Monthly Recap: October

Hi guys!

October was my “birthday month” (I’m 16 now!) but it had it’s fair share of stresses. The PSAT wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be (but I’m pretty sure I didn’t ace it). This month, I also finally started organizing some of my “online” things: I made an ello account and a poetry/prose blogI was also busy planning my nanowrimo novel (and fooling around on pinterest of-course).

Blog Posts

What To Expect | Updates & Features

Beautiful Books #1 // Introducing My NaNo WIP

Mini-Reviews | DNF Edition

So turns out that all the writing I was doing in my free time did indeed lead to me blogging less. But on a happier note, I definitely put a lot of time & effort into each of the posts I published last month. I’ll try not to disappear this month but I get the feeling that my absence is inevitable considering I’ll be buckling down & trying to hit that 50K for NaNoWriMo (add me as a writing buddy!)

October TBR Recap / Books I Read

Remember how I mentioned that I’m a mood reader..well I kind of didn’t really read most of the books I planned to – that is to say I only finished one book from the “tbr pile” I made last month: Bone Gap. I gave it 5 stars because it was FABULOUS. But I think I had a pretty good reading month. (I didn’t even encounter any 2 star reads!..Or if I did, I ditched them.)

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On Instagram

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I actually got around to posting some photos this month (and dare I say the first one is just a bit artsy?). The third photo is a reference to my obsession with temporary tattoos (a gift from a friend) and the second photo was taken on the night of my birthday! 

So that was my October! How was your month? Did you guys end up exploring something new (online or IRL)? 

Beautiful Books #1 // Introducing my NaNo WIP

So this weekend, I finally got around to plotting my NaNo novel and since I finally have a better idea of what this book is going to be about, I threw together a Beautiful Books post! This is only my second time doing NaNoWriMo – the first time was two years ago anddidn’t win but I wrote 16,000 words. Last year I was planning on doing NaNoWriMo but I kind of fell out of love with my novel idea and ditched it (I had no backup okay!!). By the way, Beautiful Books is a writing link-up that focuses on your NaNoWriMo novel or another WIP you would prefer to talk about. 

beautiful books

How did you come up with the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

I was on tumblr and I saw a post about how there should be more books with magic in a “modern-day setting” like you can go to Starbucks and there will be witches who serve you drinks with “a little extra.” This idea just kind of stuck with me for a few weeks and evolved into something else where I decided that I want my book to have magical realism (the acceptance of magic in the rational world) but that shouldn’t be the plot or main focus – instead I  want the story to focus on the main character’s struggle with anxiety & panic attacks (which means it’s also going to have a bit of a contemporary feel to it). Anyway, I guess I’ve had the idea for about two months (I really don’t keep track of these things haha).

Why are you excited to write this novel?

(Correct me if I’m wrong but) I don’t think a book like the one I want to write for NaNo exists yet so I feel like my idea is really original. Maybe it isn’t but the fact that wrote it will (hopefully) make it different from whatever is already out there. But I’m actually equally nervous because my NaNo novel  will be very diverse and there will be at-least two if not more issues that I’ll be addressing through the MC’s POV (which haven’t personally experienced).. 

What is your novel about, and what is the title?

I initially named it magic and madness but like I said, the magic isn’t supposed to be the focus of the novel so the working title is now Vivid. My novel is about an 16 year-old girl named Radha, who belongs to an Indian family of witches, and is struggling with depression and anxiety while trying to keep her younger sister (Sathya) from doing something stupid in her quest to be the “stereotypical teenager.” (Also, everyone is aware that magic exists because they possess at-least a shred of magic.)

Sum up your characters in one word each. (Feel free to add pictures!)

Okay this is incredibly difficult (especially since I am still getting to know my characters) so I’ll have to cheat a little! 

Radha (main character) – Artist // Loves swimming in the Sea

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Sathya (Radha’s sister) – Reckless

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Which character(s) do you think will be your favourite to write? Tell us about them!

Sathya will be very interesting to write because she’s a very reckless and impulsive character. She will make the most random decisions and find ways to justify them.  Another interesting thing about her is that she has chromesthesia (sound-to-color synesthesia) and she’s a pianist. That means that when Sathya plays the piano, she will hear music that she will associate with different colors. 

