Saturday, December 22, 2018

Annual Hiatus 2018/2019!



My annual hiatus begins today with the exception of my annual year-end post on the 31st. I'm going to take a month to refresh and spend time with family. I'll be back on January 15th. Thank you so much for making 2018 blogging great and Merry Christmas!




Tools for Writers: Campaign Monitor Review






I know I’m supposed to be on hiatus but I had to delay it because I got my very first sponsored post! Woohoo! Thank you, Campaign Monitor. ^ ^

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Knowing the Novel Part 3 (Though I Only Did this Part)






I know, I know, I said I'd do a Writing Lessons post today, but my brain has been pudding lately from working lots of hours (Iceland will be worth it! *pants, cries a little, passes out on bed*) so I can take some time off around Christmas. Thus I needed something easy and I've been wanting to participate in at least one part of Christine's linkup, so here we are. I'll be answering questions for my steampunk fantasy novels Silver Hood and Black Hood both of which I worked on for NaNo. Let's get started!



Friday, December 14, 2018

A Book Review of Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel




Buy on Amazon!



Kirsten Raymonde will never forget the night Arthur Leander, the famous Hollywood actor, had a heart attack on stage during a production of King Lear. That was the night when a devastating flu pandemic arrived in the city, and within weeks, civilization as we know it came to an end. 

Twenty years later, Kirsten moves between the settlements of the altered world with a small troupe of actors and musicians. They call themselves The Traveling Symphony, and they have dedicated themselves to keeping the remnants of art and humanity alive. But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who will threaten the tiny band’s existence. And as the story takes off, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, the strange twist of fate that connects them all will be revealed.


Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (June 2, 2015)
Page Count: 352 pages


I’ve been meaning to read this novel for quite some time since my friend Cassia and my bloggy buddy Sara have been recommending it to me which has been like over a year now at least. A couple months ago I finally got to reading it. I can’t say I’m in love with it but I really do appreciate many elements of this book.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

The Shared WIP Tag (Week 4 Even Though I Didn't Do the Other Weeks but I Wanted to Do a Post on Side Characters and Setting So There)






I've been seeing this tag floating around at Melissa's blog, but I feel like I'm repeating myself too much talking about my main characters over and over again (It may be annoying. It may not be. Let me know. XD), so I decided to do the edition of this tag that focuses on my side characters. I'm going to be talking about ones from Silver Hood and Black Hood since those are the novels I worked on for NaNo. Basically, Little Red Riding Hood retelling with werewolves, steampunk, and some Romanian mythology tossed in there. My two MCs are Mor and Claes. Thank you so much, Jules @ Saver of Memories for inventing this tag!


Friday, December 7, 2018

A Book Review of Mortal Engines by Phillip Reeve




Buy from Amazon!
London is hunting again. Emerging from its hiding place in the hills, the great Traction City is chasing a terrified little town across the wastelands. Soon, London will feed. 

In the attack, Tom Natsworthy is flung from the speeding city with a murderous scar-faced girl. They must run for their lives through the wreckage -- and face a terrifying new weapon that threatens the future of the world.

Series: Mortal Engines (Book 1)
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Publisher: Scholastic Press; Reprint edition (May 30, 2017)
Page Count: 320 pages


Way back last year when seeing the Last Jedi with friends I saw the teaser for Mortal Engines and wondered what the heck it was. I asked my know-it-all (I love her) friend and she told me, so I've been wanting to read it and subsequently see the movie. In Canada, I was at a bookstore and decided to purchase the book!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Monthly Summary: November 2018




November was definitely a whirlwind of a month. Between NaNoWriMo, going to Kentucky for a wedding, working, getting sick, the Chinese Lantern Festival, and Thanksgiving, something was always going on.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Why I Love Writing Second Drafts




NaNoWriMo is the time of the year when we word vomit our first drafts but I relish the coming time when I can smooth out that rough draft and shape it into something more cohesive. NaNoWriMo helps me speed through the initial messy beginning, but here’s why I love the second draft.


Saturday, November 17, 2018

A Book Review of King's War by Jill Williamson




Buy from Amazon!
The remnant of the Five Realms has finally found a home in ErRets. However, peace is much harder to secure, and forces from within and without threaten Trevn's new rule. The Hadar family and their allies prepare to make one final stand in the name of Arman: There shall be war in ErRets and in the Veilto vanquish evil or be ruled by darkness.


