The Winner of the Strangest Character Silmaril Award 2020

“Welcome, everyone to the Strangest Character Ceremony! I’d like to start by…er, hang on a moment…”

“You want me to what?”

*sighs*

“Oh boy. If you say so, I guess.”

*clears throat*

“Welcome, one and all, to a ceremony most fair,

where we celebrate the strange ones, to show them how we care.

Presenting today is a man of quick wit

who speaks only in rhyme; Tom Bombadil! And now I quit.”

I leave the stage as Tom Bombadil bounds onto it, all smiles, and nearly trips over his feet in his excitement. He levels his gaze with the audience and spreads his arms wide.

“It’s a pleasure to see you all gathered around,

for the announcement of one in whom strangeness abounds.

But first we must hear the grand nominees,

the contestants who made it to the round three.”

Tom riffles through a stack of papers and loudly clears his throat.

“First there is…scarecrow. What an odd name!

Are you sure this is correct? Well, all the same,

he’s made of straw, with a silly little face,

he bounces along to get place to place.

He doesn’t talk much, if at all, really,

but there is more to him than the eye can see!”

The audience claps as the scarecrow bounces on his pole, bits of hay falling to the floor beneath him, seeming to want to convey to the people that he is pleased they are clapping for him, but unable to do so. His blank stare and stiff body pause and clunk against the chair he is propped against. Beside him, Sophie rolls her eyes.

“Next comes Gurgi, a creature of rhymes,

much like me, a poet full time!

All covered in leaves with matted down fur,

he has long skinny arms that are grimy for sure!

But he is the most loyal creature, despite the grime,

though crunchings and munchings take up most of his time.”

Gurgi timidly stands and faces the audience. As they clap, he smiles, but quickly sits down, mumbling under his breath to Taran sitting beside him. “Gurgi’s poor, tender head hurts from the clapping,” he says quietly. Taran pats him on the shoulder with a small smile.

“A cat with attitude is next on our list,

his riddles and puzzles will make your mind twist.

It’s the Cheshire Cat, with his purple stripes and grin,

you might get lost in Wonderland and happen upon him.

He isn’t quite helpful, but he isn’t all bad.

Though if you hang about him too long, you might grow mad.”

The audience scans the crowd for any sign of the feline, but it isn’t until they look up do they notice the striped cat lounging on one of the rafters above, lazily licking a paw, a giant grin on his face. Alice looks up in frustration, but says nothing. The cat seems to enjoy the applause given to him, but quickly fades away as the clapping dies down.

“What this ceremony requires is a doctor, don’t you agree?

Well, Miracle Max is the one it will be!

He’s got lots of character, and is quite nice, I think,

as long as your name isn’t Prince Humperdinck.

He can heal you of all sorts of diseases,

but he might not help you. You see, he does what he pleases.”

Miracle Max stands from his chair, raising a hand as if to say ‘no, no, please don’t clap for me,’ as the audience gives a round of applause. Valerie sitting beside him crosses her arms, clearly annoyed her husband is being given all the credit when she is the one always convincing him to do the right thing. After a few moments, she yanks his sleeve and he falls abruptly back into his seat, glowering at her.

“And finally we have a fiery demon.

Don’t worry, he’s friendly! I’d love you to meet him.

Oddly charming, but perhaps sometimes whiny,

his name is Calcifer, and at first he seems spiny.

But after you talk with him, he’s really quite smart.

Because deep down, he has a very big heart.”

In a little fire pit set before Howl’s and Sophie’s row, Calcifer flames up at the mention of his name, growing larger as the audience claps louder. “Calcifer, stop that,” Sophie says, swatting at him. “You’ll burn the scarecrow.” The scarecrow shifts his body to face Sophie, then swivels back to Calcifer and bounces down a couple empty chairs. Calcifer grudgingly stops.

“The votes have been tallied, the totals have been scored.

Who is the winner of this most auspicious award?”

