April Wrap-Up: Camp NaNoWriMo

Hi Booklovers,

Its been a while since my last post. That seems to be my starting line for all my posts lately 😕 . And I always say that I’m going to get better at posting more consistently. Then, before I know it, another month or two pass and I haven’t posted a single thing.

But this time, when I say I’m going to start posting more on a regular basis, I mean it. I’ve been working on setting up a posting schedule I know I can stick to 🙂 !

I just wanted to say that I truly appreciate everyone whose followed my blog and continues to read my content, no matter how much of a time gap there is between postings.

Now let’s get to today’s post!

As you probably already know from the title, I spent all of last month participating in CampNaNoWriMo. And I’m going to be honest, I didn’t hit the word count goal of 30,000 words I had set for myself. But I’m still very pleased with the progress I did manage to make on my new WIP.

In my last post, I said I wasn’t sure which project I wanted to work on. For those who are wondering, I ended up using the time to focus on “Project Y”. That’s not the official title (I don’t have one yet) and it’s inspired by the debate on gun control in schools.

The Idea

I got the idea for the story a couple of months before Camp started and I spent a lot of time trying to learn about the characters. I even wrote a opening scene back in March (which has since been cut) to get into the mindset of the main protagonist.

Week One of Camp

The first couple days of Camp, I found it hard to get started. I reread the opening scene I already had, but it didn’t feel like that was the best way to start the story. I liked certain bits of information I learned about the main character while writing it though. And since I am a chronological writer, I needed to find the scene that felt right for the beginning before I moved on.

Once I found my opening scene, things started to get even more complicated. My story is dual perspective and I had an idea of how the P.O.V. shifts were going to happen prior to camp starting, but what I had in mind didn’t fit with the new scene I had just written.

Thus started my first attempt at trying to outline my story.

I knew a lot of things about my female main character, but the male protagonist was still a mystery to me at that point. So needless to say, my first outline didn’t work out that well.

(I meant to keep track of how many words I had written each week but I forgot to record them 😦 )

Week Two of Camp

The second week of Camp started out rocky for me. Sure, I had my opening scene and I knew a lot about my main protagonist, but that was essentially all I had because I didn’t know where to go next. My outline just didn’t feel right (although it did help fill in some plot holes for me). I felt like I was still missing something big–something that would help me move forward with the writing process.

I was nearly tempted to give up on the project before I really even got started.

But, I kept writing, or at least I tried to. I would sit down with my laptop on my couch or in bed and try to get inspired again, but I would only last five minutes before I would let myself get distracted by other things. (I find that when I lose the motivation for a story idea, I start to feel like I would rather do anything else than write. Does anyone else feel that way?)

It didn’t take me long to realize that if I wanted to at least try to be successful with my goals for the month, I had to try something different.

Week Three of Camp

I started going to my local library to write. I only lasted an hour a day there, but I made so much more progress when compared to writing at home. I wrote a short scene in the male protagonist’s P.O.V. And while it has since been cut, I learned just enough about him to write my second scene, and more!

I was able to generate a new partial outline. One that was less about what was going to happen (I still prefer to let the story go where it wants to go) and more about structure and how the P.O.V.s shift from chapter to chapter.

Final Week of Camp

I didn’t get much writing done the last week of Camp. And it wasn’t because I wasn’t motivated to write, I was just too busy with other things to make time for it 😕 .

Overall, I’m happy with my monthly stats.

WORDS WRITTEN: 2,461

DAYS SPENT WRITING: 18

DAILY AVERAGE: 135

My word count probably wouldn’t have been as high if I didn’t join a cabin (a virtual writing group for Camp participants) this round. The sprints really helped get my word count up after the crippling self-doubt took hold in week two! I had so much fun participating this round and chatting with everyone in the cabin, even without hitting my goal, that I can’t wait for Round Two of Camp to start in July!

That’s all I have for this post! Did you participate in CampNaNoWriMo? How did you do? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

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I’m Back and I’m Participating in Camp NaNoWriMo!

Hi Booklovers,

It’s been a while since my last post. I didn’t plan on taking a break from blogging. I fell into another reading slump in February and when that happens I tend to lose all motivation for blogging and writing in general. Does anyone else have this problem?

But I’m happy to say that March has been a much better reading month. (I’ve already finished 3 books and the month isn’t even over yet 🙂 ). I’ve been wanting to get a post up for a few weeks but just haven’t had time to sit down and write any 😳 .

I thought talking about the next round of Camp NaNoWriMo would be a good way to get back into blogging.

I’m sure most of you know what NaNoWriMo is, but if not, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month which takes place during the month of November every year, where the main goal is to write 50,000 words of a first draft of a novel in 30 days.

CampNaNoWriMo is run 2x a year (April and July). It’s a less intense version of NaNoWriMo where you can work on any project you want, new or current. And you can set your own goals for the month–whether it be hours, words, pages, or even lines.

