O.W.Ls 2020 Readathon TBR

Happy Friday!

I hope you are all doing well and are reading lots, writing lots, and relaxing…lots.

Like I mentioned in my Monday blog post, I am here to share the five books I plan on reading for the month long O.W.Ls Readathon. This readathon takes place throughout all of April and includes a series of prompts with challenges related to courses and careers in the Harry Potter universe. To find out more, check out Book Roast’s video on it right HERE.

The occupation I am “studying” for is a Ministry Worker because to achieve that, I have to read five books which I think is a suitable challenge. Anyways, here are the prompts and the books I am going to read!

1. Charms – Read a Book with a White Cover

Clockwork Angel - Wikipedia

I have one or two books with white covers and I did not want to read either of them, so I stretched this one a bit. For it, I will be re-reading Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare which has white lettering on the front cover. Ever since I read Chain of Gold, I have been in the mood for more Cassandra Clare books and the whole Shadowhunter world, but I do not want to dive into a re-read of Chain of Gold yet…so I decided to settle for Clockwork Angel which follows Will, Tessa, and Jem who are the parents to the main characters in Chain of Gold. I am looking forward to giving this a re-read because I cannot remember the last time I read it. When I first read this trilogy, I was not a huge fan, but I think my mind will change this time around.

2. Defense Against the Dark Arts – Read a Book that Takes Place at Sea

The Toll | Book by Neal Shusterman | Official Publisher Page ...

For this challenge, I am reading The Toll by Neal Shusterman. I did start this book before the readathon, but I was only 200 pages into it and it is a 625 page book so that’s basically a full book within itself. So far, I am loving it. It had a slow start, but I’ve realized that is a common trait in longer books. I have absolutely no idea where this story will go and I am pretty sure this is the last book too, so I am curious to see where Neal Shusterman will take it…I am also very scared. The trilogy takes place in a dystopian world where humans have conquered everything from disease to death, but to keep the population in check, there a people called scythes who “glean” people.

3. History of Magic – Read a Book with Witches and Wizards

The Last Magician (The Last Magician, #1) by Lisa Maxwell

So far, this TBR is full of big books which could be the downfall of me, but let’s keep stacking them on! When I heard this prompt, my mind immediately went to The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell. I picked up this book in December after hearing so many positive things about it but still have not gotten around to it. Now is the perfect time! As it says in the title, this book has magicians and magic in it so it works with the prompt. Other than that, I honestly have no idea what to expect regarding the plot, but I am excited.

4. Potions – Read a Book Under 150 Pages

The Picture of Dorian Gray | IDW Publishing

While I could not find a book on my shelf that was less than 150 pages, I decided to go for the next best thing. I have been meaning to read The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, especially after reading Chain of Gold which has a character who idolizes Oscar Wilde. This book is not under 150 pages, but it is around 200 so close enough, right? My classic book collection keeps growing yet I have not been keeping up with it so my goal is to try to read one once a month, and this is me doing that!

5. Transfiguration – Read a Book with Shapeshifting

A Court of Thorns and Roses: Amazon.ca: Maas, Sarah J.: Books

This is another re-read, but like with Clockwork Angel, it has been years since I read this book. That book is A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas which includes Fae who can shapeshift and whatnot. The last time I read this book was in grade nine, maybe? Which was around four years ago so safe to say I do not remember much. Another reason I want to read it is so I can finally get to the second book, which I also own and do not want it to gather dust on my bookshelf any longer!

Those are my five books that are yes, bigger than I can probably manage, but that I am excited to try and read during April.

Let me know if you are also participating in the readathon and if you are not, then you should! It’s not too late. Anyways, do not forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are linked down below.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: My Classes Are Almost Over…Now What?

See the source image  Buy Me A Coffee

 

 

@zoermathers

 

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting

My Classes Are Almost Over…Now What?

Happy Monday!

Today marks the first day of me posting twice a week (Mondays and Fridays) which you would know if you checked out my last blog post…which you definitely should right here!

Anyways, I wanted to do another update type blog post because like the world right now, my plans for the next month seem to change constantly. My online classes are coming to an end on Friday this week, which means most of my school projects will be over then too. However, I do have two more final essays that will be due later on in April. Other than, I will have a lot more time on my hands. I plan on filling it up, of course, and here is what I have on the agenda!

Camp NaNoWriMo

Remember when I said I was going to do a short story collection? Well, that still sounds fun but for all of March, I worked on my Aztec mythology story. I want to spend April turning it into a novel (it is a novella right now) because I am in the mindset to write for it, and also because when I wrote the first draft of the novella, I wrote 5,000 words over my goal of 17,000. I ended up cutting a lot (and still am), but there are so many more obstacles I can add to the story and overall, just more content that I think the story would benefit from. So yes, I am now attempting to have my manuscript reach at least 50,000 words. This means I will need to add around 33,000 more words to it. Being the overwriter I am, I do not think this will be a challenge.

