Blogkeeping: New Schedule!

When was the last time I rearranged my blogging schedule? I think it was a few years ago. Not counting when I switched from doing Week in Review to Month in Review, it was October 2016. Fall of my freshman year of college. Now I’m a senior. Funnily enough, I seem to have found myself in a similar situation to the one I was in four years ago: My academic schedule is kicking my butt, and I need to reassess.

You may have noticed (or maybe you didn’t) that for most of September, I didn’t post anything. That wasn’t really an intentional decision, but in retrospect, I’m glad I did that. Last fall, I took a “sabbatical” from blogging for a month, and it was very refreshing. This past month has felt the same. Plus, it gave me a chance to step back and think about the best way I can continue to publish posts regularly while not getting overwhelmed.

A weird thing about blogging is that whether I write or don’t write, it can be frustrating. Sometimes words are hard, but you just have to push through and write them, and it’s like pulling teeth. Other times, you’ve just had enough with writing and you just want to lay on the couch and contemplate your existence.

All this to say, I’m shaking things up on the blog because I’m a loose cannon. Just kidding, if I don’t have a plan, I shrivel up and die like a neglected succulent. Actually, I’m giving myself even more of a schedule so I don’t have to spend all week freaking out over what I’m going to write.

First Friday of the Month: Month in Review for the previous month! The monthly wrap-ups you know and love. Nothing changing here.

First Monday of the Month: A list post! People call these “listicles” but I strongly dislike that word and I will never use it again. These would be posts like “Making the Most of Required Reading” and my “Junior Year Soundtrack.” Thoughts that are more organized in a list format. Like BuzzFeed, but better. We hope.

Second Monday of the Month: #WritersLife – in other words, updates on my writing. I’ve got plenty of projects going on right now, including one for my senior seminar class that I haven’t talked about here yet, so I’ll have a lot of material to talk about. This could look like a lot of different things – maybe a snippet from something I’ve been working on, fun facts about a character, or a Q&A session! Think something along the lines of my “Favorite Lines from Camp NaNoWriMo April 2019

Third Monday of the Month: General musings in a non-list format. The content might vary, but it would be more essay-like in form. Not that they’re actually essays. Or maybe they are? I don’t know where to draw the line. Whatever you call it, they’ll look similar to “Why Group Projects (Usually) Don’t Work.”

Fourth Monday of the Month: Tags and linkups. I’ve done these before every so often, but they’re a lot of fun and I think they would add some more variety to the blog. I’m hoping to participate in The Language of Worlds linkup often, but other months, I might do something like the Character Duel Tag.

Fifth Monday of the Month: It’s a SURPRISE! These only happen every couple months, so I’m gonna plan them as I see fit. You’ll just have to wait and see!

And that’s it! Blog posts will still be coming out when you expect them to, the content will just be a little more consistent from month to month.

As always, thank you all so much for continuing to stick with my blog. I appreciate every like and comment – they always bring a smile to my day. I couldn’t ask for better readers!

Until next time!

August 2019 Month In Review

I know I’m only a week off of my normal schedule, but let me just tell you something – it feels like it’s been an eternity since August happened. I’m glad I made some notes for myself, because I’ve forgotten just about everything I did last month.

Before I launch into that though, here are my blog posts from August! I was a little bit off of my normal rhythm due to traveling, but I’m still proud of what I was able to write this month:

You can also check out my 1 Second Everyday compilation from August below!

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Making the Most of Required Reading | Seven School Books I’ve Actually Enjoyed

Most people don’t like required reading. Not even English majors. There’s nothing that kills my motivation more than someone handing me a paperback and then telling me I will be graded on my ability to read, comprehend, and analyze the words inside. I love reading. I wish I could do it more often than I do. It’s just that I have the kind of personality where the instant someone tells me something’s required, even if I will probably enjoy that something, I’m determined to dread it.

Sorry, professors.

Actually, I’m not all that sorry, because in sprite of my bad attitude, I have enjoyed a lot of my required reading. At the very least, I’ve only hated one or two books (and generally with good reason, so I don’t feel all that bad). Since school recently started for a lot of us Americans, I thought I’d take some time to talk about the books that make me love being an English major.

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The Language of Worlds Linkup #7

To make a long story short, I was on a student leadership retreat last weekend fighting mosquitos, so I didn’t have a chance to write a blog post as usual. Instead, I’m participating in the Language of Worlds linkup, hosted by Liv K. Fisher.

