Top Ten Tuesday: Auto-Buy Authors // The Ones That Keep My Boat Afloat

I have never participated in a Top Ten Tuesday before but then I figured… why not? It looks like a lot of fun and I like to have fun. 🙂 Top Ten Tuesday is a book blog meme created by The Broke and The Bookish but now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This one seems like a good one to start with because I know my go to authors when the world is drowning and I need my boat to ride through those waves. In other words (metaphors aside), these are the authors whose books I basically pre-order without even reading the description.

1. Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus is one of my favorite books of all time. It’s so beautifully written and never fails to totally take me away from reality. That’s why I can’t wait for Erin Morgenstern’s next book, The Starless Sea. I can’t wait to be taken away somewhere beautiful and beyond my wildest dreams….

2. Leigh Bardugo

Leigh is a queen. Enough said. She had me sold from the beginning and never disappoints. Nikolai, Nikolai, oh Nikolai…..

3. Cassandra Clare

I enjoyed the Mortal Instruments but the Infernal Devices is really what sold me. I have read the series too many times to count that my copies are scribbled all over and very well read, so much so that the pages will open if they are just touched. Cassie you got me.

4. Maggie Stiefvater

Never has an author really hit a chord with me as much as Maggie. I don’t know what it is but I have a feeling our boats are out on the same sea. I love the way she tells a story and how she phrases things and introduces a character to the reader. Excelsior.

5. Sarah J. Maas

Sarah J. Maas I. Can’t. Even. Really. I’ve read every book in the ACOTAR series and I already have purchased basically every book in the Throne of Glass series that is just sitting on my shelf waiting to be read. Goodness gracious.

6. Diana Wynne Jones

My comfort food. Between Howl’s Moving Castle and Fire and Hemlock my top faves of Diana’s, she just makes me want to read every single book she ever written. And there is a lot of them. Whenever a storm is a brewing on the horizon I go to her and she always makes me feel better.

7. Markus Zusak

The Book Thief was my first absolute beyond all doubt favorite book of all time. I Am the Messenger is also another fantastic book by Zusak which of course I devoured all those years ago after I read The Book Thief, for like, four times in a row.

8. Neil Gaimon

Ahhhh yes. I love Coraline. I know it’s a little creepy, and disconcerting but…. gahhhh I can’t explain it. Neil Gaimon has a gift and American Gods is just waiting on my TBR pile. The Ocean at the End of the Lane was also another great read that I enjoyed by him.

9. Madeline Miller

Yes. Yes. Yes. Beautiful. Fantastic. Wonderful. Heartbreaking. Take my money Madeline Miller.

10. Suzanne Collins

I remember in high school devouring this series. It was all everyone was talking about and there’s a reason why. I’m so ready for the prequel next year. My boat shall keep floating till then.

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Who are some of the authors that float your boat? I’d love to chat in the comments below!

Till next time,

Snapshot 6/30/19 // S-U-M-M-E-R

Currently listening: “Señorita”– Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello
Currently reading: Descendant of the Crane by Joan He
Currently watching: Neon Genesis Evangelion
Currently playing: Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories

I love summer. I love summer. I love summer. The waves brushing against my feet at the beach, the sweetness of catching mint ice cream before it melts, the hours and hours of endless daylight… and the fireworks lighting up the clearest nights. I know I’m a happier person in the summer but maybe I’m just biased because my birthday is coming up. Did I mention I love summer?

This summer I plan on:

  • Taking advantage of as many swimming opportunities as I can (I don’t have a pool but luckily all my friends do!)
  • Getting to the beach as much as I can (so many things have been happening recently that there hasn’t been enough time or energy to get out to the ocean but I’ll be damned if I don’t get to go this week)
  • Finishing the first draft of my WIP (it takes place in the summer and around the beach so now is the perfect time to get it done!)
  • Having fun and going out of my comfort zone (life’s too short to not enjoy it, so this summer I’m going to try to push myself to try some new things)

I’ve been pretty distracted these past few weeks since my last Snapshot piece, a lot of stuff has been going on… almost like a dark cloud has been over my family but I’m praying (and knowing!) July is going to be so much better than June was. I’m almost finished with Descendent of the Crane. Usually I take my time reading so I can savor the story more although this month I have been all over the place busy but I’m loving this book and NEED TO FINISH IT.

