Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: August 17-23, 2020

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! I hope you’ve all had a lovely week.

You ever just get so consumed with the fact that it’s your birthday week that you forget that it’s the last week of summer? Whoops…

At least that last week of summer was lovely for me. I had a wonderful birthday, and I’m starting to get back on my feet as far as writing goes. I’m nearing the climax, and I FINALLY feel as though I have some sense of direction. (Key word here is “some.”) I can owe part of that sense to something new–Amie Kaufman’s new podcast! For all you writers and aspiring writers out there, Amie Kaufman On Writing is a super helpful resource. There’s only two episodes out as of now, but it’s weekly, if I remember correctly.

I’ve had a hit-or-miss sort of reading week–I’ve had a lot of bright spots, but Cinderella is Dead turned out to be a major disappointment, so that was a travesty. At least there were several books that made up for it. I also got some comics and a gift card for my favorite bookstore, so there’s bound to be lots of interesting books next week…

Also, just so everybody knows, since school starts tomorrow for me, I won’t be able to post as frequently. Luckily, I get off school earlier on every day but Friday, so I’ll at least be able to get to my usual Goodreads Monday/Book Review Tuesday/Top 5 Saturday.

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

The War That Saved My Life–Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley ...

Cinderella is Dead–Kalynn Bayron (⭐️⭐️.5)

Amazon.com: Cinderella Is Dead eBook: Bayron, Kalynn: Kindle Store

The Umbrella Academy, vol. 3: Hotel Oblivion–Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: The Umbrella Academy Volume 3: Hotel Oblivion eBook ...

Spinning–Tillie Walden (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Spinning, by Tillie Walden

The Weight of the Stars–K. Ancrum (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Amazon.com: The Weight of the Stars eBook: Ancrum, K.: Kindle Store

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

An Unkindness of Ghosts–Rivers Solomon

Amazon.com: An Unkindness of Ghosts (9781617755880): Solomon ...

Magnificent Ms. Marvel, vol. 2: Stormranger–Saladin Ahmed and Minkyu Jung

Amazon.com: Ms. Marvel by Saladin Ahmed Vol. 2: Stormranger ...

Michigan vs. The Boys–Carrie S. Allen

Michigan vs. the Boys by Carrie S. Allen, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble®

Fire With Fire–Destiny Soria (eARC)

Fire with Fire by Destiny Soria

Mary: The Adventures of Mary Shelley’s Great-Great-Great-Great-Great Granddaughter–Brea Grant and Yishan Li (eARC)

Amazon.com: Mary: The Adventures of Mary Shelley's Great-Great ...

Jelly–Clare Rees (eARC)

Jelly by Clare Rees

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week in blogging! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Music, writing

Writing Soundtracks: Songs and albums I listen to while I write, and tips for making writing playlists

Ooh, would you look at that! A new header!

Happy Wednesday, bibliophiles!

I got a notification this morning, and apparently I’ve had this blog running for…5 years? WHOAAAAA, OKAY, I FORGOT ABOUT THAT

I didn’t start semi-seriously book blogging until about a year ago, but thank you to everybody who has supported me along the way! (And for those of you who had to witness what this blog was like when I was in middle school…I’m terribly sorry for the horrors you experienced.)

ANYWAY, I figured I should start doing writing-related posts more frequently, so here’s my first(ish?) stab at it.

Many members of the writing community use music in a number of ways in the process of creating their WIP, be it picking specific songs or albums to listen to while writing, or creating book or character playlists. Music is an integral part of my life, and I’ve managed to weave it into my writing life as well. I always listen to music when I write, so I thought that I would first share some songs, albums, and scores that I like the most to get me writing my WIPs.

