Tuesday, December 27, 2016

2016: My Year In Playlist Form

Hey, long time no see! I thought I'd take this chance, at the end of the year, to announce that I'm not really blogging here anymore. I keep hoping I'll find time to come back and do more but...it's not happening and I'm not sure if it will.

BUUUUT, I miss you all! And I'm still on twitter @TheStoryGoes_ and I've started a new writing blog called I'm A Writer, I Write here if you want to know what I'm up too. My only real regret this year, isn't basically quitting blogging because I just don't have the time for that and it started to be nothing but stress inducing, I do however regret losing touch with everyone. That wasn't my intention and am so sorry for that. <3

Much like last year, I decided to go through my year in the form of music. I do monthly playlists so it's easy to go back and see what I was listening too and when and a few things became obvious. One, is that it's a really good thing I stopped working on This World In Gray, it's a book I love, and poured my heart into but looking through the playlists from the beginning of this year when I was still working on that it was...depressing and too much like holding on to the past year that I poured into that book. It was both a hard and easy decision to let go of that book at the time, I worked on it for like two years and then just realized you know, it's not the one. But I think that's good. I can also clearly see my downward trajectory wherein from oh probably April to September I was pushing myself way too hard on things. That's again reflected in some damn depressing songs from around August/September when I really noticed what I was doing and that I needed to calm down a little.

July though was all the fun, while pushing myself harder than ever in Camp NaNo I wrote some fun things and I went on a writer's retreat with my mom and that was the best. In August I went to see Disturbed with Breaking Benjamin and that was amazing. Then I got one of the most inspiring ideas of my life, it was one of those that I kind of had to chase down and when I got it I just...knew it was going to be something special. And it all started with a song, Something Wild by Lindsey Stirling.

War of Hearts was a big song for me because I got obsessed with Shadowhunters this year and officially joined my first fandom where I've made some AMAZING friends, and also started writing fan fiction which proved to be really good for me.

For me the highs of my year are always marked by the fun songs, when I went through Marianas Trench phases, those were good months.

This is why I like using music to recount my year, even if I'm the only one that gets it. Because, if you're like me, you obsessively listen to certain songs at certain times and they always kind of instill in you the feelings you felt when you were obsessed with them, if that makes any kind of sense.

So yeah. 2016, in a playlist:


And 2017, my hopes in a playlist:


 

How are you all? Any goals/plans for next year???

Friday, November 18, 2016

#Eyewitness

Okay I'm the worst at posting recently and this isn't even book related but please read through because it's VERY IMPORTANT. 

Basically, we're trying to save a great tv show that has amazing LGBT representation! Among other things. XD

About Eyewitness: Eyewitness is a crime drama that airs Sunday nights on USA Network. It follows the story of two teenage boys (among others) Lukas and Phillip (one openly gay, one painfully closeted and confused) who witness a triple homicide that they then keep secret from the police on account of Lukas not wanting anyone to know he was out with Philip. It has great LGBT representation, not to mention an amazing cast, great writing, and an interesting plot with lots of complex characters!

A few reasons why you should watch it:

- Philkas: Let's be real, we're book bloggers, we're book nerds and we love the ships, right? So Philkas is an amazing ship for many reasons. But, you know, most importantly they're lovable, they have issues, make stupid choices but they're REAL, you know? And they'll break your heart and put you back together again in like every episode, many times.

- All the amazing characters. To find other characters that are great you need look no further than Helen and Gabe who have taken Philip in because his mom is a drug addict. Again, they're both flawed (Helen's not good with trust and clearly has some bad things in her past) but who doesn't like flawed characters??? And yeah, a lot of the characters are super flawed and you know bad and things, but it's good, just trust me, I've never steered you wrong before!

- Crime drama, bruh. There's crime. There's drama. There's a triple homicide and creepy af killer. What else could you want????

I know the book blogging world is always about how we NEED diverse books and we DO but we also need diverse tv shows and Eyewitness is such a great show and they handle their gay characters SO WELL. And it's going to get canceled and it won't get a second season if we can't increase the views which is just a shame. One of tv's best and only LGBT shows getting canceled even though it's an amazing show both including and not even talking about the LGBT representation because no one will watch it!?!?!?!

For the last few weeks the fandom has been working overtime on Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook, trying to help increase views and make the network aware of how many people love the show and how important it is, and we increased views last week which was amazing but not enough sadly! So we need to reach out even further and do all we can this week when the new episode airs on Sunday night at 10pm!

If you need more convincing the actor that plays one of the main roles (Lukas, a very confused and hurting gay teenager) wrote this today:




So please if can signal boost this, watch the past episodes on USA Network if you want and just give it a chance! Even if you don't actually watch it if you could just turn your tv to USA and help with views and give it a chance that would be awesome. Anything would help if you'd just give the show a chance, please! I don't know if any book bloggers out there are watching the show but I KNOW if we can get a bunch too it could really help! 
If you can tweet @USA_Network and include hashtags #eyewitness and #wewanteyewitnessseason2 that would be beyond amazing, but most importantly just give the show a chance, see if you like it, it's amazing!

If you want to know more I'm going to link to a few posts on a friend's Tumblr, she's the best at these things and here are some of her posts about the show. How to save Eyewitness here , here and here.

Other various links:

USA Network -- to watch the first episodes!

USA Network on twitter - to tweet your love

USA Network on Facebook -- to talk about your love

Thanks for reading guys and make sure to check out the show if you haven't yet! XD

Friday, October 21, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016!!!!

Hello it's me...again. XD



Okay, I'm sure no one will be surprised to hear that I'm doing NaNoWriMo next month! Which of course I am, I haven't missed a year since I started in 2013! This will be my 4th year and I can honestly say, my year wouldn't be the same without NaNo. It's become a tradition, my favorite months of the year: Halloween. NaNoWriMo. Christmas. Or you know, what normal people call them: October. November. December.

I do NaNo a looot. This year I did both Camp sessions in April and July, July being my new record of writing 204,909 words. I nearly died. But nothing compares to November, okay? It's all cold and fall like and just the perfect time to write okay?! And there's Christmas candy out and it's the time for drinking all the warm things and November NaNoWriMo is my aesthetic, okay?