I’ve been participating for the last couple rounds of both Camp and NaNo, but I have yet to hit any of my goals….

This round I’m determined to hit my goal, which I’ve set at 30,000 words. And to make sure I reach my goal, I joined a cabin on the CampNaNoWriMo site, which are essentially virtual writing groups where you can talk to other Campers about your project and find critique partners. Or you can build your own cabin with friends. I’m really excited about being apart of a cabin this time as I’ve never joined one in the past and I’m looking forward to talking to other Campers.

Now that I’ve talked about what Camp is and my goal, I thought I should talk a little bit about the project(s) I’m going to be working on. I currently have 2 WIPs but I haven’t really picked the one that I want to focus on. The first project has a working title of “Scottish Storyteller” which is an Adult historical fiction novel set in Scotland. The second is dubbed “Project Y” and it’s a young-adult contemporary inspired by the debate on gun control in schools. Feel free to let me know in the comments which project you think I should focus on this Camp or if I should work on a little bit of both.

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Faebruary TBR

Hi Booklovers!

This TBR is going up a few days late as this readathon started on February 1st 😳 ! (I was sick all last week and didn’t get a chance to write/post it ahead of the official start date as I planned…sorry!)

If you don’t know Faebruary is a month-long readathon created by Sarah-Jane of The Book Life where the goal is to read books involving fae!

This is supposed to be a very laid back readathon so you can participate as much or as little as you want. Sarah-Jane has created some challenges that could help you with creating your TBR if you choose to do them:

  1. Read a book with fae
  2. Re-read a fae book you’ve read before
  3. Buddy read a fae book
  4. Complete the first book in a fae trilogy/series
  5. Join the Goodreads Group
  6. Post a photo or video on any social media platform such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or YouTube using #faebruary
  7. Read for 30 minutes a day
  8. Read a fae book by an author you’ve never read before
  9. Post a review of a fae book on Goodreads, Amazon, or blog!

For every challenge you complete you get a point. I believe you can repeat the challenges and books can fill more than one challenge. At the end of the month you can add up all your points and find out if you are a Light Fae, Dark Fae, or a Faerie King/Queen! (Point Break down listed here).

Onto the TBR:

Note: Goodreads Page is linked to each book image.

I’ve heard really good things about all of these books, so I’m really looking forward to reading them! Sarah-Jane had originally thought about doing a readalong for Darkfever before creating this readathon so she has created a specific discussion board for it in the Goodreads Group (linked above)! And I believe she said we could count it in the buddy read challenge if we read it!

So that’s all I have for this post! Let me know if you are participating or if you’ve read any of these before.

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The Birthday Book Tag

Hi Booklovers!

So I had planned on posting something yesterday but I never got around to writing it 😳 So since today is my birthday, I thought I would look and see if there was a fun tag I could do. I found a couple versions of “The Book Birthday Tag” but the one I’m going to be doing was created by Antonia @ Always Books.

Birthday Cake

A book with a plot that seems cliche but you adored it anyway

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(Goodreads Page)

So I’m going to cheat a little bit as my answer for this one is more so the author, Nicholas Sparks, rather than the book. I LOVE his books. They’re so easy to get through and I read them really fast. But all of his books follow the same story set up, so they are all kind of cliche to me 😆

Party Guest

Your most anticipated release for this year

37946456
(Goodreads Page)

I read the first two books in this series a couple of months ago and absolutely LOVED THEM! I CANNOT wait for September!

Birthday Presents

A book that surprised you with how much you loved it

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(Goodreads Page)

I read this a few years ago and it was my first time reading high-fantasy (even though this is YA). I read this shortly after discovering Booktube, but it was actually my brother’s girlfriend’s mom who recommended it to me. I was on the fence about even reading it to begin with because it sounded like something that would be too hard for me to follow, but I was SO wrong. And now Kristin Cashore is one of my favorite authors!

“Happy Birthday” Song

A book that deserved all the hype it got

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(Goodreads Page)

This one shouldn’t be that much of a surprise if you’ve been following me for a few weeks. I am currently reading the whole series (for the first time) in anticipation for the final book’s release in a couple weeks. I completely fell in love with this series and it definitely deserves all the hype it got!

Happy Music

A book with some very beautiful and truly memorable quotes

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(Goodreads Page)

I’m not gonna lie. This one was a little tricky to come up with. When I read, I find a few quotes in every book that I really like but never write them down or anything so I tend to forget a lot of them over time. But I know I liked a few quotes in this (particularly quotes that centered around Eliza’s social anxiety)!

