BLACK AND BLUE (BOOK HAUL) .12

29 September 2014

Since starting college I've reigned in my bookish needs considerably, hence the lack of book haul posts. However, over the weeks, I've compiled a 'few' books - you can't expect me to completely stave of them?!
.1 Having wanted to read this book since I started hearing about it, you can imagine my delight when the publishers offered me a copy of FALLING INTO PLACE. First up, the cover is a pure delight to stare at although physics equations baffle me completely having never really studied it. Second, the premise. Third, the reception it has had amongst many people I know. And finally, the author is a teen.
.2 Browsing through my local charity bookshop I stumble across this copy of THE NIGHT CIRCUS, do a little (inner) jig, swipe it from the shelves; and of course, buy it. I finally own my own copy.
.3 A beautiful, beautiful hardback with pink edged pages: MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME. Brimming with wonder, delight and overflowing hearts. What's not to love? Oh, and did I mention it is a collection of stories written by authors such as Ally Carter, Gayle Forman, Laini Taylor and Rainbow Rowell?!!!!
.4 You know how much I loved THE ELITES, well guess what; when I read this? Well - oh you want to know what I thought? Too bad, you'll have to wait for my review. Hot Key Books and their covers though.
.5  The bookshop is silent. Almost. Sounds leak softly through the door which is opened just a crack. A ladder leans heavily against the wall, as if too weary to be standing without aide; MR PENUMBRA'S 24 HOUR BOOKSTORE is 'open', but where are the occupants? Where is the owner?
.6 ANATOMY OF A MISFIT: I'm not sure to be honest. Why don't you tell me.
.7  This final book was a surprise in the mail and as I had heard copious amounts of praise for this I am excited to start it - especially as everything in it is true: MALALA: THE GIRL WHO STOOD UP FOR EDUCATION AND CHANGED THE WORLD. (Has anyone else read this yet?)
Who knows when I will be able to read any of these though, who knows when I will start going to bed later than nine? I have a feeling I'm going to start going to bed earlier than that soon... But hey, that's the cool thing to do - who wants to stay up all night on the weekends then come into college like a zombie? (Although admittedly I look like that every day anyway - a good night's sleep: such a distant memory..)

[tips, tricks and inspiration] wreck this journal

24 September 2014

I barely ever get time to do my WRECK THIS JOURNAL. But when I do, I go all out. I do at least one prompt page. How is that 'all out' you ask? Well, you're probably only asking because you've either never completed a prompt page, or you're just a whirlwind of artistic talent that works at mind-blowing speed. Because these prompts take time. Especially if you're a perfectionist like me who tries to wreck 'nicely'.
------------------------------------------------------ TIP ONE -------------------------------------------------------
Page markers are your best friends. Once you've decided what you want to do for a certain page mark it, because if you don't have time right then, when you do, you will have a good few pages to automatically get working on without having to waste time brainstorming. I also mark the pages i have already done, just so I can look back on them and decide if I think they're really finished. And if nothing else, they remind me that this book is not impossible to complete: it just takes time.
------------------------------------------------------ TIP TWO -------------------------------------------------------
 Inspiration is vital. If you have no idea what to do, you won't do it. If you're stuck for ideas, you'll leave it. So search people's Wreck This Journal's; take inspiration, gain ideas; it's allowed. I think I've probably seen a good twenty versions of the same prompt on Google Images, each one was different, each one was unique, but each one gained inspiration from the one done before. There's even a WRECK THIS JOURNAL Flickr group solely made for people to share their prompt pages to give others ideas.
---------------------------------------------------- TIP THREE -----------------------------------------------------
Bring out all the supplies you think you will need before hand. Don't sit at your desk and see what happens, plan what you think you will do. Why? Because, if half way through, you realize you need paint but it's downstairs and then you need tissue paper and a paint brush and water in a jar - Well. You might just decide to pack away and carry on tomorrow. Tomorrow will never come. Or if it does, it will take a good long while. Instead, make sure everything is at hand so your inner laziness doesn't shine through at the wrong time. Always try and finish at least one prompt page fully once you're sat down. Key word: try.
------------------------------------------------- TIP FOUR-----------------------------------------------------
The pages are relatively thin, which means some markers and pens and paint will just soak through. Therefore if you do want to use these pens/paints, be careful. Your best bet is to use acrylic paint as when it dries it becomes stiff and gives you the perfect thickness of page for your other side, and it doesn't soak through. If you do want to use watercolour paints, I'd advise you to dry it with a blast of the hair dryer, as then it dries quicker and stiffer and does not dry so the page is soft and slightly 'damp'.
If you were expecting tips and tricks you had never heard before, and are disappointed, I'm sorry. But at the same time I'm not. Because usually, the most basic things help. And even if you've heard all this before, you may never have implemented it. Now I'm telling you - do it. Right now I have absolutely no motivation or inspiration to blog due to having just started college, so if you also think this post is lame, you're probably right. I haven't read a book in at least two weeks; because I'm still on the same one and I just do not want to pick it up. Send me rainbows and cake please. Please? Also free time, I need lots.
p.s i take no credit for the final image prompt idea, i saw someone else doing this same prompt and really loved how they have done it so i tried to re-create it. you can see the original here.

