Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Here we go again...

NaNoWriMo did not go very well for me last year.

To say the least.

Last year I had an idea for a story - it was amazing. That was enough for me, I was going to do NaNoWriMo and write that book! 

I quit ONE WEEK into the month.

After consideration, here's three ways I went wrong:

1) The number one most horrific thing I did was read over my work at the end of the day. I'd fix it up, make it pretty, and then read over it again the next day before writing more. I came to hate my story. It was boring. I was a horrible writer. What was I thinking? Apparently I couldn't write a novel at all. There were many tears.

PLEASE DO NOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE. I hope you have more sense then I did, but just in case: DON'T EDIT AS YOU GO.

2) Writing was not my first priority. Call it procrastination, if you will, but after my schoolwork was done for the day and as the keyboard sat waiting for my tapping fingertips, I would do other stuff. Clean my room. Mop the kitchen floor. Anything to avoid writing, though not completely intentionally. I wanted to write; just "not right now".

3) I spent more time developing characters than the actual story. Sure, I had an original idea. Sure, I knew how the story would end. Sure, developing characters is very important.

But I spent hours, day after day, looking up pictures to represent my characters, cutting up magazines, reading inspirational quotes, and completely procrastinating from thinking about the plot.

Do I still look at pictures on Pinterest for inspiration? Um, of course.

Do I still cut a clothing and eyes out of magazines to paste on my characterization board? YES.

Do I still grin and get all jittery when I read a beautiful quote that makes me want to hide away from life and pour my soul out onto paper (or screen, whatever)? So much yes.

Do I still ignore my plot and the actual grittiness of writing a novel? To be completely truthful: Sometimes. However, this year, for NaNo, I'm taking a class with actual classmates and an actual teacher.

*shocked silence*

My teacher sends the class home with prompts and goals and grades them. So basically I'm getting school credit BY DOING NaNoWriMo, which is pretty awesome. Anyway, having this class and a devoted teacher has really helped me so far. I'm confident in my plot, adore my characters, and am itching for November 1st to arrive.


Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? If you have a YWP account, add me as a buddy! I mean, if you want to, which you might not. Don't... Unless you really want to. So, just in case you do, which you might not, my username is lilyember.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Cress by Marissa Meyer + skype fun!

For my Cinder review go here.

To read my Scarlet review go here.


My anticipation for this book was so insanely high that when it finally was in my hands I just held it and cried. So beautiful, so shiny...

The Lunar Chronicles is by far one of my favorite series (up there with Divergent, Hunger Games, Maze Runner, and the Books of Bayern). The last installment, Winter, won't be released until November of NEXT YEAR. My eyes tear up just thinking about it.


From Goodreads:

"In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has."


Oh. My. Gosh. I can't. Even. Describe. ALL THE FEELS.

We have Kai and Cinder feels. We have Wolf and Scarlet feels. We have Thorne and Cress feels. We have Iko feels. WE HAVE ALL THE FEELS.

Kai - Our young, dashing Emperor has his hands full with wedding plans and his head full of thoughts of Cinder :')

Cinder - She's learning how to control her glamor better, with some help from Wolf, and the crew is creating a plan to over-throw Levana and place Cinder on the throne. Cinder is still being conflicted with coming to terms with being the lost Lunar princess. If they succeed, her life will drastically change.

Wolf & Scarlet - I'm combining the two because we don't see much of them in this book. Plus, I can't say when we do see them because...spoilers.

Iko - Iko! Iko! Iko! Probably my favorite character. She's fun and lovable, and who doesn't love fun and lovable? Her role in this book is the steady, constant friend. The light moments in the dark. The humor; the laugh; the smile. Iko is perfect.

Thorne - *giggles* Oh, gosh. This witty good-looking-stud-of-a-man is just..yeah. We get a look into his past from Cress' perspective, which is a little distorted by her crush on him, so that's great. Since he's Cress' love interest he's in the majority of the book. Ladies, we get a lot of Thorne time.