Reading

I decided to participate in the O.W.LS month long, Harry Potter inpsired readathon that happens every year, organized and created by Book Roast on YouTube. I have never participated in this readathon before but I am so excited to give it a go because it looks like a lot of fun. It is a really complicated and complex readathon so I won’t try to explain it here, but you can go check out her YouTube channel where she gives an in-depth explanation on how it all works. If you have took part in it before and know what it all means, I am “studying” to be a ministry worker. I have to read 5 books during April which should not be too hard, but also not that easy. I will tell you all the books I plan on reading for the prompts this Friday!

School

This is something I’ve considered since the beginning of the school year, but I decided to take on online class this summer through my university. Since schools closed early due to COVID-19 and had to transfer online, my school has been adapting to this change for their summer courses as well. This means, I have a lot more options. Sadly, there are not many English courses offered this summer and the ones that are available do not interest me. However, I decided it might be the perfect time to take a language course through my school so as of now, I really want to take an intensive Spanish course. I chose against taking one during the fall and winter semesters because I knew I would not prioritize it and therefore, not get what I wanted out of it. Since it will be the only class I take this summer though, I will be able to give it the time and effort it needs. It is intensive which means it will take more hours and days than a “normal” course and is also only a month and a half long. I have to see if it works with my work schedule first, but if it does, that is my plan!

Anyways, that is a little update on what I plan on doing once my classes finish up this week. I hope you enjoyed and don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts linked down below!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Children of Blood and Bone Has Too Much Hype?

See the source image  Buy Me A Coffee

 

 

@zoermathers

 

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting

Children of Blood and Bone Has Too Much Hype?

Amazon.com: Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha ...

Before we get into today’s blog post, I wanted to announce that due to suddenly having more time in my day-to-day life, I will be posting on Mondays AND Fridays! I do not know how long this will last, but hopefully until the end of the summer. I am excited because I’ve planned content for the next month and all of posts are on topics that I am incredibly interested in and cannot wait to share!

Anyways, onto today’s post:

What inspired me to write this post is my experience reading Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, which I am reading for my children’s literature class. This book has a very unusual story which I will be diving into, along with my thoughts on the book and the hype it has received. I do want to say that this is not a review and it does not include spoilers. I just wanted to give an overview of my thoughts on the book without diving too deep into the story, but more of how the book community reacted to it.

You are probably asking yourself why I am only talking about Children of Blood and Bone now…and the reason is because I didn’t read about it until now and I have a lot of things to say…to say the least.

If you did not know, Children of Blood and Bone came out around this time two years ago, and even before its release, there was an immense amount of praise surrounding it. All of this hype even landed the author a three movie book deal and she has not even published three books in this series! One reason for this hype was the diversity of the book. This fantasy, young adult novel includes an all black cast as it is heavily influenced by West African mythology, which is something we (sadly) have not seen a lot of in the YA community. Especially, in the fantasy genre. I, myself, was incredibly excited for this book and the steps forward it was bringing YA stories.

This was all before it was released. Once it finally dropped into the world, the hype appeared to hold strong for most people as it was still talked about everywhere. For the months surrounding its publication, it was the young adult book I heard the most about. Tomi Adeyemi was interviewed on a lot of the podcasts that I subscribe to and her book was on every YouTube channel I watched. Yet, I still did not read it until two whole years later.

Now, I am over 400 pages into it with about 100 left to go. It has been interesting only reading this book now after already having having so many interactions with it. I was excited to finally sit down and explore this beloved story and I am surprised to say that I do not really understand the hype.

I am a huge fantasy reader, especially when it includes mythology and other cultures. As I have mentioned many times before, I am working on a story inspired by Aztec mythology so to say I was looking forward to diving into West African mythology is a bit of an understatement. Nonetheless, this book for whatever reason, is just not doing it for me. Well, actually, that is a lie. There are reasons and these are the three main ones:

  1. The characters all feel surface level to me

I do not know if it is only me, but these characters do not bring anything different to the table. They have motivations, wants, and needs, but I just cannot empathize or even sympathize with any of them. There is not one that I like more than the other, I have an indifference to them all that has not shifted once since the beginning of the story.

2. The plot line is too familiar

I know Tomi Adeyemi has publicly said this book was influenced by Sabaa Tahir’s, An Ember in the Ashes (which I am a HUGE fan of), but I see too many elements of Ember in Children of Blood and Bone that it takes me out of the book. The other parts of the plot are also just too predictable. There has not been one plot point that I was not expecting and took me by surprise, instead, I anticipate the characters’ actions and the direction of the plot without even trying.

