Silmaril Awards // Voting Round!

SilmarilAwards2018

Hey guys! Okay, I just have to say it…WOW. WOW WOW WOW.

I got 236 COMMENTS on my nominations post and I am just amazed. YAY TO ALL THE PEOPLE WHO NOMINATED PEOPLE! YAY TO THE PEOPLE WHO SECONDED PEOPLE!!YAY TO ALL THE EPIC HEROINES!!! 😀

And now, I’m sure you’ve all been waiting for the results, so I won’t delay any longer!

Coming up with the most nominations, we have…

Fern from The Girl Who Could See (by Kara Swanson)

Fern has a strong spirit and caring heart. Her bravery in the face of danger and her own fears – along with her relentless determination – certainly sets her apart as a very epic heroine. Also…she can see into other worlds and has an imaginary warrior friend.

Next we have…

Aravis from The Horse and His Boy (by C.S. Lewis)

Descendant of the great god Tash, Aravis is fearless, willing to kill herself rather than be married to her evil suitor. She survives lion attacks, avoids capture by sneaking out of Tashbaan and escaping to the Tombs, and treks through the blistering desert sun to reach her destination. Throughout her journey, Aravis has shown herself to be a strong and capable heroine, brave, loyal, and resourceful.

Up next we have…

Jill from The Silver Chair and The Last Battle (by C.S. Lewis)

Though bullied at school in England, Jill blossoms as a hero in Narnia. From her journeys through Underworld to save Prince Rillian, to her stand with the last king of Narnia in The Last Battle, Jill proves to be tenacious adventurer and a fierce friend.

Our next nominee is…

Leeli Igiby from The Wingfeather Saga (by Andrew Peterson)

Though she’s a young lass, Leeli Igiby carries herself with poise, and her compassion is nigh unrivaled. Her crippled leg doesn’t hinder her from joining her brothers Janner and Tink in wild escapades, and her small stature belies her fierce nature and ever-present courage. Chief among her skills is her deft touch on the whistleharp, from which she can spin songs that can quiet the most ferocious soul and penetrate the hardest heart. Her devotion to her family and her dear dog Nugget, her strength in the face of the ghastly Fangs of Dang, and her gentle attitude toward the mysterious Peet the Sock Man make her a true inspiration.

And finally we have…

Cress from The Lunar Chronicles (by Marissa Meyer)

A shell, born with no abilities and immunity to deceptive magic, Cress is the most incredible hacker in the known galaxy. Though she lived in a satellite by herself for most of her life, and is perhaps unfamiliar with some common customs and social cues, that only makes her all the more sweet and innocent. She is there for her friends when they need her, is brave when it counts, loyal, kind, and never gives up, even when it seems all hope is lost.

HERE is the link to the voting form. Let me know which of these heroines you want to win! And may the odds be ever in your favorite characters’ favor! 😀

New Until Next Time!

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3rd Annual Silmaril Awards Ceremony // Nomination Round! (CLOSED!)

SilmarilAwards2018

THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR NOMINATIONS! WE WILL NOW BEGIN THE TALLYING PROCESS AND VOTING WILL START ON MONDAY!

Hello friends! So, I feel really bad for being such a bad blogger and not posting as frequently as I feel I should be. But hopefully this post makes up for it!

Because…

*drum-roll please*

IT’S SILMARIL TIME! That’s right, it’s finally here! And I can’t wait to see you all go wild in the comments!! 😀

This year, I will be hosting The Most Epic Heroine Silmaril! This award should go to the heroine who is brave in the face of danger. Who isn’t afraid to risk her life for her friends. Who is smart. Resourceful. Wise. Kind. And an all-around amazing person.

Before you scurry over to the comment section, there are a few things you need to know:

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• Authors may not nominate their own characters. Sorry guys. 😦 But you are more than welcome to encourage your fans to nominate them!

• Anyone can second any character, even if it’s their own! The more seconds a character gets, the more chances they have of making it into the big-five voting round!

• Nominations are allowed for FANTASY BOOK characters only! Movie characters aren’t allowed unless the book came FIRST (e.g. The Princess Bride). We DO give a bit of leeway in the fantasy/sci-fi spectrum. If a good argument can be made as to WHY the book is technically fantasy, we will allow it (e.g. The Lunar Chronicles. Since they are actually fairy-tale retellings, and they have an element of magic, they are allowed).

