November Bucket List

November cheer!! :) How has everyone’s autumn been going?

I’ve had quite a successful season so far… and overall I’m a happy, blessed person right now. But also inwardly crying because yesterday was the last of October.

We’ve been to a bonfire and an apple barn and eaten cider doughnuts and stargazed (not technically with a telescope, just… lowkey). All fabulous goals, and checks off the list. But we have November and part of December still to go. Here’s my small bucket list of remaining goals for the remainder of autumn.

 

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I’m not officially participating in NaNoWriMo this year (um, again), but I’m going to set slightly more intense goals for myself and CRACK DOWN on the WIP (with God’s help) (and a lot of coffee and cider and other toasty creativity-fueling drinks). Insane amounts of writing. Like I needed more stress in my life right now hahahah. Also just realized that this paragraph is nothing but parentheses.

My daily word goal just in case you’re wondering:

Starting today, I’m gonna say about 800 – 1,000 words per day. So that I can fail miserably and disappoint myself. I am also completely unprepared and panicking.

 

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I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to find myself a snuggly, big-knit sweater. It’s a perfect goal for this time of year. There are many reasons.

  • cozy to curl up in
  • a fantastic place to hibernate
  • they’re a well-known bookworm thing
  • they can be found in delicious colors like cream and coffee and heather
  • you can slap people with the floppy sleeves

All the good reasons.

 

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Um this is kind of a classic. And something of a given, yes. One of the best things about autumn is flopping in a huge, crackling pile of brittle, crimson-stained leaves. We all agree on that one. But it’s a little trickier for me because we don’t get a ton of fallen leaves in our yard… pines and magnolias seriously spoil the fun. I just need to go borrow a neighbor’s yard and leaf pile, I guess.

 

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Alll the candles. There’s nothing that says seasonal like a pumpkin spice candle burning. Or another scent, for those of us who are not pumpkin spice appreciators. I personally go back and forth. Does burning a candle put anyone else in a motivated, cleaning mood? For some reason it does me.

 

 

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Or through a convenient park. I still have not done this. (?!) I’ve been meaning to – what better chance to do a family photo shoot? Why don’t I have time for anything in my life? There’s just something about taking walks this time of year. The temperature. The crisp, musty scent. The susseration of the deadened leaves still clinging to their trees (just discovered that word last year and it’s been one of my favorites since). It’s a thing that needs to happen.

 

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So apparently I’ve only done this one other time in my life?? Plus I can’t remember because I think I was eight years old at the time. I’ve never tried my hand at it again, though I’ve been wanting to. Because I mean. Cinnamon rolls are the most amazing thing. Making them yourself sounds like happiness (though my experience will more likely be along the lines of painful efforts, messy countertops, spilled cinnamon, and questionable results. but let’s not be realistic here). If anyone has an amazing recipe or link to a recipe you’d like to share, please do. It would make my day (and my cinnamon rolls, haha). Really bad joke, sorry.

 

 

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Hahaha. Ha. That’s as far as I’m gonna take this one. Some people set the goal of taking early morning autumn walks… every morning… which in theory sounds like poetry and refreshingly frosty morning air, but in reality is a whole lot more like bleary sleep eyes and misery and hypothermia.

 

 

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And of course go tromping in them. I love the way these look – like, they’d be excellent for nut foraging. Leaf collecting. Apple picking. Many things. They’re boots that look made for adventure. And they’re stylish, too. :)

 

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We’re not planning on making it to a pumpkin patch this year, which is sad, yes. But the grocery stores have lovely pumpkins. It’s not the experience you’d get otherwise – yeah, choosing a pumpkin from a jumble of them in a cardboard box isn’t quite the same – but I still love the challenge of finding the perfect one. The really round, smooth one-and-only with no spots and a creamy skin.

 

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A very happy goal. Sparklers have become a well-known summer thing… people who skip 4th of July and save these things till autumn are cooler (another really, really bad joke. i’m so sorry). Imagine it – drawing sizzling designs on the air with clouded breath and chilled fingertips rather than with sweaty hands in the midst of a mosquito cloud. Sounds appealing, no?

 

Have a wonderful rest of the season, ya’ll.

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Is anyone else in shock that Thanksgiving is almost upon us? Comment below to chat (or if you have a cinnamon roll recipe to share XD). I’d love to hear from you.

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Of the Sea (a photography post)

Hello, all.

Today I smash the pleasant, almost-autumn theme I had going here. With pictures from our beach vacation. I was originally planning on posting September 30th (and getting all this belated beachiness hashed out before October), but that was the day we got back from the beach… the thought of sitting down to write a blog post brought nothing but stress.

So I ignored it, like I usually do my problems.

We accomplished much. We collected shells and waded in the sea and tracked in a ton of sand. We saw a hammerhead shark, which was beyond cool.

I found one flawless sand dollar. Which just does not happen to me.

But then none of us – and I mean none of us – got anything like a tan. We’re so white; at best we freckle and burn (those pesky Irish genes). Practically everyone I know has these attractive end-of-September suntans… and I’m like

 

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Enjoy. :)

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yes, I tried the dorky shells-along-the-arm thing. it came out surprisingly well.

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Have a wonderful October, ya’ll.

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Character Profiles: in which I basically bare my heart for you all

Greetings, fellow earthens.

And HAPPY SEPTEMBER!!!

Today I’m going to take on a dark, daunting post subject. I’m going to spill my heart and guts and share some of my creations with you. That is, introduce some of the main characters from my current WIP. Which is a terrifying prospect for me. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to be traumatizing.

It’s also going to be really fun.

These lovelies are still undergoing MASSIVE changes… in the finished work they’re likely to look quite a bit different than they do now. But for the time being this is how far their personalities have evolved, and I can honestly say I’m *sniff* proud of them *wipes away tear*. They are some of my most precious characters. They’ve been through a lot with me. And as a result they’re all wrapped up in my heartstrings.

As a side note, I found these characteristic photos via Pinterest. They aren’t mine. I take no credit. The clothing (from what you can see) is all modern and wrong… but who cares. :P

Taryn

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the Protagonist

wind-flung brown hair / one blue eye and one hazel / nimble hands / pointed chin

   Taryn is a wanderer. A loner. An outcast. She has an independent streak she got from her father, and loves wild places. She’s perceptive and generally relates well to others’ emotions, but can also be pretty cynical of people, which comes of being treated the way she has her entire life (you won’t understand that but #spoilers). Insecurity is one of her many struggles. She hates sharing her feelings and has the tendency to push away her loved ones when she’s in pain; she’s also terrible at comforting others. Sarcastic wit comes easily for this one.

She loves the wind and the scent of freedom. Rock/hill climbing (she has the flat feet geared for it, and she’s proud of that). People who judge by anothers’ attributes and the way they treat others, not by appearances.

 

 

Ree

the Sidekick

freckled / blue-eyed / crooked limp / wide smile / small wrists and ankles

   Ree is homier than her sister. She’s empathetic and slightly more centered; is calmly optimistic and laughs a lot. Her limp (she was born with a minor deformity, one leg slightly shorter than the other) keeps her from doing a lot of things she’d like, but as a general rule she’s pretty philosophical about it. In arguments she’s likely to go on the defensive… but she doesn’t lose her temper much.

She loves murkbrew (their world’s kind of thicker version of hot tea) with honey. Rain. And the productive feeling of keeping busy – especially when she’s worried or stressed.

 

 

Matt

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the Logic/Voice of Reason

light brown-dark blond hair / grey eyes / medium-tall / a slight cowlick that irritates him

   Matt is a strong shoulder to lean on. A hard worker with calloused hands. He just might be my favorite character besides Taryn… because except for her he’s been the character to undergo the most changes, yet has remained his dependable, stubborn self through it all. He’s quick-witted. Diplomatic in most disagreements. But other times he can be blunt to the point of pain. He and Taryn are alike in that most of the time they’re relatively mild people, but both are fiercely protective of the people they’re close to.

