Thursday, November 29, 2012

Follow Friday!

Q: Activity! Who is your to-die-for book crush? What do you think they look like? Add an image to make us all happy.

I have two answers to this one. First, I've always liked Mitch Albom. He seems like a great man with a lot of compassion. I love his book Tuesdays with Morrie. I am obsessed with it. Such a good story! He's pretty attractive too! ;)
  I also love Taylor Ambrose from My Sister's Keeper.  He is a friend of Kate's. They both have cancer, which is why he has no hair.


Book Review: Safe Keeping


Today, I'll be reviewing the book SafeKeeping by Karen Hesse. It's an adventure book about a girl who's house is abandoned. She tries to find her parents, but discovers that they are missing. After months of searching, she discovers that they are dead. This book also has a ton of real photographs of the journey. They are in black and white, and are amazing!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Teaser Tuesday

This past week, I started reading Beta by Rachel Cohn.

    1. "Beta teens would serve as experiments until Dr. Lusardi could manufacture actual babies and children..."(7)

    2. "According to Dr. Lusardi, I am her finest beta"(7).

    Sunday, November 25, 2012

    Belated Follow Friday

    Q: What blog are you thankful for?

    This is a tough one, because I am thankful for so many blogs! I love The Moonlight Librarian, Alison Can Read, and Breast Cancer?...But Dr, I hate pink! 

    Monday, November 19, 2012

    Gust Post- Ally Malinenko

    Today, I'm featuring a guest post with Ally Malinenko, author of Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb,on the topic of Writer's Block. 

    Writer’s block. A perfect topic for a blog entitled Writer’s Block. It is defined by Merriam-Webster as a psychological inhibition preventing a writer from proceeding with a piece. Though I believe many writers would instead refer to it as the paranoia that cripples, maims, and destroys their once bright and shining future.

    Personally I don’t believe in writer’s block. Now, that isn’t to say that I don’t have trouble. I have entire months where it’s like pulling teeth and every word – every LETTER of every word - is painful. And I have months where I write and write and write and then wake up and realize that back on page 50 I made a horrible decision and now my whole plot is a tangled hopeless mess. Or that the great story idea I had in my head turned to utter rubbish once it was put down on paper. Or my revision is useless because I can’t see past the forest of text I’ve already put down. Or I have no good ideas to begin with.

    Every single one of those things has happened to me and I still don’t believe in writer’s block because of one simple notion. Discipline. And by discipline I mean creating a segment of time, every day if you can, where you write. Once you dedicate yourself to that you create discipline. You start saying things like, “it’s 8 pm. I should be writing.” Or “I need to do 500 words by the end of this hour.”

    This is why NaNoWriMo is so successful and motivating for people. It sets parameters (word count and the notion of “winning”) on something that is creative and therefore considered ethereal. Once you lock it down by time or by word count, once you have parameters, you have dedicated yourself to a goal. Half the battle is already won.

    I get up at 5 am to write. It wasn’t my idea, it was my husband’s. He’s a writer too. And he reasoned that if he got up every morning at 5 am he could write for two hours before he had to go to work. Two solid hours, before the day started to chip away at him. Two solids hours where the only thing that mattered was getting the word down. I watched and laughed, pulling the blanket around me. No way was I giving up sleep.

    Then I saw that it worked. So I tried it. And it was horrible. And then it was slightly less horrible.  I’ve been doing it for years now and like any muscle, creativity thrives on exercise. It works because I’ve created a physical space and time where the only thing that happens is writing. For those two hours, that is all I do. And the magic is that when I don’t do it, when I skip it and sleep in, I feel guilty about it. I feel like I missed an opportunity to do something creative for myself. And I hate feeling that way. Also my routine allows for preparation. I can say, “What am I going to work on tomorrow?” or “Where am I going with that short story?” and brainstorm on my commute.

    Now, that said I sometimes still stare at the screen and wonder what I’m doing. I still have doubts. I still mess up. I still realize that I derailed the whole novel back at page 50. Some mornings are absolute rubbish and I wake up the next day and delete the previous 2 hours worth of writing. Sometime I do that for a whole week until I find my way. Sometimes it’s baby steps, teeth-grinding hair-pulling baby steps, but baby steps none the less. Every step is a step forward. I’m a firm believer in forward progress. And it stops me from ever locking up, completely giving into the fear, and giving up for good.