• Characters who have already won a Silmaril in previous years are not permitted to win the award again. They are instead part of the “Lifetime” Hall of Fame for that specific award. (Lucy Pevensie won last year’s awards, so she will not be eligible.)

• Characters from any of Tolkien’s books (The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, etc.) are NOT allowed to be nominated, as most of them will be presenting at the awards ceremony. How awkward would it be for them to have to present themselves with the award?

~~~

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We also have a snazzy new website this year, courtesy of DJ Edwardson. Go check it out, it’s seriously amazing! We have past winners, a list of the bloggers who put this together, and much more stuff to come!

And lastly, here are the links to all the other presenters’ nomination posts! Be sure to go nominate in all of their categories too!

Least Competent Henchman

Silver Tongue

Most Nefarious Villain

Wisest Counselor

Most Mischievous Imp

Most Epic Hero

Most Magnificent Dragon

Most Loyal Friend

Strangest Character

Remember; nominations are open until September 7th, so get your favorites in quick! And don’t forget to have a blast! I can’t wait to see all the epic heroines! ^_^

New Until Next Time!

Realm Makers // Tips for Newbies! (AKA, Things I Wish I Had Known)

Wow. Look at me, I’m so on top of things, aren’t I? Posting every two weeks, giving you guys quality content. Go me.

Monkey Smh GIF by PG Tips

 

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, I WENT TO REALM MAKERS. AND IT WAS CRAZY. AND AWESOME. AND I WANT TO GO AGAIN NEXT YEAR.

I had such an amazing time, meeting all of you guys (and wishing some of you guys were there ;( ), taking a notebook full of notes in all the classes, book buying, dressing up for banquet night, the Nerf war that may or may not have happened. 😉

In short, it was such an amazing experience, and since I can’t accurately sum everything up, I’m going to throw some of these other bloggers posts in your face. Jenelle, Tracey, and Christine have some lovely recaps you should go read right now (you’ll find a couple pictures of me, if you look hard enough. 😉 )

So, as a writer, this was a totally worthwhile experience for me. I would go again in a heartbeat. But…there were some things that I wish I had done, and some things I wish I hadn’t done. So, if you’re planning on going some time in the future, or you just want some of my advice for next year, I’m going to list some pro tips that will help you be the best Realmie you can be. 😀

Tip 1 // Take as many pictures as humanly possible!

This is one of those things were I can see my quietness really makes itself known. I’m not the type of person to just walk up to somebody and say ‘Hey, mind if I take a picture with you?’ No, no, no, no, no, that is not me. If you come up to me and ask for a picture, I will gladly pose and smile. But it’s just not in my nature to ask.

But I wish I had. I so wish I had.

Because now I have no pictures of the event (except for the ones Christine sent me, THANK YOU SO MUCH ❤ ). It’s all mostly memories for me. And that’s totally fine. If you don’t care about the pictures, no big deal. But I know for me, pictures help keep events alive in my mind. And I do have the memory of a goldfish, so…

forget finding nemo GIF

Also, part of the reason I didn’t take any pictures is because I didn’t have a nice camera. I had my phone with me, but any pictures I attempted to take on it were always blurry and/or grainy. So I gave up on that. I do have a little digital camera, but it’s not the easiest to use. And I also forgot it. So.

In conclusion: get yourself a good camera, and don’t be afraid to snap a ton of photos! You’ll be so glad you did.

Tip 2 // Consider if you want take notes on paper or on your laptop/device!

This kind of depends on how good at note taking you are. I know I kind of wished I have used my laptop (even though it’s big and bulky and weighs a half a ton XD ). Instead, I had a notebook with me. Which definitely worked just fine, I filled it up with a ton of great notes and it felt really great just carrying my little notebook and pencil to each class.

But I’m not the fastest note taker. There was a lot of stuff that I missed because I couldn’t write fast enough. (Most of the people giving classes were willing to send their slides out, though, so that was nice. 🙂 ) Typing is just much easier and more convenient for me.

Anna Kendrick Typing GIF

But it’s also a pain to lug around a gargantuan laptop. In my case, I probably won’t end up carrying my computer around, but if you have a tiny, easily portable device, I would highly suggest using that, if you’re more into typing than pencil and paper.

Tip 3 // Bring business cards!

I so wish I had made some and brought them! Every time someone handed me there business card I would have to accept it and then…awkwardly not give them anything in return because I had nothing. XD

