The NaNoWriMo 20 Questions Tag!

NaNoWriMo is coming. (Oh, and winter too *wink,wink*)

It gives me legitimate chills (in anticipation… and in excitement!) to just even think about it. This will be my third year participating and thus far I have never succeeded in writing 50,000 words. Here’s to hoping this year will be different. For instance, I might be changing that word count to a more achievable number for me lol. In the long year since last year’s NaNo I have started to gain more understanding of myself as a writer and my process!

Thank you to the lovely Sophie @ Sophie’s Corner for creating this tag and tagging me to participate in it! I’m definitely going to have fun with this so, without further ado shall we begin? ;D

Rules:

  1. Thank the awesome blogger who tagged you!
  2. Link back to the creator of this tag, Sophie @ Sophie’s Corner. (I want to hear about your NaNo novels!!)
  3. Feel free to use the NaNoWriMo 20 Questions Tag graphics!
  4. Answer the questions.
  5. Tag some friends who are also doing NaNo this year.
  6. And have fun!!!

Tell me about your NaNoWriMo project this year! Give me a blurb!

(I’m still in the process of mapping out the plot but here is a general idea about the story!)
Alice doesn’t understand how summer came to end so fast and school is right around the corner again. On her one and only vacation to the Boardwalk at the end of August, oblivious and distracted in her mind, she gets lost and ends up trapped in a vicious game where the only way out is to win. The Boardwalk is not all as it had first seemed when Alice finds herself ducking through seedy alleys, facing ghost stories, and taking on the thirteen challenges she needs to win. It is not going to be easy, especially, when their only purpose is to stop her and keep her soul trapped in the game with them forever…

What’s the genre?

YA, most assuredly, with a touches of fantasy. Also, like a lot of magical realism thrown in there.

Describe your MC in three words.

Imaginative, self deprecating and competitive AF.

Without spoilers, describe your villain in three words.

Reckless, lost and selfless.

What is your goal? (the traditional 50K? 20K? 5K? or……. 100K?)

In the two years past I participated I’ve never made it to 50K, despite my efforts, SO this year I’m going for hopefully a more realistic goal of 25K.

Is this your first draft? Second? Third?

I’ve written this story three times before and didn’t like how it turned out. This time after reworking it (again) this October (fourth time is the charm!) I like the direction it’s going in and hopefully I will bang that first draft out! I’m not giving up on the idea, I just needed the time to rework it into the best it can be and I’m getting there. Those other attempts weren’t a waste either because I found out what didn’t work, with some gems of really decent writing along the way that might make it into this draft.

Are you starting a new project (or draft), or continuing an existing one?

I guess you could say sort of continuing an existing one.

What is your favourite time to write in the day?

Ideally, the morning. Although, my records show I do a lot of night writing lol. This year I’m going to try to wake up earlier to write before work.

Where are you going to write?

More than likely at home. I might be tempted though to try getting out and working at either the library or my local coffee shop just to mix it up!

Computer or paper?

All my notes will be on paper, but I’m going to type the story on the computer.

NaNoWriMo is a huge commitment!! How are you going to make time to write?

I AM GOING TO WAKE UP EARLY.
(As if making that all in caps will give me the strength to get up earlier lol. I promise to try really hard universe so be kind to me.)

Are you going to participate in local or online NaNoWriMo events? (e.g. kick-off parties in your city, write-ins, virtual writing sprints…)

At this point, I don’t think I’m going to but never say never!

Do you write from beginning to end or skip around?

My head ideally likes to work from beginning to end, especially when I’m writing a first draft, that way it clearly follows how to get from Point A to Point B. That being said, as of late, I’ve been skipping around so who knows how this November is going to go? 😀

Planner or pantser? (or plantser?)

Plantser, 100%. A healthy dose of outlining so I have an idea of the beginning, middle and end. Then, an unhealthy dose of let’s just get writing and see what the heck happens.