I already posted some about this on my writing blog but it didn't feel right to not post my normal NaNo announcement here! And to beg all my friends to join me! So you know, you should do NaNo! It's fun and productive and maybe a little stressful but that's what makes it worth it! My cabinmates and I from July even have a little group you can join, and mingle if you want! SO dooooo it so I can root for you and we can all have fun!

So what am I writing?

Inventions, Dragons, and Hot Air Balloons!

Genre: MG, Fantasy/Adventure

Main characters: Margo, a twelve-year-old aeronaut, and inventor. And Adalyn, a quirky princess who craves adventure.

A little about it:

Well...this was going to be a stand-alone adventure novel but then last night it morphed into a series...so that happened. Here is the little synopsis I wrote up for it though:

12-year-old Margo lives in a kingdom. Not a magical kingdom, just a boring old kingdom. She spends her days in her father's hot air balloon as part of a performers troop and her nights dreaming of magic - not for adventure and not because of the stories of great friendly dragons. No, because of the other stories, the ones that talk about magic and science, melding together. Because Margo dreams of being an inventor, saving her father's failing business as an aeronaut and creating the most thrilling inventions, starting with a better way to fly.

Princess Adalyn has a tendency to run away. If the kingdom is boring, the castle is impossibly worse. Her older sister is always telling her what to do and how to act, her parents insist magic isn't real but Adalyn knows what she saw the night of her tenth birthday, flying overhead in the sky: a dragon, And not just any dragon, her dragon. Just like in the old stories she knows they're bonded, she just has to find him.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the great ocean, lies a world long forgotten to those in the kingdom, a world of science and magic and adventure. When Margo and Adalyn team up for the grand hot air balloon race, it leads to destruction as the balloon crashes and Margo's father is taken away by a strange man in a golden mask. Luckily, that's when the dragon arrives.

Um, I'm like super excited for this. I mean, I'm always excited to work on a new novel but some just...I just have a really good feeling about this! It's kind of my favorite type of book to write, full of magic and adventure and whimsy so yeah. I haven't finished outlining, I'm hopelessly behind on things but I'm super excited for this!

Are you going to do NaNo? Is there any way I could convince you? And would you like to join my writing group if you are? And what are you going, of course?? If you aren't doing NaNo, any fun plans next month?

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Characters Who've Influenced Me

I was talking to a friend on Tumblr the other day and she asked me which characters I thought influenced my personality growing up and it was such an interesting question and so freaking hard to answer that I decided to turn it into a blog post!


(also look at me, posting! this has honestly been sitting in my draft for months but I finally finished it!)


So this is a hard question, her exact question was what character influenced my personality and for that like I'm thinking of characters I admired growing up, the ones I wanted to be and so they influenced, in whatever small ways, how I acted and everything, if that makes any sense.

So the biggest one would probably be Thalia Grace from Percy Jackson. Percy Jackson was the series that got me into reading and I love Percy, and I love Grover, and of course Annabeth, and while I admired all of them, especially Annabeth because she's smart and amazing, I wanted to be Thalia. She's a badass and she owns it and I've always wanted to be a badass. I wanted to wear black and lots of eyeliner and threaten people and this sounds bad but I mean it all in a good way! And she swore off boys, so I love her for that too, okay? So, Thalia definitely influenced my personality growing up.


Everyone says Hermione, I feel, and this isn't a bad thing. Everyone should be so lucky as to be influenced by and want to be Hermione, she's a badass and she's amazingly smart and there's so much to Hermione that makes her one of the best characters but...I wanted to be Luna Lovegood and Luna is who I feel inspired me and my personality growing up. I feel like I've always been drawn to the eccentric, crazy characters, who don't necessarily completely fit in but they own who they are and they're happy with who they are and that is Luna Lovegood. And she's such an amazing character. She's strange but she's so smart and she's fine being strange cause that's who she is. She's a misfit but she finds a place in the world and she doesn't change to do it and she doesn't care what people think. I'm strange and I'm crazy and I've always wanted to be that way and Luna helped me with that.


Princess Raisa ana’Marianna from The Seven Realms novels. If you haven't read these, first of all, do so at your earliest convince. I started reading these as soon as they came out because I love this author, so I was about 13? And Raisa is just so much goals okay? She's a crown princess, she's smart, she can kick major ass and yeah, basically everything you could want in a future queen or a best friend. She's just...goals. That's the only way to explain her.


Padme Amidala from Star Wars. Okay, shot me now, I love the Star Wars prequels. When I was tiny I wanted nothing more than to be Padme, okay? She has kickass hair, she's pretty and smart and can hold her own in a fight and I still love her to this day.

So then you have Katniss, and Hermione, and Annabeth, Princess Leia, Rey, Buffy, Lorelai Gilmore, and so many others. And basically what these all have in common is they are badass girls and women, and they all taught me so much growing up, and they all inspired me in so many ways and, like I still aspire to be as amazing as every one of them. They definitely influenced my personality and just everything, growing up.


As you can see, they are all amazing females. Haha. So I feel I'm missing important people here but I can't think of them at the moment and this list could go on forever if I start mentioning all the ones that came after my "early years" (read: ages like 10 through 15). If I had to pick a character right now who was like my current "life goals" that would have to be Magnus Bane because who doesn't want to be like Magnus Bane, ok? He's kind and badass and fabulous and much like Luna Lovegood he doesn't care what anyone thinks! Also eyeliner game on point. He is the person I would want to be my life coach and mentor. Along with Isabelle Lightwood.


Stay tuned for part two, the books that most influenced me growing up!


And let me know what characters influenced you, your personality, who you wanted to be, everything, in the comments! Also, most importantly, if you could pick one character to be your life coach/mentor who would it be?!?!

Other Things On The Blog -
Well, I haven't blogged in forever so there's not much but I do have a new writing blog you can check out here!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Summer Recap: ALL THE THINGS

Hello, it's me
I was wondering if after all these months you'd like me to start blogging again...