He loves carving; bringing form and shape out of dead wood. His young siblings. And fried rabbit well-done.

 

Lisi

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the Emotional

blonde / pale blue eyes / small-proportioned and slim / an odd laugh

   Lisi is the soft-spoken one. Invariably gentle, ceaselessly compassionate. A little wistful. She’s quiet and unobtrusive in most things, and her cautious nature sometimes comes across as timid… but still waters run deep. She’s a lot stronger of a person than she seems at first sight. Despite having very few similarities at first, she and Taryn form a strong bond throughout the course of the novel.

She loves sunlight through the fog. Long walks along the dusty Village paths. Strong, beautiful personalities.

 

Maeve

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the Tempter

thick reddish hair / curvy / face mottled with freckles / dark brown eyes / vivid full lips

   Maeve is beautiful. Incendiary. Malicious. She loves deeply, hates with abandon, and is passionate in every emotion between. Her deepest aversions are to the deformed and those she sees as hideous or weak. Her hurts are remembered and she’s pretty darn vengeful, while we’re at it. She takes on hard labor grudgingly but well.

She loves good seasoned mutton and strong mead. The thrill of autumn in the blood. And followers who allow themselves to be dominated without question.

 

 

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Sooo. Those are my lovelies (that is, five of them). And that wasn’t so bad. The others are still in slightly earlier stages of development. The Antagonist, the Mentor, the Skeptic, and lotsa other extras who kind of came out of nowhere and (in the course of headaches, blood and tears) have grown into beloved characters. I might share a bit about them some other time. :)

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Thanks for reading! Can you believe it’s the 1st of September, and are you excited for autumn?? Chat with me in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Horrendous Books I Wrote as a Child: and what I learned from them

How is everyone’s summer coming along? I for one am super excited about it being August already, because the end of the summer means autumn is coming.

*dances happily*

Anyway. Down to business. I’m going to tackle another tag today… the 5 Horrendous Books tag. I almost feel like I’m not qualified, since I am famous worldwide for not finishing stories. Seriously. My desk drawers are packed with unfinished ideas and scraps, and I’ve finished a total of… three stories. In my life.

THREE.

Which is mostly due to the fact that, in my writing experience so far, I’ve been devoting myself almost entirely to two main ideas. The two that are actually good and I really, really want to write. The more recently-born of these is the novel I’m working on right now. The other is a sort of epic fantasy creation about heroes in a land called Bayan (don’t quote me here. the name will more than likely be changed). That one’s dear to my heart because it first originated when I was about twelve and has gone through a lot. It’s currently on the backburner; maybe I’ll get around to it one day.

Shall we proceed.

I present my most horrendous of story ideas, what I’ve (maybe) learned from each one, and hope you enjoy.

 

Nora

This one was one of my first “book” attempts; a cute, boring little narrative about a family of multifarious orphans. They live their lives in a ramshackle house and… never do much of anything. I mean literally nothing happens. Butttt I started this one when I was eight, when I’d never even heard of plot. So. The kids (including flat protagonist Nora) take turns watching the baby, mop floors, and do what good little orphan children do; they have a few dull conversations and live happily ever after.

(maybe that’s why i never got any farther than a few pages with this one. maybe)

  • Lots of clichéd (and kind of strange??) character descriptions.
  • ADVERBS. OH, THE ADVERBS.
  • There was a lot of pea shelling. In my eight-year-old imagination it was the most interesting of farmhouse mundane tasks. Thus, much pea-shelling.
  • Written-out southwestern country accents. Please help.
  • I could not devise a more original surname than Kettle.
  • Yes. The Kettle kids.
  • #cringe

 

What I Learned:

I LOVE writing large families and sibling relationships.