What will be your go-to NaNoWriMo snack?

Chocolate in any way, shape or form. I’m looking at you mini Halloween candy variety bag.

Choice of caffeine? (or no caffeine?)

CAFFEINE, YES. COFFEE AND TEA AND ANYTHING IN BETWEEN.

Any rewards for milestone achievements? For finishing NaNoWriMo?

Infinite pride in myself till the year’s over for working hard and doing my best. Then, sleep.

Share a tip for other NaNo-ers!

You have to love the story you’re writing. Otherwise what’s the point? If you don’t love it, then probably no one else will either.
That’s why this story has taken me so long to get right. I wasn’t loving what I was writing but now I’m working it out so I do and want to get up early every day to write!

How are you feeling about NaNoWriMo? (Excited?! Nervous!? Terrified?!)

Terrified, 100%. (But doing it anyway!) Plus another 150% SUPER excited!! One step closer to getting my story out there in the world! 😀

Share an aesthetic for your NaNoWriMo novel!

(The photos above were found on Unsplash by Álvaro Serrano , Edgar Hernández , Daniel Monteiro , Thomas Dumortier , and Mishal Ibrahim . )

I tag anyone and everyone else who is doing NaNoWriMo and wants to participate in the tag!

Let’s get going writers! NaNoWriMo is nearly here! So have Needle at the ready (or like a pen or pencil or laptop… or sword because you never know) and let’s ACE this November. If you are participating I’d love to hear about the stories you’ll be writing in the comments below!!

Till next time,

“Ghost Story”

I saw two boys standing,
in the picture,
on the broken stair.
One with a frown,
and the other,
without a care.

The black haired one,
looking very serious
and quite proud,
held a book in his hand
his shoulders pitched forward
as if he had just bowed.

The lad with the smirk
and penny copper hair
all tousled about his face,
had his eyes far off
and looking away
as he stared into space.

It was taken
twenty three years ago
my mother told me.
When the world
was summer and
she and they played near the sea.


On Roan Island
where they lived,
there was a tale.
You see, the entrance
must be given one soul
to go beyond the veil.

My mother said
the boy made of copper,
brash and not coy,
had a timeless laugh
always heard at the wrong time
that sounded with no joy.

The dark haired one,
was forged of iron
and shadow smart.
His cracks were always witty
but they didn’t come
from his heart.

There was a game
they played
those nights by the sea.
“Something more
must be waiting
for our trio of three.”

One long summer,
when the ocean was storming
and the moon was bright,
one of them
disappeared
into the night.

He vanished,
like a light
in the dark.
The light of soul,
gone,
out like a spark.

“Never saw him again.”
My mother sighed,
her words slow.
“Other things I see now
ever since that night.”
and her voice was so low.

“What? What are you seeing
that I can’t?”
I asked shrewdly.
The picture crinkled
in my hand
the boys wrinkling crudely.

My mother stared straight
her eyes startled and wide
and looking right through me.
“I watch the dead now, sweetie,
for years they’ve come and go
creaking floors and spilling tea

they’ll never leave me alone.
By the sea we played
that stupid game.
Never the one soul
I wanted to see
but do I call his name. “

“Who?” I asked.
“Is it that you want to meet?”
She took the photo in hand
and looked down forlornly.
There was salt in her eyes,
and in her hair fell sand.

“One day the game
would catch up
I always knew.
The time to collect
the sin I owe,
proud and true.”

She pointed down
and I stared, then she said
only to me.
“Until now I never saw him
but now in this room
there are three.”

Snapshot 9/30/19 // Waking Up Because September Is Ending

Currently listening:Wake Me Up When September Ends” – Green Day
Currently reading: The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Currently watching: Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir S3

I am going to be real with you guys right now. I sort of… faded in September. Nothing bad happened really, the weather wasn’t terrible and my friends and family were all doing great which at the end of it all made everything worth it. I, unfortunately though, sort of lost the swing of writing. I had to cover a lot of shifts at work, felt very uninspired with anything I attempted to write, and descended into a morose mood at the heart of which had me missing summer terribly.