If you’re unfamiliar with the linkup (since I’ve only done it once before), Liv posts 10 questions every two months for bloggers to answer about their writing projects, characters, or writing life in general. It’s a lot of fun, and I’m excited to participate again and talk about my fantasy work in progress, codenamed “Quest.”

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Afterwords: Top 5 Heroes

As I did in my previous post about book heroines, today I’m revisiting my three-year-old top five heroes list. And, like I said in my previous post, I’m certainly not diminishing the awesomeness of the characters I wrote about before (although, if I’m being honest, there are a few that I haven’t had many thoughts about in the years since). The characters of Artemis Fowl from Eoin Colfer’s beloved series and Sage from The False Prince are still some of my favorites.

But like I said before, I’ve read a lot of books since then, and I think it’s time to give a few other characters some love too.

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Afterwords: Top 5 Heroines

Once upon a time, I wrote a blog post that was appropriately titled “Top 5 Heroines.” It was, as you might guess, a list of my favorite heroines from books. Now, even though I wrote that blog post three years ago, I still stand by it. There were some really awesome female characters on that list: June Iparis from the Legend trilogy, Cammie Morgan from Gallagher Girls, Deryn Sharp from the Leviathan trilogy, Reyna Ramirez-Arellano from The Heroes of Olympus, and Stargirl from Stargirl.

But I also wrote that blog post three years ago. I’ve read (and re-read) a lot of books since then, and I’ve fallen in love with both new characters and old. So while I still love and adore all of the ladies on my original list, I thought it was a good time to show some appreciation for a few of my other favorite heroines.

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July 2019 Month In Review

Happy August! I’m gonna keep this intro short and sweet, because July was a jam-packed month and I have lots to talk about! Concerts, books, adventures, Stranger Things, and more! But first…

In case you missed it, this month I blogged about:

You can also watch my 1 Second Everyday compilation from July below!

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Time After Time (Short Story)

Back in October 2018, I entered a short story contest held for the Blimey Cow patron community (or “cowmoonity,” as we call it). Our prompt was to write a story with the following elements:

  • Theme: “Things are not as they seem”
  • Music should be featured prominently
  • Including one of the following: a broken television, a cobweb, or a cassette.

So I decided to enter the contest, and ended up winning three of the five categories (Best story, best character, and best overall). To be honest, I was totally surprised and honored to be one of the finalists (let alone a winner)!

Since then, the story was accepted for publication in my school’s literary journal, The Peregrine Review. Since I spend most of my time working on larger writing projects, I’ve become rather proud of this little story and how far it’s come. Since I mentioned it a few times recently, I thought today would be a good time to share it!

Read on to check out my short story, “Time After Time.”

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Junior year soundtrack

Junior Year Soundtrack

Every school year, when I get to the end of the spring semester, I think, “there’s no way it could get any tougher than this,” and then somehow, it does.

That’s not meant to be a complaint – my years in college have been some of the most challenging, but also the most rewarding years of my life. Still, the rewards are easy to forget when you’re drowning in multiple 10-15 page papers and group projects while working two jobs and a maintaining some excuse for a social life. A lot of times, I find myself listening to music for encouragement, motivation, or just comfort.

As is my tradition every year, today I’m sharing a short playlist of the songs I listened to this past school year that encouraged and inspired me. As is NOT tradition, this post comes halfway through the summer. Even though it’s been a few months since the semester wrapped up, I still think this is worth sharing (and I’ll never let myself live it down if I let this school year go by without a playlist.

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Writing Lessons from Stranger Things

When Stranger Things started garnering hype on the internet in 2016, I sent a text to my mom telling her she should watch it. She enjoyed shows with vague paranormal/alternate universe stuff like Fringe, and from what I could tell, Stranger Things was right up her alley. I wasn’t all that interested. I was midway through the first semester of my first year of college, and I preferred to spend my limited free time writing or gaming.

And then within a week of me telling my mom to watch Stranger Things, she messaged me and insisted that I give the show a try. And because I’m a good child (most days, at least), I listened to my mother.

Whatever I thought Stranger Things was going to be, it was so much better.

The Netflix Original series, created by brothers Matt and Ross Duffer, takes place in 1983 in the small, midwestern town of Hawkins, Indiana. The premise is simple enough: a young boy vanishes without a trace, and mysterious events begin taking place around the town. Combining an engaging sci-fi world with 1980s nostalgia set Stranger Things apart, but beyond that, the show features strong writing, dynamic characters, and a fascinating story.

With Season 3 of Stranger Things being recently released, I thought it would be a good time to revisit the show’s first season and analyze what we can learn from it.

Beware – Spoilers for Season 1 of Stranger Things below!

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