Coffee Talk – Are Schools Killing Reading?

This is a topic I think about a lot, so I thought why not discuss it with all of you because, in my opinion, it is an important discussion to be had among us readers.

So, ARE schools killing reading?

Long story short, I think they are, and here is why.

 

As someone who absolutely LOVES reading now, I can’t say I was always like this. Up until grade 5, I was by no means a reader. I got into reading when I was 10, almost 11 years old because my cousin finally forced me to watch Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and spoiler alert, I adored it. It is the reason I read the rest of the series, thus falling in with reading altogether. However, before that, I only read books when school forced me, and they were books way, way under the level of reading I should have been reading according to my teacher. That little bit of criticism on what the little I enjoyed reading drove me away from reading…until I got into Percy Jackson that is.

Even as a reader now who is in grade 12, I am still not a huge fan of reading in school or reading for school. To me, they feel like two separate things and when I read something for English class, it just isn’t something I really enjoy and it always feels like a chore. Why is that? Well, the choice of reading is a large part of it, but it is also because of what follows after reading the book. Usually, an essay or paragraph response is written after we read a book or essay or short story in English class and like I said I love reading, and I also love writing, but something about reading and writing something I don’t really want to, takes away the enjoyment out of it all. I can only imagine how someone who doesn’t like reading or writing at all would feel about it, but I can definitely see how it would drive them to permanently retreat to the idea that they are not the reading or writing type. Reading in schools should be fun and free, not constricted to not even being able to choose what book you spend the next two weeks trudging through! And afterwards, literary circles are a much more efficient way of gathering everyone’s understanding of the book and can still be paired with a written response.

Reading can be made a much more entertaining and interesting assignment in school, yet it is treated like being forced to run a half-marathon in gym class. READING IS AMAZING! Yet, I almost feel ashamed saying that at school not because I think reading is “un-cool”, but because I too, sigh reluctantly every time we are given a book to read in English class. Before looking at the cover, I determine that I don’t like it and to be honest, that’s true most of the time! Sometimes I don’t mind what we read, but because of schools preference of clinging to old, boring books by only white, male writers, I usually lean towards not liking them. Schools need to branch out with their reading taste because there are so many amazing books now that cover important subject matters to the world today, and have concrete messages students can dissect. Not only are they still teachable books, but they include more diversity that will allow students to connect and enjoy them better.

 

PJOIn grade seven, my teacher let us read Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. At this point, I had read it a million and one times, but I was still so excited that entire month or so we spent on the book and lots of my peers were too. We did fun, colourful projects and assignments, even Jeopardy at the end of the unit, that got everyone interacting and pumped about the book. The energy surrounding reading was bright and bubbly in response to the bland and heavy one reading in class usually brings along. That was the first and last time I ever felt that energy in a classroom when it came to reading!

Schools need to fix their curriculum to paint reading in a better light. Not one that advertises reading as something only required in school, but something that you can do for your own personal enjoyment. With more choice and more interactive activities, reading can be enjoyable, if not fun in the classroom and show students that reading is for anyone and everyone. The lack of young readers today is alarmingly low with all that technology now has to offer, but with reading people will become more compassionate and educated on subjects happening all over the world. Reading overall is only amazing, and is something students are being taught to hate rather than love.

Anyways, that is all for this chatty coffee talk, and I hope you enjoyed! If you have any thoughts on this topic you want to share, let me know in the comments below. Do you think schools should change? Or should they not change? Also, don’t forget to check out my last blog, as well as my social media accounts below! I haven’t been too active on social media lately, but hopefully, I’ll get back on that soon. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: NaNoWriMo Week 4 – Last Week Check Up

 

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NaNoWriMo Week 4 – Last Week Check Up

Happy Monday!

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I can’t believe it is already the last week of NaNoWriMo! Where has this month gone? While I haven’t been participating in writing 50k this month, I’ve still been celebrating writing and writing a LOT this month. I wanted to use this last NaNoWriMo weekly blog post to do a little last week check up and give some tips on how to really take advantage of these last 5 days so I hope you enjoy!