 

Out of Bondage

This one is (surprise!) an Israelites’-flight-from-Egypt retelling. It features a girl named Hannah and her seven siblings. I got a few pages into this one before inspiration flat-out ditched me and I got disgusted and trashed it all (pssst: it wasn’t much good anyhow).

  • There is boring backstory and a lot of information you never asked for. In heavy loads.
  • Once again, characters not doing much of anything.
  • Just going about their daily borings and major yawn.
  • This girl is kneading dough like she does every day, but for some reason I considered it necessary to emphasize the fact that she’s sweating and getting really tired. I mean I went into detail here.
  • A halfway decent descriptive paragraph of Egypt that I might actually use one day.
  • But most of the time I was very vague and clueless.

 

What I Learned:

Research is essential in historical fiction.

 

The Most Beautiful Kitten

Agh, the title. Prepare yourself. This was one of my (ahem) several attempts at writing my own fairytale. Our protagonist is Yet Another Tiresome Princess, the predictable type who is clichéd and adored and lives her happy little life in clover… till her parents, the king and queen drop the MARRIAGE BOMB and squash her flat.

She will of course only marry the #1 And Only who can bring her what she most desires. And with this damsel (who actually happens to be nameless, i just realized that), it’s a kitten. The most beautiful kitten in the kingdom, if you please.

  • We have a lot of knights, princes, dukes, earls, and other sundry nobles. All bearing kittens.
  • Lengthy cat descriptions you do not want to hear about. I was new to the descriptive-similes world, okay?
  • Rejected cats and disgruntled nobles.
  • Disgruntled king and queen.
  • You see it coming, right?
  • Yes. A humble shepherd.
  • Yes, his kitten is the most beautiful of them all. Idk where he got this fantastical cat, or where he comes from, or anything. Nothing is explained.
  • They live happily ever after.
  • Please forgive me, I was ten.

 

What I Learned:

Ummm. NEVER try writing fairytales again? Ever.

 

The Snowstorm

This one was supposed to be something of a romance. But I started to write it at thirteen, so that tells you a lot. Let’s just say at thirteen I was not an expert on romance. It’s about Meredith, an eighteen-year-old with a really bad case on her childhood friend, Daniel. AN EIGHTEEN-YEAR-OLD WHAT WAS I THINKING.

The Binghams and Wilsons (the two respective families) get snowed in together in a blizzard. Meredith’s pregnant sister Nell (who happens to be married to Daniel’s brother), goes into labor.

  • No one can go for the midwife.
  • So of course Meredith, who is completely inexperienced, decides to be the hero. She hitches up her bootstraps and single-handedly delivers twins.
  • (???)
  • I have questions here.
  • The family connections are also really confusing. ??
  • We have a couple sappy paragraphs you really, really aren’t interested in. Trust me.
  • And viola her romance is also resolved.
  • Daniel is actually my favorite character; he’s a redheaded sarcastic firechild of awkwardness and hilarity.
  • But Meredith :P

 

What I Learned: 

I absolutely love writing laughable rogue-type love interests

 

Rebecca

Another story named for its heroine. She is a young woman in a little town who goes through a lot of hardship (i really don’t know why). The general premise of the story: A few good things happen. There’s some inane romance. Lots of bad things happen. People die. Some good things happen. The end.

It starts when she falls in love with a dashing guy named Edgar (once again I was thirteen years old whhhyyyy).

  • We have mush and absurdity and confusing plot points.
  • Edgar dies.
  • Rebecca’s father dies.
  • She eventually marries Edgar’s brother John, a widower with five kids (i can’t remember for what reasons, exactly. i think she’s poor and needs support).
  • John is two-dimensional and tasteless to the extreme. #writingskillz
  • He dies.
  • One of his daughters dies.
  • Die, die, die.
  • Rebecca is left with the four children and has no one in the wide world.
  • She finds an advertisement in the paper written by a man out west named Matthew (i don’t think he has a last name). He’s looking for a wife and housekeeper.
  • And this WAS NOT written in the midst of my mad pioneer-era craze. Heh. Why do you ask?
  • Rebecca travels west, she and Matthew meet and fall in love, get married and live happily after, etc, etc.

