February 2022 Wrap-Up

Despite February having been a lot and me choosing to repress some stuff that is happening in reality (I know, it’s a kind of privilege), it was actually a pretty decent reading month for me. I got to everything I had set my eyes on and even a little more. So, at least in that department, I genuinely can’t complain much right now, even if most of the books wer only mediocre. Here’s what I read:

Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Prosper's Demon by K.J. Parker

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! OR find me on Storygraph, where I’m more active this year. My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above if there are posts for them.

As I’ve now said a lot, I’m using Storygraph really regularly now and it’s growing on me. I’m also low-key crushing my reading challenges and it’s making me happy. For a while there, I thought I had aimed too high with 15K words for this year, but it’s looking good. I’m now reading The Ten Thousand Doors of January (about 6% into the story) and even though it had mixed reviews, I’m enjoying it. I’m not even going to attempt to start a new reading experiment in March, I will try to alternate those.

I think it’s fairly understandable to say that I’m on edge right now. The Ukrainian border is closer to where I live than the other side of my own (very tiny) country. Geographically, this is probably one of the closest wars I have had to witness and I feel like I live in a 24/7 news cycle. At the same time, I’m confused and angered by some of the rhetoric used in media and by politicians alike, especially when it comes to refugees in comparison to coverage about previous countries that needed aid. I wish I could share some good resources here, but the ones I trust are all in German so … please, just be aware that there’s a lot of misinformation going around and be careful. Take care of yourselves!

Other than that, there’s things going on in my private life I want to talk about even less, BUT the weather is getting better. Yes, this is what it has come to. I’m talking about the weather … I can really feel it lift my spirits though and I’m hoping to get out more. I miss having places to go to, especially since I’ve been working from home in my one room apartment since mid-November now. So, this is honestly a good sign!

It also sort of started me imagining going on vacation for the first time in forever this year. I refuse to go on a plane or anywhere that is difficult to reach, but maybe a Berlin visit is due! I miss my second (or third or fourth) home. If I go, I want to go by train, because it’s such a nice deceleration to life and without the stress of how much luggage you can take in a carry on for a flight and such. I’m not sure when I’ll go, but I’m making all the plans for 2022.

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF FEBRUARY 2022

When I’m on other platforms and judging by my stats page, blogging has changed a lot over the years. I feel like it’s more of a second platform for many, next to video or image content on socials. Still, I’m dedicating this year to showing how valuable and kind of long term blogging as a medium is by sharing my top performing posts each month. (Hint: they are rarely ever the new ones!)

  1. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (Book Review)
    (originally posted in December 2020)
    Do I know why this is the most popular book review I’ve ever written? Heck no. I wish I did, but I’m glad it’s doing so well and finding an audience. Even if I wasn’t 100% convinced by the book …
  2. Something Different: Duskwood (Game)
    (originally posted June 2020)
    This game, I wish more people would play it so that I could talk about it with them. And also, that they’ll finally release the final chapter.
  3. Are Sebastian Stan and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted August 2021)
    Look, with Pam & Tommy releasing, I just think a lot of people are rediscovering Sebastian Stan.
  4. Are Chris Evans and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted July 2021)
    Interest for Chris always remains in waves.
  5. Are Tom Hiddleston and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted June 2021)
    He almost got beat by Pedro Pascal for 5th place. It as SO close. But the reading experiments are just a huge draw to the blog.

MY FAVORITES OF THE MONTH

Speaking of reading experiments, while I love doing them, I love publishing them even more! There’s just something so very satisfying about getting all the necessary reading done, comparing tastes and trying to find common ground with strangers based on nothing other than books. One of my favorite parts is also trying to find the thing that connects all the books, to dive into the psyche of the celebs a little and see what draws them to the material. It’s such a joy! I know I posted the latest installment with Lupita Nyong’o at an inopportune time, but I hope it doesn’t flop.

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

I love this community, so please share that love by also checking out the posts of fellow bloggers!

MY OTHER POSTS

VARIOUS TAGS AND POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

WRITING LIFE

TRAILER POSTS


Hope February was kind to you and that March will treat you well! Let’s chat in the comments!

Writing Life: Valentine’s Day Write Tag!

As promised, I’m trying to add more writing content to the blog again. The Valentine’s Day Write Tag is a creation of yours truly to help you get to know your characters better. I have previously done this for my WIP Arcadia (you can check that out here) and decided it would be fun to revive it with Valentine’s coming up in a couple days. It’s all easy enough, but let’s revise the “rules”!

RULES

  • If you were tagged, thank the person who tagged you!
  • Please always link back to the original post! (I want to see all your lovely answers, people!)
  • Provide a short description of your WIP/story!
    I’ll be doing this tag for BUB (I talked about it here)! It’s a flatshare romance set in Vancouver, where bookseller Raeleen has to deal with a new flatmate, assistant director Nick, while her best friend is abroad and she just got dumped.
  • Don’t use just one character for all answers if possible!

MY QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

If there is a couple in your WIP, what are their plans for Valentine’s Day? And if there is no couple in your WIP, is there someone your main character would like to spend Valentine’s Day with?