    Now I’m not saying that everyone has to give up sleep. That was my choice. But writing has to become a priority and parameters need to be set. Something must be sacrificed to the gods. 

    First you need discipline. Then you can be ethereal.

    Thursday, November 15, 2012

    Feature and Follow Friday!!

     So, this week's question is:

    Q: Books are turned into movies all the time! Turn it around. What movie would make a great book?

    Hmm...I really like "The Pursuit of Happyness" and " Yours, mine, and Ours". Those would be good books! I also like the 1982 version of "Annie". She is such a sweetheart, and has such a powerful story.  I know, I know- it's an old movie. However, some movies are classics-like this one. Last but not least, I think that "Mean Girls" would be a good book. I know, I'm biased- I'm 16, and this kind of thing appeals to me. But let's be honest, it's a good plot line!

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

    Things I'm thankful for this Thanksgivng

    1. I'm thankful for my health
    2. I'm thankful for doctors
    3. I'm thankful for my hair
    4. I'm thankful for my awesome teachers
    5. I'm thankful for my parents
    6. I'm thankful for Northwestern Memorial Hospital

    Monday, November 12, 2012

    One Year Ago ( this week)

    I can't let this week go by without acknowledging that on November 15, 2011, I was diagnosed with Cancer. The biopsy was on November 14th,2011. The next day, we got the phone call. Although I am proud to say that I am a survivor, the journey is not over yet. I am scheduled for ultrasound number 2 in February, and this will let me know if the cancer is back ( hopefully not!- there is less that a 5% chance of a recurrence).
      I will never forget the feeling that resulted from that horrible phone call. I immediately broke down in tears, and my life was turned upside down. November 2011-February 2012 were the worst months of my life, but ultimately, they resulted in a good outccome. What I want you, loyal followers, to take away from this is that there is always a silver lining to a horrible situation. I am proof of that. My life lesson for today is that if you are in a horrible situation, surround yourself with a supportive group of friends. I did that, and it was the best thing I could have done.
      Admittedly, I felt like a total dork whenever I told anyone. The first person I told was my best friend, and unfortunatale she freaked out. Eventually, though, she calmed down. Nowadays, I really don't care who knows. It's not like this is my fault. I did nothing to cause this, ( no I didn't and never will use a tanning bed!). I hope that you can and will take something away from this story.
      Tuesday and Wednesday will be gloomy for me, but i'd love to hear all of your kind words. All my loyal followers are amazing, and are very encouraging.

    Thursday, November 8, 2012

    Feature and Follow Friday

    Gain New Blog Followers

    Q: Do you mind books with similar ideas to other books? Similar concepts, backgrounds, retellings or pulled-to-publish fanfic?

    Not at all! In fact, I enjoy reading books with similar concepts. But my one rule with books is that that I have to read a couple pages, or more, to see if I like the book. I am a very picky reader! I am trying to push myself to try new genres. Right now, I'm trying to get myself into fantasy, and it's working. 
       One of my favorite fantasy novels is the first book in the Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling. I haven't had time to read the second one yet. Just too many books, and too little time!! 
      Lastly, my all time favorite series of fantasy books is the Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (Spoiler Alert: His real name is Daniel Handler). I have read all the books, and I own some of them. 

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

    I'm going to be teaching a class to my peers!!

    I am teaching a class to my peers. It requires me to actually pretend to be confident while speaking in front of 25 plus students!

    I am going to be teaching a class called "Skin Cancer 101". It'll cover why tanning is bad, how to prevent skin cancer, and what the types of skin cancer are. As a survivor of this disease, I am fortunate to be able to teach the class from a personal perspective. If any of you'd like to read (and sign!!!) my cancer blog, here is the link:

    The reason I'm teaching this class is simple: to try to convince teenage girls not to tan. As we all know
    (and I'm sure I don't need to mention this), tanning can give you a deadly form of skin cancer called melanoma. Melanoma is potentially fatal. I don't want anyone to get it by tanning!

    On a brighter note, does anybody know of any good blogfests? I'm dying to participate in one!!

    Friday, November 2, 2012

    This week's question is: Q: What is a deal breaker for you in a book? For example, do you abhor love triangles? Or can't deal with bad editing?
       I hate bad grammar. It makes it very hard to read and understand a book. I also don't like when a book moves really slowly- hard to pay attention and makes me not want to read it.