Podcasts, for those of you who don't now, are a series of audio recordings in which people discuss a topic, usually with regular episodes. You can find them on iTunes, but they're other places too. The podcasts I list below are for free! They're all about writing, seeing as I am a writer, but one is reader-centered.
So if you're interested, give these podcasts a try yourself!
Book Riot: The Podcast
Book Riot is a blog I follow for book fans, writers, and editors that discusses all kinds of issues in the literary world. It covers a lot of content, and all of it is very well-written and engaging. Their podcast is run by two of the writers for the site, and it's a weekly podcast covering all the most recent book news. The episodes run on the long side, from an hour to an hour and a half, but they're brilliant, enjoyable, and thorough.
The most recent episode, from this Sunday, was "#50: Recommendations for Moms, Dads, and Grads," a special 50th podcast recommending books for the upcoming holidays this season! If you're a dedicated reader or writer, I'd absolutely give this podcast a shot.
MuggleCast: The Harry Potter Podcast
MuggleCast was the first podcast I started following, back at the beginning of high school when the sixth Harry Potter movie was about to come out. Getting the chance to connect with other people over my favorite series is actually a huge part of what got me through that year. MuggleCast is run by some people from MuggleNet, a very famous Harry Potter fansite. The podcast is energetic, fun, and slightly obsessive in its examination of Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling, fandoms, and related content. Episodes used to be weekly but have slowed down and now only come out when there's news. They also run long, an hour to half an hour.
Today, I present an interview with my online writing friends!
I met these girls online through the Scholastic Write It! boards, a community for young writers, which I joined when I was in middle school. A number of the great people I met there continued to be my friends even after I left the boards, and although I've never met them in person, I admire and love these girls so much! We Skype a lot, and Facebook, and e-mail, and they just brighten my every day with their humor, support, and compassion. I would not be the writer that I am today without them. Though some of them no longer write themselves, we all have a great appreciation for literature.
So in today's interview, Julia, Hero, Madelynn, and Molly are answering some questions for me.
Do you remember your first impression of me?
Julia: While I'm not sure if it was my FIRST first impression, the first thing I remember thinking about you was that I hated your guts. Because I was (literally) an immature, self-conscious thirteen year old, and you were a brilliant writer and knew so much about the publishing industry and everyone loved you. (But then I got over myself, because, like. It's a truth universally acknowledged that you cannot NOT like Kira.)
Hero: I remember I thought you knew literally everything about publishing. I had been searching and searching for how to write a query letter, and the first thing of yours I ever saw was the "how to write a query letter" post, and it was like you were shining wisdom down on me from above... So from then on I basically regarded you as the expert in everything, and felt super validated when I found out we both played cello because you were so cool and therefore made everything cool.
One of the things my writing friends and I like to do is peruse ModCloth, which is a online fashion retailer full of all kinds of unique clothing, mostly in vintage style. We often try and find the worst possible dresses and outfits. However, ModCloth also has some truly incredible clothes that I find myself coveting. Unfortunately, most of their clothes are really expensive, so I'm never going to get any of these pretty dresses!
Just to indulge myself, though, I've created a wishlist on which I put any ModCloth items that catch my fancy. Today, as a fun fashion post, I thought I'd share that with you. Enjoy!
Today, I thought it might be interesting to talk about what it's like attending a religious school like BYU - Idaho. I went to regular public school before college and then to Adams State, a public college, so I've got reference for comparison. I think the differences are kind of interesting!
Because BYU - I is a privately funded religious school, all the rules about separation of church from education no longer apply. When I first started classes, this really threw me off. To a certain extent, I had expected it. I'd known that almost everyone would be LDS, like me. I'd known about the Honor Code. I'd known about the required religion classes. What I hadn't expected was how deeply intertwined religion was with the structure of all the classes, the events, and the school itself. Even socially, Mormonism was common topic.
For the first week, or maybe even month, of school, this was confusing and kind of uncomfortable for me. I was taking six classes. One was a religion class, centered around the Book of Mormon. The others were all regular classes. But in Science Foundations, we started off by learning a) about how science and religion correlate and b) about LDS scientists. In American Foundations, we began with statements of scriptures and prophets relating to government, freedom of choice, human rights, etc. In literature class, the teacher began by saying that every piece of writing we read would, in some way, bring us closer to the Savior. In orchestra, we prayed every day to bring the Holy Spirit through our playing.
