Friday, January 30, 2015

Re-reading Books

Another reading quirk of mine. It may be worse than my last one (about spoilers). I’m just going to get it out there. 

I loathe re-reading things. H-A-T-E, what does that spell? Yep, I hate it that much. 

But I feel like I have to be fair. It’s not just books I hate re-reading. I hate re-watching movies and TV episodes. I hate re-reading research articles I know I should look at again because no one (and I mean no one) understands those articles the first time around [unless it’s your niche of the science world]. I also hate eating the same meal twice in a row. I hate listening to lecture podcasts if I already went to class. It’s just the way I operate. 

But you don’t really care about all those other things.

There are a variety of reason why I hate re-reading things.

1. Boredom strikes me easily 
This is a fact about me; I get bored really really easily. I hate just sitting around and not doing something productive or new. This hits me hard when I start to re-read a book. I mean I read the book before and I have a decent memory, therefore, I remember reading said book. Thus, I end up skimming, which definitely defeats the purpose of re-reading.

 2. No patience
I have no patience. Zilch. Zero. Okay, I’m definitely exaggerating here, but I’m not a patient person (which is horrible to want to pursue a career in the publishing industry, I know). Now what does that have to do with re-reading books? Well I know the plot and so I know what parts are really great. The scenes that make you read faster than you think you can and that give you goosebumps. I know where those are and in order to get there, I have to get through other parts of the book. Parts that were great the first time I read it, but are dragged out the second time. Having to go through the entire introduction and crucial layer of the foundation is like waiting in a long line for a movie that starts in ten minutes. You just want it to go by faster. And because I’m not patient enough to deal with it, I will inevitably stop re-reading no matter how hard I try. 

3. Re-reading is wasted time
I know people are going to disagree with me, but for me, re-reading books is a waste of time. I know reading a book more than once should give you another perspective on books. I know that I’ll be able to pick up on the symbols and foreshadowing and other little gems in books if I read it a second time, but I can’t do it. Re-reading a book is time I could be spend writing or doing something more productive. Better yet, I could be re-reading a new book! Why should I re-read a book if I already remember the basic plot line and characters? Sure, I know the feeling and being pulled into that book’s world is amazing, but I can get that feeling (and new ones) from other books. And the list of books is never-ending.  

This is also why I don’t give out many 5 star reviews. Because the 5 star reviews are only for books that I can see myself re-reading in the future. So it’s got to be pretty damn good. But because of my special classification, all 4 star books are ones that I would recommend to my friends and people in the street. 

This isn’t to say that I don’t re-read books at all. I have re-read books (especially when I was younger). The one book that I have read many many times is Homeless Bird by Gloria Whealen. It probably helps that the book is Middle Grade (MG) and I can power through it in about an hour. But I have re-read books….I just can’t think of any recent books. 

Do you guys re-read books? 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Plotter or Pantser

The famous classification. Are you a plotter or a pantser? (I always found it similar to the genes vs. environment debate in science) One isn’t more correct than the other. People have to take a stance when they talk about this classification; whether they believe themselves to be one or the other is a different story. It’s hard to solely be one thing: plotter or pantser. 

But what are these terms exactly? In short, they describe the way you write. Plotters write their novel with a plan. This means you could have the major beats of your story planned out or you could have a detailed, precise outline of everything that’s going to occur in the book. You could have it on your computer screen as you type away or you could have it printed out so you can cross points off once they’re completed. Plotters more or less know what’s going to occur in their books. 

On the other hand, there are pantsers. Pantsers “fly by the seats of their pants”. This means said pantser plops her butt in a chair and writes as fast as she can that particular writing session. There’s no plan or outline. Pantsers are usually people that like the freedom of not knowing what’s going to happen next. They let the story take the controls and just write as the events come to them. If you ask pantsers, what’s going to happen at the climax of their story, most cases they’ll shrug because they honestly don’t have a clue.

As for me, I’m not either. Well I thought I was a pantser until I really thought about my writing process. I definitely don’t sit down and write out an outline before I start a new idea. The first time around, I write all of my books without any idea where I’m going. That’s why I call them Draft Naught or Draft Zero. I literally do not know what’s going to happen in the overall plot except for maybe a chapter or two in advance. 

This is also the reason why I can’t completely classify myself as a pantser because I do plan a little. Just a tiny bit. Because there are scenes, ideas, characters, etc. that convinced me to start writing. So when I start writing, I have an idea or premise or a character along with a couple of “darling” scenes that I need to get to. In that way I do know what’s going to happen, but how I get there? Well I might as well be wearing a blindfold. 

