All right, everybody! April is just about here, which means it's time for me to list the MG and YA books I'm most excited about that are releasing during the next three months. Check them out!
1) Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi. This is the fifth book in the Shatter Me series, which somehow turns me into an emotional, weeping mess every time. The YA sci-fi series starts in book one with an imprisoned girl devastated by the fact that she kills anyone she touches. The newest book releases on my birthday, April 2nd.
2) Defy the Fates by Claudia Gray. This is the final book in the Constellation trilogy, a YA sci-fi that captured my heart with its romance between an android and a human girl who are on opposite sides of a war. Because my birthday is apparently defiant, this book also comes out on April 2nd!
When I first started writing, I didn't believe that writer's block was real. Since then, I've had many years to learn otherwise! I now believe in a writer's block model where there are four different causes. Today, I'd like to talk about those causes and what the solutions are for each of them. So let's dig into writer's block, y'all!
Problem: Lack of motivation
This is probably the most common cause of writer's block. People tend to believe that writing is something that happens when you're in the "mood," when you feel "the Muse" speaking to you. They believe you should only do it if you're enjoying it 100%. But what if that "mood" just isn't coming around?
Solution: Butt in chair, fingers on keyboard
The reality is, if you want to actually finish your project (and especially if you want to have a writing career), you need to write even when you're not feeling like it. It's okay just to write for fun, but if you want more out of your work, you need to buckle down. Writing can be hard. Periods where you lack motivation can last for a long time. Oftentimes, the motivation doesn't hit until you're in the middle of writing. As such, the refrain many authors repeat is "butt in chair, fingers on keyboard." Sit down and start writing anyway. It may take a while, but if lack of motivation truly is the cause of your writer's block, writing on a regular basis will almost certainly help--eventually.
Anyone who's followed this blog for a while knows that I love to analyze stories. I write a lot of casual analyses on this blog, looking at anything from The Hunger Games to The Phantom of the Opera to To Kill a Mockingbird. (You can find more in the Thoughts On Stories tag.)
But I also wrote a lot of formal analyses of literature during my studies for my English BA, and I'm proud of that work. So I thought today I'd create a little portfolio, sharing links to PDFs of the essays and papers I kept from my undergraduate work. Just in case someone out there has a craving for some more serious analysis. Also, to show off.
Here we go!
I'm taking this topic from the Top Ten Tuesday prompts!
There are a lot of good books out there that are "quieter," i.e. they aren't all that well-known. Today, I'm going to list some of my favorite YA books that have fewer than 2000 ratings on Goodreads. These are in reverse order by date, so those that were published the most recently are at the top.
1) Toxic by Lydia Kang. This YA sci-fi features a living bio-ship that's in the process of dying and two unusual teens who seem doomed to die with it--especially once the murders start. It's full of sad and broken people I really felt for, and it also has a lovely romance.
2) For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig. This creative, vibrant, and brutal YA fantasy, told through a nontraditional format, follows a bipolar girl with an illegal ability to turn ghosts into puppets. She journeys across a land ravaged by colonialism, trying to find safety for herself and her family, even as she gets pulled into the rebellion.
3) The Good Demon by Jimmy Cajoleas. This YA horror novel is a wonderful oddity about a girl who's furious that her demon was taken from her in an exorcism. The book follows her journey through the occult underside of her town as she tries to gain back her longtime companion, and it addresses issues like addiction and the complexity of good and evil, both in religion and relationships.
It's time for this year's speedlinking post, where I share a bunch of cool stuff I found on the Internet for you to check out! Here we go.
Here are some awesome things that various libraries let you check out! And here are some more great ideas that librarians have come up with. Similarly, here are some fantastic ideas from various schools.
I recently got into podcasts, though I mostly read the transcripts, since I have a much better comprehension level with text. This list from Buzzfeed about spooky podcasts, and the comments on the list, started me out. I had them Halloween feels! I'm also looking into these true crime podcast recommendations.
Turning now to social justice, this article talks about bias in the healthcare industry, especially against women. For those who want to know more, I highly recommend the book Doing Harm by Maya Dusenbery. This comic talks about the problem with women being the "managers" of household tasks and always taking on the "mental load." Meanwhile, these comics look at the ridiculous behavior expectations for women in the workplace. This article talks about how stereotyping women as "complicated" causes problems.
Author Laurie Halse Anderson is well-known for her phenomenal novel Speak, a YA contemporary about sexual assault. In this article, she discusses her experiences with teenage boys who don't understand the concept of consent. It is so important that we educate everyone about sex, consent, boundaries, and respect for others!
This post talks about racial bias in the news media, and this one looks at how racial "colorblindness" doesn't help things.
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