Apr 05

Writing Up Wednesday #10: The Craft of Writing

Books/Writing 0

writing up wednesday

Welcome to another week of Writing Up Wednesday! I’ve been so excited to see more people participating in this, I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I do. 🙂 One BIG NEW THING I’m announcing this week is the creation of the Writing Up Wednesday page, where you can currently find the next 2 months of topics posted. I know a lot of people write their posts in advance, so I wanted to provide that opportunity to you all. 🙂 I’ve also added a list of previous weeks topics that I will try (key word) to keep updated. So on to this week! I can’t wait to hear what you all have to say about this one.

Besides the writing I do for my blog, I’ve also started writing fiction again this year. NaNoWriMo 2016 really kicked me into gear and got me excited about writing again. It’s an excitement that I hope will last, and there’s no better way than to keep motivation up than to share it! I know a lot of my blogger friends also have writing goals outside of their blogs. Week to week I want to discuss various different topics related to writing, and I’ll put a link-up at the bottom of each topic post. This week we have:

Writing Up Wednesday #10: The Craft of Writing

How do you learn? Some people insist writers are born, not made. Others say it takes years of learning from authors and teachers to perfect the art. What do you think? What have you done to learn your craft (or not)?

Be sure to add your link-up below! I’m still in a mental funk from the ankle break and moving issues, so I’m just posting the topic for now…I could write a very long post on this topic but just don’t have the energy at the moment. I’m participating in CampNaNoWriMo too, so that’s taking a lot of my time right now!

 

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Apr 04

Down the TBR Hole #19

Books/Writing 2

down the tbr hole

Time to wield the axe again – I’m mercilessly culling my TBR list on GoodReads with the amazing Down the TBR Hole meme by Lia at Lost in a Story (who has, somehow, already made it completely through his own TBR)!

Most of you probably know this feeling. Your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when you’re scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well, that’s going to change!

It works like this:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

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When I started this series of posts, I had 604 books on my TBR list. As of today, I have…625. Which is the same as last week, but considering how many books I’ve been reading through lately…it’s appalling. Which is why I’ve decided to start doing through 10 books at a time for this prompt! Covers link to GoodReads.

Title/Author: Wicked (The Wicked Years #1), by Gregory Maguire

Date Added: May 9, 2015

Thoughts: This is one of those wildly popular books I’ve never got around to reading.

Judgment: Keep.

Title/Author: The Outlaws of Sherwood, by Robin McKinley

Date Added: May 9, 2015

Thoughts: Uhhhh…WTF was I thinking here?

Judgment: Go!

Title/Author: Whose Body? (Lord Peter Wimsey #1), by Dorothy Sayers

Date Added: May 10, 2015

Thoughts: Ah yes, one of the greats of crime writers…whose work I still haven’t read. Some prefer Sayers to Christie (the sacrilege!), so I definitely have to try this.

Judgment: Keep!

Title/Author: The Last Bookaneer, by Matthew Pearl

Date Added: May 10, 2015

Thoughts: Oh, have I STILL not read this? I loved Pearl’s other books, especially The Dante Club.

Judgment: Keep!

Title/Author: Mistress Firebrand, by Donna Thorland

Date Added: May 10, 2015

Thoughts: . . . . wha??

Judgment: Go.

Title/Author: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (#1), by Douglas Adams

Date Added: Ummm…May 10, 2015?

Thoughts: I’m confused. I distinctly remember listening to this on audiobook eons ago. So…that’s an instant plus 1 to my read shelf!

Judgment: Go (but stay)! Haha.

Title/Author: A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books

Date Added: May 10, 2015

Thoughts: Ohhhhhh yes.

Judgment: Keep!

Title/Author: Untamed (Medieval, #1), by Elizabeth Lowell

Date Added: May 10, 2015

Thoughts: Sort of interesting, but it’s mainly a romance.

Judgment: Go.

Title/Author: Beyond the Highland Mist (Highlander #1), by Karen Marie Moning

Date Added: May 10, 2015

Thoughts: This one is for those moments when a book needs to be all fluff and fanning yourself, the author came recommended from…I can’t recall who now.

Judgment: Keep.

Title/Author: Of Beast and Beauty, by Stacey Jay

Date Added: May 11, 2015

Thoughts: Beauty and the Beast retelling? Yes please. And this one sounds like a fast read.