What is your protagonist’s goal, and what stands in the way?

Her goal is to survive the school year (and hopefully have a decent GPA) and the only thing standing in her way…is well her mental illness. There’s also the fact that her sister is not making the best decisions.

Where is your novel set? (Show us pictures if you have them!)

Hong Kong! It’s actually perfect because Radha happens to love swimming in the ocean (which is actually possible where I live – there’s even a small beach five minutes away).

What is the most important relationship your character has?

I think Radha’s relationship with her sister is incredibly important because Sathya is the one who is there for her when it matters despite her fickle/flighty nature. They look out for each other. 

How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?

I think she will be way more confident and more likely to advocate for herself and her needs. 

What themes are in your book? How do you want your readers to feel when the story is over?

I guess the main theme is growing up (and making less bad decisions?..idk..) and there’s definitely diversity (main characters are Indian).. I want the ending to feel bittersweet (because that’s the way I always feel at the end of the day). 

I just don’t know which genre my NaNo novel belongs in because there is magic but it’s not the focus of the book at all. 

I’m skipping the bonus question this time because I want to write 50K in a month first before I start dishing out advice. 

Be my writing buddy! | Check out the pinterest board for Vivid

Monthly Recap: September

Hey guys!

This month was a weird combination of stressful and relaxing. I had a lot of down time but there were also a lot of moments where I would be freaking out over that essay I wrote for an AP class or whether I formatted a lab report correctly before submitting it. I got to spend a lot of “me time” just relaxing with a book, fifteen minutes before class started or spending forty minutes in the library on late start days drafting a new short-story. Unfortunately, I am now starting to feel the pressure – I have the PSAT on my birthday – October 14th and I’ve also been trying to figure out my summer plans (not long before I have to send applications!). Oh and three days ago, I got a new phone! I am now the proud owner of an iPhone 6s in gold finish. Unfortunately I also spent two hours, today, updating my laptop and iTunes and backing up to my new hard-drive (because why not?) so that I could sync my phone with iTunes. 

Blog Posts

BOOK REVIEWS

A Court of Thorns and Roses || In Which I Am Disappointed By My Favorite Author

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir || A Book That Felt Cliché

Lips Touch: Three Times || 3 Stories That Left Me Yearning For More

BLOG AWARDS

The Blogger Recognition Award

The Liebster Award

One Lovely Blog Award

OTHER

Book Haul! (5)

Snazzy Snippets | Icecream (sort-of), Pride (not really), and The First Paragraph

Beautiful People :: September Edition

October TBR

I am most definitely a mood reader but lately I’ve been craving a little more structure so I’ve decided to add a tbr aspect to these monthly recap posts. This TBR is based on the books I want to read/finish/start and all of the books below will be books I already own or can borrow from the (digital) library. I’ve been meaning to finish more books I already own so hopefully this will help me do that! (Note: I am currently reading Bone Gap and A History of Glitter and Blood but I will end up finishing them both in October.)

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I’m on Instagram!

That’s right, I have an instagram account which I actually made a while ago and forgot about (AWKWARD). I only started posting photos yesterday so I don’t have anything apart from a selfie and a snap of my Kindle (I was reading One). I plan on uploading more images (of better quality!) as soon as I get my new phone up and running.

So how was your month? Did you get a lot done or procrastinate (like me)?

Snazzy Snippets | Icecream (sort-of), Pride (not really), and The First Paragraph

snazzy snippets

Snazzy Snippets is any awesome bimonthly link-up for writers. It’s hosted by Emily @ Loony Literate and Alyssa @ The Devil Orders Takeout. It’s a great opportunity to share snippets of your writing (500 words or less).

I was actually organizing all my writing projects last night (in terms of importance and what I want to get done first)…and I was feeling a teeny-tiny bit overwhelmed at the thought of writing every day. I’ve sort-of tried to do that this week but it’s harder than I expected and I feel like I’m running love on creativity (if that makes any sense..)… buuut hopefully this will inspire me to keep plowing on. By the way, all snippets have been taken from TGTBTI, a YA contemporary about suicide and friendship (I might end up changing the plot so I’m trying to stay adaptable.)

