Welcome to the new portion of my blog called “Ask The Blogger!”
I will feature five questions asked by other bloggers, link their blogs, and answer their questions. If you asked me a question and I didn’t answer it, don’t worry! There will always be another chance. 😊
The first question is from Priyanka: a fangirl (*fistbump*), Ravenclaw, and blogger.
Q: Which book got you into reading?
A: The first book I remember picking up and reading voluntarily was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I was seven years old. I found a copy of it wedged between my dad’s bookcase and the wall, covered in dust. I asked him if I could have it and read it, and he happily obliged. I remember pouring through the book and reading the whole thing in one sitting. The next day, I begged my mom to take me to the library so I could get the rest of the series. I had never really paid attention to the books at the library, but as I browsed the shelves looking for more Potter books, I started to notice tons of other books I thought I’d like to read.
Question two is from Kelly: an avid reader, also a Ravenclaw (loving the House representation!), and book blogger.
Q: What are your favorite books so far this year?
A: I’ve been trying to stay up-to-date on new book releases, but I’m so busy, that it’s hard to do that. I’m not sure how many books I’ve read that came out in Spring 2018, but my personal favorites of total books I’ve read so far would have to be: A Study in Charlotte (by Brittany Cavallaro - YA). Anything in the realm of Holmes & Watson is brilliant. I also enjoyed George Lucas: A Life (by Brian Jay Jones – NF), as well as Middle Earth: From Script to Screen (by Daniel Falconer – NF – Weta Workshop).
Question three is from Maddie: a vlogger (video blogger), nerd, and writer.
Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of blogging?
A: I recently started my own photography business! I specialize in classic/vintage car photos, so it is very fun going to classic car cruise-ins and seeing all the beautiful cars. I also love to sing and voice act. Over three years, I’ve taught myself to voice act and sing as nine Disney characters (my favorites are Moana, Ariel, Mother Gothel, and Mrs. Potts). I enjoy trying out new one-of-a-kind restaurants and continuing my quest to find the best Brunswick Stew in the entire United States.
Question four is from Erica Mae: a book blogger, Hufflepuff, and book reviewer.
Q: If you would recommend a book to a non-reader, what would it be?
A: It depends on if it is a girl or a guy. If it is a guy, I would recommend the first book in the Eragon series. It is entertaining and engaging, while not too difficult to follow the plotline. If it is a girl, I would recommend Mira, Mirror. It’s a fantastic take on the story of Snow White. While written as an MG book, I still read it to this day, and love the characters and the intriguing plotline.
Question five is from Em: a vegetarian, book blogger, and “Harry Potter fanatic.”
Q: Do you play a musical instrument/do you want to? And how long have you been playing if you do?
A: Well, I am a huge music lover! I play a variety of different instruments: the piano (12 years), the electric guitar (2 years – inspired by my love of ‘80s rock music, specifically Bon Jovi and Van Halen), the Irish tin whistle (5 months – inspired by my love of Celtic Woman and any Irish music), the violin (4 years – again, Irish music and fiddle tunes), and the Blues Harmonia (8 months – this one is just because I can…no reason yet!). If I could play one instrument that I don’t play now, I would choose the saxophone.
I hope you enjoyed reading my answers! If you asked a question and I didn't answer it, feel free to ask it again! I may choose it for the next "Ask The Blogger." I started this in the hopes of connecting with new bloggers through mutual interests! Feel free to leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this new section of Curiouser & Curiouser. Do you like it? Hate it? Want to see a change? If you comment it, I’ll take everything into consideration.
Also, I am hoping to branch out and start partnering with brands to review their bookish/fandom-related products. I think my blog would be a great fit for that, and I would definitely be willing to promote some brands by taking photos of the products they send out and posting them along with a review article. If you are a fandom brand (or know of one), please don't hesitate to contact me, whether it be via Twitter or via my Book Review Policy page. I have a specification sheet all typed up and ready to send out! :)
Thanks for reading!
It’s Your Universe by Ashley Eckstein
I was thrilled to have the opportunity to get an advance copy of “It’s Your Universe” to read and review. For those of you who don’t know about the author, Ashley Eckstein is a voice actress whose biggest (and most popular role) has been Ahsoka from Star Wars: Clone Wars. She is also the creator of the amazing clothing brand Her Universe: a brand geared toward making clothes specifically for fangirls. You can find out more about Ashley and her book by clicking this link.
Now, on to the book.
At first, I thought that “It’s Your Universe” would be geared more toward a younger audience, but as I progressed in the book, I realized that it had life lessons that can apply to girls (and guys) of all ages.
Ashley pushes the “believe in your dreams” mantra, which many have done before her. Frankly, I had been getting tired of reading biographies and autobiographies where people stated over and over to “dream big” and “reach for the stars.” I have read it so many times, to me, it’s losing its meaning.
Ashley did it differently. Yes, she says to believe in your dreams, BUT, she adds the most important thing that a lot of people forgot: hard work. Ashley stressed that in order to achieve your dreams and goals, YOU have to put in the effort to achieve them. In today’s world, I think people expect to be handed things on a silver platter without having to work for it. Sure, getting free stuff is great, but if you have to work hard and use YOUR time and energy, instead of relying on someone else to give it to you, then it makes finally getting what you worked for that much sweeter. As Ashley says in the title, “you have the power to make it happen.” I just loved the message she put in her book about the value of hard work.
I am a fan of the behind-the-scenes aspects of the film industry. One of my favorite things to do is to read about the lives of actors, directors, and filmmakers before they became famous. In “It’s Your Universe,” we get a great background from Ashley about her life before becoming a voice actress. She details her younger years growing up in the Disney park in Orlando, Florida, her struggle to become a Disney Cast Member, and her hard journey to realizing her dream of becoming an actress. We learn a lot about Ashley, her personality, and the creation of her company, Her Universe. Ashley presents aspects of her life, as well as life lessons, and how they connect with instances from various Disney movies.
That being said, for those of us who know most Disney movies by heart, the summarization of Disney movie scenes got a little long. I found myself skimming the parts where movies like Mulan and Cinderella were summed up, because I have seen them so many times. Sure, there are people who haven’t seen those Disney movies, but in a way, those movies may have been spoiled for them because of the summarization. Nevertheless, relating a life lesson to an instance in a Disney movie is a great idea. I can see where young girls would want to emulate their favorite princesses by following the lessons.
My inner fangirl also geeked out when Ashley discussed her love of Alice in Wonderland, and her (amazing!) collection of memorabilia. The book, at almost 200 pages, was a fast-paced read, and I was able to comfortably finish it within two days. It’s one of those books that you can read over again and not get bored. It also includes some journal space in the back for readers to jot down fun exercises that Ashley planned out.
The cover doesn’t lie: Ashley is truly a Disney fangirl like many of us. Her story, as well as the lessons she presents to her readers, reflect her happy personality and her desire to help girls be confident and able to express their love for their fandom.
All in all, I would definitely recommend “It’s Your Universe” go anyone looking for an uplifting, quick read.
I give this book 4.5 stars out of 5.
I would like to give a shoutout to Ashley and thank her so much for letting me read her book. It really meant a lot to me to have been given that opportunity.
Thanks to everyone for reading!
Today’s YA book review is of Breaking Order by Catherine Kopf. Catherine is a new teen writer who self-published her MG/YA book featuring an adventurous girl living in world where dreaming is banned. Catherine has a great personality and really enjoys connecting with her fans; if you want to get to know her a bit more, you can check out her website here. (Her website also features some character art, if you'd like to get a visual of what her characters look like).