3. The romance

I won’t explicitly spoil anything…other than it is an enemy to lover’s romance. I do like the trope but only when it is done well. In this book, I feel like one moment the characters hate each other and then on the next page, they are suddenly in love.

I know you are probably wondering why I am discussing this book when I haven’t even finished it, and the reason is that I might not finish it. Yes, I am so close to the end, but whenever I pick it up I cannot help but think of all the other books I want to be reading. You get to a point in a story where it does not seem worth it to keep going and I am far past that point. The only reason I’ve kept going is because it was assigned for school.

If this book was not so hyped up, I might like it more than I do. The writing has the nostalgic early YA feeling that I like and while the plot is predictable, I can get through around 20 pages of it at a time. I think hyping books up in the rare way Children of Blood and Bone was can have a damaging effect on the book and story itself. I think this because I know I am not the only one who felt this way towards Children of Blood and Bone. My friend in the class I have to read it for read it faster than me and noted all of the same things I did when I finally got further into the book.

That is not saying it is a bad book! I think it is important to the YA community and I am still looking forward to the movies when they premiere. Will I continue on with the series though? Probably not.

However, if you have not read it, do not take my word for it! Give it a try because there are so many people who loved the book. I just wanted to share my thoughts and reflection on Children of Blood and Bone, and the hype that circulated it even before its release.

That is all for my post today and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Staying Postive and Productive: Ideas, Tips + Tricks

See the source image  Buy Me A Coffee

 

 

@zoermathers

 

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting

Staying Postive and Productive: Ideas, Tips + Tricks

Hellooo,

Before I get into this blog post, I wanted to share something super exciting. Recently, I have become a writer for Flanelle Magazine and my first article was posted on the 18th talking all about the importance of keeping art alive during this crisis. It is meant to be uplifting, positive, and inspiring, so go check it out by clicking the link down below. It would mean a lot!

COVID-19: The importance of keeping art alive in quarantine

Now, back to business.

I thought it would be helpful to share a post on how to keep positive and productive during all that is happening right now. It is easy to get caught up in the negativity of it all (trust me, I know), but I want to help steer you back to the bright sides. Those are that now, a lot of us have time we didn’t have before. There is a downside to that of course because, for some, they have lost their jobs and in no way am I discounting that. However, how I see it, is that there is nothing any of us can do to change that at the moment. Anyways, with this time we are offered the opportunity to try new things, work on things we might have neglected, and overall, have more time to ourselves which is important and often overlooked.

Today, I will be sharing some ideas, tips, and tricks on how to stay positive and productive while also not ignoring what is going on around the world.

Idea #1: Start a Journal

I used to journal a lot, but ever since I started first-year, I haven’t kept up with it as much. However, lately, I have been making an effort to get back into journaling since it is all about letting go of the negative things you may be feeling and reflecting on your life. I haven’t been journaling every day, but I have been trying to a few times a week or whenever I am feeling especially discouraged. I highly recommend it during a time like this. It is so therapeutic and sometimes, I find myself writing for anywhere from 15-40 minutes.

Idea #2: Explore a New Creative Hobby

I emphasize on the word “creative” hobby because as I talk about in my article linked above, being creative and creating art has a huge effect on how you feel, think, and act during somber times. Whether you want to get better at baking, painting, writing, or photography, take advantage of the time you have right now to improve and explore that creative realm. For more on this, check out my article here.

Idea #3: Create a Schedule for Yourself

Whether you did this before self-isolation or not, I encourage you to make some sort of daily schedule for yourself even if it is a very loose one. Having this structure that we are used to because of school, work, etc and not losing it by creating one that fits our new, home lives is essential to keeping busy, productive, and happy.

For example, I am still working at my job (once a week though because I still have school work to do) on Sundays so my “weekends” have become Fridays and Saturdays. Anyways, on weekdays, I will wake up at 7:30am, read from 8am-9am, and then get started on any work I have to do. This includes schoolwork, my own writing, and writing for my jobs. I will do this until around 4pm or 5pm and any time after that will be spent watching movies, going for a walk, or whatever else keeping in touch with friends and family. I have also been trying to exercise a few times a week which is either me going on a run or working out at home. This has helped me stay sane during everything, and I really recommend incorporating something of a schedule into your life.

