So, don’t get me wrong. This century has a lot of problems; I won’t bother listing them because, frankly, some of us might disagree as to w...

So, don’t get me wrong. This century has a lot of problems; I won’t bother listing them because, frankly, some of us might disagree as to what they actually are, but that isn’t the point of this post anyway. The point is this century has issues. People in this century have issues. This country, America, has issues, and so does probably every other country in the world. Sometimes, a little complaining is justified, even helpful: it’s often cathartic, plus acknowledging the problems is the first step towards fixing them, towards a change that will make this century, this country, and this world even better.

But sometimes, it’s time to try that old trick of counting our blessings just to remind ourselves of how good our lives actually are.


I was thinking recently about the many new inventions we enjoy: advances in science and medicine, some that just make our lives a little more convenient, like computers, GPS, or microwaves, and some that actually keep our lives from ending! Two of my brothers are diabetic, but with the help of insulin and other advancements, they get to live. And they get to live far better lives than they would have last century, or the one before that, or whenever it was that “the good old days” occurred. Not even to mention the fact that we’re black and, even for the issues that are still there, things are honestly better for us now than they have ever been in history. Religious freedom wasn’t always available, and maybe it isn’t perfect, but we’re not getting tarred and feathered, burned at the stake, or anything close in America, and that is seriously saying something. We have incredible access to knowledge: today, we don’t have to travel ten miles in the blazing sun or ten-foot snow to learn most things. It’s all right there, somewhere in the great, big interweb, and it only takes a Google search to find it.

Then there are things like laptops and YA books and book blogs and YouTube and pop music and superhero movies and Khan Academy and Wal-Mart and Netflix and Amazon and Facebook groups and internet friends, and all the other awesome everyday things we take for granted. The fact that I can curl up on my bed with this skinny, little, notebook-like machine, open it up, press a button, and the machine lights up, like a mini star, is pretty cool in and of itself. But it gets better. Then I can load up a “program” (that I don’t actually understand but can still use, because of the century we live in), press a bunch of little buttons on my little machine, and words just materialize in front of me. And then I log onto the internet (another thing I don’t actually understand but can still use), press another couple of buttons and these virtual words just appear, somewhere in the universe, so that people literally all over this world can read what I have to say. Anyone who has “internet access” can have my little words show up on their little machine, as it lights up like a mini-star, and they can discover what some teen girl in middle-of-nowhere Virginia wants to say to them. They can comment and interact with me and we can actually have a conversation, both of us in the comfort of our own homes, hundreds or even thousands of miles apart. One of my best friends and I haven’t seen each other since May, but we still talk at least once a week; I have friends in three countries and I-don’t-even-know-how-many-states, and for all of this, it doesn’t take but a second for us to communicate.

That. Is. Amazing.

And it’s only possible because we live right here. Right now. In the midst of crappy 2017 with all of its various difficulties and political problems and social justice issues and everything else that is wrong with this world. Yes, there are parts of this century that suck. Yes, parts of it are even dangerous. But today, I’d still like you to smile. You’re reading this post, and that in and of itself is pretty amazing. 😊

Everything about Hollyn’s music just makes me so happy, lol. I love the sound and rhythm of them, but her songs always hold so much truth t...

Everything about Hollyn’s music just makes me so happy, lol. I love the sound and rhythm of them, but her songs always hold so much truth too, so it’s not just a cool beat: it’s a cool beat plus vital things for us to remember.

Lovely, for instance. I think I’ve mentioned before that, throughout my teen years, I’ve experienced a lot of body image issues, particularly so when I was younger. I didn’t have Lovely in the thick of that, but songs and other reminders of this nature are so important when you struggle with this. The reminder that, literally, no matter who you are, no matter what you look like, no exceptions, He calls you Lovely. And when our minds are steeped in doubt, we have to take that moment to sit and soak and meditate on that wonderful knowledge. :)


So what’d you think of the song? Have one with great music and a great message to share with me? Can’t wait to hear from you, and I’ll see you in the comment section!

So for the first time in forever, Posts of the Week is back! I’m hoping to do this bi-weekly instead of weekly, to give me enough time to...


