Books I Want to Re-Read 11.23.16 | T5W

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Taking a moment this week to reflect on books that I would like to re-read.

1. Haunting of Alaizabel Cray
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I first read this book way back (roughly 11 years ago) in my early high school years. I instantly fell in love with it to the point it inspired me to try and write a similar creepy story (it has since been lost as it was written on an old dinosaur of a computer). As it has been over a decade, I vaguely remember what the book was about. The story is set in Victorian England with a teen boy, a teen girl with special powers and a murderous carriage driver (Jack the Ripper comes to mind when I think about the villain). While I did love this story, time has stolen most of my memory of it. However, Goodreads provides a much better synopsis for those interested. It was about a year ago I remembered this book and by remember I mean the poor synopsis I gave above. I DIDN’T EVEN REMEMBER THE TITLE OR AUTHOR! To be fair, I knew it was The Haunting, but after that my mind went blank. I believe I searched for this book on and off for over a year. Typing in variations of “victorian era books fiction”, “victorian era books, jack the ripper, fiction”, “victorian fiction, England, haunted girl” and etc. into Google. I was quite close to using a service to aid in my search for this book when one day, I was successful in my endeavors. I am excited to re-read this book from my teen years, but I am slightly apprehensive as my tastes may have changed (or improved) since then. Even if I find I do not like the book, I do hope it does not ruin how much I loved it back then.

2. Blood & Chocolate
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Now this is a book I would never pick up in the present day. However, after having searched a year for The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray, I was thrown back down the memory lane of books I had read during that time (early teens). Blood and Chocolate was one of them. I remember being so proud of myself for finishing this book in two days (a record that I have still yet to beat after all this time). My whole world belonged to this book for two whole days. I couldn’t fathom doing or thinking about anything else other than simply finishing the story. I truly believe I would have finished this book in one day, if my Mom hadn’t asked me to do chores, eat, or basically function like a normal human being. I also recall being excited about the movie and being utterly upset at how they ruined it. (I’m forever bitter about it). I hated the way the book ended initially, but came to terms with it. Unlike the movie which gave me the ending I had initially wanted. (Bitter. Forever.). Blood and Chocolate was one of my top favorite books and it even traveled with me to college where I then sold it at a Half Price Books with a few other books for a mere $5.00. I was low on cash and wanted to go to a party out of town with some friends that weekend. (Not my proudest moment). I’m excited to read this, but will probably think it all silly compared to my initial thoughts of it when reading it at the age of 15.

3. Harry Potter series
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The last time I re-read the series was my Senior year and last semester of college. I had broken off a year long, nasty and extremely toxic relationship a couple of months prior and was still dealing with all the fall out. Oddly, the Harry Potter series helped me heal. I know, it sounds so cliche, but it kept me sane. While HP was a great read while growing up, that was all it ever was to me. Now, I’ve joined the club of people who say, “HP was XYZ for me.” It’s been a few years and I am itching to do a re-read.  The releases of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Fantasical Beasts and Where to Find Them have given birth to the urge to relive the wonder of Hogwarts and the Wizarding World.

4. To Kill A Mockingbird
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This was a standard high school read and we even watched the movie. I know I did not appreciate the book as I should have at the wonderful age of 15. I want to re-read this classic, as I am sure there was plenty that sailed over my head.

 

 

 

5. The House on Mango Street
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I first read this book in college for a modern English class. I loved it, I still love it and I simply want to re-read it again just for fun. I also plan to read other works by Cisneros.

 

 

 

What books would you like to re-read? Do you have any favorites that you re-read often? Have your thoughts and opinions changed due to re-reading a book? Share your answers in the comments down below!

Until next post,
Pilar

Week 1 Recap | NaNoWriMo 2016

One week of NaNoWriMo down, three more to go! I hope everyone is off to a great start so far! I must confess I have slowly petered out even though I started strong right out the gate.