Judgment: Keep.

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4/10 off the list this week! Phew. I’ve just realized that I’m now into books that I’ve added in the last 2 years (i.e., since I’ve moved to Korea). May 2015 was a kind of adjustment time for me, and I was adding WHATEVER books I could because I was appalled at the library situation (but then I discovered Amazon Prime, so, you know).

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Apr 02

Attack of the Zombies

Life 1

Zombie. Don’t lie, it looks VERY zombie.

Because that sounds cooler than what actually happened, and the end result WAS a very zombie-looking foot. 😛

Just in case anyone was wondering where or why I’ve sort of disappeared this week…I was so lucky (i.e., klutzy) last week as to break my ankle. While walking down a hallway and around a corner. No cool story, just…yeah. But, I’ve discovered that breaking bones is extremely painful and reduces my ability to concentrate to about nil.

Also that just wishing it would feel better and getting up and hobbling around usually does not work.

Fantastic thing to happen 3 weeks out from a halfway-round-the-world move. *eyeroll*

 

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Mar 29

Writing Up Wednesday #9: Wordcount Woes

Books/Writing 2

writing up wednesday

Welcome to another week of Writing Up Wednesday! I’ve been so excited to see more people participating in this, I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I do. 🙂 One BIG NEW THING I’m announcing this week is the creation of the Writing Up Wednesday page, where you can currently find the next 2 months of topics posted. I know a lot of people write their posts in advance, so I wanted to provide that opportunity to you all. 🙂 I’ve also added a list of previous weeks topics that I will try (key word) to keep updated. So on to this week! I can’t wait to hear what you all have to say about this one.

Besides the writing I do for my blog, I’ve also started writing fiction again this year. NaNoWriMo 2016 really kicked me into gear and got me excited about writing again. It’s an excitement that I hope will last, and there’s no better way than to keep motivation up than to share it! I know a lot of my blogger friends also have writing goals outside of their blogs. Week to week I want to discuss various different topics related to writing, and I’ll put a link-up at the bottom of each topic post. This week we have:

Writing Up Wednesday 9: Wordcount Woes

Writers seem to either obsess over word count or ignore it altogether. Which are you? Why do you find it important or not?

Ah, the dreaded word count. For my fellow NaNo-ers, you know why word count is a big deal, at least for November (and the upcoming April, my first time participating in Camp NaNoWriMo!). However, the 50K NaNo goal aside, word count usually doesn’t come into consideration UNLESS you are planning to write for publication. Editors and publishers are stingy when it comes to space on the printed page!

I do want to have my work published one day. Wow, I said it out loud. But yes, I do…so when I set up the goals for my novel for this year, I kept in mind the generally accepted word count limits for different genres. My goal is a 100,000 word manuscript 1st draft, at minimum. Knowing my verbose self, it will probably be well over that when finished. Hah. When I made that goal in January, I calculated that I would only have to write 345 words per day to reach that goal! Wow! So achievable, right?

I’m sure you can imagine how well that went. I did okay for January, but February I totally fell off the bandwagon and haven’t been able to get back with it. I’m afraid to see where I sit with my current word count compared to where I should be. For about 3 weeks I didn’t write at all, but I’ve been plugging away almost every day now and my total is currently sitting at 16,000.

16,000/100,000. Easy math, that’s 16%. And we’re about a quarter through the year. THAT’S NOT GOOD FOR MY GOAL, FOLKS!

But you know what, it’s ok. It’s okay. Deep breaths. I can still do this. With some extra free time, focus, and motivation, I can do this. I may not be a published author yet, but I will be one day and I. Can. Do. This.

Now I just need to work up the courage to pull out my spreadsheets and see just how far behind I am…

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Mar 27

Down the TBR Hole #18

Books/Writing 5

down the tbr hole

Time to wield the axe again – I’m mercilessly culling my TBR list on GoodReads with the amazing Down the TBR Hole meme by Lia at Lost in a Story (who has, somehow, already made it completely through his own TBR)!

Most of you probably know this feeling. Your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when you’re scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well, that’s going to change!

