All Things Camp NaNoWriMo: My Plans, Ideas + Tips

Hellooo

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

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

Anyways, time to discuss all things Camp NaNoWriMo!

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

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

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

What’s my word count goal?

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

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

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

#1: Set aside time to write

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

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

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

#2: Create a productive atmosphere

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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The Grandfather Clock – Short Story Excerpt

Happy Thursday!

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

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


 

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

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

“Mom!” I shout. “Mom!”

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

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

“Sorry, but do you hear that?”

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

“Yes. The clock is ticking.”

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

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

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

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

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

“I don’t know how.”

The crease deepens.

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

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

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

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

“Hi,” I say, yawning.

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

“There’s no backdoor.”

“What? Is that a no then?”

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

“So…What do you want me to tell her?”

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

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

I sit up.

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

“What?” My dad asks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Adelyn Willows!” My mother screeches.

“Fine. I’ll go.” I roll my eyes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The only direction to go is forward.


 

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

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

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The Addiction of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Books

Hello!

Happy Friday. My head is buzzing with all the assignments and deadlines I have to meet, but I was inspired to write this specific blog post ever since I finished Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I also just finished The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, another one of Reid’s incredibly praised novels, and I’ve been putting the pieces together on why her books are so hyped and beloved.

Here is what I’ve realized:

The Concept: People Love Reading Books on Other People’s Lives

Call it humankind’s natural curiosity or noisiness, but you cannot deny the fact that people love to know what is going on in other people’s lives – even people they do not know. For example, celebrities. Rarely does the average person know a celebrity, yet we are obsessed with knowing where our favourite celebrity lives, what there cat’s name is, and who they are dating.

Enter, Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books. Specifically, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones and the Six.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – A Snapshot:

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Evelyn Hugo was the “it-girl” from the 50s-80s; an actress caught up in drama and scandals, and seven marriages to seven different men. Yet, the fine details of her life remain a mystery to the public.

Monique Grant is a low-level reporter working for her big break which comes unexpectedly when Evelyn Hugo asks Monique to be the one who reveals her life story, something no one has had the opportunity to do before. Confused but curious, Monique meets Evelyn and a story of friendship, love, and hardship is revealed. The truth of Evelyn’s life is also woven in and both Evelyn and Monique find themselves having to face it in different ways.

Analysis:

Evelyn Hugo is not a real person, yet this summary of the book makes me want to know about her life…even though the events that take place never actually happened. But people like her have existed. Like Marilyn Munroe, Judy Gardner, and many more who had crazy and tragic lives that the public still gobbles up to this day.

Reid did reveal that this book was based on Elizabeth Taylor and her life: one of many dramas and many husbands, as well as her interactions with a reporter too.

The key points with these books are not only is the reader getting a look at this “famous” person’s wild and mysterious life but that they are getting an inside scoop to that person’s relationships. The public loves to know who dated who and for how long and why they broke up. Including this into a book satisfies that knowledge craves most of us have if not all of us. Before I even got 10 pages into this book, I knew that Monique’s first question was going to be who was Evelyn Hugo’s greatest love?

Daisy Jones and the Six- A Snapshot:

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Written in an interview format, Daisy Jones and the Six follows the iconic band from the 70s with the same name. Decades after the band split up after their first show as this beloved group, the members have come together to recount their rise to success. Addicting and heart-wrenching, this book covers the edgy and dangerous life led during the 70s in Los Angeles and the relationships that formed between the bandmates. Daisy Jones and the Six is an excellent representation of the saying that “nothing is ever as it seems”.

Analysis:

Whenever I listen to a new artist or band, I always dive straight into their personal lives and histories. I can’t help it. Most artists and bands have an incredibly interesting past that led them to stardom and life while they lived through it. Daisy Jones and the Six is a fictional band, but Reid wrote them in such a way that I had to remind myself that they never actually existed. This could be because they had to have been based on bands from around the same time period because the events and drama that happens in Daisy Jones and the Six were not uncommon in bands then.

The anticipation to uncover the band’s secrets (and this is also evident in The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo) was something incredibly well done on Reid’s part. We got a bit of talking from one band member who started to relay a secret before quickly moving onto the next one and learning something about them. This was not in a way that made anything feel drawn out either. Yes, I was anxious to figure out something about one character, but I was just as anxious to discover something about another. Except, Eddie. I could not care for Eddie any less.

