books & a cuppa;

bookworm things

Most of us like to have a glass of something when we read. For me, usually, that glass of something is a hot drink. Coffee, tea, sometimes a chocolate drink, like a Nutella hot chocolate. I choose my drinks based on my moods, and more often than not, my moods are linked to the book I am reading.

What I’m saying, of course, is that I categorise my drinks by the type of books I am reading. There are just certain stories and genres that pair well with certain drinks.

books & a cuppa

Chocolate; Fantasy

chocolates

It can be anywhere between overly sweet and dark bitterness. For me, hot chocolate pairs well with a well-paced fantasy story. It sucks you right in, the characters leaping off the page. You amble along with them, learn with them, grow with them. A quest tale, perhaps, or a fairytale adaptation.

 

Tea; Romance

romance novels

It pairs well with something that is soothing, that calms you down, brings you back a few paces. Slows you down, though nothing that is so dull you fall asleep. Generally, I find myself having a mug of tea with a romance novel. Something I can curl up with that makes me smile. Something that warms me up on the inside.

 

Coffee; Sci-Fi

illuminae files

It gets your pulse racing. The adrenaline flows, and you find yourself flipping through your book, eagerly devouring everything in sight. You have to know what comes next. There is a sense of urgency in the story. It moves quickly, it grips you and does not let go. Action in science-fiction finds me with a coffee, and a book finished in a scant few hours even though I should be doing something else.

 

 

Of course, sometimes I switch it up. I’ll have a tea while I’m reading a fantasy, or a coffee while I’m reading romance. It depends on the mood, and the atomosphere, but I have always enjoyed reading when I have a mug of a good drink in my hand.

Everyone has their own preferred cup of something to go with what they are reading. What are yours?

2016-04-12 11:46

SPOTLIGHT; #cronebloggers

We interrupt our regular schedule to bring you this post.

I’m going to be honest, I meant to write this post a while ago, but I’ve been out of town, and then the daughter was ill, so I’m only getting around it it now.

For full information, check out Jenn @ a page of Jenniely‘s page on #CroneBloggers here.

In brief, #CroneBloggers are a group of book bloggers that are older than the target audience for the Young Adult novels we read. Yes, anybody can read anything they want, etcetra etcetra, but being surrounded by young teenagers was – shall we say – making us feel our ages?

So Jenn tweeted a call that, I think, got a more resounding answer than she expected:

Screenshot-2017-10-19 Jenn-o'-lantern ūüéÉ on Twitter

And from there, the #CroneBloggers were born.

What we are is basically a Twitter group, a place for us to talk about books (and other things) with like-minded people. We can be found here.

We can also be found on GoodReads.

A comprehensive list of our blogs can be found on Jenn’s page. If this seems like your cup of tea, come join us!

2016-04-12 11:46

 

;reading starter kit

bookworm things

I’ve been complaining to anyone who sits still long enough to listen that coming up with new and interesting blog posts ideas is so difficult. This has been largely due to the fact that I have been stuck trying to come up with something different and fun to post.

A conversation with a new friend, one who is not an avid reader, but wants to get back into reading for fun, gave me this one. We were discussing something I’ve been planning (something she’s gotten excited about, and made me more excited to be doing!) when she suggested I put together a reading starter kit for her and others like her. She meant physically, but that can be difficult since everyone’s tastes vary.

So I thought why not put together a list of items people can find (easily or not) to make their own reading starter kit?

reading starter kit

We start, of course, with a book.

The book depends on the reader. Or the reader’s friends and family, if they are going based on recommendations and gifts.

Then we add in a bookmark.

If the book is borrowed, especially, it is better not to dogear it. Personally, I hate it. I’ve done it, used to do it all the time, but now? Use anything you can find as a bookmark. An old reciept? Sure, why not? Tissue paper? Works too! Something thin and easy to slip between the pages.

ribbon + book2

Some music wouldn’t be remiss.

Mood music is always great for getting into the groove. Find a playlist online for the book you are reading! Or create your own, if you are into that. Of course, there are some people who don’t work well with music, and they can skip this part.

A cup of tea can help with getting comfortable.

It adds to the atmosphere. Something warm to drink while you get lost in the words and story being created on the page in front of you. It might be tea, or coffee, or something else entirely. It might be accompanied by some snacks, or it might not.

open book2

Or maybe wine is more your thing.

