Thursday, December 18, 2014

Follow Friday: Genres for Emotions?

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!

How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools -- keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!


Source
Do you have a go to genre when you're happy, sad, or angry? - Suggested by Take Me Away...

I don't know that I necessarily go read a specific genre based on how I'm feeling, but I've been known to go to my favorite books or my favorite parts of my favorite books in such times. It just depends on my mood. Sometimes I feel like something sad, so I'll go read a part that invokes that. Other times, I need to feel better, so I find something familiar that will help me with that. But I don't usually go to a certain genre. Just my faves. :D

How about you? Do you have a go-to genre based on how you're feeling?

Thoughts for Thursday: Christmas

Thoughts for Thursday is a new feature hosted by Musings on Fantasia and LKHill.  In this meme, we share thoughts or quotes that we know or have recently come across. Each week there is a specific subject or theme. These can be quotes from books, quotes by famous people, (quotes by YOU, perhaps ;D). Anything from anywhere is game, though we do ask that you keep your quote to a few sentences at most. Don't quote, for example, entire passages of a book or essay. These can be funny quips, cool sayings, hair-raising antidotes, movie lines, any kind of quote you can think of!

Just have fun, collect awesome sayings by awesome people, and try to be inspired!

This week's theme is the Holidays. Check out my other blog for more quotes.


He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. ~Roy L. Smith

One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don't clean it up too quickly. ~Andy Rooney

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. ~Burton Hillis

There has been only one Christmas — the rest are anniversaries. ~W.J. Cameron

At Christmas, all roads lead home. ~Marjorie Holmes

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love! ~Hamilton Wright Mabie




Wednesday, December 17, 2014

9 Ways to Improve Your Writing: Links Roundup

So I have a Pinterest Board called "On Writing" on which I pin memes about writing/being a writer (most of them funny) as well as links to great writing advice posts. There are some really great writing posts that get pinned to Pinterest, and I often take a lot of inspiration from them. I rarely get to share them outside of that platform, though. So, I thought I'd do a roundup of great links. I hope some of you find these enlightening. 

Nine Ways to Make Readers Care for an Amoral Protagonist

How to Create Powerful Character Combos

Why Story Beginnings and Endings Must Be Linked

The Six Defining Characteristics of Strong Female Protagonists

Five Tricks to Invigorate Your Ending

Five Ways to Write a Killer Plot Twist

How to Hook a Reader

10 Traits of a Strong Antagonist

7 Basic Plots: Tragedy

Happy Writing Everyone! :D

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Source
This week's teasers come from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling. It's part of a HP read-along I'm participating in (details here if you want to join) and we just started book 3!
Unbidden, the image of the beast in the shadows of Magnolia Crescent crossed his mind. What to do when you know the worst is coming? 
"I'm not going to be murdered," Harry said out loud."That's the spirit, dear," his mirror said sleepily. (pg. 68)
What are you reading this week?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Writing Prompt: Dystopian Christmas

It's been a while since I've done a dystopian post, and I was trying to think if there was any way to combine the themes of dystopia and Christmas. I didn't come up with much, but I thought it would make a good writing prompt. 

How could you combine the themes of dystopian and Christmas?

I thought maybe you could do a story where your dystopia actually revolved around Christmas. Or the lack thereof. So maybe it could be a world where Christmas means something completely different than it does to us. Maybe people are expected to give gifts, but there was a steep human cost for the giving of these gifts. 

It would be interesting if the idea of Christmas actually struck fear into people's hearts. 

I don't know. Just hashing out ideas. 

Or, you could go this route:
















(Source, left pic. Source, right pic.)





That could be interesting as well.

What do you think? How would you write a story that combined the themes of Christmas and dystopia?

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Towers of Midnight Read-Along, Week 4


Welcome to week 4 of our Towers of Midnight Read-Along! This week we read the Chapters 21-25. Remember that everything in this section as well as everything that's come before is fair game for spoilers, so read at your own risk. Sue over at Coffee, Cookies and Chili Peppers is hosting this week. Hop on over to check out her answers as well. :D

Morgase and Rahvin (Source)
1. Morgase discovers that she was manipulated by one of the Forsaken. Do you think that her discover will finally alter her attitude towards Tallanvor, or will the poor lad have to go off and die in the Last Battle all unrequited and depressed? Does this information make it more likely that she will reveal her true identity to Perrin and Faile?

