December 2018 Wrap Up

Image result for decemberImage result for book stack

Ah! This is the last wrap up of 2018 which is a whole other level of crazy, but I am really excited to discuss all the books I read this month because it was a lot more than I expected! I read a total of 12 books this month and that is a lot for me, especially since I read most of these during the first two books of the month I had school. Anyways! Let’s get into this wrap-up.

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

untitled

I was re-reading this book in anticipation for the release of Queen of Air and Darkness, the third and final book in this amazing trilogy, and just like the first time, I adored this book. This book takes place in the world of Shadowhunters (people who are half angel and half human) who fight demons to keep humans safe. The first book, Lady Midnight follows a large cast of characters but most specifically, Emma Carstairs, a Shadowhunter who is hunting for answers about her parents’ murders but the whole plot of it turns out to be more than she and her friends assumed. This book is not by any means short, but it is 700ish pages that somehow never seems long enough because I just want more and more and MORE. As always, 5/5 stars.

Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich 

51T4hrr2YLL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_

As a Broadway fanatic, I jumped at the chance to read the YA novel adaptation for this Broadway musical. I’ve listened to the soundtrack countless times, and I was blown away by how greatly the author pulled the lyrics and atmosphere out of each song and transferred it into a book. The characters sounded the same as in the songs, and the plot was enjoyable, important, and interesting to read about. I felt all the feelings while reading this too; I laughed, smiled, cried, and cringed in all the right places and because of that, I loved this book. Dear Evan Hansen follows our main character, Evan, who is struggling to connect with others at school but when a boy from his school named Connor commits suicide, his family somehow thinks Evan was a close friend of his and they bring him into their world and even their family. However, Evan wasn’t friends with Connor and he struggles with revealing this. This book makes me want to see the musical live even more and hopefully, one day I will! 4/5 stars

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

perks

I have a tradition of giving The Perks of Being a Wallflower a read once every year because, to me, it is a classic that everyone needs to read. It deals with mental disorders like anxiety and PTSD, abuse, and finding yourself, all important things at really any age. We follow Charlie, a quiet kid who is starting his freshman year of high school and feels more alone than ever. But when he is taken in by two seniors, Sam and Patrick, and introduced to their friend group, Charlie starts to find himself and finally begins to participate in life. Amongst all that, Charlie is a reader and writer, which makes me love the story even more. Not only is this a good read, but it is a quick read too. 4/5 stars

The Outsider by Albert Camus

71T2ZEK5TgL

If this wasn’t assigned to me to read for English class, I would have never picked it up and it probably would have been years until I heard the name of the master, Albert Camus so for once, I am happy with my assigned reading for class. The Outsider is a short piece of fiction that features a character representing the idea of existentialism – the idea that life has no true meaning other than what we give it individually. Recently, I’ve done a lot of research on philosophy, including existentialism, nihilism, etc, and found the entire study incredibly fascinating and Albert Camus captures the overall idea of existentialism perfectly in his character, Meursault. Meursault is a passive character who receives news that his mother dies but fails to feel the way society expects him to. When Meursault commits a terrible crime, his inability to connect to others and the world around him becomes apparent and surprises everyone. This is a really interesting story and I found Meursault fascinating because he truly was neither morally good or bad. He was grey. 4/5 stars

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

GUEST_f6452c70-650c-40b0-80e4-998e9cb144de

Yes, YES! I read and finished the final installment in The Dark Artifices trilogy by Cassandra Clare in the month of December. It took some time (almost 3 weeks to be exact) because I was busy and also wanted to savour the book because…well, it was a lot. It was 912 pages of happiness, heartbreaks, and adventure. Once again, this takes place in the Shadowhunter world and is the sequel to Lord of Shadows which I read earlier this month. While it wasn’t everything I hoped for, I did love it and I loved seeing most of my favourite characters stories come full circle. However, a lot of their stories didn’t because, in a few years, Cassandra Clare is releasing The Wicked Powers, a series following characters from The Dark Artifices but 3 years after the events of Queen of Air and Darkness…so yeah, this didn’t really feel like the end to a trilogy because of that! 5/5 stars though

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Image result for big magic

 

Since I am in the midst of my writing break, I thought Big Magic would be the perfect book to pick up and dive into because it is all about creativity and living the creative life. Gilbert speaks of her own creative journey, and all of the wisdom she has gathered from years of experience and other people. While I didn’t get as much out of it as the first time I read it, I still enjoyed re-reading this book and it helped to nurture my shaky flame of creativity. I definitely recommend it to every creative person! 3.75/5 stars

