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?

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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 😛

NaNoWriMo: Week 1 wrap-up

Ho-ly shi-i-it o_O

Sorry. I just can’t believe I’m on day 8 and I’m not absolutely freaking out. I am going to win this year. I am. I have to. And I feel like I’ve kind of got this? Kind of? (Someone tell me I’m doing a good job haha. JK. Sort of.)

So, week one flew by and seemed like it was dragging by, if that makes any sense. I got way ahead for a couple of days, which was really good because I got seriously stuck for almost two whole days. That would have hurt really bad if I hadn’t been ahead. I hate playing catch-up with NaNo :/

Finally, yesterday morning I had a breakthrough. Unfortunately, I was in bed and jolted fully awake briefly. But, fortunately, my phone was beside me and I managed to jot down a few notes before collapsing back onto my pillow and going back to sleep. When I sat down to write last night, I still wasn’t totally sure what was about to happen, but I had a pretty good, general idea, and eventually I got through the block and moved on.

(Normally when I’m stuck like that I’ll start writing a scene that happens later, but…this time, I needed to know what was going to happen in this particular scene I was stuck on before I could write any of the other scenes I know are going to happen.)

This is so rambling oh my gosh. Sorry, my brain doesn’t like working on anything that isn’t NaNo, or spacing out watching TV for brief breaks, during the month of November.

Ok, actual wrap-up time! Here’s where I am now:

Screenshot (81)

Aaah! I’m actually sticking, mostly, to my goal of 2k words per day. Amazing! This puts me just a bit over 1/3 of the way to “winning,” and I’m now just a little over 5k words from beating my previous NaNo record of words written in a novel before epically failing and giving up.

Usually, I lose steam by day 15 and either give up then, or have already given up. I’m thinking that if I can make it through day 15 and keep going, I’ll be ok this time.

I’m hoping to get beyond my previous record by the weekend, and reach 25k by Monday. Big goals, but I think I can do it.

The thought of editing this mess is scary, but at least I’ll have something to edit if I want to! Exciting!


If you’re doing NaNo, let me know how it’s going for you 🙂 You got this!

Also, if you want to be buddies, there’s a link in my sidebar (the participant image) to my NaNo profile, or I think it’s aaalll the way at the bottom if you’re on mobile.

NaNoWriMo has begun :/

I’m not sure anyone would miss me if I didn’t post at all for the whole month, but I’m going to try to avoid that anyway.

Apologies in advance for whatever randomness is born on this blog this month. Basically, my entire plan and schedule for blogging goes out the window for November, because writing a novel has taken over most of my life :/ 

The first few days of NaNo are always really intense for me. I either can’t seem to get started, or I get a bit ahead of the set word goal. This year, it’s the latter.

Today is day 3, and the goal is to reach 5,000. For day 4, it’s 6,667. Here are my stats on Scrivener (I’ve only written a sentence or two so far today because I write late, usually):

Screenshot (77)

So, I’m kind of ahead, but I won’t be for long unless I can get in quite a bit more writing. So far I’ve been averaging about 2k words each day, which was my original plan, yay. According to the NaNoWriMo prediction thing on my stats page, I might actually reach 50k words a couple days before the end of the month. That would be nice, but I’m not counting on it. One reason I try to get ahead and stay ahead is so, if something comes up, I might still have a chance of finishing. And something almost always comes up that prevents me from writing for at least a day.

But, my biggest hurdle in winning NaNo has always been my inner editor. I can’t shut it off, or at least not entirely. But this year, I’m shoving it in a tiny room with a lock and just going with my rambling writing. My inner editor keeps banging on that locked door, demanding to be let out, but I want those words, and I keep reminding myself that this is the first draft. It’s supposed to be ugly and rough because it’s me telling myself the story first. Every time I think of trying to go back and fix something, I tell myself to remember this draft is not for an audience, it’s for me. I can go back and try to make it presentable later.

Another reason I’m hoping to get–and stay–ahead with my word count is so I can actually have a life outside of writing and the most basic of daily chores and stuff. I want to give myself some breathing room so I can read a bit, or watch some TV, and take a break from the story when I need to.

I’m hoping to get in a ton of writing sometime in the next few days, and then maybe make a NaNo survival/tips post.


In the meantime, on top of NaNo, I’m also trying to keep a kitten alive. Again. 

This is one of the kittens I mentioned a few days ago. His eyes were totally matted shut, he weighs half as much as he should, and the vet doesn’t think he’s going to make it. I think he’s a fighter, though, and he might. I got him to eat a tiny bit of the special canned food the vet gave us, and we’re doing our best to keep him warm, clean, and comfortable. I would really appreciate any healing thoughts, vibes, prayers, whatever you believe in, sent his way, please and thank you. His chances aren’t good, but he does have a chance.


Fellow NaNo participants, you’ve got this! I’m here cheering for you and I believe in you 🙂 Keep going, don’t lose hope, just keep writing. Even if you’re not happy with what you’ve written. Make some notes for things to fix or whatever in months to come, and move on to the next part.

Blogtober Babbling: Halloween month is ending :(


What I meant to do today:

  • Finish at least the roughest of outlines for my novel (plopping key scenes on a timeline, basically)
  • Finish this Goosebumps book I’m reading for my 7th book in the Halloween Read-a-thon
  • Take the kid trunk or treating

What I actually did today:

  • Watched Hocus Pocus with the kid (because tradition)
  • Carved a jack-o-lantern with a super cheap steak knife. (I do not recommend.)
  • Watched Doctor Who (because I went as Amy Pond from Day of the Moon…I think is the episode)
  • Bailed on trunk or treating after standing in line for 20 minutes and moving 5 feet (we never even saw where they were doing the candy and other stuff the line was so long) and freezing, in favor of trick or treating at stores
  • Glared at my NaNo outline for an hour, hoping it would be intimidated into writing itself
  • Found three more kittens on our back porch that I think one of our cats lured over somehow. They look like they’re about to starve to death or freeze to death and I’m hoping they come back tomorrow so I can try to help them (they vanished shortly after I took out some food for them)
  • Cursed (a lot) at my outline and Pokemon Go
  • and these, which turned out better than I expected, but not as good as I would have liked :/

I can’t believe Halloween is over 😦 


So, not the most productive final-day-of-Halloween, but it could have been worse.

We think the kittens might be from the same litter Timon & Pumbaa came from because their the right size and their faces look similar (except color for 2 of them). I’m really worried about them because they looked so fragile and cold and hungry. I could actually see one of them shivering, but it ran when I tried to get close to it with the food.

We really, really can’t afford to take on 3 more cats (we already have 4, plus 1 that has been coming around and gradually warming up to us). But, the shelters around here A) are always full, and B) have some of the highest kill-rates on the east cost. And I already checked with the rescues that do fostering and all that, and they’re not accepting cats right now. The one person I know who lives nearby who would probably like having a cat (or more than one) can’t have pets at their place 😦 


Happy Halloween/Samhain/Whatever you’re celebrating (or, if you’re not celebrating anything, Happy Tuesday!)

To my fellow NaNoWriMo participants: