T5W: Characters on the Naughty List

T5W is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, now hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. You can check out the goodreads group to learn more.

 

December 13th – Characters on the Naughty List
–These can be villains or just characters you don’t like!

They’re so bad, but they do it so well ❤ I decided to go with characters who are…not nice, but I love them anyway.

In no particular order…


 

The Darkling from The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo– If you’ve followed me (here, or especially on tumblr) for any length of time and happened to remember anything I’ve said about this series, it will be no surprise that he made this list. He’s terrible, and I love him so much.

 

 

Pam Ravenscroft from The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris– I. LOVED. Pam. Even on True Blood (they kinda butchered her character and relationship with Sookie, if I remember right) she was one of my favorites, and I was so torn between picking her or Eric for this, because I’m just a teensy bit in love with both of them.

 

 

 

Lestat de Lioncourt from The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice– He’s such an ass and I adore him. (Do I need to say more about Lestat?)

 

 


Dorian Gray from The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde–
Dorian Gray is one of my favorite characters ever (this is also one of my favorite books ever), and I can’t believe I almost forgot about him while thinking up characters for this topic :O

 

 

 

Holland from the Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab– I was so torn between a few characters, but I finally basically chose Holland from those at random. I loved to hate Holland, then eventually just kind of loved Holland. I won’t say more, because ~spoilers~ 😉

 

 


Who are some characters on your naughty list?

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Bookish Bingo: Winter 2017/18 Sign Up

Winter is heeeeeerrrrrre!

I’m very excited and relieved that this year is almost over. I’m trying to not put a lot of pressure on myself for reading during December, because I really need a break from that  (pressure, that is) after NaNo, and I need to just enjoy books/reading again. Writing so much, with so much panic constantly, really drained my creativity and stuff, and I’m hoping to recharge a bit by just relaxing while reading. So, I’m abandoning trying to finish reading challenges, and just picking up what sounds good in the moment.

The exception is Bookish Bingo! I really like these, and I think I’ll probably continue doing them. I feel like, with the bingo format, they’re less stressful than some other challenges I do, and more fun.

Here’s the card for winter

I have ideas for what to read for some of these, which is pretty great. I don’t have definite book in mind for most of them, but I know I have books that will fit them once I start looking/thinking more about it.

I’m wondering if I read a book that was released much earlier in the year for “2017 release you missed,” if it would still count, because it’s still 2017:/ (I just started When Dimple Met Rishi, which was released in May, I think. I finally got it from the library.) I’m not sure about that one *sigh* I might still count it, though.

Spinoff” is going to be a bit of a challenge, maybe. I’m thinking of reading a Chronicles of Nick book for that one, though, which would probably be the easiest thing to do since I own one or two I haven’t read yet.

Winter Release” will take some thinking. I’m hoping I’ll have something from Net Galley to fit that one, because I definitely won’t be able to buy more books for quite a while, and my library doesn’t get many books I’m interested in very often, and when they do, the wait list is usually months long.


Are you doing bookish bingo this time around?

Have any suggestions for books I could read for some of these prompts? (Please let me know! Especially for the winter-y ones.)

How about other challenges? Are you participating in any this winter?

Autumn Wrap Up

I’ll try to keep this as short as possible, but it might get a little long (and repetitive, sorry :/ ), so I’ll bold anything important, like challenge names and the like.

So, I decided not to do a November wrap up because…well, not much happened in November, except NaNoWriMo. Let’s start there.


For NaNoWriMo… *imagine there’s a drum roll here*

I WON!!!

I still can’t believe it, but I wrote 50,611 words in the month of November, and won NaNoWriMo for the first time!

Screenshot (92)

I got all the badges I could for NaNo this time, and I’m still in shock. Every. Single. Day, I wrote. A few days, it was literally only a sentence or two, but I did it. I wrote every day, I wrote just a bit over 50k words, and I have a huge chunk of a very rough first draft of a novel completed. I’m exhausted still, and feel like I might never write again (I will, and I am), but I’m also just a tiny bit proud, even though I know thousands of people win this every year, and this is probably nothing to actual authors, so what I accomplished isn’t really that big of a deal. But still, it was new for me, and I’m very slightly proud, and pleased with what I accomplished.