Okay, I'm the world's worst blogger and I have no promises about this not being my only post for another month...but I'm TRYING. And to start, let's recap the summer I stopped blogging... =)


To start with, let's talk reading! Yeah, that hasn't been happening much at all... I was reading ACOTAR for literally two months and I didn't read anything else while reading that... Ooops. One reason I've been struggling to blog is I've been struggling to read and I don't really know why? It's not really...a normal reading slump, it's hard to explain. But I have this amazing friend on Tumblr who is now dedicated to making me read more again and getting me over my "slump". So I finished ACOTAR and read ACOMAF in less than a week which I count as a victory! I may try and review these and break into my blogging slump too, we will see! ACOTAR was more of like 3 stars for me where ACOMAF was probably 4 stars.


Writing things...next question.

...

No? Okay, I've been writing and slumping and miserable and awesome and all kinds of things. I started a new writing blog, yay! I won Camp NaNo by writing 200k, yay! And I did a 24-hour writing marathon that ended with me forcing myself to stay awake and writing the words "tired" and "sleep" randomly through the chapter I was working on...



Vacations: So back in July during Camp, my mom and I went up to the lake for the week for a "writer's retreat" and that was just all kinds of fun. I got a lot of writing done and it was just nice to spend time with her, and walk along the lake and we did soPokemonmon hunting and had some nice dinners and it was just really nice. And I went out on the lake for the first time in a giant boat which is a big deal because I'm terrified of large bodies of water. *shivers*

Concert: Guys, I went to the best concert ever. And that's saying a lot because I've seen Taylor Swift and Linkin' Park and lots of amazing bands. Er. So yeah. I went to Concord with my brothers to see Disturbed and Breaking Benjamin and then at the last moment we found out that Saint Asonia was opening which is exciting because the lead singer is the original singer from Three Days Grace my heart... And AHHH SUCH an amazing concert. Disturbed was so amazing, they played their cover of Sound Of Silence and ahhh the chills. Best part though was when they played "The Light" because they had most the giant lights off and had everyone just flash their lights, only hold up your phone or your lighter when the part "the light" comes on and it was sooo awesome. And ah. Breaking Benjamin was also AMAAAAZZING. They covered Nirvana and had this Star Wars tribute, plus played all my favorites. Sooo awesome.


So yes. I'm ready for it to be fall, I even died my hair. Going from my summery bright purple to a dark red. And I'm drinking all the pumpkin spice lattes and writing and yeah, all the things.



Other highlights...er, did I ever mention how I ripped off my toe nail? Like the whole thing? well, most. I had to have it removed but it's mostly grown back now. And the embarrassing part? I did it while out hunting Pokemon in the middle of the night....


Update on writing! This morning I found out I got into Pitch Slam! Which is awesome and exciting because I didn't really think I would? But it's a nice opportunity and kind of awesome especially considering I think it was like just over 350 people entered and 52 got picked? So, that's kind of cool. And I'm excited!
 If you don't know what it is, it's a pitch contest for writers, there's an awesome panel of judges who sifted through all the entries and four team captains who eventually all picked 10 entries and now we're officially into the "agent round" where agents go through the entries that were picked and bid on them (biding means requesting your query + sample pages, the more they like it, the more sample pages they request). So yeah, fun! I'm officially part of team Take A Seat and if you want to see my entry and read the first page of my MS go here! (you can also find out my full name... XD)

So what have I missed? What's going on with everyone? How's it going? What books have I missed that have come out recently that I should be reading? Tell me all the things but most importantly, how are you?!?

Monday, August 29, 2016

New Writing Blog!

Okay, so let's start by saying obviously I have not been blogging...at all. I'm going to be honest and say that I've been thinking a lot about blogging recently and what I'm going to do in regards to this blog and I don't know yet. I haven't been blogging. I haven't been keeping up with all my amazing blogging friends. I haven't even been reading much, to be honest. So, I just don't know.

What I have decided is to start a new writing/author blog. So I did that, because I needed a place to talk about writing and everything and I didn't want to do it here anymore because this is supposed to be a book blog even if it's mostly empty at the moment. So yeah.

I started a new writing blog over on Wordpress mostly because it seemed like a good time to try out WordPress. I'll be talking all about writing over there. Advice posts. Posts about my novels and everything. It's called I'm A Writer, I Write if you want to check it out click here!

Thanks for everyone who hasn't given up on me since I've basically stopped blogging. I promise to figure out what I'm doing here soon and I'm going to try really hard to get back into the habit of reading everyone's blog because I MISS YOU ALL SO MUCH!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Pitch Wars Mentee Bio

It's that time again..Pitch Wars. Dun dun dun! Which means, it's time to write a hopeful mentee bio...
(Pitch Wars is an awesome contest thing ran by the lovely Brenda Drake, read all about it here!)

(Truthfully, I'm terrible at these things! So for one, I'm including my favorite gifs, maybe that will tell you a little about me?)


My Standard About Me:

Avid reader, music fanatic, aspiring to be published writer who lives in Narnia but spends winters at Hogwarts. (By the way, both Narnia and Hogwarts are located in Northern Nevada =D)

So yeah. I'm Shay (short for Shayla), I'm 20 years old and am currently spending all of my time writing. I probably spend too much time with my cats, and my coffee intake increases every day. I'm a Gryfinpuff, I'm way too dramatic most the time, use too many exclamation points when talking!!!!, a rambler, and fancy myself at least a little bit evil. =)

Oh, also, I can bake really well. Just saying. I'm not trying to bribe anyone but I could share recipes/somehow manage to send you epic cookies if you pick me. =)


Writing History:

I've been writing seriously since I was sixteen. In that time, I've written around 14 novels and not edited nearly enough of them. I've written everything from Middle-Grade Fantasy to Young Adult Contemporary, with some dystopian, some sci-fi, and various other things in there. The only ones I've seriously queried were my first book, which I was naive and it was so not ready. And then a YA Contemporary that I entered in Pitch Wars last year. I had a little interest but didn't end up getting picked. After revising and editing and revising again, I queried it for a bit but, despite some full requests, I didn't get anywhere so I shifted focus to my newest MS, which is a Middle-Grade Magical Realism novel titled The (Sometimes Grand) Adventures Of Ren & Farrah. I first wrote it last July in a rushed nine days I believe, and I wrote it because I wanted to write something fun and magical and explore imagination.