Also my TBR pile is steadily increasing… here’s a taste:

And that isn’t even a dent into THAT stack but these are the books that I’ll most likely pick up soon! I’ve been hearing great things about all of them. 🙂 American Gods I have been dying to read since I started the show and SoC I need to reread so I can be fully prepared for all the badassery that is Crooked Kingdom (FINALLY).

As for the writing schedule I’ll still be posting a little Living Life vignette every week, a Snapshot post every month, any poetry that comes to mind as well as any tag posts or anything else I feel the need to write about!

On a sidenote here are some links to some of my posts since the last Snapshot update if you are in need of reading material:

Also here are some great posts I enjoyed reading this month from some amazing bloggers:

Do you have any goals for this summer? I’d love to talk in the comments!

Till next time,


The Summer Bucket List Book Tag // All the Summer Vibes

Yay!! It’s my first tag ever since I started my website so I’m super excited! Thank you to Sophie @ Sophie’s Corner for thinking of me for this ❤ and also to the original creator Tiffany @ Read By Tiffany for the great idea and tag graphics! Here we go…

First of all, SUMMER IS HERE! It’s my favorite season for so many reasons, almost too many to name. Here’s to endless daylight, ocean waves and ice cream to our heart’s content during these hot days. Not to mention all the fireworks and BBQ’s and just all around good vibes!

The Rules

  • Link back to the original creator in your post
  • Feel free to use any of the tag graphics in your post, or create your own!
  • Tag 5 other people at the end of your post, and let them know you’ve tagged them.

Whenever summer comes rolling in, know the ocean isn’t too far away. Lady Midnight takes place in California where sun, sand and surfers are everywhere you turn. Even though I wasn’t as fond of the rest of the Dark Artifices trilogy, Lady Midnight still holds a special place in my heart. The old school Hollywood, mystery and revenge vibes surf out a great story. Emma, the main character is badass, and I wish I had a best friend just like Julian. It demands to be read with the water in sight.

I will read anything by Sarah J Maas, and ACOMAF is tops when it comes to romance. The way Feyre and Rhys’s relationship changes throughout the whole story can’t help but keep you entranced. There are definite fireworks all over this book.

I took this one a little metaphorically, and picked what I am currently reading now. Little Women isn’t necessarily about a physical road trip but it’s a journey through life and how Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy grow, change and become who they are meant to be. It’s a fantastic read, and I started it because I wanted to read it before the new movie came out. I understand now why it’s a classic!

This book undid me. I loved Madeline Miller’s spin on the Iliad. The retelling was beautiful, and harrowing and there were just too many feelings associated with this book that I can’t even. If you haven’t read it yet, PLEASE PICK IT UP.

This book. This book. This book! So many twists, so many turns and I haven’t even finished it yet but as soon as I finish this post I will be running right back to it. AHHHHH! The world building is fantastic and believable, and the story and characters keep you guessing.

This one is super cute. It takes place in Italy and there’s gelato which is the Italian version of ICE CREAM <3. Not only is the romance spot on and believable but the reader also gets to experience Tuscany through the main character Lina’s eyes as well. It will make you want to just run and jump on the next plane for the perfect summer vacay.

This book will forever have a special place in my heart. I’ve read it a few times which is a big deal for me because most books I only read once. I don’t know what it is exactly but the whole vibe of the story with the race, the water horses, the threat of danger in such a believable realistic way… and not to mention the November cakes is special. Rereading it recently this past autumn I discovered some things I had missed before. Thisby was a breath of fresh air in my lungs.

This book is not for everyone. It faces the very heavy topic of suicide. Murakami’s writing has a very mellow way of going about it. The story really makes you understand what Toru is experiencing around him after losing one of his closest friends and what happens after. It is a coming of age story with Japan as its backdrop.

I have yet to read this one yet but it’s on my TBR pile and I am very excited!! Food, food, food!! I have some dietary restrictions so I’m looking forward to getting my fill of delicious food through this book!