The audience waits with bated breath as Tom pauses for dramatic affect. The scarecrow bounces up and down in his seat five chairs away from his party, and the Cheshire Cat reappears, eyes and grin wide. Miracle Max leans forward in his seat, while Valerie rolls her eyes as if to say “Honestly, dear, why are you so keen on winning this award, of all the awards.” But she doesn’t say anything, instead just watches on.

Tom clears his throat. And winks at Valerie.

“It is the healer Miracle Max, that we so jubilantly celebrate!

He has won, defied the odds, and now we all must demonstrate

our warmest regards by clapping loud for everyone to hear!

Congratulations and adulation to our winner of this year!”

The audience bursts into applause, as Max stares dumbfounded for but a moment before welcoming the praise being showered on him. Valerie smiles, rolling her eyes, but rises and gives her husband a kiss. After all, he did win. And she’s proud of him for that. Tom Bombadil motions for Max to come up on stage and then hands him a gold silmaril with a sly wink.

“Thank you all for coming, we’re so glad you could attend.

But now I must be off, I have important matters to amend.

And with these parting words I say, adieu and enjoy the rest!

Take some time to socialize and be our welcomed guests!”

Tom Bombadil bounds off stage in the same manner as bounded on and promptly vanishes in the throe of people.

“Do…do I still have to rhyme everything I say? Tom? I’m not rhyming anymore!”

I shake my head, shrugging my shoulders. “Well, thank you everyone for coming! Be sure to visit Christine tomorrow to see who wins the Most Mischievous Imp award!”

Thanks for reading guys! Hooray for Miracle Max! What did you think of the ceremony? Are you happy for Max? Let me know down below!

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The 2020 Silmaril Awards // Voting Round!

Wow, did we ever have a wonderful turnout this year! Thank you guys all so much for all of your nominations and seconds and fun comments!

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But enough with the gushing, let’s get to what everyone really cares about…who are the nominees?

Drum roll please!

For the Strangest Character category, the nominees are…

The scarecrow from Howl’s Moving Castle! I know, I’m as shocked as you are. XD The scarecrow is an interesting fellow, doesn’t talk much. At all, actually. He gets around by bopping on his wooden pole, much to everyone’s annoyance. But he’s surprisingly fast. One might call him a turnip-head, but there is more to him than first meets the eye…

The Cheshire Cat from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland! With his alarming grin and disarming habit of disappearing into seemingly nowhere, this cat is definitely interesting. Though he does attempt to ‘help’ Alice on her journey through Wonderland, it seems he only causes more problems than he does fix them. Has a touch of madness to him. Though, as the saying goes, “we’re all mad here.”

Gurgi from the Prydain Chronicles! This leafy little creature talks solely in the third-person and seems obsessed with “crunchings and munchings.” He’s perhaps a bit self-absorbed, frequently feeling sorry for himself, and going on about his “poor, tender head.” Despite this, he is extremely loyal to Taran and sticks by his side throughout his friend’s journey…

Calcifer from Howl’s Moving Castle! An oddly charming fire demon with a sharp tongue, Calcifer is not your average fiery ball. Not that there could really be such a thing as an ‘average’ fiery demon ball, but you know. Calcifer, though quick-witted, is not always the most trustworthy demon. He keeps many secrets, some by choice, others by oath. On top of that, he can be a bit whiny, perhaps even nasty sometimes. But deep down, he has a good heart…

Miracle Max from The Princess Bride! He may not be the nicest at first, refusing to help Westley in a time of dire need, but with the prodding of his wife Valerie, Miracle Max finally comes around and agrees to help. Only because of a longstanding grudge though. Not necessarily from the goodness of his heart, but you take what you can get. And it should be said, he did give Westley a mere 40 minutes (“accidentally”) instead of the promised hour, which really makes you think…

Now that you have the ballot, be sure to vote! Follow this link and vote for who you think should win in each category. Follow these links to see the descriptions of all the other nominees this year!