Let's hope it changes her attitude toward Tallanvor. Poor guy! I won't say anything about what actually happens, but given that she had such a major reaction to the news, it's obviously something of a turning point for her. The fact that she asked Tallanvor to wait a bit before leaving suggests she's re-thinking her feelings for him. And that alone--the changes--makes it more likely, in my mind, that she might eventually reveal her true identity.

It's kind of an interesting psychological study, really. It was like, because she couldn't understand her own mindset when everything went down in Caemlyn, she couldn't allow herself to be happy, or to be who she really is. Now that she knows it was Rahvin--that she was under his influence and is kind of off the hook for the things she did--she's suddenly re-thinking that attitude toward her life.

Map of Maradon (Source)
2. Phew! Maradon has finally opened its gates for Ituralde and his troops. Personally I could have kissed Yoeli at first, but do you think that he will really refuse to continue fighting Shadowspawn in order to submit to execution for his actions? What did you make of Lord Torkumen: Darkfriend or idiot?

Well, let's just hope someone--like Rand or Lan, perhaps?--shows up and refuses to let Yoeli submit to execution. Good men, especially soldiers like him, will be needed in the Last Battle. He seems to be the only one at Maradon that has his head screwed on right.

Normally, I would probably just call Torkumen an idiot. He seems to be the arrogant, peacock type. But I think Ilturalde makes a good point. He's a Borderlander, and a Borderlander refusing to fight shadowspawn just doesn't happen. Unless he's a Darkfriend. So, my money's on his being an evil mofo. (I don't remember how his story line goes, honestly.)

Gawyn (Sorry only so many pics of him. This one
is from the graphic novels, I think..) Source
3. Speaking of idiots . . . yet again Gawyn rushes in and ruins Egwene’s plans. Do you feel any sympathy for the poor lad, with his love-addled brain, or are you getting frustrated with his inability to let Egwene take care of herself? Any more thoughts on the identity of the assassin and Egwene’s assumption that it is Mesaana? Will Gawyn be any more sensible once he returns to Caemlyn?

I had to laugh at the image of Egwene coming out, fuming, with Gawyn hanging there. And I did have sympathy for him. I had to laugh and just think, poor guy. Maybe he's not being as logical as he ought, but what he's doing, he's doing because he genuinely cares. Egwene is still being so prickly about everything, it's her I'm more frustrated with. When he decided to go to Caemlyn, I thought, good for him. Not only will it give him some distance and hopefully help him figure himself out, but it would serve Egwene right if she loses his as both a warder and a lover. But, who knows? Maybe the distance will be what they need to finally come together.

Source
4. So, Birgitte entered the Tower of Ghenjei, wandered around it for a few weeks and then died. Can we expect a better outcome for Mat, Thom and Noal? Obviously they are going to survive, but apart from Mat’s luck, do they have any other advantage that you can think of that Birgitte was lacking?

Given that Brigitte is a Hunter for the Horn and a heroine of legends, that story was downright crazy. Let's hope our guys do better than that. They do have Mat's ta'veren nature. He tends to curse it and think it works against him, but really it always keeps him alive, even if it's not under the best of circumstances. Of course Thom and Noal are neither ta'veren nor possessing of Mat's luck, so I might be a little more worried about them...

Elayne Trakand (Source)
5. What is it about idiot Trakands this week?!!??! So, just for a change of pace, Elayne dashes off and places herself in terrible danger and then somehow manages to survive by the skin of her teeth. I doubt that any of us were surprised by her rashness, but what did you think of her disguise: effective or not? Was anyone at all surprised to discover that the secretary/torturer was a Darkfriend? How much do you want to see Mellor with a knife through his eye?

