Loony Literate Blog Hop!

Yes people I know I am very late for this but congratulations to Emily for going self-hosted! Her new blog is now called Loony Literate. You should follow her. [DUH.]

Anyway, I am participating in her blog hop to celebrate! Let’s get started.

1) What’s something a bit LOONY about you?

UMMM… Shall I make a list?

  1. I try not to step on cracks when I walk on the sidewalk.
  2. I try to step on crunchy leaves during fall and winter and I try to step on seaweed bulbs at the beach.
  3. I bought Taylor Swift’s physical album of 1989 even though I already had it on my phone for the polaroids.
  4. I like banana-flavored things and food that has bananas in it but I despise actual bananas.

2) Since I’m Australian – what’s your favourite book by an Australian author?

I heard that Markus Zusak is Australian, so The Book Thief obviously.

3) What’s your favourite kind of post to write, and why?

I like discussions a lot. It’s fun to express my own opinions while hearing others’.

4) Favourite genre of YA?

I’m a HUGE sucker for contemporary. XD

5) Biggest blogging goal?

To be as amazing as you, Emily! Otherwise, be able to post a “I Published a Book” post. :D

6) Name another blogger who has been an inspiration to you.

Cait, Sam, YOU…

7) Trivia –

a) a 2014 contemporary YA release where the main character is called Emily (and I loved it, by the way). This author also wrote a book about a road trip.

I JUST READ IT IT’S SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE and my heart is dead.

b) Madam Rosmerta from Harry Potter makes lovely oak-matured what?

:) Mead. I already knew your last name though…

8) If you haven’t done this already, look up your full name (or your pen name if you use one) on an anagram finder. What’s the best anagram of your name?

Some of my favorites…

Shelby Rochester Moir

Tshombe Chelsie Rorry

Herby Chlori Somerset

Mobley Cherish Storer

Embolie Rochst Sherry [this is German…]

Embrocher Hier Stylos [and this is French…]

I want to do this with these names or one of them:

  • Publish under one of these anagrams
  • Name a pet with one of these
  • Name a child with one of these
  • Name a character with one of these

9) One thing you want to see more of in YA?

DIVERSITY. Specifics?

  • more race diversity–I think this is very important so that everyone can connect to characters.
  • setting diversity–I ALREADY KNOW ABOUT THE USA. Tell me about Russia.
  • sexuality diversity–I’m working on it, children.
  • food diversity–Not everyone eats pizza 24/7. Even Americans!

10) And finally – are you excited about Loony Literate????

OMG YES TOTALLY

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are you excited for Emily? have you done the blog hop? tell me in the comments below.

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One-Year Blogoversary

UM. MINIONS. IT’S HAPPENING! IT’S MY ONE-YEAR BLOGOVERSARY!

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And I didn’t get any cake. -_- I am obviously living the wrong life.

I have been blogging for one full year now. On this day, in 2014, I typed up my first blog post on Free As a Girl With Wings and pressed “Publish.” On this day, in 2014, Free As a Girl With Wings began. My adventure of online friends, new books, and everything else fantabulous began on this day, one year ago.

And before I launch into a whole discussion, I want to say: THANK YOU. You, my minions readers, are the reason I am writing this post today. Without your comments and encouragement and all that support and love, I never would have blogged for one year, or even dreamed of blogging for longer than that.

A want to say some special thank you’s to the bloggers who have inspired me and helped me on this long journey.

Sam @ Bookish Serendipity: You are the reason this blog even exists at all. You were the first book blogger I ever met and you are my biggest inspiration. You will always have a special place in my heart. And maybe even one day we can meet each other at BEA. :) Thank you so much, Sam.

Evi @ Where Books Never End: Although we don’t talk as much as we should [maybe Pinterest messaging can change that :) ] you are the bestest bloggy friend ever. We have so much in common and you are so easy to talk to. I can’t wait to see your blog grow and change, and see our friendship flourish. A thousand thank you’s, Evi!

