TCWT Blog Chain Post

Once again, I am writing for TCWT in their blog chain, and this month’s prompt was:

“What is your greatest weakness as a writer? What’s your greatest strength?”

Ooh boy. There is a lot I can say about that. Let’s start with the first one, and move onto the good news later.

There are three things that come to mind: not enough detail, too much detail, and lack of perseverance.

1. Not enough detail: I skim over things I should spend more time on, like certain descriptions of things, or rushing through dialogue without adding the pauses to add in the thoughts going through people’s heads during a conversation.

2. Too much detail: I describe in excess certain things really unnecessary to the story. For example, I was writing a mini-story about a girl who was running away from home, and I described all the futuristic inventions she had with her.

3. Lack of perseverance: I start a story, really liking the idea, but then the enthusiasm wears off, and I find something else I like. I now have probably 50-100 half started stories on my computer or scattered around in notebooks.

My greatest strength…. I don’t know if this can be considered one, but I will sometimes have these amazing moments where I find exactly the right wording for a passage, and it just sounds amazing. I’ll share one with you now:

The ash-covered clock ticks alone under the death sky. It counts out heartbeats that will never be, breaths never to be taken, lives never completed. The crumbling windowsill threatens to tip it into the smoldering cinders; the wall is propped up only by a beam. A man with rusting silver eyes lies still on the ground; unmoving, unknowing, unliving. The soft tapping of metal hitting metal drifts on the wind, accompanied by the faintest strains of an accordion. For once, heaven is not a place one wants to be.

(for anyone who’s read the Book Thief, there you go)

Being a writer is more than just getting the words right, though. It has lots, if not more to do with the smooth flow of the plot, and the undercurrents of emotions and feelings that soar through the story and connect it at both ends.

I’d love to hear what you think 🙂

Tuesday May 5th — The Little Engine That Couldn’t

Wednesday May 6th — Ariel Kalati, Writer

Friday May 8th — Galloping Free

Saturday May 9th — Miriam Joy Writes

Sunday May 10th — The Ramblings of Aravis

Wednesday May 13th — Light and Shadows

Friday May 15th — Musings from Neville’s Navel

Saturday May 16th — The World of the Writer

Tuesday May 19th — Butterflies of the Imagination

Wednesday May 20th — Introspection Creative

Friday May 22nd — Spellbound

Sunday May 24th — Unikke Lyfe

Monday May 25th — The Long Life of a Lifelong Fangirl

Wednesday May 27th — Against the Shadows

Friday May 29th — Teens Can Write, Too, announcing June’s chain

TCWT Blog Chain Post

Oh boy. This is very last minute, seeing as it”s 6:30 pm on the day I need to write it, but whatever.

This month’s prompt is

“Write a letter to a fictional couple.” 

Oh man. Well, here goes.

Dear Faith and Dylan (Pulse),

I don’t really understand what you have going on. Dylan, you stood creepily outside Faith’s window for months watching her sleep, never speaking to her. Faith, you fall completely for the other guy, and then fall for the guy you didn’t even like at first. Why?

Faith, I could’ve told you from the beginning not to get involved with Wade. The only thing that would end in is disaster. But what did you do? You went with him and played on his little go-kart track, and he drugged you up. Wonderful, right? Not really. But lucky you, along comes Dylan with his oh so special powers. And wow look! You have them too! What a coincidence!

Dylan. Like I said, you were just a little bit creepy, staring through her window for months. I mean sure, you were teaching her to lift stuff in her sleep, but still. Eventually, inevitably, you fall for her, and honestly… I don’t know what to think. I mean, the Prince Charming kiss at the end? Nuh-uh.

Conclusion? I don’t know.. You guys are kind of really odd

Love,

A concerned reader


Dear Juliette and Adam, (Shatter Me)

Can I just say how much I think you are perfect together? Like… wow.

Juliette, you were all convinced you were alone in the world, that no one who had ever known and would know you would ever like you. Then comes Adam, and right away, all of that goes out the window. He gave you hope in the world again. It was your Adam, the one you hadn’t thought of in forever.

Adam, you  knew all along Juliette was the one for you. When she helped you when she was little to when she was in the dreadful darkness of the cell, to the freedom of the apartments and Omega Point. You never gave up on her. And she didn’t give up on you either.