I've recently come to the realization that middle grade is my soul. I love YA and I want to write YA also but MG will always be my favorite. It's what I've wanted to write since I was a middle grade reader and, as much as I love dabbling in other genres, it's the one I keep coming back too.


Random Facts About Me:

- I'm bad at this kind of thing!
- A few of my favorite books are:
        - Alice's Adventures In Wonderland
        - The Percy Jackson series
        - Harry Potter (of course)
        - The Raven Cycle
        - Fablehaven
        - A billion others
- A few of my favorite movies/TV shows:
        - Harry Potter
        - The Hobbit movies!
        - Tangled
        - Big Hero 6
        - The Big Bang Theory
        - Supernatural
- My current obsession is:  The TV show Shadowhunters
- I have thing for dying my hair which is currently purple
- I'm super clumsy
- Magnus Bane is my personal life goals
- To be honest, I nearly broke my toe playing Pokemon GO...
- I'm obsessed with NaNoWriMo


About my novel:
 I'm going to do this in two parts, one: a list of things about my novel and two: a playlist.

Things that The (Sometimes Grand) Adventures Of Ren & Farrah has:

- Adventure that is sometimes grand.
- A pair of sisters who couldn't be more different, but love each other fiercely, even if they don't necessarily believe the same things anymore.
- Ten-year-old Ren, a girl who believes in nothing more than she believes in magic, and who wants nothing more than to save the renaissance faire she lives in.
- Farrah, who's 14 and very...angsty.
- Magic!
- Whimsy!
- A Renaissance faire that's in it's 50th season, which may have ben cursed by an evil wizard?
- Tiny giants and giant imaginations!
- A mysterious trickster...
- ...did I mention the tiny giants and magic?


Playlist:
I obsess over making playlists and this is probably the 5th or 6th version of this one? I tend to redo them for each draft. But anyone who wants an idea of the overall feel of my novels should just look at my playlists. =)



Aaaand, that's it. Good luck to all my fellow hopeful mentees and if any of you happen to read this please feel free to leave me a link to your own bio in the comments so we can become the best of friends! Read the other mentee bios here and I'm going to stop rambling now and leave off with my favorite gif:


Monday, July 18, 2016

Camp NaNo: The Beginning: Update #1

Once again I am failing at blogging...



I've been doing Camp NaNoWriMo this month with the insane goal of writing 200,000 words. That's 4 of a normal NaNo goal of 50k!


SOOOO I had intended to post more this month (so behind on all the things) and at the very least, do a camp update every week well, that failed because of reasons. I have been busier than I had hoped this month so every little bit of time I have has been spent writing! =D

Let's look at week one:

During week 1...


I wrote: 47,644

And drank: LOTS of coffee

Other highlights:

- I started out writing Forgotten Name which I have been so excited about since I got the idea and I LOVED writing this book so much. It was fun, it was one of those that was a little easier to write than others and it needs a lot of work because it's a first draft but I loved writing it so much.

- Starting at Midnight on the 1st I had a great start to camp!

- Sprinting! My amazing cabin has set up a leader board for sprints meaning I'm actually doing word sprints this month and it's SO MUCH FUN.

- Pokemon GO... I'm sure a lot of you know about Pokemon GO by now... Well, I started playing week 1, when it came out and I'm obsessed and it's so much fun and some of my cabin mates are playing too which is awesome. Buuuut, um, this is the reason I first started falling behind on my word count. NOT because I let it distract me from writing (though I did...a little?) but because I um...went Poke-hunting at like midnight and tripped and injured myself???? Yeeeeah, I did. It wasn't anything bad but it kind of hurt and it was gross. I won't go into detail, I'll just say I had to have most my toenail removed. Yeeah. I'm that person. the person who got a minor yet dumb injury playing Pokemon.


Me at the end of week one:


Week two:

Word count: 85.891

Coffee count: Lots!

Other highlights:

- I finished Forgotten Name! Again, LOOOOVED writing this so much. It needs work, I already have a list of things it needs done to it but I love it and it was fun to write.

- Fell behind further because LIFE

- Got a new plot bunny and decided to write that as my second project instead of something I'd already outlined...

- Started my second project, codename: M.I.F. and am in looove with it. It was a little harder to write, difficult to get into which made me fall a little behind because it was taking longer to get my word count met on it, but I love it sooo much.

Week 2, summed up in a gif:

And now for this week:

- I'm about to finish project number 2! It's a very short book! (Update: finished project number 2 and the end is less sad than I thought it was going to be!)

- Reached 100k. What what. I'm halfway there!

- My plans have changed slightly because I want to do Pitch Wars next month, therefore I have to have my main project I've been working on since last July camp, edited again. I wasn't sure I was going to do this because I was waiting for feedback from some CPs but I got the feedback and it was pretty good with just a few little things pointed out that I'm going to be working on fixing now!

- Writer's retreat! So, last November my mom found this thing about people who were renting a castle for a writer's retreat and, while we can't do that, we've decided to work up to that by starting with renting a nice room for four days up at the lake. We live just a few hours from Lake Tahoe so we're going up there for a "writer's retreat" where I shall edit my book and possibly start something new...who knows? Pictures to come!


The end...
What happens when you try to write 200k in one month:

No but seriously, camps been fun so far!

- Shay,
with love from camp =)


What have you been doing this month? Camp? If so, how's it going? If not, what have you been reading?? Any fun summer plans??? =)

Thursday, July 7, 2016

A Novel Idea #3: My First Story



The lovely Sky and Ashley are doing this weekly writing link up, where every week they're going to have different prompts and whatnot to get everyone talking about writing and hopefully feeling motivated. You can see the details here.



This week’s prompt is: Tell us about one of your first stories. When did you start writing it, and why? Do you remember the characters’ names? Are you still writing it? If not, do you think you’ll ever rewrite it? What did you learn while writing it?

My Very First Story:

Sooo, I got my first real idea on October 25th 2010. I know the exact date, I can remember the moment, because I got it when listening to Taylor Swift's Speak Now for the first time, especially the song Long Live. Something about the song just triggered my mind and bam. IDEA.

The notebook I outlined my first idea in!