It works like this:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

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When I started this series of posts, I had 604 books on my TBR list. As of today, I have…623. Which is the same as last week, but considering how many books I’ve been reading through lately…it’s appalling. Which is why I’ve decided to start doing through 10 books at a time for this prompt!

 

Title/Author: Firelight (Darkest London #1), by Kristen Callihan

Date Added: March 1, 2015

Thoughts: Ehhhh….maybe good mind candy for days I need a fluff read. *reads descriptions of first few books* Or not.

Judgment: Go.

 

 

 

Title/Author: Ember (Darkest London #0.5)

Date Added: March 1, 2015

Thoughts: See above.

Judgment: Go.

 

 

 

 

Title/Author: Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk #1), by Bec McMaster

Date Added: March 1, 2015

Thoughts: So, this is one of a series of romances, not one that follows one couple through as I originally thought.

Judgment: Go. I’m feeling truly ruthless today.

 

 

 

 

Title/Author: Mistress of the Art of Death (Mistress of the Art of Death #1) by Ariana Franklin

Date Added: March 1, 2015

Thoughts: This still sounds really cool. Kind of like an adult Stalking Jack the Ripper vibe.

Judgment: Keep.

 

 

Title/Author: Generation Kill, by Evan Wright

Date Added: March 1, 2015

Thoughts: Uhhhhh…I think this might be an important thing to read, at some point. But right now it wouldn’t hold my interest. Such decisions…

Judgment: Keep.

 

 

 

Title/Author: A Duty to the Dead (Bess Crawford #1), by Charles Todd

Date Added: March 7, 2015

Thoughts: Oooh, creepy.

Judgment: Keep.

 

 

 

 

Title/Author: Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1), by Laini Taylor

Date Added: March 7, 2015

Thoughts: I feel like every book blogger out there has read this…except me. Haha.

Judgment: Keep.

 

 

 

Title/Author: Into the Wild (Warriors #1), by Erin Hunter

Date Added: March 15, 2015

Thoughts: Not my usual, but seems to be a very popular MG series. Came recommended by friends.

Judgment: Keep.

 

 

 

Title/Author: The Family Vault (Kelling & Bittersohn #1), by Charlotte MacLeod

Date Added: April 14, 2015

Thoughts: I added this because the author was listed as one of the first cozy mystery writers, alongside Agatha Christie.

Judgment: Keep.

 

 

 

Title/Author: The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern

Date Added: May 5, 2015

Thoughts: Again, this is one of those that EVERYONE has read.

Judgment: Keep.

 

 

 

 

OMG. This was NOT GOOD. 3/10!! I really thought going through more at a time would help. Holy crap. What am I going to dooooo? Obviously authors just need to stop writing. Obvs.

 

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Mar 25

Walking the Nile Review

Book Reviews 0 ★★★★½

Walking the Nile ReviewWalking the Nile by Levison Wood
Published by Atlantic Monthly Press on February 2nd 2016
Pages: 352
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Goodreads four-half-stars

The Nile, one of the world’s great rivers, has long been an object of fascination and obsession. From Alexander the Great and Nero, to Victorian adventurers David Livingstone, John Hanning Speke, and Henry Morton Stanley, the river has seduced men and led them into wild adventures. English writer, photographer, and explorer Levison Wood is just the latest. His Walking the Nile is a captivating account of a remarkable and unparalleled Nile journey.
Starting in November 2013 in a forest in Rwanda, where a modest spring spouts a trickle of clear, cold water, Wood set forth on foot, aiming to become the first person to walk the entire length of the fabled river. He followed the Nile for nine months, over 4,000 miles, through six nations—Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, the Republic of Sudan, and Egypt—to the Mediterranean coast.
Like his predecessors, Wood camped in the wild, foraged for food, and trudged through rainforest, swamp, savannah, and desert, enduring life-threatening conditions at every turn. He traversed sandstorms, flash floods, minefields, and more, becoming a local celebrity in Uganda, where a popular rap song was written about him, and a potential enemy of the state in South Sudan, where he found himself caught in a civil war and detained by the secret police. As well as recounting his triumphs, like escaping a charging hippo and staving off wild crocodiles, Wood’s gripping account recalls the loss of Matthew Power, a journalist who died suddenly from heat exhaustion during their trek. As Wood walks on, often joined by local guides who help him to navigate foreign languages and customs, Walking the Nile maps out African history and contemporary life.
An inimitable tale of survival, resilience, and sheer willpower, Walking the Nile is an inspiring chronicle of an epic journey down the lifeline of civilization in northern Africa.