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ME.

After I got home, I started designing some on Vistaprint, had them finished within a day, and then ordered a pack of a hundred. They’re super cute and I’m really excited about them. ^_^

So if you want to be professional and you have the money, it’s a great way to promote yourself and your business (editing, writing, blogging, etc).

Tip 4 // Book appointments!

I don’t know if they do this every year, but lemme tell ya, I definitely regret not meeting with an agent or editor or even a mentor.

The nice thing about it is that they have people you can talk to for each stage of writing you’re in. All polished up and looking to pitch? Go with an agent. Feeling pretty confident, but still feel like your manuscript could use a little more work before it’s ready? Try an editor. Still in the writing stage and just looking for general guidance and encouragement? Book a mentor.

I probably would’ve booked a mentor, if I hadn’t gotten around to it too late (go me. XD) I know a lot of my fellow bloggers had meetings with agents and editors and they said it was invaluable, talking with a professional.

So I am definitely booking sooner rather than later, if I go next year. It sounds like it was worth it.

Tip 5 // Don’t be afraid to take breaks when you need to!

This is probably the most important tip, in my opinion. Don’t tire yourself out, trying to do everything. It’s okay to step back and take a breather. Head to your room for a little nap. Do a little exploring on your own during break periods. Grab a snack and just sit and relax.

I came with my family, and we stayed on site most of the time. It was so nice being able to just head to my room if it was too much noise and people. I could hang with my family, watch a little TV, eat some of the food we brought. It worked out really well.

So if it’s getting to be too much, and you need to catch your breath, don’t feel bad about it. If the majority of us there are introverted, we’ll understand. (I don’t know if that was true, but nearly all the bloggers I knew who were there are introverted, so I’m just making up data. XD)

Not Listening No Way GIF

~

Well, those are my tips for you future Realmies. I hope you heed my advice and come to Realm Makers next year! It was such a blast meeting you guys and for those of you who couldn’t make it I HOPE YOU CAN COME NEXT YEAR. Although, I don’t even know if I can go next year… Well, fingers crossed, I guess.

Have you ever been to Realm Makers before? If so, what are some of your favorite memories? I’d love to swap experiences with you! And if you haven’t been to Realm Makers, are you planning to go next year? ‘CAUSE YOU NEED TO. SERIOUSLY. Maybe you’ll see me there next year… 😉

New Until Next Time!

February is Fantasy Month // Fantastic Elements

February Fantasy Month Banner

Hello guys! Well, it looks like February is nearly over! Can you believe it? Time is just whizzing by… This year is going to disappear so fast… O_O But anyway, this week’s questions are all about the elements that make up a fantasy story!

#FantasyMonth

• Favorite magical weapons

I’ve always been fond of swords!

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But I do like the use of magic as a weapon too.

• Fantastical Art/Music

Hmm… Let’s see. I really love Eanrin’s (Tales of Goldstone Wood) ballads and poetry! Does that count as music? XD As for art… Well, I do like how art is described in The Vanishing Sculptor. There are pictures of the sculptures scattered throughout the book and the descriptions are so vivid and beautiful! I also love a gorgeously done map stuck in at the beginning or end of a book. Like this one:

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• Epic journeys & quests & lost heirs, Oh My!

Ooh, let’s see!

• The Hobbit has an epic journey

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• The Lightning Thief has a quest (and a pretty awesome one at that) (and hush, Percy Jackson is totally fantasy :P)

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• The Lunar Chronicles has a lost heir

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There, some recommendations for you. They’re all three of them amazing. Does that sufficiently answer the question?

• Prophecies: Love or Hate?

It’s funny, in movies, prophecies REALLY, REALLY annoy me. But in books…They don’t bug me too much. Maybe it’s because the movie makes it seem really cheesy? Or it just seems overdone? I don’t know.

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So I guess it’s somewhere in between love and hate? My favorite prophecy is probably the one in Illusionarium. That was really cool and clever.

• A villain you love to hate

SUCH A HARD QUESTION. Can I list like my top five?

  • Queen Levana from The Lunar Chronicles
  • The Keeper from Entwined
  • Capricorn from Inkheart
  • Smaug from The Hobbit
  • Queen Irina from The Shadow Queen

All nasty horrible beings. BUT I STILL LOVE THEM. I mean, as villains, not, like… you know what I mean.