Creativity is a Crime. Arts are Atrocities. Disobedience means Death.
Dreams, Creativity, and Magic are all gone under a single order. Banned from the things that make you different, people must conform to a dull and practical lifestyle.
The daughter of The Regime's Head Executioner is expected to follow in his footsteps, but fourteen-year-old Calista Knight is curious about creativity and dreams. It doesn't help that she is isolated and bullied at school because of her asthma.
When the new boy, Wes, encourages Calista to stop taking the medicine preventing dreams and introduces her to creativity, a new life opens up to her. Magic becomes very real, and with dreams and creativity intertwined, limits are endless.
But the Regime wants no one to dream.
Calista's a threat to the order, and she only has two options: Overcome her own personal fears of dreaming or end up just as compliant to The Regime as others around her.
I judge a book by its cover. I always have and always will. If the cover isn’t unique and doesn’t intrigue me, chances are that I won’t pick it up. Breaking Order’s cover looks so professional, it could be displayed in a Books-A-Million right now. The cover design is gorgeous. If this was in a store, it would certainly catch my eye.
Breaking Order centers around Calista, a young girl who is deciding whether she should defy the rules of her world and stop taking antiserum (a formula which forces the drinkers to stop dreaming) or conform to the laws of the tyrannical government. Overall, I was quite pleased with the plot of the story. It is unique, yet fits the mold of traditional dystopian novels. The writing style is clear and easy to read; while there are some awkward dialogue issues and grammatical errors, it is nothing that couldn’t be fixed with an easy edit before the next printing run.
I was pleased with the character development of Calista and her father, but I felt like I didn’t know much about Wes and Ambert (and especially about Enya). Why did Calista trust Wes so quickly? Because she trusted him that fast, it made it seem like Wes would turn out to betray her, even though he didn't. Enya is such a fierce, spunky girl, and I would have loved to have seen a flashback scene where we learn about Enya’s life before she “met” Ambert (no spoilers here, even though I really want to tell you all…this part in the story was a great plot twist).
The world building of Breaking Order is phenomenal, and I can tell that the author put a lot of time into thinking up how she wanted the story to play out. I am a huge fan of action/fight scenes, and there are certainly plenty of those. While the action scenes are engaging and realistic, to me, I wanted more. I wanted to know more of the little details in the fights. Sometimes I was confused about moments in the action/fight scenes where characters seemed to jump from one place to another. There were sections of small “gaps” in the action, and I found myself filling in what happened in my own words. Again, this is nothing major, but could be fixed in the next printing run to make the story flow better.
A pet peeve of mine is predictability. I am happy to say that Breaking Order was, for the most part, unpredictable. I like not being able to guess what will happen in the story, and plot twists are a must. (Yes, there are some great plot twists!) One of the only parts that was predictable was the ending…without spoiling the story, I knew Calista would be what she was before the end of the book because of comments from some of the other characters. While ending the book on that particular line didn’t work for me, I think that it is a good cliff-hanger and intro into the second book.
This book is billed as middle-grade (MG) fiction. If you had told me it was a young-adult (YA) book, I would have believed you. Calista’s age being the exception, the writing style, cover, and content was that of a YA book. I honestly think that some of the action scenes would be a bit disturbing for tweens. To me, this book is in between the MG and YA genres, leaning more toward being YA. If this is the author’s plan, it certainly is a good one. Hook the tween readers with the first book, then as the target audience grows up, they have a series that grows with them. It reminds me of the way the Harry Potter series grew with Harry. This is a really genius idea.
One of my favorite elements to the story is the different classes of Dreamers. I loved reading about the elements they worked with, particularly the music and art aspects. The government is trying to collect all the Dreamers for Project Dark Phoenix, to use them for…well…we don’t know yet. This is a great play by the author to make readers want to read the second book. I also really want to know the identities of the Lieutenant and the Illusionist, what happened to Mom and Gran, and to find out more about Calista and Wes’s journey to save the mysterious Aurelia. The story really had me hooked, and I am quite looking forward to the second book in the trilogy!
Catherine Kopf’s future is writing. I predict, that within two years, Breaking Order will be atop the national bestseller list. She has written a story that tweens and teens of today’s world can relate to, and I am excited to watch her journey to becoming a great author.
You can follow Catherine on Twitter here and purchase her book on Amazon here.
Thank you for reading, and as always, remember never to leave the house without your wand!
Hi, everyone! I am thrilled to have been nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award by the sweet Fiona! Her blog is a gorgeously designed lifestyle blog called SunRainTea, and I hope you all can go check it out and give her some support. Thanks again, Fiona!
What is the Mystery Blogger Award?
It’s an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion. -Okoto Enigma
The rules for the award are:
Put the award logo/image on your blog
List the rules.
Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well. (Okoto Enigma - link above).
Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
You have to nominate 10 – 20 people
Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
Share a link to your best post(s)
First off, here are three things about me:
1) I have been singing opera for over eight years, but I also can voice-act/sing as 9+ Disney characters.
2) I love to collect things! Books, Pop Funkos, LEGOs (specifically old discontinued sets), classic car models, movie props/replicas, and Lord of the Rings movie memorabilia.
3) A fun fact about me is that I can ride a unicycle.
Now, here are the questions asked by Fiona:
My questions are:
What made you decide to write a blog?
A - I want to be a published YA author one day, so I decided to start a blog to begin connecting with people. I also was really interested in reviewing ARCs and getting to know YA women authors.
What is the most recent thing you’ve learnt?
A - When buying a book at a yard sale, don’t get excited about finding it because the price will be raised.
What would your perfect job be?
A - I would love to work for Weta Workshop one day as…well…I don’t really know yet. Right now, I just want to work there! :)
If you won the lottery what would you do?
A - I would move to New Zealand, buy an old house in the country, and raise horses. I’d also then buy my dream car (a 1955 Chevy Bel Air), and I would give the remaining money to family and charity.
(Weird question) Has anyone ever mistaken you for a famous person or said you look like anyone famous? Or do YOU think you look like anyone famous?!
A - My friends tell me that my facial expressions remind them of Emma Watson, but I don’t really see it! :D
But, I have had random people come up to me and ask if they could take my photo because they have a family member that looks exactly like me!
My favorite blog posts that I’ve written so far are (1) my very first post, “My Guide to Being a Professional Fangirl” and (2) “Review of The Violet Theory.” I love my Fangirl post because it was the most fun to write, and a lot of people connected with me over that post. I also love the TVT review post because I had such a great time meeting and talking with Elodie/reading her book!
Now, for my twenty nominees! (If I could have picked more, I would have! There are so many amazing bloggers out there, so I will definitely be adding more to this list in the future if I am nominated again)!
Here are your five questions:
1. If you could meet just one celebrity, who would it be, and why?
2. What is your all time favorite movie?
3. What’s one of the most embarrassing things that has ever happened to you? (If you don’t feel comfortable sharing, just write PASS).
4. Where would you most like to travel?
5. (the Weird Question) What is a strange talent/oddity/wacky/etc. thing that you can do? (Ex: riding a unicycle/popping your shoulder out of joint).
Thanks again to Fiona for the nomination! Have fun reading everyone’s answers, and nominees, have fun answering the questions! If you feel inclined, please follow me on Twitter by clicking this link.
I am so happy to have met the author of today’s YA book review, Elodie Iver. This is the first ARC I received since I started my blog, and I have enjoyed getting to know Elodie and talking about all things bookish. I am excited to share with you what I think will be a best-selling novel, and I hope you enjoy my review of The Violet Theory.
(I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review).