One of my favourite parts was the bird. I love the bird, the thing that links the two of you together forever.

Juliette and Adam, thank you for an amazing story.

Love,

An amazed reader

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Check out these other amazing blogs:

5thhttp://www.adventuringthroughpages.wordpress.com/

6thhttp://www.theworldofthewriter.wordpress.com/

7thhttp://musingsfromnevillesnavel.wordpress.com/

8thhttp://freeasagirlwithwings.wordpress.com/

9thhttp://miriamjoywrites.com/

10thhttp://erinkenobi2893.wordpress.com/

11thhttps://introspectioncreative.wordpress.com/

12thhttp://whileishouldbedoingprecal.weebly.com/

13thhttp://nasrielsfanfics.wordpress.com/

14thhttp://unikkelyfe.wordpress.com/

15thhttps://ramblingsofaravis.wordpress.com/ (You’re here!)

16thhttp://www.juliathewritergirl.wordpress.com/

17thhttps://clockworkdesires.wordpress.com/

18thhttp://horsfeathersblog.wordpress.com/

19thhttp://from-stacy.blogspot.com/

20thhttp://semilegacy.blogspot.com/

21sthttp://themagicviolinist.blogspot.com/

22ndhttp://www.pamelanicolewrites.com/

23rdhttp://arielkalati.blogspot.com/

24thhttp://irisbloomsblog.wordpress.com/

25thhttp://theboardingblogger.wordpress.com/

26thhttp://allisonthewriter.wordpress.com/

27thhttp://stayandwatchthestars.wordpress.com/

28thhttp://butterfliesoftheimagination.wordpress.com/

and http://abookishflower.wordpress.com/

29thhttp://gallopingfree.wordpress.com/ andhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Book-Gap/603228309718111

30thhttp://hautehealthhails.blogspot.co.uk/

April is International Writing Month… Right?

I’m convinced. April is International Writing Month. Why? Let me explain:

1. April Camp NaNoWriMo is going on. For those of you who don’t know what it is, It’s pretty much NaNoWriMo, except it’s a lot less intense. You can pick the word amount. And for those of you who don’t know what NaNoWriMo is….here’s the link: nanowrimo.org

Depending on how fast you type and what your goal is, it could take you from 5 to upwards of 40 hours to write it all. That is if you don’t get distracted or slow your writing speed.

2. It’s approaching summative season. Summatives are work work and more work. Specifically, writing, writing and more writing. blech.

Why do we have to have stupid summatives? They just load you up with extra work you really don’t need.

3. Aside from summatives, teachers are just like “Oh, you don’t have enough work yet. Let me give you a writing assignment.” Which takes the form of an essay or a commentary or whatever else like that that they decide to bug you with.

So much stuff to do, not nearly enough time. Add on top of that the joy of eight courses at a time, more than half of them enriched. Thanks IB.

What kind of stuff have you got to do?

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TCWT Blog Chain Post

Okay, here we go again. Before I start, I have to say I:

A: forgot about this until a day or two before I had to go

B: Really had no idea what the topic was about. I just kinda went with it.

So…. yeah. We’ll see how well this turns out.

The prompt this month was:

“What are your thoughts on reading or writing books in non-novel formats? Are there any you’ve particularly enjoyed?”  

First of all, what is a non-novel format?

It’s pretty much exactly what the name implies; it’s a book/story/etc written not in the standard format of sentence-paragraph-chapter-book, but in a different style/release format. It could be a serialized book: parts of a book that come out periodically, or it could be something like a diary. It’s really an expansive genre.

I haven’t actually written any non-novel formatted books; I’m rather partial to my paragraphs and chapters. However, I have read more than I thought I had at the beginning of this post.

Serialized Novels:

Serialized novels are novels that are released in parts; for example, a chapter gets released in a magazine/newspaper every other week. Several of today’s “classics” are serialized novels: Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers and Great Expectations, Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina were all released periodically.

Of course, in our modern world’s society where (almost) everyone is dependent on the internet, you can’t think that people won’t use the interconnectivity of the internet to inject their writing into the web, where it comes to rest on the screens of people all over the world, waiting to be devoured. Websites and online communities have been built around this fact; FanFiction, WattPad, Figment, to name a few. Writers put up their work, and the online audience reads and comments on it.