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• Favorite fantasy hero/heroine

SUCH. TOUGH. QUESTIONS. O_O Okay, let’s see… I’m going to say for hero, definitely Lionheart from the Tales of Goldstone Wood. To me, he’s like the perfect image of a hero. At first he’s reluctant, but then he sets off, and he experiences hardships, which turns him into a stronger person. Such a cool character arc.

For heroine, I’m going to say Cress from the Lunar Chronicles. She’s sweet and gentle, but also strong and brave and knows how to handle things. She’s definitely a character I look up to. ❤

• Share an epic fantasy quote

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It’s not really from a book, but I just love it so much I had to share. 🙂 Oh, and a close runner-up…

“Never laugh at live dragons.”

~ J.R.R. Tolkien

Well, that was really fun! Thanks, Jenelle for coming up with these awesome prompts! What’s your favorite fantasy weapon? Who are you favorite villains or heroes? Let me know below!

until-next-time-1

February is Fantasy Month // Fantastic Families

February Fantasy Month Banner

Hello friends! Have you been enjoying these posts? No? Well, too bad, because I have another one for you, and this time, it’s center around family!

#FantasyMonth

• Best fantasy family

Ooh, let’s see… You know, I don’t know if I can think of an answer for this one! I’m wracking my brain, but I can’t come up with a whole fantasy family, let alone my favorite one… 😐 If you can think of any, let me know down below!

• Best siblings in fantasy

I’m going with the twelve sisters from Entwined for this one. They’re each unique and really care for each other! Plus, their is much sisterly banter and wit, which I love dearly. 🙂

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• Best fathers in fantasy

I think that would be a tie between Mo from Inkheart and Verrin Schope from The Vanishing Sculptor, (I just realized I haven’t raved about this book on here in a while! GO READ IT. It’s hilarious and wonderful). Both are trying their best to protect their daughters, but feel as though they’re failing. And they’re both in a pretty bad predicaments. And they’re both witty and charming. Oh my word, the similarities… O_O

• Best mothers in fantasy

I really hate to this, but I’m drawing a blank for this one too! Is it just me, or are there really not very many mothers in fantasy? Hmm… Would Elinor from the movie Brave count? If she did, that would be my answer. She’s half the time frustrated with her unruly daughter, but she’s still patient, and the ending…so lovely. ❤

animated movie kiss GIF by Disney Pixar

• Best fantasy friends

CINDER & CO. FROM THE LUNAR CHRONICLES. They kind of skim the line between sci-fi and fantasy, but SERIOUSLY. THEY ARE THE BEST. Their banter gives me life. ❤

• Best mentors in fantasy

Deborah actually just recently did a post about mentors, and I agreed with her on so many of the ones she listed! Gandalf from LOTR, Cosimo Livingstone from the Bright Empires series, Beana from the Tales of Goldstone Wood…so many good ones! 😀

• Why are there so many fantasy orphans?

That is a very good question. I…honestly don’t know.

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It’s the easiest option? To get the parents out of the way? A tragic backstory? There are so many ways storytellers can make that trope work. I personally don’t mind this trope, but it does get annoying after a while. Parents have good things to say! They can be such interesting plot devices! They can be mentors, sidekicks, the logical ones who say ‘why-in-the-world-are-you-doing-it-that-way-this-way-would-be-faster-and-a-million-times-easier’, they could even be interesting heroes! :O Or maybe the villains? *evil grin*

Well, there you are my friends. I really think there should be more family relationships in fantasy…It would make everything so much more relatable, you know? What do you think? More families? Better parent/child relationships? Let me know in the comments!

until-next-time-1

February is Fantasy Month // Fantastic Romance

February Fantasy Month Banner

Happy late Valentine’s day, bloggers! *throws conversation hearts and roses into the air* I hope you got a valentine from someone special. 🙂

I think it’s quite fitting that this week’s prompts are centered around romance in fantasy! Almost like it was done on purpose… XD

On to week two’s questions!

#FantasyMonth

• Favorite fairy tale ending

Hmm…That’s a tough one! I really love all of them! (Well, the Disney endings, anyway…) If I had to choose one, it would probably be either Beauty and the Beast’s or Aladdin’s ending. Beauty and the Beast’s was so romantic, and Aladdin’s just made me happy. It’s a tie!

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• Romantic tropes you dislike in fantasy

Well, I really hate insta-love. Like, HATE IT. 😛 That hardly ever happens in real life, and it tends to feel like it was added in as an after thought. Blegh.