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

24763621

Ugh. I have a review going up for this book (hopefully) this Wednesday, but long story short, it was not my cup of tea. We follow Liesel, a German girl who has stifled her love for music in order for her brother to grow as a musician (why does SHE have to give up her dream, I don’t know) and one day, while in the market with her sister, Kathe, is taken to the Underground by some goblins to wed the Goblin King, a figure from Liesel’s childhood she thought was fiction. Liesel ventures to the Underground, the land of the goblins, to save her sister from the monster she thought was nothing but a story who instead has become a crystal clear, bitter reality. This book was not great. Lisel was annoying and the plot went all over the place, however, the writing was beautiful so there’s that. 2.5/5 stars

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

A1DfuuJpEjL

This is the sequel to Every Heart a Doorway, a book I read back in August, and oh my god, this book was amazing. Somehow, Seanan McGuire manages to fit so much plot, world-building, and character development in UNDER 200 PAGES! Like how? I can’t explain this book really without spoiling the first book, but basically, we follow two twins who are present in the first book and who play a large enough role in it. We learn their story and the world they went to when their doorway appeared because, in this world, doorways to different worlds appear to children and if they venture into it, they live there for a while before being given the choice later on whether to stay or leave. It’s really interesting and I cannot wait to read her next book! 4.5/5 stars

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

9781406337600

City of Lost Souls was my audiobook for the month as I’ve been slowly, but surely, making my way through my re-read of The Mortal Instruments series via audiobook. I’m kind of bummed because while I love this book, I took some gaps between listening to it and overall, that took away from some of my enjoyment of the story. Either way, I enjoyed it of, course, because I love these books, these characters, and this world. This book also takes place in the Shadowhunter world, as all of Clare’s other books. It is the fifth in the six-book-series, but the first book, City of Bones follows Clary, a fifteen-year-old girl whose mother is kidnapped by a man called Valentine, and Clary suddenly finds herself in a world of angels and demons, one that she has more of a place in than she thought. These books hold a special, special place in my heart as they do for many people, and I always love revisiting them! This was by far my favourite audiobook in the series though because the narrator, Molly Quinn, is actually an actress in one of my favourite TV shows, Castle so that added to the experience! 5/5 stars

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

fangirl_coverdec2012

I loved, loved, loved this book and if I have time, I can see myself re-reading this book again for the millionth time sometime soon. While this book is over 400 pages, I flew through it as always because the pacing is so quick and the story is so cute and wonderful. In Fangirl, we follow Cath who is starting her first year of college with her twin sister, Wren. However, while Cath is eager to hole herself up in her room and write Simon Snow fanfiction, Wren is eager to make new friends and go to parties, leaving Cath behind. Cath slowly becomes friends with her roommate, Raegan, and her best friend, Levi, learning to come out of her shell a little more though, and soon her friendship with Levi becomes something more. Everything about this story is great and I am so happy I was able to re-read it! 5/5 stars

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

51DgrGs3MCL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_

Strangely enough, I have never read Alice in Wonderland despite it being a classic. Reading it made me question why it is really a classic though because honestly, I was less than impressed. Alice is a difficult and not entirely bright character, but I did think the world was a lot of fun and creative for the times, so maybe that is why. I don’t feel the need to explain what this book is about because…well, it’s Alice in Wonderland…its a classic. I do wish I enjoyed it more than I did, but it was really short so I’m not complaining. 3/5 stars

The Selection Stories by Kiera Cass

Image result for the selection stories

The Selection trilogy (we don’t talk about it as a series) is my all-time favourite guilty pleasure…even though I’m not guilty about it, but loud and proud. Anyways, I was getting the urge to re-read it, but I decided that instead of starting the trilogy for the millionth time, I would just pick up one of the novellas. I’ve read it once or twice before, but enjoyed it just as much this time. It was a lot of fun and I really like most of the characters in this series so yeah, it was an enjoyable little read to end off my reading year! 4/5 stars

There you have it! Those are the 12 whole books I managed to squeeze in this month, which is crazy, because the only time I read 12 books in one month is July when I am off from school. For the most part, I enjoyed these books except for the few flops so overall, it was a successful reading wise quality as well as quantity wise. Anyways, don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts below for more bookish and writing related content! Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading + Writing Update

 

@zoermathers

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting

 

@zoematherswrites

 

Reading + Writing Update

Happy Sunday!

I hope you all had a great week whether you celebrate Christmas or not, and I hope you managed to get a lot of reading, writing, or whatever else you enjoy doing, done! Personally, I had a GREAT reading week and while I am technically on a writing break, I do have something I want to discuss in that section of this blog post though so stay tuned for that! Anyways, let’s get into this update.

I finished 4 books this week which I am really happy about because now, I am only 3 books away from finishing my 2018 reading goal! Yes, that means I have to read 3 books in one day since tomorrow is the last day of 2018, but I know I can do it since the last 3 books I want to read are short. One is the City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare audiobook which I am only one hour away from finishing…so yeah, I will finish it tomorrow for sure. The other books I plan on reading tomorrow are two novellas because THAT’S NOT CHEATING!