Series: The Kinsman Chronicles (Book 3)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Bethany House Pub (June 19, 2018)
Page Count: 659 pages

I can't believe this series has finally come to an end! I've been an advanced reader for it since the beginning and it's been a long journey, but so cool to see the ancestors of the characters in the Blood of Kings series!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Writing Lessons from Movies: Princess Mononoke






I recently finally watched Nausicaa: Valley of the Wind (I have no idea how this movie evaded me all this time), which made me want to rewatch Studio Ghibli’s other nature-centered film Princess Mononoke. Man, it is such a good movie. This was my third time viewing it and I feel like it’s taken all three watches for me to truly appreciate it. 

Princess Mononoke is about Prince Ashitaka who is poisoned by a demon boar and banished from his land to travel to the west to discover the demon’s origin and possibly a cure to his ailment. He encounters a land torn asunder by conflicting ideals of man and beast and must see it through eyes not clouded by hate to bring peace to the two sides before they destroy each other. 

Warning: Spoilers. I’m trying to keep them as minimal as possible. The larger ones are in points 2, 4, and 5. 




Saturday, November 3, 2018

A Book Review of Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas




Buy from Amazon!

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don't.

With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.


Series: Throne of Glass (Book 5)
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; Reprint edition (September 5, 2017)
Page Count: 720 pages

I'm really torn about this book because I like the plot, but there's just so much sexual content that a big chunk of it was really off-putting to me. Can we just have a good story without pages long sex scenes?

Friday, November 2, 2018

Monthly Summary: October 2018





October is normally one of my favorite months out of the year, but this year it was a bit chaotic. Laptop trouble really setback my NaNoWriMo plans, so I'm hoping to make a few temporary changes for the blog to allow me to participate successfully. 

Saturday, October 27, 2018

A Book Review of Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas




Buy from Amazon!


Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last returned to the empire-for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past...

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return.

Series: Throne of Glass (Book 4)
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; Reprint edition (September 6, 2016)
Page Count: 672 pages

This is my favorite book of the Throne of Glass series so far! I love it when all of the threads put into motion throughout a series collide. There were just so many epic parts in this book!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Language of Worlds September/October 2018




I’m finally doing one of these on time. Yay! I know I just did an interview with Einer but I still want to get to know him a bit more because of his involvement in Black Hood’s so I’m focusing on him for this linkup. I’ll also answer questions for him since he’s such a grump. -_- If you want to participate in this link up, check out Liv's blog!


Tuesday, October 23, 2018

ANNOUNCEMENT: So Your Character is ... Hiatus



So Your Character is ... is going on hiatus for the remainder of 2018 mostly due to lack of posts but also because I want to downsize post frequency for the rest of the year starting in November. But posts will be back to the regular frequency in 2019. I’m hoping to have more Character Is posts built up by January so it can go back to consistency. If you’d like to volunteer for the project please get in touch with me! Thank you, everyone, for your continual support! 


Saturday, October 20, 2018

Pixar and Standalones: When Sequels Work and When They Don't




75% of the time I adore sequels. Usually, the middle book/movie of a series is my favorite and I love seeing an epic series build up to a conclusion, but if anything Pixar and anime have made me realize it's that standalones can have their own magic. Sometimes a story can be complete in itself and stretching it out with a sequel can actually cheapen the story instead of building it up.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Interview with Chalmers (Black Hood)!




Me: 
Hey, everybody! It's time for Chalmer's character interview. Thanks again for the great questions! Let's get started. *turns in Tonight Show set up to Chalmers * Good afternoon, Chalmers.

Chalmers:
Good afternoon. I'm happy to be here. *scars stretch on his face as he smiles*

Me:
Good. Are you ready for the questions?

Chalmers: 
Yes of course.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

So Your Character Has Lupus ... Featuring Demi @ The Lupie Momma





I've heard about Lupus but I've never known anyone who's had it, so I'm happy to have Demi on the blog to talk about her journey.


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 him? Have you ever done a character interview? Share a link in the comments!



You may also like:

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.