So my first story was called Dragon Heir (more of a general series name than the title of the first book). It's a middle-grade fantasy adventure novel with dragons. The first in a series. I started actually writing it in 2012, after two years filling a green notebook (pictured above!) with ideas on the world and characters and story.

When I Started Writing It and Why:

I have to give credit to my older brother, because I'd been talking about the book forever. I was 14 when I first got the idea, 16 when I wrote it, and I only wrote it because my family went out to dinner one night (I can't remember what it was for? My birthday? His? Maybe, because it was this expensive place we only go every once in a while) anyway, somehow we got to talking, me and him, about Dragon Hier and it was the first time I REALLY talked about it, more than saying "I'm going to be a writer and I'm going to write a book...with dragons". And in the car on the way home, he basically decided for me that I was actually going to start writing it and so...I did. He didn't really give me any choice, tbh. Pretty much every day after that for a few months, I would write a chapter or so and then he would read it. Before then, it was kind of just this vague concept in my mind. I was going to be a writer and one day I would actually start writing. But my brother is definitely who finally pushed me to actually WRITE.

Character's Names:

Of course, I remember my character names! I still consider the MC my main squeeze (okay, I'm lame, sue me). She was my first character. She's very dear to my heart and no one, no other character, will hold quite the same place in my heart. Her name is Cass, she has a sister named Pan. The other "main characters" (there's a group of eight) are Wesley, Spring, Caiden (who was mostly deleted in the last rewrite?), Eilot, Leaf, and Cori. They were all too perfect and boring in the first draft, I had to do a lot of work before rewriting it to give them real personalities and you know flaws. But I love them all.

Am I Still Writing It?

Yes! I am still am writing it. I just completely rewrote the first in the series for Camp NaNo in April. After 3 years of not touching it? But it was always in the back of my mind. I'm fairly confident that it's a lot better now because I know how to plot and how to world build and how to, you know, actually have a story arc. Honestly, I will never give up on this novel. There's none I love the same way I love this book, it will always be my first dream, my biggest dream, to one day have it perfected and published and it will always have a special place in my heart. ;)

What Did I Learn From Writing This Book? 

I guess the main thing I learned when I first wrote this story was that I really loved writing and it really is what I want to do forever. I also learned that writing is hard and there's a lot more to it than just putting words on paper. Really, everything I've learned from writing I learned from writing the crappiest version of this book. I loved it when I first finished but then I realized a few months after revising it that it wasn't near the book I pictured in my head and that taught me just much work goes into books and how you have to take your time and be willing to rewrite something a million times to make it perfect.


Okay, I'm done rambling. If you're a writer, tell me about your first story!?!? If you're a reader tell me about the first book you really LOVED!?!?

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Camp NaNoWriMo Supply List!

Happy eve of Camp NaNoWriMo!

Camp officially starts in just under 2 hours here! AHHHH!

So this is a little late but here is the list of supplies one needs for Camp NaNoWriMo. Luckily, you can stock up on supplies at any time!

There are 3 musts if you wish to survive camp, first of all:

Caffeine:

I suggest:

  •  Lots of coffee
  • Starbucks double shots that you buy at the store and they're amazing *wide eyes*
  • Iced coffee
  • Starbucks...


Other options:

  • Tea!
  • Iced tea!
  • Hot chocolate (no caffeine which how do you survive without caffeine? but still tasty!)
  • Energy drinks
  • Caffeinated soda (none of that caffeinated garbage!)


Sweet Snacks:

I suggest:

  • Something chocolatey - chocolate is a must!
  • lollipops - good to suck on while writing!
  • Gum! - good for when you're tired but still need to push through a write another hundred words!
  • Hard candy!


Other options:

  • Cookies.
  • Basically anything. As long as it's sweet.



Salty Snacks:

I suggest:

  • Chips! (I like sun chips!)
  • popcorn! (my personal favorite, I like to get kettle corn though, then you get your sweet and salty together!)
  • peanuts!
Other options:
  • Er...my mind went blank, to be honest...


Now that you got your caffeine and your sweet and your salty what else could you possible need?


  • Headphones! Or other assorted ways of listening to music and blocking out the real world!
  • Notebooks! (always come in handy)
  • Pens! (dido ^)
  • A cat! (for reasons)
  • Or two cats! (for better reasons)
  • A blanket and a pillow for sleeping purposes (at your desk, in bed, while still writing...)
  • A Camp t-shirt! (What? I love buying the camp shirts!)

My recently purchased camp supplies:



OKAY! So I will probably be blogging less than ever about books! But I'll do some Camp Updates throughout July and I'll try to visit more blogs cause I'm falling behind again! Also, I'm going up to Lake Tahoe for a long weekend/writing retreat. It's just my mom and I, she's going to read, I'm going to write. It's planned for the week of the 20th, I believe, so I'll share pictures of that! =)

Tell me, did I forget a must on my list? Are you doing Camp? If not, what fun plans do you have for July!?!?!?! Tell me all the things!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sunday Street Team: All The Feels - REVIEW + GIVEAWAY!


All The Feels
29222548by Danika Stone
Release date: June 7th
Format: ARC
Genre: YA Contemporary
Goodreads Link

College freshman Liv is more than just a fangirl: The Starveil movies are her life… So, when her favorite character, Captain Matt Spartan, is killed off at the end of the last movie, Liv Just. Can’t. Deal.
Tired of sitting in her room sobbing, Liv decides to launch an online campaign to bring her beloved hero back to life. With the help of her best friend, Xander, actor and steampunk cosplayer extraordinaire, she creates #SpartanSurvived, a campaign to ignite the fandom. But as her online life succeeds beyond her wildest dreams, Liv is forced to balance that with the pressures of school, her mother’s disapproval, and her (mostly nonexistent and entirely traumatic) romantic life. A trip to DragonCon with Xander might be exactly what she needs to figure out what she really wants.
I received this book from the publisher through Netgalley to review honestly

My Rating:



Review:

So, as a major fangirl, obviously, I felt a great NEED to read this book. I love my contemporary books and I love anything where the character is a giant nerd I can relate too. As is the case with Liv. Liv is destroyed after seeing the latest in her favorite movie franchise, where her favorite character, her hero, dies at the end. Liv just can't let it go. Spartan and Starveil was more than just a character and a movie to her. It was part of her and now it's just and gone.

