TCWT November 2014 Blog Chain|Lots of Random Cool Stuff

[I know, I should not be blogging–I should be writing. But I just have to post stuffs! I’m really behind. Also, I apologize in advance for the length of this post.]

tcwt-3[1]It’s that time of the month again–the Teens Can Write, Too! blog chain. This month’s theme is the meaning of being a teenager, expressed in words and images. I took this to a different level and added in not just personal and positive things, but the negative aspects of being a teenager that don’t always apply to me. I made a Wordle!

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Yeah, how awesome is that? Now let’s get on with things. Oh, btw, here’s the list of other awesome peoples who are participating in the linkup:

5th – http://vergeofexisting.wordpress.com/

6th – http://irisbloomsblog.wordpress.com/

7th – http://musingsfromnevillesnavel.wordpress.com/

8th – https://freeasagirlwithwings.wordpress.com/

9th – http://clockworkdesires.wordpress.com/

10th – http://www.pamelanicolewrites.com/

11th – http://randommorbidinsanity.blogspot.com/

12th – http://www.kirabudge.weebly.com/my-blog

13th – http://semilegacy.blogspot.com/

14th – http://oliviarivers.wordpress.com/

15th – http://miriamjoywrites.com/

16th – http://unikkelyfe.wordpress.com/

17th – http://maralaurey.wordpress.com/

18th – http://quirkyteenwriter.wordpress.com/

19th – http://butterfliesoftheimagination.wordpress.com/

20th – http://www.juliathewritergirl.com/

21st – http://whileishouldbedoingprecal.weebly.com/

22nd – http://paperdaydreams.com/

23rd – http://theedfiles.blogspot.com/

24th – http://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com/ (We’ll announce the topic for December’s chain!)

1. Be honest: how is your writing going?

I’m mostly on-target and I am trying not to be distracted. It’s fairly easy to write, but that will change very soon, I think…

2. What’s your first sentence/paragraph?

“Hey, honey,” my mom said, entering the kitchen, “your aunt, Lindsay, just emailed me to tell me that Jessica—you know, your cousin—has just reached the one year anniversary of her blog. Isn’t that great?”

I know, it’s a quite uneventful first sentence. But it’s in the prologue.

3. Do you have a book cover, and/or pictures that reflect your book?

bloggish_cover I know, it’s beautiful. I made it on PicMonkey and I’m so proud of myself.

4. Do you have pictures of each of your characters?

I have pictures of the main thirteen bloggers, but I will not show you all of them.

Cait, the MC; Belle, Cait’s BFF; Dean, the love interest; Jazmine (Jaz), the lesbian book blogger who wants to marry Starbucks.

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[Guess who’s my favorite. :P]

5. What scene are you most excited to write?

The scene when Cait finds out about…the surprise, and basically the entire night. I get to describe beautiful gowns, a dazzling night, and an overall glamorous night.

6. Share a snippet or scene that you really enjoyed writing!

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw shaggy black hair and blue eyes and shirt that very clearly read, “Hi, I’m Dean.” I dropped my purse and partially-full Starbucks cup and sprinted into his arms. I didn’t care that my friends were there, that they were definitely staring. It was him. Dean.

            “Caity?”

            “Dean.”

            I looked up to see him smile wildly.

            “Damn.”

            “What?”

            “You’re even better in real life.”

            I giggled, embarrassed yet relieved, and before I could catch my breath, Dean dropped his bags and picked me up by the waist—he was so strong—and spun me around. When he set me down, I was all smiles and blushing.

            And he kissed me.

            My world melted before my eyes into one shapeless puddle of color and noise. But the sounds of people were muted, just Dean and me, and his soft lips, the way he gripped my shoulder, my hands around his torso, my feet on tiptoe. My eyes closed, fluttering quietly.

            When we finally broke apart, I still hugged his body. I nestled my head into the crook of his arm.

            Annoyingly, Belle applauded. Several people whistled. I blushed a deep crimson, but Dean didn’t seem to mind. He just pecked me quickly on the cheek and picked up his bags. We walked back to our friends, my hand on his arm, his gaze mostly on me, like I was the only person in the world. And to him, maybe I was.

            Dean bro-hugged the guys, and one-armed hugged the girls. But he saved most of his affection for me.

            Jaz pulled me aside for a second and said quietly, “You were really worried?” before grinning and making her way back to the group.

            I got a good look at Dean as he gazed at me. He had a strong jawline, black hair that was the perfect balance of short and long. His eyes were an electric blue framed by long, dark eyelashes. His skin was pale, probably from living in Seattle.

