6/29/18

june wrap-up // I ALMOST STABBED SOMEONE?!?!?!


Part of my brain can’t believe June is already over, it feels like the days just went by in a flash.

June was a busy month for me, this year I was the photographer at my church’s VBS, as well as one of the teens in the skit every night, it was a lot of fun and I got to hang around a group of kids in my church that I normally wouldn’t have.

 The lighting is so bad, I'm sorry!

Fun fact: the boy in the green is one of my little brothers :P
 The seven most awesome people at our VBS (yes, I'm including myself).

^^as the only two girl actors, we had to take at least one bad selfie before the skit

Back to the photography part, I had to borrow one of my friend’s mom’s camera. My friend’s mom is a photographer, and she let me borrow one of her nicer cameras for the week. I hate to admit it, but I barely knew anything about professional cameras (I didn’t even know about ISO), so I learned a lot during that week!




^^The spider over our front door that I named Daisy. <3

So, I'm sure that title startled half of y'all on here, so let me explain... first let me show you the texts I sent to my mom, and then I'll tell you the full story:


Yeah, picture me marching down our hall shouting at the top of my lungs, a butcher knife in one hand, and my phone with 911 dialed out on the other with my thumb ready to press call. 

My family was at swimming lessons that morning so I was home alone working on school, I came out to plug my phone in (my charger is in our kitchen because of a family rule).

 I was plugging my phone in when I heard the sound of a toilet flushing... I freaked out due to watching too many 48 Hours documentaries and thus I decided to investigate. 

I feel really really stupid. 

But better safe than sorry I guess. 😅

And I realize that my blog title is technically clickbait, but hey, I'm just practicing for my future Youtube career! (Jk. Jk.).


FUNNY MOMENTS OF THE MONTH (asides from the butcher knife moment):

Friend: So, you're driving now?
Me: Yes, I have a learner's permit.
Him: How does that work?
Me: What?
Him: How do you reach the pedals, do you tape your books to your shoes? 
Me: Haha. 
Him: You better watch out for me when I turn fifteen.
Me: I'm leaving town the moment you turn fifteen.
  
Little kid at VBS: Hey, are you the girl on stage with the pretty springy hair?


A few of my friends and I are hanging out in our church sanctuary, the only other person is there is a sound guy in the sound booth.  

One of the guys *jokingly walks up to the altar and grabs the mic* 
Him: .... i lIkE tRaInS.

Turns out the mic was on and the poor sound guy looked so confused. 


Friend: Let's take a selfie!
Me: *makes a face at the camera*
Friend: You look like a crazy.
Me: I am a crazy.
Friend: Oooh, makes sense.

I helped my mom with her class at the end of VBS, since I had already finished the slide shows, and I made the mistake of sitting down during the lesson and around eight kids tried to sit in my lap at once. 

They also thought my name was Mary Ann because that's my name in the skit. X_x


Little kid: Why did you draw with sharpie on your eyelids?
Me: It's just my eyeliner. XD
Notable books:

       Posts this month:








The Problem with Darkness in YA


Also, I recently reached a thousand followers on Pinterest, and I'd like to thank y'all for following me and sharing my blog posts, half of my pageviews are from Pinterest, so it is greatly appreciated.


Sooo, I think that's the end of this wrap-up? I'm volunteering at another church camp (as a leader, not a photographer), so y'all probably will hear more about that at the end of July! 


How was your June?
Have you ever freaked out over a sound when you're home alone?

Happy Writing,

6/24/18

The Problem with Darkness in YA


I actually didn't forget about this series and am continuing it???
Look at me all professional and stuff and not quitting something!

Other posts in this series:
-The Problem with Bad Boys
-The Problem with Grey Morality 


I actually like darker books. I like horror, psychological thrillers, crime etc. But I've noticed that a too real faux pas of reality and darkness has been becoming more and more prevalent in YA.

Now, do some teens struggle with drinking, drug abuse, peer-pressure, depression, or mental illnesses? Yes, of course.

Do some unfortunate teens suffer consequences for their actions? Also, a yes.