May your favorite character win! I will now leave you with Gandalf:

Thank you again to all who participated in the nominations! It was a wonderful time! Don’t forget to vote, and be sure to stick around and see who wins this years’ 2020 Silmaril Awards!

The 2020 Silmaril Awards: Nominate…The Strangest Characters You Know (CLOSED!)

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(Thank you for all of your nominations! The voting round will begin soon!)

Hello my friends! I am incredibly excited to announce that the 2020 Silmaril Awards have come upon us!

And this year I am quite pleased that I will be hosting the Strangest Characters ceremony! I will be interesting, to say the least, and I can’t wait to see who appears in the comments below!

Now, remember, the strangest character is someone who is… quite strange. Perhaps not at first glance, or perhaps at very first glance. They stand out from the crowd, in either a good way or a bad way. They aren’t quite like anyone else. They have eccentricities people find downright odd. But maybe they have a heart of gold, hidden under all that strangeness. Or perhaps a heart of coal…Whatever the case may be, these characters are always entertaining!

A few rules before you scamper down to the comment section:

  • NO Lord of the Rings characters. Most of them will be presenting the award winners, and, well, how awkward would it be to accept your own award?
  • No previous winners. If you don’t know who those previous winners, check it out on our site!
  • Only fantasy characters are available for nomination. If a solid argument can be made for a certain book or series that you think is technically in the fantasy genre…we’ll allow it (such as The Lunar Chronicles).
  • Be sure to mention which book/series the characters are from. Us mods consider ourselves fantasy experts extraordinaire… but we haven’t read every single fantasy book out there. It really helps us out!
  • Nominate and second as many characters as your dragon-loving heart desires. All you have to do is comment down below! The top 5 MOST seconded characters will go on to the final round, so seconding is important!
  • Authors are NOT allowed to vote for their own characters. But you can definitely encourage your fans to vote for them!

And be sure to nominate your favorite characters in all the other wonderful categories too!

We also have a super epic bookstagram challenge going on right now, so be sure to participate and include our hashtag #silmarilawards2020 so we can all see your amazing photos!

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And guess what else? We are holding an awesomely amazing Rafflecopter giveaway for all you lovely folks! You could win goodies, books, or even a $50 Book Depository gift card! How awesome is that?! Follow this link to put your name in the raffle, as well as complete some other fun assignments for more entries!

Now be off with you! The nominations round is open Aug. 31st to Sep. 4th, so go forth and nominate!

New Until Next Time!

Fairy Tale Central // An Exciting New Vista For Fairytale Lovers!

Hello, fellow fantasy freaks and geeks! I’m here to present to you a most fabulous new project put together by three lovely ladies called Fairy Tale Central!

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Once Upon a Time… two girls had a dream. A dream of a fairy tale site, an internet library, if you will, for all the fairy tale lovers of the land to gather and converse. To learn, to read, to fangirl/boy, to bask in the goodness that is fairy tales.

As this dream blossomed, the two girls recruited a third. Because, after all, all good fairy tales come in themes of three.

With the third member in place, the girls got to work. The dream began to take shape, until it was no longer just a dream. But something real.

Introducing…

FAIRY TALE CENTRAL

This newly launched site run by Arielle Bailey, Faith White, and Christine Smith, is your source for all things fairy tales.

Every month a single fairy tale will be featured, and posts will include:

  • Reviews for retellings/shows/movies/etc.
  • Essay, origin, and discussion posts on the featured fairy tale
  • Interviews with fairy tale retelling authors
  • Galleries featuring fairy tale artists and artisans
  • And a whole lot more!

The FTC’s goal is to unlock the magic that is fairy tales and build a community of fellow fairy tale enthusiasts. Arielle, Faith, and Christine are thrilled to share this new fairy tale-centric space and connect with all you epic fairy tale fans!

You can CLICK HERE to find the site and join the Fairy Ring! (Don’t worry, you won’t be enchanted or cursed.) And, if you want to connect even more, you can find the FTC on:

(If you’re inclined to share about the FTC in those places too, you may or may not be blessed by a fairy godmother. *smile, smile*)

Do tell a friend, or a dragon, or the fairy living in the hollow tree behind your house. All humans and mythological creatures alike are welcome!

