Life Update

Do you ever get so overwhelmed by how far behind you are and how much work you have to do that you just don’t do it? And then you get even further behind and it stresses you out more so you just continue to avoid it and this horrible cycle continues.

That has been my life for several months now. I don’t mean I’ve been sitting around doing nothing all the time. Quite the opposite actually. I’ve been working a lot since Christmas and when I’m not at work I’m at home desperately trying to get things done.

I’ve been writing blog posts and book/film reviews; I’ve been working on fanfiction chapters; and I’ve been making progress on my book. But I think all of you can relate when I say there just aren’t enough hours in the day!

Seriously, sometimes it feels like I never stop and yet it never feels like I actually got anything done.

I used to get a couple posts done or a couple chapters written and I’d start to get back into my routine of posting regularly, but then I’d fall out of it again and it was like starting back at square one.

So, since I’ve been MIA for quite a while now I figured I’d post a quick update just so anyone who reads this blog doesn’t think I’ve fallen off the face of the Earth.

I am very excited for things coming up later this year. I’m attending Fan Expo and the Supernatural Convention again and I will be blogging about those. I’m desperately waiting for Fan Expo to post it’s schedule so I can start making arrangements and figuring out if I’m going to be getting any photos or autographs this year (let’s face it, I probably will).

I will definitely be returning to the blogosphere and the fanfiction world. I can’t say exactly when just because I don’t want to make any promises or guarantees and then not stick to them.

Other than that my life right now consists of working, reading, and, as of today, playing Pokemon GO. I’m sure downloading this game will be absolutely no help in my trying to get back to writing on a regular basis. However, I think it will help with the lack of exercise I get (or rather, don’t get).

So, thank you to any followers of this blog for your patience. I look forward to rejoining you regularly very soon!

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Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, 2001

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December 19, 2001
Dir. Peter Jackson
Prod. Barrie M. Osborne, Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Tim Sanders
Genre: Epic High Fantasy
Starring: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Sean Bean, Ian Holm, Andy Serkis

I love Lord of the Rings. The whole series is amazing and it’s definitely what kicked off my love for New Zealand.

I’ve seen the first film in the trilogy more times than I can count and think it’s absolutely brilliant. I recently bought the extended edition (finally) and have really enjoyed seeing all the behind the scenes stuff that went into making the film.

If I were to ask you to name a film (or several) that you thought was truly great I’m sure everyone would have a different answer. However, I don’t think anyone can deny that Fellowship of the Ring is definitely on that list.

Fellowship brings together an intriguing plot, fascinating characters, and a beautiful landscape and creates what is probably one of the best films of all time.

The film follows Frodo Baggins, a hobbit from The Shire, as he embarks on a quest to destroy an all powerful ring. A ring that could bring an end to Middle Earth if it fell into the wrong hands. With the help of several companies along the way, Frodo takes great steps on his journey to saving all of Middle Earth.

Now, as I mentioned before Lord of the Rings is full of interesting characters and in this first film we meet the original ‘fellowship’: Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, Gandalf, Aragorn, Boromir, Legolas, and Gimli.

All of these characters are very different and not only do they each bring something unique to the fellowship, but they bring something unique to the screen that makes the film all the more enjoyable.

On the surface each character appears very simple, Frodo is the hero, Sam the loyal companion, Merry and Pippin the comic relief, Aragorn the warrior, and Boromir the traitor. But they are all so much more than that. Each character, from Gimli to Gandalf, offers comedic moments and heart wrenching moments; moments where you admire their bravery and moments where you want to slap them for their stupidity (you know who I’m talking about).

However, even at their lowest moments you can’t help wanting these characters to succeed. Maybe not at everything they attempt to do (like, you know, stealing the ring from Frodo), but at most things. You want to see what happens next, where these characters are going, what they’re going to encounter.

And what they encounter is a whole lot of adventure and a whole lot of beauty as they travel across Middle Earth aka New Zealand.

Over the years my dream destination has changed drastically. As a child of course I wanted to go to Disney World. Then as I got older I wanted to go to England and Scotland, two places my family comes from.

Well now I’ve been to Disney World and I’d still love to go to England Scotland one day, for many years now I’ve wanted nothing more than to go to New Zealand. And Lord of the Rings played a big part in that.