(Me, beating myself up all month )

My goals for September were simple:

  • Keep working on my WIP which I technically did do, in dribs and drabs. I got nowhere near as far as I wanted to because my head was just not into it. It was a chore to write and think about, and that is not how this is supposed work. The reason I wanted to write it in the first place was because it was supposed to be something that I wanted, needed to get out and do. It’s supposed to feel like if I don’t keep pounding away at that keyboard I will never feel settled. It’s supposed to make the world around me fade and make me fall into the story. And I had none of those feelings. So for October I’m doing a reset. Reworking the plot and replanning the characters, that way I’ll be geared up for NaNoWriMo in November.
  • Focus back on my Living Life vignettes. I wanted to at least post two this month and trust me I wrote two but neither were nowhere near posting material. So for October, while I’m getting my head back on straight, I am going to try and focus on getting out at least one.

Heading into October then this is the plan:

  1. Rework my WIP
  2. Post 1 Living Life vignette
  3. Go pumpkin and apple picking, because honestly this is fun and puts me and Autumn on better terms lol. (I don’t hate you Autumn, I don’t I promise. Summer is just like the peanut butter to my jelly, or like the Cat Noir to my Ladybug.)

What I Read:


Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. I started this book last year and vowed to only read one chapter for every time I went to the beach. I finished it this summer, one year later. It was written in 1955 but even though that seems so far away, the lessons it teaches are still relevant today. The book has a magic to it in two ways, or at least it did for me. 1) It will keep you calm, I promise, the prose is very mellow and thoughtful. Then, 2) It demands to be read by the sea. I took away a great deal from it and its simple, but often overlooked in today’s world, lessons gave me clarity to reflect on my own life and give me the mental capability to relax. So if you need a major mental chill, or a 1950’s revamp to simplifying your hectic life I highly recommend.
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson. This is my second reread of the book. The first time I read it was a few years ago and this time around it was still a good read but I liked it less then second go round. Still glad I read it though! I really liked Peter’s message at the end, “all things end happy”, because it gave me hope, even if the ending overall was bittersweet. I also loved that it was narrated by Tink. On the other hand, I didn’t really connect with how the author handled some things so skip to the next bullet point if you want to avoid some spoilers. I really hated how the author handled Wendy and how everything went down with her. That plot point seemed weak and she was written with the intention for the reader (at least in my mind) to hate her. This portrayal of Peter I also didn’t want to grow up. It didn’t seem to fit his character for me so when he left to go to England with Wendy and grow up, IDK , it just really rubbed me the wrong way. He was depicted as wild and untamable in the book and it didn’t connect for me that Peter would want to leave Neverland. The bittersweet ending though made sense to me in that Tiger Lily and Peter shouldn’t have ended up together but they were still soulmates and each served their purpose in the other’s life to help them grow and change. Not all soulmates have a happily ever after but their impact on the other’s life still remains in how they both grew from the beginning to the end of the book.
The Secret History by Donna Tartt is what I am currently reading and let me tell you this book is good. It’s very dark academia aesthetic and I only have maybe a third left of the book to go. Next month I’ll talk more about it but damn. I highly recommend this book. It was the perfect pick to distract me through my September blues.

What I’ll Be Writing (hopefully, fingers crossed):

If the fates and my will power allow be on the lookout for at least one Living Life vignette this month, maybe a poem (I was dabbling with two this past September but neither is finished yet…), any book tags that hit me like a car crash, and then at the end of the month my strong and steady Snapshot! update post. At least I can do these on time lol. Small victories!

