Saturday, October 13, 2018

Writing Lessons from Movies: The Godfather


Last month I finally watched the iconic film The Godfather. If you’re too young to know about that film that whole sequence with the shrews in Zootopia was a reference to The Godfather. There are references to it in many other movies as well. It’s about an Italian mafia family in the 40s and the one son who’s ashamed of his father’s business but when his father aka The Godfather is the victim of a hit he has to get involved. When I saw it I was pleasantly surprised that the movie aged really well. The acting is very good ahead of its time I might say (the movie was made in the 70s) and the story is engaging. I mean if a film can make me care about a dangerous mafia family it’s got to be doing something right. 

Warning: Spoilers


Friday, October 12, 2018

Questions for Chalmers (Black Hood)!



Hey, guys! I need questions for another Black Hood character! His name is Chalmers and he’s relatively new and has a big part in Black Hood so I need to get to know him before NaNo! 

Chalmers is seventeen-year-old and the third oldest of seven siblings. He’s a Silver Hood with the ability to mimic an enfield and his mother is the leader and his father a skilled doctor and recently he met his cousin Mor. For his entire life, he has lived in hiding with his nearly extinct race to avoid being completely wiped out by secret police. Though he has the ability to fly and use fox senses in combat, he rather just fly into a tree and sit and read for hours. Chalmers enjoys tinkering with inventions. He’s created many advances in his race’s technology in his short years, but he really wants to share them with others in the world instead of just his small community to benefit them. 


Leave your questions in the comments or in the form if you'd wish to remain anonymous or if you're having trouble with the comments. Chalmers will answer them next Friday! Thank you! 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

So Your Character Has Cancer ... Featuring ZitaAnne Reno





I've known a lot of people who have had cancer and have either won or lost the battle. It's a scary thing. I know a lot of books feature characters with cancer including The Fault in Our Stars and A Monster Calls but are these really accurate? I'm honored to have ZitaAnne on the blog who actually volunteered to talk about her experience. Please welcome her.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Monthly Summary: September 2018





I felt like September was a month of mostly waiting. I'm yearning for the cool weather of fall to come but it's still hot. XD The month still had its highlights though!



Friday, October 5, 2018

Anime Weekend Atlanta 2018 Report




This was my first solo con in a while since my usual con buddies couldn't make it, but I was not missing this convention because of the amazing lineup. There were seven actors I wanted to hit, so most of the convention was standing in line but it was totally worth it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

So Your Character Has Cyclothymia ... Featuring Lily @ Lily the Lost Girl





I've actually never heard of Cyclothymia before I came across Lily. It's apparently similar to Bipolar Disorder but with some differences, so I'm happy to have Lily on to share.


Saturday, September 29, 2018

My Rant About Loki: Why I’m Morally Against What He’s Become in the Fandom




When Loki died at the beginning of Infinity War, I was surprisingly relieved. When I first saw Loki in Thor, I admired him as a villain. He’s cunning, powerful, and you can be empathetic toward him—maybe a little too much so. After the Avengers he blew up in the fandom and Tom Hiddleston (the cool guy he is) did a lot of roleplay as Loki. I’m fine with all this. It’s pretty awesome when an actor loves his fans and his role so much. What I have a problem with is the fandom loving Loki almost even more than the protagonists so much so that they tout “#LokisArmy” and memes professing their adoration for such a despicable villain.


Friday, September 28, 2018

Interview with Einer (Silver Hood/Black Hood)






Me: 
It's the first interview of 2018! And I've got Einer with me today! Welcome, Einer. *turns in interview chair late night show style*

Einer:
Skip the formalities. I have better things to do than this.

Me:
*clears throat* Okay. This is a short one and all of the questions are from Christine.

Einer:
I don't care.

Me: 
*-_-* Okay first question, how do you feel about Claes as a person in general?

Einer:
He's a cowardly welp.

Me:
Okay then. *^ ^'* Do you have any close friends?

Einer:
No.

Me:
What are your thoughts on Lord Nzelt?

Einer:
He's a great leader and will lead our country to prosperity by at last stopping the Inking.

Me:
Now you're finally talking ... What is your deepest desire?

Einer: 
Why would I tell anyone that?

Me:
We'll skip that one. What is it like to be able to manipulate matter? Do you like your gift? 

Einer:
It is a divine gift from the Four Siblings. It is a privilege to be snowborne and possess it. Anyone who refuses to use it is a coward. I feel the grace of the Four flowing through me every time I wield it. 