Since BUB (Break Up Buddy) is essentially a friends to lovers arc, I’d think that Raeleen and Nick would go out and do some ridiculously cliché Valentine’s activities together – as friends. They’d have a good time and maybe even have some really intimate moments, but mostly they’d just have a good laugh at pretending to be a couple for a day. Which they can do very convincingly … a bit too well for it not to be true, one might say.

Who is the most likely to shamelessly go out for dinner on Valentine’s Day alone?

Jemma, Raeleen’s best friend, is an incredibly bold and independent person. She generally cringes at anything overtly romantic, so she would just treat this day like any other one.

One of your characters requests a song on the radio for their crush! Which song and for which character would they pick it?

Okay, once they’re actually together, I could see Nick doing that for Raeleen. They often have the radio on in the bookshop she’s working at and Nick would do it as a bit of a joke, but then pick an actually really sweet song. Maybe this one:

Is there a character who would organize an Anti-Valentine’s Day party?

I’m sure that someone would be up for Galentine’s Day instead, but I can’t think of any character who would go full out ANTI Valentine’s.

What romantic gesture would swoon your main character?

Raeleen loves words and books and someone noticing the smaller things. She would, however, absolute hate a grand gesture. The one thing that could totally win her over though would be an annotated copy of her favorite book with the time to discuss the material.

Which character would buy a bunch of red roses and hand them out to strangers on the street, just to make their day?

Alrighty, so … there’s this one character in the book – Prosper Reed – who’s this very handsome, young and charming bestselling author. I could see him do that as part of a publicity stunt, but also because he likes to do nice things for people.

What are your main character’s favorite Valentine’s movies? (Note: Valentine’s movies don’t have to be romantic!)

Raeleen is always hoping they play You’ve Got Mail at one of the local indie theaters for Valentine’s. There’s plenty of great movies on Netflix, but she can do that any day of the week. And with a potential love interest who works in film, it’s only natural they both enjoy the actual vibes of a good old cinema.

Who is ready for the February 15th, just to get all the chocolate on sale?

The question should rather be – who isn’t ready for all the chocolate on sale? Sam, Nick’s brother, might be the only one who’s more into sourpatch kids and gummy worms than chocolate, but the entire cast probably has a sweet tooth.

Is there a character who never spends Valentine’s Day alone aka always has some sort of situationship going on?

Hunter, Raeleen’s ex-boyfriend, usually goes from one relationship to another. If he doesn’t have a date, that would be highly confusing for him.

Bonus: Create a Valentine’s Day aesthetic for one or several of your characters!

The List of Questions (so it’s easier to copy and paste)

  • If there is a couple in your WIP, what are their plans for Valentine’s Day? And if there is no couple in your WIP, is there someone your main character would like to spend Valentine’s Day with?
  • Who is the most likely to shamelessly go out for dinner on Valentine’s Day alone?
  • One of your characters requests a song on the radio for their crush! Which song and for which character would they pick it?
  • Is there a character who would organize an Anti-Valentine’s Day party?
  • What romantic gesture would swoon your main character?
  • Which character would buy a bunch of red roses and hand them out to strangers on the street, just to make their day?
  • What are your main character’s favorite Valentine’s movies? (Note: Valentine’s movies don’t have to be romantic!)
  • Who is ready for the February 15th, just to get all the chocolate on sale?
  • Is there a character who never spends Valentine’s Day alone aka always has some sort of situationship going on?
  • Bonus: Create a Valentine’s Day aesthetic for one or several of your characters!

THE LINK UP!

I will add links to posts here, if anyone decides to participate!

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=a8b40ada7693d64e5923


I hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know in the comments what you thought and whether you’re going to participate yourself!

January 2022 Wrap-Up

January has finally come to an end. This month felt like a year in itself somehow, but I don’t want to complain too much. I actually had a really good reading month, with most of all the books ending up in the 4-5 star region and me getting done with most of the personal reading I wanted to take time for at the beginning of this year. I have A LOT of reading experiments planned, so I just wanted to make sure I got some stories in that I chose myself, before I embarked on journey’s chosen by other people for me. Anyway, let’s take a look at what I read:

  • The Roughest Draft by Emily Wibberley/Austin Siegemund-Broka (4 stars)
  • Seven Days in June by Tia Williams (5 stars)
  • Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson (4 stars)
  • Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (4 stars)
    I might still write a review for this one, but mostly I’m just so torn. I always knew I was going to like this series, even though it’s much darker than I anticipated, and I really, really do like it. I adore how short the books are but how the world(s) still pull you in. I’d love to read more in the series, but they’re SO freaking expensive! The prices are ridiculous … I got lucky with the first one being on sale.

The Roughest Draft Seven Days in June Open Water Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1)

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! OR find me on Storygraph, where I’m more active this year. My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above if there are posts for them.

With me trying to regularly update Storygraph, I thought I’d also share my reading challenges (which maybe aren’t as exciting or thrilling as those of others) and my progress throughout the year. Generally, I’m doing a good job with the number of books, but I’m kind of behind in terms of pages. Possibly, maybe I shot a little too high for that one? I’m currently reading Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson and if I don’t procrastinate on it much longer, it should actually help me catch up on the pages goal.