Fellowship was my first memorable view of New Zealand and every time I watch the film and the ones that follow I desperately want to walk the same paths the fellowship follows over mountains and trails.

 New Zealand is Middle Earth, it is magical and mysterious and full of creatures that don’t exist anywhere else.

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Fellowship of the Ring is a cinematic masterpiece. Not only does it contain all the things required to make a good film (interesting plot, characters, etc.), but it also contains something that keeps the audience completely entranced. I don’t quite know how to describe it, but anyone who has watched Lord of the Rings will know what I’m talking about.

There’s just something about these films, and Fellowship in particular, that keeps you watching over and over again.

Near the start of this review I called this film one of the best films of all time and I stand by that statement. There are many films that could fall into that category, but for all the reasons stated above and many more, I think you can see why Fellowship belongs there.

What do you think of Fellowship of the Ring? Which character is your favourite?

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Things Read in 2015

2015

When I was younger I would read all the time. Literally, just one book after another. I carried one with me everywhere (still do) and even when I wasn’t supposed to be reading, like, during class for example, I did anyway.

Now, being older, I don’t have nearly as much time to read as I would like, but I still try to read as often as I can.

That being said, way back in the summer of 2007 (it’s actually quite a while ago if you think about it), I started keeping a record of how many books I’d read and how many pages they were.

It started being divided by the summer and school years, but then I just started doing it by year. So, now that I’ve babbled on and explained (poorly) how this system worked, here is a list of the things I read in 2015!

The Walking Dead Books 1-4 (Issues 1-8), Robert Kirkman

TWD Books

I was a fan of The Walking Dead show before reading the comics, but after hearing repeatedly how different the comics are from the show I decided I had to read them. I’m not going to get too much into what I thought of the books as I reviewed books 1-4 last year.

I will say that so far I’m thoroughly enjoying the storyline both on the show and in the comics. I plan on reading at least books 5-8 this year (hopefully more, depending on if I can get them from the library).

 

Death Note Black Edition I, Tsugumi Ohba

black edition i

The only book I read this year that I haven’t reviewed yet. Not because it wasn’t good, but because I wanted to read Black Edition II first.

I’d already watched the anime of Death Note before reading the manga novels and I absolutely loved it. I knew immediately that this was something I wanted to read and when I discovered the Black Editions I was even more excited.

The Black Editions are basically two of the novels in one. Instead of spending twice as much and buying the books separate, you spend a couple extra dollars and get two of the books.

Death Note is amazing and I’ll definitely be posting a review of it this year as I recently bought Black Editions II and III.

 

F*ck! I’m in My Twenties, Emma Koenig

Fck Im in my TwentiesThis book is brilliant. I had wanted to read it for ages and was so glad when I finally did. Emma Koenig perfectly captures the feelings that come with being in your twenties, whatever stage you may be at.

I read and reviewed this book back in February and it is crazy how much changes in a year! Last year I wasn’t in school, had no job, and wasn’t doing too much. Now I feel like I hardly have time to slow down!

It’s absolutely insane how quickly things can change and I definitely need to read this book again to see just how different things are.

 

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Reptile Room, Lemony Snicket

Reptile Room

I still haven’t finished this series! I started it like a year and a half ago and I still haven’t finished. I’m not going to say I’ll finish it this year cause I think we all know if I say that then it won’t happen.

However, I will say that I’m excited to read it again and actually finish it this time because all of these books, not just The Reptile Room, but all of them are amazing and enjoyable.

 

Handle With Care, Jodi Picoult

Handle With Care

This book still gets me even when I just think about it. I read this book in a matter of days and to this day I would say it’s probably in my top ten favourite novels.

I loved this book, but to this day the ending gets me sooooo angry. If you’ve read it you’ll know what I’m talking about. If not, read this book. Read it because it’s beautiful and wonderful and Jodi Picoult is truly a literally marvel.

And then I want you to come back here and tell me what you thought of the ending and if you were raging for days while simultaneously existing in a state of shock like I was.

 

Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse FiveThis book is one I need to read again simply because I still don’t think I fully got it. But, like I said in my review (which wasn’t really a review), I think not fully understanding the book actually just makes me like it more.

This is definitely one of those books where even if you don’t fully understand it you’ll enjoy it. This is also one of those books where if you’re a book nerd you should read it. It’s not like the great novels of our time now. There’s no magic or great battle against an evil, superpowered villain.

