Update: February and March 2017 (and a little bit o’ April!)

Hello dear neglected blog!!!!

It’s been a long time. I feel like singing that Adele song now… HELLO. HOW ARE YOU?

(And of course, how can you not insert the gif after singing that???)

It has been a busy, BUSY couple of months. In fact, I would argue that they were the busiest months I’d had in a while. It was pretty intense and I really did not have a lot of time for anything that was not studying, working, or going to school. Needless to say, I am SO glad that those two months are behind me. Anyways, I guess I shouldn’t give it all away, eh? Read on below!!

What’s Happening: 

So, I usually put this section last on my posts as a sort of fun addendum, but I think everything else will make much more sense if I put the “What’s Happening” first this round!

As you guys may know, I am currently in the process of trying to get into physical therapy school. Well, I got rejected to one of the schools that I’d applied to here in Utah that I was hoping to get into. After I got my rejection letter, I decided to talk to the admissions counselor at the school to see where I could improve my application! I am really glad I went. It was super helpful and it was information that will be very valuable to me–even if I don’t get in this round. Anyways, the counselor told me was I really close. Basically, I was just shy of an interview (which made me go GAHHHHHHH!!! And also AHHHHHHH!) and that if I got my quantitative score up on my GREs that it should be enough to push me over the edge and grab me an interview when I apply again in April (aka tomorrow!!!! *insert clutching face emoji*!!!)

This was in the middle of February and the application deadline for the Fall Semester is in April! I decided to retake the GREs, but unfortunately that meant that I only had a month and a half to study, so basically I had to drop everything–including writing–in order to do this, which was really, really sucked, but hey! Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do!

I took the GREs a couple of weeks ago (thank GOD that’s over!!!) and while I’d wished I’d gotten one point higher on each section, I’m okay with the results I got. The deadline is tomorrow, so I’ll be sending in my application once again, and fingers crossed, I’m really hoping my score is good enough to receive that interview!!!!!

Regardless, I am SO happy to not be doing math in my free time and so so so happy that is over!!!

In other, more fun news… I GOT GLASSES. Apparently I’ve been going around all blurred visioned for a while now. Okay, okay, my vision is not bad at all, but I’d noticed that I was having a really hard time seeing at night/in bad weather/seeing signs from far away and I happened to mention this to my mom one day and she suggested I go get my eyes checked. It turned out to be a really good idea, because I really did not know that my sight had grown worse. I’ve always had pretty good vision and even going to the eye doctor’s appointment, I didn’t actually believe that I would have anything less than 20/20 vision. So I was REALLY shocked when the doctor showed me what 20/20 vision looked like and then what my vision looked like. Again, my sight is still pretty good and it’s not like I can’t see or anything, but it was a stunning realization.

But it’s not all bad! I’ve secretly wanted glasses since I was a little kid, mainly because I thought they were super cute. (But then again, I wanted braces when I was a kid because of the bright colored elastics you get to wear–and then got them and promptly found out that they are not fun in ANY way… O__O).

Anyways, here they are!!! I got them from Warby Parker, which is an amazing company and I highly recommend them if you ever need new frames! I have a really terrible face/head shape for glasses, so I’m so glad and grateful to have found glasses that I like! (Again, I can’t recommend Warby Parker enough! They’re cute, affordable, and socially responsible! Wow, I sound like an ad… hahaah!!!)


What I’m Writing: 

So… not much?? Like I said, I had to take a break from writing to study, so I haven’t been working on my Fox Story in a while. I actually just started back up a couple days ago! To be honest, it wasn’t going well. I had forgotten where I was going with the story and I had no idea what I was doing anymore… (granted, I can’t say that I knew what I was doing before, but I REALLY didn’t know what I was doing now!!!) I was thinking about this last night after another meh writing session attempt and that was when I decided it wasn’t working. I needed to go back and read through what I’d written and get back into my story, which is what I did today (or tried at least? Today was a really lazy, unproductive day–and not in the good way–MEEP). But I am SO glad to have done this!!!! So far I’ve read through about maybe a third of what I have and I realized that while I have little sparkles of scenes that I LOVE, 90% of what I’ve written is SO bad. It’s boring!!! My characters are just meandering around gardens and not really doing anything. They have no agency whatsoever. This might not sound like good news per se (and I guess it’s not really) BUT I’m very excited to go back to the drawing board and reoutline scenes and fix my boring crap into something good! It’s wonderfully refreshing to know what’s not working in my manuscript and reworking it so that it is. Basically, I’m going to rewrite most of the stuff I have! Normally, I think I would be daunted by this or despair at the work I have in front of me, but I don’t know whether it’s because I’m growing most used to the fact that rewriting will ALWAYS be a part of the process or whether it’s because maybe I wasn’t happy with what I had before, but I’m not only not daunted, but I’m EXCITED. I can’t wait to brainstorm better, more fun scenes and make this into a better book!!! I’m going to finish this read through tomorrow and spend the next however many days brainstorming and reoutlining the whole thing!!!!