[by the wyrd] review: heir of fire

19 September 2014

Series: Throne of Glass #3
Title: Heir of Fire
Author: Sarah J Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Publication Date: September 11th 2014
Source/Format: For Review/Finished Copy
Summary: Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy. While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love? -goodreads
Again. Sarah J. Maas has done it again. The third book in the Throne of Glass series and my love burns strong. It's almost visceral now: read the book, love the book, wait impatiently for the next. But this time you can't just love the book because oh the pain. I know some people who weren't that intrigued with the first claiming it was too fluffyromancelovevomit. I wish it was like that now. This book devitalized my heart.
The title of this book: Heir of Fire, seems to be the hidden symbol for my adoration for all the characters in this series, for the plot, the plot-twists; everything: it burns like a fire and does not reduce to ashes, no matter how long the wait until the next book and my next installment of kindling - if anything, it powers higher and brighter.
Heir of Fire blew me away. It is as simple as that, and what I cherish about this series is that each book gets bigger and is filled with more information regarding the story-line to satisfy my cravings and more characters to love and hate. But it never gets too complicated. And I have another favourite character.
What can't Sarah J. Maas do? Because she has managed to find ample firewood for the love that blazes inside me, she has left enough plot twists to have me startle like a rabbit confronted by headlights on a dark night, she has reduced both Caleana and I to grains. of sand: once we were both castles, now - we have vanished into dust. We? Yes we, because when you read this series you will no longer be yourself, you will be within the story: caught up in iron teeth and nets and burning. And you won't want to escape. So I repeat myself, what can Sarah J Maas not do?
Platters of food go to the lovely Bloomsbury team for kindly sending me this book for review, and to reduce my life to desolation. How kind. *clutches chest*

A SEA OF PAGES [the novel idea(s)]