Reading? What’s that? Seriously, I only read a little over half of a graphic novel in November :/ (Spoiler: I still haven’t finished it. *sighs forever*) I don’t think I did an October wrap up, either, now that I think of it. October was a better month for reading, for me. Here’s how I did:

october books read

  • Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi (4.5/5 stars)
  • Persepolis 2: The Return by Marjane Satrapi (5/5 stars)
  • The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde (5/5 stars…I love Oscar ❤ )
  • Peper Girls, vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan (5/5 stars)
  • Hellboy, vol. 1: Seed of Destruction by Mike Mignola and John Byrne (4.5/5 stars)
  • My Invented Country by Isabel Allende (5/5 stars)
  • Bird Box by Josh Malerman (4/5 stars)
  • Aberrations by Jeremy C. Shipp, et al (2/5 stars)
  • A Night in Terror Tower by R.L. Stine (4/5 stars)
  • Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (3/5 stars)
  • Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill (3/5 stars)
  • Outcast, vol. 1: A Darkness Surrounds Him by Robert Kirkman (3/5 stars)
  • The Duality Paradigm (Blood & Bone trilogy #1) by Lia Cooper (3/5 stars…maybe 3.5/5)
  • A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay (4/5 stars)
  • Why I’m Afraid of Bees by R.L. Stine (3/5 stars)
  • The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe (5/5 stars)

Time to wrap-up the challenges I participated in during the autumn months! Here’s my original sign up post for the challenges below.


Fall Bookish Bingo

fall bookish bingo MARKED

What I read for each space

  • Person on cover: Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher
  • Poetry or Verse: Blue Horses by Mary Oliver
  • Co-Authored: Basic Witches by Jaya Saxena & Jess Zimmerman (reviewed here)
  • Horror: Halloween Carnival, Vol. 1 Edited by Brian James Freeman (reviewed here)
  • First in a Series: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  • Set at a School: Everything Must Go by Jenny Fran Davis (reviewed here)
  • Illustrations: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  • Magic in the Real World: The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor (reviewed here)
  • Different Culture: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
  • Ensemble Cast: 27 Hours by Tristina Wright (reviewed here)
  • Mental Health: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
  • Set in Another Country: A Night in Terror Tower by R.L. Stine
  • Paranormal: Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
  • Black Cover: Bird Box by Josh Malerman
  • Translated: My Invented Country by Isabel Allende
  • LGBT: The Duality Paradigm by Lia Cooper
  • Required Reading: The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe (Is this cheating because it was “required reading” back when I was in school?)

I got 2 bingos, which isn’t amazing, or as good as I’d hoped, but I’m satisfied. I can’t wait for the winter one!


Then there was the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril Challenge

This was hosted by My Capricious Life and Estella’s Revenge.

I chose “Peril the First,” which was to read at least 4 books for the challenge. I succeeded! I read:

  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  • Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill 
  • A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
  • Bird Box by Josh Malerman

I probably could count a couple others, but I’ll leave it at those.


#FrightFall Readathon

The only requirement for this readathon was to read at least one scary book during the month of October. I read more than one, but since I’ve already listed everything I read for October and other challenges, I won’t repeat them here.


Lastly, I did the Halloween Read-A-Thon 

I did all the prompts, whoo! I never posted a wrap up of this one, but meant to. I just got absorbed in other things :/ I read:

  • Costume Party: Aberrations by Jeremy C. Shipp
  • Haunted House: Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
  • Urban Legends: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
  • Witching Hour: I think both Goosebumps books counted for this. I read a lot at night, but I think I decided to read a whole book in a night for this one.
  • Scary Movie: I didn’t get the bonus challenge (reading a book then watching the movie), but I do a month-long horror movie marathon every October (watching at least 1 horror movie every day), so this one was super easy.
  • Trick or Treat: I read A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay for this one. I’d had it on my TBR for ages and finally read it.
  • All Hallow’s Eve: I did read 7 books for this, but I’ve already listed all of them. Basically, everything in the image of my books from Aberrations on, minus (I think) The Duality Paradigm, which is 8 things (one short story).

