Saturday, June 27, 2015

Let's Talk Audiobooks!

It's that time again....

June's vlog has been created! It's a bit sloppy, since I threw it together a bit quickly today, but I hope you enjoy it!

Do you like audiobooks? When do you use them? Travel? Commuting? Working out? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

May // The Month of Adventure

A little late, but oh well...

In May, school ended - WOOOO!

You know what also happened this month? My second blogoversary! And look how good of a blogger I am - I FORGOT IT. Wow. Go me. I promise next year we'll do something big. :-)

A week after my finals, my sister and I hopped on a plane to visit my aunt in London! We spent two weeks there (and a weekend in Paris) and had a ton of fun:

We found a secret marble door! (Not really...)

This is Victor Hugo's house. (!!!!)

...has anyone seen the movie Hugo?

We found a kingly role model.

cornish pasties <3

Another thing we did was take "reproduction" photos of the last time we were in London. (I was nine and Dionna was seven.)

I'd say 'twas a pretty awesome trip!

A small haul, but a nice one:

Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams - I confess, I haven't read the Hitchhiker books, but I know I should and I know I will love them! This book I got from my convenient train station book donation shelf, and I thought I'd keep it until I finally get around to reading the Hitchhiker books that came before :-)

Love Fortunes and other Disasters by Kimberly Kabalius - This is an ARC I got from Swoon Reads (thank you!) that I don't even remember requesting. Whoops. It looks super cute though!

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas - *squeals with delight* I won this one in a giveaway (thanks Kristina!) and it's SIGNED. I haven't read any of Sarah J. Maas's books but I'm excited to start!

Can't you tell I hate star ratings? I rated Jackaby a 4.25ish. 

When I was little I wanted to be a filmmaker just so I could make all the book-to-movie adaptations RIGHT.

When I was in London/Paris, my lovely sister made an appearance on my vlog! 

How was your May? If you're a student, are you done with school yet? How's the weather in your corner of the world - getting summery? (or wintery?)


Friday, June 5, 2015

My Writing Strengths (And Weaknesses)

A few days ago, Cait at Paper Fury wrote a post about her writing strengths and weaknesses.* This was also the topic for the Teens Can Write Too blog chain for May (which I am not a part of, but should be, because the end of my teen years is fast approaching).

I thought this was a fabulous blogging topic and decided to make a list of my own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to my writing.

*Yes, even the superb Cait has weaknesses. 

baby animated GIF

I am very aware of my flaws. They glare in my face on a daily basis.

My plots are a tangly mess.
I can't plot to save my life. I've tried notebooks, I've tried index cards, I've tried virtual tools, I've tried multiple different post it methods. But no matter what, the various strings of my plots just kind of refuse to cooperate. And it seems that the more I try to develop the plot, the more boring it becomes! Why? I have no idea.

I rarely finish my novels.
No, this isn't exactly going to help me get books published, I know. For multiple reasons endings are just an extreme struggle for me. Things never tie together neatly and the stories just keep going on and on and on and on...

This is definitely not related to my inability to plot effectively. Oh no. I see no connection.

I'm afraid of risk-taking.
Swear words? Steamy romance scene (even sans sex)? Some kind of controversial issue? I tread extremely lightly around these things, because they scare me. I'm the epitome of "good girl" in real life, but I know that in writing I have to stretch the limit sometimes, and my characters are (usually) not like me. But it's HARD and SCARY. I've always been scared of putting myself out there, even if it's in the privacy of a crappy first draft that no one will ever read. My conscience (or timid inner Sophia) is sometimes irrationally and unneededly loud.

I'm not good at keeping a writing schedule.
I write in weird bursts here and there, and very rarely. Part of this is because I am a busy student, and being a writer is not my single career goal. However, it is just as much a career goal for me as is being a doctor, which means I should be devoting equal time to them, right? Well, I'm not. I've gotten good at chemistry because I've taken five chemistry classes so far. I've done HOURS and HOURS of chemistry. I'm GOOD at chemistry (reasonably, at least). 
I have probably spent ten times as much time doing chemistry then I have writing. No surprise, my writing skill is progressing really slowly. 
As my (wonderfully supportive non-writer) mother told me, "If you are seriously considering writing as a career, you have to prepare for it as such." Perhaps I don't have to write every day, but I SHOULD write at least once a week!

Bragging time. Because I'm never one to indulge in false humility.

I can make well-rounded characters all day.
My characters are awesome (not gonna lie). But, because my plots are sad, I don't have enough stories for all my characters. I have a notebook full of my homeless babies that need a story! :-(

I do writing good.
But seriously, I'm a grammar pro and can spell things like "antidisestablishmentarianism" without spell check. Fancy, huh? I can tell you exactly when to use "whom" vs. "who," "then" vs. "than," "its" vs. "it's," and "their" vs. "they're" vs. "there."
But if you're scared of my wrath, should you misspeak or misspell, don't worry. I'm not a grammar Nazi. I won't abandon our friendship for a grammar error. :-)

I've got plenty of ideas.
They may not be plots, necessarily, but I am definitely a font of creativity when it comes to scenes, characters, and settings. Oh, settings! Settings really inspire me - Venice is MY MUSE. My goal, a lot of the times, is to transfer into words the feeling that a place gives me. This is, as you may guess, quite hard. But I'm working on it!

My villains kick butt.
This is a continuation of the character excellence bit, but in all humility, my villains are pretty darn awesome. I've been taking lessons from Victor Hugo.

What are your writing strengths and weaknesses? Do you excel at plotting (GIVE ME TIPS) or at characters? And how do you schedule out writing times?