9 Gifts for Readers

Just a couple days ago, I gave you guys 9 gift ideas for writers. Pretty much all writers are readers, but there are some readers out there who are not writers.

Here’s a list gift ideas for that special reader in your life. If they write too, then that’s a bonus.

9 Gifts for Readers

First Lines Reading Mug

First Lines Reading Mug

Who doesn’t want a mug that has a ton of book quotes on them? It’s inspirational and it surrounds you with the good vibes that only books can give us. Plus, this mug is a nice size to hold more coffee!

Go Away I'm Reading Mug

“Go Away I’m Reading” Mug

If anyone interrupts you, allow this mug to kindly tell them to scram. If it doesn’t work, I give you permission to snap at them. Hey, the mug warned them and they didn’t listen.

One More Chapter Pillowcase

“Just One More Chapter” Pillowcase

How many times have we fallen asleep trying to read a book? Just tuck this under your head and you’ll be good to go!

Personal Library Kit

Personal Library Kit

How often do you allow a friend to borrow a book and don’t see it again for months? Or, better yet, you never see it again? This kit allows you to mark your books as your own making it easier to let people borrow them. I don’t know if they’re more likely to return it without losing it, but at least you’ll have this hanging over their head for a long time.

Bibliofile Reading Journal

“My Bibliofile” Reading Journal

So many books, so little time. Use this journal to keep track of the books you’ve read and what you thought of them. Sure, there’s Goodreads, but writing it all done feels a bit more official.

Super Bookshelf

Super Bookshelf

It’s a bookshelf that you tack onto your wall and looks like Wonder Woman is holding them up in the air. How cool is that? Not only does it give you a place to put your books, but it’s a cool decor as well.

Finger Bookmark

Placement Bookmark

I hate stopping in the middle of the chapter. I always forget where I am and what was going on. This bookmark helps keep your exact spot in the book, not just the page.

Reading Light

Reading Light

How often do you lie down in bed to read? Do you have a lamp near you? I don’t. This little light comes in handy and it clips right onto the book with a bendable neck to adjust where you want the light to shine.

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Kindle

This is the most expensive item on this list, but it’s well worth it. This is the New Kindle, one of the earlier editions of the Amazon Kindle. This is the one I have and I absolutely love it. There’s not built-in light, but it’s a touchscreen and can hold so many books that it’s a bit dangerous. This is the perfect gift for any bookworm.

What else can you get a book lover for the holidays? Recommend books, get them a gift card to their favorite bookstore, or something simple as a cozy blanket so they can read all snuggly warm.

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You Are the Protagonist

“Every lie is built upon a kernel of truth.” –Henry Spencer, Psych

Fiction is a lie. Sorry to burst your bubble, but there is no Hogwarts, no Narnia, and no Shire. We all wish they exist (especially the men), but alas they don’t. We’re stuck on Earth with seven billion other people–95% of those other people don’t even know you exist.

Without these fictional places and characters, life would be pretty boring. There would be no imagination, no creativity, and no pretending. Such a sad life.

Via Pinterest
Via Pinterest

However, if fiction doesn’t exist… where does it come from?

Surely J.K. Rowling didn’t actually attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in a past life and of course C.S. Lewis didn’t discover a new world in his wardrobe when he was a child.

They created and imagined it. So, where does that creation come from? I’m going to point you back to the top of this post and look at a quote from my TV Dad, Henry Spencer (from Psych) who once said, “Every lie is built upon a kernel of truth.”

Fiction is the same way–authors put a little of themselves into their writing. It is from there that inspiration sparks an idea. An idea becomes a novel.

I’m sure if you knew your favorite author personally, you would be able to pick up small truths here and there in their fiction. For example, YA author Sarah Dessen is coming out with a new book this May. As her husband read the novel, she tweeted:

Writers have a way of taking reality and playing around with it until it’s something no one has ever imagined. However, they’re still sane enough to throw in a few bits of real life.

To me, that shows readers what the authors are into; things they like, things they don’t like. Often, when writers add themselves into a story, they get added in as a character. For me, I’m usually the protagonist. My protagonists tend to either have a similar personality, looks, age, or sometimes a mixture.

It doesn’t have to be a character, though. It can be anything like an object, a setting, a plot, or even an occupation. I tend to have a character who writes or teaches for a living because those are two of my passions.