A snippet with FOOD in it

Screen Shot 2015-09-12 at 7.52.12 PMI searched long and hard…but with only five chapters finished, I don’t really have a snippet with food so I picked this scene (even though I know the focus isn’t even the icecream) However, I am working on a brand new project – one that I’m even more excited about and it is definitely going to feature food (as evidenced by the pins).

A Snippet You’re Really Proud Of

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To be honest, I’m not really that proud of this scene – I’m pretty sure it needs to be edited but it’s part of the first chapter which I sort-of edited before posting online..So I figured why not! But I don’t think I’ll have any scenes that I’m proud of until I start editing this book.

The First Paragraph From A WIPScreen Shot 2015-09-12 at 8.11.46 PMI would be more nervous about sharing this..but the entire first chapter is already on wattpad and figment. (But I am nervous.. my blog gets way more views than my profiles on those sites probably do!) Also this is more like a couple of paragraphs but since the first scene is less than 500 words, I thought I may as well share the entire scene.


Soo this was fun! Even though I did cringe a bit when I imagined all my blog readers eying my poorly written snippets. (Please keep in mind this is a FIRST DRAFT. I REPEAT: IT IS A FIRST DRAFT.) So what are you guys writing? Have you hit 10K, 20K, or accomplished some of your writing goals?

Beautiful People :: September Edition

beautiful people

Beautiful People is a writing link-up hosted by Sky and Cait and it’s designed to help writers get to know their characters. Sooo this is awkard but I kind-of may have forgotten to participate in last month’s Beautiful People. I intended to publish a post in the second half of the month but after the first week of August, I was working on smaller projects (poetry and short-stories) and then school started….so I never ended up working on my WIP or the blog post.

But the motivational “you should write every day” posts I was reading this morning finally got through to me and here I am! In case you’re wondering, I have written five chapters or 10K words so far (which is the farthest I’ve ever gotten so I think the fact that I still want to finish this book is a good sign). Also, The Good, The Bad, The Inbetween (still haven’t found a better or shorter title) is written from the perspective of two characters (Sindhu and Sara) so this post is going to feature both of them.

Q&A

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

Probably each other. Sindhu and Sara have been through a lot of crazy shit together so I think that no matter what the nature of the crisis is, they’d want the other person to be there for them.

2. Are they easy to get along with?

To put it bluntly, Sara can be a bitch. She doesn’t try to be mean but she’s really blunt/outspoken and occassionally bossy. If you get on her good side, then she will stand up for you and be there for you and just be amazing to you (most of the time). But if you get on her bad side, she won’t hesitate to tell you how she feels. Sindhu is the easiest to get along with. She’s a people-pleaser and semi-shy/quiet around strangers. Sindhu always makes a concentrated effort to be nice.

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

Right now..That would be each other. They play Truth or Dare and Sindhu ends up sharing some dirty secrets and agreeing to go to a gay bar (..I know, it’s getting pretty crazy.).

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

Sara doesn’t mind crowds but she finds it annoying when people invade her personal space. Sindhu, on the other hand, hates crowds. She’s a bit of an introvert so she doesn’t really like being surrounded by so many people.

5. Do they believe in luck or miracles?

Sindhu believes in luck and/or miracles…but Sara believes in making her own luck.

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

Gah..I forgot about their neighbours! Well Sindhu doesn’t have neighbours because the flat next door is broken down and the owner hasn’t bothered getting it fixed (yet). Sara doesn’t really know or care about her neighbors. From my experience, most people living in a flat in Hong Kong, usually don’t care that much about their neighbours. I mean yes, we say hi in the elevator and exchange pleasantries but we don’t get up close and personal or spend time together. Obviously there are exceptions, but this has been my relationship with my neighbors in the seven-eight years I’ve lived in Hong Kong.

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

Sara wants to go to the Maldives because something about beaches and resorts appeals to her. Sindhu wants to go to Italy. She doesn’t know why.

8. How do they feel about their body?

Sindhu is incredibly self-conscious. She can’t help over-analyzing herself no matter what she wears and she always nit-picks for flaws. Sara is a lot more confident because she exercises on the weekends and has a fit/toned body.