I am SO PUMPED about this project and I cannot WAIT to see what the three fairies who put this masterpiece together dream up next for this site! Please go check out the site and all of the bloggers who worked so hard to make it a reality!

New Until Next Time!

The Fandom Tag // by None Other Than…Me

The Fandom Tag

Hello friends! Wow…what is it with me and coming up with tags…? Is there something wrong with me? XD

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Let’s not dwell on that fact, and instead delve into my latest creation! Since Valentine’s is fast approaching, I thought this would be a great time to talk about the things we (or at least I) really love!

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Rules //

• Include the graphic somewhere in your post!

• Answer the questions!

• Tag two fangirls (or boys, I suppose!)

(If you don’t know what a fandom is, it’s basically a group of fans of a particular thing, like Star Wars or Harry Potter.)

~

Le Questions //

  • What’s the first fandom you remember becoming a part of?
  • What’s the newest fandom you’ve come to enjoy?
  • What’s a fandom guaranteed to give you feels?
  • What’s a guilty pleasure fandom of yours?
  • What’s the weirdest fandom you’ve heard of/are a part of?
  • Favorite popular/widely-known fandom?
  • Favorite bookish fandom?
  • What do you consider your ‘homebase’, a fandom you can always come back to?
  • What’s a fandom you know all about…but aren’t actually into it?
  • Which fandom has the best characters?
  • Name your all-time favorite ship.
  • What’s a fandom you’re curious about joining?

~

• What’s the first fandom you remember becoming a part of?

Though I didn’t really know what a fandom was at the time, Disney and Pixar have been around for me since I was, well, born. I grew up watching the classic Disney movies, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin, in particular. And I remember watching Monsters Inc., Toy Story, and The Incredibles many times too. I guess you could say it was the start of an obsession for obsessions…XD

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• What’s the newest fandom you’ve come to enjoy?

That would be Over the Garden Wall! It’s a very short mini series, only ten episodes long, about two brothers who get lost in the forest. It’s surprisingly deep for a cartoon, and the animation is gorgeous. If you have an evening, give it a watch, it’s quite entertaining.

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• What’s a fandom guaranteed to give you feels?

That would be Undertale. I’m sure you’ve heard of it, it’s an epic video game with wonderful characters and a crazy, twisted story that you don’t figure right away. Getting to know the characters and how the game works is what really makes my heart hurt. And the fans don’t help with this in making some awesome fan art and fan fictions. It’s a deep, twisty game that will have you crying and laughing at the same time.

• What’s a guilty pleasure fandom of yours?

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• What’s the weirdest fandom you’ve heard of or are a part of?

There are so many weird things out there, but to give a classic answer, I’ll say Gravity Falls. It’s the definition of weird. There’s unexplained phenomena. There’s weird and wonderful creatures. There are deep, dark secrets. There are crazy, but lovable characters. THE WHOLE WORLD ALMOST–you know what? Never mind. I’ll let you watch it. You’ll love it, trust me.

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It also has the best gifs, so…yeah. There is that. XD

• Favorite popular/widely-known fandom?

That’d be the Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit. I’m fairly sure almost everyone in the world has heard of this, and for a good reason. Though I’ve only seen the movies, I’ve come to love the characters SO MUCH. It’s magical, it’s epic, and it has Orlando Bloom and Viggo Mortenson, so really how can you lose? (Thorin is myyy preeeecious.)

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• Favorite bookish fandom?

The Lunar Chronicles!! CRESS IS A DARLING AND THORNE IS A JERK BUT I LOVE HIM. Also, WOLF AND SCARLET ARE SO ADORABLE. AND JACIN AND WINTER AGGGGHHHH. *ahem* Yes. I really like the Lunar Chronicles.

• What do you consider your ‘homebase’, a fandom you can always come back to?