I relate to Liv on so many levels. Not only with feeling the way she has when some of my favorite characters have been killed off, and how fandom is so amazing and so much a part of my life not a hobby, but also on the level of her being an extremely socially anxious person. She's not shy, she can talk to people and make friends but she doesn't know how and she's so nervous she nearly pukes at the thought. And yup. That I can relate too.

I loved Liv, basically. She's awesome and nerdy, and flawed but still great. Xander is just the epitome of a book boyfriend, that's all I'll say. There weren't really a ton of side characters but I loved the Starveil fandom!

This book is very fun and fast paced. i loved the writing and the author really nailed what it feels like to be in fandom and to care so much for fictional characters. I loved that the main plot is just Liv trying to resurrect her favorite character and how much this ties into her life and her well-being.

SO downsides... I just kind of wanted the story to go a little further? I feel like we just grazed the outskirts of what it's like to be in a fandom and to be swept up in something like Liv is. I feel like the book kind of glossed over parts that could've been so much better! It's not that they weren't good as it, they were, but they could've been great. I wanted to feel more of the comrades that comes in a fandom. You felt it when Liv was messaging her friends online and Liv was so adamant that they were real friends to her but then she meets them... And I get what the author was going for, not everyone you meet online is exactly what you think they are, even just in small ways. Your favorite fic writer ends up being an over weight forty-year-old woman... But I still wanted the comradie and it felt like Liv wasn't really a part of it anymore at that point. I don't know. I just kind of wanted more build up to the end? I wanted more conflict and struggle because that's what this book was really lacking.

There were lines along the lines of like the fans deciding the future of shows and the fans making the actors what they are and I wanted this expanded upon in some way. It's all leading up to Liv at Dragoncon trying to save her favorite movies and finally meeting the actor who plays her favorite character and I just wanted a little more from the end was all.

OVERALL: I really enjoyed this book. It's fast paced and fun, Liv is the most relatable character ever and I loved how nerdy it was. Like the chapter headers are qoutes from fantasy and sci-fi, and just...greatest thing ever, okay? I reccomend it to anyone who's part of a fandom, you will relate to this book and just have a fun old time here.



About the author:
Danika Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of her Masters thesis. A self-declared bibliophile, Danika now writes novels for both adults (The Intaglio Series and Ctrl Z) and teens (All the Feels). When not writing, Danika can be found hiking in the Rockies, planning grand adventures, and spending far too much time online. She lives with her husband, three sons, and a houseful of imaginary characters in a windy corner of Alberta, Canada.
Ms. Stone is represented by Morty Mint of Mint Literary Agency.



Friday, June 24, 2016

A Novel Idea #2: A Back Cover Synopsis



The lovely Sky and Ashley are doing this weekly writing link up, where every week they're going to have different prompts and whatnot to get everyone talking about writing and hopefully feeling motivated. You can see the details here.



This week’s prompt is: What would the back cover of your novel say?


True story, I hate writing synopses. Mainly I hate having to write different ones for different things. I'm pretty good with query letters by now but then sometimes you have to write different length synopses and whatnot for different things and it KILLS me. Still, I gave it a try, for you. Let's go with our theme here and talk about The Forgotten Name which is going to be my NaNo novel next month (you can read a little about it here, and read about one of the main characters (Raze) here).

Two things! First, this is just what I threw together to use here and on my Camp NaNo page so it's probably not the best. Second, I haven't actually named the world in this novel so "Malnation" is just a stand-in because Mal is the name of the main character.

Without further ado:

Mal has worlds inside his head. Well…one world anyway. Malnation is the world Mal created when he was seven years old. After his dad left him and his mom lost her job, when they were sleeping in their van in the parking lot of a rundown playground. That was the first time he saw Raze, a boy with leaves in his hair and the sky in his eyes. A boy with wings made of bone. That was the first time Mal went to Malnation.

Now, it’s been years since he’s been back and, without him, the world’s fading away. If Mal can't remember his world and people, if he can't go back and save it, his world won't be the only thing dying, he will too. Unfourtantly, it’s not as easy as he hopes. The world’s rejecting him, the Bringer of Darkness is taking over, and if Mal can’t remember Malnation’s true name in time, they’ll all fall to the darkness.





Okay, so not the best I've written but good enough! Be honest, calling it "Malnation" ruins it a little right? It can't be taken seriously! What can I say? I'm working on a real name for the world!

Feel free to leave me links if you're taking part in the meme and let me know what you think of The Forgotten Name! (also feel free to rename Malnation for me!?!?)



Sunday, June 19, 2016

Camp NaNoWriMo July 2016 PLAAANS+ Join me and together we will rule the...campground?

Participant 2016 - Web Banner

I wanted to get an early start this time and instead of posting two days before Camp starts and post this early! (incidentally, I started this like two weeks ago and never actually finished and posted it...er...oops?)

As always this post will consist of two things:

1. Me trying to convince YOU to join me in Camp.
2. Me explaining my plans for camp NaNo

I'll probably also do a post closer to July with tips for NaNo? Who knows. We'll see!

Why should YOU join ME in Camp NaNo?

1. So you can finally write that book you've been saying you're going to write FOREVER

2. Because it's Camp NaNo and there's no PRESSURE. Afraid of a high word count goal? You can set your goal for literally ANYTHING. Write 100 words a day or less! Go for 50k (the normal NaNo goal) or half that or a quarter of that. There's no pressure just fun and writing!

3. Because we can be cabin mates, here's the list of reasons you want to be my cabin mate:
        - I'm a great person (and humble)
        - This will be my 8th time doing NaNoWriMo so I can give you all kinds of hints and you can trust me when I say Camp is amazing and FUN.
        - I'm very good at motivational speeches and helping people feel inspired during the second-week slumps, all the way through the last grueling days of the month. I could get people to attest this.
        - I know all the best scary stories to tell around the imaginary camp fire!
        - Because even if you don't have a ton of time for writing it's still fun and you could find inspiration to write more than you planned or just to continue to write after the month ends and just find a love for writing in general or revamp your love for writing. We're fun people in the cabin, just saying.
        - Because Christina Termini (@BooksPrejudice) and I are currently lonely in our cabin and need more awesome book lovers to join us!