Walking the Nile is one of the few nonfiction books I’ve read this year. Generally speaking, nonfiction doesn’t hold my interest very well, but adventure, travel, and some memoirs are the exception. This book is all three, and it was so very interesting. I borrowed it from my library on a whim, seeing it on their “new arrivals” shelf (even though it was published early 2016).

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For as long as I can remember, I had wanted to embark on an epic journey, one that harked back to the great expeditions of times past, a journey that would test me both physically and mentally in a way that no other could.

Levison Wood is an explorer. By his own admission, he has a perpetual case of wanderlust, traveling at every opportunity and never settling down. Quite the exciting life! This time his itchy feet take him to Africa, to an idea that has grown to an obsession: to walk the length of the Nile, from it’s (debated) source, to its end.

This book is much more than a backpacking story. It’s the story of one man seeing Africa through his first-world eyes, and coming to realize that when a person is still fighting just for daily survival, they cannot be concerned with his first-world piety. At one point, while trekking through Uganda, he writes:

In the Mabira we’d seen 500-year-old trees sawn down at a rate of ten a day by teenagers who’d been paid three dollars by the landlord. This was big money for a poor villager, and with the economics of the industry working like that, what hope was there for convincing local Ugandan people to leave the forests alone? It’s all well and good preaching the wonders of conservation, but not to men with families to feed and roofs to keep over their heads.

Wood is obviously pained to see this scenario played out again and again. He admits to not having the answers. He listens to the arguments of native Africans who decry his comments about the destruction of Africa’s great wilderness and lands.

“You whites cut down your forest hundreds of years ago,” he said. “You had your industrial revolution, and when you needed wood you took it. Well, now we need ours. We need to plant crops to feed our children, and plant sugar so you can feed yours whatever shit you feed them.”

OUCH.

The books doesn’t dwell on these issues for the entirety, however. Wood is moving along his 4,000+ mile journey, through such varied terrain and countries that at times even reading about them makes your head spin. While the adventures of explorers like David Livingston are obviously close to his heart, at first he doesn’t seem to entirely feel the dangers of his modern day exploration. That changes however, when he is joined by a couple of journalists partway through the journey and one of them shockingly and suddenly succumbs to heat stroke. Prepare your tissues.

Actual danger for Wood himself escalates in the last half of the book, as Wood is (understandably, perhaps), detained and accused of being a spy in South Sudan. This is not the Western world. This is Africa. Rules do not apply. Eventually, Wood ends up changing his plans slightly to avoid the civil war.

All in all, this was an amazing book that only intensified my own desire for travel. Africa seems even more terrifying after reading it, but Wood’s descriptions of the people of Africa make it more approachable and more real than anything else I’ve read. My only complaint is that about 1/3 of the way through, it did seem to slow down a lot and get a bit mired down (much like that actual part of Wood’s journey). I pushed through it though, and was immensely glad I did!

four-half-stars

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Mar 22

Writing Up Wednesday #8: Motivation, Schmotivation

Books/Writing 0

writing up wednesday

Welcome to another week of Writing Up Wednesday! I’ve been so excited to see more people participating in this, I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I do. 🙂 One BIG NEW THING I’m announcing this week is the creation of the Writing Up Wednesday page, where you can currently find the next 2 months of topics posted. I know a lot of people write their posts in advance, so I wanted to provide that opportunity to you all. 🙂 I’ve also added a list of previous weeks topics that I will try (key word) to keep updated. So on to this week! I can’t wait to hear what you all have to say about this one.

Besides the writing I do for my blog, I’ve also started writing fiction again this year. NaNoWriMo 2016 really kicked me into gear and got me excited about writing again. It’s an excitement that I hope will last, and there’s no better way than to keep motivation up than to share it! I know a lot of my blogger friends also have writing goals outside of their blogs. Week to week I want to discuss various different topics related to writing, and I’ll put a link-up at the bottom of each topic post. This week we have:

Writing Up Wednesday #8: Motivation, Schmotivation

Motivation plays a big part in our writing. Or does it? Can you write without motivation? I think most of us would say no. Writing – unless you’re Stephen King or someone who has already “made it” big as a writer – is mostly done because we love it, not for monetary or any other personal gain. So what’s your motivation? Can you write on days you’re not feeling it?