In terms of life updates, I’m afraid there isn’t much I can offer. I don’t leave the house that much, the weather is super dreary and I’ve been working from home in my one-room-apartment since mid-November. It’s not exactly a party over here, but I hope that things will change for the better in spring. I miss being a regular at certain coffeeshops or bars and just having places to go to. For my own sanity, I plan to get an annual pass for the zoo though to visit this bird I like (it’s a Southern ground hornbill, if you want to look it up), which makes sense, since I live like 20 minutes away from the place and it’s an easy and affordable trip.

Other than that, it’s been quiet on my end? There’s been some inner turmoil with a lot of family stuff, new tasks at work and my visa for Canada running out in less than a week, but there’s so very little to do about it. I’ve just had way too much time to think all on my own and it has led to some unpleasant spirals, but some things just aren’t meant to be. I believe that Sunday (which is the day my entry letter for Canada expires) will be tough. Never once would I have thought that I’d have to mourn possibilities forever lost going into the third year of this global “situation”, yet here we are. It’s strange, because it’s fine, while it’s not fine at all. But, this too shall pass … I gotta believe that’s true, because otherwise, what’s the point? My ever optimistic side has not let me down yet and I trust that I am where I’m supposed to be when I’m supposed to be.

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF JANUARY 2022

I feel like blogging is sometimes this very ambiguous thing, especially with a lot of people moving to other (often flashier) platforms. So, in an attempt to be more transparent, I want to show you which posts had the most clicks, because it’s fascinating to me. Blogging is a medium that lasts much longer, which is proven by the following most popular January posts:

  1. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (Book Review)
    (originally posted in December 2020)
    This review just gets more and more views with each month. I don’t know where it was shared or how it is ranked high up on search engines, but people are looking at it every single day … (and I didn’t even like the book)
  2. Are Sebastian Stan and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted August 2021)
    As I’ve said many times, these compatibility tests are popular! The guys do switch around in the ranking, but they’re always in the top tier.
  3. All My 2022 Goals!
    This is the ONLY new post! I wrote it at the beginning of the year and am glad people were interested in my plans!
  4. Something Different: Duskwood (Game)
    (originally posted June 2020)
    This online chat-based game is the best! I don’t see nearly enough people talking about it, even though it only has one more chapter until the end.
  5. Are Chris Evans and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted July 2021)
    I’m not going to repeat what I said above.

MY FAVORITES OF THE MONTH

Not a lot of people will agree with me on this … in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if I got trolled hard for this choice, but my favorite thing of January 2022 is the release of How I Met Your Father. Was I burned by the final season of HIMYM like everyone else? Absolutely! Do I have some slight trust issues? Yep. But I still love this new show. I appreciate the references to the OG material, but I don’t constantly compare them and I love the cast and characters and I do find it funny. People constantly say it’s overacted (which HIMYM was too – 100%, you cannot convince me otherwise) and that the jokes don’t land, but they do with me. I snort-laughed at something every single episode. So .. let me have this, alright?

Also, if anyone knows where to find Sophie’s necklace, hit me up! I’m still looking for it!

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

Not all posts might have been in January, but I still want to highlight the good work of other people! This is a community after all, so please do give them a visit if a topic sparks your interest.

MY OTHER POSTS

VARIOUS TAGS AND POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

WRITING LIFE

TRAILER POSTS


I hope you had a great January! What did you think of my wrap-up? Here’s to hoping February will be kind to all of us!

Writing Life: What Are My Plans?

In my post about my 2022 goals, I mentioned that I wanted to do more about writing on the blog again. I haven’t quite figured out a monthly feature yet, but I’ve decided to revive the “Writing Life” category. This will likely be just about random topics/updates on my progress as I work my way through projects this year instead of a really structured post. I hope you enjoy it regardless! Today, I want to talk about what I want to accomplish this year in writing specifically!

IT HAS BEEN SO LONG!?

I haven’t actively written anything (other than my secret fan fics that I will not ever share with you) for months. I’ve started a writing accountability thread on Twitter (check it out here), but knew that I had zero motivation to work on any of my unfinished scripts. I had all these ideas for stories and I want to see them come to live eventually, but couldn’t muster up the creative energy to write a single word. It was disheartening to be completely honest. I’ve always loved creating and writing, but there was just nothing in me. Whenever I opened a document, there was just this blank page and me disliking every word I tried to put on it.
So, instead, I thought I’d switch it up! I finally returned to the one and only project I ever finished Break Up Buddy! (or BUB, as I’ll call it moving forward) If you’ve followed me for a while, you may remember me talking about it before. However, I should warn you, that I archived a lot of posts from the blog and the BUB content isn’t really available on here anymore.

WHAT IS BUB?

To sum it up, it’s a contemporary flatmate romance, but I’m going to change so much! Reading my words from back then was cringey, there’s no other way to put it. I’m very proud of having written a full story with beginning, middle and end for NaNoWriMo 2014, but the quality was abysmal. I was “only” 21 back then and experienced so much since that just has me shaking my head at what I came up with. Still, there’s a general structure there than I can and want to work with!