One of my personal favourites in this category is the Narnia (duh) FanFic A Rabbit Hearted Girl by Slenderstell. I LOVED it so much. the link is here.

Diary-Style:

For me, I read the Dear Canada series (comparable to the Dear America series for those of you on the south side of the border) where fictional girls write about their experiences in real-life events in Canadian history. For example, I remember reading one about a Chinese girl who immigrated to Canada with her father, and he was working to raise money to bring the rest of their family over. There was another written by a Native girl, who describes the white men coming to her land. Or another about the Halifax explosion in 1917. One that I remember distinctly, though not the title or what it was about, but that there was a stain on the paper because the girl writing it spilled applesauce or jam or something on it. I remember thinking that that was so cool; I’d never seen something like that before.

However, another possible example of this, though maybe slightly more novel-like, is the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series, about a middle-schooler who is really kind of clueless. He does go through many things that middle-schoolers today go through; bullying, questions on popularity and girls, etc.

Poetry:

People will also publish a book of poems, where the poem on one side of the page may very well have nothing to do with the one on the next side. for example, poet Shel Silverstein has produced several books of poems, which have become quite popular. Some of his books are: Falling Up, Where the Sidewalk Ends, and A Light in the Attic.

What do you think of non-novel books? Could things like collections of comic books be considered part of this genre?

Hope you enjoyed this!

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Psst! These are the other wonderful people participating in the blog chain. Check them out!!!!

6thhttp://www.ch1con.tumblr.com 

7thhttp://www.kirabudge.weebly.com/

8thhttp://irisbloomsblog.wordpress.com/

9thhttp://rcubedreadsreviews.blogspot.com/

10thhttps://ramblingsofaravis.wordpress.com/ (You’re here already 🙂 )

11thhttp://arielkalati.blogspot.com/

12thhttp://semilegacy.blogspot.com/

13thhttp://musingsfromnevillesnavel.wordpress.com/

14thhttp://abookishflower.wordpress.com/

15thhttps://erinkenobi2893.wordpress.com/

16thhttp://theedfiles.blogspot.com/

17thhttp://butterfliesoftheimagination.wordpress.com/

18thhttp://whileishouldbedoingprecal.weebly.com/

19thhttp://jasperlindell.blogspot.com.au/

20thhttp://allisonthewriter.wordpress.com/

21sthttp://unikkelyfe.wordpress.com/

22ndhttp://from-stacy.blogspot.com/

23rdhttp://miriamjoywrites.com/

24thhttps://introspectioncreative.wordpress.com/

25thhttp://nasrielsfanfics.wordpress.com/

26thhttp://stayandwatchthestars.wordpress.com/

27th – https://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com/ 

Book Recommendations

It’s Friday morning everyone! I know everyone’s happy; it’s the last day of the grind before you have the weekend off, it’s just a couple of hours of work, and you”re done. Some people will go out and enjoy time with their friends, others, however, will take the time to curl up with a book and a cup of hot chocolate or tea, and settle in for a nice, comfortable weekend.

But I’m not here to talk about tea and hot chocolate, I’m here to give you my reading recommendations for this weekend and beyond. I have several different genres, so hopefully you’ll find one you like. They’re not all super new, but just some of my favourites. (they’re also mostly YA)

1. Paranormal: Halfings by Heather Burch

Seventeen-year-old Nikki is leading a perfectly normal life, until she is targeted by an evil that will do anything to get hold of her. But then, in swoop her rescuers: three teenage boys, with wings. Half-angels. Halflings, who are sworn to keep her safe. Nikki develops feelings for two of them, and must decide between them. She risks a broken heart, but the boys risk everything; the things they’ve always known, even their lives.

2. Dystopian: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

The blurb on the back of the book expresses it best:

I have a curse
I have a gift

I am a monster
I’m more than human

My touch is lethal
My touch is power

I am their weapon
I will fight back

No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon. But Juliette has plans of her own. After a lifetime without freedom, she’s finally discovering a strength to fight back for the very first time- and to find a future with the one boy she thought she’d lost forever.