  • Write During Every Bit of Spare Time – There are only a few more days left of NaNoWriMo, and even if you are close to your goal or not, use every last bit of November to get some words down! You might not have time or energy once the buzz of NaNo is over, so take advantage of all this fun and write, write, write. Instead of reading, write. Instead of watching Netflix, write. Instead of eating…just kidding, eat AND write!
  • Use NaNo Sprints – NaNo sprints on Twitter will be your LIFE saver these last few days in motivating yourself to sit down and WRITE. These are different lengths of sprints where after them, you can talk with other writers about what you got done and how you’re feeling after each writing session. It’s really helpful because the last half of NaNo can be an uphill battle I tell you.
  • Check Out the Write-In Live Streams – Make sure you check out NaNoWriMo’s YouTube channel for some past live streams where the amazing people of NaNoWriMo film videos of them doing writing sprints. They are really motivating and I recommend them if you are having trouble sitting down and writing. Usually, they are an hour long and a lot of the time I sit down and write for that ENTIRE hour…even when they are talking about what they wrote. Super helpful!
  • Reflect On the Writing You Got Done – Even if you are nowhere close to the overall 50k goal, as long as you wrote SOMETHING that is still worth acknowledging. Writing is NOT easy and it’s important to recognize that and reward yourself for what you got done. November is a busy month for a lot of us because it is so close to the end of the year and everyone is trying to wrap up everything, so if you got some words down this month, celebrate!
  • Figure Out What the Next Step Is – Do you still need to finish writing your draft or did you completely finish it? Figure out where you’re at so you can start your attack plan for next month, or for whenever you plan on writing next. That way you know what will happen next and you will be better prepared! For example, I didn’t get my 50k written at all…but I have been working on a lot of short stories, essays, and articles. In December, I am going to keep working on different short stories, essays, articles and whatnot, to build up my portfolio which is seriously lacking material. I would LOVE to work on Project Mystic (the fantasy novel that I’ve been working on since March), but I just don’t have the time to work on one project but the point is that I know I don’t have the time, so now I won’t be wasting any trying to work on it.

Those are 5 tips for your last week of NaNoWriMo, and I hope they were helpful! Hopefully these last few days are good and productive, and remember, if you don’t reach your goal it’s okay! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts linked below. Thanks 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading + Writing Update!

 

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Reading + Writing Update!

Happy Sunday!

Once again, sorry for no blog post on Friday! I promise this coming week there will be though because I’ve written and scheduled it already. Haha, look at me kind of being ahead of everything for once! Sitting down at the end of the week to write this blog post has been kind of difficult for me because it’s been hard to remember what I’ve gotten done writing-wise. With reading, I have been good at updating my Goodreads page every few days, but I have been lacking with my sticker tracker in my planner! This week I’m going to try and get back on top of that but these weeks have just been so jammed pack that it keeps slipping my mind. Anyways, onto what I read and wrote this week!

I wrapped up reading Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare on Tuesday which was bittersweet because I was so excited to get to Lord of Shadows for my first re-read, but I do think Lady Midnight is my favourite in the trilogy…however, I am 250 pages in Lord of Shadows and LOVING it, so I’m not THAT sad about finishing Lady Midnight, to be honest. Re-reading these books is getting me so pumped for Queen of Air and Darkness’s release which is only in 9 freaking days, and ugh, I’m so excited. Apart from Lord of Shadows I have not made much progress in any other books…I’m still on page 50 in Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, but since it’s so short I’ll probably try to bring it with me to school this week and hopefully squeeze in some reading time. I was also listening to the audiobook for Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier but I forgot to renew it so I had to wait a few days before getting it back, but I have it now and only have about 3 1/2 hours left to listen to so hopefully I will also get that finished this week as well. Apart from that though, I am just enjoying Lord of Shadows and getting ready for Queen of Air and Darkness! (Let me know if you’re as obsessed with The Dark Artifices trilogy as me…it’s definitely Cassandra Clare’s best series, right?)