I don’t want to go into details about the story, because despite some previous posts I’ve written, I’ve gotten more protective of my story and don’t want to reveal too much. I hope the above aesthetic gives off some vibes you can let your imagination run wild with though.

Here are some of the major changes I’m facing:

  • I’ve written the story in first person present tense and … I don’t think it works for me at all. I don’t enjoy writing in present tense in general and I’ve just learned from some friends that a lot of people actually struggle with reading first person POVs. So, the POV isn’t set in stone yet, but the present tense definitely has to go …
  • I’m changing the entire setting! BUB used to take place in Portland, Oregon, but is now moving to Vancouver, Canada. This isn’t just because I know my way around Vancouver about a million times better than Portland, but also because my male lead works in film and Vancouver is a prime location for that.
  • A lot of the scenarios I imagined were super over the top. Let’s face it, I just didn’t know better. This was how I imagined things to work or pan out based on Hallmark movies I had watched, but I’ve learned to appreciate some subtlety and depth in the past seven or so years and I mostly want to make this story less of a cliché.

As I’ve mentioned above, I have a thread on Twitter that I’m trying to update regularly with some of my progress. For now, it’s mostly outlining and planing the major changes. But for the first time in a long time, I’m excited to write again. I’ve missed this feeling!

CONCLUSION

Having something you actually want to work with and don’t dread doing is great. My plan for this year is simple, I want to get a majorly updated draft of BUB done. It still doesn’t have to be perfect, but it needs a lot of work and I know I can do better, so I want to invest my time and focus in this one thing.

Yes, every writing post does have an obligatory Nick Miller reference. If you knew more about BUB, this would actually make so much more sense!

Previous Topics: (that I might no longer agree with 100%)


How are you doing with your writing this year? Do you have things you’re trying to focus on?

All My 2022 Goals! (New ideas, plans and needing YOUR input!)

It has happened, I’ve given in! I’ve made resolutions for the year 2022, which are neither quantifiable nor necessarily something one can track, but I’ve still made them. I’m someone who very much decides things on a whim, so setting goals for an entire year is super off-brand for me. Nonetheless, there’s a couple things I’d at least like to work towards in 2022 and seeing all my friends and fellow bloggers post their amazing resolutions and goals, I figured I should join in as well. Seen as I don’t like to put undue pressure on myself though, I’m going to try and see this more as a list of intentions than things I *have* to accomplish.

READING

I’ve set my reading goal for 2022 to 45 books on Goodreads as well as Storygraph. I know that the latter offers a lot of different challenges to participate in, but I don’t want to make this too hard for myself. The goal I chose is lower than the number of books I read in 2021, but still something I consider challenging with my work and life schedule otherwise. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to spruce it up a little.

Read more diversely! 

This is genuinely always a goal of mine, but with the reading experiments and the restraints that came with that in the second half of 2021, I have to admit that everything was a bit … white. In the books I’ve chosen for myself, I’ve noticed more authors of color, but I still want to up that number (only 12 out of the 50 books I read were written by non-white people).

It’s not just that though! I’d also like to have a wider variety of characters in terms of sexuality, body image, mental health, disability, etc. in my future books. I’ve never shied away from reading LGBT+ content, but last year seemed a bit bland in that department as well.

Read more books in German!

German, for those of you who don’t know, is my primary language. I don’t particularly enjoy reading in that language, but I feel like I may be prejudiced from my time at school? I want to give this a try and chose nothing too overwhelming. I’m aiming to read 1-3 books max. 

BLOGGING

As I’ve mentioned in my “Year in Review” post (which you can check out here), I have a very solid and consistent blogging schedule. I usually have about 3-5 posts up per week, but I can see that changing a little bit in 2022. No worries, the Sunday Trailer posts will keep coming. They’ve been a staple for years now, but there’s likely going to be a shift otherwise.

Which regular features will change?

Well, I won’t be doing Thursday Movie Picks anymore, because while I enjoyed myself this past year, I’m just not that much of a movie person. I feel way more at home with my TV shows, but even in that department, I’ve watched a lot less in 2021 and have no idea where I’m going. I just don’t think I have the appropriate amount of movies in my personal watchlist that would justify continuing with it. There was a point where I just constantly reused films.

Also, I am a little unclear on the whole Marvel Wednesday posts. Granted, they took a break on several occasions anyway, but while I’m aware of the planned Marvel releases for 2022, I don’t know if Disney+ will stick to Wednesdays for their shows (I did prefer Fridays, if I’m being honest) or when exactly they’ll air anyway. And there’s just not enough new movies or content to talk about weekly. So, let me know in the comments if you’d like me to continue with my episode and movie recaps! I’m sure I can fit it in, it’s just a matter of interest, which has waned considerably with each release since WandaVision.

What’s planned? What is new?

Seen as the reader compatibility series/the celeb book club is so well received, I already have two more posts planned. However, I also want to broaden and develop that feature, because I feel it fits the “Life and Other Disasters” brand so well. Initially, I wanted to read the favorite book of each actor from a show or something like that, but logistically, that didn’t pan out. I just don’t have the pull to get the information from the cast directly and the internet only provides so much. I do hope to grow the feature regardless and have some more ideas. If there’s an actor/actress/musician/youtuber/celeb you’d like to compare reading tastes with, let me know and I’ll see if I can add them to my list!