And I think a good way to address and spread awareness on issues such as these is through fiction, but I've noticed that so many books are missing the most important thing when it comes to darker themes: hope.

Listen, I know I can't speak for everyone, but as a teen, finding hope in books is so important.

Hope is important, light is important, being inspired is important, knowing that you aren't alone and you can get through whatever you're dealing with is important.

Now, I understand that some books aren't supposed to have happy endings, but not all of them need to be devoid of all hope, in fact, I think that sometimes a book hits harder when there is hope.

In the book Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock the story starts off with Leonard planning to kill himself, the book follows him through his day as he says goodbye to the few people he really cared about. This alone sounds dark, and it was. This book was gritty, painful, and blunt, but the ending is so full of hope, light, and love that it threw me off guard. The message of the book was that life can be worth living and that you are strong enough to keep living.

A Thousand Perfect Notes is a book about a boy with an abusive mother, and the theme of self-worth is also there.

These are two examples of darkness in books handled well.
I've read many books that glorify things like suicide, abuse, and a number of dark and gritty things.

Guys, these things aren't fun. They're very real and very scary, and not something that should be written about to just add a Thirteen Reasons Why edge to your book.

When I read books like these, the books feel empty, I feel empty.

Teens need hope, most of us are insecure and are struggling to make it through these years of changes, we need to know that it will be okay. We need to be able to be inspired to press on despite life's hurdles. We need to understand the beauty and the fragility of life, and I think that if we had more books that showed this that it would help so many teens who feel worthless or invisible.

Books don't always have to inspire or uplift, but in the end, darker books should have a purpose other than just being dark.

Does it make one think? Or does one put it down the same, or with an even worse mindset?

Dark books shouldn't be dark because it's the trend, or because the authors just want to be seen as edgy. There should be a purpose, because if not: what's the point?

If your book doesn't have a purpose, then really what is the point of writing it? 

Give us something real, not something hopeless.


What do you think about gritty themes in YA? 

Happy Writing,

6/19/18

100TH BLOG POST


Yep, you read the title right, this is my one hundredth blog post.

ONE HUNDREDTH!!!


A year and a half and a hundred blog posts later, here I am! 

I actually would be past a hundred posts already if I hadn't used pictures from google when I started blogging, when I realized that a ton of those photos were copyrighted and I could get in trouble for not using them correctly, I went back and deleted a bunch of posts instead of bothering to replace those pictures. 

One lives and learns I guess!

When I typed out my first post, I goodness to honest thought that no one would read my blog. At most I would have a handful of bloggers I knew irl follow me and that would be it.

I am very glad I was wrong!

Through blogging, I have discovered so many lovely people with similar and far different views and beliefs than mine, and I am super grateful for it!!

Blogging has been extremely awesome.

(Although my wallet would say that blogging is a bad thing because I see so many epic looking books on here that I MUST BUY, but my bookshelves tell my wallet that it's still debatable).

I thought about doing one of those a hundred blank posts, but honestly, I'm lazy and tired, soo, yeah....

Not gonna happen, fam. I'm sorry.

So that being said, THANK YOU ALL FOR SUFFERING THROUGH A HUNDRED RAMBLINGS FROM YOURS TRULY!!!!!!!! (Also, why don't I know y'all in real life??? How is that fair????)
How many posts have you posted?

Happy Writing,

6/17/18

Character Arcs // Why You Need Them and How to Start Writing Them


Let me just throw this rambling at you about a certain thing I see missing from YA novels time and time again:

Character arcs are SO important!!

Without them, the whole point of the story is meaningless. True, there are probably some exceptions (there are always exceptions), but overall stories would be empty if the character reached the end without learning anything.

Would The Lord of the Rings be as amazing and touching if Frodo returned to the Shire in the end and went back to being the plucky young hobbit he once was?

Would The Voyage of the Dawn Treader be as amazing if Eustace ending up not being redeemed and went on with his bullying ways to the very last page?  

Image result for Frodo

I myself have changed so much over these years, and I haven’t even gone on a quest or led a worldwide rebellion against the government (yet)!