Getting Older

A book you read a long time ago, but you think you would have appreciated it more if you read it as a more mature reader

10257528
(Goodreads Page)

I read this in high school. It was one of the few assigned readings that I really liked. But when I read it, I read it purely because I was enjoying it and wasn’t really paying attention to the underlying themes within it..I was just happy to be reading something for school I enjoyed for once. But I’ve been wanting to reread this lately so hopefully I get to it soon!

Sweet Birthday Memories

A book that kept you incredibly happy during a sad or demanding period of your life.

3
(Goodreads Page)

So I know this is probably everyone’s answer for this one but Harry Potter really did help me through a lot growing up. I started reading these in fifth grade (I had already seen the first 3 movies by then). With my disability I had to have quite a few surgeries when I was younger and would be stuck in a cast/wheelchair for a while after. So during things like recess and gym when I couldn’t participate I would sit and read these instead!

So that’s it for this tag! Let me know in the comments what some of your answers would be!

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Review: Falling Kingdoms

12954620 (1)Author: Morgan Rhodes

Publisher: Razorbill

Publication Date: December 11, 2012

Series: Falling Kingdoms #1

Source: Own Copy

Read: January 1, 2018 – January 6, 2018

Goodreads Summary: In the three kingdoms of Mytica, magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest now simmers below the surface.

As the rulers of each kingdom grapple for power, the lives of their subjects are brutally transformed… and four key players, royals and rebels alike, find their fates forever intertwined. Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus are caught in a dizzying world of treacherous betrayals, shocking murders, secret alliances, and even unforeseen love.

The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

It’s the eve of war…. Choose your side.

Princess: Raised in pampered luxury, Cleo must now embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of magic long thought extinct.

Rebel: Jonas, enraged at injustice, lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished. To his shock, he finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.

Sorceress: Lucia, adopted at birth into the royal family, discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Heir: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, firstborn son Magnus begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword…. (Goodreads Page)

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I’ve had this series on my shelf for the longest time. Every time a new book was released I was like now is the perfect time to get caught up with the series. But that never happened. And with the series soon coming to a close, I’m just now picking up the series!

I honestly don’t know why I waited so long to read this. When it first came out I was just getting into high-fantasy in YA. Maybe I thought it would be a little over my head? I don’t know. But then the series got so hyped that I was afraid that it wouldn’t live up to it all. Now that I’ve finally read it, I can tell you that it definitely deserves all the hype it’s gotten and continues to get.

Let’s start with the world-building. I thought the world was incredible. I had no problems picturing all the different kingdoms (though the map at the beginning of the book did help a lot 🙂 ). I could definitely feel the tension growing between the kingdoms very early on.

Now, the characters. There’s such a big list of characters that I can’t talk about them all individually, but they were all amazing. This story is told through multiple POVs and as someone who usually has problems keeping characters straight in these types of stories, I had absolutely no problem following the changes in perspective!  They were all written in a way that you can’t help but feel for them and their own individual journey. I fell in love with all of the characters (well except King Gaius, Magnus, and Aron).

Next, let’s discuss the pacing. I thought the pacing of this was right on point of where it needed to be. While you could tell that it is definitely the first book in a fantasy series, where the author has to take time to go over all the background information in order for the story to make sense, I never found myself getting bored or wanting it to progress faster. (I think the pacing also helped with getting to know the characters as this is definitely a character-driven story.) I also feel like the pacing was a plot point in the story since it was slow but steady throughout the first half of the book and then it really picked up towards the end when it really needed to (if that makes any sense 😆 )

And lastly, the writing. I loved Rhodes’ writing style. It was so simplistic and easy to follow. I’m a slower reader, but I was able to read this pretty quickly. (I only read 5 chapters before putting it down for the day as I’m reading the entire series for a month-long readalong.)

I absolutely LOVED this book and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series. Let me know in the comments if you’ve read this book and what you thought of it! (No spoilers please)

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Writer’s Break Friday | Week 2

Hi Booklovers!

It’s time for another “Writer’s Break Friday” here on the blog 🙂 ! If you don’t know this is a new series on my blog where I just post weekly progress reports on my writing for the last week. (Disclaimer: I’m still working out how I want to format these updates so any feedback and/or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!)

Now, I’m gonna be honest, I didn’t do as well as I hoped for this first week of writing 😦 (If you would like to see some of my writing resolutions for 2018, click here )

Before I go into the daily breakdown, I thought I would give you some quick stats for the week:

Total Words Written: 1,513

Total Time Spent Writing: 3 Hours

Project (s) Worked on: “Dragons” Writing Prompt

Now, let’s jump into the daily breakdown of writing for the week:

Monday, January 8th 2018

Words Written: 412

Time Spent Writing: 1 Hour

So the first day started out really good. I wrote for a full hour and managed to get a decent amount of words down (I’m a bit of slow writer). I started attending a writing group at my local library a few months ago. We are given a prompt to work on over the course of the month in preparation for our next meeting. I usually save these until the last two days before the meetings. However, I recently decided to take my writing a lot more seriously than I have in the past and thought spending more time on these prompts would be a good way to start. (Though I do want to start working on the novel I’ve been planning by February as well!)