I also need another weekly or at least monthly feature I can participate in, but I haven’t found the right fit for me yet. I might go with something TV and movie related again, but I was actually thinking of maybe looking for a writerly link up! Back in the day, I used to participate in some tags for writers and even created my own. The thing is, potentially, I might have to create something for myself. This is still open as of now, but would any of you writers be interested in a monthly tag to help explore your WIP and characters? If there’s something like that out there, feel free to point me in the right direction ,but otherwise I’m really considering creating one of my own.

WRITING

Writing, as in doing anything for my works in progress, my personal novel-projects, in 2021 was … uhm … how can I put this? Non-existent?
I actually outlined something for NaNoWriMo, but then didn’t follow through and hated every word I ever wrote. I do miss the rush of creating my own characters, dialogue and worlds and I really, really, really want to make a conscious effort to just write in 2022. It doesn’t have to be anything quantifiable as in a certain number of words, it doesn’t have to be writing every day, just something. Anything. A chapter maybe!

There’s one story in particular that’s haunting me and that I’d really like to get on the page, but I have to start from scratch, because I’m not happy with the way the first chapters are now. It’s annoying how hindering it can be when you have written several thousand words and you can’t bring yourself to toss them, even though you know it’s necessary, ultimately putting you in a stalemate with yourself. I did create some nice aesthetics though …

    


Do you have some goals or intentions for 2022? What did you think of mine? I DO NEED YOUR INPUT! Let’s chat!

October 2021 Wrap-Up

Welcome to this little wrap-up, which we’re going to do a little different. I see no point in starting it off with what I’ve been reading, because it was literally just one book and it’s part of the reading experiment, so there won’t be a separate review anyway. I know I said I’d post a new reading experiment in October, but there was just no way I could have finished it on time, so I stopped trying at some point. My hopes are still up for November, but I make no promises at this point. However, to make the wait a little bit more fun, I’m telling you who the reading experiment is with this time around – Pedro Pascal! I think you’re going to enjoy that post! (or at least I hope so)

As bad as a reading month as October was for me, I really got a lot done in terms of moving to my new flat! I have all my furniture, pretty much all my books, clothes, toiletries, kitchen gadgets, drawing and writing gear – so, in less words, I’m all settled in! I’ve been living at the new place pretty much the entire month already, just staying at my parents to grab more boxes etc. on the weekends. I was really fortunate to not have to move *everything* all at once, but the vastly diminished commute to work meant that I just didn’t schedule in as much reading time as I used to. I have to find my groove again.

So, what else is new? I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo again this year! I know many of you are well aware that I only finished NaNo once before and often stopped doing it somewhere midway through it. I don’t think participation is a must and that there really can be circumstances that prevent you from fully being able to commit. Having said that, in case you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, it’s a yearly event where writers try to write an entire 50K word-novel in the span of the month. It’s not about perfection or a brilliant first draft, but rather to have a rough draft ready to work with by the end of it all. I spent quite a lot of time plotting and creating a character arc, which means this is legit the most prepared I’ve ever been. I won’t talk about the plot or any details, but if you are interested, I will do weekly updates? Either way, feel free to add me as a writing buddy on the site, if you want to be able to keep track or send messages! You can find my profile here.

MY FAVORITE THINGS

My favorite thing all month, and the show I was looking forward to the most, remained The Big Leap! Every single week, I cannot wait to watch what happens next. All the relationships and the story move so fast, but I can’t get enough of them and I’d really like to see more still. I hope it will be available somewhere to binge and attract a bigger audience once the season is out in full.

Gabby from the Big Leap
Gabby is my favorite character! She is amazing!

MY OTHER POSTS

Usually, I’d preface this section of the post with a little look at what was going on elsewhere in the blogosphere, but just like reading, I haven’t had much time to go blog-hopping. Feel free to link to your favorite posts (of yourself or someone else) in the comments and I’ll happily take a look. Here’s to hoping I’ll get around to more in Novemeber, although I have to say I’m proud I kept up a blogging schedule of a minimum of three posts per week.

PREVIOUSLY ON WHAT IF …

BOOKISH CONTENT

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

THURSDAY MOVIE PICKS (HALLOWEEN EDITION)

TRAILER POSTS


I hope you had a great time at Halloween and that November will be a fun and busy and kind to you! Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo as well? Let’s talk!

January 2021 Wrap-Up

January was A MONTH for me. I refuse to go into detail, but it literally got worse than 2020, which, frankly, I thought was hard to accomplish. Unfortunately, most of February and possibly March will be tainted with struggle as well. I only have my fingers crossed for the summer, because there is a limit to my patience, but it is what it is for now. I just genuinely hope you all had a better time.

I also dragged myself through only two books, so, I didn’t read that much, but that’s for now not a real worry:

Don't Tell a Soul    My Year Abroad

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above if there are posts for them.

I don’t really know what to tell you about the month, because the highs were high and the lows were low. I am so very grateful to have friends and family who keep checking in with me, because sometimes things just aren’t easy and even if we all know we can’t actually do anything about it, venting helps. I am not going to unload here as well, but know that everyone who comes and visits this blog and gives me something to do and distract myself with has my utmost gratitude. 

