!

When I have time, I tend to write in the hour before I go to sleep. That is because in a typical day, that is my only free time, and it only happens around three to four days a week.

That said, I will sometimes squeeze in five minutes of writing time here or there, but this is harder when editing because I need to be more focused to make sure I’m making my WIP better and not worse.

I also write a lot throughout the day on things not related to my WIP, so I suppose you could say I spend about equal time in a day writing and not writing.

How private are you about your novel while you’re writing? Do you need a cheer squad or do you work alone (like, ahem, Batman)?

I tend to be very private during most stages. When I’m starting my revisions on my second draft I’ll show some people the first chapter or two to make sure my feelings about what I need to change are accurate.

That’s about it until I get to a point when I’m satisfied with my work. Which has not happened with anything longer than 6,000 words or so, but it will someday. I’m sure of it.

What keeps you writing even when it’s hard?

My seeming inability to give up on things once I’ve started. Seriously, I don’t know when to quit.

What are your top 3 pieces of writing advice?

  1. Use a schedule. You don’t need to write everyday, but writing tends to work best if you take time out of your schedule and make it a routine whether that be once a day, twice a week, or a few times a month.
  2. Set reasonable goals. Emphasis on reasonable here. Set goals that you have full control over, are plausible, and measurable. Instead of, for example, making it your goal to get an agent this year, consider making it your goal to get a certain number of rejections or just to send out a certain number of queries if that sounds too bleak. (I’m a personal fan of the rejection based goal. It makes every rejection something to celebrate.)
  3. Keep trying. Sometimes the unexpected happens and that reasonable goal you set becomes achievable. That’s okay. It happens to everyone.
    Sometimes someone close to you sees success and you don’t. This is okay too. It doesn’t make you any worse off. It doesn’t mean you’re a terrible writer. Their success has no reflection on you at all, no matter how difficult this can be to remember.

 

Bluejay Feather

Do you write, if so how would you answer these questions? If not, do you have any advice for accomplishing major goals? What reading habits do you have? 

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Second Liebster Award || I Fail at Shipping

Liebster Award

I’d like to thank Lyndsey @Lyndsey’s Book Blog for the nomination!

Bluejay Feather

Rules

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their blog.
  • Answer their eleven questions.
  • Write eleven questions of your own.
  • Nominate eleven bloggers and let them know they’ve been tagged.

Lyndsey’s Questions/My Answers

If you could live in any fictional world (doesn’t have to be fantasy, just any book world) which would it be?

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I would want to live in the world of Scythe by Neal Shusterman because then I’d have the possibility of living a super long, happy life and have access to the thundercloud, which sounds awesome.

I would not, however, want to be a scythe. Wait, they make the people who don’t want to be scythes into scythes. Maybe this is isn’t the best idea after all . . .

Which fantasy creature would you love to have as a pet?

I would want a spren from The Stormlight Archive. Don’t think they’d appreciate being called pets though. They’d be more like a companion.

If you could control one of the elements (earth, air, water, fire) which would you choose?

I would choose water because it’s everywhere, and I can’t have fire because I would so burn myself by mistake.

Do you prefer tea or coffee? How do you take it?

Tea, I usually put mint in it, but no other sweeteners. I love mint too much for my own good. If I could, I’d probably put it in everything. I also like mint herbal teas a lot. Especially peppermint herbal teas.

Would you rather be too hot or too cold?

I used to say too cold, but I’ve lived in the subtropics for too long now and don’t know how to deal with the cold anymore. Now I have to say too hot.

What’s your favourite colour?

blue

Team Edward or Team Jacob?

During the time when I was into Twilight I would always answer “I don’t know” to this question. I’ve never been all that involved with shipping.

Go to your Goodreads to read list, what’s the fifth book on your list?

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Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

Ketchup or mayonnaise?

Ketchup

Do you prefer paperbacks, hardbacks, ebooks or audiobooks?

Lately, I prefer audiobooks because I don’t have time for much else, but if I had a choice I would choose hardcover/hardbacks.

Who would be your dream book boy/girlfriend?

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I honestly don’t know. I’m not really involved with shipping. I guess Lazlo from Strange the Dreamer because he seems nice? I think we’d get along well, and some of these perfect looking fictional boys make me nauseous thinking of their perfection. In some ways, Lazlo seems more realistic.