I think that makes writing all the more fun and reading all the more like a puzzle. The questions will never be answered unless you talk to the author personally, but I’m sure there are some novels out there that would be easy to try to guess. Some truths are easier than others.

Further Reading:

7 Authors Who Wrote Themselves into Their Work
What’s Your Opinion?
Six Real Life Authors Who Made Themselves Into Fictional Characters

What is Success?

Success

School has officially ended for the semester and one thing we learned has been sticking with me, so I thought I would talk about it. So this won’t be like my usual posts, but I hope you’ll stick around to read it, anyway.

In one of my classes this past semester we read a short story called Sur by Ursula K. Le Guin. I won’t describe it too much in case any of you would like to look it up, but it’s about a group of women travelling to Antarctica and keeping it a secret. One of my classmates posted on the discussion board asking about the “achievement” in the story. A few of my classmates were debating on whether or not the expedition to Antarctica could exactly be called an achievement. This is simply because the women in the story kept it a secret. They didn’t share their achievement; therefore no one knows about the achievement. How can you do something as great as travel to Antarctica and never share the news?

I commented on the thread stating that achievement is measured by your own personal goal and your perspective on it. For example, I believe travelling to Antarctica is a huge achievement; especially since it was their first time doing so. Just because the group of females did not share their journey with their friends, family, and the press, it doesn’t mean they weren’t successful. To put it simply, they wanted to travel to Antarctica and they did. Wouldn’t you call that an achievement?

I associate the word “achievement” with “success” because they’re both about reaching a goal. According to Dictionary.com, this is one definition of success: “the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.” I can only half agree with this. The reason I agree with it is because of the “position” part. I used to want to be the director of the preschool I worked for. If I had worked my way up to that position then I would have felt successful because it was something I wanted to do and I would have worked hard to get there.

The reason I disagree with that definition is because of the “wealth” part. Money does not buy happiness even though our paychecks always make us smile. However, once the bills start rolling in, our smile fades and we’re back to square one. If your goal was to make it to the top of your career with a nice pay raise, then I could call that successful if that was something you really wanted. If it was a job you truly enjoyed and you weren’t doing it just to get rich off of it; even though the money would be a plus.

Another reason I disagree with it is putting the story into perspective. Sur is a work of fiction, yes, but no where in the story did the group of women attain wealth, position, or any honors. They kept their goal a secret from the world. They deemed themselves successful because they had achieved something they wanted to do.

Another definition of success by Dictionary.com is: “the accomplishment of one’s goals.” I have to say that I like this definition a whole lot better. However, what exactly is a “goal?” Again, it depends on your own perspective and what you want. My big goal is to become a full-time writer. Yet, there are many little goals along the way.

When I write my standard 2,000 words in one day, I consider that an accomplishment for that one day. When I finish a novel, I consider that to be an achievement. I’ve never completely finished editing a novel enough to throw it at a publisher, but I’m sure when I do that will be successful in itself and I’m sure I will be very happy with it. When I get a novel published for the first time, I will be successful. Will I be a full-time writer after publishing that one novel? No, probably not. However, I will write more and the more I write the better I will become. I will come up with more ideas and become more creative. Eventually I’ll come up with a novel good enough to allow me to stay home all day and do what I love and do best: write.

It won’t matter what position I’m in if I still have a day job and it won’t matter how much money I’ll be bringing in. My goal is to share inspirational characters, interactive plots, and open up a brand new creative world for all my readers to love and enjoy.

And when that day comes, I will be successful.

Day Thirteen and Booky Questions

Interviewy Stuff….

 

Hey everyone! I was invited to do some interview-like questions. So I’m going to post that first and then give you a quick update on my progress!

The other day, Tiffany Metzger commented on my blog and told me about Blog Hopping and Booky Questions and tagged me in it. I am more than happy to participate in it. Thanks, Tiffany!

So here are some questions of my work-in-progress novel:

What is the (working) title of your book?