The fact that you had to read the entire book (which should be the case for most books too) to fully understand everything from everyone’s lives was fascinating. I loved finishing the book and being able to see how this person’s relationship affected everyone else and their life. For example, the effect of Daisy and Billy’s relationship with Camilla. Speaking of Camilla, another thing Reid does amazingly is to write characters that feel like real people. Camilla leaped off the page just as Daisy, Billy, Graham, etc, etc. Everyone was riddled with flaws and we saw those grow and shrink throughout the mesmerizing story.

That’s how I would describe these two books in all honesty, mesmerizing. I can never put them down when I start them.

That is my analysis of why Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books are so addicting; talking about the undeniable curiosity in humans that her stories feed into. I hope you found this post interesting, and if you have any comments to add then please do!

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

Books I’m Reading for School

Hellooo,

As you can assume from my sudden 16 day hiatus, school is once again in full swing. This semester was a little easier to get into than the first, but I can say confidently that the reading list a whole new challenge in itself. This semester, I am in two 2nd year English classes. One of them focuses on literature from Romanticism and the Victorian period. The other English class I am in focuses on young adult literature and is one I am very excited about. This list will just include the novels I need to read, not the short stories or poems.

Anyways, here are the books I have to read this semester!

Matilda by Roald Dahl

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I actually just finished this book for class yesterday, and it was really interesting to read it at this age for the first time. While it did not blow my mind, I had a fun time reading this beloved story of both children and adults. This book is a good reminder that books are not meant for one age group, but for everyone. That is one of the topics we are tackling in my young adult literature class and is really important to address in my opinion. Anyways, I am happy to have finally read this book after liking the movie as a kid!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling

Harry-Potter-and-the-Chamber-of-Secrets-Mary-Grand-Pre

Not only was I excited to see this book on my class reading list because I’ve been meaning to give Harry Potter a re-read, but also because I already own the book so it saved me a couple of dollars which is always nice. I thought it was interesting that my professor chose the second book in the series and not the first because I have a friend in the class that has never read any of the books! Harry Potter always takes me a bit of time to get through. Not because it’s boring but the world is a lot to absorb. Since I’ve read it a couple times already, I will hopefully get through it in the two weeks I have to read it.

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

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Like Matilda, I watched the movie but never even considered reading the book. Honestly, The Neverending Story movie terrified me as a child. It was a mixture of the story itself and the poor visual effects of the 80s, but nonetheless, I watched it once and had no plans of watching it again. Now, here I am, around 10 years later and planning on reading it in the next month or so. I’m curious though. Curious if I will like it or not since I have such strong feelings towards the movie. If I end up liking the book I don’t think I’ll be able to help but re-watch the movie.

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

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This book was everywhere in the early 2010s when middle grade and YA were at their beginning peak. However, I never picked it up! Maybe it was the size or the overwhelming amount of hype surrounding it, but for whatever reason, this is the first time I’m getting around to it. Or, so I thought…When I first bought the book for class, I decided to try out the first 50 or so pages. While I was reading them, I had the very faint feeling that I had read those pages before. Now, I’m wondering if I maybe read the book and completely forgot. Or, at least, started it and never finished. I did watch the movie, like all of these other books though, so maybe that has something to do with it. Nonetheless, I cannot wait to get into this classic middle grade.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

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Now, this is probably the book I am most excited to read for class. Ever since I got this book a year ago, I have been meaning to get to it but as always, got distracted by other books. Since it’s on the reading list for class though, I will finalllly get around to it. I am dying to see if this book is worth the monumental amount of hype surrounding it. I am also ready to read this book so I can catch up and read the sequel before the movie comes out (whenever that is)!

Awake and Dreaming by Kit Pearson

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I have never heard of this book or author, probably because she is a local author to the city I live in. The mystery surrounding this book though is keeping me excited for it, and I do not plan on reading any synopses before diving into it. Kit Pearson is also visiting my class while we’re reading it so that just adds to the growing excitement for this novel! I am pretty sure this is a middle grade which is nice because the amount of middle grade in my life is lacking.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

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Finally, we are moving into the novels I am reading for my Romanticism/Victorian class and first up, is A Christmas Carol and yet another classic I have not read! Thankfully, this book is very, very short because accompanied by the books I am reading for my YA class, the last thing I need is a thick novel written in Victorian English…something I do not read easily.

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

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Along with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, this is the only other book on this list that I’ve actually read before! I read this novella during this past summer and I…liked it enough. It wasn’t awful but it wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. Hopefully, re-reading it will go by quicker but I do know this will be a fun story to dive into with my class.