I know some people like to read in the bath. It is not something I’ve ever done, but hey, if that’s you, pour yourself some wine, throw in a bath bomb and get comfortable!

The main thing is to customise your reading starter kit to your needs. Like reading outside? Add an umbrella or sunhat to protect your head! Like reading by the pool? Add a towel, just in case! Enjoy sitting at a cafe? Make sure you have some cash on you, of course, and maybe you’ll want a notebook to jot down quotes you like.

I know most of us are longtime readers, but what would your reading starter kit consist of?

2016-04-12 11:46

 

BLOG TOUR; The Red Beach Hut by Lynn Michell ft. Guest Post by The Author

The Red Beach Hut (2)

This is my first ever blog tour post, so I’m going to admit to being a little anxious writing out this post. I keep telling myself it doesn’t have to be perfect, but I can’t help myself! The number of times I have backtracked this little paragraph is, quite frankly, ridiculous. Especially because I am so grateful and honoured to have Lynn Michell, the author of The Red Beach Hut herself, writing a guest post for my little corner of the internet!

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The Red Beach Hut
by Lynn Michell

“Their‚Äč ‚Äčeyes‚Äč ‚Äčmet‚Äč ‚Äčand‚Äč ‚Äčlocked.‚Äč ‚ÄčPulling‚Äč ‚Äčhis‚Äč ‚Äčhand‚Äč ‚Äčfrom‚Äč ‚Äčhis‚Äč ‚Äčpocket,‚Äč ‚ÄčNeville‚Äč ‚Äčwaved.‚Äč ‚ÄčOnce.”

Eight‚Äč ‚Äčyear‚Äč ‚Äčold‚Äč ‚ÄčNeville‚Äč ‚Äčis‚Äč ‚Äčthe‚Äč ‚Äčfirst‚Äč ‚Äčto‚Äč ‚Äčnotice‚Äč ‚Äčthat‚Äč ‚Äčthe‚Äč ‚Äčred‚Äč ‚Äčbeach‚Äč ‚Äčhut‚Äč ‚Äčis‚Äč ‚Äčoccupied‚Äč ‚Äčagain.

Abbott,‚Äč ‚Äčpanicked‚Äč ‚Äčby‚Äč ‚Äčwhat‚Äč ‚Äčhe‚Äč ‚Äčbelieves‚Äč ‚Äčis‚Äč ‚Äča‚Äč ‚Äčhomophobic‚Äč ‚Äčcyber‚Äč ‚Äčattack,‚Äč ‚Äčis‚Äč ‚Äčon‚Äč ‚Äčthe‚Äč ‚Äčrun.‚Äč ‚ÄčThe hut‚Äč ‚Äčis‚Äč ‚Äčhis‚Äč ‚Äčrefuge‚Äč ‚Äčand‚Äč ‚Äčshelter.

Inevitably‚Äč ‚Äčman‚Äč ‚Äčand‚Äč ‚Äčboy‚Äč ‚Äčcollide.‚Äč ‚ÄčTheir‚Äč ‚Äčfleeting‚Äč ‚Äčfriendship‚Äč ‚Äčis‚Äč ‚Äčpoignant,‚Äč ‚Äčhonest‚Äč ‚Äčand‚Äč ‚Äčhealing. But‚Äč ‚ÄčAbbot’s‚Äč ‚Äčpast‚Äč ‚Äčthreatens‚Äč ‚Äčto‚Äč ‚Äčtear‚Äč ‚Äčhim‚Äč ‚Äčaway,‚Äč ‚Äčas‚Äč ‚Äčothers‚Äč ‚Äčwatch‚Äč ‚Äčand‚Äč ‚Äčself-interpret‚Äč ‚Äčwhat they‚Äč ‚Äčsee.