Normally, I would conclude this with a book haul pic, but…I can’t remember what I bought and my books are all messy right now, and this post has gone on for about three centuries already. Plus, I’m too lazy to check my last haul and then look for everything I’ve bought since then. But I’ll probably make a different post for that once I’ve finished sorting my books out.

If you’ve stuck around since the beginning of this post, please drink some water and stretch. You’ve probably been sitting, looking at this, for way too long :p


Tell me know about your autumn reading in the comments 😀

Did you join any challenges? Was it a good season for books, for you? What was your favorite autumn read?

T5W: Bookish Things I’m a Grinch About

T5W is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, now hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. You can check out the goodreads group to learn more.

 

December 6th – Bookish Things You’re a Grinch About
— Since being a grinch is a funny thing, try not to make this serious topics that make you angry (like lack of diversity or abusive relationships in fiction, etc) as this is supposed to be more of a petty bookish things you hate. This can be stuff about covers, dumb tropes, etc. Have fun with it. 

I could probably come up with a list of 50 things I’m a Grinch about, honestly. Narrowing it down to just 5 took some thinking, and I might be cheating with one of these.

In no particular order…


Changes to the design of books in a series– This is the one I’m probably cheating with, but oh well. What I mean by this is a change in the cover style, or change in the height of the books, or moving around the publisher logo on the spine, etc. Basically, anything that makes the books in a series not look like they match.

Cover Models– Uuuugggghhhh. Ok, so this actually isn’t always bad. In fact, I’ve seen a few really spectacular covers with actual people models. But I’m talking about the ones that are super generic, or don’t really have anything to do with the book. Think about bookish cover tropes, like the girls in formal wear that all start to blur together after a while. Also, the original Vampire Academy book covers.

The “I’m not/She’s not like other girls” trope– Please, can this trope just die forever now? This one, I think, is borderline between being a petty thing I’m annoyed by and a serious thing, depending on the usage. But in either case, I’m so, so tired of it.

No indication of series reading order– Why?! Why can’t publishers number books in a series?! This makes me irrationally angry and I honestly just don’t get it. Even if it’s not on the spine or cover, at least give us a page at the front with the reading order, please!

Loads of POVs– Ok, I’ve come across I think 2 instances of this not frustrating me (Six of Crows duology because Leigh Bardugo is a goddess, and 27 Hours wasn’t too difficult to follow, either). It took me, literally, about 18 months to read A Game of Thrones, and most of the reason was because of the number of POVs it had. I can usually handle 2, but I honestly just don’t like most multiple POV stories. It’s just not for me.


What are some bookish things you’re a Grinch about?

T5W: Author Idols

T5W is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, now hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. You can check out the goodreads group to learn more.

 

November 29th: Authors You’d Want to Write Like
–In honor of NaNo wrapping up, discuss some authors you’d like to write like. Whether its their writing style, what genre they write in, or how many books they manage to churn out a year!

Holy wow. It’s been over a month since I did a T5W 😮 I can’t remember why my last was October 18th, but November…I really wanted to do all of them, but I just didn’t have it in me, with NaNo and all that. (Update on NaNo, etc. coming tomorrow, whoo!)

Anyway… This topic was actually so hard because I really had to think about it. I like a lot of authors, but deciding on 5 I’d truly want to write like was a challenge (mostly just to narrow it down to only 5).

No pictures this week because I’m lazy and tired and honestly couldn’t decide which book to use for 3 out of 5 :/

In no particular order…


J.K. Rowling– Someday, I might make a list for T5W that doesn’t have J.K. on it, but this isn’t that week.

Victoria (V.E.) Schwab– Oh my gods, yes. I kinda live for her books at this point. (Ok, shameful confession time: I have the Shade of Magic trilogy and three of her other books, but I’ve still only read SoM :/ )

Leigh Bardugo– Another author I just about worship and live for her books. I freaking love her characters and the Grishaverse. I want to write a villain that makes someone think, “This character is such a garbage can, but I love them anyway” with serious heart eyes going on.

Douglas Adams– I love his humor, and wish I could write funny and entertaining things the way he did.

