Month In Review: August 2018

It’s official – we’re in the fall months now! School had finally started back up for me, and things are starting to get busy in my life again – which explains why this post is going up a little later than usual. As always, thanks for being patient with me. It’s been a bit rough transitioning from the summer to the school year, but we’re getting there.

There was quite a bit happening this month, so if you’re interested in seeing a quick summary of what I did this month, check out my 1 Second Everyday video for August!

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

As a whole, August was a pretty crazy month with a lot of transitions. That doesn’t mean it was bad – on the contrary, I got to do a lot of exciting stuff this month in-between the busyness.

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Best Books for Back to School

If you’re a student, chances are you’ve already begun your classes or if not, you will be soon. It’s that time of year again – new textbooks, new teachers and professors, and a mountain of assignments. Regardless of whether or not you like school, the first few days and weeks of classes can be overwhelming at times. For a lot of us, it’s hard to find time to breathe, let alone sit down and read a book for fun.

Personally, when I do find those moments of freedom, it’s hard to decide what to do with them. Even if I want to read, then I have to pick what book to read, and sometimes I can’t find the right book… it’s frustrating.

To save you the time and trouble of looking for the “right book” to read in your snippets of free time, I’ve compiled a short list of good “back to school” books. Now let’s be clear, there are a lot of Young Adult books that have schools in them. In these books, however, the school environment plays an important role. Whether they’re a college student or just starting fifth grade, perhaps you’ll be able to relate to these characters and their stories.

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What I Learned This Summer

Summertime is special. Even if you’re working, there’s just something about the summer that feels like a break from the norm. Maybe it’s the warmer weather or the longer days. Whatever it is, it makes the summer seasons a refreshing time of year.

As many of you may know, I was offered a job at my campus this summer, and so instead of going home, I stayed on campus for the past three months. It was a new experience for me – even though I’d been away from home for over a month in the summer of 2017, it was much different to live on campus for the entire summer.

Between officially working full-time, living without a roommate, and buying actual groceries for the first time, I learned a lot these past few months. Since I shared a little bit about my summer experience last year, I thought it would be good to do it again as I close out this season and prepare for the new school year.

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What Makes Someone a Gamer?

About a week ago, my friend Kiara posted this on Twitter, and it got me thinking:

 

Like with almost any label someone can apply to themselves (baker, photographer, reader, etc.), there seems to be some set of criteria for calling yourself a gamer, but no one knows what it is. What separates a gamer from a non-gamer? What’s on that mythical list of requirements? Today, I’d like to answer that question and finally put an end to these discussions.

Before I dive into that though, I want to give a shoutout to the wonderful people in the Geeks Under Grace community! I posed this same question in their Facebook group, and while these thoughts in my post are mine alone, discussing this topic with them helped me process some of my own ideas.

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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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