The Poetry of Metal: “Wake Up”

A few months ago, I started a series called “The Poetry of Metal,” where I analyze the lyrics of metal (or metalcore, if you want to be picky) songs in an effort to show that there’s more to them than just screaming. I believe that there is a lot of fantastic and even beautiful writing in this genre – you just have to look beneath the surface a bit.

The last time I did this, I covered the song “Panic Room” by Silent Planet, which was written about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This time around, I’d like to look at a song by one of my favorite bands: “Wake Up” by Wolves At The Gate, from their album VxV. You can listen to the song below, or just keep reading to see the lyrics.

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Re-Reading Books: Why it’s Worth Your Time

Way back when I set my reading goals for 2018, not only did I set an overall goal for the number of books read, but I also gave myself other small challenges I could do along the way. One of these goals was to re-read two of my favorite book series, Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter and The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.

My motivation behind re-readings these books was mostly because it had been a while since I first read them, and I thought it would be fun to take another look at my old favorites. In other words, I wanted to be able to enjoy them again. And I certainly did! Re-reading these two series reminded me of how much I love them, and I still had fun with them the second time around.

GG TLC

As I was re-reading, however, I began to think… is there more to re-reading than just entertainment? If the twists and turns of a story are what make it so entertaining the first time around, then what’s the point of going back and reading it again? You know everything that’s coming, so why bother when there are so many brand-new stories to be read?

There are plenty of good reasons to re-read your favorite books though, and they go beyond entertainment. Of course, movies and TV shows can fall under this umbrella too, but since I re-read books most often, I’ll be using them as my examples today.

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Month In Review: July 2018

Happy August! I gotta tell you, July flew by so fast. It’s hard to believe the summer is almost over, but I’ve still got one more month to go.

I’ve kept busy with Camp NaNoWriMo, fun trips with friends, and other adventures here and there as well. If you want a quick summary of my month, be sure to check out my 1 Second Everyday video compilation from July – just a quick glimpse at what the last 30 days of my life were like.

And in case you missed anything on Maggie’s Musings, here’s what I blogged about this month:

I also made some changes to Maggie’s Musings this month (including a new domain name and a Facebook page). My About Me and Writing pages are newly updated!

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When You Don’t Have A Plan

Look guys, I’m a planner. If there’s a trip or event coming up, I’m usually the one who’s figuring out when we need to leave, how we’ll get there, and what we’ll need to bring with us. Last minute changes are not my best friend, because that usually means I’m scrambling to prepare or adapt to the new situation. It’s a bit stressful, actually.

This would also explain why I typically have my blog topics picked out weeks in advance. As deadlines get closer, I already have a head start by knowing what I want to talk about. Of course, there are times when I choose to deviate from my plans if there’s something timely that I want to write about. There are also times when I forget to plan (er – like this week). But most of the time, I have plans for everything.

But what if I didn’t?

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Facebook Pages & Domain Names (Blog Update)

Hello readers!

Just a quick blogkeeping announcement to point out some new and exciting things that are happening around Maggie’s Musings. I’m excited to tell you about them!

First of all, you may have noticed that Maggie’s Musings now has its own domain name and URL! The blog is now located at www.mmusingsblog.com, although using the www.mmusingsblog.wordpress.com address will still redirect you to the homepage. You may also see that ads have disappeared from my website, a change I am very happy about.

Second, I’ve recently updated my “About Me” page with new photos and a bio that reflects me and my blog better.

Third, I’ve also updated my “Writing” page (again), with new subpages for my three major writing projects at the moment. The main writing page now has a list of other places where my writing has been published, with links where possible. I hope to see this list grow in the future!

Finally, I’ve launched a public Facebook page for myself and my writing. Right now, it’s a home for my blog posts to be shared, but I also hope to use it to make writing announcements, share some of the awesome blog posts I find online, and connect with my readers. Please give it a “Like” if you want to stay updated!

As always, thanks for reading my blog and always offering such thoughtful comments and feedback! It’s been such a joy to see this blog grow, and I’m excited about all of these new changes that are taking place. I hope you love them just as much as I do!