Here are some links to posts I enjoyed this month:

– Siobhan @ Novelties “Beyond the Blurb | Bloggers, Embrace Hiatuses, Don’t Run From Them
– C.G. @ Paper Fury “Pantser Vs Plotter | Which Is The Best Way To Write Your Book?!
– Caro @ bookcheshirecat “Getting Back To Writing #2: Into The Editing Cave
– Sophie Li @ Sophie’s Corner “My Editing Process Part 1 (template included!)

Wow, it felt really good to actually sit down and write this. It has been a long blah month. Watching Miraculous (it is so CUTE and I am both equally in love with Cat Noir and Luka ❤ ) got me through the doldrums but moving forward October is going to be a lot better. I’ll make it better, and get back into the swing of things (or the spook of things because it’s almost HALLOWEEN!). Now it’s time to turn off the repeat of Wake Me Up When September Ends.

How did yall’s September’s go? Hopefully a lot better than mine. What sort of things do you do to get through the blah days when all you want to do is sleep?

Till next time,

Snapshot 8/31/19 // Praying For Summer to Never End

Currently listening: “Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince“- Taylor Swift
Currently reading: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Currently watching: The Office S2
Currently playing: Pokemon Masters

If I could live in perpetual summer, I would. Don’t get me wrong fall is wonderful because everything is pumpkin, winter is nice because of cozy fires and hot chocolate, and spring brings with it all. the. flowers. but it also brings the impending arrival of summer once again. Some people can’t stand the heat but as someone who is endlessly cold I live for it. Not to mention the long hours of daylight, the trips to the beach, and the sweet thirst quenching lick of mint chocolate chip ice cream as it runs down a waffle cone…. dang now I need some ice cream.

My goals for this summer were to go swimming whenever the opportunity arose, get to the beach, finish the first draft of my WIP, and get out of my comfort zone and have some fun. So let’s recap:

  • Unfortunately I only got to go swimming twice this summer. Omg that is so pathetic. The weather wasn’t always on my side though when the opportunity arose so I’m not going to beat myself up too much on this one. And honestly, September is still warm so…. all hope is not lost for one more swim.
  • I DID GET TO THE BEACH, YES, THANK YOU, CHECK.
  • My first draft is coming along. It is nowhere near finished but it is moving in the right direction. The world and the characters are becoming clearer whereas before they were just quietly humming in the background and now they are starTING TO YELL. That’s when I start to get excited and when I get excited that means the story is getting ready to spill out *crossing my fingers*
  • August was fun, a lot of fun. I met a lot of new people and actually held a lot of nice conversations with said new people. That is way out of my comfort zone since I’m usually shy and quiet. So this last goal is a major check.

Going into September these are my new goals:

  • Keep working on my WIP, however long it takes, I’m just going to keep swimming. Hopefully, but no promises, I’ll have some snippets or info to share by the end of September.
  • Focus back on my Living Life vignettes. I got very distracted in August, and not going to lie, I might have been a little lazy. In my defense though it was my birthday month so I’m going to cut myself a break. Heading into September, I’m going to try to get at least two out. They are certainly not going to be weekly anymore though because I’m trying to aim for quality over quantity.

I’m keeping it nice and simple this month. That way I don’t overwork or stress myself out. And I still have some time left to lament over my precious summer…

Because before too long, I’ll be all…

And I’m not ready for that yet, lol.

What I Read:

Steadily, just like in July, I finished three books in August. Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman was the first. I loved this book. Tragic and beautiful and real and raw and so many feelings all in one. A beautiful book with the beautiful setting of Hawaii and Mr. Watanabe and Kai and a beautiful sister relationship woven throughout in flashbacks and mother daughter struggles and asexuality and learning its okay if you don’t know. ITS OKAY NOT TO KNOW. It’s okay if you don’t know where you’re headed in life. IT IS ALL OKAY. Some relationships are forever till the end of time and sometimes people come into your life to teach you something or help you work through something and you know you might not ever see them again but you will always remember them. All of that… in one beautiful book. How many times did I say beautiful?