(Isn’t that just amazing?!?!?)

Crime/Thriller: The Pawn by Steven James

I’ve mentioned this one earlier in my post about my favourite books, which can be found here. This book truly captures its readers and doesn’t let them go until the end of the series, 8 books later. It’s a chess game between the main character, Patrick Bowers, an FBI agent specializing in Environmental Criminology and Geospatial Investigation, and his opponent, a criminal known as the Illustionist who is always one step ahead of law enforcement. Packed with twists and turns and a heart-wrenching conclusion, this book is a must-read. Steven James has now 8 Patrick Bowers books, each more exciting than the next.

Hope you enjoy!!!

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TCWT Blog Chain Post

This month’s TCWT blog chain post prompt was:

“How does music relate to your writing?” 

THANK YOU to John for picking a much easier topic this month than last month. This is going to be so much fun. Here we go!

I’ll start off with a quote by Victor Hugo:

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and cannot remain silent.”

In this way, are writers and music not alike? As writers, we come up (hopefully) with these amazing ideas and concepts that can’t be explained to anyone directly. They’re a mystery to everyone around us, but in our heads, they’re their own world. But don’t try keeping it shut up or locked away in a silent corner. Each time, it’ll burst out and yell “Pay attention to me! I’m important!” Most of the time, they’ll burst out at the oddest moments. Sometimes, it’ll be because you see something related, but other times it’ll come up out of nowhere, bursting in, dragging along ideas to add to it, make it better.

So if writers and music are so alike, there are two possible scenarios that happen when they’re combined. One, they become the best of friends and are inseparable. The writer soon has earbuds in about 24-7, and they often draw inspiration from their music. Two, they’re too alike and push each other away. The writer can’t concentrate with the music surrounding them constantly. They turn it down, turn it off, push it away.

There are both types of writers in this world, with a majority of the first type. Personally, I’m the first type. If I’m at my desk working or at school doing independent work, I’ll often have music on. I have music on right now. It helps me focus by drowning out the outside noise, and especially if it’s familiar music, it gives me something to do, whether it be humming/singing along/tapping my foot, while writing/working which actually helps me concentrate. However, if I’m doing things like studying for a test, or doing something that requires deep thinking, the music distracts me. However, I often have vocal music on, so maybe just having instrumental would not induce the need to shut it off. So maybe I’m a little in between types one and two.

As to what I listen to while writing, well, that’s another question. I haven’t really got a list of what I listen to specifically while writing, though there’s a great series of more instrumental writing music on YouTube (type writing music into the search bar, and it’ll be one of the first that comes up, it’s got a galaxy background). I’m not trying to promote anyone’s stuff, it’s just what I found to be amazing. It has different genres of music mixed in, with some almost haunting things, lots of movie soundtracks (I’ll talk more about those later) and other higher energy music. Apart from that, I listen to whatever I’ve got. I’m listening to a playlist of a bunch of music I have, and according to iTunes, it’s a mixture of rock, pop, alternative, inspirational, and religious. Yeah. It varies from time to time what exactly I’m listening to.

Currently, my favourite artist/band is Switchfoot. They have a very interesting range of songs that cross several genres. My favourite full album is Nothing is Sound, and I don’t have one favourite song. There are so many good ones. While they won’t attract all audiences due to the fact that they are a Christian band, but still appeal to many, because they appeal to things everyone faces: loneliness, hurt, betrayal, happiness, being yourself, not changing for others, etc. they say themselves that they are “Christian by faith, not by genre”.

Because of their diverse city in melodies and beats and all around tone and musicality, they fit for lots of different writing types. Some have a much more indie feel to them, others are more rock, others are bordering on pop. Their lyrics are some of the strangest I’ve heard, one line sometimes making no sense in the context of the last. But altogether each song is a masterpiece.

Some of my other favourite artists: TobyMac, Tenth Avenue North, and Group 1 Crew.

MOVIE SOUNDTRACKS have got to be writer’s best friends. They have such differing sounds, yet are recognizable. One time, I was listening to a mix of soundtracks for writing, and one came up, and I knew that it was from the Narnia movies just from listening to it. And while this may be because I’ve seen the movies too much, which I doubt, it was immediately recognizable. In short. I LOVE MOVIE SOUNDTRACKS. I love listening to them for writing.