4. You DON'T even have to write. Just saying, for Camp you are also allowed to edit or revise. Or write fanfiction. Literally ANYTHING.

5. Camp is a judgment free zone! No one cares if you have a low word count, or if this is your first time writing a novel. There's no competition to meet your goal the fastest, hell you don't even HAVE to meet your goal. You can lower it as the month goes or just say you don't give a fu** and write for fun without trying to meet your goal. True story, this is my 5th Camp session and every time out of a group of like 12, only three or four people met their goals but everyone has fun! And gets something written!

6. Because I asked nicely?




What am I writing?

Okay, first things first, everyone remember not to compare yourself to others during camp. Some of us are crazy and plan on writing until just...dropping.
Also, can someone check my sanity? I think I need to be like Sheldon and get checked to make sure I'm not crazy....


Okay, so I have this thing. This thing being that I have a lot of free time, in fact for July specifically I make sure I have basically nothing going on, no work, no social gatherings and basically all I do is write. The thing also being that this is my.... eighth or ninth? NaNoWriMo so many that it's getting hard to count! So um, it's not really a challenge for me anymore to write a book in a month? It is when I have other stuff going on that month but when I plan on just writing from day one, hour one, all the way to the end with barely any breaks...it's not. I NEED to be challenged. You know the whole saying like the more you do something the better you are or the more you practice or whatever, the more you write the more you write, that is TRUE!

I'm rambling. The question is, how crazy am I planning on being? Well, my goal...is 200k words. Basically, 50k a week with three extra days! Plan for my funeral on the first of August, m'kay?


WHY AM I DOING THIS? Because I get bored if I don't challenge myself and I wanted to break my record this month which is only like 130k??? But you know, if I'm going to go for it I may as well really go for it. Basically, the rest of this month is spent planning for next, okay?

Now, the thing to remember about camp, and NaNo in general, is that even though a goal may seem huge and so hard...like you have a whole month! Even with my outrageous goal it can still be broken down to writing around 6,500 words a day. WHICH is still a lot but doable. If you were to set a reasonable goal then you could get it to where you only have to write a few hundred words a day! NO PRESSURE!


I have three books planned. I'm terrified because I know myself and there's a good chance I'll end up swapping one of them out...I'm a mood writing and the month could fall apart if I decide to switch projects halfway through to something I haven't outlined because I also...I outline so freaking much. I have issues...

Details Of My NaNo Project(s):

Title: The Forgotten Name
Genre/Age Range: YA Fantasy
In one sentence: Mal creates worlds with his mind, one world anyway, the one he abandoned five years ago, the one that's dying without him. The catch? If it dies, Mal dies too.
(more about one of the characters from this one here!)

Title: Purgatory
Genre/Age Range: YA...paranormal? Horror? Somewhere along those lines.
In one sentence: Cameron and Morgan are both stuck in purgatory at different times. For Cameron, there's still hope of getting back to the real world, back to his boyfriend and his crappy family. For Morgan, all she can hope is to stop the Ghost Prince from killing her and all the other souls locked in stasis.
(oops, that was more than one sentence.)

Title: Day Of The Dead
Genre/Age Range: MG Horror/adventure
In one sentence: Three kids are dared to enter the death carnival (a deathly carnival that arrives for only one night a year in the middle of San Francisco) and survive until morning.
(I'm good at these one sentence descriptions...hehe?)

Have I convinced you to join me??? Are you planning on doing Camp NaNo? DO you want to be in an epic cabin? (if yes to the cabin hit me up on Twitter!) Any fun plans for July if you aren't doing NaNo????

Friday, June 17, 2016

A Novel Idea #1: Describing A Character



The lovely Sky and Ashley are doing this weekly writing link up, where every week they're going to have different prompts and whatnot to get everyone talking about writing and hopefully feeling motivated. You can see the details here.



So I meant to join in last week and totally blanked on it but this week I am determined!

So the prompt is to describe a character without using pictures.

I feel like I'm cheating because I don't usually use pictures to describe my characters anyways...
But, let me introduce you to Raze. Raze is a brand new character, created for my July Camp NaNo novel that I'm currently outlining. This is basically how I start my character outline, by the way. Also, this is set in A WHOLE NEW WORLD (haha) where everyone has two names in the sense that they have the name they're called and their "secret" or "true" name. They don't have last names, incidentally.

Onward!

Name: Raze / Seb
Age: Probably around 16. Hard to tell. He’s not even sure.
Eyes: wide and unnervingly pretty. His pupils are gold, ringed by ever changing colors. Normally green, different shades though.
Hair: fair, brown, straight. Falls across his forehead, hiding his eyes which he likes.
Skin tone: a light olive color but, when he’s not hiding in the shadows, you can see the definite forest green tint to it. (okay this sounds like I'm describing a car or something, doesn't it?)
Race: He’s an assassin or a “winged one”
Height: TALL. Nearly 7 feet tall.


Overall description: Everything about him is strange and amazing. Dresses in dark black pants with hidden folds and places to hide weapons. Wears a tight sleeveless shirt with a green jacket over it all. The jacket's fairly fancy but ragged; swoops out behind him, crisscrosses tightly across his chest. Has a large hood he usually keeps up, claiming it helps him blend in but mostly he likes to hide his eyes, not only because of the golden pupils that mark him as one of the highborn of his race but because he hates people looking into them like they can see more than what’s there. His golden dragon is usually curled around his shoulder. He’s tall, super skinny, but with wide shoulders. His bones are like bird bones so he doesn’t weigh much, sharp angular cheekbones. Looks wispy, no muscles but is super strong. And then there are his wings that curve out behind him, hanging over his shoulders. Has slits in his jacket for them. Can fold them in but is more comfortable with them out. Likes how it challenges everyone who looks at them because they're bare. His wings are what make him an outcast even amongst his people. Nothing but chalky white bones. Angular and sharp, capable of killing when used correctly.

Smirks a lot. Also rolls his eyes. Doesn’t smile much.