About The Violet Theory
Secrets lurk in the shadows of a kingdom where the queen has never shown her face. Raiona once had a democracy, but after an uprising forced the president out of power, a monarchy was formed. The kingdom is home to legends and corruption, and 17-year-old Mavis Caverly finds herself in the midst of a conspiracy. An odd purple question mark tattooed on her wrist has served as proof that she is different. She has spent her whole life looking for answers about the origin and meaning of the mark, and when a mysterious stranger arrives in her city, the truth seems to be on the horizon. Mavis embarks on a journey across the kingdom uncovering the dark history of Raiona, and the crimes that the unseen Queen has committed. Along the way she realizes just how different she is, how important she truly is to the future of her kingdom, and that the Queen will do whatever it takes to find her.
Well, well. Where to start? Should I start with the pirates? Or the evil queen? Or maybe I’ll just start with the girl carrying the key to her country’s future. There are so many great things about The Violet Theory that it’s hard to sum it up into a short review.
When I sat down to write the review, I tried to think of a genre to put TVT in. I’m here to tell you that, besides the young adult category, there is no genre. If you took the Western elements from The Lone Ranger and married them with all the swashbuckling characters/ships from Pirates of the Caribbean, and they had a child who liked The Lunar Chronicles and Prince of Persia, then you would have the genre that TVT belongs in. I honestly believe that Elodie created her own genre of teen literature. Trust me, it sounds weird, but it works.
Read on…I’ll explain further…
First off, TVT has one of the most well-thought out worlds I’ve ever read. I can clearly tell that Elodie spent a lot of time on her world building, and making sure that the characters, places, and the all-important mercy manuals fit into the story well.
Second, TVT is believable. Not like a non-fiction book, but like, wow-this-could-have-really-happened-in-our-world-even-though-it-is-fiction kind of a story. I was skeptical at first on how the story intertwined with the cowboy-esque world, the pirate world, and the monarchy-ruled fantasy world. Toward the middle of the book, I was proven wrong. Even though it may sound odd, this world really does work. It shows the author’s love of all these different genres, while also showing her ability to combine them all into one believable world: Raiona.
Third, the characters are entertaining. I enjoyed finding out more about Mavis (a girl who is a venomvein), Beck (a handsome pirate), Kit (a potential love triangle member), the rest of the pirates, and my favorite, Takara (a kick-butt girl who is one deadly fighter).
This is also one of the downsides to TVT: the sheer number of characters in this book (whether they make one appearance or multiple) made it hard for me to keep track of them all. I was easily able to keep up with the main characters, but when the minor characters entered the story, I found myself flipping back every so often to refresh my memory. But I believe that on my second read-through of the book, I will understand everyone better, and their purposes will fall into place. I certainly wouldn’t let that discourage you from checking out The Violet Theory, though…there are no more characters in TVT than in the first Harry Potter book, and I imagine I was overwhelmed when I read Harry Potter for the first time.
The addition of suspense, drama, and well-written action/adventure scenes round out what I believe to be a very good read.
I defiantly would, without a doubt, recommend The Violet Theory to readers of popular YA books like The Lunar Chronicles and watchers of Pirates of the Caribbean. I thoroughly enjoyed reading TVT, and I am on the edge of my seat, awaiting the second book in the series (because there is a killer cliff-hanger at the end of TVT!).
After reading The Violet Theory, I give it 4.5 stars out of 5.
You may purchase The Violet Theory on Amazon here and may follow Elodie Iver on Twitter here.
Thank you for reading, and as always, never, EVER leave the house without your wand.
This month marks two special milestones for me: I participated in my first blogger interview & in my first guest book review. I thought I’d post the links so you all could check them out!
Blogger Interview (WishfulLuxury)
Guest Book Revirw (TheBookBratz)
To celebrate this goal, I am starting an “Ask the Author” section of my blog. You may ask me any question (writing, photography, or book related) and I will answer your questions in a special blog post (once or twice a month).
To ask me a question, you may comment on this post or leave me a comment on my Twitter page by commenting on the post relating to this article.
Also, if you are interested in doing a guest book review on my blog (if you’re a blogger), or if you’d like me to consider reading your new ARC (if you’re a new YA woman author), then please contact me by commenting here or on Twitter.
Do you have a favorite blog post of mine? Would you like to see it re-posted again? Comment here & vote for your favorite!
Thanks for reading!
I just wanted to do a short blog update to let everyone know what I’ll be doing on my blog during the month of May.
I haven’t been posting lately because, you know, life, but I have plans for some new posts in the works.
To clarify: yes, I am alive. Yes, I will still be blogging. Yes, I still love books. Finito.
The next post I have scheduled is a review of Elodie Iver’s “The Violet Theory.” I am currently in the reading process, so I should have the review up a week or so into May. The next book I have on the list is “Breaking Order,” by Catherine Kopf. I plan to fit one more book in (possibly “It’s Your Universe” by Ashley Ecktstein) to round out the month of May.
I also have plans to post some more “geek” related life-hacks, as well as a few fun polls.
As always, thanks for reading, and if you’d like me to consider accepting an ARC of your book, head over to my Twitter page & leave a comment.
Remember, never, EVER leave the house without your wands!
I haven't been posting any book reviews lately because I have been so busy; I've mainly been focusing on interviewing new women YA authors & helping them promote their books.
I am ready to start reviewing again and I have already made out a schedule of the next books I'll be writing about! You can check the schedule out below:
1. "The Violet Theory" by Elodie Iver (YA)
2. "Breaking Order" by Catherine Kopf (YA)
3. *possibly* an ARC of "It's Your Universe" by Ashley Eckstein
4. "George Lucas: A Life" by Brian Jay Jones (BIO)
5. "Unanchored" by Stephanie Eding (YA)
I don't have dates for any of these yet, and one or two may get moved around depending on if I receive some ARCs in the mail sooner than others. I will definitely be reviewing "The Violet Theory" first.
So, here's some reviews (and hopefully interviews!) you all can look forward to on the blog!
Thanks for reading. :)
Remember, never, EVER leave the house without your wand!
It’s time for another author interview! Today’s interviewee is Mrs. Stephanie Eding, a new YA author with an incredible personality. Her new pirate fantasy book (*squeal!*) has a beautiful cover & a brilliant plot line. There aren’t enough YA stories involving pirates, especially women pirates, so I am quite excited to read her book! I will definitely be putting Unanchored on my purchase list.
As if I haven’t given enough reasons to go find her & her book immediately, Stephanie has a great attitude & is such a kind, friendly person. I highly recommend following her on Twitter. You can find all her links after her interview.
Speaking of, without further ado, I hope you enjoy my interview with Stephanie Eding!
1. How did you get the idea for your book?
I’ve always loved pirates but never really thought I’d write about them. I started binge-watching Once Upon A Time and swooned over Captain Hook’s character. The idea of a bad-boy captain with a good heart totally intrigued me. That seemed to be all it took for my brain to take off into story mode. I really wanted to develop the idea of a quirky captain meeting his match in a his strong-willed captive. Finn and Cecily ended up flying onto the pages more easily than anything I’ve ever brainstormed!
2. What made you want to start writing?
I always knew I wanted to be a writer—I just didn’t know what I wanted to write. I started out thinking I’d do short magazine articles or self-help books. It turns out those are very much not in my skill set! When we moved eight hours away from my hometown, I felt kind of lonely and out of place. That’s when I started getting ideas for novels, and I fell head-over-heels in love with writing them!
3. If you could live in one fictional world, where would it be?
Oh dear! I’m torn between living in Tolkien’s Shire and Jane Austen’s 18th century world of romance. Either way, there are epic dance parties, and I am all in for that!
