This post idea comes from Top Ten Tuesday, where bloggers have been prompted to post their favorite book covers in their favorite color! My favorite color is purple, so here are some awesome purple book covers for you to enjoy. These are all taken from my "love the cover" bookshelf on Goodreads, in order of publication.
My apologies for missing last week! I had to take a sick day. :P
Now it's time for another round of speedlinking, where I share some cool stuff from across the Internet for you to enjoy!
First off, I added the two Avengers: Infinity War trailers to my Speedlinking playlist on YouTube (#23 and 24), because THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT EVENT THAT I'M NOT SURE MY FEELINGS WILL SURVIVE. (Can you believe it now has an April 27 release worldwide?) *Language warning on that link*
Next, a few links that may be useful to you writers out there. A lot of people online have been talking about the Notebook.ai, a worldbuilding program online that has both a free and a paid version. It looks really awesome, and I'm sure a lot of you would enjoy using it. Me, I've found that I do better freeform, using Word--even my one go at the ever-popular Scrivener didn't work out. Nevertheless, this looks like something a lot of people will find very useful.
There's also a random last name generator, for those less-important characters who you just need to name, darnit. It's got a great variety of names from every culture, at least from what I've seen so far, and it's a little less awkward than going through your Twitter feed. :)
Then there's the Atlas Obscura, a website where you can look up basically any location to find its most interesting attractions. I think this could be useful for real-world worldbuilding, as one of many pieces of research you'll have to do when including a real city in your stories.
*Long post ahoy.*
First, I'd like to share some important news about this blog. During WriteOnCon 2018, one idea that came up a few times is that the social media you use should always be something that you enjoy. If you don't enjoy it, you should feel free to pull back and do it less, or not at all. After hearing that, I've decided to pull back a little more on this blog.
For the first few years, I really enjoyed blogging here. But as my illnesses got worse, I began running out of both ideas and energy. I've been trying a lot of different blogging schedules and tags to try and make up for that, but I'm not getting the interaction that I like, and I really do feel like I've already written the bulk of the blog posts that I wanted to. I don't want to stop blogging entirely, because I do really like sharing my thoughts when I have them, but I'm not interested in doing it on the same basis that I have been.
So I'm going to change my schedule again and blog once a week, on Saturdays. I may put up bonus posts on Wednesdays--like this one!--if I have something extra to talk about, but for the most part, it'll be four posts a month. That means no more "Waiting On" Wednesdays or Top Ten Tuesdays. But I will post seasonal lists of the books on my top TBR, and I'm sure some of the ideas from Top Ten Tuesday will show up in future posts. Monthly humor posts are also going to change to seasonal humor posts, with my favorite twenty-five funny posts from Tumblr and Pinterest for each three month block. Additionally this means that my weekly email newsletters will change to monthly newsletters.
I intend to be just as present on my other social media profiles as ever, and I hope that people will look through this blog and see what I've talked about in the past if they're looking for specific information--or just ask me! The Recommended Posts page is still up, and I've added an archive to the sidebar so you can browse through my old posts a little more easily.
It's time for Top Ten Tuesday, a book blog tag hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! Today's topic is Top Ten Books That Have Been On My TBR the Longest. So here are the books I shelved a while back--and still haven't gotten to--starting from December 2013. (You can compare to this list from a little over a year ago.)
1) Slated by Teri Terry. This is the one book that's still on my TBR from the last time I did this post, a YA sci-fi dystopian about memory wiping.
2) Mad Love by Suzanne Selfors. This is a YA fantasy novel about a girl who takes over writing her mom's romance novels when her mom's mental illness gets in the way of her work--only to start having visions about Cupid.
3) After the End by Amy Plum. Another YA sci-fi dystopian, this one about a girl who grew up believing that the rest of the world had been destroyed by nuclear bombardment--only to find out it's not true.
4) Blood and Salt by Kim Liggert. This is a YA horror novel where Romeo and Juliet meets Children of the Corn. Fun, right?
Today, because my next "Waiting On" Wednesday does not yet have a cover, I'll be doing the Seven Deadly Sins of Reading Tag, as seen here.
GREED: What is the most and least expensive book on your shelves?
I have honestly no idea, since I get most of my books as gifts. Which I guess means they're all the least expensive, LOL, at least for me!
WRATH: What author do you have a love/hate relationship with?
I'm on pretty good terms with most the authors I read, except for James Patterson, whom I strongly dislike. I don't think I have a mixed love/hate relationship with any of them.
GLUTTONY: What book have you devoured over again and again?