So I’m definitely not a plotter. I’ve tried sitting down and writing outlines, but those are projects I’ve abandoned and most likely won’t get back to (even though I tell myself the exact opposite). But I’m also not a pantser because I usually have some idea of what’s going to occur. Sometimes my brains works too fast for my fingers and creates scenes when I know I can’t write any more. Then I put those scenes on a sticky note for the next day. This is arguably a small plan of attack. 

But does it really matter whether you’re plotter or pantser? No matter what you classify yourself as, you still finish the book, right? You still write as much as you possibly can. So if you don’t know what camp you fall into, don’t worry. It’s really hard to be in either classification and not toe over the line. If writers didn’t do that, we wouldn’t have the books we have today. 

Are you a plotter or pantser? Or a mix of both? Comment below! 

*Fun fact: Scrivener kept auto correcting pantsers into panthers, so if I missed one in this post, I apologize, but it should make for a very amusing sentence. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Review: The Raven Boys

So, I think I’ve decided that I’m going to try and review at least 25 books this year. I see a lot on Twitter that authors appreciate good or bad reviews (but let’s be honest, I’m not critical enough to give a bad review) and I would really love to help authors out. Also I know when I’m on the fence about books, I’ll go look up a review or two to make my final decision, so I hope this helps readers out there too! 

Here’s my review of The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. 

Summary: (from goodreads)
It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive. Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.
His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.
But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars. 

Why didn’t I read this sooner? I’m literally sitting here, trying to figure out where* I got the idea in my head that Maggie Stiefvater isn’t a good writer because I was absolutely blown away by The Raven Boys. It was so creative and unique and overall just amazing. 

While the premise of the novel is what drew me in, the thing that really made me fall in love with this book were the characters. Ms. Stiefvater is genius. I don’t know how she does it, but the characters she’s created were so well-developed. Blue, Gansey, Ronan, Adam, and Noah. I can’t explain it. I just felt like I could pluck them out of the story and I would be able to have a conversation with them. The only adequate way I could explain how I feel about Blue and the boys would be this: *flail and fangirl*. The characters alone were enough to convince me to read the rest of the series. 

That wasn’t the only element that I loved. The entire plot of The Raven Boys was great. The pacing was perfect (at least perfect for me). To be honest, after finishing the book, I just wanted to curl up with it and cry. Just a little. Because how I can I ever be as good as Ms. Stiefvater? Digression, sorry. 

Another thing I loved about The Raven Boys was just Ms. Stiefvater’s writing style. I’m not one for long descriptions or imagery. A perfect example of this is how I’m not a big fan for Laini Taylor’s writing style (The Daughter of Smoke and Bone) though I do love her stories Stiefvater’s style was just creative enough in the combinations of words and creation of similes/metaphors that I actually stopped reading The Raven Boys at times, just to re-read a beautiful piece of prose. I don’t re-read things--it's just not a thing I do. But The Raven Boys made me re-read things and I have a feeling I might re-read this entire book during the summer this year when I have a little more free time. 

For now, I can’t wait to start reading The Dream Thieves (book 2 of The Raven Cycle). 

*After contemplating this for nearly two days, I figured out that one of my friends doesn't like Maggie Stiefvater’s writing style in Shiver and therefore will not read any of her other books. Goes to show you only need a seed to be planted for an idea to form (no matter how wrong said idea is). 

Please tell me you loved The Raven Boys as much as I did! Or feel free to disagree with my opinion. Someone should just comment so I can fangirl about this book. Seriously. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Teenage Writers Suck!

I read John Scalzi’s “10 Things Teenage Writers Should Know About Writing”  about a week ago and now that it’s had time to simmer in my mind, I’m ready to talk about it. 

First off, if you’re a teenage writer, I highly recommend reading this article (linked above). And if you’re not a teenager, but you are a writer, I still suggest you read the article. Don’t worry, you don’t have to read it to understand this blog post. This post is more about my reaction and my experience with writing. 

I started writing novels (no matter how crappy they were, they are still novels) when I was about 14. I distinctly remember the moment I decided that I was going to write a novel because I had a standard one subject notebook and a pencil in hand. I took both, sat on my stairs, kicked my feet back and forth (there are spaces in between the steps that you can put your legs through), and started writing. I haven’t really stopped since then. I definitely started as a teenage writer. Now that I’m twenty, I’m definitely not a teen, but that’s not the way I feel. 