Tip #1: Surround Your Productive Plans with Fun Plans

I have found that while always working at home and not being able to go sit in the library or in a coffee shop to change up my environment can be discouraging and really deplete my energy, making plans to call someone or watch a movie with my family helps to ensure I push forward. I recommend making these “fun” plans something social, or at least, sometimes something social. However, if you limit how often you watch TV, movies, read, etc by yourself, those will also work! It helps keep you on track because you look at your schedule and are like “okay, I have plans to FaceTime, my friend, at 7pm so I have to get everything done by then otherwise I can’t call them.”. It is like the equivelent of making dinner plans or just going out and realizing that yes, you still have to get your work done.

Tip #2: Make Going Outside a Priority

It’s weird that something as small as going outside has become so prioritized in everyone’s lives now. It is so important to take a walk every day or sit in your backyard a few times a day during self-isolation. I would even say that going outside could be your “fun” plan for when you get your work done. Nonetheless, schedule it into your daily routine every single day because you will find that it is easier to stay motivated and positive while getting your daily dose of fresh air.

Trick #1: Plan Future Endeavours…Even When You Don’t Know When They are Going to Happen

One thing that is time-consuming and keeps my spirits up is planning for trips that could happen in the next couple of months. I don’t recommend putting money into booking a hotel or a plane ticket quite yet, but spending time researching places and fun excursions to do once self-isolation is over will really help you to look into the future rather being too stuck in the present. I also recommend finding people to do them with!

Those are all my ideas, tips, and tricks to keeping positive and productive in the next few weeks and I hope you found them helpful! Make sure to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below.

Thanks for reading and stay healthy!

Last Blog Post: WIPs, Camp NaNoWriMo + More

See the source image  Buy Me A Coffee

 

 

@zoermathers

 

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting

WIPs, Camp NaNoWriMo + More

Happy Friday!

This week zipped by because of how chaotic and absolutely insane it was. Not only were there assignments and projects and readings for school I had to tackle, but as the entire world knows, the COVID-19 virus has escalated intensely in the last few days. Where I live, there are only 3 known cases at the moment, but my school is still considering shutting down for a few weeks. My fingers are crossed that this doesn’t happen because we have less than a month of classes left and I would really like to finish them. That, and get marks for all the assignments and projects I have poured HOURS into! Of course, if that is the safest option for everyone then I understand but hopefully, it does not come to that.

Anyways, amongst the chaos, I have somehow found time to write so today, I wanted to share this rambly, chit-chatty post all about my writing progress and plans for the coming month.

Currently, I am writing a short story/novella based on my Aztec mythology idea and decided earlier this week that I was going to scrap what I had already written of it (around 3,000 words) and start fresh. Usually, I would highly advise you NOT to do this, but sometimes it is the best thing you can do for your project and this was one of those rare cases. I have not written too much for the new draft, but I have clocked in around 1,300 words which is better than nothing. Another plus is that I have really enjoyed writing this story and it does not feel like a drag to work on it anymore. That was my main problem with this story before. Every time I had to force myself to work on it and I never had any clear sight of where I wanted to take it. Naturally, I am a pantser so sitting down with only a rough idea in mind is how I typically write my stories, but I had no motivation or inspiration with where this story was going to start. So, long story short, I changed my idea a bit and plan on finishing my first draft (which should be around 17,000 words) sometime next week…preferably mid-week but we shall see.

Some other projects currently on the go for me is a project for one of my classes. I decided to create a zine which is a collection of various pieces of your own work. This is for my fine arts class and for it, I am writing poems and flash fiction pieces that will tell one story throughout the entire zine. At the moment, I am trying to make it so it switches between poem and flash fiction, but overall, I will just have to see what works best for the story and flow of it. I am also including some art pieces which is kind of new for me. I used to draw a lot when I was younger and I am not being modest when saying I am not the most talented drawer…but I think it will be an interesting addition to the zine. Also, a necessary one because you need art for the front cover at the least! This is due by April 3rd so I have some time but I would rather start now than leave it to the last minute. So far, I have a flash fiction piece and a poem that I am still working on. I’ve also been practicing the types of drawings I want to include. The theme is very whimsical and mystical so it has been a lot of fun so far!

Leaping into the future just a bit, I have decided to re-think my Camp NaNoWriMo plans a little more. After starting this little zine project, I thought it might be fun to work on a short story collection rather than one novel or novella project. For years, I have been working on this Aztec story, and of course, in between, I have devoted time to other projects, but this zine idea has really inspired me to take a break from that world this coming month. For now, I am thinking of just including short stories into this totally separate project from my fine arts one, but I might include other forms of written pieces as well. Basically, I am giving myself creative freedom for April which could either be a brilliant or self-destructive idea.