Writing definitely happened this week…I’m just trying to remember exactly what. I know I did a re-write of my short story for my high school’s writing contest, as well as a LOT of editing because it was due Thursday. I also had to write an entire 8-page essay for English in one night because yep, I put it off to the last minute as one does. We only had to have it ready for a peer edit session but I did get it done luckily. It was complete trash but I still have a few more days to edit it before handing it in for marks. I’ve also been working on two short articles because I am applying to be the student writer for my local newspaper which is super exciting and nerve-wracking! Working at a newspaper or somewhere like Buzzfeed has been something I’ve always considered, along with writing books and short stories of course, because I do love writing articles and essays. I’m also to extroverted (and introverted…I am definitely an ambivert) not to work with other people so apart from writing my own books, I need to have some sort of day job to keep me a part of society. It also would be AMAZING to get paid for writing an article every month so fingers crossed I get the job! Since we only 5 days left of November (where did this month even go?!? I’m not complaining though ’cause I think we can all agree November is not an easy month), I want to squeeze a lot of writing into this week. I need to edit the four short stories/essays/articles in my portfolio and finish writing a few more for a portfolio scholarship I am submitting to which has a deadline of December 4th…so yeah that is coming up and I am NOT ready. Lots of writing needs to get done so I’m going to end this blog post and hop to it.

Anyways, that is all for this reading and writing update and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts below. Thanks 🙂

P.S. I know my Instagram pic below has been acting up but to be honest, I’m too lazy to fix it. Hopefully, it will fix itself!

Last Blog Post: 3 Things I’ve Learned From My Writing Class

 

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3 Things I’ve Learned From My Writing Class

Taking a writing class at my local university has been incredibly enlightening with helping me figure out what I am going to study at university next year, and also with my writing overall. While I am only almost halfway through course, I’ve learnt a lot, to say the least, and today I am going to be sharing three of those things with all of you!

1. A Writing Major Is Not For Me

It makes sense that since I want to be a writer, a writing major would be ideal for me to study, right? Wrong. So very, very wrong. A writing major would probably be the worst idea for me, and I am so happy I figured this out in grade 12 rather than the first year of university. I am leaning more towards majoring in English so I can get better on my non-fiction writing like essays, and also my ability to dissect novels. I also want to make sure that I take a lot of different classes like history and whatnot, and the least amount of creative writing ones possible.

2. It’s Hard to Write Something Someone Else Wants You to Write

This is part of being a writer I’ve realized; writing when you don’t want to, and also sometimes things you don’t want to write. I’m glad I’m learning how to write regardless of that though, and I just hope I get better at it in the future. I would like to write things I want to write as much as possible though, so this ties into me NOT majoring in writing. It drains me creatively and leaves no time for the projects I actually want to write.

3. Writing Lectures Are Kind Of A Waste of Money…

If you are a writing major and like it, that’s great! In my opinion, though, I haven’t learned anything from these lectures that I haven’t read in a book on creative writing that I borrowed from the library. And also, they are just really boring to sit through. My lectures are about an hour and twenty minutes and it feels like the minutes just drag on and on and on. I need at least two cups of coffee each lecture to stay semi-awake. I’m lucky that my writing class is paid for by my high school because I’ve learnt more from Stephen King: On Writing (THE BEST WRITING BOOK BY THE WAY) which took me a few days to read, as opposed to this eight-month course.

So there they are! The three things I’ve learnt from my writing class so far, and I hope you enjoyed and at least found them useful. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts which are all linked below. Thanks 🙂

Last Blog Post: NaNoWriMo Week 3 – Turning Off Your Inner Editor

 

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NaNoWriMo Week 3 – Turning Off Your Inner Editor

Happy week 3 of NaNoWriMo, and also, happy Monday!

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While I am not doing NaNoWriMo traditionally this year, I am still making sure I get a lot of writing done, and in order to do that you have to do one thing…and that is turning off your inner editor.

NaNoWriMo is about writing a LOT of words in a short span of time, and in order to do that, you can’t be editing every word you write right after you write it. This can be really hard though because sometimes we can’t handle our writing being crap…which during NaNoWriMo it usually is if we are being honest. However, it is possible to turn off that inner editor and get those words down, and here are a few tips to do that!

1. Use Timed Writing Sprints – This is something that helps me because if I have a timer for 30 minutes, I know that I have to use that time to write and that there is not enough time in that sprint to also edit as well. I still don’t recommend editing AFTER the sprint either, personally, I would wait until after NaNoWriMo or until after I finished that project’s draft…but it’s better to do it after than during. Use that designated timed writing sprint to just write and worry about editing later.

2. Remind Yourself of This Quote by Anne Enright “Only Bad Writers Think Their Work Is Really Good” – Okay, this is true to a point because I still think you are valid to be proud of your work and think it is good (eventually, usually after lots of edits), and thinking that doesn’t make you a bad writer. Buuuuut if you think your first draft or even second draft is really good…your ego is going to suffer a lot in the writing world. Get used to the idea that it takes time to get your writing to a good place, and recognizing that it’s bad is actually good!

