Tuesday, August 28, 2018

August Recap

I typically don't do "Monthly Wrap-up" posts, (even though I love reading them) usually because my life is fairly low-key and I don't do very many out-of-the-ordinary things. But I'm doing one this month--so yay for new things!

(Also please forgive me if I do everything wrong.)

To kick off the month, my friend's mom drove myself and two of my best friends out of a sunflower field, where we took some pretty cool pictures.

So. Here's some pictures of me that nobody really wanted or needed. :P




Does this pic give anyone else "scheming for my master plan" vibes?

Yeah. I totally goofed off the entire time. XD


(I was going to wear a jean jacket, but decided against it because it was hot. Looking back, I think I should have just sucked it up because plain white tank tops--#notclassy)


I FINALLY got more book storage, thus giving me a place to store what I previously referred to as "The Mount Everest of Books." So, no more book pile on my bedroom floor! Yay!


I also decided to be adventurous and cut my hair! My mother insists that this cut does not qualify as having "short hair," but I totally think it does. I love it SO MUCH!! It's way easier to care for than my longer hair.

Before

Me and my Super Awkward Picture Face. :P

After 


Me and my slightly less awkward Trying to Take a Cool Selfie face. 


Most excitingly, I got to attend Sarah J. Maas' book launch event for Catwoman: Soulstealer. I won't bore you with a bunch of fangirling over it now, especially since I already wrote an entire post about it, which consisted mostly of me gushing over how awesome she was and a bunch of super long lists.

That day was also exciting for an entirely different reason--my brother got two adorable kittens, which he has since named Puma and Panther.


(The black one is Panther, and the grey one is Puma.) 


Panther, who is by far the cuddliest, also doubles as a reading buddy. :)


We didn't let Wookie (my Shih Tzu) near the kittens the first few days they were home, so they could get adjusted without being doggy-harassed, and he would just with there, and look at me. 
"Hey--can I play with the kittens NOW?"


Anyone else find it super ironic that we got cats on the same day that a Catwoman book was released? No? Just me? Okay.

Now, on to the writerly things!!

I recently started outlining a new novel this month. I always tend to be a panster when it comes to writing novels, but I realized that I'm not a fan of revising eighty-bajillion times, so I'm trying a different approach with this one.

The reason for all of this planning is my first novel, which I completed at the beginning of June. I let it sit for a little while, and this August I've been working at editing and rewriting it. *sigh* I need to fix ALL THE THINGS and this manuscript is really fighting me on it. I'm literally rewriting the entire plot right now--not that I'm complaining! I absolutely love writing--I wouldn't be working on a novel if I didn't. :P

Also, (not really writing related but still fun for me) I saw To All the Boys I've Loved Before, and while it was good, the book was SO much better. (As per usual with movie adaptations.) I bought the rest of the series and finished the trilogy in three days. #booknerd

(My friends and I have been talking about the movie since we saw it--although their commentary mostly consists of them fangirling over Noah Centineo. :P)


Books read this month:

To All the Boys I've Loved Before, Jenny Han

P.S. I Still Love You, Jenny Han

Always and Forever, Lara Jean, Jenny Han

The Assassin's Blade, Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass, Sarah J. Maas

Crown of Midnight, Sarah J. Maas


Over all, I think I did fairly well this month, reading wise.



And now I'm back at school. :(
*cries eternally*
GIF found via Giphy


Because I'm at school, updates will probably be less frequent. (Because I was *so* good at posting on time before. :P) 

Anyway, I'm going to be aiming for bi-weekly posting--maybe one week there will be a writing prompt, and the next week there will be a review, and so on and so forth. Or maybe I just cut writing prompts all together, or . . . I'll figure something out. :P

We'll see how well that holds up this school year. :P

I hope all of you had a wonderful August! Anyone else feel like this summer went *waaay* to fast? 

(Also, sorry for all the pics. I feel slightly narcissistic, because I just kinda went, "Here's a bunch of Me-Pictures. Enjoy!" And called it a blog post. XD)

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Catwoman: Soulstealer Launch Event!






If you caught my review for MMGM this past Monday, you know that I have very quickly turned into an avid Sarah J. Maas fan. And I officially have the best mother ever, because she bought me and a friend tickets to see her in Philadelphia for her launch event! (!!!)

It was one of *the* best days ever.

We wanted to get down in the Philadelphia area early, just in case traffic was bad later. So we drove to King of Prussia, and walked around the KOP Mall for a few hours. The mall was so big, we actually got lost. :P

But, I'm guessing that you probably don't want to hear about my adventures in the biggest mall ever. So, ONTO THE BOOK TALK!!!


There's me, and my gorgeous friend, Amber. We were very excited, if you can't tell. :P



Sarah was very interesting to listen to. (I feel odd calling her Sarah, like we're on a first name basis or something. She has no clue who I am. XD) She talked about her writing process, played Kiss, Marry, Kill with her characters, and even brought along Taran, her adorable baby boy. (He didn't cry or fuss or anything, even when one-hundred or more people cheered.)