 

There you have it! Those are my current projects and future plans for writing and I hope you enjoyed. Let me know below what you currently have on the go, as well as if you are participating in Camp NaNo this year because I would love to know. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, and also my social media accounts which are all linked down below!

Thanks for reading and stay healthy 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading on a Budget

See the source image  Buy Me A Coffee

 

 

@zoermathers

 

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting

Reading on a Budget

IMG_1647

Happy Friday!

Being a broke university student, I have been thinking about how I read and how much money I have saved this year regarding books.

Here are my tips for reading on a budget whether you are a student or just want to become more conscious of where your money is going. Let me know in the comments if you have any other tips or ideas because I would love to know!

#1 – Library Books

This is the obvious one, which is why I am getting it out of the way right now. But yes, libraries are the best and cheapest way to read because they are free! A lot of people do not own a library card which is crazy because the library is such an amazing resource not only for reading but for connecting with other lovers of books. I am always taking out library books to keep up with new releases that I want to read. I request them from my library before they are even out and then I am usually the first or second person to get them! Most libraries also offer free audiobooks and ebooks through different apps. For example, my library uses CloudLibrary. It’s an obvious tip but here is your reminder to use your local library!

#2 – Borrowing from Friends

I know some people are hesitant about lending their precious books out but I have never been one of those people. I love to share my books with my friends and I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy forcing them to read my favourite books. My boyfriend and I give each other book recommendations and lend books to one another all the time. Once I am done my current reads for school, I will be picking up Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson because he highly recommended it to me. I’ve also read 1984 by George Orwell at his request and in return I have shoved The Outsider by Albert Camus and Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid at him. The point is, sharing is caring.

#3 – Save Buying Books for Special Occasions!

Something I have been experimenting with is saving my book buying for a special occasion. If I get through a really hard week or if one of my most anticipated books is coming out, I will use that reason to treat myself. However, don’t do this too often during the month. I will only buy one book a month maximum not only to save money but to keep the book-buying a special thing. It’s also a helpful tactic to limit my book buying and rely more on libraries because my collection is reaching the 300s and there are still so many books I haven’t read yet that are still sitting on my shelf and gathering dust.

#3.5 – Read a Chapter and Decide

If you want to treat yourself to a book for the month but don’t know which one to choose, whether there are just so many you want or if you want to pick a book you know nothing about, I have a method that works pretty well for me. What I do is I choose three books from the shelves based on the cover or maybe because I heard of it before. I take those books and read the first chapter of each one. Whichever one hooked me the most is then the one I get. Although, if you go into a bookstore and nothing stands out to you then maybe think about saving your money. Treat yourself to something different or wait until there is a book you really want.

#4 – Online Resources

First things first, I do not mean illegally pirating books off the internet. What I mean by this is that lots of older novels, poems, short stories, etc can be found online for free. I discovered this since I am taking a class on Victorian literature and for it, we have a massive textbook that I often do not feel like lugging around. So, one day, I searched up the poems I had to read for class and what do you know! I found them on the poetryfoundation.org website. Later on, I realized the novellas we had/have to read are also on there. Those stories are A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. If you are into classics and whatnot, search the title of it and add “pdf” to the end of your search and it may just pop up.

Well, there you have it! Those are my four and a half tips on reading on a budget. I hope you found it helpful and insightful in your reading life. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media which is all linked down below.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: March 2020 TBR

See the source image  Buy Me A Coffee

 

 

@zoermathers

 

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting

 

 

March 2020 TBR

Happy Friday!

Today, I thought it would be fun to share the books I plan on finishing and reading in the month of March. I cannot believe it is already March, which happens to be the last full month of classes for me. Things are already starting to pick up with school but I just know March will be absolute chaos. However, I still plan on reading a couple of books and I am very excited to dive into them!

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

See the source image

This is my current read and it is for my children’s lit class. I had low expectations going into it, but I am not disliking it like I expected to. It isn’t amazing, but it has been fun to read and immerse myself into a classic children’s novel which is something I haven’t done in a long time. Currently, I am just over 100 pages in this almost 500 paged novel, but I am hoping to get it finished by the end of next week. Fingers crossed!

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

See the source image

Finally, finally, finally, I have picked up this beloved book. It is for my children’s lit class as well, but I get so excited to sit down with this book every time that it does not feel like it is required reading for school. While it is not mind-blowing, the story is so fun and the writing is great. It has a very classic YA feel to it which I am really enjoying. It actually reminds me of An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (which I want to re-read in the near future since we are finally getting a release date for the fourth and final book!) which makes sense since in a podcast I listened to, Adeyemi mentioned that Ember was a huge inspiration for her. I am also around 100 or so pages into this book and want to try and finish it sometime next week!

Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

See the source image

This is another school read and while I read this book in the summertime, I remember next to nothing about this Victorian novella. I don’t have to read this until mid-March, but despite its short length, I know it will take me some time to get into it so I plan on jumping into it in the next week. Also, I want to read it ASAP because I have to choose if I want to write my term paper on it or A Christmas Carol. I was not a huge fan of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde when I first read it, but maybe the second time around will be better?

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson

See the source image

Recently, I watched the movie version of this book with my boyfriend and with his coaxing, I have decided to pick up the book. This is very different from what I usually read as I don’t tend to pick up semi-biographical, political novels, but after enjoying the movie, I have high hopes for the book. It might take me a bit to get through it, but I am excited to see how much I will like following Hunter S. Thompson on his crazy, drug-infused adventures.

Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

See the source image

I swear I blinked and suddenly this book is less than a week from release…even though the date kept getting pushed back. I don’t even know too much about this book other than it follows Tessa and Will’s children. I am very much looking forward to immersing myself in this time period of Edwardian England and seeing the Infernal Devices trio: Tessa, Will, and Jem. This comes out on March 3rd and you bet I will be at the bookstore that day to buy it. It is a pretty big book (544 pages) though so even though I doubt I will finish it in March I will at least start it!

Those are the four books I plan on reading in the month of March and I hope you enjoyed it! Let me know what you plan to read this month because I would love to know.

Also, don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: All Things Camp NaNoWriMo: My Plans, Ideas + Tips

See the source image  Buy Me A Coffee

 

 

@zoermathers

 

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting

 

All Things Camp NaNoWriMo: My Plans, Ideas + Tips

Hellooo

Can you believe it’s already almost March? Aka the month before Camp NaNoWriMo! Me either.

Since it is right around the corner, I decided to make a post discussing all my plans and ideas for Camp NaNo since I actually plan on participating. I finish classes by April 3rd and don’t have exams until the 18th and 24th so if all goes as planned, I will have a lot of time to write.

Anyways, time to discuss all things Camp NaNoWriMo!

So, what am I going to be working on this April?

If you have been following my blog for the past 2 years, you would know that during April 2018, I worked on a novel idea centered around Aztec mythology. Basically, I will be continuing on with that. I am starting fresh though. I’ve changed a lot of things about the story and my approach to it, so I am hoping to just get a solid rough draft that gives me a good idea of how I want to go about it. And hopefully, it sticks.

That is not to say I haven’t been working on it all these years though. I worked on it during Camp NaNo July 2018/summer 2018, and I’ve also worked on short story versions of it since. I love the concept, the world, and the mythology, there are just a lot of possibilities and I’ve had a hard time decided which route I want to take it. However, I am just going to keep working on it until it feels right.

What’s my word count goal?

Like I said, I finish classes in early April and only have two final exams later on in the month. That being said, my goal is going to be 15,000 words. I don’t think it is a good idea for me to write 50,000 words after only writing here and there for the past several months, so I decided to give myself a smaller yet still, significant word count to try and hit.

My tips for Camp NaNoWriMo: Time management, motivation, and ideas

While I haven’t successfully completed NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNo since last year, I’ve still participated in it my fair share of times (and have won a few!) so I thought it would be nice to share some of my tips and tricks for writing all the words.

#1: Set aside time to write

Wow, isn’t this the most basic tip of all?

But in all seriousness, this is a common yet extremely overlooked tip. A lot of the time we plan to write at some point during the day but we don’t slot a certain time to do it. I recommend keeping a certain time in mind when you want to sit down and write. It doesn’t have to be set in stone, for example, if you put aside an hour at night but get a lot of writing done during the day by chance, then congrats! If you want, you can still write in the evening but you got your writing done!

Just having some sort of time period you plan on dedicating to writing, even if it’s not precisely that time, is incredibly important and helpful to your success with writing.

#2: Create a productive atmosphere

If you’re office or room or kitchen or wherever you write, is a mess, tidy it up a little before you begin writing. I’m not saying you should get out your sponge and mop and deep clean the place, but at least clear the space around you. I am very guilty of not doing this and I’ve definitely noticed a difference in my productivity levels, whether I am writing or doing homework, when I take care of the space around me.

#3: Start of your writing session with a warm-up

I used to rave about writing prompts and I still stand by their value! Sometimes I do this when I don’t feel in the mood to write. I will find a prompt on Pinterest that interests me and write a little story for 5-10 minutes inspired by that prompt. It helps to get my creativity flowing and sometimes, aspects of that little story make it into my current project.

Another thing I’ve noticed from doing these warm-up exercises before my writing sessions is I can write for longer periods of time. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t do this every single time I write, but I try to save it for when I feel the most uninspired.