The first step to working towards your character’s arc is to give your characters flaws and shortcomings.

For example, one of my characters, Piper Anson, is a super optimistic happy-go-lucky teenage girl.

 Now, at first these aspects of her personality appear good, and in a way, they are, but along with being super optimistic, she’s also super unrealistic and naïve, even to the point of being selfish. 

Because of this, Piper leaves her brother who is suffering with depression and from being bullied to deal with their mom’s hospitalization alone in order to pursue a wild dream in hopes of earning money for her mom’s hospital bill. Obviously, this plan doesn’t work out like she thought, and she finds herself realizing the mistake she’s made.


Character flaws are easy to come up with, simply take the good things about your character’s personality and show the bad side to them.

Is your character super cheerful and spunky? They might also have a harder time empathizing with people and holding their tongue.

Are they super sweet and creative? They could also have problems socializing and feeling like they fit in.

Character traits are often paradoxes, there are pros and cons to everything, and showing this creates a more complex feeling to your plot, as well as making your characters feel like relatable human beings.

Getting back to character arcs, once you’ve established your character’s strength and weaknesses, consider what they need to learn in your story. At the end of their journey what about them has changed?
In the Hunger Games Katniss Everdeen realizes that she is weaker but simultaneously stronger than she thought, she also learns that humanity is a super important and fragile thing. 

In Nothing Left to Burn, Audrey learns that there is a difference between love and obsession and that the truth isn’t always as clear as she thought it was.


How has your story defined your character, how do they see themselves now? How has the changes in their lives affected their view on the world? How are their relationships now? And do they know something they didn’t know before?

The song I Know Things Now from Into the Woods illustrates this pretty well, in the song, Red Riding Hood sings about how she was deceived by the Wolf’s charms. “Nice is different than good,” she sings, showing that she has learned that there is a line between charming and authentic.

All in all, arcs are very significant, they add a sense of direction and satisfaction. 

How do you write character arcs?
What are some of your favorite arcs in fiction?
And what flaws do your characters have?

Happy Writing,

6/15/18

Short Notice


I'm going to be very busy these next three days, normally I would post something today, but my post isn't ready yet and I won't be able to post it until either this Sunday night or Monday.

I also probably won't be able to respond to comments or emails.

I thought about not posting anything, but I decided to let y'all know before I disappear from the blogosphere shortly. I always try my best to comment on y'all's posts, so I am sorry for anything I may miss!

Stay awesome,

(also I blocked comments on this because I know spammers are going to try to spam my posts while I'm away... I JUST KNOW IT. Also, it's a tad bit overwhelming to turn on your phone after a few days and get flooded with a thousand emails from different things, so I'm cutting it down a bit). 

6/11/18

8 Books on My TBR List I Hope to Read This Summer

^^^Wow, would you look at all the hard work I put into this header??? Admire the fonts, the overlays, the shading, the- oh, wait I decided to be lazy and just upload a picture from Unsplash without editing it first? Oops.

This post was inspired by the lovely Mira's post, go over to her blog and thank her, because I know y'all were dying to see what I hope to read this summer... *crickets* 

Okay, maybe not, but either way that's too bad because THAT'S WHAT YOU'RE GETTING TODAY.  


I've read a lot of mixed reviews on this one, but it sounds good and I'm hoping it will restore my faith in coming-of-age novels.


So, I watched this book's trailer and it was really good (watch it here), and I really love this cover for some reason.


This cover though...😍 (Yes, I judge books on their covers, so what??) also, I've been looking for some YA thrillers to read this summer, so I hope this one turns out to be good.

 SUPER HYPED FOR THIS!!! I actually ordered it a few days ago, and now I wait... in agony...


This looks SO GOOD! I've been meaning to read it, so I hope this summer I will get around to picking it up.

This book sounds so interesting! Also, can we just admire that cover, because wow, it's lovely.


The ending of the first book was NOT OKAY, so yes, I need this one asap.


Although I love YA, there is always a huge sense of nostalgia and comfort when I read middle-grade books, and this cover and title=irresistible.

What books are you hoping to read this summer?

Happy Writing,

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