Well, those are all of the books I have to read this semester and it is a lot more appealing than last semester’s list I’ll tell you that. If you want to see what kind of books I had to read semester, check out that blog post right HERE. If you want to check out my last blog post or any of my social media accounts, you can check them out below. Anyways, thanks for reading!

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Reading on Vacation

book pic

Happy Tuesday and Happy New Years Eve!

Since I am currently on vacation, I thought it would be funny to write up a post about my experiences (and struggles) with reading. Right now, I am in Hawaii with nine of my family members and because there are so many of us, we are constantly in close proximity. I’ve managed to get a fair amount of reading done, but there have been some obstacles along the way that make me realize bringing three books and buying one along the way while I am here might have been overestimating my reading skills just a little bit.

Problem #1: Suddenly Everything is Fascinating to Look At

The spot outside I have been reading in is facing and surrounded by palm trees and bushes sprouting colourful flowers. I will sit back in my chair with a hot cup of coffee, ready to tackle the next 30-40 pages of whatever I am reading, only for a bird with a red tuft on his head and white feathers to fly past me. Suddenly, I am staring at the bird and like five minutes has passed by. Five minutes where I did not read a single page. It isn’t just the birds that do this to me. Sometimes I will stare out at the ocean and just watch the waves for a couple minutes. Or other times, a breeze will go through and my eyes are suddenly trained on the moving leaves. Not only was it easy for me to get distracted BEFORE, but now there is a huge new array of things to get distracted by.

Problem #2: Interruptions

I cannot express how many times I will be sitting outside, finally getting into the groove of reading…and then that all crashes and burns in front of my face because my brother just came out to tell me that there is a cockroach in the backyard. To be honest, this is the problem I deal with the least, but there are a lot of us squished in this house and therefore, the reader’s most dreaded problem of being interrupted mid-read is inevitable.

Problem #3: Energy Spikes at 9am

Hawaii is two hours behind where I live so I have been waking up on the early side. At least, what is considered the early side for a university student who has spent the past four months waking up at 7:30am every day to go to school. However, now I have been waking up around 7am Hawaii time and then reading by 7:30 or 8am. Every single day though, we have started going to the beach or to town or out or food by 9am and suddenly, I am not back at the house until 4pm. It has become a race to get as much read as I can before I am shoved out of the house to explore Hawaii (which I am not complaining about). Back home, I would not even think of going out and being active before 12pm if I had the option, but now even the people who would hold us up back home are waking up at 8am.

Problem #4: Energy Depletes at 4pm

I have never been a napper, but after swimming in Hawaii’s monstrous waves or hiking up Diamond Head in the heat, I am ready to drop by the time 4pm rolls around. So, if I don’t get any reading done in the morning, there is no way any books will be opened again. Every single day I have been ready to nap around 4:30pm and I have succeeded too. I will wake up, it will be getting dark or already dark when that does happen.

Problem #5: Even on Vacation, THERE ARE SO MANY BOOKS TO READ

On my trip, I brought Scythe by Neal Shusterman, 1984 by George Orwell and Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. However, a few days ago, I also picked up The Last Magician from a book shop here because it was super cheap. If you have seen The Last Magician, even in paperback, you know that it is not a small book either. Anyways, it is safe to say I have my choices.

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. Keep an eye out for my next post which will most likely be my favourite books of the year! Thanks for reading 🙂

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Movies That Earned Their Hype!

Happy Sunday!

I felt compelled to write this after watching an incredibly hyped up movie on the plane ride to Hawaii and was happy that it met my pretty high expectations. This happens a lot, with books too, and often I never find that I like it as much as I could after everyone gushes about it. However, there are some exceptions to that and here are four of them!

Avengers: Endgame

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I doubt anyone is surprised to see this on this list since I think it was one of the biggest movies of the year, if not the biggest. This was one long movie, but that is the key reason why it lived up to the monumental amount of hype surrounding it. It was the conclusion to this epic battle against Thanos and people were expecting everything to be tied up by the end of the movie. Overall, I really do think the director did a good job of doing this. The three-plus hours of the movie allowed for the large cast of characters to have their own plotlines that eventually got (somewhat) wrapped up in a (somewhat and mostly) satisfying bow. There was a lot of exposition at the start that I am not going to lie, is pretty hard for me to get through whenever I rewatch, but I believe this conclusion lived up to everyone’s hype. It also got me incredibly excited for the new Guardians of the Galaxy film as if I wasn’t ecstatic already.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

