Beautiful People: June 2016

Beautiful People is a monthly meme hosted by Cait @Paper Fury and Sky @Further up and Further In in which writers answer questions about their characters. This month I’ve chosen Glenda, a major side character in my current work in … Continue reading

Pastry Book Tag

I’d like to thank Windie @ Geek Apprentice for tagging me! This tag was created by @Writing on a Vintage Typewriter.

CROISSANT: Name a popular book or series that everyone (including you) loves.

The Lunar Chronicles

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I don’t love this one as much as I used too, and I wouldn’t say that everyone loves it. However a lot of people do.

Macarons: Name a book that was hard to get through but worth it in the end.

Carry On

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I had a little trouble getting into this book as the beginning was so slow, but I ended up reading it very quickly as it picks up after that.

VOL-AU-VENT: Name a book that you thought would be amazing but fell flat.

The Maze Runner

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I had really high expectations for this book, but I just felt too distant from the characters to connect to the story properly.

PAIN-AU-CHOCOLAT: Name a book that you though would be one thing but turned out to be something else.

The Name of the Wind

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I wasn’t expecting this book’s plot to go the way it did. Probably going to get some hate for this, but the whole book I felt like I was waiting for a climax that never really came. So in that way the story was not what I expected.

PROFITEROLE: Name a book or series that doesn’t get enough attention.

Unwind

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I have to agree with the one who tagged me on this one. The Unwind series does not get enough love.

CROQUEMBOUCHE: Name a book or series that’s completely complex.

The Stormlight Archive

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The fictional world where this series is set is one of the most — if not the most– complex I have ever read about.

NAPOLEON: Name a movie or TV show based off a book that you liked better than the book itself.

The Maze Runner

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Didn’t really like the second movie, but I enjoyed the first one more than I did the book which, as I’ve mentioned, did not live up to my expectations.

EMPANADA: Name a book that was bittersweet.

The Hero of Ages (Mistborn #3)

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That ending . . . This is all I can say without spoilers. Anyone who has read this book will know what I mean.

KOLOMPEH: Name a book or series that takes place somewhere other than your own country.

The House of the Scorpion

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This book takes place in a combination of a fictional country located on what is now the border between the US and Mexico and a somewhat futuristic version of Mexico though it is called something else in the book.

PATE-A-CHOUX: Name a food from a book or series that you would like to try.

The Stormlight Archive

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I would like to try some of the foods Lift from the Stormlight Archives steals from the tables of the wealthy.

Spread The Love (of Food)

I tag Kat @book box by Kat and Chelsie @Chelsie’s Book Addiction.

Liebster Award

I’d like to thank Alicia @The Cyborg Knight for the nomination!

Rules

  • Thank the blogger who presented this award and link back to their blog
  • Answer the 11 question that the presenter asked you.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers. You may have to go hunting for these blogs, the idea is to find new blogs and share them with the community.
  • Write 11 questions for the bloggers you nominated to answer
  • Inform the bloggers you nominated by leaving a comment on their blog.

Questions Given to me

  • What is your favorite dessert?

Mint chocolate chip ice cream.

  • Think back to your childhood, what is one of your favorite memories?
Clue

Clue board game: Professor Plum in the library with a rope.

When I was twelve I had a birthday party that was essentially a life sized game of Clue. We made personalized invitations assigning each person a name from the board game or additional color themed names. It wasn’t as successful as we would have liked due to lying, but it was still very fun and well put together.

Edit: I’d like to clarify that it was a pretend life sized version of Clue. No one actually died, though we did make a fake crime scene. If it had been real it wouldn’t have been a very happy memory, now would it?

  • Who or what got into reading – why are you the bookworm you are today?
20151220_153826Narnia2

My well loved edition of The Chronicles of Narnia that helped me get into reading.

