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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?

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(Final?) NaNoWriMo Prep Update

Well, it’s almost upon us. At of the time of this writing, there are just under 30 hours until NaNoWriMo 2017 begins, and I am not ready. As usual. Ugh.

Everything was fine. I had a mostly clear idea of where my story would start, large chunks of the middle, and a hazy idea of the ending (I was juggling 2-3 different potential endings). But then I started planning and everything went to hell.

Now, my story has changed and I’m not sure if I should try to force it back into the original shape, or just go with this new weirdness. I already know that this novel project will probably never be suitable for consumption by anyone other than myself. When I finish this, it will be the first writing project of this length that I’ve actually made it through, so it’s going to be a “drawer novel.”

I kept saying that I just needed to get those 50k words, any way possible, but now that NaNo is so close, I keep forgetting that. (Stop it, brain!)

So, what am I going to do? Make a genuine effort to write a “good” story by shoving this one back onto the original tracks? Or allow the strange, campy, ridiculous thing it’s becoming room to grow?

I think the latter. I love campy horror movies. I love B horror movies. I love seeing elements from those movies in books. So…I’m writing this hot mess, I guess. *long, dramatic sigh*

This is going to be the hardest NaNoWriMo ever for me, because I’m my worst critic. I’m never satisfied, I have to knock my inner editor unconscious and stuff it in a box to get any NaNo writing done, and I struggle to remind myself that even great writers might start with a really not-great first draft. I know that the best books might not be born great. They go through drafts and edits and minor to major changes, before finally emerging into the world as the wonderful books we love. But it’s hard to associate my favorite authors with writing that isn’t fantastic, you know? (Is any of this making sense? I need more coffee.)

I need those 50k words. I need that Scrivener discount. I need to do this, for me, to prove that I am capable of sticking to the writing of a book and seeing it through, even when it’s hard. Because writing is hard. Sure, some things are easier to write, but it’s not always like that. I have to remember that, and keep going because I’ve exhausted all my excuses. It’s now or never, seize the day (or carpe librum, maybe?), blah blah blah. Ugh.

Ok, I’ve babbled on way too much while I should be either prepping for Halloween or NaNoWriMo, so I’m off to do that.

For those of you are at all interested in following my NaNo progress (or just being friends!), I’ll be tweeting way too much about it, and you can add me on NaNo as a writing buddy if you’re doing it, too 🙂 

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NaNoWriMo Prep Update

I was going to do T5W, but…I kinda forgot :/ And I could only think of 4 books (I’m sure by tomorrow I’ll have thought of, like, 10), so… NaNo update it is, because it’s still Blogtober and I’m determined to see this through! (And I actually have updates, wow.)

Yesterday, I finally opened Scrivener. I had downloaded the NaNoWriMo trial version several days ago, but I was still too intimidated to open it because I knew the walk-through/tutorial thing was going to take forever. I was right. It took me about 7 hours to get through it. I wasn’t working my way through it for every minute of that time, but a lot of it. I’d say it would have taken me about 2.5-3 hours if I’d just powered straight through it without short breaks.

So, that’s finally done and now I’m actually using Scrivener, huzzah!

My first impressions are ❤ ❤ ❤ basically. I used to be such a pantser, but over the last couple of years I’ve definitely become more of a planner/plotter, and I can totally see how Scrivener might be the answer to the prayers I didn’t know I was saying while I cursed my notecards, notebooks, legal pads, scribbled notes, pinterest boards, etc. every year in the past.

My enjoyment of Scrivener is my motivation for winning NaNo this year, because I need to win. Not just to prove to myself that I can, but because I really want that 50% off coupon for NaNo winners. (It’s $40 software for PC, $45 for Mac.) I’m working on my mini-goal “rewards” still, but Scrivener is my winning reward.

I’ve started putting together character sheets and location sheets, and I have a few things for reference already imported to Scrivener. I still have a bit more of that to do, though, so I don’t have to keep hunting down pages of things online. My main characters are named, I’m working on side characters, and I need to get a few more descriptions and reference pics for the setting.

Next, I’m going to figure out if I want to plan scene-by-scene or chapter by chapter. I might do both, starting with chapter planning (a general idea of what’s going to happen), then breaking it down and getting a more in-depth outline for scenes. I usually plan just by chapter, but I’m thinking this year I’ll do that and then drop in the scenes I’ve already planned, once I figure out exactly where they belong.

Finally, I’ve figured out that if I do get totally stuck, as I often do during NaNo, I’m not going to worry about it and just write whatever, even if it doesn’t really go with the story. I can leave a note to come back and remove/edit those bits later. I just need to get the bones down, and reach those 50k words. My inner editor is my biggest hindrance for NaNo, so it’s time to squash that like a bug and move on.