So for the first time in forever, Posts of the Week is back! I’m hoping to do this bi-weekly instead of weekly, to give me enough time to both write my own posts and read enough of other people’s to do a compilation, but yeah. The idea is that POTW (technically Posts of the Last Two Weeks, but that is nowhere near as catchy) is back in business. :)

How Blogging Has Changed the Way I Read by Shar.  So technically, this one came out two months ago. But I saved it when I read it originally, because I thought it was really thought-provoking and I knew I wanted to share it the next time I did a POTW. So here is the next time I’m doing a POTW. If you haven’t checked it out yet, give it a read. :)

What Delivery Guys From Macys Taught Me by C. Lee Mckenzie. It’s so interesting the amount of things in our real lives that can relate to writing, and I think all of these, particularly the professionalism, are vital for writers to remember. :)

Jack Sparrow’s Beach Day by Skye. This photo shoot is absolutely wonderful! Listen to the song as you marvel over the pics, lol. You won’t regret this.

Goodness: A Good Thing? By Faith. I was blown away by the simplicity and truth of this post about the Fruit of the Spirit. It is so brilliantly eye-opening.

When You Fix a Plothole by Saphira. I’m absolutely in love with her gifs and pics, lol. This is hilarious!
***
Well, that’s it for this week! What are some lessons you’ve learned in life that applied to writing? Last horrific plot hole you had to fix? Haha, hope you enjoy the above posts and I’ll see you in the comment section!


Hello peoples! I was tagged by the insightful Faith over at The Writer’s Song for The Voices of YA tag! Thank you so much, Faith! :D ...

Hello peoples! I was tagged by the insightful Faith over at The Writer’s Song for The Voices of YA tag! Thank you so much, Faith! :D


Ze Rules
1.   Thank the person who tagged you.
2.   Link to the original creator, Caitlin @ Quills and Coffee
3.   Answer the ten questions
4.   Tag at least 2 other YA writers/bloggers (but we all know I am bad at this, so I suppose we shall see)
5.   Share with hashtag #VoicesofYA

Ze Questions

About the Writers:

1) What Draws You to YA?
All kinds of things! But mostly, the voice, style, and relatability of the characters. Their inner issues and outer problems, they’re so immediate, and they’re often things that inspire me, wreck me, or both. They make me think, they make me love, and they help me to experience and understand situations I never could in my own life.

2) Describe Your Writing Process? Do You Like Outlines And Structure Or Just Seeing Where They Story Takes You?
LOL, process. You make me sound like I’ve got my life together.

A few very accurate pictures of me drafting:

All of that to say, I am definitely a writer of the latter type: I begin with a character, plot idea, single sentence, or maybe a snippet of all of the above, and then I just write. Things start happening, characters blossom, plotlines run away with us all, and I keep writing until it seems like a good place to write “The End.”

Then I have to edit the mess. But this question isn’t about that.

3) How Long Have You Been Writing? Where Are You In The Journey?
I was 5 or 6 when I came up with my first story. I was playing with my paper dolls, worked out a storyline, and wrote it down later (fun fact: the book I’m trying to get published actually has a similar theme and idea behind it. I think 5-year-old me would love that πŸ˜‰).

But to answer the question the way I think it was meant to be answered: I started writing seriously in the fall of 2011. So, for not-quite-six years. And I’m (hopefully) fast-approaching publication: gonna try for traditional, but I’m at the point where I’m willing to self-publish if that doesn’t work out.

4) What Do You Need To Write? Coffee? Music?
Technically, I need nothing but writing utensils: either a computer or pencil and paper. I’m a very straightforward, butt-in-chair-and-write type of person, so I don’t have to have any special tricks to get started.

Ideally though, coffee is very nice. As is music of absolutely any kind, depending on what I’m into that day. Up until yesterday afternoon it was epic and emotional soundtracks, but suddenly I’m also back into Taylor Swift and Peter Hollens. So, yeah.