In Creative Writing, the teacher said that we'd be reading some questionable content, that we needed to put our adult panties on, and also that we wouldn't be praying in class because praying all the time makes it rote. Immediately, the girl behind me asked him, "Are you even a member of the Church?"
Most of the people who read this blog right now are quite close to me, so none of this is going to come as a surprise. Nonetheless, I'd like to officially share a life update. I've been dealing with some stuff that I didn't feel comfortable talking about here before, but now, I'm ready.
So here we go.
I arrived at BYU - Idaho on January 3rd. BYU - Idaho has a three-track system with a Fall, Winter, and Spring semester as well as a brief Summer session, and every student is assigned two semesters to attend. I'm Winter/Spring, which is why I started in January. Classes began on the 6th. I was immediately bored by most of them, since they were mostly beginning gen-eds that I have to take to make up for the transfer.
Now, I can handle boredom. But very quickly within that first week, it became clear that I was not doing well.
Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while are aware that I've struggled with my mental health a lot. This came to a head my second semester at college, before I decided to transfer to BYU - Idaho. I had an emotional breakdown and finally agreed to try counseling as a result. My situation improved with the help of one of Adam State's student counselors, but over the summer, I had a second breakdown, and this one was worse. This is partially because of the lack of resources available in my small New Mexican hometown. At my worst point, I couldn't leave the house without having an anxiety attack. Thanks to a few key people, I managed to make it to January. I knew that once I arrived at BYU - Idaho, I would be able to apply for counseling through the school..
Today marks the end of my first semester at BYU - Idaho, and I'm quite happy for that! I think that, for all y'all's enjoyment, I'm going to write about being an adult.
Recently, the idea of adulthood has been on my mind, partly because I just turned twenty. Legally, of course, you're an adult at 18 in the U.S., but very few people would actually consider you "adult" at 18. Twenty, on the other hand, marks two decades on the earth and the passage out of teenagerhood. If you're too old to be a teenager, what does that make you? Well, I imagine, an adult.
But I really don't feel like an adult, so the thought of qualifying as one not just legally but socially is pretty daunting. It's like I'm sitting here waving my arms in the air, like, "Wait! I haven't gained the quality of adultness! I need it! Help me!"
That, of course, brings up the question of what that "adultness" is that I'm missing. So I spent a while thinking about this last night. It's not age, experience, or education, because I have a pretty decent allotment of all of these. So when is it that I feel the least adult? Around other people. I look at them--people older than me, people my age, even a good number of people younger than me--and I'm like, "What the heck? You're taken more seriously than me. You're cooler than me. You know what's up more than I do. Look how mature and smart you are!"
So I think I have a misconstrued idea of what being adult means. To me, it's always meant confidence. Once I was an adult, I would no longer be insecure. I would be taken seriously, and I would be beautiful, and I would know what was up. Now, I know that's an unrealistic expectation for anyone at any age. Insecurity is the human condition. So I guess I am an adult, but I'm also just me. And that's okay.
Today, Ellana Rose Thornton-Wheybrew, a writer of short fiction and poetry, is guest-posting on the topic of classic literature. I've covered this only briefly before, so I'm happy to share this post! It's an interesting view that differs from mine some, as I'm the type who loves analyzing literature, haha.
You can check out more of Ellana's writing at her website.
Comment with your favorite classics, and thanks for checking in, everyone!
Like most people, I had to read “the classics” as a part of studying English literature at school. I guess, like most people, I hated them. Jane Eyre was dull and predictable; most of the Shakespeare plays bored me to tears; even the “modern classics” were awful. I hated having to praise the writing skills of authors who did not interest me.
Do not get me wrong, I loved reading then just as much as I do now. I could recite "The Raven" and Tennyson’s "In Memoriam" at will, and my favourite poets included Byron, Poe, Tennyson, and Barrett Browning. The works I had to study, especially the modern ones, barely interested me. The writers of centuries long gone fascinated me.
I started with what I loved, namely Edgar Allen Poe, and worked outwards. I devoured the works of Ann Radcliffe, finding a beauty in her words from the 1790s in the same way my teachers would preach about the beauty they could see in the books we were studying. I found a beauty in the words of authors who practically no one had even heard about, and in all honesty, it felt like my little secret.
Today, besides being our April humor post, is my 20th birthday! I am now officially not a teenager and kinda freaked out about that. 20 is a nice number, though, when you think about it. Clean and even. Twenty 20 twenty 20. So there's that.
Anyway, enjoy your humor post!
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