Camp NaNoWriMo Prep #4

Tomorrow Camp NaNoWriMo begins so here are a few writing tips to help you get motivated for a month full of writing.

Tip #1: Have a Compelling Problem

We already have read hundreds of stories where the princess is rescued by the prince, so create a character and story with a compelling and new problem. Maybe their problem is that they are given a clock that is counting down till the end of the world! Just make it unique and something that gets a reader, and you, excited.

Tip #2: Have Flawed Characters

Nobody is perfect, even if they are a prince or princess in a happy, magical world. Everyone has flaws whether it is they are too proud or just have a chip in their tooth. If your character is too perfect, than your readers will not be able to relate on any level to them.

Tip #3: Stick With It!

Camp NaNoWriMo is a time for you to just write. It is not meant to be perfect so just get out the words. Have too many grammar mistakes, forget a comma, or have too many long sentences! You can edit all of later so just write.

Writing Prompts:

  • She smirked as she tossed another teddy bear into the roaring flames.
  • Her garden was more lethal than pretty.
  • They were known as The Faceless, and they knew everything.

That is all for my very last Camp NaNoWriMo Prep and I hope you enjoyed!

Writing Contests to Enter! (No Entry Fee)

I love entering writing contests, but I always believe it is safest to only enter ones without entry fees just in case. Sometimes it is hard to find good, free to enter writing contests though so I put together a list of a few that I have found and hopefully it motivates you to enter at least one!

L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Contest

An opportunity for new or amateur writers of short stories or novelettes of science fiction or fantasy, with no entry fee and a grand prize of $5000! It is international and if you are not published I definitely recommend entering it. They also have an illustration contest, so if you like to draw that is also an option. This contest has four quarters, October 1, January 1, April 1 and July 1, so plenty of time to enter at least one!

http://www.writersofthefuture.com/

Polar Expressions Publishing Short Story and Poetry Contest

This is a Canadian writing contest that takes place in the summer and is open to all ages. The word count for short stories is 750 words and for poetry 48 lines or less. It is free with a cash prize of $500 for anyone sixteen and over, and $200 for anyone fifteen and under. You also get published in their anthology which I think is a great deal for a contest with no entry fee!

http://www.polarexpressions.ca/SummerContests.html

Toasted Cheese Literary Journal Writing Contest

I recently found this website which has three different writing contests throughout the year, all free of charge . They do provide a theme for each contest but they tend to be very easy to create something new and original from! The prizes depend on how many people enter, but they are usually Amazon gift cards. I may enter this one myself ūüôā

http://www.toasted-cheese.com/

The Crucible: Poetry and Fiction Contest

This is a fiction and poetry contest that runs through to May 1, and is open to all writers. You can submit a story with up to 8000 words or less, or up to 5 poems. Winners will receive a prize of $150 and also be published in the Crucible!

https://www.barton.edu/crucible/

On the Premises Short Fiction Contest

This is a contest that asks for stories usually between 1000-5000 words, but also hosts a series of mini contests throughout the year with word limits of anywhere from 25-75. Whatever prizes you win are not stated on the website at the moment because their recent contest just ended, but once another is back up you can check for yourself if you are interested in entering!

http://onthepremises.com/

Those are five writing contests that require no entry fee so hopefully it encourages you to enter one!

 

 

 

 

 

Underhyped YA Books!

There are a lot of amazing overhyped books, but there are also a lot of amazing underhyped books and here are a few that I have read, that I think everyone should read too.

Ruby RedRuby Red by Kerstin Gier – I have talked about this book quite a bit on my blog, but it is seriously underhyped. It is originally written in German, but is translated into Enlgish, and even has movies! Ruby Red is about a girl named Gwenyth who is born into a family of time travelers, but only her cousin, Charlotte, is believed to have the special gene. That is, until one day Gwen finds herself back in the past and completely unprepared. Now she is thrust into a new world of time traveling, and has an arrogant but handsome partner named Gideon. This is definitely one of my favourite trilogies and it deserves more recognition.

