Progress is Not Failure

Hi everyone!

November is NaNoWriMo, I was pumped at the beginning of the month, because I had a plan to finish Alter Reach and start editing. Clearly, that plan fell through. While I had all the time in the world to write, I spent the majority of my days on the couch (or at the doctors).

Tomorrow is the last day, and there isn’t even a slight chance that I will hit 50,000 words. A year ago, I would have called this a failure and been super hard on myself, but I have been trying (and succeeding) to change my mindset.

I wrote words. It might not have been a lot of words, and it definitely wasn’t the amount I was hoping for, but given the circumstances, I still made progress. And progress isn’t failure. It’s…well, progress.

Alter Reach is closer to being a complete draft today, than it was on November 1st and I can’t complain about that. All I can do is try to feel better and get writing on a regular basis again.

So, if you’re not quite reaching your goals this month (whatever they may be), don’t sell yourself short. Progress is a good thing and it should be celebrated. Don’t let that little part of your brain start screaming, “failure,” because it isn’t.


I hope you’ve made progress toward whatever goals you may have.

I have another test scheduled for Friday. Hoping to get some answers and start feeling better soon. I will update again soon. 😊

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Giving Thanks – Book Tag

Hi everyone! I wanted to do this tag now because I won’t be posting tomorrow or Thursday.

I’m still feeling completely awful, so I’m still home. Today and tomorrow, I am going to write all day.

Unfortunately, I don’t think I will be winning NaNoWriMo this year, but I’m immensely impressed with what I was able to accomplish while feeling so terrible.

Thanksgiving Day is always crazy and I will be sure to do a blog post on that, Friday.

Today, I wanted to do a Thanksgiving themed tag, which I found here. As always, I tag you if you d like to play along.


Giving Thanks Book Tag

Name a book that made you thankful you live in your world and not the book’s world.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Definitely not a world I would want to live in. The districts, poor and unhealthy…the Capital, naive and obnoxious…and, I would be the first to die in the Games.

Give thanks to a book that changed your perspective.

My Story by Elizabeth Smart. I very rarely pick up biographies and this one had reviews ranging from 1 star to 5. I went to a Woman’s conference with a group from work, and Elizabeth Smart was the speaker. After hearing her describe some of what happened to her, I immediately bought the book. While the writing isn’t the best, the story is heart-wrenching and inspiring all at once.

What character would you be thankful for if they were your significant other?

I’m cheating. Damon from The Vampire Diaries TV show. I haven’t read the books, but he’s always my answer. I know, he’s a pretty messed up character but the change he goes through during the entire story is so significant that I can’t help but love him.

What character would you say, “thanks but not thanks” to?

Akiva from Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. I’m just…meh…about him. It isn’t that he’s a bad character or boring, he is just not my favorite.

Name a book that made you laugh out loud?

I don’t read a ton of comedic novels, however some of the banter in Eve: The Awakening by Jenna Moreci is hysterical. Specifically, Madison, Hayden and Heather with their “Mean Girls” attitudes.

Name a book that made you incredibly angry.

I’ve mentioned this before. I try very hard not to get angry with books (unless the reason it sucks is the atrocious writing). However, in school, we were forced to read The Butterfly Revolution by William Buttler… I threw the book across the room. The kids made decisions that just made me want to jump into the book and strangle them. 😲

Name one thing you are thankful for in the wordpress community.

Meeting people who are like minded. I love getting to know people who love to read and write as much as I do. It’s so fun to share our opinions, even when they differ. 😊


That’s all I have for you today. If you do the tag, let me know, so I can read your answers.

From my family to yours, have a FANTASTIC Thanksgiving!! 🦃

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Halloween Book Tag

HAPPY (ALMOST) HALLOWEEN! 👻

Before we get started, I just wanted to say thank you so much for the support! You guys are great. If you haven’t already, click here to enter my 100 Followers Giveaway for your chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card!

I love this time of year. I was going to wait until tomorrow to post this, but I couldn’t, so in honor of Halloween, I wanted to do a fun tag. I found this one here.

Stay tuned to the end of this post for a photo of my Halloween costume (I didn’t get the best photos from the Halloween party I went to the other night, but you’ll get the idea.)


Favorite Horror Book? 

Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. I’ve loved every Stephen King book I’ve read, but something about Salem’s Lot stuck with me. 

Scariest moment in a book you’ve read?

I don’t really want to spoil, and I can’t say this is the absolute scariest moment, but there was a scene in The Call by Peadar O’Guilin that made me turn the light on.

Have you dressed up as a book character for Halloween?

No. I tried to be Lara Croft from Tomb Raider once and ended up looking like a mix of Katniss from the Hunger Games and an unknown character from the Walking Dead. Last year, I dressed up as a book nerd though. That was cool.

What do you think your favorite fictional character would dress up as for Halloween?

Good question. Damon from the Vampire Diaries would probably go out as himself, and no one would question it.

What is your favorite type of horror (gore, psychological, etc.)?

I want a good story, and I want to be scared. I’m not a huge gore fan – I find movies like Saw to be unbearable, so you won’t find me watching the new Jigsaw movie. But, as long as there isn’t ridiculous amounts of gore, I’m in.

Recommend some Halloween Reads!

Anything Stephen King. The Call by Peadar O’Guilin is pretty fun so far.


Per usual, I tag anyone who wants to do the tag. Just let me know you did it, so I can read your responses!

Here’s my costume (I might wear this to work tomorrow!):

I love orange, and if I didn’t have a day job, I might just actually do this to my hair. Haha! The rest of the costume wasn’t pictured very well, so I won’t share the photos… but it was a black shirt, orange tutu, black and orange stockings and orange shoes. 😁

Are you dressing up? What will your costume be?

Thank you again for the support. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway. 😊

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Writing Rituals Tag

Happy Friday! 😎

Quick, fun writing tag because I haven’t done one in a while. As always, I tag anyone who wants to participate. Just let me know in the comments so I can ready your response.


Writing Rituals Tag

When do you write? (Time of day, day of week)

Mostly in the afternoon, after work. I try to write something every day, except on Sunday.

How do you seclude yourself from the outside world?

It’s difficult in an apartment, but I have my own corner in the living room with a desk. I just have to force myself to stay off Twitter.

How do you review what you wrote the previous day?

I have a bad habit of editing as I go, so I’m constantly reading what I wrote and changing things. It’s why my process is slower than I’d like.

What song is your go to when you’re feeling uninspired?

I listen to a lot of instrumental music when writing. Songs with lyrics distract me. I don’t have a particular song that gets me out of a writing slump though.

What do you do when you find yourself struggling with writer’s block?

I step away and read a book or watch a tv show/movie.

What tools do you use when writing?

I have a couple go-to books that help when I’m struggling to find words. I have the emotions thesaurus and a book with writing prompts.

What is one thing you can’t live without during a writing session?

Chocolate.

How do you fuel yourself when writing?

Chocolate. 😎

How do you know when you’re done writing?

I don’t really have an answer for this question. I’m finished writing when I’m finished. It’s not the same every night.


That’s all I have for you today. What are your weekend plans?

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Updates!

Hi there, Happy Thursday! I can’t believe October is almost over. It also hasn’t snowed here in NY yet, so I am pleased.

NaNoWriMo is almost here and I’m excited to be challenging myself again. I am not writing anything new, however. This time, my goal is to finish Alter Reach completely so that I can move on to editing. My goal is to have it out sometime mid-2018. *Fingers crossed*

I am very honored and excited to announce that I will be part of a Blog Tour for Watching Glass Shatter by James Cudney! The book is fantastic, definitely pick it up on Amazon. My stop is 11/14, but make sure you check out all the blogs on the tour.

Last, but not least, I am close to 100 followers on this blog. I honestly never expected to get one, so I am beyond excited about it. As soon as I hit 100 followers, I am going to run a giveaway, with a few prizes. Hopefully, the next time I hold a giveaway, the prize will be a copy of Alter Reach, but for now, I have a few fun surprises in store. Stay tuned. 😊


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September TBR Wrap Up & October TBR

Happy October! September flew and I kind of failed…okay, failed miserably at my TBR challenge. 🙈 No excuses, it is what it is. I still wanted to do a wrap up and I plan to dominate October. So, let’s do this 😁

September TBR Wrap-Up

Days of Blood and Starlight – Read. You can read my review here.

