Writing Playlist

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Journey. Beethoven. Sinatra. The Avenue Q Soundtrack.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to music options in 2018. Which is good because everyone has different taste and different things they enjoy.

And for writers, we all have different things we like listening to when we work.

Now, I work in a music store so I’m literally surrounded by music pretty much all day, every day to the point that I can’t work in silence. I’m listening to Louden Swain’s, Sky Alive, album as I write this.

I’m also a big movie watcher and the way music affects a scene and the mood of the story is something that has always interested me.

For this reason, it’s always super important for me to have music on while I’m writing.

Now, I have different playlists for each of my projects. I used to listen to the same things for everything I was working on (usually film scores), but found this really didn’t help as all it did was make me want to watch the film.

By having different playlists, I can pick the music I listen to for each project and the songs on each of these playlists really helps me get in the right mindset for what I’m working on.

When I’m working on Brave Young Boys I listen to a lot of songs about war and loss. Carrie Underwood’s, “Just a Dream”; Dean Brody’s, “Brothers”; and Rise Against’s, “Hero of War” are just a few.

It’s not the most cheery thing to listen to, but it definitely gets me in the perfect mindset for working.

Kind of on the opposite end of the spectrum, I have a different writing project that involves two people going on a road trip. This playlist consists of (mostly) happy, fun songs.

“Beat This Summer” by Brad Paisley; “500 Miles” by The Proclaimers”’ and “mmmbop” by Hanson are three songs I listen to a lot when working on this particular story.

However, not every song directly relates to a theme of the novel.

In some cases a song will remind me of a character. Or I’ll hear a song and go “oh my god that’s perfect.”

Two instances where this has happened are with “Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett and “Lost Boy” by Ruth B (for two very different writing endeavors).

Everyone likes music. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who didn’t like music. It’s a universal thing, something that, even if you don’t speak the language in the song, you can still bob your head to the beat.

As a writer, different types of music inspire both my work and myself. I find it helps keep the story moving, gives me ideas for different things, and gives me a connection to my characters. It’s a language that transcends the usual barriers of most other languages.

Now I’d like to hear from you! Do you listen to music when writing? Is there a particular style of music you prefer to listen to, whether in life or when working?

Let me know down below and also let me know if you want to talk more about writing playlists!

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*Image at start of post does not belong to me, it was found on Google*

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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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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

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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

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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

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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

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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!

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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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Torcon 2015: Friday!

Torcon is finally here! Oh my goodness I feel like I have been waiting for this weekend forever and now it’s here!

This is the first time I’ve been to Torcon for a full weekend. I’ve gone for the past two years, but only ever went on the Saturday because it’s always been too expensive. This year it was still expensive, but the show’s been on for ten years and I decided to splash out a little bit and go for the whole weekend.

I’ve been really good about not splashing out anymore on any merchandise and I’m hoping to keep it that way. The way things are looking tomorrow I may not be entirely successful, but we shall see.

Alright, so I was a little late getting to the convention today so Richard Speight Jr. (who is MC-ing the whole event) was already on stage. However, I was there in plenty of time to see all the panelists.

The first one up was Alaina Huffman (Abbadon)!

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Alaina was a little minute addition to the guest list after Ruth Connell unfortunately had to cancel. However, I’m so glad Alaina was here! She’s amazing and hilarious and she’s Canadian!

It was really funny because every time someone would answer a question she would give them candy. Richard Speight Jr. made the joke I think many of us were thinking which is that taking candy from strangers doesn’t matter when you’re at a Supernatural convention.

Something I really liked about Alaina’s panel was that she talked about women’s roles (or lack thereof) on TV and how women need to be given more roles. Yes! I am so glad she mentioned this especially at such a huge event for a huge show. It’s absolutely amazing and completely true.

Next up was Osric Chau (Kevin Tran) who spent a lot of time talking about Cosplay. For anyone who doesn’t know, Osric cosplays a lot and you can find tons of amazing photos of him in so many phenomenal costumes online! Seriously, Google it.