4. Which fictional character do you most identify with?
I’ll say I identify with Anne Elliot from Jane Austen’s Persuasion. She’s quiet and very much a people-pleaser. She goes with the flow just to make others happy and often misses out on her own happiness because of it. Butthere’s still passion and longing within her that I find so relatable!
5. Name a Disney song that is always stuck in your head.
Ever since I was a child, I haven’t been able to cleananything without singing “Sing Sweet Nightingale” from Cinderella.
6. How long did it take you to complete your first novel? Are there plans for any sequels in the future?
Unanchored took me about 40 days to write—and then I edited it for two years. The sequel is currently in the works. My hope/plan is that these pirates turn into a trilogy!
7. If you could give advice to aspiring young authors, what would it be?
Don’t give up. You’ll want to, because writing a book and seeing it to the shelf is seriously hard! It’s worth it, though. I promise. Read for other authors. As you learn to be a good critique partner, you’ll gain so much knowledge about your own writing and what works and doesn’t.
8. List three adjectives that describe your
Quirky, tired, puntastic.
9. Favorite book/book series?
I love Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series. It is an A+ fairytale retelling, and I just adore how she connected all of the characters and storylines throughout each book.
10. Can you let the readers know what your new book is about in 100 words or less?
All Cecily has ever wanted was her freedom. When her master gambles her away to pirates, she finds herself inconveniently thrown in the ship’s cell. Cecily has heard tales about her new captor, Captain Worley, and the horrid deeds he’s done, but when she catches him in the rather un-pirate-y act of helping the less fortunate, she questions the rumors. With the Royal Navy hot on their trail, Cecily has to decide if she’s willing to turn her captain over to the government in exchange for her freedom or join Captain Worley’s seemingly benevolent mission for a life at sea.
I hope you enjoyed my interview with Stephanie! You can check out her links below. If you follow her on Twitter, make sure to tell her you read her interview on my blog! Please don’t forget to follow me on Twitter as well! (@HogwartsGrad_7)
Thanks for reading! Remember, never, EVER leave the house without your wand.
Author Page www.stephanieeding.com/
Today is a special blog post, because I’m completing some questions from a book tag! What’s a book tag, you’re wondering? Well, a person (in this case, the lovely Adrianna) asks book-related questions and tags people to answer them. I am so happy to be answering her questions! You can check out Adrianna’s beautiful blog by clicking this link.
**(All questions were written by her; the answers are my own)**
Enjoy reading! :)
Do, a deer, a female deer – Name a book character with an animal sidekick!
Who else, other than The Boy Who Lived? I love Harry’s “sidekick,” Hedwig. She’s beautiful & I’m obsessed with owls!
Re, a drop of golden sun – Name a book character who puts a smile on everyone’s faces, they just light everything up with their presence!
Iko from The Lunar Chronicles. She is so confident, bubbly, & outgoing, and I love her for it. One of my favorite characters!
Mi, a name I call myself – Name a book character with a name you always pronounce wrong or one you wish was pronounced differently!
Here’s an obscure character: a random Death Eater from Harry Potter = Rookwood. Is it “rock-wood” or “roohk-wood?”
Fa, a long, long way to run – Name a book character who is either forced or chooses to runaway from home
Katniss from The Hunger Games. She didn’t really “run away,” but she was forced to leave because she was chosen to be a contestant in the Games. She fought for her District & definitely made them proud.
So, a needle pulling thread – Name a book character who’s a healer or puts people back together in some way, you know cuz sewing! (Just go with it!)
Genya from The Grisha Trilogy. She makes people “new,” and fixes what people think is wrong with their appearances. She is the epitome of brave.
La, a note to follow Sew – Name a book character who’s a bit of a follower, but could totally be a leader with some encouragement!
Neville Longbottom. He was really shy and insecure, but all he needed was some confidence, and he could have been a great leader.
Ti, a drink with jam and bread – Name a food that a book character made you want to eat and who that character is!
I have two!
Thanks to Adrianna for tagging me! I had three people agree to do the book tag, and I have listed their names & blog links below.
Remember, never, EVER leave the house without your wand!
Annie - @bookish_travels
Rambling Woman - @aramblinwoman
Amber - @AmberElby
Alae! Gi nathlam hí…ím Sadie. No veren!
Happy Tolkien Reading Day!
As any self-respecting geek knows, J. R. R. Tolkien wrote that incredible series called Lord of the Rings. Today, we celebrate reading his books and reading about the characters, places, and realms he created.
In this special #TolkienReadingDay post, I’ll be listing some of my favorite quotes from LOTR and The Hobbit and discussing what Tolkien’s works mean to me. Enjoy!
(Prepare for extreme fangirling. Remember, I warned you).
It’s actually hard for me to express in words how much I love anything having to do with Tolkien. I watched the movies when I was six years old, and shortly after, read the books. Since then, I’ve been an avid collector of Tolkien memorabilia, Lord of the Rings/Hobbit movie props, and autographs from the cast members. My dream is to travel to New Zealand one day and try to visit many of the places where the movies were filmed (of course, Hobbiton is a must-see, but I also want to go to Paradise, Mt. Ruapehu, and the Putangirua Pinnacles).
Countless hours were spent watching, re-watching, and re-re-watching all six extended films, as well as the Appendices and the behind-the-scenes. It got to the point where I could name the gaffer who worked on the LOTR films (RIP Brian Bansgrove) and freak out like Victoria Sullivan (I really, REALLY want a Victoria’s Cross) whenever I noticed a continuity mistake. I am quite proud to say that I have watched the movies so many times, I can almost quote them word for word.
With all that being said, you can tell how much I love Tolkien’s world. Pardon me if it seems like I am bragging, but whenever Tolkien Reading Day rolls around, that’s my excuse. I don’t do it any other day, but today I get a pass. 😊
I don't have a sad story to tell like "Lord of the Rings got me through a tough time," because that wouldn't be true. I'm just a fan who loves the universe Tolkien created, and appreciates the time and thought put into writing a story that would stick with me for my whole life. I read books almost every day, and there have only been one or two good stories that really stay with me, Lord of the Rings being one of them. It's a universe I want to return to week after week.
We see things happening on the news and around us that are so scary, worrying, depressing, so real.
Reading is an escape from life, and reality. A place where you can let your imagination soar.
There's nothing better then diving into a book or a movie, and immersing yourself in a completely unbelievable world. In a world where dragons hoard gold, elves fight alongside dwarves, and where bad things that happen in our world can't interfere.
Without Tolkien and his works, I never would have become a writer. His works gave me the boost I needed to use my imagination and create worlds that people can fall in love with. I started my own journey, just like Bilbo, to find something I didn't know I had: courage. Courage to write, be myself, and not let what those few people told me when I was little determine my future.
Sometimes, embracing the unreal is what you need to start on your journey.
Now, I’ll list some of my all-time favorite Tolkien quotes. Let me know your favorites by commenting or leaving me a Twitter comment.
“The world is indeed full of peril and in it there are many dark places. But still there is much that is fair. And though in all lands, love is now mingled with grief, it still grows, perhaps, the greater.”
“Faithless is he that says goodbye when the roads darken.”
“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
"From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”
“I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”
“The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say”
“Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men, doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.”
“Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate
And though I oft have passed them by
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun.”
“In a hole in the ground, there lived a Hobbit.”
Na lû e-govaned vîn.
Until the time of our next meeting.
I am very excited to be partnering with three amazing ladies who run a book blog! They graciously agreed to participate in a Q&A session, and you can read the answers below! They are extremely nice (and know a whole heck of a lot about YA books) and I highly recommend following them on Twitter at @thebookbratz and checking out their blog.