After a long, long pause from writing, I have finally returned to that world again too. I want to keep the WIP close to my heart, but I have jotted down more than 7K words and will be rewriting the ones I have before continuing on. It’s like I am creating a very detailed outline for what I want the readers to know, just to take it all apart and write into something that isn’t just a plain info dump.

MY FAVOURITE THINGS

WandaVision. I have waited so long. I have anticipated that show for what feels like eternity, because Wanda Maximoff has always been one of my favourite characters and she’s finally getting the attention she deserves. I adore that even non-Marvel fans are checking out the show and letting themselves get dragged into the madness. Below you will find the list of reviews I have written for the series so far and I will continue to post weekly, spoiler-filled posts as the remaining episodes release.

A little stylized Wanda drawing I made!

Duskwood finally released the new episode!! I have talked about the mobile game before (check it out here) and it’s still one of my favourite things. I feel like this episode wasn’t as intricate as the previous one, but it once again left on a massive cruel cliffhanger. Here’s to hoping it won’t take another two months until we get new content.

MY OTHER POSTS

WANDAVISION REVIEWS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

THURSDAY MOVIE PICKS

VARIOUS TAGS AND POSTS

TRAILER POSTS


Hope you had a better January than I did! On we venture into the rest of 2021! 

The Writer Tag: 20 Questions

I pretended I didn’t have like a billion tags in my drafts and looked one up that was writing related. I found the Writer Tag: 20 Questions on a blog called InkBlots and IceBergs and just thought “this fits the NaNo month!”, so, here we are! Let’s do this!

What type of writing do you do? 

I write exclusively fiction. I’m not sure that’s what was really asked for, but to expand a little on it, I write long formatted fiction and every once in a while a short story. However, as much as I enjoy essays and poetry, I could never …

What genres and/or topics do you write about?

A lot of my stories focus on the found family trope and by that I really mean A LOT. I dabble in YA as well as in adult and like to switch it up with Fantasy, SciFi and regular contemporary stories. It’s really a “whatever strikes the mood” kind of thing for me.

How long have you been writing?

As corny as it may sound, but I am pretty sure I’ve been writing since I learned how to write. Even in grade school, I was the one who had to get up in front of the class and read out loud the story I had fabricated and I just never stopped creating ever since.

Are you published?

I am not and I am super undecided whether I want to be.

What was the first story you ever wrote?

That feels impossible to answer! I can, however, talk about the first really long story I attempted to write and even shared with some friends. It was called Elementals and about a group of teens who could each control one element (aka water, fire, air and earth). Their enemies were the Society of the Iron Mask, as they believed that metal was not affected by the element wielders. Little did they know that the main character, who could control the element of earth, also discovered that she could manipulate metals. She also had about three love interests. I was super proud for writing this before Avatar, the Last Airbender aired and everyone wanted element stories.

Why do you write?

To me, writing is like a necessity. When a story or scene or character pops into my head, they won’t let me go until I write them down somewhere. It doesn’t always have to amount to anything, but it would never leave my system unless I jotted it down somewhere.

How do you find time to write?

Honestly, this is something I struggle with a lot. I wish I could write all the time and make it a priority, but a lot of the time I am just tired. And when I am tired, I do not want to write. I also don’t think that I can write anything I’d actually like in those cases.

When and where are the best times to write?

There is no such thing as a bad time to write (unless you are at work and not doing your job or behind a wheel or something else where it’s just not logical to write in that particular moment). Whether it be night or day, if you have an idea and you want to work on it – go for it!

Favorite food/drinks while writing?

No such thing for me. I generally either drink water or tea and nothing else. And I am not really that much of a snacker. Maybe some wallnuts?

Your writing playlist?

I actually do have one. Click here to listen to it!

What do family/friends/loved ones think of you writing?

I think they approve? I’ve been told that I am not a bad writer (not gonna actually praise myself here), but I am also pretty sure they’d like for me to actually finish something for once.

Here, for example, is something I am currently working on. Judge my writing ability for yourself:

Parts of writing you enjoy the most?

There are few things that I adore more than when a scene just spills out on the age effortlessly. That moment, when choices I made before and was unsure about suddenly make sense and everything fits together like the perfect puzzle pieces they are. Sometimes I really do lay bread crumbs throughout my own story that I will not have realized I put there until I get to a certain moment and it’s pure bliss.

Parts of writing you find challenging?

I often really wish I could connect my brain to my laptop and that the words would just spill out the way I intend them to instead of me actually having to formulate sentences. It’s not always hard, but sometimes some scenes just don’t want to work the way you want them to. And it annoys me to no end.

What do you write with and on?

Technically pretty much anything and everything, but most often my laptop for sure.

How do you overcome writer’s block?

If only I knew … hit me up if you got tips!

How do you motivate yourself to write?

I think my stories motivate me and I have a habit of sharing my stories with people I trust, even the ongoing rough drafts. Hearing their thoughts and reactions to what I write really gives me a boost!

Authors who inspire you as a writer?