INSTRUMENTAL SCORES

I think there’s been several studies about how instrumental scores help with studying, but for a lot of people, music without lyrics is helpful to focus on their writing, and is less distracting than music with lyrics. I use a mix of music with and without lyrics in writing, but for those of you who are strictly instrumental, here are some of my favorite albums–mostly film scores, mind you–that I use when writing:

Danny Elfman - Hellboy 2 (OST) - Amazon.com Music

Hellboy II: The Golden Army original score–Danny Elfman

Yes, yes, I know I blab about this masterpiece quite a lot, but hey, it’s Danny Elfman doing the score–what’s not to like? The score ranges from whimsically spooky to action-packed to tear-jerking, so it’s perfect for writing scenes of all kinds.

Radiohead for Solo Piano | Josh Cohen

Radiohead for Solo Piano–Josh Cohen

Even if you aren’t familiar with Radiohead, this is a spectacular collection of their pieces adapted into instrumental, piano form. I particularly like “Motion Picture Soundtrack” and “Black Star.”

Trent Reznor / Atticus Ross: Watchmen (Music from the HBO Series ...

Watchmen original score–Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

Much of this one is electronic, but with a wide range of moods; either way, it’s always catchy, and perfectly cinematic. Also, there’s a gorgeous instrumental cover of David Bowie’s “Life On Mars?”, so of course I’d recommend it.

Anything by Jeff Russo, really

Russo has such a wide range, composition-wise, and every single score I’ve come across by him is nothing short of stellar. Some of my favorites include his scores for Legion (FX), and The Umbrella Academy (Netflix), but he’s also scored everything from Cursed to Lucy in the Sky and Fargo (the TV show)

NON-INSTRUMENTAL SONGS AND ALBUMS

I cram loads of music onto my writing playlists, but there’s several particular songs and albums that get me more focused/motivated/immersed in my writing than others, so here goes nothing…

Kid A Cover - How Radiohead's Most Alienating Album Got Its Cover

Kid A–Radiohead

Besides the fact that one of my WIPs features a character who is obsessed with this album, the sheer range of emotion in this album is stunning. Though it’s chiefly electronic, I’ve used these songs from everything from battle scenes to a funeral scene.

Recommended tracks:

Mitski: Bury Me at Makeout Creek Album Review | Pitchfork

Bury Me at Makeout Creek–Mitski

Another very emotional album, this one’s always great for writing scenes associated with any form of love, whether it’s the promise of it, being in the throes of it, or being apart from it. Then again, you’re talking to somebody who has had zero (0) experience with any sort of relationships, so take this as you will.

Recommended tracks:

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot By Wilco Album Cover Location

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot–Wilco

Apparently they called this album “the American Kid A” when it came out, so…did I cheat and put Kid A on here twice? If so, I don’t regret it.

Ranging from punchy, classic rock songs and dreamlike, melancholic hazes of emotion, I highly recommend this album for scenes charged with emotion–doesn’t matter what emotion we’re talking about, because there’s easily a song or two on here for everything.

Recommended tracks:

Phoebe Bridgers: Stranger in the Alps Album Review | Pitchfork

Stranger in the Alps–Phoebe Bridgers

Though I don’t like every song on the album, I’d say about 3/4 of it is positively stellar. Definitely on the sadder side, but it’s perfect for channeling strong emotion in your writing.

Recommended tracks:

David Bowie - Hunky Dory - Amazon.com Music

Hunky Dory–David Bowie

Besides being, y’know, the pinnacle of music, this one is chock-full of tracks that not only help me bring emotion and heart into my writing, but with songs that motivate me to write.

Recommended tracks:

GENERAL WRITING PLAYLIST TIPS

I saw a piece of advice the other day about making two writing playlists: listen to one of them while writing it, and a different one when you’re editing or making the second draft, so that you’re put into a different mindset while re-reading it.

For making the playlists themselves, I usually just dump several songs I like, and go through songs as I write. If there’s a song that takes me out of the writing or has been in circulation for a few times too many, I take it off and replace it.