What book is more inspiring for a writer? I’m savoring this book slowly and taking in all of the experiences that Stephan King shares and knows that each and every writer has had or will have. Rejection, acceptance, thinking is this all going to work out?, safety nets, no safety nets, bad times, good times, and eventually success. 🙂 Which to say, it’s very relatable.

Tags

I tag anyone of you who wants to try it!

Have any of you read the books on my list? What are some books you are looking forward to reading this summer?

Love,

BookCon 2019 Happened

So… I went to BookCon. This was my second time going. My first time was back in 2017 and let’s just say I was not ready for it two years ago.

This time, I WAS READY.

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It was crowded, which I expected from reading about others’ experiences from previous years and from my own experience in 2017. We didn’t arrive crazy early, getting on line at about 8:45 AM (when the doors open 10 AM), but there was already a pretty hefty line ahead of us. And of course when the gates finally opened, there was a mad dash.

I only had two tentative goals going into BookCon and if I didn’t get either of them I wasn’t going to be crushed. I was really looking forward to the experience, being around all my fellow book lovers and basically just breathing the same air as some of my all time favorite authors/heroes. I did not get a ticket to see Erin Morgenstern and get an ARC of The Starless Sea but I DID get a ticket to see Joan He and get her autograph for Descendant of the Crane!!!!!!!!! I was very lucky. I’m still reeling from the experience hours later and probably still will be reeling for the rest of the week (or maybe my life). ❤ ❤

She was so sweet and just gave off all the good person vibes. When I went up to see her she said “Sorry, I’m so flustered!” and me being the hot mess that I am was wildly fluttering my hands and saying “No, I’m the one that’s flustered!” I told her that I’m an aspiring author and also got to take a picture with her. Also side note, she has the most beautiful signature ever!!!!

I attended Cassandra Clare’s panel too with David Canfield as the moderator. That was another amazing experience. My favorite trilogy of all time is The Infernal Devices. I must have read that series six times, and that is A LOT for me. Usually, I don’t read a book more than once unless its one of my favorites. A reader asked her which of her characters she relates to the most and her answer was Simon and Tessa. What I took away from her panel especially was her advice to aspiring authors. There were two very specific things. 1) Read everything. 2) Write every day. Even if it’s only a sentence.

There was a lot of interesting booths at BookCon. Books everywhere so therefore I was in HEAVEN. I scored a lot of swag. Bookmarks, pins, stickers and I even got an envelope from one of the Scythes! I also bought myself a GoT Arya tee because I couldn’t resist. Not today. 🙂 My friend was even lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time and got the last ticket for Crush by Svetlana Chmakova at the Yen Press booth.

Wandering around there were plenty of authors to see even if I couldn’t meet them. I saw Erin Morgenstern signing ARCs of The Starless Sea, Renée Ahdieh taking pics with fans, Stephanie Garber eating breakfast and Victoria Aveyard’s back. So, winning.

But believe it or not my most favorite part was right before we were about to leave. I knew there was going to be a meet up with Susan Dennard at one of the Starbucks but was a little pressed for time because I had to catch a bus. At first I didn’t see her because like I said earlier it was HELLA CROWDED but I didn’t give up and spotted her!!! There were only a few people left on the line to get their books signed so I got to see her real quick before I had to go!!!! GAHHH IT WAS AMAAAAAAZING!!! I said “Sorry, I have to run and catch a bus!” and she was so kind and said “Sorry you had to wait!” Then I said “No, I’m just so glad I got to see you!!!!!” I also thanked her for writing her newsletter. It has been one of the most helpful insights for me on this journey of mine to be a writer. I said, “Thank you for being so open and so honest.”

To which she replied, “Are you a writer?” And I nodded. Then, she added “Writing is hard.” I agreed. But then she said something I’ll never forget, “Write on.” She even wrote it near her signature in my copy of Truthwitch which I was able to bring with me. MY EMOTIONS WERE PEAKED!! I WAS SO HAPPY!!

BUT THEN IT GOT BETTER.

I’m not sure if I asked for one or she offered but I got to hug her! And then she asked if I wanted a pic and I was like “I get two hugs??!!” like a happy little girl lol. My inner child was out. So I got to hug her again for the second time before the pic was taken and then a third when the picture was actually taken!!!! It was funny and one of the best experiences ever. She is so great and sweet and all the feels. Good person vibes all over the place!!