When I initially read the article, I’m going to be honest, it stung a little. What is it that people always say? That the truth hurts. But the main point of the article is that when you first start off writing, it’s going to suck. Especially if you’re a teenager (but that doesn’t mean others aren’t susceptible to this). It’s just a fact of life. I mean I look back at the first novels I wrote out by hand and while they’re entertaining (because they’re so bad), there isn’t much there. No plot. No character development. Nothing. Nada.

But it’s okay. Reading this article helped me realize, that all other writers go through a phase like that. Scalzi mentions that it takes about a decade (a very long decade) or so to truly master something. It could be playing the piano, dancing, or opera-singing. It’s going to take time to get good at something. And going along with that logic, I should be a decent writer by 24—so I have about 3 years and 3 months left for this decade deadline. 

The thing is that I don’t feel like my writing hasn’t gotten that much better to be honest. I only started getting serious about writing when I entered college. So it’s only been about 2 and half years. I haven’t found my “true writing voice”. I haven’t been rejected by anyone because my writing is safe and sound on my laptop. I don’t write everyday like all authors suggest doing. I haven’t read enough writing craft books. I still don’t know “how to revise” a novel. There are so many things that I have to work on. And some days are harder than others to take that at face value. 

I guess the point I’m trying to make is new writers suck! Maybe not every new writer, but my writing was/is horrible in many respects. I’ll be the first to admit it. But I find solace in the fact that everyone goes through this phase. And on a spectrum from novice to master, I definitely fall in the middle with a little more weight towards novice. It gives me the motivation to work harder and suck a little less. 

I’ll just leave you with this quote.

What do you think about Scalzi’s article? How do you stay motivated to keep writing even though it may “suck”? 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Review: Burn for Burn

Today, I’m reviewing/recommending Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian.

Here’s the Goodreads summary because if I were to write my own, I feel like I would spoil something, and I really don’t want to do that. (Unless you specifically ask me to spoil something for you. I have no qualms about that as you guys saw from my last blog post)

Postcard-perfect Jar Island is the kind of place where nobody locks their doors at night, where parents can sleep easy, knowing their daughters are tucked away safe and sound in their beds. But bad things can happen, even to good girls . . . and sometimes, the only way to make things right is to do something wrong. 
Lillia used to trust boys, but not anymore. Not after what happened this summer. And she’ll do whatever it takes to protect her little sister from the same fate. 
Kat is over the rumors, the insults, the cruel jokes made at her expense. It all goes back to one person--her ex-best friend. Someone needs to teach her a lesson, and, with Lillia and Mary behind her, Kat feels up to the task.
Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she’s not the same girl anymore. Now that she’s got friends who have her back, he's going to be in big trouble.
Three very different girls who come together to make things right. Will they go too far?

Rating: 4/5 stars. 

Let me just start off by saying, that I finished this book in one sitting. Yep, I started at 10 o’clock at night and finished at about 1:45 in the morning. I initially picked up the book because I could tell I was going into a small book slump induced by the massive amounts of fantasy/sci-fi I was reading. Therefore, I wanted a little “slice of life” as my brother calls it. It’s just the way I read books: a "real-life" book thrown into the mix to keep my interest in reading piqued. Even though Burn for Burn isn't completely void of fantasy or magic. 

Either way, I was introduced to Burn for Burn after following Jenny Han on twitter. Burn for Burn actually caught my interest because the premise sounded similar to Revenge (a TV show) and I’m a huge fan of that show. And boy, it didn’t not disappoint. 

It was everything I wanted it to be. It has the perfect amount of revenge so I wasn’t bored and the revenge was the perfect amount of pettiness in combination with things that could actually get them in trouble (like serious trouble). It has amazing characters with rather valid grudges. Also, it definitely helped that one of the three main girls, Lillia, is a Korean American girl (like me!). It’s not something I see a lot in YA books and I really enjoyed it. Furthermore, the pacing was great; pacing is one of those things that make or break a book for me. A lot of books move a little too quickly for me and when it isn’t done right, I feel like I’m just panting for breath after a run. Burn for Burn wasn’t like that. It wasn’t too fast and it wasn’t too slow. It was just right. 

My only complaint was that some of the secondary character’s motivations and behavior felt a little off/fake. I think that will fade as the series goes on. Its a lot to juggle—three main characters and a whole boat of secondary characters. I’m excited to see more of the three main girls and all of the other characters in the second book. 