            “Damn,” he said again, “you’re just so beautiful.”

            I blushed happily.

It’s just so adorable. <3

7. Now that you’re writing, have any of the plot details, or the process itself, turned out different from what you planned or imagined?

  1. Shelly, Cait’s aunt who lives in NYC, is a bit strange. That was made up on the spot, and it seems to be working, so…
  2. Dean is nicer. Grr. WHY IS HE SO NICE AND SWEET AND ADORABLE???

8. Is there a character or aspect of your plot that’s difficult to write?

I have thirteen characters interacting at one time, which is very hard to write because:

a) I forget that some characters are here

and

b) They all have to speak!

So it’s not easy. I have to check who’s there, and separate them more.

I also have a hard time writing humor, which I really want to be in this piece. I always love funny books. But I’m not very good at writing funny things.

9. What’s your favorite aspect of the novel so far? Favorite character?

I just love the romance. I am a total romantic, and this is everything I want in a relationship [Well, except the drama].

Choosing a favorite character is like choosing a favorite child! But I LOVE Jazmine. She’s lesbian/gay/whatever, which I really wanted to be in this book. And she’s the perfect mix of maturity and immaturity. She’s also Indian, so is a bit reserved because of her background. She was originally going to be a background character, but she has begun to be Cait’s good friend.

10. Have you drawn off any life experiences or people you know to create your novel and your characters?

Definitely experiences. I wanted to really be able to connect to Cait’s feelings when I was planning this novel, and her experiences are based off my own. I love to put pain and crying into words [is that weird?], too, and I try to draw from my experiences of that feeling of helplessness and dread.

I didn’t realize this until I started writing, but if you follow Notebook Sisters, an awesome blog, you know that the main contributor is named Cait. Like my MC. Oops. This didn’t even cross my mind, I swear! I just love the name.

Belle is kind of like Evi @ Where Books never End, because she is my good friend, just like Cait and Belle are good friends. :) In retrospect, I see similarities between Jaz and Engie @ Musings From Neville’s Navel. They’re both respected and accomplished bloggers, but have a silly side, too. Kat has Cait @ Notebook Sisters silliness. :P

11. Do you have a playlist or certain song for your novel and/or characters?

I actually have a playlist titled “Bloggish” on my iPhone. It consists of these twenty songs:

“All You Had to Do Was Stay”, 1989, Taylor Swift

“Amnesia”, 5 Seconds of Summer, 5 Seconds of Summer

“Back to December”, Speak Now, Taylor Swift

“Bad Blood”, 1989, Taylor Swift

“Blank Space”, 1989, Taylor Swift

“Classic”, MKTO, MKTO

“Come In With the Rain”, Fearless (Platinum Edition), Taylor Swift

“Enchanted”, Speak Now, Taylor Swift

“I Knew You Were Trouble”, Red, Taylor Swift

“If This Was a Movie”, If This Was a Movie-Single, Taylor Swift

“Jump Then Fall”, Fearless (Platinum Edition), Taylor Swift

“Mine”, Speak Now, Taylor Swift

“Out of the Woods”, 1989, Taylor Swift

“Red”, Red, Taylor Swift

“Round & Round”, A Year Without Rain, Selena Gomez and the Scene

“Shake It Off”, 1989, Taylor Swift

“The Story of Us”, Speak Now, Taylor Swift

“Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”, Stronger (Deluxe Version), Kelly Clarkson

“Style”, 1989, Taylor Swift

“Welcome to New York”, 1989, Taylor Swift

12. Let’s have some fun: imagine you are transported into your book’s world. Which character are you most likely to be found hanging out with?

I would be at Starbucks with Jazmine. Duh.

13. How do you keep yourself motivated to finish your daily word count? (Pinterest? Internet breaks? Chocolate?)

A Tip: Don’t do what I’m doing right now. Do not blog.

I set my timer on my phone for 20-30 minutes, turn on my music, and write. Then I take a 5-minute break and play on my phone, check my email, etc. I am actually very disciplined, believe it or not. I do have chocolate that I eat frequently. Maybe that’s the secret.

14. What’s your favourite writing quote or piece of writing advice?

For NaNoWriMo: “It is perfectly okay to write garbage–as long as you edit brilliantly.”

I had to search on Google, but one that I remember seeing before and I love is: “If I waited till I felt like writing, I’d never write at all.” -Anne Taylor

It is so true.

15. How does this book make you feel so far? Are you laughing? Crying? Frustrated?

It makes me feel:

  • nostalgic
  • happy
  • pink [there’s no way to describe it]

Basically, it’s a fluffy pink ConRom, and it’s absolutely adorable and heart-wrenching and unpredictable. >:)

You know what these tweets mean? Yeah, I only heard today.