This doesn’t really mean that I think I write like them in any way, but here are some people I’d read a grocery list from:

  • Leigh Bardugo
  • Victoria Schwab
  • Tahereh Mafi
  • Pierce Brown
  • Ben Philippe
  • Morgan Matson
  • Nina LaCour

Books that inspire you as a writer?

There’s so many books I appreciate and try to learn from, but here are some that always stay with me:

Wolf By Wolf (Wolf By Wolf, #1) Red Rising (Red Rising Saga, #1) This Savage Song  (Monsters of Verity, #1) The Martian The Serpent King Since You've Been Gone We Were Liars My Life Next Door The Book Thief The Light Between Worlds Words in Deep Blue

Best advice you’ve gotten as a writer?

I never quite liked the whole “write every day” and “write about what you know” mindset, because I cannot for the life of me write every day and there is way more that I do not know than what I do know. My experiences are still so limited and while I am sure there is value in that, I also need to step out of my little world every once in a while. I write about many things I do not actually know about. Frankly, I write about things I want to know more about sometimes or things I wish for. More often than not, I write about things I have dreamed about.

And that brings me to the advice I got, which is to write down my dreams. To not wait until I have had my morning tea and am fully awake, but to always have a pen and notebook ready at my bedside table and just jot down those ideas my brain fabricated in the night. Alternately, if it’s too dark to write yet and I am super groggy, I will make a quick note on my phone.

Writing goals this year

Finishing just about anything would be great!

A girl can dream …

Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo this month? Are you currently working on a story? Feel free to steal this tag if you want to!

Spooky Scary Writing Tag

I meant to do something else today, but this seemed oddly more fitting for today. You know that I enjoy doing Write Tags every now and then and with NaNoWriMo RIGHT THERE and it being Halloween and all, it just works? The Spooky Scary Write Tag was created by Emma @Emma T. Fink but I saw it over at Caro’s blog. Therefore, this is once again not a creation of my own, but I am so, so looking forward to doing this anyway!

A lot of the questions are general ones about writing, however, a couple are about a specific WIP. In those cases, I will be answering for the Football WIP! I haven’t talked about it a whole lot, but most recently mentioned it in the All Hallows Write Tag.  I haven’t changed the blurb since, but I have worked on it mentally … you’ll still have to contend with this one though:

After a devastating loss, teenager Ivy moves to her estranged family in a small town in Texas. All she wants is to get through school as fast as possible and start over away from everything and everyone she knows, but this town has other plans. She never intended to get mixed up in the lives of the local Football team, who are worshiped like heroes in the community, but soon their drama becomes hers. If she can face her grief and guilt, she might just be able to find a new family in them.

Haven’t shared this aesthetic with anyone yet, so … it’s a premiere!! One that will likely only make sense to those that know more about the story and the main character.

1.Ghost // Have you ever originally put a character/scene/theme in the book and then later taken it out?

Character – no
Scene – yes
Theme – yes

I usually tend to stick with characters, although I will not hesitate to alter their personality/appearance/general role in the story. But when it comes to scenes and themes, I am often less attached.

2. Bat // Most misunderstood character in your WIP?

I feel like that has to be Taylor. He has this carefree attitude and seems like nothing in the world fazes him, but it does. His bad boy/charmer image is just a way to hide what’s happening on the inside for him. In his heart, he’s a good guy. He’s just really hesitant to attach to anyone.

3. Jack-O-Lantern // What’s your most common source of inspiration to write?

I can find inspiration in almost anything and everything! Sometimes it’s a song, sometimes it’s a theme in a TV show that I would like to explore on my own. Very often it’s just daydreams that get stuck in my head and need further development or I will never ever get rid of them again.

4. Zombie // Preferred form of writerly fuel? Coffee, tea, etc.

Tea. Always.

5. Vampire // Cheesiest trope that made it into your novel?

Okay, this is actually from the only novel I finished, as I don’t want to talk about WIPs in that much detail, but … Break Up Buddy literally ended with a proposal on live television. It was Hallmark-level-cheese perfection!

6. Spider // What’s a character in your WIP that’s fine from afar, but you would NOT want to interact with if they ever got close?

I … don’t know? Especially in the Football WIP, I don’t have any “villains” per se. There’s definitely conflict, but the characters are all just humans with flaws and mistakes. I don’t think I would really mind being close-ish to any of them. I might imagine Laurie stressing me out … let’s go with that if I have to answer.

7. Frankenstein’s Monster // Ever combined two characters into one/split one character into two?

Dang, my answers are so boring, but … no. I don’t think that option ever even crossed my mind.

8.Skeleton // Best tips for adding in character baggage without info-dumping?

Ha! I didn’t know I was supposed to offer actual helpful insight. Uhm, I would be lying if I said I didn’t struggle with that every now and then. I like to hint at past trauma/baggage in dialogue and actions until a certain reveal becomes inevitable. That way you prepare the reader that something is coming, even if they don’t yet have the full picture and/or understand it all. I’m not saying that always works and very much depends on the baggage you intend to include, but I definitely prefer behavioral clues rather than just lengthy explanations myself.