Last thing, the cliffhanger is practically a siren’s call to read the second book. So, if you’re going to read Burn for Burn, I suggest having the second one as close as possible. I completely regret not checking out Fire with Fire, but have no fear, I’ll be reading it soon! 

For those of you that have read Burn for Burn, what did you guys think? Any other books by Jenny Han or Siobhan Vivian that you would recommend? Any other books like Burn for Burn or Revenge I should pick up? 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Endings and Spoilers
I have a confession to make…I read the endings of books before I finish the book -ducks out of the way of flying books-. Sometimes I even open up to a random page in a book and read a couple sentences. Never more than a page, but always a line or two. It’s not because the story is boring me. It’s probably the opposite. The books I love are the ones that I want to read faster and slower at the same time. 

I was just reading The Offering, which is the third book in The Pledge Series by Kimberly Derting. (I would recommend this series to anyone who has a love of dystopias with a sprinkle of magic involved). I’m 75 pages into the book and I have every intention in finishing the book. I swear I do. And just as I close the book to go do some homework, I find myself flipping to the back of the book. Specifically the last page. Then I’m reading the last page or two.

The ending is, theoretically, the best part—where all the subplots and main plots are wrapped up nicely with a fancy schmancy bow on top of it. It’s where we find out if it’s a happily ever after or a horrible cliffhanger that leaves you groaning. I shouldn’t read the ending, yet it’s a temptation I cannot resist. It’s a habit of mine that I can’t seem to break. (I was doing well until The Offering, honestly. An four book record of not reading the ending or looking ahead.)

But actually thinking about this little “quirk” of mine, I realize it makes sense why I read the ending once I’m about 100 pages into a book. It’s like a safety net to catch you as you’re walking across the tightrope. I guess reading a book isn’t as dangerous as walking across a tightrope, but it put a pretty picture in your head, didn’t it? Or it made you roll your eyes seeing as how it’s a hot mess of a cliche. I’m getting off point. Either way, if I read the end of the book, I know what’s going to happen. I know that everything ends up okay (or maybe not). I know that it’s worth it to read the book and take my time doing it. And most of all, it helps me to keep reading. 

The only time I don’t read the ending of a book is when I read a book in one sitting. It happens a lot more than you would think. I’m pretty much a binge-reader meaning that I used to only read during breaks and summer when I didn’t have homework to interfere with it. But now that I’m writing and reading during the school year, I realize I still have binge-reading tendencies (i.e. reading a book in one sitting). All or nothing like an action potential, baby. Because I read so many books straight through, in one sitting. The ones that I actually have to read chapter by chapter are the ones that inevitably end up in my “to-be-finished-eventually” shelf on Goodreads. But if I know the ending or have an inkling of what’s to come, I’ll be more motivated to pick the book up and actually get to that point. 

Maybe I’m just validating my actions, but it’s what I do -shrugs- What are you going to do about it? And don’t worry, I promise I won’t blurt out any spoilers. I have a lot of practice, one of my closest friends absolutely loathes spoilers.

Does anyone else read the ending before finishing the entire book? Or do you hate all spoilers like reading a single line near the end that reveals little to nothing about the book? Comment below! 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Revising Reluctance

Revising….the great big hurdle that I just cannot seem to get over no matter how much I prepare for it. I could have all my colored pens right beside me, my manuscript printed out, and I could even make it as far as reading it through and making an outline of what I have, but there’s just something about revising that always stops me. It’s like a large red stop sign in the middle of the road that decided to jump out of nowhere. But since stop signs can’t exactly jump, let’s change that to deer. A deer that jumped out of nowhere so that you have to slam the breaks on. 

I’ve tried a lot to get past the my reluctance for revising. Especially after I read that the “best writers are those that revise…a lot”. Not only was it that idea that spurred me forward to really tackle this path to become published, but it’s also what holds me back in a way. 

What if I’m not good enough after revising? What if no agent wants to take my manuscript in so that it’s left cold and alone with only me for company—let’s be honest, I’m not the best company.

I wish I was one of those writers/authors that love revising or at least look forward to. I just dread it. I love the idea of revising. Who doesn’t? I’m going to change this and this and this and this and my manuscript is going to be so much better. 

