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The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag 2020

We’re halfway through the year already. Incredible. It feels like it’s gone by in the blink of an eye, but it’s also felt like approximately three thousand years. Anyway.

My reading this year has been pretty steady; I’ve read 56 books thus far. At the beginning of, you know *gestures at everything* I was still reading a ton of books, but now I seem to be falling into a reading and writing slump, so there’s that. Alas. Continue reading “The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag 2020”

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The Writer’s Tag

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Nobody tagged me for this, but I saw it on Reading Every Night and thought it looked like fun! I’ve been writing a lot more recently.  Not only has the quality of my writing improved, but so have my habits. I’ve become more at ease with the kind of writer I am and what works for me.

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

I write mostly fantasy! I tend to flit between YA and Adult, or fall in that nebulous category right in between, but usually it’s fantasy. Although I do have one women’s fiction/romance work that’s hidden deep within the recesses of my laptop and shall not be seen by any human eyes for a long, long time, if ever.

A lot of the topics I write are things that I want to see in books, so, female friendships, lots and lots of female characters, f/f relationships, men and women being friends and just friends, diverse characters, non-western fantasy settings, women who are not defined by romance, trope subversion, and lots of magic.


How long have you been writing?

For a while! I wrote my first completed short story when I was…twelve, I think? It was a murder mystery called “Jealousy Can Be Murder.” It had a cover page with Microsoft Word images. It was really, really terrible. Right around the same time I started writing Inuyasha and Harry Potter fanfiction.


Why do you write?

I love creating different world and different characters. But I also need to write, because if I don’t, my head gets so cluttered with different thoughts and plots and people that I can hardly think straight. I daydream a lot, and a lot of those daydreams turn into my stories. If I don’t get them on paper, they drive me insane.


When is the best time to write?

There’s never one specific time; it really depends on my mood. Sometimes I’ll be all fancy and go to a nice coffee shop (rarely), but most of the time I’m just sneaking in time to write whenever I can. Usually it’s during my free time at work. Sometimes it’s weekend evenings when the house is quiet.  Sometimes it’s at night after I’ve come home from work. I’ve found that it’s good to write whenever and wherever and not tie it down to a certain aesthetic or anything.


What parts of writing do you love and hate?

The parts of writing I love are…

  • Creating new characters and giving them names and descriptions and personas
  • Creating maps of new worlds and world-building in general
  • The initial burst of energy and inspiration when I can’t stop writing
  • Making pretty sentences

The parts of writing I hate are…

  • Plotting.  I loathe plotting and I always worry that I’m terrible at it. There’s just so much thought that needs to go into plotting, you know? It’s like, is there enough conflict? Do the characters have realized arcs that mesh with the plot? Is there an inciting incident, climax, etc? Is it interesting enough? Is it fast-paced? Is there a twist? Where’s the twist? Is the twist shocking enough? Does everything make sense? It’s obviously the crux of the novel but I’m so insecure about it.

How do you overcome writer’s block?

Whenever I’m “blocked” it’s usually just because I’m stuck with something to do with the plot. This usually comes in the outline stage, since I’ve discovered I don’t like to start writing unless I have a completed outline. Anyway, whenever this happens, I either go read another book to get some inspiration or try to find inspiration from something else. Pinterest is great for that.


Are you working on something at the moment?

I’m working on many things! I have a fantasy WIP that I’m pretty serious about; it’s fully outlined and I’m halfway done writing it. Once I’ve edited it I want to start querying for agents with it, so fingers crossed. I have a bunch of other WIP novels in the works, and also a bunch of short stories.


What are your writing goals this year?

  1. Finish my current WIP, edit it, and start querying.
  2. Finish the two short stories I’ve been working on since forever.
  3. Outline another WIP.

I don’t quite know who to tag (I suck at tagging anyway), but if obviously if you feel like doing this, go forth, and pingback to me so I can read your answers!