9. Cat // What’s a polarizing writing/bookish opinion that you have?

I don’t believe that you HAVE to or SHOULD write every day. There’s definitely people who it’s helpful for to write on a regular basis, but if you are not feeling it one bit and hate what you create because you forced yourself to write, what’s the point? I’d rather take a break and clear my head, maybe find new inspiration and then get back to it with all the more motivation. Obviously, that’s tied with a bit of self discipline and making sure a short break doesn’t turn into weeks and months of inactivity. But to each their own!

10. Demon // Most frequent writing distraction?

TV shows! I think I can handle not checking social media all the time, but when I get enamored with a TV show, I forget all other standing responsibilities and live in that world in my head. Especially my own stories take a back seat then, even if they shouldn’t.


What did you think of this tag? Could you relate to my answers? Let’s chat!

All Hallows Write Tag – AGAIN!

Soooo, I am bringing this back! As a lot of you know, I have created a number of write tags myself. They are incredibly helpful in delving into the mindset of your characters as you answer questions on behalf of them. I’ve tried to create them for various occasions and seasons, but the All Hallows Write Tag is not a creation of my own. It took me a while to find the original creator (forgive me for not tagging them the first time I did this!), but you can see Sam Kassé‘s post here.

RULES

  • Provide a short description of your story!
    I was debating about which project to talk about today, because as you know there are many! However, the one I am most focused on right now and am trying to prep for NaNoWriMo some more is the Football WIP (yes, it still doesn’t have a title). And since it doesn’t have a title, it also doesn’t have a polished blurb. Sorry about what comes next:
    After a devastating loss, teenager Ivy moves to her estranged family in a small town in Texas. All she wants is to get through school as fast as possible and start over away from everything and everyone she knows, but this town has other plans. She never intended to get mixed up in the lives of the local Football team, who are worshiped like heroes in the community, but soon their drama becomes hers. If she can face her grief and guilt, she might just be able to find a new family in them.
  • Don’t use the same character for more than 3 answers!

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

It’s Halloween night! What is your protagonist dressed up as?

I think the whole Football team would get an easy group costume. They’d want something easy that wouldn’t require massive effort (at least for the majority of them), so, I say they’d go as Football player zombies.

As for Ivy, the real protagonist and narrator, I don’t think she would go all out now that she has moved to Eden. Back in Portland, with her friends, she put in more effort, but not now. She’d likely get a cheap wig, put some fake blood on a dress she has no use for anymore and go as victim #27, just so Landon (her 10-year-old cousin) wouldn’t be too bummed when she took him trick or treating.

Who in your cast refuses to dress up and shows up at the Halloween party without a costume?

I honestly can’t see anyone downright refusing to dress up. Maybe the adults would only put on a hat or something, but out of the characters that I actively mention on the regular, they’d all do something.

Which character wears the most outrageous costume, and what would it be?

My mind immediately went to Isaac! He is a quirky dude and I could totally see him going as a demigorgan or some other ridiculously intricate monster. He’d be way overdressed, sweating and still dancing his ass off anyway at a Halloween party.

On Halloween, werewolves, vampires, and zombies are on the prowl. Which of your characters gets caught in their clutches, and which creature do they subsequently turn into?  

The whole theme of my novel is that Ivy gets caught up in something she had no intention of getting caught up in, so … her? And just because I said earlier that the Football team would go collectively as zombies, I’m gonna bring this full circle and say they turn into real zombies and then turn her!

Who wins the contest for best costume?

Even though I feel like Isaac would deserve it due to putting so much effort in, it’s probably more of a popularity contest in the end and someone like Gina (who is the sweetest and head cheerleader) would get it. She was dressed as Liz Ortecho in her Crashdown uniform, because she thinks they look alike and aliens are fun but not scary.

Who hands out toothbrushes to the trick and treaters?

Laurie – 100%!! But Hal would be right there with her and sneak the kids something else before they left, but not candy, cause he did not think ahead of getting any. He knows she means well, but he can’t just let his wife sour the mood.

Which two of your characters decide to pair up and do an angel/devil costume together?

Liv and Dusty? Carter and Taylor? I don’t knoooow. The more fun version would definitely be Taylor and Carter. They are best buds, and Carter is the town’s golden boy, whereas Taylor is the screw up in comparison. They could switch roles for a night or embrace their perceived images. Whatever floats their boat.

Someone is too scared to even attend the Halloween party. Who is it?

Dustin might be an option here, but not because he is scared of Halloween, and instead because he is having a tough time with the social judgment going on in town. He just doesn’t want to expose himself to all the stares and whispers, my poor baby boy.

Who overdoses on Halloween candy and ends up sick?

Lando – cause he is a kid and has no restraint!

Which character is most likely to place a curse/hex on someone and who would they curse?

Right now, I just imagine Liv inviting all the girls over and they’d get into some sort of Light as a Feather kind of trouble and … it wouldn’t be intentional, but Liv would definitely be the one who messed up something that would set off the trouble.


I TAG THEE

I don’t know who of my lovely writing buddies is currently up for the challenge, so this tag is up for grabs! Don’t hesitate to link back to my post, so I can see your answers too!


If you are interested in more write tags, here’s a list of the ones I created:

What did you think of my answers? Would you like more updates on my writing, especially with NaNoWriMo around the corner? Let’s talk!