Me:
That was the last one.

Einer:
Good. *stands up and leaves*

Me: 
He's not the most polite person in the world. *^ ^'* Thank you for the questions! Next month I'll be interviewing Chalmers!

Wait wait wait! *grabs Einer and pulls him back in* Melissa has a question: Who are you closest to in your family?

Einer: 
I don't have any family.

Me: 
What about your family you've made with Nzelt? 

Einer: 
I'm not "close" to anyone.

Me:
Somewhat friends with then?

Einer:
Aska. She's my second in command.

Me:
That works ...

Einer: 
*leaves*


What do you think of Einer? Do you have any further questions for her? Have you ever done a character interview? Share a link in the comments!



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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Saturday, September 22, 2018

New Vs. Old Dystopian Regimes






Recently I finished the Handmaid’s Tale season two and while I was watching it I really got to thinking about dystopian regimes. Most of the ones I’ve watched/read about were established some few decades ago or more but it’s really interesting when a regime has happened within a generation so some of the people remember what it was like before. Thus I thought it would be a fun concept to explore with the Handmaid’s Tale and the Hunger Games (because any chance I can talk about the hunger games I will always take) and how the ages of the regime affect the story. 

Friday, September 21, 2018

Questions for Einer (Silver Hood/Black Hood)!





NaNoWriMo is coming and I'm going to be writing the third and final book of the Red Hood trilogy for it! Einer makes his first appearance in Silver Hood, but he has a big part in Black Hood, so I want to try to get to know him better! Here's a bit about him!

Einer is a twenty-two-year-old half Isamaour known as a halfura, born with the ability to manipulate matter. Because of his lineage, he was abandoned as a toddler and rescued by Lord Nzelt, the ruler of Isriki his country. For all of Einer's life he's been prepared to take Lord Nzelt's place when he eventually passes, but when Lord Nzelt finds a new protege named Claes, Einer is threatened that he'll lose his inheritance.

Because of his family's rejection, Einer has a severe distaste for humans and tries to ignore his soiled blood. He even hates speaking their language and prefers only to speak Isamaour, though he was taught to speak Silfurlundian as well. He is devoted to the Isriki religion which centers around the four Divine Siblings. Einer is very skilled in his abilities as an Isamaour and has become the unofficial leader of the other halfura taken in by Nzelt. He's tried to do everything he can to please Nzelt and be the protege he wants, but having him like Claes over him, breaks his heart.


Leave your questions in the comments or in the form if you'd wish to remain anonymous or if you're having trouble with the comments. Einer will answer them next Friday! Thank you! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

So Your Character Has Chronic Pain ... Featuring Maddie @ Stories and Spoons




I know many people who struggle with Chronic Fatigue, so I am really thankful to have found Maddie and for her to be willing to share about her struggles, so I can better understand them and write more accurate characters in the future.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Tori’s Life Juggling Tips: How I Juggle Two Jobs, Writing, Editing, Social Media Managing, and Actually Having a Social Life





I’ve had a lot of people ask me how I manage to juggle all that I do and I’ve even had someone request this post so I’m finally getting to doing it! I work two part-time jobs that combine into almost full time so about 24-30+ hours a week, I edit six on average 1K-3K word articles a month for Geeks Under Grace, I write one or two 750-1000 word articles for Geekdom House, manage Facebook and Twitter accounts for Havok Magazine, cook dinner three times a week, blog here three times a week, write, exercise, and manage a social life. This is a lot and I’ve managed to figure out ways of doing it without getting overly stressed.


Friday, September 14, 2018

The Language of Worlds Link Up - The Belated July-August 2018 Edition





This went up when I had my August schedule all lined up and I was going to Canada so I did not have time to do this when the linkup was open, but I still want to do the tag, so here I am. XD Better late than ever! If you want to participate too you can by following this link. I'm again going to be focusing on the Red Hood series characters since I'm doing Black Hood as my NaNoWriMo novel. Dina Muir has a big part in the final conclusion (though I'm still not 100% sure what it is. I haven't started plotting. I just have an instinct right now.), so I'd like to do some more development on her in the form of this tag!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

So Your Character is From Colombia ... Featuring Kathleen @ One of Each Shelf





It's time for this week's So Your Character is ... Post! This is a weekly segment where I interview lovely volunteers from around the world to give you a firsthand account of being a citizen of their respective country or having a disability. I'm hoping to encourage international diversity, break stereotypes, and give writers a crash course on how to write a character from these different places on our planet. If you haven't checked out last time's So Your Character is from Chile ... be sure to hop on over there and give it a read!