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• Romantic tropes you like in fantasy

I LOVE the forbidden love trope. And the opposites attract trope. Basically, all of these couples that Christine said I ship pretty hard.

• Love at first sight?

Hmm…Maybe if they don’t realize it’s love at first?

• Friendship that turns into romance?

YES. I LOVE IT WHEN THAT HAPPENS. But, it has to be the right type of characters. Otherwise it can feel a bit stilted and awkward.

• Best/Worst Fantasy Love Triangles

I actually haven’t read a whole lot of books with love triangles in them…Am I lucky? XD

• Favorite Fantasy Couple

AGH THAT’S SO HARD ASDLKFJ. Can I list my top three?

  • Cress + Thorne
  • Imraldera + Eanrin
  • Winter + Jacin*

*Yes, there are two couples from the Lunar Chronicles.

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Fantasy romance is the best! What is your favorite couple? How do you feel about love triangles? Let me know down below!

until-next-time-1

Minstrel’s Call by Jenelle Schmidt // Cover Reveal, Blurb, and Links!

Books and Such (1)

Hello guys! I have some exciting news today…

MINSTREL’S CALL IS OUT FOR PREORDER!!

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I have known Jenelle for a while now, and I have been SO EXCITED for her, reading about her journey writing, editing, and finally publishing this book. *round of applause* The preorder price is $0.99, and is available on Amazon. So GO PREORDER IT. NOW. O_O

Parade of Jenelle’s Links //

Website/Blog

Facebook

Twitter

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads

But enough with the links, I know what you’re really here for.

You wanna see this gorgeous cover, right?

Well, you’re just going to have to be patient.

You didn’t think I was going to make this easy, did you?

Scroll just a little farther…

…to see this adorable puppy gif!

http://www.funnyordie.com/lists/a18dbfb32a/21-best-gifs-of-all-time-of-the-week-volume-24

Okay, okay, I’m done, I’m done. You’ve been patient.

Very, very patient.

Very, very, very patient.

I’m impressed! Alright, I’ll give you your prize.

AND HERE IT IS!

Minstrel's Call Cover

SO GORGEOUS RIGHT?! ❤ ❤ ❤

Blurb //

War threatens. The game board is set. But the Minstrel is missing…

Advancing his growing power, the Dread Prince breaks free of his prison and brings a faction of dragons under his control, stirring unrest and hatred in the newly united kingdoms of Tellurae Aquaous.

When the dragon wards of Kallayohm are targeted in a ruthless attack, the High King travels there to administer justice. But the trial results in a crippling blow that leaves him reeling.

On the heels of defeat, an unexpected message from the erstwhile Minstrel arrives, pleading with his friends for rescue. Together, the High King and his companions must follow the fragile trail, braving peril and darkness that will test the measure of them all…

Author Bio //

Jenelle Schmidt grew up in the northern-Midwest. She now resides with her husband and their four adorable children in the wilds of Wisconsin. Jenelle fell in love with reading at a young age during family story-times when her father would read out loud to her and her siblings each night before bed. Her imagination was captured by authors such as Madeleine L’Engle, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Lloyd Alexander. It wasn’t long before she began making up her own stories and sharing them with her family. To this day she enjoys creating exciting adventure tales filled with poignant themes and compelling characters in the fantasy and sci-fi genres.

What do think of that cover? Isn’t it delightful? Give me your opinion in the comments below! And don’t forget to preorder the book!

until-next-time-1

February is Fantasy Month // Fantastic Creatures

February Fantasy Month Banner

Hello friends! So, if you haven’t noticed it floating around the blogosphere yet, Jenelle reminded us that this month is FANTASY MONTH! 😀 A whole twenty-eight days, dedicated to the wonderful genre that is fantasy.

I’ve decided to take up her #FantasyMonth challenge, and, perhaps, participate in the short story challenge, posting that toward the very end of the month.

So without anymore dallying, let’s get into week one’s questions!

#FantasyMonth

• Favorite fantasy creature

Oh wow, that’s a hard one! I love so many different creatures! My top three would probably be…

// Dragons

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Surprise, surprise.

// Griffins

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Okay, so this is a hippogriff. It’s all I could find.

There really needs to be more of them…

// Pegasus/Unicorns/Kelpies

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Okay, so I’m kinda cheating on this one, because…that’s clearly three animals. BUT I love them all the same! I like to think of them as a triumvirate. One makes you think of the other, that kind of thing. 🙂

• Preference: Sentient or Beast?

