Winder scene with text "February 2019: Month in Review"

February 2019 Month in Review

I was going to make some kind of remark like “wow, the month went by really fast!” before I remembered that February is in fact the shortest month of the year so of course it went by fast. Anyway, even though it was short, February was a good month with a lot of cool stuff happening.

Before I get into that though, if you missed any of my blog posts this month, I blogged about…

Oh, and don’t forget to check out my 1 Second Everyday compilation for February!

 

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Photo depicting a beach with the text "The ABCs of Percy Jackson and The Olympians"

The ABCs of Percy Jackson & The Olympians

Look, I didn’t want to be a blogger… alright who am I kidding, of course I did. But if you’ve ever read the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series by Rick Riordan, that opening line might look familiar.

I recently re-read The Lightning Thief, the first book in the series, and I just saw the musical adaptation of the novel (which you should definitely check out if you have the chance), so I figured now was a good time to present to you the alphabet, according to the Percy Jackson series.

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Magnificent Mothers in Fiction

In the United States, yesterday was Mother’s Day, a celebration of the women who have impacted our lives. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a number of women as my role models throughout my life, but none more so than my own mom and my grandmothers on both sides of my family. Ever since I was a kid, they’ve inspired me and taught me so much, and I look up to all of them greatly.

In light of Mother’s Day, I decided it was a good time to celebrate the awesome mothers in fiction as well. Parents in fiction get a bad rap, mostly because they tend to be absent in one way or another (oh how we love the orphan protagonist cliche). However, there are plenty of great moms, grandmas, and other maternal figures in books, TV shows, and other works of fiction, and I think they deserve to be recognized.

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Fantastic Fictional Couples

Valentine’s day is just around the corner, and you know what that means! No, not chocolate or fancy dates or anything like that. Nope, around here, we celebrate Valentine’s day a little differently – and by that, I mean I make lists about my favorite fictional couples and try to sound like an actual adult while writing about them.

In all seriousness, I do have my fair share of favorite couples (or “ships,” as the fanpeople would say). Whether it’s books, TV shows, movies, or video games, there are some really strong, healthy relationships in fiction. Even as someone who isn’t much of a romantic, I do love seeing happy and supportive couples, and so in celebration of Valentine’s day, here are a few of my favorites and why I love them so much.

There may be a few vague spoilers ahead, so tread carefully!

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My Five Favorite Fictional Worlds

Have you ever played a video game, watched a movie, or read a book that made you want to live in that world? In all stories, no matter what the medium is, the setting plays an important role. Because of that, we often find ourselves wanting to visit that world – myself included. I’ve experienced a lot of stories, and while setting isn’t always a prominent factor, the best storytellers know how to utilize this element to their advantage.

Today, I’d like to dedicate some time to my favorite fictional worlds. Not only would I love to visit these universes myself (well, if they weren’t so dangerous), but they’ve also influenced my own writing in a number of ways.

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Why I’m Okay With Good vs. Evil Stories

A Good vs. Evil story is usually pretty straightforward. You have the Good Guys on one side, and the Bad Guys on the other side, and you’re almost always cheering for the Good Guys to win. It’s the type of story you see in children’s fairy tales, but that doesn’t make it childish.

Lately, I’ve noticed people tend to steer clear of these types of stories. The argument is that “Good vs. Evil” is too unrealistic – people and societies really aren’t that clear-cut when it comes to morality. In reality, there’s a lot more ambiguity. That’s how we end up with writing advice about giving our villains redeemable qualities and giving our heroes flaws.

And don’t get me wrong, that’s good advice – you do want to have fully developed characters on both sides of the equation, or it isn’t a very fair story. But in the process of giving this advice, we shun the typical good vs. evil stories, calling them cliche, predictable, overdone, and so on and so forth.

But here’s a secret: I’m actually okay with these kinds of stories.

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The Bookshelf Tour Tag

Well, this makes 50 posts on Maggie’s Musings! So that’s pretty cool. Anyway, on to the post!

A few weeks back (I know, so long ago), I was nominated by Anna @ The Story Scientist to participate in The Bookshelf Tour Tag. I’ll admit it was a little tricky, considering most of my books are at home right now, but I managed 0kay, I think. Without further ado, here’s a little tour of my bookshelf!

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Top 5 Heroines

I know, I know, I just did a two-part list last month. But that was so much fun, I decided to go ahead and do another one! This time, however, it’s not about music – it’s about books.

I’ve always found myself especially attached to characters in stories. Protagonists, antagonists, I love them all, but there’s something to be said about the heroes and heroines of a story. Granted, I tend to throw many book characters under the bus because they’re half-developed cliches, but that doesn’t mean I hate all of them. In fact, there are a lot of great books out there with characters that I absolutely adore!

Anyway, a while back in my school’s Book Club, we had sessions where we’d prepare o a list of our favorite book things – sometimes characters, sometimes settings, sometimes couples (ah, but that’s a list for another day). For a while now, I’ve wanted to share some of those lists on my blog, so this week and next week, I’ll be sharing a somewhat condensed version of my favorite heroes and heroines.

Since I started with the guys in my lead singers series, this time it’ll be ladies first! (However, like last time, the lists are in no particular order.)

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What I Love About YA

I’ll be the first to admit that I criticize young adult books more often than I praise them. This is partly because I have a tendency to be cynical, and partly because the YA genre as a whole is extremely saturated with poorly-written books.

That being said, I don’t actually hate young adult books. I know it comes as a shock. But in reality, I actually really love reading YA, and that’s what occupies most of space on my bookshelves. I like to say that I criticize it out of love for the genre, because it has so much potential, and yet so many books fail to reach it.

There are some diamonds in the rough when it comes to YA – it just takes some time to find them. Anyway, to balance out my sarcasm and criticism from last week’s post, I’ve decided to list a couple of things that I like about young adult books. To be honest, this probably doesn’t apply to the genre as a whole, but in the YA books that I’ve really enjoyed, this is what has stuck out to me. So without further ado, here’s the list!

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