An‚Äč ‚Äčevocative‚Äč ‚Äčportrayal‚Äč ‚Äčof‚Äč ‚Äčtwo‚Äč ‚Äčoutsiders‚Äč ‚Äčwho‚Äč ‚Äčfind‚Äč ‚Äčcompanionship‚Äč ‚Äčon‚Äč ‚Äča‚Äč ‚Äčlonely‚Äč ‚Äčbeach, Lynn‚Äč ‚ÄčMichell’s‚Äč ‚Äčnovel‚Äč ‚Äčis‚Äč ‚Äčabout‚Äč ‚Äčthe‚Äč ‚Äčlabels‚Äč ‚Äčwe‚Äč ‚Äčgive‚Äč ‚Äčpeople‚Äč ‚Äčwho‚Äč ‚Äčare‚Äč ‚Äčdifferent,‚Äč ‚Äčand‚Äč ‚Äčthe‚Äč ‚Äčharm that‚Äč ‚Äčensues.

Goodreads | Amazon | Inspired Quill

Without further ado or much more rambling, I present to you Lynn’s wonderfully written post on writing in different styles!

Writing in different styles

Lynn Michell

‚ÄúWho are we but the stories we tell ourselves, about ourselves, and believe?‚ÄĚ

joan didion

  • Scott Turow, Ordinary Heroes

I see all my writing, in and outside academia, as a story. I’m tuned in to the stories others tell, the stories I tell, the stories I make up. That’s the common denominator. That’s the nut inside the various shells of academic papers and research and writing novels and editing other women’s novels. While each is a different kind of story, almost everything I’ve taken has been shaped and told in terms of a narrative.

There’s another constant. I’m one of those writers who prefers to observe and to hang around on the sidelines watching people rather than throwing myself into the social fray. I watch and store and ponder. I squirrel away facial expressions and body language and the way someone is dressed. The inside of my head is a bit like backstage at some theatre Рactors, props, scenery, costumes, dialogue. Thoughts. And feelings.

My first research project as a new lecturer at Keele University found me crawling around the floors of state nursery schools while scribbling on my clipboard watching small children play. I wanted to know how the noisy smorgesbord of toys and games on offer satisfied the needs of very different children and how many enjoyed, learned and gained something from their days. At first glance it looks like chaos but watch carefully and you‚Äôll see confident children negotiating in groups, children who race for the physical activities, ones who cling to adults, and passive children who don‚Äôt do much because they don‚Äôt seem to know how to play or don‚Äôt want to. They remain on the edges and can be overlooked. I told the stories of the children‚Äôs days and showed that a minority of children were getting very little out of their experiences. One of several academic papers was called ‚ÄėDoing Six and Being Batman.‚Äô One child‚Äôs words.

A lot of my academic work was interview based so I listened to individuals and groups of people, then went away to find the truest, closest way of telling their stories. For Growing Up in Smoke, funded by Cancer Research, I listened to children telling me what it was like to live in home where parents smoked and how much they hated the fug and and worried about asthma and about their parents dying. They drew pictures and wrote heart-felt feelings in letters and stories. I searched out the common themes as well as original thoughts and wrote as truthfully as I could about those children’s lives as passive smokers.

I wrote Shattered: Life with ME when I was emerging from the ME Ghetto after 15 years of not much of a life. I still didn’t feel well, but I knew I had the skills as a writer to portray this illness accurately, strongly and honestly. I interviewed 30 people of all ages from adolescents to seventy somethings, most of them severely, chronically ill and without diagnosis or treatment because there wasn’t one. The people I met were brave and inspiring and their stories needed to be told. My own health crept up a notch. After I’d typed up dozens of hours of interview material, I put on my academic sociologist’s hat and worked out how to classify the themes to present them without bias as a piece of good qualitative research. While writing the book, I wasn’t firing on all four cylinders and I still needed to rest, but I was the voice of seriously ill people who had not been heard or who had been horribly dismissed as hypochondriacs. It took a long five years but the letters and emails I received afterwards made it utterly worthwhile.

In my novels, I have a heady freedom compared with writing for an academic audience and I’m not hamstrung by conventions. Hidden in my debut novel, White Lies, is one almost true story amongst all the fiction, a story found by listening. When the present was growing dim for my elderly widowed father, a soldier most of his life, his periods of active service burned ever brighter. in his memory. I was regaled with his stories of being a Desert Rat in Libya in WWII and his time chasing the Mao Mao in the bloody uprising against colonial rule in Nairobi In the1950s. I knew his anecdotes off by heart. As a coping strategy, I told him to dictate his memoirs and so began long, regular meetings with me at the laptop and him talking and sipping coffee. More and more emerged. His perfect recall, and in particular his white colonial view of the Mao Mao brutality, was the start of that first novel. Yes, he is David, the soldier who cannot see the other story, that of the tribes disposed of their land and their way of life.

white lies

In The Red Beach Hut I’ve veered well away from stories of my own or those of people I know. If there are any vestiges, they’ve undergone so much transformation that their roots are hidden even from me. I can rationalise why I wrote that novel at the time of the 2015 General Election but that doesn’t reflect the experience. The characters of Abbott and Nevile arrived ready made and I tuned in to their conversations. Their stories about why they were on a beach at the faded end of the season came next. Unlike previous novels, it took three months of manic writing and that draft wasn’t significantly changed.

35329869

We all tell ourselves the stories we need to hear. We sanitise and exaggerate and add rose-coloured highlights. We writers collect those stories and spin them into yarns.

‚ÄėWe interpret what we see, select the most workable of the multiple choices. We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the “ideas” with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience.‚ÄĚ Joan Didion.

So fascinating to learn about authors’ writing processes and how the same person can approach their various stories in different styles! Thank you so much for such an articulate post, Lynn.

Don’t forget to check The Red Beach Hut and Lynn’s other novels out!

LYNN-by-NyeAbout the Author :-

I‚Äč ‚Äčwrite,‚Äč ‚Äčhave‚Äč ‚Äčalways‚Äč ‚Äčwritten,‚Äč ‚Äčand‚Äč ‚ÄčI‚Äč ‚Äčrun‚Äč ‚Äč‚ÄčLinen‚Äč ‚ÄčPress‚Äč,‚Äč ‚Äča‚Äč ‚Äčsmall‚Äč ‚Äčindie‚Äč ‚Äčpress‚Äč ‚Äčfor‚Äč ‚Äčwomen writers.‚Äč ‚ÄčIt‚Äôs‚Äč ‚Äča‚Äč ‚Äčfine‚Äč ‚Äčbalancing‚Äč ‚Äčact‚Äč ‚Äčbut‚Äč ‚Äčever‚Äč ‚Äčsince‚Äč ‚ÄčI‚Äč ‚Äčwatched‚Äč ‚Äč‚ÄčElvira‚Äč ‚ÄčMadigan‚Äč,‚Äč ‚ÄčI‚Äôve‚Äč ‚Äčsecretly wanted‚Äč ‚Äčto‚Äč ‚Äčbe‚Äč ‚Äča‚Äč ‚Äčtight‚Äč ‚Äčrope‚Äč ‚Äčwalker.

My‚Äč ‚Äčfourteen‚Äč ‚Äčbooks‚Äč ‚Äčare‚Äč ‚Äčpublished‚Äč ‚Äčby‚Äč ‚ÄčHarperCollins,‚Äč ‚ÄčLongman‚Äč ‚Äčand‚Äč ‚ÄčThe‚Äč ‚ÄčWomen‚Äôs‚Äč ‚ÄčPress and‚Äč ‚Äčinclude‚Äč ‚Äčan‚Äč ‚Äčillustrated‚Äč ‚Äčwriting‚Äč ‚Äčscheme‚Äč ‚Äčfor‚Äč ‚Äčschools,‚Äč ‚Äčand‚Äč ‚Äč‚ÄčShattered‚Äč,‚Äč ‚Äča‚Äč ‚Äčbook‚Äč ‚Äčabout‚Äč ‚Äčliving with‚Äč ‚ÄčME.‚Äč ‚ÄčThose‚Äč ‚Äčclosest‚Äč ‚Äčto‚Äč ‚Äčmy‚Äč ‚Äčheart‚Äč ‚Äčare‚Äč ‚Äčfiction:‚Äč ‚Äč‚ÄčLetters‚Äč ‚ÄčTo‚Äč ‚ÄčMy‚Äč ‚ÄčSemi-Detached‚Äč ‚ÄčSon,‚Äč ‚Äč‚Äčmy debut‚Äč ‚Äčnovel‚Äč ‚Äčset‚Äč ‚Äčin‚Äč ‚ÄčKenya,‚Äč ‚Äč‚ÄčWhite‚Äč ‚ÄčLies‚Äč ‚Äč‚Äčand‚Äč ‚Äčmy‚Äč ‚Äčlatest‚Äč ‚Äčnovel‚Äč‚Äč ‚ÄčThe‚Äč ‚ÄčRed‚Äč ‚ÄčBeach‚Äč ‚ÄčHut‚Äč.

