Literary Musings

Reading Preferences

Blog post idea taken from “Lit Chat: Conversations Starters About Books & Life,” a book/game/ice breaker box produced by Book Riot. The question was: “What’s your preferred reading style? Are you a fan of hardcovers? Paperbacks? Ebooks? What determines your choice?”

There are two main factors that determine my choice in reading style as pertains to this question. The first is availability and the second is the size of the book.

If I really, really want to read a book then I will take it in whatever form that I can get my hands on the fastest. So that usually means hardcover or ebook if the book is brand new, given that paperbacks usually aren’t released until some time later, oftentimes six months or more behind the book’s release date.

Size also matters. A smaller book can be read in paperback easily enough but I feel as though a book that is over two hundred pages should be in a different format. Thick paperbacks just fall apart so fast because you have to break the binding in order to read all the words on a page and the font can also end up horrendously small. Just generally bad for ease of reading.

But, at the same time, a massive hardcover can be hard to hold as well. Especially if you’re reading in bed and need to rest said book against your stomach or if you’re reading on the couch with a dog in your lap and no good place to lay the book. In that case, ebooks are the way to go. (This is why I have multiple copies of some of my books that I know I’ll be re-reading in the future. Like “Pride and Prejudice” and the Harry Potter series.)

Literary Musings

For the Love of Books

Blog post idea taken from “Lit Chat: Conversations Starters About Books & Life,” a book/game/ice breaker box produced by Book Riot. The question was: “what do you love most about books?”

I have always had a very active imagination. To the point where I still had imaginary friends and was trying to get my fellow recess goers playing pretend far past when they were interested in that type of play. And those imaginary friends that I pictured hanging out with were usually based on movie or television characters and, once I started reading, book characters. I felt like they were alive and that I could have conversations and adventures with them. I think this is one of the reasons why I’ve been reading and writing fanfiction for over a decade.

That’s what I love most about books and reading. That even fictional places seem real and that I feel like I personally know characters just as well as I know people in real life. And now with social media I know that other readers feel the same way. That there are others out there who know all the answers to Harry Potter trivia and sink money into different fandoms because it’s important to them.

It’s kind of cool that nowadays reading a book can be such a personal thing and yet it’s a thing that other readers identify with. And that’s why I love books.

Literary Musings

Favorite Fictional Mothers

In honor of Mother’s Day I figured it was a good time to create a post about my favorite fictional mothers from books and television. So here goes…\

  • Molly Weasley from the Harry Potter series
    • I just always loved how Mrs. Weasley was portrayed. She was tough but also thoughtful and very caring though she did jump to conclusions a lot without consulting others. (Like in Goblet of Fire when she read Rita Skeeter’s article and assumed Hermione had been cheating on Harry and then slighted her because of it without actually checking with Ron or Harry as to whether the story was true.)
    • I also liked that she was shown to be a very motherly type of stay at home mother, taking care of all of Ron’s friends as though they were family but she also turned out to be incredibly kick ass during the final battle. “Not my daughter, you bitch” makes me cheer every time.
  • Joyce Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    • I just loved the evolution of Buffy’s mom as she discovers that her world isn’t as normal as she’d always thought and how she just takes it in stride like a trooper. She was also tough and caring and the episode The Body also has me bawling. That scene were Buffy walks into the house and…well damn. I’m tearing up just thinking about it.
  • Lorelei Gilmore from the Gilmore Girls
    • I just loved the dynamic of Lorelei and Rory in the Gilmore Girls especially since it showcased a relationship that felt a lot like my own with my mother. Though my mom didn’t have me when she was a teen, she did end up being a single parent and we were very close like Lorelei and Rory. Plus, I was a big book nerd just like Rory so I saw a lot of similarities.
Literary Musings

Ten Things About Me

I’m kind of blanking on blog post ideas right now. I haven’t read any books that I feel particularly compelled to review lately and I’m in the middle of about four fanfictions but don’t feel ready to post any previews so we’re going to get a little personal instead. Feel free to ignore this post if you’re primarily reading for my bookish opinions or writerly experiences but if you’d like to get to know some personal, possibly even embarrassing things about me (that may or may not be book/writing related) then read ahead.

  1. I have no less than five copies of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. My original paperback which has been read so many times that it is literally falling apart but I refuse to toss out, the hardcover I got to replace it, the illustrated edition, the special Ravenclaw edition, and the Kindle version of all of the Harry Potter books which I got when I decided to reread the series and discovered that it’s hard to reread a giant book when you’re puppy wants to lay on your lap. (In that case, Kindles are a little easier to manage.)
  2. I’m an English major and I love reading and writing but grammar eludes me. Diagramming a sentence with the parts of speech? Nope, can’t do it. Mad Libs are hard for me because I have to look up what the difference is between an adjective and an adverb every time.
  3. The movie that always makes me cry? Armageddon. I also have a tendency to cry during movies when they reach that point where all hope is lost and someone rides in to save the day like when Gandalf suddenly appears on the horizon with reinforcements.
  4. I have eleven piercings. One is a bellybutton ring, all of the others are in my ears.
  5. I have nine tattoos. Four of them are related to books and writing.
  6. I have OCD. I was diagnosed when I was younger and was even medicated for it for awhile though sometimes I think I probably should be put back on the medication again. I’ll be fine for awhile and then something sets me off (now it’s usually related to the dog) and I get physically sick to my stomach until whatever is dirty is cleaned or whatever the issue is.
  7. I love buying shoes and I try to wear cute ones all the time (I’m known for wearing heels at ridiculous times) but I’d generally rather just be barefoot.
  8. My favorite type of fancier restaurant is Italian but if I want fast food I usually crave Taco Bell. I also love Pizza Hut breadsticks…not the ones with special cheese, just the regular ones.
  9. My pizza toppings of choice: cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms, and green olives but I’ll settle for black olives if I have to.
  10. My favorite color is purple but turquoise is a close second. Though my wardrobe really doesn’t reflect that. I mostly wear black, gray, and various shades of blue. *Shrug*
Literary Musings