Tuesday, January 9th 2018

Words Written: 0

Time Spent Writing: 0

As you can see, I got absolutely no writing done. It’s not that I didn’t want to, I just ran out of time 😳 This week wasn’t just the start of my new writing schedule, I also started writing up daily to-do lists for myself every morning. I had a lot on that list for Tuesday, one of which was to create my own reading journal. I have been seeing them around a lot lately and decided to give it a try myself. But it took a lot longer than I had anticipated to set up. (I try to have everything on my list done before dinner every night as I take a few hours after that to watch some t.v. prior to reading in bed before going to sleep).

Wednesday, January 10th 2018

Words Written: 385 

Time Spent Writing: 45 minutes

I had every intention of making up that lost day by setting my timer for 2 hours Wednesday. But as I got to the 45 minute mark, I was having a hard time concentrating and decided to end the session early. I realized trying to add extra time on to my daily goal stressed me out and didn’t help with my concentration. From now on if I miss a day, I don’t think I’m going to try and make it up that way, but instead try to write for a while on the weekend instead.

Thursday, January 11th 2018

Words Written: 329

Time Spent Writing: 30 minutes

I really wanted to make my goal of writing for 1 hour. I was completely into the story, which usually takes me a good 20 minutes of writing to get to the point. But I started typing too fast which made my hands hurt a lot sooner than usual. (My disability effects the range of motion in my right hand which makes typing fast for long amounts of time a little uncomfortable. And with it being so cold out recently my pain has been a little higher than normal). So I ended up calling off the session early.

Friday, January 12th 2018

Words Written: 378 

Time Spent Writing: 45 minutes

I was so close to hitting 1 hour, but it wasn’t entirely my fault. About 15 minutes into the session I ended up losing power for a little bit. And with it the internet 😦 . I write my prompts in Google Docs (I don’t have Microsoft on this laptop as  I have it on my desktop and just don’t feel like adding it right now) so when I lost power I had to take a break because I knew it wouldn’t save and I didn’t want to risk losing it once the internet did come back because it has a tendency to go to an error message for a minute while its trying to connect to wifi again. I tried to get back into the head-space I was in before but I just couldn’t.

 

So while I didn’t get 5 days/hours of writing for this week, I’m not too disappointed in myself because I did manage to write more than last week (which was nothing 😆 ). It’s also something new so I expected there to be a few bumps in the road at first. There’s always next week though! How was you’re writing week? Did you hit you’re goals for the week? 

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Top 5 Wednesday | Books You Didn’t Get To in 2017

Hi Booklovers!

Its time for another T5W post! “Top 5 Wednesday” is hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes.  If you are interested in participating, you can find a full list of topics here.

This week’s topic is Books You Didn’t Get To in 2017. I’m not gonna to lie; I definitely had a lot more than just 5 books that I planned on getting to in 2017 but didn’t. I’m going to cheat a little and talk mostly about series (with 1 exception) that I wanted to at least start in 2017 but didn’t.

Anyway, onto the books:

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer I’ve been meaning to get to this series forever. I honestly don’t know why I keep putting it off! I’ve heard really good things about this but I also don’t read a lot of retellings of the classic princesses, so I’m a little nervous. This is the year I’m actually going to sit down and read it! (I give you permission to start spamming me with reminders if I haven’t at least read Cinder by June 🙂 )

The Daughter of Smoke & Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor I can explain this one (at least a little bit!) So I had every intention of reading these last year but then Strange the Dreamer came out and I decided to read that before jumping into her three-book trilogy. I LOVED IT! (If you want to read my review for it, click here). I wanted to read these as soon as I finished Strange the Dreamer but got distracted by other books. Next thing I knew 2017 was over….

The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo Okay, I have absolutely no excuse for why I haven’t read these yet. I own ALL of them, including the Six of Crows duology. I even catch myself staring over at them on my shelf occasionally, wishing I was reading them, but I just don’t go and pick them up. (It’s sad, I know!)

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater This one isn’t too bad, I have at least tried to start The Raven Boys. I got like 80 pages in before I got distracted by school and other books. (Are you sensing a theme here yet?!)

Uprooted by Naomi Novik I was so determined to read this last year. I even checked it out from my library to read it. But (you guessed it) I got distracted by other books and the next thing I knew, it was time to return it to the library. However, I recently saw that the ebook was on sale for $2.99 (I’m not sure if it’s still on sale now). But I purchased it and I’m planning on reading it next month 🙂 !

 

So that’s it for this post! Let me know in the comments what books/series you meant to get to last year but didn’t!

 

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