Gosh, who made these questions so hard? (Me. It was me.) It would probably be the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I started watching in 2015, and I remember going to the theater with a big group of people to see Avengers: Age of Ultron. I had watched the previous movies in order with my family, but it was when I saw that movie that I really started loving it. And I’ve seen every Marvel movie in theaters since. It’s a very comforting, familiar fandom for me. (EVEN THOUGH IT’S KIND OF ON FIRE RIGHT NOW BUT IT’S OKAY EVERYTHING’S FINE.)

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• What’s a fandom you know all about…but aren’t actually into it?

That would be Star Wars, for me. I watched the prequels, (well, kind of…I kinda skipped over the third one because I was cringing too much…XD), and I know the entire original story and all about the newer installments. So I know everything. I’m just…not that in love with it. It’s fun, and goofy, and entertaining, but…it doesn’t quite grip me like other movies or books have.

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• Which fandom has the best characters?

ALL OF THEM. ALL OF THEM ARE GOOD. Ugh, if I really had to choose though…It’d be a three-way tie between Undertale, Marvel, and the Lunar Chronicles. IT’S TOO HARD. Why did I make these questions so hard? XD

• Name your all-time favorite ship.

Hm. NYAGH THERE ARE SO MANY. But I pick Cress and Thorne, because I think they’re really cute and they both support each other so well, her being quiet and whimsical and naive, and him being rough and cocky and a joker. It mixes so beautifully, I could cry. Cress + Thorne =

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• What’s a fandom you’re curious about joining?

Sherlock! All I hear is how amazing it is, and I want in on some of the epic-ness! Though I worry for my mental health’s sake…too much emotional trauma may just ruin me… Tell me below if this is a good idea, please. XD

That’s the tag! I nominate Deborah @ The Road of a Writer, Christine @ Musings of an Elf, and Kenzie @ Smudged Thoughts for this tag! And if you’d like to do this tag, feel free! I’d love to see what fandoms you love the most! ^_^ Also, there will be no post next week, since I’ll be on vacation!

New Until Next Time!

Three Bookish Things Tag

three bookish things tag

Hello friends! I have a bit of a shorter, more laid-back post for you this week, becaaaaause… I’ve been working on my newly announced movie review blog, getting some shiny new posts up and ready for the release date! I’m pretty darn excited about it. XD

But on to today’s post, a tag! Shocking! I know! I almost never do tags! XD I feel like tags are always what I fall back on when I have no ideas for posts, but I’M NOT ASHAMED. It’s nice to have a pre-planned post every once in a while, ‘kay?

‘Kay. Let’s do this.

I originally saw this on Cait’s blog, and she said she got it off of Instagram…so…not entirely sure about the rules…I know you list three bookish things…And that’s the extent of my knowledge. But let’s just jump into the questions, maybe I’ll tag a few people at the end, I don’t know, we’ll see.

ANNNNNNND GO.

• 3 Favorite Authors

Oh my word, HOW. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO ANSWER THIS QUESTION. Maybe this tag was a bad idea…XD

Okay, let’s see…

Marissa Meyer writes one of my most favorite series of all time, she’s pretty neat.

• I have to give credit to Shannon Hale, since she’s the one who got me into reading. Her Princess Academy books, and her Books of Bayern will always stick with me.

• Oof. I think the last one is a tie between Anne Elisabeth Stengl and Heather Dixon. I LOVE Anne’s Tales of Goldstone Wood, but Heather writes some AWESOME standalones, particularly Illusionarium…AGH. I can’t choose.

• 3 Weirdest Things Used as a Bookmark

Oooooh, this is an interesting question!

• I’ve definitely used napkins before. They weren’t dirty, of course.

• I use library receipts waaaay more than I’d rather admit to. XD

• Hmm…I think I used a popsicle stick one time. And it wasn’t a clean one. It was one where I had just finished the popsicle part. I was a little kid, okay? Don’t judge.