14 September 2014

Roundabout a year ago I decided I should crack down and write a novel. As if it was that easy. As if it would be a quick pen flick [swish, and flick. oh the memories.] and ta-da, one novel staring back at me. Well. It wasn't. Who's surprised? The problem I have is that I love thinking up book titles, and if I have a book title I am head-over heels for, and a main character name I wish I owned then I want a completed novel stat. The stumbling block: well, I have no plot. AT ALL. So after being blackmailed into joining NaNoWriMo five days late, I decided I may as well go all out, not procrastinate, and write a novel. 
Having not planned to join NaNo I had no plot, no title no character names, no nothing. So I grabbed a premise out of thin air and wrote. I managed 33K of a terrible horrible story. WHICH IS A MIRACLE. Because before that the most I had written in a year was 5K. Yes, I know. Aspiring author who is rubbish at writing, heard it all before. And then I realized something else. So here's a list of my weaknesses when trying to write a novel [obviously extremely paired down to keep from boring you all]:
A. I yearn to write a perfect novel. I have never re-written anything because I need things to be perfect the first time.
B. I have never plotted a novel. I am a pantser. And it's not going well.
C. Because I have no plots I never know what to write, so I chuck paragraphs and paragraphs of description in there.
D. I write short short stories, hence I can't keep a novel going more than 5K [if that].
MY CURRENT WIP[s]:
-are all very current. As in, started a couple of weeks ago current. Except for two, one being my NaNo novel which I haven't finished and probably never will even though I ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT THE ENDING WILL BE because nothing happens in it, zilch, na-da etc etc.
1. THE FOX CHILD [YA - fantasy re-telling]
33K. 75% bucket loads of unnecessary description. 25% other boring things. Barely any action. A lot of blood, for some reason. An MC that can talk[?] to animals. I don't even know my own 'plot'. Re-telling of Snow White [which is ridiculous because I never really enjoyed this story that much.] Will I ever make myself re-read this and maybe finish it? I don't know. I really don't.
2. THE WAY WE OBSERVE [YA - contemporary]
3K. People who have read it thinks it is about me. May be. Who knows. Started because I liked the title and the name of the MC, surprised? I thought not. I put it on hold because - I'm not actually sure. Exams probably. And then I had other *better* ideas. I have random scenes from this written on various notebooks so I will probably carry this on one day when inspiration strikes as I actually have a basic plot. THE SHOCK.
3. TO THE END AND BACK [YA - genre unknown]
6k. This is my current WIP, along with 4. and had been put on hold as I have been busy all summer, but yesterday I read it through and I LIKE IT. So far. Let's see how long it lasts. Why, you are probably wondering, do I not know the genre of this story? Because it started with a very vague plot. Vague as in literally not there and so many holes it's basically nothing. I felt in the mood to write one day, so I did, and came up with this, then I decided it could be the grounds for a novel [as I mentioned, I'm desperate to write a full length novel] so started plotting for the first time. I came up with a basic outline, didn't like it, had no other inspiration so left it to fester. So when I came back to it yesterday and LIKED IT, I decided I will write this and tried to come up with a decent plot. BUT I WANT TO WRITE A FANTASY, and I want this to be the fantasy, but all the plots I come up with ARE SCI-FI. Why. In my notebook I literally wrote: "YUK. NO. EW!! I want this to be fantasy OK BRAIN." I know, I'm slightly strange, what can you do. So yes, still trying to work out a plot that does not have a really unbelievable plot, [I have resigned myself to the fact that this will not be fantasy] so now I just need something solid, that isn't as holey as the side of George Weasley's head. 
4. CELLOPHANE HEART [Middle Grade/YA crossover - contemporary]
4.5K. I started it a couple of days ago. Will feature road-trips, anger management problems, family loss, a ten year old smart-ass who can't slice cheese, graffiti, and is written in vignettes. [As inspired after reading Reasons She Goes to The Woods]. As you can see, I have a slight plot-if-you-can-even-call-it-a-plot, and I think that's what I'm going to have to accept: I am a pantser, anything more than slight plots aka five lines of main scenes and character names [I love coming up with character names] and I may drown. Or die. Well, my brain will.
5. THIS IS WHAT WE CALL IT [YA - contemporary]
Why do I have so many contemporary novel ideas? Oh I know, wish fulfillment [well not really], but I wish I had written The Sky is Everywhere, it is contemporary, see the logic? This one is a title love, has no plot, has character names [obviously] and will probably never ever be written because who writes a novel without a single scrap of plot because you like the title. Not me. Oh no, I have far better things to do. Like make sure I don't collapse with the strain of coming up with a plot for a plot-less novel idea. However, I may write a short - NO. it will be a novel. I need it to be. I'll write it when I'm old and wrinkled and retired from my job as a dustbin-woman. Ok. Maybe by that time I'll have an idea for a plot. Jandy Nelson, instead, can you just reprint The Sky is Everywhere under my name? It'd be so much easier.
UPDATE: Am getting excited about this one, have started plotting. So far? From what I have written this [maybe I HOPE] novel will feature a French best friend ironicly [you'll..probably never..see why] passionate about non-frenchness who talks in a British accent. A younger brother who is a genius pianist. A grandmother of sorts. A half chinese, half english main character who has a twin sister. Family drama. A main character trying to break through the bonds of her heritage, also ironical. [Again, you will probably never know why]. Sarcasm. Food fights. Jealousy and sibling rivalry. Baking mishaps. A home-schooled family. And..other stuff I still need to work out. Like WHERE DO THEY LIVE. Not Important Stuff like that...
WHAT AM I DOING TO MY BRAIN PEOPLE, it can't even cope with thinking up a plan for what to eat. Thinking about all this is making me hungry let alone create an entire novel in my head and write it down.
So when am I actually going to write all this? When my brain catches up with my need to write a novel and churns out plots and makes my fingers write.
"She is currently reading THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE again, and is flicking through DREAMS OF GODS AND MONSTERS again to re-read favourite scenes [aka the entire book.] She is also wishing this will happen to her one day in the future: someone re-reading her book because they love it so much. Also, she is fuming over the fact that handwriting is so deceptive. Pages &pages of words, and not even 1K?! It's a conspiracy. And she's hungry, let's go & raid the kitchen."