But in order to actually revise, you need to be brutally honest with yourself. You need to make the tough decisions to “kill your darlings”. You might decide to scrap the entire novel and just start from ground zero (or ground naught…haha I’m so funny [not really, I know I’m not that funny]). It’s not even those things that stop me. 

I’m a perfectionist. It’s a trait that I love and hate at the same time. It’s inevitably my fatal flaw. But my perfectionism never rears its head when I’m writing. It’s so easy to lose myself in writing the next word, imagining my novel playing before my eyes, surprising myself as I write. There’s no room for my perfectionist to protest. Writing is bliss. 

Revising is an entirely different story. Revising requires my perfectionism and it’s so easy to get overwhelmed. I mean look at what you produced—you have a whooping 100k words that you have to get through. You have to worry about plot, characters, dialogue, foreshadowing, symbols, etc. I just want to crawl into a ball typing it out. 

I’ve tried a lot of different things—advice from authors, countless articles about revising, a couple of craft books about revising and writing in general. That was more than a few months ago (before school started actually). Now here I am in the first week of my last semester at school with a burning ache to start revising—a feeling I’ve never really had. Oddly enough, this burning passion to revise was after I had an epiphany as I was walking back from class (it’s one of the best times to think about all the ideas swimming around my head). 

Basically it amounts to this—I need to revise on my own terms.

I don’t have to follow a method to revise in order to succeed. I can create my own method. Frankly, I might not even need my own method. I mean that’s how I started writing—without a clue where it was going except for a single protagonist that consumed my mind. 

I realized that a revising method might work for others, but not necessarily for me. And so as I write this post, well, I’m really ready to start revising again. And the only thing I have to arm me is one statement: revising is where true writing happens. 

I just need to revise.

And when I inevitably start to dread revising I’m going to try repeating one simple fact in my head. Revising will make my story better and it deserves to grow and improve as I learn to do the same. 

Anyone else have trouble with revising? Any helpful hints or tips to help me? Comment below! 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Proud of YA

I tweeted about this topic not too long ago after I read The One by Kiera Cass (good, easy read if you’re looking for some drama filled romance). After letting the idea simmer for a couple of days, I realize a tweet and a Tumblr post wasn’t enough. Thus, this blog post was created.

It’s taken me a long time (20 years to be exact) to be comfortable with the things I love. I know it sounds a little crazy. That I’m uncomfortable and awkward with the things I love the most—writing and reading YA. It should be the simplest thing for me to talk about. It’s literally a never ending topic, but up until the middle of 2014 I wouldn’t talk about it. And if I did, it was always in the vaguest terms.

Q: What do you like to do? 

A: Write. Read.

That is literally how I would answer my classmates. It wasn’t even limited to people I didn’t really know that well. I never really talked about how much I loved writing and reading with even my close friends. Don’t even get me started on talking about that subject with my parents or family. They all knew I was passionate about it, but I never really talked about it.

I mean I’m not a very vocal person to begin with honestly. I rather listen than talk—mostly out of fear of saying something incorrect. And I think you guys know that look you get when you tell people that you read YA—I absolutely hate that look. There were always more reasons to listen rather than talk. 

But this past year, someone or something turned the switch in my brain. I became more open. I learned that I can talk about what I love doing even if the person I was talking to didn’t share my interests. I’m the one starting conversations because I have to tell my friends about the latest book I read or the scene I recently wrote. I’m the one chatting away in the bookstore pointing out all the books I’ve heard were good to my parents. 

I really don’t know what happened. Maybe I’m just getting older, more mature, more comfortable in my skin, blah-blah-blah. I’m just more open about the things I love to do now. I have no shame for loving the things I do and it’s the best feeling. The freedom to talk about things I’m actually interested in and not the things that I “should” be interested in. 

I’m not ashamed of reading/writing YA. I never really was, but I was always cautious. The things I do to satisfy my passion it seems takes time for me to share. They take time for me to be proud of myself and speak about them. I can’t even tell you how grateful I am that I’m able to do it with my writing now. There are thousands of things I want, but I really needed this. I needed the courage to talk about what I love. 

And I’m not saying, I’m completely open about it. I will still probably answer that I write/read to people that ask me what I like doing in this new semester. And I won’t always be willing to expand upon it. (It really just depends on my mood for the day, honestly). But there will be more days that I will want to talk and talk and talk until the person regrets saying “What do you like to do?” 
Because I love YA. Reading it. Writing it. Just being in it. Considering how close I am to being 21, I know I’m not a “young adult” but it’s what I love. 