But there is a story and at the end of the day Slaughterhouse Five is exactly what all great novels start out as and what they all end up being.

I love reading. When people ask me what I like doing the first two things I always say are reading and writing. It’s been like this for as long as I can remember and, even though I don’t have as much time as used to, I don’t doubt it will stay like that.

I look forward to reading many more books over the course of this year. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish all the books I started at the end of last year and more. My reading goal every year is to do slightly better than the year before.

Total Books Read: 9 (technically 14)

Total Pages: 2595

But I want to hear from you! What did you read last year? Have any reading goals for this year?

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January 2016 Book Releases

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This Is Where It Ends, Marieke Nijkamp

This is Where It Ends

The start of a new school year can be an exciting time, but for one student it was a time for revenge. Told from the perspectives of four people, Nijkamp’s novel tells the story of a fight for survival when one student starts shooting.

 

Release Date: January 5, 2016

Buy This Is Where It Ends on Amazon

Passenger, Alexandra Bracken

Passenger.jpg

Etta Spencer is a violin prodigy who inherits a legacy she didn’t know she had. Nicholas Carter is living his life free from the Ironwoods, a powerful and dangerous family. However, the two are soon thrust together on a journey to stop a secret object from falling into the Ironwood’s hands.

Release Date: January 5, 2016

 

Buy Passenger on Amazon

Bookishly Ever After, Isabel Bandeira

bookishly ever after.jpg

Phoebe Martin lives in a world of books and would give anything if the real world would resemble her favourite stories. When she finds out the hottest clarinettist, Dev, might have a crush on her, Phoebe tries to become just like the heroines in her books so that he’ll really fall for her.

 

Release Date: January 12, 2016

Buy Bookishly Ever After on Amazon

The Love That Split the World, Emily Henry

The Love That Split the World.jpg

In her debut novel, Emily Henry tells the story of Natalie, a girl whose life is turned upside when the world suddenly starts to appear wrong. It is then that Natalie is told by a mysterious being that she must save “him”. The next night, Natalie meets Beau and it’s as the entire world disappears all together.

 

Release Date: January 26, 2016

Buy The Love That Split the World on Amazon

The Siren, Kiera Cass

The Siren

From New York Times best selling author, Kiera Cass, comes a fantasy novel about a young girl, Kahlen, forced to live her life as a Siren in order to repay a debt. However, when Kahlen falls in love with a human, she must choose between following the rules of the Ocean and following her heart.

 

Release Date: January 26, 2016

Buy The Siren on Amazon

Shallow Graves, Kali Wallace

Shallow Graves

In this first novel from Kali Wallace, Breezy Lin is a seventeen year old girl who wakes up a year after she died. She has no idea who killed her or why, but what she does know is that she can now sense those with a murderous past. Breezy must use this to delve into the darkness of the world and find some answers as to what exactly happened to her.

 

Release Date: January 26, 2016

Buy Shallow Graves on Amazon

Happy Holidays everyone! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful holiday season whatever you may have celebrated and I know it’s only the second, but I hope you’re all having a wonderful 2016 so far!

I took a brief break from blogging for a little while at the end of the 2015, why? I got a job. Yes, unfortunately being an unpublished writer doesn’t make much (any) money, but I got a job over the Christmas season working in retail.

The best part? It’s one of my favourite stores (no it’s not a bookstore) and they’re keeping me! Apparently I did an okay job over the Christmas season because even though it’s over now they’re still keeping me on. I’m very excited about this, but I’m also very excited to get back to blogging, fanfiction writing, and novel writing!

Even though I’ll still be working, with the holidays over my hours won’t be as crazy which means I’ll have more time to write and work on blog posts and I’m incredibly excited to get back into it!

I look forward to an awesome and crazy 2016 with you all!

*Also, the rest of the months will have more books listed. For some reason it was a struggle to find books being released this month and then when I went on Amazon a lot of the ones I did find were only available for the Kindle*

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NaNoWriMo: Halfway Point!

nanowrimo-logo

We’re half way through NaNoWriMo! How are you all doing so far?

I’m doing something a little different for NaNo this year. I’m not working on a new novel, I’m using this month to finally finish rewriting Brave Young Boys.

So far it’s not working so well.