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He was completely hilarious and talked a bit about how he’d like to see Kevin come back. Maybe Kevin could come back as a ghost, after all, ghosts can’t die again, right? Has he even seen the show?! Of courses ghosts die again, and it’s normally Sam and Dean who kill them! His reaction when he learned this was hilarious and it really was a great panel.

These panels were followed by the Supernatural Yes/No Trivia Game which was hilarious because by the time they got down to the final two people, it lasted forever! Both contestants gave the same answer as the other over and over again and often times they were both wrong! It was so funny.

One the Yes/No Quiz was over it was back to the panels and up next was Gil McKinney (Henry Winchester)!

Alright, so I’m a huge fan of Supernatural (obviously), but I’m also a huge fan of Once Upon A Time and I didn’t know that Gil McKinney plays Prince Eric on OUAT.

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I had no idea! Looking back now I’m smacking myself in the forehead for not realizing it. It definitely makes rewatching OUAT all the more exciting now.

Something else I learned at this panel is that Gil McKinney is an amazing singer! Seriously fantastic. Go look him up on Youtube I guarantee there are tons of videos of him singing and you will not be disappointed.

I took a couple videos at karaoke, but I’m betting you can find some better quality ones on Youtube than what I got on my phone.

Gil McKinney is also the reason I may end up spending money this weekend as I’m considering buying a photo op with him. If I don’t do it this year then I’ll probably have to come back and do it next year cause he’s amazing and getting a photo would be awesome.

The final panelist was Erica Carroll (Hannah) who also talked about women’s roles on TV. One thing she brought up about this in regards to Supernatural was the relationship between Hannah and Cas which she didn’t like too much.

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She said it was very easy to go that route and you know what, she’s right. You have a popular male character on the show and bring in a badass female character to work with him, it’s really easy to put them together and suddenly she just turns into a love interest.

I’m really glad that’s not what happened with Hannah and I’m definitely hoping we’ll see more of Erica Carroll in the new season!

Something else I learned during her panel is that in the episode with her naked scene? Not actually her. Yup, she said she made a choice and she stood by her choice and I think that’s amazing.

They needed a naked back for that scene and she didn’t want it to be hers and I give her major kudos for that.

Lena Headey did something similar in the most recent season finale of Game of Thrones. We see all of Cersei Lannister completely naked, but we’re not seeing Lena Headey who opted not to get naked.

Huge kudos to all the women who choose not to get naked on screen and you know what? Huge kudos to the women who do get naked on screen.

Kudos to the women on screen. Erica and Alaina are right, there isn’t enough of you so I give you props for getting out there and being badass no matter what you do.

The final event of the night was the karaoke party (not spelt kareoke which is what I did all night) and this was great. I wasn’t sure if I was going to go originally cause I’d already gone back to my hotel, but I’m so glad I did cause it was so much fun.

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There were so many people there and so many of the actors got up and sang. Richard, Rob, and Matt were dressed as the Three Amigos while Kathryn Newton (Claire Novak) came dressed as Sailor Moon and she was completely rocking the look.

From “Bad Blood” to “Lighters” to a lot of Bon Jovi, it was one of the best nights of my life.

There’s still two more days of Torcon left and plenty more to see and do. Hopefully I won’t spent too much money, but I’m definitely looking forward to seeing everybody on Saturday and then Jared and Jensen on Sunday! This is the first time I’ll be seeing them at a convention so I’m super excited!

Were you a Friday Person at Torcon? If you were I’d love to hear what you think!

If not I’d love to hear what you think anyway! Let me down below your thoughts on Supernatural, conventions, if you’ve been to a con in the past, or maybe just about the meaning of life. Whatever you want!

I’ll be posting soon about Day 2!

Also, I’m hoping that if I attend again next year I’ll have a proper camera and can take some better photos than the ones I got on my phone as my phone isn’t crazy about the bright lights they point at the stage. A lot of the pictures turned out either out of focus or, if they were in focus, the people were glowing. I got some good Saturday shots because some of the people like Mark Sheppard and Misha Collins wander through the audience which means they turn the lights back on. Yay! This means pictures turn out looking like people! Woohoo!

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