I’m aiming for 2k words every day, so I have a little breathing room if something comes up.

One final note: Because I’ll be writing so much next month, my blog will probably be mostly weekly memes, like T5W. I should have a review or two up next month, but most of my focus will be on writing. I’m not going on hiatus or anything from my blog, but I’ll almost certainly be posting less than I’d like.

If you’re doing NaNo and want to be buddies, add me!

I’ll also be tweeting about it.

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NaNoWriMo is coming

‘Tis the season for hand cramps, all-nighters, too much coffee, tea and booze, and feeling like you might just be cracking up. That’s right, National Novel Writing Month is next month, and, of course, I’m doing it for about the 8th time. Yay… (No, really, I am excited I’m just not feeling so great or optimistic.)

Have I won? Haha, no, not once. I did get about halfway there a couple of times, but that’s usually when things start to fizzle out. I like writing short stories, and novel writing has been…complicated. I’ve always been a pantser rather than a planner, but that’s actually started to change over the last couple of years. So far, it hasn’t gotten me closer to winning NaNo, but it has made the month leading up to NaNo (AKA Halloween month) feel more productive, so that’s something.

If I could stop editing and looking for the “right” way to say things as I write, that would be great. It’s a big part of what slows me down. That, and hitting a small wall, like knowing exactly what’s going to happen next, but having no idea how to get there from where my characters are. I need to just start inserting things like “HEY! come fix this later because I have no clue wtf to do to get them from A to B.”

(If all of this is making no sense, I apologize. I’ve been sick all week and it’s culminated in me feeling like my head’s been sliced up and rearranged before being stuck back together all wrong.)


My NaNo project for this year started off as horror, which was cool. I was fairly certain I was going to write horror for a few months, so it was nice to have ideas to start thinking about. But then it changed. It took on a weird, dark fantasy or magical realism vibe, which was strange and frustrating. Now, it seems to be mostly back to horror, so I have no clue what’s going on in my head with this story. I’m trying to map things out, write out scene ideas, etc., but this story is like a mess of yarn: I can’t figure out where the beginning is :/

Next month, I will not be super active on here. I’m going to aim for like 3 posts each week (probably all memes). I need to continue reading, but I’ll most likely put off reviews until December.

Anyone else doing NaNoWriMo? (If so, good luck!)

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August Wrap Up (psst! kitten pictures!)

August was a slow reading month for me, partially because I was still healing from surgery, partially because I’ve been in a weird multi-genre-slump all year, and partially because we found two abandoned kittens and I’ve been caring for them. (I swear these are almost harder to take care of than a newborn baby :/ )

-Timon and Pumbaa.jpg
pic from a few days after we found them; they’re bigger now and harder to photograph because they move too much

These little demons now have names: Timon & Pumbaa. The one in the top pic was the one we found first, and he was bigger than than the second one, and he makes little grunting sounds when he eats. The smaller one would sit up on his hind feet to eat from the bottle, and kinda looked like a meerkat, so, Pumbaa and Timon seemed fitting. I tried out some other names, but they actually started responding to Timon & Pumbaa, so it stuck.

As far as books are concerned, I read 4, plus a Buzz Books sampler (which I did count for my reading goal because that was several hundred pages).

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Escapism: Words + Photos by Candice Lee (review here), a poetry/photographs books, which I gave 3/5 stars.

Cicada Summer by Maureen Leurck (review here), which I gave 3.5/5 stars.

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh, which I gave 5/5 stars.

The Awakening by Kate Chopin, which I gave 4/5 stars.

The Awakening counted for the #RockMyTBR Challenge (my goal was just to read at least one book that’s been on my shelf/Kindle for a year or more).

Back when I did the New Year’s Resolution Book Tag, I selected Anna Karenina as a big book I’d like to read, and my goal for it is to finish it by the end of the year. I made decent progress this month, but I’m still only about 250 pages into it. I’m not sure if it’s me or what, but I’m not loving it 😦

On the writing side of things, I finally worked more on my poetry collection. I’ve typed up everything I’ve written and edited, did more editing, and I think I’m close to having everything arranged the way I want it. I still want to write a little more for it, do a bit more editing, and (the big thing) find a title.

But, I made progress and I feel pretty good about it. I’m terrified of finishing it, though, because that means I might actually have to do something with it, like try to get it published traditionally, or take the plunge with self-publishing :O Scary stuff for someone who’s always been terrified of sharing their writing.

How was your August? Did you read anything really great?