Dreams of Gods & Monsters – Read, still need to review.

Passengers – Started.

Six of Crows – Not started.


October TBR goals:

The Call – Peadar O’Guilin

172 Hours on the Moon– Johan Harstad

Nightfall – Jake Halpern & Peter Kujawinski

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs

Bonus:

Review Dreams of Gods & Monsters (this will definitely happen).

Finish Passengers & Six of Crows (This might happen 😂).


Hopefully this month will be more successful than last. If so, I will review each book upon completion and do a wrap up at the end of the month on my success. Let me know what your October reading plans are.

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Artificial Intelligence – Movie Review

Hello there! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. It went by too quickly, per usual.

Tonight, I wanted to review a movie that I have claimed to be my second favorite movie of all time (coming in very close to The Wizard of Oz). Artificial Intelligence. I remember the first time I watched it, and fell in love with it. I’ve seen it more times than I can count and I never get tired of it.

I figured it was time to review it on my page. I bet you can guess the rating I will be giving it, but that’s okay.

As usual, I will try not to spoil, but watch the movie first. It’s so worth it.

Synopsis (Taken from IMDB):

A highly advanced robotic boy longs to become “real” so that he can regain the love of his human mother.

Review:

This movie is very similar to the story of Pinocchio. David (Haley Joel Osment) is an android who by all accounts looks human. Unlike other androids shown in the film, David is the most advanced “mecha” of the Cybertronics Corporation.

David has been programmed to love. Once activated with a code, he will love his activator infinitely. In David’s case, his activator is his Mommy, Monica (Frances O’Connor) who is grieving a sick child when her husband Henry (Sam Robards) brings him home to help fill the gap.

I can never go to sleep. But I can lay quietly and not make a peep.

Of course, this fairytale does not last long, because the sick boy, Martin (Jake Thomas) wakes and all goes downhill from here. While trying very hard to be like Martin, David makes mistakes that finally bring Monica and Henry to the decision of getting rid of David.

Instead of returning David to Cybertronics, where he would be stripped and rewired, Monica abandons David in the woods believing she is protecting him. In a way, her activating his love, activated hers as well.

I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about the world.

This is just the first act of the film, but I want to pause to discuss it a bit. Haley Joel Osment is incredible. At such a young age, he was able to really take you on a rollercoaster. His mix of “real” and “artifical,” blend so seamlessly sometimes, you forget he is supposed to be robot. I’m very impressed by his performance, and it really pulls this entire film together.

The first act causes you to wonder what you would do if you were in Monica and Henry’s position. If your child was in a coma, would you bring an A.I. into your life to fill the void? Is that really the best way to grieve? Is it ethical?

The second act of the film is the more visually exciting part. We are shown an interesting world where free range mechas have no rights and are constantly in fear of being captured and put into a Flesh Fair (an event where humans cheer as mechas are grotesquely destroyed in various ways) or taken back to Cybertronics.

The city is very bright and clearly an exciting night life. It’s futuristic but also very familiar which keeps this movie realistic and relatable.

This is where we meet Gigolo Joe (Jude Law), a mecha programmed to be an expert lover. Another fantastic performance. While David feels very real and human, Gigolo Joe does not. He is feels very mecha…from his dialogue to his mechanical facial features and unmoving hair. But, you still grow an attachment to his character and it’s interesting to see how he develops throughout the story.

We are the guiltless pleasures of the lonely human being.

It is also in this part of the film where David recruits Gigolo Joe to help him find the Blue Fairy who can make him a real boy so Mommy can love him. The rest of the film is dedicated to that mission.

How can the Blue Fairy… make… a robot… into a real live boy?

This film is a rollercoaster as I said earlier. There are some comical scenes, but for the most part, the mood is very somber. You, as a viewer are aware that the Blue Fairy probably can’t make David real, but you spend the entire movie hoping it will happen.

Human beings have created a million explanations of the meaning of life… in art, in poetry, and mathematical formulas. Certainly, human beings must be the key to the meaning of existence.