Kane ChroniclesThe Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan – Rick Riordan’s other series such as, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Heroes of Olympus, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard and The Trials of Apollo, are his most popular and loved series. But, everyone forgets about his trilogy on Egyptian mythology called the Kane Chronicles! The¬†first book,¬†The Red Pyramid,¬†follows two siblings, Carter and Sadie who’s father takes them to the British Museum one night, and ends up releasing the ancient god Set. The two kids run for their lives as their father is taken, and they set off to save him while unraveling the truth of their family and a world that was unknown to them. I really enjoy this series, and while I definitely wouldn’t say it is his best series, it is still worth the read!

thesummeriturnedprettyThe Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han – Her other contemporary trilogy, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, is very loved and I too, am a massive fan of it. But not too many people have read her other trilogy, The Summer I Turned Pretty. The Summer I Turned Pretty follows our main character, Belly, who returns with her mother and brother to a beach house that she has spent every summer at since she was young. There, she is reunited with the two children of her mom’s best friend, Conrad and Jeremiah, and has a summer filled with fun and romance. This trilogy is a very easy and entertaining read that I think everyone should read, especially if they are looking for a good summery read.

Legacy-of-Kings-Eleanor-HermanLegacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman – This book¬†takes place in Ancient Greece and follows multiple POV’s such as Alexander who is Macedonia’s heir, Katerina¬†who is determined to kill the Queen, Jacob who will go to any length to win over Katerina, Hephaestion who is a murderer sheltered by the prince, and Zofia a Persian princess whom Alexander is set to married. There are so many twists and turns in this novel, and I think a lot more people should give it a chance.

Lola-and-the-Boy-Next-Door_PBLola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins – I talk about this book way too much, but a lot of people prefer the first book, Anna and the French Kiss over this book, and forget about it! Lola and the Boy Next Door¬†in my opinion, is just as good as Anna and the French Kiss and more people should give it a chance. Lola and the Boy Next Door follows Lola, a¬†stylish and unique girl who has the perfect life. She has a great best friend, a great boyfriend, and¬†is going to enter her¬†winter formal in the most lavish dress. All of this is turned upside¬†down though, when her first love and first heartbreak moves back next door and changes everything. This book is too cute and if you haven’t read it, read it!

Those are five underhyped books that you should read already if you haven’t, and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post:¬†March 2017 Haul!

March 2017 Haul!

Yep, I bought a few books this month. Luckily not as many as previous months, but still a few so I hope you enjoy!

before-i-fall1Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver РSince the movie came out this month and I had plans to see it, I decided to give the book a try. Before I Fall is about a girl named Sam who has it all. She has three great best friends, Lindsay, Ally and Elody, she is popular and has a boyfriend named Rob. But after coming home from a party one night, her friends and her get in a car crash and Sam suddenly finds herself reliving that day over and over again. This is a very unique concept for a book and I was really excited to read it. I recently finished it so stay tuned for my wrap up on my thoughts on it!

wewereliarsWe Were Liars by E. Lockhart – I have absolutely no idea what this book is about, and whenever I search a description it comes up with some confusing paragraph, so I decided to just figure out what it is about while reading it. I have heard a lot of good things about this book though and I heard there are lots of twists and turns. Hopefully I will get to this soon, because I am very intrigued by it!

pj3Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan (Graphic Novel) – I finally bought my first graphic novel! I tried to read graphic novels when I was younger, but they aren’t really my thing, but when I say this Percy Jackson one I just had to get it because I love anything Percy Jackson related. This is the third book in the Percy Jackson series and follows our main character Percy Jackson who discovers his father is a Greek god. Now thrust into a crazy world of demigods, gods and monsters, he has to stay alive and also save the world. Cannot wait to flip through this.

themoonandmoreThe Moon and More by Sarah Dessen – I have read a fair share of Sarah Dessen books, but there always seems to be more!¬† The Moon and More is about this girl named Emaline who has been dating her perfect boyfriend, Luke, all through high school. But now that college is approaching, she begins to wonder if they are the perfect match anymore. Especially after meeting an ambitious New Yorker named Theo, these questions are becoming something she can’t escape. As always I am excited to read another Sarah Dessen book and I can only hope it will not disappoint!

Those are all the books I purchased in March and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Reading/Writing Update!

Reading/Writing Update!