So needless to say this year’s BookCon rocked!!!!! I WAS SO READY.

Now, to go back to business and write on.

P.S. Have any of you ever been to BookCon or any other convention or author signing? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments!

Living Life #7 (a collection of vignettes)

“Color”

It was a menagerie of colors.

Orange in flashes, the first lights of fire at night in the brittleness of the woods. Green everywhere, like vomit oozing from the same spot on the carpet that never would be the same again. Purple, the color of bruises that would show up after the fight the next day. Yellow, dead center, just like the perfect ring of a bullseye waiting to be stabbed. Pink, darting in-between and screaming for attention like the anger on a face of a manipulative man. Red… just like the trace of blood dripping down her arms from the thorns.

And white, the innocence lost and fading in the mess of it.

Her hold tightened on the bouquet. There was a note.

I’ll see you tonight.

She smiled. Yes, she could hardly wait. “Blue, the color you’ll be when I am through with you.”

Living Life # 6 (a collection of vignettes)

“Everywhere”

At first, I didn’t mean to meet him. It had been an accident that was the exact opposite of my intentions. The mini mart hadn’t even opened yet since Bob was late, though that wasn’t unusual. It happened from time to time. On a few occasions, he never came at all depending upon his mood. So I leaned against the front door and crossed my arms. Before my shift I always stopped at the gas station and bought my bagel. I had a bit of extra time and since it was nice out I figured I would give Bob a chance to show up. Only he wasn’t the one who did.

It couldn’t have been more than two minutes, when a big white monster of a car rolled off the interstate. Actually car was the wrong word, but it wasn’t a 16 wheeler either. Some sort of van in-between painted in off white with blue stripes down the sides. The exterior was desperate for a wash and the engine was louder than a lawn mower. I didn’t think that this was Bob. Just probably someone else passing through. After it parked in front of the pump, the absence of the engine made the air feel unnaturally quiet. I shifted uneasily on my feet. Waiting alone was okay, but two was a crowd.

Flicking my wrist up at my watch I meandered away from the door, and down the walk just as the driver’s side door slid open and closed. I decided suddenly to give Bob only three more minutes, putting off the notion that I might be eating from the vending machine later . Flicking my eyes down to my shadow I tapped my fingers against my thigh, ignoring the footsteps approaching. At least I was trying too. I heard him try the doors, and then the words “When does it open?”

Obviously he must have been talking to me. His voice was rough like sandpaper and his shadow was big enough to eat mine. It was with effort I pulled my eyes up to his red polo shirt. “Seven, supposedly.” I added the supposedly because it was 7:12 now, and his shadow gave me the impression I should be polite. The shadow crossed its arms, but as he turned I realized part of the reason it was so big was because of a backpack slung over one shoulder. I looked away and walked a few paces then stopped. So not to make it seem like it was his presence that was making me uneasy I took two steps back. One more minute Bob.

“You feel okay kid?” My shoulders jumped to my ears and in my surprise I met his eyes. Gray hair, black baseball cap, and skin that looked like it had never seen a day out of the sun. He must have been around 60 and he stood stock straight like a pole was running through his spine. With my skinny arms and wire frame I must have seemed much more cowardly looking.

“I’m fine.” I straightened my back to match his and dropped my arms to my sides. It was time to go.That would put an end to the small talk. But I would be sure to save a few words for Bob the next time I saw him.

I made to leave but that hard voice latched out again, and stopped me in my tracks. “You live around here kid?”

“Not far.” I answered, now stuck in the ropes of small talk. It would be the polite thing to ask him a question next, I knew. And I was nothing if not polite. That was the only thing really I had to my name. “Are you visiting?” There was no way he was from around here with that accent.

“I’ll be here for a week. Then I’ll be off again.”

“Vacation?”

“You could say that.” He smiled. With that vehicle and that shadow I didn’t think that was possible. He pulled a pack of cigarettes from his pocket and offered me one. I shook my head. Smoking was an expensive habit, one that I couldn’t afford. Not if I wanted to eat breakfast every day. The gesture though was enough to relax me. “I’m retired. Every day is a vacation.”