ELEANOR AND PARK IS BECOMING A MOVIE!

I am sooooo excited. They better not mess it up. For more details, click here. I am just really scared that Eleanor will be Hollywood-thin, and the entire movie will be messed up. In the comments section of this article, some people suggested in the comments that Jennifer Stone be Eleanor, and I think that would be amazing. I mean, doesn’t it just work? Anyway, I’m just so excited about the movie. YAAY!!!!! Anybody else psyched?

See?

This blog will be experiencing some changes soon. Hopefully this week.

  1. I am going to get the customizable thingy so my colors of text and size and stuff will be different. It will just look cooler and more amazing.
  2. I will not be switching to a new domain.
  3. I am considering changing my blog name to “Writerly,” so it’s a bit more bookish. It isn’t very bookish right now. Tell me what you think in the comments! :D

I have decided that if I win NaNoWriMo 2014, I will buy myself these three Stephanie Perkins books that go together.

I have heard good things about them and am eager to read them. So lets hope I win!

One last before I end this extremely long post.

Today was the first day of #MortalsMonday on Instagram! Assuming you don’t know, #MortalsMonday is a day where PJO/HoO fans look up hashtags like #hooverdam and #mtsthelens on IG and comment, “The mortals don’t even know.” If someone who is not in the fandom responds cluelessly, we respond with, “It’s a dam Percy Jackson thing, cupcake.” :)

image1 - Copy image2 See? It’s hilarious! I encourage you to join in on the fun. :)

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Weekly Wrap-Up #2

On Saturday, I stacked my shelves, reviewed Number the Stars, and informed you about Marissa Meyer events. I’m still getting through my pile of books!

On Sunday, I reviewed Where She Went and talked about book reviews.

On Monday, I posted a school assignment for feedback and reviewed Eleanor and Park [a.k.a. how I suffered emotional trauma at the hands of a hardback].

On Tuesday, I recommended unknown books for TTT. Turns out, you’ve read some of them. ;)

On Thursday, I informed you about the 100 Words For 100 Days Challenge. Are you going to participate?

Going back to the beginning of the week, Engie @ Musings From Neville’s Navel posted about Rick Riordan’s last book in the Greco-Roman world. It was an interesting but sad post. It means the end of Percy and Annabeth and Leo!

Engie, for you, the tweet about the epilogue issue (and for anyone else):

unclericktweet

Ah, Uncle Rick. While your wit impresses us, it does not excuse the no epilogue issue. I adore epilogues! I want confirmation about what happens to them.

To wrap up this week, why not a poll?

Have a fantabulous weekend! I will be shopping for party supplies for my sister’s birthday, reading The Book Thief, and watching the Broadway play version Wicked. Which I am SO EXCITED ABOUT.

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Book Review: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Eleanor and Park

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Number of Pages: 325

Genre: YA Contemporary

Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

Summary From Cover: Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

Discussion: My god. This book. Somehow, destiny maybe, it found its way into my hands, and as I turned each page, I fell even more in love. In love with what? The pages, the words, the plot, the characters, everything. It all seemed to speak to me in a way too real for words to describe.

I knew what Eleanor and Park were feeling, and not because of Rowell. I know the feeling of spending time together, in your own little bubble, and then having to go separate ways. I know. This book, this story, once in my hands, consumed me, went inside of me.

Afterword? Major book hangover.

It brought back so many memories I’ve been trying to push down deeper and forget, resurfacing them, shoving them in my face and saying, “Here. Remember?” This book was so painful to read. But it brought me joy.

I’m not actually totally sure if I should post this. It’s a bit…personal. And I know people personally, IRL, who are reading this. Too late now, I suppose, if you’re reading this. Which you are. I do ask one thing of you. Please don’t ask questions. Even if I will see you tomorrow or whenever, please don’t ask questions.

Now that we’re past the personal part, I get to be silly and free and myself.

ROWELL. WHY DID YOU HAVE TO MAKE THIS SUCH A HEAVY BOOK? I WASN’T EXPECTING THAT.

dog animated GIF

And I’m not talking about the weight. [Isn’t that pug so adorable?!] The stepdad stuff?

a) Plain scary

b) Why didn’t the mom call the police???

c) At the end…OMG. Just warning you, kind of a weird part near-ish the end.

And the music! I love how that brings them together (and comic books). Music is such an awesome way for people to connect. I seem to be reading about music a lot lately… [Remember Where She Went?]

