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Too Many Options

I have so many writing projects I want to do.

Anyone ever go on that site Quotev? It’s basically a site where one can create quizzes and stories for other people to take and read. One of the more popular options of the site is to create “Choose Your Own Adventure” or the romance-equivalent “Who Would You Fall For” types of story-quizzes. I had a few story-quizzes on there that I haven’t updated in about three years because life happened, but I still get comments and likes on them to this day. Finishing up those little things are on the back of my mind.

I enjoy writing fanfiction, so filling up my Archive of Our Own page is on my to-do list as well. I feel as if fanfiction is less pressure but also still fantastic practice for writing and, perhaps, getting some constructive criticism, and I love the excitement that people share when it comes to common fandoms.

Then there’s Wattpad. I would like to put up some of my original stories there, gauge anyone’s reactions for them. Rachel and I are in a writer’s group, but that usually meets only once a month. The writer’s group is great, don’t get me wrong, but it does take awhile for us to read enough of a story to really garner an opinion on it.

I just want to start sharing my writing and reading others’ works more often. WordPress and Tumblr are great places to start, but in today’s digital age, I do want to reach out more.

Of course, to do that, I need to focus and pick which of my WIPs to prioritize.

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Posted by on August 9, 2018 in Home

 

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Characters and Social Media

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Which social media site would your characters use the most?

Do they like precise information, bite-sized stories like on Twitter? Would they be snapping picture evidence of their life for Instagram? Would they have a news feed catered to only their interests like on Tumblr? Do they have a favorite social media site or do they hop around between several? Are their own posts to the sites concise, all over the place, a good medium?

As writers, social media is important in reaching out to fellow authors, writers, and readers. Right now, we’re on one of the most popular blogging sites to share our thoughts and stories with one another. That’s the ultimate goal of social media sites — to connect.

So, how would your characters connect with others in their world through social media? How would your characters react to anonymous praise, critique, trolls? How private would they keep their settings? How often would they post? Would they connect more with people they know face-to-face or make friends with people from all over the world?

What would a stranger, or a reader, conclude about your character just from reading their social media sites?

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2017 in Home

 

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Not Enough Bookshelves

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I’m a little jealous of all the pretty Tumblr and Instagram artistic shots of bookshelves with fairy lights and little figurines of favorite book characters and the books arranged by color and size and all be able to fit on the bookshelves…

My bookshelf needs a “Caution: Books Falling” sign or something.

Obviously there’s no such thing as too many books, but there is such a thing as not enough space. Rachel and I have already decided that we’re going to have a library in our own house whenever we’re able to afford it, so I shouldn’t have to worry about hoarding books, right?

I have been thinking of cleaning out my bookshelves again, though. Donating books to my local thrift shop or used bookstore will give them a chance of being picked up and read by someone else, and it’ll free up a little space on my shelves.

That same line of thinking makes my brain go, “Then there will be room for more NEW books!”

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2017 in Home

 

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Book Buying Problem & Pantomime

I think I have a book buying problem.

I mean, in hindsight, that’s not the worst problem to have, right? Aside from a thin wallet, being obsessed with books isn’t too bad compared to other things I could be obsessed with:

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On that note, I did order another book today because my tower of to-be read books just isn’t quite the same height as me just yet.

On Tumblr (seriously, Tumblr is amazing at sharing book and writing news) I follow a blog called LGBTQ Reads because why not? More books is more books, and I’m all for keeping the protagonists on my bookshelf diversified in any way I can. Through this particular blog, I heard about a trilogy of books that not only starred a bisexual intersex character, it takes place in a CIRCUS. With MAGIC.

I think I’ve mentioned once or twice or twenty-seven times that I enjoy fantasy books with magic and circus-like elements.

The first book of the trilogy is called Pantomime and the series is by Laura Lam. Both Pantomime and the second book Shadowplay are available in paperback, while the third book Masquerade is coming to the US in June. So, hey, if you’re interested in fantasy, magic, and circuses, perhaps check her books out. If you’ve read these already (or any of her other books, actually), what did you think of them?

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2017 in Home

 

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Star-Crossed

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Let me share an awesome story with you. I found this lovely post on Tumblr about a book that’s coming out on March 14. This book is a positive middle-grade novel with a bisexual protagonist, and you can bet that I have it pre-ordered.

Guys, seriously, this is so exciting! The author, Barbara Dee, wrote this book with tons of love and research, talking about it with her daughter to be sure that this book is safe for LGBT+ youth (and all readers, really).

A little excerpt from the daughter’s Tumblr regarding this book is: “This book is for LGBT kids, written by a mom who has asked questions and done her research and tried as hard as she possibly could to make her own queer kid feel safe and loved and valid, and it REALLY shows. Mattie (the cutie on the left) and Gemma (the cutie on the right) are given space to learn about themselves, and ultimately they don’t have to figure themselves out right away or come out to everyone at once or choose a label. They’re kids. It’s okay to still be figuring things out. It’s okay.”

That right there, those last two words… Those are the most important words resonating with me. It’s okay. The LGBT+ community has been making tremendous strides for equal rights within the past few years, and it’s fantastic to witness it all. Books like Star-Crossed will help further these strides!

If you think you’ll be interested in this book, you can check it out on Amazon here!

