You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle | Book Review

This time around, I review a single romance novel instead of, um, 90. This is one of my top 5 books this year and certainly top funniest book I’ve read so far. There are spoilers as far as this is a romance novel and it follows the entirely predictable HOA ending.

Mini Reviews: 3 Novels in Verse

I’m usually not a fan of novels in verse, but the reading experience of all three of these is really interesting. Two have to deal with racial identities in America and one is about disability in India–and none have the same story line. They range the gambit from middle grade to young adult. Two, however, were more successful than one … but you’ll have to see which is which.

I Wrote a Novel, Now What? Episode 3 – Confronting Privilege

This is perhaps one of the most important videos I will make about my revisions to my novel moving forward, in which I admit that I made some mistakes about plot lines left aside but how I plan to address this in the future! Even the best intentioned plot lines can be left undone if the writer does not constantly confront and interrogate their own writing as they go, and even what I’ve discovered so far is probably just the tip of the iceberg for me. As Mad Eye Moody would say, CONSTANT VIGILANCE!

I Wrote a Novel, Now What? Episode 2

I did it, guys! I did more work on my novel. Please bear with the camera lighting/technicalities for this one. My camera died this morning and I had to use Michaela’s, which was all sorts of interesting. However, if you bear with the weird sound in this video, there is a super cute surprise at the end. Like. Seriously. Super cute. Also, like, you know. I do novel stuff and talk about how I’m going to fix some of the weird tics in my first draft writing.

I Wrote a Novel, Now What? Episode 1

This is part of a new series I’m going to be doing intermittently as I work on my lately finished novel. Basically, I’ll film an episode when I actually do some work. This is as much to talk to you about it as it is to hold me accountable. 😛 I don’t know if anything that I’m trying out will actually WORK, but we’ll go on this journey together!

Beating the Post-Grad Burnout (AKA I Wrote a Novel!) (FTN)

I guess I’m just giving you guys some emotional videos lately. This is about the end of my four-year belief that I couldn’t write for fun anymore, and my awkward words of encouragement for anyone else who might be feeling this way!

Thesis Thursday: Why I Can’t Finish Writing My Novel

Thesis Thursdays is a weekly(ish) feature where I rant, love and talk about young adult books I’m reading because I’m conning my college into thinking this is all for academia! Find out more here!

keep-calm-and-carry-onOkay, nobody panic. I’m not saying that I will NEVER finish the novel that I started last semester. I’m going to. But the sad truth is that I promised myself that I would finish it over winter break, and I haven’t. And I can’t blame that on anything or anyone but myself.

I could blame the holidays taking up a lot of my time. I could say that I’ve been working really hard at my job while I’ve been home. I could say that having to get my wisdom teeth out didn’t really help anything either. All of this is true. But I also know that I have had time I could have spent writing that I didn’t.

I’m really close to the end. Maybe even ten chapters away, give or take what happens. I have a rough idea of what’s going to go down. I know for sure how it ends. I even have ideas for the second book. But I keep dragging my feet.

I’ve written maybe two chapters. They’re rough, and I’m not pleased with them. That’s fine, though–par for the course on a first draft. It’s not that the fervor I had during NaNoWriMo has died or anything, because I still think about this novel all the time.

I just don’t want to deal with what comes next: editing.

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I would really like to do something with this story. I think that it has a lot of potential, and I’m in love with it like I have never been in love with a story before. But I hate editing. I hate it. I like writing. Writing, however, is the easy part. And I don’t want to leave the nice and easy. So here I am, stalled out, so close to the finish line but standing at a dead stop.

I want to be writing. Writing is, for me, a physical necessity. If I haven’t written for a tumblr_m9010sxdqf1qdhag9o1_500while, then I’ll play learn to type games or doodle on multiple sheets of paper just to get the itch out of my fingers. Maybe I’ll write a blog post. Or seven. I NEED to be doing something with my fingers and words. Right now, though, I’m physically blockading myself.

This novel needs so much work–as first drafts always do. In my more naive moments, I thought that I might be excited to do that work. Of course I was wrong. Editing is that moment where you rip into everything that made you excited and you say I DID THIS BADLY. At least, that’s how it always feels to me. It feels like a figurative equivalent of stabbing myself multiple times with scissors while cutting off my fingers. I don’t like it.

bampw-bw-black-and-white-boy-favim-com-841197I also, however, don’t want to cop out and just start writing something new after this. I could write the second novel I have planned, for example. If I write about doing that a few weeks from now, then please feel free to shame me for succumbing to such weakness. That’s what it would be, and I know because that’s what I’ve always done. I write a draft, call it done after I run a spellcheck and move on to the next thing. That’s not how you get better as a writer. It’s the easy way out.

I don’t want to take the easy way out. But I really, really hate editing. So, for now, I’m at an impasse.

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Thesis Thursdays: Why I Signed Up for NaNoWriMo Even Though I Plan to Lose

Thesis Thursdays is a weekly(ish) feature where I rant, love and talk about young adult books I’m reading because I’m conning my college into thinking this is all for academia! Find out more here!

I know what you’re thinking: why is this a Thesis Thursday post? Well, if you click that link above and re-read that again, you might remember that I’m writing TWO thesis: one is an academic paper and one is a novel.

Er. Well. “Novel.”