OH! And one more thing… I also accidentally ended up writing a short story? I binge-wrote it after taking the GREs in a weird night-time frenzy. I’ve never really written a short story before! I’ve tried a couple times, but petered out after a little bit. This was a story that was inspired by something my dad said while we were watching tv and it was the kind of idea that I just couldn’t stop thinking about. After I finished the GREs, I decided to go for it and it kind of just poured out, which has never happened before. It’s not great by any means, but I will admit that it was extremely satifisying to finish something. I think that’s one of the most glorious feelings EVER!!! Anyways, I sent that to a couple friends to get their feedback on it! I probably won’t work on my short story for a while, since I’m back to working on Fox Story, but it was still a really fun project to have!

Okay, wow, that was loooong. This is going to be a looooong post!!! O___O

 

What I’m Reading:

I actually fell into a kind of reading funk, so I haven’t been doing much reading. (I think this happens about every fifteen books or so, I’ve noticed?) The book I’m currently reading now is Deathless by Cathrynne Valente, which was recommended to me from a couple of friends who said she had gorgeous prose. THEY WERE RIGHT. The writing is STUNNING and I love how fairytale-esque it is! It almost reminds me of a mash-up of Leigh Bardugo and Erin Morgenstern’s writing. Almost, but not quite. I’m trying to think of a more accurate description, but so far that’s the closest I’ve gotten! Anyways, I’m LOVING it and highly recommend it!

I also read my dear friend Ella’s manuscript a few days ago and OMG I LOVED IT. It was brilliant! I’m very obsessed with it and hope that one day it’ll be on shelves for everyone to read!!

Oh! And I’m planning on rereading The Wrath and the Dawn tonight, partly for research/inspiration purposes ( and partly because it’s been a long time since I’ve read it and I want to read it again (because as you know, it’s like one of my FAVORITE books ever ever!!!!)

 

My Latest Music Obsession:

Hmm… I don’t really have one right now! I’ve been listnening to my Disney playlist for a long time now though, so I guess that?? Actually, I guess I could say that I’m loving the song, Belle! I first started listening to it because of Laura Osnes and then realized what a fun song it is!

What I’m Watching:

I just finished rewatching The Office!! I always forget how hilarious it is! And this round through, one of my favorite episodes was the “Diversity Day” which was so funny and so brilliant!


I’m currently rewatching Arrested Development, which is another one of my favorite shows! I will never tire of it! And I love how clever that show is! Every time I watch it, I find another subtle joke that I hadn’t noticed before! I will admit that I was very disappointed by the fourth season that they had. I’m still hoping for another season, which will hopefully be better? I don’t know! Regardless, I love the first three seasons so much that I’ll be happy if that’s all I ever get for the rest of my life!

Aaaaaaand, I guess that’s it for now!!! I hope everyone has had a great couple of months and hope you have a couple of great months to come! As always, I will try and keep this blog updated, but I really shouldn’t make any promises I can’t keep!! O_O

Thanks for reading!


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Hale vs Harris, and the Breach of Online Ethics

Memoirs of a Time Here-After

[10/22: This post has been edited to include new information regarding Hale & Harris’s Twitter conversations, and the dissemination of Harris’s physical address. Many thanks to commenter Cheryl for the updates.]

Over the last couple of days, fingers have been flying across keyboards all across the book industry in response to the October 18th article in the Guardian, titled Am I being catfished?’ An author confronts her number one online critic. If you have any ear turned towards author, book, or book blogger news, you’ve probably already been introduced to this story. Many prominent bloggers have thrown their weight into the ring, and what perhaps began as a largely “on the author’s side” argument, is now firmly in the realm of “what was she thinking?”

In case you aren’t aware of what happened, feel free to read the article above, or any of the others listed below. However…

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Binge-Reading Extravaganza!

Wow, so it’s been ten days since I’ve last posted… Haha, clearly, I’m off to a great start!! Well, since Monday is the first day of the week (or at least what I consider the first), I’m going to try to post every Monday (or more often than that if I can manage)… but again, we’ll see how that actually pans out.

Anyways, I took the GRE this past Thursday and naturally, instead of studying like crazy for it, I binge-read a lot of books, which I thought I’d share! 🙂

 

1. Taken by Erin Bowman

Grey lives in Claysoot, where when a boy turns eighteen, he is Heisted–gone with a bright flash of white light.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I don’t know what I expected, but Erin Bowman’s writing is amazing! So beautifully crafted without sacrificing voice. It’s got a dystopian feel to it (though I wouldn’t say it is a true dystopian) and I loved the romance between Grey and Emma. Definitely a recommended read!

 

2. Frozen by Erin Bowman

Sequel to Taken! Grey’s adventures continue!

Again, it’s not what I expected at all. There are new characters, new things we learn about Grey’s world. Erin Bowman was again successful in sucking me into her book. I enjoyed reading Frozen a lot–so much happens in to the characters! But what was I thinking? The next (and last) book, Forged, comes out April 2015! So, waiting it is.

 

3. Strange and Ever After by Susan Dennard

The conclusion to the Something Strange and Deadly trilogy in which Eleanor Fitt must once and for all face Marcus–an evil, power-hungry necromancer who is determined take away everything and everyone that she loves.