Just for fun, here are snippets of mine:

And yes, I did color-coordinate the album covers. It’s fun…

(Or, alternatively, “the one that I accidentally dumped all the Weezer on” and “the one without any Weezer at all”)

I also like to cobble together playlists for each of my WIPs: here, I include songs with lyrics that relate to the story, or that just have the general vibe of the WIP. For some of them, I also create character playlists going off of the same rule. For my sci-fi book, there are six different perspectives (or, I’m going to make it that way once I get around to editing it), so I have a playlist for each of them. For my current WIP, however, there’s only one perspective, so I just keep it at the protagonist.

What do you think? What are your musical techniques for writing? What’s your favorite music to write to?

Since there’s a boatload of music in this post, consider the entire thing “today’s song.”

That’s it for this writing post! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: August 3-9, 2020

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles!

First and foremost, I hit 200 followers this week! (I’m currently at about 207, I think.) But I’d just like to give each and every one of you a big thank you for your endless love and support.

wholesome memes, aesthetic, cats and love and affection memes ...

I’ve definitely had a nice week. I spent a few days in Vail with my family, and we did lots of walking amongst flowers and eating too much sugar, so that was a lovely reprieve from the monotony of 2020 life. (Also, writing in a bunk bed is on another level of good vibes.) As far as writing goes, I’ve finally decided to resume writing my paranormal fantasy WIP, and that’s been fun to get back into the groove. All I’ll tell you so far is that it draws a lot of inspiration from Hellboy/B.P.R.D. and Guillermo del Toro, and there’s quite a lot of sarcasm, amphibious creatures, and questionable magic afoot.

As far as reading goes, the 4-5 star high capped off last week, and I’ve had almost entirely 3 star reads this week. I got another library haul yesterday, so hopefully that’ll help pick things back up again, but only time will tell.

Other than that, I’ve started catching up on season 2 of The Umbrella Academy, started watching Devs ([loud screaming]), and I’ve been rewatching What We Do in the Shadows with my family so that we can get my brother into it. (We’ve already blown through the whole first season) I also watched I Am Trying to Break Your Heart, which was lovely.

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

The Shadow Wand (The Black Witch Chronicles, #3)–Laurie Forest (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

The Shadow Wand (The Black Witch Chronicles Book 3) (English ...

How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals–Sy Montgomery (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals ...

A World Without You–Beth Revis (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

A World Without You by Beth Revis

Starswept–Mary Fan (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Starswept: Mary Fan: 9781946202277: Amazon.com: Books

The Good for Nothings–Danielle Banas (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: The Good for Nothings eBook: Banas, Danielle: Kindle Store

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

Ice Wolves (Elementals, #1)–Amie Kaufman

Ice Wolves (Elementals, #1) by Amie Kaufman

Blanca & Roja–Anna-Marie McLemore

Amazon.com: Blanca & Roja (9781250162717): McLemore, Anna-Marie: Books

Show Me a Sign–Ann Clare LeZotte

Show Me a Sign by Ann Clare LeZotte - Hardcover Book - The Parent ...

On a Sunbeam–Tillie Walden

Amazon.com: On a Sunbeam eBook: Walden, Tillie: Kindle Store

Tarnished Are the Stars–Rosiee Thor

Tarnished Are the Stars by Rosiee Thor

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week in blogging! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: July 27-August 2, 2020

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! I hope everybody’s had a good week.

I had another library haul this week, and all of them have managed to be 4-5 star reads for me! Needless to say, expect quite a lot of gushing book reviews in the next few weeks. I finally got my hands on The Shadow Wand (the third Black Witch book), and I’m *nearly* finished, so there will definitely be A Lot of Thoughts™️ on that in the near future.