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2017 in Home

 

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Current Playlist

Presuming you listen to music or background noise while writing, what’s on your current writing playlist?

Lately I’ve been obsessed with a mashup called “Pop Culture” by Madeon. I first heard it when a YouTube video called Fan.tasia was going around on Tumblr showcasing the song with Disney movie clips. It’s pretty mesmerizing to watch if you haven’t already!

Also at the top of my writing playlist is Lindsey Stirling’s new album Brave Enough. Some of my favorite songs are “The Arena,” “Mirage,” “Something Wild,” and “Those Days.” Music videos for “The Arena” and “Something Wild” are up on her YouTube channel, and are absolutely brilliant!

So, what are you listening to? Or are you the type to have certain playlists to fit certain moods or genres that you’re writing? Perhaps you’re the kind of writer that has big-ass noise-cancelling headphones?

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2016 in Home

 

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Diversity

So I hang around Tumblr a lot, as many people probably do. I follow many blogs about books and writing, and one of the major topics that pops up is the need for diversity in books (here are the official tumblr and the official site of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks Campaign if you wish to take a gander at them). In their Mission Statement of their official site the campaign states:

We Need Diverse Books is committed to the ideal that embracing diversity will lead to acceptance, empathy, and ultimately equality … Our mission is to promote or amplify diversification efforts and increase visibility for diverse books and authors, with a goal of empowering a wide range of readers in the process.

Seeing the pro-diversity posts and words and pictures reminds me of the 1997 Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” with its multi-racial cast. It starred Brandy Norwood as the title character, Paolo Montalban as the prince, and many other stars such as the late Whitney Houston and Bernadette Peters. I loved that movie as a child and that love hasn’t waned at all. The movie was on the other day and my mother laughed at how excited I was to watch and sing along with it!

When I used to watch that movie, I found it a little silly that the kingdom had a black woman as the queen and a white man as the king having a son that was neither of their races, but only because I knew that wasn’t how generics worked. It had nothing to do with the fact that I couldn’t find myself relating to any of them (or Cinderella or the Fairy Godmother, for that matter) because of race or gender. The actors races did nothing to hinder my enjoyment of the movie. To me, every actor in that movie was there because he or she auditioned and got the part due to his or her acting skills. Race never crossed my mind.

Allow me to share this interesting tidbit in the trivia section of this movie on the International Movie Database website:

Brandy Norwood became the first African-American to play Cinderella. This version broke viewer ship records when it debuted, and it holds the record for the bestselling video for a made-for-TV movie.

The Oscars this year boasted nominations and winners with speeches that spoke of gender and ethnic equality, of diversity on the silver screen and the world. I feel as if somewhere we took a step backwards. How can a movie with a multi-racial cast break records almost ten years ago when here, in 2015, people are still fighting for that same diversity for movies, for television, for books?

I’m a white young woman, one who has always had an open mind, something that I feel blessed to have. When I write, I don’t really think much about my characters’ looks or race or sexual orientation. I do a lot of stream-of-consciousness writing and prompts to explore my characters — I’m one of those writers who firmly believes that characters come to life and have wills of their own. If one of my characters decides to be described as “darker than [his friend]” or that he is attracted to another man, that’s cool with me. To me, the character’s spirit is the most important aspect of the character and that’s what I choose to sift through and inspect when trying to relate to said character.

Then I picked up “In Real Life,” a graphic novel by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang about a gamer girl struggling to stand up for others inside and outside of a pixelated world. I consider myself a gamer and I’ve been dabbling in a few new fantasy stories of my own that have to do with those virtual worlds we love, so the graphic novel hooked me. Upon starting the story, I immediately found it surprisingly interesting how Wang drew the main character and her parents as a little heavier than the usual thin, athletic-figured protagonist.

Right after that feeling of surprise I was hit with shame.

Why the hell was I so surprised to see another body type portrayed in a book? Because we’re so used to seeing book covers portraying the usual thin, athletic figures of the imagined protagonists (and most of those protagonists are white, if we’re honest).

There’s a particular scene in the graphic novel is a simple image of the main character in the hallway by her locker. She’s off to the side, clad in an orange coat, while the rest of the hallway is dominated by other students. Tall students, short students, students with lanky bodies, heavier bodies, and thin, athletic bodies. The skin tones range from pale shades to brown hues. There’s even a student with what looks like two-toned hair, with one side darker than the rest. It’s not a big scene at all, but the diversity of the student body is so evident in the image.

I have a better understanding for the need to have diversity, to allow everyone to have someone to identify with. It’s about identifying with someone who shares your dark skin, your hazel-green eyes, your curvy figure. It’s about identifying with another man going through a divorce. It’s about identifying with another teen struggling to come out as a lesbian. It’s about finding your religion, culture, and ethnics portrayed in a strong and positive light for all of the world to see.

I do hope that, one day, needing diversity isn’t a thing anymore, that diverse stories are just as common as stories of “the white man,” and people can enjoy movies, video games, books, and the like due to the cast’s and story’s merits, like a movie of “Cinderella” that stars people identified as talented actors rather than as black women. However, until that dream of utter equality comes true, the world needs to continue its push to share and celebrate its beautiful diversity.

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2015 in Home

 

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