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Top 5 Tuesday: Series I Want to Start This Year

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Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the fantastic Bionic Bookworm. This week’s topic:

JANUARY 9TH – Top 5 series I want to start this year

I’m generally not especially good with series unless they really, really wow me. I find that most series don’t really need to be series, or at least don’t need to be as long as they end up being. Furthermore, I have a really, really crappy memory, so I often need to wait until the entire series is out so that I can read it all at once, which is kind of annoying. I don’t always dislike series, however – there are some series that I wish would stretch longer, because I love them so much! Fingers crossed that the ones I talk about below turn out to be like that! Continue reading “Top 5 Tuesday: Series I Want to Start This Year”

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Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Books on my 2018 Bucketlist

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Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the fantastic Bionic Bookworm. This week’s topic:

JANUARY 9TH – Top 5 books on my 2018 bucket list


28449207Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor: I’ve been meaning to pick this up since the day it came out. It’s even on my Kindle! I’ve also been meaning to read her first series (I actually read the first book in it years ago, liked it a lot, but didn’t continue with the series for some reason). I’ve heard some amazing things about Strange the Dreamer, so here’s hoping I finally get to it this year.


26114463Nevernight by Jay Kristoff: This is a controversial book, begetting strong feelings of either love or hate in its readership. Apparently it’s written in a really weird way, but the plot sounds so damn cool! It makes me nervous that it’s shelved as DNF for so many people, but I just have to check it out.

 


25895524Red Sister by Mark Lawrence: Killers nuns. The books begins like so: “It is important, when killing a nun, to ensure that you bring an army of sufficient size. For Sister Thorn of the Sweet Mercy Convent, Lano Tacsis brought two hundred men.” I mean. Need I say more? Plus I’ve been meaning to read more adult fantasy, so this can be my foray into that.

 


19547856Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli: I’ve only read one book by this author but I loved it, so I want to pick up this more famous novel of hers! Everyone talks about this book. Plus it’s apparently turning into a movie this year so I’d like to read it before that.

 


35527721The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: This book is sitting and waiting for me on my Kindle and is also being turned into a film. I’m not sure why I haven’t gotten to it yet, except that I generally don’t prefer YA Contemporary. But this book has gotten so much praise that I’m certain it will be unlike any other YA Contemporary I’ve ever read.

end of year: accomplishments and resolutions

Top 5 Wednesday: 2018 Reading Resolutions

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Top Five Wednesday was created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey and is currently hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. Check out the goodreads group to learn more.

January 3rd: 2018 Reading Resolutions: Self explanatory. Let us know 5 of your reading goals for the year.

1. Read at least 70 books. This year I read 75, which is more than I’ve ever read in my adult life (in a single year, obviously). I know perfectly well I can achieve this if I devote enough time to it. I already read on my long commute but I also want to dedicate extra time at home to read, like on the weekends, which I normally spend lounging around doing absolutely nothing.

2. Read more outside my preferred genre. I started doing this a bit this year, but the majority of my reads still fall within YA fantasy. It’s my comfort genre and of course there’s nothing wrong with it, but I think I really need to expand my tastes a bit.  Of course I want to branch out more into literary fiction and classics, but I also want to read more adult fantasy, women’s fiction, historical fiction, and mystery.

3. Read more non-fiction! I used to read non-fiction all the time  but for some reason halfway through this year I kind of just…stopped? I have a bunch of non-fiction books on my shelves and on my Kindle that I’ve been meaning to read , so I definitely want to incorporate a few of those into my reading schedule.  I still want to prioritize fiction because of course fiction is what I write, but I also like to learn!

4. Read one book in Arabic. I say one, because I know even reading just one will be a slog. I have a bunch of Arabic books, including one of short stories, and Prisoner of Azkaban. I’m technically bilingual and I can read Arabic but it takes a loooooot of concentration and asking my mom what various words mean, so it’s less of a “curl up under the covers with a book” situation and more like a “sit at a desk with a pen and notebook” situation. Still, I really want to keep my language skills strong.

5. Don’t be afraid to re-read! This year I kind of implicitly forbade myself from re-reading because I wanted to spend my time learning a new writing style, a new kind of worldbuilding, etc. I guess I thought of re-reading as a waste of time? But I also don’t want to forget the absolute joy of reading something I’m in love with. I haven’t re-read Harry Potter or Sweep in years, so this just might be the year I do that, especially since Goodreads has that fancy new re-read feature now.