Engie @ Musings From Neville’s Navel: Your content is inspiring and totally unique. I am glad to have found a fellow atheist and feminist in the blogging community to talk to. Your posts bring up such good topics and you are absolutely hilarious. I aspire to be like you. Thanks a million, Wise Girl. ;)

Cait @ Paper Fury: I don’t know if you know this [you probably do] but you are the ultimate blogging goal for me. You are the queen of the blogging community. Your posts are perfection and your personality is beyond amazing. :) I think you are a wonderful person and role model. Thank you, Cait.

John @ Teens Can Write, Too: Your blog opened my eyes to the world of querying [is it quEEr-ee-ing or quER-ee-ing???] and publishing. All your content is done really well and it educational, but fun. I especially appreciate your friendliness on Twitter and all the conversations we’ve had, especially our latest one where you encouraged me about my writing and were a true friend.

I really appreciate all that you do.

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Now that I’m done with the thanking, I’d like to share some of my experiences and what book blogging and the community has taught me.

  1. I’m not alone. I’m not the only crazy fangirl. There are others like me! This is one of the best things about the book blogging community; we’re all crazy. And we stick by each other through it all.
  2. Books and writing are a huge part of me that I should embrace. Before I was a book blogger, I read a lot and I loved it. But reading was just…there. Once I started blogging, I realized that I am a bibliophile. Bookish. Fangirl. It really opened my eyes and let me be who I really want to be.
  3. You’re not always going to be perfect. I mean, I kind of already knew this, but I have experienced this in book blogging. My first posts compared to now? O.O It’s not pretty. Blogging takes a lot of practice. And once I did get into the rhythm of things, I would always compare myself to other, more experienced bloggers. And I learned that although my posts may not always be as perfect and flawless as theirs, that’s okay.
  4. BE YOU. The blogging community is really great because no one is afraid to unleash their inner crazy, loony, weirdness. It’s the best. No one is pressured to confirm to some social norm–we’re all outcasts.

To wrap this *celebration* up, I’m going to show you some [embarrassing] screenshots…of my past “blogging” experiences. OMG.

The first blog I am going to show you as from just a couple years ago. It’s called “Olive and Valarie’s Hangout.”

I made it with my then-best friend. We used pseudonyms, as you can tell.

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This was our homepage…

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And our welcome message. *dies* I know, it’s bad. >.<

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My bio. This was when I was very girly. I thought I was so cool… XD

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And my “fashin” tips. I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT TYPO. BTW, these tips are totally…horrid. I can’t even.

Okay so what was I even thinking???

And now for “Authoress4Life.” It was kind of a writing blog…

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DON’T JUDGE ME. -.-

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This is an awkward guide-thing I started. *runs away*

I have gone so far from my first posts and these [horrid] blogs. Thank you to everyone who follows me, comments, and likes my post. You are all beautiful, wonderful people. DFTBA.

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Going Self-Hosted Very Soon

[Yes, I am aware that today is Friday, which means an FF. But because of my extremely busy schedule, I have not had the chance to plan out what to post, and I only want to write quality content. Expect one next week!]

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I am going to be going self-hosted.

It’s happening! Very soon, probably in the next couple of weeks. I am guessing you have some questions, so here are a few I thought of.

What host are you using?

I am using Book Host, which is about twelve dollars per month and the product I’m buying comes with these features:

  • It is completely free if you get the hosting package [what I’m doing]
  • All the posts, comments, pages, menus, and widgets are transferred–which means I don’t have to!
  • Free guide on how to transfer subscribers

Pretty awesome, right?

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What will your name be?

I am changing it to The Book Hugger. My focus has changed since I started blogging, and my current name just doesn’t work any more. My URL will be thebookhugger.com, unless it is taken already.

Will there be virtual cake?