The film is long, 2.5 hours, and it is not an action movie. If you go in expecting car chases, you will be sorely disappointed. This is a slow burn of emotions and it’s a much more thought provoking movie than it is a high action movie. It presents a lot of questions about love, human nature, and morality and gives you a lot to digest after the first viewing. It’s definitely a worthwhile film to watch a few times.

Wrap Up:

As I said before, this ranks at number two for my favorite movie of all time. I could watch it, and have watched it over and over. The acting is phenomenal and I’m blown away by the thought provoking story that never dulls. I highly recomend this fim!

Rating:

5/5 ☆


Have you seen Artificial Intelligence? What did you think?

I hope you have a great week. I will talk to you soon.

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Wreckage – A Poem

Hey everyone, Happy Wednesday. I’m behind on my September TBR, but I’m not giving up. I’m also not that upset because I’ve been working hard on Alter Reach (if you haven’t read chapter one yet, what are you waiting for? 😉)

I have a poem for you, written 9 years ago. Enjoy!


Wreckage

Buried in the wreckage,
of disconnected dreams,
I’m but a ghostly mirage,
wandering the streets,
trapped in the past,
until this dark cloud recedes,
and I can finally say,
I have found inner peace.


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Bookish Scenarios Tag

Hi everyone! I’m super excited because my hubby and I decided to make this weekend a long weekend. I plan to spend lots of time with him but also get a lot of stuff done (like reading the books on my TBR for this month!). I wanted to do a quick tag tonight before diving back into reading. I found this tag on Katytastic’s YouTube channel.

Bookish Scenarios

1. You have to get rid of all your books and you can only keep one from each of these genres – contemporary, fantasy, non-fiction and one other genre of your choosing. What books do you keep?

Contemporary: I don’t read a ton of contemporary, so I am going to go with The Fault in Our Stars because it’s one of the only ones on my shelf.

Fantasy: Hmm. Tough one, but I will go wit The Lord of the Rings. Can we pretend the entire series is one book?

Non-Fiction: Six Days of Creation. Cool Christian science book.

Sci-fi (genre of my choice): Illuminae. Hands down. It might be my favorite book.

2. You’re at the bookstore and you hear a teenager telling their mom they don’t like to read, but their mom insists they pick something. You walk over and recommend a book you think is great for people who aren’t big on reading – what book is it?

Hmm. Good question. Maybe Harry Potter? It’s a fun read and I don’t think it’s too challenging.

3. You’re not feeling yourself and need a pick me up. Which book do you read to put yourself in a great mood?

Eve: The Awakening by Jenna Moreci. It’s such a kick-butt book. I love it.

4. You go back in time for a day to your teenage years. What book would you most likely have caught yourself reading?

Twilight. Yeah, I was one of those.

5. Your friend surprises you with a 4 day trip and you have 1 hour to pack. Which book do you bring to read on the way?

I’m bringing Passengers, because I just started reading it and I can’t wait to finish it.

6. Your house has been robbed! Don’t worry – everyone is safe, but your bookshelf has been raided. What’s the book you really hope is safe?

Eve: The Awakening because it’s a signed copy and I don’t want to loose it. (Yes, I used this book for multiple answers).

7. Your friend borrows a book and returns it in awful condition. Do you a) Just pretend you haven’t noticed b) Ask them to repurchase it or c) Secretly do the same to something of theirs

I’d say something, and ask for them to repurchase. If you’re borrowing my books, you best be nice to them.

 

That’s all I have for you tonight. As always, I tag you if you want to participate. Let me know in the comments if you do, I’d love to read your responses.

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No Turning Back.- A Poem

Hello! Happy Monday. This weekend didn’t quite go as planned. I didn’t get chapter one of Alter Reach revamped enough to post, and I didn’t finish Dreams of Gods and Monsters (but I still am on track with my September TBR challenge), but that’s okay. Not every day will be perfect and I had a great weekend.

I wanted to do a quick post today, so I thought I would share another poem. Enjoy ☺

No Turning Back

Like a fallen star,
on a cold winter’s day,
wandering, waiting,
I have lost my way.

Like a broken tree,
covered in thick ice,
I have learned my lesson,
and paid the price.

Like a winter wonderland,
suddnely turned black,
I have reached my fate,
there’s no turning back.

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