When‚Äč ‚Äčnot‚Äč ‚Äčwriting‚Äč ‚Äčor‚Äč ‚Äčediting,‚Äč ‚Äčyou‚Äôll‚Äč ‚Äčfind‚Äč ‚Äčme‚Äč ‚Äčbuilding‚Äč ‚Äča‚Äč ‚Äčhouse‚Äč ‚Äčand‚Äč ‚Äčcreating‚Äč ‚Äča‚Äč ‚Äčlandscape‚Äč ‚Äčout of‚Äč ‚Äčrocks‚Äč ‚Äčin‚Äč ‚Äčan‚Äč ‚Äčoak‚Äč ‚Äčclearing‚Äč ‚Äčhigh‚Äč ‚Äčabove‚Äč ‚Äča‚Äč ‚Äčsmall‚Äč ‚Äčvillage‚Äč ‚Äčin‚Äč ‚Äčsouthern‚Äč ‚ÄčFrance.‚Äč ‚ÄčHands‚Äč ‚Äčon.

Once again, a huge thank you to Lynn and the people behind the tour for giving me this opportunity. Be sure to check out Mrs Average Evaluates, the next stop in the tour tomorrow!

2016-04-12 11:46

ten things I hate about first person point of view;

bookworm things

I’ve always been told hate is a very strong word. Growing up, my parents preferred that my sisters and I say we strongly disliked something over hate. Frankly, they’re still that way. And for the most part, I agree. I don’t use hate very much, though sometimes I do use it as hyperbole. (A little bit of that is the case of the title, I will admit.)

First person point of view is a very hit or miss with me. I was not fond of it for a very long time, and I still have issues with it. I find myself shying away from a lot of novels with first person points of view for a variety of reasons. Some of my strongest pet peeves are listed below, in no particular order.

ten things i hate about first person point of view

  • It limits the reader’s experience of the world the protagonist is part of.
    First person point of view means we’re seeing the world as the protagonist is seeing it, and it can be a very myopic view of the world. It is also very biased, because everything is coloured by the protagonist’s perceptions.
  • Connected to the first point, it can be very narcissistic.
    Everything being coloured by the protagonist’s perceptions comes across as very self-obsessed. This can be made worse if your protagonist’s personality is one of being very sure they are making all the right choices and decisions, and being constantly condescending towards other characters.
    (I am not naming names, but I am thinking of certain characters from certain books that gained a lot of popularity in recent years.)
  • There tends to be a lot of telling and a lot less showing.
    Being trapped in the protagonist’s perceptions means we only notice the things they notice. A lot of author’s then fall into the trap of telling things instead of showing them happen. Such as the narrator being scared, or upset, instead of showing minute details that allow the reader to infer the narrator’s feelings.
    This is not limited to the narrator’s feelings but also of the action in the story.
  • There is too much introspection and too little action.
    Being stuck in the narrator’s head means that the reader is taken through their feelings on every moment instead of being allowed to infer what is going on with them. Some authors get stuck on the internal workings of the narrator’s mind, and the plot seems like an afterthought. Every action that occurs outside of the narrator’s head is followed by a paragraph of two examining the narrator’s feelings on the subject.
    It gets tedious, guys.
  • There is a repetitive feel to the voice and tone of the novel.
    If the narrator does not have an engaging enough voice, this can turn me off the entire novel. The constant Is and mes are not just repetitive, but can also be restrictive. Literary devices and vocabulary are limited to the character’s tone and personality. And, again, the protagonist can come across as very self-centered.
  • Things that do not happen in front of the character becomes exposition.
    This is especially annoying in novels that should be fast-paced and action-packed. If the action is not happening in front of the character, then the character is hearing about it second-hand, and it becomes exposition. Again, this comes back to telling and not showing, and is so tiring.
  • Unless the novel goes into an overly descriptive, fanfiction style moment where the protagonist describes themselves and what they are wearing, we are left wondering what the protagonist looks like.
    You know the type of paragraph I am imagining. Don’t say you don’t.
    Unless another character says something about the protagonist’s hair or eyes or skin colour, which I have not seen happen. It can be liberating to not be spoon-fed the narrator’s looks, and being allowed to imagine them any way. But it can also be very disconcerting.
  • The narrative style is very self-indulgent.
    The narrator becomes a stand in for the author, with too much of their own points of views colouring the character. Or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, the narrator has too little personality to allow readers to imagine themselves as the protagonist, and comes across as very bland or naive.
  • There is a lack of subplots in the novel because everything revolves around the one character.
    It gets so boring to only read about the protagonist’s storyline. Any secondary plot is heard about secondhand, unless it affects the protagonist.
  • BIASED STORYTELLING.
    Basically, the narrator is very unreliable because everything is coloured by their experiences and perspectives. Everything is the way the narrator understands it.
    I’m not saying this cannot be done well, but it has to be acknowledged too.