Glad *you* asked! The first fifteen people to comment on my first post on my new blog will receive:

  1. Virtual cake
  2. A shoutout on Twitter and my blog
  3. A personal, handwritten thank-you note from me, personalized and lovely.

So be sure to comment right away and try to be one of the first fifteen! It will be open for 48 hours ONLY.

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Will there be a party/anything special that we can participate in?

Well of course there will be a party…complete with virtual cupcakes, chocolate, and fondue. [Fondue is really cool and fun to eat, am I right?!] And awesome printable party hats that you can take pictures of and share on Twitter with the hashtag #thebookhuggerparty and I will favorite ALL of zem.

I will also make a blog hop [if that’s what it’s called…] that you can participate in! Yay!!!

Along with this fabulous party and blog hop, I will be sharing my past of blogging. Because, believe it or not, I had a few blogs when I was younger. They were horrendous and I never kept up with them, but they seem like something you’d want to see. I will also be sharing a snippet of my hero’s quest novel for school that is very exclusive!

Be on the lookout for that wonderful party, my minions.

Are you excited as I am? I hope so! Share your experiences with self-hosting and any questions in the comments below.

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My Hero Monday January 2015 Wrap-Up and Sign-Up

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My Hero Monday Wrap-Up

[I’m so sorry I didn’t get this up yesterday like I was supposed to. I completely forgot. But here it is!]

This past month for MHM was a hero you just heard about.

Evi @ Where Books Never End did Emma Watson

Bridget @ Stay and Watch the Stars did Susan B. Anthony

Engie @ Musings From Neville did Tanith Low

Allthingswordy @ All Things Wordy did Irena Sendler

All the MHM’s were wonderful and informative. If you haven’t read them, click the linkies above because they’re awesome–and guess what? You’ll LEARN something. :) So. Click.

Sign-Up for February 2015 MHM

The theme for February is a woman who invented something. If you would like to participate, leave your name, blog URL, and any Monday’s that don’t work or that you’d prefer in the comments below.

Monday’s for this month:

2

9

16

Remember to please please please advertise this on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook–wherever. Thank you so much!

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Weekly Wrap-Up #20

Time for a weekly wrap-up! And not just any wrap-up. This is my 20th! 5 months!

I actually started blogging well before then, but I think this is a huge milestone.

It is about two weeks until my blogoversary, by the way, which means I will be getting my own domain, a new name, and hopefully the Book Blogger Plug In from Book Host. Name wise, I have three votes to stay the same and four for both others. If you haven’t voted for your favorite name yet, do so here. It will be open for another week.

Anyway, what did I do this week?

  1. Science fair really heated up. And by “heated up” I mean it started. I am very busy with it and also quite nervous. I’m aiming to get the Water Project Prize at the county competition [I’m doing desalination], and there is only one. I will start testing this week. I may not post as much, by the way.
  2. Choir started up again! As you may have known, I was in a choir last semester. It has started again for this semester, and I’m really excited for the songs. We’re not doing religious ones [thank goodness!] but really fun pieces. We also might do one from “The Sound of Music”, “RENT”, and a pop song. [Some people suggested “Shake It Off.” :)] I’m going to be learning two new languages to sing: some language I can’t pronounce XD and Hawaiian. For the Hawaiian piece, we’re singing “Hawaiian Rollercoaster Ride.” My mom sang that in her choir a couple years ago, and I loved it! My choir is also going to be singing at Great America, which will be a blast.
  3. I got my report card. And I didn’t fail any classes. But I didn’t do great, either. My best subjects were science and humanities [aka social studies]. I barely got through design and did okay in math. PE was better than I thought, English was alright, and Performing Arts was fine. So everything is okay. My worst grade was a five [aka an A- or B+].
  4. I got new clothes! Shirts, to be specific. I got some really awesome clothes that will probably pop up on Twitter soon. XD
  5. It is extremely hard to get motivated to write. I am struggling with motivation with my new novel. Once I get started, I usually write until I have to leave, but it’s the getting there part that is hard. I also have found that I don’t have a lot of time. Betas: It is on Figment. Please comment!