Most of us write because we love it, or we have a passion to share with the world (hopefully both!). But surely I’m not the only one who opens my computer some days and it’s a bad day or a sunny day and I’m just not motivated to write a single damn word.

This past weekend, I was super freaking motivated. I had been stewing on a part of my novel for weeks. And weeks. I had barely written 100 words in that time. I was so caught up on this one thing. But then I finally decided that I just needed to WRITE, regardless of quality…and I struggled through that particular scene and then I. Was. On. Fire.

Last week, I had time to write. I had (theoretically) the ability. I even sat down and opened my current WIP in Scrivener a few times. And then I Facebooked. I blogged. I watched cat videos. I stalked GoodReads (my TBR is screaming again). I had no motivation. But, had I just forced myself, could I have written a few hundred words each of those days?

Yes. Yes, I could have. It’s my opinion that true motivation for a project never really dies – we may grow tired or disillusioned, but the spark we felt for the original project never actually leaves us. Sometimes pushing through the rough part is all we need to feel the heat of that first spark again. Now, can I write something without having felt any motivation for it in the FIRST place?

College essays, I’m looking at you.

But wait, that wasn’t truly without motivation. My motivation was to get the BEST GRADES possible, so I could maintain a high GPA. I might have despised what I was writing about, but that is still motivation, just of a different type.

Contrast that with me reading a short story contest blurb and having absolutely no interest in writing a 10K story about aliens and Kansas. Motivation? None. Not even the slim chance of winning whatever “grand prize” they’ve dreamed up will motivate me to write that story.

So, my answer to the original question is no. I, personally, cannot write without SOME type of motivation – be it that I simply LOVE the story I’m telling, or that I feel very strongly about something, or that I want a good grade. What about you? Be sure to add the link to your post below!

 

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Mar 20

Crown of Midnight Review

Book Reviews 4 ★★★★

Crown of Midnight ReviewCrown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2) by Sarah J. Maas
on August 27th 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 418
Goodreads four-stars

"A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached.
It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend."

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.
Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.
Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena's world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie... and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

Everyone has read this book already. Everyone, except me. Therefore, I’m departing from my usual format for my Crown of Midnight review. This is a play-by-play of my reactions as I read the book – yes, I kept very detailed notes, down to the page number! I probably could have finished it a lot faster without…but I just couldn’t stop. I also took a lot MORE of these notes in the last half of the book than the first, hehe. It probably goes without saying, but, um…

SPOILER ALERT!!! For ToG, Books 1 & 2

Okay, now I don’t feel guilty. Here we go!

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Beginning: Well, hopefully a few people will have become actual adults this time…(you can see my rather unimpressed review of Throne of Glass here)

6 – Ewwwww…glad to see Celaena hasn’t lost her love of the dramatic, I guess?

15 – “Plans” seem a little overrated.

25 – Why is Chaol still so worried about the king? The king is evil. Chaol is not. I don’t understand this loyalty.

29 – I don’t like this Roland person.

31 – WHY SO MANY CLOTHES AND SHOES?!? I don’t understand.

36 –

Unlike Celaena’s [bookshelf], which housed every title she got her hands on, whether she liked the book or not.

THERE’S my girl.

43 – I want a necklace that glows when danger is near, damn it.

74 – And now I miss MY best friend, damn it. Nehemia is the best.

89 – Chaol, you overprotective ASS…you better watch yourself.

91 – Ugh. I’ve never been comfortable with the idea of courtiers/courtesans, male or female (not in this context, anyway). I get that sometimes it’s a lifestyle choice, but in this case it’s pure slavery and…UGH.

92 – I’m a little disturbed that so far the only same sex relationships in this series are portrayed as a taboo thing, something to hide and keep behind closed doors. I get that maybe that’s how Adarlan’s society IS, buuuuut…it seems like it never occurs to anyone, even our heroine, to look at it differently.

111 – Aaaaahhh secret passageways and tunnels!! Or rather, more of them.

138 – Phew. There for a minute I thought we were headed for a love SQUARE. At least now we’re back to love triangle that IS NOT a triangle, according to Dorian. Just keep believing that there, little buddy.

