A Decade In Books

I was only seven in 2010, so my bookish tastes have changed quite a lot, and I thought I’d share my strange exploration of the different genres. If I named all of my favorites here it would take you guys a decade to read this post, but the books here are the markers of my journey.

In 2010, some of my favorite books were those of the Melendy Quartet, beginning with The Saturdays, as well as the “Mysterious Benedict Society” Trilogy, which I read again when I was older and appreciated more. I was an only child and spent more of my time with books than people(which was fine with me), but I did especially enjoy books with lots of kids.

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In 2011, my parents took me on a trip back to London, my birthplace, and in a corner of Hatchards, I found Rose by Holly Webb, and read all four books in three days. I saw myself in Rose more than I have any other out of the many that I’ve read, and loved reliving her journey of discovering her magic and the surrounding world again over and over. I mean this seriously, I’ve read her series over thirty times, and also enjoyed the subsequent Lily.

In 2012, along with my parabatai Nova, I read the “Warriors” books by Erin Hunter (we stopped after fourth series), and every days at recess, we played Warrior cats with the other girls in our grade. I was leader, she was medicine-cat, it was…interesting.

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In 2013, I read the Austin Family Chronicles, by Madeleine L’Engle. They were perhaps the most influential books out of all the books I’ve read. They helped me to hone my ways of seeing beauty in the world, they showed me the pure joy that exists in life and the true strength of love. This all sounds very cliche, but really, L’Engle manages all this just by avoiding flashiness. She’s genuine, she focuses the simple truth of life. This series was the one that made want to write.

In 2014, I read Emily of New Moon, and the rest of L.M.Montgomery’s trilogy (and at least ten of her other books). I felt that I knew Emily, and though Montgomery has a knack for writing unforgettable female, she was always my favorite. Like Anne, she worshipped nature, and was a dreamer, but she was a more focused dreamer, wholly devoted to her writing, which fueled her.

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In 2015, I read the Lunar Chronicles, by Marissa Meyer. I’d read realistic and historical fiction pretty exclusively through almost all of middle school, so this was my introduction in sci-fi/fantasy and the YA genre, and it was a brilliant one. Similarly, I fell in love with The Gideon Trilogy by Linda Buckley-Archer, which set off my fascination with time-travel.

In 2016, I finally read Harry Potter, and was immersed in the series for months, rereading. Harry Potter is not the best series in the world, but it’s warm, and magical, and terrifying, and heartbreaking, and inspiring. I’m a Ravenclaw.

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In 2017, I read the Shadowhunters books by Cassandra Clare. My favorites were the Infernal Devices, because it was in London, and was set in the Victorian Era, which I adore, and mostly because of Herongraystairs because love doesn’t get better than that. I also started walking down to the Briar Patch, a local bookstore, along with my friends. I’d been in there at least once a week when I was little, but had fallen out of the habit during middle school. I fell back in love with its particular book smell, and got to know the booknerds who run it.

In 2018, I read all of Sarah J. Maas’s books. They can be quite dense, but they’re the kind of books that you can’t put down. You just can’t, it doesn’t work like that. If you guys have been reading my blog for a while, you might know that Nova and I went to New York to see Sarah, and it was the most amazing experience. I read Caraval (and the rest of the series), by Stephanie Garber. These books were both exhilarating and depressing to read. The descriptions and style of narrations were incredible, and I love this story, but it also made me feel a bit forlorn, because how can I ever write like that?

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This year, I read The Beautiful, by Renée Ahdieh. This book has been done a disservice, in my opinion, in that it was marketed as a vampire book. I’ve seen a lot of disappointed reviews, and really, don’t read it for the vampires. What you might read it for is the twisty and unpredictable plot of this murder mystery, the incredible 1872 setting, the fact that literally every character is morally grey, and the fact that the protagonist is mixed race white/Chinese. I am as well, and she’s the only book character that I’ve read that’s like me. I read The Night Circus and The Starless Sea, by Erin Morgenstern, which honestly gave me the same exhilarating/depressing feeling Caraval, except even more so, both books are such complex works of art. The last book that has influenced me this year, is my own. It’s humble, it needs a lot of work and even when that’s happened, it won’t be nearly as good as the other works I’ve written about. But over the many hours I spent working on it, the story and the characters have become real to me, and I learned a lot during the process of writing it.