– Maggie

Character Questionnaire: Spencer

Continuing what I did last week, here’s another character questionnaire! Like I mentioned last week, I was inspired by Miranda Kulig at Miranda Writes to do these questionnaires, so be sure to visit her blog too! She gives awesome writing advice. And don’t forget, you can find all these questions for yourself here.

Today, I’m featuring Spencer Rose, the other main character from my Camp NaNo story, “The Show Must Go On.” Spencer is the newcomer in this story, having just met the band when she finds out they’re looking for a drummer. She fits in with the others pretty easily (well, most of them at least). But enough about that – on to the questions!

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What’s Wrong With Walkthroughs?

Let’s say you’re planning a road trip across the country. You get your maps out (or use the internet) and follow the highways, looking for cities and other places to stop along the way. Before long, you’ve got the whole route planned out, down to every motel or Airbnb you’ll be staying in.

Does this make the trip any less exciting? Most of us would probably say no. Planning ahead is the prudent thing to do – after all, you don’t want to end up in the middle of nowhere with no place to eat or sleep. Having a GPS or map guide you doesn’t make the trip any less of an adventure.

Video game walkthroughs function similarly to a GPS, except instead of telling you which exit to take, they tell you how to defeat those strange new enemies, which block needs to be pushed to solve the puzzle, and where to find any hidden secret. In other words, they’re a map to guide you on your virtual adventure.

Following the road trip logic, using a walkthrough shouldn’t diminish the sense of adventure or excitement in playing the video game. Yet, for some reason, we gamers seem to think it does, and we look down on any one who would dare look up the solution to a puzzle on YouTube. We call them “casuals” and “fake gamers.”

But why? What makes their way of enjoying video games inferior to ours? What’s so wrong with using a walkthrough?

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Character Questionnaire: Chey

What’s this? A post on a Thursday?

As I mentioned in my June In Review post, I’m participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this month! We’re almost 2/3 of the way through the month, and I’ve been keeping up with my goal well. Just a little under 14,000 words to go!

Since it’s Camp NaNoWriMo, I wanted to do something fun to introduce you to the two main characters from my story. The story is tentatively titled “The Show Must Go On,” and it’s a sort of companion to another novella I wrote, Summertime. You can read more about both of these projects on my newly-updated Writing page, by the way!

I was inspired by Miranda Kulig from Miranda Writes, who answered these questions for a few of her main characters. I really liked how challenging they were, so I wanted to give it a try myself! You can find the questions for yourself here if you’d like to take the challenge too.

Today, I’ll be introducing you to Chey Cooper, who plays bass in the band that’s the focal point of the story. I won’t say too much else about her for now – on to the questionnaire!

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Underrated Books (And Why You Should Read Them)

Sometimes, you finish a book and all you want to do is talk about it with someone else. In some cases, it’s pretty easy – books like The Hunger Games or The Lightning Thief are so widely read that pretty much anyone can contribute to a conversation on them. However, there are other times when it’s hard to find a fellow reader. You’ll be lucky to find someone else who’s even heard of the book, let alone read it.

I’ve encountered this problem more times than should be allowed. It can be lonely to read a book that has completely blown your mind and yet have no one to talk to about it. These underrated books deserve recognition though, and today, I’d like to share a few of my “little-known” favorites that you should definitely add to your to-be-read list.

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Which Pokémon Go Team Are Your Favorite Characters On? (+Quiz!)

Two years ago, a little app overtook the world. This app was Pokémon Go, a mobile game based on the popular video game franchise that used GPS and augmented reality technology to bring the cartoon creatures to the real world.

People everywhere grabbed their smartphones and left to explore their towns and neighborhoods. Even today, the game still brings people together regularly. I’ve made some great friends at my school through the game, and there were dozens of people at a local park for the most recent Community Day.

In Pokémon Go there are three teams: Team Valor, Team Mystic, and Team Instinct. Once players reach a certain level, they join one of these teams and then compete against the others.

The choice of team is arbitrary, but each one embodies a certain set of characteristics. Knowing this, it got me thinking – if fictional characters played Pokémon Go, what teams would they be on? I’ve decided to “sort” a handful of them and give a few reasons why. Plus, if you’ve always wanted to know what team you should be on, I have just the quiz for you!

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