3. Reward Yourself for NOT Editing – At the end of each day, reward yourself if you held back and didn’t edit, and punish yourself if you did. Maybe you got through the whole day without editing any of the words you wrote, so you take yourself out for a coffee. However, if you did edit, maybe you can’t watch Netflix for a day. I recommend making the rewards and punishments kind of extreme, to a point, of course, but by doing this it will make you not want to edit your work even more…which is good.

4. Turn Off Any Online Editing Apps – I have Grammarly on my computer and LOVE it by the way, but seeing something underlined in red makes me want to go back and fix it. Sometimes I do, and it’s harmless when it’s only like one word but it can lead to a whole editing frenzy. We don’t want that so for whatever you are writing your project on, turn off any editing apps (you can leave on spellcheck if you want, but turning it off might help if you are someone who really can’t help but edit their work immediately) and just write.

Those are four tips for turning off your inner editor and making sure NaNoWriMo STAYS NaNoWriMo and not NaNoEdiMo…get it? Anyways, I hope you enjoyed and found it helpful and make sure to let me know how your NaNoWriMo is going if you’re participating! Also, don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts linked below. Thanks 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading + Writing Update!

 

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Reading + Writing Update!

Happy Sunday!

Sorry for not having a blog post up on Friday. I wasn’t inspired to write anything and thought a short break would be nice as well since November is a pretty stressful month for me. However, I love writing these reading and writing updates so I am back for that as well as for three new blog posts coming this week that I just finished pre-writing! Anyways, I hope you had a great weekend and here is everything reading and writing related I got done this week 🙂

This week was a fantastic reading week, and I am so happy with what I got read. Currently, I am focusing on re-reading Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare in preparation for the third and final book in The Dark Artifices trilogy being released on December 4th. This is my favourite series of all time because I love everything about it: the characters, the plot, the writing, the world…everything is just amazing!!! I’m currently on page 500ish right now, meaning I’ve read like 400 pages this week which is crazy. This is my third (I think) re-read of this MASSIVE 720 paged book and of course, I am loving it just as much if not more than the first and second time. I cannot wait to finish it hopefully in the next two days or so, because I really want to get to the next book, Lord of Shadows since I have only ever read it once…and that was a year ago too! Hopefully, I can start that by Wednesday and get it all read before December 4th comes around but like the first book, it’s a big one. Apart from Lady Midnight, I’m also still listening to the audiobook for Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier. I got in the habit of listening to music while walking instead of my audiobook, but I did listen to quite a few hours still this week and only have about 3ish hours left. I’m trying to figure out what audiobook to listen to next, and while I was listening to The Mortal Instruments series before starting the Ruby Red trilogy, I think I’m going to pick up a fun, easy contemporary audiobook instead. But yes, it’s been a good week for reading and hopefully, next week will be too!

As for writing, I’ve been writing a few hundred words every day towards a few short stories I’ve been working on and today was a big editing day because of all those words I wrote this week. Deadlines are looming and stories are unfinished so I need to step it up and get some polished and ready for contests, literary magazines, scholarships, etc. For my writing class, we recently submitted our first writing assignment which was a fiction piece and while I was decently proud of my story, I didn’t get the mark I wanted. My story was by no means amazing or some of my best work I will admit, and the comments my TA made were very helpful…but a few comments kind of caught me by surprise at how she misinterpreted some parts in the weirdest of ways, but I mean that’s writing for you. I don’t really take my writing marks to heart (which is something I LEARNED to do, but believe me, it did not come naturally) but it’s always nice to get a good mark, right? Marking writing is hard though because it’s creative…there is no right or wrong answer. If another TA marked my writing, I would have gotten a completely different mark for better or for worse so. Anywayssss, I am hoping next week will be a bit more focused on writing since November and December are busy writing months (and I’m glad one of those months is coming to an end finally), and stuff needs to get done!

That is all for my reading and writing update, and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts which are linked down below. Thanks, and have a great day 🙂

Last Blog Post: 5 Books to Give to Your Non-Reader Friend

 

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5 Books to Give to Your Non-Reader Friend

We all have those friends who claim they aren’t readers, but in my opinion, everyone is a reader. If they aren’t, they just haven’t found the right book yet. That’s where you come in! As readers, it is our duty to recruit as many readers possible by giving them amazing books to read. So, to make your job easier I put together a list of 5 books to give to your non-reader reader friend and I hope you enjoy!