Before we get  on to what I posted, I want to thank Evi again for her amazing post on Friday. Everyone seemed to love it, and one woman said, “What a remarkable article that truly captures what a Girl Scout is all about! I can’t wait to share it with my friends! Thank you!”

Speaking of FF, do you have any ideas for what I should post about next week? Tell me in the comments below, please. :)

What I posted this week:

On Sunday, I reviewed two of Stephanie Perkins’s books and loved them.

On Tuesday, I introduced my reading challenges for 2015 and elaborated on going self-hosted.

On Thursday, I reviewed Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.

On Friday, I had a guest post done by Evi for Feminist Fridays #3.

GIF OF THE WEEK:

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Tyler Oakley is the queen.

I hope you had a fabulous week. Ideas for Feminism Fridays? Tell me in the comments below. DFTBA.

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2015 Reading Challenges|Everyone is Going Self-Hosted!

Hello, lovelies.

2015 has begun. And I have decided that this year will be bookishly fantabulous! To be sure of this, I am going to be taking part in three reading challenges that I’d like to share with you. And I invite you to participate, too! The images of each challenge will link to the original website for more info, so click away!

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<a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/challenges/3082-2015-reading-challenge&#8221; style=”text-decoration: none; font-family:georgia,serif;font-style:italic; font-size: 1.1em”>2015 Reading Challenge</a>
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<a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/challenges/3082-2015-reading-challenge”><img alt=”2015 Reading Challenge” src=”https://d.gr-assets.com/challenges/1420220454p2/3082.jpg&#8221; style=”float:left; margin-right: 10px; border: 0 none” /></a>
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<a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/33015478-spreading-my-wings”>spreading_my_wings</a&gt; has
read 3 books toward her goal of 60 books.
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<a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/user_challenges/2061351″>3 of 60 (5%)</a>
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<a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/user_challenges/2061351&#8243; style=”text-decoration: none; font-size: 10px;”>view books</a>
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This is a widget, not an image, so hopefully it links to Goodreads…

One reading challenge I have accepted is the 2015 Reading Challenge on Goodreads. My goal is to read 60 books, and I am one book ahead of schedule! Yay! Last year I started the 2014 Challenge about halfway through the year, and I read 20-ish of 50. This widget will be on my sidebar, too, so you can keep tally with me.

The Goodreads challenge is a really good way to motivate yourself to read a lot, or more. If you haven’t started the challenge, I encourage you to. You can personalize the number of books, too, so you can choose which is best for you. If you don’t have Goodreads account, you should make one! It’s a great way to keep track of your TBR.

And you can brag about how many books you’ve read.

This next challenge I saw on Evi’s blog and thought it looked cool. The rules are on the page. This is my first time participating, but it’s a good way to read lots of different books.

Some ideas I have so far…

White cover: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Fairytale Retelling: Fairest or Winter by Marissa Meyer

Over 400 Pages: Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

Pink Cover: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Romance: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Blue Cover: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Just some ideas… Anyway, I think this will be totally fun! :D

Also from Evi. :) This is an addition to the Bingo.

On a completely unrelated note, although it’s in the title, have you noticed that bloggers have been going self-hosted lately? Emily, Cait, and Sam a while back. I am planning on going self-hosted soon myself. This will probably be around February, because you know what happens then?

3…2…1…MY BLOGOVERSARY! It’s on February 2, to be exact. And although I’ve only been blogging for a year, I’d reaaaaally like to have a dot-com blog. And I’m thinking of using Book Host, because they move stuff for you, which I definitely need. [If you have any others, tell me in the comments below. :)]

And the same woman who does Book Host has templates. One of them is called “Chloe” [:D] and I think I’ll use that.