 

Those are my plans, goals, and a few tips for Camp NaNoWriMo this April! I hope you enjoyed and found the tips useful. Let me know if you plan on participating in Camp NaNo and what you are working on because I would love to know!

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Silver and Gold by Zoe Mathers

See the source image  Buy Me A Coffee

 

 

@zoermathers

 

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting

Silver and Gold by Zoe Mathers

Happy Friday!

I guess Friday’s have become my posting day and I am proud of myself for keeping up with it for the past three or so weeks. Actually, that’s partly a lie because I posted it on Thursday last week. Nonetheless, I’ve been posting!

Today, I have another creative writing piece I wanted to share. This is a poem I wrote last year but it was a lot of fun so I decided it would be a good post for this week. Also, since I have been actively writing (for once), I thought it would be nice to show that!

Anyways, I hope you enjoy!

P.S. I have a “My Writing” subheading now and you can find it on my home page! It has links to essays, poems, short stories, and some of my favourite blog posts written by me so check that out if you want 🙂


Night bleeds victory in rushing streams

Across the sky

Like a snapped pen

Spilling black ink

Across a blue shirt.

 

The united army of silver ascends the sky

Moon and stars geared and sheathed

For vicious combat

Against the golden sun.

 

Silver swords

Against golden guns

And for once

The blade proves mightier.

 

Stars spin

To the jig of freedom

While the moon shifts in the worn fabric

Of her returned throne.

All forget the bitter tang of mortality,

All ignore the thunderous ticking

Of the watchful sunrays below the horizon

Like the shifting hands of a clock.

For their time is finite

And then divided

In this raging sea

Of darkness.

 

But the moon,

The playful and silver queen,

Has tasted a sugar, sweet drop

Dripping from the spout of the endless spiral

Of “what if?”

 

What if

The sun never again conquers

The night?

 

What if

The sky never again glows golden

With warmth?

 

What if

The moon seizes the opposing thrones

Of twisting shadows

And blazing light?

Birthing a world

Where she keeps her crown

And the stars continue their whirling,

Their twirling,

Their swirling,

Like victims of faerie fruit

Never pausing their dance

Until Death snuffs their lights.

 

But what if

They are the prey

In the sun’s vigilant hunt?

 

What if

They are already snagged in his web

Points and curves caught between

His golden threads?

 

What if

Those streaks of “shooting stars”

Are not their clumsy friends

But the sun’s stream of bullets

Splintering the darkness

Into jagged and golden shards

Of war?

 

Shocked by the sun’s sudden blinding glare

As the final stroke hits dawn

The silver queen tumbles from her throne

Her screams stolen by the fleeing night

Her silver beauty outshone by morning light

Her name fading

With the retreating silver stars

And paling sky

Who glance back to see the round body

Of their queen

Slip into the abyss

Of her black sea

And “what ifs?”


I love writing about the sky, specifically the night sky, which is what inspired this poem. Obviously. I am also 99% sure it was one of the pieces I added to my creative writing portfolio for a scholarship I applied to last year. Since I got the scholarship, I am assuming the poem is not half bad but let me know what you think in the comments!

Also, don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below for more updates on my writing and reading.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: The Grandfather Clock – Short Story Excerpt

See the source image  Buy Me A Coffee

 

 

@zoermathers

 

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting

The Grandfather Clock – Short Story Excerpt

Happy Thursday!

Today, I thought I would share an excerpt from a short story I am currently working on. It is actually one I have salvaged from my pile of neglected work and it feels so good to be reviving it! I wrote the original idea for this back in grade 10…so almost four years ago, but I’ve always come back to it over the years. Anyways, here are the first 3 or so pages and I hope you enjoy!

P.S. I now have a “My Writing” section of my blog where you can find the work I am most proud of! You can find it on the top right corner of my home page 🙂


 

Due to the clock’s lack of eyes, it confronts me with the dark reflection of my own. Memories play in the blackness of them, and I force myself to stare past them at the clock’s copper hands which are frozen over the twelve. I tap its face, but it remains as silent as ever.

A faint pulsing fills my ears. I blink. The clock’s smallest hand is beating around its face as if it always has, the other one inching with each passing minute. I drop my pencil and struggle to my knees.

“Mom!” I shout. “Mom!”

I try to think back to a time when the clock worked, not just when it was perched in silence on a shelf. My door swings open and my mother appears, a book dangling from her hand.

“What, Adelyn? You have two perfectly good feet as far as I can tell. You could have come to me instead.”

“Sorry, but do you hear that?”

The clock’s tick is delicate; like a baby’s first breath. She listens for a moment and then her brows draw together, a crease folding between her eyes.