1. The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth

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Not only is this a decently lengthed book (about 350 pages) so it won’t intimidate a non-reader, but it is also a beautifully haunting and interesting book that reels you in from page one. It reminds me of an older version of Narnia but following the characters after they leave a magical world called The Woodlands. Philippa, Evelyn, and Jamie are siblings that spent years in The Woodlands after retreating there during the war and return back to their own world as if no time has passed. While Philippa and Jamie are eager to return to their old lives now that the war is over, Evelyn is reluctant and still feels tied to the magical world of The Woodlands. I absolutely adore this book and how raw everything is. I feel like it is a book that anyone would enjoy, reader or not!

2. The Selection by Kiera Cass

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The Selection is just one of those fun, light-hearted books that are like candy. Once you pick it up, you can’t stop reading it. This is a dystopian-contemporary book that is part of a trilogy (technically a series but we don’t speak of the last two books) where our main character, America Singer is picked to be part of the Selection; a contest to win Prince Maxon’s heart. It’s a little cheesy and cliche and predictable, and yes, the main character can be stubborn at times, but the story is just a lot of fun to follow. It has romance, drama, and a little bit of action even and trust me, it’s a blast.

3. Scythe by Neal Shusterman

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Ah, this book is so, so incredible that I can’t help but recommend it to anyone and everyone. This is also a dystopian book that takes place in a future where humans have solved every problem, including death. To keep the population in check though, there are scythes who pick a certain amount of people to die each month, and our two main characters, Citra and Rowan, have been chosen to be apprentices to well-known scythe but this is a burden neither of them wants. Not only is this plot gripping, as is the world (which is also kind of scary, giving us an insight into what the future could hold), but the characters are incredibly vivid and fleshed out, making the story even better. Just read it! It’s a five-star read.

4. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

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This series has it all; magic, darkness, and amazingly witty characters. Blue Sargent is one of our main characters and comes from a family of psychics, yet has never shown any psychic abilities herself. But when she goes to a church like she does every year so her mother can watch the soon-to-be-dead walk by, but without seeing them herself, Blue sees her first ghost named Gansey. When she meets the real life, still alive Gansey who is a rich kid from her least favourite school, she can’t help but feel drawn to him and his strange group of friends in a way she can’t explain. The first book in this quartet is amazing, and hopefully, the first book will draw in your non-reader friend so they read the rest of the series as well!

5. Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

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Eliza and Her Monsters is another easy book like candy, but it does have a little more substance to it than The Selection I will say. Not only is the main character pretty relatable, but the story and relationships in it are as well. In this contemporary, Eliza Mirk is a mysterious and strange, quiet girl who is the anonymous creator of one of the most famous online webcomics, Monstrous Sea. When Eliza meets Wallace, incidentally Monstrous Sea‘s biggest fanfic writer, she comes out of her shell a bit more but becomes torn between telling him the truth about who she is or just not. I read this book in one sitting and cannot recommend it enough!

Those are the 5 books I recommend you give to your non-reader friend, and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts linked down below. Thanks 🙂

Last Blog Post: NaNoWriMo Week 2 – How I’m Tailoring NaNoWriMo to Me + Tips

 

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NaNoWriMo Week 2 – How I’m Tailoring NaNoWriMo to Me + Tips

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Yeah, so…I’ve already failed NaNoWriMo 2018. I talked about it a bit in yesterday’s Reading + Writing Update, but basically, I have not been writing 1,667 words a day…or really any at all to be honest. I did try, I really did! And while I haven’t been working on Project Mystic, I have been writing towards other projects. November is my busiest school month and requires a lot of essay and short story writing for portfolio deadlines in December and also just class deadlines in general. Because of that, I haven’t had any leftover creative energy to pour into Project Mystic. That is why I am tailoring NaNoWriMo to what I know I can get done this month because when December 1st rolls around, I still want to look back on November as a productive month creativity wise.

Here are the 5 steps I will be following for the rest of the month so that it is still productive.