 

What I Learned:

My romance needs a lot of work. My deaths need a lot of work. My writing needs a lot of work.

 

 

I tag Sydney at The Elliot Countenance; have fun with this! :)

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Have you written trash as bad as this in your time? Tell me you cringed reading my fairytale attempt (i was almost too embarrassed to include that one). Comment below!

 

The Interrogation Tag

New blog theme!! *applause*

How was everyone’s month? June was a WONDERFUL month for me. Friends, scribblings, lots of coffee… some amateur photography attempts…

Anyway. I was tagged by Emma at Real and Official Matters, a happy little blog that’s just taking off. Thanks for the tag, friend!

I present The Interrogation Tag.

 

Get To Know Me:

1. What are 3-5 little known facts about yourself?

  • I really, REALLY want a wolf. Like, for a companion. And it would be the coolest thing EVER if we could talk to each other. So basically a telepathic, weirdly intelligent wolf friend (don’t tell my dog I said any of this).
  • I’m still adjusting to being a young adult and acting like one… often I’m caught breaking into spontaneous running or jumping.
  • I LOVE singing, but I’m not a fan of my singing voice. So if you get to hear me singing I like/trust you REALLY well… or else I didn’t know you were standing there.

2. If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?

Oh my. Probably either England or Australia. The accents both places are great, and the Australian animals are really cool. Also, English food. Can’t forget the English food. It’s a toss-up.

3. What are your favorite and least favorite foods?

Ugh, this is hard. Because I’m kind of crazy about most food… I guess five basic foods I really love would be:

  • All things potato. Baked, mashed, boiled, fried. They’re the best.
  • Pizza!!!
  • Cheesecake. Just. Cheesecake.
  • Strawberries (thanks to an obscure allergy I have, they’re – for some inexplicable reason – one of the only two raw fruits I’m able to eat. love these loyal guys).
  • I’m also an insane fan of my mom’s macaroni and cheese
  • You can tell I’m all about the healthy foods, right??

Three basic foods I detest:

  • Blueberry pie/cobbler (i know that is the weirdest thing ever. i give no explanations or excuses).
  • Pork. Ugh.
  • And coleslaw is beyond disgusting.

4.What are some of your hobbies?

Well, I guess writing doesn’t count since I’d like to consider that more of a lifework than a hobby. I enjoy reading, occasional baking, photography, the infrequent arranging of flowers, and Pinterest (yes, pinterest totally counts as a hobby).

5. Tea or Coffee?

COFFEE! Swirled with hazelnut creamer, sometimes cinnamon. But (for the benefit of you outraged tea-lovers out there) several teas I’ve tried have been amazing as well.

 

Bookish Questions:

1. Do you like books or movies better? 

Definitely books, but movies are wonderful as well. Especially movies based on my favorite books. So long as they don’t butcher the storyline too brutally, that is. The 2006 version of Jane Eyre did a pretty great job of adhering to the story… it’s one of my favorite movies.

2. What is your favorite genre to read?

I enjoy a lot of speculative fiction subgenres… fantasy and dystopian, that kind of thing. Ooh, and historical fiction.

3. What are some of your favorite books? 

Ohhh, I have an overwhelming number of favorites. But these are some I never get tired of, in all the times I re-read them:

  • Jane Eyre
  • Ella Enchanted
  • Rilla of Ingleside
  • Magic for Marigold (i first read that one when i was about ten, and have loved it wildly ever since)
  • Little Women
  • Persuasion
  • The Hobbit

And there are so many, many more.