Disclaimer: The content below may be culturally shocking to some. Each of these posts is as uncensored as possible to preserve the authenticity of the cultures of each of the interviewees.

(None of the Images are Mine)

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Monthly Summary: August 2018





A lot went on in August this month! It started out stressful then died down to relaxing which was nice and it was great to see so many of my loved ones this month. 

Friday, September 7, 2018

Canada 2018 Report






I mentioned in my last Canada report that I wanted to go up to Canada during the summer and now it's finally a thing! I haven't been to Canada in over a year nor seen Cassia, so it was really great to spent over a week with a good friend and get some refreshing time away from home.


Tuesday, September 4, 2018

So Your Character is From Chile ... Featuring Camila @ Letters in Bed





It's time for this week's So Your Character is ... Post! This is a weekly segment where I interview lovely volunteers from around the world to give you a firsthand account of being a citizen of their respective country or having a disability. I'm hoping to encourage international diversity, break stereotypes, and give writers a crash course on how to write a character from these different places on our planet. If you haven't checked out last time's So Your Character is from Latvia ... be sure to hop on over there and give it a read!

Disclaimer: The content below may be culturally shocking to some. Each of these posts is as uncensored as possible to preserve the authenticity of the cultures of each of the interviewees.

(None of the Images are Mine)

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Writing Lessons from Movies: The Emperor's New Groove





Ever since I saw this movie on VHS when I was a kid this has been the funniest Disney movie ever for me. To this day, I still laugh at the jokes as if it's the first time I've seen the movie and I feel like every time I watch it I discover some new joke I missed the last time I watched it. And while the movie is still hilarious, there are still moments that truly pull on the heartstrings, balancing roll on the floor comedy with meaningful lessons.

For those of you who haven't seen the movie, it's about a selfish spoiled young emperor who's usurped by his advisor by being turned into a llama. He and a kind peasant journey through the Peruvian jungle to find their way home.

Warning: Some spoilers.



Friday, August 31, 2018

A Book Review of Never to Live by Just B. Jordan




Buy from Amazon!

They said she was a monster. Now she has become one.

Imprisoned, Elwyn endures torture so horrific she drives herself insane to elude true madness. She finally escapes, but at the deadly cost of the only remaining friend she has. Now, unless her broken mind is playing another cruel trick, she discovers she is turning into the monster she despises most of all. Amidst fighters and fairies, demons and dragons, traitors wear the face of friend as she searches for the lost fragments of her mind.

Elwyn is the only one mad enough to face the Monster of the Kings, but she is more likely to destroy herself before even finding him.


Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Enclave (November 1, 2013)
Page Count: 661 pages

Every year I had attended Realm Makers, I'd see this book sitting on a table for purchase and for a while I had to choose other books over it, but last year I finally purchased it. Honestly, what interested me a lot was the panther on the cover. I love panthers (Bagheera for the win!). However, after reading it I'm conflicted about how I feel about this book.  


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

So Your Characters are Twins ... Featuring Annike & Zoe @ Twintales





Just a few years back I got the first set of twins in my family for this generation. Two boys. They're so cute. ^ ^ I've known a set or two of twins, but I've never been close to them. I've always wondered what it would be like to be a twin which is why I'm happy to have Annike and Zoe!

(Images aren't mine)

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Why Comic Relief Characters Often Don't Make Good Main Characters




Many comedic relief characters are the most well-loved but not all of them have what it takes to be a main character. I thought that animation studios got the notion to make comic relief characters protagonists out of their system with flops such as The Lion King 1/2, Kronk New Groove, and Mulan II, but now they're coming back with a vengeance with Minions, Finding Dory, and a little while back Cars 2, which all didn't do very well either. 

As writers, we can be tempted to make a side arc with a particular comic relief character or even do a sequel or spin-off with them as the main character, but does this comic relief character have what it takes to be the center of the story. Protagonists need to have a definitive goal, the potential for character growth, and well, they need to be interesting people and not just funny or one other characteristic, so I'm going to explore the three latter films I mentioned and why the protagonists didn't work.

Friday, August 24, 2018

A Book Review of Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin




Buy from Amazon!

For the resistance in 1950s Germany, the war may be over, but the fight has just begun.

Death camp survivor Yael, who has the power to skinshift, is on the run: The world has just seen her shoot and kill Hitler. But the truth of what happened is far more complicated, and its consequences are deadly. Yael and her unlikely comrades dive into enemy territory to try to turn the tide against the New Order, and there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost.