Then there is the matter of my name. Free As a Girl With Wings isn’t as bookish as I’d like it to be. I have two ideas so far: The Book Hugger and Reveling in Words. I want something bookish, maybe punny, or just plain adorable.

Here is a poll/survey/thang that you could maybe pretty please [p.s. I love you] participate in…?

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/8S22KJY

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Weekly Wrap-Up #19

Hey, everyone! It’s time for another weekly wrap-up…

What did I do this week?

  1. I went back to school. Which, surprisingly, wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I do miss sleeping in and blogging in the morning, though.
  2. I worked on my novel a lot. I have almost 5k! I’m so happy. To my betas: I shall put it on Figment today [probably]. I will try to finish the second chapter today, too.
  3. I watched “Annie”! It was adorable. You should go see it. Like, right now. Go.
  4. I finished Lola and the Boy Next Door. I had my doubts at the beginning, but… I LOVED IT. The premise of Isla isn’t very promising, though. I totally shipped Rashmi and Josh!

What I posted this week:

On Sunday, I revealed my new novel.

On Monday, I participated in My Hero Monday.

On Tuesday, I showed my new bookies and bookshelves.

On Wednesday, I reviewed Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.

On Thursday, I did the Beautiful People linkup.

On Friday, I discussed Emma Watson’s speech at the UN for Feminism Fridays #2.

OMG! I posted every day of the week. *dies*

GIF OF THE WEEK:

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So. Funny.

Have a fabulous day and DFTBA.

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Book Haul + Bookshelf Tour :)

If you’ve been on Twitter lately, you might have seen me get very excited about a package that arrived from Amazon yesterday.

You know what was inside?

Books!

Of course they’re books–why else would I be posting about it?

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Clockwise from left:

Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor–I’ve heard good things and I’ve heard bad, so we’ll see what I think.

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson–Only good things. I’ve been waiting forever to finally read it!

Anna and the French Kiss trilogy by Stephanie Perkins–OMG!!!!

I am super stoked and excited and everything, so I cannot wait to read them!

Also: I am postponing my read of The Scorch Trials and the rest of The Maze Runner series until a closer time to the next movie. I’m also getting very grossed out by them…

Recently, I got a new bookshelf and moved all my books and stuff, so I decided to do a tour of my bookshelves. Let’s get to it!

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This is my bookshelf. [Actually, bookshelves.] I have 131-ish bookies, I believe. AND I LOVE THEM; THEY ARE MY CHILDREN.

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Do you see that??? My TMI books, all together and pretty. :)

So, I’m not going to write down all the books, so I shall show you pictures and possibly little words.

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LOTS OF BOOKIES. <3

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My PERSONALLY SIGNED TO ME Lunar Chronicles books. *dies of happiness*

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Yes, that is the Dork Diaries series, my [not so] guilty pleasure reading…

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Lots of hardbacks…

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My TBR…

 

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And my junk: notebooks, old magazines [Cricket or Stone Soup, anyone?], and papers and other junk. XD

 

I hope you enjoyed my book haul and bookshelf tour. How many books do you have? Tell me in the comments below.

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Weekly Wrap-Up #18

Hello, everyone, it’s time for another weekly wrap-up! Also quick reminder, if you haven’t signed up for My Hero Monday for this month, you can do so in the comment section of this post. Signups are open through Sunday.

So, what did I do this week?