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

I don’t think I’ve gotten far enough into the book (yet) to answer this question – especially since Sara because she usually lets stuff just wash over her (she can be a bit self-centered). But in the first chapter, Sindhu remembers overhearing her mother implying that her best friend had suicide because he was gay. This is (so far) the cruellest thing she’s heard.

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

For Sindhu, it’s the moment when Sara tells her she forgives her and demands that Sindhu stop blaming herself for Shawn’s death/suicide. Sindhu reacts by saying she can’t move on. Once again, I’m not really sure about Sara. So far, the focus has been more on Sindhu because she is being abused by her mom and is trying to find her father (I still don’t know how she’s going to do that because the odds are pretty low, he’d be living in Hong Kong..).

So! What’s up? How is your writing going? And what do you think is the hardest part about writing? AND most importantly, if you have writing-related pinterest boards like “character inspiration” – please tell me! I WILL FOLLOW YOU. 🙂

The Monthly Recap #4

Monthly Recap

Hey guys!

I feel like August just flew by and I almost forgot to do a recap…But luckily today was a school holiday and I decided to make use of my free time. School started halfway through last month so I apologize for the fact that I published fewer posts toward the second half of the month. I don’t think I’ll be able to blog every other day anymore (especially now that I’m taking AP World History!) but I’m still going to try to blog once or twice every week. I was also nominated for a couple of awards and if you nominated me, I assure you I haven’t forgotten. I just haven’t found the time to put together the blog post.

Blog Posts

BOOK REVIEWS

The Corridor by A.N Willis

The Unbound by Victoria Schwab

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

Mini-Reviews: Finding Audrey Pointe

Mini-Reviews: Illusions of Fate & Seraphina

OTHER

Book Haul! (4)

Versatile Blogger Award

Infinity Dreams Award

WRITING STUFF

#AmWriting :: Publication News // A WIP // Short Stories

Also, all the comics I’ve been (binge) reading have helped me catch up on my Goodreads reading challenge goal..Now, goodreads tells me I am one book ahead of schedule!

The Monthly Recap #3

The Monthly Recap

Hi guys!

For most of this month I was in India, visiting family and relaxing. I ended up doing a lot of reading and writing this month because I didn’t have a lot to do with my time and was feeling a bit bored. I also started getting way more active on my tumblr blog (ihoardwords) where I reblog a lot of literature related things (graphics, poetry, prose).

Below I’ve linked up all the posts I published this month and you can check out any that you missed.

Blog Posts

Book Reviews

Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour

Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton

The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

Endgame by C. J. Daugherty

Book Tags

Unpopular Opinion Tag

Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag

I’d Love To Visit Randomocity!

Other

Beautiful Blogger Award

Let’s Discuss: Reading Challenges – Pros vs Cons

Book Haul! (3)

Bookish Links I Love (1)

Writing Stuff

Beautiful People :: July Edition

777 Challenge

Snazzy Snippets

As you can see, I haven’t been done as many book reviews this month and that’s not because I had a reading slump (I’ve been reading tons actually) but because I decided to branch out on my blog. I realised that I wanted to share more writing-related things on this blog so I participated in things like the 777 challenge and writing link-ups. This blog is always going to be more about the books I read than the stuff I’m writing but you can expect to see more writing related posts in the future

On a side note, feel free to let me know which blog features you liked best. I’ve added a few more because I want lots of variety on this blog (although I might end up killing some because I no longer feel passionate about them..who knows.)

So how did your month ago?

777 Challenge

I was tagged by Brett Michael Orr, a month ago, and I truly intended to do this challenge sooner but I forgot. I know that’s not much of an excuse but I was traveling too! Anyway, I’m going to share 7 lines from the 7th page of my current (unfortunately unfinished) WIP (The Good, The Bad, The Inbetween) and then tag 7 other bloggers. The snippet below is taken from the first chapter which can be found here.

7 Lines from TGTBTI

This might sound sappy…and kind-of stupid but when Shawn died I felt like a part of myself died. He was my best friend but of-course (I’m a total cliche, I know), I was in love with him. Normally I’d recoil at the thought of hitting on a guy who thinks of you as his sister..but everything just seemed to click when I hung out with him. Of-course I knew it was going to be unrequited love. If he would hook up with anyone, it would have to be Sindhu – the shy pretty perfect Indian girl. Anyway, I think unrequited love is sort of my “thing” if you know what I mean. But even after finding out Shawn was gay, I kept hoping that he was actually bisexual and didn’t know it. Maybe he just hadn’t met a girl he liked yet. I mean people find out things they didn’t know about themself all the time. Right?