• 3 Series Binged

This one’s kind of hard, because I’m usually waiting for the next books to come out, so I really can’t binge read. But…

• I remember binge-rereading the Lunar Chronicles a while back. I should really do that again…

• The Bright Empires series (by Stephen R. Lawhead)! I can’t say I reeeally binged it, I remember reading a different book or two in between some of them, but I got through the whole series pretty quick.

• And when I was little one summer I zipped through the Magic Treehouse books in a matter of days. That was fun. Kinda miss that.

• 3 Characters You Love

This is so hard because there are so many characters I love so dearly! But here are some that stuck out in my mind.

Carswell Thorne from the Lunar Chronicles is my favorite roguish bad boy in fiction. He likes to pretend he’s a hardened tough guy, but he’s actually just a soft marshmallow underneath.

Rin from Forest Born (by Shannon Hale) was a really inspirational character for me when I was younger. She didn’t really know her place in the world, and she felt so alone and scared. I used to get really scared and anxious when I was a kid, and knowing that I wasn’t alone was a real comfort to me.

• I think this is a three-way tie for Kell (from A Darker Shade of Magic), Percy (from Percy Jackson), and Leo/Lionheart/Leonard (from Tales of Goldstone Wood). Kell is a character I’ve recently come to love, as is Percy, and Leo…well, he’s Leo. You know what I mean if you’ve read the books. He’s just a human. Trying to figure things out. Sometimes Usually making mistakes.

• 3 Unpopular Bookish Opinions

Young Adult is an AGE GROUP, not a GENRE. It’s a category, like Children or Adult. It always annoys me on websites like Barnes and Noble or Amazon when they list all the book genres and then stick ‘YA’ at the end. 😛

• I…didn’t really like Archenemies (by Marissa Meyer). I loved Renegades, but Archenemies just felt like the same story over again, except with more romance between Adrian and Nova. 😦

I don’t really like contemporary books. They seem really dull and boring to me. If I wanted to read about realistic life…why wouldn’t I just go out and live?

• 3 Popular Bookish Opinions

I love deckled edges! I think it makes a reading experience even more magical!

E-books will always be inferior to a real, physical book. Always. Not that e-books are bad or anything, I have like a hundred of them. XD I’ll just always prefer a real book.

Nothing is better than a shiny new copy of a book! I will buy used copies, or get them from the library, but nothing beats a new book.

• 3 Favorite Book Covers

There are soooo many gorgeous ones…how can I choose just three?!

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• 3 Book Goals for the Year

Try to read 30 books!

Read some more outside of my main genre (fantasy, in case you didn’t know, but you probably did). I’d like to dip into some historical fiction, some sci-fi, maybe even a bit of contemporary…despite what I said above. Just ignore that. XD

Read some of the e-books I have on my Nook! I’m so bad about keeping up with these. I have so many I’ve gotten for free and there are so many I’ve bought too. I need to get through some of them this year.

Well, there you go, the Three Bookish Things tag! I think I shall tag Kenzie @ Smudged Thoughts, Laurel @ We’ll Be Fine, and Faith @ The Writer’s Song.

Here are the questions for easy copy-paste //

3 Favorite Authors

3 Weirdest Things Used as a Bookmark

3 Series Binged

3 Characters You Love

3 Unpopular Bookish Opinions

3 Popular Bookish Opinions

3 Favorite Book Covers

3 Book Goals for this Year

Do you have any unpopular bookish opinions? Who are your favorite authors? Let me know in the comments!

New Until Next Time!

 

2018 in Review

2018

Well guys, we made it. Another year has passed, gone like a blink, like 2017 was just last week.

But then again, 2018 has felt like the longest year of my life. So much happened, and I’m still trying to process what being an adult feels like…

Time is weird, amiright?

Doctor Who Time GIF by BBC

Anyway, I wanted to highlight some of the great things that happened this year, as well as some tentative goals for 2019. Oh, and stick around for a fun announcement! 😀

My 2018 Goals //

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

Welp. Didn’t…quite get to that…I did some outlining, but it wasn’t with a new project, I was fixing an old one. Guess I’m still strung up on the details.