I found the characters so realistic and loveable. Eleanor is the greatest. So down-to-earth and real. And she doesn’t let her family life mess her up. [I really hate it when bullies use “problems at home” as excuses. Even if you have a bad home situation, you don’t have the right to be mean to people!] Park. He reminds me somewhat of Leo from Stagirl. In love with a girl who’s different from everyone else, and has a hard time trying not to be embarrassed of her.

But I love-love-love-loved this book with aaaaall my heart. It was so sweet, and totally realistic. And even though it’s set in 1986, I didn’t feel the time difference; it could have just happened in 2014. Even though I’m reading The Darkest Minds [by Alexandra Bracken], I might reread Eleanor and Park, kind of as therapy. And I just want to hug it!

This is so perfect!!!

{end book review}

So I’m reading The Darkest Minds as soon as I reread Eleanor and Park. With sticky notes.

I’m leaving Nakoma until the weekend. Chapter Twenty-three might be a while; sorry.

Have you read Eleanor and Park? What did you think? And if not, will you now? Tell me in the comments below.

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Book Reviews

I’m a big believer in writing a book review right after I read the book. I know lots of bloggers spend days perfecting their reviews, but for me, it’s all about the raw emotion and my thoughts right after. I don’t take notes when I read, so I’m bound to forget [important] things if I take a few days.

Why am I telling you this right now? I already posted today. I’m telling you this because although I just finished Eleanor and Park, I’m not reviewing it today. Maybe tomorrow. I don’t know.

That book was kind of like…a slap in the face. It kind of woke me up, in a way. The book spoke to me on a very personal level, and in the space of time I read this book, I realized a few things. So I’m still processing. I’m having a bit of book hangover, if you’ve ever seen that image floating around the web.

I promise I’ll review it soon. But today I just want to listen to Pandora on my phone until the battery dies. [I might be dragged out to go shopping, too. And not of the bookish kind.] Feel free to send me warm thoughts, as I am in need of them now. I can’t explain my actual condition, but…well, you get the point.

P.S. I’m also not dying.

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Stacking the Shelves, Marissa Meyer Events, and Book Review of Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

I did some major stacking of shelves today. At Target! It was literally [almost] my entire TBR list. I had to take some off, though. :( The grand total was about $85.

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From top to bottom…

The Book Thief

Eleanor and Park

Fangirl

Dorothy Must Die

The Darkest Minds

Where She Went

I know, I’m behind on all of these! But I’m so excited to finally be able to read them. Since I [somewhat] recently read If I Stay, I’m reading Where She Went first.

I am subscribed to Marissa Meyer’s (the author of The Lunar Chronicles) blog, and today I got an email update of a post. There are a few things about it.

One. Marissa Meyer is releasing Winter in November 2015! Thought it would be sooner? Read on…

Two. She is releasing Fairest, the prequel to The Lunar Chronicles, will be released January 27. That is why! Are you stoked? I’m stoked!!!

Three. This is the greatest, in my opinion. Marissa Meyer is in the Fierce Reads Tour throughout the USA, visiting bookstores with Jessica Brody, Gennifer Albin, and Nikki Kelly! And she is coming to my state near me so I will probably see her!!!! I am sooooooooooooooooooooo happy about this!!!!!!!!!!!! Go here to see the dates for the tour.

Four. This doesn’t concern me, but I though you should know. There is an essay contest with the prompt “With all of the new forms of media appearing every day, how do you think the experience of reading books will change over the next ten years?” The winner will have dinner with Marissa Meyer during the Baltimore Boom Festival. I wish I could participate, but I don’t live near Baltimore. :( Go here for details.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

Title: Number the Stars

Author: Lois Lowry

Number of Pages: 132

Genre: Historical fiction

Overall Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary From Cover: Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think of life before the war. It’s now 1943 and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching through town. When the Jews of Denmark are “relocated,” Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be one of the family. Soon Annemarie is asked to go on a dangerous mission to save Ellen’s life.

Discussion: My English teacher recommended that I read this book, since I had just finished The Giver, which is by the same author. I honestly knew nothing about it. But I judged it by its cover (I know, I know!) and the summary and decided, well, I have nothing else to read–why not give it a try? And, boy, am I so glad I did! I really enjoyed this book.

The first thing I noticed about the book was that it was really short. A lot of Lowry’s books are, though. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. For this book, I was a little bit disappointed that it was this short. It didn’t have as much detail as I would have liked, and I feel like it glanced over some big parts.

It tells the story of Germans invading Denmark. I thought this was an original place to set it, since the Germans invaded so many places. My friend spent the past year in Denmark, so it was cool to learn about its past a little.