It does seem like I’m repeating points, I know. But there are nuances to every point! And I’m not saying it is always a bad thing. Sometimes biased narratives add to the story instead of detract from it. Sometimes being limited in the point of view adds something to the story instead of takes away from it.

First person point of view, when done well, can be such a compelling read. But those books I just have not found. There are maybe a handful of first person point of view books I have enjoyed.

Does anybody else have an aversion to first person? What are your thoughts on the first person point of view? Which are some of your favourite first person point of view books? Change my mind and give me recommendations!

2016-04-12 11:46

press play;

press play

“If music be the food of love, play on.”
– Duke Orsino; Twelfth Night, Act 1 Scene 1

For a few years now, I’ve caught myself thinking about books when listening to music. Sometimes a lyric reminds me of a character, or a plot arc, or a relationship in a novel I have read or am reading and I find myself either listening to that song on repeat as I read, or sitting down and making a playlist.

Playlists are a fun way of telling a story. While listening to the songs, you get the sense of the characters, get a sense of what the novel has put them through. And I know I’m not the only one who enjoys doing this. Just look at 8tracks! There are loads of playlists based on different novels to find.

I have seen a few blog posts around the ‘sphere of how to make book playlists, but this is not that. For starters, I haven’t found a website that fully suits me – 8tracks no longer plays all the songs for everybody, Spotify sometimes does not have the song I want to use on the playlist uploaded, and YouTube comes with videos that can be rather distracting.

This blog post is for me to find out if other people enjoy making playlists and listening to playlists as much as I do.

I have a list of relationships from novels I have enjoyed that I have made playlists for, or that I am making playlists for. Everytime I hear a new song that I feel reminds me of the novel, I add it to the list. It’s fun, it sometimes influences me to re-read the novel (while my TBR continues to grow in the distance), and it is simple to do.

(The not so simple part comes when I try to make playlist covers. It helps if I have a fancast for the novels – playing around on PhotoShop is always fun when you have a fancast because it is easier to find photos. I might be the only one who thinks this.)

Figuring out where to post the playlist so that I can share it with other readers has been a pain. And I don’t know, maybe I’m the only one still enjoying making these. It certainly sometimes seems like not a lot of other people have been making or posting playlists anywhere.

(Not that I’m planning to stop anytime soon.)

What are your thoughts on playlists? Do you listen to them? Make them? Where do you look for them?

2016-04-12 11:46

P.S.
If you’re interested, here are a few of my playlists.

 

SPOTLIGHT; hashtag bookstagram challenges

We interrupt our regular schedule to bring you this post.

I recently got back into bookstagram. I have been trying to keep to a schedule (Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday posts, which are a lot less than other bookstagram accounts) but things have been going a bit haywire since I came across the challenges people post.

Challenges when it comes to bookstagram are not so much competitions. They are more goals for the month. I was confused the first time I came across the term before I realised that it was much like the memes over on tumblr.

#bookstagram

Last month, a couple of the bookstagram accounts I follow were hosting a #summerlovingbooks challenge. The themes for the days seemed like something I could do, it seemed fun, so I thought, why not take part.

Me being me, I fell behind. But I am still trying to participate, catch up on all the days I missed. And yeah, I’m a month late for a lot of them, but I think some of the pictures would also fall under these two other August challenges I am eying (#athomeaugust & #augustlibrary17) so my posts this month are going to be – fun, I hope.

I think every bookstagrammer should try to take part in a challenge. Whether they do it for the full month, or just a few days – it is fun, it allows more interaction with other accounts, and honestly, it gives you more ideas on what pictures to take. Or at least it does for me.