First, let me give you an insight into my proposed writing schedule.In a perfect world, my November would be free of any life events and all my focus on NaNoWriMo. However, I do not live in a perfect world, so life pops ups all the time! So, to combat stress or great upheaval, I created a writing schedule that allowed me to still hit 50,000 words, but also enjoy socializing with the outside world. Life events that have occurred so far, my long time best friend from grade school was married this past weekend. It was such a great time and we had a mini reunion of our “group” from primary school days. It was nice not to have to worry about my word count. Of course, as I live in America, then Thanksgiving is something that disrupts any NaNoWriMo flow. Since I have family on both my mom and dad’s side, we have at least three Thanksgivings and as much as I would like to buckle down and write during the holiday, I usually only see some of my family member once a year.

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So, I did some math (with a calculator’s assistance) and created a schedule, so even if I fell off the wagon, I would still be okay. I even added my own personal word count goal (3,000) for some extra motivation. How have I done so far? Well, as I stated above I started out strong on Day 1 with 3,009 words! However, Day 2 and Day 4 I wrote a total of 706 words. My current word count stands at 3, 715. Obviously, not how I envisioned where I would be on Day 9 of NaNo. Now, it would be easy to blame life for interrupting, but it was not life’s fault (this time).

My sluggish writing has come to a standstill because I am at a VERY boring part in my story. I am needing to describe the cabin my character is staying in. I decided to use her search for a landline phone as a way to describe the rooms and layout of the cabin, yet as I pull up my Google Doc and set my fingers over the home row keys, a heavy weight sits upon my shoulders and my mind races about a million other enjoyable things I could be doing.

I have not done a very good job of combating my procrastination, however here are a few tricks I have tried that may be helpful to other NaNo writers who are currently struggling.

1). Candy                               tumblr_inline_nx5wvfhkv21rmk39o_500
I bought Halloween candy with the sole purpose of using it as a motivation tool. Never mind I have snuck a few (or all) the Reese’s during my lunch. Unfortunately, this tactic did not work. It only made me hungry or realized I was, so I would instead cook a meal and then plop down in front of the TV for only ONE episode of whatever show I am currently binge watching. Like Lays says, you can never have just one and I sure do not watch one episode on Netflix.

 

2). Pinterest                         9bb524dd54e8c5c6fe087047da94201a
I learned about using Pinterest to create boards for my characters, settings, and simply building a creative atmosphere for inspiration to flow from other NaNo participants. I have thoroughly enjoyed pinning! It really does get the juices flowing and as I am a visualizer it aids me greatly in my writer. However, once again, this tactic did not work for this cabin situation. I pinned so many cute cabins and it made we want to do was run away to one. In fact, I even proposed to my family we take a vacation to a cabin just for fun.

 

3). Skip Ahead                       tumblr_n0a33jmqrf1s4uc3io1_500
Simply skip to another part of your story. Now if you are strict about following a timeline this may be difficult. I am not a big stickler for a timeline, but it does help me keep my thoughts organized and not become a chaotic jumbled mess. During Camp NaNoWriMo, I did jump ahead to my main character meeting another character. The urge to write the scene was burning inside of me for a few days, so I finally caved, wrote the scene and the sensation was gone. I simply had to get that part of the story out of me, so that I could focus on the rest of it. Did I try this method again? OF COURSE! Did it work? No, not this time. I have no urge to write another scene, but I only want this cabin scene to be not so boring.

 

4). Power Through                http3a2f2fmashable-com2fwp-content2fgallery2f25-exhuastion-gifs-for-when-you-cant2fpolar-bear-tired
That’s right. Suck it up and push through. I’m a terrible pusher. I need Ms. Norbury to be my pusher. However, I’d probably just write about her in my own Burn Book. (I’m kidding, Tina Fey is bae!). So what’s a lady to do?

 

5). Compromise                     67058483572bae418c31694b16710b734a25e3fb
Try to find some middle ground in order to move forward. It struck me this morning how I could work my way past this cabin scene. I am still writing a description scene, but not as detailed as I had planned. It will be a rough and dirty run through of the cabin whilst searching for a phone. I plan to “Fix it in post!” Yes, my word count will suffer, but it already has by my not writing at all.

What are some tips and trick you have used to help you get unstuck in your writing? Have you tried any of the one’s above? How did they turn out for you? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy Writing!
Pilar