I had a hard time learning to read, but have always loved stories. At school I was forced to read books for children younger than my age group because of my low reading level. Thus, books seemed overly simplistic to me until I discovered fantasy books lying around my house. I think it was the Chronicles of Narnia that made me first start to enjoy reading.

  •  What goals do you have for your blog?

I started this blog because I wanted people to talk to about what I was reading. My goal remains the same: to have a place where I can discuss what I’m reading and writing with people who are actually interested in it.

  • If you could be featured by or write for any blog or publication, what would it be?

I’d love to be able to write for just about any famous blog or publication. None in particular come to mind at the moment.

  • You are being sent into space for a year and can only bring one book because of the weight restrictions (no Kindle) what book would you bring?

thick book

I would bring Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson. Not sure it would pass the weight restriction because of how huge it is (see above), but I could reread this book for a long time without getting board. If I can bring unpublished books I would bring the next book in the series.

  • What was your favorite subject in school?

History because it’s as close to storytelling and reading as you can get in a class.

  • You can only pick one superpower, what would it be?

I’ve written an entire novel length work from the perspective of a character who can read minds, but that has only made me realize how much I don’t want that ability.

The ability to move objects with my mind would be my choice. It would be extremely helpful to be able to get to objects too far to reach.

  • Coffee or tea?

Tea

  • Dogs or cats?

This is a hard question for me. Probably dogs because I currently have one, but I don’t have a cat.

  • Last question, if you could make enough money to live comfortably no matter what you do, what would your dream job be?

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    Printed draft of one of my works in progress.

Fiction writer, I write novel length works in my spare time, but would love being able to do so full time with no financial pressure.

My Questions for Nominees

  • How has blogging influenced the way you read?
  • What motivated you to start a blog?
  • What has been your favorite thing about blogging so far?
  • How do you decide what to read?
  • What are you currently reading, or if you’re not reading anything at the moment what is the last book you read?
  • If you could have an advanced copy of any book that has not yet been released which book would you choose?
  • Do you prefer ebooks, audio books, or physical books?
  • If you could interview any author who would you chose?
  • Which currently unadapted book would you most like to see adapted into a movie or TV show?
  • If you could have a signed copy of any book that you’ve read which would you chose?
  • If you could visit any place mentioned in a book you’ve read for a day (real or fictional locations) where would you go?

I Nominate

Windie @ Geek Apprentice, Bree @Literary Hellion@masquereader, Nya @nyareads, Emma @Emma the Book Lover, Hayley @Dream. Read. Believe., Estefani @fiction jungle, Aubrey @Aubrey’s Book Nook, Evie @justanotherbelle, Maye @akosimayeee,  and Morgan @Hopeless Book Addict

The Martian by Andy Wier 4.5 Stars

18007564Title: The Martian

Author: Andy Wier

Published: 2011

Genre: Adult Science Fiction

Synopsis: Mark Watney was part of an early mission to Mars, but what had been the opportunity of a life time quickly becomes a disaster. Believing Watney died in a Martian sandstorm, the crew has left Watney behind. The next Mars mission isn’t scheduled to arrive for another four years and Watney’s supplies were designed to last 31 days. With no way to contact NASA, Watney must find a way to defy the odds and survive.

Review: It’s next to impossible to write a good book where the main character is alone almost the whole time, but somehow Andy Weir has managed to pull it off.

This book is extremely well researched. As someone who has done a significant amount of research on Mars for the purpose of writing my first (never to be published) novel which was set on the red planet this is something I really appreciated. One of my issues with Red Rising was that it was clear little to no research had been done on the planet itself despite the fact that the entire book was set there. (Note that I still really enjoyed Red Rising overall in spite of this and gave it four stars.)

Our narrator, Mark Watney, has very strong voice. This allows him to carry the story on his own without it falling apart due to the lack of character interaction. The sections told in third person by members of NASA also add side characters to the story.