Cheers to those who made through all that! What books have influenced you most this decade? Happy New Year!

– Luna

My Journey of NaNoWriMo

Every writer’s process is different, tailored to how they work best. However, it can be fun to see how others write and pick up ideas. As this year’s NaNoWriMo is about to begin, I thought I’d talk about my experience during the last session.

NaNoWriMo is a program in which authors of any age have a month to fulfill a word count, and therefore write a novel. It was a frustrating dream, one of the most exhausting months of my life, and the most exciting.

I decided to write the standard 50,000 words. However, I was a tiny bit overexcited about my project, so I started writing and had before the month began, and in order to go at the regular pacing, increased my target word count.

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Sixty-two thousand was the number, the goal, a prize of its own. Sixty-two thousand words, thirty-one days to write them, and one of me.

At six thousand words, life was a whirl of sticky notes. Characters, their traits and abilities, locations, and plotted events plastered my room. When the writing began, my head was filled with ideas of what my characters would face and accomplish. It was the beginning of their story, so they had the potential to go anywhere. I sought the balance between guiding them to my plot points and letting them find their own way through the story.

At twelve thousand words, I’d defenestrated all my plans, so I learned to lead my characters into uncharted darkness. Their lives were no more predictable than mine, but I knew I’d find a way to walk them through it, and so I did.

At twenty-five thousand words, I realized that the struggles a character faces and the ways they grow and develop are interconnected with the setting. The world I created for my story was real; there was miscommunication, discrimination, and an earth that fights back. However, it wasn’t a pure reflection of life. I allowed myself to stretch the boundaries between what is fact, and what could be possible, if we had the courage to discover it.

At thirty-two thousand words, my responsibilities escalated. The camp where I volunteer during the summer was extremely busy, so I took on extra counseling tasks in order to help out, which took away my time. It was a test, to keep up with my regular responsibilities while diving deeper into my story and work. Those were not weeks of clever escapes or terrifying reveals, but they were a challenge that taught me how to take something far from perfect and find an element worth working with.

At thirty-seven thousand words, I began to receive the dreaded questions. A cousin from New York asked when it would be ready for reading. My grandmother from California wanted to know about how many chapters I would write. I was constantly plagued by people inquiring as to what it was about. These were questions that, in the midst of writing, I was unable to answer. It was not the details of what might happen afterwards that I cared about. As I navigated a pathway  of uncertain replies, I devoted myself to weaving my message.

At forty-two thousand words, procrastination set in. As many of you probably know, it’s insanely frustrating to want to write, and yet, feel something in you refusing to cooperate, afraid that what it creates won’t be good enough. This, combined with my determination to persist in writing my daily two thousand words, made for a uniquely painful routine, during which I wrote late at night and finished at two a.m., before tumbling off to sleep.

At fifty-four thousand words, life was a cycle of late nights, tears, and satisfaction. The true strife of my story was crashing down around my heroine. To make her story feel genuine, I had to put myself into her place as I tore her apart and we found our way back together. This was a hard emotional process, but the words of those nights were some of the best I’ve written.

At sixty-two thousand words, I finished my book. And yet, my story wasn’t really over. I took a break, because writing every day for a month is tiring. But after some emotional rest, I continued my story, to the confusion of all the non-writers in my life.

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Tell me about your processes! Is anybody doing NaNoWriMo this November?

-Luna

 

My Favorite Scenes from the Throne of Glass Series

The books we love most have the power to change us. It doesn’t happen all at once. I cannot truthfully say that “Seated in the council room of the Assassin’s Keep, Celaena Sardothien leaned back in her chair,” would hold such an important place in my heart if not for what happened afterward. If not for the assassin, the princess, the guard. If not for these characters, these scenes, these struggles and triumphs which have left marks on my soul. But books cannot change a person instantly. A book and a reader build a connection through subsequent scenes as slowly, slowly, the book eases its way into the reader’s heart. Being asked to choose a favorite scene is torture; torture of the purest kind. You ask me to reveal what moment has lodged itself deepest in my heart, and I don’t have an answer. Hearts may be breakable, but their shards are impossible to measure. However, Sarah J. Maas is my queen, so I believe that if she can answer this same question with several scenes, I can do that as well. Perhaps you’re now seeing why your question has prompted an essay rather than just a sentence. I welcome you to come on this excruciating journey with me, as I attempt the impossible and determine which scenes are my favorites.