THINGS I HEAR IN BOOKSHOPS + [giveaway]

09 September 2014

Following on from the theme of my last post [which you should obviously read if you haven't already.] I am going to be sharing some strange and awesome things I have heard over the years while perusing the shelves of my local bookshop. Some had me face-palming, sometimes I just shook my head in disappointment and whatever book I was holding at the time, and some had me stalking the person who had just spoken. All totally normal activities to practice.
TO FRIEND - "So should I buy Catching Fire or Mockingjay? Wait. Which one is the first again?"
TO NO-ONE IN PARTICULAR -  "They have a whole section related to Lord of The Rings?"
"Special editions too?" .. "PRETTY COVERS AS WELL?" .. "Am I dreaming?"
TO FRIEND - "Why is this place just filled with books?"
TO FRIEND - "I need to find THE BOOK THIEF...Can you see it anywhere?"
"Dude that book is for girls. The main character is a girl. Anyway, didn't you get enough of World Wars in Year Nine?"
TO MUM - "But why do people like reading? It's so mundane."
TO FRIEND - "So do you think ten books is too many to buy in one go?"
"No."
"I knew I liked you for some reason."
"-But what's your mum going to say?"
"What's a little sacrifice now and then? Who wouldn't put up with an invigorating argument if it meant future hours of exploring new worlds and befriending new people?"
"Me."
"I knew I disapproved of you for some reason."
TO FRIEND - "Why don't bookshops provide trolleys? My arms are aching."
TO FRIEND - "I think my purse is holding a grudge against me. It's empty."
"You can borrow some money off me if you want?"
*Tackle hugs ensue*
TO FRIEND - "Can you believe some people don't like reading?!"
"Yes. Muggles do everything wrong."
I know, I know. Some are pretty bad. But can you guess which conversations involved me? And, honestly, if you see me in a bookshop shooting laser eyes at people's backs / bookshelves, don't be too surprised. I probably just heard something infuriating. Have you heard anything odd/annoying in a bookshop? I know someone who has: Jen Campbell, author of STRANGE THINGS CUSTOMERS SAY IN BOOKSHOPS and MORE STRANGE THINGS CUSTOMERS SAY IN BOOKSHOPS, which - guess what? I have copies of to give away to one of you. [WARNING: They will make you question the world and it's inhabitants. A LOT.]. [UK & IRELAND only].
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THINGS I DO IN BOOKSHOPS + [giveaway]

05 September 2014

I can't remember the last time I went to a bookshop. And that saddens me. I've walked past it recently. But I asked if I could go in 'for a bit' and was given the inevitable "No" in response. Turns out I spend too long in there - who knew? However, this heart-bruising turn of events led me to think about why I spend so long in bookshops. Because part of the time I'm not actually looking at the books. 25% of the time, if you were stalking me [please don't]  I would be doing some strange things indeed [to non-book lovers anyway]. Apparently it's not cool to smell books. To be honest I don't think people who say that know what they're talking about. I mean, who doesn't smell books.