Susan Dennard–one of my favorite authors ever! I’ll have to dedicate an entire post to her one day to talk about  how amazing she is. Anyways, I never would have guessed this ending!! So beautiful and tragic at the same time. It literally shocked me to the core. I’m sad to see this series end, but I am more excited than I can say for Susan Dennard’s forthcoming series Truthwitch! I cannot wait to read it!

 

4. Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama

A dark tale about mermaids in which mermaid Syrenka falls in love with human Ezra, only to make a dire choice that results in a curse spanning years into the future.

I will basically read anything that has to do with mermaids or under the sea! Monstrous Beauty alternates between present-day Hester and Ezra and Syrenka’s tale in the late 1800s. This is very unlike any other mermaid tale I’ve read and though I hesitate to call it a retelling of The Little Mermaid, I can definitely see the similarities. It is also one of the darkest mermaid stories I’ve read–maybe a little too dark for my taste, but it was a great read anyhow.

 

5. Plus One by Elizabeth Fama

A book about a society in which people are assigned as either “day” or “night” and are only allowed out during those times.

Loved this book so much! I picked it up because almost solely based on the cover (although the synopsis was very intriguing as well) and wow! The story did not disappoint! I read this in one sitting and stayed up till about 1 o’ clock in order to finish this! Love love love!!! Unfortunately, I’m not sure if there’s going to be a sequel, but I’m holding out hope!

 

6. Fiendish by Brenna Yovanoff

Clementine has been trapped in a cellar for ten years, until she is released by Fischer. But Clementine finds that things are changing–some sort of magic is taking over, overwhelming the town.

Wow! I loved this book! I was a bit wary of reading this because I’d heard Brenna Yovanoff writes creepy, horror-ish books and I wasn’t sure about it, but… It was absolutely amazing!! Enjoyed it so much! I read it in one sitting and then immediately after I finished, I ordered the rest of Brenna Yovanoff’s books! I can’t wait to read them!

 

7. House of Ivy and Sorrow by Natalie Whipple

Josephine Hemlock is a witch living with her grandmother. When a deadly curse that killed her mother resurfaces, Jo goes on a search to figure out who is responsible.

This was a fun book. It had a distinct cutesy and high school feel to it mixed in with classic witchery i.e. potions, curses, recipes, spells–I love it! Granted, I will admit it did take me a while to get into, but by the end, I was fully invested. The cover and title was also one that very much attracted me and urged me to read the book!

 

8. The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

A blend of fairy tale and romance, in The Near Witch, Lexi is a headstrong girl determined to live her own path. When children in her town start disappearing, she sets out to find who took them.

The romance between Lexi and Cole was great! Loved it from the very beginning! The story definitely a sort of folktale sort of feel to it that was really fun to read. It also had the classic townspeople who are determined to blame witches for all their troubles, which made Lexi and Cole’s relationship that much more interesting (you’ll see why if you read!). I have Victoria Schwab’s The Archived which I am very much looking forward to reading.

 

9. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars is about the Sinclair family and their summer time adventures.

Erm… Don’t want to give it away, cause it would totally ruin the entire book (I’m dying to tell someone… but I’ll resist)! Not what I expected but really intriguing!

 

10. Perfect Ruin by Lauren Destefano

Morgan lives in a city in the sky called Internment, living a seemingly perfect life–but secretly, she dreams of the ground and fears that she is going mad, like her brother once did after seeing the edge.

Lauren Destefano’s writing is truly beautiful! Another dystopian series, but very different and unique than others I’ve read and I love the idea of a floating city–very reminiscent of Miyazaki’s Castle in the Sky and Arrested Development‘s Bluthton (Haha!). I can’t wait to see what happens in the next one!

 

11. Atlantia (ARC) by Ally Condie

Rio lives in Atlantia, an underwater city. When her sister, Bay, without any word, chooses to go up to live on land, Rio is determined to find out why.

Loved the Matched trilogy and this one does not disappoint! Ally Condie also has a very beautiful, lyrical way of writing that I love reading. Plus I LOVE underwater stories!! I can’t wait till this comes out so I can buy an actual copy.

 

12. Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Cate and her two sisters are all witches and she is desperately trying to keep them safe, doing everything they can to hide their magic and avoid being sent to Harwood asylum by the Brotherhood, or worse.

Lately, I’ve been really drawn to stories about witches! This book, I feel, has less emphasis on actual magic and more emphasis on women, sisterhood, and the consequences of magic in a male dominant, anti-magic society mixed in with elements of historical fiction! Enjoyed this one a lot! And GOSH that ending!!

 

I know these are pretty brief reviews, but since there were so many, I thought it would be best! Maybe next time I’ll be able to give some more thorough views on my thoughts! 🙂

I should also add: I read Atlantia, Taken, Frozen, and Strange and Ever After before my current binge-reading period, but everything else, I read within about a week! I’m currently reading Star Cursed which is the second of the Cahill Witch Chronicles and having fun so far and the third, Sisters’ Fate, I just bought today!

I’ll be off to England and France this Wednesday and for my reading, I’m planning on taking The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling!

What did you read on your latest binge-read (or regular read)?