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If anybody knows who this belongs to please tell me; it’s epic.

Warning: Spoilers for the entire series. I apologize for the length of this post.

Sam is the best character in the TOG series, his position challenged only by Nehemia. This is partially because his kindness and strong moral compass thrived even though he lived a cruel life of secrets and killing. On page 268 of Assassin’s Blade, Sam and Celaena crouch on a roof, scouting a house nearby. This would not be an unusual activity for either of them, except that for the first time, they are doing it together. Sam brings a sort of light into Celaena’s life where otherwise, her only defence against the darkness is her defiance. This scene is a perfect example of how they made life a bit more bearable for each other, even only in the simplest ways.

One of the most noteworthy elements of Sarah’s writing style is her constant foreshadowing. An example of this that also happens to be quite poetic occurs at a masquerade. This scene is not cheerful, not triumphant. However it is a rare moment of tranquility in a setting and time that are not tranquil at all. This scene is a rare moment when Celaena gets a taste of what it means to be carefree. “My name is Wind…And Rain. And Bone and Dust. My name is a snippet of a half-remembered song…I have no name…I am whoever the keepers of my fate tell me to be”(Assassin’s Blade, 283).

The bond between Nehemia and Celaena is one of my very favorite literary friendships. Right from their first meeting, something in them recognizes the other as a confidante. At their first meeting, they speak in Eyllwe, ignoring Kaltain, some confused guards, and an irritated Chaol. They discuss how wormlike a certain councilman is as well as the foolishness of building a castle out of glass. When they pretend to realize that nobody else knows what they’re talking about, they claim to have had a discussion about the weather. I love this scene because of the instant mischievousness between the two girls, and Nehemia’s refusal to even consider being cowed, though both she and Celaena have just entered foreign environments.

A scene that makes me laugh every time occurs in a brief lull of activity. Celaena has her period and doesn’t feel well. When she tries to hint about this to Chaol, he sits calmly not figuring it out for the longest time. When she pukes all over the floor, he realizes that she is actually sick, but still does not understand what Celaena is trying to tell him, until she finally has to clearly state that she has her ‘monthly cycle.’ Chaol does not know how to handle this and all but runs from the room, but Dorian comes in unfazed and refuses to let Celaena be miserable by herself.

So much of Sarah’s inspiration comes from music. Many people, even most people, listen to and enjoy music. But there is only a specific type who can get under the music, who are willing to let go of life and let notes lead them where they will. As well as it being a beautiful Rowaelin moment, I love this scene because you can tell through Sarah’s description of the music that she is naturally one of these people. Her precise words of show how deeply notes fall into her soul. This was a scene that not only caused me to increase my admiration for Sarah, but also to welcome her into my heart as a kindred spirit. Enough of my babble; read for yourself:

“It was not the sorrowful, lovely piece she had once played for Dorian, and it was not the light, dancing melodies she’d played for sport; it was not the complex and clever pieces she had played for Nehemia and Chaol. This piece was a celebration—a reaffirmation of life, of glory, of the pain and beauty in breathing.

Perhaps that was why she’d gone to hear it performed every year, after so much killing and torture and punishment: as a reminder of what she was, of what she struggled to keep.

Up and up it built, the sound breaking from the pianoforte like the heart-song of a god, until Rowan drifted over to stand beside the instrument, until she whispered to him, “Now,” and the crescendo shattered into the world, not after note after note.

The music crashed around them, roaring through the emptiness of the theater. The hollow silence that had been inside her for so man months now overflowed with sound.

She brought the piece home to its final explosive, triumphant chord.”

 

“She didn’t leave a by-your-leave or farewell or anything that would keep her in the room a moment longer. And he didn’t try to stop her as she walked out and shut the door behind.

She leaned against the stone wall of the narrow landing, a hand on her thundering heart. It was the smart thing to do, the right thing to do. She had survived this long, nad would only survive the road ahead if she continued to be unnoticed, reliable, quiet.

But she didn’t want to be unnoticed—not with him, not forever.

He made her want to laugh and sing and shake the world with her voice.

The door swung open, and she found him standing in the doorway, solemn and wary.

Maybe there could be no future, no hope of anything more, but just looking at him standing there, in this moment, she wanted to be selfish and stupid and wild.