5) If You Could Offer One Piece Of Advice To Another Writer (Other Than DON’T GIVE UP), What Would It Be?
Own your difference: some people aren’t going to like you’re story and they’re going to say nasty things about it. Unfortunately, that’s the reality of art, especially considering all the internet trolls. :p But, so long as you know you’ve said exactly what you mean to say and said it the absolute best that you can, own that difference. Own the things some people don’t agree with. It’s your story. Don’t you ever forget that.

Quick caveat though: this is not to say don’t take advice (see what I did there πŸ˜‰). There’s a huge difference between owning the difference in your story and ignoring perfectly good advice. Bad advice stifles your difference; good advice makes your message clearer.

About the Books:

6) What Book Still Has You Reeling From The Plot Twist? (NO SPOILERS)


All I gotta say.

7) What Books Are You Most Anticipating This Year?
*chuckles nervously* About that… see there are a lot of reasons I’m actually a bad blogger; this is one of them: I have no idea what books are coming out this year, because frankly, I don’t care. I get books based on what looks interesting at my library, recommendations from other bloggers, releases from favorite authors, or review copies. There’s way more than enough in all of those categories to keep me very busy, but I don’t know of any new releases in those categories to answer this question.

So. I got an email from Goodreads the other day talking about a new Camp Half-Blood companion novel. So. That’s cool.

8) In Your Opinion, What YA Book/Series Has The Most Unique Premise?


I didn't love the execution of the concept for several reasons, but it’s an absolutely brilliant idea.

9) What Is Your All-Time Favorite Quote From YA Lit?
*collapses as usual because has no idea how to answer this question*

After collapsing though, I always look to Storyteller by Edward Myers:

Listen. For each of us, life is a story. There are characters, conflicts, plot developments, crises, interludes, twists, and resolutions. Sometimes the story makes sense; sometimes it doesn't. But there's still value in the story itself, even when you can't add up the parts and understand the whole. A good story can lead you toward insight—perhaps wisdom—regardless of whether or not you fully understand it. Maybe that's why storytelling has always been so important to me…

What matters most is that you live your own story to the fullest and that you tell it well. Make sure you fully develop your main character. Fill the tale with lots of other characters who tell their own stories... Then when the day is done, you can feel confident that your characters have been fulfilled, your craft mastered, your story well told.

Be off now. The world awaits you.

10) What Book Do You Most Hope Will Have A Movie Adaption?
And here is the struggle.

You see, there are many books that I would love to see as a movie. For instance, the Percy Jackson series (there is a movie that is called Percy Jackson and, while it is good in its own merits, it is not to be confused with the actual book series). But I am afraid that the movies will ruin the books or, at the very least, the movies will be good but not actually about the same things the books are about. Which would be annoying and require an unfair amount of self-control and self-denial for me to see them based on their own merits rather than comparing them to the books they supposedly came from.

However. Assuming it was an accurate adaption, I would really enjoy seeing The Tiger’s Curse series by Colleen Houck on the big screen (or my laptop one; I’m really not picky). Also, the Dragons in Our Midst series by Bryan Davis would be very cool.

***
That was a blast! Faith, thank you so much for tagging me!

So… I did say that I was bad a tagging, and I am. But today, I am going to be good at it and tag Shar and Shanti at Virtually Read and Victoria at Wanderer’s Pen. If anyone else is so inclined, please feel free to do the tag!

So what books would you like to see as not-ruined movies? Share a favorite writing quote with me! Can’t wait to hear from you, and I will see you in the comment section. 😊


So… I REALLY LOVE THIS COVER THING. For some reason, I don’t have a lot of songs that I just listen to for fun anymore, but this one defini...

So… I REALLY LOVE THIS COVER THING. For some reason, I don’t have a lot of songs that I just listen to for fun anymore, but this one definitely goes on that list. It’s so cute and just enjoyable to listen to. I love the snippets they picked from each song, and the way they all played together is absolutely perfect.


So what’d you think? Do you listen to any of these artists? Tell me about your go-to song when you want to listen to something just for fun! Can’t wait to hear from you, and I’ll see you in the comment section!

OH AND ONE MORE THING: I’ve decided to take some requests for the Melodic Mondays posts! So, if you have a song you’d like to see featured on my blog, let me know in the comment section, and I’ll check it out! 😊


I’ll be honest, when my brother suggested this movie, I wasn’t that interested in seeing it for a number of reasons, chiefest being that th...