But in the midst of the chaos, Yael's past and future collide when she comes face-to-face with a ghost from her past, and a spark with a fellow rider begins to grow into something more. Dark secrets reveal dark truths, and one question hangs over them all--how far can you go for the ones you love?


Series: Wolf by Wolf (Book 2)
Genre: YA Alternative History
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (September 12, 2017)
Page Count: 592 pages

I adored the first book, so I was so excited to read the conclusion of Yael, Luka, and Felix's story! Here we go!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

So Your Character is From Latvia ... Featuring Anna @ Anna's Little Thing





It's time for this week's So Your Character is ... Post! This is a weekly segment where I interview lovely volunteers from around the world to give you a firsthand account of being a citizen of their respective country or having a disability. I'm hoping to encourage international diversity, break stereotypes, and give writers a crash course on how to write a character from these different places on our planet. If you haven't checked out last time's So Your Character is from Bosnia & Herzegovina ... be sure to hop on over there and give it a read!

Disclaimer: The content below may be culturally shocking to some. Each of these posts is as uncensored as possible to preserve the authenticity of the cultures of each of the interviewees.

(None of the Images are Mine)

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Some of My Favorite Things: A Blog Hop







"Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens." ^ ^ That's what I immediately thought of when I saw Sara created this blog hop. I'm excited to talk about my favorite things!


Friday, August 17, 2018

A Book Review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling




Buy from Amazon
Harry Potter is leaving Privet Drive for the last time. But as he climbs into the sidecar of Hagrid’s motorbike and they take to the skies, he knows Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters will not be far behind.

The protective charm that has kept him safe until now is broken. But the Dark Lord is breathing fear into everything he loves. And he knows he can’t keep hiding.

To stop Voldemort, Harry knows he must find the remaining Horcruxes and destroy them.

He will have to face his enemy in one final battle.

Series: Harry Potter (Book 7)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books (July 1, 2009)
Page Count: 784 pages

 I've finally finished the Harry Potter series! Woohoo! I've heard many good things about Deathly Hallows. I remember when the movie came out and being bummed when I couldn't go see it, so I was really excited to read this!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

So Your Character is From Albania ... Featuring Xhorxhina @ Inner Exploration





It's time for this week's So Your Character is ... Post! This is a weekly segment where I interview lovely volunteers from around the world to give you a firsthand account of being a citizen of their respective country or having a disability. I'm hoping to encourage international diversity, break stereotypes, and give writers a crash course on how to write a character from these different places on our planet. If you haven't checked out last time's So Your Character is from Bosnia & Herzegovina ... be sure to hop on over there and give it a read!

Disclaimer: The content below may be culturally shocking to some. Each of these posts is as uncensored as possible to preserve the authenticity of the cultures of each of the interviewees.


(None of the Images are Mine)

Saturday, August 11, 2018

10 Superhero Tropes and How My Hero Academia Blows Them Out of the Water





First of all, I love superheroes and superhero tropes. Jack Kirby and Joe Simon pioneered these modern superhero stories in the 1940s that have been loved for generations. These tropes are signature for the two big comic heads DC and Marvel, but it’s also refreshing when an author can take such a well-loved concept and make it feel so fresh. That’s what Kōhei Horikoshi did with My Hero Academia. Obviously, this man loves his American comic books because it’s very evident how much western influence is in this anime. He’s done his research and as a result, he’s created a manga and subsequent anime that has made superheroes feel newer than they have in a long time. I understand not everyone is into anime but if you’re writing a superhero story at all, these tropes and twists on tropes are good to be aware of.

Friday, August 10, 2018

The First Language of Worlds Linkup!





I was hoping the July/August Language of Worlds would be up by now, so we're doing a throwback to the first one so I can catch up! I'm going to be focusing on the sequel of Red Hood which is Silver Hood with the least spoilery of the first book answers I can. I'm going to focus on Claes since he is a dual protagonist with Mor in Silver Hood and he needs more attention. Thank you, Liv K. Fischer, for hosting this! Check out her post to see how to participate!


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

So Your Character is From Bosnia & Herzegovina ... Featuring Azra @ SimpleSerenity





It's time for this week's So Your Character is ... Post! This is a weekly segment where I interview lovely volunteers from around the world to give you a firsthand account of being a citizen of their respective country or having a disability. I'm hoping to encourage international diversity, break stereotypes, and give writers a crash course on how to write a character from these different places on our planet. If you haven't checked out last time's So Your Character is from Bahrain ... be sure to hop on over there and give it a read!