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This was the movie I watched on the plane that I was curious to see how much I enjoyed compared to everyone else. I am a huge Tarantino fan, Inglorious Basterds being one of my top 5 favourite films, so I really wanted to like his new film. However, everyone I talked to about it went on and on about how amazing it was, and I’m not going to lie, I was a little skeptical. Luckily, after sitting down to watch the full two hour and forty-something minute film, I can say that it did live up to the hype! At least for me. The gritty and dark atmosphere of the 70s in Hollywood really drew me in, bringing to life this story about an actor navigating a Hollywood now unrecognizable to him with the help of his friend/stunt double. From the cinematic aspects of it, the film as beautifully shot and cut. None of the scenes felt too out of place for me, and I really enjoyed the ending of the film even if at first, I was a little disappointed. Overall, this movie survived the hype and came out strong. Who is surprised honestly?

Zombieland: Double Tap

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This might be a controversial one, but I personally really enjoyed the sequel to Zombieland and thought it definitely lived up to the hype it was receiving. Was it created just to make money since the first one did so well? Yes. Does that mean I liked it any less? Not really. I found it hilarious and entertaining, and here is an unpopular opinion, but I might like it more than the first. While it received a lot of meh opinions, it did get a lot of hype being like Frozen 2 in the sense that it has been yeeeears since the first one was released. However, I really do think it lived up to the hype.

Frozen 2

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A little bit of a flip of genre from the one above, but I have been raving about this movie to anyone who will listen ever since I saw it a couple weeks ago. I watched the first movie when it first came out way back in 2013 and liked it enough. I am a pretty big Disney fan, so the chances of disliking Frozen 2 despite my meh feelings about the first one were slim. However, Frozen 2 blew up my low expectations and left me in awe. Honestly, I would be lying if I said I did not have plans to watch it again while I am in Hawaii. It is clearly made for a more mature audience since everyone who watched the first one when it came out was young, but it is still obviously for kids too. The songs also were more mature and are now constantly stuck in my head. Obviously, there was a lot of hype for this movie since it was six years in the making, but yes, I believe it lived up to all the hype.

Those are four new releases that come out this year that I thought lived up to the hype. Let me know which movies you watched that you enjoyed just as much as everyone else because I’d love to know! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media which is all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

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Books I Am Bringing to Hawaii!

Happy Wednesday!

Back from the dead (once again) because I am finally nearing the end of my exam season with only one more exam tomorrow. After that, I am basically free except for work and then am off to Hawaii starting December 20th! While away on vacation, I am hoping to get some reading done since I have failed to really finish anything for myself since school started…as I have complained about many times.

Anyways, here are the three books I plan on bringing with me to Hawaii and I cannot wait to give them a read!

1984 by George Orwell

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After being recommended this book a fair amount of times (you know who you are), I picked this book up and will be bringing it with me to Hawaii. Luckily, it’s pretty small so this will become my plane read for the way there and hopefully, I will finish it within the first few days of my trip. I’ve mentioned a lot this past year that it has been a goal of mine to read more classics, so this is a perfect way for me to continue doing that. Honestly, I don’t know too much about this book but I’m hoping it will start my winter break off well!

Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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This book comes with a funny story because I ended up getting it for free by complaining about being a broke student. I was with my friend at the bookstore, admiring this hyped-up book that I’ve wanted for a while. One of the cashiers overheard me gushing about the book and told me I could have it because each cashier gets to give away one free book. Lucky for me, he hadn’t used his yet and I walked out with a brand new, free book! I have been saving this book for my trip and am sooo excited to see if all the hype is worth it. I think it will be.

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman 

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Currently, I am re-reading Scythe in preparation for The Toll which is the third (and final?) book in this series! I recently ordered The Toll online but decided I should re-visit the world before diving into it since my memory of the story is a little hazy. This is a YA dystopian series that takes place in our future where humanity has conquered death and disease. However, to keep the population in check, there are scythes who “glean” people at random. I really love this story and Neal Shusterman’s writing style, so I am very happy to be re-reading these books!

Those are the three books I plan on reading over my winter break and I cannot wait to get back into reading after four months of just…not. I hope you all also have a good reading month, and that 2019 was a good reading year overall! I will be posting a yearly wrap up discussing some of my favourite and least favourite books of the year so stay tuned for that!

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to check out my last blog post from…over a month ago! Everything is linked down below 🙂

Last Blog Post: NaNoWriMo – No Writing Novemeber

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Am I Participating in NaNoWriMo?

Happy Thanksgiving for all you other Canadians!

I thought it was time to give a little update on where I’m at with my writing and if I am going to be participating in NaNoWriMo this year since it’s only been recently that I’ve gotten back into blogging. I’ve been going back and forth about it a lot because it’s only been recently since I managed to get a grasp on managing my time and passions. However, I decided that I do really want to try NaNoWriMo this year and just see how it goes. Honestly, even last year when I had more time to write I struggled with it, so I am a little skeptical about me getting anywhere near 50,000 words this November. Might as well try though because me attempting NaNoWriMo this year is all about trying to get back into the routine of writing.

But yes! I am participating, or at least attempting to participate, in NaNoWriMo 2019. I am not 100% sure which story I am going to be focusing on, but I’ve been slowly planning out both so either I’ll decide right before Novemeber, or I will switch between them during the month. One is a fun, “trying-to-get-back-into-writing” story while the other is the Aztec mythology one I’ve been working on for over two years. I am really excited to get back into writing, and hopefully this will push me to write a little bit every day even amongst the rest of life going on because that is something I haven’t done in a while! I miss writing constantly and having it be a prominent aspect of my life. It is the same with reading. I read a lot for my degree but it isn’t the same as reading for my own enjoyment. Once again, once I get a better grasp on managing my time, I will be able to easily fit both into my schedule which I cannot wait for.

Oh! Another writing-related update is that I have decided to become a double major (this could change, but as of now, I am pretty set on the idea) in English AND writing. I did not want to just major in writing, but I really enjoy the idea of having to make time for my own writing. Even if it is an assignment, once you get past the first year level of writing courses which I have, you get a lot more freedom with your stories that you hand in and share with your critique groups. You are also supposed to pick to genres to specialize in at first, so I’ve decided to choose fiction and creative non-fiction. Let’s see if I actually follow through with this, but I hope I do because it would bring creative writing back into my life for the rest of my school years which is really important to me. I never realized how much I needed writing until I stopped for an entire month.

Anyways, that was a little, rambly update for you all on my writing and thoughts about NaNoWriMo this year! Stay tuned because the next blog post should be a random short story I wrote which I think will be a lot of fun to share as it is the first short story I’ve written since I’ve slowly gotten back into writing.

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

Last Blog Post: 5 Writing Prompts for Fall!

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The Coffee Book Tag

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Happy Thursday!

Since the school season is in full swing, I thought it would be appropriate to do the coffee book tag as coffee is the one and the only thing that is getting me through my life currently.  I am a HUGE coffee addict and have been since I was 14. I use the excuse that I started working early and long hours when I was 12, so I needed it to survive, but now I have no other excuse except I am just addicted. But I’ve come to terms with that by now.

Anyways, let’s jump into this awesome book tag!

Original Tag: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=og7yBhO5GqU

 

1. Black: Name a Series That’s Tough to Get Into But Has Hardcore Fans

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Personally, I love my coffee black so this is probably my favourite question. I would have to say a series that is tough to get into but has hardcore fans is The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. If you did not read them when you were younger and YA was still in its earlier stages, I feel like it is really hard to fall for Clare’s first series. The writing isn’t as good and it is very basic YA, to be honest. However, the people who do like it (like myself) don’t usually just like it but are hardcore fans. This is one of my favourite series but if I read it for the first time now, I doubt I would like it as much.

2. Peppermint Mocha: Name a Book That Gets More Popular During the Winter or a Festive Time of Year

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Harry Potter is always popular, but as soon as winter creeps closer, it is suddenly on everyone’s TBRs. I know personally, I tend to watch the movies during the winter season so I can attest that this is true. Harry Potter does get more popular during the wintertime and I am not complaining. It has that cozy atmosphere that people crave to read during the cooler months.

3. Hot Chocolate: What Is Your Favourite Children’s Book?

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It has been a long while since I read these books, but I remember having such fond memories of them and just devouring one after the other in the series. And that series is the Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park. I borrowed the books from my cousin when I was younger, but ended up “borrowing” them for at least a few months. They are fun and adorable, and I suddenly have the urge to give them a re-read now!

4. Double Shot of Espresso: Name a Book That Kept You On the Edge of Your Seat From Start to Finish

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The Cruel Prince by Holly Black was yet another hyped up YA book that I was skeptical at how much I would actually enjoy it, but in the end, I really liked it and flew through it. It is on the shorter side, and I found myself flipping each page in anticipation for more. I lived for the conflict and the characters and had a blast reading it.