With work looming in my mind, the notion seemed exotic to me. “Well, I do admit I’m jealous.”

“You’ll get there.” he said, like it was inevitable. A fact, a rule. I admired his confidence. It made me forget, for a moment, my last paycheck.

“Maybe.” I sighed.

He pulled the cigarette from his mouth. “You won’t with that attitude.” He said loudly, but not unkindly. His laugh was abrupt and clipped. “Life is out there for the picking. You only have to be strong enough to grab it.” He pointed to his head. “It all starts here. Right or wrong?”

His tone warranted no other answer. “Right.”

He took another drag on his cigarette and gestured to me. “Stand up straight, hold your head high, and remember the only things that can hurt you are the things you let.” He gave another of his brusque laughs. “Life is good.”

I laughed too, only half ironically, and straightened my shoulders. “Life is good.” There was nothing wrong in his words, they were true. But I couldn’t help but say, “But what about when bad things happen?”

“Bad things will always happen, that’s life. But so will the good. Every day you get up is another day that can be good. Remember that.” He flattened his cigarette against the trash can and tossed it in. “The world is a big place. That’s why I’m traveling. I’m going to go out there and grab it.”

I liked his attitude, his confidence. Maybe that was another reason why his shadow seemed so impressive to me. “Where are you from?”

“That’s no easy answer.” he put his hands on his hips and glanced up to the blue sky before looking back to me. “You see that’s my house, right there.” He pointed to the van. “I’ve been all over.” He paused for a moment and then added, “I picked up a little bit of myself wherever I went. So, if you wanna know where I’m from the most honest answer would have to be… everywhere.”

I inclined my head to him. I had never heard an answer like that before, not to that simple question. “That sounds like a mighty nice way to live.”

“If you think about it, it’s the only way to live. Why be from one place when you could be from all of them.”

“I’ve only ever known this town.” I said quietly.

He smiled once again and I noticed one of his front teeth was chipped. Nonetheless assurance shone from him like light from the sun. I would give anything for even just half his confidence. Would I ever be able to live like he did? I didn’t know the answer.

He reached into his backpack and pulled out a brown paper bag. Reaching inside he pulled out two wrapped oval shapes, and handed one to me. Underneath the paper was a bagel. I swallowed and spluttered my gratitude. I had nothing to give him in return, and I said as much.

As I sit thinking about him now I still hold close the last thing he said to me. It was this. “You drive your destiny. Everywhere is just that, everywhere. And most important, remember, life is good.”

Snapshot 5/17/19

Update post!

Currently listening: “It’s Been a Long, Long Time”-Helen Forrest, Harry James
Currently (re)reading: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Currently watching: Fruits Basket (2019)
Currently playing: Rune Factory 4

I’m glad spring is here. That means summer is right around the corner. But I’m not rushing, because light jacket weather is a MOOD right now. My mom gave me her old denim jacket and every opportunity I get to go outside I slip that baby on. It looks one that Usagi wears but like in the 90’s version of Sailor Moon. So do I feel like her a little bit when I wear that jacket? Yes, yes I do. Does that bring me joy? Yes, yes it does.

The past few weeks have been pretty rough. I was super sick, and I’m still not 100% yet but I’m getting there. I had plenty of time though to watch a few episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal. So far I like it, but I’m only on episode 13. It more closely follows the manga. Although, the original 90’s anime is still my favorite. It brings back so many memories. For example, the numerous times when my family went to the video store on the corner and I would rent all the movies on VHS. Not going to lie, I have probably seen Promise of the Rose a hundred times. True facts. I also started the new Fruits Basket series too. It started just when I needed it. All those nostalgic feels.

Schedule wise, my goal is to post one Living Life vignette every week. It is a series based on scenes I witness or am a part of IRL turned into an interesting story. So probably any day between Friday and Sunday a new post should be up. I’ll also try to do a Snapshot post every month (just like this post you’re currently reading lol) just to give a personal update and probably ramble on about Sailor Moon and Fruits Basket. I LOVE THEM BOTH SO MUCH.

Here are some of my posts since the last Snapshot update if you’re in need of reading material:

I know I rambled on about my denim jacket, but are there any clothes that you have a special attachment to? I’d love to talk in the comments!