The first scene shows Annemarie, the MC, racing her friend Ellen along the street. They bump into some German soldiers, and the story takes off from there. The friendship between Annemarie and Ellen is very sweet and sister-like.

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Overall, I found this book to be very sweet (there it is again!) and heartfelt. Read it!

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Top Ten Books People Have Been Telling You That You MUST Read and If I Stay Book Review

TTT is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

TTT is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

1. The Infernal Devices series

2. The Book Thief

3. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

4. Out of My Mind

5. Trickster’s Choice

6. Eleanor and Park

7. Fangirl

8. Dorothy Must Die

That’s all I can think of! Any other books you really want me to read? Tell me in the comments below. :)

Meanwhile, while the image to the right says I’m reading City of Heavenly Fire, I, uh, actually was reading If I Stay and finished today. I started it last night and finished this afternoon. How awesome is that? And now a bunch of people want to read it, so I’ll be loaning it to some friends. Now on to the book review!

 If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Title: If I Stay

Author: Gayle Forman

Number of Pages: 234

Genre: YA Contemporary

Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

Summary From Cover: On a day that started like any other…

Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, adoring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and full of choices. Then, in an instant, almost all that is taken from her. Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends one critical day contemplating the only decision she has left–the most important decision she’ll ever make.

Simultaneously tragic and hopeful, this is a romantic, riveting, and ultimately uplifting story about memory, music, living, dying, loving.

Discussion: If there’s any book that gets five stars, it’s this. Because it was so emotional and wonderful and sad and everything. I mean, seriously, it’s a system overload. I read it in less than 24 hours; I was completely hooked. The story is quite unique, and yet something I bet a lot of us think about, yet never think to write about. Maybe it’s too supernatural.

Throughout the story, I was debating whether or not Mia would choose to live. [That is not giving anything away; the trailer for the movie has this in it.] At the beginning, I thought, of course she’ll want to live! But as visitors came by her bedside, telling her to let go if she wants, and how Mia said it’s easier to die then to live, I thought the opposite: that she would die. I changed my mind so much during my reading, but by the end, in the last few pages, my hope for Mia was what she chose.

If I Stay takes place during one day. So it’s hard to write a whole book about it, especially if it’s 24 hours in the life of a somewhat ghost! And that’s why they added the flashbacks. There really wasn’t much backstory leading up to the “big event,” but when Mia is in the hospital, the flashbacks overwhelm the actual happenings. I lost myself in them, forgetting Mia was dying. They really help move the story along and give you insight into the characters lives. I think they are somewhat the root of the story; they hold Mia to earth, in a way.

A great aspect of the story was how vague it was about Mia’s out of body experience. She’s not a ghost, but not a person. She can see herself in the hospital, but isn’t really the girl with tubes attached and blankets on top of her. The reader, and Mia, is never really sure what Mia is. In the beginning, she tries clicking her heels to Hawaii, like a ghost would, but it doesn’t work, and that’s all we know of Mia’s form.

It ended much too soon. I literally was just staring at the page when it ended, gaping.

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And it’s a total cliffhanger!!! I need Where She Went, the sequel!

Other news: Malala Yousafzai’s newest book came in today; I’m picking it up tomorrow. Add it to my TBR list!

I’m on page 431 of CoHF. It’s reaaally good; can’t wait to review it!

Oh, and, right before we go, a really helpful video from Kat the booktuber.

Happy Tuesday!

Chloe

Top Ten Tuesday

TTT is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

TTT is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

It’s that time again: Top Ten Tuesday! This week’s TTT is ten books I cannot wait to get my hands on!

Ten Books I Can’t Wait to Read

1. To Kill a Mocking Bird [It is on my teacher’s shelf!]

2. If I Stay [I got it two days ago.]

3. The Blood of Olympus

4. Winter

5. Dorothy Must Die

6. The Infernal Devices series

7. Graceling

8. Eleanor & Park

9. Fangirl

10. The Book Thief [It slipped through my fingers…]

I can’t wait to read any and all of these!

Also, I did not get to finish Love, Stargirl, because all the library books had to be taken back. The consequences of getting too many books at once… BUT on the bright side, I got two amazing books! One being the recently released City of Heavenly Fire for 25 dollars; it was worth it. And the second, If I Stay. So excited to read it and watch the movie! I hope it lives up to the hype…

Note to self: August TCWT chain is on 22nd for me.

I hope you enjoyed my post! Are there any books on my list you want to read, too, or any books you really want to read that aren’t on it? Tell me in the comments below.

Luv ya bunches! Don’t forget to check out my newly added page, “My Somewhat Social Media.”

C