Camp NaNoWriMo: April 2018, Post 2

We’re a third of the way through this April’s Camp NaNoWriMo session and I am certainly nowhere near the word count that I have assigned for myself for the month. (20,000 words in case anyone is interested.)

It has, however, gotten very interesting.

As I said in my previous Camp NaNo related blog post, I use the open ended format to basically just increase my overall writing stats instead of just focusing on a particular novel though I did decide to start writing a creepy, thriller style Young Adult novel this month. I created an outline and I even hand wrote about eight hundred or so odd words.

And then I came up with an idea for yet another novel, this time a superhero inspired one. That one now has an outline that is longer than the outline and the words I’ve written for the thriller I started just last week. Oh, and I also decided it was a good time to be inspired to write another fanfiction.

So what does this mean? That I’ve got bits and pieces of so many things started that I’m probably either going to A.) totally meet my word count goal and maybe even exceed it or B.) have so much going on that I lose interest in it all. Right now I honestly don’t know which option is more likely but given that I’ve been blanking on writing inspiration lately I’ll take the overabundance of ideas. At least for now. Unless it drives me crazy.

Literary Musings

Camp NaNoWriMo: April 2018, Post 1

It’s that time of year again when it’s Spring but you live in Ohio so you’re still getting freezing temperatures and snow. Oh, except for the days when it’s actually warm enough to wear flats with no socks and a light jacket and not freeze to death.

And it’s also time for Camp NaNoWriMo which, if you’ve read any of my previous posts, stands for National Novel Writing Month. Only with camp, the rules are less strict. So, instead of needing to write at least 50,000 words of a single novel like you’re supposed to do during the official NaNoWriMo sessions in November, you get to pretty much count any type of writing and even choose your own personalized word count goal.

So my original goal was to just make sure I write a lot more because I haven’t completed the last couple of novels I’ve started, I haven’t been keeping up to date with this blog as much as I’d like, and I haven’t finished and posted a fanfiction in a very, very long time.

But then on my way to work yesterday morning I got it into my head that I wanted to try to start another novel. And so, during my dinner break, where I sat at a local coffee shop and ate a delicious grilled cheese sandwich while sipping a chai tea latte, I created a list of characters and a few plot points for yet another novel. It’s probably a bad idea considering the fact that my last three or four (maybe even five or six…I lost count) novel ideas have lasted me a good 15,000 words (maybe) before they fizzled out. However, inspiration has struck and I’m going to run with it.

Besides, I’ll eventually get back to those abandoned writing projects and turn them into something awesome.

Right, guys?

Literary Musings

Favorite Fanfiction Tropes

When it comes to reading novels I don’t like to find that two, three, or maybe even more have pretty much the same plot line. But when it comes to reading fanfiction I like to see multiple interpretations of an idea from fans. So that’s why I love it when certain challenges come out where authors are asked to write up their vision for a certain scenario.

These are a few of my favorites.

  • The Marriage Law
    • A few years back someone came up with this idea for the Harry Potter world. What if Voldemort’s acts of evil had done irreparable damage to the number of witches and wizards and, at the same time, they have the knowledge that half-bloods and Muggleborns more or less need to marry pure-bloods in order to ensure the children are magical as well? In this scenario the Ministry enforces the marriage between certain pairs and even often assigns the couples.
    • Basically this is a way for writers to force Hermione together with someone she usually wouldn’t be paired with, be it Draco Malfoy or one of the older crowd. Personally I think it’s creepy when authors pair her with Remus, Sirius, or Severus but I LOVE it when they pair her up with Draco or maybe even have one of the older Weasley brothers be able to save her.
    • This is one of the those tropes that I technically hate the premise of (forced marriage? yech!) but actually enjoy reading about when the relationship is a slow burn type of thing.
  • Holiday Themed
    • Two characters I ship getting caught under the mistletoe and discovering they’re attracted to one another when they kiss? Yes! A Secret Santa exchange revealing some hidden feelings? Yes! People dressing up for a Halloween costume party and kissing only to realize who they really are under those costumes? Yes! So cheesy but I love them!
  • The Secret Relationship
    • Hermione finally revealing to Harry and Ron that she’s been seeing Draco or Fred or George or someone she’s been hiding. Natasha (Black Widow) revealing to the rest of the Avengers that she had a past relationship with the Winter Soldier. I like it when these are cleverly crafted and with plenty of background information and ways to fit it into the story that was told as is. (For example, I’ve written a few Hermione/Draco stories like this and I mention that some of the fights/name calling was decided upon beforehand and that the couple talks about it after to kind of reassure one another.)

Now, of course, these plot lines have to be well-written and cleverly crafted but they are certainly fun to read!