The pacing in this book is good. Just when one disaster ended another that somehow seemed even more desperate than the last began. In spite of this, I somehow did not feel as strong an urge to keep flipping pages and keep reading whenever possible as I do with some books. This brings me to my next point.

The reason this loses half a star is due to the fact that I didn’t feel enough emotional attachment to what was going on. I can’t say exactly why this is as the stakes were high at pretty much every moment. It might have something to do with the fact that we never seemed to get to hear much about Mark’s backstory, or at least it seemed that way to me. We heard a little bit about his college life and he mentioned his parents, but beyond that we never got to hear about someone outside of the crew who personally knew and cared about Mark. I think giving someone from Mark’s personal life a little page time or revealing more about his past may have made me care more.

What readers should know: This book is intended for adults. The language would be enough to make it rated R if they kept all of it in the movie, but due in part to the low amount of character interaction the language is just about the only thing that could be potentially deemed inappropriate.

Rating: This is a very realistic depiction of a Mission to Mars. Even though it wasn’t always as gripping as I would have liked it was still a great read and one that I highly recommend to readers who are even the slightest bit interested in Mars or space exploration.

4.5 blue jays

How a Book is Made Tag

Book Tag ImageSince I’ll be participating in July’s Camp Nanowrimo session I thought it would be appropriate to do a writing tag. (Camp NaNoWriMo is an internet based event where participants try to write a set amount of words in a month.) This tag was created by WritingMime over on YouTube. I don’t know if this tag has ever been adapted from video form into blog form before, but it’s just what I was looking for so I’m doing it.

1. Should you participate in National Novel Writing Month to create a book?

It’s not entirely necessary, but even if you don’t win it’s a great motivation and way to meet people online with similar interests. So I would say yes overall.
2. Self-publishing or tradition publishing?

I am going to try to traditionally publish once I feel that my writing has gotten to a publishable point. In fact, one of my current projects is in its third draft at the moment and I’m hoping to be done with major edits by the end of the summer with the intention of querying sometime next year. At the same time I am not opposed to self-publishing. I think its a great option to have. I just don’t really have the money to do it properly like I would want to at the moment.
3. Write one idea at a time or write all the ideas at once?

I tend to focus on one idea though I have tried multiple ideas and I usually end up just focused on one despite my efforts.
4. What genre is the easiest to write?

I don’t read a lot of contemporary, so that is definitely the most difficult for me. The easiest harder to determine, but it’s probably YA sci-fi especially if it’s set on Earth in a modern setting.
5. Where do you need to write to get the work done?

I have to sit at my desk in my room. I try to make it so that my desk is only for writing and homework so that it’s all I work on when I sit there and don’t get so distracted.
6. Where do you find your inspiration?

Multiple places. I’ve written stories based off of everything from dreams to real world events to aspects of other novels I felt were not explored to their full potential.
7. What age do you start writing?

I’ve always been making up outlandish stories, but I didn’t start writing them down until I was in middle school, and with a few exceptions most of what I wrote in middle school was just a few chapters before I decided to just imagine how the rest of the story would go in my mind and just leave it at that. It wasn’t until high school that I started feeling the need to write them out in their entirety.
8. What’s easiest to write? Short stories, stand-alones, series, etc.

Short stories are easiest, but I don’t really enjoy writing them or write them often. I spend most of my time on stand-alones with series potential as I find those the most rewarding.
9. Do you mill your books or take years to write a book?

I can write first drafts quickly if I’m participating in NaNoWriMo, but I take a long time to edit and often rewrite.
10. How fast can you type?

I have no idea. Not extraordinarily quickly, but faster than most teenagers.
11. Do you write in the dark or in the light?

Some of both. My best writing often comes in the early morning or late at night, but I can write throughout the day too and sometimes leave the lights on or off.
12. Hand-written or typed?

Typed, I like how I can back it up and don’t need to rewrite it solely for the purpose of putting it on a screen later.
13. Alone or with someone else?