Anyways, for what I read this week, I read Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones, Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, and last but not least, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. I actually have a review coming out for Wintersong in the next week or two, but I will give a quick snapshot on my feelings for it, as well as the other books. I was so excited to read Wintersong, but it was not a book for me. I thought it would be because it has goblins and magic and takes place in Germany in the past, and to me, that sounds epic. Sadly, it was anything but! Anyways, more to come in my review. However, I did love Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire, the sequel to Every Heart a Doorway which I read during the BookTubeAThon in the summer and while I enjoyed it, I wasn’t blown away with the first book in this series. The sequel was so amazing though; everything from the writing to the world to the characters was just brilliant, and how the author packs so much stuff into a book under 200 pages will never cease to amaze me. But yeah, loved it! I also, OF COURSE, loved re-reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell because this is an all-time favourite of mine for sure. This may have been my fourth or fifth re-read of this contemporary to be honest, but I did’t love it any less than I did the first time or the second time and so on. I was in desperate need of a cozy, heart-warming contemporary and immediately leapt towards Fangirl because if you’ve read it, you’d know how wonderful it is and if you haven’t read it…what are you doing!? Lastly, I read the short entirety of Alice in Wonderland, the classic by Lewis Carroll which I actually have not read before. Honestly, wasn’t super impressed. It was alright but Alice…well, she is a difficult character to say the least. I wasn’t expecting much from this book, but I do wish I enjoyed it more than I did since it is a “classic”. Anyways, half of my reading this week was AMAZING and the other half was bleh, but that’s how it goes sometimes. I am so excited to strive to read 3 whole books (OKAY FINE, novellas…but those are books too! They count!) tomorrow and reach my yearly reading goal because I am so close it would suck to not reach it, you know?

Okay, okay, I know I’m on a writing break but suddenly the urge to write overtook me. Not in the way I expected or the way you might assume. Since I spent the last two days reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, I had the urge to write some fanfiction (something I haven’t done since I was 13-years-old and locked away in the world of Percy Jackson). In Fangirl, our main character, Cath, writes fanfiction for this massively popular fantasy series similar (not unlike Harry Potter), and that just made me want to write some. Not because I want to regularly write fanfiction, but because I was desperate to write something. Something that didn’t contain my own original characters or world, just my own story idea. So, I wrote 1,000 words of some AWFUL fanfiction following my favourite characters from The Dark Artifices trilogy by Cassandra Clare and it was a lot of fun. It was a great creative release and it truly helped me fill my creative well just a little bit more in a way both reading and watching Netflix can’t do. I have no idea if I will write any more terrible fanfiction or if I will write something of my own, but I do plan to head to a coffee shop tomorrow and hopefully, something productive will occur from that.

That was 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 all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Best Books of 2018

 

@zoermathers

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting

 

@zoematherswrites

Best Books of 2018

Image result for 2018

2018 was a good reading year quantity wise. However, as I am writing this, I don’t know if I’ve hit my Goodreads goal of 75 books but I am really, really close and still have time (I’ve read 70 so far). While I read lots of books, a lot of them were re-reads or just books that were pretty good but not AMAZING. So, when it came to compiling a list of my favourites, I realized this was going to be short and sweet. That’s okay though because I did re-read a lot of my most favourite books (I’m not counting those in this post though) and there were a few new reads that I did really enjoy. Anyways, here are my favourite books of 2018.

Stephen King: On Writing by Stephen King

Image result for STEPHEN KING ON WRITING

This is a non-fiction book on Stephen King’s writing journey and life. I read this in January and absolutely loved it. It was stuffed to the seams with wisdom and advice that I seethed over, and it all helped to improve me as a writer. I definitely plan on re-reading it in the new year, but this was definitely a favourite out of the whole year for me. It was also definitely my most favourite writing book…probably that I’ve ever read! 5/5 stars

The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth

thelightbetweenourworlds1

I know, I know. I’ve raved about this book more than a few times, but for good reason because it made it onto my favourites list! This is a contemporary-fantasy, as I like to genereize it, that follows the POV of two sisters, Evelyn, and Philippa who along with their brother, Jamie, have just returned from a fantasy land called the Woodlands where they lived for several years in an attempt to flee from the devastation of World War II. Now they are back to reality, all struggling to find their place in it, but some are struggling more than others. When Evelyn goes missing, Philippa must find her sister and along the way, discover the pain of assimilating into the ordinary she felt. I read this book in the summertime and fell in love with its rainy, English atmosphere and raw characters. I actually have an in-depth review if you want to read it right here, but it was just amazing. 5/5 stars