Then it was To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo. I adored this book too. Omg I love Elian and his piracy and his connection to the ocean and his goodness and his loyalty to his crew with Madrid and Kye and Torik. And Lira and her strength and confidence and her sense of duty and then when everything comes together at the end and the whole little mermaid retelling!!! It was great. I loved it and I loved it and I loved it. Descriptions are fantastic but I would love to see more of the world there seems like so much more to explore here with these 101 kingdoms.

My last was The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and omg this book was too real. It was fantastically written and very understandably a classic. The depiction of mental illness that Esther, the main character experiences, is eye opening and the story really gets you inside her head. You really understand why she makes the choices she does and even though it is a bit slow at times as a whole the pacing works for the novel.

I just picked up Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson to reread for the second time. It’s been a few years since the first read and since I’m a mood reader I’m gonna read it again because I feel like it, ya know?

What I’ll Be Writing:

Be on the lookout for at least two Living Life vignettes this month, any poetry that hits me like a bolt of lightning randomly, any book tags that I’m tagged to do or that strike my fancy and of course my ever steady monthly Snapshot post.

Here are some (like two) links to my (minimal) posts from this month (because I was lazy and having fun with my friends omg lol, focus Jai):

Then here are some fantastic reads from other bloggers (who have their life together, unlike me) I enjoyed this month:

How were all of your summers? Did you meet your goals? I’d love to talk in the comments!

Till next time,

NetGalley Book Tag! // (Or Rather a Modified Tag Because I Don’t Actually Have a NetGalley Account Lol)

August made me a little lazy, so I’m a little late doing this tag but better late than never! The lovely Sophie @ Sophie’s Corner tagged me for this one (thanks Sophie!), and even though I don’t have a NetGalley account I’m not going to miss the opportunity to have fun with this so I’ll be taking a little liberty with the questions here if you’ll bare with me ;).

The Rules:

  • Link back to the tag’s creator (Kourtni Reads)
  • Thank and link back to the person who tagged you
  • Answer the questions the best you can. If you don’t use NetGalley, you can substitute other sites or places where you get books!
  • Tag a few people to do this too

Auto-Approved: Who’s one author whose books you automatically want to read, regardless of what they’re about?

I’m pretty sure I have mentioned my love of Leigh Bardugo multiple times already, so what is once more? BRING ON NINTH HOUSE.

Request: What makes you want to request a book that you see on NetGalley?

In general what makes me pick up a book and chose to read it? Definitely the premise must sound intriguing to me. Something fresh, something new, something that might have to do with adventure, romance, fantasy or YA if we’re getting into specifics of what I lean towards. But… I’m pretty open to reading anything and everything. There is something to learn in every book.

Feedback Ratio: Do you review every book you read? If not, how do you decide what books to review?

I definitely don’t review every book I read. Honestly, it has to be a book that I would shout from the high heavens YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK to all the people down below. The only books that would fall into that category are stories I know I could read over and over. And over. And then over again. Those special books, ya know? The ones that know the map of your heart and soul. (*cough, cough*) The Book Thief (*cough, cough*)

Badges: If you could create your own badge to display on your blog, what would it be for?

HA HA! Let’s see… Notoriously Slow Reader or Reader of Too Many Books At Once or At Least She Tries Very Hard.

Wish For It: What’s one book that you are absolutely dying to read?

Besides Ninth House, hands down Erin Morgenstern’s A Starless Sea. Take me away…..

Tag:

I tag anyone who wants to try it! ❤

Who is your favorite author that (beyond all doubt) you will read every book they write? What are some books you’re looking forward to reading?

Lots of love,

Snapshot 7/31/19 // The Dog Days Are Here

Currently listening: “Back to December” – Taylor Swift
Currently reading: Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman, To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Currently watching: Supernatural S2
Currently playing: Rune Factory 4

Great news guys…. it’s still summer! This is my favorite season and August is a whole another beautiful month to enjoy, and it also happens to be my birthday month! I’m loving every second of this season, but I might be biased. 🙂

So last Snapshot update my goals for the summer were going swimming as much as possible, getting to the beach, finishing the first draft of my WIP, and going out of my comfort zone and having some fun. So let’s get these bullet points hashed out.