192 – Ok. I love Chaol, as much as he’s flawed and torn by his idea of loyalty. And I feel like my heart is going to be broken by it somewhere along the line…

223 – Now there’s the assassin I’ve been waiting to see!

229 – WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING OMG NO NO NO NO.

230 – THIS IS ALL WRONG. SO WRONG. WHAT EVEN.

241 –

Death was her curse and her gift, and death had been her good friend these long, long years.

246 – I’m so sad I don’t even know if I can keep reading this.

(puts book down for about a day)

267 –

Then Celaena and the King of Adarlan smiled at each other, and it was the most terrifying thing Dorian had ever seen.

Yikes.

291 – I love how everyone gets upset and distraught and…runs to the library for their happy place.

294 – Are you kidding me, Chaol?? You’re STILL having twinges of conscience about this bloody tyrant of a king? Or is it Dorian you’re actually worried about? Because that’s slightly more acceptable even if it doesn’t make you any less stupid.

296 – Ooooh is the battle hungry rebel guard a woman?

297 – LOL JK

300 –

“Then you will always have a place here.”

Oh, god, Dorian. Come on now.

309 – Well, that doesn’t reek of LotR AT ALL.

313 – OH MY GOD CHAOL. Just because she’ll never trust you again doesn’t make her a threat to one of her best friends.

328 – Hold on – does it occur to anyone that she’s going to have to walk/climb/run back up ALL THOSE STAIRS? That’s a lot of freakin’ stairs…

339 – Haha. Ok well, glad someone addressed that problem.

357 –

The world didn’t need an assassin with a coward’s heart. It needed someone like Nehemia.

366 – Archer =

373 – Yes, yes beg ALL the gods that will listen.

374 – NOT FLEETFOOT!!! :'(

378 – Okay, any man that will risk his life to save her dog…

379 – Well I knew SOMETHING was coming I just didn’t expect THAT SOMETHING.

Am I the only one that was just…not expecting that AT ALL??

389 – That’s right, call her a good woman. Probably not the best thing you could have said right there.

393 – WAIT WHAT?!?!? SHE KNEW ALL ALONG?????? WTF?!?

398 – “Her” kind, clever prince? WHA?

405 –

“Knowing the truth, whatever it may be, will not change what you must do tomorrow – where you must go.”

Why have I not seen THIS quote on a t-shirt?

408 –

Never forgive, never forget.

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Yeah, ok. So. That was one big puddle of feelings and some confusion. I have many mixed…thoughts. I felt this one was much better written than the first (thank you, SJM, for sparing us the many repeated descriptions of just.how.beautiful. Celaena is), and it was overall much more interesting. We learned a  lot more about the world, about Celaena’s background (OBviously), as well as Chaol’s, and some new, very interesting characters were introduced (Baba Yellowlegs?? I was so disappointed that she had such a brief part).

I’m so bummed that Nehemia died. And in such a truly SENSELESS way. Actually, bummed doesn’t even begin to describe it. The book itself even states that it was a catalyst, an instigator, that she sacrificed herself in order to goad Celaena into action…WTF?!? That is so wrong and sad on so many levels. I’m extremely disappointed in that aspect. I’ve seen a few different bloggers talk about how in some very popular books, POC are used as plot devices…and I’m guessing that this is one of the chief offenders. No matter how much of an amazing character Nehemia was, the fact is that her death was used as a tool is just beyond sad.

The ending was awesome, though. I love that Celaena is strong enough to say goodbye, even when she knows it is probably goodbye forever, or at least goodbye to the happiness she had. I still love Chaol even if he’s a complete dunderhead, and I have hopes that he will come around. He doesn’t seem to be an ENTIRELY lost cause. And Dorian…I can’t even begin to figure out what’s going on with Dorian. He’s such an utterly nice person, and it kind of makes him boring but I want him to be happy. Oh, and whatever happened to Roland?? Like he was there, and vaguely creepy and unsettling and then he was just…nothing. So confused.