Step 1: Identifying the Writing Projects I Need to Get Done

Not only am I someone who likes to write multiple stories at once, but I have to. This goes for essays and other school assignments too. I don’t have the time to work on one and even if I did, I have gotten in the habit of juggling multiple writing projects at once so I don’t think I’d want to. I still produce content and lots of it too, meaning I have more things to edit and submit. So yes, the first thing I am going to do is sit down with my notebook and write out all of the writing projects I need to work on this month, as well as what I need to get done for all of them.

  • Persuasive Essay for English, 5-8 pgs
  • Short Story for school writing contest, 400 words
  • Essay for essay contest, 800 words
  • Fairy Short Story for writing portfolio/contest, 2,000 words

Step 2: Creating a Colourful Time Line

Next is my favourite part! Drawing out a fun and colourful timeline so you can look at it and see what you need to get done. I recommend posting it above where you write or on the back of your door. Just somewhere you always look so you are always reminded. Sometimes the days pass by me and all of the sudden it is the day before one of my deadlines but having a timeline helps me keep track of all my deadlines.

Step 3: Sectioning Off Writing Time for Each Project

When writing multiple writing projects the most crucial tip I can give is to devote specific times to each one. For example, I will probably be devoting mornings and early afternoons to my creative projects and then the later afternoons and evenings to my school writing assignments. This way they are separated and I am also not constricting myself too much to a specific time when I need to write. I can still choose which project I work on that morning or evening and that freedom helps me from not burning out.

Step 4: Sectioning Off Time to Re-Fill the Creative Well

You also need to make time to re-fill your creative well because writing any project let alone multiple requires a lot of creative energy. Depending on what time I have a class that day, after my morning writing session I like to spend time watching TV, reading, or just listening to music. Yes, I could be working on something else because I do have other things to do apart from writing projects, but I need to take some time for myself. I will also take time for myself once I am done all my work for the day and usually I will do the same thing like watch The Mindy Project for hours…

Other Things You Can Do:

  • Listen to an audiobook
  • Paint, draw, colour, etc
  • Play an instrument (don’t play one? Learn one! I play the piano and its a great way to re-fill the creative well)
  • Go for a walk

Step 5: Reflecting and Recognizing Your Accomplishments

Now, if you’re like me and have to tailor NaNoWriMo to your needs aka not exactly meeting that 50k on one project, this is an incredibly important part of that. When the end of the month comes around, you need to look back at all you got done and appreciate that. Even if it isn’t 50,000 words towards one of your writing projects, you still accomplished something and that’s worth celebrating! Writing is hard, even harder if you have a life outside of it (which I recommend you do…). Some months we can’t write 10 words let alone 50k, and that is okay. 

So yes, that is how I am tailoring NaNoWriMo to more realistic goals for me and I hope you enjoyed! It turned into a how-to but that’s okay, and I hope you found these tips helpful! Good luck to those thriving during NaNoWriMo and to those who are shaking up the path a bit. If you want to check out my last blog post or my social media accounts they are linked below but that’s all until Wednesday! Thanks 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading + Writing Update

 

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Reading + Writing Update

Happy Sunday!

Did lots of reading and writing happen this week? Kind of. This week was a weird week of being in a creative/productive slump but I think I am getting out of it. Hopefully. Since it is Remembrance Day today though, I get the day off school tomorrow which means more time to get some reading, writing, and homework done. Again, hopefully.

I didn’t finish any books this week, but I made a lot of progress in the ones I’m currently reading. This week has been a week of music rather than audiobooks sadly, but I’ve still listened to about an hour more of the audiobook for Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier. I still have about 9 hours left, but I have doubt I’ll be able to finish it sometime this week or at least get a good chunk more listened to. Since I finished Emergency Contact last week, I started my re-read of Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare and am about 100 pages in. I’m hoping to get another 100 pages read at least by the end of next week, but if I want to get it finished as well as Lord of Shadows by the time Queen of Air and Darkness is released…I have to read a little faster. As for my writing class, I’ve been reading this book of poems called Bent Box by Lee Maracle and while I’m not a huge fan of poetry, I am really enjoying the poems in this book. They are so honest and raw that I can’t help but connect and relate to them in a way that has me nodding my head. I can only read so many at a time though, but again, I’m hoping I’ll finish it by next week. I’ve also been re-reading Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky because it is a short, sweet book that is easy for me to carry around and read when I have the time. It’s a book I’ve read a few times already, but I always enjoy my re-read of it as I am now! However, I’m only like 50 pages into it but I’ll probably finish it sometime next week. I put all of this on myself, reading too many books at once, but oh well.