Today, I’ll be interviewing Jessica! She runs their Twitter page, and sometimes asks her followers fun book-related questions. Now, I am ready with my own questions! :)
I hope you enjoy reading my interview with TheBookBratz.
•How long have you been running your blog?
We started the blog during our sophomore year of high school -- which will be five years ago this May!
•What made you want to start a blog?
Amber and I both loved to read and would always talk about the books we enjoyed on Goodreads. One day Amber came up to me at school and asked if we'd like to start a blog to share our thoughts about the books on, and I was totally for it -- and Emily, another great friends of ours, joined a year or so later!
•Which genre do you enjoy reviewing the most?
All three of us love reviewing YA more than anything -- although we also enjoy NA stories, particularly by authors such as Colleen Hoover. I'm a huge romance/contemporary fan, but Amber and Emily are more supernatural/paranormal fans!
•Fiction or Non-Fiction? Why?
We're all huge fiction fans -- there are so many stories you can create from your own mind and imagination!
•How many book releases have you been to? Which one was your favorite?
We've been to 2 or 3 book releases during our blogging years, but we also go to BookCon every year, which is the greatest event of all time (and you should all definitely go!!). As for our favorite book event, we recently when to the Restore Me signing and met Tahereh Mafi and Ransom Riggs, and we had such an incredible time. Definitely our favorite non-BookCon event!
•Favorite all-time quote?
Oooh, this is a tough one! We all seem to love Tahereh Mafi's "I spent my life folded between the pages of a book."
I don't know Emily or Amber's answers, but I'm a huge fan of The Phantom of the Opera. I could watch that movie/play a million times and not get bored or tired.
•If you were paid to travel somewhere to write a blog review about a specific place, which place would you choose?
Hawaii! I went there a few years back and absolutely fell in love with it and would LOVE to go back -- especially if it involves blogging, too!
•What’s your system for attracting followers on your social media platforms?
We don't actually have a system! We just try to pop in at least once or twice a day to get involved in the community and say hello to everyone. The best way to grow and make blogging friends is to talk to people, of course! And we also Tweet the links to our blog posts every day, so nobody misses out on those, either!
•If you could be one literary character, who would it be and why? What book is that character from?
Hmm...I can pretty much confirm that all three of us would want to be Juliette from the Shatter Me series...because she gets to be with Warner, who we are ALL incredibly in love with.
•Star Wars or Star Trek?
Oooh, you're not going to like the answer to this question...none of us are fans of either!!
•Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings?
I personally haven't read any of the Harry Potter OR Lord of the Rings books, so I'm a bad judge of character for this one!! But I think Emily and Amber are Harry Potter fans.
TBB: Thanks so much for having us on your blog today! We're so excited to be here and stop by and talk to another blogger about books and the blogging world. :)
SB: You’re very welcome, and I had a great time interviewing you! Although, I am choosing to ignore the fact you’ve never read Harry Potter...I’m letting you know...you really need to read it! :) Just kidding!
I hope everyone enjoyed reading the interview and had as much fun as I did asking the questions. Make sure to follow TheBookBratz on Twitter at @thebookbratz and follow me at @HogwartsGrad_7!
Remember, never EVER leave the house without your wand!
Today's blog post is exciting because it is officially the first time I have done a YA author interview! I will be partnering with the author to review her new book and I'll be posting a review of it here on my blog.
The author who has the honor of being my first "reviewee" is Miss Elodie Iver. She is seventeen years old and just self-published her first novel, The Violet Theory! She is very nice person and I highly recommend that you follow her on Twitter so you can receive updates about her book. (@elodieiver)
I have asked Elodie some fun questions about her and her new book, and you can check them out below!
SB: How did you get the idea for your book?
· EI: I got the idea for my book through a lot of trial and error. I started writing a variation of this book when I was fourteen with an extremely different plot, but with a lot of the same characters. The idea developed as I wrote and deleted and finally came up with an idea that worked well with my characters.
SB: What made you want to start writing?
· EI: I’ve always loved reading so when my teacher in fourth grade gave me the opportunity to write, I ran with it and fell in love. I knew the importance and impact that the books I read had on me, and I wanted to have that impact on others as well.
SB: If you could live in one fictional world, where would it be?
· EI: Hmm, that’s a tough one. Probably Oz or Asgard
SB: Which fictional character do you most identify with?
· EI: Liesel Meminger. And Rory Gilmore, but I would’ve picked Dean :,)
SB: Name a Disney song that is always stuck in your head.
· EI: How Far I’ll Go from Moana
SB: How long did it take you to complete your first novel? Are there plans for any sequels in the future?
· EI: It took me about nine months to finish this book with the plot it has now, but I started writing with these characters when I was 14. I plan on writing three more in this series.
SB: If you could give advice to aspiring young authors, what would it be?
· EI: My advice to aspiring authors would be to read whatever you can get your hands on and while you read pay attention to the details that the author has put into their work. Pay attention to symbols and style, the things you do and don’t like, and what makes the book what it is. The best way to become a better writer is by learning from people who have already been successful.
SB: List three adjectives that describe your personality:
· EI: Adventurous, witty, and nerdy
SB: Favorite book/book series?
· EI: I love The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
SB: Can you let the readers know what your new book is about in 100 words or less?
· EI: The Violet Theory is about a girl that finds herself caught in a government conspiracy. The country she lives in used to have a democracy but was overthrown and replaced with a monarchy where the queen has never shown her face. The past president’s secrets are catching up with the present and Mavis goes on a journey to uncover those secrets. While traveling this land of immense technological advancement that gives refuge to ravens with feathers of fire, fireflies that glow reds and blues, and violets that glow on the hillside, Mavis discovers just how important she is to the future of the kingdom.
You can purchase Elodie's book on Amazon (Kindle) by clicking this link.
This will count as my weekly blog post, but if I have enough time, I may post one more special one this week.
As always, thank you for reading my blog and supporting me by following me on Twitter (@HogwartsGrad_7)!
Remember, never EVER leave the house without your wands!
Today marks the first time I have published a YA (young adult) book review on my blog! I am excited to start writing more reviews as well as partnering with up-and-coming YA writers to review their new novels. Also, today’s review is rather short, which makes it great to read if you don’t have a lot of time.
For those of you who like fantasy, I think you’ll enjoy this book.
Don’t leave the page just yet, people-who-don’t-like-fantasy!
Today’s YA book, Artemis Fowl, is actually a modern-day adventure featuring a brilliant guy who just happens to capture a fairy because he wants some gold.
A whole lot of gold.
I promise, even if you aren’t a fan of fantasy, the characters, action, and overwhelming amount of sarcasm will make you want to check out this book as soon as possible.
And then read it over and over again.
I hope you all enjoy today’s review of Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer.
(Make sure to stick around at the end of the article to see the fantasy poll results).
About five years ago when my father was moving things around in his office, I discovered a dusty book that had fallen behind one of the shelves. The front of the book was overlaid with tiny runes, and the cover was made from shimmering gold paper. Dad, knowing my love of fantasy, told me I could have it. I was immediately hooked, and I finished the fast-paced novel in one sitting. Now one of my favorite books, Artemis Fowl is a story I recommend to anyone looking for an excellent adventure.
