Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Beautiful People #13: Zaneta Again!


I've had a crazy September. It flew by so fast! But that's for Friday's post. Tonight, I'm squeezing in September's Beautiful People post before September ends!

(Hosted by Cait and Sky.)

More Zaneta this month! I love that crazy, crazy girl.

1. They're in a crisis: who would they really like to see right now?

Bartolomeo, her dad. Part of her knows he can't solve everything, but the 3 year old that's still hiding in her soul really really insists he can.

2. Are they easy to get along with?

Oh please. If you've read my other BP posts featuring Zaneta, you know the answer is YES. (Most of the time, at least. She's got a bit of a temper but it never lasts long.)

3. Who was the last person they had a deep conversation with?

Besina, her mother. Deep mother-daughter talks keep the world a lovely place!

4. They're in the middle of a huge crowd of people: how do they feel?

Mildly intimidated. But the feeling of intimidation is entirely overwhelmed by excitement and anticipation of adventure (and possibly meeting cute guys).

5. Do they believe in luck or miracles?

Yes, both. But miracles more than luck.

6. Do they like and get along with their neighbors?

Most of the time. And especially the young male ones. (Gosh, this is making Zaneta sound like SUCH a flirt. She's not. Well, I mean she is, kinda, but that's not ALL she is.)

7. If they could travel anywhere in the world, where would they go?

Zaneta really wants to see the fields of Tuscany someday.

8. How do they feel about their body?

She has her insecurities, as any young girl does, but they're not too gargantuan. She's a bit self-conscious about her ears especially? She adores her hair, her lips, and the fact that her nose isn't ugly. Ugly noses can change a person's appearance dramatically, in her opinion.

9. What is the cruellest thing someone has ever said to them? How did they react?

One of the customers once doubted that a mask was her handiwork, and that she was her father's apprentice. She was about to give them a piece of her mind when her father interrupted and calmed the situation down by being chill and awesome and staring hard at the person until they got uncomfortable and left.

10. What is the kindest thing someone has ever said to them? How did they react?

Luckily, Zaneta's grown up in a functional family with loving and supportive parents and a rather progressive extremely proud father who ADORES his only child and teaches her the art of maskmaking. So the kindest thing someone has said to Zaneta is not just one thing - it's kind of spread out across her childhood in all the affirmative and wonderful things her parents have said to her. Bartolomeo telling her she's made a mask well is pretty much her favorite thing to hear ever.

So. That's September's BP post! Next month I might have characters from a new WIP - potential NaNo material? We shall see.

(Check out all my BP posts here!)

Did you do Beautiful People this month? Link them in the comments! And how is your writing going? OH AND - if you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Fall TBR

Hosted by the lovelies at The Broke and the Bookish.
Covers link to goodreads.

NO I'm not dead. Not yet. I'm actually very much alive and busy. My school schedule suddenly decided to become all encompassing and all demanding, and I started tutoring two hours a week at my university's writing center, and my friends decided to make Friday afternoons weekly volleyball outings (which I OBVIOUSLY have to go to), and my sister got a new mattress so of course all the bedrooms had to be entirely redesigned and remodeled, and my scholarship doesn't pay for study abroad so I have to apply for MORE scholarships if I want to go to Denmark in January. Yay!

Therefore, I'm sure you will forgive me if my TTT today is rather late and not at all descriptive. :-) This week's topic is Books on My Fall TBR!

1. Cleopatra's Shadows by Emily Holleman
This is my next read - I'm starting tomorrow. It comes out October 6th!

2. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh 
I've hear so much GOODNESS about this one - and that cover is splendiforous!

3. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

3. The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett
I fell in love with this nerdy title, and then when Cait reviewed it on her blog I knew it had to go to the top of my TBR. 

4. The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough
Can I just say COVER LOVE!? Also, more Cait reccs.

5. Velvet Undercover by Teri Brown
This TTT seems to be full of books on my TBR because of Cait. Well. *shrugs*

6. Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
Awesome covers. LIBRARIES. What could be better?

7. A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
There seem to be a lot of Sherlock Holmes retellings lately WHICH I AM TOTALLY COOL WITH.

8. Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
This has been on my TBR forever, but ever since Maggie Stiefvater live tweeted (and ALL CAPPED) her BBC miniseries viewing, it's been top priority!

9. The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey
What can I say? Another gorgeous cover. And I've been hearing loveliness about this one too.

10. Lock and Mori by Heather W. Petty
What did I tell you about Sherlock Holmes retellings being a thing? SQUEEEE

What's on your TBR this fall? And link me your TTTs!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Do You Judge Books By Their Covers? (spoiler: i do)

Whenever there's a Top Ten Tuesday that has to do with recommending books, I always end up with a pile of new titles added to my TBR. It's just inevitable! Everyone's listing their ABSOLUTE FAVORITES and I get so excited and add them ALL.

Of course, I read the blurb and whatnot, and look it up on goodreads for my friends' reviews. But before I do all that - I look at the cover. The prettier the cover, the more likely I will look further into the premise of the book.

I shamelessly, shamelessly judge books by their covers. Most of them, anyway.