I will have no shame. I will be proud. And I will talk about it without fear of judgment. 

Have you guys ever had trouble talking about your passion? Have you ever had to monitor what you say around certain people? Comment below!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Top 5 Books To-Read in 2015

Hello people of planet Earth. I have come to this foreign planet with a very important mission….actually not really. I just want to talk about books again (I love books if you haven’t noticed). So here’s another short and sweet blog post about the Top 5 books I’m looking forward to read in 2015! 

1. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
I’ve recently heard about this book on Twitter and Tumblr. I’m slightly scared about all the hype it’s getting, but I’m really excited to read it. I’m praying it’s as great as it sounds. Not to mention that Sara Raasch seems like an awesome author that’s great about interacting with her readers (always a plus). 

2. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
This beast of a book is definitely one of the first things I’m going to read. I swear Ms. Maas’s books just get better and better. Not to mention that I’ve heard so rather positive/exciting things about Heir of Fire…cough cough Manon and Rowan. 

3. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
I’m ecstatic that Ms. Bardugo has another book coming out in 2015 and I’m even more excited that it’s set in the Grisha world. I have quite awhile before I can get my hands on this book (it’s released Oct 8th, 2015), but you can bet money that I’m definitely going to buy it the day it comes out and devour it in one sitting. Also I can't wait for the cover to be released--if it's anything like The Grisha series' covers, it's going to be epic. 

4. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
So I first heard about this book after I joined the Twitter universe and the moment I read the blurb, I knew I was going to be reading this book ASAP. I cannot wait until the book is released. Do you see how beautiful and simple the cover is? I really hope it's lives up to all the hype! (But I'm always a sucker for great ideas whether they're executed well or not--sue me :P) 

5. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
I’m cheating again because with this one, I’m actually really want to read all three companion novels. I love reading contemporary YA novels in between the various dystopias and fantasy novels. I’ve been itching to read these for a while now and can’t wait to get my hands on them.

Bonus: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
I haven’t read anything by Susan Dennard, but I do read her blog a lot and everything she’s posted about this book/series seems awesome. I can’t wait to read this and I really really hope it doesn’t get pushed by to 2016. I don’t know if I can wait that long. Also I'm really sad that it doesn't have a cover yet. 

What books are you looking forward to read now that 2015 has rolled around?Any other books I need to add to my to-read pile? Don’t be afraid to comment below! 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Resolutions for 2015

Good news, I’m back from Costa Rica!

2nd piece of good news: 2015 is here (Yay!!!!) and I’ve never been so happy to write my resolutions (not that I’ve ever written them down before—they were always just abstract ideas I would think I could do in the year) But this is different. I am determined to make 2015 my best year ever. I realize everyone says this and I’m probably just fooling myself, but I really do want 2015 to be a better year for me. 

So my goals for 2015 are broken into five categories: School, Physical, Writing, Blog, Misc. 

- Try not to stress out too much since it’s my last semester (continuous)
- Do my best and study as little as possible to keep a decent GPA—this makes me sound like a horrible student, I swear I’m not that bad (Continuous) 

- Run at least once a week (continuous) 
- Run a 5k by the end of August

- Finish Draft Naught of GUARDIANS by January 31st 
- Finish revisions for THE LOY by the end of February (this is really really ambitious, so at least the first draft revisions) 
- Send out queries to agents by the March 31st (if THE LOY is ready, etc.) If it’s not ready, try to send out queries by April 30th
- Worldbuild for PALM READER by February 14th
- Write first draft for PALM READER by April 30th
- Draft/Brainstorm/Outline a new novel with Korean Mythology at the forefront, possibly a retelling by April 30th 
- Make an active attempt to find a Critique Partner/Beta Reader by the end of March 

-  Make my blog “fancier” by updating all the pages I have with “Coming soon” the January 20th
- Work on the menu bar for my blog by January 31st
- Get over my fear of cameras and take a photo to put up by January 31st
- Update my blog no matter how many readers I do or don’t have at least twice a week (continuous)
- Comment and meet other writers/bloggers (continuous) 

- Read as much as I can, but at least 75 books in the year of 2015 (100 books would be better) (continuous) 

I’m definitely printing this list out and taping it to the wall above my desk. I’ll also most likely add to it as time goes by just because I know forgot things. I always do. 

What do you think about the concept of resolutions? Is it better to lie to yourself and have concrete goals, or is it better to just take on the new year as it comes?