About Raze: He’s angry and vicious and gets hell bent on revenge. But also quiet and soft spoken. Not afraid to cuss a lot. He cares deeply but he’s an outcast amongst everyone which makes him prickly and sour most the time. Wants nothing more than to rise to the highest rank of his race. To protect his world.
He's serious and badass. Kind of creepy. Snarky and he has this whole other side that he does his best to hide because it's the side of him that loves and his people don't believe in love, they see it as a weakness.

Other:
Has a small dragon companion. The dragon’s name is Flint or Flintly. It was a baby when he saved it. They’ve bonded. He takes care of it. It’s adorable. He glares death glares at anyone who calls it adorable, however.

Gets along better with animals and the like than people.

His race does not love, the only love they show is when they’re born and given their true name, but he does.


Tada! And there you have Raze. I know as writer's we aren't supposed to have favorite characters (it's like choosing favorite children or CATS!) but um... Raze is one of my very favorite characters. Poor dude's got a lot going on, though. *sigh*

Here's my Pinterest board for this novel (now named The Forgotten Name) if you wants to check it out. Warning, I don't use Pinterest a ton so there's probs just a lot of random stuff on the board (I don't even completely remember!)

Tell me, can you picture Raze from my (possibly too wordy, I like to carry on you know) description of him? Thoughts? Do you too wish you had a tiny dragon companion and so you give one to your favorite character??????

Monday, June 13, 2016

Review: You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour & David Levithan

Song Of The Moment (Book Theme Song)- Die Young by Kesha

27158835You Know Me Well
by Nina LaCour & David Levithan
Release date: June 7th 2016
Format: Hardcover
Genre: YA Contemporary
Goodreads Link

Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?
Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.
That is, until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.
When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other—and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.
Told in alternating points of view by Nina LaCour and David Levithan, You Know Me Well is a story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time. 


My Rating:




Review:

I'm a sucker for three things: 1. YA Contemporaries. 2. YA contemporaries that take place over a short amount of time. And 3. Books David Levithan co-wrote -- I say co-wrote only because I think I've only actually one book just by him alone while I've read I think everything he co-wrote? --Anyway, unimportant. Obviously, though, I had to pick this one up right away considering it falls into all three categories.

You Know Me Well takes place over the course of week, more specifically pride week in San Fransico. For one thing, I was under the impression that this book took place in just one night which, I was a tad disappointed when that wasn't the case, but it's still a short period of time in which the authors do an amazing job of making the story and the character's journies feel very natural which is kind of hit and miss with novels that take place in such a short amount of time. We open on Pride week, on a Saturday, Mark and his best friend Ryan (who he's in love with and has been casually hooking up with) snuck out to this bar Happy Happy. Mark is desperately in love with Ryan who's not out and is keeping them a secret. Mark knows it's more than just messing around between them but he also knows Ryan's not ready to be out. Mark ends up dancing practically naked on the bar and that's when he see Katie. Katie's out, a senior and is supposed to be meeting her dream girl that night only she's terrified to finally meet her and ends up at the bar with Mark instead. This starts their whirlwind friendship and a crazy week of growing up and coming to terms with your future and yourself.

First things first, I may have started this book at midnight the night it came out and been up till 4:30 finishing it... So you know that probably says something about this novel. Like, that I really liked it and it's really quite good. =)

This is a really fun, fast-paced contemporary novel. It alternates chapters between Mark and Katie and Mark's were probably my favorite but I loved both characters and seeing both their stories play out. I probably felt a little more for Mark's side of the story and it broke my heart a little because I grew to love him so much and I wanted him to be happy. I mean it's not really in a bad way, my heart broke for him because all he wanted wasn't really panning out for him. I did love the idea of Katie and Violet who were both kind of in love with each other before ever meeting. It never felt like insta-love with I appreciated and, though I maybe would've wanted a little more from their budding relationship, it was kind of perfect the way it was. It was just so much of a beginning and this new thing that was fun to read. The best relationship though had to be between Mark and Katie. And then the WRITING I could go on and on about it but I mean, you know who the authors are, obviously the writing is very amazing.

A few of my favorite things:

The friendship between Mark and Katie. They've been in class together for months and have barely even spoken but with one little question they become best friends and it was just amazing and I loved it so much. I thought their friendship was written so well and they're there for each other through this crazy week where both their lives are basically falling apart in one way or another and changing in terrifying ways as Mark has to finally confront his feelings for Ryan when Ryan hooks up with someone else and Katie has graduation looming up before her and the urge to run away from everything. And they just form what feels like this epic, undying friendship right away and I LOVED that.

They have this crazy night, right? When they first become friends. And it starts with them making up an epic story that they're going to use to lie to their friends so their friends think they had some amazing night. Only, then they do go and have this amazing night. And they make this deal not to tell their friends (because Mark and Ryan are in this weird place and Katie is growing apart from her best friend, Lehna, who's pissed because she set Katie up with what was supposed to be the girl of Katie's dream and Katie ran away) unless they outright ask what happened. And you go through most the book not knowing exactly what happened that night and I really loved that. It's this little mystery and this secret between them that just shows their amazing friendship.

Characters: You Know Me Well is one of those books that has nothing but amazing characters. It's such a short book and there's quite a few side characters and characters who only pop up a little here and there but they were still all so well fleshed out and amazing. Katie and Mark are obviously the best. But I LOVED Violet and Quinn and the photographer who in one way or another kind of orchestrated most the story. I didn't love Ryan but I mean, I don't think you're supposed to because it's so complicated between Mark and him and Mark is so confused and hurt and everything. But Ryan did have his own little story that added to the novel. And I loved how nothing felt cliche when it came to any of the characters or any part of the story, it just all felt very real.

OVERALL: I LOVED this book. I'm sure there were flaws but no big ones I saw or that hindered my enjoyment of the novel. I probably would've liked a little more from the romantic relationships but I loved that, while those were a big focus, the biggest part was Mark and Katie and them becoming friends in an instant and helping each other. But I mean, I flew through the book, I loved the characters and the writing and the story, so overall I highly reccomend it!


Would I Recommend This? YES!
Who To? YA contemporary fans, of course.
Will I read more from this author(s)? Of course.