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

28954189

This was another book I discovered in the summertime during the BookTubeAThon and oh my- it was amazing. Neal Shusterman creates such a realistic world with characters I can actually imagine meeting and speaking with, bringing the story to life that much more. Scythe takes place in a futuristic world where humans have conquered everything from ageing, disease to death. However, to keep the population from exploding, there are scythes who glean people at random to do so. Our two main characters are Rowan and Citra, both who are chosen to be the apprentices to the same scythe but this is something neither of them thought they wanted. I love this story and these characters, and just talking about it makes me want to re-read it…which I may do. 5/5 stars

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

GUEST_f6452c70-650c-40b0-80e4-998e9cb144de

While I had my issues with this book (which will be discussed in my upcoming review), I did absolutely adore this book. I had been anticipating it for so long, and I also know it was supposed to be very open-ended because it is setting us up for the Wicked Powers, another series in the Shadow World. But anyways, this was the third and final installment in my favourite trilogy, The Dark Artifices, following my most favourite characters in my most favourite world. Was it everything I hoped for? Honestly, not really haha, but then again, it kept me interesting, surprised me, and ultimately, I loved it so yes, one of the best books of 2018 hands down. 5/5 stars

There you have it! I only have 4 books on this list because the other books were either re-reads or only 4-star-reads. That doesn’t mean I didn’t like them, they just weren’t the best books of 2018 for me. Anyways, 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: January TBR

 

@zoermathers

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting

 

@zoematherswrites

January TBR

Image result for january

I cannot believe how close we are to the new year. 2018 was a combination of blurs and sluggish movements, but I am immensely looking forward to the new year of 2019. It is my graduation year, the year I begin my university degree, and also a great year for books. Anyways, I am excited and I hope you are too! Let’s talk about all the books I’m looking forward to reading this coming month.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

91RQ5d-eIqL

January is the Biannual Bibliothon amongst the first month of the new year, so a lot of these books are based off the readathon’s reading challenges. This book fulfills the challenge which is to read the book that got you into reading, and that book for me is the first Percy Jackson book. This is an urban fantasy, Greek mythology inspired story that follows a young boy named Percy Jackson, who one day, discovers his father is a powerful Greek god. I love this series and it has been a while since I’ve re-read it, so I am excited to do that this January!

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

Me-Before-You-Movie-Soundtrack

This is another book for the Biannual Bibliothon, fulfilling the challenge to read an adult book. I don’t read or own many adult books, but Me Before You is one I own, read, and loved. It has been…two years since I’ve read it so I think it is time for a re-read. Our main character in this adult contemporary is Lou, a young woman who starts working as a caretaker for a quadriplegic man named Will who is not easy to get along with but soon, they start falling for one another. I love this story; it makes me cry, laugh, and warms my heart so yes, I am very excited to give it a re-read.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Titan’s Curse (Graphic Novel) by Rick Riordan

pj3

I’m reading this for the challenge of combining your favourite genre with the one you don’t really like or don’t read a lot of, and I’m combining urban fantasy/fantasy with graphic novels. I don’t mind graphic novels and mangas, but I don’t read them that often, and since I have an unread graphic novel on my shelf, I really want to finally read it. I’ve started it many times but have never finished it! This is the third book in the Percy Jackson series so I guess I’m reading the first one, skipping the second, and reading the third but eh, I’ve read these a million times so it is fine.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

9781435160514_p0_v1_s550x406

One of my 2019 reading goals is to read more classics, and this also works for the Biannual Bibliothon to read a book by an author you’ve never read before. I have yet to read any Jane Austen books and I feel like Pride and Prejudice is a good place to start. Hopefully, this will help ease me into the world of classics because if I can read some of the staple authors; Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, etc, my future, English Lit major will thank me. I hate the lack of diversity in these books and that’s always something hard for me to get past, but if I am going to spend the next four years reading and analyzing these types of stories, I might as well get used to it now.

Of course, I want to read a lot more than 4 books because I love starting off the new year with a good head start into my reading goal, but I also have no idea what I want to read in January… While I could create a full TBR, I don’t want to nail myself down to specific books and then lose the enjoyment of reading in January sooo, that said, I am going to start off with these 4 books and hopefully, I get them done! Anyways, 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: Reading + Writing Update!

 

@zoermathers

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting

 

@zoematherswrites

Reading + Writing Update!

Happy…Monday?

Yeah, I didn’t even realize it was Sunday yesterday until I woke up this morning, checked my phone, squealed with excitement that it is Christmas Eve, and then realized I wrote NO blog posts over the weekend. I had a fun blog post all planned out for today, but instead since I never wrote it…I will just be posting this update. Anyways, let’s get into it!

This week I finished 2 books which felt great because one of them was Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare! I have been reading this book for almost 3 weeks now and it feels strange to wake up and not sit down with it in the mornings, a cup of coffee at my side and fingers eager to flip those bible thin pages, but I was dying to see how it ended and now…well, now I have. I am trying to write up my review of it but my thoughts are all over the place and muddled in confusion, so who knows how long this will take to put together. This week, I also finished The Outsider by Albert Camus for my English class, and surprisingly, I really enjoyed this book. In no way is it something I would pick up “for fun”, but as a book meant for analyzing and studying, oh my-there was a LOT. Meursault as a main character is so interesting and different that it distracted me from the boring, plain plot line. Apart from those 2 books, I am still listening to City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare but I only have just over 5 hours left. My goal is to finish it this week so I can focus on reading/listening to The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan, another book I am eager to pick up before the year ends. Yet another book I am still making my way through is Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I have around 100 pages left and I usually manage to read 50 pages a day, so fingers crossed I FINALLY finish it in the next 2 days. Lastly, I picked up Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones on Saturday, a German fantasy story that I’ve been meaning to get to for a while. While I am only 100 pages in so far, the story is quite slow (as I’ve read from reviews) but I am really hoping it picks up soon because I think I’ll enjoy it! I am trying to read 6 other books by the end of 2018 to hit my reading goal, so I am trying to pick up the pace when it comes to reading and blast through as much of them as I can…wish me luck!

While I am taking a break from writing, I have been struck with a really fun and exciting idea for a story (short story or novel, I’m not quite sure yet). If this idea continues to pester me, I will give in and write it, but I am holding out because I can still feel how depleted my creativity is. I am worried that writing would scrape the last flecks of creativity left inside of me, but if the idea calls, I kind of have to answer. Right?

Anyways, that is all for this late reading and writing update! I hope you enjoyed, and make sure you let me know what you managed to read and write this week because I would love to know. Also, 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: My Reading & Writing Goals for 2019

 

@zoermathers

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting

 

@zoematherswrites

My Reading & Writing Goals for 2019

Image result for 2019

Happy Friday!

We have only 10 days of 2018 left so it is time to discuss all of my reading and writing goals for the new year! I love these type of blog posts, videos, etc, because it gets me so motivated for accomplishing my goals in the new year and hopefully, it does for you too. I’ll have my 2018 goals wrap up out at the beginning of January so stay tuned for that! Anyways, let’s get into it.

Reading

  • Read 70 Books – This is 5 books less than my 2018 reading goal because I know I’m not going to have as much time to read as I do this year…however, 5 books less isn’t a dramatic drop but that is because I plan on doing an entire degree in reading (English Literature) and plan on taking quite a few classes that include reading so I’m sure I will still read a lot.
  • Read At Least 10 Classics – Since I want to do a degree in English Lit, I will be reading a lot of classics. Not only that, but I do really want to branch out my reading tastes from YA (I still want to read YA all the time obviously) and make this a goal for 2019.
  • Read At Least 30 New Releases – Sometimes, I get caught up in re-reading books which I love and is the reason I buy books instead of borrowing them. However, I can get caught up in doing that and forget to read new releases so I want to make sure at least almost half of the books I read are new releases.

Writing

  • Submit to 5 Literary Magazines – I spent most of 2018 writing new stories and while they still need some editing and I want to write a few more, I really want to make sure I focus on sending them out instead of hoarding them. So yeah, I would like to submit to at least 5 but it would be great if I sent out more.
  • Submit to 3 Writing Contests – Again, I want to get my voice out there and just keep sending out my work.
  • Write 3 NEW Short Stories – As for sending out pieces of writing, I also want to make sure I write a few new ones. However, since I’m starting my first year of university in September 2019, I might not have time to write more than 3 so I am setting my goals low since my only free time between then and now will be summer break.
  • Write 1 Creative Non-Fiction Piece – After spending a month or so on creative non-fiction in my writing class, I realized this genre of writing excites me and is something I want to keep exploring in the new year by writing at least one CNF piece.
  • Write Draft 3 of Project Mystic – I feel like I haven’t touched this project in forever when really, it has only been 2(ish) months. I do want to get back to it sometime in the new year though and attempt draft 3 though because I’m itching to return to the world.

Blogging

  • Post At Least 3x a Week – Even with the chaos of school, I want to make sure I am still constantly posting and uploading content. I love blogging and want to make sure it is something I am always doing. Currently, I publish 4 blog posts a week but that could get a bit much in the future so I wanted to lower my expectations a little bit.
  • Upgrade Plan – Currently, I have the WordPress personal plan but I really want to upgrade to the premium plan so I can make my blog even better! I’ve been blogging for almost 3 years now, and want to keep moving forward.
  • Set Up a Newsletter – Along with upgrading my blog plan, I will then be able to start a newsletter which is something I have always wanted to do but can’t with a personal plan. Since my plan expires in early January, hopefully, I will have this plan in motion within the next few months.

Anyways, those are all of the goals I have for 2019 and I realize I have quite a lot, but they are pretty broad and manageable I think. Don’t forget to comment below some goals you have for 2019 because I would love to know! Also, make sure you check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are linked below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Festive Christmas Book Tag!

 

@zoermathers

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting

 

@zoematherswrites

Festive Christmas Book Tag!

IMG_2649

Yes, it is THAT time of the year when the Christmas related tags come out and the festivities begin! Today, I will be doing the Festive Christmas Book Tag which was originally created by GirlReading on YouTube. But yeah, I’m feeling festive so let’s just get into this!

1. A Fictional Family You Would Like to Spend Christmas Dinner With?

Image result for the blackthorns

Fitting since I’ve been lost in the world of The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare which has by far, the best family dynamic I have ever read. So yeah, obviously I would LOVE to spend Christmas dinner with the Blackthorns! All of them seem so awesome plus they are Shadowhunters so some sort of drama would go down (whether it was the need to fight enemies or romantic drama…) and I would be here for that entertainment. Plus Mark would be there and I love Mark so…sorry Christina.

2. A Bookish Item You Would Like to Receive As a Gift

Image result for julian blackthorn poster

I would really love to receive some sort of The Dark Artifices related poster…perferably that one with Julian that came Cassandra Clare gave out at some of her events because it is GORGEOUS. Can you tell I am obsessed with The Dark Artifices?

3. A Fictional Character You Think Would Make a Perfect Christmas Elf?

Image result for leo valdez

Hahaha, Leo Valdez from The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan would because it is kind of a running joke in at least in the first and maybe also the second book in the Heroes of Olympus series (which now I want to re-read), that he looks like a mischevious Christmas Latino elf. I’m all here for it.

4. Match a Book To It’s Perfect Christmas Song

Hmmm, this was tricky for me. Ultimately, I decided that To All the Boy I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han would go perfectly with All I Want For Christmas by Mariah Carrey because the whole plot is Lara Jean writing these secret love letters to boys, they get sent out and then she claims she never wanted that but really, all she wants is one of these relationships to work out…ALL SHE WANTS FOR CHRISTMAS IS PETER K.

5. Bah Hambug. A Book Or Fictional Character You’ve Been Disappointed In And Should Be Put On The Naughty List?

Image result for the infinite sea

Hands down, The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancy. I had such high expectations going into this sequel to The Fifth Wave because I really, really enjoyed it at the time. When I read The Fifth Wave, I was so, so excited to jump into the next book but it let me down SO much and I never even ended up finishing it so yeah…onto the naughty list ya go.

6. A Book Or Fictional Character You Think Deserves More Love and Appreciation And Deserves To Be Put On the Nice List?

I have two choices for this, one is a book and another is a character. The book is The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth because it is such a fantastic and atmospheric story that deserves more praise! It takes place in rainy England in the 1950s following two girls struggling to find their place in the world after returning from a fantasy land called The Woodlands. It came out two months ago so go read it! As for the character that deserves more appreciation and love, that is Christina from The Dark Artifices series by Cassandra Clare. I love Christina and while I love Emma too, I feel like people focus on her more than Christina just because she is strong and badass (which Christina is too). Christina is also compassionate and loving and just deserves the world.

7. Red, Gold, and Green. A Book That Has A Wonderfully Christmasy Feel To It

Image result for harry potter and the goblet of fire

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling (my favourite book in the series) gives me all the Christmasy vibes. It is blue with gold stars and red fire and just gives me all those cold, winter feels. Also, the atmosphere in the book is really wintery and cozy so it fits the cover. Now I want to go and watch it with a blanket and cup of hot chocolate but I have class soon so…

8. A Book Or Series You Love So Much, You Want Everyone To Find Under Their Christmas Tree This Year So They Can Read It And Love It Too?

Image result for the dark artifices trilogy

THE DARK ARTIFICES TRILOGY BY CASSANDRA CLARE. Honestly, this trilogy has my heart and soul and I could read it over and over again without getting bored. The characters are amazing and diverse, and I see myself in a lot of them. The world is also incredibly rich and fascinating, and the storyline always keeps my eyes glued to the page until I’m forced to flip past the final one. Everyone needs to read it, however, you have to read Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series and The Infernal Devices trilogy before which is like 9 books…but it’s worth it!

Anyways, that is all for this Festive Christmas Book Tag and I hope you enjoyed! If you want to do this tag then I tag you because it was a lot of fun to do, and really got me in the Christmas spirit. Don’t 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: How To: Take a Break From Writing

 

@zoermathers

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting

 

@zoematherswrites

 

 

 

How To: Take a Break From Writing

I really wanted to make this blog post on how to take a PROPER and BENEFICIAL break from writing because I actually plan on taking a whole month off of writing. I will explain this a bit more at the end of this post because first I am going to be sharing some tips and tricks to get the most out of a writing break!

Q: Should I Take a Writing Break?

I think it is essential to take a writing break from time to time. Whether that is only a week or a month, taking some time to just chill and rejuvenate your creativity is crucial to your writing as well as your mental and physical well-being. So yes, if you feel yourself on the verge of breaking from the stress of writing, or if you are well past that point, keep reading this because it is time to take a break! Breaks from writing will also give you a chance to focus your time and energy on other things like reading, school work, exercise, or spending time with friends or family. Things that you might have been neglecting before.

Q: Will Taking a Writing Break Make Me a Bad Writer?

No! Taking time away from writing can sometimes install guilt because we writers have this idea that we need to always be writing, and if we don’t, we are a failure. This is not true and here is your daily reminder of it! Taking time will if anything, only make you a BETTER writer. Breaks are important because they prevent burnout which is really unhealthy so take that break.

How To Get the Most Out of Your Break:

  • Read…a LOT – This is a great way to fill your depleted creative well with good stories, that way, you will be topped off and ready to write when your break is over. Some books I recommend reading during your break are Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, and On Writing by Stephen King.
  • Watch movies/TV Shows…a LOT – This is like reading, this refuels you with good stories and also gives your mind a break from thinking, creating, etc. Something that everyone needs.
  • Pick Up a New Hobby – One way to help your creativity/writing is to try something new and totally unrelated to writing. Start baking or knitting or exercising. Something that will keep you occupied from the guilt of not writing and that you really enjoy.
  • Focus Your Energy On Neglected Activities – Whether it is time to make more time for your friends and family, or spend more time outside, focus this new found time and energy into things you might have been neglecting lately.
  • Journal – This is still writing, but this is a type of writing that doesn’t require any outlining or thought really. Journalling is a great way to just let go of everything bottled up inside of you and I recommend it even when you’re not on a writing break.
  • Sleep More – Sometimes I go late into the night writing, but while I’m on writing breaks I try to make it a priority to go to sleep earlier and then wake up early. It’s important to get no less than 7 hours of sleep, but maybe without writing, you can clock in 8 or 9 hours. Personally, sleeping more than 8 hours gives me a headache because my body feels like it has overslept, but it’s nice to be able to wake up early and just lay in bed for longer.

Why I’m Taking a Writing Break…

I wanted to write this blog post because yes, I have decided to go on a writing break. Not only do I feel depleted creatively, but I really want to spend more time focused on reading and school work. I am in my senior year of high school and am also taking a university class (Writing 100), and lately, have felt like I’ve been neglecting school which isn’t good! I want to focus my energy on my school work to end my high school career on a strong note. Of course, I also want to do well in my uni course because I do get credits for it and can use it towards what I am studying next year obviously. There is no set timeline for this writing break but I am starting it this week and basically am going with the flow and ending it whenever. However, saying that, I don’t want it to extend any further than the end of January. Of course, I will still have assignments for my writing class to do and essays for classes and scholarships to write, but my break is more geared towards taking a break from my own personal, creative writing. I’ve put a lot into my own writing these last few months and just really, really need a little breather. But yes, this may be a one and a half month break but we will see. I encourage you to also take a break if you are feeling a little stuck or tired because it might be for the best!

Anyways, that is all for this blog post 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 for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading + Writing Update!

 

@zoermathers

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting

 

@zoematherswrites

Reading + Writing Update!

Happy Sunday!

This update is going up a liiitle later than I hoped, but I was having some major computer problems with my laptop. Hopefully things are sorted out, but currently I am re-downloading everything back onto there so I am writing this via my desktop, which I haven’t used for writing on in a while. Anyways, this was a very productive reading week so let’s just get into it!

I am still making my way through Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare slowly but surely AND YES I AM LOVING IT. I really, really want to finish it like NOW, because I need to know what happens. However, I also want to finish it because everyone on YouTube is posting their “Queen of Air and Darkness Reading Vlogs” and their spoiler reviews on the book and I really want to watch all of them but I can’t because I’m not done! Most likely, I will finish at the end of this coming week because I am just over 650 pages into it meaning I have around 250ish to go. I don’t want to rush it at the same time though, because I don’t want it to be over. According to Goodreads (love Goodreads), I read like 300 pages this week of QoAaD so that is pretty awesome. Apart from that, I’ve been listening to the audiobook for City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare, and I just passed the halfway mark today while I listening to it at the gym. I have around 8 hours left and hopefully I can finish that by the end of the week as well! Since I’ve been lacking creative motivation lately due to winter, school, and a bundle of other things, I decided to pick up Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and give it a second read. The first time, I finished it feeling inspired and creative and I am hoping to feel that exact way when I turn over the last page…fingers crossed. Currently, I am around 80 pages into it and want to read at least another 100 pages this coming week. It is taking me a bit to get into, but I can feel myself becoming more immersed in Gilbert’s amazing wisdom. Last but not least, for English class, we’ve been assigned The Outsider by Albert Camus because we are doing a sort of philosophy unit focusing on existentialism which at first, I was kind of standoffish about, but I’ve watched some videos on the topic of philosophy and I am now very intrigued. I had to read 60 pages (which is literally half of the book) of it for tomorrow because I have a quiz, which I’m happy to report I have successfully done, and I’m so far pretty invested into the story. Our main character is a really interesting and fresh perspective to read in, and it is a fun book to analyze! Oh! I just about forgot but I finally finished re-reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky on Friday. It took me a while to get through because I was busy reading other things, but as always, I enjoyed my time reading it.

As for writing, I have a whole blog post on this going up tomorrow, but I am taking a writing break. I am not 100% how long it is going to be, but I am not letting myself go past the end of January because I do love writing and also NEED to do it. I just need a little break. The only thing writing-related I got done this week was a scholarship essay that I ended up submitting Thursday. It was about 1,000 words long and the topic of it was “The Goals I Will Achieve in 10 Years”. It was really fun and enlightening to write because we are coming to the end of 2018 so I have been thinking about my 2019 goals, and also just the goals I have for the next few years. Other than that…I don’t think any writing has gotten done. That’s okay though because my winter break is just around the corner and I plan on spending it reading, eating good food, and watching lots of great TV so that creative well WILL be replenished within the next few weeks and hopefully, I will be ready to tackle lots, and lots of writing.

Yep, that is all I have to update you all on! I hope you enjoyed reading the progress I made via reading and writing this week, and make sure you let me know what you managed to get done because I’d love to know. Also, don’t forget to check out my last blog post and my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Writing Creative Non-Fiction 101

 

@zoermathers

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting

 

@zoematherswrites

 

Writing Creative Non-Fiction 101

Image result for creative nonfiction

My writing class is on break right now for finals, but we recently began our creative non-fiction unit and while I haven’t read or written a lot of CNF (creative non-fiction), I have found this unit really fun and interesting to learn and write about. We had a CNF assignment due on December 10th and it was a big change from writing fiction, but I had a lot of fun doing it! Anyways, here are some of the tips I’ve learnt from writing CNF and I hope they help you!

First Off…What is Creative Non-Fiction?

Well, creative non-fiction can be an array of different things from essays to articles, research papers and memoir. The key thing within all pieces of creative non-fiction is that they contain a factual narrative.

Types of CNF:

  • Personal essay
  • Memoir]
  • Literary journalism
  • Travel article
  • Research paper
  • etc, etc, etc

How to Write GOOD Creative Non-Fiction:

  1. Get Your Facts Right – Without correct facts, your creative non-fiction will not be creative non-fiction…it will just be fiction. It is especially important when you are doing a research paper or piece of journalism, that the facts you are using are actually true and correct. When it comes to personal essays and memoir, this is also important to keep in mind. However, when it comes to recalling your entire past, you are going to forget minor details and have to tweak something to make YOUR story make sense. As long as it is your story and overall, is correct and true, that is okay but when it comes to research papers, etc, they must, must, must be correct…does that make sense? The next tip elaborates on this.
  2. Make Aware the Limits of Your Memory but Not TOO Aware – It is important to make it clear to your readers that yeah, your memory is not perfect. However, advertising this too much will make them start to question what is true in your story, and what parts of it are you making up because you can’t remember how this specific incident really went, but think it’s “cool to add in”. No one can remember everything and your audience will appreciate you acknowledging this once. If it is acknowledged repeatedly, it also just becomes repetitive, annoying, and honestly, cliche.
  3. Remember, You Are the Character – Okay, so for research papers and some other pieces of CNF, this isn’t the case but for a lot of types, it is. It is crucial to remember that this is not fiction and you are the main character. This means you have to use “I” with great care and stay true to your own thoughts, values, and mannerisms while writing. Don’t get caught up trying to make yourself seem perfect because you aren’t, and creative non-fiction or really any fiction honestly, should not have perfect or near perfect characters. Just remember to be authentically you.

That was a mini crash course in writing creative non-fiction 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 for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: 3 Tips to Reach Your 2018 Reading Goals

 

@zoermathers

 

Image result for instagram  @zoeiswriting

 

@zoematherswrites