I have had a pretty good reading and writing week. I managed to complete both Ruby Red and Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier, and am on the third and final book, Emerald Green. This trilogy follows a girl named Gwenyth who is born into a family of time travelers, but her cousin Charlotte is the one they believe inherited the gene. When Gwen is suddenly thrust into the past, completely unprepared, her life is flipped upside down. Not only can she travel back in time, but now she also has an arrogant but handsome partner named Gideon. I love, love, love this trilogy and everyone should have the privilege of reading it! These books are also all movies, but since the books are originally in German, I watched the first movie dubbed. The movies for Sapphire Blue and Emerald Green are pretty much impossible to find if you live in North America, but I am just happy I was able to watch the first one because it was great!

I finally finished editing my short story for this local contest I wanted to enter, and have now submitted it! I haven’t had motivation to enter a writing contest for a while now, so it feels really good to be getting back to my normal writing self. I have a few other contests I plan to enter, plus I am going to be attempting Camp NaNoWriMo with my goal of 17000 words, so there will be lots more writing in the future!

That is all for my writing and reading update and I hope you enjoyed!

 

March 2017 Movie Reviews!

I watched two movies in the theatre this month that I had been anticipating for so long now, and I am so glad I was finally able to see them. If you haven’t watched Before I Fall or Beauty and the Beast (live action adaptation) then beware of spoilers below!

beforeifallmovie_trailer

Before I Fall – This movie came out March 3rd, and is based off the book by Lauren Oliver, which I read previously before watching this movie. The movie starts off with a very deep voice over and then our main character, Sam, waking up on “Cupid Day”. Once we find out what Cupid Day is, I realize it is something that would never in a million years be allowed at my school, because it is a¬†day¬†to¬†show how popular everyone is compared to the rest of the school…but anyways, we also get a feel of Sam’s personality along with her friends. I agree with Juliet because they are bitches! I have never been so repulsed by a group of people’s personality and actions, and honestly that is saying a lot. They are a very mean and clich√© group of girls (Lindsay, Sam, Ally and Elody) who think they are better than everyone else, especially one girl named Juliet who is a bit different than the rest. I really did enjoy watching Sam’s character grow and become for sympathetic and kind throughout the movie. She made friends with Anna, stopped treating Kent like trash, and finally understood that Juliet doesn’t deserve the hates she gets thrown at her everyday. In the book, the beginning is quite dragged because she wakes up¬†and repeats the same day¬†multiple times, but I liked how they fast forwarded it more in the movies because it made it less boring. Overall I thought it was a very impactful movie that has a greater meaning behind it, but at sometimes I felt like it faltered slightly. I would probably watch it again in the future, and do recommend it! 7/10 stars

beauty-and-the-beast

Beauty and the Beast – Okay, so I had been waiting for this movie for months, and I was very happy with it overall! I hadn’t seen the original Beauty and the Beast for a long, long time, but after I watched the new one, I picked up the original from the library and watched it. I was impressed with how much they stuck to the original plot, and I also really liked that they added some extra songs in. I thought all the characters were absolutely amazing, and I especially loved LeFou! He was just so hilarious and he made this whole film in my opinion. I also thought Emma Watson did a fantastic job as Belle, and while I didn’t appreciate how much her voice was auto tuned during the song (Disney should have believed more in her, her voice is quite good without all the auto tuning!), I could easily get passed that. Disney also did a great job with the animation of Lumiere, Mrs. Pots, Chip, Cogsworth, etc, and that was something I really appreciated. While I love all of Belle’s songs (especially “Belle” and “Belle Reprise”) I think my favourite song to watch in the film was “Gaston” because LeFou is in it, and funny as always, and also I thought it was a well choreographed and shot scene! It had be laughing and wanting to sing along, but luckily I didn’t. A lot of people had negative comments about the overall look of the Beast, saying he wasn’t “beastly” and “ugly” enough, but I thought the Beast was absolutely fine. I don’t understand why it is such a big deal that he doesn’t look like a repulsive mutant pig, but a furry, bad tempered dog. Finally, I adored the end scene because Belle’s dress was absolutely gorgeous. It gave me some wedding vibes, but I don’t think that was the point of the scene sadly…oh well it was still amazing! Overall I really loved the live action version of Beauty and the Beast. I think Emma Watson, Luke Evans, Dan Stevens and Josh Gad did a wonderful job, and acted very true to the original characters. There isn’t much I disliked about the film at all and my expectations of the film were exceeded! 9.5/10 stars

Those were my overall thoughts and opinions on Before I Fall and Beauty and the Beast and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Bookworm Problems!

