Tuesday, October 30, 2018

OCTOBER 2018 // snippets and snapshots


I recently fell into a "reading old posts hole," which means I procrastinated for a while by reading my old posts on this blog. (Fellow bloggers, don't deny that you've done it - we all do it. XD) As you may or may not have noticed, I've been absent from blogging for over a month now (due to busyness and a lack of motivation ugggh), and whilst I was in the depths of my reading old posts hole, I missed blogging. I missed coming up with exciting post ideas several times a month and having a blast putting those posts together. I missed talking with all of you in the comments. I missed my consistency, and I missed being motivated.

I'm not sure about the consistency part, lol, but I'm trying to get my motivation for blogging back. I'm trying to get the FUN of blogging back. And to do that, I'm going to take ideas that excite me and feel meaningful to me, and then I'm going to pour my heart into them.

Starting with a monthly recap of sorts that - unlike previous recaps I've done - has very little order to it. Prepare for a haphazard scattering of snippets and snapshots from my October!

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I've been learning to soak in the beauty of individual moments. As someone who thinks WAY more than she says, I often get so lost in my mind that I block out the sights and sounds and smells and feels of my reality - my RIGHT NOW - without really realizing it. But lately I feel like I've been slipping back into that simple enjoyment of losing myself in the right here and right now, choosing to loosen the grasp my chaotic mess of a mind has on me sometimes.

The feel of a book as I hold it in my hands. The comfiness of a blanket tucked against my legs. A glimpse of cloudy sky and swaying treetops through the window. The sound of a car driving past outside as I try to go to sleep.

There's a certain peace in allowing myself to clear my head and soak in the tiny beautiful moments of every day. The tiny blessings God sprinkles around so generously all the time. <3

Shout-out to Emma from missemmareadsalot for being such a huge inspiration to me in this regard!


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Evangeline wrote a wonderful (and super funny) post called 17 Things I've Learned in 17 Years.

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*CHURCH NOTES SNIPPET*

No better way to hear from God, to know His will and plan for my life, to know what I should and should not do and where I should and should not go, than by the Word of God.


Whereas zero blogging and not enough editing has been going on lately, MUCH reading has been happening. XD In accordance with the TBR I talked about in this post, I read The Lost Girl of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill in September and very much enjoyed it. More recently, I've read two Alex Rider books and Wires and Nerve: Gone Rogue by Marissa Meyer, and now I've started reading Entwined by Heather Dixon (which is already proving to be the absolute perfect book for fall, ambiance-wise).

I'm also slowly making my way through the masterpiece that is Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. This is one to take your time through and SAVOR, that's for sure.

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I didn't love this one, but it was certainly entertaining!

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I can't just not talk about TØP, okay??? Their new album Trench came out early this month, and - to say more by saying less - I LOVE IT.

It's fun, it's fresh, and above all it's meaningful. There are so many hints, so many hidden messages, so many things to get us thinking. And I love how Tyler created a dystopian-esque world as the concept of the album - the world of Dema and Trench is so fascinating and symbolic.

Towards the end of "Leave The City" the first time I listened to the album, I realized, "Wait, this is it. This is the last song. I've... listened to this album in its entirety, and I can't listen to it for the first time ever again." It was a sad moment.

BUT. The awesome thing is, I can listen to it again. And again. And again. And that's what I'm doing.

(Gosh, I feel like such trash for their music. Probably because I am.)

I've also been listening to their older music, especially Vessel.

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*CHURCH NOTES SNIPPET*

I cannot be anything but a complete Christian. I am not more complete on my best days and not less complete on my bleh days. Why? Because Jesus paid in full for my sin. It is FINISHED.

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In time, I will leave the city
For now, I will stay alive
"Leave The City" by Twenty One Pilots


Hosanna Emily wrote a beautiful, encouraging post called Keep Burning, Keep Trusting. <3

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Like I said, I haven't been writing a whole lot lately. A little bit, yes, but not nearly enough. It's been too easy to turn to more relaxing pastimes like sipping an Indian spice decaf chai while reading Les Mis. The thing is, once I do make myself sit down and write, it's never long before I get into it and don't want to stop.

I love writing. I know full well I do. But lately waiting for inspiration has not been an option and unfortunately, I've been treating it like one. (Which is why my Dusted Red Pinterest board is having a sudden growth spurt, lol.)

Other, less disappointing writing news is that I wrote and polished a flash fiction story within a week and sent it to Havok! It was nice to work on something different from my novel-in-progress for once. It's my first flash fic, but you can bet I'll be writing more in the future. :D

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I sensed the siblings' presence beside me acutely, but didn't want to see their expressions. They knew what this meant as clearly as I did.
We were never getting out of here, and it was all my fault.
- Dusted Red by moi
(in which I make my characters do stupid things and then torture them for it :P)

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I'm not doing NaNoWriMo because it would be too much pressure amidst all that's already going on in my life. Hopefully sometime I can do it, but this year I'll have to settle for trying my hardest to pull out of my writing slump.

My battle plan is to take a YouTube break all through November. And it actually hurts me to say that because I'm pretty much addicted to watching the BookTube channels and writing channels I've fallen in love with. Jessethereader, InsaneReader, missemmareadsalot, PeruseProject, Abbie Emmons - I've grown to love these channels SO MUCH. They're entertaining, inspiring, and... uh, devouring way too much of my time.

I think that to get out of my writing slump, I need to step away from YouTube and use the time I've been spending watching 30-minute reading vlogs and such (however epic they are *whimpers*) to work on macro-editing my novel and outlining its sequel. And writing more flash fiction.