“Yes. The clock is ticking.”

I deflate, anticipating more excitement. Maybe not a shriek joined by a jump, but a smile at the least.

“It just started ticking. Like, all on its own.”

“Hmm. It used to all the time when I was younger. It would drive me and your grandmother nuts.” She tips her chin up and sniffs with disapproval.

“Well, I think the ticking is kind of nice. I think grandfather would have liked to see his clock working again, don’t you?”

“I suppose, but you know how I am with noise.” She pinches the bridge of her nose and twists her lips. “I already feel a headache coming on. Can you turn it off please, Adelyn?”

“I don’t know how.”

The crease deepens.

“Well, I need to lie down for a bit until my headache goes away. If you can’t figure it out then we might have to get rid of it.” She jerks open the door and I sigh, returning to my homework. But I can’t help myself from glancing at the tremoring clock every few seconds.

The clock’s tick still reminds me more of a pulse rather than an actual tick. I think of the clock we have in the living room, mounted to the wall and shaped like an orange cat. It used to purr in deep, heavy strokes that echoed throughout the entire house until it drove my mother to insanity only minutes after it was hung up. Instantly, my father disabled it. Now, we just had an orange cat hanging on the wall.

But this ticking isn’t anything like that. It’s less of an annoyance and more of a reminder that the clock is still alive.

When my door creaks open next, I struggle against the heavy sandbags resting on my eyelids. My father’s head pops through the doorway; his eyes are narrowed and his brown hair a wavy mess.

“Hi,” I say, yawning.

“Hi, Addy. Your mother wants me to ask you if you figured out how to turn off the clock.” I roll my eyes, reaching for the old thing and flipping it around. I freeze.

“There’s no backdoor.”

“What? Is that a no then?”

“I don’t know! I guess? There’s no little entryway to the gears or anything.” I run my fingers along the clock’s back, feeling for the grooves of a door but there is nothing. I only feel and see smooth wood.

“So…What do you want me to tell her?”

“I-I don’t know. I don’t want her to make me get rid of it!” I peer up at him. “What should I do?”

“Maybe take it to that antique shop. You know, the one in the town square?”

I sit up.

“Yeah! I’ll do that. That’s a good idea.” I reach for my jacket, slipping it on, and then for my phone. I type the antique shop’s address in. The hours appear beneath the address and I groan.

“What?” My dad asks.

“The antique shop is closed on Sunday! What am I supposed to do now?” I shove my phone into my pocket and bury my face into my hands.

“Hmm, and I doubt there are any other antique shops close by, let alone open…”

“Yeah, and I don’t want to drive around for hours in the dark.”

As if in response, the grey sky grumbles in agreement. Speckles of rain begin to cover my window and flashes of light flicker behind the thick clouds.

“Someone shut that damn clock off!” My mother yells from somewhere in the house, and I wince.

“How about you just go for a little drive with the clock?” My father whispers and I hesitate, glancing outside the window again.

“Adelyn Willows!” My mother screeches.

“Fine. I’ll go.” I roll my eyes.

“Thank you,” my father says, clasping his hands together gratefully. “Maria! Adelyn is going to take the clock out for a bit!”

“Thank god,” we hear her mumble, and I shake my head, slinking past my father into the hallway. I pair black boots with my green fuzzy socks, gripping the clock to my side with my free hand as I tug them on. It hums against my skin like a heater finally kicking in in the winter.

“Okay,” I mumble. “I guess I’ll be back later.”

“Drive safe, Addy,” my father chimes, shivering as he watches me go.

I sprint across the wet grass when a drop of icy rain hits my face. The clock’s sharp edges dig into my ribs, but I barely feel it against the afternoon’s bitter bite. Autumn wind runs its gnarled fingers through my hair, brushing it into my eyes and mouth. I push against it, but its harsh breath is too strong.

Inside, the car is cool and musty. I contemplate buckling the clock up beside me but decide against it as more raindrops pound against the window. I grit my teeth and start the car, pulling out of our driveway all while tapping my fingers to the steady heartbeat of the clock. I don’t know where I am going to drive to, but my hands are cranking the wheel, guiding themselves.

It doesn’t take long before I realize where I’m taking myself. My stomach twists and my heart fights against my chest as if it can manipulate me to turn back. But from experience, I know this is a one-way road.

The only direction to go is forward.


 

And there it is! Once I am finished I will share the rest but for now, I hope you enjoyed that little teaser. Let me know what you thought of it in the comments because I would love to know.

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked below because yes, I have finally started posting on Instagram again. Anyways, thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading on Vacation

See the source image  Buy Me A Coffee

 

 

@zoermathers

 

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting