5 Places I Want to Write At

Lately, I have been obsessed with looking at pictures of gorgeous libraries, coffee shops, and just literary locations from around the world so, I thought today it would be fun to share with you all the places I would want to write in! Only 5 of them though, because otherwise, this blog post would go on for eternity and we don’t want to be here for that long. Anyways, I hope you enjoy!

The Elephant House – Edinburgh, Scotland

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I feel like any writer and reader wants to visit the birthplace of Harry Potter, so obviously I do too. Writing in there would really cool, and is definitely on my literary bucket list (hint, hint to a blog post coming soon). Also, I heard the food is really, really good so that just makes me more eager to go. I’ve always wanted to visit Edinburgh because it is like the literary capital of the world, and this would 100% be one of my first stops.

Library of Congress – Washington, DC

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Not only is this library beautiful, but it also has CLASSICAL CONCERTS which is pretty awesome. I don’t usually write with music, but if I do, it’s always classical music so this would be perfect. I read that there is a statue of Minerva, the Roman form of Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom which is cool because I love my Greek mythology. Anyways, this just sounds like a gorgeous and peaceful place to write so it’s on my list!

Cafe Tortoni – Buenos Aires, Argentina 

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This coffee shop is Argentina’s oldest cafe and has been around since the late 1800s! From the pictures, I absolutely fell in love with the architecture of this old cafe and dark, haunting colours. I can see myself just bursting at the seams with inspiration while writing in this place. Also, I read that it has been a popular “hang-out” place for famous artists and musicians. And then, of course, chocolate con churros which are their specialty and are a favourite of mine.

The National Library of Spain – Madrid, Spain

 

This is another gorgeous library that I would just love to sit down and write in. After looking around of course. European libraries have such beautiful architecture (well, the older ones do at least), and that is something I don’t see a lot of here in Canada! On the outside, this library reminds me of a Greek temple and ugh…it’s just so gorgeous.

The Champ de Mars – Paris, France

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The Champe de Mars is that green space in front of the Eiffel Tower, and it has been my dream to not only visit the Eiffel Tower but relax in that green space below it. It’s kind of a weird dream, but that green space is so beautiful and has an equally stunning view. While I am sure it would be crowded with tourists, with the water fountains and the actual Eiffel Tower, I think it would be a great atmosphere to write some words down in!

Those are 5 places around the world (but let’s be honest, mostly just in Europe!) that I would want to write at and I hope you enjoyed! Make sure you comment below any literary related places you would want to visit or even write at because I would love to add more to my list. Anyways, don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

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The Fairy Garden by Zoe Mathers – Short Story

Happy Wednesday!

Sorry for the late post today, but I wanted to share an older story of mine I wrote a few months ago for my writing class. It was a lot of fun to write, and is something I want to develop on in the future! I decided it would be fun to show where the story is now, and then whenever I edit and rewrite it, show you guys how my writing and the story can evolve over time. Anyways, here it is!


The town’s garden is dead. Flowers still curl out of the ground, but their brilliant reds, yellows, and pinks have faded and wilted to droops of grey edged with brown rust. Constant rainstorms have flooded their beds, steady streams of water dripping down the edges of the wooden boxes and taking clumps of dirt along for the ride. The once green grass is leeched to brown, the sharp scent of it freshly cut replaced with the thick and bitter must of autumn.

Autumn is an unwelcomed beast that has stuck its straw in the ground and is now drinking away the vibrant life that once consumed the garden. It claws at my bare cheeks and nose, shaving off layers of my skin with its icy breath as I sit on the wooden bench. A pool of water sits on it too, right underneath me, and it seeps into the butt of my jeans. I stuff my hands into my pockets to keep from trembling off the bench while Queen’s, The Show Must Go On hammers at my skull.

I wait for the ideas to come as I sit here, but they don’t. The garden is dead, but it is still here. Its magic of conjuring up a story idea in my head must still work. I didn’t have the time or patience to wait for spring, not when what I know is a good idea is already crumbling in my hands, its ashes getting carried away by the wind.

I wait another moment, but nothing comes. My head is a pumpkin with the guts scraped out.

“Agf,” I mumble, jerking my hands out of my pockets and burying my face into them.

“Hello.” The word is muffled by Freddie Mercury’s nearly four octave voice, but I still hear it. My head shoots up. A little girl with a round face and lopsided, dark pigtails stares up at me like a kitten begging for milk, grey eyes cutting into me.

“Uh, hi,” I say slowly, glancing around the park, expecting to see more people. While it is large garden, I can see everything from where I sit. Even the small pocket of space behind the oak tree that is hidden away from the black gated entrance. I crane my neck around, but I don’t see anyone else.

Maybe her parents are somewhere outside the garden. Maybe she ran in here too fast and they are trying to catch up. I remember being her, this little girl in butterfly leggings and a yellow raincoat, eager to return to the only escape of magic one can find in this world of grey.

“Are you a fairy?” The little girl asks, bouncing on her toes. I click the button on my earphones and suddenly Queen switches off.

“No,” I say with a shrug. “Sorry.”

“It’s okay. That just means you can help me find them!” A lisp that came with young age drags out a few letters in her words. She lunges towards me, grabbing my wrist and tugs me to my feet. I hesitate, glancing around again. Still no parents.

“I guess.” Searching for fairies sounds better than sitting on this bench, waiting for an idea to slam into my face. Better than waiting for a plot, and cast of characters, and world to be served directly to me on a shining, silver platter. Maybe seasoned with some subplots.

I wish.

“Yay! Usually they’re here when I get here…” she says, and glances around. Her shoulders sag. “But I don’t see them.”

“Oh…yeah?”

Her head bobs up and down as she drags me across the gardens to where a bed of red tulips used to live. Now, there is only a flower box overflowing with watery dirt. I bend down, keeping my already wet bottom above the grass. My hair slips over my shoulder and I flick it back before I get an unwanted hair mask of mud.

A few green roots are poking up from the dirt, testing the crisp air and I smile. I can’t wait for spring.

“This’s where Lila lives.” The girl kneels next to the box, darkness blooming at the knees of her grey butterfly leggings as she does. Her little fingers bury themselves into the black dirt, wriggling around like worms. “Lilaaaaa! Lilaaaaa!” I cringe as her loud voice shatters the brittle glass of the morning and look around. Where the hell are her parents?

“Um, maybe Lila is sleeping,” I say, “since it’s almost winter. Maybe she wakes up when the flowers bloom in spring.” The girl turns to me, dark, bushy brows furrowed, and lips turned down.

“No,” she explains. “Lila is always here even when the flowers go away. She just likes to hide.” She goes back to digging. I sigh.

“Alright.” I cross my arms over my chest which are stiff with cold, and squat down next to her. “So, where are your parents?”

“At home, watching TV with Mike.”

“Oh, ok.” Great.

“Lila is being bad today,” the little girl says, jumping up to her feet with a grin plastered on her face. She’s missing two of her bottom teeth. “We have to find her.” Before I can respond or more likely argue, she bounds off across the garden and towards the bulky Garry Oak tree towering at the back. It is so massive that it claims an entire piece of the garden to itself, its thick arms carrying leaves that are green in the summer, but now are crispy and brown, scattered around the tree’s base.

“So,” I say when I reach the tree, shoving my hands into the pockets of my hoodie as I watch the girl dance around it. “What does Lila look like?”

“Blue, blue hair down to here,” she points to her shoulders as she does a strange shuffle-skip-squat around the tree. “And she wears a purple dress like the one my mommy’s going to buy me for Halloween.” I nod, imagining this fairy flying around the gardens with her blue hair and purple dress, wings maybe silver and delicate like tears.

“How big is she?” Suddenly, I’m curious. When I was little I loved fairy stories. Mostly Tinkerbell, but whenever my mother had the day off work and I had the day off school, we filled the fireplace with logs and she would read me folklore until her voice grew hoarse and my eyelids were heavy sandbags. Eventually, the only sound left was the soft crackling of fire devouring wood.

“Like a little-Lila!” The girl screeches and falls to her hands and knees, brushing aside some leaves and burying her nose into a patch of damp grass. I hurry next to her, heart jabbing at my ribs.

“Where?”

“Right in here!” She points at the ground and the pounding in my heart slows to a steady pace. I bend down next to her, even getting on my hands and knees. My jeans stick to my legs like a second damp skin as I lean forward.

A small, stubborn bluebell twists out of the ground here, clinging to the tree’s side as autumn exhales over the garden. The girl shivers, the childish grin still splitting her lips and I feel myself smile too.

The garden isn’t dead, I realize. I can still feel its heart pulsing underneath my palms, faint but present. I look at the girl beside me, noticing the brightness glazed over her eyes, and I suddenly know what my story is.

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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

 

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Prepping for Camp NaNoWriMo #3

Welcome to week 3 of prepping for Camp NaNoWriMo 2018! Today I thought it would be a good idea to talk about researching when outlining because it is a really important part of the outlining process, more so for some than others. I know for me, my current WIP requires a lot of research and often I am asking myself these two questions: what do I really need to research? and how much is too much research?

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When it comes to researching, I recommend researching as much as you can. Do as much as you think is necessary and even a little more. It is important to know more than your readers will, so even if you don’t plan on injecting every bit of this research onto the page, it can come in handy later on. Okay, now onto the first question!

What will I really need to research?

This question depends on what kind of research you are doing. If you are researching an entirely different civilization for your book, it is pretty obvious that you will need to know what they wore, what they ate, what their government was like, what the common day looked like for them…basic things that we know about ourselves. For example, maybe you want to write a book that takes place during Ancient Greece and you are focusing on Greek mythology. Clearly you will need to research everything about the gods and the rich myths and legends that come with this ancient civilization, but it is also important that you know what they ate and what they wore and maybe even throw in a few common phrases people would say. Every little thing you throw in will add to the authenticity of your story and make it that much better. However, if you are not researching a civilization but maybe you need to know about a certain job like a scientist, that means it will be handy to know what kind of scientist they are, their pay, their hours, their duties, etc.

How much research is too much research?

The next question might be the most important one because while I just said above to research a lot, and that is true, but there is researching a lot and than there is researching too much. You should take the time to carefully research what you need to but don’t let the research take too much time away from the actual writing of your story. For me, I am giving myself 3 weeks to research (already 1 1/2 weeks in) and then wherever I am at, I need to stop and write. By the end of 3 weeks I should know enough about what I researched to actually start on my story, thus not allowing me any excuses. I recommend setting yourself a time span like this, and if you don’t feel it is enough time by the end of it, don’t worry, write anyways. You can research along the way or just blast through your first draft and research more afterwards for your second draft. The point is, don’t let researching get in the way of you writing, especially with something like Camp NaNoWriMo!

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That is all for this blog post and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Reading + Writing Update

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January 2018 Talk!

This is my first talk for the new year and I am so excited to jump into 2018 in just only 14 days! If you didn’t know, in these “talks” I discuss all the new book releases and movies that are coming out in the following month that I am personally eager about. Hopefully some of these you are excited for as well, but if they aren’t, definitely comment on some books and movies you are looking forward to on the month of January!

Books

Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings

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This is a book written by two YouTubers I watch, and I am so proud and excited to pick up their book! Sasha Alsberg is the BookTube channel @abookutopia, and was the first BookTube channel I ever subscribed to. She is amazing, as well as @LindsayCummings, a wonderful AuthorTuber that I have also been subscribed to for sometime now. Their book Zenith, is set in the Mirabel Galaxy, and takes place when an all girl’s crew, called the Marauders, routine mission goes wrong. I am really excited to read this because it has been ages since I read a sci-fi book and I have a feeling I will absolutely adore this novel! This book is released on January 16th.

Keeper by Kim Chance

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Keeper is a book by an AuthorTuber, @KimChance who I watch, and I am really excited to see how far she has come and pick up her book in January. It has a really interesting plot and I am dying to get my hands on it! Keeper follows sixteen year old Lainey, who after being attacked by a witch, she discovers that the attack wasn’t random, and that she is a type of a witch called a Keeper. This kind of witch can unlock the power of a magical spell book that is missing, the Grimoire, and Lainey has to find it before an evil warlock gets to it first. I haven’t read many witch books but I am thrilled that this will be one of them! This book is released on January 30th.

Movies

The Maze Runner: The Death Cure

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This is a movie that has been long awaited after being postponed due to Dylan O’Brien being injured onset…luckily his injuries were minor so he is well and the film is finally being released into the world! I have to say, I did enjoy the first movie enough, and the second one was okay, but I am not entirely sure how much I will love this movie. Since this is the third installment, I won’t say too much other than the first movie/book follows our main character, Thomas, who wakes up in a strange maze filled with dozens of boys who all don’t have any recollection of their pasts. As time passes, the boys begin to realize there was a reason that they were placed in this maze, and that it isn’t a simple one. This movie is released on January 26th.

Those are all of the books and movies that I am looking forward to in the month of January, and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Reading/Writing Update 🙂