5. Starbucks: Name a Book You See Everywhere

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This is a book I just finished reading that is incredibly hyped up and easily found on every BookTube channel. While I thought it was a good book, it didn’t blow my mind like it did for many other people. That book is Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. It was a solid 4 star read, but nowhere near a favourite for me. I can’t escape it though. It’s everywhere!

6. That Hipster Coffee Shop: Give a Book By An Indie Author a Shoutout

Sadly, I haven’t gotten around to many indie author books so I think that is something I will have to work on in the future! Let me know below if you know any good indie authors I should check out.

7. Oops! I Accidentally Got Decaf: Name a Book You Were Expecting More From

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Once again, I am going to have to say Six of Crows. Due to its immense amount of hype, I went in expecting an almost flawless book that I just couldn’t help but adore. I did like it, but it was nowhere near the 5-star read I was hoping for.

8. The Perfect Blend: Name a Book Or Series That Was Both Bitter and Sweet, But Ultimately Satisfying 

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Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia is a YA contemporary standalone about a girl who is trying to survive her last year of school and continue anonymously running her webcomic, Monstrous Sea, which happens to be the biggest webcomic online. Juggling all this, it is inevitable for Eliza to go through ups and downs. Especially considering her shyness and anxiety, but with the help of friends, especially Wallace, she learns how to attempt to balance it all. Sometimes Eliza annoyed me, but ultimately, I loved the book and it wrapped up in a way that was satisfying to me.

 

Those are all my questions for the coffee book tag 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. Also, if you want to support me and my blog, buy me a coffee with the link down below! Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: College Reading Recommendations!

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College Reading Recommendations!

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Happy Monday!

Tomorrow is my orientation day before I start my first year of university full swing, and because of that, I thought it would be ideal to share some of my favourite college-related books.

I think it is a lot of fun to read about people in college because it is such a messy stage of life. You are emerging into young adulthood and trying to juggle school, relationships, possibly a job, and then coping with the idea that “real life” is getting terrifyingly near.

Anyways, here are four recommendations for you to check out and I hope you enjoy!

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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I am getting the obvious one out of the way, but really, Fangirl is a great college read! It is fun, easy, and fast-paced – the perfect recipe for when you’re feeling stressed with life and school. Fangirl follows Cath who is starting her first year of college with her twin sister, Wren. While Wren wants to go out partying and diving into the social life of the college, Cath would rather retreat into her room with her Simon Snow fanfic. Eventually, her roommate, Raegan and her friend, Levi, befriend Cath and slowly, Cath steps further out of her comfort zone even while dealing with social anxiety. I think social anxiety is something a lot of people deal with, myself included, and it’s always nice to see that represented. Especially in a school setting.

American Panda by Gloria Chao

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While I’ve never finished this book, it is another great college-related book. It follows a Taiwanese main character who not only has to juggle starting her first year of college but the constant approval of her parents regarding a major that she isn’t passionate about. I don’t know why I’ve never been able to finish this book, other than because I haven’t been in the mood for contemporaries lately, but I am determined to give it another chance in the near future. I’ve gotten pretty far into it, and it would be a shame not to figure out how it ends!

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

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This book doesn’t technically have main characters in college, but they are at a college taking a summer program before starting their first year of college…so it counts. When Dimple Met Rishi follows the two POVs of Dimple and Rishi who are both participating in a summer program for aspiring web developers. At first, Dimple is surprised at her parents’ enthusiasm for attending this expensive program when they dream of her just finding the “Ideal Indian Husband”, but soon after arriving there, she discovers that them letting her go has everything to do with that dream she so desperately is trying to avoid.

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

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This is another book that doesn’t have college-aged characters, but it takes place at a unique type of boarding school called Ellingham Academy that accepts only the most gifted of students. Stevie is one of those students, accepted in for her passion for mysteries, specifically, the Ellingham mystery. However, when her passion for crime TV shows and books becomes a little too realistic, her skills that got her into Ellingham are truly put to the test. Honestly, I love this book. Stevie is a great main character and the plot keeps you at the edge of your seat for the entire book. I wasn’t expecting to adore this YA mystery so much, but I completely fell for it as many others have. Again, it is another fast-paced book that makes it the ideal book to slip in between homework sessions.

 

Those are my four back-to-school, college-related reading recommendations and I hope you found 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: August Wrap Up!

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