LOL. Yeah, I just had to laugh and shake my head at this. I would totally do this if I could--her disguise was awesome by the way!!! I would totally take any chance I could to make a Black Sister soil herself--but of course she's queen. And pregnant! And yeah it was a stupid thing to do. Even so, she was doing pretty well for a while. And no I wasn't surprised about the secretary. I can't believe Mellor escaped again! Arghh! One of our heroes really needs to dispense with that guy! Hopefully soon.

Hopper? (Source)
6. It seems that Perrin may be coming to terms with his inner Wolf. Do you think that this will happen in time for the battle with the Whitecloaks, or will he need a few more ‘training sessions’ with Slayer before he can take that final step?

I don't want to say anything about what will happen with the Whitecloaks (shouldn't Perrin and Galad really be friends somehow, though?). But I LOVED his training sessions with Hopper. I love that he finally seems to be getting the hang of how the wolves inhabit T'A'R' and that he had this breakthrough where he realized it was really all about him and how he handled things. It's not like he has no choice in whether he loses himself to the wolf side. (That would be the side of the force George Lucas didn't mention: the good side, the dark side, and the wolf side.)

And Slayer's back! And surprised that Perrin is so good at chasing him, unlike before. Chump. This is an epic showdown in the making. (Yea!)

My Little Lan Pony :D (Source)
7. Lan’s little army is growing steadily and he is thoroughly annoyed by it! How funny is this? I was disappointed that we did not get to experience the swapping of his Bond to Nynaeve in this section: am I just impatient, or are you looking forward to that scene as well?

I think I said this before, but it still cracks me up that he doesn't think people will or should turn up for this. Why wouldn't they? It's Lan. And lost Malkier, which is a wound people in the Borderlands still feel keenly. And the Last Battle. And the Dragon Reborn. And just, why wouldn't they come? And after it keeps growing (1, 2, 10, 30) but he's still thinking that it really will start there. Isn't Lan supposed to be largely...logical? Realistic? Yeah, gotta tell ya, Bud: I love you, but it's time to look at the bigger picture!

Yeah, I wish we'd have gotten his thoughts on the bond as well. I can't remember when we do. But what I really want is a Lan/Nynaeve reunion. Probably won't happen until after the Last Battle (and that's assuming the both survive--highly unlikely) but still. 

Extras:

I love that Rand is finally taking responsibility for everything. I loved when he told Min that, though he was sad for the things he did wrong before, it was okay, because opening himself up to the joy also opened him to his failures. He's so wise and insightful, now. And I loved that he was able to find unspoiled grain to feed the people. And that when called upon by him, suddenly soldiers and stewards who had all but given up suddenly snapped to attention and started helping him save the city. Just a cool scene overall.

How I think the Black Ajah looked when Elayne
visited them. (Source)
I loved the image, during Elayne's fight with the Black Ajah in the cells, of her picking people up and throwing them at other people:
"She did the only thing she could think of. She picked up Chesmal in a weave of air and threw her at the secretary. Both went down in a heap." (pg. 373)

Other lines I enjoyed:
Ilturalde to Yoeli when he refused to fight trollocs: 
"I see," Ilturalde said. "When did you turn to the shadow?" (pg. 388)

It's just so matter-of-fact. Ilturalde is very intelligent. He makes lightening-fast deductions and isn't afraid to voice them. And he does it in a voice that could be used discussing a prospective deal over a business lunch. In a way, he smacks of Tyrion Lannister: He shoots from the hip but is so blase about it, you just have to smile.

Perrin's epiphany: 
"Perhaps he wasn't like the wolves because he was a wolfbrother. Perhaps he was a wolfbrother because he was like the wolves." (pg. 393)

What other bloggers thought:     


What did everyone else think of this section?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Follow Friday: Favorite Reading Spots

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!

How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools -- keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!


Source
Do you have a favorite place to read? - Suggested by Liberamans

I'm kind of boring on this subject. Because of my work schedule, I have to read where and when I can. That's most often on my living room couch before work, or lying on my stomach on my bed before I got to sleep. No fancy nooks or over-stuffed chairs or anything, but it works for me. 

How about you?

What's your favorite place to read?