M.L. Rio– Hell freaking yes, oh my gosh. Have you guys read If We Were Villains? I’m so in love and can’t wait to read it again ❤ (I reviewed the audiobook earlier this year.)


Honestly, this list could go on and on and on and on an– But I literally just glanced at my shelves and wrote the first 5 I saw and would actually want to write like. I think if I thought about it for about 30 seconds, I could easily come up with another 10. I just really love so many books and authors, and I admire so many who have inspired me in one way or another. I wouldn’t be a writer if it weren’t for them.


Who are some authors you’d like to write like?

Failure (aka: an update with kittens)

Ok, ok, “Failure” might be a tiny bit of a dramatic title. But it’s how I’m feeling right now :/

We’ve just over a week left to get in our 50k words for NaNoWriMo and…I’m not doing so great. I’m at about 30k, so about 2-3 days behind schedule. I had a really awful week (Pumbaa isn’t with us anymore and I really don’t want to talk about it, and I’m still basically a wreck) and have been drowning my sorrows in baking shows on Netflix and actual baking at home. (I made matcha meringue kisses for the first time, which were a huge hit, then shortbread cookies, which were also great and my first attempt at making them.)

I’ve also been kind of sick. I think it’s just my allergies, but ugh. They’ve been so bad this year and I feel like garbage.

The big question is: Can I catch up and still make it to 50k by the end of the month?

I really don’t know. I have been writing every day, though, even if it’s only a few hundred words. If I get to take my kid to stay with gran for a few days, I can probably do it. I’ll lose one day of writing by making that drive, but I’ll gain peace and quiet, or at least a better chance of having it when I need it.

But, even if I don’t manage to catch up, if I manage to get really close, and write every day this month, and have a really clear idea of most of the last part of my story, I’ll call it a win anyway. I’ve already broken all my previous NaNo records (word count, days I’ve updated my word count, etc.), and I really think I will finish this novel. I just might not finish until a few days into December. That’s only sad because it means I won’t get the Scrivener discount 😦

Thankfully, I have some encouraging NaNo buddies, writer friends on twitter, and my husband, all cheering me on and keeping my motivation from totally dying.

On an unrelated to writing note, we’ve managed to get another kitten inside. (Possibly 2, since my last update?) Our vet is working with us on cost because we’re trying to save strays, but I think Mary will be the last one. There were 2 or 3 more kittens out there, but I haven’t seen them for a least a week, so I’m really hoping they have homes and are warm and safe.

Cashmere (so named because he’s very soft, cuddly, and calm), the one we found shortly after Robert, is in good health except needing worm meds (which he hates, but has been surprisingly good about taking without much fuss), and now we have Mary. Kid named her after Mary Shelley and I was very proud ❤ Mary will hopefully be in to see the vet later this week.

Both of them almost immediately made themselves at home, which was surprising. At the vet, husband said they kept talking about how docile Cashmere was, and how he didn’t really try to fight them or get away until the very last thing they did during his check up. Mary isn’t quite as chill as Cashmere, but she’s pretty laid back, and they’re both very snuggly purr machines.

Cashmere

Cashmere

Mary

Mary


If you’re doing NaNo, I believe in you!! You’ve got this, and you’re so close to the end! Don’t lose faith in yourself, because you’re doing a great job!

Quick update

We’re almost halfway through NaNoWriMo, whooo!

I struggled a lot all week, but I kept writing and I have officially surpassed my previous record of total words written for a NaNo project 😮 I’m less than 3k from 25k, yay!

On the downside of all this, I’ve read part of one graphic novel this month, and that’s it :/ I’d planned to try to read 4-5 books this month, but I don’t think that’s happening.

I’ve also epically failed at posting the way I’d wanted to, bleh. I never even made a wrap-up post for October.

I am, however, now watching New Girl, thanks to a recommendation on twitter. I just can’t focus enough to read, but I can make it through an episode or two of New Girl, then switch back to writing for a while, lather/rinse/repeat.

And that’s pretty much it. NaNoWriMo ate my soul, I’m drinking way too much coffee and tea, what even is sleep, and I just cry a lot out of frustration and panic. Yup, it’s a glamorous life 😛