Month In Review: June 2018

Happy July, everyone! As promised, I’m switching over to a month-in-review format for the time being, and I’m happy to bring you my June in review! This month really got me into the swing of the summer, and between working hours at my job, I got the chance to do a lot of other fun things too.

If you want a quick (literally 30-second) overview of my month, check out my June 1 Second Everyday compilation! I’ll admit I forgot about this a few days, but I did make up for it. Enjoy some glimpses from the last 30 days of my life!

In case you missed anything on Maggie’s Musings, this month I blogged about…

Read More »

The Ultimate Summer Setlist

Summer. A time of freedom, excitement, and adventures. No one’s telling you what to do – your time is your own. You can do anything you want!

…Well, unless you’re like me and you’re working a full-time job. In that case, you still have some responsibilities.

Even if you’re working a 9-to-5 though, there’s still something to be said about the free feeling of summer. Things are a little more laid back, maybe you take a vacation or pick up a new hobby. Summer is a time for adventures and doing things you wouldn’t normally be able to.

Of course, every summer adventure needs an awesome soundtrack. Whether you’re taking a trip to the beach or playing basketball with your friends, you’ll want some background music, something that just screams “Summer.” Well my friend, you’re in luck today, because I’ve compiled a Summer Setlist, just for you!

Read More »

Why Writers Should Go Outside

Most writers have heard of “Outside,” even if we’ve never seen it. Supposedly, it’s a mysterious place where this thing called “society” is, where people buy things in stores instead of buying them on Amazon, and they talk face-to-face instead of over text message. If you ask me, that sounds pretty terrifying.

In all seriousness, writers do have a reputation of being hermits who spend most of their days in the shelter of their home or local coffee shop (we have to fuel our creativity somehow). Oftentimes, this is with good reason: we need to be able to focus on our craft without other people interrupt us, and that’s much more likely to happen when we leave our safe writing bubble.

But what if the benefits outweigh the costs? We might embrace the hermit lifestyle, but we might be wise to step outside every so often – there are definitely some good reasons to do so.

Read More »

Fantastic Fathers in Fiction

Father’s Day is a day meant to celebrate our dads, grandfathers, and other male role models in our lives. I’ve been blessed to have a great relationship with my own dad, but unfortunately, fathers in fiction tend to get a bad rap. They’re usually portrayed in a negative way, if they’re present in the story at all.

2015-07-16 015 Montana MRS - NPS
My dad and me (Sorry I couldn’t find a picture where I’m not being ridiculous)

Despite this, I still believe there are a lot of good fathers and father figures in stories, you just have to look closely for them. Since I did something similar for Mother’s Day, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite fathers, grandfathers, and father figures in fiction.

Read More »

YA Character Tropes: Scrap or Save? (+Quiz)

If you handed me a young adult novel and gave me thirty seconds to look at it, I could probably tell you a bit about the cast of characters. There’s a pretty good chance the cast consists of a dark and mysterious guy, an insecure girl, and a vaguely attractive childhood friend.

Not all YA books would be like that, of course, but a majority of them do contain these basic character archetypes. They’re like pages in a coloring book – an outline for the writer to fill in with whatever colors or patterns they see fit. There’s nothing wrong with that, but some of these archetypes have become tropes. In other words, all of the writers are coloring in the picture the exact same way.

These tropes make stories predictable, which gets boring for the audience. But are all tropes really that bad? Can any of them be salvaged? I’ve picked ten of the most common character tropes in YA fiction to try and answer which tropes are really worth saving (and how to save them), and which ones should be tossed aside.

Read More »

Maggie’s Concert Checklist

I still remember the first rock concert I ever went to (okay, that’s not saying much, but bear with me). My parents took me to WinterJam in 2012 to see Skillet, one of my favorite bands at the time. Now, WinterJam probably isn’t what you’d consider a “traditional” concert experience, but it was awesome nonetheless. Since then, I’ve gone to a lot of other concerts and festivals to see my favorite artists, and I’ve always had a wonderful time.

When I first started going to concerts (WinterJam notwithstanding), I was definitely a bit overwhelmed. While concerts are awesome, they can be confusing for people who’ve never been to one before. I’m certainly no expert, but with concert festival season coming upon us, I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve learned from going to concerts.

Read More »

Week In Review – June 1

Happy Friday, everyone, and welcome to June!

I hope you’re all doing well and have had a great week! Aside from some rather nasty seasonal allergies, I’m doing pretty well myself. I had a three-day weekend because of Memorial Day, so it was nice to have an extra break from work.

Speaking of Monday, this week I blogged about acronyms in video games and tried to explain a few of the most common ones. If it ever seems like gamers are speaking a completely foreign language, perhaps this guide will help you out a little.

Before I get into the WIR for this week, I did want to make a quick blog announcement – for June – August, I’ve decided to put a pause on WIR posts. This is partly just to give myself a break so I can focus more on doing other things with my blog, but I also want to use this time to experiment with my “personal updates” format.

For the summer, I’ll be doing monthly updates instead of weekly ones, and they’ll be going out on the first Friday after the end of the month (so for example, the June in Review will be posted on the first Friday in July). At the end of the summer, I might go back to weekly posts, or I might stick with the monthly ones, but for now, let’s consider this a “trial period.”

Anyway, on to the Week in Review!

Read More »

A Beginner’s Guide to Video Game Acronyms

Acronyms are a daily part of our lives – we say things like “TV,” “ATM,” and “PB&J” in everyday conversation, and nothing is lost in translation. Some acronyms have even become words in their own right, like “scuba.”

There are some acronyms, however, that aren’t very common. For example, if you didn’t follow Maggie’s Musings, you might not know that “WIR” is an acronym for “Week In Review.” A lot of groups, from writers to musicians, have their own systems of acronyms that don’t usually make sense to anyone outside of that group, and nowhere is this truer than in the world of gaming.

Even though I’m a gamer myself, there are some acronyms I didn’t know until recently. One of my friends kept referring to “DPS” during a Pokémon Go raid a while back, and at the time, I felt too embarrassed to ask what that meant. So trust me, you’re not alone if this jargon sounds like a foreign language – you’ll get the hang of it soon!

Read More »

Week In Review – May 25

Happy Friday, everyone!

I hope you’re all doing well. I’m wrapping up my first full week of my summer job today, which is kinda crazy to think about. It’s been a great week though, with a lot of different projects to work on and new things to learn. I also got moved into my summer housing assignment over the weekend, which was a relief. I have a room to myself for the next few weeks, and I’m enjoying it so far!

This week, I shared my sophomore year soundtrack, filled with awesome songs from the past semester. This one was a little trickier to put together, to be honest, but it’s always fun to share my favorite songs with all of you.

Read More »

Sophomore Year Soundtrack

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you might know that music is a big part of my life, despite the fact that I’m probably tone-deaf and can’t play any instruments. I love listening to music pretty much anytime, and it’s one of the things that encourages me on a regular basis.

Around this time last year, I wrote a blog post about my Freshman Year Soundtrack, where I just had a list of songs that inspired me, motivated me, or I just listened to them a lot over the course of the school year. I thought I’d do something similar again at the close of my second year of college, since my music tastes are always changing and new songs are always being released.

If you’d like, you can listen to the full soundtrack on YouTube here. Otherwise, keep reading to see my list and why I picked them!

Read More »