  1. I watched 4 movies. This is really unusual for me and my family, because we usually only watch one movie per week, but it was break, my cousins were here, we went to a sleepover, so yeah. I watched “I Was a Male War Bride” with my grandparents, cousin, and aunt. It’s a really funny classic about this guy who has to pretend to be a war bride, except he’s a man, not a woman. I also watched “The Maze Runner” finally and OH MY GOD it was terrifying. I imagined the Grievers to be blubbery, butter-shaped cows with needles sticking out of them. But they are actually freaking spiders with metal pieces??? “The Scorch Trials” is going to be disgusting and scary x10. I also watched two Star Trek movies. I watched “Star Trek”, the one made in 2009, at a sleepover, and “The Voyage Home” last night with my dad and sister. Both were awesome!
  2. I had a sleepover on New Year’s Eve. That was when I watched “Star Trek.” It was really fun and we stayed up till one in the morning. ;)
  3. I began plotting a new novel. Yes, PLOTTING. OUTLINING. I made a graph of the chapters, sat down, and freaked out. I felt like I couldn’t plan each little chapter. It was terrifying. But I did it. :) I am so proud of myself. So you will learn more about it…soon.
  4. I ordered five books from Amazon. So psyched!!! Be on the lookout for a Book Haul post soon.

That’s it!

What I posted this week:

On Tuesday, I said goodbye to 2014.

On Thursday, I reviewed Four by Veronica Roth. It was a bad review. And I am sorry. And I also told you why I am discontinuing Starlight.

On Friday, I did my first Feminist Friday and posted the signup for MHM.

GIF OF THE WEEK:

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Actually, it was my only GIF…

Have a wonderful day, my lovelies!

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I Feel So Horrid About This…

I honestly feel so bad for posting this, but I need to tell you.

I am going to discontinue Starlight. If you don’t know what that is, it is my current novel that I started recently set in a fantasy world of my own creation, about this warlock who is trying to find her parents. [There’s a lot more to it, but that’s the simple version.] I have realized that fantasy isn’t really my thing. I was kind of struggling to write it and had a lot of contemporary ideas floating through my mind. In the future, I will probably try to pick up a fantasy story again, but for now I want to stick with what I know.

I think one of the reasons I’m struggling is the world. I actually got the inspiration for this story from world-building and several posts I read about it. I enjoyed creating the world and all the creatures, but once I got into the story, I realized that it just wasn’t my thing. There were too many technicalities to figure out, like how there was an ocean nearby and farming land and a forest and mountains, all in the same area. I like having something to work with, like the real world. And even in dystopian, you still have Earth to use.

The characters also were very difficult for me to write. I had an original idea for Starlight and Xen, but it changed, just within two chapters. I couldn’t get their characters right and I was constantly making them more sarcastic or changing a feature.

The main reason, though, is that I’m not very interested. I told myself that I was going to finish all the novels I started from now on [you don’t even know how many unfinished stories I have], but I realize now that that goal, although it means well, is not very realistic for me. I have now decided that until I have the first four or five chapters of a novel, I will not be sharing it with you guys or posting it on any website. I really don’t want to have to do this again.

I feel really bad about this, considering that I have also recently announced that Nakoma will not be finished in the near future. Hopefully, I will come back to Starlight in the future, but for now I’m setting it aside and working on an edgy contemporary. I will start outlining soon.

I would like to thank Bridget @ Stay and Watch the Stars and Evi @ Where Books Never End for volunteering and beta-ing Starlight. Maybe you two would like to take a look at Bloggish in the near future? :) You two are amazing and I am so grateful that you would spend some of your precious time on my novel.

To end on a happier note, I would like to remind you that my first installment of Feminist Fridays will be tomorrow!

I’m super stoked about this, so be sure to check tomorrow on my blog for my new feature. Also, the signup for My Hero Monday will be at the end of the Feminist Fridays post. I’m sorry for not posting it sooner; I’ve been doing a ton of travelling in the past week and a half and my computer kind of hates me sometimes. But I will be sure to have that up tomorrow, and hopefully have the schedule up by Sunday if possible. If not, I will take the first Monday and have everyone else on later dates, so don’t worry.

If you have never heard of My Hero Monday (aka MHM), it’s a linkup I created where bloggers do a post about a female hero every month. It’s a great way to learn about famous women who have made a difference, because I think we don’t have enough female role models who we learn about in school.

Sorry for the double post today, BTW, and for my very crappy review of Four.

I hope you all are having a very happy new year so far. I love you all!

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