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.

Whoot-whoot, I did NaNo!! And it was INSANE.

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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.

Hmm…well…kinda majorly failed this one. I’m still incredibly hard on myself. But maybe I’m getting better. I can’t really say, myself, honestly. I think I did take several hiatuses this year, and I reworked my blog schedule to a post every two weeks for a bit there…So…I guess I kind of achieved this goal? XD

So I half completed my loose goals last year, half not really, but I think I did fairly well. But enough of that, let’s get into the details (that I’m apparently strung up on XD)!

Life Stuff //

Now that I’m looking back, all of these things happened in the summer. Huh. I had kind of a crazy summer…

• I made it through my very first Summer Reading Program as a library aide! It was…utter insanity. Kids, books, paper, they were everywhere. And even though it’s a part-time job, I was still exhausted. I worked almost every day, aside from Thursdays and Sundays (and every other Saturday).

Library Studying GIF by University of Florida

It was intense and I may have desperately wished to quit on a few occasions, but in all, it wasn’t bad! I stayed busy, came home tired, but fulfilled, and really savored the time I had to myself.

• I went to a week-long Bible camp as a cabin counselor in June. It was the longest I had been away from home, by myself, essentially. My dad and brother were there with me, but we were apart for most of the time. The first few days were awful. I wanted to cry quite a few times. And I don’t cry. Hardly ever.

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But as the week progressed, things got better. I got to hang out a bit with an old friend, and I met lots of new people. I’m glad I did it, but if I ever go back, I would ask to be a worker, helping cook in the kitchens or cleaning. I’d feel much more comfortable that way. 🙂

• And last but definitely not least, I attended Realm Makers for the first time!!! It was so amazingly fun, and I really hope to go again this year! I so enjoyed meeting my blogging buddies! It was so nice connecting with you in person, and just talking to other writers! It was lovely and I highly recommend attending if at all available.

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Some of my wonderful peeps! (picture courtesy of Deborah)

• Also, I turned 18. That’s. Kind of scary. I’m an adult now, guys. I got my braces off, I have a job, a car…I’m so close to reaching peak adulthood! XD

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GUYS. I’VE GOTTEN INTO THIS SHOW. IT. IS. SO. GOOOOOOD. I will now proceed to use as many gifs from this as possible.

Writer’s Desk //

Nothing really significant happened on the writing scene this year, but…

I WON NANOWRIMO FOR THE FIRST TIME!!!

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I’ll link to my experience post so you can see the insanity I went through the month of November. It was so much fun, and the novel I was writing was actually a rewrite of Imprint, a book I’ve been working on for SO. DARN. LONG. I think I’ve gotten it to how I like it, so, after I let some close friends give it a run-through…I may consider sending it to some beta-readers. Sometime this year. Hopefully soon. So. Keep an eye out for that.

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I spent a lot of time perfecting Imprint this year, but I still somehow I managed to come up with two new ideas (one about two prince brothers who rule the kingdoms of light and darkness, and the other about an alternate dimension involving cartoons, magic, and mischief (note: EXTREMELY EXCITED ABOUT THESE), and worked on some character profiling for my superhero trilogy I want to get started on.

Book Nook //

Another exciting thing… I won my reading challenge for the first time, since I joined Goodreads!!!

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I only gave myself 20 books, but I’m still kind of happy with my accomplishment! 😀 I suppose this is a year of firsts for me, huh…?

Some highlights of this year //

Renegades by Marissa Meyer // SO. EPIC. I love so much superheroes, so this was a fantastic read!

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Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard // So many twists and turns, plus amazing characters and a neat setting!

A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews // I always thought the first book Cait would publish would be an epic fantasy, but instead she came up with this genius contemporary Beethoven retelling that I love to bits and pieces.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater // I can’t recommend this, since there’s quite a bit of content, but SERIOUSLY. THIS WAS AMAZING. I immediately read the second book, and I’m itching to read the third book!