So…I’ve failed NaNoWriMo already. I know, I know. We are only 11 days into November, but I’ve decided to abandon my 50k word goal for this month because yeah, that is not going to happen. However, I still plan on writing a lot this month but focusing on multiple projects instead of just one. In tomorrow’s blog post, I’ll be going into a little more detail as well as giving some tips on how to get the most of NaNoWriMo even if you decide to tweak the original idea a bit. I have a lot of essays for school as well as short stories for portfolio scholarships due soon, and sadly those need to be my prime focus at the moment. I’ve written about 3 first drafts of short stories this week though, which is awesome, and I’ve also started outlining some of my essays for school so all in all, it has still been a productive week writing wise. I’m a little sad I won’t have time to work on Project Mystic, but it has been years since NaNoWriMo has actually worked for me so I can’t say I’m surprised.

That is all for this reading and writing update and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts linked down below. Thanks 🙂

Last Blog Post: Classic Literature Book Tag (Original)

 

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Classic Literature Book Tag (Original)

Happy Friday!

This week was a rollERCOASter so I only wrote and edited this blog post last night…but, it is up and here obviously because you are reading it so at least I got it done! Anyways, I really wanted to make another book tag and since I’ve had to read lots of classics lately, and I thought a classic literature tag was the way to go. I hope you enjoy these questions and if you want to do this tag then I tag you! Just make sure you tag me in your post so I can read your answers 🙂

1. Oedipus the King – Pick a Book With An Interesting Family Dynamic

(WARNING: Spoilers for The Mortal Instruments series below)

Oedipus the King is a Greek tragedy written by Sophocles and follows Oedipus, the king of Thebes, who learns the true origins of his past…and it is a little shocking, to say the least. A family like that but in more current literature is the Morgenstern family from The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. Not only do Clary and Jace fall in love and then think they are siblings, but even when they find out they aren’t we still learn that Clary has kissed her brother because he is a sick and twisted demon baby…yeah, interesting isn’t a strong enough word to describe this family.

2. Macbeth – Pick a Book That Bleeds Murder and Betrayal 

(WARNING: Spoilers for the Harry Potter series below)

Macbeth is the well-known Shakespeare play that follows a man (Macbeth) who becomes king after killing the king…and then is basically driven mad with an unquenchable thirst for power. A book with a similar plotline to this that contains lots of murder and betrayal is honestly the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling. I mean, Harry’s parents are killed by Voldemort when he is a baby, Neville’s parents were killed by Bellatrix also when he was a baby, Quirrel betrays everyone by housing Voldy on the back of his head, Dumbledore dies, Snape dies, Mad-Eye Moody dies, Hedwig dies, Fred dies, and honestly, Harry can’t nor doesn’t trust anyone towards the end of the series. Is that enough death and betrayal???

3. The Odyssey – Pick a Character Who Is On a Journey to Get Home

The Odyssey by Homer is one of two epic Greek poems where the main idea is that Odysseus is trying to return home. A character that reminds me of Odysseus and whose series also includes Greek mythology is Apollo from The Trials of Apollo by Rick Riordan! The whole plot for this trilogy is that Zeus casts Apollo down to earth as a mortal with the task of earning his godly powers back by completing tasks. Much like Odysseus, he is struggling to return home and the journey is not easy. I haven’t finished reading this series, but I am hoping to in the near future…however, my TBR list is massive so maybe we will say just sometime in the future for now.

4. Romeo and Juliet – Pick a Romance Book…But That Has a Twist

(WARNING: I spoil Eleanor and Park below so…)

We all know the story, Romeo and Juliet, right? Honestly, I have never read it but I get the gist of it. Two young (very young) people fall in love even though their families hate each other, but they can’t help it! Raging hormones and such…well, you know us teens. Anyways, they love each other so, so much that when one of them fakes their own death, the other one kills themselves because they can’t bear to be parted from their beloved. Crazy, I know. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell is an amazing contemporary following two characters, Eleanor and Park who develop a strange, but an adorable relationship, however, their story doesn’t tie up with a pretty bow. While neither of them kills themselves, Eleanor just disappears from Park’s life and I don’t think any of us were expecting that. Much like Romeo and Juliet.