I sort of went through a period (basically the whole month of October) in which I hardly did any writing. I wanted to write, but at the same time I just didn’t feel like it. Do you ever have those times?

Then I recently started a new job which has given me less time to write (hence why I’ve been so absent lately), but I’m definitely feeling more like I want to write so it’s sort of balancing itself out.

I’m getting caught up on reviews, fanfiction, blog posts, and am working on NaNoWriMo!

I’m determined to finish this novel by the end of this year, preferably, by the end of this month.

Let me know how you’re doing with NaNoWriMo so far!

Are you struggling? Pulling ahead?

Do you have periods where you feel like writing, but also don’t feel like writing?

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Supernatural Names of the Week

Anna

Female
Alternate Spelling: Ana
Pronunciation: an-uh; ah-na
Origin: Hebrew; England
Meaning: Favour of Grace
Well-Known Annas: Anna Milton (Supernatural), Anna Karenina (Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy), Anna Watson (The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins), Anna Oliphant (Anna & The French Kiss, Stephanie Perkins), Anna Fitzgerald (My Sister’s Keeper, Jodi Picoult), Anna (Frozen), Anna Kendrick (Actress), Anna Paquin (Actress), Anna Trebunskaya (Ballroom Dancer), Anna McPartlin (Novelist)

Ash

Unisex
Alternate Spelling: Ashe
Pronunciation: ash
Origin: England
Meaning: From the Ash Tree
Well-Known Ashs: Ash (Supernatural), Ash Fisher (Black City, Elizabeth Richard), Ash Matthews (Mindbender, Veronica Slemp), Ash Ketchum (Pokemon), Ashley ‘Ash’ Baron-Cohen (Filmmaker)

Balthazar

Male
Pronunciation: Bal-thuh-zar
Origin: Phoenician
Meaning: Baal Protects the King
Well-Known Balthazars: Balthazar (Supernatural), Balthazar (Character in various Shakespeare plays), Balthazar (Novel by Lawrence Durell), Balthazar Getty (Actor)

Bobby

Unisex
Alternate Spelling: Bobbi
Nickname: Bob
Pronunciation: bah-bee
Origin: America
Meaning: From Robert
Well-Known Bobbys: Bobby Singer (Supernatural), Robert ‘Bobby’ Pendragon (Pendragon, D.J. MacHale), Bobby Drake (X-Men), Bobbi Morse (Marvel), Bobby McFerrin (Singer), Bobby Lockwood (Model), Bobby Robson (Football Player)

Chuck

Male
Pronunciation: chuh-ck
Origin: American; French
Meaning: Form of Charles; Free ManWell-Known Chucks: Chuck Shurley (Supernatural), Chuck Bass (Gossip Girl), Chuck Lorre (Writer and Director), Chuck Jones (Animator)

Ellen

Female
Pronunciation: eh-len
Origin: England
Meaning: Light
Well-Known Ellens: Ellen Harvelle (Supernatural), Ellen Foster (Ellen Foster, Kaye Gibbons), Ellen (Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging, Louise Rennison), Ellen Rosen (Number the Stars, Lois Lowry), Ellen Degeneres (Comedian), Ellen Page (Actress), Ellen White (Author), Ellen Lupton (Graphic Designer)

Jo

Male
Alternate Spelling: Joe
Pronunciation: Jo
Origin: England
Meaning: From Joseph
Well-Known Jos: Jo Harvelle (Supernatural), Josephine ‘Jo’ march (Little Women, Louisa May Alcott), Joe Hardy (Hardy Boys, Franklin W. Dixon), Jo Qesem Ayela Aleh (Olympic Sailor), Jo Frost (Nanny), Joe Sugg (Youtuber), Joe Hill (Author), Joe Jonas (Musician)

Ruby

Female
Pronunciation: roo-bee
Origin: England
Meaning: Jewel
Well-Known Rubys: Ruby (Supernatural), Ruby Daly (The Darkest Minds, Alexandra Brackens), Ruby Gillis (Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery), Ruby (Once Upon a Time), Ruby Florene Murray (Singer), Ruby Ferguson (Children’s Author), Ruby Aldridge (Supermodel)

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The Amazing Book Is Not On Fire, Dan and Phil

TABINOF

The Amazing Book Is Not On Fire aka TABINOF aka the book that is now tied with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as being my favourite book of all time.