It could all go to hell tomorrow, but she had to know what it was like, just for a little while, to belong to someone, to be wanted and cherished.

He did not moved, didn’t do anything but stare—seeing her exactly how she saw him—as she grabbed the lapels of his tunic, pulled his face down to hers, and kissed him fiercely.” Poor Sorscha. Why do I love scenes that make me cry? I don’t understand myself. I don’t know why this touches me so deeply. But it does, and I love it.

 

But in contrast those tears, here’s another scene that makes me smile without fail: Manon wants Abraxos to eat so that he can grow strong and make the crossing. Abraxos lies on the ground and smells the flowers. Yet another deadly killing machine that is also a cinnamon roll.

 

Rowaelin. Adarlan’s Assassin belonged irrevocably to Sam. Lillian Gordaina was Dorian’s. The King’s Champion belonged to Chaol. But Aelin belongs to Rowan, as he belongs to her. One of the most important moments in Heir of Fire occurs when our queen is bridging the gap between Celaena and Aelin, and Rowan’s understanding and mentoring plays a huge part in this: “ ‘Once upon a time,’ she said to him, to the world, to herself, ‘in a land long since burned to ash, there lived a young princess who loved her kingdom . . . very much.’ And then she told him of the princess whose heart had burned with wildfire, of the mighty kingdom in the north, of its downfall and of the sacrifice of Lady Marion. It was a long story, and sometimes she grew quiet and cried—and during those times he leaned over to wipe away her tears.”

 

Rhysand. Rhys. Lord of the Night. Bat-boy. Illyrian baby. That Scene.

 

I originally wrote this for a friend and well, she asked for it. She deserves the huge length of this post. But for the sakes of the rest of you guys, my descriptions are going to get shorter. I love the moment when Celaena is on guard duty and she and Chaol perform their dance in the night, and they become so emotionally connected. And when Rowaelin reunites in QOS…I absolutely love the scene in KOA when Aelin rides home on the stag; there was so much build-up towards that point and when I read about it, I felt that my heart was going to combust. When the Crochan witches all begin to fly north, fire to fire…I love that. That called to some ancient instinct that I hold inside me, and made it come alive. I love essentially any scene that has Elide in it, but I especially love the scene in KOA when she realizes how Erawan can be defeated and proves that she has an essential magic of her own.

 

Alright, so these are my favorite scenes. They’re moments that come to mind when I think of TOG, and these are some of the moments that I hold closest to my heart. I don’t know if they seem arbitrary or unimportant to someone else; they’re not the most happy, or triumphant, or grandest scenes. But these are the ones that have touched me most deeply. These are the scenes that have changed me most. I have one last scene to share with you, which, if I was forced to decide, I would probably select as my favorite. Probably. Yes, I wrote the whole thing out, and yes, I expect you to read it all.

“Chaol, to her surprise, opted to sit beside her, five of his men joining them at the table. Though there were several guards posted around the room, she had no doubt that the ones at her table were just as alert and watchful as those stationed by the doors and dais. Her tablemates were all polite to her—wary but, polite. They didn’t mention what had happened last night, but they did quietly ask how she was feeling, Ress, who had guarded her during the competition, seemed genuinely relieved that she was better, and was the chattiest of them all, gossiping as much as any old court hen.

‘And then,’ Ress was saying, his boyish face set with fiendish delight, ‘just as he got into her bed, stark naked as the day he was born, her father walked in’—winces and groans came from the guards, even Chaol himself—‘and he dragged him out of bed by his feet, took him down the hall, and dumped him down the stairs. He was shrieking like a pig the whole time.’

Chaol leaned back in his seat, crossing his arms. ‘You would be, too, if someone were dragging your naked carcass across the ice-cold floor.’ He smirked as Ress tried to deny it. Chaol seemed so comfortable with the men, his body relaxed, eyes alight. And they respected him too—always glancing at him for approval, for confirmation, for support. As Celaena’s chuckle faded, Chaol looked at her, his brows high. ‘You’re one to laugh. You moan about the cold floors more than anyone I know.’

She straightened as the guards gave hesitant smiles. ‘If I recall correctly, you complain about them every time I wipe the floor with you when we spar.’

‘Oho!’ Ress cried, and Chaol’s brows rose higher. Celaena gave him a grin.