Disclaimer: The content below may be culturally shocking to some. Each of these posts is as uncensored as possible to preserve the authenticity of the cultures of each of the interviewees.

(None of the Images are Mine)

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Writing Lessons from Movies: The Lion King





Before Frozen, The Lion King was Disney's highest grossing animated movie to date and it's for good reason! This film has been in the hearts of children for a generation. All of the songs are so memorable and the story is powerful. If you don't know the premise of this movie, you had a crappy childhood. I'm getting right to it!

Warning: Spoilers, but you've seen this already haven't you?




Friday, August 3, 2018

My First #WIPJoy Recap!





I've known about this hashtag for a long time and now I finally managed to participate. I saw a friend doing it and so I decided to join in. It was fun! And I definitely want to do it again, though next time I think I'll implement TweetDeck instead of trying to do it daily. XD I've copied and pasted my tweets into the post with some edits to fix typos. Also if you want to follow me on Twitter, check me out here! I mostly tweet writing-related stuff. This time I focused on my steampunk fantasy novel Red Hood! Also follow Bethany Jennings, the creator of this meme, so you can see when the next #WIPJoy comes!

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

So Your Character Has Bipolar Syndrome ... Featuring Claire @ Brizzle Lass Books




Recently, I had a cousin diagnosed with Bipolar Syndrome. I've always been interested in knowing about it for character development, so I'm so happy to have Claire on the blog!

(Images aren't mine)


Saturday, July 28, 2018

Monthly Summary: July 2018






July was a busy but good month. I've stayed out of the heat as much as possible, so it's bearable haha. Thank goodness, the rain has been bringing down the temperatures so it hasn't gotten up to 97 like last year. 

Friday, July 27, 2018

The Music Tag






Emmy @ Little Black Sheep tagged me for this and of course I'm not going to pass up an opportunity to talk about music. ;)



Tuesday, July 24, 2018

So Your Character is From Bahrain ... Featuring Marwa @ Adoreabook





It's time for this week's So Your Character is ... Post! This is a weekly segment where I interview lovely volunteers from around the world to give you a firsthand account of being a citizen of their respective country or having a disability. I'm hoping to encourage international diversity, break stereotypes, and give writers a crash course on how to write a character from these different places on our planet. If you haven't checked out last week's So Your Character is from Israel ... be sure to hop on over there and give it a read!

Disclaimer: The content below may be culturally shocking to some. Each of these posts is as uncensored as possible to preserve the authenticity of the cultures of each of the interviewees.


(None of the Images are Mine)

Saturday, July 21, 2018

The Get to Know Me Tag {Writer's Edition}




I'm going through some of these tags and giving my brain a rest from writing posts for the moment, but maybe you'll find some kind of advice in this post. I don't know. XD But anyway thank you, Christine @ Musings of an Elf, for tagging me!

Friday, July 20, 2018

A Book Review of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling




Buy from Amazon!


The war against Voldemort is not going well; even the Muggles have been affected. Dumbledore is absent from Hogwarts for long stretches of time, and the Order of the Phoenix has already suffered losses. 

And yet . . . as with all wars, life goes on. Sixth-year students learn to Apparate. Teenagers flirt and fight and fall in love. Harry receives some extraordinary help in Potions from the mysterious Half-Blood Prince. And with Dumbledore's guidance, he seeks out the full, complex story of the boy who became Lord Voldemort -- and thus finds what may be his only vulnerability.

Series: Harry Potter (Book 6)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks; Reprint edition (July 25, 2006)
Page Count: 652 pages

I’m nearing the end of the Harry Potter series! It’s been a long journey. This is either my second or third favorite volume of the series so I was really excited to read the book behind it!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

So Your Character is From Israel ... Featuring Zoey @ Magiverse





It's time for this week's So Your Character is ... Post! This is a weekly segment where I interview lovely volunteers from around the world to give you a firsthand account of being a citizen of their respective country or having a disability. I'm hoping to encourage international diversity, break stereotypes, and give writers a crash course on how to write a character from these different places on our planet. If you haven't checked out last week's So Your Character is from Mozambique ... be sure to hop on over there and give it a read!

Disclaimer: The content below may be culturally shocking to some. Each of these posts is as uncensored as possible to preserve the authenticity of the cultures of each of the interviewees.

(None of the Images are Mine)