4. A fictional character (or maybe 3) you’d like to be friends with?

Okay. Sorry folks, but I am going to have to make this five. Rilla, from Rilla of Ingleside. Dashti, from Book of a Thousand Days. Calvin O’Keefe from A Wrinkle in Time and its sequels. Maude, from The Misadventures of Maude March. And Ella, from Ella Enchanted.

5. Prettiest book cover that you own.

Probably L.M. Montgomery’s The Blue Castle. The font and cover illustration are lovely.

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Writing Questions:

1. What is your favorite writing snack? 

Umm, I’ll eat ANYTHING when I’m hungry and writing.

2. When did you start writing?

At about six or seven. For the first few years of this I thought I wanted to be a poet, and I still have notebooks filled with my less-than-extraordinary efforts. There were a few that I’ve saved fondly, but I’m DEFINITELY more prose-inclined now.

3.Why do you write?

Ummm. (What am I supposed to say here?) I guess just overall to glorify the Lord, and because I love it. LOVE it. There, that wasn’t so bad. XD

4. What is your favorite genre to write?

I like trying my hand at a lot of styles and genres, but my favorite is probably fantasy. The research is so easy in comparison to historical fiction and other real-world genres. There’s some research that has to be done, but when you’re really and truly not sure about something you can just MAKE IT UP.

And the tag goes to Zane, who helped create these questions and I can tell is going to have a really good time with this. :D

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How was June for you? If you’d like to take this tag and do it yourself, feel free (also comment below to make my day fantabulous).

 

 

 

The Lunar Chronicles: Cinder and Scarlet

Good afternoon, all! Blogging’s back on track.

Today’s book review is a double feature: The Lunar Chronicles, books #1 and #2.

 

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Cinder, #1 of The Lunar Chronicles

   “Even in the future, the story begins with Once Upon a Time…

   Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl…

   Sixteen-year-old Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past and is reviled by her stepmother. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalectic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future. Because there is something unusual about Cinder, something others would kill for.”

   This was an amazing retelling of the beloved fairytale. It was so cool to see how Meyer took events and people and twisted it all into something new. The writing was beautiful. The world was beautiful. The characters were beautiful. I was highly impressed. Here are some things I liked.

   First of all, Cinder. She is an amazing character. I just love everything about her. Her personality, her complexity, her sarcasm. All this good stuff is squashed into a lovable character with strengths and weaknesses and… realness.

   Secondly: The retelling. It was awesome. So creative. Adri was an excellent evil stepmother, just maddening enough that you’re gnashing your teeth but can’t stop reading. And Pearl… Heh heh. I guess she was really well done, since most of her part in the story was me wanting Cinder to throw a wrench at her head. I also thought it was neat how the ball worked in with everything else, and that rather than the traditional shoe flying off in Cinderella’s escape, it was in fact her metal foot.

   Okay. And can I just say… Iko. She is THE BEST. Her obsession with girly things and her hilarious attitude made her pop right out of the book to me. Cinder aside, she’s my favorite character.

   A dislike: The villainy. I mean, y’know, I was supposed to dislike the villainy. Queen Levana was very nicely (or nastily) done. But what I got so tired of was all the bribing and conditions and diplomacy and sloooowness. So annoying. I wanted ACTION.

   Oh, and then of course I also have to criticize the actual action. I’m not really this hard to please, trust me. The whole part where (SPOILER) Cinder grabs the gun and fires at Queen Levana was confusing. Maybe it’s just me. I’m kinda slow.

This book’s rating: 4.5 stars

(I really, really liked it!)

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Scarlet, #2 of The Lunar Chronicles

   “Even in the future, beware of the big, bad wolf…

  Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She is trying to break out of prison – even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

   Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter, who may have information about her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.”

   There were many things I liked about this one, but also quite a few I didn’t.