‘Dangerous words,’ Chaol said. ‘Do we need to go to the training hall to see if you can back them up?’

‘Well, as long as your men don’t object to seeing you knocked on your ass.’

‘We certainly do not object to that,’ Ress crowed. Chaol shot him a look, more amused than warning. Ress quickly added, “Captain.”

Chaol opened his mouth to reply, but then a tall, slim woman walked onto the small stage erected along one side of the room.

Celaena craned her neck as Rena Goldsmith floated across the wooden platform to where a massive harp and a man with a violin waited. She’d seen Rena perform only once before—years ago, at the Royal Theater, on a cold winter night like this. For two hours, the theater was so still that it seemed as if everyone had stopped breathing. Rena’s voice had floated through Celaena’s head for days afterward.

From their table, Celaena could hardly see Rena—just enough to tell that she wore a long green dress (no petticoats, no corset, no ornamentation save for the woven belt circling her narrow hips), and that her red-gold hair was unbound. Silence rippled through the hall, and Rena curtsied to the dais. When she took her seat before the green-and-gold harp, the spectators were waiting. But how long would the court’s interest hold?

Rena nodded to the reedy violinist, and her long, white fingers began plucking out a melody on the harp. After a few notes the rhythm established itself, followed by the slow, sad sweep of the violin. They wove together blending, lifting up, up, up until Rena opened her mouth.

And when she sang, the whole world faded.

Her voice was soft, ethereal, the sound of a lullaby half-remembered. The songs she sang, one by one, held Celaena in place. Songs of distant lands, of forgotten legends, of lovers forever waiting to be reunited.

Not a single soul stirred in the hall. Even the servants remained along the walls and in doorways and alcoves. Rena paused between songs only long enough to allow a heartbeat of applause before the harp and the violin began anew, and she hypnotized them all once more.

And then Rena looked toward the dais. ‘This song,’ she said softly, ‘is in honor of the esteemed royal family who invited me here tonight.’

This song was an ancient legend—an old poem actually. One Celaena hadn’t heard since childhood, and never set to music.

She heard it now as if for the first time: the story of a Fae woman blessed with a horrible, profound power that was sought by kings and lords in every kingdom. While they used her to win wards and conquer nations, they all feared her—and kept their distance.

It was a bold song to sing; dedicating it to the king’s family was even bolder. But the royals made no outcry. Even the king just stared blankly at Rena as though she weren’t singing about the very power he’d outlawed ten years ago. Perhaps her voice could conquer even a tyrant’s heart. Perhaps there was an unstoppable magic inherent in music and art.

Rena went on, spinning the ageless story of the years that the Fae woman served those kings and lords, and the loneliness that consumed her bit by bit. And then, one day, a knight came, seeking her power on behalf of his king. As they traveled to his kingdom, his fear turned to love—and he saw her not for the power she wielded, but for the woman beneath. Of all the kings and emperors who had come courting her with promises of wealth beyond imagining, it was the knight’s gift, of seeing her for who she was—not what she was—that won her heart.

Celaena didn’t know when she began crying. Somehow she skipped a breath, and it set her lips wobbling. She shouldn’t cry, not here, not with these people around her. But then a warm, calloused hand grasped hers beneath the table, and she turned her head to find Chaol looking at her. He smiled slightly—and she knew he understood.

So Celaena looked at her Captain of the Guard and smiled back.”

 

-Luna

Why Our Writing Becomes so Personal

As an artist of any kind, it’s important to share your work with others. Letting people see what you’ve created is essential; that’s how you learn, and also how you spread the central message of your creation.

This sharing is something that’s difficult for many of us. As I wind my way through this post, I’d like to present my thoughts on why our writing can be so personal, which will hopefully make it at least a bit easier to release your thoughts to the world.

Totally feel free to skip this paragraph, but before I really get into this, I want to say thank you to all the other bloggers who are so kind and so welcoming. I’m super excited to say that I’ve now been running this blog for a year, which isn’t a huge amount of time, but we all start somewhere. It’s been a busy year for me, so my posts exactly been regular, yet there are amazing bloggers who take the time to read my posts and leave me kind comments. It’s great to have a community, replete with other book-nerds, to retreat to. Your posts make me laugh and give me great advice as well; thanks! The subject of this post is quite important to me, which I why I waited until now to write it.