TABINOF is the story of Dan and Phil aka Dan Howell and Phil Lester aka danisnotonfire and AmazingPhil.

I have a few books written by Youtubers and even more on my list of books I need to get. However, this one is definitely my favourite. I’ve watched Dan and Phil longer than any other Youtuber and even though I’ve never met them in person, it feels like I have because they’ve been there (or their videos have) during major times in my life.

I remember exactly where I was and what time it was when I first saw this video:

I was at the public library at four in the afternoon because I was part of a volunteer program and I was waiting for my reading buddy to show up when I got an email to say Dan had uploaded a video called ‘?’. Of course I had to watch it right then and there and it was all I could do to not scream out loud.

I got home and the first thing I did was preorder it off their website. It was kind of expensive because I live in Canada and they’re shipping from the UK, but it didn’t matter because in a few months time I would have Dan and Phil’s official book in my hands.

You would all be correct in assuming that I got some very strange looks when I went to the mailbox and found it in there. I practically ran home and opened it to find the book, a bookmark, and Dan and Phil pixel people stickers. Once again the only time I’ve been this excited to get a book was with the final Harry Potter.

I stayed up until three in the morning reading it and I regret nothing. If the final Harry Potter novel didn’t exist this would undoubtedly be my favourite book. However, Harry Potter is a thing so the two shall remained tied.

But what is TABINOF? I’ve been going on and on and how I bought it and how amazing it is and yet I haven’t said why it’s so amazing. Well I’m not going to go into great detail about the things in the book because that would be a spoiler and Dan and Phil specifically asked people to try and not spoil things because some people don’t have the book yet.

That being said, if you really don’t want to know anything about the book then you should really stop reading NOW. If you don’t want to see any spoilers STOP READING! Watch this video instead of Dan and Phil talking about the book and tour.

Alright, any spoilers from here on out are your own fault.

This book is so Dan and Phil. Reading it just felt like I was watching one of their videos or their livestreams. It’s a really good thing I was home alone when I was reading it because I was literally laughing out loud. The book is written like a back and forth conversation with each line labeled as being Dan or Phil saying it.

All I could hear as I’m reading the back and forth was “tone down the bantz” and it just made me lauigh more. The pictures in the book are amazing. They included pictures of themselves as babies (adorable), in their school uniforms (wow), and a whole bunch of pictures none of us have ever seen before (I was freaking out).

There’s a page featuring text messages back and forth between the two and they are absolutely hilarious! I actually to take breaks between reading each of them because I couldn’t stop laughing. There’s one in particular that I laughed for literally five minutes. I won’t tell you what it said, but I will tell you it involved wasps.

I took the “Which Dan and Phil (or Phil and Dan) Dining Chair Are You?” Quiz and it turns out I am the grey chair. Yeah, I can get on board with that.

One of the most highly anticipated things people have been waiting for in the book is the story of what really happened in Vegas. Ah, the infamous Vegas Video. Dan and Phil went to Vegas for Dan’s birthday and they vlogged a whole bunch of stuff, but the footage was lost when Dan’s hard drive stopped working.

So they wrote about it in the book. And let me tell you, you’re not even ready. I was not prepared for the Vegas Story. I was so excited to finally read it and let me tell you, it’s a rollercoaster from start to finish!

TABINOF is absolutely one of the best books I have ever read. I’ve already shown it to friends and family members and they just look at me like I’m crazy while I show them all the pictures and things in it. Undoubtedly they’re wondering what I’m doing with my life freaking out over these two guys in dinosaur and lion onesies.

I’m especially excited because Dan and Phil are actually on tour right now. At the moment they’re only touring the UK, but they’ve talked about going to other countries so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they’ll come to Canada.

If have read the book then make sure you check out the ‘Making Of’ video below!

I seriously recommend buying TABINOF. If you’re a fan of Dan and Phil I guarantee you’ll love it and even if you’re not a fan of Youtubers I still suggest you buy it. You can do what Dan and Phil said by sniffing it (I can confirm it smells like a book) and then using it as a coaster.

Though please don’t tell me if you use it as a coaster, mine hasn’t even gone on the coffee table, it’s only been on soft surfaces so far.

Have you read TABINOF? What did you think? Let me down below, but remember, no spoilers!

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Preorder TABINOF at danandphilbook.com

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