I think it depends on what we’re defining as ‘sentient’. Does that mean they can talk? Or can they just understand us? Can they think for themselves, without instincts? Or are they still an animal, but can understand us?

I guess, yes, I prefer sentient. There are so many more possibilities. 😀

• Creature you wish were in more books

Well, looky here, I already answered that question up there! XD Some other creatures that I think deserve more attention:

• Shapeshifters

• Ghosts (not like scary ghosts, just, you know, friendly ghosts, like Casper)

• Phoenixes

• Best fantasy creature on film

Well, the obvious answer here would be Smaug.

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But I do really like Toothless, too! ^_^

• If you could have a fantasy creature…

Technically a genie is a fantasy creature, right? Having a genie would be nice…We could be great friends! A little mini dragon would be pretty epic too though…

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• Favorite fairy tale featuring fantastic creatures

Hmm… Does Lord of the Rings count? 😛

Not really a fairy tale… I would probably go with either Beauty and the Beast or Aladdin. Beasts and genies are cool. 😀

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• Favorite fantasy creature character

I’d say either Halcyon or Salazar from Paper Crowns! They’re both so awesome!! 😀

Lord Of The Rings Hobbits GIF

Well guys, that was week one! If you guys want to do this challenge, PLEASE DO IT. I would love to see your answers to these awesome questions!

until-next-time-1

My 2017 Recap

2017

Well guys, it’s that time. 2017 has come to an end and 2018 looms ahead. Anyone else shocked at how fast this year has flown by? No? Just me?

Writing

The writing scene has been interesting this year, to be sure…

// I finished editing Imprint and gave it a few close friends and family for a prescreening. I’ve only gotten feedback from one person so far, but hopefully the others will be able to finish and tell me what they think.

After that, I’ll go through their notes, do a teensy bit more editing, and then I’ll be sending it to some beta-readers!! *confetti, cheering, merriment* 😀 I don’t know for sure when I’ll be ready, but let me know down in the comments if there is the slightest bit of interest reading it over. 🙂

// I did JuNoWriMo for a third (fourth…?) time! It was really fun because I decided to go rebel and work on several different projects. I wrote a total of 36,227 words that June! Even though I didn’t win, it was still really great finally getting some of these ideas in my head into rough outlines. 🙂

// I also attempted to do NaNoWriMo again! Though I fared much less successfully than JuNo. I had been going back and forth about what idea to go with, so I ended up deciding on writing a Snow White retelling for the Rooglewood Press Contest.

Well. That didn’t work out.

I think I was just so burned out from work and other matters that I just didn’t have the motivation. So I quit. Still a bit sad about that, but what’s done is done, right?

// Over the course of the year I came up with not one, not two, but FOUR NEW FULL FLEDGED IDEAS. And now I’m drowning in ideas help. XD

bunny rabbits bunny island
Plot bunny invasion. Spoiler alert, that girl is ME. XD

Two of these ideas I shared with you back in June. Crown of Thorns and Pickpocket. They were only baby ideas then. Ha. Ha. Haha. HAHA. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

The other two ideas will remain a mystery for now, though I will tell you that I’ve tentatively titled them The Ink Slinger and They Sit in Darkness. I’m so excited about them guys. But I should also probably work on all the things I’ve already started first. Just maybe. XD

Life

RIP: The Novel, Literature, and Everything Else via Bookriot :: a tragic loss.

// I haven’t really announced this, I think I’ve mentioned it a few times in other posts, but towards the end of the summer I got a job at my local library! I work as an aide, shelving mostly, but also checking in books that come in the book drop and putting requested books that come from other libraries on the shelves. Some days are slow, while other days are WOW PEOPLE. XD I’ve gotten to know a lot of the regulars who come in though, and that’s nice. 🙂

// I got two new cousins this year! Two weddings last year, and now two new friends! 😀 For privacy, I won’t give their full names, but their first names are Jason and Jameson. They’re both boys and they are both adorable. ❤

// I watched a bunch of good movies this year! Some old for the first time and some new! A quick rundown:

Cars 3 | This was really, really good! I thought it was a perfect closing for the Cars trilogy. 5/5.

Spiderman Homecoming | GAH. I JUST. THIS MOVIE. TOM HOLLAND. *flails* SO. GOOD. 5/5.

Jumanji (1995) | I’ve always liked the book, but I hadn’t seen the movie up till now. Robin Williams did SUCH a great job! It was a really entertaining watch. 5/5.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Though I didn’t like this one as much as the first, it was still REALLY GOOD. It moved Peter’s storyline along nicely and I can’t wait to see these guys in Infinity War! 😀 4.5/5.