  • Honestly I have not gone swimming once this summer yet BUT tonight I am actually going to hang out with some friends and go night swimming! So better late than never lol
  • I HAVE gotten to the beach a lot which is a win! I even have a tan, sort of. I’m less pale than usual, let’s just say
  • My WIP is coming along, slowly. Very slowly, but it’s coming. This story has been plaguing my mind for years and it loves to tease me very slowly. There is no doubt I’m finishing this draft this year, because I’m determined no matter how long it takes for this story to reveal itself to me. Which I get, you can’t rush something that’s shy and is taking it’s time to get to know and trust you. I just wish it would move a little faster, but at least its moving
  • This last one is the real barn burner. Yes, I have definitely had a lot of fun in July. My new job has been great so far, and I’m making a lot of friends which of course leads to me being awkward but luckily it’s an endearing awkward and not uncomfortable awkward. Ya know? And I’m going pretty much out of my comfort zone which before I had rarely done. It’s exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. So highly recommended.

Heading into August I’m going to keep up the momentum with these goals!

In other news, this month I finished three books, which is great for me. Descendant of the Crane, Summer of Salt and Little Women. Descendant of the Crane was very well written with all the political intrigue. The twists and turns were a little fast paced for me at times but kept me entertained till the end . Summer of Salt was a nice, mellow summer read that still handled some really tough topics. The book sucks you in to the little island of By-The-Sea where it takes place and you get attached to the characters and setting that you feel like you’re actually there. In the book there is a graveyard where it is perpetually autumn. That is such a MOOD. Little Women was the one I most recently finished and now I get why it’s a classic. Honestly. If you haven’t read it yet, you should. For having being written in the 1800’s it is surprisingly relatable. That is probably why it is a classic lol.

Right now I’m very much enjoying Summer Bird Blue, it’s the type of book you want to savor slowly and it is the perfect book to read in the summer. To Kill a Kingdom I legit just started yesterday and so far the writing is very lyrical. I know this one had some mixed reviews, and I’m only four chapters in, but honestly the phrasing and words the author uses to describe everything so far really is beautiful. The Bell Jar kind of snuck up on me. I wasn’t planning on reading it yet but… I don’t really know. It just sort of called to me, and I answered it. Now I’m hooked. I’m about a third of the way through and I’m really curious to see how the story goes.

As for the writing schedule I am making a change to how often I post the Living Life vignettes. Right now I’m in a bit of a writer’s block slump with them so they are going to be coming out less regularly now and more so when inspiration strikes. That way I can give the best I got. I’ll still be posting poems and tags in the in between though so no worries! And of course my monthly Snapshot!

Here are some links to my posts from the last month:

Then if you are still hungry for more here are some of my favorite posts from some fantastic bloggers out there:

How are your summer goals going? Has anyone been reading any great summer reads? I’d love to talk in the comments below!

Till next time,

“Invisible”

When I looked up
I saw you.
Just ahead,
with your back
facing me.

You weren’t alone
out in the crowd.
Your mouth drawn taut,
and your arms crossed
tightly to your chest.
Always present,
in the heat
of the moment.

I was cold,
and away
from the others.
My arms clutched
to my chest
for a different reason.
Thinking of things
outside of what
was right there
around me.
Only focused
on what was
directly in front.

I was thinking
maybe this time
you’ll look.

So I walked
right next to you.
Shoulder to shoulder,
toe to toe
and said hello.

You greeted me back,
just like always.
A quick glance,
and a rushed voice.
But still,
like usual,
you never
really saw me.

Always your back
facing me.
So I walked away
and gave you a taste
of what if feels like.

But I’m sure,
like before,
you never
even noticed.