Sarah shared that she had the ending for her Throne of Glass series planned from the beginning, but it shifted slightly over the years. When she was in a cloud forest in Costa Rico back in 2013, she had a major breakthrough, and the last sentence of the series just popped into her head. And she cried. Profusely.

As I stated before, Sarah played Kiss, Marry, Kill--but with a slight twist. She played as the characters from Catwoman: Soulstealer, answering about the characters from her other books. (That was one of the most complicated sentences I've ever written. :P)


Kiss, Marry, Kill


Silena Kyle


Throne of Glass universe:

-Kiss Dorian

-Kill Manon

-Marry Chaol


A Court of Thorns and Roses universe:

-Kiss Rhys

-Also, Marry Rhys

-And kill no one, because she'd want to enjoy herself


Luke Fox


Throne of Glass universe:

-Kill Celaena

-Kiss Manon

-Marry Lysandra


A Court of Thorns and Roses universe:

-Kiss Nesta

-Kiss Mor

-Marry Elain


Sarah was also asked about which character from each of her books she would spend the rest of her life with, if she had to.


Catwoman: Soulstealer: Luke Fox

Throne of Glass: Dorian

A Court of Thorns and Roses: Rhys, Cassian, or Azriel



And which character was her favorite character to write, main characters off the table.



Catwoman: Soulstealer: Poison Ivy

Throne of Glass: Manon

A Court of Thorns and Roses: Nesta (with both Feyre and Rhys off the table)


Wow. That was a lot of lists. Whoops.

Also, for fans of her ACOTAR series, she's planning on releasing a spin-off focusing on Cassian and Nesta, which she hopes to release in 2020.

And for TOG fans, here are a few *slight* spoilers for Kingdom of Ash, below (because I know some people like those :P):

-There’s going to be a hidden Easter Egg somewhere in the book
-Fleetfoot survives
-The book is close to one-thousand pages long
-There will be an appearance by Nox Owen

This sum-up really doesn't do justice to how awesome of a time I had. Alas, this will have to do. :P

If you're interested in seeing any more pictures, you can check out my Instagram post

And wow--three posts in one week! I think that's a new record. And while we're on the subject of posting, I'm going to be on a small hiatus. It won't be long--I'll be back by the end of August--I promise!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Get to Know Me Tag// Writer's Edition

If you've been around the blogosphere for the past few months, chances are, you've heard of (or participated in) this Get to Know Me Tag. And guess what? I was tagged!!

(Also, you may notice that this is most definitely *not* a writing prompt. I was tagged on Saturday, and completed the tag on my lazy Sunday. It was supposed to go up this Friday--but yesterday was a LONG day (I'll elaborate in another blog post) and my brain was too frazzled to come up with something coherent for a prompt. :P)



Rules

-Link back to the person who created the tag
-Thank the person who tagged you
-Share the tag graphic
-tag eleven bloggers


This tag was created by the wonderful Savannah at Inspiring Writes

Thank you so much to the always awesome Danielle for tagging me!! <3

And most of the bloggers that I follow have already participated in this tag, so if you see this, and you want to participate, then go ahead and consider yourself tagged!


Vital Stats and Appearance



Name: Kara

Nicknames: Well, my name isn't one that really has a whole lot of variations and/or nicknames--but I do have one friend that calls me Mega-Nerd. :P

Birthday: I don't really like putting my birthday on the internet.
(Creepy people are real, man.)

Hair color and length: Brown, and it used to be close to two feet, but I cut it back to my shoulders this week
(Perhaps a new blog profile picture is in order?)

Eye color: Green

Braces/piercings/tattoos: No tattoos and no piercings. I have a retainer, if that counts.
(The byproduct of two awful braces-filled years.)

Righty or lefty: Righty

Ethnicity: Caucasian, but most of my family hails from Europe.


Firsts



First novel written: Eesh. It was about four years ago--and was about a girl who passes out and wakes up in another dimension. (The logic was *very* shaky. :P)

First novel completed: This past June, I competed my first novel, a middle grade fantasy.

Award for Writing: This past year, I won a golden key during the regionals for the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. 
(That same story went on to win a silver medal at nationals.)

First publication: Nothing yet--but hopefully someday!

Conference: Again, nothing yet.

Query/pitch: I feel like I should just be copying and pasting my answer, because once again, nothing yet. :P


Favorites



Novel (that you wrote): Well, I've only ever completed one--but right now, I'm going to say my new WIP. The old one is being too difficult in revisions right now.

Genre: Fantasy all the way!

Author:
Middle Grade--Shannon Messenger
YA--Stephanie Perkins or Sarah J. Maas

Writing Music: Lately I've been writing to the Zelda: Breath of the Wild soundtrack. But my go-to bands/artists are Lindsey Stirling, OneRepublic, and Imagine Dragons.

Time to Write: Late at night--there are less things to distract me.