Thor Ragnarok | EASILY MY MOST FAVORITE MOVIE THIS YEAR NO JOKE. Though Spidey gets a close second. JUST. THE BANTER. LOKI. THAT EPIC DOCTOR STRANGE SCENE. *screams for 564984 years* 5/5.

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The Phantom of the Opera (2005) | I was recommended this movie by one of my coworkers and though there was too much singing for my taste (what was I expecting though, really?), it was still a solid movie. Phantom is so creepy… 3/5.

Divergent (2014) | Can you believe I hadn’t seen this movie yet? It was awesome. Four is awesome. Everything was just awesome. Yeah. XD 4/5.

Arrival (2016) | SO. FASCINATING. I loved this movie TO BITS. The atmosphere, the characters, the setting, it was all just so…fascinating. That’s the best word I can think for it. 5/5.

Nearly All the Bourne Movies (various release dates) | I’ve been watching these with a friend and they are SO. INTENSE. GOODNESS GRACIOUS. My favorite one so far has been the Bourne Legacy with Jeremy Renner. SO GOOD. 😀 4.5/5

Also, I just started watching Merlin and OH MY GOSH WHAT AM I GETTING MYSELF INTO. I just started season two but GOSH THAT SEASON ONE FINALE. EXCUSE ME WHILE I GO TO MELT INTO A PUDDLE. O_O

I love that gaius just let's him walk out when he says this!!!

// Reading scene was a bit weak this year. I read a grand total of thirty books this year. Sad, I know. But I’m not disappointed! Goodreads tells me that my average rating for the year was 4.5 stars. THAT’S PRETTY GREAT. It was the year of good books, I guess. XD

I won’t list all of the books, but here are a few high lights of the year:

Five Magic Spindles by various authors | LITERALLY SO GOOD. All the stories were so creative and AMAZING. 5/5.

Wires and Nerves by Marissa Meyer | I mean. It’s about Iko. And it has the whole Lunar Chronicles cast. What’s not to love? 5/5.

The Bright Empires series by Richard R. Lawhead | THIS SERIES GUYS. So beautifully descriptive and complex and witty and just EPIC IN GENERAL. 5/5.

Michael Vey by Richard Paul Evans | So I’ve read the first three books so far and THEY’RE SO ADDICTING HELP ME. I’m itching to finish the rest of the books. SOON. O_O 5/5.

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine | On Goodreads this book has really been looked down upon for not being all that great. But I just LOVED IT. The twists were scream-inducing and the characters were so COOL. I don’t know why nobody likes it?? Like?? -_- 5/5.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Shannon Hale | Okay, if that title doesn’t make you want to read it, I don’t know what will. There are footnotes. Three whole pages dedicated to names of squirrels. Text conversations with the Avengers. Still not convinced? 😉 5/5.

Blogging

I haven’t even started watching Sherlock, but I love this so much. XD

Here are some nerdy stats you are all probably dying to see. XD

I wrote 70 posts this year! (Well, 71 counting this post. 🙂 )

My three most popular posts are my three Silmarillion posts which you can read here, here, and here.

I got 1,064 visitors, 134 followers388 likes, and 640 comments. (Also, a shout-out to my top commenters, Laurel, Deborah, Faith, and Abbey! You guys ROCK! ❤ )

I also have an announcement! This site is going to be going through a bit of renovation. Though I have grown to love the owls that I use as a profile picture and on my banner, I’ve decided that it’s time to retire them and bring in something new. I’m not entirely sure what that thing is yet, but it will be good, trust me. 😉

I’m also going to be redoing some of my pages at the top of the site, throwing some away and adding new ones.

And I’m learning to be very careful to only use stuff that is copyright-free, or that I’ve created on my own. I recently read an article (of course I can’t remember who wrote it now… XD ) about a blogger getting sued for copyright infringement, even though she had given credit and it put things in a whole new light for me. I’m going to step lightly now.

Goals for 2018

I really wouldn’t even call these goals, but I have to have something to go off of right?

My loose plans are to work on outlining a TON. I don’t think these ideas can stay in my head for much longer. I need to write them all out so my brain isn’t so strung up on details. XD

THE INSIDE OF MY HEAD.

I have no plans to do JuNo or NaNo, but I’m not against it. I’ll have to see how open my schedule is at the time and decided from there.

And as a last goal, I really want to try and not put too much pressure on myself. I’ve found that I am VERY hard on myself and I don’t know when to stop. So if I need to take a hiatus, then I will. If I need to rework my blog schedule, then I will.

And that’s not just for blogging. Reading, writing, and life too.

We’ll see how well this works out. XD