Bookworm Problems!

  1. Losing Your Bookmark in the Sheets

You are a reading a really great book in bed, and then you finally start feeling tired so you reach for the place your bookmark is supposed to be, but its not there. Now you have to search through your mounds of sheets and blankets to find a thin piece of paper or plastic that will hold your place in the book, and most likely it will be all bent by the time you find it. This happens so many times I need to do something about it.

2. Acting the Scenes Out

This isn’t necessarily a problem…unless you are in public. When I am alone, I start voicing some of the characters and acting it out without even realizing it! Luckily, I don’t read in public too often, but when I do, my fear is that I will start acting out a breakup scene or something by myself.

3. Saying You Won’t Buy New Books because Your TBR Pile is Taller than the Empire State Building…

I am pretty good with keeping my book buying under control…but when I allow myself to buy a “few” books I can easily go crazy. Sometimes I will come home with over ten books (luckily I usually buy books second hand) yet I will have twenty books that are sitting on my bookshelf unread.

4. When Your Eyes Skip Further Down the Page and You See a Spoiler

THIS HAPPENS TOO MUCH! I get very distracted easily, so if I am reading a scene that is a tiny bit dragged out, my eyes are going to jump down the page a little bit. When this does happen, there always happen to be a spoiler waiting for me, and then I feel like slapping myself across the face because I just ruined it for myself!

5. When You Finish a Series that You Are Sentimentally Attached to

After finishing some series such as Percy Jackson and the Olympians and The Mortal Instruments, I felt that there was nothing else good left to read. Which is completely ridiculous because there are so many amazing books out there waiting to be read! Still, I feel so sad after finishing a long series I loved so much because it feels like I have to say goodbye to all the characters…even though they don’t exist, it feels like saying goodbye to someone I am very close to.

6. When You Read in Public and Someone Asks Why

You wouldn’t believe how much this actually happens to me. I will be reading or talking about something I am currently reading and someone will ask “are you reading it for school?” and when I say no they will ask why. Maybe its because I like to read…maybe its because reading is actually amazing?!

7. Paperbacks VS Hardcovers

I used to be all about hardcovers despite them being more pricey. They last longer and look nicer on your shelf, but paperbacks are nicer to hold and read in bed…but they also wear easier. The struggle.

8. Second Hand Embarrassment

I get second hand embarrassment so badly if the character does something embarrassing in the book. I cannot help but cringe for them and feel as if the embarrassing thing is happening to ME instead.

9. Being Excited to Lend Your Favourite Book to Your Friend but When They Return it its Bent

I hate when this happens so much! I love the idea of lending a favourite book of mine to a friend because I want to share the amazingness with them…but when they give it back with the corner bent or stains on the hardcover?! Like could you not have been more careful with it!

10. When the Movie Leaves Out Your Favourite Scene

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince anybody? A certain scene between two people that I was hoping would be included in the film, because it was pretty iconic if I do say so myself, ended up not being filmed! Instead they filmed a not so epic version of it, leaving me and lots of fans to be disappointed.

Those are ten bookworm problems we all face and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Camp NaNoWriMo Prep #3!

 

Camp NaNoWriMo Prep #3

Camp NaNoWriMo is right around the corner, so here is my third post on helpful tips to help you come up with an idea, and also meet your word count!

Tip #1: Dreams and Daydreams

If you are like me, and have crazy, adventurous dreams, then there is a chance they could become something more than dreams. Sure, dreams can be confusing and down right insane, but that’s where you come in to smooth out all the details! Just make sure you write them down whenever you have them, because they could easily spark an idea for a story.