The thing is, I grew up on classic literature. With the classics, there is usually more than one edition of a book, so there's no such thing as The Cover. Usually, the designer slaps portrait art of someone else on the cover, with the title boldly thrown across, like so:


Who are these guys? Who knows? But we know they're all real people who at some point sat to have a portrait drawn, never knowing that it would end up on the cover of a book. But hey! They're youngish men from the right era, so you can totally imagine them to be The Count, right?

Or if you don't want a classical style portrait, perhaps a classical painting of a landscape or castle?


As you can see, there are billions of covers for each classic book. I would never know which one my library had, so I'd have to go with whatever was available. Eventually, when I knew which classics I wanted to add to my personal collection, I'd go out and find the pretty covers. Like these: *heart eyes*


But because I grew up on classics, I learned to appreciate the genius inside without even considering what was on the cover. (Whoops don't mean to throw unintentional life lessons at you!) So when I started to read books with still-alive-authors, books that were only in their first edition (imagine that!), I really disregarded the cover. I read for the beautiful words, I told myself, the cover doesn't matter.


That all changed the more I got into YA and MG by still-alive-authors. Nowadays, I will totally read a book if all I know about it is that it has a gorgeous cover, especially if it's middle grade.

Personally, I really enjoy artsy covers, especially ones with a lot of intricate detail. Photography doesn't thrill me as much. I want my bookshelf to be a gorgeous art gallery! And I've found MG covers satisfy this way more often than YA or Adult covers. I don't know why, I'm really really into MG covers. I think it's something to do with the ethereal mystery of MG books in general. Feast your eyes:

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So it makes sense that YA covers that attract me are the ones that follow the style of MG cover-art:

23719270 22616123 24737347 23399232 24565038 23315831 22544764 20345202 22521951

Basically, I really really like covers that are artsy and bold, without much photography. Bonus points if they have a cool script-y font. There are other covers I like but this style - artsy and font-sy - is almost certain to make me look twice at a book I know nothing about.

So I guess I do judge books by their covers - unless they're classics.

Are you a shameless-cover-judger? Or are you able to disregard the cover when buying books? What's your favorite cover-design style?

Friday, September 4, 2015

August // School + Secret Sisters

August seemed like the longest month ever. Which was good, because it was summery and nice.

~Summer school ended in August, and I got A's in both my classes so YAY! It was a successful session.

~Then I had two weeks of break, during which I did SO MANY THINGS. I went to the Renaissance Faire for the first time which was stupendous and beyond anything I ever could have imagined. I hung out with friends, and went to an end of summer barbecue on the beach. My aunt came over from London and we all visited her at my grandma's house and I read on a raft on a lake. We had friends over for a revival of our writers' group (it had gone defunct after we went to college). I wrote two short stories and plotted out half of the VeniceNovel. I also blogged a lot. It was a really excellent two weeks.

My #OTSPSecretSister package goodies
~I also got a lovely package from my #OTSPSecretSister! This is the first month of the new session (my first time doing it!). Basically it's like Secret Santa cheer-spreading loveliness except once a month! It's splendid.

~School started on the 25th, and the first week was a breeze. I had no labs for the first week, so I just hung out with friends each day. College without actual college is a splendid thing. (Now I'm actually getting into work but I'm glad I took advantage of my free time that first week.) This year I'm taking an English course that will allow me to tutor in the Writing Center, which is fun!

~There was a clear point where my internet presence disappeared, that coincided nicely with the first week of school. This is not because I was so busy with school, because, as I said, the first week was easy. It was because I was catching up with real-life friends. I like friends WOO

~Exactly at that point, I thought it would be a smart idea to get a tumblr. Yes. Go me.
Anyway, my tumblr is going to be full of less sophisticated stuff than this blog (like what I do here is so sophisticated, yeah), and possibly even have some of my flash fiction / short stories / WIP excerpts on it. So go follow me! (Also, I need to follow more people on there, so if you have a tumblr, let me know!)

~Overall the whole month was a month of gorgeous skies and minimal rain. Awesome for me, not so awesome for our garden in the backyard. But hey, I had nice walks between the train station and my university! (And lots of nice barbecue weather.)

It was a small haul, but nice:

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Cleopatra's Shadow by Emily Holleman - thanks to Hachette for the ARC!
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larson - found at my lovely train station free-book shelf.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - from my August #OTSPSecret Sister box! Thank you sister!
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson - also from the train station. I heard it's good and mystical and creepy.

The photos link to their Instagram versions


I was not very active on the blogging world (sorry) but I promise I'll be better commenting now! So this month I'm sharing some not necessarily blogging things - just internet fun.

Annie Hawthorne joined the blogging world! Go welcome her at Curious Wren!

Props to this guy! He's a genius and an innovator and deserves way more in life. Someone get him a job at a library! 
{I inundate you with photos from the faire - THERE ARE FAIRIES}

{If I were rich... I'd buy every single book buy these authors}

{Thanks to Cait for the tag!}

How was your August? Was it as hot and sunny as mine? Is school-starting a thing that happened in your life this month? Tell me in the comments!