My Questions

  1. What is your favorite book genre?
  2. What’s the first book you remember reading?
  3. Why did you start your blog?
  4. What book did you expect to hate but end up loving anyway?
  5. What are you reading right now?
  6. Go to your bookshelf or Goodreads. Choose the first book you see. What’s the book’s title?
  7. Would you rather never read again or never write again?
  8. Open the first book you see and flip to a random page. What’s your favorite line on that page?
  9. What’s the first book blog you remember visiting?
  10. If you were going to give a free copy of one book to every person on the planet, what book would you choose?
  11. What is your favorite part about blogging?

My Nominations

Violet Daniels @a color of her own
Chelsea R. H. @an ordinary pen

The Story Sponge 

victoriaelizabethellis @Carton-Manette-Darnay
Madeline Rose @The Book Pusher

Some of you are probably wondering why there are only eight names on this list when the instructions say to nominate eleven people.

The blue jay must have eaten all the letters in those names. *shrugs* That’s the trouble with naming a blog after a bird.

Just kidding, I can’t decide who else to pick. If you’re a blogger and would like to become one of the missing names, let me know in the comments. I’ll consider adding your blog to the list.

Bluejay Feather
Were any of my answers a surprise? What would be your answers to the questions I was asked? Anything we have in common? 

 

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Beautiful Books October 2017

Beautiful BooksBeautiful books is a meme hosted by Cait @paper fury and Sky @further up and further in in which writers discuss their current writing projects. This time the theme is “Introducing your NaNoWriMo Novel.”

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Since I’m not participating in NaNoWriMo this November, I’ve opted to write about the first draft I wrote last summer.

Edit 10/25/17: Disclaimer: Everything written here is subject to change.

Bluejay Feather

What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

I was inspired by a news article I read about pig embryo with human cells, with the suggestion that people in the future might use pigs as organ donors. An article like this one.

The idea captivated me so much I wrote a short story not long after. At first, it seemed too ridiculous an idea to base a full novel around, but I was still so enthusiastic about these characters and had more positive beta reader feedback than I expected. So, I turned it into a novel length work.

I wrote the short story around last March, so that should give some idea of the timeline.

Describe what your novel is about!

It’s a young adult science fiction novel about Lyle, a teenager who’s only allowed off his parents’ property for doctors visits. Sometimes not even then. One day, Lyle discovers his parents had another child before him. One they intend to sacrifice Lyle to get back. At least, that’s how Lyle sees it, anyway.

Everything Lyle knows about the world beyond his backyard he learned from the few websites he was allowed to visit, his parents’ constant warnings, and peoples’ snide comments about him. Yet, Lyle’s only way to escape a fate he considers worse than death is to find a way to survive in a place he’s only glanced through the glass of a car window.

After running away, Lyle soon ends up trapped. If Lyle doesn’t reveal his identity, he will be killed in two weeks. Now Lyle’s only hope is to escape his imprisonment and avoid being recognized before the two weeks are up.

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

I hate to say it, but most of the description in my novel is disgusting. Like, while I was writing the first draft I had to skim on some of the concrete details because the visualization was making me gag. It all serves a purpose of setting up the dark, dreary atmosphere, though, so I guess that’s okay?

Introduce us to each of your characters!

Uh, there are a lot of characters. Twenty-four in my Scrivener character description files, to be exact, and, no doubt, more that I haven’t made a file for. Most of them don’t have names yet. It takes me forever, yes, even past draft one, to pick names out. For the sake of keeping this a reasonable length, I’ll have to sit this one out.

How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)

I’m an outliner. In fact, some of my outlines have been known to reach 10,000 words. Fortunately, this outline was only a little over 5,000 words. So, you know, keeping it brief, LOL.

What are you most looking forward to about this novel?

Well, I’ve already written the first draft. To be honest, that was what I most looked forward to. Now, I’m looking forward to having the whole thing edited enough I feel comfortable with someone else reading it.

List 3 things about your novel’s setting.

There are a lot of settings.

  1. One of them is a barn.
  2. Another is a suburban high school.
  3. A third is a hospital.

What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?

Lyle wants people, especially those he cares about, to accept him for who he his. His physical appearance and physical ability stand in his way often, as do a number of individuals who literally keep him trapped, and Lyle’s own ignorance.

How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?

Lyle grows more confident, more firm, and less trusting.

What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?

I try not to think of themes in my own works. I worry they make my work too preachy. While the story gets bleak sometimes, I want to leave readers hopeful for the future.

Bluejay Feather

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo next month? Have you decided not to participate but work on something anyway like me? Anyone revising a first draft? 

Share your thoughts in the comments below!