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I’ve found that it can be much easier to showcase things online rather than showing them to people in person. That way, there’s a sense of detachment. I can choose to ignore what I afraid to see simply by stepping away from the computer. For a while, I thought this was a good idea, beneficial for my mental health. Then I realized that it was simply self preservation, something that shouldn’t limit me at a craft that I love.

There’s one obvious reason that we have trouble showing our writing to others. We care about it. Most have little difficulty in sharing the answers to their math homework, even if they were very difficult to figure out, but we want so badly for people to appreciate what we’ve written that we live in fear of the possibility that they won’t.

It’s important to care about what you create. But the problem with this is when uncertainty collects in our minds, we begin to care more about people’s opinions than the quality of our work.

There are a few pieces of my writing that even own critical eyes consider to be good. I’ve never shown them to anybody(except my cat). The reason that those pieces are good though, is because I put so much into them. I needed to make them real so I dredged up every pain and doubt of my heart to form into words. As a result, I like them, but they’re full of the person I am under my skin. To lay yourself bare in this way to another person, no matter who they are, is terrifying. Impossible. One day, I plan to do it.

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Some people are better at sharing their work than others. That doesn’t make them better, or worse, writers. A cause for this perplexing ability might be that that writer enjoys writing but isn’t serious about it. Writing can be one person’s hobby and another’s soul. Another very probable reason is that this person has confidence in their abilities, and kudos to them. One day I hope we’ll all be like that.

There’s a reason you decided to start writing. An amazing idea, a crucial message that the world needs to know. When you have self-doubt, remember that reason. Bravery is a muscle; the more you use it, the stronger it gets. Perhaps sharing your work will never be easy, but you’ll become better at it, and it will be worth it.

 

If there’s anything you guys would like to share, feel free to comment or send it along!

-Luna

An Exciting Beginning for Emma G. Rose’s Newly Released Book, Nothing’s Ever Lost

There are moments that all writers look towards. One of these is when your book is finally out and your message released to the world.

I was lucky enough to witness author Emma G. Rose experience this at the release event of Nothing’s Ever Lost, her debut novel.

Jack and Anna are dead. Not romantic vampire dead. Not even night-of-the-living dead, but really dead.

At least Jack is. Anna might just be having a near-death experience. It’s surprisingly hard to tell. Either way, they’re on a path through the afterlife; where Death wears a polo shirt, factories manufacture broken things, and forests try to trap you. To make it through, they have to stick together.

But sticking together would be a lot easier if they weren’t both keeping secrets. Anna is awesome at pretending everything is fine…until she isn’t. Meanwhile, Jack is afraid he’s gone crazy and this whole adventure is part of his delusion.

Somehow, they’re going to have to trust each other if they want to make it through to the other side — wherever that is.

It was an incredible evening. Her uncle cried, also her aunt. And though in theory, Nothing’s Ever Lost is YA,  children and adults were interested as well. There was a contagious feeling of excitement in the room and it was impossible not to become invested in this book.

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Look at the amazing nail art Nova from A Fangirl’s Insights did to match the cover!

 

Emma Rose began the night by signing copies, as seen above, and then read a passage from the middle of the book (which was spoiler free thank goodness). People were then given the chance to ask questions and we again learned insightful tips and information. Look here for my previous post: Getting Writing Done and Other Tips, from Author Emma G. Rose

As expected, there were questions about her process and what she does on those days when the words just aren’t coming. Emma Rose’s answers were practical. She comes up with an idea, and tries to write every day. When she’s unsure of what to write about, she writes over and over “I don’t know what to write,” and such. In her words, “You’re going to get tired of that pretty soon, and then you’re going to start writing.” Using this process, she’s able to create a draft of her book. She then goes over individual chapters, sometimes in order, sometimes not. Her approach is simple, and yet, as we can see, it has led her to success.

We also learned about the book’s inspiration and how that translates into what she wants to take away. One of Emma Rose’s family members died by suicide at seventeen. Nothing’s Ever lost was her way of dealing with this. She poured all of her emotions into this book and created her own version of the afterlife, so that it felt like this person was just somewhere else for a while, never gone. Therefore, Emma Rose hopes that after reading this book, people will be less afraid of death, and will also know that there are others out there feeling the way they do.