   The first problem: Scarlet Benoit was not my favorite character. I didn’t hate her, she just had some annoying qualities. Her tendency to be something of a manipulative flirt reared its ugly head several times throughout the book. She’s hot-tempered and stubborn, which was sometimes endearing and sometimes just exasperating. And then she’s impulsive. So darn impulsive. All in all, I have to admit I like Cinder as a character much better. But Scar did have her good points. And she’ll do anything, absolutely anything for her loved ones.

   Another problem: (SLIGHT SPOILER) The whole brainwashed-savage-wolf-men thing. Running wild though the streets and killing people. Creepy, much? There weren’t many graphic descriptions, but I just felt kind of ugh about the whole concept.

   Problem number three: (SPOILERS) When Wolf kills Ran. I didn’t like that at all. I get that this guy needed to be killed off by somebody. I wouldn’t have even minded so much that it was Wolf. But it was the way he went savage and killed him, IN A SOMEWHAT GRAPHICALLY UNPLEASANT WAY. It threw me off, because hasn’t Wolf been fighting against this, the inner animal? It was almost like a break in his character arc.

Anyway, here are some things I did like.

   The well-done characters. Oh my. While I’ve poked holes in Scarlet and been disappointed by Wolf, they – all the characters – were undeniably three-dimensional and real. And don’t get me wrong, I liked Wolf. He was a darling character, so fiercely protective yet so sweetly shy and a little inept. And Thorne. He made me laugh with his witticisms and ridiculous bravado.

   Another like: Scarlet and Wolf’s romance. (FOR THE MOST PART.) There were a couple things about their relationship I didn’t like. But the way it grew throughout the course of the story was sweet. And I did think they went well together.

This book’s rating: three stars

(I would rate this one two and a half stars, but the writing and characters really were beautiful. And I’m in a nice mood.)

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Tell me your opinion! What did you think of Cinder and Scarlet? Do you agree with my criticism/ramblings? Is there anything significant you disagree with? I’d love to hear from you!

Happenings: a life update

Hello everyone, this is just a brief mini-post. Happy 4th of May! I’ve been taking something of a break anyway, but here’s the official announcement: I’m taking an unofficial break from blogging for the rest of this month. Now, let’s just pretend I’ve done a consistent job of posting lately, and deserve this vacation. XD

And here’s a small update.

April was an overall fantastic month for us. There was one bad day we thought our puppy got out the fence… cue a lot of ensuing panic. We ran around the neighborhood calling her for half an hour only to find when we got back that she was STILL IN THE YARD. Of course, by that time I was already in a state of completely exhausted stress. Good times.

Homeschool’s been going as well as it usually does… though we’re not taking a summer break since we’ve taken so many other small breaks this year. :( (It tends to wind up better that way, though – after a longish break I typically find I’ve forgotten everything.)

My writing for the past month or two has consisted mostly of pulling my hair out – and drinking coffee while staring into space. I’ve cranked out a little bit of plot/outline ramblings, but it isn’t much.

Books I’ve been reading:

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Only six for April. [Insert plausible excuse other than the same old “I’ve been busy” here.] And, of course, The False Prince and Book of a Thousand Days technically might not even count, since they’re re-reads. Oh well. Westmark and Halt’s Peril were both great, and I’m currently reading The Emperor of Nihon-Ja. But then The Frog Princess was just… ew. I had my doubts when I came across it (the kinda cheesy girly-pink cover, ya know?)… and, yeah. Was not at all impressed. As a side note, it also happens to be the book Disney’s The Princess and the Frog was [loosely] based upon.

Anyhow, new things to come! In future I’ll be implementing a heading picture for each new post –  in hopes that it will really boost the attractiveness of my little blog. :) And real efforts will be made to post more constructive (and just… more, period) writing posts. Not saying they’ll be more frequent… we’ll have to wait and see.

I’ll be looking forward to June. Till then!

Yes, that sounded a lot cheesier than it did in my head.

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What books have you been reading? Did April go well for everyone else? I’d love to hear from you!