Somehow, I’ve been hitting records for my stats as far as likes and views goes this week! Before this week, the most likes I’d ever gotten on a post was about 20; now, I’ve gotten multiple posts that are above 20 likes, so that’s a first. So thank you all for all the love! 🙂

Wack GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Other than that, it’s been a good week. July went by in a blur, so mentally, I’m still in July, but hey, now it’s my birthday month! I also started watching the second season of The Umbrella Academy, and I’m liking it so far! Camp NaNoWriMo is done, and now I…don’t really know what to do with myself. I outlined a bit for one of my WIPs, but I haven’t written anything in about a week, so that needs to change. Of course, I’m probably going to procrastinate yet another week, but only time will tell. I also made another original book tag (linked under “posts and such”)! Big thank you to Elle @ Geekerella Undercover for being the first to particpate! 🙂

Oh, and I also made this alignment chart of YA sci-fi books as a joke:

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Legacy of Orïsha, #2)–Tomi Adeyemi (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Children of Virtue and Vengeance (B&N Exclusive Edition) (Legacy ...

Goddess in the Machine–Lora Beth Johnson (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Goddess in the Machine (9781984835925): Johnson, Lora ...

Into the Crooked Place–Alexandra Christo (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Into the Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo

Honor Lost (The Honors, #3)–Ann Aguirre and Rachel Caine (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Honor Lost (The Honors, #3) by Rachel Caine

Monday’s Not Coming–Tiffany D. Jackson (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Monday's Not Coming – HarperCollins

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

The Shadow Wand (The Black Witch Chronicles, #3)–Laurie Forest

The Shadow Wand (The Black Witch Chronicles Book 3) (English ...

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week in blogging! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: July 20-26, 2020

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! I hope you’ve all had a lovely week, and that you and your families are all safe and healthy.

[dons a pair of sunglasses] IT’S LEO SEASON…

Zodiac Sign Cat Sticker by Pusheen for iOS & Android | GIPHY

Aaaaaaanyway, I’d say that it’s been a nice week. I can’t believe July is almost over already…

I’ve been practicing with putting on my new contact lenses with…[ahem] varied results, but hey, I suppose these things take time. Even though my reading week started off disappointing, I got around to reading two good eARCs (I’ll review the other one next week). I’m SO CLOSE to being finished with my Iron Giant puzzle, and I finished my short story for Camp NaNoWriMo! It’s nearly 10,000 words, and I think I made it appropriately depressing. I’m still working my way towards telling people coherent summaries of my various WIPs, but I will say that it’s a bit of a fairytale, and one that involves quite a lot of bad luck and an unexpected, amphibious child.

I also finished the Netflix adaptation of Cursed (expect a review of that soon), and I’m SO excited for season two of The Umbrella Academy!

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

The Burning Page (The Invisible Library, #3)–Genevieve Cogman (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Amazon.com: The Burning Page (The Invisible Library Novel Book 3 ...

Serpent and Dove–Shelby Mahurin (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Serpent & Dove eBook: Mahurin, Shelby: Kindle Store

FORESHADOW: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading & Writing YA (Anthology)–Emily X.R. Pan et. al. (eARC) (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading ...

Dustborn–Erin Bowman (eARC) (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Dustborn by Erin Bowman

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Legacy of Orïsha, #2)–Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Virtue and Vengeance (B&N Exclusive Edition) (Legacy ...

Goddess in the Machine–Lora Beth Johnson

Amazon.com: Goddess in the Machine eBook: Johnson, Lora Beth ...

Honor Lost (The Honors, #3)–Ann Aguirre and Rachel Caine

Amazon.com: Honor Lost (Honors Book 3) eBook: Caine, Rachel ...

Into the Crooked Place–Alexandra Christo

Into the Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo

Monday’s Not Coming–Tiffany D. Jackson

Amazon.com : [by Tiffany D Jackson] Monday's Not Coming Paperback ...

Today’s song:

Okay, I know that I’ve said that The Beatles should rarely be touched when it comes to covers, but THIS GIVES ME ALL THE CHILLS. LISA HANNIGAN AND JEFF RUSSO CAN DO NO WRONG, I SWEAR…

That’s it for this week in blogging! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!