Posted in Miscelaneous Musings

The ULTIMATE Misc. Musing: 2016 in Review

It’s easy to say that 2016 has been a trying year.

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of this year’s US presidential election (which was highly sensationalized by national and international media outlets), you likely share this opinion.

The world also lost so many creative sparks this year – author Harper Lee, actresses Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds, astronaut John Glenn, scientist Vera Rubin, David Bowie, actor Alan Rickman, Eagles guitarist Glen Frey, “fifth Beatle” George Martin, boxer Mohammad Ali, young singer Christina Grimmie, and countless others.

Countless terror attacks shook the world in this year alone, and took the lives of too many innocent, regular people just like you and me.  To make matters worse, everyone wants to point fingers at someone else, and the game of “pin the blame on the scapegoat” is becoming incredibly popular.

In fact, it’s easy to say 2016 has been a downright awful year.

Personally, I don’t think 2016 was such an awful year.  Yes, all throughout the year, I have been directly and indirectly antagonized by people who can’t see past the box my voting-age family members filled in on a stupid piece of paper in the name of progress.  I read about death and destruction in the newspapers. We lost so many contributors to art, science, culture, and progress.  On a global scale, some really bad stuff happened this year.  But the year wasn’t all bad.

Sometimes, it’s the little things that make the biggest difference; I’ll try to share a few of the good things which I experienced in 2016. Continue reading “The ULTIMATE Misc. Musing: 2016 in Review”

Posted in Behind the Scenes, Miscelaneous Musings, The Writing Life

Answering Your Writerly Questions!

In honor of my 3rd Bloggiversary, I decided to hold a Q&A session with my wonderful readers.  Here are some of my favorite entries:

What’s your favorite genre to write in?

My favorite genre to write will always be fanfiction.  Not going to lie.  But of the more serious genres (the ones I can write in and publish in without getting sued), my favorite genre to write is currently mystery.  Whether it’s a mystery-adventure, a historical mystery, a contemporary fiction with a mystery subplot, there’s always an element of mystery in the things I write.

Of all the fandoms you’re a part of, which one do you find easiest to write fanfics for? 🙂

I think I know who sent this one in – you know me too well! 😉

For me, the easiest fandom to write fanfictions in is Star Wars.  The franchise has been around for forty years, and there’s just so much information about the Star Wars universe readily available.  Wookieepedia, the official Star Wars wiki, is just a click away, and it has everything from how lightsabers are built to the different slang dialects spoken by characters throughout the galaxy.  When I was part of a SW roleplay on Young Writers Society, I did a lot of research on the types of food and music they had available, and I think this made the setting seem all the more real.

If you could be a character in any book, which book and which character? Why them? 🙂

I think I’m going with Eowyn from The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien.  In both the book and the movie, I feel like Eowyn is the quintessential “strong female character.”  She’s brave; she goes out and fights for her people and all the free peoples of Middle Earth, disguised as a man, but she’s still distinctly feminine in the way she carries herself.  She’s like this happy medium between all the female lead archetypes I’m coming across in fiction today.  She does a bit of everything without losing her identity, basically.  Okay, the old-English pickup lines she kept using on Aragorn were a bit annoying, but if I became this character, I wouldn’t feel limited by her gender, abilities, personality, etc.

What’s your opinion about Lovecraft?

I’ll be honest, the first time I heard the word “Lovecraft,” I thought it was a type of Harry Potter romance fanfiction.  The author’s initials, H.P., didn’t help matters much.  (In my defense, I was really young when I came to this conclusion!)  I eventually found out more that H.P. Lovecraft was the author of several gothic horror stories, including “The Call of Cthulhu” and my interest is definitely piqued.  I’ve yet to read any of Lovecraft’s stories – nor have I played any of the computer games inspired by them – but one of these days, I’ll pull down a few from Project Gutenberg or Wikimedia Commons.  While I can’t yet give a definitive opinion, Lovecraft writes stories that I think I’d enjoy.

What is the first advice you would give to an aspiring writer?

This is such a great question, but it’s easier asked than answered!  There are literally a million potential answers coursing through my brain right now in no particular order – there’s just so much I know now that I wish I knew when I first started writing….

The first piece of advice I’d give is: plan everything to some extent.  Whether you write a rigid, formal outline or jot down a few ideas on the back of a napkin, it’ll make all the difference when you start writing.  Last month was NaNoWriMo, and there are primarily two schools of thought when setting out to write a 50k-word body of work in thirty days: “planning” and “pantsing.”

“Planning” is, as the name suggests, setting as rigorous a outline for the entire story.  There’s no way you can possibly go wrong or run out of ideas, unless halfway through the process, you decide What the heck?  I’ll stop following this lame outline!  Which brings us to “pantsing.”

“Pantsing” roughly translates to making everything up as you go along.  I tend to lean towards this school of thought, but I usually end up writer’s blocked because halfway through, I run out of ideas and get burned out.  I’ve found simply jotting down some casual notes about how I want the story to begin, climax, and end, as well as some loose character arc ideas is a nice, happy medium between the two extremes.


Thank you for taking part, and especially to all my readers, thank you so much for accompanying me this far on my writerly journey.  Here’s to another year of growth and creativity!

Posted in Miscelaneous Musings, Writer's Jukebox

Writer’s Jukebox: “Heroes” by David Bowie

I find this song to be quite relaxing to listen to while writing – it’s catchy and its epic, upbeat nature keeps me on my toes.  While I enjoy the sound of the late, great Bowie’s voice, I find it a tad distracting in this song.  (I read that this song was originally composed as just an instrumental piece, by the way.)  So when I’m writing, I prefer an instruments-only version.