Take Over.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

As weird as this is going to sound, I thought of the idea when I was at work. I work at a preschool and the other teacher took the kids outside while I stayed behind to clean up the classroom a little bit. While I was setting up the art table, the idea just randomly popped into my head. I started saying to myself, “Remember when you were little and everyone was always wondering why the kids never took over the school? Because it’s obvious that the students out numbered the teachers.” Everyone has though about that sometime or another while they were in grade school, right? I thought it would be funny to turn it into the novel, but I wasn’t serious about it. Then I was in the shower a few days later and I thought of the idea again. I started coming up with characters and scenes and all that fun stuff. I got really excited and really into the idea, so I decided to write a book about what would happen if a group of students really did take over the school. I have no idea what made me think about it, but I’m glad I did.

What genre does your book fall under?

Young adult drama. High school stuff, just like any other young adult drama. The only difference is that none of my characters sleep around with any of their teachers, no one smokes or does drugs, and none of the girls fight over one guy.

Which actors and/or actresses would you choose to play your characters in the movie rendition?

Well, there are six main characters. I honestly have no idea who would play who. Most of the actors and actresses I really know are adults and my characters are 17- and 18-years-old. So I guess I’ll just use Disney Channel stars as an example even though I would never want them playing any of my characters. David Henrie, he’s hot, so he can play Simon. Selena Gomez, I love her, she can be Roxana. Although they would be weird because they used to play brother and sister, but whatever. Dylan and Cole Sprouse could definitely play Jay and Darren, who are twins. That leaves Bella, the airhead…Bridget Mendler. Not that I’m saying anything against Bridgit, but I can just picture her being good at play a space cadet.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

To make history and be the most epic senior class of their high school, a group of five seniors with the help of their junior friend decide to take over the school without realizing the consequences and thinking about how out of hand everything can get. <—Synopsis’ suck. That’s all I have to say.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Not self-published, but I don’t really plan on getting an agent.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

So far, it’s been about a month and a half. I haven’t finished the novel, yet, but I am super close!

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

The Wave by Todd Strasser. I read that book my sophomore year of high school and I loved it! It’s about a group of students who don’t understand the Holocaust. They don’t get how people can just fall in line behind someone so bad. So the teacher, trying to help them understand how easy it is to be a follower. He starts “The Wave” where he is the leader and all the students are the followers. However, when it’s time to stop, the students keep going with it and things get out of control. I highly recommend it.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

I have wanted to be an author since I was ten-years-old. I have been writing novels left and right since then and I never finished them. The novels I did finish, I had no motivation to edit. However, when I can up with this idea, I just got so excited. I love the characters, I love the plot, I love everything about the novel. I usually know the beginning and end and get stuck in the middle. That didn’t happen when I wrote this book. Idea after idea kept popping into my head and my fingers never rested once on the keyboard. So I guess what I’m trying to say is, the actual idea itself inspired me to write this particular book.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Honestly, I believe everyone has once asked themselves why no one has ever taken over the school before and this basically has the answer, even though it’s my version of what might happen. All the characters age in this book. Minds are changed and some grow up while others don’t. Roxana is against the idea, the twins and Brad love the idea, Bella and Simon don’t know which side they are on in the first place. And, of course, love is also in the mix.

Now I pass this Blog Hop along to:

Again, thanks to Tiffany for including me in this. Maybe I’ll post those questions for all of my books, who knows? Feel free to post this on your own blog, as well! I have no idea who started this, but it was a good idea and I thank that person.

Now, I don’t have big news to update. I wrote 557 words today. My boyfriend and I are going away this weekend. Remember I said I wasn’t going to change my word count in case I couldn’t hit 50k this weekend? Well, it’s a good thing I was right because this getaway is totally last minute. Anyway, I tried to write a lot this morning because I’m not going to be able to write tomorrow and possibly not Monday, either. However, I just didn’t have the muse to do so.

I do plan on taking my notebook with me so if I have time to get anything done I can write a few notebook pages of Far Away. However, that is not going to count towards my NaNo word count because I have 20 pages so far and I do not want to count all of that up. When I finish the notebook, I’ll type it up and then count all of the words. Then it will be added to my 365,000 word count goal.

In other news, this week is April vacation. I still have school, sadly, but I do not have work. So I plan on writing big time when I come home this weekend. I plan on getting to 50k right when I come back and then hopefully changing my word count goal to 75k. We shall see what happens!

Anyway, I won’t be posting again until either Monday or Tuesday. So everyone better get a lot of writing done! 😀

 

2013: 119,084/350,000 Words Written
2013: 1,749/18,250 Pages Read