Writing Snack/Drink: Popcorn! It's my favorite snack in general--but I have to be careful not to get my keyboard oily, so sometimes it can be a pain. :P

Movie: Okay, there's no way I can choose just one, so: How to Train Your Dragon, Murder on the Orient Express, Incredibles 2, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, or Set it Up.
That was a lot. Whoops.
(I love Ferris so much. There's a picture of me floating around the internet where I'm wearing a grey T-shirt that says SAVE FERRIS. :P)

Writing Memory: Probably finishing my first novel.

Childhood Book: Anyone else grow up with Skippyjon Jones? Ooh--or Elephant and Piggy!


Currently



Reading: To All the Boys I've Loved Before, by Jenny Han
(Can't wait for the Netflix movie to come out!)

Writing: Another fantasy novel, and a few flash-fiction pieces

Listening to: Imagine Dragons, and Chuck Berry

Watching: The TV show, Bones (It's SO good!)
(Although it's a detective show, so if you're squeamish about bones and blood and, uh, killers, you might not want to watch it.)

Learning: Nothing much--it's summer vacation. :P But I am doing some novel research, so I guess that counts.


Future



Want to be Published: Absolutely!
(I have, like, zero backup career plans.)
(Whoops.)

Indie or Traditional: Traditional! It would be awesome to have a whole publishing team behind me.

Wildest Goal: To write a New York Times bestseller. Or visit Australia. A girl can dream, right?


Wow. That was fun!


So what about you guys?
What was one of your favorite childhood books?
And do you want to be a published author?
Indie or traditional?


Have an amazing week!

Monday, August 6, 2018

MMGM--The Assassin's Blade: The Throne of Glass Novellas

Yay!! I'm back! Whooop whooooop!!
(You're probably not nearly as excited as I am. :P)

Image result for assassin's blade
The Assassin's Blade, by Sarah J. Maas




Celaena Sardothien is her kingdom's most feared assassin. Though she works for the powerful Assassin's Guild, she yields to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. When Celaena's scheming master, Arobynn Hamel, dispatches her on missions that take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, she finds herself acting independently of his wishes and questioning her own allegiance. She will have to risk it all if she hopes to escape Arobynn's clutches--and if she fails, she'll lose not just a chance at freedom but her life.

A prequel to Throne of Glass, this collection of five novellas offers readers a deeper look into the history of this cunning assassin and her enthralling--and deadly--world.




My friends have been recommending these books to me for some while now, and I finally got down to reading them. And, Sarah J. Maas' books are SO GOOD. I am totally in love with her writing style! She concocts amazing descriptions and even better action sequences--not to mention the characters. *fangirls eternally*

After Arobynn Hamel--The King of Assassins--saved Celaena Sardothien's life when she was eight years old, he trained her and molded her into his protegee. Now, eight years later, she's known as Adarlan's Assassin, and is notorious across the kingdom.

But just because Celaena has a knack for killing and fighting, doesn't mean she's not a person. When it really matters, Celaena proves that she does indeed have a heart, even going to far as to teach a barkeeper, named Yrene, how to fight, as well as leaving Yrene the money she needed to get out of her bar job and to go the one of the most highly ranked schools in the kingdom. And Yrene isn't the only one that Celaena has gone out of her way for. She cares for her partner in crime, Sam Cortland, more than she would ever admit.

While Sam and Celaena might trust each other--and only each other--it doesn't mean that they always get along. They're almost equal in skill, but Sam had always been known as the "second best" while Celaena Sardothien is a household name. And although this sometimes causes some tension between the two, Sam respects Celaena, and risks his life to help her (on multiple accounts). Sam is snarky, dangerous, but has a heart of gold. (He just might have been my favorite character.)

The character development that Celaena goes through during this book is truly spectacular, as is the evolvement of Celaena and Sam's relationship.

Before reading this book, I was very closed minded about assassins--as odd as it sounds. (That was one of the most peculiar sentences I've ever typed for a blog post.)

I knew they killed people for a living and . . . that was about it. I never really put much thought into why someone was an assassin, or how they became one. I think that over my years of reading novels where the assassin is one of the Bad Guys, I (sub)consciously decided that assassins and protagonists were too different to ever be on the same side--but in the Throne of Glass books, they are one and the same. Sarah J. Maas has managed to shine a completely different light on what being an assassin means, in this truly one-of-a-kind book.

You can find Sarah J. Maas' website HERE and you can read a free excerpt of  The Assassin's Blade HERE

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Weekly Wednesday Writing Prompt


Sorry there was no MMGM review this week. I had a very hectic weekend and didn't have time to sit down and write a review. I tried--but I just couldn't seem to do the book justice. But don't worry, I will be back this coming week with a review. :)

Happy writing!

Sunshine Blogger Tag x2

About a month ago, Nicole Dust at  Legend of a Writer  tagged me for the Sunshine Blogger Tag, and just this past week, Ann at  Ann's Sp...