The original version, plaintive, revolutionary vocals and all, can be found here.

Enjoy! 🙂

Posted in Miscelaneous Musings, The Writing Life

So much variety, huh? :P

Q: So, what have you been watching lately?

A: A really cool show about a bunch of kids with magical powers who go to school to learn to use their powers to fight evil.

Q: So, what have you been reading lately?

A: A really cool book series about a bunch of kids with magical powers who go to school to learn to use their powers to fight evil.

Is it just me, or are these recurring themes in media aimed at young people today?

Posted in Guest Posts, Miscelaneous Musings

Story of ABBA 2016 Blog Tour!

I’m participating in Becky Laine’s blog tour for the upcoming re-release of her biography of the Swedish band ABBA.  This new edition of   The Story of ABBA for Young Readers includes completely revised text and new hand-drawn illustrations by the author.  Bloggers from the ABBA fan and literary online communities are joining forces help spread the word!

Teenage author Becky Laine has been a fan of ABBA since she was very young.  She first published The Story of ABBA in 2013; through all its incarnations, it combines Becky’s love of ABBA’s music and her artistic talents in a way that fellow ABBA fans of all ages can enjoy.

For those of you who don’t know, ABBA was a Swedish music group who rose to fame during the 1970s, winning the prestigious Eurovision Song Contest with their hit song “Waterloo.”

The revised second edition of Becky’s book chronicles this victory and more, with completely new, hand-drawn artwork and updated text reflecting new milestones in the group’s history (including the members’ recent onstage reunion in the spring of 2016)!  The brightly colored pages are eye-catching and easy to read, guaranteed to captivate the youngest of ABBA fans.

Whether you’re a fan of ABBA’s music or you’re curious about the people behind it, this beautiful revised edition of The Story of ABBA for Young Readers is an excellent gift for fans this holiday season.

The Story of ABBA will be available for purchase, in two variant cover styles, on December 16th, 2016 through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and CreateSpace.  Visit Becky’s blog,, for updates and more release info.

Check back tomorrow for an interview with the author, Becky Laine!

Posted in Q&A, The Writing Life, Uncategorized

Q&A Blog Tag!

In September, Nate Philbrick shared the Q&A Blog Tag on his site, and left the tag open to anyone who wants to participate.  I thought I’d give this tag a go.  Since I write all my posts months in advance whenever I have a free minute to sit and write, that’s why you’re only seeing this post now. 😛

In terms of rules: basically, you get tagged to answer ten questions.  Thank the asker, let them know you participated, answer their questions in a blog post, then tag a bunch more people with ten questions of your own.

So yeah, thanks, Mr. Philbrick!  That said…

Here are the ten questions I must answer:

1. Favorite fiction genre to read?

As embarrassed as I am to admit it, at the moment, my favorite fiction genre is fan fiction.

2. Free weekend: would you rather stay at home and relax (alone or with a select few) or go out and make big plans?

What’s most likely to happen is I’ll stay at home and relax because my big plans to go out just didn’t work out, or I’m too tired to make them happen. 😛

3. Favorite season? (Of the year, you Netflix addict).

Volume Three of RW—  Oh.  My favorite season is Autumn.  It’s a nice, happy medium between the hot, sweltering Summer and the cold, numbing Winter.

4. Best thing to do on a rainy day?

Baking Reese’s peanut butter chip cookies.  Next-best thing?  Eating them all.

5. Hardcover books or paperback books? (Don’t even try “but kindle…?” My post, my rules).

Now that I’m reading bigger books, I find I prefer paperbacks.  They’re far less bulky.  I hate reading on the computer.  I hate it.  All my textbooks at school are eBooks, which makes them all the more unbearable!

6. Favorite speculative (fantasy, sci-fic, etc.) film?

The Matrix and Star Wars: A New Hope.

7. You’re stranded in a forest (no way out). What’s your best shot at getting food?

Well, assuming I’m not running for my life from a apologetically no-longer-famous Hollywood superstar, I’d probably try to catch fish and not die from berry poisoning.

8. Would you rather be able to breathe underwater or have camouflaging abilities?

Hm….  I think I’d rather have camouflaging abilities.  That seems like an ability I’d use more often.

9. Name an animal that you’re terrified of, for whatever reason.

I don’t think I’m particularly terrified of any animals.  Irrationally, anyway.  I think I have a healthy level of respect and caution around most animals, but I wouldn’t consider myself terrified of any.

10. Hugs: the solution to most of life’s problems, or a space-invading nuisance?

It really depends on the circumstance and the hugger. 😛


I’m not going to tag anyone specifically.  If you’re reading this and you like blog tags, consider yourself tagged, and feel free to share the link to your post in a comment below. 🙂

That said, here are ten things I’m dying to know about you:

  1. Boxed macaroni and cheese or homemade?
  2. If you could be any character from your favorite book, movie, series, etc., who would it be and why?
  3. If you’re a writer, what are your writerly goals for the coming year?
  4. You have a time machine, but it can only take you in one direction along the timeline (with the exception of being able to take you back to the present).  Would that direction be forwards, or backwards?
  5. It’s a snow day.  Are you indoors or outdoors?
  6. If you could make a soundtrack for your book (or a book you enjoy), what would be some of the songs on it?
  7. What’s the last book you read?  Did you like it?
  8. How do you feel about keeping books in the bathroom?
  9. Nutella or peanut butter?
  10. What’s the best book-to-movie adaptation you’ve ever seen?