THINGS I DO IN BOOKSHOPS:
 Turn into a nostalgia monster while browsing the kid's section after seeing all my favourite childhood books.
✖ Stalk people [who are teens BECAUSE TEENAGERS IN A BOOKSHOP].
✖ Look through all the shelves twice over.
✖ Internally hyper dance if I see books on offer.
✖ Internally hyper dance as I smell all the new books, touch all the new books, and stare at all the pretty covers.
✖ Internally hyper dance if I have a gift voucher for the book shop. I hyper dance a lot.
✖ Struggle with the amount of books I am carrying.
✖ Feverishly count money in my purse while attempting to do mental maths to try and work out how many books I can buy.
✖ Sit on the floor and bemoan the fact that I have no money.[Yes, I actually did this once.]
✖ Get dragged out of the bookshop.
✖ End up leaving the book shop with no books [Unless I have a voucher.]
What do you do in bookshops? Are you the epitome of social consciousness, or do you forget about everything else once in the vicinity of books? And - exciting things. The lovely people over at Atlantic Books have kindly given me five copies of MR PENUMBRA'S 24 HOUR BOOKSHOP by Robin Sloan to give away. [UK & IRELAND only]
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discussion || book hauls

01 September 2014

A while ago, yes this was written a while ago and is only being published now. Sue me. I finally decided to talk about something that a lot of people have different opinions about: book hauls. I was originally inspired to do this because Nikki from The Paper Sea mentioned she wasn't a fan of these posts and I asked Why? Some love them, some dislike them. Some just find them a waste of time.
"I don't have like, this secret vendetta against them or anything.  Like, I don't dislike them because I'm jealous (okay, I am a little). But mostly I just find they're not very helpful to me.  I get that it's more publicity for the books, etc. but when they're just presented in a list, like most book hauls are, that's not very useful information, especially if I've never heard of that book before.  Why should I care that you received X for review? WHAT THE HECK IS IT? When bloggers don't discuss the books they've received/bought, that means I have to go to Goodreads and manually search for every book to read the synopsis.  And ain't nobody got time for that."- nikki [the paper sea]
Book hauls, for me personally; are chances for me to stare with envy at people's book photography skills. To be very honest, depending on what blog I am on [if the blogger in question has the same taste in books as me or not], I only look at book hauls for the photography. I don't really register what books they actually got unless they look interesting and the little bit they say about them sounds intriguing. As Nikki said, if there is only a sole list of books a blogger has received: I will probably not want to read the post. I don't often get jealous of a blogger's haul. Ok that was a lie.
But honestly, if a blogger has a book that you have been dying to read for months it is normal to want their book. If you don't feel at all jealous of a blogger who owns a book that you have been dying to read what is wrong with you. Are you human? Do you have a heart? Or are you the Tin man before Dorothy found you one? You just have to make sure you don't go too over board with your emotions.
"I love book hauls because I'm shamelessly obsessed with staring at pretty books + I often discover new books that I hadn't heard of. Also I love to see when people have acquired some of my favourites! :)" - ruby [feed me books now]
"I love book hauls because they're a way to discover loads of new books and to salivate over their gorgeous covers. personally, I don't dislike book hauls, but other people might view book hauls as "showing off" or be jealous of that person. It might also be up to personal preference like maybe a person likes reviews and would rather not waste time going through a book haul. Pros: discovering new books,finding something to talk about with the blogger/vlogger (also making friends by fangirling over same ones). - skylar finn [life of a random]"
One thing Skylar said about bonding over books bought/received struck me. Because I've never really thought about that before but it is true. A great opportunity when displaying books is the chance that someone reads your blog who has desperately loved a book you have, and you make friends through that. Take me for example - I see a book by Markus Zusak [The Book Thief], Ruta Sepetys [Between Shades of Gray & Out of the Easy], Erin Morgenstern [The Night Circus], Leigh Bardugo [Shadow and Bone], Jandy Nelson [The Sky is Everywhere], any book by Rainbow Rowell [e.g Landline / Fangirl] or Laini Taylor [Daughter of Smoke and Bone] -the list is actually endless- in someone's book haul post and I go on a rampage. Which I'm pretty sure some of you have had experience of..*hands out aloe vera for bruises and sunglasses to keep the caps lock burn away*.
"Hmmm... I like book hauls because they can spotlight books and bring to your attention books that are perfect for you. I also like them when gorgeous photos of the books are included (there's someone who takes SUCH nice book photos but I can't remember who it is *scratches brain* Nope, I really can't. *wink*" - rachel [booktastic reviews]
WHAT ARE YOUR OPINIONS ON BOOK HAULS? DO YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE WITH ME?