Cress - Although a tad naive, Cress is a super fun character to read. She's not dumb, but all of her knowledge comes from the internet, and we all know how untrustworthy that can be. Her character definitely grows, but anyone leaving their home for the first time kind of has to.

Levana - I can't wait to read Fairest, which is Meyer's prequel story about Levana. She is a very interesting perspective to read from and I really want more of her side of the story. In Cress we get a few looks into Levana's head, and I have a feeling we'll get even more in Winter.


Have you read this book yet? Have you read ANY of them? Let me tell you a thing:


5 gazillion stars





That's right. Be jealous ;)

I love my library. The people there are great and they set up Skype talks with authors and it's basically book heaven. I asked Marissa Meyer a ton of questions about writing, but there were a couple non-writing-related answers of hers I want to share...(This is not word-for-word, just from my memory and notes.)

1) I know you relate most to Cress, but if you could be like any other character, who would it be?

She laughed and said, "None! I do such horrible things to them!"

 "Personality wise, then," I laughed.

"Then...Iko. She's so fun and perky and I just love her."

2) Any chance we'll be seeing the Lunar Chronicles as movies?

"Yes! Someone has the rights right now and I could get a call any day!"

"REALLY?!? How do you feel about that?"

"Of course I'm excited! It would be amazing."



If anyone is interested in her writing tips, she posts on her blog sometimes! She just did a series called "From Idea to Finished" which is very informative and helpful. www.marissameyer.com


This was a dream come true.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Glorious Mess That Is My Life

I don't post many personal things on this blog.

I tell myself: "Nobody on the internet wants to read about some silly teenager's life. Books. Books are what they want to hear about."

This morning I slept in. Yes, I'm homeschooled - so why should it matter? I can do school and chores and friend stuff whenever, because my schedule is SO flexible.


At least, not since school started back up. Co-op classes with homework that's actually DUE on a certain day. A church campout this weekend, which requires packing and squeezing into our snug SUBURBAN. Family coming to visit, so CLEANING and SHOPPING and SCHOOL. 

I might have a break to breath in a few weeks, but THEN.


A never ending spiral dragging me further and further into the depths of I JUST CAN'T DO IT ANYMORE.

Monday morning brought tears. Buckets and buckets of tears and pounding headaches and eyes squeezed shut. I was so sure the next two weeks would be stressful and emotionally draining. I wanted it to simply STOP. 

(What brought on this sudden spillage of my soul to the internet? Partly, I knew that writing it all down would help me in my own little way, but it also happens that a friend of mine has had a straining couple of days as well. Her blog post inspired me to do my own, and I hope that somehow mine will likewise inspire and uplift someone. I'll leave a link to her post at the end...)

My mom. Me darling mum. Nodding and admitting to have been struggling with everything I was struggling with, simply said, "One day at a time. That's all we can do."

No. No, I couldn't do that. Life was in chaos and I wanted A PLAN. I wanted the next two weeks to line themselves up in front of me so I could examine each one and determine everything necessary for making them wonderful and smooth. 

I called a friend and ranted. After we hung up with "Love you"s and "Everything will be fine" I realized how ridiculous I was reacting to it all.

Life is a mess. There is nothing I can do about the school and the cleaning and the planning, except take it in bunches. Week by week; Day by day. 

But, even that is useless if I'm trying to do it on my own. It's not until I said "Okay, Lord. These next few weeks are in your hands...just like my life that I have promised to you" that the stress began to slowly roll off my shoulders, droplet by droplet.

I still have a load of unfinished homework due tomorrow. And days of schoolwork to catch up on. And a campout to help my mom pack for. And family visiting. And a book to write. And authors to see. And food to eat. And friends to hang out with. And a family to love.

All those aspects have their ups and downs. Some more than others, but this is my life. It isn't some temporary existence to slug my way through. 

It's my life, given to me from God for a purpose. A beautiful, nerve-racking purpose...


found on pinterest

(Rachel's post: http://www.rachelcoker.com/the-strain/)
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