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab // Dark, twisty fantasy with alternate dimensions and magic and THE CHARACTERS. THE CHARACTERS ARE EPIC.

Movie Theater* //

I saw a lot of movies this year, but here are a few I really had an opinion about //

Black Panther // I loved this movie, but I could be biased. It’s a Marvel movie. I’m going to love any of the MCU movies. That’s just how it works.

Avengers: Infinity War // WAIT. NEVER MIND. I CHANGE MY MIND. MARVEL YOU HAVE BETRAYED ME. *quiet sobbing*

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Incredibles 2 // This was really fun! The action sequences were soooo gorgeously animated, and the humor was delightful! I didn’t quite like it as much as the original, the villain in particular I didn’t enjoy, but…the original just really can’t be topped, in my opinion.

Ant-Man and the Wasp // Loved it. So much. Scott and Hope’s relationship is so adorable, and I thought the villain was really interesting, more like an anti-hero than anything else.

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and Rogue Nation // These are older, but I just recently got into them and WOW I’m a fan! I really need to see Fallout…

Star Wars prequels // These were…interesting, I’ll say. I disliked the first one, (except for Qui-gon, he’s legit), the second one was better, but then…I could barely watch the third one. The dialogue was just too cringe for me…At least with the originals you’re expecting the cheesiness…

Wreck-It Ralph 2 // I…wasn’t a fan of this one. It…didn’t work as a sequel for me. It seemed to go backwards in character growth, and it almost totally disregarded the events of the original. It was one of my least favorites of last year. That ending…man…

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My face while watching the end.

Christopher Robin // This was so innocently adorable. It was such a nice, fresh change from what people have been putting into theaters lately. Watch it to be filled with sweet nostalgia.

Aquaman // I technically watched this one this year, but since it came out last year, I’m counting it. Oh gosh…it was not for me. I thought the story was bland, I didn’t connect with any of the characters, and most of the action scenes were underwater, making them blurry and hard to understand.

Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse // AAAAHHHHH JUST WATCH IT OKAY. MY FAVORITE OF 2018!!!! *cries over beautiful animation*

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*Okay, small aside, but is it just me or does it seem like all Hollywood puts out is sequels, reboots, and book adaptations? Is it just me?

Goals for 2019 (oh my word, just typing ‘2019’ scares me…) //

• Try to do one, big thing that’s outside of my comfort zone.

I feel like I miss out on so much in life, just because I’m scared to do it. I’d love to be able to just dive right outside my comfort zone. Even if it’s something simple. Like going somewhere I’ve never been, or taking some college classes, or even getting another job somewhere. I don’t know what to do just yet, but I’m going to try to be brave in the coming year.

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• Send Imprint to some beta-readers and then…possibly…start querying for an agent?

This kind of terrifies me, but I think I’ve worked hard on my novel, and I want to get it out there. I want my writing to inspire and entertain others, like it does to me.

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• Read 30 books.

If I can do 20, I can do 30, so help me.

Alright, remember what I said about making some kind of announcement? Well, here it is…

• I’m going to attempt to start a movie review blog.

That’s right. Another blog. Movies have always been special to me, and I have a lot of opinions about them. So I decided, why not start reviewing them?

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This idea is still pretty new, but I’ve always had it in the back of my head that I’d like to start another blog. I would probably have to work out yet another new schedule so I don’t die trying to churn out so many posts a weeks, but I think it could be worth it!

It’s called… Reel Thoughts | Honest Opinions on the Latest in Entertainment

I’d like to include some game and music reviews as well as movies, but nothing is for sure yet. I’d also like to get this brainchild of mine up by Short & Snappy‘s anniversary, which is sometime in March (Hello past me, nope, it’s April). We’ll see how that works out. But keep a look out!

How was your 2018? Do you have any amazing goals for 2019? Share your thoughts with me down below!

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…

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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.

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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)

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~

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!

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

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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!

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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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