5. Pride and Prejudice – Pick a Strong Female Character Who Goes Through Lengths to Prove Herself

Jane Austen wrote many books where the main character was a female struggling in a world of men, and even today we still see women treated unfairly. One character that comes to mind that has had to prove herself a lot during her story is Gwenyth Shepard from Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier. In Ruby Red, Gwen is from a family of time-travellers, however, her cousin, Charlotte is thought to have the gene. When Gwen travels back in time though, she realizes that she’s the one with the gene and is thrust into a world of chaos and time-travel. Since Gwen is unexpectedly the time-traveller of the family, she doesn’t have the training in languages, history, arts, etc that Charlotte does, and because of that, she is constantly undermined by most of the characters in this trilogy. While Gwen is no world-changer of a character, she is just a normal, teenage girl that is trying to weave her way in life and on top of all that, time-travel as well yet is constantly weighed down by the doubt of others…mostly men, to be honest.

6. Lord of the Flies – Pick a Book Where Morals Are Very Grey

Lord of the Flies was not a favourite of mine but I had to include it in this tag. It follows a group of boys on an island when their plane crashes after they flee London which is currently under attack by the Germans. Without any adults, their responsibility and morals are really put to the test when they find themselves battling against nature, and themselves. I think all books need characters who are “morally grey” because that is a reality for a lot of us. Most people are neither good or bad, give or take a few, and that needs to be reflected more in literature. One series that has a quite a few characters like this is the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi. Most of the characters are overall decent people but would do anything for the people they love or even just for themselves. They don’t always make the right or best decisions, and sometimes people have to pay for that.

7. The Hobbit – Pick a Character Who Leaves Everything Behind For An Adventure

I love The Hobbit movies but have yet to read the books…I know, I know, but honestly, I find the books a little hard to read. One character that reminds me of this question, and I am not saying she reminds me of the main character who is a hobbit, but that is Margo from Paper Towns by John Green. Margo literally picks up everything and leaves her family and friends without an answer to go on an adventure doing who knows what and where. She is spontaneous and free-spirited because of that and is always seeking an adventure.

8. The Great Gatsby – Pick a Character Who Strives For the “American Dream”

The Great Gatsby takes place during the Roaring Twenties where there was lots of dancing, flappers, jazz, and the gloriously, wealthy idea of the “American Dream” which is something the main character chases. However, the “American Dream” is kind of unattainable and our main character doesn’t realize this until it’s too late. A character in another book that reminds me of this, as someone who loves the lights, the camera, and the action I guess you could say, is Lola Nolan from Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. Lola loves dressing up different each day, never wearing the same outfit twice. She also expects to live happily ever after with her boyfriend, Max and have a perfect life…but the reality is a little different than that.

9. The Tempest – Pick a Character Who Is On the Run

Another Shakespeare plays but this one is a little different and weirder than his others in my opinion. In this story, Prospero and his daughter, Miranda are hiding from his evil brother but she doesn’t know. There is love, betrayal, and all that fun Shakespeare stuff. A character who is very much on the run is Day from the Legend trilogy by Marie Lu(or I guess series now, actually) because he is a convicted criminal on the run from the very corrupted government, called the Republic. So yeah, Day!

10. The Secret Garden – Pick a Book That Has a Secret World

Okay, again, I have never read The Secret Garden…but I have seen the movie. I wish I read it when I was younger because I just don’t think I would enjoy it as much now! However, as it says in the title, the main character of this story is a young girl who finds yes, a secret garden. Lots of YA books have secret worlds hidden in them, amongst all the normal, much like Mary finding the secret garden which brings her a lot of good. In The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth, our two main characters, Evelyn and Philippa, as well as their brother, discover a secret world amongst the chaos of World War II, called The Woodlands. The Woodlands is a magical world of nature and beauty but much like our characters world back home, a war is upon them. The siblings stay and help out with the war, but once it is over they are sent back despite Evelyn’s protests and have to learn to adjust in the real world. They all needed this world badly for different, reasons, and it helped bring out their true selves in the real world because of it!

Okay! So those were my ten questions for the classic literature book tag, and I hope you enjoyed. Please tag me if you decide to do this tag because I’d love to see your answers! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts for more bookish and writing related content. Everything is linked below, thanks 🙂

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