I do a fair amount of rereads. The series with the most rereads for me is, unsurprisingly, Harry Potter, but the series I've reread the most often recently is Renee Ahdieh's The Wrath and the Dawn Duology, which is definitely delicious.
Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, a book blog tag hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! Today, we're sharing our Top Ten Books I Want My Children To Read. Enjoy!
1) The LDS scripture quad. Now some of this I probably wouldn't want them to read until they're older (Old Testament, I'm looking at you), but I do want my future kids to be familiar with the scriptures, and to one day read them in their entirety.
2) J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. Uh, duh.
3) Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games Trilogy. I think this one is important enough to share with my kids.
4) C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia. This is really the classic of children's fantasy, and I'd want my kids to at least read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, if not the entire series.
5) A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. If we're doing the classic of children's fantasy, we have to do the classic of children's sci-fi as well. Plus, this presents a fantastic female character for them to look up to, which is an important thing for both boys and girls.
One topic you run into a lot with bookish types is what format of books they prefer. After all, in the modern world, there are a lot of options for reading: paperback, hardback, audio, e-book. Some people like to collect old books, or ARCs, or first editions. Some people are snobs about it, insisting that audio or e-books aren't "real" reading, with which I strongly disagree.
For my part, I consider content to be a lot more important than the delivery. One of the best thing about audio and e-books is that they make stories more accessible, and, as a social justice/disability advocate, I believe that accessibility is key to combating injustice and inequality. Accessibility gives people options. I know people who can only manage to read through audio books, and it makes me so happy that those books exist. It's one of my biggest hopes that when I finally get published, my books will be available in all those formats, e-book and audio as well as the standard ones.
Now, personally, I prefer to read paperbacks. Even though I'm not picky about format, something about the real pages is enjoyable to me, as opposed to the e-copies. I'm not really sure why. Maybe I find it easier on the eyes, taking a break from screens. But e-books don't really bother me. On the other hand, audio books drive me absolutely crazy. I really respect their importance for other people, but I cannot stand listening to them myself. I just read too fast on my own to be able to tolerate the slower pace and lack of control that comes with the audio format. I prefer paperback over hardback simply because they're lighter-weight and more portable. However, I recognize that when it comes to income, hardbacks pay off more for the author, and since I get most of my books from the library, I'll take whichever one is available.
All of that to say, I'd love to hear from you about this. What formats do you read in? Which do you prefer? Let me know! I'll see you again tomorrow.
As many of you know, there is an official quiz on Pottermore, designed by J.K. Rowling, that you can take to determine which of the four Hogwarts houses you belong to. I am a Ravenclaw, and I'm quite proud of that designation. So today, I want to celebrate the awesomeness that is Ravenclaw!
Among the many important choices that writers face is what point of view to write from. Point of view is absolutely key when it comes to storytelling. After all, it has an enormous impact on how the audience perceives everything from worldbuilding to characterization. As such, I thought today I'd talk a little bit about the different options we have when it comes to POV and about the choices I've made in the past with my books.
First, it's important to define the terminology for points of view as discussed in most English classes. Point of view can come in one of three basic forms: first, second, or third. First person point of view uses the pronoun "I" and originates within the consciousness of a single character. Second person POV is the rarest, using the pronoun "you" to guide the reader into the place of a character. This is most effective, in my opinion, when done in letter form addressing a specific character. Otherwise, it's gimmicky and difficult to connect with. Third person point of view uses other pronouns like "she" or "he" in reference to all the characters. Third person POV further can be limited, omniscient, or limited-omniscient: focusing on a single character, aware of the feelings and thoughts of all characters, or a mix of the two.
An additional decision that must be made in terms of perspective is tense. Though multiple tenses are necessary in any writing, most authors work with a primary tense of either present or past, where the character either is performing the actions as they speak them (present) or is telling the story as though it has already occurred (past).
These basic POV elements will be mixed and matched throughout most stories. If an author chooses to use multiple points of view (usually alternating between chapters), even more mixing and matching may occur. However, it's important to know which base POV you are working with.
Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, a book blog tag hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! Today I'm going into the archives to share my Top Ten Side Characters from books.
1) Minerva McGonagall from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter. Professor McGonagall is legit, and no one is allowed to argue with me on that point. She's probably the best teacher at Hogwarts as well as an incredible support to Dumbledore and the rest of the good guys in the story. I relate to her a lot, honestly, especially after learning more about her heartbreaking backstory. Although she's a Gryffindor, she could have been a Ravenclaw like me, which makes her extra awesome, and she can turn into a cat at will. Minerva McGonagall is the bomb.
Almost every aspiring writer takes a creative writing class at some point in their lives. A lot of us wonder, though, about the value of those classes. I know a lot of young writers especially question whether or not they should go on to get a Creative Writing degree. So today, I thought I'd share my own experiences with creative writing classes.
I took my first creative writing class in seventh grade. Before that, my teachers supported my writing, and I even had some dedicated time to it through the GATE program, but everyone took the same classes. In middle school, we got to choose some of what we did, and I, of course, chose to take creative writing.
That first class did not go well.
I've shared myleast favorite tropes before, but every so often, I come across a trope that I find particularly upsetting. Today, as part of my Kill the Trope series, I'm going to examine the "crazy telepathic woman" trope and explain to you how it combines misogyny and ableism so horrifically that it needs to be abandoned. *Comics spoilers ahoy*
Once upon a time, there was a woman with telepathic powers. She could read minds, control them, maybe even undo them. Despite the enormous mental and emotional pressure that having such a power would exert, she managed to eke out a life as a hero. She used her incredible gift to protect lives, and even though it was a pretty scary power that was sometimes hard on her, she became a real force for good in the world. Then, one day, something terrible happens--a death, usually, or some kind of accident that breaks her powers loose.
She goes insane. Not just your regular old "wow I have a mental illness" insane, but "I am going to literally murder everyone" insane. She loses all sense of morality, all sense of boundaries, all sense of self, and wreaks terrible havoc across the world until someone finally stops her, usually by killing her. (Because she's a superhero, she will probably come back, but even once she's her normal self again, everyone will be wary of her and will constantly bring up that one time she went crazy, if not outright reject her.)
Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, a book blog tag hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! Today's topic is a Mother's Day special: the top ten best mothers in literature. Unfortunately, in YA and children's lit, a lot of the time parents (especially mothers) are absent, and most of the rest of the time, they're pretty terrible people. So I'm going to try to see if I can get to ten with both mothers and fathers by doing my Top Ten Favorite Parents in Literature.
1) Molly Weasley from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter. I mean, this one's pretty obvious. Molly is a super legit woman who manages to be feminine (i.e. her love for Celestina Warbeck), a motherly type (she makes monogrammed sweaters!), and also totally fierce (like when she killed Bellatrix, that was pretty awesome). Like all the good guys in the Harry Potter books, she eschews wizarding prejudices. She makes the best of living in poverty. She manages her own six kids along with the two kids she basically adopts, Harry and Hermione, and even when they drive her nuts, she never for a second acts like she doesn't love them. (Her husband, Arthur, is pretty legit too, for the record, though he's not nearly as fierce as Molly.)
Hello, readers of Kira’s blog! My name is Ariel Kalati, the Associate Online Administrator for Ch1Con, and I’m writing a guest post today. If you’ve managed to follow this blog without knowing what Ch1Con is, let me give you a brief overview: it stands for Chapter One Young Writers Conference, and it’s basically the best thing that ever happened. It's by young writers, for young writers, about Panera Bread. Actually, it’s about forming a meaningful community and spreading education and resources about writing, but Panera is a vital part of that goal.
To learn more about Ch1Con, visit our website! Registration is open, so if you're writer from ages 11-23, you can register now for our annual conference in Chicago, on August 5 this year featuring headliner Kody Keplinger! You can also participate in one of our many online events, and you should consider entering our Poetry and Short Fiction contest for the chance to be published in an e-book anthology and win discounted admission to the conference--submissions are only open for a little while longer at this link!
One of the best things about Ch1Con is being able to share the experience of being a young writer with other young writers. And one of the best parts of community is, of course, shared complaining. So below I’ve listed some things that we all have to complain about, in the form of a listicle (you know, like a cheesy Buzzfeed article). Obviously some of these things are not exclusive to young writers, but we’ve definitely all been here.
Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, a book blog tag hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! Today's topic is about what we want to see more of in books, but I feel like I already covered that in this post. So instead, I'm going to swing around from last week's Top Ten Tuesday and talk about some book covers I don't like.
While most of the time cover artists do a good job, sometimes even great books published by top tier publishers end up looking like self-published messes. In line with that, here are my Top Ten Least Favorite Book Covers!
1) The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace. This is the one time I remember actually getting mad over a book cover. Becky Wallace's debut is a great YA fantasy novel with plenty of magic and romance--but its cover looks totally amateurish. The font, the color scheme, the weird blurry picture, they all add up to something that doesn't even begin to capture the spirit of the story. The only thing I like about this is the girl's striking eyes. Like, WHAT EVEN?!
I'm an unpublished novelist, primarily of YA fantasy, working towards my MLIS degree. I love psychology, cats, social justice, and love! I'm also a huge fangirl. Basically, stories are my life.
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