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!

#CurrentlyWatching: Friday Night Lights

I haven’t done an actual #CurrentlyWatching post over a year (I am not joking, the last one was back in 2018), so this should prove to you how important this show is to me. While I very much enjoy the short-opinion paragraphs I offer you in my “What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching” feature, I simply could not resist writing a proper full length post about Friday Night Lights. Yes, it was THAT good!

Friday Night Lights is a Football-centric sports drama series set in Texas that ran from 2006 until 2011 on NBC. Even before the show, there was a movie with the same title in 2004, however, the show is not a continuation, but the story told anew (names are different, etc.). I very much realise that I am super late to the party, but I don’t think the show ever aired in my own country and honestly, Football wasn’t much of a priority of mine until recently.

Friday Night Lights follows Football team at a Texan High School, with a special focus on the coach, Eric Taylor, his wife, daughter and a select number of players. The show highlights the struggles each and every member of this tight-knit community has to face.

I am not sure I have the vocabulary to describe how this show made me feel. A lot of people think that Friday Night Lights is a piece of flawless work of television, I do not agree with that statement. Do I think it is utterly brilliant? Compelling and emotional and addicting? Absolutely! But … it is not perfect and that is okay. Some characters fell victim to bad timing and writer’s strikes, some storylines never got resolved properly, but regardless, Friday Night Lights manages to reel you in, create an emotional connection and make this an unforgettable experience. I am not surprised that it has become a TV classic at all.

At first, I was unsure about the style. There’s mostly use of hand-held camera and extreme close ups that give the entire show a certain documentary-esque look. But after having gotten used to it, I found that these specific cinematographic choices added to the feeling of really being with the characters and in the moment yourself. After some time, you could almost think you are living in Dillon, Texas, yourself.

One of the massive strengths of Friday Night Lights is managing to create a universal appeal, despite a very specific setting and situation. I really am not a Football buff, but I was so invested in the outcome of these games. I literally jumped up and cheered or flailed in agony at a loss (to the dismay of the people around me) whenever the team played.

This show is about so much more than Football though. It’s also so much more than the artistic choices taken. It’s first and foremost about people. People you root and care for. Great storytelling that involves aspects of life that feel authentic and relevant. Not everyone is nice all the time, not everyone is perfect and not every conflict gets a satisfying resolution, but that is life. And life is messy and beautiful.

So, there are some seasons that are better than others, but if you look at the show as a whole, it’s really a piece of television art. I didn’t need them to pair everyone up all neat and nicely, but I did appreciate that we got a look at what was in store. At how the lives of everyone changed and how they were impacted by the relationships they formed in that small town in Texas.

Now, there are very many characters to love. Picking just one honestly feels a little bit like a crime. Obviously, Coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler) is an iconic character and so is his wife, as portrayed by Connie Britton. Both carried a heavy portion of this show on their backs and respect that to no end. They were the adult voices of reason and are 100% the kind of educators and support system I wish every child would receive in their academic career. Then there are so many fantastic characters on and off the field that brought me laughter and tears alike. I don’t want to go into too much detail in case anyone still wants to check it out or hasn’t seen it, but it all comes down to one thing: Looking at the five glorious seasons that I have just watched, the standout character for me remains Tim Riggins (portrayed by Taylor Kitsch).

While the team constantly changed and not even all adults stuck around, you get to follow Tim Riggins’ journey through all seasons. You meet him as a bit of a mess and watch him grow and change, while one thing remains – he cares so much about everyone around him! He was never after glory or recognition and I will never forget the one ultimate sacrifice he pulled, because IT. BROKE. MY. HEART. And yes, I went so far as to draw that very moment, because I am that extra.

Just thinking back to this moment, I get anxious for Tim.

Everyone sort of used Tim as their personal punching bags. He was called “useless”, “disgusting”, “unwanted”, “lazy”, “mediocre” and many more ugly words, while all I saw was a very lost boy. Kitsch was probably in his 20s when this was filmed, but all I could see was the fragility of abandoned youth. Someone who put everyone’s needs above his own. He wasn’t a perfect gentleman or anything like that, he made plenty of mistake and probably drank way too much, but he also had a certain nobility about him and he loved those around him unconditionally. Every time he was on screen, my heart broke just a little bit and while many wanted more out of the finale (which I kind of get but also not), I thought Tim was exactly where he was supposed to be, doing exactly what he wanted to do.

I can honestly say that I feel like this show has spoiled me for almost all other TV. I am nursing a huge hangover now, after I decided to watch the final episode on this very Friday. There’s just something poetic about ending it all on this day.

So, there is only one thing to say to finish this post:

Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t lose.


Have you watched FNL? Do you want to? What is a show that has completely grabbed you lately?

Claire by Abigail Strom (Book Review)

claireClaire


Page Count
: 256

I was provided with an ecopy of the book by the author in exchange for an honest review!