Basically, I need a minimum of 50 pages. Technically, once I hit 50, I can stop. But–and this is going to sound so conceited but hang in here with me–50 pages is peanuts to me. This is because I write with a bunch of short paragraphs and a bunch of snappy dialogue in my first drafts. That, plus double spacing, means that I am ALREADY under ten pages away from the 50 page minimum but I just topped over 11,000 words.

So, if I’m that close, why NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), you ask?

I could tell you that it’s because I’m committed to this book idea (I am) and that I savor the challenge (I do). I could tell you that it’s because I miss NaNo (I do) and I want to be a part of that again, even if I’m not really competing (I do). But there is one very distinct reason, above all others, pushing me to compete:

I’m out of plot.

You might have been thinking, “Ew, why would you take a already started novel into NaNo you cheater!” or just “CHEATER CHEATER PUMPKIN EATER!” That’s fine. But, trust me, it’s not like that. I just wrote my eighth chapter last night, which exhausted all of the planned plot that I had for this idea. (It was a very spur of the moment idea.) So I am going into NaNo with a set of characters I love, a few things that have happened and NO IDEA WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT.

That’s what’s beautiful about NaNoWriMo. It doesn’t allow you to say, “Well, I’m stuck, better put this down.” You have to soldier through and make things up on the fly–no second guessing.

That’s what I need right now. I’m so committed to this idea that I have, but I’m so confused by it. I don’t know where to go. Even if I can’t make 50,000 words (which I probably can’t), I need the drive that NaNoWriMo will give me. I mean, I once won NaNo in eight days. I get COMPETITIVE, even if it’s just with myself. (That was the year I wanted to beat my record of eleven days.) I need that to keep going.

If you’re on the NaNoWriMo journey yourself, feel free to friend me–adkwriter15 is the handle. If you are on the fence about it, DO IT. Join me in enjoying the journey but not intending to finish the race. Who knows what’ll happen?

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Thesis Thursdays: An Introduction

Okay, nobody panic. This feature sounds kind of pretentious and crotchety, but it isn’t. In fact, this feature (which may not always be weekly) will be a combination of book reviews, tirades against academia, writerly panic and frustration, rants about book tropes and fan girl freak-outs–usually about Sarah J. Maas, probably. Let me explain.

I’m a senior this year. *INSERT PANIC HERE* I have chosen to inflict upon myself the year long English Honors Thesis course that my Department offers here. Now here you might expect me to say that I’m studying Shakespeare or some post modern writer or something.

Well, you might. But you’ve been following me on this blog and you know that that isn’t my style.

First things first, remember that post I wrote about being an English and Writing double major? While I’m writing this English Thesis, I’m also completing my Writing Senior Project, which is a novel. This will come into play later.

16034235The topic of my English Honors Thesis, broadly, is YA publishing trends and female assassins. It’s conception came from me saying HOW CAN I JUST KEEP REREADING THRONE OF GLASS FOR CREDIT? Turns out, my thesis adviser really likes what I came up with. I’m not going to bore you with the academic details, I’m just going to say that I’m going to be writing about the tropes of these books and therefore reading a bunch of books like Throne of Glass to make my point. Which is where the rants about annoying tropes and the book reviews come in. I’ve actually got a short list on Goodreads about what books I’m considering.

The YA publishing trends component of this is going to mean that there are some books on there that don’t make sense, but don’t fret. I’ll explain that all in due course whenever I figure out what the hell I’m doing.

Don’t forget that novel I’m writing! It occurred to me, rather late in the game, that if I was doing all this work talking about tropes of female assassins and what they do well and what they don’t that maybe I should WRITE the book that destroys all the tropes I hate and is actually more like what I want to read. So far I’m two chapters in and while I’m way rusty (more on this later), I’m making myself laugh so that’s about the best I can expect.

Still with me? If not, that’s cool. I honestly don’t know if anything remotely interesting will come out of this besides amusing rants and more book reviews, but that’s okay. At least it’ll help me sort out my thoughts.

Tune in next week when I discuss Poison by Bridget Zinn, why I can’t tell if I like it or not and why I’m confusing myself as to whether or not to consider it for my thesis!

Update: What in the World is Going On Here?

I know, I know, it’s the second Wednesday in a row without a Worth It Wednesdays post. I haven’t run out of worthwhile reads.

Though I’ve been doing my best to keep up with Nostalgia Junkie, the return to school has basically wiped out everything else. For now, anyways.

I’m about to start up a couple of projects very near and dear to my heart, and hopefully you guys will be able to follow them here. One is my thesis. The reading list for this has a list on my Goodreads, and I’m really excited about it. If I get my stuff together, hopefully I’ll find a fun way to incorporate all the books I’m reading for that into this blog.

The second is my senior project for my Creative Writing major. This is my first novel attempt in years–damn you, college!–and it promises to be a wild ride. Again, if I can find a witty way to incorporate that here, I plan to.

Last but CERTAINLY NOT LEAST is a project hopefully coming to you soon from me and my Bibliomancer gang. It has several facets. One is that me and Michaela from The Pied Piper Calls want to start doing some shorter videos to entertain y’all. Second is that me, Michaela, Taylor and maybe even Casey from The Drunk Librarian are thinking of doing one book a month while school is in session. Except sitting around the SAME TABLE and imbibing alcohol. Because we’re 21 and we can do that now.

All this amounts to some more blogging that will hopefully be going on! I know, I’ve promised that before. But this time I’ve got teachers and friends all looking at me to git’r’done so maybe–just maybe–I’ll actually do it. Fingers crossed!