I may let myself watch Abbiee videos because those are pure inspiration to CREATE, CREATE, CREATE. But that will be it. :)

So, that's sort of my NaNoWriMo alternative. Lame compared to the real thing, I know, but I'm excited anyway!


*CHURCH NOTES SNIPPET*

Condemning myself is not of the Lord. It is of the devil. Beating myself up about stuff is focusing on works instead of on the grace of God, which is sufficient for me.

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Well, friends, I'm sorry if this post seems all over the place. You'll have to let me know down below if you like this set-up (or lack thereof, haha) or not. Either way, we stan an honest commenter. XD And tell me, is your fall as aesthetic as the pictures above yet? How do you feel about the cooler weather? I, for one, LOVE it. *burrows deeper into huge sweater*

I'll be back with a new post soon, m'kay?


The Lord's Truly,
 

Monday, September 24, 2018

#COVERLOVE TAG // time to show some coverly love


I have returned, and with a fun little tag about book covers: the #CoverLove tag! As a book-lover, pretty book covers attract my gaze like a moth drawn to dazzling lights. On the other hand, ugly covers appall me - like when I spot a moth (or any bug) hiding in my room.

I'm waxing poetic, so let's move on to the tag before it gets out of control. :P


Rules:

- Thank the blogger who tagged you and link back to their blog (Ivie Brooks tagged me - thanks, girl!! <3)
- Answer the seven questions your nominator gave you
- Create seven new #CoverLove Tag questions
- Nominate seven other bloggers and let them know they've been tagged

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1. A cover you loved the moment you saw it.

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Although Discerned by Sarah Addison-Fox isn't my favorite book in the Allegiance series, its cover is most definitely my favorite of the Allegiance series' covers (which is saying something, because ALL the Allegiance covers are gorgeous). I loved it from the moment I saw it. Not only is the sparkly, purplish-bluish color scheme a feast for the eyes, but the meaningful image of the girl - I'm assuming it's Celeste - sitting on the Words of Etra is SO COOL, and it's just... it's just so pretty. :')


2. Your least favorite book cover on a book you love

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I like the steampunk-y designs on the bottom half of the cover, but I don't like those... those people. First of all, that's not how I picture Alek and Deryn. Secondly, I just don't like faces on book covers. (Wow, I sound like such a drama queen. :P)

By the way, the Leviathan trilogy by Scott Westerfeld is a REALLY good series that I 10/10 recommend! By this third installment, Goliath, I was feeling all the feels and rooting for the characters sooooo hard.


3. A cover you love on a book you hate

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This Peter Pan retelling centered on the iconic Tiger Lily character was a disappointment to me when I read it... a year or two ago? I love love LOVE Jodi Lynn Anderson's enchanting writing style, and I love love LOVE so many of her other books - My Diary from the Edge of the World is probably my actual favorite book of all time - but this one was a very "meh" read for me for several reasons.

The cover, on the other hand, is super lovely?? It's aesthetically pleasing and happens to fit the mood of the novel really well. *nods*


4. A cover that makes you think of your childhood

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The cover of The Forgetting Spell by Lauren Myracle only reminded me of my childhood after I started actively looking through My Books on Goodreads for a cover that might remind me of my childhood.

Anyway, when I was a young child (and didn't have any electronic devices, unlike little kids today haha) I would play in the backyard with my siblings from the moment we finished school until the sun started to go down. The setting sun and the wild-haired girl on this cover remind me of those times. *is nostalgic*

Even the story beyond the cover has a nostalgic feel to it. I distinctly remember enjoying it. <3


5. Aesthetic goals book cover

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Need I say more?? The cover of this (really cool) novella is the definition of aesthetic. I get a little jolt in my heart just trying to absorb all its epicness.

I mean, you try taking in all the amazing elements of this cover and see if it doesn't make you suck in your breath! #challenge


6. A book cover with a food item you love to eat

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Okay, so I admit... I've only had gelato once. (I think.) But I really liked it. It was Nutella-flavored, and I got to eat it while standing near the Caribbean Sea after dark, so that was super nice. <3

Although this is an adorable cover, with the gelato cones and little pink heart and all, Love and Gelato wasn't my favorite book? It was interesting and cute at parts, but some aspects of it were pretty darn annoying. :/


7. A book cover you love on a book you love

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I love the simplicity of this cover, and I also love the darkness of it because that fits the mood of the story SO well. Heartless by Marissa Meyer is an Alice in Wonderland reimagining, and it. Is. INCREDIBLE. We're talking the "rip-your-heart-out-and-laugh-maniacally-while-you-fall-against-the-wall-and-slowly-slide-to-the-floor" sort of incredible.

I definitely recommend it. *finger guns*

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My Seven "Questions":


1. A book cover you hate that is your favorite color
2. A book cover that doesn't fit with the story
3. A book cover you wish could be your WIP's cover
4. A book cover with a design that's too simple
5. A book cover that immediately made you want to read the book
6. A book cover that is a pretty accurate depiction of your life right now
7. A book cover with a clever incorporation of the title and/or author name


I tag...

Melissa @ Quill Pen Writer
Danielle @ Snapper
Nicole @ Wild Pennings

Well, that's almost seven other bloggers, so we're gonna roll with it. No obligation to do this if you don't want to do it or have already been nominated! :D

I hope you all enjoyed this post! Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to read it - it means a lot to me. <3

The Lord's Truly,