This is such a popular series I’m sure most people who read my blog have read it, so (WITHOUT spoiling the next books, please!), tell me what you think! I’d love to talk about it some more.

four-stars

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Mar 20

Down the TBR Hole #17

Books/Writing 4

down the tbr hole

Time to wield the axe again – I’m mercilessly culling my TBR list on GoodReads with the amazing Down the TBR Hole meme by Lia at Lost in a Story (who has, somehow, already made it completely through his own TBR)!

Most of you probably know this feeling. Your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when you’re scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well, that’s going to change!

It works like this:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

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When I started this series of posts, I had 604 books on my TBR list. As of today, I have…uh…623. This week was HORRIBLE. I swear every single blog post I read featured a book that I just couldn’t bear to forget. As always…MUST READ FASTER. Or clone myself. That would be acceptable too. 😛 Anyway, this week I’m looking at numbers 87-91 of the original list.

 

Title/Author: After the War is Over (The Great War #2), by Jennifer Robson

Date Added: February 16, 2015

Thoughts: I must not have realized this was a sequel when I added it. Regardless, and despite my continued love for historical fiction, this series sounds very dull now.

Judgment: Go.

 

 

 


Title/Author
: Chateau of Secrets, by Melanie Dobson

Date Added: February 16, 2015

Thoughts: This actually still sounds really interesting. I’m a bit put off by how few reads it has, but it intrigues me.

Judgment: Keep.

 

 

 

 

 

Title/Author: The Kraken King, Part One (The Iron Seas #4.1), by Meljean Brook

Date Added: March 1, 2015

Thoughts: I’m so confused by this. I’ve never read anything by this author. And the book was published in installments…wtf?

Judgment: Go.

 

 

 

 

 

Title/Author: The Iron Duke (The Iron Seas #1), by Meljean Brook

Date Added: March 1, 2015

Thoughts: Oh. Ok. THIS book is the first in the series that the last book came from…and actually sounds cool and fun.

Judgment: Keep.

 

 

 

 

 

Title/Author: Warrior (The Blades of the Rose #1), by Zoe Archer

Date Added: March 1, 2015.

Thoughts: What is this Raiders of the Lost Ark looking thing…let me read this review…hahahaha ok nope.

Judgment: Bye.

 

 

 

 

3/5 gone this week. Progress! But not enough to make up for all the ones I’ve added since my last Down the TBR Hole post. Hehe. Oh well. Win some, lose some. I will never get tired of searching for and finding books. 🙂

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Mar 19

Something Else Sunday

Books/Writing, Cats, Gardening/Herbalism/Nature, Life 2

something else sunday

So, I’m changing up my posting schedule a bit. I’d been thinking about it for awhile and then Puput’s post on Figuring Out Your Perfect Blogging Schedule gave me the extra little push I needed.

I love books. I love writing. I love writing about books. However, I also have 50 million other interests (I’m not even really joking), as well as a family. I am also getting ready to move from Korea back to the States, which is a logistical nightmare and will undoubtedly eat up more than its fair share of time.

In order to continue to enjoy blogging and not burn out, I’m paring down my posts and narrowing in on focus. And here’s what you can expect!

Mondays: Down the TBR Hole
Tuesdays: Bookish or discussion post
Wednesday: Writing Up Wednesday
Friday: book review

If I feel inspired or have extra time, I may add additional posts, but for now this is what works best for me. You might notice, if you’re paying close attention, that Something Else Sundays are not on that list. I created this series because I still wanted to talk about my other interests. And lately…I just feel like they don’t belong here anymore. So I’ve created multiple instagram accounts and a little side blog for my garden/nature pursuits. You can find me in these various places:

Fiber arts Instagram: BentNeedles
Gardening Instagram: BentGardener
Adventure/Exploring Instagram: BentAdventurer

Now these things may bleed over now and then and I may still do personal updates every so often, but trying to come up with stuff every week was just exhausting. Especially when a lot of weeks, it seems like all I do is work and read if I’m lucky to have time! Oh, and…

Don’t worry, Sir Tristan will still be putting in appearances now and then as well. 😉 I hope this new schedule and the freedom from pressure I feel like it will bring me results in a blog that’s more fun for my readers, with less “extra” stuff that really isn’t in your interests!

Last week on the  blog:

This week:

  • Down the TBR Hole #17
  • Crown of Midnight (YA review)
  • Writing Up Wednesday #8: Motivation
  • Walking the Nile (nonfiction review)

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