To all you writers out there, keep at your task of showing others the amazing worlds hidden inside your heads, and enjoy music from time to time. Try something new you haven’t heard before.

(Kudos to all those who found the reference to TobyMac in this post)

Enjoy the rest of these posts on music

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6thhttp://jasperlindell.blogspot.com/ and http://vergeofexisting.wordpress.com/

7thhttp://novelexemplar.wordpress.com/

8thhttp://www.juliathewritergirl.com/

9thhttp://www.freeasagirlwithwings.wordpress.com/

10thhttps://ramblingsofaravis.wordpress.com/ (you’re here)

11thhttp://butterfliesoftheimagination.wordpress.com/ andhttp://www.pamelanicolewrites.com/

12thhttp://randommorbidinsanity.blogspot.com/

13thhttp://miriamjoywrites.com/ andhttp://whileishouldbedoingprecal.weebly.com/

14thhttp://kirabudge.weebly.com/

15thhttp://lillianmwoodall.wordpress.com/ andhttp://erinkenobi2893.wordpress.com/

16thhttp://theedfiles.blogspot.com/ andhttp://fantasiesofapockethuman.blogspot.com/

17thhttp://irisbloomsblog.wordpress.com/ andhttp://musingsfromnevillesnavel.wordpress.com/

18thhttp://semilegacy.blogspot.com/ and http://from-stacy.blogspot.com/

19thhttp://horsfeathersblog.wordpress.com/

20thhttps://clockworkdesires.wordpress.com/

21sthttps://stayandwatchthestars.wordpress.com/ andhttp://arielkalati.blogspot.com/

22ndhttp://loonyliterate.com/ andhttps://www.mirrormadeofwords.wordpress.com/

23rdhttp://unikkelyfe.wordpress.com/

24thhttp://themagicviolinist.blogspot.com/ andhttp://allisonthewriter.wordpress.com/

25thhttp://missalexandrinabrant.wordpress.com/

26thhttp://awritersfaith.blogspot.com/ andhttp://thelonglifeofalifelongfangirl.wordpress.com/

27thhttp://nasrielsfanfics.wordpress.com/ andhttp://thelittleenginethatcouldnt.wordpress.com/

28th – https://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com/ 

IB- Good or Bad?

Ugh. Why did I have to choose the super demanding academic program that consumes about all of my time in homework and studying and blech. Welcome, fellow bloggers, to the world of an IB student.

For those of you who don’t know what IB is (and unless you take it/have taken it/know someone who takes it you probably won’t know it), it stands for International Baccalaureate. It’s an international academically enriched program, and it sucks the life out of just about everyone who takes it. Basically, you take a bunch of smart kids and dump a load of work on them. The top definition in Urban Dictionary is:

IB, A.K.A. International Baccalaureate – A malicious program aimed at the unnaturally brighter population in an attempt to overload their brains, thus reducing them to vegetables without lives. However, a true IB student will respond by adapting and bsing their way through.

IB, therefore I BS.

And that’s honestly what it is. IB students count themselves lucky if they have only 2 hours of homework a night rather than about 6. Really. And just to set the record straight, IB and AP are NOT comparable. I have several friends in AP, and man their lives are so much less cluttered than mine.

But, then again, there are upsides to it. You have to do a 4000 word essay in grade 11/12, so when university profs hand out a 2000 word essay, it’s no problem. The transition to University is much easier too. You’re already learning to work hard, manage your time (mostly) and that you really do need to study for tests. Cause TBH, before IB, I was doing none of those things.
So to all of you out there thinking about going into IB, think very carefully. It can be a great thing for some people, i know i absolutely love it (despite the ranting above), but my brother would not like it. Also think about workload. You’ll probably be spending a couple hours a night working on homework, so do you have the time for that?
But you know what, overall, I’m completely certain that going into IB was the right decision for me. It boosted my self confidence to see that liking school wasn’t a bad thing, that there were others who like it too, and I don’t have to explain things a thousand times before they get it.  SO think about it, but to al you smart cookies out there, definitely think about coming to IB.
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