Tip #2: Find a Writing Prompt and Go With It

I love writing prompts, especially for writing short stories but they work for any type of creative writing. Writing prompts are very intriguing because it is a short, simple sentence that you have to take and amplify. I like to think of writing prompts as the skeleton of a story, and then you add the rest to make the skeleton into a live person (yes, that was a weird analogy). If you are feeling stumped when it comes to writing, then definitely search up so writing prompts!

Tip #3: “What If”

When I was younger, I said “what if” so many times that it drove my mother crazy. Now that I am a tiny bit older, and write, I can apply allll my what ifs to a story. What if dinosaurs ruled the earth still? What if everyone had magic? What if fairy tale characters/creatures¬†accidently got exposed to our world? There are so many what ifs that you could never run out of ideas!

Writing Prompt: You bump into a genie who offers you three wishes. What are they and why?

That is all for this Camp NaNoWriMo Prep and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out the first and second blog post from this prep series, and also check out my last blog post: April 2017 TBR!

 

April 2017 TBR!

March was a good reading month, but I am hoping that April will be even better because there are a whole bunch of books coming out in May that I need to be prepared for and April is the month to do that.

lady-midnight-by-cassandra-clareLady Midnight by Cassandra Clare – The sequel to this fantastic book, Lord of Shadows, is coming out later in May so I have to re read this book to be ready for it. Lady Midnight follows a Shadowhunter (half human, half angel) named Emma Carstairs, who after her parents dead bodies wash up on shore, is determined to discover what happened. There is lots of twists and turns and heart break and I absolutely CANNOT wait to devour it once again. If you are thinking about reading this book, make sure you read Cassandra Clare’s other books series first, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices because it is necessary for this book!

courtofmistandfuryA Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas – I always say I am going to finally finish this book but then never do…but this time I mean it! I am going to finally complete this book in preparation for the next book in the series, which also comes out in May. A Court of Mist and Fury is the sequel to A Court of Thorns and Roses, which follows a girl named Feyre, who after killing a Faerie, is forced to live out the rest of her mortal life in the faerie realms. This is an epic book series that has lots of action and swoony romance. I am so excited to FINALLY finish it and not have it as a weight on my shoulders.

hp7Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling – I have been in the Harry Potter mood lately, and I recently re read the first six books so why not also re read the seventh. IF YOU DIDN’T KNOW, Harry Potter is about a boy who discovers he is a wizard and is sent off to a boarding school of magic. This is an amazing book series, and I haven’t read the last book in so long so I am excited to refresh my mind!

 

pj3Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Titan’s Curse (graphic novel) by Rick Riordan – I recently purchased this graphic novel, my first graphic novel, and am so excited to read it! I love Percy Jackson, and flipping through this graphic novel I realized that the illustrations are gorgeous. If you didn’t know, the Percy Jackson series is about a boy named Percy Jackson who discovers his father is a Greek God and is immediately thrust into a crazy world of demigods, gods and monsters. This is the third book in the series and I highly recommend it over all!

Those are all the books I am planning on reading in April and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: April 2017 Talk!

 

 

April 2017 Talk!

April isn’t a crazy month for books or movies, but here are the few that I am looking forward to, including Camp NaNoWriMo!

Camp NaNoWriMo:

camp_logo-290f133f1af2562198f3a75b662feb03Camp NaNoWriMo is a month long writing event where you set a goal for yourself and try to achieve it within thirty days. It is a really great way to motivate yourself to finish or start something and I always benefit from it. You have about ten days to start planning for Camp NaNoWriMo so if I were you, I would start roughly outlining now if you haven’t already! I hope everyone participating does well and has a great upcoming writing month.

Movies:

thecircleThe Circle РThe Cirlce follows a young woman (Emma Watson) who begins working  for this massive tech company called the Circle. She quickly begins rising through the ranks and is encouraged by the company founder (Tom Hanks) to join an experiment that pushes the boundary of privacy, ethics and overall her personal freedom. This is a really unique and intriguing movie that I am super excited to see! It also stars Emma Watson and Tom Hanks so it is bound to be good. If this sounds somewhat interesting to you I definitely recommend you to check it out because I am sure it will be fantastic. This movie comes out on April 28, 2017.

Those are the two things I am looking forward to in the month of April and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Reading/Writing Update!