Happy New Year, bloggers! I hope you have a wonderful 2018! Do you have any resolutions? Goals? Let me know down below!

until-next-time-1

The Bibliophile Sweater Tag

Hello fellow bloggers! Some of you many know that I live in the cold, cold state of Minnesota. And it is with deep remorse, that I must announce…that it is snowing. And not just gentle, fluffy flakes. No, no, no. The wind is pounding on my windowpane and my house is creaking and shuffling around, already settling for the winter.

BUT IT’S NOT WINTER. Did the weather fairy not know that? It’s not supposed to be SNOWING four days before Halloween. -_-

But anyway, I do have a point to this rant. With it being so cold, the time of sweaters and long sleeves have come. And I since Mary over at Sunshine and Scribblings tagged me to do her lovely tag, and it’s about sweaters…Well, it just made sense. 🙂 Thank you Mary! *sends a hug over the internet*

The Rules

– Give the person who tagged you a never-ending supply of cookies (or just thank them – either works)
– Answer all the questions and use the blog graphic for this tag somewhere in your post
– Pass along the tag to at least five other people
– Wear a sweater (okay, this is optional…but why wouldn’t you want to??)

fuzzy sweater // a book that is the epitome of comfort

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Princess Academy by Shannon Hale is the very first ‘big kid’ book I remember reading, and it’s really what got me interested in reading. I’ve reread it many times and it will always make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. ^_^

striped sweater // a book which you devoured every line of

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I like to think I devour the lines of every book, but to be particular, one of the most recent books that I absolutely ate up was The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine. It just tickled me pink in all the right ways. 🙂

ugly christmas sweater // a book with a weird cover

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Definitely this cover for The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker. It’s just so aesthetically unpleasing, with the weird pink color and the stock photo frog. It just doesn’t make my eyes happy.

cashmere sweater // most expensive book you’ve bought

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*picks through bookshelves* That would have to Wires and Nerves by Marissa Meyer at a whopping $22! But believe me, it was TOTALLY worth it. SO. GOOD.

hoodie // a favorite classic book

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I do so immensely enjoy Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. It’s a very homey, comforting book, plus, I have THIS beautiful edition.

cardigan // a book that you bought on impulse

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I buy a lot of books on impulse… XD But one that I had absolutely no prior knowledge of would have to be The Lost Track of Time by Paige Britt. I found it in our old used bookstore in wonderful condition, so I picked it up. While it wasn’t my favorite, it was still cute and enjoyable.

turtleneck sweater // a book from your childhood

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I remember getting this book as a Christmas present from my grandparents many years ago. The illustrations (by Gail de Marcken) are whimsical and beautiful and the story (by Jeff Brumbeau) is even more gorgeous.

homemade knitted sweater // a book that is indie-published

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This is a wonderful book published by my blogging friend C.B. Cook. I was following her serial story on her blog up until she got it published. It’s so awesome to be able to hold a physical copy in my hand! ❤

v-neck sweater // a book that did not meet your expectations

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I had HIIIIIGH hopes for this one. I mean, it was written by STAN LEE. HELLO. But sadly, it didn’t quite wow me the way I thought it would. 😦

argyle sweater // a book with a unique format

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I am definitely saying Illuminae by Amy Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. SUCH a cool format! The story is told in documents, chat room conversations, and various other forms of communication. It was so fun to read!

polka dot sweater // a book with well-rounded characters

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Okay, so some of you may have seen this coming…BUT SERIOUSLY. SUUUCH good characterization!! I could rave about this series forever. 😀

Alright, now to tag some people! I tag…

Kate @ Story and Dark Chocolate

Jenelle Schmidt

Grace @ Pure and True

and Deborah @ The Road of a Writer

Thank you again, Mary for such a fun tag! And FYI, I am wearing a sweater. It’s gray with black and pink sleeves. 😉 How are you all enjoying fall? Has it snowed where you live yet? PLEASE SAY IT HASN’T. Let me know down below!

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