I was at the launch with Nova and another book nerd, and while we waited for a raffle to occur, we read the first chapter. It included an incredibly relatable protagonist, Anna, and an ominous amount of foreshadowing. Though I’ve only met Emma Rose twice, her personality could be felt through the words of her book.

I won a bag of goodies! All of the items are references from the book, and I’m so excited to discover them as I read. Also the bag is one of only two in existence, yes I’m bragging but can you blame me? I don’t win things very often, but my luck came at the best possible moment.

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Didn’t think to take a picture at the event, so here’s one from home. Pure evidence as to why I’m not a bookstagrammer.

A writer writes because they have a message to share, and Emma Rose’s is especially important. Everyone dies, and yet there are very few books with death as the subject rather than a way of furthering the plot. I haven’t had time to read much yet, but I have a feeling that this going to change everything about the way I see death.

So whatever you’re doing with your life, you need to stop for a while and read Nothing’s Ever Lost.

 

One week till the end of Camp NaNoWriMo (and Harry Potter’s birthday)! How are the words coming?

-Luna

A Girl Stands Alone Atop a Hill

A girl stands alone atop a hill.

Her hair blows out behind her in the night wind, lifted off her shoulders.

There’s a slight chill in the air, but she wears no coat. She feels more free, somehow, with it off, when she can feel the strength of the breeze through the thin red sateen of her dress.

Above her is the cosmos, the thousands of twinkling stars, swirling down out of the night sky, so that she can almost touch them with her fingertips.

But they come never close enough.

A wolf lurks in the forgotten trees, unnoticeable compared to the spread of light and dark above.

He paces silently to the edge of the grove and readies to pounce.

But then pauses.

Because here, on this night, as she reaches for infinity, the girl is untouchable.

As she sees what nobody else cares to see.

The wolf too plays games in the light and the dark.

So he disappears into the night.Screen Shot 2018-12-06 at 3.23.29 PM

 

This has nothing to do with any books, but I wanted to share it with you guys. I’m turning seventeen, which means that is year is my last as a kid, before I leave my little town and go out to see more of the world. Mood is currently veering between excitement, annoyance, and consuming fear, but this little piece felt appropriate somehow.

Camp NaNo starts today!

-Luna

My Camp NaNoWriMo Attempts

I hope I spelled that right…

NaNoWriMo, a program in which writers compose 50,000 words during the month of November, is quite well known at this point. What is perhaps less well known is the Camp NaNoWriMo option, which I plan to participate in this July. (P.S. they’re not paying me, don’t worry.)

What I like most about the camp version of this program is the flexibility. It isn’t required that you write a 50,000 word novel; somebody could write a 65,000 word fanfic, or 40 word poem. It also helps that activity occurs in April and July, rather than November, when I’m habitually swamped with work.

Another aspect of Camp NaNo that I’m excited about is having a cabin. Writers are sorted into different cabins based on the genre or word count they’re going for. These batches of people have discussions and become a bit like a mini-support group. I’ve made good friends with some of the other bloggers on this site, and I think it’ll be nice to have a kind of writer’s group.

Screen Shot 2019-06-18 at 10.59.01 AM

So as for my project, I’m going to work on a book that I’ve been planning for some time. It’s YA fantasy and called When the Wind Reaches Us. In answer to the question that my uncle asked, it has absolutely nothing to do with Gone With the Wind, which I haven’t actually read.

Incase you guys are interested, I’m going to post excerpt that is also on my Camp NaNo page:

I walked slowly down the front steps of Reperle Academy, letting other students pass me as I paused on one of the broad stones. I closed my eyes for a moment, letting the wind blow my hair back away from my face. It stung my cheeks, but after a day of listening to lectures, it was refreshing somehow. The wind always made me feel more alive, as if it blew away the thoughts that held me back.
I turned into the park as a shortcut. It looked to be asleep; the leafless trees waited silently on either side of the pathway, which was empty of other people. Too cold, I supposed, for anyone to loiter. The faithful wind still kept me company, whistling down the footpath.
And then it stopped.
For a split second in time, the park was devoid of sound, of movement, of life. Even my heartbeat seemed to die away. I froze, unsure of what had just happened, waiting for anything, any type of signal, wondering if I was imagining things.
Then the wind came back, my heart began beating again in my chest and I gasped, relieved.
Right before I collided with a large black thing and was knocked backward onto the snowy ground.

Who is working on a project this summer? Tell us about it in the comments!

– Luna