I’ll be honest, when my brother suggested this movie, I wasn’t that interested in seeing it for a number of reasons, chiefest being that the Wonder Woman story simply did not interest me. From what I had seen of a cartoon as a kid, she came from a community of female warriors who hated guys and whose leader/mom was a bit... mean. Not something I cared to see on the big screen. Also, TBH, I’ve always been super irritated by some of her outfits, because like is she seriously supposed to fight people in that and not die.

But this, Wonder Woman, though, this Wonder Woman was epic.

Like I said in my Monday post, it’s not my favorite superhero movie, but still, it was so good. The fight scenes were incredible, the story was intriguing from beginning to end, the acting was utterly convincing with zero weak parts, and the characters. Oh those characters, they were marvelous. I don’t even have words, they were just… they were ahhhhhh. Some of the journey was admittedly predictable, but the entire cast of good guys was so amazingly fleshed out and well-portrayed that I actually cared about each of them for their own reasons. They had ups and downs, strengths and weaknesses, moments of vulnerability that made them all human. I was impressed that they took the time to do that in a movie so big and blockbuster: to make each and every character have their own story, carry importance to the main story, and have their own moments to shine.

Now of course, we must talk. about Wonder Woman herself.
b

SHE WAS SO EPIC THOUGH AND I JUST WANT TO BE HER WITH MY LIFE BECAUSE SHE IS LIT THE COOLEST.

Her fight scenes—and those of the other Amazons—were some of the most incredible things I have ever seen. Even though her character journey was predictable in places, it was executed so well, and even took a couple of twists that surprised me. She was innocent about some things, but she was also smart and strong, both physically and as a character. She was… nuanced. Even before she had to see the world for what it really was, there was far more to her than you’d originally think, and that made her journey all the more different and all the more interesting to follow.

Also, I liked Steve. Steve was a good fellow, and I kinda liked them together. When they were on the same page (which did take a little doing), they were a brilliant team.
b

There were only two things about the movie I didn’t like, and even those aren’t necessarily “This makes it a bad movie” kind of critiques, but more like “These are my personal preferences that it didn’t meet and that’s okay.”

The first was the villains. I’m trying to make this as spoiler-free as possible, so I’ll just say that I thought their back stories, plot points, journeys, motivations, and general characterization could’ve been fleshed out a lot more than they were. It didn’t have to be and maybe that wouldn’t have fit with the movie the studio was trying to make, but I would’ve liked to see a lot more reason for all of the bad guys.

The second thing is that Wonder Woman was pretty dark. I hear that’s a DC thing and I know that’s a style of entertainment some people enjoy. I don’t--or at least not the way it was done here. I appreciated the humor that they did put in, but ultimately, I prefer the Marvel style of dealing with darkness: with more than enough light shining through to overwhelm the dark and give you hope for the end. Honestly, for certain parts of Wonder Woman, I was left wondering what was the point of it all.

All-in-all though, I do think it was a great movie. Not my personal favorite, but worth the hype.

So… have you seen Wonder Woman? What’d you think and how’d you feel about it? Can’t wait to hear from you, and I’ll see you in the comment section!

So, guess who finally saw a movie within a reasonable amount of time after it came out! a via GIPHY While not my favorite superhe...

So, guess who finally saw a movie within a reasonable amount of time after it came out!
a

While not my favorite superhero movie, Wonder Woman was super epic (to be expanded on later this week πŸ˜‰) and the soundtrack just reminds me of all the moments that I loved. Particularly this song. I don’t want to give spoilers, since this is one of the only times I’ve seen a movie this close to the release date and I like to think I’m not the only who’s behind the times. πŸ˜‰ But, except for the beginning, this sequence and its aftermath were my favorite parts of the movie.


Have you seen Wonder Woman? What’d you think? What do you listen to when you need your characters to feel epic? Can’t wait to hear from you, and I’ll see you in the comment section!

Template by Sora Templates. Design by Alexa @ Summer Snowflakes. Button by Mae from Superswankified. Powered by Blogger.