Claire is the second installment in the Hart University series by Abgail Strom. If you want to check out my thoughts on Rikki, just click here. It turned out that I had forgotten quite a bit since last year, but I was still excited when Abigail Strom contacted me and asked whether I wanted to read the sequel. The only thing I knew for sure was that I enjoyed Rikki quite a bit (except for that one thing Sam did) and definitely wanted to read on.

In the second book, we are still within the same group of friends, but Claire and Will take center stage! They both have been pining for each other for a while now, but even though they are finally single, the timing doesn’t seem right. So, it was obviously a little frustrating that they always drew the wrong conclusions about their feelings for each other, but at the same time they had a hilarious, adorable and very enjoyable friendship. Don’t get me wrong, their was still typical NA steaminess, yet there was also focus on other topics. I really liked the side-themes of exploring who you are by yourself and how to cope when life throws you an unexpected curveball, because they gave the story a lot more depth. It was just as much about friendship as it was about love in the end.

The whole book is written in double POV and I was so glad about that, because we got to see WHY each one of the two did or said what they thought was right. Usually I get really frustrated or annoyed with one party because I cannot comprehend their actions, but this way I got insight into both their thought processes.

Finally, I think that Claire was a really fun and quick read that makes me want to continue on with the series. I feel like Claire and Will’s story didn’t leave as much room for other side-characters the way Rikki‘s did, but I am looking forward to exploring them more in the sequels!

Fazit: 4/5 stars! Such a fun read about friends turned lovers!

4stars

Did you read Rikki? Do you want to read Claire?

Until Friday Night Book Review

Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines came in the mail today and I finished it within a couple of hours. Another book to cross off my September TBR! It wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be, but I am getting ahead of myself.

fridayTo everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god. But on the inside he’s grief-stricken – his father is dying and he hasn’t told anyone because he can’t face the truth. Now, as his pain grows unbearable, West finally decides he needs to talk to someone about his dad. So in the dark shadows of a party, he tells the one girl who doesn’t speak everything he can’t tell anyone else. West expected to feel relief, a flood of emotions – but what he didn’t expect was for Maggie Carleton to reply. For her to reveal a pain even deeper than his own. And, for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn’t ever let her go.
(source: Goodreads)

Disclaimer: There are a few minor Spoilers, but nothing that would really ruin the story in my opinion. (Also the book includes a bit of swearing, didn’t mind it but thought you should know.)

Sooo, where to start? I have never read any of Glines books before, therefore I have no idea if it’s similar to her other work. However, I am a bit torn about this book. I expected something along the lines of Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry but it didn’t really compare emotionally.

West Ashby (whom I only ever call Wes in my head for some weird reason) is an extremely handsome jock with personal problems, which he doesn’t feel like he can talk about with anyone he knows. Enter Maggie. She is a gorgeous, innocent creature and every guy is instantly smitten with her (seriously EVERYONE is hitting on her and someone even said that she’s hot and mute, therefore the perfect woman) but she has even bigger problems than West.

There were a couple of issues I had with the book and a couple of things I liked. Here are my thoughts:

  • Everyone is extremely handsome and gorgeous, especially our main protagonists. The entire football team consists of good-looking guys that flirt shamelessly but are good at heart. The rest of the girls at school (and apparently the “average” girl doesn’t exist because they are never mentioned) are all spiteful bitches. Really?
  • West and Maggie have a bad case of insta-love going on. I kind of understand their bond on some level, but let’s face it they are all pretty superficial and it started because he thought she was smoking hot.
  • I get frustrated when people are obviously meant to be with each other but their thoughts only consist of the following sentences: “He/She will only ever see me as a friend” or “He never looks at me that way.” Why do they need so long until they realise that they belong together? Everyone else already knows …
  • There was some emotional trauma and I think it was handled well in the case of West, but not so much with Maggie. She barely dealt with her stuff and her conclusion felt really rushed in the end. Despite what I just said, there were some really emotional scenes, but I just feel like Glines could have dug deeper.
  • West is handsome and basically a good guy but if I were Maggie I would have felt a little suffocated.
  • I actually would have liked to see more of Nash because he seemed like an interesting character. Maybe that will happen somewhere further along the series. Also, I wanted to know what was going on with Gunner and that girl they ran out of town.
  • I really enjoyed the Brady and Maggie dynamic and him stepping up as a sort of big brother for her.
  • There were some seriously funny scenes in there and you just know that you read a contemporary novel when there’s a sentence like “I’ll be Instagraming that shit.” in the book.

Fazit: 3/5 stars. A fun and fast read that could’ve gone deeper. I am not sure I will continue reading this series (The Field Party Series) if or when future books come out.

It’s a fairly new release (I think it came out late August), but have you read this book as well? What are your thoughts?