This has actually gotten a friend of mine and I discussing creating a challenge of our own. #nayaranovembernovels maybe? Watch this space for more information on that.

2016-04-12 11:46

the art of poetry;

the art of poetry

I was never much of a poetry girl growing up. I mean, I liked them well enough, I suppose, but they never evoked that sense of wonder or roused my emotions the way getting lost in novels did.

Until recently, that is.

Tumblr has made being exposed to different styles of poetry much easier. The first few ‘proper’ poems I had read were Shakespearean and the more classic types taught in my English Literature classes. Tumblr has taught me that poetry can be pretty much anything. From a story, to rhyming words, to a protest (of sorts), or to – whatever this is.

I have not had the chance to read Milk And Honey by Rupi Kaur, but I have read some of her poems and there are a few that have struck me. Poetry, in its essence, is about feelings.

And I have a lot of those.

It has resulted in my writing poetry. Since the beginning of the year, I have been writing quite a bit of poetry. My muses are my family. My daughter, my mother, my sisters – I’ve written poems for and about them. I’ve written poems about my faith, about my feelings on subjective topics.

Maybe someday they will resonate with someone the way they resonate with me.

Maybe someday they will inspire someone, make them fall in love with poetry, the way I have slowly begun to my own descent.

Maybe.

Poetry has gone from something I did not quite understand, though I appreciated the aesthetics of it, to something I love.

2016-04-12 11:46

SPOTLIGHT; food for thought & the Young Adult genre

We interrupt our regular schedule to bring you this post.

A friend recently linked me to this article, and I’ve had it open on my phone for a while. Just to go back to and read because the first time I read it, I realised something – I agree with most of these points.

food for thought

I mean, I love YA books. I pretty much only read YA books. Almost all the reviews on this blog are of YA books.

But when I look at the audience reading these books, we are (almost) all in our twenties or older. Or in our late teens. We read these books for escapism, for the want of the adventure or the nostalgia.

I can’t say I wouldn’t have read these books as a teenager. There are certain YA books I did read as a teenager, but as the author the article points out, the portrayal of these protagonists is, well, unrealistic.

And it made me realise something –

I mentally age up the characters of these novels.

Book has a sixteen year old protagonist who is super skilled? By mid-way through the book, I’m imagining someone who is twenty or slightly older.

The teenage protagonist is super self-sufficient and their parents seem to be non-existent? COLLEGE STUDENT AWAY FROM HOME (possibly for the first time to explain some of the things they wind up doing and/or saying).

Probably not what the author intended, but it makes it easier for me to swallow the stories when the protagonist is not unrealistically young for their actions and their character arc.

Has anybody else read that article? What were your thoughts? Am I the only one who had an epiphany upon reading that post, or am I not alone? Please tell me I’m not alone, I need to not be alone in this, heh.

2016-04-12 11:46

june 2017; it’s a wrap

midyear wrap up

It is the middle of the year, and so far, so good! I still refuse to do the whole stats thing, because there is not enough activity on my blog – by me or by anyone else! – for that too look anything but sad.

But on the blogging front, I am rather proud of myself! I have kept to my schedule of one discussion post per month, drafted in advance so that I have little stress. AND I have come up with a new feature that allows me some freedom too! Say hello to SPOTLIGHT, posts that can and will be posted as and when I write them! Posts that include interviews with authors! Posts that include me highlighting authors and books that are relatively unknown! Posts that include me, well, flailing would be a good term!

On the downside, I have read NO BOOKS so far this year. I have however written some poems, a short story in verse (a new thing for me!) and have been plotting out another experimental short story. Writing front, yay; reading front, nay?

For those of you interested, on the personal front, things are settling into a new equilibrium. I am now the proud mother of a little 3 month old princess, which is why I haven’t been reading. So I don’t feel too guilty. I’m too busy learning and embracing motherhood.

Sidenote: my best friend sent me a card for Mother’s Day that stated motherhood as the most terrifying hood one will ever go through. I’ve got to agree.

Back to blogging though. I’ve got the next few posts for the next few months plotted out, and I’m trying to figure out how to make this new feature I have thought of a reality so watch this space!

Hope your first six months of 2017 have been a blast!

2016-04-12 11:46