When I’m actually writing I prefer to be alone for the most part, but sometimes word sprints can be great motivation and I enjoy talking to fellow writers. I can write in public so long as I’m fairly certain no one is reading the words as I type them.
14. Any typing hacks?

No.
15. Are you already published?

No, but I hope to be someday.
16. When did you first consider being an author? HOW? WHY? WHO?

Not 100 percent sure I understand this question, but I probably decided I wanted to publish something when I was well into the first draft of something novel length I’d actually finished in my freshmen year of high school. As to whether I consider myself an author I do not, I consider myself a writer, but not an author because I haven’t written anything beyond short stories I feel is entirely finished in terms of revision.

17. How many books do you have in draft form?

Four at the moment. Three are completed first drafts and one is a half completed third draft I’ve been putting a lot of time into lately.
18. Do you outline or no?

Yes, my first completed novel length draft was not outlined, but since then I have started outlining and they get more detailed with each work I finish.
19. What’s your favorite note-keeping strategy?

Using Scrivener or Microsoft Word to type my notes into.
20. What do you think about writing in different genres?

Two of my completed drafts were young adult, one was middle grade, and the latest could have been either adult or young adult depending on how it develops in later drafts. I’ve written one high fantasy, one urban fantasy, one science fiction novel set in space, and one science fiction novel set on Earth in modern times that borders on contemporary fiction so I’d say I’m okay with writing in different genres.

If anyone has more writing related questions for me, want to talk about NaNoWriMo, or have a suggestion for a future writing related post I would love to hear about it in the comments below.

Burn, Rewrite, Reread Tag

The purpose of this tag is to select three books at random and chose one to burn, one to rewrite, and one to reread of these three. If I burn anyone’s favorite books it’s nothing personal. It just has to be done. To select books I used my Goodreads read shelf, and the random integer function on my graphing calculator to select a row and column.

Not sure who created this tag, but all credit goes to them. I was tagged by Victoria over at Addlepates and Book Nerds. I’m not sure who has been tagged and who hasn’t, so I tag anyone who wants to do it.

Round 1: Endlessly, Inkheart, Charlotte’s Web

Endlessly (Paranormalcy, #3)Inkheart (Inkworld, #1)Charlotte's Web

Burn: Inkheart

I like this book, but look at the fire on the cover. It’s just begging to be burned.

Rewrite: Endlessly

This book was a lot of fun to read, but I feel maybe something can be added by revision.

Reread: Charlotte’s Web

It’s a classic, so burning it is not an option (as much as there are other classics I would love to). I also have no interest in writing a story about farm animals, and there’s just not anything to improve on.

Round 2: How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Dream Thieves, How to Read Literature Like a Professor

How the Grinch Stole Christmas!The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2)How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines

Burn: How to Read Literature like a Professor

This was my summer reading. Yeah, I’m feeling kind of bitter even if it was interesting to learn more about literary symbolism.

Rewrite: The Dream Thieves

I enjoyed the story-line, but found the novel itself hard to get into. I think some rewriting could change that.

Reread: How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

This book is super short, so it won’t take long to reread at all. This book was a huge part of my childhood, so of course I’m not going to burn it.

Round 3: The Iron Queen, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, A Great and Terrible Beauty

The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey, #3)The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia, #1)A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, #1)

Burn: Iron Queen

I feel bad because I really enjoyed this book. It’s only getting burned because I liked the others more.

Rewrite: A Great and Terrible Beauty

I really liked this book but would like to rewrite the first few chapters because I did not like the way the setting was introduced very much and almost stopped reading.

Reread: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

I’ve been meaning to reread this anyway. It’s one of the books that got me into reading in the first place, so I owe it a debt of gratitude.

This is the first book tag I’ve participated in, so I hope everyone enjoyed it, and that I’m doing this properly. If there is some part of the “book tag process” that I’ve done wrong please let me know in the comments and I’ll try to correct it as soon as possible.