Aaand I challenge:
Áine | Michelle || Cassie || Emily || Christina || Cait || Bree

Beautiful People :: July Edition

beautiful people

Hey guys! I finally took the plunge and decided to participate in the July Edition of Beautiful People. Beautiful People is a linkup hosted by Sky and Cait and it’s designed to help writers get to know their characters. For a while now, I’d been wrestling with the plot of my book (The Good, The Bad, The Inbetween or TGTBTI) and writer’s block but yesterday I finally sat down and fixed it..I think. Anyway, I decided I needed to flesh out my characters some more and I know Beautiful People will help me do that. TGTBTI alternates between the POVs of my two MC’s: Sara and Sindhu so this post is going to feature both of them. (The images below were taken from the pinterest board dedicated to TGTBTI. The girl on the left is Sara and the girl on the right is Sindhu.)

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Q&A

1. What’s their favourite ice cream flavour?

Sindhu loves cookies n’ cream icecream while Sara prefers vanilla.

2. Your character is getting ready for a night out. Where are they going? What are they wearing? Who will they be with?

Sindhu is a very shy, introverted character but she does love her night outs with friends. I think Sindhu would probably wear a sweater dress over black leggings and boots. Sara would probably pick something like a black strapless mini (that just happens to show some cleavage). The MC’s usually play the role of “good girls” and hang out at the nearest Starbuck’s coffee shop in Stanley but if they really want to party, they’ll head to a bar in Lan Kwai Fong. Sindhu doesn’t have very many friends because she can be pretty antisocial but Sara occasionally hangs out with people from their school.

3. Look at your character’s feet. Describe what you see there. Do they wear dress shoes, gym shoes, or none at all? Are they in socks that are ratty and full of holes? What do they consider comfortable and what do they consider agony?

Sindhu is all about comfort so she’ll be wearing sports shoes 90% of the time. Heels are the bane of her existence but Sara loves them (too bad you can’t run in them right?).

4. Do they have any birthmark or scars? Where are they and how did they get them?

Sara doesn’t have a birthmark but Sindhu has one right next to her belly button.

5. What kind of music do they listen to? Does it change depending on their mood or is it always consistent? (Feel free to share samples!)

The music definitely changes depending on their mood – they both like to listen to something that matches their mood and gravitate toward the more “popular” songs. Sindhu likes bollywood music and Sara occasionally listens to American pop music.

6. Do they have any musical talent? Play an instrument? How’s their singing voice?

Sindhu is in Women’s Choir so she has a great singing voice (but she never does solos because *ack* stage fright!). Sara’s really outspoken and confident but unfortunately she doesn’t make music.

7. What kind of book would you catch them reading?

Sindhu: The Fault in our Stars

Sara: Pretty Little Liars

8. How would they spend their summers (or their holidays)?

Sara would go to Hawaii and spend 90% of her time on the beach. Sindhu, on the other hand, would probably be holed up in her room, reading something or watching youtube.

9. It’s Saturday at noon. What is your character doing? Give details. Ex. If they’re eating breakfast, what’s on the menu? Are they hiking, shopping, lazing around?

Sara will be waking up because she slept late last night. Then she’s going to eat some frozen yogurt and granola bars for breakfast (she’s lazy). Sindhu is probably trying and failing to do homework because she has a huge stack of library books waiting to be read…and then decides to just eat lunch (dhal and rice).

10. Is there anything your character wants to be free of?

Sara is trying to overcome her anxiety issues – she used pills to cope before and that ruined her friendship with Sindhu. But after Shawn’s death, she can’t bear the thought of living life in a daze any more. Sindhu is struggling with the guilt she feels for not taking action after finding out what Shawn was going through. She thinks that if she had done something, he might not have had suicide.

So what are you guys working on at the moment? I’d love to read any teasers/snippets/summaries and anything else you want to share with me.