Artemis Fowl is a genius, criminal mastermind, and millionaire, and he is only twelve years old. (Don’t be turned off by his age…his extraordinary vocabulary makes it seem like he’s much older). Traveling to Ho Chi Minh City, he (and his bodyguard, Butler) capture the creature whose existence they just confirmed: a fairy – Captain Holly Short of the Underground LEPrecon Police Force. These fairies aren’t the beautiful pixies of legend; no, these fairies are armed and very dangerous. Implementing his plan to restore his Irish father’s fortune, Artemis holds Captain Short captive until the Commander of the LEP contacts Artemis and bargains for Holly’s release. Artemis is not satisfied with the offer, and he will not release the Captain until he receives one metric ton of unmarked fairy gold, enough to bring the Fowl family’s smuggling empire back to light. Jam-packed with action, witty dialogue, and cutting-edge technology, Artemis Fowl tells the story of a brilliant boy who learns the age-old lesson that there may actually be more to life than money.
Artemis’s adventures with fairies and humans alike continue until he turns seventeen, spanning seven books.
[This article was previously published in print in The Village Observer. ©]
Now, on to the fun part! I recently polled a Twitter audience and asked them some rather geeky questions, and the results were 100x better than I expected.
I’ll be listing the poll details, answers, and results below.
Poll #1: Which fictional place would you rather live in?
Unfortunately, the results weren’t very spectacular, as I didn’t know how to work the poll and only had it up for about three hours. I had six voters. As such, I won’t consider the results accurate. (They can’t be…no one picked Star Wars!)
Hogwarts = 25%
Gondor = 25%
A galaxy far, far, away = 0%
Asgard = 50%
Poll #2: Which Hogwarts house do you belong to?
This one had a tiny bit better audience (I figured out how to set the poll length) and I received 23 votes. (If you’re waiting for the best poll, stick around…the next one is amazing).
Gryffindor = 39%
Ravenclaw = 26%
Hufflepuff = 22%
Slytherin = 13%
Poll #3: Which Lord of the Rings movie do people like the best?
I admit, I wasn’t hopeful after seeing such low numbers for my last two polls.
Then Weta Workshop stepped in.
Did you guys get that?
WETA WORKSHOP, you know, the ones who made the props for Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit? The most amazing movie prop makers in the history of cinema? The place where I would love to visit and buy out the whole store if I had money?
*That* Weta Workshop. <3
Weta did me a HUGE favor and retweeted my poll so people all over the world could vote for their favorite LOTR movie.
To whoever manages Weta’s Twitter page: many, many thanks! You made my day!
As promised, the results. A staggering 610 people voted.
Fellowship of the Ring = 42%
The Two Towers = 23%
Return of the King = 35%
I figured Fellowship would win since it was the first movie (there’s some theory that the first movie is always the best…I don’t necessarily agree with that). My favorite is Return of the King. I love all the different plot lines and amazing fight scenes. My all-time favorite scene is when Theoden leads his Rohirrim down Pelennor Fields into the waiting Uruk-Hai. The. Best. Scene. Plus, Weta Digital’s use of the Massive program for the following scenes was a cinematic breakthrough. Yes, I love the nostalgic feel of Fellowship, but in terms of action and overall entertainment, ROTK is my favorite.
What are your thoughts?
As always, thanks for reading! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter: @HogwartsGrad_7.
Remember, never, EVER leave the house without your wand!
If you aren’t one of those people concerned with keeping their smartphone protected at all times, you should be.
Why learn the steps to shielding your smartphone?
Well, if you want to keep personal information like photos, bank account numbers, passwords, and contacts safe, you need to know this. Did you know you could be downloading malware (i.e. a bad virus) to your phone just by visiting a website?
I’m here to give you some helpful “hacks” to secure your phone that you can do in less than five minutes. FIVE MINUTES, PEOPLE! That’s how long it takes to get through Apple’s automated answering service. You’ve got time for this.
Let’s start with some basics:
1) Password protect your phone:
Most people already have a password (or fingerprint) they use to get into their phones. If you don’t have one, make one immediately. Even such a simple thing as a log-in password can deter future hackers. The two most common passwords to EVER exist are “1234567890” and “password.” DO NOT use these for your login…or basically any account you want protected. Use some numbers that make sense to you (that you can remember easily), but hard enough for people not to guess.
I have an iPhone, so I’m not sure what other Privacy settings exist out there, but this tip should work for any model phone.
A simple trick to stop apps from knowing your location, using your microphone, and spying on you through your camera is to go to the Privacy setting.
Here, you’ll find a whole list of buttons to turn off if you don’t want apps knowing sensitive info. Every privacy option I’m listing below can be found under the Privacy tab.
ALWAYS turn your “Location Services” off. If you use an app like Uber or MapMyRun and need your location turned on, then only turn those on. (I recommend turning those off when you aren’t using them). You can control which apps use your location by this simple step: Settings<Privacy<LocationServices. Now, either slide the button to completely turn off LS, or go down the list and choose which ones you want to know your location.
PICK AND CHOOSE which apps you allow access to your photos. Did you know that every photo you take contains the location where it was taken? It’s up to you which apps you want “reading and writing” your photos, but I recommend turning all of them off, except the ones you use on a daily basis. While on the subject of photos, to stay safe on social media, avoid tagging your location when you post a photo. This helps prevent tracking across the social media app you use.
Also located in Privacy is the “camera” button. Slide this off when you aren’t using your camera to prevent an app from “watching you.” There is controversy about this, and I’m not sure if app developers can do this or not, but, again, to be on the safe side, I keep mine turned off.
MICROPHONE is a biggie. Some popular apps like Smule S!ng, Ellen’s Hot Hands, and musical.ly require mic access. I’m not sure what these apps do with the mic when you’re not using the app, but to be on the safe side, I would turn them off when the app isn’t in
use. You don’t want a stranger listening in on a private conversation…
3) Your Browser
Internet searching is where most malware gets picked up. To keep you and your phone safe, follow these easy steps:
a. Always clear your browser history after EVERY search, even if you’re just looking up something as simple as a movie release date. “Private” browsing is never really private, and probably does send some history data back to the developer.
b. Don’t visit any website you think is suspicious. If ads or those “You’ve won a free iPhone” messages keep popping up, get off that site immediately and clear your browser history ASAP. Stick with well-known sites and don’t go to websites with long addresses or too many numbers. Use your better judgment and stick to your gut.
c. If out of the blue, you start noticing weird emails in your inbox advertising weather in your area, Yahoo searches near you, or where to buy gel shoe inserts, it means you have picked up a “profile.” You get a profile by clicking on a unsecured ad/website from either your browser or a pop-up ad (like the kind you find on games). These can be potentially harmful to your phone. If you notice these emails, NEVER open them, and ALWAYS send them straight to junk. You can tell profiles by the examples I listen above, or if you see these lines || at the bottom of an email’s info. Unfortunately, with a profile, you have to get rid of it manually. Here’s how to do it:
If you get profiles repeatedly, you need to cut back on visiting unsecured websites, and contact your smartphone's support representatives.
4) Update, Update, Update:
Keeping your smartphone updated to the latest iOS software is very important. The developers say that you will get less bugs if you update every time they send a new one out. If you’re like me and kept your old iPhone 4 because it had 900+ pictures, try to connect it to wi-fi as little as possible. iPhone 4s and below can’t be updated to the latest software, so they’re more likely to pick up bugs. Go to Settings<General<Software Update to update your phone. The updates usually take anywhere from 20-50 minutes, so make sure you have some time. It’s totally worth it to update, though.
5) The Dreaded Password
I will be straightforward: the best way to keep your passwords safe is to NOT put them on the notes of your phone. Write them (yes, with a pencil) on a piece of paper and keep them in your purse or tape them somewhere safe in your office. Make varied passwords, and don’t use consecutive words in phrases people may know
(ex= peterpiperpickedapeck). Combine words you’ll remember with numbers, uppercase letters, and special characters. Even though it may be a pain, changing your passwords every six months is recommended.
I hope this post has helped you get a better grasp on what you can do to keep your smartphones safe and secure! Everything written above is from my personal experiences and is not verified by any major smartphone developer. Just a disclaimer. 😊 If you have any questions, comment below!
Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter (@HogwartsGrad_7)!
Remember, never EVER leave the house without your wand!
I’m thrilled, because…I was recently nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award! I’d like to thank Briana (@Myspiritedlife1) from Twitter for nominating me!
To be honest, I had never heard of the SBA until I was nominated, but then I researched it and discovered what it was about. The Sunshine Blogger Award is an award created to honor bloggers from the blogger community. Any blogger can be chosen for the award, and being nominated is a great way to let fellow bloggers learn a little bit more about you, while helping to promote your blog. It’s also a good way to discover new bloggers!
So, how does the Sunshine Blogger Award work?
1. A previously nominated blogger is given the task of nominating 11 more bloggers.
2. The previous blogger asks the 11 nominated bloggers 11 questions relating to their blog.
3. The 11 nominees all answer the questions and nominate 11 more bloggers.
4. And the cycle continues over and over again!
Briana asked me 11 questions, and I have answered them below. After that, I have listed my 11 questions for my nominated bloggers and listed the bloggers’ Twitter handles as well. Enjoy!
Q= What is your favorite thing about blogging?
A= Writing about what I love and sharing my writing with people who enjoy reading it.
Q= What is your biggest accomplishment so far?
A= My biggest accomplishment is getting more than 5 Twitter followers…I’m not social media-savvy, but I had always read that to run a successful blog, one needs a social media platform to advertise it on. I thought I’d give it a try, and I’m glad I did. The blogging community is really supportive and has helped me reach almost 100 followers.
Q= Do you have a favorite blogger and if so who is it and why?
A= I don’t have a favorite blogger yet, but I’m always on the lookout for fun and unique bloggers to follow.
Q= What else do you like to do besides blogging?
A= I love reading, reading, reading, collecting movie props (swords, autographs), horseback riding, singing opera/Disney, listening to Bon Jovi, and hanging out with my family. Oh, and fangirling over anything Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.
Q= If you could be any animal what would it be and why?
A= Well, if I could be any animal, including mythological ones, I would choose to be a phoenix. They can (obviously) fly, but their tears have healing powers and they can carry heavy loads. They’re also reborn again from their own ashes. If I had to choose a real animal, I’d choose a cat. We relate.
Q= Advice for someone who wants to start a blog:
A= Write what you know. Be yourself and write the way you would talk to your friends. Don’t change who you are to write like another blogger. Last, be unique and funny. Funny blog posts are always the most visited.
Q= Where is someplace you would like to travel to on your bucket list?
A= Hands down, New Zealand. It’s a beautiful place, mostly untouched by commercialism. The landscapes are a photographer’s dream, and the people seem to be very friendly. Oh, and Lord of the Rings was filmed there. I would love to visit many of the places where LOTR and The Hobbit were filmed, as well as visit Hobbiton Movie Set and Weta Workshop.
Q= Summarize your life in three songs.
A= You’re Welcome (Moana), God Bless This Mess (Bon Jovi), and Blessings (Laura Story).
Q= What is your favorite post that you have written so far?
A= My Guide to Being a Professional Fangirl. I can’t put into words how much I enjoyed writing that.
Q= If you could work with any brand or company, who would it be?
A= I would love to write for Mugglenet.com because it combines my two favorite things: writing and Harry Potter. My dream job would be any job Weta Workshop would give me…unfortunately, one has to be a citizen of NZ to apply. Maybe one day!
Q= What are your goals for 2018?
A = To spend more time with my family, get my own horse, publish my first book, manage my time more wisely, learn how to play the electric guitar well (I can play a little, but not well at all), and to exercise more.
Thanks for reading my answers! Now, here are my 11 nominees, followed by the 11 questions:
1. Kate (@KateTucci314)
2. Elodie (@elodieiver)
3. Jessica & Emily (@TheBookBratz)
4. Nerd Girl 😊 (@WhimsiesOfANerd)
5. Paige (@currentlylately)
6. Sarah (@curiositygrace)
7. Linz (@sweetsourgirl09)
8. Sharna (@sharnaloub)
9. Rianne (@RianneNieuwkoop)
10. Nikki (@in_franc423)
11. Sharon (@mybucketfullofl)
Who inspires you the most? Why?
If you could live in one mythical world, where would it be?
If you had a time machine and could travel back or forward in time, where would you go and why?
What is your favorite book?
If you had to blog about something embarrassing that happened to you, what would that be?
What is one food you will never, EVER try?
If you could meet one celebrity, who would it be and why?
What is the song that you think everyone will be listening to this year?
If you could switch blogs with one blogger, which one would it be? Why?
What is a noise you can’t stand to hear?
Star Wars or Star Trek?
Thanks for reading, everyone, and I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about me! Make sure to follow me on Twitter (@HogwartsGrad_7)! I don’t currently have a subscribe button for my blog, so the only way to keep up with my posts is to follow me there.
Remember, never, EVER leave the house without your wand!
After digging through a box of books I discovered in the attic, I found a book I thought I had lost during my last spring cleaning: School of Fear. I sat down and quickly read it and the other 2 books in its series. I soon remembered how much I loved SOF's slapstick comedy, sarcastic wit, and interesting characters. While the book is written for a middle-high school aged audience (and the writing isn't anything spectacular), it truly is a one-of-a-kind book that makes you accept absurdity as the norm and gives you a lot of laughs along the way. 90% of the book is stream-of-consciousness ramblings, but the author somehow managed to make it into ridiculous, funny scenarios.
I am not writing a review for this book, simply because I don't think anything I could jot down would do it justice. And I don't necessarily mean that in a good way...with SOF, it really is a love/hate relationship: the writing isn't the best, the plot is absurd, the characters are kooky, but you can't stop reading it.
Do I hate it?
Do I like it?
Still not sure.
Does it make me want to throw whatever it is I'm holding because I can't describe my feelings for it?
If I had to give one word to describe School of Fear, the word would be "entertaining." (There are many other words that come to mind, such as weird, random, bizarre, far-from-ordinary, funny, unique, strange, and eccentric. Then again, some of the best books out there possess some of the same characteristics. I would recommend reading the book so you know exactly what I'm talking about...it's better than me rambling on and on...)
Anyway, it is the most perplexing feeling I've ever had when reading a book.
In that spirit, we arrive at what this blog post is really about.
At the beginning of every chapter in School Of Fear, the author lists a "fear," i.e. a word with Latin origins whose definition begins with "the fear of..."
The four main characters are sent to attend the School of Fear to be put through many exercises/trials which would cure them of their fears (fear of water, insects, small spaces, and dying).
I wanted to list my all-time favorite (and ridiculous) fears from SOF, and I have done so below. Please enjoy these fears and their assorted comments.
Phobiophobia - the fear of phobias. This probably isn't the right article for you. But I was nice and put this ph*bia first so you could go ahead and stop reading. You're welcome.
Ablutophobia - the fear of washing or bathing. I met a kid like that once. He didn't smell too nice.
Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia - the fear of long words. Now, if people with a fear of long words want to know what the name of their fear is, they're in for a bit of a surprise. Great job, whoever came up with that.
Peladophobia - the fear of bald people. They're scary. Well, everyone except The Rock.
Logizomechanophobia - the fear of computers. No comment.
Helminthophobia - the fear of being infested with worms. Please excuse me while I go throw up.
Arachibutyrophobia - the fear of PB&J sticking to the roof of one's mouth. Fear this.
Chirophobia - the fear of hands. Don't go to Universal Orlando, then.
Syngensophobia - the fear of relatives. I think everyone feels this once in their lives.
Erytophobia - the fear of blushing. How does this even work? Do you get scared of your own face?
Ephebiphobia - the fear of teenagers. HEY! PEOPLE WHO HAVE A FEAR OF TEENAGERS! Guess what? You were a teenager once.
Blennophobia - the fear of slime. Possibly the result of watching Ghostbusters and being terrified that you just wasted two hours of your life.
Gerontophobia - the fear of old people. HEY! PEOPLE WHO HAVE A FEAR OF OLD PEOPLE! Guess what? You're going to be old one day.
Neophobia - the fear of anything new. There goes your life.
Novercaphobia - the fear of stepmothers. You can blame Cinderella for that.
Opthalmophobia - the fear of being stared at. Don't ever wear a fandom shirt (see previous article).
Automatonophobia - the fear of wax statues. Seeing as I've been staring at this one for fifteen minutes and my brain hasn't come up with a sarcastic comment, I'll just leave it be.
Which one of the above is your favorite fear? Is there a funny one I should add to the list?
Comment your answer below or comment on my Twitter account, @HogwartsGrad_7.
After reading this, I know you really want to go check out School Of Fear.
Here's some info for you: author = Gitty Danshivari.
If you read it, let me know what you think of it!
Remember to never, EVER leave the house without your wand.
Being a successful, professional fangirl is by no means easy. There is actually a lot that goes into prepping yourself to become a real fangirl. Not to mention that there are an endless amount of fandoms that exist, and finding the select few that you really identify with can be quite a challenge.
Step 1: Familiarize yourself with the definitions:
1) "Sophisticated definition:" fan*girl - a female fan, especially one who is obsessive about comics, movies, music, or science fiction. (C)(Oxford Dictionaries).
2) "My definition:" fan*girl - a female fan, especially one who is prone to creating shrines to a specific movie, owning more fandom-related clothes than normal ones, finding every excuse to insert their fandom of choice into normal conversations, and crying profusely every time she reads her favorite character's death scene. (C)(Me).
Step 2: Choose a fandom:
Star Wars OR Star Trek? Harry Potter OR Game of Thrones? Lord of the Rings OR...well, there isn't really anything in the same league as Lord of the Rings.
How do you decide between all the fandoms? Here's how you can tell which fandom is best for you:
1. Start by exploring the stories you already like: if you own the extended versions of Lord of the Rings (ahem...guilty), then why not start there? If you're the first in line on opening night to see a new Star Wars movie, then, yeah, I'd say that would qualify you to claim that fandom.
2. If you find yourself freaking out whenever you see someone wearing a specific geeky, fangirl-y shirt, then make sure to keep track of which fandoms you do that to most.
3. If you've grown up reading a favorite book series, then it may be time to explore the side culture that goes along with that series. Are there enough places to buy t-shirts to satisfy every fangirl's inner need to express their fandom? (Psst...if you can get past the emo music and overall uncomfortable feel of Hot Topic, they actually have some pretty decent clothes). Do enough people like your fandom, or are you going to be the only one in your town who really gets it?
4. If you have feelings (i.e. crying, uncontrollable hysteria, wailing and gnashing of teeth) whenever a character in a book/movie you like dies, that sounds like a pretty good fandom to stick with. If you're that emotionally involved in a story, then that is hands down your fandom.
5. If you still can't decide which fandom you want to be involved in, ask a friend (specifically a geeky friend) for help. If you don't have a geeky friend, ask one of those people whose shirt you freaked out over. They'd be glad to help you.
Step 3: Acting the Part
Most fangirls generally devote their time to one specific fandom. There is a rare species of fangirl out there that has the brain capacity to properly fangirl over 2 or more fandoms (mine are Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter...go, brain capacity!). If you're not going to do it right, don't do it at all.
Once you've found your fandom, you need to become the fangirl you were born to be. This includes, and is not limited to: dressing in fandom clothes, associating with other fangirls, reading, discussing your fandom whenever possible, reading, annoying the heck out of your family by sending not-so-subtle hints about your fandom-related Christmas presents, reading, taping quotes from your fandom all over your bedroom until it looks like a printer threw up, begging strangers for money so you can visit the places where your fandom was filmed (UM, HELLO, NEW ZEALAND!), reading, etc. You get the point.
Step 4: Don't Let it Define You
Being a fangirl is fun, but if you find yourself forever thinking about your fandom and not able to concentrate on anything else important (school, job, life), then you should probably tone it down. If that means not wearing a fandom shirt for a few weeks, then go ahead and do it. Remember, kids: it does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live. (< Yes, that is a Dumbledore quote). Keep in mind that fandoms are fictional, and those characters you love so much are, sadly, fake. Occupying your time with dreams of running away with your fandom's main character may be fun, but it won't help you better your life...unless you happen to write for Mugglenet.com.
The most important fangirl golden rule is: do NOT obsess. Nobody likes a person who only talks and thinks about fandoms. Honestly, I think even other fangirls get annoyed by each other sometimes. Be open to doing other things outside of the fangirl bubble.
I hope this guide has helped you to grasp a better understanding of how to be a professional fangirl! I enjoyed writing it, and I certainly hope you enjoyed reading it.
Don't forget to bookmark the page if you want to keep up with more blog posts, and to comment if you like a post.
Remember, never, EVER leave the house without your wand! :)
“All we have to decide
As you all know, I am a mega Lord of the Rings fan. There are many quotations from LOTR that I find particularly inspiring, and today I will share one of my favorites.
I realized, though it was later in my life, that the things I thought were important now wouldn’t even be remembered in a few years. I used to do Facebook and Snapchat, then I realized what’s the point? Taking pictures so everyone can see them? Basically bragging about what I have? Updating people on every little thing that happens in my life? Talk about invasion of privacy...and I was doing it to myself. In a few years, no one will even care that I went to the beach and snapped a photo with a pelican. Was I posting photos for my enjoyment, or to be liked?l
Everyone is so caught up with Snapchat, Instagram, social media in general, taking selfies, dressing “right,” that people are missing out on the important things in life. Instead of spending time on a smartphone, or locked away in your bedroom, do something meaningful.
Spend time with your family, go hiking, enjoy the outdoors, do all that without wanting to take a photo for Instagram, and just be happy to live in the moment. If you open your eyes and observe the little things in life, you’ll eventually get the big picture: do everything for the glory of God, and not to glorify yourself or impress others.
Decide what to do with the time that is given to you...will you have spent your time on Earth wisely?
”Why, sometimes I believe as many as
This week’s quote is from the book my blog is named after: Alice in Wonderland.
AIW has been one of my favorite books since I was a little girl, simply because of its whimsical, unbelievable, and impossible characteristics. It’s the story of a young girl’s journey through a fantastical land, full of magical creatures and characters.
I chose this quote because sometimes believing in the impossible (or in the context of the quote, “unbelievable”) can open new doors to pursing a certain dream or quest.
That, and it’s just a really fun quote. 😄
I used to think my goal of becoming a writer for a newspaper was impossible, but I pursued my dream and I now write for a local newsletter. Sure, it’s not a big, fancy newspaper, but that’s my next impossible thought...
Keep checking back for the next quote of the week (or “quote-whenever-I-feel-like-it”).
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